Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Manihiki - Northern Cooks still

The Constitution Day celebration lasted a little longer than expected, with the older crowd singing the older songs (the traditional songs but mostly from the 50s) and playing instruments. Hand made drums, ukuleles and a guitar. They said they were mostly love songs and stories like our music was about the same time. We didn't get to go to the pearl farm. Maybe another time.

Yesterday I did get to meet Johns father, Banapa's brother. He lives on a kowkow, an overgrown coral head with trees on it, out in the middle of the lagoon. Several folks live on them here. I went in to see them and see if I could access the internet at the hospital. I couldn't get the WiFi to connect, so the Dr. let me use his hardwired connection just for a little while. Just long enough to check the bank account, update the anti-virus stuff and repair the problem I was having with the radio e-mail.

Then John and I went to his house. Trinda didn't feel well so she had stayed on the boat. They were all worried about her, a lady on a boat all by her self. I assured them she was OK. We had lunch then worked on their coconut shredder. I showed John how to dissemble an electric motor and check the bearings.

Today a larger swell came up from the SW. We are anchored on the west side of the atol. There is no pass to enter the lagoon here, so it is an anchorage in the roadstead, or behind us is the open sea. The landing area or dock is a small cement wharf sticking out maybe 15 feet into a notch blasted in the coral reef. Most of the time it is OK. The prevailing trade winds from the east have kept the dinghy away from the rocks and sharp reef, until today. The swell is causing breakers to roll right up
the little cut and break on top of the wharf. We had to stay on the boat all day. We could have landed the dinghy OK but would not have been able to get it over the last of the reef and up the beach out of harms way. So we took a break.

They assure me that by next cruising season they will have 4 mooring buoys for boats and iI suggested maybe a safer place to land rubber boats.

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