April 8, 2005

As usual it has been a long time since I have written in these pages. I guess this is because we have not been up to anything dramatic and so not much has happened worthy of writing. Since we arrived at Kapingamarangi 2 weeks ago we have had almost constant rain. There have been 2 or 3 nice days, most of which have either began or ended with rain but had nice sunny skies in between.

So what have we been doing in the rain? Not much. Watching videos. Playing cards (gin-rummy) and eating. We also had a bout of stomach virus that hit Kate the hardest. Jonah had a couple of bad days with it as well. All of us were on antibiotics and we are all feeling fine now. We have been spending a bit of time with the “Magic” family (from the sailing yacht “Magic”) who live ashore here with their boot moored nearby. They keep chickens and have kept us in eggs since we arrived. We had them to dinner the other night and made pizza (3 pies) which went over big. We even had a log of pepperoni we had been saving for a while. Ken and Tracy are from Cairns and they have 4 kids, one of which is living in Perth with her Tracey’s parents. The others go to the local school here where both Ken and Tracey teach part time. Tracey teaches woman’s health issues and Ken teaches a variety of practical and mechanical skills.

The people have been very friendly to us and we have enjoyed being here regardless of the bad weather. Jonah has especially enjoyed himself here playing with the local kids ashore. Mostly they swim and dive off the concrete pier and play king of the raft with an inflatable raft we have. Jonah also worships Ken and Tracy’s son Beau who is eleven. Beau is kind to Jonah but really the gap between a 8 and 11 year old is huge and Beau is way past the age where funny sounds and made-up languages interest him as they do Jonah still. Yesterday they played soccer with a bunch of kids and had a great time.

The fellow who lives next door to Ken and Tracey is one of the school teachers, his name is Sakius. He has three grown children living in the US and they send him money and toys from the states. He has a generator and TV/DVD player and hosts movie night for people who live nearby him and we lent him several DVDs. But when I went to look at his DVDs to see if there were any we hadn’t seen I was shocked to see he had a bigger collection then we did and many of them we had never seen. Last night we watched “The Core” which Jonah loved of course. The story is a bit absurd (the earth’s liquid core stops spinning and the magnetic field surrounding the earth collapses) but the characters weren’t bad. We also borrowed “Matchstick Men” with Nicholas Cage which we haven’t seen and a movie called “Gods and Generals” which we’ve never heard of but we think it is a civil war movie.

We are expecting to leave here in about a week though it will all depend on the weather. This area of the ocean (close to the Equator) is notorious for light winds and we have 325 miles to sail to reach Kavieng, Papua New Guinea. Our biggest fear is that we will have no wind on the passage and not have enough fuel to motor there. Right now I estimate we have about 85 gallons and that should allow us to motor for about 85 hours (assuming 1 gallon per hour running at about 1500rpms) but our fuel tank gauges are not accurate and my count may be off. If we can leave here with a decent wind and sail for 8 or 10 hours that will give us the margin we need to motor the rest if the wind dies.