Enroute to Tarawa.
25 August 2015 | At Sea about 75 miles east of Tarawa, Kirabati
Day 10. Tarawa. It was moving to go to Tarawa last time, and it is moving again this time. The history buff in me is always moved by these sites where major events occurred, and the battle of Tarawa was about as major as they get. In World War II, Tarawa was defended by just under 5000 Japanese. They were very well dug in, and ready to defend. An overwhelming US naval and Marines force attacked and after three days of very fierce fighting, all but 17 of the Japanese and nearly 2000 US Marines were dead. It was a tragedy for both countries, as are all wars. But these guys gave their lives and that is seriously moving to me. Imagine being at the scene of a car wreck where there is a fatality. Just one. Seriously moving. Now, we have 6000 young people at this site. Stunning human tragedy. As we approach from the east, I imagine the US fleet approaching probably very close to our track to come around the south side and make their attack. I am really just guessing though. I do know that the Marines attacked from inside the lagoon. But, I also think that the naval forces were off the south coast for their bombardment. Regardless, many young men died in that event, and I cannot help be moved by how beautiful and peaceful it is here today. It was probably beautiful weather during the battle too.
It is a perfect blue sky day. The wind has picked up enough to supplement our engine, and we have a long gentle swell. We spent a bit of time on the foredeck just laying in the shade of the headsail watching the swell and the wind filling and then easing the headsail a bit. Our calcs show that, at our current speed, we would arrive at the anchorage shortly before noon tomorrow. In reality, we will probably slow it down a bit, the wind may stop, or what have you.
Our night last night was just as peaceful and beautiful. At one point on my watch, I had a little sea bird land and hitch a ride with us for the night. I suppose he was maybe lost and just needed a break. In the morning, he took off and tried to join some of his buddies, but then returned. Then, a few hours later, he found someone he related to and was gone.
Finally, we established radio contact with the gang in Majuro on their radio net. It was good to hear familiar voices of old friends that we shall see soon. Nice. But, tomorrow, Tarawa.
Be Excellent to One Another, (You know, this is a quote from the movie "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure". I always liked it's simplicity, and thought that if everyone were excellent to each other, there just wouldn't be any trouble then, would there? Good old Bill and Ted. Wisdom in their silliness. Thanks!)
Rod and Elisabeth, "Your Rock and Roll Argonauts" "Les Pirates d'Honneur"