Meeting Una

Sometime in July 2022

With Daisy fully provisioned and cleaned, we left Denarau marina and headed back over to Musket Cove, just for the night. The plan is to work our way slowly back up the Yasawa Island chain, we have no schedule, no dates to meet, no visitors to pick up, our time is totally our own. First stop, Waya Island, I love this beautiful little bay and the anchorage is always easy.

There’s an isthmus between the two halves of the island which at low tide is always loaded with shells, my quest to find a particular shell means I like to visit this bay as often as possible. There are two houses right on the corner of the main island, either side of the beach, away from the villages, the last time we were here, Bob met the owner of one of them, he has a small stable next to the house where he keeps his little horse, and that morning while riding across the isthmus, he stopped to chat to Bob, meanwhile I was busy conducting a serious search of the beach. With my head down scouring the sand for shells, I had wandered to the far corner of the beach past the other house. While there, a lady came down the beach to say hello, she introduced herself as Una. We quickly got into easy conversation as she told me of her fascination with collecting shells, (well why not she lives in the perfect location); Una told me how she walks the beach every morning in her search, and asked if I would like to see her collection.

Sat around the table on her porch overlooking the ocean beyond, I couldn’t help but think what a perfect location this was, Una brought out a large box of her prize shells, and with just a few exceptions I was able to name most of them. Una said how she wished she knew the names of them all, so I offered to bring my shell book over next time we visited the beach. There was one particular shell I’d never seen before, I had no idea what it was, other than possibly a type of Volute, it was a really beautiful example, absolutely perfect, “you can have it” she said, I was so grateful and delighted.

So, (10 days later) back in Waya, I took my shell book over and left it with her to look through, while I searched the beach for any shells she may have missed!

Both Una and her sons were absolutely fascinated by the book, I felt she was almost reluctant to hand it back. So, I said if she gave me her address I would order one online for her, but later as I tried to place the order with Amazon, they needed a post code which she hadn’t included, so I decided to order one to be sent to my house in New Zealand instead, and the next morning I took my book over and gave it to Una.

I’m not sure who was the happiest, Una with receiving the book, or me for the sheer pleasure of giving a gift that seemed to mean so much. What a lovely lady she was to meet, I’ll look forward to visiting her each time we come back here.

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