Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spelling Bee at Aur Atoll

We're out of Majuro and exploring Aur, an atoll about 70 miles north of
Majuro. We're back in South Pacific paradise. Beautiful islets of coconut
trees, sandy beaches, and friendly people.
We stopped at the main island of Aur, and paid our respects to the mayor and
did a short 'jambo' (walk-about). When the wind came up, we decided to seek
a calmer anchorage, and meandered north to a small uninhabited islet, where
we stopped for a couple days. We walked the island (no glass balls yet), and
read our books.

We then moved north to the islet of Tabal - where James called us on the vhf
to welcome us to Tabal, and invite us to his home at the local clinic. His
outboard needs some work, so John will give him a hand with repairs on
Monday (Sunday is a rest day). We also met the local World Teach volunteer,
Kendra. She has introduced us to many people here, and invited us to watch
the Spelling Bee, a big local event in celebration of Education Week.

Earlier in the day the school enjoyed a sports day, complete with weaving
competitions. The community was in attendance, and we were treated to a
shared meal of delicious fish and rice after the children had demonstrated
their exceptional spelling skills!

An aggressive game of musical chairs was part of the pre-bee activities

We were invited to share in a feast of fish and rice. John and I were honored to be served the heads. Notice also the awesome plates woven from coconut fronds.

Today is Sunday, so we're heading to church, and we expect a leisurely day
ahead of us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Last Minute Prep

Our last week in Majuro was spent with typical pre-trip activities. Lots of
provisioning - I did at least 6 trips to the big grocery and warehouse
stores, plus two beer runs. John's been doing multiple trips to load up on
water and fuel. We've insured the boat for another year with yet another
insurance company. We've sorted out some silly banking mess. We taped up our
spinnaker (which is now more sail repair tape than actual sail cloth).
And we've been spending a small fortune on internet, capturing google earth
images of all the places we might want to visit. We can now overlay these
google images onto our chartplotter to get an idea of how far 'off' our
digital charts are...and also to see some of the character of the passes and
lagoons we plan to enter. Some images even show us the best places to anchor
and the large coral heads that we want to avoid. Just another tool in our
box of tricks.

Also this week, we attended a celebration of life for a sailor living here
in Majuro. We didn't know him very well, but Barney was always kind and
welcoming, and we were sad to hear of his death. Yet another reminder to
live your dreams while it's possible.

We're ready. We're heading to the outer islands. Our tentative plan is to go
North, stop in at some of the islands as we go... do some exploring, read a
few books, snorkel with some critters, shoot some fish, snooze in the
hammock and scour the beaches for those elusive glass balls.

We'll be back soon. Dunno when. 2 weeks. 8 weeks. Somewhere in between.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


We have done enough of our boat chores to escape to a small islet across the
lagoon for some R&R this weekend. Somehow being away from the hardware store
is enough to put a stop to most ongoing projects. We even rigged up the
windsurf gear and spent a morning ripping around (John) and flailing around
(me). Good fun.

We also spent some time testing out our storm trysail.