Iokwe from the Marshall Islands!
Finally – ashore! The weekend passed on the boat and we have been able to go ashore and clear customs. It was much easier – maybe because of their free association with the US or maybe because they experienced a near national disaster of a storm on Friday and were happy to be through it. Either way.
This week has been spent in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands and where about half the population lives. The yachtie group here is pretty active and social. It isn’t season, so it’s a small group, but still big enough to have a group dinner on Tuesday, followed by a pub quiz. It was no Geeks Who Drink in Denver, but still a good time (I guessed the number of Taiwanese immigrants to the Marshall Islands on the dot! Total guess though and I still came in 2nd).
Holy tuna!! I thought there were a lot of tuna boats in Tuvalu and Kiribati, but here, the boats could serve as the skyline for the city. Except none of the tuna money really stays here. But basically if you eat tuna, this is probably where it’s coming from. As Stedem (the captain) put it, those tuna don’t even stand a chance!
There isn’t much to do in the city, except enjoy decent internet, air conditioning at the restaurants, and a pretty well-stocked grocery store (treasures!). The grocery store thing is funny – in Kiribati there was nowhere to provision (seriously, the looks on their faces when I asked about vegetables) and Tuvalu it wasn’t much better. But because of the association with the US and the higher traffic (especially of planes – seems like one a day) and the closer proximity to Hawaii, there are plenty of fruits and veggies, among other treasures. I think I might have squealed when I saw mini corn dogs.
Next step is to work out where all we want to go in the islands. This weekend we’ll be heading an hour or so away where there’s a beach and supposed to be good snorkeling and diving. We’ll likely head to the Bikini Atoll, where the USS Saratoga and the Nagato are sunk, and diveable (and actually a World Heritage site). Hopefully I can still see interesting stuff while snorkeling. I never thought I’d say this, but I might want my dive certification.
Off to the sun and water!
Iokwe! (yes, it’s hello and goodbye, and apparently literally translated to you are a rainbow)