More Maupiti…..

Dear F&F,
June 2, 2010
More Maupiti (posted from Mopelia Atoll via HF Radio)

It was super fun making the \”fins\” video and we are so glad we could get it on the web from here. It took 70 minutes to upload it via the not very good wifi system here. This afternoon we loaded more still photos, both topside & underwater from Mao-pee-tee. More to upload tomorrow morning.

The weather was calm overnight and this morning. Americans Doug and Eileen, who are staying at the pension we had dinner at, joined us for the next days dives. It was fun to chat with them. They have been living in an upscale development outside Guadelajara for 7 years. There are lots of other retired Americans. They said that Guadelajara area has the largest community of Americans living outside the U.S.A. Formerly from California and Washington , they look fit & attractive. I was shocked when Scott told me he was 67! Don\’t know her age, but they\’ve been married 30 years, no kids, seem very happy. Retired 25 years! Good for them.

The sea was much calmer than the day I bashed my finger. I was also super careful, but I actually think the underwater compression did it some good. I was awake about 30 minutes during the night and massaged it a lot with Topricin (homeopathic topical anti-inflammatory) to help drain the swelling in the tip and did some cautious stretching. The finger pad is still pretty taut feeling, but the color is not black anymore, just purply-red. I am not worried about it, just an inconvenience.

The coral was as beautiful as every time. I actually put on eye-liner & mascara! So you might see my eyes more with some close ups. In some photos, I really look like my Dad, even with my mask on! I have to watch that I don\’t squint which wrinkles my middle forehead. Scott took wide angle video today, but I did not model a lot. I actually grabbed the camera a couple times to try to catch an artistic idea I had. We will review the footage tonight and see what we got. That is always fun. Sometimes disappointing, but we always learn something. Last night Scott listened to part of an educational DVD about the video editing program Final Cut Pro (Apple). They suggested taking a grey and white card to shoot a new scene if there is a change of lighting. He has this so carried it today. It will be interesting to see if that helps him adjust the colors in post production to be more realistic. Some of the shark footage on \”Fins\” was too green. He hopes to correct it later. I am crazy for the jelly fish still photos (Maupiti Underwater Gallery). He tried to make me remove some, but I kept all the ones I love. It\’s OUR website, right? I figure if y\’all get bored of too many photos you can just skip along quickly.

The weather is setting up for possible departure tomorrow late afternoon. We will have an overnight passage to Mopelia (Mo-peel-ee-uh). Thankfully Jerome on the blue Switch (s/v Na Maka – Spirit of the Sea in Polynesian) has been there a few times, so we may follow him in. He says the most important thing is to not have clouds or rain. You need to be able to see down into the water to avoid the coral heads in the narrow pass. I am sure it will be just fine, like when we entered here. It is on the non-windy side, so waves are not a concern. But there can be a strong out flowing current.

While Scott was at the WiFi station uploading photos, I had a nice walk. The sun was behind the mountain making dusk last a long time. We had seen a cargo boat come in while we were diving so I scored some produce at the market: cabbage, carrots and apples. At a roadside stand I bought two indecent cucumbers. At another store I bought 2 liters of boxed milk. The dive guide and his wife passed me on the street and gave me 6 eggs. I had him stop at the fuel dock en route to the dive sites this morning to ask if I could \”reserve\” eggs like I did the other day. Different gal, not cooperative. Lionel and Kristel took pity on me, giving me 6 of their own eggs and would not even let me pay. Very sweet. Meanwhile, where I bought the produce, I got an agreement to reserve 2 dozen more eggs to pick up tomorrow. I will be there on the spot by 10:30 a.m. which is when she said to come. We eat 4 eggs per day, so go through them quickly. I hope the grapefruit roadside stand is open in the morning too. I would take about 10 more of those. Very sweet and no seeds. The membranes are tough so you have to fully dissect it, but it is worth it. Mopelia is really \”off the grid\” so I am happy to be stocked up with food. We will also top off our diesel. We may be able to sail there, but charging the batteries, filling scuba tanks and desalinating water all takes generator time which means using diesel. The island AFTER Mopelia should have diesel and more food. That will be our first English speaking island since we left California (Aitutaki in the Cook Islands).

I guess I am ready to move on. It\’s weird, but good I think, that I feel like I could happily stay here longer. But I felt that way about Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine and Bora Bora too. Pretty much since we left Tahiti proper, life has been good!

It is rarely ever over 90 anymore, and when we are submerged 2+ hours per day, it really helps us keep cool for the whole afternoon and evening. Rain is intermittent, so it is always a Chinese fire drill to close all the hatches. We especially try not to drown our laptops or WiFi antennas. I am going to go enjoy the air conditioning in our cabin while Scott has the generator on. The dehumidifying benefit of the air conditioning feels very nice.

Cindy and Scott