Thursday, September 06, 2012

Double jeopardy

Jordan went fishing near the entrance to the lagoon of Suwarrow (Cook Islands) with a couple of other young cruisers in their inflatable dinghy. They caught a few fish but also ran out of gas. Smartly, Jordan had taken the handheld VHF. It was late in the day when he radioed me and after telling me of their problem, the batteries of the VHF started to fade. Double jeopardy!! I put out a call for help which SV Lisa Kay thankfully answered with a tow as the sun set beneath the horizon.

We later cooked one of the fish of the foray and discovered its red meat was very delectable - a Rainbow Runner.

Fish are very abundant in the lagoon - sailors are even catching them right off their boats. After cleaning of the daily catch, people would throw the scraps to the waiting frenzied sharks on the outside of the lagoon (never on the inside of the lagoon where boats anchor and everyone swims and snorkels because it encourages sharks).

We watched as the mostly black tip sharks (plus 1 large gray and a few white tip sharks) voraciously snapped up the meat scraps. Falcon, who is about 20 and has lived all his life aboard SV Beaujolais with his parents, hand fed them and even grabbed one by the tail and lifted it up to the woo's of all the spectators.

Thrashing black tip sharks in a feeding frenzy

With so many boats in the lagoon, there were also several youngsters aboard. So someone arranged a pirate treasure hunt followed by a wiener and marshmallow roast. The host also brought bread dough for the kids to roast over the fire on sticks. Jordan and I also brought some of our own bread dough to try in this manner and discovered how tasty it is. Another first and something that we would do again!

A sailors' beach get-together

Unfortunately, a fast moving squall passed over us and it poured rain for at least half an hour after the treasure hunt but no one seemed to mind and once it stopped, the festivities continued.

As evening approached, Harry brought out his guitar and both he and Antony (the 2 park Rangers) sang a few Polynesian songs as well as several popular songs. The cruisers joined in but everyone seemed to struggle with the words and at times words were just made up when no one could remember - where are the song sheets!

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