Salomon Atoll, Chagos……

Salomon Atoll, Chagos…..

08 October 2012

Dear F&F,

We\’ll we\’re now on our fourth day here at Salomon. Two days ago, we went for a walk an what a wild \”put together\” scene exists on the beach. There is an old stone jetty (very small) that was here when people lived here 50 years ago. The British moved them all to Mauritius back then.

Some stone building structures, the ubiquitous plastic junk, dozens of \”flip flops\” collected by the cruisers over the years in an art work display. A volleyball net, rats, mosquitos, coconuts and their crabs. Doesn\’t paradise sound incredible?…:-)

Actually, this atoll is much like the world of thousands of years ago. Many more fish and healthy coral than lots of places.

The \”BIOT\” agent (British Indian Ocean Territory) came by two days ago to check up on us. His main job is to watch for illegal fishing. He takes this pristine environment very seriously. All the small islets here (except one!) have rats. This is the norm, by the way. The old sailing ships and future cargo ships introduced them. No predators, lots of food (coconuts and bird eggs) and they\’re everywhere. In Cocos, they are getting rid of them, here, not yet. The one island without them has much bigger bird populations as the eggs are unmolested.

The weather has been rainy/squally, but not too bad. Overcast is the norm right now.

Yesterday, I dove the boat, checked the mooring and did a bit of maintenance on it. I changed the zinc anodes underwater on the props, sail drives and the refrigeration/freezer system. Then re-greased our high tech propellers, cleaned them, did some bottom cleaning, etc. The \”bump\” on the reef in Benoa, Bali left some scrapes, but nothing that epoxy, time and paint won\’t fix. We had a no wind time yesterday and quickly pulled the main up and I repaired it. The big water maker is being a bit of a problem. The spare is working fine! We got our \”winch buddy\” back in action (thank heavens, it is a girl\’s best friend!…:-)). The Winch Buddy is a right angle drill that has a special attachment which \”electrifies\” all our manual winches. This makes pulling up the dagger boards, trimming the sails and pulling up the dinghy a piece of cake. Without the \”buddy\”, I get quite a workout.

Still some more maintenance to do, but it\’s coming along. We hope to get some snorkeling in as soon as the weather gets a bit sunny which may? be today?

Dave and Kathy were intrigued by the celestial navigation stuff, so \”Professor Scott\” held class yesterday for a few hours. Perhaps more today? Dave wants me to help him with some sat phone connection to email stuff as well.

For now, all is well and I\’m looking at the 13th as the next jump off date where the weather seems to be shaping up for the next leg to Madagascar. This of course, will literally change by the day as we watch the weather develop.

KIT, Scott and Domestic Diva Nikki