16 January 2009 | Buka Island Lagoon
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we were tying up to nasty wharfs and dealing with officials, while thunderstorms and water spouts caterwauled all about, and today we awoke to the bluest sky you could imaging, flat calm, lovely little swell curling on the reef and we were anchored off of a perfect tropical sandy island.
Everyone enjoyed the morning in the sun. Eric kayaked about and fraternized with the single women in the area (I guess there are advantages to being a single, single hander). At and Dia enjoyed the idyllic anchorage. Hideko and I took a dinghy tour, hiked along the beach, went for a swim and snorkeled the reef. It was a fantastic day at the beach.
After chatting with the local chief (or so he said, you never do know) and a variety of other folks on outrigger canoes, we decided to set off for Kulu in the north of the lagoon. Kulu is in Queen Carola Harbor and gets us about 20 miles closer to our next destination, Green Island. From Green Island we will be able to strike out for Kapingamaringi to deliver the aid package we're carrying, thanks to a miraculous east wind. Hopefully the forecast will hold.
The trip up the lagoon was uneventful and the channel is deep and fairly wide. Shallowest we saw was 50 feet. The anchorage to the west of Kulu is very protected and, shocked though we were, in less than 50 feet of water! We almost didn't know what to do. Hideko couldn't remember the last time she had put out less than 200 feet of chain.
Hideko is making us a delicious looking shnitzel as we lie quietly in 37 feet of water. It will be an early day tomorrow because we need to reach the pass at Green island (which is a high atoll) at a reasonable time and tide.