Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Food and Entertainment

The weather has cleared up a bit, here in Hanamoenoa, Tahuata, but a decent swell is still rolling into the bay, making landings with the dinghy on the beach quite challenging. The manta rays have not come back (yet) and the weather has been too crappy to go for a snorkel or a dinghy excursion. This means that our time had to be filled with other entertainment.

One evening, Valentine and Thor on SV Yum Yum, who we briefly met in the Galapagos months ago, invited everyone in the bay over for "movie night". Loaded with popcorn and drinks, we all gathered in the cockpit of their roomy catamaran. Thor had installed a massive screen and soon we were enjoying the movie "Chocolat" with superb quality, movie theater worthy! Only, we were in an uninhabited bay in the middle of the South Pacific. The only disappointing part was that, while looking at the giant representations of chocolate, candies and scrumptious food of a massive variety, we only had homemade popcorn and oven-baked cake, while we all craved more.

About every other day, someone decided to make dinner or lunch, so the eating was still good. It's amazing how creative one can be with a small selection of vegetables and staples. At least, Mark and I still had
vegetables. Plus, we started a new "green" experiment: sprouting beans. Fruit was another story. So, one afternoon, we bit the bullet and decided to go ashore with our dinghy to find vitamins. During a lull in the swell, we revved the engine, hit the beach, quickly jumped out and pulled as hard as we could. We avoided getting swamped, and, other than a wet bum for me from pulling the boat too strongly and not backing off quick enough, falling to the ground, we remained unscathed. Together, we set out exploring inland a bit and discovered a plethora of fruit trees. We collected pamplemousses (big, sweet grapefruits), oranges, mangoes, lemons and coconuts until we couldn't carry any more. Once back on the beach, the sea had "grown" substantially, massive breakers rolling and crashing onto the yellow sand. We decided to play safe (avoid getting flipped over by the foamy waves) and walk the dinghy out, past the rollers, pushing and swimming a bit more, before climbing - or slithering - back inside the tubes. Fully loaded with unripe fruit, we arrived back at Irie in one piece.

On Tuesday, the sun was back and the ocean seemed to be a bit more agreeable. Mark and I motored the dinghy along the southern shore of Tahuata, to visit its main town Vaitahu. Hopping ashore was a bit tricky, but we had a nice little walk. The town is very small and quiet, but it has a pretty, interesting looking church and a decent store with fresh French bread. Nothing too special, really, but it was a pleasant excursion and we got rid of our garbage, while obtaining some more food. In the afternoon, Irie was the only boat left in Hanamoenoa Bay and we truly enjoyed the peace and beauty all by ourselves. That was until our "dish washing bucket" broke after filling it in the sea and carrying it back into the cockpit. Gallons of salt water flooded our four plants, which were just starting to recover after previous incidents like falling in bleach, dealing with salty air during passages and waves entering the cockpit. Our snorkeling trip was rightfully delayed, while we tried to save our garden with lots of fresh water.

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