December 16, 2012

From Vanuatu to Marshall's via Kiribati

We left Vanuatu at 5pm on 8th of November.

From Pete's mail to Bob, 10th of Nov : "300 miles under the keel so far and we are STILL close reached heading our way N-E. Who knows where the end of this road is? we will most likely continue to see the winds shift to north and not have to touch a sail for the next few hundred miles to the equator. The good news is the winds are strong and we are making decent time for a BASH!
We should be in Kiribati in 5 days about the 15th unless the winds say NO, then we will continue on to the Marshall's direct (hope not). Been going to fast to fish so no good stories other than passing Anuta Island (Cherry Is) at about 5pm last night. There was a proa cat on the beach and about 10 people that we saw on this remote island. It looked like 150 years ago except they had clothes on. The cat was drug up to the tree line and it looks like they live there 200 mile from anywhere?"

2 days later:
"Bob! make sure you get fuel before you leave, your going to need it! We have been motoring for two days and the only wind to be had is on the nose! 3-4 knts. Any who.....we have seen two tuna killer helicopters fly by in search of fish. We have drowned several lures in our attempt to land one ourselves and new recruits are lined up to replace drowned comrades. The freezer is near fish less so it is about time we catch something. We will be stopping at a few islands along the way since we have developed (engine troubles) and will need a few days at each atoll to sort the issues out. I am sure it is just a loose connection or the key is in the wrong position? who knows? hehehe!
We will arrive at our first port to repair in the morning"

From 15th of November:
"Still no wind or not much any ways!
We crossed the Equator last night! who-who!! We were about 100 miles out from Eanikai Atoll and were hailed by the coast guard and after 7 tries they understood "Downtime" was the name of the vessel! We were going to stop for the "day" and work on the engine but who was right on our ass first thing in the morning? The coast guard! We had the main down and took out a reef, like we always do it that way....and re-set main let out the jib and the fishing lines and turned north.
We were trolling through several schools of feeding fish with hundreds of birds and caught a few small tuna. We switched to small 4" baits and had better luck than the bigger baits. Then a few miles up we hit a big school of tuna!! all 4 lines had a fish!!! And then...the Mako's (shark) came and ate ALL our fish and took two lour's! fuckers! But one 5 foot shark gave Pete a work out and we got him to the boat before the line snapped with a cedar plug in his lip! so no use fishing there!
We went 40 miles up the road and anchored at Rotuma and took SD to shore a few miles to the north next to the church and spent an hour with the locals who were all very welcoming and gave us coconuts to drink and showed us their village. Very cool! Very remote place!"

From my mail to Kate 18th of November:
"We are anchored in Abemama, we spent some time at the village for the last two days. They are very nice here and present me 2 home-made dresses, fed us lunch and gave us dry salty fish, which is really testy with cold beers! :)
First day SD was high and dry for 5 hours while we had a banana bread still in the oven! IT WAS BLACK WHEN WE FINALLY GOT BACK!"

We arrived in Tarawa early morning on 19th of November.
From mail to Bob:
"Well all the stories from last year are BULLSHIT and we had a nice time in Betio. We anchored at 1'21.915n 172'55.791e next to two other boats in 25 feet of water. Contact Tarawa Radio on channel 16 on arrival and they will organize a boarding party of 5 people to come out and clear you in. We did not have this info and went to town and did 2 hours of running around to the dismay of all officials. Any who we got cleared in. You can have fuel delivered to the boat for $5 a gallon! Although it is a have to go to the fuel office on the left side of road by big fuel tanks and pay first. They brought ours in a tanker un-metered? but I think the amount was right? The 8-10 am delivery was actually at 1:30 and the hose was a 2 inch reduced to 1 inch with no valve on the end! let her rip and cross your fingers it will all fit!
We met Kaure, who has a cab and is a retired school teacher and knows every one the island. He might be a good tour guide. He gave us a ride two days for 6-7 hours all over town and charged $30. You can park the dink at he head of the harbor next to concrete steps and there is an ANZ Bank if you take the first right and walk half a mile. Across from the bank is a (All local) shop that has fresh produce in a refrigerator, onions by the bag full and tons of frozen meat, and canned and paper goods. Best shop i saw in town."

 This tim clearing out was on me. Early morning I went with Kauri started my run around with paper work and visiting local markets... Prices for veggies: salad - Australian $10, 1 avocado -$8, 1 apple - $2, 12 eggs - $8, huge flying fish at local market $2 per pound and coconut $0,5. Internet - $1,8 per hour but very-very slow...
Around 1pm I went back to the boat, I got all papers for next port, but did not pay tax yet... Truck with diesel just arrived... Pete was so pissed of after waiting diesel for 5 hours, that we left without paying tax.. he-he.. no idea how much it was!

We sail from Tarawa around 2 pm and stoped outside Butaritari for a day! We did not go to village, were just waiting better direction of the wind.
The next night we anchored outside Milli Atoll and even snorkeled there! It was cool:) a lot of different fish and coral canyons!

We arrived in Majuro on Friday night and and finally caught Mahi and 2 rainbow runners and dogtooth tuna as we made our way inside the pass to the Atoll!

living our dream,
Daria and Pete

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