Republic Of the Marshall Islands

After a glorious sunny day of sailing between 5 and 7 degrees north, the ITCZ caught up with us again as we were closing in on Majuro.  By the time we got through Calalin Channel we’d had near about enough of squalls. S was considering a change of hobby.

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The final straw was 35 kt haymaker just inside the atoll, 2 nm from the anchorage. We were making 0.4 kts with the engine maxed out and the bow submarined more times than we could count in the short choppy breakers.  We’ve had so much rain that it has changed our daily routine. Need a drink? Just hold your cup outside. Got a drip on your head? Deploy the blue bucket.

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It was so wet on this passage that the flying fish couldn’t tell if they were in the water or in the boat. We found one mummified specimen tucked under some gear where he had been for several days. The fact that we never smelled him made us realize how funky things must’ve gotten in the cabin.

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It took us over three hours to cover the final ten miles from the pass to the mooring field in blinding rain and hull-pounding chop. But we were warmly welcomed by the resident yachtie fleet.  John of Hawkeye had answered our call asking about conditions in the channel, Patrick of Brick House came out in the rain to help us tie to a mooring, and Cary of Seal made an appointment for us with Customs and Immigration that afternoon and even came to pick us up in his dinghy so we didn’t have to moblilize ours.

That evening we met several other yachties at the Mieco Beach Yacht Club’s Quiz Night.  We turned out to be pretty good guessers and wound up winning the prize – the honor of making up next month’s quiz questions.

With this passage we traded our parting images of Tuvalu…

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for the the industrial tuna fishing harbor of  Majuro,

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and a busy urban setting with all the trappings of American culture, plus both modern indoor and traditional outdoor plumbing.

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It didn’t take long to make friends.

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And we even got to watch a footrace.

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We met up with some Tuvaluan friends, recipients of the first and last Khamseen mail service for the Funafuti-Majuro searoute.

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The girls exchanged email addresses, and we hope to keep in touch.

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Along with meeting a bunch of new friends, we were delighted to find our old friends Leigh and Richard of Before, who were literally our next door neighbors back in Shilshole.   Leigh, Richard, and their schnauzer Koziko (terror of all bow-perching noddies) joined us aboard Jody and Bruce’s Ca Va for a delicious going-away pizza dinner, complete with wine-tasting.

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Majuro was a good stop, a great place to meet terrific people, reprovision, and get ready for our big hop home.

07°06.50′N 171°22.64′E 20-June-11 22:30 UTC

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