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Pig Roast

We went diving again in the morning with Sherry and David from Soggy Paws. This time we went west of the pass. The dive wasn’t as good as the previous day but fun in the clear water all the same.

In the afternoon I did a little fishing off the back of the boat. I caught a unicorn fish with bits of bacon then using the flesh of the fish managed to catch another. Getting bored towards the end I stuck a big hook on the end of my hand line and put the rest of my first catch on it. Within a few minutes I had hooked a shark – I saw it take the bait in the crystal clear water. It didn’t take long to snap the 80lb line. Not sure what I would have done with it if I’d managed to get it in so I guess that was for the best.

In the evening we went ashore for dinner again. This time it was a pig roast. A pig had been slaughtered in the morning which some cruisers heard and some watched. We all brought rum and juice ashore to make punch. At times in the evening Valantine played the ukulele and sang accompanied by her late mother’s boyfriend (hanger on) playing the guitar. The evening was their anniversary celebration so it was sort of ours too. The food was good. With us ashore were the Jacksters, Anthem, Soggy Paws, Nakia and a couple of French boats.

Lying here this morning I here the wind generator spinning more than it has for some time. We are not due to leave until tomorrow. We have been invited to church this morning where Valentine is the minister which could be interesting. We still have to scrape the weed off the hull so although the wind tempts us to go we may stick to our plan to leave for Tahiti tomorrow.

Slowly slowin’ down

We had a reasonably easy day of it yesterday. At 10am four dinghies (Soggy Paws, Jackster, Sea Mist and us) headed out the pass and off to the east to a dive spot. The dive was a wall dive with drop offs going down hundreds of feet followed by sandy pockets and overhangs – all giving plenty of places to investigate and look for sea life.

Back on the boat we had our lunch before doing a spot of reading. I went ashore to talk about having an evening meal there. The Jacksters were keen and relayed the fact that Jack on Anthem and the Imagines were on their way and had expressed a desire to book a slot to eat out too. Valentino, the local who runs the little restaurant here was initially reluctant to cater for an additional eight but after consultation with her husband relented.

We then snorkeled the nearby reef. We saw a number of large parrot fish as well as the largest trumpet fish we have ever seen. We examined the nearby fish trap which, true to it’s function, had trapped a large number of fish including an immense parrot fish.

I did do a little work which was half pleasure. I wanted to reverse our Code Zero halyard as it was damaged when the Code Zero last blew. Having reversed it I wanted to inspect the pulleys at the top of the mast in case they’d been damaged too. John manned the winches and hoisted me up. From the top of the mast – higher than any land around – I could see over the trees and could see the atoll curving around in each direction. The pulleys were ok but I stayed a short while to enjoy the view.

Then came some hammock time for me. I started to read but decided just to rest and watch the sea rippling in the sunlight.

The net we’ve been running in the morning has gathered a lot of listeners. We recently agreed to extend it for a few more months as most of the boats push further west. As four of the current net controllers were in this tiny anchorage we all got together aboard Dignity to kick the net up a gear agreeing a script, formal rota, contact into and guidelines for adapting the net as we all head west. While we were all together the sun set quite gloriously.

At 7pm we went ashore for dinner. We were served fish and lobster dishes which were quite delicious but a little expensive – understandable given the remoteness of this place. As ever, the company made it all the better.

It looks like we won’t be able to have dinner here on our anniversary as it turns out it’s their anniversary too and it’s also Sunday which they prefer not to work. We’re thinking of possibly having dinner again tonight which although being a day earlier here would be our anniversary in England where we were married.

We woke this morning to the sound of the wind gen turning which it hasn’t done too often for the last several days. We’re thinking of leaving here on Monday but we may go tomorrow if the wind picks up. We’ll see.

Today we’ll probably dive again and maybe go for a walk. The bottom of the boat needs a scrape as it’s growing whiskers in places which will affect our passage.

Anse Amyot, Toau

The wind continued to stay subdued and we all had a hot, sweaty and restless night. In the end I got up at 2am and completed all the stuff I needed to do on the internet. I only managed to upload a few photos – those from the festival in Hiva Oa. You can find them by clicking on the ‘Recently Updated’ category on this page somewhere. I managed a little more sleep before 6am when John and I went ashore for bread.

With nothing left but to run the morning SSB net (it was my turn) we readied the boat so we could set off once this was done.

With no wind we were motoring across flat water. As we approached the cut the water went from clear to crystal clear. It looked as though we were in shallow water when we were in fact in 70 feet. We were helped towards the cut by a one knot surface current which switched suddenly to two knots against us for a short period before disappearing all together.

The motoring to Toau was fairly uneventful. The genset cut out once with an overheating error which I resolved by repositioning the duct that extracts the hot air from the genset compartment. We had one bite on the trolling lines but nothing was caught.

Anse Amyot is a very shallow cut on the north side of Toau. It is too shallow to pass through but there is an accessible (from the outside) small lagoon with some moorings. The currents in the pass are negligible so, we understand, the snorkeling and diving is excellent without the problems of currents. As we approached we hailed Soggy Paws who we knew was there and asked which mooring was closest to good snorkeling as it’s always nice to go from the back of the boat. They gave us good advice and soon we were safely tied up to a ball. On the way in, Whiskers overheard us on the radio and contacted us. They had just left not knowing we were arriving. A missed opportunity but I’m sure we’ll catch up in the Society Islands.

John and Patricia from Whoosh were soon over to say hello which was nice. They gave us the low down of the anchorage. We then went ashore to the ‘cruisers lounge’ where folks congregate and said hello to some old and new friends.

Our plan is to slow down (we’ll try – honest) and stay here for four nights before heading off to Tahiti in time to pick up our sail, fill our propane and sort out immigration for John before joining the rally/rendezvous which kicks off on the 18th and heads over to Moorea on the 19th.