Lucky Ailuk

We anchored among some beautiful patch reef just off the village of Ailuk where 300 residents live the atoll life.

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There was a visit from the Minister of Justice and the Chief of Police. After a nap we wandered down the clean swept sand streets of the village looking for Amai, the acting mayor.

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We found Amai at home and he sat us in the shade of his garden and whacked up some drinking coconuts. We discussed various trade goods and came up with a list of things we could part with. He sent us off with some of his wife’s topshelf basket weaving as collateral.

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We wandered down the beach and met a cast net fishermen in a Star Wars Phantom Menace shirt.

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He was after schools of careless convict tangs who strayed too close to the shore.

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Then S made a friend named Raimie.They traded canned milk, phoofy creams and lotions, baby powder and tea for coconuts and weavings. She tried to throw in a rooster but we declined.

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These people were living closer to the land than any we’ve ever met. Each organic scrap goes to the pigs, chickens or the lime tree mulch.

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Breadfruit is a large part of the diet and reef fish are always out to dry.

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The church was the center of community life like all the remote islands we visited in the Pacific.

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And the dead were characteristically venerated in beautiful grave yards.

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Feeling the pressure to continue our homeward journey, it wasn’t an easy decision to stop at Ailuk but it was a major highlight of our circuit through the Pacific.

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10°13.40′N 169°58.70′E 23-June-11 00:00 UTC

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