Sophie hasn’t moved since our last update. We’re still in Wayag, enjoying the most beautiful spot we’ve visited on our entire trip so far.
We haven’t seen any other boats in 3 days. It’s still just us and Per Ardua and 10,000 fish and 100 little islets.
Erin from Per Ardua celebrated her 8th birthday 2 days ago. A birthday cake fairy actually snuck onto Sophie and left an 8 layer cake in the shape of an “E” in our aft cockpit fridge. We have no idea how it got there. The Per Arduans dinghied over later that afternoon for coffee and cake. We gave Erin a (Sophie colored) tourquoise dress with white polka dots and “La Petite Pop” written on the front of it. She’s worn it for 2 straight days. Later that night we gathered on the beach for a bonfire and “dampers”, which involves wrapping bread dough on the end of a stick and cooking it over the fire. We also broke out a guitar and sang some songs. It’s the first time I’ve ever sung Radiohead’s “Creep” at a family campfire sing-a-long.
Our highlight from yesterday was a 2 hour drift snorkel across one of the reefs here. We posed for underwater pictures with a clam shell that was a foot across. Later on we broke out Sophie’s Christmas tree and our Christmas mast lights. We had a bit of a decoration party and served up cans of chilled cherries with the leftover whipped cream from the birthday cake. The nozzle on the whipped cream canister had seized, so I had to rip open the can with some needle nosed pliers. That was a first.
The kids are working hard at school. Leo is in the final stages of finishing up a school year by Christmas. He was working until 9:30 last night, and is back at it at 7:00 this morning. He is learning.
Food is an interesting topic right now. The Per Arduans, who are 80 percent vegetarian, ran out of fresh produce yesterday. We still have an onion, some bok choy, a carrot, a couple of apples, and a freezer full of fish. Yesterday I made stir fried beef in a ginger/soy/coconut milk sauce accompanied by scalloped potatoes in cheddar cheese, coconut milk, and vegetable broth along with the last of the green beans. For the beach party I made yellowfin tuna party nibbles in a sweet and sour sauce. The night before it was duck confit pasta with mushroom and onion in a white wine sauce. So we are not exactly starving. But it’s not like we are hitting Christmas party buffet tables every night for the next 10 days. I think Jenna and I are both getting smaller.
There is a produce market and small store in Waisai that we plan to visit on the 23rd. I think I will spend some time this morning scheming on the best way to use that carrot. In case you are wondering, I am very, very relaxed. We are all relaxed.
We’ll stay here 2 more days and then stop at the Swiss dive resort for some wifi and beer (we are out of that, too) before hitting the market in Waisai. So far we’re having a low key Christmas on the equator. We miss celebrating the holidays with all of our family and friends. But this isn’t too bad.