Some Sun and some rain. A normal day.
16 August 2011 | Suwarrow Atoll
It's another day here at anchor. The only difference is that we are staying aboard for a few days to make sure Tracy gets over her cold. We don't want to infect other cruisers with it. They, in turn, are staying away from our boat. Last night was a party night with many people visiting other boats around the anchorage. We stayed in and I cooked dinner while Tracy rested.
I dove on the anchor again to make sure it was still alright and it was. I added a "trip line" to it to make it easier to pull up when we are ready to leave. I snorkeled down to the anchor and ran a nice bid heavy line through a hole near the back of the anchor and then back up to the water surface where I attached it to a buoy. When we are ready to go, all we have to do(if the anchor refuses to come up) is to pull up on the "trip line" and that will pull up the anchor from the back instead of from the front. We should have no problems getting out of here. Strangely, we are the only people that have done the anchors that way in this anchorage. Not sure why but will ask around when we finally make face to face contact when Tracy is well. I called the ranger station in the late morning to introduce myself to them and advise them of the reason why we had not come ashore to check in. There was no problem as the ranger I was speaking to is also the Chief Quarantine officer for the island. Now since there are only two rangers on the island, I figure the man that has been here the longest gets to be the Quarantine Officer. He understood and said we could check in when ever we wanted to. He appreciated the fact that we were keeping Tracy aboard. No reason to spread the bug around if we can avoid it. I figure to go in myself this afternoon and do the necessary paperwork. Tracy is having another day of rest. One of the draw backs of the cruising life style is that unless you are in a port, you are never exposed to any of the local bugs that are going around. Most times, when ever we arrive in a port, one of us comes down with some sort of bug. It happened to me last year when I went back to Colorado.
We have the generator running on the stern as our voltage had dropped over the last two days where we needed to recharge our electrical storage system(batteries). While it is running, I'm making water, charging the computer as well as both our IPods and the batteries for our VHF radios. While we filled our water tanks when we were in Bora Bora, we hadn't made water since and our machine requires that it be run every 5 to 7 days or it might stop making water. They recommend that it be run regularly to keep it in good shape. We'd used a bit of water on the trip over to Suwarrow (yes, we even took showers during the calm days) and that all needs to be replaced. Since the machine uses 8 to 10 amps while running, there is no better time to run it than when the generator is in use. At about 8 gallons per hour, we should come away with about another 20 gallons.
Yesterday, 6 boats left the anchorage headed for Nuie or Tonga or American Samoa(two more left today). Most go to American Samoa to get restocked as it is part of the US and having parts sent in from the US is much easier. We've heard that there is a Costco there yet Costco denies it. I'll be emailing one of our friends that just left there to see if it is or isn't there. The biggest problem with American Samoa is anchoring in the bay as it got fouled a few years ago when a hurricane came through and lots of thing from shore were blown or flooded into the harbor. We've heard of tires and a small kids swimming pool being pulled up on other cruisers anchors. Rutea(one of our friends) took five tries to get their anchor to set properly.
I misspelled the name of the boat yesterday that sank at Palmerston. The correct spelling is RiRi. As the story goes(so far) they were attached to a mooring ball in the anchorage and the winds blew them onto a reef near shore. The buoys have been put there by the residents of the island for cruisers to use($10US per night) instead of anchoring though anchoring is allowed. As the story goes at this time, they were pushed onto the reef but got pulled off later. Unfortunately, they continued to sink and it is now a total loss. Many items were recovered and the crew are safe but they have lost the boat. It will be interesting to see what comes of the liability for the mooring buoy that they were using. Being part of New Zealand, I guess it will be discussed in the courts there. Time will tell. It really shakes you to the core when you hear of one of your fellow cruisers boats being lost like that. Every years, several sink our here. Many hit reefs and some have equipment malfunctions that cause it. One boat was almost lost when water flooded into the boat from around their propeller shaft. The owner had just had work done at one of the local boat yards and the workers had failed to put back on all the hose clamps around the seal on the shaft. Luckily, he got the leak stopped and saved his boat. Many cruisers do all their own work not trusting anyone else on their boats. I can understand why.