September 2004

1 September 2004 - Adventure Park

On Momma's and Papa's seventeenth anniversary they decided that we needed some fun. A few weeks ago we went on a hike lead by a person that papa had met at the Marina. At the entrance to the hike there was an adventure park that looked really fun. Tristan and I begged to go. Finally Momma and Papa decided that we would go on some future day.

It was lucky that their anniversary was on Saturday because the adventure park was only open on Saturday and Sunday. So on their anniversary we went back to the adventure park. In the park there are 3 different courses and 3 different levels. Momma only did 1 and 2, but Tristan, Papa and I did all 3. The third was obviously the highest and the hardest. The second was fun because there was a net which you crash into. The first was the most boring. The third was my favorite because you have to have a lot of skill and no fear of heights. There was one part in the course where there was no platform, and you had to stand on the fork of the tree to switch to a different wire. There was also another part in which there were 6 planks, the 3 last ones were at right angles to the first 3 planks.

It was fantastic. Papa and Momma are talking about going again before we leave.

19 September 2004 - Ilot Mato

Two weeks ago we were planning on going to the Loyalty Islands, but those plans disappeared. Instead of continuing to the Loyalties, we turned around and headed into Baie du Prony. On the trip to Prony it was raining really hard. Not to mention it was blowing really hard too. A storm had developed unexpectedly. I wanted to be outside and still be warm, so I dressed in momma's heavy weather gear. Then I sat outside comfortably in the wind-rain-and-salt-water spray. When we were finally anchored in Baie du Carenage, an anchorage in the back of Baie du Prony, my head was soaking wet, but I was very happy. We stayed in Prony for 5 days, moving from Carenage to Rade du Nord (North Habor), another anchorage. After 2 days at this place, we left to go to Baie de la Tortue (Turtle Bay), to see if the Ganeshes would drop by there. It so happened that on the second day in Baie de la Tortue we heard the Ganeshes on the radio, saying goodbye to some friends in Noumea. After the goodbye was said, momma called Egon on the radio, and asked where they were heading. They were surprised and happy to hear us, and said that they were 7 nautical miles away from us. We were also excited to spend more time with them again.

A couple of days later we all decided to go to Ilot Mato. They have good snorkeling there. On the way, we saw lots of big fish jumping out of the water. We cast out some line and sat in hopes of catching a big yummy fish. Either our hopes were too high or we really didn't need the fish because we never caught anything. Not a single bite! It was kind of weird because we had a lure that, if trolled, swims like a real fish. If I were a fish, I would like to eat it. When we got to Ilot Mato, which is a small uninhabited island, we watched Claudia zoom over to a motor boat to give them one of her flyers (she runs a floating German bakery). All of a sudden the engine of the dingy stops. She tries to start it, but it won't work. Since I was the only one watching at that point, I quietly said to momma: “Their engine isn't working.” As soon as I had said it, momma told me to go to Claudia and ask if she needed to be towed. So I went, and towed her back to their boat. Right before lunch, when Claudia was in their dingy and right by that motorboat again, guess what happened? This time Tristan was the one to the rescue.

After we had lunch, we could do two things. We could either go to the island for a couple of hours, or we could go for a snorkel. It was a bit late to snorkel, so we decided to walk around the island. It wasn't very easy to get to the beach because of the reefs surrounding it, so we all wore sandals or booties to be able to push off from the coral if we got to close. When we were near the beach we found there was a big black cloud of something in the water. We decided to have a closer look. When we were several feet away from it, momma shouted out: “It's all fish! All fish!” Tristan and I then stomped around in the cloud of little fish and Tristan even caught one. In bringing the little fish to show momma, it died. When we finally got to the beach, Tristan and I made a little grave for the fishie, marking it with a cross. A little way up the beach from where we buried the little fish I found a Nautilus shell! This excited me greatly, for you usually do not find Nautilus shells on the beach. It was broken, but that did not bother me because it was a clean break. If you don't have a perfect shell to compare it to, you wouldn't even know that it was broken.

A thing that I liked about the island is that Ilot Mato is a Tricot Raye (pronounced treeco ray-yay), or sea snake, haven. This annoyed momma greatly, because they are poisonous. If you get bitten, there is no known antidote, which is irrelevant anyway because if you get bitten, you'll die within 5 minutes. The good news is that they are totally not aggressive. On the 15 minute walk around the island, we saw 5 sea snakes. We also saw a lot of sea eagles circling around the top of the little hill on Ilot Mato. At first we thought that they had found something to eat, they were making such a racket. Then we thought that maybe there was a nest out there. We knew we would find out if we were right about that since papa was climbing the hill and he could tell us. So when we met up with papa again, he showed us the picture that he had taken. The eagles looked so cute! They were already pretty big, but they still had some soft fluffy feathers. Right before we left the island, momma found another Nautilus shell. This one was more broken, however, so we left it there.

All this is a log of what happened at Ilot Mato.