09 December 2013 | Majuro
We arrived at Majuro, Marshall Islands after the 300-mile passage from Tarawa just a little worse for the wear. After two nearly windless days, we sailed through what we later learned is called the "Majuro Boat Wash" and for good reason. The last 60 miles dealt a nasty confused sea from about three directions, dark ominous clouds, lightning, three or four 40-knot squalls and torrents of rain. It scared the hell out of the cat as the boat careened over, and hell, it scared the hell out of us too. As Lolo and I scrambled topside to reef the main in the dark, Kiri followed under foot - a particularly precarious thing for both the cat us. We finally locked her into the cabin to avoid losing her over the side where she would most certainly meet her doom in the dark roiling sea. At 0600 we arrived at the pass and sailed in through the lights that mark the channel to the inner atoll. We were wiped. By 1000, we tied to a mooring and launched the dinghy to do the customs and immigration dance. But sleep was what we really craved - sleep on a stable, level platform. Check-in was easy and quick so we decided to drop in on one of the many grocery stores and pick up a few things. Stepping into the Payless Supermarket, Lolo and I were met by a glorious rush of refrigerated air - something we'd not felt for a long long time. Ahhhhh. Christmas music played overhead as we adjusted our eyes and stumbled down one of the long isles. There on the shelves were rows and rows of things beyond our wildest dreams...things reminiscent of a distant past. There was Jiff peanut butter, Best Foods REAL mayonnaise, Smuckers jam, Kellogg's Raisin Bran, bagels, Dryers ice cream, Almond Rocca, a whole produce section. Instead of the yellow 20lb bags of bad short grain white rice, there was basmati rice - and it was even on sale! With jaws agape and mouths watering, we oohed and awed, stopping to marvel every few feet. There were toys - radio controlled cars and helicopters, 110v kitchen appliances and there was even free Internet. It felt like Christmas morning and we filled our bag with some of these luxuries - completely overwhelmed by this decadent array of products that have mostly been absent from our lives since....well, since probably Hawaii. I subdued my impulse to run up to the first Marshallese and say: "Do you have ANY IDEA how lucky you are compared to the islanders a few hundred miles south of you? You have options beyond their WILDEST DREAMS!" And then it hit me. I have ALWAYS had options beyond the wildest dreams of so many people....and so have you. There are too many disgruntled whiners in the US - and other developed nations that complain bitterly about how "hard" their lives are, or that life has somehow dealt them a bad hand. Well guess what folks, I can tell you that the worst little back woods Podunk town in the good ole USA with a Walmart or Safeway within 100-mile range, has it pretty damn good in comparison to some of the places we've seen. An Australian friend of ours noted recently that there are a bunch of his friends back home who are just waiting around and hoping to win the lottery. "What they don't realize is that already have...a hundred times over."