into a larger, color painting. Marcel wanted me to finish it in one day, but I'm too slow. I'm not happy with the colors yet (just a basic palette of black, white, burnt sienna, ochre, indigo, and a touch of cobalt. I think he'll have to let me use a touch of violet to get the alley floor right.)
Sunday, mana_trini and I took the boat to Ilôt Bambo for a picnic. We stopped along the way and snorkeled between two islets. We saw an enormous crown-of-thorns starfish for the first time. Since it's the only one I've ever seen, and we haven't heard of there being a problem with them in Mayotte, we didn't try to take it (they can wipe out all the coral; and you can't cut them up and leave them in the water because they will just regenerate.) No point in further trying to "fix nature" only to mess up the natural order of things.
When we arrived on Bambo, two kayakers were already there, but they left by the time we got our fire going. After we put the fish on the grill, we drank champagne and did other French things. We had a lovely lunch of grilled fish (two kinds), tomato salad with preserved lemons, baguette, and blue cheese. Because I forgot the plates, we ate our fish on some nice flat stones that we found on the beach. It was a great touch because the sun-warmed rocks kept the meat hot. We had fresh pineapple for desert as we strolled along the beach, looking for treasures. After taking advantage of the tide to reload the boat, we snorkeled for a little bit before heading outside of the lagoon so J could spearfish.
Monday night, we had Marcel over to stretch the painting onto the frame for us. Now J knows the technique and can do it when we move. Marcel stayed for dinner. Unfortunately, while taking my apple pie out of the oven, I burned three fingers and a thumb and had to spend the evening with my hand (the left one to boot! argh!) in a glass of ice water. It is more numb than painful today, but it still makes typing awkward.