Island Tour and Weather Watch!…..

Island Tour and Weather Watch!…..

11 October 2012

Dear F&F,

Yesterday, Nikki and I along with Dave & Kathy of \”Sunflower\” took a \”tour de lagoon\”! We went over to Ile Foquet and it\’s neighbor \”motu\”, Ile Yakamaya.

On the north tip of Ile Foquet is the wreck of \”Black Rose\”. She was a French Cat that we think (if memory serves), was on a delivery from Vanuatu and lost is a severe squall. She was clearly anchored for south east wind protection, but at Ile Foquet, if the wind comes out of the north with strength, you\’re in trouble and quickly. The entry pass is directly in line with the anchorage there and you are effectively open to the outside sea. We took lots of photos….one day!…:-) Also, off the north end of Ile Yakamaya, a similar fate happened to the \”Ferro Cement\” wreck. We think this one is a bit older, but similar circumstances were at play. Here on the far west side of Ile Boddam (where we are tied on to a mooring which I\’ve checked), the overall comfort of the anchorage has been very good.

We also went to Ile Mapou which has more birds than any of the islands as it is the only \”rat free\” island of the nine islands here at Salomon. Lots of boobies, frigates and terns. We then motored past Ile de Passe, Ile Anglaise and back to our home base at Ile Boddam. Noting along the way, the condition of the coral is very nice. Unfortunately, we also find here the ubiquitous flip flops, plastic bottles, fishing floats, etc.

A highlight at Ile Mapou was watching a small eel come out of the water and swallow a small crab in it\’s entirety. It then attacked a large crab, tearing off one of it\’s claws! A few moments later, it slithered back into the tide pool from which it emerged. Nature is fascinating, but can be quite brutal.

At night we get more rain and squall, but nothing over 20 knots. It gets hotter and sunnier during the day with occasional rain squalls. The water is 84 degrees F or 28.9 C. It feels like a warm bath and is much of the reason the unsettled ITCZ weather is hanging around us.

Speaking of which! The weather information says that the month of October gets a tropical storm every other year in the western Indian Ocean and a tropical cyclone every four years. Well, the first tropical storm will form about 200 miles to our southwest tomorrow and increase in strength as it moves west (away from us) for at least two days. The good news is that first, it\’s ahead of us and will be moving away. The not as good news is that we\’ll have to wait another 1-3 days to leave here. Then more good news, we should have a reasonable northerly to get us south AND the trade winds will be down in force. Next, the wind will be more from the east than the south for at least a few days which will give us a more comfortable sailing angle toward Madagascar. Lastly, the system will have died off at is moves west and we\’ll be in lighter and reasonable conditions behind it. The key is to get to Madagascar before the next possible system develops which shouldn\’t (emphasis added with a ? mark!) be an issue.

So for now, we\’re just stuck in paradise. Somehow, we\’ll manage.

KIT, situations are dynamic! Scott and \”Plotting\” Nikki, the \”Celestial Navigatrix\”…..:-)