Aitutaki – Day #5…..

Dear F&F,

June 30, 2010

Aitutaki – Day #5

This morning it was grey & threatening rain. We told our dive guy that we
will skip the 1st dive & see if the sun comes out in the next hour or so. It
is pretty pricey to go with a company, about $65 US/tank, which is only
$10/tank less than Bora Bora. We are hoping the weather cooperates so they
will take us to the potentially more interesting southern sites.

We hung out, waiting to hear the \”half-time\” report. One couple on the dive
boat is only doing one tank, so he has to bring them back. We will have a
chance to hear from the other couple how it was & decide if we\’re going to
go, or sit out today. I am ok either way. Plenty of emails to catch up on &
other chores.

The harbor is small so not very industrial. Yesterday a super stinky fishing
boat was tied up to the wharf upwind of us – yuck! Rumor has it that a cargo
ship will arrive Saturday, but they take a barge outside the pass to offload
goods & bring it in that way. There is enough space for it to maneuver &
offloading the barge will probably be done in 1 day. We see some activity of
them stacking empty fuel containers, etc to put on the ship. Everything is
closed on Sunday. There are many churches, including SDA. Grocery shopping
should be a bit better, we hope, once they\’ve stocked their shelves a couple
days later.

We considered renting a moped. Rental cars are less plentiful. Almost all
the locals get around on mopeds. I am a real ninny sometimes. I was in
sandals & shorts (too hot to wear real shoes & long pants). It was a rickety
thing with only 1 rear view mirror. They did not offer helmets. Scott took
it for a test spin & just observing him he looked a bit jerky. I got on &
immediately ix-nayed the idea. With my lame right hand I felt insecure and
was not willing to risk either of us getting injured. I\’m kind of a mother
hen even when we are walking. Scott\’s view is so far above the ground & from
my perspective he does not always carefully look where he puts his feet. He
unexpectedly steps off curbs, into potholes & nearly twists his ankle
frequently. Makes me kinda crazy. If he gets lame, I am really up a creek.
The truth is we’ve been very blessed to neither have any terrible injuries
or illness.

The internet place here is about a 40 minute walk & $8 US/hr. They say Skype
quality is hit & miss. The entire islands infrastructure is still being
rebuilt. 80 homes were destroyed & additional 200 damaged from Hurricane Pat
in February. The devastation is quite visible. We walked down to the
fanciest hotel where we ran into a couple we\’d met briefly en route to a
dive (they went with the competing company). They invited us to their
bungalow terrace for a glass of wine & some fruit. Nice to chat with them.
Sonia is German/Italian & Tom is Swiss. They now live in Sydney, Australia.
It was nice to socialize a bit.

My finger got pretty sore from walking several hours in the heat. You know
how your hands can feel a bit swollen with walking or hiking anyway? My 2
owie fingers really protested & I feel like I\’ve taken a step back in
function, which is frustrating. Scott is good about doing the dishes when I
ask him to (preferable to hearing me yelp from the galley). There are so
many \”blue\” jobs that I can\’t (or won\’t) do that I hate to put any \”pink\”
jobs on him. But when it comes down to it he knows this whole lifestyle is
more appealing to him than me. My motivation is really connected to good
diving. This island has not shown its potential yet. It is a comfortable
anchorage, easy access to shore & we have lots more exploring to do.

Two other sets of boat friends may catch up with us soon: the couple with
grown son we met in Easter Island (boat name: Visions of Johanna) & the
Canadian couple who went skiing in British Columbia while we were sweating
it out in Papeete (boat: Quick Star). Meanwhile the French family of 5, “Na
Maka” is right next to us, though we are each doing our own thing. There is
another French catamaran here so they have gotten together with them some.

Cindy & Scott