Gone Shelling

An ideal day in the life of cruising:

7:30 am: Dominic wakes up, makes coffee, listens to the SSB net, and checks the weather updates. I wake 30 minutes later, frying up toast and eggs for our first meal in the cockpit. We soak in the view, the island, the turquoise waters, the design features of our neighboring boats in the anchorage, and consider the outline of our day.

10:00 am: We call our friends on Arbutus and Peregrine, hop in the dinghy to head to the reef, nearly missing the ink jet from a leaping squid, and enjoy a lazy morning snorkeling among the magnificent coral and reef fish.

12:30 pm: The second meal in the cockpit is served, left over mahi-mahi and rice for Dominic, cheese toast with tomatoes and kimchi for me.

2:00 pm: We cruise north in the dinghy to Tofanga, the tiniest of islands, more of a sand quay with a few mangroves and palm trees. We spend a few hours searching for shells, chasing the birds, and swimming in the warm shallows.

4:30 pm: Back on Helios we enjoy apples and peanut butter, rest our feet on the settee, and consider the invitations for the evening: a bonfire on the beach? a rousing game of dominos?

6:30 pm: Feeling fatigued from our busy day, we opt for a game night and head to Hapa Na Sasa with Oceanna and Arbutus to enjoy snacks, rum punch, and a few rousing rounds of Mexican Train. The young daughters aboard Hapa Na Sasa give a thorough tour of the boat, their father’s fishing reels are objects of marvel, as our the trophy fish tails strung along the backstay.

10:00 pm: Way past cruiser midnight (9:00 pm), the Helios crew heads home, pleased at taking first and third place and ending their torturous losing streak. We prepare a light supper of grilled tuna, rice, and kimchi, before washing up and snuggling into the forward cabin to doze and dream of what the next day might bring.

This lovely sequence of events comprised our Thursday, the type of day I’m increasingly appreciative of as we can see our series of passages to New Zealand drawing towards us like a vessel emerging from the horizon.