March 28

Here we are back in Majuro. The trip back from Ailuk was mixed: the first day was horrible and the second lovely. The wind shifted to the ESE the moment we left and so we were close hauled in a choppy sea. We had waves washing over the front half of the boat constantly and with the frequent cockpit dousing which inevitably soaked the person on watch. Jonah was terribly seasick. I was fine but had to empty many bucket of vomit and didn't sleep well as I had a sweaty ill child sleeping in my bed. The second day was clear and the seas flat and it was lovely. We had to motor a bit but then the wind picked up and we had a nice run. Naturally as we approached the pass right after sunset it poured buckets. The positive thing was that the boat was rinsed of all the salt and the negative was approaching not only in the rain but in the dark. We went straight to town since we are familiar with the anchorage and had our anchor down by 10pm. The best part was that we caught a 4 foot Mahi Mahi about 50 miles out of Majuro. YUM. Also, we caught a small big eye Tuna on the way out of the pass at Ailuk so it was a good fish trip. Jordan made garlic tuna on bread for us to eat while we motored from the pass to the town. There is nothing better than fresh caught fish.

We started provisioning immediately and running around town in our usual crazy way. We got our pile of packages at our friendly US Post office and cleaned up.

On Saturday we participated in the Coconut Cup Race and had lots of fun. We looked for crew on Friday and everyone who could sail was either sailing their boat or already on a boat. Our autopilot brain board blew out in Ailuk making impossible to shorthand race our boat. The main problem is with an inner staysail we have to roll our Genoa to execute a tack. We attended the Pre-Race brunch and incredibly found 7 fabulous people. Robin McIntrye (local Kiwi Doctor), Becca (US teacher), JJ (Aussie nurse), Bianca (Aussie teacher), Bruce, Jane and Sarah (Visting Kwajlean Yacht Club folks). Robin has raced for years and was a extremely calm and confident helmswoman, Becca was on the main sheet. Bianca was on the mizzen sheet. JJ, Jane and Sarah were on the foredeck and they yanked and pulled the genoa sail thru and over during tacks. Bruce was the secret muscle weapon and he was our grinder superb. I really thought it was going to be a Chinese circus but what the hell we would have fun. Instead everyone seemed to fit easily into what they were doing and we executed snappy tacks and had the boat sailing fabulously. Usually on passage we are short handed and tired and to lazy. I think racing was really good for us as it reminded us what our boat is capable of with some effort.

We did the course in 1 hour and 18 minutes and placed seventh out of 12.

The celebration party was a blast. Great rock and roll band made up of ex-pats, food and prizes for everyone. The organizers of the race did an amazing job on the entire event and we enjoyed our selves thoroughly. I fell into bed exhausted and am pondering a completely lazy Sunday.

The current plan is to leave next Friday and go to Aur Atoll which is only 60 miles away for a 12 days and then come back to check out and start heading for south to Fiji. We are shipping Jonah via Fiji to his grandmother and summer camp. Honeymoon in Fiji for us. A bunch of boats are staying here for the year and we have considered it but are unsure. The idea is for us to be in Aussie next winter and then be poised easily to hop up the coast and be in Darwin by July ready to head to Indonesia. A possibility is to head back up here after Fiji. There are so many atolls we haven't seen and we like the untouched and unspoiled quality of many of the atolls. Who knows.