A part of the preparations for any cruise to the South Pacific is contemplating what to deliver for gifting and buying and selling. We’re anticipating to go to two nations within the South Pacific this 12 months—French Polynesia and Fiji—so we’re going to tailor our buying and selling plans for these two distinct cultures.
Within the Society Islands of French Polynesia, there’s entry to “stuff.” Because of this, native individuals need cruisers to deal in money, not items. The type of buying and selling romanticized within the pages of decades-old cruising memoirs largely doesn’t exist anymore. The Society Islands are well-connected to the inhabitants hub of Tahiti. When you can’t discover a product in Papeete , it may be shipped or flown in, after which shuttled out in a mail boat.
Now, if we have been heading to Fatu-Hiva within the Marquesas Islands, our plan for buying and selling could be completely different. Fatu-Hiva is 125 nautical miles upwind from Nuku Hiva, and the locals desire to commerce items as a substitute of money. Cameron Vawter, visiting there aboard the 43-foot Ta Shing Banyan, recollects how a ship within the anchorage that would commerce acquired copious quantities of fruit for days on finish. “It simply stored exhibiting up,” he mentioned. He was completely satisfied to just accept the trickle-down extras.
And irrespective of the situation, there’s a distinction between gifting and buying and selling. Presents from visiting cruisers present appreciation and construct bridges, whereas different items that cruisers carry on board are for bartering.
A mannequin for understanding the concept of gifting as a cruiser might be present in one in all my favourite reminiscences from our month within the Marquesas in 2010. Anchored inside Baie du Contrôleur, we adopted the sound of church bells into Taipivai with our bungee boat, Capaz. After the service, a household invited us to their close by house. We broke out a deck of Uno playing cards, and we performed a sport with the Marquesan youngsters. Then, we gifted them the deck. Small stowage required, priceless reminiscences, good emotions throughout.
Aboard the Allied 39 Jacaranda, Chuck Houlihan says, “we shortly got here to comprehend that we wished to have nicer items for folk that invited us house for dinner, took us fishing and simply befriended us.” He and his spouse, Linda Edeiken, suggest buying and selling sensible objects, comparable to Luci lights, jiggle-hose gasoline switch units and carving instruments comparable to Dremels and sandpaper.
Greg Bridges aboard the Gulfstar 50 Seashore Flea has additionally realized that carving instruments, in addition to multihead screwdrivers, pliers and hammers, are native favorites. He finds that 90- and 60-degree V-gouges and small skews are essentially the most helpful.
Our favourite present to commerce
Our favourite icebreaker present (and occasional commerce merchandise) is a soccer ball. We began partaking in Soccer Ball Diplomacy—trademark pending—after leaving Australia in 2012. From Papua New Guinea to Madagascar, the soccer balls we dropped at shore changed carved, ball-sized fishing floats. Our present amped up many a dust area sport. I can’t emphasize sufficient the enjoyment these introduced.
One thing else I’m excited to stash for actually brightening lives is headlamp-style utility lights (they snap onto a photo voltaic charging block and switch right into a flashlight). Sure, the identical of us who make these superior Luci lights make these. In additional distant communities within the North Pacific, lights like this may have a significant, constructive influence on on a regular basis life for a household.
What’s a commerce merchandise price?
One of many massive questions a new-to-trading cruiser within the South Pacific has is: How do you determine relative worth?
Again within the intensive buying and selling tradition of Papua New Guinea, I got here up with a approach to consider establishing a good commerce. Some ideas tailored from our 2012 put up:
Take into consideration what you’d pay to purchase one thing should you may, and what it price you to get what you’re providing. Is that pineapple, which could be $5, a good commerce for the 1 kg bag of sugar that may have price you $1.50? You’ll be able to give it some thought by way of the worth of the objects, however consider it this fashion, too: When the solely approach so that you can get a recent pineapple, and the solely approach for them to get a bag of sugar, is to commerce, that’s a approach to estimate how shut or far you might be from what’s affordable. I keep in mind giving a man in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea, a 2-kg bag of rice for a few lobsters in the future. He was thrilled and insisted it was an excessive amount of, then confirmed up the following day to offer us three big, lovely papayas from his backyard. Wow!
Commerce objects to deliver
For the list-makers (cough “me” cough), right here’s a abstract of what to stow: Dremels, diamond bits and different carving instruments; generally used hand instruments; rope that also has life in it (simply perhaps for a horse as a substitute of a halyard); headlamps and solar-powered lights; fishing gear, comparable to massive hooks for tuna, little ones for reef jigging; small-woven line for fishing (not fishing nylon); snorkeling masks and fins; soccer balls (and pumps with spare needles); perfumed lotions, nail polish and lipstick (these can add worth to a commerce for pearls within the Tuamotus); and gasoline and jerry cans.
Extra on buying and selling
When you’ve preferred studying about buying and selling within the South Pacific, the place really there’s not a lot buying and selling happening (gross sales for money are vastly most popular), you would possibly get pleasure from studying these different posts in regards to the buying and selling we did in Papua New Guinea. In these islands, buying and selling with the newest dugout to tie off your transom is a part of on a regular basis cruising life.
What to deliver to Papua New Guinea. This checklist that diverges a bunch from different South Pacific gifting and buying and selling lists. It’s based mostly on actual want and lack of entry to what we contemplate fundamentals, comparable to flour, sugar and yeast.
What you’ll be buying and selling for in Papua New Guinea: Typically, the power to commerce what islanders want is what issues most. It will also be the one approach to get recent produce in islands with out shops.
Various buying and selling: When a brand new good friend wished flour and yeast, we needed to commerce, however with nothing to trade, I traded for a cooking lesson on the right way to cook dinner coconut-steeped yams. This technique would work nice anyplace.