June 4

Today was a very special day for us on the Queen Jane, it was Kate and my 10th wedding anniversary! Although in fact, I am writing this on June 4th, in the US (where we were married) it is now June 3rd and therefore it has not been 10 complete years since we were married by 9 years and 364 days. No matter.

We began the day by calling a school holiday in honor of the above mentioned anniversary. While Jonah played computer games and Kate read a book, I got to work making bagels. This was the second time I made bagels, the first being only a week ago and they came out even better today then the first time. I used sesame and poppy seeds as well as garlic as toppings. While the second batch of bagels were baking, I mixed up some cake batter (from a box) and when the bagels were done I slipped that in the oven. By the time the cake was finished baking and we had eaten our fill of hot bagels it was about noon and we called a 45 minute rest period. During this time Kate and I played gin-rummy (she beat me yet again) and I simultaneously filled scuba tanks.

By 1pm we were off to the village. I stopped by to see Allen Capelle who is on the village council and is the man to whom visiting yachts check in with when the mayor is not on island, which is most of the time apparently. Allen has been vary gracious and has spent much time with us under a shady tree discussing all manner of subjects relating to this island. He also was able to sell us some gasoline which we are always in need of and which we never manage to carry enough of onboard. Yesterday the supply ship came in and Allen had a barrel of gasoline delivered from which he sold us 7 or 8 gallons (for $3.75 a gallon - think of that everyone reading this in the US who are now paying over $2 per). We stopped by to pay him for the gas as I didn't have the money on me yesterday when we got the gas.

Also yesterday, once we had secured additional gasoline, I took Jonah and almost every kid in the village for rides on our ski-raft toy. This is an inflatable raft in the shape of a horseshoe with a floor that is towed behind the dinghy at high speed. The kids loved it and they were all clamoring at the beach shouting "me me me me" to compete to go next. We probably took about 20 kids for rides though all were boys. The few girls on shore watching could not be induced to try it. I assume this has to do with some social tenet which prevents girls from participating in anything which is seen as un-feminine. Another activity the boys amused themselves with was jumping off the bow of the supply ship. This ship was about 140ft long and the bow was at least 25-30ft above the water. The ship was tied alongside a small quay and the kids would climb up on the bow and jump off into water about 15-20ft deep. When Jonah saw this he ran right for the ship to join in. I watched from the beach and then rushed back to the boat to get my camera but alas, when I got back to the ship I found the batteries dead! Kate watched from the Queen Jane with binoculars and almost had a cow. Fortunately there was little she could do to stop him from her vantage point. Jonah made the leap four or five times.

Back to today. After we visited Allen we took a walk over to the middle of the beach where a man named Jimmy was feeding his brood of turtles which he keeps in open tanks in front of his house (which is also on the beach). Jonah and I had met Jimmy yesterday and seen the turtles and we wanted to take Kate over there to see them. Jimmy speaks decent English and we were able to get quite a lot of info out of him. He had 3 tanks each with different size turtles. The first tank held about 20 to 25 very small animals about 2" long which he said he collected from the beach of a nearby islet on Tuesday. That makes them about 4 days old, today being Friday. The second tank contains 3 or 4 turtles about 6 or 7" wide which I think he said are about 3 months old. The final tank has about 8 or 10 which are about 10" wide and these he says he will release when they are about 2" larger. When asked why he does this he says it is to help propagate the species (not his exact words, but that is what he means) and he is very serious about it though it seems kind of a hobby to him. The kids all love to gather round and watch and Jonah especially was thrilled to see them (and to hold the babies). While we were there he was feeding the babies little tiny fishes which they all ate in a near frenzy. He says they grow faster in captivity because he provides a steady supply of fish.

When we were done watching the turtles we went back to the boat and loaded up the dinghy with our scuba gear and went out on the reef to dive. Jonah stayed home and watched DVDs. We had a great dive, it was only our second here at Likiep and we are certain we will have many more fun dives here as we plan to stay several more weeks.

After the dive I made dinner. It was a special meal and I made a fabulous roast pork loin marinated in honey mustard, baked carrots and some plain noodles in butter. The entire crew raved about the dinner and we had the chocolate layer cake for desert. A perfect day!