April 2, 2005

We are at Kapingamarengi Atoll which is in the southern most part of the Federated States of Micronesia. The village is in the northeast corner on two of the smaller islands. They are packed tightly with people. It is not as pretty or clean as Nukuoro but the people are welcoming and nice. The weather has been horrible. Hard blowing squalls several times a day. The holding is poor for the anchor as most of the bottom is hard scrabble coral into which the anchor can not bite. We moved recently to a mooring that Ken from Magic had buoyed. Jordan dove and attached our own chain and rope to an enormous old ship anchor that is buried in a coral head. We feel much safer now.

Unfortunately, I came down with some form of dysentery. I was very sick for two day with a high fever and even fainted once! I picked it up in the village which has poor sanitation. People most go to the bathroom in the sea but many use a hole (not composted) or the kids just go anywhere. Pigs roam freely or are tied to the kitchen table (yikes!). I have never been so sick and am currently on antibiotics. Jonah came down with it last night and is not quite as sick as I was but is doing poorly and probably will need antibiotics as well.

Last night we had “the Aussies” over for dinner. Jordan made pizza and pasta and it was delicious. “The Aussies” are Ken and Tracey and their three kids who sailed here 4 years ago and have been living on land here. They live pretty much like the locals albeit with a better diet as they make a great effort to a more healthy diet than the average islander. Most of the locals do not eat enough greens, fresh fruit and healthy grains. It is very interesting to hear from someone who has been living here with the people. Tracey and Ken are very involved with the people here and have keen and honest appraisal of the place. The two older kids (ages 10 and 14) speak the local Polynesian dialect. They love it a great deal which is obvious since they have lived here for four years. The atoll is visually lovely and the water is full of fish and life. Since we are just passing through places and not really living there, I am sometimes not sure if my impressions are correct. It is nice to meet people who have truly become apart of the place and can relate both the positives and the negatives.

The weather has finally cleared today and I am thrilled. Jordan went snorkeling with Ken this morning and I am resting and nursing Jonah. I am hoping for a healthy boat by next week and then we are going to start looking for a weather window to leave for PNG. I don’t know if we will dive here since I am still weak and the weather has been so poor.

I can't believe it. I just finished a load a laundry on what I thought was a hot and cloudless day. Of course, the moment I started clipping clothes on the line, I could see dark rain clouds on the horizon. Talk about Murphy’s Law! IF you do laundry and need it to dry, it will rain.