We have been very fortunate not having to do too much Bashing since we started cruising in 2008 - it is not much fun!
But, our trip from Fanning Island to Christmas Island was a Bash. We weren't able to sail, but had to motor into 15-20 knots of wind, 2 knots of current, plus waves coming from all directions. Moondance was bouncing all around, but handled it well. Captain Doug kept changing our course to keep us all as comfortable as possible, but still trying to make Christmas Island before dark. He did a good job! Sleeping was almost impossible, but I did find a very comfortable spot on the sole/floor of our cockpit. Good thing I am short and flexible!
We were happy to finally drop our anchor and pop a nice cold beer - just at sunset. Friends on s/v Mala had shared their waypoint and we were able to find a great spot to rest up.
At Christmas Island, you anchor outside of the lagoon - not inside - but are very protected as long as the normal trade winds are blowing. Hope they hold, cause we are going to be here awhile! We just happen to pull into Christmas (or XMS as they use on their license plates) during a week long celebration of their independence from England. It is a big deal and all government offices are closed - except the Police.
We have gotten to know Sam, the Policeman, very well as he has helped us track down vacationing Custom and Immigration people to help us get checked in. We are getting closer everyday. Plus, we are making a new friend, which is always wonderful. Sam drove us around the village today looking for the Custom's lady - no luck - we will try again tomorrow. But, Sam did chase down a young boy to climb the coconut tree to bring us some good coconuts - very tasty - I promised cookies in return. Sam also invited to visit his home, which we hope to do. It will be good to learn how the islanders live.
Plus, the all the XMS people have been very friendly - always waves and Mauri/Hello or Hi or Howdy (not sure where that comes from). Also shopping. I think they have at least 10 very small grocery stores (with almost identical product) here and we have checked out each one. No vegetables - but some fruit - and $1.00 per egg (ouch).
We also met a couple of cruising boats. Jill and Jim on s/v HooRoo (direct from Australia) and Doug and Elena on s/v Windcastle (long time cruisers). It was wonderful having their assistance as we acclimated to XMS. Cruisers are wonderful - making friends easily and sharing everything. Tonight, we are going to HooRoo for more sharing. Looking forward to it!
So, we are probably going to be here all next week for the Kiribati Independence Day celebration - July 12 - until the government offices reopen and we can officially checkout. That will give us lots of time to get diesel, figure out the internet (hopefully), and enjoy the daily celebrations that lead to Independence Day. Sounds like lots going on including music, volleyball, track races, a beauty contest, and more. Should be lots of fun.
Happy Birthday, Mom! Sorry I wasn't able to figure out the phone system here yet, but will keep trying. Love you!
PS: Did you know that you can get liquor out of a coconut tree? The locals have figured it out. A very interesting process - plus totally free. Amazing!
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