Thursday, June 2, 2011

2011 - NZ To SF - Day 20

Day 20: (2 June 2011 (-1 in time zone)):
- Get up 8:30 after restless night/morning. Bread & peanut butter for breakfast. Get ready, wash shirt & socks.
- At ~9:40, truck arrive & honk. Get on back. Flatbed with planks. English couple on honeymoon for 2 weeks & Vermont couple to be married in a month. Both young.
- Small old yellow catamaran. Father (Puna) & young son. Old people on boat already.
- Start in brownish waters, but as get into lagoon, water turns blue. Waves breaking along edge in distance. Note: high tide all day.
- Shallow coral sections all the way. Some marked with a stick. Must be hard to navigate.
- Stunned by colours. All throughout the day. Blue overload. Sun position, water depth create so many brilliant blues.
- Stopped to see turtles. See one in distance. Sting ray jumping.
- Dropped non-snorkellers on sand bar, photos, then to 1st snorkelling spot. Dive down to see giant clams. Diff. colours, some as big as me! (in weight).
- Go to island. Half-built house frame there. Very tame (thought were terns) tropic bird. Aggressive when get too close. Hermit crabs everywhere. Dry pile of palm leaves. Tropic bird babies. Sweet fried dough, watermelon, lemon-aid, etc. for snack in shady tree area. A nest right in middle of snack area. Walked around island for view.
- Island where Survivors, Island Wars, & other shows filmed. Walked around for view of One Foot Island. Snails. Hermit crabs in long shells.
- Stop on round sand island with a few bushes on it. Walk across middle. Photos. Blinded by how bright it ts. Maybe can wade/swim to nearby islands?
- Go to One Foot Island. The vaka arrive too. Looks much higher class with snacks too. Some snacks / fruits at post office / bar, but did not take as not sure if it's free. Did not get passport stamped, but sent postcard, which got the same stamp. Had beer. When leaving, local playing guitar/ukelele. Ideal environment.
- Walked down beach for lunch. Blessed in CK Maori: say grace. Delicious. Made by wife of captain. Fish, breadfruit salad (like potato salad, which was also there), purple kumara, etc. Good spread. Mosquitos. Pay. Hermit crab out of shell.
- See them feed coconut to chickens. Cats waiting. Discuss: no dogs here, thought they brought some diseases (leprosey?) & banned them in past. One tourist talked to a person who never left Aitutaki & never seen a dog.
- Final snorkelling spot. Cage with young giant clams. Give bread to feed fish. Fish spine that fish are pecking at. Grab it, lots of fish follow, get close.
- Cruise back: nice views. See edge of lagoon with waves & mist. Waves cause murky waters.
- Say by: if don't mind, will mention names to lord to look after during trip & travels.
- Drive back, dropped off at store past my place. Driver felt bad forget me. I say no prob, going to store anyway. Bought beer. Point out trees to people (breadfruit). Answer Q's at lunch. One girl say she's impressed.
- People training rugby? Swim after. Sounds of laughter, Polynesian music, family all around.
- Inside, as uncomfortable relaxing with beer next to training field.
- Sit & watch bonfire constructed by Tim's family. What for? Don't think is umu.
- Gecko chasing giant cockroach?
- Polynesian radio for hours. Beer. Nap. Beer & write. Not hungry due to big lunch. Stars on beach. Eat PB & bread for dinner. Beer & write. Go to bed ~10pm.

Photos available at: http://mandarinmanmarktravelbriefs.blogspot.com/