February 24

Today we moved the boat to Annemwanot Island, about 5 miles from the town and 7 miles from the pass which leads out of the lagoon. We are going to go to sleep tonight at about 8pm and wake up at midnight then leave at around 1am. We are heading for Ailuk Atoll which is about 220 miles to the North Northwest. The weather looks good and it should be a nice passage. The ETE (Estimated Time Enroute) on this passage is very hard to estimate since our boat speed can vary greatly depending on conditions. Normally, though, we base estimates on a 6k average and usually this has worked for us.

At 6k we should required about 38 hours to reach Ailuk. We want to arrive in daylight hours, but also leave ourselves an arrival window so that if we end up being faster then expected we will not pay for it by waiting around till daylight before we can enter the pass. Having never been there, it is crucial to make landfall during daylight hours especially when negotiating reef passes and coral heads inside the lagoon entrance as exist in this case at Ailuk. Our 1am departure puts us at the pass entrance at about 2pm which is perfect. If we are faster and end up averaging 7k instead of 6k we will arrive at the pass entrance at 9am which is still good and if we are slower we still have 5 more hours of daylight to get into the pass and find the anchorage.

We have already hoisted and stowed the dinghy, which was quite a job this time since we have a new dinghy which is both larger and much, much heavier. Finding the right way to stow it and tie it down was a chore in the hot sun, but we managed it. We are all set to go.