A Change in Scenery
17 June 2012 | 16 03.7'S:145 37.1'W, North Fakarava Pass, Tumotu, French Polynesia
So we have to cover a couple of days because we were just having too much fun yesterday to do the bloggosphere. Yesterday was a first. Lisa finally got tired of how long her hair was getting so she secumbed to a hair cut by the French Beautician John LeDoux. Yep she finally did it. She has been talking about getting her hair cut for the last three months and yesterday when she was snorkeling her hair got stuck in the mask-snorkel attachement and also got in the way of a good mask seal. Now, so you all know just how beautiful she is with her new dew, I had to cut about an inch of hair off. Chop - Chop evenly with a little tail in the back and a little shorter bangs, it actually turned out great. OK so now here is the funny part. She started out with a stiff (raw, pure, streight) shot of taquila to settle her nerves then planted her butt on a bucket. After getting her hair all wet I segmented the head and proceeded to wack away. When we were back in Vancouver, Lisa had me come with her to her stylist and take a one cut lesson before we left. So here we are 9 months later and be cause she wouldn't let me practice in all that time, i.e. a very little cutting at a time, I had to do a big wack. Wow try to retrieve a nine month old lesson and make it look good! I did it, and yes she still does have hair.
Ok so before the hair cut, we went over and picked up Bob and Ann from Charisma, and Nick from Saltbreaker and headed for the "swimming pool"...... i.e. a shallow area of water near the cut where black tipped sharks congregate and there are many reef fish. When we got there the guys dumped the ladies off in the pool and then headed out to the pass to float it back in while snorkeling. Nick is a farily young guy, mid-twenties, and can free dive down to 60 feet, loiter and then ascend for air. Probably for at least 3 minutes. The day before we did this same drift snorkeling trip but closer to the main channel. We could barely make out the sharks near the bottom so this trip we decided to slip closer in toward shore and follow the coral back to the swiming pool. Again it wasn't as spectacular as drift diving but it worked and when we got to the pool I tied up the dinghy to the pier and spent the next hour and a half loitering in and around the pool.
After watching Nick free dive down 30-50 feet, Lisa decided she wanted to try free diving down. So she had Nick explain and demonstrate how he does it. After the demonstration, she took a deep breath and went head down. The first attempt wasn't the prettiest but it was a start. After two or three attemps she was getting the hang of it. It is actually a good exercise to help an individual curb the fear of breathing using scuba. If one can free dive for some length of time then they build the confidence they can hold their breath long enough to change regulators or remove and replace their mask under water.
So back to the swimming pool. There are so many different kinds of fish there, different colors that one can become mezmorized by the colors and movement. While we were enjoying our snorkeling, I proposed that if the dive shop had a resort dive option that Bob and Ann should spend the $$ and give it a try. I managed to sell them on the idea and that is what they did this morning. Have not heard from them yet but maybe on the nightly net we will see how they did.
While Bob and Ann headed to their dive lesson this morning, Lisa and I picked up the anchor and headed to the Northern side of Fakarava. Once we got there, consumed a nap, then we headed into shore. We walked around and over to the ocean side of the atoll, then on to a store and finally down to the dive shop, a sister shop of the one at the south end. Here we picked up our dive cards which still have 8 dives left and then scheduled a dive for in the morning to drift the pass. We also scheduled a tour of a pearl farm and factory for Monday. Have to be out of Fakarava and heading for Papeete Tahiti by noon on monday.
So that is all I have to say for the past two days and hope Lisa has something on her mind. Lisa's comments---- We had a rousing game of Mexican Train (dominos) last night on Bob and Ann's boat. We all seem to have a very competitive spirit, and as a result, it can be very lonely at the top (I won the final round at the end of the evening - winner take all). What can I say.
It was an interesting transit across the atoll today - about a 26 mile trip. We followed the narrow channel depicted on the chart plotter - and also designated by red and green markers within the atoll (green on the right, red on the left in this part of the world). It took awhile to trust the chart plotter path and the channel markers (running into a coral head can really ruin your day), but by the time we were 1/3 of the way, we were pretty confidant that everything was matching up and we were on the right path. The depth never dropped below 50 feet the entire route, and the markers definitely pointed out the very shallow reefs that we could see along the way. We had a nice wind on our quarter stern, so with the jib out and one engine running we were doing 8 knots. It was a nice and interesting day. The north side of Fakarava has a little village with a few stores, a snack shack or two, and Ice Cream!! Had a scoop of pistachio and faro (? not sure of the flavor but it was p urple). Not alot of flavor to it - but definitely refreshing. Chocolate was not 1 of the 4 available flavors, so I am learning to broaden my pallet. This is a really cute village though - and everyone is very friendly - lots of "Bonjours" while walking down the one main road. Finally, I have to admit, my haircut turned out pretty darn good. John is now thinking of opening up his own hair salon and calling it - "Beautification at Sea". His talents never cease to amaze me!
And that's the latest and greatest from the world of Orcinius.
Lisa & John