Friday 4 November 2022

From On Board: Heritage Expeditions in Melanesia - A Makira Morning

#expeditioncruising .

Location: Star Harbour, Frigate Island (Nafinua), Makira

Google Map Link

In our now well-rehearsed procedure, our flotilla of Zodiacs approach the beach on Frigate Island (Nafinua) at Star Harbour in Solomon Islands' remote Makira province. Grass and shell-clad men await and as our bows touch the sand, they issue their formal challenge of yelps and hollers accompanied by much waving of warclubs.

The island now known as Makira (formerly San Cristobal) is the province to the east of Guadalcanal and our landing at Star Harbour is at the easternmost end of that island.

Traditional storytelling by dance on Frigate Island (RE)

Island retail (RE)
Our welcome continues with more dancing and singing from the men and we're given a precis of the island by local elder, Alfred Murray. We also learn that a resort is planned for the island in conjunction with Australian investors. Later, I press Alfred for more information, but the details are sketchy. I gather it is planned as a smaller 'eco resort' for around 30 guests. If this is the case, a low-impact resort would be a welcome development for the small community but as always, the devil is in the detail.

After the festivities, I join Suzanne for a short walk and we examine the beautiful handicrafts laid out for us. The dark wood and mother-of-pearl inlaid carvings make an irresistible find as is a small crate of lobsters which are snatched up and transported back to the bistro. Suzanne, meanwhile, has produced a warn and tasty tapioca damper from somewhere and we pluck moist chunks from it as we stroll and chat.

Snorkellers explore the clear waters off the beach and birders continue their quest among the lush forest surrounding the few huts.  

No comments:

Post a Comment