Thursday, October 20, 2011

We made it to Tarawa!

Jake got in the habit of waking up every morning at
5:45 for sunrise.  This particular morning he was WIDE
After six days at sea, three of them motoring, we finally made it to Tarawa.  We got here late at night and decided to make the entrance at night...not one of our better decisions.  Andy did a great job of driving by radar and electronic charts while I stood on the bow with a giant flash light helping to miss the buoys.  We finally threw the hook down behind a large ship and went to sleep.  We woke up the next morning to find ships all around us...some of them floating, some of the not (i.e. we parked in the middle of a bunch of derelict and sunk boats).  We made our way to the anchorage as two other boats pulled in as well.  There's a total of four boats here now (one left this morning - we'll see them in Majuro).

We've checked in (an extremely convoluted process - simple in theory, not in practice) and gone around town a bit, but the jury is still out.  I'm not prepared to write about it yet...still trying to get a grasp of everything (read into that what you like).  So...I'll share some pictures from our passage and Tuvalu...enjoy!

If you look really close on the right hand side, you'll see a bottle.
They're making their local brew, "toddy" from the sap in the
coconut tree.  You see bottles hanging everywhere.
According to the story our waitress told us at lunch one day, this boat was stolen from Tahiti and was being taken to Thailand when some bad weather came about, so the crew stopped in Tuvalu.  Not only had they stolen the boat, but they didn't have proper passports either.  The government sent them home without the boat.  While a government official was in Tahiti on business, he happened to mention the incident to a local official and it turned out to be his boat!  Not sure how much of it is true, but according to the story, they'll still trying to figure out how to get it back to Tahiti.

A good number of pigs scattered the island.
Our last sunset in the South Pacific this year before
crossing the equator again.

Selling handicrafts in front of the airport ( I use the term "airport"

The local Internet Cafe where Jake gave a little history lesson
to all who would listen on the battles of WWII.  

It's a very crowded island with people packed into every empty lot
you can imagine.

The Tuvalu National Library and Archives

Government building...can you see where all the money goes?

Our view from the hotel restaurant

Andy, enjoying a sunset while underway to Tarawa.
The dinghy after the davit broke

The only thing keeping it from going completely in the water
is that little line in the front of the picture.

Sunrise over a very calm ocean

The reason we motored for three wind, whatsoever.

Our first deep sea creature.  Not enough meat to actually eat.
We have a few more pictures from Andy's camera but haven't loaded them yet...he's outside negotiating lobster prices with the locals so I should probably go supervise :).  The locals don't eat the lobster - they poop in the water, both the locals and the lobster, so they see us as a big target (i.e. Matangs don't know any better).  What they don't know is that lobsters eat poop all over the world and they still taste great.

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