January 16, 2013

Re: Made it to Rongelap

We set sail at noon on Monday with a great wind angle and quartering seas following us doing 7-8 knots. Then around 9 pm the first squall showed it's stuff. We rolled the Code Zero up after 2 tries, the wind unrolled the top of the sail we had to untangle that mess in the dark! That damn sail is not easy to handle since it has no foil to roll it up on! We left "patches" the jib out the rest of the night and crossed our fingers hoping the glue would hold the repaired sail in a 30 knot gust....It did just fine, a cut up kite for a patch and a can of glue saved the day!
The squalls continued through the early hours of the morning and by 11 am we had covered 160 miles and had the North Pass in site although it did not line up on our charts worth the darn! I was correcting the offset which by my guess we was off 3-4 hundred feet! About that time a serious squall hit with 30-35 knot winds and a driving rain along with it taking viability down to a few hundred feet! I punched the menu button to set the offset and the screen went blank and the plotter powered off and would not restart! Then at the same time one of the poles gets hit and had a big reef shark on the line! So here we are with a fish on, no navigation,being blown at 6 knots through a poorly charted pass by a 35 knot winds soaking wet in the rain! Daria grabbed the Motorola Zoom with our spare charts and drove the boat while I dealt with getting rid of the shark. We some how missed all the bombas as we motored a few miles up the atoll to a small island and set the anchor. And wouldn't you know it as soon as the hook was down and set the skies cleared and the sun popped out just like any other day.... Needless to say I thought this was a great time to pop open a beer and shortly after a few more! these islands still show the effects of the bomb and have very few coconut trees and are mostly are covered in radioactive mangroves! No two headed birds or fish seen yet, but we are looking....

On another topic, We heard there is an extortionist in The kosrae customs office hassling the cruisers and making it expensive clearing in/out. We were wondering if you had the e-mail address to Hero the boat that was anchored next to you since our card was filled under "T" They would know the facts since they were just there.

We hope you are having fun in Aur Atoll!

Peace, P&D

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com