Friday, 6 June 2014

More Pamplemousse, fish and school.

Greetings!

I almost stopped to write to you several times today - it was just that kind of a day :) As it is, I am writing at my usual boat-is-quiet-but-I-want-to-write-more-than-I-want-to-sleep hour!

We were hardly on deck this morning when another dingy stopped by to say that a "lady" was on the dock with fruit for us. Max and Victoria hopped into the kayak (with the chocolate-banana cake we had (thank goodness) made yesterday) and paddled over to see our friend on the dock - she had shown up with three big bags of fruit - guavas, starfruit, and pamplemousse. As predicted by our neighbours, she told them that she loved chocolate, and was grateful for the cake. On arrival back at Fluenta, Max had hardly put the kettle on when our friend's husband also came bearing gifts - independently of his wife, he was returning from an early morning fishing trip, and had a beautiful silver fish to bring us. When I asked what I should do with it, he told me I should "eat it!". In other words, it was a lovely fish and would be equally nice as poisson cru, ceviche, cooked in butter or bbq'd. It is fun to have interacted with people enough to have them joke with us. We have been rereading the Dashew "Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia" in which they talk of staying in one place long enough to get to know people a bit, rather than trying to cover as much ground as possible, and we certainly find that to be our preferred approach as well :)

The rest of the morning was focussed on school. I am finding that if one child is reading I can work well with other; hopefully this is a model that we can continue as we go. This afternoon, Johnathan and Max did some fun science - they studied (and opened, and shared) our first coconut. Thanks to Shandro and Matero, Johnathan knew to look for a bright orange coconut, which he had found and brought home on our last trip to town. Our machete came out of its storage place, and he and Max set to work figuring how to open a coconut on a sailboat. The shore-side advice of smash it on the cement or mount a stake into the ground doesn't quite apply here onboard... After a bit of trial and error (all good grist for the write-up) they came downstairs with two half-coconuts full of lovely coconut meat. After dinner, we had great fun as a family reading aloud from our old copy of "Cruising in Tropical Waters and Coral", which has a whole chapter dedicated to choosing, harvesting and enjoying coconuts.

I told you about the end of our eggs yesterday, but I didn't mention what we used instead - Nancy left us a can of freeze-dried eggs, and they worked super well in the cake. They were even yellow and smelled like eggs, so I think they will be a good addition to my kitchen, especially since eggs are really hard to find here in French Polynesia.

As for dinner tonight - we had ceviche, butter-fried fish, rice, and various fruits - really tasty and very local :)

We are once again the only boat in the anchorage. Our wind-generator is happy because the wind almost never stops (and often gusts 15-20 kts with the odd gust of 25 kts to keep us on our toes. I guess this is good preparation for the Tuomotus, where we have been hearing of gusts to 30 kts!). Our solar panels are happy because except when it is raining it is really sunny (how is that for a true statement?!). We seem to get pouring rain at least 2-3 times every day or two, most often overnight or in the morning. The rain keeps our solar panels clean, while the wind keeps them cool. Thanks to Max's installs over the last couple of years we haven't had to run our generator at anchor :) We haven't got a system to collect rain water, but at least it rinses the salt from the clothes that have been hung, and it gives the diapers a second rinse.

I am sure there is more I could tell you, but it is time for bed!

Much love,
Elizabeth
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At 6/2/2014 9:08 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°50.00'S 140°05.00'W
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At 6/2/2014 9:08 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°50.00'S 140°05.00'W

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