It is already the fourth day of the New Year so a belated Happy New Year to each of. The crew of Astarte wish each of you a happy, healthy, prosperous and adventure-filled year.
We are both pretty much over our Marshall Island flu and Astarte's new boat parts are all on order and will hopefully arrive before our guests do! The windlass is the "mission critical" piece of gear and it has been ordered. With the holidays and the one day difference between here and the USA, it caused some delays to get things rolling. But after melting our credit card, it should be on the way. New hose for the head (toilet), spare toilet rebuild kits, more caulk, denso tape, and several other items have been ordered – but the only critical piece is the windlass.
Michael, between naps to shake the flu, has also re-plumbed the forward head (because of the broken thru-hull handle); removed the old windlass (which is really corroded); and, has been busy finding and buying the needed bits for the boat. Barbara did manage to bake at least three types of cookies to deliver to some nearby boats – a little late - but we couldn't let that tradition die.
We did manage to go out and celebrate a bit of Majuro New Year's Eve. They close off a street and have two major block parties on the two sides of town. We went to the one closest to the boat and enjoyed it. There were "Jepta's" - these are local dance troupes that perform. They are usually from a community – and they do an interesting traditional dance. In each island the dances are quite different though often with some carry-over. This was the most unusual as it was a cross between hip hop, marching, line dancing, Polynesian and freestyle. There are lines of dancers – men on one side, women on the other (or one group was all men) and a "conductor" is in front with a whistle. He blows this whistle constantly and the dancers do very choreographed moves to live music and singers. It is a bit hard to describe, but it was fun to watch in the streets. Some of the groups had about 30 people and some were smaller. Several stages were set up with live bands and there were plenty of food and drink booths. You could even buy "jello-shooters" and mixed drinks on the street. We enjoyed a meal from the Sport Fishing Club Booth – of course some very tasty fresh fish! They did a very short fireworks display at midnight (but we were already in bed!)
To everyone suffering the horrible snowstorms and cold spells, we hope you stay safe and we will try to send you via our thoughts some of the 80 degree temperatures we are having here. Luckily a steady trade wind keeps the boat comfortable when we can keep the hatches open. We haven't had too much rain lately – so the boat is able to be wide open getting the cool breeze.
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