Salomon Islands, Boddam - Tell it to the (Royal) Marines

Date                 Wednesday 4 May 2016

 

Yes, we are still here on our mooring at Ile Boddam in the Salomon Islands. Various repair has been achieved including sewing seams on the genoa UV protection.  The Sunbrella strip added in the USA has survived the tropics very well, the stitching not so; having a sewing machine to redo the seams has been immensely useful.  I also managed to get 160 of the 200 litres of diesel that we are carrying in cans in to the main tank without wearing too much of it.  We are ready to go just as soon as the weather agrees.

 

The really exciting news today was a visit from a detachment of Royal Marines who arrived just as we were getting up.  Commanded by a Major and including two American “Observers” and two Customs men (we think that the Marines must take it in turns to wear the T Shirt – certainly there was a deal of good natured joshing about did they know how to operate the passport stamp) they were absolutely charming.  It was definitely the most fun visit that we have had from officials during our travels.

 

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Elizabeth trying to run away to sea

 

The Marines arrived over the reef from a US Navy Bay Class Amphibious Support Vessel, out of Diego Garcia, that was standing off.  They were carrying out an annual sovereignty visit whereby they put British boots on the ground on all of the main islands of the Territory.

 

Following that excitement, a leisurely breakfast of eggs and bacon and freshly baked bread followed by our customary morning flat white coffee from the expresso machine – you cannot say that we did not come to this isolation ill prepared – we set off snorkelling.

 

Today was somewhat different as we took the dinghy the 4nm across the lagoon to ride the Chute between the islands of Takamaka and Fouquet.  This is a narrow gap facing a bay formed by the two islands and the outside reef.  The bay acts as a funnel for the incoming current and the ride is great fun.

 

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About to enter the water in the Chute with Fouquet on the left hand side

 

Following that excitement, we went south along Ile Fouquet and found a section of reef to snorkel with really fine corals.

 

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The combination of colours and shape of the corals makes for good snorkelling