March 3, 2005

Nukuoro is a magical place. It is most like a idyllic Pacific paradise of any place I have visited. Visually pleasing with its traditional architecture, neat and tidy, the people friendly and welcoming and the people committed to their atoll and their lifestyle. There is a bit of the slower cousin effect – the smart kids go to Pohnpei or the US to work and live. On the other hand the life here is good. You want fish, you put a line out. You want fruit, you pick it from the tree. We are bombarded with gift baskets of fruit and coconuts. They have lemons and oranges here on this island which is an unusual surprise.

We met the principle of the school and invited him to come to the boat. He was around 50 and very well spoken. He spoke of the difficulty of teaching here – they only have 3 teachers and teach 1-8 grade. Supplies and materials are not very consistent or complete. They are often short basic stuff like pencils and paper and teaching materials are not often provided with the curriculum given by the government in Pohnpei. But it seems that education is valued and encouraged. It is lucky for them that the children who are uninspired academically can make a fine life living here on the atoll. Jordan and I did notice that the women seemed particularly bright and well-spoken here and the principle said it was because so many women here attended High School in Pohnpei.

We made a small donation of books to the school. I don’t have a lot to give away as I have given so many away in the Marshall’s. Jonah is really enjoying it here. He goes and plays with the kids every afternoon until it gets dark. We feel so relaxed here. The diving is nice and the water clear and clean. Is this the island paradise so many yachties go looking for? It only took us four years to find!

We still are unsure about our own cruising future. We are considering taking a year off in civilization (Australia) but are tantalized by the fact that the Med is only 15 months away if we keep sailing. The bottom line is that we love traveling and living on our boat – its all that sailing that is not as much fun as it used to be.