Saturday, November 3, 2012

Stuck In The Middle With.....

Well, we're not REALLY stuck, but we are having a hard time leaving! However, we ARE in the middle of nowhere, albeit the Coral Sea, with nothing around but shades of blue for hundreds of miles in any direction! We're here with three other boats (two of them are leaving today) and our snorkel gear, dive tanks, books, crosswords, boat projects (yes boat projects even out in the middle of nowhere) and our rapidly diminishing supply of fresh food!

Corie and Mark have been exploring and charting the lagoon by dinghy. They have discovered two thriving coral heads (bomies) about a hundred feet tall. Imagine a hundred foot wall of coral which sinks in to a midnight blue and rises to an aqua hue one foot below the surface of the water. Out of the midnight blue curious sharks swim upwards towards curious snorkelers (me) which then makes me feel less than curious and my heart goes pitter patter! Of course Corie and Mark see the sharks and free dive down forty feet to greet and photograph them and fortunately, that seems to make the sharks feel less than curious and they dart back down into the midnight blue! My area of preference for exploring is the coral surrounded by the aqua water near the surface which is spotlit by sunlight on coral exploding with all of the colors of the rainbow! Red, Orange, Purple, Violet, Green, Blue. It's like swimming over a flower garden in full bloom! There are sea fans, soft corals, hard corals, clams with luminous lips, fish with psychedelic patterns and, oh yeah.... snakes! I have never seen so many snakes on land as I saw in the water over this coral head which Mark named Romancing the Snake and Corie named Snake Charmer! There were long black snakes which slept curled up on the bottom and arose for a sip of air every so often, silver snakes which wound around coral pieces never seeming to need a sip of air and purple snakes which snaked in and out of coral holes and peered at us with small beady eyes. Snakes in the water on/in beautiful coral heads do not look any more cute or charming than snakes on land.

Today we will put two more coats of Teak Guard on the cap rail and hatch covers so we don't arrive in Oz looking like the Beverly Hillbillies. We will bid good-by to Dilligaf and our new Hungarian friends Nellie and Joseph on Epiphany and promise to rendezvous with them in Bundy. Then we await the arrival of our friends on Mystic who expect to arrive tonight, and we will try to guide them in to an anchoring spot after sundown (a real No-No)! Another snorkel and reef exploration or maybe another walk around the islet to photograph more boobies (you name it- red footed, blue footed, yellow footed) and we will unstick ourselves and prepare to leave here by Tuesday for a Friday arrival in Australia. Our weather window is good until the end of the week but I am going to prepare some passage meals just in case "they" didn't mention how rolly it is going to be out there. And then, Oz..... I guess we are off to see the wizard....

R of Rutea
19:52.96 South
158:27.87 East
At 10/31/2012 9:02 PM (utc) Rutea's position was 19°52.96'S 158°27.87'E

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