A work/play weekend

 
Enemonet... taken by good mate, Mark Cary, from the top of Suka's mast.
 

 

Enemonet… taken by good mate, Mark Cary, from the top of Suka’s mast.

 

Just returned from a working weekend (with the necessary bits of play thrown in) down-lagoon at Enemonet. Enemonet would be our “get-away-from-town” spot. The local Yacht Club installed about 7 moorings there (which Doug & I helped on) so it’s just too easy to head down there for some R&R.

Don’t know if I have mentioned it, but Doug and I hope to get out of here in the next 3 to 5 months and head west. West being through the Caroline Islands, i.e. Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap & Palau. From there we will transit through the Philippines, down to Borneo, over to Singapore and up to Thailand. That’s the plan, anyway. So, we are doing a lot of boat work. This weekend we put up our new mainsail and jib, just purchased from Lee Sails in Hong Kong. We also installed the stainless steel tubing I will be using for our new cockpit enclosure canvas. I think the most constructive thing we got accomplished was to go through the v-berth storage lockers weeding out “stuff” that hasn’t seen the light of day in the last six years. We must have lightened Suka by a ton or two. Our motto for the keep/don’t keep question …. “be brutal!”.

Of course it wasn’t all work and no play. We got a few snorkels in. I really wish I had had my underwater camera, but, sadly, I flooded it a couple weeks ago. So, no new pictures. So you will just have to envision the 6 foot nurse shark we found sleeping tucked up in the coral reef under a large table coral.

But, I do have pics of previous sightings of most of what we got to see this weekend.

 

 
A beautiful blue starfish...
A beautiful blue starfish...

  

I could watch octopus for hours... they're fasinating
I could watch octopus for hours... they're fasinating

 

This isn't THE shark we saw this weekend. But it is the same kind. So that makes two of these we have seen in the lagoon.
This isn't THE shark we saw this weekend. But it is the same kind. So that makes two of these we have seen in the lagoon.

 

These beautiful clams were all over.
These beautiful clams were all over.

 

Now we are back on our town mooring… back to civilization. And back to work. I have scuba lessons to do tomorrow and it’s back to canvas sewing the rest of the week. Til later….

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A bit of local color

Local pictures of Majuro:

Let’s catch up!

About dead center you will see Majuro Atoll. That is where we are.
About dead center you will see Majuro Atoll. That is where we are.

  

Back in 1999 Doug and I took a deciding turn in our life’s path and sold our condo, bought a sailboat and moved aboard. We had 3+ years to go until retirement and when that day came we would be sailing away from the U.S. and heading to points unknown… for the rest of our plannable future. Since that time we have spent 2 years in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, 1 year traversing the South Pacific and 3 1/2 years in Majuro, Marshall Islands. Which brings us to today and the start of Suka’s Blog.

 

Marjuro was only suppose to be a quick stop along the way, but turned out to be an experience. We decided to stay for a while because the Marshall Islands is a country in “free association” with the U.S. and therefore very “America friendly”. Work opportunities here are not the best but, with some creativity, both Doug and I have been able to pick up a bit of extra cash. Between Doug and I we have carpentry skills, scuba instruction skills, canvas sewing skills, accounting skills and photography skills. Dabbling in a bit of each of those has really added to our income and helped us do a lot of work on Suka.

What’s an atoll look like?

 

Majuro Atoll is about 30 miles long and about 4 miles wide. It’s just a strip of palm tree-covered land encircling a lagoon with the a whole lot of ocean surrounding it. Majuro Atoll differs in that a lot of those palm trees have been replaced by buildings. And not your romantic thatch covered type. There is a lot of concrete block and corrugated tin here in Majuro. After all, it is a third world country. Nobody would call Majuro lovely. But, the nice thing about Majuro is that all the population is congregated on the eastern and southern part of the atoll. The northern and western islands are still mostly palm covered with only a few structures. 

Living in Majuro has had its pros and cons. Suka is on a mooring that Doug put in himself. For those who don’t know what a mooring is just think of a ship’s anchor, except replace the anchor with a 3000+ lb. hunk of metal or concrete, permanently situated on the bottom.  The mooring is located right off the town. The weather normally comes from the east and as we are snugged up to the eastern end of the lagoon we  have the island to help protect us. Majuro has most of the amenities one could want… a post office that is part of the U.S. Postal Service, a couple of fair sized grocery stores with a good selection of fresh meats and veggies,  two or three good restaurants and a myriad of smaller eateries, an Ace Hardware and a Do It Best. What I do miss is a bookstore. Well, actually, I miss a lot of things, but, you just learn to do without.

What has made Majuro doable for both Doug and I for the last 3 1/2 years is the underwater world here in the lagoon and on the ocean side. It is breath-taking. There are corals and sponges, live shells and nudibranchs, octopus and stingrays, sharks and whales. Just to name a few. That and the almost constant 82 degree weather makes it VERY liveable. And to be very fair, the Marshallese people, though shy, are very nice people.

More about Majuro

   Majuro has been a wonderful experience. I guess not so much for the cultural experience as for the time we have taken to develop new skills and hone old hobbies into sell-able trades. Doug has always been a carpenter/jack-of-all-trades, as any world cruiser should be and he has found a niche here for his cabinet making skills. He has also had the good fortune to learn and earn from boat building. He has definitely stayed busy. I have always enjoyed sewing and after learning how to do a lot of my own boat canvas work I found I have quite the knack for it and have parlayed that into a sell-able trade. Although, I think the best thing that has happened to me here has been my adventure into underwater photography. I seem to have a mini talent for that, also, and have sold a lot of my photographs in various forms. If that all didn’t keep us quite busy, we found a scarcity of scuba instructors on the atoll and so gave scuba diving lessons when the occasional student came along.