As promised, a blow passed over us on Friday afternoon and everyone hunkered down on their own boats to keep watch. Even Greg from Oceanna took a day off from fishing. The reports varied as to what we could expect but the wind only went briefly into the 30s and we felt snug and secure on our well-buried anchor. While the wind was building Jack could still do little projects on the boat and I made passage food and baked bread but as the wind grew stronger it got a little bumpy onboard so we settled in and watched Part I of No Direction Home, the Bob Dylan documentary. By 7 o’clock the worst of it had passed and we got the boat ready for sea and made an early night of it.
Saturday still held residual big and lumpy seas and winds a little higher than we like to start out in, but all the skippers agreed with the weather experts that despite an uncomfortable first day, we might be looking at the best opportunity this season to make an unscathed voyage to the Land of the Long White Cloud. We sure hope so. This is our last passage on this leg of our Pacific journey and we’re looking forward to a relaxing six months in New Zealand.
Jack just made a sandwich, an activity that I think resulted in some bruising and much cursing in the rowdy conditions. I’m wisely staying put for as long as I can. The wind and seas will eventually moderate but not for hours yet. I’m going to put the headphones on and listen to music. Wake me when it’s over.
The morning after our beach bonfire Nicki from Karie-L made an excited announcement on the radio that they’d just speared a large fish right from the deck of their boat. A little while later she dinghied over to offer Jack a piece of it. How’s that for home delivery? We don’t fish and I don’t eat fish, but Jack is always grateful whenever someone else’s bounty spills over to him.
Greg from Oceanna went out to the reef to fish as usual, and stopped by EV on the way to give us some fresh coconut from all the nuts he’d husked the night before to fuel the bonfire, and I gave him a thumb drive with some books I’d told him about. Jack worked on a few boat projects and I spent much of the day peeling, grating and toasting the coconut, with a few hours off for a visit with Mark and Sue from Macushla. Later in the afternoon Greg came by again with a huge lobster for Jack’s birthday. The birthday isn’t for a few days but it’s likely we’ll be at sea again by then, and tomorrow our expected nasty weather moves in and we’ll all be boatbound minding our anchors.
Jack was delighted with the unexpected gift but had no clue what to do with a whole lobster. I’m no help, never having eaten one in my life and not so interested in the cooking of it either. Greg talked Jack through the process, then in an act of supreme kindness, actually cut the tail off for him and dumped the rest, handing Jack a perfect lobster tail ready to be cooked.
After parboiling then grilling, our birthday boy sat down to his favorite — and very rare — birthday dinner.
Seriously, keep this in mind. We’re in the middle of the ocean, inside a reef, with no land in hundreds of miles. And Jack gets fresh fish and a lobster for his birthday from generous fishing friends anchored nearby.