August 24

Yesterday's dive was fantastic. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best diving we have seen (which was in the Tuamotu archipelago in French Polynesia) this was a solid 7. This may not sound like much, but first you should know that the Tuamotus are a tough act to beat and second we rated the diving in Fiji, on average, as a 6. For water clarity the dive got a 9+ with excellent coral growth and a really good number of fish. We did not see any big stuff (pelagics) but did see a huge green moral eel and a cuttle fish which we chased about trying to make it change color patterns.

This morning we did not dive as the weather was poor. We had rain until about 10am and about 90% cloud cover till about noon when it began to clear. It was also blowing 15-17k. Taken together these conditions precluded any serious diving which requires us to dinghy to the outer reef, essentially in the open ocean just off the Southern tip of a neighboring island about a mile away. Tomorrow should be better though and we have more divers who arrived today (Cabot and Heidi on "Chewink" from Maine).

We first me Chewink in Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. They were pulling up to the fuel depot as we were leaving for Tahuatu. Later that day they also pulled into Tahuatu and we have seen them on and off for the last 2 years almost everywhere we go. Cabot is a boat builder and owns a fairly well respected yard (Lyman Morse) in Maine. Coincidentally Heidi has the same birthday as Kate (which also happens to be the same day as my mother) August 25, which in fact is tomorrow. We invited Cabot and Heidi to come for dinner tomorrow night (since Cabot does not cook it is the perfect birthday surprise for Heidi, a night off cooking).

We've met 2 other boats here, one of which is heading the same way we are next month to Kiribati (pronounced 'Kiribas') and the Marshall Islands. "Wind Runner" is from San Francisco and is crewed by Martin and Christine. Martin is an Englishman who has lived in California for 8 years, his wife Christine is a native Californian. The other boat, "Toucan" with Tom and Joan is from Seattle. Also from the Small World file, Tom and Joan are from Seattle and lived about a mile from where we lived in Washington (i.e. Union Hill Road in Redmond).

Martin and I have tentative plans to go fishing tomorrow morning, early. The day before we arrived Martin caught a 50lb Dogtooth Tuna right in the channel near where we dove yesterday. We'll go out in the dinghy at about 6am and troll back and forth till we catch something (or till we get bored).