Sunday, July 24, 2011

I probably shouldn't be writing right now . . .

. . as we just got back from having 'sundowners' on the beach on Anchor Island. Everyone brought their favorite beverage and some sort of snack to share. For the previous three hours we've sat in the shade of the palm trees, talking non-stop, playing a round of bocci ball and enjoying the company of other cruisers who are sharing this unique slice of paradise. My poor grasp of the English language prevents me from finding the adjectives to adequately describe Suwarrow Atoll and that's unfortunate. Please forgive me.
We walked around the southern end of the island this afternoon as yesterday we walked around the northern end (one could easily walk clear around the entire island in just a few hours). Parts of the shore are sandy with veins of broken coral while other parts the jungle grows right to the water's edge and you're forced to shuffle in clear, knee-deep water. Where the water is that shallow, it's not even refreshing - it's like tepid bath water. The air is thick with birds: boobies, terns and noddies are very common. The sky has been perfectly clear and the air temperature has been reaching the upper 80's daily. The humidity is very high - after all, we're only 13 degrees south of the equator.
But there's still something about this island, this atoll that's very hard to describe. The other cruisers know what I'm talking about when I bring up the subject. There's an easiness to being here. Time has no meaning other than the sun rising and setting. Keeping track of the date is difficult and it's absurd to try to remember what day it is. Sure, the water is teeming with sharks but they're mostly just black-tipped and not too aggressive (although Jake, the 5-year old on one of the other boats, did find a banded coral snake while playing in the shallows - very poisonous - but he wasn't bitten) but that's a minor detail. I almost feel like we've fallen down a rabbit hole and we're not even looking for a way out.
It appears as though we won't be picking up any crew when we're in American Samoa so that will give us more time here although by the Reserve's regulations we're limited to two weeks here. However, it begs the questions: When did we get here? When do we have to leave? What day is it?
At 7/24/2011 7:08 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 13°14.86'S 163°06.47'W
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