August 1st. Ramada Cove.

Yes, we’re still here. When we got up this morning the water visibility had cleared so much, Bernie suggested we stay another day. Sterling idea. So I made a Mediterranean breakfast, then we headed across the bay. It was a great morning’s snorkeling. I saw 3 turtles, two together grazing right below me and another swimming away some distance. Also saw a stingray. There’s a lot here I think. We both saw them jumping out of the water many times yesterday. I found a rock with fantastic coral growth and numerous species of reef fish. I even wished for dive tanks, as I’m useless at free diving.

Bernie caught two fish so that was lunch sorted. We swam a long time and are both knackered now! Currently having post lunch nana naps! This is good for my shoulder and knee. They’ll be strengthening up nicely. I’ve lost so much fitness since my knee injury.

We sat on the bow, as usual, last evening, yarning. A motor yacht came in close to sunset. She’s a Sunseeker, British built. I have never seen such a shit job of anchoring. Honestly, it was both hilarious and embarrassing. We were relieved when they finally anchored well away from us! At one point I even got the radio, because we thought she was going to back up on us. I tried calling her on Channel 16 but they ignored us. Must’ve got the message though because they moved away. Bernie didn’t want me to call up but I wasn’t about to leave it till the situation was totally fubar! He seemed quite pleased I had, afterwards though! I think he secretly likes the “take action” side of me! Makes up for the simple mind, lol!

There are a lot of bees here, constantly flying into the yacht looking for fresh water. I wish they’d go and ask someone else. Buzzy things are not my favourite. I was trying very hard not to react last night but one stung me for no reason, miserable little beast. Bernie thought it was so funny, equally miserable beast! Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say, and he wants me to cut his hair! A mullet, perhaps? I’m delaying it because I like his hair long! It suits him! We agree to disagree on that and he’s apparently not that desperate for a cut that he’s begged me yet! I think I’ll get it out of his ears, maybe, and leave the top long! 😉

These are some of the fish etc I’ve seen while snorkeling!

Cornetfish, fusiliers, groupers, parrotfish, wrasse, dragonet, moray eel, rays, turtles, goatfish, snapper, trevally, butterflyfish, angelfish, surgeonfish, unicornfish, damselfish, bream. And Bernie with his spear gun! Some I’m sure of and others I think it might be one of those!

2.08.20 – lying in bed while the coffee pot does its thing! It rained briefly overnight, just a quick electrical storm NE of us. We both dived out of bed to close the scuttles and hatches. And I grabbed the towels off the guard rails. I threw a kikoi round me but Bernie is wholly unconcerned about nudity! I often wonder what his daughters thought growing up. Teenage girls SO do not want to see their Daddy’s boy bits! Just no! But I doubt very much Bernie took that into consideration over the years! I must remember to ask during one of our bow/rum sessions! It doesn’t bother me at all but I don’t feel the need to bare all myself. I guess if we were a couple, it’d be different, but we’re friends is all. So I wear togs to swim in and put clothes on whenever I’m out of bed!

We watched a documentary yesterday about a study initiated by an (ethically fucked up) American Psychiatrist. He separated twins and triplets at birth and adopted them to different families. The doco was primarily about triplet boys, each sent to a different socio-economic family. The parents knew nothing about their son’s background, certainly not that they had identical twin brothers. They were told the boy was part of a study into adopted children and the study group was given permission to interview the child every 6 months. For years. However when one of the boys was 19 he went to college, and on arriving had people coming up to him saying “great to see you back”, girls kissing him hello, that sort of thing. Of course it turned out his brother had attended that college the year before and dropped out. So they met each other. It ended up in the news papers, and so the third boy got to find out about his two brothers. It was a crazy story, so ethically wrong that those involved should’ve been hung out to dry but never were, the families got zero answers, the study was never published so a complete waste of time. Quite tragic really. It upset me but, interestingly, Bernie didn’t seem to see that it was so bad. We have very different takes on some things. Children seems to be one! Makes it interesting to be ship mates!

We got underway pretty early this morning. Set off on the engine as the wind was on our nose, its not far, and it does the engine good to have a run. But it’s 1045 now and I can hear Bernie putting up the sails. I’m lying down as I’ve got a wicked tummy ache. Don’t know why but not concerned as yet.

Before I came to ly down though, we sat yarning, as we do, so I asked him if he pranced around on deck naked when the girls were still here. Of course he did. Not all the time of course, but changing sails at night, that sort of thing. I laughed and he looked a bit sheepish! I like that he’s comfortable with who he is. It’s a good trait. I wish I was less self conscious, but I never recovered from the years of my husband poking me and telling me I was fat. I never was of course, but the damage was done. Intellectually I know I’m in pretty good shape for a woman my age, and looking back on photos, actually find it very sad that a man thinks it’s OK to shred an attractive young woman’s self confidence like that, but that wee voice in my head still makes me want to cover up and hide. And, there’s the fact I’m a nurse – not much I haven’t seen! So I don’t give a rat’s arse that Bernie bounces out starkers in the night to fix something!

Oh, peace. Nice. The engine is off and we’re sailing again. I think I’ll find it hard to go back to a motor yacht with the constant noise.

The island we’re going to today doesn’t have a real anchorage so we’ll be deep water anchoring. No decent chart info either, but we’ll go in slowly on the engine, and take it easy. And it’s only lunch time so we can move if necessary.

1616 – Well, we’re at anchor and a great wee spot it is. The island is almost totally devoid of vegetation and sprinkled with guano from the prolific bird life. It looks like a dusting of snow. The 30+ degrees heat belies that! 😉

It took two goes to set the anchor but we gave it a good hard tug to check! Then we bailed for a bit of snorkeling /hunting! Very different underwater terrain so new fish to check out. Not that many bigger species. My favourite was the simply awe inspiring schools of small fish, completely unconcerned by my presence, surrounding me. Millions of them. It was like being in a snow globe.

After quite some time, I realised I hadn’t seen Bernie in ages. Initially I wasn’t worried because he spends a lot of time under water. So I watched but couldn’t locate him. After about 5 minutes I got a bit stressed and got in the dingy for a better view. I still couldn’t find him, so pulled up the anchor and started looking round the bay for him. As time went by with no sightings I really got almost panicked. It suddenly occurred to me I really didn’t want to learn to solo sail the hard way. I was literally screaming his name. Not that that would’ve done a frigging thing if he was under water! I actually had to get a grip on myself. I decided to go back to Momo, get my sunnies and hat, fill the fuel tank and look more carefully. As I returned to Momo I suddenly spotted his fins as he duck dived. God, the relief! I motored over and beckoned him out to the dingy. I was so relieved my eyes got black dots in my vision as the adrenaline released me!

The poor man had an almost tearful shipmate plastered to him, saying “don’t ever fucking do that to me again”! I really got a fright. Ironically, we’d been talking about what our fears were earlier today, so I said “well, I know what scares the hell outa me now”. The thing is, it’s my own fault really. When I first joined Tohora I got Brett to show me all her systems; starting the engine, generator, lifting the keel, everything. But I didn’t do any of that with Bernie on joining Momo. I was so wrapped up in grief I didn’t care. I suddenly realise I do need to know. So tomorrow Bernie is going to show me it all. I mean, I daresay I could work it out, but best not to learn in an emergency, huh!

Monday, apparently! 3rd August. If it weren’t for my phone, I’d have no clue! It’s amazing to me that it still keeps the date and time correct when we have zero internet at present. How does it do that? Must ask Matt. Anyway, we got underway early because I woke Bernie to tell him the wind had veered and the anchor chain was noisy. Due to the rocky anchorage we didn’t want to risk wrapping it round any rocks in deep water. That would’ve meant Bernie having to get the dive tanks out and scuba down to release it. Way too much admin!

It was a SE breeze so we sailed to our next anchorage, more of a lee of the land than real shelter. But it’ll do for tonight and Bernie got two fish when he went over the side, so we’re fed again! What a good hunter he is! We’re almost out of fresh goods. I think there’s a couple of onions, garlic, a tomato, an avacado and some Kiwifruit. Oh, and potatoes.

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