The original plan was for us to give a ride to a grad student studying the very endangered titi (Tuamotu sandpiper) from her main field site on this atoll to Raraka, where titi have also been recently sighted.
That trip fell through, as the student apparently couldn't get permission to work on Raraka. So we suddenly have a little spare time on our hands. At first the temptation to do Something Useful was strong. We've thought about doing more biology work from the boat, and we talked about taking this chance do our own titi surveys on Raraka and another atoll, Motutunga.
But then good sense broke out on board Galactic.
-We've been in Tahanea all this time, I said to Alisa, and I still haven't been snorkelling except with Elias. I haven't taken any bird photos yet!
Tahanea is a place that we know from our past trip across the Pacific, and it is one of our very favorite places. It offers a powerful antidote for all the long Alaskan winters that Alisa and I lived through in our past life, it is the place that we have decided will do just fine as the embodiment of the tropical paradise that we spent years dreaming of.
But, it turns out that the demands of child care and boat care don't stop just because you're in a Tropical Paradise, and we've spent most of our time here so far taking care of the everyday business of family life afloat.
So we have decided to just stay here for a few more days, to enjoy this beautiful beautiful place without accepting the additional challenge of some ad hoc field work somewhere else...
Meanwhile, one of the best parts of this visit to Tahanea has been snorkelling with Elias. We get him all kitted up in his wetsuit and mask/fins/snorkel and head out, holding hands with him and pointing at interesting fish along the way. And then after twenty minutes or so he tells us that he's hungry, tired and thirsty, and we are reminded that he is still only four.
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