Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From the Captain

I'm anchored in a bona fide French Polynesian atoll - and you'd love it.  Lots of tropical fish, incredible colors of fish, and the clams are big - 5 to 6" across, with the big ribbed shells and the "lips" are brilliant purple and black and white, and some with orange etc.  The colors are neat.  There is a drift snorkel that is recommended on the incoming tide through the pass from the ocean.  You take the dingy out, bail over and then let the current carry you in about 500+m through the pass which is loaded with fish etc.  I'll try that in the next day or so.

Got here yesterday and after listening to the engine for 4 days it is lovely.  Anchored inside the atol in about 45' with about 7 other boats including one with a crew from Calgary.  The town is about 1000 and the local baker is the mover and shaker - came round to the boats this morning, and since I was new I got his little hand out etc. and a loaf of coconut bread which is very nice for about 2 bucks.  Like Europe, things are baked fresh daily.  He organizes fuel and delivers it, beach parties, dive and snorkel trips, engine repairs and being leader of the local Morman church, will on request save your soul -- for a price!

Had a real treat - a couple of young guys in the out rigger canoes were "giving chase" - I was running the elec. outboard on the dingy and they were going as fast or faster having a great time.  Anyway, they'd snuggle up, or draft in my wake shouting and laughing.  So we "chatted" - them in french me in english - it was a hoot but I asked if I could paddle their canoe.  Well - this was novel.  One young (you'd appreciate his body) buck transfered to the dink, then made sure I left my hat and wallet behind, and wanted my glasses as well until I'd assured him they were tied on, and I transferred to the canoe - which is really narrow and unstable - they were sure I was going to dump and in the first 10 sec or so, they were nearly right.  Once I got the balance sorted - I took off and the other fellow in his canoe thought it was great since I could pace him and had control.  They were really pleased and I think very surprised that I could handle the craft.  Interesting boat - about 20' long, very narrow with the outrigger.  You drive them by paddling one side and then the other with a single blade paddle.  I could switch sides fluidly, and like I say, make the boat move etc.  It was great fun.

That with the swim was the high point, it's quiet and comfortable here.  I've rigged the boom tent to keep the sun off the cockpit and that's helped a lot.

So take care - I've found out that one option might be to leave the boat in Tahiti for the winter and come back to do more of the islands next spring, rather than beat all the way to and from NZ.  That might make sense.  Something to think on.  Do you want to spend more time on the boat again or not.

Love Dad