Right as I got in the water these people went by on this boat towing a kid standing on a surfboard. It looked just like my youth, with me and my friends skimboarding up and down the river on a piece of plywood. The kid didn’t get a lot of style points, but he stayed up, and they were moving pretty fast…
I had a cold so had to take a few days off of paddling. Plans of doing a massive weekend trip were cancelled, but I finally felt good enough to go today.
I paddled out to Edamango Island again. It is about 2.5 NM away, but the wind was again blowing pretty heavily right out of the west so it took over an hour to get there. I nailed the boat on the reef pretty good coming into shore. It was the classic stay on the back of the wave, but of course I couldn’t and even laying flat on the back of the boat the bow got buried in the water and smacked the rock. I beached the kayak and did a bit of snorkeling.
This is the same island where Kate said all the beautiful blue coral on the beach is a kind of fire coral, so it was unpleasant swimming out to the reef. At points it was only about 1 ft deep with the swell exposing the rocks. I often hear a voice in my head like Homer Simpson “Ha Marine Biologist what does she know, Humph” but I am a bit smarter than Homer so I put my paddling shoes on my hands and managed to get over the rocks without getting stung.
It was overcast and all stirred up by the wind, but this was clearly the best place for coral I have ever seen. There are huge expanses of growing coral all kinds. It was all a dusky gray because of the, overcast day, and sediment. “Crappy visibility” of only 20ft. It must be amazing in the sun on a calm day. I saw tons of little fish and even a few little grouper all less than 2ft long. You can tell the tasty fish, they take off as soon as they see you.
I did a bunch of free dives. The coral is all shallow, at 30 ft it was just pebbly rocks and sand, but if it wasn’t so windy and the current so strong I could have gone out a lot further and maybe found a rise out in the water where there were bigger fish.
It got a little intense at one point as I got around the point of the island because the current got really strong. Like if you don’t use your hands to do the crawl you are going to go backwards and be swept out to sea kind of strong.
I saw a turtle right when I got in the water. Its head was buried in the rocks eating algae, and it totally freaked when it looked up and saw me 10 ft away. They can really move when they want to. I wonder how the locals catch them, and this was just a little guy.
I also saw a really cool black tipped reef shark about 2ft long, cruising in amongst the rocks..
I screwed-up my sinuses by freediving, and haven’t been the same since. I guess I wasn’t officially “better” yet.
On the way back in I saw a great sunset, and as usual the wind died so I didn’t get a free ride in. I couldn’t surf in either because the swell was almost directly broadside.
The next day there was a tremendous storm about 6AM while I was eating breakfast and 2 huge banana trees fell over in the yard. I chopped them up with our machete (bush knife). Banana trees have very shallow root systems and are always the first to go in a storm.
You can’t tell from the picture but this stalk of them weighs about 50 pounds. These were cooking bananas, like plantains in the US, and I made them for dinner. They have a nasty sticky sap in them, that I can NOT get off of the cutting board or the knife. They tasted ok, like plantains, but the dogs didn’t like them at all. I probably should have covered them with salt and butter that’s how I ate it.
I want the “house meri” literally house woman, but means the person who cleans our house to take them. I left her a note, let’s see if it was understandable….
Bikpela Win Bugarup Bananna Tri. Ples Yu kisim dispela I Kai Kai.
Big Wind broke banana tree. Please take them and eat.
Its got one of my favorite Tok Pisin words in it. Buggarup. Eg Buggered-Up, means broken….
Hopefully she won’t chop down all the other trees in the yard, or cook one of the dogs, because what I wrote made no sense…