June 24

I had a hard time sleeping last night, the leg pain is still a problem although I am feeling a lot better this morning. Kate and Chris are feeling much better this morning - Kate is ashore with Jonah burning garbage and painting hermit crabs (a new activity she thought up). Chris is going snorkeling with some people from two other boats who arrived here at the anchorage yesterday ("Roger Henry" with Alvah and Di aboard and "Misty Dawn" with Bob and Robin - I met them in Makemo a few weeks ago). Alvah from "Roger Henry" is actually well known as an author of books about cruising and most recently has written a book, which I have not read, about their experiences in the Arctic (brrrrr.) Markus is apparently feeling about the same as I am and is staying in this morning.

Last night I made hamburger buns which came out a bit more like English muffins then hamburger buns but are nonetheless delicious! I have been making bread every few days now since we have left civilization. Up until now we have always been able to buy bread, usually fresh baguettes in the Marquesas and at Makemo, our first stop in the Tuomotus. On the big passage from Mexico we had loaded up on bread and stuffed several loaves in the freezer even so we had no need to bake bread. Kate had been harassing me about all the flour we are carrying, which I insisted we needed when we were stocking the boat in Seattle last year. Well, now I am using it and we are really enjoying both the taste and the smell of fresh baking bread! So far I have mastered only the white bread loaf, but I don't really see why I need go any further then that! I am not a huge fan of weird multi-grain breads, although we do have a bunch of whole-wheat flour aboard which I use for making Indian flat breads (Chapati) which are "baked" on the stovetop one at a time.

As we have been reading more about Ciguatera we have learned that a sensitivity to all fish occurs during the recovery phase so that even eating pelagic, non-ciguatera toxic fish can cause a recurrence of symptoms. This means absolutely no fish of any kind for at least the next week! We have some wonderful yellow fin tuna in the fridge which we caught last week (we ate half of it last week) which I am giving away to Bob on "Misty Dawn" as I am not willing to chance it. So last night we took some ground beef out of the freezer and had hamburgers - thus the hamburger buns. They were fabulous and a nice change of pace, though I really will miss eating fresh tuna till we recover fully. Bob and Robin are from the East Coast, Bob being from New England and Robin from the mid-Atlantic states. Apparently they have lived in Maine the last few years and have spent a lot of time cruising the many inlets and islands of that beautiful state. When we return to the US we hope to spend a summer (or two?) cruising the coast of New England with some emphasis on Maine to be sure.

That's all for now. Its only 9am here and I have no idea what I will do with myself the rest of the day. I have been reading a fascinating book called "The American Language" by H. L. Mencken. I bought the book not knowing it was written in 1936 - I can only plead ignorance to my older readers who may be familiar with Mencken. The topic is how American English has diverged from British English and how the American specific words came into the language, from where, and their derivation. I find the subject fascinating and the fact that the book was written almost 70 years ago only makes it more so! Much of the American lingo described in the book as "up and coming" or "new" are forms which I have grown up with and seem totally normal to my ear, so it is interesting to find that even as early as the 1930s much of the English I assume is standard is so new. It is, however, a very thick book and in the last few days I have only been able to read a few pages at a time. It may take me a while to wade through it all.