Friday 11 October
The ship was scheduled to leave Honiara at 6 pm yesterday and we finally got underway about 6:45. I would definitely rate this as one of the nicer trips I’ve had by ship. The sea stayed calm, with only some gentle swells. I managed to get a few hours sleep stretched out on the wooden bench. We stopped briefly at a couple of villages before dawn and then made a more lengthy stop at Kiu village. A small, protected harbour and coral sand beach made for a nice landing area. And the Phoenix sidled up to the beach and dropped the front ramp. Passengers and cargo streamed off, to be greeted by canoes waiting for cargo and a small open-air market waiting for the passengers.
Feeling a bit hungry, I bought a foot-long skewer of roasted molluscs (think clams). Munching on these, I headed back to the ship. As I was finishing off the last few, a passenger offered me some ‘pudding’. I gladly took a slice, asking what kind it was. “Kakake pudding” was the reply. Kakake is a type of edible swamp taro, commonly used for this dish, and a favorite. There are several ways to make pudding, but one common method is to peel and boil the taro, then grate it and mix it with coconut milk that has been boiled down to a thicker cream. The mixture is then wrapped in banana leaves and baked in a ground oven. The result is a heavy, starchy cake, infused with and covered by coconut cream. Very rich, but tasty too.
Shellfish and ‘pudding’ for breakfast – ah the islands life.