Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Makemo - groceries, clear water and giant mantas

We've spent three days here in Makemo and it looks like it will be another two before we head out. We didn't intend on staying this long but we're having fun and well, today it rained. This is significant because we were going to leave today to head back to the village. Only we can't do that if it's cloudy because we can't see the coral heads popping up out of the water threatening to damage the boat. So we're watching movies and collecting water (much needed as I've been on a laundry spree lately) and hoping to head back tomorrow. Once back at the village, we'll get some last minute supplies and head to Tahanea, the next Tuamotu on our list.

In the meantime, we've had a lot of fun here in the SE corner of Makemo. We've gotten into a routine of work/school in the morning and exploring/snorkeling in the afternoon. We've cleaned the entire inside (well, almost entire) as mold is starting to set in with all this rain and Jake's room smells worse than any little boy room I've ever been in (or big boy for that matter). Andy and Jake cleaned the hulls yesterday while I continued the laundry fest. For fun, we've explored the tiny lagoons that separate the motus, played in the tide pools on the ocean side, and snorkeled some of the coral heads close to the boat. A few days ago, we were finishing up our snorkeling and Andy saw some black things poking out of the water. We got in the dinghy and went for a closer look. We all jumped back in the water as we thought we were going to swim with a few manta rays. We were wrong. We were going to swim with one manta. One GIANT manta. This thing was huge...probably had a wingspan of about 8 feet...and it was just gliding through the water scooping up it's food. Probably the funniest thing was Jake trying to chase it down. He looked like a little puppy paddling over to his master. Ever since he touched the whale shark in the Sea this summer, he thinks he has a personal responsibility to find out what everything feels like. I tried to stop him (imagine watching your young child swim vigorously at something three times his size) and teach him a little "caution," but Andy was beaming with pride as he tried to explain to me that giant mantas don't eat small children, especially bony ones like the one we have.

Yesterday we set out again for some snorkeling and picture taking. I wanted Andy to take some pictures of Jake as it's been years since we had any portrait type pictures taken. And Andy wanted a picture of the giant manta. We were only semi successful with Jake pictures, for reasons anyone who's tried to take serious pictures of a 5 year old can understand, but completely unsuccessful on the manta. He was no where to be found. But Jake got to play in some of the most beautiful water I've ever seen. Reflecting on the day, I realized once again how amazing it is that we get to do the things we do here. The fact that we're different from most really sunk in when I casually told my child to "watch out for sharks," as there were baby black tips swimming close by. And he responded with "Mommy, don't worry about me. They're not the chew on you type of sharks." Oh right, of course, I forgot.

We'll be back in the village tomorrow (hopefully) with wifi, so I'll post some of the pictures of Jake for the grandparents and those who haven't seen him in a while.

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