Take that Moana ~ Part III ~ The Grand Finale

My husband deserves some thanks here. The second week onboard the Kaimana wouldn’t have happened without him. Scott and Melissa asked if I wanted to stay another week because they a) had room b) realized that we had a unique opportunity to capitalize on the weather and go to an island they’d only been to once before c) said it could be an amazing photo opportunity. I said yes (was there really another option?). My husband, through limited text, pieced together what I needed to help me change my tickets as connectivity on a boat in the middle of the Pacific is like looking for beer in a Mormon mini-mart. Thank you Jake, for being funking wonderful.

Our first stop was to drop off Celine and pick-up Dusty Middleton. After we scooped Dusty, checked the weather, conferred with other friends to see if they wanted to sail with us to the island, we were off. Ohhh the weather was glorious, we clipped along between islands – wait – birds flocking above the water…bait ball. Fishing pause. 

Who wants to jump in the bait ball? Like the sharks at night question, Melissa asked me this and I thought to myself, if I think too hard, I may say, “No” So, “Yes!” Small jacks zipped around us as birds dive-bombed and I realized, I’m in Blue Planet. Quite literally smack in the middle of the real-life version (minus David Attenborough).

Dusty Middleton

Scott Saville

Bait ball

Melissa Mahoney-Saville

Back to the boat, we stopped at an island along the way because we didn’t want to go through a small channel riddled with coral heads in the middle of the night. After anchoring, we went spearfishing, and then zipped over to the island so Melissa and Scott could stock up on their favorite chocolates. This fully sounds like a drug thing, it’s not. These locally made Monoi oil chocolates are worth restocking. They also looked like pieces of poop wrapped in cling-wrap but once you got past the looks, glorious.


Monoi Oil chocolates

The next morning we were on our way. Goodbyes were said to one of the boats that sailed with us, and we left with the other, Pizza, to go to the island. Then, before I knew it, Kaimana and Pizza arrived. Destination: deserted island. The days were filled with dives through channels and over drop-offs. The first day, Melissa shot an Uku and Aileen Dargie (from Pizza) landed a Dogtooth tuna. Aileen asked if I could take some photos of her with it when we had swum over to see if she needed help. My shooting had to be swift because fish blood in the water attracts sharks like moths to a raging bonfire. While Aileen and I were lining up shots, a little shark came over to check us out and I thought, crap, he’s leaving to go tell his mom that there’s food. Then Mom came with her friends. One of her friends went rogue, ripping the spear shaft out of the tuna. Despite the violence, luck was on our lady and we made it onto the boat with all of our limbs and the tuna.

Melissa and Dusty

Dusty, Scott, and Melissa





That evening sleep wasn’t next on the agenda. Scott knew the weather, moon phase, and tide were right for getting lobster from the tide pools. Melissa, Scott, Dusty, and I woke up at about eleven and jumped into Animal (the dinghy) for the action. This type of fishing isn’t my thing. We traversed around the rocks in tide pools with flash-lights, trying not to step on eels, and searching for lobster. No beginner’s luck here. Fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with any angry eels and everyone else landed lobsters.


The next morning we went traveled to a different section of the island. Melissa and Scott were on the lookout for Dogtooth tuna. One evaded Melissa and we’d almost given up on the idea of landing one. Then, teamwork made the dream work. I saw one cruising along the bottom and I motioned to Scott while Melissa kept an eye on it. Scott calmly swam over, dropped, and landed the shot. Winner winner Tuna dinner!  I yelled for Dusty who was waiting in Animal to come over and pick us up. The sharks descended but we were all able to clamber into the boat leaving the thrashing sharks to find their own food.


Aileen & Melissa

Eventually we left the island, full of fish, stories, and gratitude for adventures that more than exceeded expectations. That was one of those trips where somehow, someway, it worked (well the second week coming together, that somehow wasn’t a mystery, that was my husband Jake, thanks again (also, Melissa and Scott, thank you!)). There’s a certain planned spontaneity to sailing – screw the romanticism – I love it when a plan comes together.

Come Funk away, come Funk away, come Funk away with me!

Dear Reader, that catchy closing line is under construction as I’m not equipped with giant sheets so you can’t use me to travel with the wind or it may endure the test of time, stay tuned, dun dun dun

If you’re tuning into the adventure at the end and want to read more…here are some handy-dandy links for you (I quoted Blue’s Clues, I’m judging myself right now):

Take that Moana ~ Part I

Take that Moana ~ Part II