Jun 10, 2005

We are currently at the lovely atoll of Budibudi (known also as Laughlin Atoll). It is a small horseshoe shaped atoll and has lovely blue water and spinner dolphins that live in the lagoon. Every day we get a dolphin show with triple spins and double head over tail jumps. There must be around 50 dolphins in this group. We tried to chase them in our dingy to swim with them but they eluded us skillfully. I dropped Jordan and Jonah in the water and tried to herd them towards them but clearly they are too smart for that.

The water here is so cold. We have been near the equator so long where the water is warm that we were chilled after snorkeling for a short while. Break out the wetsuits.

There are two villages here. One has 300 people and the other has 30. We are anchored near the small village. The islands are all lovely and have great long sand beaches of smooth sand. The people in the little village are very nice. The head guy, Tau, invited us to dinner and killed a chicken for us. Oh great I love free range chicken boiled. His wife, Elsi made potatoes, fried tapioca, papaya and yams. Jordan made an enormous pot of Pasta Bolognese which they just loved.

Jonah enjoys playing with the kids here and I can just drop him off with no worries. The small island is very clean as they donít have pigs or dogs (they keep their pigs at the big village). We have been trading up a storm for funny wood carvings, fruit, eggs and lobster. The stuff they want is tshirts, rice, needles and thread, cloth, soap, fish hooks cigarettes. I have a bag where I keep odd stuff and they are happy with whatever I produce. The carvings are ok, a bit crude and they donít have sand paper.

Yesterday we went to the big village and a guy there guided us to the windward side to see some blowholes. He showed us a local myth he had typed up about a woman who in despair over her philandering husband dropped her child down a blowhole and then tried to get it back but couldnít and marked the blowhole where she heard it crying. This blowhole makes a funny sound which might sound a bit like a crying baby. The windward coast is very impressive with huge waves breaking on craggy rocks and water shooting up through the many blowholes. Jonah was thrilled and declared it the best thing he has ever seen. He leapt around the rocks and blowholes till he terrified us thoroughly. One slip and he would fall and be smashed against the razor sharp coral and dragged out to sea. We gave him a stern talking to which slowed him down just a bit.

I made banana bread/cake the other day and brought some to Elsi and Tau. She loved it so much she has begged me to show her how to make it. I agreed despite the fact that I know they hardly ever have butter or flour but who knows?

We are staying here till the wind goes southeast. Right now its blowing very south around 15 to 20 knots. I donít think we will be able to leave until next week! Itís a pretty nice place to be stuck though.