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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wotje

We took the letters and packages to the high school and gave them to the vice-principal to deliver. He sad the kids were excited to get them.
Today I took a packet of cantaloupe seed s to the agriculture teacher there. He thinks they will grow, since they grow squash and something they call pumpkin. I hope so.

Then we were invited to meat the WorldTeach teacher's host family. Today is her host mother's birthday, 36. Her name is pronounced Katie, but spelled Khetty. We told her the boat name. She got a kick out of that. Trinda and I made her a mother of peral necklace and Trinda took the standard chocolate cake. We are invited to her niece's birthday tomorrow night (with cake of course).

Her husband is the doctor here. Wotje has about 800 people and 250 more students in the Northern Islands High School. This is the most populated Island we have been to. The president of the Marshall Islands is from here, so it seems the most prosperous too. There are quite a few cars and trucks. And the plane comes here twice a week. It was a big Japanese base during the war, so there are supposed to be lots of relics too. I plan to take a walk to morrow to try to see some. I did find an old 6 HP hit-n-mis engine like the one from Taroa.

I have promised to post photos of the WorldTeach kids when we get back to Majuro. I have been trying to take a photo of each one in their class room for their families at home.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kaben, Maloelap

The anchorage is on a lee shore, and the wind came up so we had to leave early, only one night. Trinda passed out the usual lollys, this time 2 boxes of Black Cherry Blow Pops. A big hit. All the kids lined up at the dinghy and a local man passed them out. Then most of the mothers got one too.

We met the WorldTeach here, Heidi. She was lonesome some and hungry for American food. We had her out to the boat for Louisiana Dirty Rice, corn on the cob and green beans. She was very happy. We also gave her a few bottles of water. She said the local rain water catchment has bugs and she is tired of boiling it!

I fixed a couple of solar panels and Trinda visited with the co-host mother for Heidi. SHe wanted recipes for bread and cake, so Trinda gave her a set of measuring spoons and cups (thanks Sherry).

We left about 4PM for Wotje. After a long slow motor boat ride we arrived inn the anchorage about 10AM. The fuel filter on the engine started leaking and before I got it fixed the fumes gave Trinda sea-sickness so she had a miserable time. We lost about 5 gal of fuel, but not enough to effect our trip.

We slept all day and will take the mail to all the high school kids in the morning. All the families in the other villages had asked us to take letters and packages to their kids in school here. The only other way would be to send them to Majuro by supply ship (sometimes once a month) then hope they get forwarded back here.

Airik, Maloelap

After a not very successful spear hunt and a "0" lobster hunt and a nice dinner party we left our friends in Tobal and motored up to Maloelap, about 6 hours. We stopped at Airik again. We saw our friend Romeo again and the ladies from the church group.

Trinda offered to teach them to make the blouse (cibuta from Kiribati) so they sat and sewed for two days. Anita was the main one. She was one of the ladies that came out to the boat the last trip and remembered Trinda's popcorn.

I worked on a solar panel and printed a few photos for them. We had 2 sets of folks out to see the boat, Anita's sister's family and Romeo's family.

We met the WorldTeach here Elayna and I took photos of her in her class. I'll post them back in Majuro. We had brought a letter to her from Michael the one inn Tobal. I sent an email to her family for her. We also brought letters from her to the WorldTeach in Kaben and Wotje. Just call me the Postman!

These kids have quite an experience. Most have just graduated from collage and not really been away from home. They get a few weeks orientation in Majuro, including a 2 week class in Marshallese, then get sent out to live with a family in a remote village for a year. They get to go back to Majuro for Christmas break. Most families have at least one member that speaks a little English, but sometimes that is stretching it! I don't think they are told they will be living on rice and fish and sleeping on the floor when they sign up.

Elayna is supposed to get a barrel of gas to use to travel around the atoll, but it is "lost" She is in a village with no scheduled transportation at. 10 miles to Tarao and 31 to Kaben. At least Kaben has an airport. However the plane has been broken for 3 or 4 weeks. This weeks' flight was the first since then and they only had passengers, a little mail and no supplies.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kaben, Maloelap

We motored up to the island of Kaben in Maloelap this morning. The WorldTeach volenteer from Airik sent a letter with us to the teacher here.
In a day or two we'll go on to Wotje where they have a high school. We have letters and packages for the kids from their families in Aur and Maloelap.
More later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tobal, Aur Atol, Marshall Islannds

We are still here in Tobal. 8 villages to visit and still on the second. Oh well.

I helped Boulong, the iroji (king) tare out a wall that the termites had eaten yesterday. Today we goofed off and visited several other families. Trinda made 3 chocolate cakes with icing (in 6 pans) and we passed them out. Spike on Holokai really liked his, as well as the villagers.

Tonight we had Boulong, Patlynnn and Rasine out for pizza. I thought they didn't eat much, but Trinda says they really liked it. I guess I shouldn't judge others eating against mine!

We are going spear fishing in the morning about 2 miles away by dingy. Hope to have fun. Trinda is going to teach some ladies to make the Kiribati blouses while we are fishing. Women don't fish here. Ha! I'd just as soon she did it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Aur Once Again

We left for Aur, Aur about 2 PM yesterday afternoon. We had some freight and 2 1/2 passengers. The baby boy is sick with the flu I think. The mayors grand daughter was one.

Spike and Anglia on Holokai came also. They had a lot of freight for the World-Teach, Jadd. He seems a nice young man, maybe 23, just out of collage. He is coming out to try to send an e-mail this evening too. He came. Trinda insisted he stay for supper. Since it has been 6 weeks since he has seen American food he was really excited.
ust greenn beans and hominy mixture.

We plan to go to the other village here, Tobal, tomorrow afternoon for a few days.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Anchor Chain

The good news is that the chain arrived, was delivered, the old chain removed and the new loaded in the chain locker. And it was exactly what I ordered.

BUT!!! di ya think I was smart enough to read the specs on my old chain before I ordered the replacement? Naw, I know what it is....NOT! I ordered 3/8 BBB when the old stuff was 3/8 high test proof coil. What's the diff, its 3/8" right? But each link is 1/2" shorter that the old chain so it doesn't fit the chain wheel of the windlass.

I spent the next 2 hours in a dumb state trying to figure out what to do. Then after giving up with the realization that I needed a new $600 chain wheel and might have to weigh the 60 lb anchor and the 500 lbs of chain by hand for the next 4 weeks in the outer islands. I was walking up to the store for none last item before we left, when one of the other cruisers happened by and I had to tell him my sad tale. He says he has an old windless he is trying to sell because the chain wheel is too short for his chain! We are trading chain wheels.

I have the parts apart and am having to do a little mod on them but should finish in the morning. Only one day late.

We took the boat right up to the dock to unload the old chain and pull in the new. While we were sitting here, we acquired 3 passengers for Aur and a load of freight. Never tie up to the outbound dock!!! Oh well, it will be fun. Spike and Anglia of Holokai, were also heading out today to take Spike's son on a short tour of some islands. But, the plane decided not to fly from Hawaii today so his son isn't here. They say he should check back tomorrow at the same time, maybe the plane will come then!

Life in the 4th world! ( that's in a smaller more backward place than the 3rd world countries)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Anchor Chain

We ordered new chain for the anchor. 300 feet of 3/8 chain came today by ship. It should be delivered to the dinghy dock sometime this afternoon. We will take the boat over to the dock where we can unload the old chain directly ashore and pull the new chain in with the windless.

It has continued to be rainy and a little cooler the past few days.

We are preparing to take a month cruise to a few outer islands and return here in a few weeks. buying groceries and cleaning the boat. So far we don't have any passengers scheduled, but they always seem to find out when we are leaving and beg for a ride. If we don't get any requests for Aur we may go straight to Maloelap instead.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Changing the Masthead ights

Several years ago I bought new lights for the top of the mast. Dr.LED lights were supposed to last forever. However, on the way to Aur last month another boat said he could barely see my lights 1/2 mile away.

So I searched the web and found some more that are guaranteed for a long time, Bebi Electronics in Fiji. He is a cruiser that "got stuck" in Fiji and started a business making LED lights for boats.I bought new ones for the top and new reading lights and a few to replace the lights we leave on the most. They are really bright.

I had to bring the fixture down and devise a way to install the new lights. The old ones had a normal base and just plugged in, but these only had wires.


While I was up there I took a few pictures. As usual, my finger crept into the best shot of the stern deck.


If you look close, you can just see Spike from Holokai on the bow, just to the right of the sail near the front. He was good enough to come over and help pull me up to the top so I could get the fixture down.


This is a view of Majuro from the top. Notice you can see over the atoll to the ocean outside. When we go ashore, we take the dinghy just past the big ships at the dock. It is not always this calm, usually there are ripples and waves on the water! Windswept is the trimaran in the foreground with no mast.



This is from bottom to top, Holokai, Moonbird, Seal and Hannoa.