You could hear the scream all the way along the beach! “She’s a screamer”, says Rob as we both look up just in time to see Lyn flying off her board and face-planting in-synch with her kite. It’s her first time up on the board and she comes up beaming from ear to ear, as only Lyn can.
On Monday 12th September the surf was forecast to be small and we said a sad au revoir to Ouano, departing early in the morning. We motored to Tenia in the light south-easter and anchored inside the sand spit at Tenia very close to beach, only boat there in perfect weather.
An idyllic setting soon spoiled a bit by the arrival of a water taxi with a small group of Japanese tourists. We paddled the SUPs ashore and walked around the island, re-familiarising ourselves with the natural splendour of this place.
Lyn spotted a sea hawk’s nest, a subject she has been trying to capture in her photography for some time. She managed to shoot some amazing photos of the mother returning to the nest with food.
St. Vincent’s shelter
With the wind increasing through the day we sailed on through Canal Ducos, anchoring in the perfect shelter on the North side of Moustique Bay at Ducos Island.
After an afternoon nap we awoke to find the wind had lightened and gone round to the north-east and used the opportunity to get farther South and enjoy a sun-set sail to the inner Uitoe anchorage where we had a beautiful and peaceful evening.
Next morning we departed at the crack of dawn, in order to motor to Maitre Island before the trade winds increased. It is a frequent wind pattern here on the West coast for the strong south-east trade winds to lighten to almost nothing overnight and then build through the day, probably due to the adiabatic effect of cool air flowing down from the inland mountains.
We count ourselves as very fortunate as time and again we seem to experience serendipitous moments along our travels. This was such an occasion. Our main purpose of coming to Maitre was to teach Lyn to kite surf, something she has been wanting for a long time, but very difficult on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Last year we had tried, and discovered it was just too hard with my smallest kite being too big for Lyn to learn on. This year we are prepared, with new smaller kites and a twin-tip board.
The serendipity was in us meeting Rob and Carolyn Port from the catamaran Shenanigans. They are friends of friends whom we had met briefly in passing last year. They are keen and proficient kite-surfers. “Carolyn and I love teaching friends how to kite”, says Rob shortly after we met, “we would love to help teach Lyn”. This was to be the beginning of a fun-filled few days and a new enduring friendship with these fun, funny and very sociable Kiwis. Lyn progressed rapidly under their expert tutelage, and by the time the wind died 3 day’s later Lyn was starting to be able to get up on the board, albeit briefly before crashing and burning.
Other noteable events during our time at Maitre:-
- Drinks (and drinks and drinks) on Shenanigans, Jolifou and Andromeda (Dean Cat, Michael and Iris).
- Bruce getting kite lines tangled with another French kiter, minor injuries but managed to extract himself with no gear damage.
- Bruce trying to kite when the water was too shallow, losing a fin on the reef, finding it again at low tide.
- Leaving all our kites stacked and pumped up on the beach whilst we had coffee at the café and warmed up for the afternoon session.
- Lyn wading out with her camera and taking some sensational action shots.
- Carolyn effortlessly demonstrating the back-loop to Bruce, who entertained with multiple big crashes whilst trying to learn it.