Paid in Coconuts for My Professional Services

July 30 (Satin) – Despite not having Suwarro in our sights or plans to visit, we decided given the nasty weather approaching Rarotonga in the Cook Islands we’d be better off heading for Suwarro. Before departure, Harry had kindly asked me to cut his hair, the night before, because I told him how I cut Dave’s hair. I’m not a professional but I can do it. He jumped at the chance for a haircut saying that his friend who usually does it won’t return to Maupihaa until September. I offered to do it early in the morning before we left.
Today marks a first: I was paid for my services. I went ashore, he sat in a chair with a little piece of material wrapped around him. He called me a professional. I laughed and told him to wait and see after I’m done. I pulled out the little shears and a comb from the kit Dave purchased for our trip. I carefully trimmed his hair while we chatted. His little puppy named “Winnie” lounged under foot nearby scratching like crazy. Laurie came ashore and chatted with us too. She was scoping out the road for her running the next day.
After I finished he went over to his wheelbarrow and bagged up half a dozen shucked coconuts all ready to slice off the top and drink out its liquid gold. He paid me in coconuts! I was thrilled and so was Harry.
Off I went with my bag of coconuts. All in a day’s work!
Once back at the boat we prepared to depart. Once we weighed anchor we were joined by Scott and Laurie on their dinghy as escorts out of the pass. One must have nerves of steel for this entrance. It’s so narrow and shallow on either side. The current rushes out always between 3-6 kts. Once inside, you think you’re home free but instead it gets even more shallow, and since it’s so clear, one can see all the coral and rocks below. It looks like we’d hit bottom at any moment. The best advice is follow the marker lines and you’ll be just fine at 15 feet of depth. Phew!
Once out, we waved goodbye to our escort, and began pounding up and down through the waves at the swelly waves just outside the entrance. After clearing the stir up, it settled down or rather the swells evened out, spaced further apart and we set up the main sail. All was good. I breathed a big sigh of relief.
We ran the main and head sail for a bit but the winds were so light I insisted we hoist the spinnaker. Finally after rousting Camille to help and convincing Dave to send it up (he was worried what the wind would do, stay light or pick up), we ran it up and flew it all day with very good speed. Took it down just after sunset when the winds began to pick up and make it untenable. Just in the nick of time. Another phew! So far with light winds, we’ve been sailing easily and comfortably. Even now with the main and head sail out, at 13-17 kts we’re sailing comfortably. Even the sea is cooperating. The waves are small and far enough apart. I like it! I really hope this lasts. Enough breeze but not too much.
We all had a lovely burrito dinner. Food coma. Dave is reading and the girls are watching videos/movies, despite Camille needing to finish her History test. She complained it was too long. Whan whan whan! ————————————————- 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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