Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Exciting Times at Kenutu

October 12, 2008--On Thursday, we joined Craig and Kay from sv Little Wings and John and Renee from sv Scarlett on a snorkel of the reef just east of Tapana. We had snorkeled there before, but we went at low tide, and it wasn't very good, so we decided to try it again at high tide. Steve had just repaired our dinghy--again--so Scarlette and Little Wings gave us rides out to the reef. It was a nice day and the visibility was good. Unfortunately, the coral was just not that pretty. There were, however, numerous fish that were really nice, plenty of starfish, and a few shells that caught our interest. After just a short while, Kay got a jelly fish in her pony tail, which caused it to sting her on her back as she moved her head back and forth. She was experiencing some discomfort, so we all called it a day and returned to the boats.

Around 4 o'clock we went over to Little Wings to see their boat, which is a Bristol Channel Cutter. It is a small but lovely boat. They had bent their mast when they were knocked down on a rough passage between Bora-Bora and Suvarov but had been able to repair it in Pago Pago. Then at 5:30 we joined the owners of the mooring field, Larry and Sheri for dinner aboard sv Scarlette O'Hara. Renee fixed jerk chicken, wild rice, and bread. I made a salad. Dessert was a lovely apple pie that Renee had baked, and it was delicious.

On Friday morning, we left Tapana to go back to Kenutu Island where we had such a lovely experience dragging through the anchorage. The weather was calm and sunny, so we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. That night it rained heavily, and early in the morning Steve dammed up our side deck in order to catch rain water. We also filled three buckets with rain water, which made it possible to do some laundry later that morning. About mid-morning we took the dinghy to the northern most island of the three and just motored along the shore. We got some nice videos of the waves hitting the shoal between that island and Kenutu, including a small blowhole. We ate lunch and then went back to Lolo Island to visit the blow hole there one last time. We had a chance to walk a bit farther this time and found a beautiful view of the windward side of Lolo with the waves crashing along the cliffs.

I was just about to begin dinner that night when a call for help came over the VHF radio. The catamaran that had been anchored with us had left about 30 minutes earlier and must have cut the corner too soon because they ended up hitting the reef and bending one of their two rudders. It was bent in a position that caused them to go in circles, and they were slowly drifting down on another reef. We figured out that he was about 1 1/2 miles from us so we quickly pulled our anchor and headed out to give them a tow. It was about 5:30 and it would be dark in an hour. Luckily we had our GPS track recorded from when we came into the anchorage so we just followed it back out through the reef to where they were. The sun was too low to see the coral heads so it would have been much more nerve racking without the track. Before we had arrived, they were able to disengage that damaged rudder and seemed to be able to steer the boat. We were able to get a line from them, and we began pulling them away from the reef. Once we had them clear of the reef, they chose to continue on back to Tapana, and we returned to the anchorage at Kenutu by again following our recorded track. We were rushing to get back because it was now getting dark, but we were able to get anchored and settled in before the sun had set. It is always exciting for us here at Kenutu, but we really do like this beautiful and remote anchorage.

This morning we went ashore with the couple from sv Que Barbara. We hiked over to the windward side and did some exploring. When we returned to the boat, the winds had increased so we decided to go back to Tapana for a couple of nights. We needed some fresh vegetables from Neiafu anyway. We pulled the anchor around 11 o'clock and made our way through the reef channels back to Tapana. We spent the afternoon checking the tri-sail for our passage, and I baked bread. We enjoyed a cool swim around 4 o'clock followed by showers. It looks like we may get some rain again tonight, which will help to wash off the salt spray from our trip today.

Tomorrow we will make a trip into Neiafu. Larry is giving us a ride in his "tuk-tuk" which is an open-air vehicle that seats six people and was painted by Sheri to match their floating house. John and Renee from Scarlette will go along with us to share the expense for gas.

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1 comment:

1912 Nez Perce said...

Steve and Linda,

I love reading your blog...I look forward to following the same path as you. I'm day dreaming about cruising, sailing at Cochiti Lake on the weekends, and working at national laboratory in Albuquerque (you know the one). Twenty more years until retirement (hopefully less). Thanks for the blog.

Todd