Thursday, September 22, 2016

No Fish, Beautiful Anchorage, Fine Weather

We made the passage from Nasasobu to Rabi. Again, zero fish were caught. We saw fish, we heard fish, but neither Oreo Cookie Wrapper/Coke Bottle Cap, nor Mexican Flag, nor Zucchini caught anything. Blah. The passage was smooth, health was maintained, but with current and wind on the nose, the speed was slightly below prime fish-catching speed. At least that's our excuse. But tonight is goat curry night, so we won't starve.

We are anchored up in Albert Cove on the northwest side of Rabi (pronounced Ramby, see previous blog post from a few months ago about the history). The short version is that the people who live here are Banaban, from Kiribati—they were resettled after phosphate mining-related greed resulted in the loss of their native land. We have yet to go ashore, so that's about all I can write at this point, but we hope to meet the family who lives on this cove and go into town for a cultural excursion tomorrow.

Upon anchoring, Mark and I got in the water for our first swim here. The reef closest to the boat is along shore and seems to have suffered some storm damage from the cyclone, but it is great to see the corals bouncing back. And even though it wasn't the most picture perfect reef in the world (unlike the anchorage, which may just be the most picture perfect anchorage in the world), the variety of corals is amazing. We saw our first giant clams (Tridacna), cowries (alive), and lots of fish. The cute fish of the day was the Humbug Dascyllus (D. aruanus). I saw several branching corals just swarming with all sizes of these guys (from 1 cm-6 cm) and liked them. It looks like our waterproof camera gave up the ghost, so our collection of underwater photos may be a bit limited from this trip. Bummer. But we did get a few snaps from this reef.

Today is for exploring and we will snorkel a few places, have a walk on the beaches to look for shells, and do a little looking at the purported lobster hole. This place is gorgeous, we are the only boat here, and I am looking forward to a lot of time in the water!
At 9/20/2016 4:08 AM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 16°45.04'S 179°51.09'E

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