Curious Sharks/Gardner Island Kiribati
25 July 2008 | Gabriella
08/7/24 The Big Dipper in the sky gives a sign of home.Gabriella working for the lee side of Gardner Island. Voyage made good maintaining 3 knots we are 30 miles off of Gardner Island a small island 3 or 4 miles long, part of the Phoenix Group belonging to Kiribati. It is at the moment a 8 1/2 hour day of tacking as the wind at 20 is holding us off. We plan to take refuge tonight and possible wait out weather collect hopefully coconuts, lobster and fish for we may have to sail direct to Hawaii taking two to three weeks if we do not get a break in the weather the trades have been strong and steady. We must continue to prepare for future situations as when in Fiji my vision was near sighted to Western Samoa or Christmas Island.This is not exactly what I sighed up for but it is the reality. Two soldier down four left standing Trevor is actually feeling better today but Renee is really suffering please keep praying. Fishing report one Bonita, one flying fish in the captains face flying through the dodger window at sunrise and a booby bird following the bait! The stars were fabulous once again last night and this is becoming a favorite time for all as it is just so magnificent a reflection of a glimpse of our Lord.
08/7/25 Gabriella tacked until 10 p.m. the wind was just holding us off 8 hours turned to 12 hours. The wind has switched this morning and we would have sailed in here with out a full day of tacking . Powerless to the spirit of the wind even with today's technology. Eventually Gabriella was in the lee of the island and we went into HOV 2 for the night. The night was still bumpy but some relief, the rain came in a down pour several times. In the morning we could see the island and what a paradise of life waiting to be discovered. We were unable to find a safe place to anchor the water is deep continuing up to the reef that surrounds the island. You see a lagoon inside the reef splitting the island beckoning you to come calm colorful and inviting. The remains of a huge ship are signs of attempts failed yet the island still beckons and lures you by it intense beauty. Palms forming forest, sand patches hiding shells, low land, high land, natural bird life swooping to ward off intruders. Crabs climbing on the low tide rocks small fish in coral pools on a colorful smooth coral reef dropping off into the deep. An adventure had . Gail ,Todd and Trev went for a swim. On arriving the reef Todd had the pleasure of being brushed by a shark looking down he saw many. Trevor had one dart towards him when a large seaturtle came out and went for the shark. Black tips and white tips swarming Trevor could see a fin on the top of the water. I was on my wind surfing board Trevor was telling me to kick that there was sharks as I did not have my mask to see ignorance is bliss.Tumbling in on the shallow reef I was not sure I wanted to return to the deep water but at this point there was not a choice. No cocos were to be had all were dried out until the next crop. Our harvest of nature is slim actually nil. Time to head back to the mother ship moving down the reef to a new exit this time the waves were breaking. Todd was knocked down on his way out scratching up his back leaving a memory. Once past the break he was being swarmed by black tips one had breezed through his legs while in the break, curious are these sharks. He took his fins off to fend and protect his head. Time for Todd to head directly to Gabriella. Trevor was coaching me out into the break with my fins on I was just being beat by waves and slippery rocks. Trevor made it out no problem the surfer that he is and waited for me watching tropical , cero mackeral and sharks below as I floundered in the surf drifting down to an easier exit. The rope on my board snagged while trying to un-catch it a wave took the board right into my face a big fat lip upper and lower the blessing my tooth is still in place. Life is rough on the reef. The waves lulled and I kicked crying out to Jesus as yes I was fearful and I know one who saves. I have this thing about sharks ever since one came at me in Fl. I am blessed to see Trevor still waiting for me out side the break telling me all is fine. Paddling, kicking , swimming we all made it back on board with all limbs attached an adventure we had with curious sharks.
In the mean time Gabriella continues to tack and drift in the lee protected for a moment. Renee refreshed with a still shower she is feeling much better. Janet was to relax with coffee and toast after her time at the helm. Todd had been up the mast checking fittings with Ted hoisting him up as Renee was not having any part of his free climbing spirit. The front port locker was pumped out, water forced up the sink drain was filling us with extra weight a river of water was pumped out of starboard locker from the constant pounding of the seas crashing on deck. The trampolines are faring well considering the force and pressure of the sea being forced through them looking like Niagara Falls. Reorganizing, cleaning ,topping off water adding fuel we are ready to move on once again . Gabriella heads out it is 2 p.m.
Yesterdays Fish report: 1 flying fish caught in the dinghy, 1 red footed booby on line and lure. Today 1 yellow jack somebody good for the frying pan. Currently on the line dolphin bummer he got away!