Amanu

The excitement of spotting two small red eyes on the reef at night should not be understated. We were on a lobster hunt. The party numbered three. Armed with torches, walking poles for balance and a bucket for booty, the expedition crossed the moto and headed to the outer reef in the dark.

We’d gleaned that no moon was important and ideally calm conditions would help with the hunt. 7pm on the beach was start time. We crossed from the lagoon side to the outer reef, maybe 300 meters. Then the fun and games started. Wading parallel to the shore in knee deep ocean, we shone our head torches into the water looking for two small red eyes reflecting back.  Such evidence necessitated carefully plunging a gloved hand into the water to grab the critter before it swam off. 

We’d been splodging about for maybe 10 minutes when a shriek went up “I’ve got one!”.  Carla, a brit with a true hunter gatherer spirit made the score 1-0 to the humans. After that we knew what we were looking for and over the course of the next 1.5 hours, we purloined another two and three got away. The final score was 3-3. Dave picked up one and  I spied two but didn’t manage to perfectly grab either so they both got away. Grrr. Next time …. we’ll be off to the reef again. Fingers crossed for a cricket score this time!

As we were at sea for Christmas, we engineered Christmas Dinner for 29th December in Amanu which we shared with Holly and Jarne. We exchanged a few gifts, enjoyed a champagne toast then indulged in a fine feast. Dave and I both agreed it was a lovely celebration with good friends in a remarkable place. 

On New Years Eve, six boat crews gathered on a remote beach at the north of atoll, 12 miles from the village.  Amanu with a population of 100 ish people, currently has no Covid. All the boats had been isolated in different places so coming together was not a worry.  Six kids and ten adults pitched in with wood collecting for the fire, games of boules and then a BBQ. The consensus was to celebrate Vancouver New Year. Most folks on boats are up with the daylight and in bed early. It starts getting light about 4.30am here and is dark by 6.30pm. Vancouver New Year was 10pm local time. That felt like staying up late.

The Hunter Gatherer buzz has extended to octopus, groupers, a type of fish, coconuts, top shells and crabs. (To offer perspective however I am sat here with a cup of Earl Grey and a slice of chocolate cake). We’ve been off grid for a well over a couple of weeks now. It’s likely we’ll be here for at least a couple more too until we get a weather window to head towards the Gambiers, 450 miles SE from here.  

In the meantime, it’s an extraordinary place here. There’s currently no reason rush and the delivery boat apparently comes in next week. That’ll cause excitement .

Loads of photos here. We have only had sporadic 2G comms for three weeks but today we got up at 4am to use the WiFi at the Marie which is open to all before 7am. Enjoy!

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