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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

There are lots of boats here in Majuro. I think there were about 30 boats for Christmas dinner at the Tide Table restaurant. We had a pot luck out back on their back porch. It is a hotel too, so it was really in a meeting room/patio sort of thing. The local yacht club sprung for two turkeys and a ham. Then we brought the rest. I made stuffing and Trinda made 2 chocolate cakes. It all went purty good. I ate so much I got sick again, just like Thanksgiving! Ha!

We played the gift giving game. Everyone brought one gift. We drew numbers to see what order to select and open them. After Trinda got to go first, all the rest of us had the option to steel someone else's gift or select a new one to unwrap. Trinda had hers stole twice and me once. When it is stolen, you can either steel again or open. I had a nice LED flash light for a few minutes. I ended up with a squid jig. Trinda got a collection of perfumes.

We moved from anchor to a buoy. There are good newer buoys for $3/day and questionable ones for $1 to $2. We are planning to fly to Seattle and Texas for a few weeks so we took one of the good buoys. It is in 115 feet of water. The deepest buoy I seen! The anchorage was only about 50 feet with good sand holding. I had a little trouble getting the anchor up, but it was just white sand drifting off it when it came up.

The weather here is fine. We get a light sprinkle almost ever day, but so far not enough to fill the tanks. The trade winds seem to blow 15 to 20 most of the time, but the town is in the east end of the lagoon, so there is no fetch. It is nice here. The club got together and put in half a dozen buoys at two other motus in the lagoon, both less than a couple hours away. Several boats went out to them for the time between Christmas and New Years.

There is a big 'block party' scheduled for New Years Eve. They block off the main street and have several live bands in addition to the usual stuff. We are looking forward to it.

There is WiFi available in the anchorage, but it is quite expensive so far. We can carry the computer up to the restaurant and if we buy something its free WiFi. It is a pain to do so. If I don't get the photos uploaded, I'll take them to Seattle and do it there. Looking back through them, I see that I didn't do so well as a photographer!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Arrival Majuro Marshall Islands

A long slow passage, but nothing broke this time...Maybe it has to do with the wind!

We had very little wind the whole trip. Twice during rain squalls we got to 30 knots, the rest of the time it stayed below 13. We had one 30 mile day due to almost no wind all day. We finally motor sailed the last part for a total of 24 hours on the motor. They tell me diesel here is only $2.90/gal so maybe it wasn't as expensive as I was thinking. We get better than 1 hour for .9 gal

We left the fishing pole out and drug it almost all the way. Trinda did catch a fish!!! But is was a small (18") barracuda looking thing so we threw him back. On the last day wile we were bobbing around in circles, waiting for the wind, the line got caught in the prop and broke off. So we lost the lure. The fish are still ahead!

There is supposed to be WiFi here in the anchorage, but we had to anchor too far away to get it so far. We'll see later.

There are buoys here to leave boats on, but they're all full right now. As soon as we figure out when we can get one and figure out the flights we'll see about coming home for 6 weeks or so. I think the plane only comes once a week, maybe Sundays.

We hear that we are soon to be grand parents again! Yea Guy and Amanda! We are hoping for another boy (like we had a choice any way).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On to the Marshals

We left Tarawa Wed morning about 10:30. (that might be your Tuesday).

We are no longer fugitives, but the results are that in order top stop at the outer islands, we would have to pay for two officials to fly there and process the paper work there. A little too expensive, so we decided to try to make Majuro for Christmas dinner.

Things went well for the first 2 days, We made good time for the light air. Sunny skies and almost no waves.
But then it got nicer! no wind and no waves. We have made 10 miles in the last 10 hours! We still have 200 miles to go. Maybe the wind will come back in the morning.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Preparing to leave Tarawa

We finally to around to repairing the sail today. We plan to start the check out procedures so we can go to Abaiang Wed. We also plan to go on to Butaritari after just a few days there. Maybe spend Christmas in Butaritari with some other boats. Then on to Majaro, Marshals.

To check out here we need to write letters requesting permission top stop at the outer islands to both immigration and customs. Then we'll find out about our passports I guess.

Yesterday we went to Elizabeth and William's and showed Eli how to make the wacky cake. She had tried it on Christmas after we left but she said it didn't turn out right. When she saw the measuring cups and spoons, she said" Oh that's how much a1 cup is. I see!" It is somewhat hard to follow American recipes if you have never seen American measuring stuff before I guess. She wanted the cake for her niece's 1st birthday party. They also bought a big fancy commercial cake from a local baker here,
but it was a typical store cake.... not very tasty.

It was a VERY fancy party. It didn't start until almost 8 PM. They had an MC to announce everything. There were a local dance group that presented a small cake to her and did some traditional dances, a tai kwn doe demo and a group of local boys ( uncles of the baby some) that did a Hip Hop demo dance. All carefully corea graphed of course!

They had 2 whole roasted pigs and lots of other food. It was quite a party. They mostly celebrate the 1st and 21st birthdays, but just little family parties for the rest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No News is Good News??

Still no word from the authorities here.

We went to Konnang's house, Borau's aunt Saturday and made spaghetti. They seemed to like it fine. Trinda also took a cake. It definitely was a hit.

Sunday we went to the other folks house, Tamoli who is Rubis' aunt from Fanning. We had a nice day. Another cake. We had breadfruit fixed a new way. It was boiled with sugar, drained then coconut cream added and boiled again. It was sweet with the consistency and color of banana pudding, but no banana taste. It was good!

Their house is at the opposite end of the road on this island. It must be near 20 miles with speed bumps every 200 feet. We got an old bus (9 passenger mini-van) that had bad shocks. We had the very back seat and needless to say my back is still very sore. Monday was a Holiday(human rights day and maybe Guadalupe's Day for Catholics) so we just laid around the boat. Then Tuesday the same with no excuse.

We had an afternoon cocktail with the other boats. 3 of the 6 here left the next morning and the other two are leaving as soon as the wind changes, maybe tomorrow. They are mostly headed for the Marshals too. I'm still amazed that so few of them have made friends with the islander the way we have. They stop and take the tourist tour and move on????

Today I went top town by myself and shopped for boat parts, a pressure switch for the fresh water pump and a spare fuse for the watermaker engine. I forgot the pipes for the watermaker engine exhaust though.

Friday we'll go to Elizabeth's to teach her how to make the wacky cake. We gave her the recipe in Christmas Island, but she said it didn't turn out right. We' try again. She has invited us to a 1st birthday party Saturday evening and wants to take Trinda's cake!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fugitives in Kiribati

Well a little update....
As you know we decided to stop in Nikunau and visit the relatives of our friends from Fanning Island. According to Kiribati rules, we were supposed to have gone to Tarawa and checked into the country before visiting any other island here. It seems that immigration didn't think visiting relatives was a good enough reason to break the rules, even though the policeman there gave us clearance.

They took our passports and had us write out a statement and sign it. It might have been easier if we had said we had boat problems, but no, we told the truth. We have been waiting since Tuesday for the results. Our "case" is with the "principle investigator" and still pending a decision. We have gone back 3 times and they keep saying come back later. Now they will contact us next week.

We met the head of immigration in Christmas Island last year when we checked in there and she remembers us. Also Elizabeth and William, that we gave a ride from Fanning to Christmas, is the presidents daughter, and they say it may not be too big a problem. Trinda is getting an ulcer worrying that we'll be put in jail, but I think it will work out, maybe.

We put Borau on the supply ship and saw him off. I hope he is happy in Fanning. Also we were supposed to visit with Tauta's daughter who was going to high school here. Semester break started last week, and apparently she was on the same boat. We missed her! She'll be back in Jan, but we'll probably be in Majro by then. Tauta is supposed to come here "in December" to get his mother and take her back to Fanning by supply ship. I hope we'll get to see him. He may be on the next boat back.

We went to see Rubis' aunt, that Tauta's daughter was staying with today. They invited us back for dinner Sunday. We also went by to see Elizabeth and she invited us "to bring a chocolate cake" to a function next Saturday. And Borau's aunt asked us to dinner tomorrow. Trinda is going to help her make Italian spaghetti.

So it looks like a full calendar and lots of chocolate cake while we wander the island as fugitives...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving in Kiribati

The other 4 boats came over for Thanksgiving. We had roast turkey (rolled thighs and legs with spices), southern dressing, bean salad, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows (Trinda finally toasted them with out burning the marshmallows!!!), pickled beets, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and ice cream, brown gravy white gravy fresh bread and pretend croissants.

A good time was had by all.

Most boat parties last about 2 hours. That's as long as most women can hold before the restroom is required. BUT!!! they stayed from 2PM til 7PM!! SO it must have been a success. I had fun anyway.

We all brought all the books we had read and exchanged. So now Trinda has some more to read. I seem to be falling behind. I have about 15 books on my shelf, but she only has about 6 and she has read all of mine. Today a German boat arrived with more books and took all the leftovers. They will take the ones they don't want to the local library.

We made photos and DVDs of photos of the Fanning people's relatives to send back to Fanning. There is a supply /passenger ship here due to sail for Christmas and Fanning tomorrow. We sent the stuff with Borau, who is returning home after his short cruise with the Southern Cross. We'll go to the loading/send off tomorrow about noon. After 3 delays, it is supposed to board at 2 PM tomorrow.

Tonight we went over to Imagica for sundown drinks. We had a nice visit with a little wine and beer. They have been cruising for a few more years than us and have been several places we have, but different times. They are staying in Kiribati this season, visiting the outer islands.