Thursday, August 6, 2015

Suwarrow.... A tiny little atoll in the middle of the big blue.

Hello Everyone,

We arrived here into Suwarrow Wednesday around 2pm fighting a current through the channel of 4knts. We had a great passage coming over from Maupihaa.. nothing to complain about... confused seas with some big swells but plenty of wind for us to get here quickly. We averaged 200 mile days for the 3 day passage. I discovered that the transderm patch is my new miracle for sea sickness. I put half on myself and a quarter on Alexia and both of us were great for the trip. We had some big swells that would come through and Chris and Tristan had fun watching the knot meter on the boat go from 8 knts to 14 while we were surfing down these waves. We are now anchored and it is still really windy (16 - 22 knts) but it is nice to be on the hook. (Latitude 13.14.844S and 163.06.559W)

We have now checked into the cook islands and have the cool stamp of Suwarrow in our passports. It is really hard to believe that we are actually here... it is so far removed and so beautiful. There are 2 rangers on land. They get dropped off here in June and then get picked up in November by a ship. They have to provision for their stay of 5 months because they are not visited again by supply ships until they are picked up. There are about 10 other boats in our anchorage and we had a great pot luck on the beach last night meeting everyone that is here, and eating the first part of our Wahoo! (mmm delicious!). Many of the boats we already new and thankfully there are about 5 boats with kids on them so the kids have plenty of play time while we are here.

Suwarrow is a conservation island so many of the places and things people used to be able to do are protected now. We are not allowed to roam through the island unless we stay on the designated paths, we cant swim with the manta rays, we can't go to the other motus unless we hire the ranger to go with us.... but this is all completely understandable since they are trying very hard to protect their wildlife, especially the birds. They are very protective of the birds here because there is a species that is only here in Suwarrow. There is a great snorkel spot right behind our boat and we have learned that this spot is really the only one they want you to snorkel in because outside of the anchorage the sharks are much bigger and aggressive. There are many black tip reef sharks (10 or so) hanging around our boat waiting for scraps of food to be tossed... the rangers had made it very clear that we are not to put any food in the water because sometimes the big sharks come through the anchorage especially if they learn there is food... Even with all these restrictions I am glad that we are here and are looking forward to playing and hanging out for a few days before we make our way to Tonga.

Anna from Shine and I are going to walk around the island today (lots of mosquito repellent!!!)... it takes 15 minutes... then I am not sure what we will do the rest of the day... maybe make bread, do some school, put up the slack line on the beach, and get some well needed rest.

Hope everyone is having a great day and hugs and love to all.


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