Meeting the Locals…..

Dear F&F,
June 7, 2010
Meeting the Locals (Posted from Mopelia Atoll via HF Radio Email)

It was grey and rainy all day. In the morning we caught up on rest and correspondence. In the afternoon we went to visit sister ship, \”Na Maka\” our French friends with 3 boys. Scott and Jerome talked weather, radio, computers. Natalie and I talked yogurt making, trash management and window coverings.

Later, Natalie offered to introduce us to the family living here. It was an easy wet landing in the dinghy which we tied to the local wood boat which was secured to the shore. One boy is 8 years old so he and 10 year old Leo play well together. In fact, Leo will be sleeping over on the island instead of his boat home. We saw two shelters, one for cooking and one for sleeping, very primitive. Wood supports with corrugated aluminum roof, no real walls, certainly no windows. Plenty of flies! They have about 5 dogs, 2 were chained up. About 8 free ranging pigs, many chickens & chicks. A small fenced garden (to keep out the pigs). They had some kind of video game box that the 2 older boys played. The twin French 4 year olds fought over the one bike with training wheels. We brought gifts of new T-shirts and hats that had been given to us, but we never really used. From the big outrigger canoe race. We also took two containers of dry Gatorade powder and Natalie translated how to mix it with water for a drink. There was a younger couple, possibly in their 20s, and a naked toddler with whom I played the international game of \”peek-a-boo\”. The 8 year old boy brought Natalie and I each a flower – very sweet. We signed their guest book and recognized a few boat names who previously visited.

Scott and the head of the family, Kalami had a stick in the sand discussion about where the few remains of the 1917 shipwreck (Seeadler) is located outside the reef and an anchor located deeper IN the pass. It will be fun to see if we can find any of it at our next opportunity to explore, hopefully tomorrow.

We had a rainbow on the way to shore and a gorgeous sunset on the ride back to \”Beach House\”. Scott is doing a late check in with the Pacific Seafarer\’s ham radio Net, where he is often a relay operator. He has made good friends on the radio via this network. It is fun for him and we look forward to meeting some of the other operators when we get to New Zealand and Australia.

The news of our \”Fins\” video has been spreading like wildfire amongst sailing and diving friends, both active & armchair. Scott received 10 new requests to subscribe to our website per day! The owner of one of the online sailing magazines, who has used Scott\’s photos before, requested permission to post a link to our video. So we anticipate the interest will continue for a while. It is really fun, especially for Scott, since he puts so much time and care into the editing. We have not had this much hubbub since \”Cindy\’s Manta Magic\”.

Weather depending, we will anchor the big boat closer to the reef pass where all the diving is. Hope to be blowing bubbles tomorrow.

Cindy and Scott