Friday, January 31, 2014

Back Aboard

Jan 15, 2014 - Kwajalein Atoll

Getting back aboard Soggy Paws was another challenge. She was out on a mooring, and the Small Boat Marina is closed during the week. Almost no one keeps a dinghy in the water--they just use the ferry service provided by the Small Boat Marina. Geoff, our "sponsor" on Kwajalein had been scrounging for a rowboat, kayak, or paddleboard, so we could get out to Soggy Paws to get our dinghy launched. Fortunately, the day before we arrived, one of the sailboats came in to the Small Boat Marina dock with dinghy in tow. So Geoff had secured permission for us to use that dinghy to get out to Soggy Paws.

The great news was that Geoff had taken great care of her. The mooring lash-up was fine, the canvas all good, the batteries in good shape, and the bilge dry. The bad news was the calm conditions prevailing in the Marshall Islands when we left were gone, and Soggy Paws was pitching and rolling like crazy. Because of the tidal range in the Western Pacific (4-6 feet), at high tide, the swell comes right in over the reef. Plus with 20 knots of wind, we had a fair chop in the harbor as well.

So the first item of business was to get the engine commissioned so we could move off our mooring and into the inner harbor. We'd "bagged" the prop when we left--wrapping it first in burlap and then in a heavy black garbage bag. This worked wonders--not any growth on the prop at all! With a little coaxing, the engine started right up. Yay!

The next morning, we got permission to take Soggy Paws into the dock, where the conditions were much better.

Over the next 3-4 days, we unpacked the 150 lbs of luggage we'd brought back--some clothes, but mostly "boat stuff", and slowly got the boat systems commissioned... propane stove, refrigerator & freezer, fresh water, toilets, etc.

We'd had a bunch of stuff shipped out to Geoff while we were in the U.S., including 2 (yes, two!) anchors, a gallon of polyester resin, 3 gallons of 303 waterproofing, 2 gallons of Amsoil synthetic motor oil, a big Sailrite order, and some miscellaneous stuff. So once we were settled at the dock, Geoff delivered all our goodies. More stuff to put away.

Our permission to stay at the Kwaj Base ends on January 30, so we have a formidable task ahead of us--get ready to leave in two weeks or less.

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