Cavalli Islands 2015

Our eighteenth attempt at using the self-timer!


The Cavalli Islands. We arrived at 3am… It was pitch black, the gap in the reef was 200m wide… No sign of it in the darkness, no moon.  We felt lucky the chart was registered properly. We spent the first night at Papatara Bay. In the morning, we found a ridge track over the ‘spine’ of the island.

Diamonds on Waiti Bay

Vient donc le temps de décompresser!
Après un déjeuner sur la plage de galets,
Après que, sur ce dragon imaginaire, Jon se soit bien amusé,
Nous partons explorer Motukawanui island.


The dragons of the bay are quite docile.


Jon a eu la bonne idée d’aller jeter un oeil du côté de cette unique sorte d’habitation. Nous y découvrons par hasard le début d’un chemin. Anne a la joie de retrouver les triangles orange de la ‘’Te Araroa’’ (chemin de grande randonnée traversant la Nouvelle-Zélande, de l’extrême Nord à l’extrême Sud). Tout entousiastes, nous voici partis vers les sommets de l’ île d’où nous avons un meilleur appercu de sa grandeur et des merveilleuses autres qui l’entourent, Ocean Child relaxant tranquilement dans la baie. It wasn’t too hard to loose Jon on the track ! Agréable balade à découvrir des roches percées, des arbres couverts de lichens parmis les tea-trees, des mousses et autres courtes pousses typiques d’ un climat méditerranéen tels que le décrivent les habitants d’ ici.

Et pour bien terminer la journée après cette bonne heure de promenade sous le soleil, Anne rejoindra le voilier à la nage, (jusqu’au bout, soit environ 600m, à la grande surprise de Jon qui aurait misé sur un abandon à mi-chemin); tandis que Jon suivra, en ramant le dinghy!

( We keep this in French for Jon’s French lesson! )


Ridge track looking South

Ridge track looking North


On the second day, we tried to get MP3 music files onto the Huawei Y210 smartphone – with the idea of helping us not fall asleep on our watch or get seasick reading a book. We spent lunchtime discovering new music from each other… but in the end the Huawei refused to work. What a pity! Disappointed, we decided to take our snorkelling gear and have a look around the rocks our ‘’neighbours’’ for two days. So, what a surprise to discover no less than 10 sting rays. Grey ones, one followed by her teenager, another one with a big nose! Jon told me this must be a special place for them, probably a meeting spot for mating or giving birth. Such a good day, especially when, also, the smartphone decided to work by itself!

We tried to find again some sting rays the day after and take some pictures. Unfortunately, no photo was good enough to show you our discoveries… Probably to keep the next photos for something even more amazing!

However, we still had a great time!...


Oui, Jon est un vrai zombie au réveil ! Oui, Jon est un vrai superman !
Mais c'est surtout Jon lors de nos exercices quotidiens du matin!

We use the iPad for "Seven" morning exercises....


'' I hate this photo! Too much cleavage!'' 
" Nonsense! Men love cleavage!''


Then, here we are!...

On the fourth day, we decided to look for the sparkling blue fish which Jon had seen a year ago. We put on our wetsuits. To our surprise we could not find the fish, but we found instead schools of other fish, apparently feeding on spawn. There were several species… we couldn’t work out which were spawning and which were feeding… they were all so excited they almost ignored us until they were within touching distance.

Some fish eating spawn
Amazing to be at the same time in the middle of a school of fish AND a cloud of snow under water !  Click on the photo to see the video. Apologies, the water was not very clear, and the day cloudy...

We got back in the boat. “What’s that large black thing sticking out of the water? Jon asked. “It’s a shark, Silly. Let’s go and have a look”.  “That fin looks rather large… maybe I’ll let you go alone.”  “Don’t be a sook, I’m sure it won’t hurt us.”  “Hmmm… I think you may need me in the boat… and I’m cold… I’ll be right beside you”.  So Anne got in the water… and true to Jon’s courageous character, he made a half-hearted attempt to keep the dinghy within at least 100m of her at all time. Closer than that? Well, you wouldn't want to get a shark biting an inflatable dinghy, would you?

We explored on our way back to the boat some other small islands. Jon found some old jade rocks and Anne found a warm swimming pool inside a tunnel.

Anne is definitively too short to touch the roof !

Ocean Child enjoyed exploring the rock platform ...!