Saturday, May 4, 2013

Made it to Tarawa

We arrived in Tarawa about 2pm this afternoon. Unfortunately they have declined to clear us until Monday. So we are quarantined aboard until then. Not really a bad thing, we'll have a leisurely day tomorrow, sleeping in, having a big breakfast, and cleaning things up.

Officially, we should be anchored off the main town of Betio, awaiting our clearance. But that place is a commercial port, full of big fishing boats and a few big freighters. It is also completely exposed across about a 10 mile fetch across the atoll, to the NE winds that are blowing right now. So it would be a miserable, and perhaps dangerous anchorage for us. So we have opted to anchor for the next 36 hours in the 'Parliament' anchorage (approx 01-21N / 173-02E). This isn't perfectly protected from the NE winds, but much better than out at Betio.

We will have to retrace our steps about 7 miles back to Betio on Monday morning, to get properly cleared. This means that Dave's original plan of 'clear on Saturday, tour on Monday, and leave on Tuesday', ain't happening. So much for schedules...

Our friends on Challenger won't even arrive until tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon. Since we can't get out of here by Tuesday afternoon, we'll probably stay til Friday, so we don't arrive in Majuro on a weekend (and incur $150 USD weekend clearance charges).

We are looking forward to a day of touring the WWII battle sights here in Tarawa.
Sherry & Dave
On our way to the Marshall Islands

At 05/04/2013 8:51 AM (utc) our position was 01°21.36'N 173°02.01'E

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