Day 212, Year 5: Chasing Chicks and Other Things
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Weather: Sunny Day, Cloudy Evening, SE Winds 12-15
Location: Ile Fouquet, Salomon Atoll, Chagos
Mark has a brother named Steve and a nephew named Jimmy. When Jimmy was about five years old, he had gone out with Steve and when he returned he was asked where they had been. He nonchalantly said, “Chasing chicks and drinking beer.” Well, we weren’t drinking beer this afternoon but I was chasing chickens again . . . and tiny little white moths with black and red dots. When we assessed what needed to be done today, there was a long list of things like polish stainless, put AwlCare on the topsides (like waxing your boat), clean the Raycor fuel filter, finish synchronizing and updating our Outlook contacts on our two computers, and on and on. I added one more thing and that was to go to the north end of Takamaka and sit in a chair and watch for a little white moth. When Mark asked which one I wanted to do, guess which one I chose. But it takes fuel to go down to the end of Takamaka and we are really trying to conserve, so going to look for an obscure moth didn’t quite make it. We compromised and worked for the morning on cleaning the Raycor fuel filter and getting through the letters R and S in the Outlook contacts list. In the afternoon I worked on photos and Mark took a mooring ball that we found on the beach and cut in half to make two hanging pots for growing more arugula and basil. THEN we went to Takamaka to get water and look for moths. I had read that the moths live in the Beach Heliotrope, a shrub, sometimes tree height, that grows abundantly on the north end of Takamaka. While walking slowly looking for the moth, what we heard clearly were chickens on the other side of the Beach Heliotrope. This stuff grows in and amongst the Scavvy or Lettuce Shrub right at the high tide line. Behind this impenetrable shrubbery are a number of different hardwood trees and those chickens were there cackling and crowing away. I am dying to see one of them, so I walked all the way to the end of the beach shrubs and crawled behind. I could hear the chickens but see nothing. I could see lots of boobies roosting above me and worried that I would be their next target. Guano covered every leaf and branch that I was crawling through. I found my way back out to the beach and started back toward the dinghy when the call of chickens got to me. I found a low break in the hedge and crawled through again. On the other side was a lovely little meadow, but again no chickens. Richard on Mr. Curley who has been here year after year says the way to see them is to break open some green coconuts and leave them in the camp in the evening. The next morning the chickens will be there. So I’ll try that next. But I was successful in sighting and photographing the little white moth (less than an inch long and wide) with black and red speckles (Ultethesia pulchelloides), so I’ll consider my day a success.
Dinner tonight is even more of an adventure. I am using most of the little tomatoes we still have from India with a squash that has kept all this time to make a Chagos rendition of ratatouille. The moon is up and almost full. Tomorrow we have our beach Full Moon party in the evening. Life here is just full of interesting things!
|100526 Day 212 Salomon, Chagos–Late Afternoon on North Takamaka|