Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back to Pohnpei

Can you see the shrimp?
It took awhile, but we finally made it.  After two flights and 13 hours, Jake and I had a long layover in Guam and were lucky enough to stay with some new friends, Louise and Ernie, overnight before our last flight out to Pohnpei.  We arrived in Pohnpei with four large suitcases, two backpacks and a tote bag full of goodies (I was all worried about the weight of our luggage and it turns out the scales were broke in LA and they really could care less in Guam).  Once we cleared customs, Jake ran out to find Andy and as he was running for him, this large lady with an equally large amount of luggage kept getting in his way.  It was kind of funny to watch.  Jake was trying to be polite but you could tell he was getting frustrated….left, right, no left again…

We quickly got acclimated back into island life, starting with the rental car Andy picked us up in.  It didn’t have any air condition, the floors were nasty with ants crawling all over it and the steering wheel was covered in duct tape and was completely absent of seat belts.  It managed to stay sunny for the first day or two, but since then it’s been raining non stop around the clock.  Ahh…..home at last.

While Andy has done a ton of cleaning (I can’t imagine what this boat looked like when he arrived back after four months of neglect), Jake and I had to find a place for all of our stuff so it required a bit more in depth cleaning and organizing.  We managed to get rid of three garbage bags of clothes and one bag of toys.  I took all of the stuff that was to remain on board and went to the laundry mat.  I only had two loads of clothes but I also had two loads of stuffed animals covered in mold!  I can’t really describe to you the looks I got as a giant lobster fell out of the dryer wearing my pink panties. 

Today we finished up the cleaning (at least all I plan to do for now) with going through the storage under the cushions.  I needed to find a place for some of the craft items that we brought home and I wanted to check on the food stored under there (something Andy had conveniently not thought about).  The first thing we found was a pretty major leak coming from somewhere in the mast.  While we knew there was a leak there, we didn’t really know the extent of its coverage.  Everything was wet under there.  It’s going to be a pretty difficult task to find it and plug it up.  We can’t even think about doing that until it stops raining (that puts us somewhere into the November/December timeframe by my calculations…).  In the meantime, we have a lot of towels soaking up water.

The last few nights, we’ve smelled ammonia while watching TV.  Andy was convinced it was our pillow we have on the sofa.  It smelled moldy but not like ammonia.  Well, we found the source today.  As I lifted up the storage lid where we keep our flour (the compartment I was dreading the most), weevels and fruit flies just swarmed out of there.  The smell had to be just the pee from all those bugs.  I knew it was going to be a disaster but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to clean that stuff up without crying or puking.  So I called on my hero!  Andy got in there and double bagged everything, vacuumed and wiped it all down with vinegar.  That’s why he’s the best husband in the world.

Andy keeps telling me as we’re cleaning and going back and forth to shore getting drenched, “like we always tell people, It’s not all cocktails and palm trees.”  Yes, I’m aware of this, but it sure would be nice if I could have one cocktail under one palm tree.  Fortunately, Andy agrees, so we’re planning on checking the weather and if all is good (i.e. no more 35 knot gales like we’ve had the last few nights), we’ll head to a little atoll close to here called Ant.  It’s supposed to be uninhabited and have beautiful beaches and nice blue water for snorkeling, diving, what have you.  We stocked up on some food today – I really did forget how few veggies there can be here if you miss the ship delivery – and will get the last minute items tomorrow so we can head out Thursday morning.

We haven’t taken any pictures yet so I’ll leave you with the works of your favorite underwater photographer.  This is the result of Andy being by himself on a boat for three weeks able to go out when and where he wants…

kunie's chromodoris nudibranch

orange-finned anemonefish...yawning!

saravati anemone shrimp

pink anemone fish


Diane, Evan and Maia said...

I feel for you... Awesome that you are going to get out and enjoy an atoll though. there needs to be that upside to make the work part of this all make sense sometimes...

Doug and Carla Scott said...

Welcome home. I know it is tough finding all of that nasty stuff, but this too will pass and you will be able to relax and enjoy the sunsets and happy hours soon. Watch for our wonderful friends on Totem. They are heading your way and should be in PNG any day. You will like them - they are traveling with 3 kids and are amazing cruising buddies!

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