Southeast Winds & Revenge of the Crown of Thorns…..

Dear F&F,

June 15-18, 2010
Southeast Winds &
Revenge of the Crown of Thorns

June 15
After 6 days of wonderful diving in a row, we are not diving today. For one thing the place I got pricked by the Crown of Thorns seems to be having an allergic reaction and hurts like heck. Just when finger #4 is so much better! I am taking Benadryl plus Aleve and intermittent hot water soaks then ice packs. Such a pain, literally! But I am getting a bit less spastic typing with thumb, middle and pinky on the right hand. Doing dishes, etc I forget sometimes and bump it accidentally which makes me yelp like a dog run over.

We have seen LOTS of bump head wrasse, so I am laying off killing the crown of thorns anymore. risky business. We hardly ever see them here, because the big wrasse plus the Triton Trumpet cone shell (beautiful, large) are keeping the population down by eating them before they can wreck the reef. Hurrah for Mopelia, nature seems to be in balance.

June 16
Index finger pain tolerable so went for a dive. Scott took his macro lens and got some great shots.
I felt ok for 30 minutes, then the finger pain escalated over 10 minutes to unbearable. I removed glove on that hand. Seam of glove pressing into sore area. Did safety stop & surfaced. Pain quickly reduced to bearable.

White patch on fingertip seems to be growing with more defined margins. Treat with hot water soaks
Benadryl & Aleve. Pain pill at night.

The wind shifted south & got stronger, where we were anchored was far from the protection of the atoll & fetch was building. We moved \”Beach House\” back down to where Jerome & family are. There are two other boats plus us, so 4 total. Spaced out nicely. With this wind, probably no diving for a several days. Hope to get in at least 1 more day of diving before we sail on. Weather permitting; we will leave here for Aitutaki (Cook Islands) in 4-8 days.

June 17
Wind 10-20 knots, rain intermittent, some rocking of the boat due to wind shop making me feel seasick at anchor. I hate to take medication when we aren\’t underway, but feeling a little bit seasick is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Sort of like being a little bit pregnant. I seem to need a sledge hammer of medicine, to be effective. I need a smack upside the head to remind me to not just endure the miserable feeling of headache, unable to read, cranky, overall edgy. The good news is that the sledge hammer works & I was then able to read & write.

Finger looks yucky and making me nervous, besides being painful. Dr. Scott orders me to begin antibiotics. I had been reluctant since I have needed them for recurrent ear infections. But, knock wood, I think I have finally found an effective prevention regime for those. For the finger we chose Clindamycin 300 mg, 4x/day. We still don\’t think I currently have an infection, but a patch of tissue is looking necrotic (dead) and antibiotics should help prevent infection while my body is trying to heal this thing.

Two boats joined the family ashore for a potluck. I was keen to get off the boat, but the wind & rain deterred us. Later I found out they had LOTS of lobster and I was jealous. Oh well, another time perhaps. Scott spent most of the day in his \”digital darkroom\”. Results are awesome. You will have to wait to see the Mopelia Galleries because as we have no internet here, we\’re unable to upload photos to the website. The posts we can, but the photos are just too big.

June 18
Natalie visited by dinghy with the twin 4 year olds. It was like having raccoons in your tent! We three adults could not keep up with the two of them, getting into everything in every direction. We were exhausted and she graciously took her leave after a short time. I don\’t know how she does it! We commended each other on our wise decision to NOT have more children. Skye was our limit. We are so glad we have her. And so glad that she is 25!

Scott was the primary \”warm up\” operator on the Pacific Seafarers Maritime ham radio Net last night. I was just starting to listen to songs on my Ipod and have my sunset yoga session, when a dinghy pulled up to our stern. It was pretty windy and getting dark, so of course I invited him onboard. It was Bernard, French sailor alone on a little monohull. One of the two others holed up here besides us and sister ship \”Na Maka\”. He came to thank Scott for giving him information and guidance through the pass the day he arrived (a week ago maybe?). I asked him if he was at the beach potluck last night and he said no, he had dinner with the other couple that lives here. We knew there were two groups on this atoll: one couple alone Monique and Frankie, who we have not met. And the other family, who we have met 7 of them.

Get this: The two parties do not get along! They apparently feud and make accusations about each other. Ridiculous on a four mile strip of sand and palm trees, but classic. Talk about \”small town politics\”! Anyway, besides hearing that bit of gossip, it was great to chat with Bernard and take my mind off my owie finger.

Bernard stayed long enough for Scott to finish the net. We showed him some photos of the shipwreck here & our \”Fins\” video. They exchanged weather information & route plans. Bernard may return to try giving Scott some charts for a software we own (MaxSea) but he hasn\’t used a lot. Not sure if charts are transferable but they may try.

Weather is keeping us here, looks like the 22nd to 24th before we leave for Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, 350 miles to the Southwest.

Cindy and Scott