Day 168, Year 5: Snorkeling the Morning Away
Date: Monday, April 12, 2010
Weather: Beautiful Day; Winds SW 5-8
Location: Ile du Coin, Peros Banhos Atoll, Chagos

This morning we got in the water at 8:30 am and didn’t get out until 11. Carol of Nepenthe, Ed and Lynne of Constance, and Mark and I took our dinghies halfway down the island and then pulled them along with us as we snorkeled our way back toward the pier. It was a long snorkel, and not the most dramatic, but we did see a couple of things that were really fantastic-both right at the end of our morning. One was a hawksbill turtle that decided to hide from us by throwing sand on his back and just sitting quietly on the bottom. Carol of Nepenthe and Lynne of Constance had been following him as he swam to the sand patch, but by the time I arrived he had settled in. Two bright blue and yellow-striped Regal Angelfish were swimming around the turtle, as well as a beautiful blue fish with blue fins and yellowish-orange circles all over it. I saw a number of these today and have no idea what they are, so I’ll have to research that one. We had just put the camera in the dinghy so I asked Mark to go get it as it was such a perfect picture. But, of course, by the time Mark got back with the camera, the fish were gone. He did get photos of the turtle, however. As we headed to deeper water we saw the next incredible sight. There were parrotfish, probably two hundred of them, just swimming together in a cluster. There were purple ones, blue ones, and red ones, with yellow, orange, and pink splashes here and there. It was quite amazing and the perfect end to a peaceful morning in the water.

In the afternoon, Carol, Lynne, and I had a little book exchange aboard Windbird while Mark and Ed went out fishing and exploring. They came back with two red snappers and what looked like a big blue buoy. Actually it was a FAD, a Fish Attraction Device, or at least part of one. It had washed up on the shore and will be taken back there, but Mark and Ed thought we would like to see it. A FAD is a satellite transmitter that’s hooked up to a net (maybe with bait fish) that attracts and traps fish. The signal emitted from the transmitter gives the location to the fishing boat so they can find it later. I think there is more to the structure than the transmitter and net, but this is the extent of our knowledge. Cruisers here find them all the time here, so this must be the end of the line for FAD’s.

Jeff and Cathy of Mirage headed north to Ile Diamant this morning and have reported that it is a bit bouncy up there. They got a squall this afternoon that we didn’t get. Carol and Jim on Nepenthe are thinking of leaving tomorrow morning and heading over to the Salomon atoll. The GRIBS are showing that the SE winds are starting to set in and Salomon is protected from the East. But we have more exploring to do here and will probably move back to Ile Fouquet before the light E winds arrive in three or four days. If it looks like stronger E winds are coming, then we will make our move, but for now the address for Constance and Windbird is Ile du Coin.

100412 Day 168a Peros Banhos, Chagos–Underwater at Ile du Coin
100412 Day 168b Peros Banhos, Chagos–FAD Found on Ile du Coin