Three rainbows at the same time

Dick and Irene Craig
Mon 31 May 2010 05:07

The deck window hatches of the crew cabins had been left open while we were
flying the parasailor, which is bad news. The lines to adjust the parasailor
run along the deck and jerk up and down as the sail moves with the wind
shifts. A line caught under the handle of one of the windows and ripped it
off, throwing it over the side. We have had to tape the window closed to
avoid water getting inside the boat when it rains, or if a wave breaks over
the deck. I guess we will have to replace the window when we reach
I have only told Dick, about the foreign bodies, which I found in the last
two packs of flour that I have opened. The thought of dead critters in their
food might make the rest of the crew lose their appetite. What a nightmare!
I put the packets of flour through the microwave extermination routine
again. All the flour is sealed within its own polythene bag which in turn
has been sealed in one of those zip-lock bags. I am reasonably confident
that these measures should at least contain the problem, if there continues
to be one.
I had bought several cakes while in Las Palmas, which keep for ages. The
trouble is, when they had been included within the snacks available, they
haven't been eaten so, I started to use them for puddings. By soaking for
several hours in a sauce, then heating in the microwave and served hot, they
have proven to be a delicious dessert after supper. I have now used the last
one, served with home-made caramel sauce. Yummy!
It took nearly 30minutes this morning to prepare a pineapple and a
pamplemousse, sort of huge, sweet, thick-skinned grapefruit, just two of the
ingredients within our daily fruit salad. There were so many segments from
which the skin had to be removed before it could be served. Our crew are
very fussy, you wouldn't believe the list of things they wont, or don't eat.
These are the same folks that would eat anything when they originally came
aboard. However, saying that, Moe now eats most of the meat dishes, the only
meat he doesn't eat tends to be pork, ham or bacon.
Although I never, ever intended to even have lamb on the boat, we do serve
it to Moe on the occasions that the rest of us have barbequed pork chops. In
mitigation, it is not me that barbeques the meat, it is Dick so in a sense,
I can keep my head in the sand.
I have to offer my apologies to your wife Michael, a lady who has the same
feeling about eating lamb as me.
We don't generally see many birds while at sea, away from the land. Once in
a while we might see the odd one or two but on the 2nd or 3rd day from Bora
Bora, there were hundreds, all circling around quite a large area, above the
ocean. We have come across this before, miles from anywhere. It is
incredible that there are so many birds on the sea, invisible to us, which,
as soon as there appears to be some activity in the water, this immediately
becomes common knowledge. I am aware that some species of birds spend their
entire life at sea, other than when breeding but this just emphasizes it, I
By the way, the beautiful cedar trees, which adorned the slopes of the
Society islands are only look-alikes. They are in fact Casuaruna trees.
Last night, Sunday, I had completed the VHF and SSB listening watch by 9.15
so went to bed. My next watch was 2 - 4am and I was on again at 10am after I
had logged the positions of the other boats during the morning net. Soon
after 11pm, the watch keeper came down to get Dick, there was no wind. Dick
went on deck but by the time both he and the watch-keeper arrived, a squall
had hit us, the rain was bucketing down and the parasailor had managed to
twist itself around the forestay, twice. Two of the other three people on
board recognized that there was a problem by the tone of the engine revs so
grabbed their life jacket and arrived simultaneously on deck.
We pulled and struggled and managed to unfurl one of the twists but really
needed more brute strength so eventually called for the fifth member of the
crew to assist but by magic, the parasailor was snuffed and there was no
longer a need for the fifth hand.
The four of us were soaked so after tidying the decks, we hung up the life
jackets in the cockpit and removed and rung out our other clothes before we
even went below.
I hadn't slept since going to bed and didn't sleep before I got up to do my
watch but strangely didn't feel tired. The sky was absolutely magnificent.
The squall had moved away but the clouds were just poetry in monochrome. I
tried to take a photograph but it was too dark, despite the nearly full moon
which was enhancing the picture by emphasizing the contrasts between the
white, grey and black clouds and their amazing shapes.
At one stage, while on passage, there were 3 rainbows in the sky at one
time. One almost due west, another 5º north of it and the third to the
We arrived under motor sail at the finish line, Suwarrow around 10.30 on
Tuesday. It was a disappointing passage with insufficient wind, taking 24
hours longer than we had anticipated.
Four reef sharks approached the boat once we were anchored but it didn't
deter Dick, who jumped in the water and swam out to check the anchor. The
sharks didn't pay him any attention and that gave the rest of the crew the
confidence to also get in the water and swim. Oisin borrowed Dick's snorkel
and a spare pair of fins and swam to the shore, The other two snorkeled over
some coral about 50 metres from the boat, Moe using a spare pair of fins and
Bev using my fins and some spare goggles.
That evening all the folks on the boats in the anchorage, including several
yachts which are not part of WARC, went ashore for a pot-luck supper.
On one of the yachts, a lone sailor has been sailing these parts for five
years. Once in a while a friend might join him but for the most part, he is
on his own and content to be so.
Next morning early, there were 2 reef sharks in the water, just at the rear
of our boat. Mid morning, Dick and I went ashore and walked around Anchorage
island, one of a number in this atoll. Crabs scampered across the rocks and
the sand, frigate birds soared above, high in the sky, some displaying their
red balloon-like necks. The water was so clear, we could see from the shore,
many different types of fish, including baby sharks.
We looked at the house where Tom Neale had lived for twenty years, a hermit
from New Zealand, then we went to the deserted Yacht club and looked around.
The caretaker hasn't arrived yet though when he does, he stays on another
island on the atoll.
We then took the rib to a buoy and having secured it, jumped into the water
and snorkeled through the water and around the reef. We didn't see any
sharks. That afternoon, Moe and Bev went ashore, taking with them from our
boat, a 2010-2011 World Arc sticker which they mounted on the wall,
upstairs in the Yacht club, next to the one which was left by the group who
were here 2 years ago..

JPEG image