We didn't get up until after eight - definitely sleeping in given the roosters started in well before dawn. We had a leisurely pancakes breakfast and then got our gear ready to go. Around noon we set off in the kayak. We followed the atoll islands around to the west. Most of the islands are very small, some no more than a hundred yards long - but all have very dense and very green palm and mangrove forests. A couple of the islands had simple houses on them, but we never saw anyone else - apparently they're either deserted, or just used on the weekends. Off one of the uninhabited islands we stopped and hand lunch on a little sand island that the falling tide had exposed - maybe fifteen feet long and five feet wide - very cozy. We lounged around in the water and on the sand and then watched the reef sharks hunting in classic jaws style - the two triangular fins sticking up in to the air. It could have been scary if any of the sharks were more than three feet long!
We continued on and found a large uninhabited (no building at all) island that marked the last bit of land on the atoll in this direction (it looked to be maybe ten miles around the reef rim to the next bit of dry land). It had a beautiful sand spit and beach so we pulled the kayak up and explored. It was great you didn't even need snorkeling equipment - walking on the beach we saw sharks, eels, parrot fish, and tons of rightly colored reef fish. We walked around to the open sea side and watched the surf before realizing that it was getting late and we had a long way to get home - we had to hustle. About half way home we ran into a squall - very hard rain, I had to keep my eyes closed through a lot of it (I hoped Stacy had hers open!) When it started to get really bad we considered taking shelter on an island, but by that point we could see our beach a couple islands ahead and stopping would probably mean finishing in the dark so we continued on. Right as we got back the rain slacked off and it started to get dark. We read for a bit then made chili for diner. The caretaker, Philip joined us again and brought a couple barbecued fish to contribute. It was still raining and everyone was tired so we went to bed quite early. The rats were even more active than last night and couldn't get to sleep. I kept thumping on the floor to scare them away, until I thumped on the floor and actually hit one of them - that got my adrenaline pumping and it took me a very long time fall into an uneasy sleep.