It took two days to reach Fakarava from Makemo, and the sail was wonderful as always. During the sail we caught a snapper (we think), which was absolutely delicious!
We have the routine down at this point as far as entering the passes in Tuamotus at slack tide, and upon entering the lagoon, came across a spectacular sight…water in blues of every shade!
The lagoon was so peaceful and calm.
Right at the entrance to the pass is a quaint dive resort with a well respected dive shop,
and cute little cabins to rent.
A resort stretches across a couple of the small islands, and a large zodiac is used to shuttle guests to various excursions.
As soon as we picked up a mooring ball, several beautiful sharks came to welcome us to the neighborhood.
We swam and explored, diving down among the gorgeous coral heads and pinnacles, all the while with our welcome committee curiously watching from a short distance.
That evening as we sat around chatting and laughing as a family, the creatures argued playfully back and forth about who could open a coconut the fastest. Being an experienced mother/moderator, I told them that the next day we were going have a competition to settle the argument, and the only tool each person could use was a screw driver. If they chose to use a knife as well, they couldn’t get any better than 2nd place and lost seconds off their time.
The following day I collected the screw drivers, Aidan insisted on using a knife and brought it, and he also brought along his fly fishing pole that the Keck family gave him. We made our way to shore in the dinghy, unloaded our goods, and we told the creatures to get busy finding their coconuts.
Just like a bunch of monkeys, the creatures arranged themselves on a bank of coral, each displaying their beautiful finds. Emma’s was greener, because she’d assumed it’d be easier to get into.
I counted down, and the contest began! The creatures ripped and pounded, each with a particular strategy in mind.
Within 3 1/2 minutes, Jude had hers perfectly peeled, the stringy husks laying in chaos at her feet.
Mycah came second.
Aidan came third not too long afterward, and Emma finally grew tired of the effort she was exerting and handed it to her sister, the coconut queen, to finish.
Mycah wanted a second chance to win and once her and Jude had new coconuts in hand, began again. Half way in, Jude’s nostrils were met by a repulsive odor and she realized hers was rotten, so she tossed the offensive coconut with brown, thick juicy stench away from her and grabbed another to begin again. Mycah won, and by the end of our time there we had a substantial pile of husked coconuts to bring back home.
Aidan and Danny had lost interest and were busying themselves with fly fishing.
We wished the Kecks were with us and enjoying the moment too.
I looked over at Kjira and smiled as I watched her sitting in absolute bliss, eating fresh coconut in the coolness of the water, and I wished once again that she could just stay with us and never leave to go back to the US.
Aidan suddenly yelled in excitement, saying that he had caught a fish, and brought it in to reveal an innocent irritated trumpetfish. He unhooked it and set it free.
Hermit crabs scurried along by the dozens, and some of them were bold enough to enjoy coconut we offered.
Danny and I sat in the water together as the creatures set out on an adventure, and talked about the gratitude we feel for all the time we are spending as a family. For the constant open communication, for the laughs, the frustrations, the moments where we all stand in awe together, and most importantly, the intense love we feel for each other as well as the people we have met and our God that makes it all possible. We are so blessed and so humbled.