June 3

Isle des Pins is every bit as beautiful as I was led to believe. We arrived here yesterday afternoon after a long, slog to windward, motorsailing almost directly into the wind, which took 8 1/2 hours. Suffice it to say my crew was, er, incapacitated for the duration of the voyage. Although the sea was not rough by normal standards, due to our heading the motion of the boat was violent.

We are anchored in Baie de Kuto on the South side of the island. The bay is wide and clear with a white sand bottom stretching from one end to the other. There are two or three smallish hotels on the island, one bakery and small store and a few other odds and ends (car rental place, airstrip and AirCalin satellite office). The water is about 15ft deep almost a mile out from the beach and is a wonderful turquoise color.

A boat we know is anchored here, "Rhapsodie" whom we met in Mooloolaba, Australia a few months back. Karen and Sam are the owners and have two kids, Dana (boy, age 11) and Rachel (girl, age 14). This morning Sam showed up at 8:15am in his dinghy with 3 baguettes for us! We had seen them last night and he mentioned he was going in to the bakery so we asked him to get us some bread. Nothing like a fresh, French baguette in the morning slathered in French butter (why is the damn French butter so much better then ours? I may have mentioned we stocked up on butter in Noumea last week - no more Kiwi and Aussie butter for us!) Tomorrow it is my turn to go to the bakery. They open at 6am and all the bread is spoken for by 8 or 9am.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. Its been nine years since that fateful day. Though in fact we will have only been married 8 years and 364 days since we are on the other side of the international date line and June 4th does not occur till the following day in New York, where we were married. Whatever. We will, of course, accept gifts on either day, or in fact, on any day.