November 15

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in the journal. We’ve been having a very nice time since we left Tarawa but nothing dramatic or unusual has happened. We spent a few days anchored by the main village at Butaritari, the atoll we are at now. Nothing much happened there. It was very, very hot and there was absolutely no wind. Then we went up to anchor by the Northern pass and a sliced my toe open right on the nail (ripped the nail right off) just as we raised the anchor. That sucked. The water was incredible up there with awesome coral untouched by man. The boat “Dirty Dotty” was anchored there with us and we spent a few days with them hanging out.  

I really wanted to scuba dive but with my toe I couldn’t wear my fins and I was worried about infection. We were so close to the pass that the current was very strong and the boat would switch directions every time the tide changed. We had to hang a rope off the stern to go swimming, then we would float back from the bow and grab the rope and pull ourselves up. Jonah and Kate had a race to see who could swim to the bow first up current. Even with fins (and masks and snorkels) it was very hard but they both made it.  

After a few days we came back to the Southern part of the lagoon and came over to the Eastern side where a long island provides excellent protection from the wind, which had begun to increase to about 10-12k making the anchorage by the Northern pass a bit lumpy being exposed to the East the full length of the lagoon (which is about 20 miles).  

This part of the atoll is lovely with a beautiful long beach which we are anchored in front of, but not too close as the bottom slopes up gradually and its very shallow quite a ways out. The people in the village are very friendly and a Peace Corps worker named Jill from Oregon is living here and she has been acting as our guide and interpreter. There are 5 other boats here now, a record for this atoll by the way, which in the past has never seen more then 3 boats at one time. The area is becoming more popular each year as word of mouth spreads and more and more boats head this way (on the way to the Marshall Islands which are about 300 miles to the North). Of the 5 other boats here 3 of them have kids, which is also quite remarkable, and Jonah has been having a fabulous time playing with the other kids. They have also been playing with the local village children which is great and they have been having big group games of frisbee and kick ball and swimming.  

No idea how long we’ll stay here. We’re in no rush to get up to Majuro, our next stop and our first in the Marshall Islands . As long as we have enough food we may stay here another week or so. Our friends Martin and Christie on “Wind Runner” have just arrived today and we are hoping to get some scuba diving in with them in the next few days.