Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in Tarawa.
31 August 2015 | Betio, Tarawa, Kirabati
Monday, August 31
We have not seen much in the way of good sailing opportunities for getting to Majuro. There is some SW wind forecast for the weekend, and it looks intriguing. We could possibly check out Friday, and motor until the wind filled in, and then see what happens. But, it looks on the gribs that there is a lot of rain associated with it. And, I do have to say that after yesterday, sailing/motoring in torrential rain is less than attractive. Maybe next week? We just don't know, and we thought that we would watch what develops in the forecasts as the weekend gets close.
We had an interesting day yesterday. We have met an Aussie guy, Bill who is working here, and we had planed to spend a Sunday outing with him. He knew of a place where we could go to lunch at the far north of the island complex, crossing many causeways, etc along the way that link the individual islands together. Finally, at the next to last island, there was no more cause way. The idea is you can walk across the pass at low tide and get a canoe ride back at high tide. The little restaurant/resort (very primitive resort with only open-sided grass bungalows)is very nice and beautiful and run by Kiribati.
Now, we did have some weather blow in yesterday, stronger than forecast, and whilst we were having lunch, it started blowing with torrential rain. So, after our lunch, we tried to wait as long as we could. As time passed, it only got worse, so we went to find the boat operator to take us back across the water to our vehicle. We were dreaming! He was not about to risk going out in that ugly mess. So then, we huddled for a while with a Kiribati family who had invited us into their grass-roofed shelter, and ultimately decided that we should just get a bungalow. Back to the resort and we arranged a bungalow where they gave us towels and we were able to get our of our wet clothes. It was a Toga party for three. It was going to be a cold wet night - they are open-sided remember? The girls who work the resort were also stuck and we asked them what they were going to do. They thought that would stay the night at the resort too. After a while, we had dinner and a beer, sitting there in our togas when one of the girls came in and said that they had arranged a boat, and that we could ride with them. By now, it is dark and still howling torrential rain and wind, but, hey, let's try it. So, we got back into the wet clothes, into the boat, and the guys, bless them, got us across. We had offered to give the girls a ride to their destination, and Elisabeth and I would probably stay at Bill's since a dinghy ride in this weather looked pretty grim and seriously dark. But, once we got close to Betio, it looked a bit lighter and we decided to try and get back to the boat. It was, however, what pilots call a "sucker hole". We were the suckers who fell for it, and the weather opened back up once we were underway. What followed was the wildest dinghy ridse we had ever had. Huge waves crashing over us, pitch black dark, wind rain, and......we made it. On shore, Bill had positioned his truck to shine his lights out in the harbor at our boat helping us as best as he could. We did have the foresight to have brought a light, but it was so very small in this weather. The rest of the night was spent drying off - we were cold, having a tot of rum, setting the anchor alarm and trundling off to sleep.
They say that the difference between adventure and misery is attitude. We feel pretty triumphant to have called it adventure all the time. But, wow, it was wild, and we felt very intrepid. Rod and Lizzie's excellent adventure.
So then, we will watch this weekend's weather possibility. We may have to motor part way, and don't mind motoring, but if we can avoid inclement weather or westerlies in Majuro, we would like to do so.
Rod and Elisabeth, "Your Rock and Roll Argonauts" "Les Pirates d'Honneur"