Thursday 19th May 1914 Local 1414 UTC
Those of you paying close attention may note a
slightly different lat/long today. That is because when we arrived in the Chagos
we had to feel our way blind to the first anchorage we could get to before the
sun went down. This in fact turned out to be a fine anchorage, but as we were
quite far off the shore at high tide the protective reef was submerged and
just a small amount of refracted waves that came over the reef and round
the west end of Isle Fouquet made there way across our beam. So we moved along
the inside of the island a little to our own spot.
Locally we have a coral outcrop
behind us two reefs ahead off port and
starboard bows and shoals a couple of hundred metres off our port beam where the
rest of the Red Sea Refugee fleet are anchored. That's locally.
However we like to look a the big picture and as we
currently have the South Easterly trades blowing we have Somalia just over 1500
miles aft of us, India 900 miles off our port quarter, South East Asia almost
2000 miles off our port bow, Austalia 2700 miles dead ahead, Antartica off the
starboard beam. Madagascar 1400 miles off our starboard quarter. Apart from the
Kerguelen Islands 2600 miles off our starboard beam separating us from the
Antarctic the only thing separating us from the other locations, other than
thousands of miles of the Indian Ocean is the thin ribbon of the atoll
of the Salomon Islands we are inside here in the Chagos!
This morning inspired by the need to find some
fresh food I headed off before Trish got up to the fresh food larder of the reef
and to accompany the three coconuts I collected yesterday I caught a nice six
pound tuna. It was a great fight and after a bit of a battle and with me
suffering great disappointment due to the fact that the rest of the anchorage
were still not up I landed it in the dingy. Arriving back at Rhiann Marie I
expected a heros welcome .... but nothing other than big Zzzz's from the aft
cabin! It was quickly and surgically filleted on the transom and sliced into
steaks off the bone. Mmmmmmmmm...........
Ahhh happy days. All emails and business
correspondence up to date Ceviche (raw fish dish) made and in the fridge (not
working but the tuna has been "cooked" in lime juice and should last until
tomorrow) fresh Tuna steaks devoured for dinner and well ..... nothing
This morning I invited another boat over for a
morning cuppa ( good opportunity to casually mention the early
morning's fine catch......) and a natter.
Anyway it turns out that Sue is a doctor and
of course the whole fleet know this and she has "consultations" almost every
day. I didn't mean it to happen but sitting there wearing my back brace the
injury came up and so it wa sout with the X-Rays off with the shirt and I was,
given my recent pain and feeling that the steelwork is loose or something, I got
a physical examination. Hard to tell, but over two thousand miles at
sea finished off with a three hundred mile beat, diving, spear fishing
and multiple motorcycle pillion riding it seems was NOT what the doctor
ordered. I think it is fair to say that the doctor was simultaneously
amazed at my progress in the last three months and shocked at my activity,
urging me to take it easy.....
Poor Sue, she is inundated in this most remote of
places with "patients" every day. She told us recently that she had so many
patients in the anchorage recently that she had to do her "ward rounds" in the
morning by dingy to several boats so that she could get it out of the way first
thing and have some time to herself!
One of yesterday's two patients had been diving in
the pass and with such a strong current reached down to hold onto a rock to
prevent himself from going backwards. When doing so, your worst nightmare - a
Moray Eel was right there where he unthinkingly put his hand and it seized onto
him. It latched it's jaws around his hand between his thumb and forefinger!
These eels let go once before clamping onto you permanently and that is your
chance to get away. This is what happened and the injury was aparently severe
with lots of bleeding. Another couple of inches up his wrist and his main artery
would have been punctured and he would be dead. Bloody hell, when I think of the
monster, I mean monster, Moray eels that we were at close quarters to in
South Male atolll........