Island Hike, Last nights super squall…..
14 October 2012
As we are still waiting on our weather window, Nikki and I decided today to take a hike and see Ile Bodham. The island is about 1 1/2 miles long and a little over a quarter mile wide. We first went to find the old Cathedral which was built in 1936. Very broken down, no roof and the jungle has taken over much of it like the rest of the island.
We then got a notion to go to the windward side of the island and followed the track. To say the least, it was pure jungle. Coconut trees packed in so dense, you couldn\’t see light out of the forest. Rotting coconuts everywhere with the obligatory very large coconut crabs…everywhere. Lots of spiders too. Nikki got bit! When we finally got to the sea shore on the other side, it was again (and I never get over this), a shock to see plastic refuse everywhere. Dozens of old flip flop sandals, plastic bottles, plastic fishing floats. The state of our Earth at this time in history I suppose.
So, we then started back. Looking at where we had come from was immediately a challenge. In other words, we couldn\’t see where we\’d come from. We crisscrossed whatever tracks we could find until they just stopped. Then crisscrossed through the bush…literally. We finally were in between two bogs of stagnant water and the mosquitos where everywhere. We didn\’t get bit too badly as we\’d 40% \”Deeted\” up before we left. Eventually we came to the ocean again and tried to either walk in the surf line or when we couldn\’t, parallel the track as best we could. For the most part….we couldn\’t and were back to clambering thorough the bush. Eventually, we made it to the inner lagoon and for the most part, walked back along the shore in knee to chest high water. We had a few almost encounters with several sting rays, but I saw them in time and shooed them away with a stick. Pretty big guys too, about 2 1/2 feet across. Eventually we made it back to the wharf, walking about 4 kilometers through mostly bush! We felt pretty tired and came back to the boat for a lovely shower in the cool water. It was interesting, but I wouldn\’t do it again! (Neither would Nikki!).
Last night, we got a squall that started out with a downpour and 30 knots of wind. Eventually we saw some gusts to 42 knots! This was a band of convection associated with what is now severe tropical storm Anais; the first of the West Indian Ocean season. The good news is, that after a few hours of sustained winds and rain in the mid 20++ knot range, things calmed down. Today, it\’s been almost windlass and very warm. It\’s actually been the nicest day since we\’ve been here, but it is HOT (90 deg F) or 32.2 deg C.
If all looks good re: \”Anais\” and the weather gives us some wind, we\’ll leave tomorrow with a SSW heading to get down into the nice easy trade winds predicted about 250 miles south of us. From there, we\’ll head more west, staying at least 600 miles behind \”Anais\” as it breaks up in a few days and curves to the south toward Mauritius. We should have a nice run from there with the trades around 18-22 knots taking us right into northern Madagascar. This is \”the plan\”, but the weather gods have been known to be a challenge.
We\’ll write once we\’re off from Saloman. Stay tuned,
KIT, Scott and Nikki