Monday, December 4, 2017

Funafuti (Pt.2) and Tarawa...

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After all the excitement of presidential visit in Funafuti, life got back to island "normal"...  

Vegetables here are scarce and often hard to come by.  The soil here is mostly coral sand and doesn't grow much.  There is one enterprising family however, who grow locally and offer up their wares every Saturday morning outside the government building...





This "market" is unlike any we have ever experienced!  You must arrive between 5:30am and 6:00am and get your name added to a list....  Then around 8:00, the produce arrives and is sorted into piles....  When your name is called, you get to choose one pile...  You can leave something, but you may not take something from another pile...  We were #8 the first week, and #42 the second.  Both time we were lucky enough to get a little boc-choy, some kind of long bean, a pumpkin, and some cucumbers!

Life here in Funafuti is very laid back...  While here we rented a scooter twice.  Once on our own, and a second time after Lanny & Ginger (SV Swiftsure) arrived.  Since there are very few cars on this island, everyone gets around on these scooters, so they seem pretty safe....  Although, there isn't anywhere you can get a helmet!  The cost to rent for the day is $10 (AUS)!  What a great way to explore this 14 by 1/2 mile (at its widest) island....




Everyone comes out to watch the plane land 3 days a week!




This is the narrowest portion of the island!


While stopping for gas ($1.90 AUS), we met a lovely young woman whose name is Anna.  She is home from University in Fiji.  She is studying to become a lawyer.


Oh, the exhaust pipe is hot!

Our day with Lanny & Ginger


When not anchored by the town, Shelley and I took Blowin' Bubbles to the south end of the atoll.  What an incredibly beautiful place....  There is a very small village with just a few families who welcomed us into their world.  The snorkeling and spearfishing here was incredible!  We also explored a number of small uninhabited islands!


Everyday Giant Manta Rays would come to feed right beside the boat!


Some of the beaches were SPECTACULAR!


The village people collected special shells to make into jewelry, which they sold to tourists at the airport...


This small village has a large beautiful church...

Collecting coconuts...



There are some treacherous shallows...  This guy clearly had a bad day....




Before we left the south end anchorage we collected at least half a dozen fishing buoys that had washed up on the various beaches.  We found a perfect spot on one of the uninhabited islands to create a memorial of our visit... since we left, we learned that a few other boats have also left their mark...

We found WILSON!!!!

Tons of coconuts!





We came to the end of our 30 day visa so sailed northwest to Tarawa in Kiribati.  While Tarawa is mostly unknown to the world, it did have three days of infamy during WW2.  In one of the earliest battles in the Pacific theater, Tarawa was the site where more than 6,400 Japanese and American soldiers lost their lives in three bloody days of battle.  Some 850 Kiribati's also lost their lives in this conflict.  There is a good description of this battle HERE in Wikipedia.

While we were not overly impressed with the island itself (we found a TON of garbage EVERYWHERE, and we kept seeing people defecate anywhere anytime right out in the open), the history is still here for people to see....  We also found the people to be friendly and helpful...



Tons of heavy artillery is just where it was when the battle ended....



This was the cleanest beach we found...





Our awesome rental car!  Safety must be real important here because in the glove box we found condoms... lol


We where anchored in the bay where the main battle took place, just off Red Beach One & Two

There is something very disturbing about this picture......




These relics have become the children's playground





People are still finding artifacts on the beaches and in the bushes!


From Tarawa we made a fast 2 1/2 day sail to Majuro, in the Marshall Islands...  Our plan right now is to stay here for three months. We will blog more later...