Friday, 27 June 2014

Across the Lagoon (Again)


Well, it turns out that lagoons, like most places in life, are not static. Our lovely, flat, calm anchorage was lovely, flat, and not-calm today, with winds hovering around 20 kts, and forecast to move around towards the north. We had the "do we stay or do we go" decision to make. Our anchor was well dug in and secure [nice to be able to easily free dive and check the anchor], and if the winds did *exactly* as they were forecast, we would be just fine; unfortunately, we had that seed of doubt that said that if the winds came more to the north than forecast, or with more force than forecast, we would not like our anchorage. The reef that Max and the kids were snorkelling on yesterday was uncomfortably close to the spot we might find ourselves in depending on the strength of the new winds.

Since the change in the wind was set for the wee (dark) hours overnight, and lagoons are best crossed in the bright sunlight (or at least the daytime!), we decided to head towards the anchorage near the pass after a quick lunch. Ironically, we made this decision just after Max and Johnathan had snorkelled on our anchor to add another float to our anchor chain [to keep our chain off the coral heads to ensure the heads are not damaged, to protect the galvanisation of our chain and to ensure we do not reduce our anchor scope due to the chain wrapping]. Oh well. These are the jobs that keep us (him) fit. Changing positions did two things for us - it gave us a potentially more secure anchorage (less fetch for the waves), and it pre-positioned us for the "pass dive" (this is when you go to the outside of the pass in your dingy before the tide begins to flow into the lagoon, then you snorkel (drift) with the tidal current, enjoying the scenery as you go) that our Swedish friends had recommended. It was rather dark (mid afternoon and cloudy) when we crossed the lagoon, so I was grateful for our GPS track from our entry, as we were able to retrace our steps most of the way. On Sunday, we could see the coral heads through clear, turquoise water from about a half-mile away. Today the water was its normal dark-blue colour, and we could only see close-by coral on our beam. The 90 min passage certainly reinforced the need to enter new lagoons with high, bright sunshine behind us. We have made our "coral" crossings with Max on the bow and Benjamin and myself at the wheel .. this protects Benjamin from extra hours of UV. As an aside, we have a set of "marriage saver" (two-way headset) radios, and I think they would be ideal for this application, but when I took them from the cupboard at the last minute today, they seemed to need a little TLC before they would work, so Victoria and Johnathan acted as two-legged relays for us instead.

I am kind of enjoying what is happening now that the pressure of school is off for a while: at one point today, I heard Victoria ask Johnathan whether he preferred green or orange. Turns out that she was making a miniature boat out of a pistachio shell for one of his Lego creatures (picture Stuart Little only smaller). For 'bottom paint' she was choosing amongst various colours of nailpolish. She even had a tiny (gaff-rigged) sail with a pattern of stars painted on it in the form of the Southern Cross. The whole vessel is about an inch tall. Meanwhile Johnathan is reading "The Wind in the Willows" and Victoria is reading Huckleberry Finn.

Dinner tonight was tuna, rice, and diced sweet potatoes fried in butter. Victoria cut them in cubes, as she says that I don't cut them small enough .. it is nice to have help (even if it is opinionated) in the galley :)

Anyway, this is a short note for a straightforward day. We will see what the weather does; hopefully we won't look at our old anchorage with too much wistfulness tomorrow. Once again, experience can only be gained with experience, and we have to make our choices and live and learn from the results ... kind of sounds like life anywhere!

Love to you all, wherever you may be,
At 6/23/2014 12:06 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 16°57.20'S 144°34.85'W
At 6/26/2014 8:30 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 16°52.00'S 144°40.00'W

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