Stuck in Apataki

Well, we’ve been in Apataki for 4 nights now, and it looks like we will be here for at least a few more. Our general plan is to sail from here to Fakarava and its famous pink beaches before doing an overnight sail to Tahiti in advance of the arrival of Max and Becca on May 12. The only problem is that Fakarava lies 50 miles to the southeast from us, which is exactly where a 16 knot breeze will be blowing for the next few days. We don’t have enough fuel or desire to pound through the waves to get there. Tahiti is to the southwest, so we always have the option of heading there whenever we want.

So we are forced to sit and wait. Bummer.

We are moored (yes, moored) off of the Motu of Totoro in the lagoon here where the Assam family has their pearl farm and little boat yard. There are 3 other boats moored here, along with an extended family living on shore. There is no town, store, wifi, or boat traffic. It is extremely quiet. We are surrounded by coral heads, each with hundreds if not thousands of fish. The snorkeling is fantastic.

We were playing on the beach yesterday when Assam’s son wandered up, asked if we wanted some coconuts, then proceeded to hack the tops of 3 green ones so we could have a cool drink. He then asked if we wanted some papayas and gave us 5 big ones.

Hazel and I took a break from schoolwork yesterday to hop into the water and immediately saw a 4 foot shark swimming under Sophie. It wouldn’t go away and in fact kept swimming closer. We got out. I need to learn how to swim with sharks.

We discovered last night that the sliding glass window to the aft cockpit makes an excellent puppet theater. It even has the curtain. We used socks as puppets and now have a new art project for the kids lined up.

There is a school of pink perch-like fish that gathers under Sophie at sunset. They are 8-12 inches long and hit our blue steel minnow lure within 5 seconds of it going into the water. We have to ask the family if they are OK to eat. Hazel enjoyed reeling in a couple.

Dinner last night was grilled bluejack tuna. The night before was grilled lamb chops with homemade mac and cheese. The night before was chicken Masala. We’re not starving. I’ve started the Nabakov memoir, and Steve Speirs’s “7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups” is staring up at me from the salon table. If we hang out here for a few more days I may even have to open it.

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