Flies and diving

Everywhere we go on our coconut milk run we encounter flies. Usually,
within a day of getting somewhere they’ve found us and start harassing
us. They don’t bite, but they’re annoying when they land on you. Once we
head off to the next place the wind blows them away. Today, I’m happy
we’re moving as they’re here in great numbers this morning.

We also have other on-board residents. Shssh, don’t tell the agriculture
inspectors! Two geckos are on board. What they’re living on we can’t
fathom. Maybe they can catch some of these flies. We put out small pools
of jam for them to eat, trying to keep them going. The first one hadn’t
been seen in a week until the night before last. Then yesterday, I found
a second one; he jumped on my leg as I stood in the galley. Why do they
always jump on you and scare the life out of you? Geeze. I took him up
to the cockpit to join the other gecko. He’s much smaller, so I’m
certain it’s a second one.

Yesterday we went on a long, long dinghy expedition. The dinghy was
filled to the brim with equipment. Our dive stuff for Susan and I.
Steve’s hookah and the three of us. We entered and explored Swallows
Cave. It’s a pretty cave marred with lots of graffiti. Some of it dates
back to whaling times. I’m certain most of it doesn’t though. The “blue
grotto” effect of the water was pretty. Outside the cave we did our
first dive. It’s a steep wall dive and once you’re down to about 40 feet
everything dies out and all color disappears. We only dove for about 20
minutes and decided to move on.

We dinghyed over to Mariner’s Cave and couldn’t realy find it. So, we
headed back over to A’a island. The diving there was even better and
there were lots of new corals to see. Many of the fish we’ve seen
snorkeling, but there were a few new ones.

Today’s my birthday here, but not there. So, am I 47 or not, since I was
born on that side of the dateline? I opened my presents anyway. Howard
made a little bag of things, including a flower lei. Susan and I decided
we’d celebrate twice each. Her birthday is the 21st.

Best wishes to Donald and Katie as their big day approaches. I hope the
weather cools a little before the big day. Val said it’s hot. It is here
too, the humidity has come up the last couple of days.