That it was. Ranger Charlie took us touring the islands, for a fee: $10 per person, plus gasoline. It was worth it! The crews from Evergreen, Lazy Bones, and Moondance loaded up in the ranger's aluminum boat and headed across the lagoon.
First stop - Gull Island. I am not sure why it is called Gull Island - we never saw a gull - but we did see thousands of birds. Mostly frigates and terns, plus some boobie birds. And so many eggs and hatchlings laying everywhere. One was so new, it didn't have any feathers and couldn't hold his head up. My favorites - the white fluffy baby frigates. You get close to them and they open their mouths to be fed - too cute.
Second stop - Seven Island. Named that because at 7 in the morning the dolphins arrive - only in June though. Charlie showed us how to find the famous coconut crabs - crack a couple of ripe coconuts and they come crawling out of their holes. They are the strangest/ugliest things - kind of cross between a crab and a lobster. They are mostly blue, have big strong claws, climb coconut trees, plus bury themselves in the ground. Charlie dug a couple of really big guys out from under a tree for our potluck dinner. They were trussed up with palm leaves and road with us on the boat all the way across the lagoon. I was afraid I was going to lose a couple of toes!
Next, Charlie dropped the snorkelers off along the reef where they drifted along - everyone said it was beautiful. Great visibility, lots of little fish, a few turtles, and only 1 shark.
Then, back to our anchorage - time to get ready for our potluck. It turned out great with lots of good food. Charlie had gone fishing and caught Wahoo to barbecue. He said he lost 4 others to the sharks as he was pulling them in. Guess you have to be fast! The best part, the big coconut crabs cooking on the grill. They were yummy!
So, Monday was a very Fun Day. The rangers did an excellent job of sharing their special island with the cruisers and we really appreciated it.
We have more company in the anchorage now - 4 new boats showed up yesterday from Bora Bora. Sounds like there might be more on the way. We are surrounded by catamarans. Guess monohulls like Moondance are old fashion now!
Today, is a rainy gloomy day, so everyone is hunkered down on their boats. Maybe it will clear up so that we can go to shore and play some bocci ball later and meet the new boats. That would be fun!
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com