Monday, May 21, 2012

Things are picking up a bit

We've enjoyed the company of the other yacht, Jomandy. They are completing a circumnavigation that started in Malaysia years ago. They have some great stories to tell. A couple days ago, we both moved to the south side of the island inside the lagoon. There are beautiful, fine, white sand beaches on the motus over here. But the water is shallow with coral heads, so navigation takes extreme care and clear, calm conditions. That said, the snorkeling here is so-so and the water is fairly cool.

Yesterday, we attended another church feast. We were very late, but they kindly served us anyway. The menu is chicken, pork, cooked fish, (all baked in a pit) poisson crue (really delicious, marinated, raw fish and veggies!), several versions of taro and manioc (tapioca), banana crepes (need rum sauce) and several kinds of cake. The food is laid out on long banana leaf "runners". Although plates are provided, everyone eats with their hands. (Kathi cheated and brought forks this time).

Afterwards, there was a wonderful musical church service. The different congregations come together this month, and each congregation wears their own colorful ladies' dresses and extravagant hats and men's shirts of matching fabrics. It's a flamboyant sight. The music is exuberant and uplifting. We'll have great photos and maybe some video to post later. Afterwards, everyone hangs around and visits (and smokes). This was one of our few opportunities to meet very many local adults and children. They are just delightful, and everyone is in their Sunday best, which include "coronnes" of flowers and leaves (head wreaths or "crowns' in English) on the children. There was a second, short special service (in this case a lively memorial) Then another meal was served (which appeared to have some different dishes), although we passed on that. We finally feel like we've found the "real Polynesia".

Although, we're on the leeward (sheltered) side of the island, there are violent katabatic winds that pound us at night, usually between 1 and 3 am. The boat swings around, jerks on the snubber and the chain drags and snags on rocks below. We're in a fairly deep hole (37feet!) and the anchor seems to hold OK, but it's unnerving and hard to sleep. There are a few rain showers, but nothing major or long lived.

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