Day 169, Year 5: Another Explore on Ile du Coin
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Weather: Beautiful Day; Winds S-SE 5-8
Location: Ile du Coin, Peros Banhos Atoll, Chagos

The anchorage here is almost empty. Mirage left yesterday and Nepenthe left early this morning. So that leaves just Windbird and Constance here at Ile du Coin. The winds are backing to the SE and soon we will have to move back to Ile Fouquet on the SE side of the atoll where the reef protects us from the swell caused by the east winds. We are now on the west side of the atoll and the winds blowing across the waters of the atoll cause a bit of a roll here. It is not bad yet, but I expect we could have to move tomorrow or maybe the next day. In the meantime, we continue to enjoy our time here. Mark visited with Ed and Lynne this morning, but I stayed home baking bread and doing boat chores that take time but I can never pinpoint exactly what it was that I did. The boat looks cleaner and neater inside, so that is what I did. When Mark came home he tried once again to catch squid but they are being very tricky. They are always around the boat but they just aren’t biting. Lynne caught five today, so she may have to come give us lessons.

In the afternoon, Mark and I took off in the dinghy with empty water jugs, the FAD that needed to be taken back to shore, and a fishing rod. We were headed about two-thirds of the way down the island to the cemetery in the dinghy. When we reached the coconut trees with white painted trunks, we took the dinghy ashore and could see the grave markers from the shore. Nepenthe saw the resident donkey there last week and we were hoping for the same, but no luck. But we did wander through the cemetery. It looks so very old, but many of the graves are from the 1900’s. Most everything is covered with green moss and crumbling stones in one part of the cemetery, but in the other half many of the graves look new. Many of the graves have raised stone monuments about two feet high covering the entire grave. In the one section, it looks like the old stone monuments have recently been covered with new concrete. It was very sad to see how many of the graves were small indicating that they were the graves of very young children. Either life here was very tough on the young ones or there was some sort of disease that swept through and killed them. We left the cemetery and headed back to the area to the west of the old pier where dinghies go ashore. I hopped off with all the water jugs and a bucket of laundry that I was going to do close to the well so we didn’t have to carry water for that. Mark went out to see if Ed wanted to come ashore to get water, but he was way too involved in a boat project today that took much longer than he expected. While Mark was gone, I walked back to the area where the well is and proceeded to get the laundry in to soak while filling one water jug. Five gallons of water weighs something like 60 pounds, so the jaunt back to the beach seems very long when carrying the full jugs. I carried the one jug back to the shore and Mark had just arrived, so we carried two more empty jugs back to the well to fill. He filled those while I washed and rinsed the laundry, and then it was back to Windbird.

Tomorrow could be a quiet day working on editing photos and reading. We’ll see what the morning brings.

100413 Day 169 Peros Banhos, Chagos–Visit to Ile du Coin Cemetary