February 1

It's February 1st and we are at Maloelap (pronounced Maa-lo-ee-lap) in the Marshall Islands. Maloelap is a beautiful coral atoll about 115 miles North of Majuro. We've been here since the 20th and have been having a wonderful time.

We are anchored now at the Southern end of the atoll in front of a largish islet called Airik (I-Rick) with a small village. There are 3 other boats here with us, "Wind Runner", "Dancer" and "Karmaladen" who should be leaving in a day for Majuro. "Roxanne" was here for several days and just left this AM to head North to visit some of the other anchorages in the lagoon which we've already been to.

We've been here about three days now and probably will stay another 2 or 3 (or more). Its really nice here, flat calm and very beautiful. There are a couple of nice little reefs for snorkeling. There is also a pass leading outside the lagoon where the good scuba diving is, but with our lame dinghy we are unable to make it that far. We can't wait till we get our new dinghy when we get back to Majuro. It should be arriving in about a week and so that's when we plan to get back there.

This afternoon I went on a dive with Martin from "Wind Runner" and JoAnne from "Karmaladen". We went outside the reef and had a lovely dive. The water was incredibly clear and the fish life was excellent. The coral was not so hot, but not dead and lifeless, just sparse. We saw many schools of various types of jacks, a couple of turtles, tons of big snappers and a couple of small black tip sharks. A nice assortment of reef fish, some quite large, were also in abundance. Kate and I are going to go again tomorrow probably with Martin and Christie as well. Even though our dinghy is lame with its half-working outboard, I think we can make it to the dive site which is about a mile and a half away, though it will be a slow, long trip and very wet on the way back (into the chop).