Paradise, Interrupted

May 22 – Today is departure day! After one day short of a week in Makemo hunkered down waiting out the stormy and windy weather that the locals refer to as the mara’amu blow, we went into town, got a few things from the store and then returned the keyboard and retrieved our piano books from Muskoka before shoving off. We said our goodbyes and then Scott came down to throw lines for us. The wind was about 14-16 knots. Not bad but getting stronger. Grr! No problem though! Camille drove us off while Dave pulled anchor. I pulled in lines that Scott released for us. I wrapped lines while we drove off.
We passed by Panacea in the bay and waved goodbye, hoping to see them again soon. The kids came up top and then Riikka. I loved seeing their smiling faces wave goodbye. I really hope they can get the part they need for their starter and then can get going again. We headed up the island towards a protected anchorage spot that was supposed to be good. We picked our way through bommies and rocks. As the day wore on and the sun was past its apex, it became harder to spot the bommies (submerged rocks and coral just below the surface) on the starboard side of the boat with the glistening sun shining on the water. We got a routine though and picked our way through carefully. Only one rascal snuck up on us on the port side the moment Dave was standing boom with no visibility to the port side because the sail was blocking his view. Dave was like a guy on safari searching for big game with his sun hat, sunglasses, binoculars, headset and remote control perched on the bow sprit looking out. Searching for bommies and rock outcroppings, he would tell me to go to port or starboard 5 or 10 degrees to avoid whatever danger lie ahead.
The girls were asked to help and be on lookout. Instead they proceeded to fight over the blue folding, captain’s chair. They fought for hours. It was so ugly and hard to deal with their constant bickering and grousing at each other. It goes on and on. I ask them to help lookout, because it’s really important, instead they complain about being in the hot sun. Finally, I get them up on the salon deck near the boom to look out in each direction. Instead they face each other chitter and fight over something. I bark at them to turn around and look out. They’re annoyed with me, each other, the sun, and complain constantly.
This state of affairs is so buggery and tiresome. Sometimes I wish we’d never done this trip, but then I realize that this would be happening at home too. The close proximity of our living quarters and the raging hormones of teens is painful. They never seem to find the beauty and joy in the moment. Kyra whines and cries constantly when I ask her to help out. Camille insights Kyra incessantly and of course Camille knows everything. There’s nowhere to run or hide. The negative energy is pervasive. Kyra is so rude, sassy, and bossy. I chalk it up to a stage of growing up, but it’s still hard to deal with. Her tone and body language are really difficult to deal with. When she speaks to all of us (no one gets preferential treatment), she’s indignant and irritated. She stomps around, rolls her eyes, snorts and growls whenever she doesn’t get her way or is asked to do anything whether it be moving the fenders, wrapping lines, doing dishes or starting her school work. She constantly argues with me no matter what I say. I know all parents go through this trying time, but I’m tired of it. Calgon take me away – wait I don’t have a bathtub, I don’t have a quiet place to retreat to, I don’t have my own bathroom, the only thing I have is a giant salty bathtub called the ocean and so I jump in sometimes and swim about. I wash myself of the negativity and return with renewed energy and a quirky smile under a dive mask.
We finally made it to the anchorage and threw down the anchor between dark, rocky outcrops. Not another boat in sight. Beautiful little bay with a long reef running out. I wanted to snorkel it before the light slipped away. It was already 3 pm. Unfortunately, it took us what seemed like forever to get ourselves together. Camille’s finger was still needing to heal, so I wouldn’t let her get in the water. She was very bummed about this, but I remained steadfast. It will heal much faster if she doesn’t get it in the salt water quite yet. I told her to give it 3-4 days.
We anchored the dinghy near the reef and went to snorkel. It was amazing! Beautiful underwater life. Dave even saw a baby octopus. After a bit the sun waned, and I got cold so I returned to the dinghy. Camille pulled up the anchor and we went to fetch Dave and Kyra. Dave wanted to go to shore but with the light nearly gone and tons of rocks and coral heads I wouldn’t let him take us. It wasn’t safe when we couldn’t see well. He argued and disagreed, but Camille was on my side for once and we returned to Anila. He was adamant though, so he blew up the paddle board and set out. I was actually very happy to see him go. It’s nice when he has time to just relax and enjoy himself since a lot of the time he busies himself with repairs or projects, keeping everything running safely, or route/weather/schedule planning. I started dinner while he was gone. We had an uncooked, whole chicken we’d been thawing. I prepped it and then popped it in the oven. The roasting of it with rosemary, garlic and olive oil wafted throughout the boat. I cut up potatoes and carrots too, tossing them in after half cooked.
We ate like kings. The feast was so delicious! We even opened a coveted can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and Dave made gravy. It was almost like a regular holiday meal.
Here we are in a remote atoll, all by ourselves with the clearest water and eating like kings. The evening was so enjoyable. I got very sleepy after dinner and fell into bed early, sleeping like a baby in paradise! ————————————————- Do not push the “reply” button to respond to this message if that includes the text of this original message in your response. Messages are sent over a very low-speed radio link.
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