May 12

Today, 2 days after we arrived at Aur Atoll, we finally got the dinghy in the water and went over to the village to check in with the acting mayor (the mayor himself was off island). We arrived on Monday (today is Wednesday) in the afternoon but on Tuesday it rained all day and the wind howled so we never left the boat. Today, fortunately, the rain has stopped and the wind calmed down and all is well in the world again.

In the morning we did school (Jonah began 3rd grade math yesterday, having completed 2nd grade math a month early) and then splashed the dinghy and mounted the outboard. After lunch we zipped over the village, which is on an islet in the lagoon about 2 miles from where we are now anchored, and looked around and found the acting mayor, showed him our permit (which he seemed to not really be familiar with) and gave him the $25 fee which visiting boats are required to pay. We are now free to stay as long as we like and visit any of the islets in the lagoon. Several of them are lightly populated with one or two families but only two or three islets have villages, Aur Island, the one we visited today which is nominally the "main" islet, Tabal in the NE corner of the atoll and Bigen at the Northern tip of the atoll. Tabal has the largest village and is reported to have the best anchorage in the lagoon.

We are anchored about 2 miles North of Aur Island next to an island called Ennopu which offers excellent protection from both the East and the North (which is important since the prevailing wind is Northeasterly though it has been more Northerly then Easterly in the last 2 days). After returning from the village we did a little snorkeling and found the reefs just off Ennopu to be excellent with plenty of healthy coral and nice fish life. The winds are down to about 10k now which makes the lagoon very calm and pretty and the clouds are beginning to fade away. Weather reports predict similar weather for the next 5 days and we are hopeful they will prove accurate.