Saturday, March 31, 2012


I see that my recent updates have not been uploaded. Sorry for the delay, I
see there has been a glitch in the email post feature. I'm going to resend
them. Also, you may have noticed that while we were in Majuro, I uploaded
pictures to the past couple months of blog posts while we were in Aur and
Maloelap. I've also updated our photos on flickr.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wotje Atoll

After a week of hanging with friends and reprovisioning in Majuro, we set
off through the pass and headed north. We sailed 175 miles to the atoll of
Wotje, which has 75 islands circling the atoll, a total area of 8 km2, and a
peak elevation of 3 meters.

We are anchored in 15 feet of crystal blue water, with a crumbling flying
boat ramp on our north side, and a crumbling pier on the south of us. We're
nicely sheltered in one of the calmest anchorages we've seen!

This island was another major Japanese base during WWII, and our guidebook
tells us that it is covered 'end-to-end' with war bunkers and artifacts.
We've read that 3000 Japanese military were heavily bombed by the Americans
here and many of those who didn't die in the attacks starved to death. Only
1200 survived.

After two days of wandering around, we've seen remains of some bunkers, pill
boxes, a radio tower, torpedo racks and barracks. There does not seem to be
as much here as Maloelap, but we still have some exploring to do. This
morning, we plan to snorkel a sunken ship and plane wreck not far from our
These racks held the torpedos for the flying boats and planes

Wotje is also the location of the regional high school for northern islands,
so there are lots of students here. It also seems to be more wealthy than
the other two local islands we've visited so far. Most homes are made of
cement block and almost all are painted in cheery colours, a luxury that we
rarely saw on Aur or Maloelap. There are even a couple vehicles here - we've
seen three trucks so far. There is a large generating station providing
power to most homes. It is a pretty unusual sight to see a local home built
of simple materials with a power meter mounted to the outside wall.
This old Japanese ammunition bunker is now being used as a home, and you can see the power meter mounted on the side.

After a couple months of both local planes being away for repairs, the local
airline had one plane running for the last month or so. But now it is back
in the repair hanger. This is a common theme in the islands. It is well
known that if you fly "Air Maybe" there is a good chance that you might not
be able to return as planned. There are currently a few people here on Wotje
that are looking for a ride to Majuro - we've been asked to take four people
so far, and we've heard that there are more. Our plans aren't firm yet,
we're waiting to hear when we need to be back in town, so we haven't yet
committed to the passengers. In any case, looks like we're in for an
interesting ride...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Majuro Fun

We have a love-hate relationships with Majuro. In so many ways it is
fabulous. There are large grocery stores, where you can buy most things that
you would want or need. It may be expired, but it is here. There are great
hardware stores, so it is easy to get your inevitable projects completed.
They use the US Postal Service, so receiving mail is simple and fast,
especially from the States. There is a great yachtie community here with
regular social activities and a wealth of local information. There is
internet - expensive, but it is good and we can get it from our boat - a big

Of course, it is a busy city for this part of the world. So it is a bit
dirty. We don't swim. The harbour is deep, so tying to a mooring ball is
required and not free (but by no means is it expensive). The worse part for
us is that we have no self control. We eat out. We buy stuff. We just bleed
money. So our new mantra is to stay only as long as necessary. After all,
we're getting closer to the end of our trip and funds are getting low.

But our favorite part of Majuro is that just a few miles away from 'town' is
a lovely getaway spot that is frequented so often by yachties, that they
have installed a few mooring balls to save the coral from anchor damage.
There are sandy beaches and wonderful swimming here. You instantly feel
removed and relaxed. Cruisers who are working in Majuro often come out here
on weekends, but during the week, it is easy to find yourself as the only
boat. We spent last weekend out at the island of Eneko, with friends on Savannah, Love Song and Molly II.
Love Song and Savannah anchored at Eneko
We had a great weekend. John scrubbed the bottom. I slummed with the
ladies on the anchored floating dock, where we read magazines, swam when
hot, and painted my toes. I gazed down at the coral life while cruising
around on Love Song's stand up paddleboard. We potluck bbq'ed on the beach.
And I even managed a sewing project.

3 boys and 2 dogs on a kayak exploring the reef. Very cool.