December 3, 2004

 I cant believe the year is almost over. Wow it went fast.

We are here in Pohnape taking care of stuff and enjoying the anchorage. We did take our ripped mainsail down and folded it up somehow into a manageable, huge rectangle and shipped it to New Zealand. We were noticing a lot of small holes and fragility of the material. I ripped the foot of the sail shaking the sail while I was folding which is not a good sign. By some good fortune, we found a box that fit exactly and took it to the airport. Fedexing a sail from Pohnape to New Zealand costs $480.

We pondered trying to hack a repair which was faintly possible if all we had to sail was to the next civilized port for repairs but we are in the middle of nowhere here. Truly Pohnape is one of the remotest places. We have five months to get anywhere like that. We couldn’t go with at Mickey Mouse repair on a sail for that long. We have an airport here with regular flights twice weekly so we needed to take care of the sail now. We are still assessing the possibility of simply ordering a new sail. The sail is 4.5 years old which isn’t bad unless you live and sail in the tropics. I thought it would last longer and I know people who have 8 year old sails but they usually have had repair work on them.

Jonah and I met the Australian Navy people here who kindly invited us over for two play dates as they have a son Jonah’s age. The Navy compound is nicely set up with a pool and a playground.

Yesterday we went to the Public library and Jonah enjoyed reading some new books. He didn’t want to check anything out even though I offered. We had lunch at the hotel that overlooks the bay and had a great time.

The taxi’s cost a buck to go most places and you have to tell them where you were going. In the Majuro (Marshall Islands) it was customary to wait till you were almost there and then scream out “Stop”. Majuro is a thin atoll with only one road and some side dirt tracks so it was a feasible system. Here there are more options. Today “Joe Hip-Hop” and his buddies drove us to the Australian Compound. They seemed a bit intimidating but were very polite and sweet to Jonah. The taxis drivers always seem to have their best friend or girlfriend in the front seat. I guess there is not a lot to do on the island and driving around with you buddy who is working is fun. The people in general here seem open and outgoing and the place is nice.

I love the mountains shrouded with mist and the rain showers that come down the mountains and over the bay. It smell moist here and everything is green green green.