Monday, 7 July 2014

Goats, rats and camping.

Good morning,

The kids have just gone ashore to collect firewood, Max is shaping a zinc for the engine (only ones available in Mexico were too long ... [I have the right size for the heat exchanger but the ones for the oil cooler protrude too far into the water flow) and Benjamin is nursing to sleep on my lap. I will send a short note now because our evening may be late ...

Fluenta has been a hive of Junior activity this morning: the kids are going to sleep ashore tonight after we have our goat-roast. They are super excited, as they have been planning just such an adventure for months. In fact, they spent much of our passage pouring over the SAS Survival Guide app on our iPad and telling us all about cooking, trapping, fishing, shelters, wild animals, etc, etc. It is fun to see them taking responsibility for what they need to bring. Just as they were both ready, we got a call from our Belgian friends inviting them to go ashore to gather wood, so they were off in a flash. They will be back for lunch, then we will all go ashore in the afternoon. Our goat roast is now in the hands of our Swedish friends, who are marinating it. We will bury it in coals and cook it tonight. Fun for all.

It is windy here (15-22 kts), but we are becoming acclimatized. It helps that the boat is pretty steady - that we are not either swinging wildly (which puts the force of the gusts on the side rather than the bow) or rolling crazily like we were in Nuku Hiva. Our wind generator loves this place too, and is giving us a pretty steady 3-6 amps [with our solar and wind generator the batteries were topped off yesterday despite it being just past the winter solstice here and having made water for five hours].

Time to tackle the diapers ...

Love to all,
Elizabeth


Greetings (again!)

It never rains but it pours - last week you didn't hear from us, and now you are receiving two emails from one day!

It is 8pm, it has been dark for hours, and I am already home from our goat-on-the-beach party. No wonder that "cruisers' midnight" is 9pm!

It was quite the international meal tonight: all the children (young and old) collected firewood; our Marquesan friends provided the goat when we were in Hatiheu; our Belgian friend built the fire; and our Swedish friends marinated the roast all morning before wrapping it in foil and bringing it to the beach. As for myself and the Belgian mom, we each had a lovely afternoon in our own company on our own boats pottering around and doing our own thing.

The fire setup was quite ingenious: they built a big fire of driftwood, and then beside it created a pit where they could push the coals. Two logs (wet & green to start with and then soaked in salt water for a while) provided a support over the bed of coals for the rack, then more coals were piled on top. This was the cooking oven for the goat. It laid there for 2 1/2 - 3 hours (who looks at a watch on the beach?) then we enjoyed it with pasta salad, couscous salad, and foil-baked sweet potatoes just before sunset (5pm, but who is looking at their watch?). I wasn't sure what it would taste like, but it was surprisingly good and tender. Everyone (even the kids) ate plenty.

Since "the boys" and the kids had been on the beach all afternoon, they had plenty of time to prepare not just for the cooking but also for the camping. The Swedish family had already set up a tarp (they are here in this anchorage for about 10 weeks!), and to this were added a tent, a palm-frond shelter (designed, erected, and slept in by Johnathan [despite all the rats]), and a couple of hammocks (for Max and the Belgian dad). They didn't stop there: they also took some 4-6" logs and created a stand for the Swedish table and a couple of "benches" near the fire. I have never attended such a civilized beach cookout before!

We had a fabulous meal, then enjoyed what seemed like a long evening of conversation. As it turned out, when I looked at my watch because it felt really late, it was 6:15pm! Such is life in the tropics.

Tonight was also the longest I haven't had Benjamin in arms in months: the 11 year old Belgian girl and 8 year old Swedish girl are both quite enamoured with him, so I handed him off as soon as I arrived on the beach, and only had him back briefly to feed throughout the evening. They held him (and fed him his dinner of goat, sweet potatoes and pasta) the whole rest of the time. The 12 year old Swedish boy even had a turn! He is now sleeping peacefully in my wrap, and I may even call it a night soon myself (or I may enjoy the peace and quiet to finish cleaning my galley!).

Anyway, that is our day, part two :)

Love to all,
Elizabeth
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At 7/4/2014 8:49 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 16°58.00'S 144°35.00'W

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