Posted by: catamarantwooceans | October 10, 2011

Micronesia–Kosrae

1.10.11 – Saturday – Continued – At 15 miles out we called Kosrae marine services as recommended by www.noonsite.com. They did not answer but a yacht called Melric II responded and said that their experience was that the local authorities see you enter and then come to you. At 1530 we entered the pass leading to Lelu harbor, expecting to see a town with supermarkets, internet and the like. We anchored near Melric II and another yacht – Pied A Mer.

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What we saw was a small sleepy village. Dreams of a nice restaurant where we could pamper ourselves faded quickly.

As skipper I took the dinghy ashore and met some of the officials who made it clear that the weekend was holy and that we had to wait until Monday. At least I was able to buy some tinned meat, peeled tomatoes and canned string beans… (Also some beers and cola, which went well with the 58% Fijian rum…) At least we were anchored safely in a nice, quiet bay!

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In the evening the couples from the two yachts came over for drinks. They were David and Fran from Melric II and Dave and Jo-Ann of Pied a Mer. Both Kiwis, they sail together, coming from Malaysia and on their way home to NZ.

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2.10.11 – Sunday – A day of waiting. Immigrations, customs and the rest of the check-in functionaries will only come tomorrow and until then we are not supposed to go ashore. We used the time for a few jobs.We fixed the light fixtures in the starboard forward  cabin (known nowadays as Israel’s cabin) and that of the starboard shower. To do that we cannibalized a lamp in one of the forward lockers and transplanted it into the shower.

The most important challenge was reactivating the freezer. Before doing that we had to repair the multi-meter in which we found a broken copper contact. We used a similar fitting from the old shower lamp, soldering it into place. We took out the freezer’s electrical control box, something we could not do with the violent movement of the boat at sea and found a fuse that didn’t look good. Changed it, put the switch on – a second of suspense and YES! It works! We have a freezer! Things like that give me great satisfaction. Let’s just hope that there was no reason for the fuse to blow apart from normal corrosion.

3.10.11 – Monday – All the necessary procedures were completed by 1100. I had to go with the customs people to their office to copy our passports. Before going back to the boat I mentioned that we intended to buy local SIM cards. The customs agent said:"I can take you there now". He did and waited a few minutes until I got the SIMs and then we went back to the boat.

We hired a car so we could be free to move around the island, do our shopping, haul water and fuel tanks etc. That was the quickest rent-a-car operation I ever saw. No down payment, no credit card, no license check – just fill a form, take the keys and go! 35$ U.S per day.

Our neighbors told us they are ordering 55 gallons fuel drums to be brought to the towns dock and we said we wanted one too. I understood that David has arranged it so when we saw the truck with the drums come to the dock we upped anchor and went to get our share.

After we finished Israel found out that David did not order a drum for us and that I practically snatched one of theirs from under their noses! I went to apologize but David was all smiles:"It’ll cost you a round of beers!" he said. Oh, well, it was worth it… 

4.10.11 – Tuesday – I went diving with "Tree Lodge" resort and was surprised to be sole client in that outing. Mark, an expat American, formerly a pilot for American airlines, runs the dive club as well as some other functions of the resort. We did two dives, the first of which was spectacular, with many fish, eagle-rays, turtles and sharks. It was a drift dive as there was strong current which probably was the thing that attracted the undersea creatures.

Meanwhile, Zvi and Israel toiled on the boat, filling water. There is no potable water source on the dock and they had to haul jerry-cans from "Ace" hardware store where they have a big tank of rainwater and they let us have the water at no charge.

We met for lunch at "Tree Lodge" and then went to do our check-out from Kosrae to Pohnpei. Yes! When you sail in the Federated States of Micronesia you have to clear in and out of each and every State.

Just after 1700 the neighbors came for happy hour combined with a thorough lecture on Jewish and Israeli history that Zvi and Israel gave at the request of our NZ visitors.

Forecast for the next days: Winds from the east at less than 10 knots. We need some more in order to get to Pohnpei by Friday early afternoon. Let’s see what happens.

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