Thursday, December 19, 2013

Stocking Up for the Outer Islands

The Marshall Islands have many atolls along two chains – the Ratak and Ralik chains. We have decided to get out of the "city" of Majuro and head to an outer island for a different type of Christmas experience. Majuro is quite festive with Christmas music playing in every store and restaurant; lots of lights on the stores and buildings and people greeting you with a "Merry Christmas." People are shopping and spending on gifts and the post office is packed all day long with folks sending and receiving packages. There will be cruiser events and gatherings here – but we have decided to try something different and perhaps experience the spirit of Christmas in a less commercial way.

Weather permitting, we will head out to one of the outer island atolls for the holidays. We have selected the atoll of Aur which is just 60 miles away to the north. We picked it for a few reasons. It is one of the closer islands and looks to have decent protection. Plus, on the morning "Iawke" SSB radio net, two people who live in this atoll check in so we feel like we will "know" someone on the island. They have invited the "yachties" to come visit them. One guy is named "Rudy" and the other has a radio name of "James Bond." So we'll get to see 007. We understand James runs the local clinic and is in need of a critical boat part – so we will deliver that to him. Plus Rudy has requested some gasoline which we will also deliver.

We have had fun shopping for little items to give to the children on the island – so we'll get to play Santa. We have decided that instead of giving each other anything, we'll give a little Christmas to these islanders. Plus, by going there for a few weeks now, when our guests Dave and Lorna arrive in January, we'll have an idea of what the outer islands are like for their "tour."

The bad news will be that there is probably no phone or internet service on these atolls – so we won't be able to call our families to wish them Christmas greetings – so we hope they'll understand. The good news is that we'll have some new things to report on our log page.

We wish you all a stress free holiday season.

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