Thursday, September 27, 2007

A day at Christmas

Trinda woke up at her normal 6 AM and made her coffee. She is out of the special stuff from Costco, so it was Milo, instant coffee and Coffee Mate. She played a few hands of Spider solitaire while waiting for me to awake at 7:30. While I was having coffee and watching a cruise ship send shore boats to town, Jeff came over to see if I wanted to go meet the captan of a 82 foot fishing boat arrived here. Just then we heard CHuck invite him to breakfast over the radio.

So we made another cup of coffee and Jeff and I went over to Chuck's and met him there. He is a 26 year old Hawaiian. He brought hs fish hold full of supplies from Hawaii and is looking for 25 crew that want to join the fishing fleet there for a few years. He is staying here a week.

Afterward, we decided to take the local bus for a sight seeing tour. The bus is a small Nissan 9 passenger van. It stops for anyone standing beside the road. It cost $3.50 Australian each for the trip to the end of the road and all the way back to town. At times there were as many as 18 people aboard, plus a few bags of rice and other things people were taking home.

Soon after we boarded, Trinda struck up a conversation with a woman about our age, who had to sit in her lap. She turns out to be the librarian at one of the high schools. There are 3, a catholic, prodastant and a government one. She also likes to weave and invited Trinda to her house some time to weave together. I asked several questions of the young man next to me. We passed several wind mills, but there are no cows here. The mills pump all the drinking water for the island, he says. There are
4 here and 2 around the other side. He pointed out lots of other sites as we toured along. He lives at the end of the bus route so we had a nice visit, except for the very loud rap music the van driver was playing.

It took about 45 minutes to reach the end of the line. The island airport was there and the small village of Banana Beach. We didn't see any real center of town or other tourist attraction, so we just stayed on the bus. Part way back the van stopped at JMB Enterprises, al local importer, store and gas station. We took advantage of the break to buy a cup of ice cream each. We thought we might as well ride back all the way to town and maybe see some of the cruise ship tourists. The island is so bare
and dry and the town so small we couldn't imagine what they would be doing.

By the time we reached town, the last shore boat had left taking all the tourists back and the cruise ship was weighing anchor. Oh well, next time, maybe. We walked around the parts of town we had missed on previous trips. We found a bar and had a beer for lunch. It had a diminutive pool table so Jeff and Scott played a game while Trinda visited with the owners wife and I visited with the owner. He has only been here 3 years, but the bar is doing well and he is happy. I played him a game of 8 ball,
(and barely won) then we were off to the store. Kathy and Jeff got some more groceries. We had shopped the day before so Trinda only for another ice cream cone. Thy have no fresh vegetables until the next cargo plane, which no one seems to know when will arrive, some time in October.

Now it back to the side of the street to await the bus. When it finally comes it is so packed another 10 year old wouldn't fit. We start holding out a thumb to each truck that comes. Soon we are picked up and dropped off at the jetty. It is a large pier that the Japanese built several years ago, but have never used. The Kerebati Port Authority has its office at the head of the pier. We pause at his office to study the large map he has on the wall. Jeff and Scott had not met him, so I introduce us
around. I had ben up to see him a few days ago to see about a problem he is having with his office internet router. He says we can come up and use out laptops on his network any time. It is extremely slow, but we may be able to do that one day soon.

Then we walk on out the get the dinghy. The jetty and dock are 25 feet above the water with old rusty stairs leading down. Because the wind blows almost a constant 20 knots from te east, the trade winds, I have tied the dinghy to the bollard on top of the per with a 50 foot line so it will stay far from the rusty parts of the pier pilings. We pull it up, get in, taking Scott back to his boat with no problems except for getting a little wet. With the wind, even this close to shore, there are 2 to
3 foot wind waves and they splash over the sides of the dinghy all time.

Back aboard the Katie Lee, we are tired and hungry after our 6 hour outing. I fry up a batch of chicken legs and wings as Trinda still can't stand to be near any heat because of her burn. We also warmed some stir-fry noodles with pork we had leftover from a previous trip to town and lunch at a Chinese cafe. Then off to bed.

Every day is not like this, but it was a typical day in the life of cruisers that happens maybe once a week.

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