Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shooting the Pass

So there is this super narrow 10' wide, shallow 3' deep, and super wiggly, pass that leads into the atoll.  When you arrive one of the three local families host you.  And they take you in and out through the pass with their high-speed aluminum boat.  Today I decided to try it myself.  I put all the children into lifejackets, (did I mention there are giant breaking waves also?) and shot over to the pass, all looked good so I started zipping right on in. All was well except that the tiny pass ended with just white water flowing off the reefs, and a set of white rapids where I remembered that the pass was supposed to be.  I spun the dingy around only to find that the waves were starting to return and the inlet was filled with a large wave.  With nowhere else to go we shot the wave! All the children thought it was fun.  For me, not so much.

Then later this afternoon just Integrity and I went over, and with the tide being lower the coral edges of the pass were easy to locate and we entered without incident!  After that I ferried in the entire family.

Now came the fun part! leaving!  It was a few hours later, and the tide was in again.  The big waves were about 12 feet high!  Our host said he would take the family, so just Cassidy and I were in the dingy.  When we got to the pass these huge waves were rolling in the whole length of the pass and into the lagoon.  Both of us quickly reversed our way back up the channel to where we could handle the rollers without flooding!  After about 5 minutes of waiting the host boat motor stalled. They were being quickly sucked into the rollers.  Fortunately they were able to get it re-started.  I was glad I had a Honda outboard!  We finally shot the pass on the heels of the host boat only going airborne once.  What a ride!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Sweet Times -

So yesterday I went down to grab some fish for dinner. Fortunately there were plenty of big fish to choose from, and the sharks were all small. We had two nice fresh fish for dinner that Shannon prepared expertly with her special ingredients.

While I was diving I went over and untangled our anchor from the coral, then swam over to the mooring. One of the shackles on the mooring started out with a 3/4" pin, but had corroded down to almost nothing (maybe an 1/8" inch). So I will be trying to repair the mooring this afternoon so that I don't have to spend another sleepless night wondering if we had broken free!

Church was wonderful with beautiful singing, and wonderful people. The women all wear hats, and both men and women all dress in their Sunday best!

Afterwards we had a nice lunch with our host family! Lovin' it down here!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Palmerston -

The upside down hull of a cruising boat that washed up on the reef makes a great play area.  And is a grim reminder of the unforgiving nature of the coral reef. Back in 2011 the sail boat Riri chafed through its mooring line and washed up on the reef at 3am.  It was a total loss.  And the locals pulled the shattered hull up onto the shore, inverted it, and use it now as a play area.

There is a schoolteacher here, as there are about 40 children. She is from England and her father shipwrecked on Palmerston back in the 1950's.  Her father was one of the original cruisers! Her father got married late in life (very late and she was born when he was 70! There are so many stories out here!!

Well it is off to their little church for us.  Should be fascinating!