Monday, July 28, 2008

Net Fishing and Church

Trinda decided to stay with Christine and the younger kids while the rest of us went fishing. The water wasn't right in the favorite place, tide wrong and too much current, so we went further. The two older boys put the net out along the edge of the inside reef, then we splashed along the reff to scare the fish into it. It is a kin of gill net. We got a few, mostly parrot fish. As we were going along in the boat, they could see the school of fish and decide where to put the net! I couldn't see squat!

I tried to 'rush' up to help get the fish out of the net and tripped. I could see this big patch of coral, like a miniature pine tree, in knee deep water, rushing up to fillet me. I couldn't think of any way to miss it, so I finally just gritted my teeth and put out a hand to try to slow down. It did quite a number on my hand. 10 or 15 little cuts that bled good. I spent the rest of the day not using my hand much. When we got back, they boiled some water and made me plunge my hand into it. I;m a
whimp, It was really hot! It is supposed to kill the coral and clean the wounds. It did seem to work, as it is getting better without getting infected, mostly anyway.

After putting out the net twice more, and get too few fish, we started gathering supplies from the motu (island). They needed more of the young coconut palm fronds to weave the hats and stuff. Also the dry coconuts that are just beginning to sprout. The inside is filled with a pithy white stuff destined to become the tree. Baked in the shell, it is sweet like a banana, shreaded it can go in pancakes or a drink, and natural it is like coconut bread. While we were looking for the coconut sprouts, they
started finding coconut crabs. We found 5 or 6.

Then we took the scenic route back to the village. There is another pass into the lagoon just north of the main pass. It is not really suitable for boats due to the current and wave action on the outside, but the scenery is beautiful. We stopped near there to swim a while. There were some sharks, so I tried to get some underwater photos of Ed and the sharks, but the water had a little too much sediment for pictures.

Then on back to take care of the bounty. Trinda and Christine had made cookies and candy while we were out. The oatmeal chocolate no-bake cookies and chocolate coconut balls. But there was no chocolate to dip the coconut balls into. They all disappeared as soon as the kids saw them anyway.

We had the coconut crab sautéed with onions and garlic. It was fantastic.

Sunday morning we dressed for church and went in about 9:00. Trinda in her new green and white traditional hat and the dress suit that Alex's Auntie gave her from the other village. I only had a white shirt and faded blue jeans, but it was OK. They go to the Catholic Church. Lots of folks are visiting Rarotonga so there were just Alex's family and his brother and us. But that made 18. The singing was beautiful.

We went back to his house for dinner, all cooked in an underground oven over night. The sprouted coconuts were just husked and put directly in the oven. Several chickens were killed, plucked and put in with soy sauce. Breadfruit, rice, fish, bananas and more. Some of the cooked sprouted coconut was mashed and juiced to make a drink. It was sweet and coconuty. It was quite a feast. We really have enjoyed eating here.

We went back to the boat and rested the afternoon away. Today we are supposed to have them all out to see the boat. They wanted to go for a sail, but I don't think we will. I also need to work some more on Alex's VHF radio antenna. He can hear but no one can hear him.

We may leave for Manihiki tomorrow or Wed. It will be hard to leave.

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