I should be able to write a shorter email tonight! It is just after midnight, and Benjamin has just fallen asleep. His afternoon nap was a bit late, so I think I just paid the price for a long morning / midday of snorkelling :)
Our kid boat flotilla is dispersing as I write. We woke this morning to news that Exodus would be heading for Beqa ("mBenga") this evening; Nautilus has also started making their way towards Nadi via Beqa. Most of us will see each other again at least once, but I don't know if the big group will reform. What a pleasure it has been to spend so many weeks with such neat people!
Now that the skies are finally sunny and blue, it is much more enticing to go snorkelling. Unfortunately, Gustav (Caminante) got a reminder about the "maintenance in paradise" part of the definition of cruising, and his dive compressor was the victim of his generator not working, so we did a family snorkel in the pass. At first we took turns staying in the boat with Benjamin, but then Lumbaz took him and Johnathan back to their boat when a couple of their kids wanted to return, and Max, Victoria and I were all able to swim, towing the dinghy.
The coral here is extraordinary. A few special moments:
*floating on the current above "soft coral" that almost looks like a shimmering, satin curtain and having Victoria point it out to me
*seeing sharks way, way down at the bottom, ignoring us
*seeing the way the colours jump to life when the sun came out
*swimming to the edge of the reef and watching the deeps disappear into blueness
*hearing about a female (pregnant) manta ray that has been seen here a few times and hoping to see her ourselves
*watching both Johnathan and Victoria become competent snorkellers
The whole day wasn't spent snorkelling. Some of the kids decided that they would all do presentations in front of each other, and with some coercion and persuasion (amongst each other), all the kids participated. This time, it was Max's turn to watch, as he had taken the kids over to the other boat, and I stayed with the napping Benjamin. I believe they did a combination of prepared and improvised speeches, and everyone seemed happy with the results.
As for us, we are thinking that we will snorkel again tomorrow, then prepare the boat and head for Beqa the following afternoon/evening. The winds are forecast to be light, so hopefully it will be an easy passage...
Love to all,
At 7/17/2015 2:33 AM (utc) SV Fluenta was 18°05.17'S 179°16.05'E
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com