Today, we finally left Tahanea after almost two weeks. It was a really enjoyable atoll and I know we probably (at least Andy could have) spent another two weeks there exploring the different areas. But Jake and I were itching to go...
So here we are, on our way to Fakarava. It is about 48 miles from Tahanea. It should be a day trip but you have to time the passes right and unfortunately, we would have to wait around a few extra days to time the slack tide at Tahanea in the a.m. with the slack tide at Fakarava in the p.m. and we didn't do that. So we left at slack tide after lunch and are trying desperately to slow the boat down so as not to arrive too much before the slack tide at 7:12 a.m. tomorrow. You don't hear that every day from a sailboat, eh (do you like the 'eh?' I got that from my Canadian friends and just couldn't help myself)? We have just a sliver of the jib out but with 15 knots of wind right on our tail, we're still doing 3 knots and should arrive around 4-5 o'clock a.m. We'll just toodle around until 7:00 fishing or something like that.
Fakarava will probably be the first atoll with the sign of a real town since we left the Marquesas, yet it's still small enough to only be called a village. There are two actually, one in the south and one in the north. We'll be coming up from the south and entering through the south pass. There, supposedly, is a small village with a hotel and maybe a dive shop and not much else. To my knowledge, there's no store. The hotel is supposed to have a restaurant and I can't wait to eat someone else's food. As I said in my last post, we're getting kind of low on the good stuff (and some basic stuff - we have plenty of food mind you, just not necessarily what we want). I'm finding it difficult to find new ways to cook canned chicken, corn and pasta/rice. I've made up a few different new sauces from some of the packets I found in Mexico, but everyone is refusing the canned peas I had left and corn doesn't always sound good in pasta so some meals we have to count my canned tomatoes or jalapenos as our veggie. The chili Andy made yesterday turned out surprisingly good with the shredded beef we had to substitute for the ground meat. Glenda, from Sudden Stops Necessary came over this morning and I traded her a few packages of gnocci (I cleaned out the Mega on several occasions in Mexico) for the rest of her flour. They're almost out of propane so she can't bake until they fill up their tanks so she had no need for the flour. I gave Mark and Yuka on Merkava some milk and he gave us some of their canned cheese today, although I have to say that was purely because we were curious as to what canned cheese tastes like, not because we're that desperate for cheese - it's not too bad by the way, kind of like a white velveeta. I wouldn't eat too much of it plain but it tasted good shredded on top of our chili today. We've also come up with a really good white bean chicken chili (but we're out of white beans), Chicken Tinga that I learned from my cooking classes in Mexico is still a hit, and we found some chinese sausages in the bildge that we bought in San Diego that are surprisingly popular down here and now we actually know a few things to do with them. But they are extremely greasy so I can only eat them in moderation (and Jake hates them so for those meals I find myself cooking twice, not a real big incentive to eat the chinese sausage).
All of this talk about food leads me to the north pass...there is supposed to be a pretty good size village with a nice store and plenty of hotels and restaurants. This is one of the more touristy atolls and we should see signs of that on the north end. We'll also have internet there. It is a good 40 miles from the south side (one of the larger atolls) so it will be a few days before we make our way up there.
Until then, I'll be listening to my iPod and watching my movies, poking my head out every now and then making sure we're not running into anything or something isn't running into us (like a big atoll!). Andy's back is hurting and I know with our early arrival he'll let me sleep late for my next watch so he's awake for the pass, so I'm going to try to reciprocate first and stay up an extra hour...wish me luck.
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