March 23

This morning arrived windless as the night before with clearing skies to the West and light puffy clouds to the East. By 7am a slight breeze has come up from the East and we have set out the genoa and throttled back on the engine so that we are barely making 1200rpms. The wind is about 6-8k and we are making 6.2k over ground toward Kapinga.

By 8am the wind has solidified and we have finally shut down the engine. We are sailing with main, mizzen and genoa and making between 5.5 and 6k, sometimes even 6.2 so that I believe we are averaging about 5.8k. The wind is 9-12k from the ENE and we are reaching with the wind between 60-70 degrees off the bow in flat calm seas near perfect conditions.

By 1pm we are approaching the island rapidly and individual islets can be seen along the atolls North side and NE corner. To the East with the sun up higher now we can see the tops of large cumulous clouds far away on the horizon at least 50+ miles away, huge thunderheads rising high into the atmosphere. We have about 10 miles to reach the SE corner of the atoll and another 2 or so miles to the pass which is on the South side of the island.

At about 2:45 we came through the pass after rolling up the genoa and dropping the mizzen. The conditions are perfect with good viz and clear skies above us. But as we enter the lagoon and motor NE toward the motu with the village where we will anchor we can see the large rain clouds we saw earlier were now fast approaching the atoll and the towering thunderheads could be seen over the tops of the motus lining the East side of the atoll. We expect within an hour we will be under a major downpour.

We dropped the hook in 35 feet of water at about 3:45 just South of Ueru I., one of the two neighboring islets (joined by a concrete bridge) where the village is situated. We dragged quite a bit before coming up hard. A longboat was alongside us before we had finished shutting down the engine and 4 or 5 guys came aboard to welcome us officially. Two were introduced as police, one was some sort of official who did the talking. They asked us to come in tomorrow and meet with the Acting Chief Magistrate (the actual Chief Magistrate lives on Pohnpei where he supposedly works to wrangle federal (FSM) and state (Pohnpei) monies for the island.

As the dark clouds approached we all took note and our visitors departed. Within 5 minutes the 20-25k winds of the leading edge struck. We dragged quite a bit more before the hook finally bit into something (not sure what yet) and we came up hard nose to the wind in 25k. We were lashed with rain all night and with each passing cell more wind gusts in the 20+ range thankfully the hook is in like a