Thursday, June 2, 2011

On the move again...

After an incredible 2+ weeks at Suwarrow, we're now on route to Pago Pago in
American Samoa. We've got a beautiful breeze from the stern and we're
sailing along wing-on-wing. We left yesterday with La Familia, and although
we may be slightly ahead of them, they are winning the fishing derby.
They've just caught a nice mahi mahi. John has switched lures and we're
hoping to catch up. After all...there is some good chocolate promised to the

Dolphins have visited on John's watch, all is well on board. The trip is
about 450 nautical miles, so we expect to arrive Sunday night, or Monday

Current Position is:
1015 Samoa Time (-11GMT)
13 24.1S
164 39.1W

Demain, Demain...

Tomorrow, tomorrow... That is the common refrain when asked when we plan to
leave this paradise. As it turns out we really had the boat all ready to go,
when a big potluck feast was planned on the beach with all the boats. It
didn't take much arm twisting to convince us to stay one more day.

John, Kleng and John (the park caretaker) took on the task of catching the
evening's fish. First they attempted to harpoon them on the reef
traditionally - remmber Tom Hanks in Castaway?? Yep. Like that. When that
didn't result in more than one small parrotfish, they returned to modern
methods and took the tin boat out to the pass and trolled. They came back
with a nice size grouper. The caretakers prepared this fish, and some
previously caught wahoo, four different ways! Marinated in soy and sweet
chile, secret flour recipe and fried, poisson cru-style, AND smoked.
Ranger John shreds coconut for marinating the fish

James (the other caretaker) showed me how to husk sprouted coconuts to get
the soft part inside, in order to make uto pancakes! YUM.
James teaches me to make Uto Pancakes from the sweet coconut flesh

What a feast we had. Everyone contributed and we enjoyed a great night with Didier and Anny
on SV Lulu (?) (France), Alex on Kashmere (Fr), Anna, Kleng, Liva, and Edgar
on La Familia (Norway), Caretakers James (NZ) and John (Cook Isl), and us!

La Familia, Kashmere, Lulu (?), Renova and James and John enjoy a potluck feast!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rangers have arrived

John helping the rangers to ferry their gear to the beach
The National Park Rangers have arrived. We're happy to see them. They will
stay on the island for 6 months, keeping a record of visitors, recording
wildlife and vegetation, touring yachties around the islets, checking
visas/licenses, and so on. Their only supplies will be brought in by
yachties, and they will likely trade for fresh caught fish, or excursions
around the atoll.

We helped James and John to unload their supplies from the beach up to their
shack. As a result, we were rewarded with a tremendous dinner of wahoo -
half was marinated in fish and chile and cooked on the bbq. The other half
was marinated in coconut juice and lemon. Fabulous. Stranded on a deserted
island isn't so bad.

We spent part of the evening browsing through their logbook from last year.
They recorded oer 100 boats that came here last year, many of whom we
recognize from our travels. James has an amazing memory, remembering them
all, with stories about their boats and adventures!

But, our time here is coming to an end. La Familia is moving on. And we
won't be far behind. We're waiting to sort out a few things, so we have a
better sense of how long we'll be in Samoa. But we look forward to fresh
food again. It has been over a month since we've seen a grocery store: it's
been weeks since we've had veggies, we ate our last eggs this morning, and
we're baking on borrowed flour. So I guess it is time.