Our wonderful, wild anchorage near Isle Naonao was bathed in sunshine yesterday so we enjoyed some great snorkelling. We've also made friends with some of the wildlife and have been adopted by a large fish who is particularly fond of Ritz crackers (other brands are available) and swims with us when we go snorkelling - we've called him Colin. We've taken some photos and videos which we'll post on the blog when we next get wifi access to the internet but in the meantime the photo above will give you a taster of the place.
Unfortunately the weather has deteriorated overnight – we had heavy rain last night and the wind has steadily marched around the compass from easterly to northerly and now around to south westerly, with strong gusts ahead of the rain squalls. A big rain cloud prompted Graham to dash up on deck at 7.30 this morning to rig the rain catcher – it was already pelting down so he did it naked (no photos exist and if they had been taken he would point out that the rain was really quite cold) and of course, the moment the job was completed, the rain stopped.
We've used the time here reasonably productively so, apart from the swimming, we've baked a cake and some bread rolls, caught up on some reading and spent some time looking at the charts for the Pacific crossing ahead of us. We're about a month behind our original 'plan' (more of a guideline really), mainly because of the poor weather a couple of weeks back and waiting for the watermaker repair, but we're not too concerned as we'd built in plenty of slack and we are really enjoying the beautiful Society Islands. We'll move up to Bora Bora tomorrow for our last French supermarkets and to await the arrival of the rebuilt watermaker. Most of the other boats on the Sothern Cross radio net are still around here but we're all beginning to start looking at the long-range weather forecasts to plan the next leg.
Once we leave Bora Bora the next island chain is the Cook Islands which, though independent, have a historical tie with, and continuing financial support from, New Zealand. Raratonga, to the south, is the biggest island and we will probably go there first as long as the forecast looks ok as its main harbour is not a good place if the wind swings to the north east. After the Cook Islands it's Tonga and, if we have time, Fiji before we head to New Zealand in November.