After getting the boat tidied up, and scrubbing the beard that has been forming along the waterline since we have been in tropical waters, we headed out into the lagoon again.
For the first two days we had "Memphis" as company and then we were flying solo. Warren and Alison are good people and great company - he is a builder and ex-cop from Auckland and they have been aboard "Memphis" for four years but are heading home now. We visited two new anchorages on islands we had not previously not seen.
Ilot Te Ndu (also known as Ilot Signal) is a fairly good-sized sand and coral island which is a renowned bird-nesting area and there were a huge variety of quite un-shy birds there, including a couple of large eagles who looked pretty much like the owners of the joint as they circled over us, as if to decide whether we should be allowed to stay or not.
We moved on to Ilot Mbe Kouen and spent a couple of days there in isolation, which was very nice. It is a tiny handkerchief of a sand and coral islet, but has two protective arms like the ends of a croissant that protect it completely from swell. The trade wind still comes in but as the boat is facing steadily into the breeze, comfort is complete. The water is clear to the point of almost seeming not to be there, with the boat just floating in space. We were in 5 metres over sand and holding was superb - although the water was very shallow, we had dolphins coming in at dawn and dusk, hunting for bait fish, and they were quite friendly and seemingly very pleased to see us, chat a bit and show us a few tricks.
We are back in town now and will be in touch again within a couple of days. Don't forget the pics - click here