Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Finally arrived!

That is what it feels like anyway....we have finally arrived at the kind of place you read about and imagine when you set out on a journey like this. We paid some dues getting here but that is part of the process!
We went into the small village yesterday and met the local constabulary. He was very nice and apologetic about the news that a local islands council had decided to institute fees for anchoring in the atolls. It was the horrendous sum of 40ff per person per day. That is less than .50 in our currency. For that they take your garbage....not a small problem on a strip of sand and palm trees in the middle of the ocean. They burn a lot and maybe send some back on the supply ship but I doubt it. They
are planning to put in moorings for the visitors as well. We went back to his office where his 'secretary' took the boat info and gave us a receipt for our three days! We entered our names and 'Toketie' into the guest book, which they were very proud of! The building was over 100 years old! I spoke to him some more and learned that the other half dozen boats had not understood French and he could not communicate to them that they needed to make this small contribution to their economy so I offered
to spread the word. Today we have a notice posted at the end of the dock, in English, that explains it!
The kids are a riot. Once they realize you are friendly they are all over you. We have lots of pictures as they hammed it up pretty good. Two little girls begged us to go back to the boat and have popcorn and juice! Maybe tomorrow as the sun was setting. Met a very nice man working in his yard, a fisherman who seemed to be carving something. We greeted him and were invited into the yard. He had a small grinder and was trying to shape what looked like mother of pearl into small sailboats and
other things. His grinding wheel was worn down to the end so I will look through my tool box to see if I can find him another. His name was 'Riribatou' spelling!
Had Rose and Robert on 'Tillicum' over for dinner and scrabble last night. They have been living this cruising lifestyle for 20 years and deliver boats when the opportunity arises. We enjoyed the evening and the company and went way beyond our usual bedtimes!
Heard JD twice now on the HF radio, quite clearly, but he could not hear us.
Spent this morning in the water, not playing, but scrubbing the water line which was foul with marine growth. Then I went down below with a chisel and removed the barnacles from the propeller and rudder stock area. A quick scrub of the zincs and I think we are set for another week in this climate!
We are finally feeling relaxed and are enjoying it here so plan to stay a while longer!

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