Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Pre-dawn is perhaps my favorite time of day in the tropics. I like the soft light and the cool breezes, and the quiet.

Today I sit on the cabin roof, watching towering cumulus clouds dump rain on the nearby islands. Ladybug is anchored south of Levuka, away from the noise and smell of the main town. Behind me, the road into town is alive with people walking in from the outer villages. Some are heading for the cannery and can-making plant, which together employ about a quarter of the local population. A team of young rugby players passes in military file and, pacing the low tide shore, two men gather shellfish.

The cliffs behind Levuka seem to catch the rain and our attempt to climb to 'the peak' yesterday was thwarted by a prolonged downpour. But here in the anchorage, mild wavelets bounce around our little dinghy and the offshore rain seems to pass us by. Perhaps today we will make the ascent. More likely is a hike to the south along the gentle coast road to see the 'Devil's Thumb' - a volcanic plug that rears sharply over one of the southern villages.

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