Day 194, Year 5: Day Trip to Boddam
Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010
Weather: Still Unsettled; Winds Backing SE to SW
Location: Ile Fouquet, Salomon Atoll, Chagos

The swell from the west is still with us, but it has settled tremendously so that we do not rock and roll much at all. The real test will be the middle of the night as that always seems to be the worst time. This morning was mostly overcast with some periods of sun, but by noon the sky was blue with white puffy clouds and we decided to take off in the dinghy for Ile Boddam. It is about three miles, but only takes fifteen minutes with fairly calm seas. So before one o’clock, we were on the island and ready to explore. There were eight boats at anchor but no dinghies on shore, so we had the whole island to ourselves. We started in the main camp area and just followed the path. Some of the cruisers who come here year after year maintain a trail system so you don’t have to beat your way through the bush to see the old buildings. It is hard to conceive that there was a thriving community on Boddam only forty years ago. Nature has taken over and reclaimed the buildings, so the coral stone walls stand without a roof, windows, and doors. Trees grow in doorways and entwine themselves trying to reclaim the stone. We could tell which building was a copra drying shed, a jail, a church, and the homes of the management were obvious. They had stone walls, a main house, a separate kitchen, separate pantry, and an outhouse in the far corner of the stone fenced backyard. There were other buildings, however, that we couldn’t figure out. We are going to watch a Chagos CD that we have and see if we get any hints. The trails took us in many different directions. At one point we ended up on the southside of the island watching the breakers make their way to shore. When we got back to the main camp, a few cruisers were there. Rolfe and Ute from Maraposa were taking apart a FAD that they had recovered yesterday. Ron from Tigger was there and Claire and Humphrey from Brumby came by a little later. We enjoyed getting to know new people and hope to visit again in a few days. But we knew we needed to get going before the sun got too low in the sky so that we could have time to fish our way home. We trolled all the way home, but we didn’t get one bite. So once again, no fish for dinner. But we did see the largest sea turtle that either of us has ever seen. What a thrill to see such a beautiful creature.

When we got home, I called Constance to let them know that we didn’t bring home fish for dinner. They invited us to grab a beer and come join them for Happy Hour. Somehow we managed to get ourselves invited to dinner and had a great pesto pasta dinner. Hopefully we’ll catch fish tomorrow and we can invite Ed and Lynne over for a fish barbecue to reciprocate.

100508 Day 194 Salomon, Chagos–Tour of Ile Boddam