August 1, 2001 ~ August 15, 2001
August 15, 2001
We listened to the morning nets and heard that about eight boats (many of our friends from Panama 2000) had left from Bora Bora heading mostly to Aitutaki and Rarotonga, the southern route. We were very concerned because of the weather faxes that we have been receiving and Des on Russell Radio forecaste our winds to go NNW last night with three approaching lows!!! The other item that we heard was that the yacht which was bringing the rudder and parts for *Amoha III* in Suwarrow has broken his boom, but had managed a jury rig and was progressing at 5-6 knots!!! We surely do wish *Amoha* well and a complete repair of their rudder!
We arrived in Pago Pago, American Samoa and were anchored about noon behind *Stella de Marae.*. (Another time change: we are -11 UTC time or an hour earlier than Hawaii Time) We called into Harbour Control for permission to enter their harbor. He told us to proceed to the Customs check-in wharf, where *Nondi* was already tied up. We told him that we did not want to raft with another vessel, so we were told to anchor and come in when the other boat left. We then asked them about the depth at the wharf and were told that we could anchor because it was too shallow for us. Eric, Jason and David made the dinghy ready....Hope that it doesn't leak!!!! While, I cleaned up the boat, since we thought that they would come aboard. David and Eric went into the wharf and cleared with Immigration, who stamped our passports. We had lunch. Eric took David and me into the wharf and we went in search of the Port Captain/Harbor Master. We finally found him at the ROOF TOP of the container warehouse on the wharf....perfect place for his office with full view of the entire harbour!!! Then we had to take that paper to another office (where we will return first to pay when we depart), then to Customs. We checked in with them and were told that we also needed to be cleared by Agriculture and Health, but he said it was too far to walk. So we left and stopped at the Post Office to find about shipping those packages....it was 3:35 and they close at 3:30!!! But then they are not closed for 2-3 hours over lunch like many of the other places in warmer/hotter climates!
The harbour is surrounded by tall mountains, giving the feeling of a fiord where this anchorage almost bisects the island of Tutuilla. Pago Pago Harbour is completely protected from the outside ocean, however, the winds can be gusty coming down off the surrounding mountains. If one looks at the beauty of the mountains and the lushness of the vegetation, the harbour is quite attractive. The water is very dirty with trash, there is the noise and the smell from the two large tuna canneries and there are many huge tuna boats (many derelicts and rusting away). We have been told that a new National Park here should not be missed. We were also very pleased by the extreme friendliness of the local people (there are almost NO tourists here!) and of course, we felt right at home since we have so many Samoans on Maui. The other attribute: we can speak English! We find ourselves wanting to say "Bonjour", "Merci" and searching for the correct way to ask for something as we approach a store or person!!! It is interesting learning how to speak English again! We have been greeted with many smiles here...we feel welcome and at home!
After we returned to the boat, I called into Russell Radio/NZ and Pacific Seafarer's Net to indicate that we had arrived safetly and would check back in when we are ready to leave again. Pacific Seafarers Net will send us a certificate, since he said that we had the BEST signal that they had ever heard out of Pago Pago Harbour, which is considered the Black Hole of Propagation in the Pacific!!! We had a delicious tuna dinner and watched TV....unfortunately, we only receive one station well and that is the PBS station and it has mostly children's shows! We were all excited when it gave previews with "Friends" at 7pm....but what we saw was the Antique Road Show!!!! We were disappointed!!! Also, many of the shows are in Samoan!!! That is ok...we really needed to go to bed and get some sleep after our passage of exactly 3 days between Suwarrow and Pago Pago, American Samoa.
August 14, 2001
We listened to all the nets this morning and downloaded the weather fax, and suddenly it is almost 10am! We also heard that *Stella de Marae* had made it and was anchored in Pago Pago Harbor today. What an accomplishment....to sail 450 miles, some in very bad weather, without a rudder!!! We are just thankful that they are safe!
We continued with rather light winds and seas, with good winds during the numerous squalls, but we did have to motor for about 4 hours during the night. David is always complaining, because we would often be set by a wave to really rolling and then the sails and boom would start to bang....but he should be grateful and thankful for excellent winds and seas!!! At least, I am!!!
August 13, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JULIE!!! We wish that we could be there to help you celebrate #22! We love you and miss you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Paul on *Renegade*!!!
I managed to answer a few emails and read up on American Samoa and Pago Pago in the guide books, cruising articles, and SSCA Bulletins. Mind over stomach (with the help of the patch) was winning! Thank heavens for smaller seas! I again checked in with Russell Radio in New Zealand and Pacific Seafarer's Net at 6 and 6:30 every night that we were on passage.Remember to pull up the websites when you know that we are on passage at: www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps KH7JL or www.findu.com/cgi-bin/winlink.cgi? KH7JL.
August 12, 2001
We listened to all the morning nets and I continued to make ready, but STILL hoping that it would take Eric a very long time to sew up the hole and replace the patch, so that we would have to spend another day here, snorkeling and visiting with other cruisers, Tom and John. Unfortunately, he finished, they stowed the dinghy in its garage, while I made all the beds and lunches, and stowed everything below. We left Suwarrow with tears in our eyes about noon time. Unfortunately, we were not able to go into shore to say our final alohas, so we blew our horn as we went through the anchorage close to the beach and pier. I wish that I could say that we will return...but that is very improbable with NO means of transportation. So, Suwarrow will always remain in our hearts as a very very special place filled with very special people who were meant to meet there during August 2001!
We left in the company of four other boats: *Katsu,* *Sound of Music,* *Tilly Whim* and *Distant Drums.* *Katsu* is the only other boat going to American Samoa with us (to obtain a new dinghy sent by West Marine!) while the other boats are traveling to Apia, Western Samoa. Unfortunately Pago Pago has a terrible reputation for being a very polluted, dirty, smelly harbour with tuna canneries, with poor anchor holding since there is so much trash like plastic bags mixed with the mud on the bottom. They also charge $25 US to enter and to exit, plus anchoring fees. This is VERY expensive for Australians and New Zealanders, with an exchange rate of 2/1! We basically decided to travel there to reprovision at Cost-U-Less which we have heard is cheaper than Tonga and New Zealand and to send and receive mail. We need to send our Northstar GPS back to Massachusetts to be fixed and our Echopilot forward looking depth sounder to the United Kingdom. Both are NOT working. We are assuming that they will be repaired on warranty! They will have to be shipped back to us in Tonga or New Zealand, since we will not be waiting around Pago Pago for them to be returned. We keep hearing all these horror stories about cruisers waiting months and months in different places for their mail and oftentimes...never receiving it! So for most cruisers, Pago Pago is passed by! It is so unfortunate that US has made such an undesirable place of their only South Pacific possession below the Equator. But we will let you know if all this information is correct! One of the articles says "Pago Pago, the harbour Americans and cruisers love to hate....or hate to love!"
I took many pictures as we were leaving Suwarrow since it was an absolutely beautiful day! We did not put out any fishing lines since our freezers are full to the brim! We probably could have caught a few more mahi mahi and tuna with all the birds flying around, we knew there were lots of fish! We had light winds which make the sails bang and roll, but for me, that is still better than 35 knot winds and 10 foot seas! I put on the patch and did not get sick and even managed to eat some rotis for dinner! I think all the men sailors really like it better too, but their macho-egos won't let them admit it!
August 11, 2001
This morning Eric discovered more teeth marks/small holes which needed to be repaired in the dinghy, so we were grounded until after lunch and he had made repairs, so I continued to make ready to leave on our passage. Eric and David then found that they had to make some major adjustments in the auxilliary freeezer, since it wasn't freezing all our fish! Once again, Kanters almost made it impossible for us to fix something because of their incompetent installation. However, Eric and David overcame them...once again...and fixed it. Now, it is working perfectly and we save our fish and all the other contents of the freezer and refrigerator. It is so wonderful to have both a mechanical and electrical engineer aboard...they are able to fix almost anything! Thank you!
We continued to get ready for our 4-5 day passage to Pago Pago, American Samoa. Since we will not be able to make water in that dirty harbour, we filled up our two jerry jugs of drinking water. Hopefully, we will have some rain and/or there will be a place there to fill up the jerry jugs. I then chlorinate it and put it through a PUR water filter pitcher. We then went ashore to check out (we were charged $5 NZ/day to anchor, so we used our NZ traveler's checks from our returned bond which Tom took!). We gave them a large jar of peanut butter and they gave us a coconut frond bag full of coconuts! We took pictures of John climbing - barefoot - up the tree to knock them down. Then Eric went part way up one...I do have pictures! Not sure what will come up on this site, since we had trouble uploading the pictures last time. Remember, please let us know how this website is coming through for you. We have no way of knowing except if you email us or Julie!!!
We returned to our boat about 4pm in order to make brownies and rice to bring into the barbecue, but when we hopped in the dinghy we realized that the patch was not holding and the dinghy was going flat. We pumped it up enough to make it back in for our last Suwarrow barbecue! I am still hopeful that we will not leave tomorrow, since Eric will have to repair the dinghy again!!! (You can tell I REALLY don't want to leave here!!!!)
August 10, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Linda! We hope that you had a special day...wish we were at the cottage to help you celebrate!
The guys went out trolling again at 6:45am (just barely light here!) They caught FOUR YELLOW FIN TUNA!!!!! FINALLY!!!! They lost 3 mahi mahi with lines breaking, just as they were bringing in the fish or from sharks eating them! While they were fishing I made wheat bread! But the real surprise on their return was the six inch hole in the dinghy on the starboard tube! A shark had bitten the dinghy!!! We have an Avon inflatable dinghy with an inflatable floor. It is blown up in different sections/tubes by a foot air pump. They did not see the shark, but felt themselves being lifted slightly out of the water, then there was a terrible ripping sound, and then a whoosing sound of the air coming out! Thankfully, they were inside the pass, they had the air pump with them to keep it inflated, and the weather was much improved from yesterday with very little wind and sea. They were not trolling and there was no blood on the dinghy, so we are still mystified. We assume that it was a grey shark! I am sure glad that I wasn't there....I think I would have had a heart attach if the tube I was riding on, simply deflated!!!.
I spent most of the morning cleaning (baths, floors, etc) and stowing fish, while Eric worked on patching the dinghy after he had cleaned the fish. We are planning on leaving tomorrow. Since we no longer had any "wheels", Shadowfax brought out more videos to trade and Tom on *Tilly Whim* come by to loan us Tom Neale's book about his experience living on Suwarrow for many years, entitled "An Island to Oneself". Hopefully, we will be able to obtain our own copy in Pago Pago. We would recommend that you read it also. Suwarrow is a "REAL" treasure island! Also, a short notice about the spelling and pronounciation of Suwarrow: we have seen it spelled three different ways: Suwarrow, Suvorov, and Suvarov. We were told by Tom that the correct spelling is the Cook Islander/New Zealander spelling which sounds more like their language: Suwarrow. The other spellings are after the Russian explorer, Lazarev who discovered this atolll in 1814 aboard his vessel *Suvarov*.
About 2pm David and I swam back over to the reef to snorkel...he convinced me that it was ok and the sharks wouldn't bother us! I stood guard while he cleaned off the prop, in preparation for our passage...no sharks! We did see a turtle and a very FAT big shark over by the reef on what was to be our LAST snorkel at Suwarrow:-(!
We TRULY enjoyed our yellow fin tuna as sashimi and slightly cooked with peas, rice and banana bread. We then watched "Bicentennial Man" with Robin Williams. It is a little slow...but ok! (Aren't you glad that we are back in the video review business!!!???)
August 9, 2001
The boys went out again trolling in the pass with rain, wind (according to the nets there were 35 knot winds and 3 meter seas!, while we were still experiencing about 25 in the anchorage). They saw humpback whales very close to the reef I would have loved to have seen them that close, but I was definitely glad NOT to be out there in the big seas in the little dinghy!!! They also almost caught a huge sailfish! They did catch a tuna and a mahi mahi.
Serena and Tom on *Shadowfax* came over to exchange videos and then Tom went with other cruisers to do another motu clean up on Bird Island, but it was REALLY to try to locate *Katsu's* dinghy which had gone out on its own two nights ago about 4-5am!!! It is too bad that Britt did not tell John yesterday, since they probably could have located it then with his help, instead of heading out on his own with *Sound of Music.* We were very disappointed since we would have loved to go on another trip to a motu, but the weather was just not settled enough to leave the boat. We understand that they saw many different birds with babies, did alot of trash collecting and burning, but unfortunately, NO luck finding the dinghy... Suwarrow is turning out to be an expensive place for some of us: *Katsu* lost their dinghy and motor and we lost our boat hook and broke the prop on our dinghy motor. But we have been more than compensated by all the fish that we have caught and enjoyed eating and the wonderful friends whom we have met here! We are leaving with many fond memories to last a lifetime!
We got a weatherfax at 2pm and I worked some on this website. My intentions are always so good, but never seem to be able to write an update daily and to answer all the emails which come in....oh, but in a perfect world!!!! Then David, Eric and I went back out to our special spot, snorkeled/spear fished for an hour and a half and became very COLD on this gray rainy day. Eric managed to spear a couple of fish (mostly groupers and parrot fish) for dinner.
We had dogtooth tuna raw and then cooked....oh! is that ever good! Then we watched a terrific movie entitled "An Ideal Husband".... what a wonderfully entertaining movie...do rent this one!!
August 8, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARVEY AND SUMMERLY!!!! We wish that we were on Maui to help you both celebrate. We hope that you both had a very special day!
On the nets this morning we heard that *Stella de Marae* had lost their rudder about 150 miles NE of Suwarrow! This is VERY strange....two boats losing their rudders in just about the same place about a week apart! There must be rudder-eating sharks out there! The strange thing is that they both fell off! Neither one of them have their rudder! We knew that they were experiencing rough weather since it had blown all night here in the anchorage with SE winds of 23 knots. Thankfully, we were not pitching like last time, so we aren't moving yet.
I washed another load: towels and sheets, cleaned, while the guys worked on different small projects in preparation for leaving. We had a barbecue planned so I made a fruit cocktail cake and rice. I am getting low on many items. So, tonight ended up being dessert night with about five of us bringing desserts!!! But that is ok....especially out here...life is uncertain, eat dessert first!
David and I worked on the cushions to try to fix the wire that was inserted inside the cushion...oh! the incompetency of the builders! We will have to have them completely redone in New Zealand. Then I worked on those never-ending emails (all the way back to May 1...I apologize! PLEASE continue to be patient, I think that I am gaining!) and got ready for the barbecue, while Eric and David went spear fishing. Eric quickly cleaned the fish and put them the freezer. We started up the auxillary freezer under the settee so that we could catch more fish! Besides desserts, Tom and John had cut down a palm tree, so they removed the heart of palm and Maureen on *Tilly Whim* made a delicious heart of palm salad. I have never had that before, since they are sooooo expensive to purchase in the store. John had also made a wonderful pot of fish curry stew! We could stay here forever! Of course, as John says, we would probably leave here with "a BIG BUM" and he holds with hands along his hips and waddles!!!
August 7, 2001
The guys went out fishing again and caught a dog toothed tuna and a mahimahi! While they were out, I made wheat bread and oatmeal raisin cookies, which David has wanted for months, but it is soooooo time consuming to bake cookies aboard, with just one small oven. We also did another wash with our sheets. Very windy hanging them up to dry! I am always afraid that they are going to fly away! Of course, after we wash our sheets we have to make the beds, which is always quite a feat of gymnastics, since you have to be on top of the bed to make it!!!!
After a lunch of shrimp which we had received from *Windsong,* David and I went snorkeling for an hour at the same beautiful spot, where we found lots more to see and appreciate since we were not trailing the dinghy, looking for sharks, and searching for dinner, while Eric and Jason worked on projects on the boat. After our snorkel, we took a dozen cookies in to Tom and John on shore and then traded movies with Serena and Tom on *Shadowfax.* We had a delicious dinner of sashimi tuna and then cooked (but not really) tuna, mixed vegetables, rice and banana cake before the boys watched "End of Days' with Arnold Swartzeneger (?sp). David and I read our books, since it was much too violent for us! And most of us were rather worried, since the winds had been building all day from the southeast and were blowing 23 knots at dinner! We are just hoping that they will not get any stronger, since we really don't want to have to move to the other side again.
August 6, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Susie! Hope that you are having a special day! We know that you will enjoy your new digital zoom camera....Peter is sooooooo thoughtful!!!
The guys were up early and went fishing in the pass again. They brought home one and 1/4 ono/wahoo!!! The shark got the other part!!! They also lost several beautiful yellow fin tuna... our elusive #1 yellow fin tuna escaped again! After the fish was cleaned, filleted and stowed, we did another wash: the boys sheets and then hung them outside on the line. Hopefully, they will not blow away! I spent the rest of the day working on my inventory to work up a storelist for Pago Pago. After lunch, David, Eric and I went back to the other motus (while Jason worked out) where we snorkeled/spear fished a parrot fish for another delicious dinner. We were in the water for over an hour, enjoying all the coral, clams and small fish. So beautiful!
*Bow Bells* and *Silver Heels* left for Apia, Western Samoa this morning. We wish them a safe trip with good winds and calm seas! *Bagan* left about sunset last night. They needed to be in Apia so Peter and Jo from Australia could fly home. Peter and Jo were crewing for Janet and John, as recommended by Mayer on *Lady Kathyrn*. They are presently building a trawler like *Bagan.* We will hopefully meet them again when we are in Australia in another year.
August 5, 2001
We joined other cruisers at 9am to travel in their panga to a motu to do cleanup work with Tom and John! The trip over was rather wet in 20 knot winds as we motored back to the Seven Islands. We were hoping to travel to a different motu! What a wonderful day! We saw baby boobies (white fluffy balls of feathers on a flimsy nest in a bush or on the ground), red and blue coconut crabs (very large ones and we were told by Tom that they only molt once/year, so they might be 15-20 years old! We cringed when we realized that many cruisers had been finding and eating these coconut crabs, especially in the Tuamotus!), and we gathered and then burned lots of trash (mostly plastics). John obtained drinking coconuts for all of us. He also gave us a taste of sprouted coconut, which is very different. I think you need to acquire a taste for that! He also made mats to carry trash and bags to carry coconuts back to Anchorage Island from the palm fronds. John also weaves the fronds into baskets on which to put food and fish during the barbecues. He cooks the fish on the very thick and tough palm fronds. He makes torches out of some of the drier fronds. What an amazing plant! Nothing goes to waste!
When we were leaving, John navigated the panga into the shallows near the other two islands which we had explored. We were amazed because it is very shallow with many coral heads and we had trouble with our little dinghy! He wanted to show us "A Black Hole!" There was a large hole in the sand in the shallows where the water was being suck down (counterclockwise below the Equator!) and was going under the reef way out to outside the reef! We threw in a coconut and it disappeared rapidly! We were all in awe of this geologic phenomenon, but also thinking about walking in the shallows (as we had done several days before) or snorkeling there, and being sucked out to oblivion!!!!
We arrived back home about 1:30pm and ate the sandwiches which we had taken with us. David, Eric and I went snorkeling pass the motus to the west, where the water was clearer. We were in the water for almost an hour and a half, and speared 3 dinners of parrot fish and grouper. There were a few sharks, but only black tip ones, which can usually be scared off by kicking and slapping the water. We even had rain, so we got rather COLD!
We had delicious fish dinner, rice, peas and banana cake for dinner before watching "Squanto: A Warrior's Tale", which we all enjoyed, but we should have saved it for Thanksgiving time! It is a Disney movie and is purported to be true. We highly recommend it and if you find out how much is fact or fiction, we would like to know. We ate our last package of microwave popcorn! Now we have to cook it up in a pan the old fashioned way! We need to use that up before New Zealand, since popcorn is one of the prohibited items. We also did another load of wash and hung it up inside after the movie!
August 4, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, UNCLE DAVID!!! 83 years old and still traveling!!! We really enjoyed having you aboard!
The guys were planning to go out fishing, but we heard the announcement that *Sound of Music* was towing *Amoha* in soon. Motor vessel *Bagan* went out this morning to offer assistance (they had spent two nights with them after their Mayday call, but *Amoha* decided that they could jury rig a rudder and not abandon their ship). I made more wheat bread ...it is a tough job and very time consuming to hunt and gather your own food and make bread for 3 hungry crewmen!!! David and I went snorkeling over to the reef again from the boat before lunch. We saw two juvenile neopolian fish. I had quite a thrill when I was returning to the boat...I was greeted by one, two, and then three black tipped reef sharks swimming right up to me!!! These are some of the sharks which Eric has trained, after days of cleaning fish on the back of the boat!!! I guess they thought that I was some of the fish Eric had just cleaned!!!
About 2pm Eric and David went out in *Bagan's* large dinghy with a 25 hrsp motor (Eric has requested a similiar one for *Peace and Aloha* ! The captain is taking it under advisement!) with *Daydreamer,* *Shadowfax,* and *Nereus* to take charge of *Amoha* after being towed into the lagoon through the pass and *Sound of Music* drops the tow rope. Everything went as planned, *Sound of Music* was able to bring them all the way inside so *Bagan* simply stood by. The dinghies were able to steer *Amoha* to a safe and shallow anchorage near the island and they were anchored at about 3:30pm. Everyone was very relieved and thankful that they had arrived safely. Now they have to have a rudder and parts brought to them here in Suwarrow, but they have many friends standing by to help them install it, after it arrives with another cruiser from Tahiti and Raiatea.
David and Eric went spear fishing, since they had not gone out during the morning to troll. Tom and John (who were aboard *Bagan* during the rescue mission!) decided that since *Bagan* has to leave tomorrow, that we should have another barbecue. Most of us were not really excited about another one so soon, but since John and Tom had gone fishing also, we all rallied and had another wonderful dinner! Actually we have alot to be thankful for.....with Pallo and Marelise (forgive me if I spelled your names wrong) on *Amoha III* were safe at anchorage here in Suwarrow!!!
August 3, 2001
David, Jason and Eric left about 6:45am to go trolling in the pass in the dinghy. They caught two mahi mahi which gave us 9 dinners! After they had cleaned the fish, stowed it in the freezer and put their fishing gear away, they went ashore to help fix the rocks on the pier to make it easier to walk. According to Gabby, we should be able to arrive at the next barbecue in heels!!!! All the cruisers did an excellent job and it is much easier to walk from your dinghy to shore on nice flat rocks. We are helping Tom and John maintain Suwarrow and also in memory of Tom Neale, by doing clean up work, helping to build a chicken coop, cleaning out trash etc. I spent the morning cleaning and maintaining our boat, which seems to take a tremendous amount of time for the amount of space to be maintained!!!!!
We had a busy afternoon with a visit from *Daydreamer,* Eric fixing the prop on the dinghy motor (we had bumped a rock, and that was enough to mess up the prop. Hopefully, we can fix it later. He used our spare one, the one which we bent up the river in Port Stanley), I wrote emails, and then we swam out to the reef from our boat. We had an hour snorkel in clearer water and saw lots of interesting coral, fish and clams. *Sound of Music* headed out to intercept *Amoha III* to tow them in without a rudder tomorrow. They had also arranged for *Bagan* (motor vessel) to come out in the morning and four dinghies with crew will be standing by also. Three boats headed to Apia on Western Samoa: *Phoenix*, *Tilicum Triton* with Gabby aboard, and *Sir Swagman.*
We had a wonderful sunset visit with John and Diane aboard *Daydreamer* and returned home for dinner about 7:30 for ono (our last meal!), fried rice with vegetables, and banana cake.
Julie also emailed that she had gotten a JOB: she will be a Lab Assistant in Behavioral Genetics. We are all very excited for her, since it sounds perfect!.
August 2, 2001
A busy morning spent cleaning, washing, writing emails and then a one hour snorkel before lunch, while the guys worked on boat projects. We snorkeled close to the reef near the island, where it was pretty but slightly murky and we weren't able to spear any fish for dinner.
After lunch we dinghied into the island and then walked around the west side and out on the reef. Other cruisers walked along the reef at low tide from Anchorage Island to the next one. The tide was coming in, so we didn't have a chance to do that. We left rather hurriedly because of very very dark clouds approaching, but it did not rain or blow much. I made a different bean salad and rice for another fish barbecue. Again, we didn't come home until 10pm, which makes a late night, since we need to run our generator to charge our batteries twice/day since they are in such bad shape now. We had a wonderful visit with other cruisers and a delicious dinner!
August 1, 2001
We talked with *Lazy Jack* this morning and they are in Moorea. We asked them to please bring kerosene (paraffin to the British!), instant coffee, and peanut butter for the rangers here. Apparently, they were dropped off here with everything they needed for a six month stay, until the end of November, when John and Tom will return to their families in Rarotonga. They will return in the spring as they have a two year contract. Instead of cruisers visiting islands and buying items from the natives, we are the supply ship for these rangers.
We spent the morning on the boat doing projects: baking bread and banana bread and David gave Jason a haircut. So, after lunch we dinghied into the island where we visited with John and Tom, had another drinking coconut and then we went out for a drift dive in the pass, as we did in Fakarava. Gabby came with us, but unfortunately, it was all very murky and not very pretty on the side of Anchorage Island. We dinghied to the other side of the pass, where the water was much clearer, but there were some pretty nasty looking grey or bull sharks, so we decided to go elsewhere for our snorkel and in search of dinner! Inside the reef, we found an area with the biggest school of parrot fish we have ever seen! Eric did manage to spear two for a nice dinner (with a package for Gabby), but there were too many sharks around. We were all feeling very uncomfortable. It was also clouding up, so we were getting very cold, even though the water temperature here is 84 degrees (2 degrees warmer than Bora Bora).
We also found out that Gabby was one of the girls who was going to crew for Nic on *Shakti* back in Maeva Beach. Nic found an excellent surf photo job on Moorea for six weeks, so the girls had to find other boats. Gabby said that her friend decided to return to her boyfriend and family in Austria, but she flew to Rarotonga (nobody can afford to stay for very long in Papeete with the cost of food and lodging!). She is now on *Tilicum Triton* an Italian boat with six people aboard. Once again....it is definitely a small small world!
We had tuna, carrots, bean salad, rice and banana bread, before we did the first of many washes (to get caught up again!), and went to bed early.