September 24

This morning we moved the boat as early as possible. After 4am and 5am rain squalls with 20+ knots (sometimes from the South putting us on a lee shore) we had had enough. At 8:30am we raised the anchor. Weather conditions are poor with a moderate outlook. Wind has died down to about 4k and is from the NE. Heavy rain squalls can be seen on the horizon to the West. To the East we see heavy clouds with clearing beyond them. To the South all looks clear so we are hopeful.

At 11:30am we are about 7.5 miles from the East side of the reef where a couple of dozen little islets dot the reef between Wotje Island in the South and Ormed Island in the North. We hope to find good protection behind one of these small, uninhabited islets.

We anchored off an islet to the North of Wotje Island and the swell was coming in from the Southwest very badly. We snorkeled on the anchor (it was set nicely) and then Kate and Jonah went to the beach on one of the little islets (to get away from the rolling boat) and they came back 5 minutes later saying they could not land on the beach with the dingy due to the breaking swells. So, we raised the anchor again and moved South back to the main islet of Wotje and amazingly the swell was gone (two large islands in the SE corner of the atoll are blocking the swell). We anchored in 35-40ft of clear water in all sand, very few coral heads. The beach at the South end of Wotje is beautiful and all of the people live at the North and center of the island, so it looks fairly deserted ashore. Tomorrow we will get started on the varnishing again!