Drawing my hand across the soft inner muscle of a giant clam straight out of folklore I had to wonder about the safety of my hand between the creatures colossal shell but while the impressive rippling blue and green beast looked daunting it had long outgrown its ability to close. So, while its attempts still sent powerful pulses through the surrounding water, my hand was completely safe.
I can't really justify the dramatic introduction on this one, as unlike much of the adventure I write about this latest trip to the Island of Beuna Vista in the Central province was a straight up holiday. It was well deserved however after another week of rain and a hit of food poisoning provided a less than welcoming introduction to the Solomon's for our mate Tristan who has recently come and gone from the not so fair city of Honiara.
It was great once we recovered actually, to have some normalcy around for a couple of days. So we thought we would get in what we could in the way of sport fishing and snorkeling in the few days available. Here on the cheap that means Nugu beach resort in the Florida group of Islands.
Only an hour or so out of Honiara by long boat, the place is stunning. Hundreds of fish species frequent brightly coloured corals just meters from the shore of your private beach. The photo's turned out a treat but killed the camera in the process. Alfred our host insured we were well fed and there was always cold Solbrew available. He also set up some fishing trips in the long boat and though we didn't catch anything I will never forget being out in the open water among five or six small islands surrounded by the occasional canoe and trawling for things like Tuna and sail fish, with hand lines! They breed em tough out here. As dusk approached and the squalls in the distance looked to fill more of the horizon we headed back to the beach.
So to be honest it has been a few months since I wrote the above paragraphs in a notebook during a power cut here and didn't realize I never posted them. All in all I have been neglecting this blog but I will update it again this week for my benefit more than anything. I have just heard about a job in China so it has made me realise, like Africa, this place unfortunately will only be a memory too and with mine shot the way it is I will need as much written down as possible…
Other highlights at Nugu included getting up close and personal with the most poisonous creature in these parts a stone fish which the guys speared and strangely enough ate and also a beschdemer. Beschdemer are sea cucumbers and a major export from the region. They are also a major source of controversy with exporters often embroiled in corruption scandals during the open season late each year. The encounter was an interesting one and I now know that when disturbed beschdemer vomit up parts of their intestinal tract to scare of predators… good times.