Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cave diving, isolated atolls, Halloween, and unsettled weather.

Hi all.

We're doing well.  The weather has been rainy and very cloudy - making sailmail posts very difficult.  The station we have to link with is over 1500 miles away, and when the weather is overcast and full of rain, we just cannot like up to that station.

We just came back from an atoll named Avalau Island (inhabited only by goats).  It was small and exquisite.  The beach was pure white sand, the coral was abundant, and the schools of fish very colorful.

Here is a time machine picture post - going back all the away to Bora Bora.

Here's a picture of Madrona leaving Bora Bora - courtesy of Joel on Balena.  We are reefed down as we motor past the reef.  Once out in the open we put out our very large head sail.  It was blowing 20 - 25 outside.

Griffyn doing a cleaning chore - sweeping the cabin rug.

Here's Bora Bora.

An amazing peak.

The main street in Bora Bora.

A nice house front.

This church has been around a long long time.

We bought a good percentage of the food on this table before leaving.  It was the end of the day, and the women at the table loaded us up with much fruit when we left - without us paying for it, as it wouldn't keep another day.  We ate over three dozen bananas over the next few days on passage.

Here's Tamsyn's photo of the selection.  Yummy!

This is for Allison at REECAS.  Nyco's for Nico!

Wish my alley looked like this.

Tamsyn at the Post Box.  This is where we dropped your postcards.

This guy was cool.

Colorful crosses.  Churches are big here - obviously.

Cutting up Breadfruit - Uru - into slices for deep frying.  Delicious!

Griffyn's corner - some of his precious things.

Some of Tamsyn's special things including Twinkle.

Our alphabet.  Our boat is a schoolhouse.

The Galley.

Griffyn learning to read on the high seas on the way to Tonga.

Close approach Palmerston Island.  The wind was blowing from the northwest so we couldn't visit - no way to moor or anchor safely with that wind.

S/V Balena - with Joel and Christine on deck, at anchor in Tonga.

Here they are on our boat for dinner.  Good friends.

Here's our Parrot fish - they taste lemony!  Delicious.  Thanks for the fillet knives Hink & Lois!

Storms over Tonga.  Looks like a painting.

A view of Neiafu, Tonga from our anchorage.  The flag is the Tongan flag made by Carrie.

After the sunset - night swimming.  Mom & Dad wore less clothes.

A beautiful cave.  One of two we visited.

Here's the entrance to the above cave.

The shoreline and the water color are spectacular.

Here's our favorite cave.  We went diving here.  The roof was 100 feet over our head; the deep blue pool below was much deeper.

Schools of fish, thousands strong flowed and undulated like a single organism.  I could pick out every stone on the cave floor - over 150 feet below.

Here's Tamsyn about 12 feet down in the cave.

After days and days of rain we came into civilization for the kids Halloween party at the Aquarium cafe.

It was a lot of fun for kids and adults!

Griffyn/Spiderman doing the limbo.  Must be the special spider genes that make it possible.

Princess' can do it too.

Egg toss.  It didn't end too well for the eggs in the end.

So that's all for now.


Anonymous said...

Wow... I love the pictures. I can't believe what a great swimmer Tamsyn's become. I admire you guys. Here I am, I can't even keep my eyes open on a 2 day crossing. I'd love baking lessons from Carrie. Hugs to the kids. Love, Marie

Aaron Johnson said...

On an unrelated note to this post: Happy Birthday Owen! I miss you guys. Is there an email address that you can get to that I can use to email you occasionally? I have made a few attempts, but don't know if they work.

Jennifer Johnson said...

It's so great to see your photos and your smiling faces. That sunshine looks mighty nice right now, as we are shivering in the 40's here.

Happy Birthday, Owen! Hope you had a great day and were able to celebrate.