Sunday, 17 February 2013

Tooth Hurty in Majuro 430 in Hawaii

Life in Majuro
We're finding life on the lagoon in Majuro is quite a thriving social scene with a constant stream of activities to attend. What with the regular yacht club events, a monthly yacht race, the Tuesday night dinner, nights out at the Australian Navy Base like the Australia Day celebrations and various other invitations to expat events. Then theres the Billfish club which Ants is quite active in and my WAM work and AVI (Australian Volunteers International) related events. Ants is still working away at the Wellness Centre garden and just ignoring the “in-house” politics.

We have found its becoming unusual to eat in. One problem I have found is all this socializing puts on the weight!!! Ants (lucky him) does not seem to have that problem but all I have to do is look at a coconut and Hey Presto...mid riff bulge. I think one plausible excuse for me is the higher air temperature relative to body temperature here means a person is less likely to burn off calories in keeping warm. Not a bad excuse me thinks?

Ukelele Rod at the Party
Rent A Crowd at Ants's party
The big Six O
Our latest celebration was Ants 60th birthday celebration which we held on our landlords (Ben Chutaro owns the mooring we use) lagoonside lawn under a couple of coconut palms. A truly beautiful, idyllic location. Ants had made up decent quantities of a couple of versions of his renown homebrew which went down a storm. About 30/40 yachties & landlubbers turn up to a “plate to share” evening. Rod, a California Yachtie friend, brought along his Ukelele and regaled us with his versions of some old favorites. He did a great rendition of Jim Hendrix's “All along the Watchtower” Uke style! The food spread was amazing and delicious. Ants had politely requested, as the birthday boy, for fish and vegetable dishes so Mahi Mahi and Wahoo turned up marinated in lemongrass and sesame dressing yum. The party was a great success and we have made a lovely bunch of friends here. Kimberley had commented “wow already you have that many friends to invite” and Josh's comment was “Wow 60, that's really old!”.

Tooth Hurty in Majuro so 430 in Haiwaii.
Before coming to the Marshalls it was required by AVI that both myself and Ants had to have the “once over” dental wise but unfortunately, just before Christmas, I started to get a pain in one of my back teeth. By January it had developed into an abcess and the only option offered here in Majuro was to pull the offending tooth out. Well, I'm at that stage with my teeth that I need them all. As it was a dental emergency, the AVI insurance offered to fly me to Haiwaii (easiest and nearest) for root canal treatment. Both of us decided we might as well go to Waikiki together and have a mini break while I was getting the work done ....Ants bought a ticket for himself and so Aloha and all that.... here we come.
Another bloody tourist at Waikiki
Waikiki from Diamond Head
Australian 4WDs look tame compared with above
and then a Bus bike rack in the land of the big car
Our impressions of Honolulu and the island of Oahu are mixed. It sort of reminded both of us of an immaculate Gold Coast. Lots of overweight people evident and also high numbers of homeless living beside the streets in little canvas and cardboard humpies...quite often they had bicycles which I haven't come across before. We did what we considered was obligatory and visited Pearl Harbour. Unfortunately the day we were there it was too blowy for the ferry to the USS Arizona memorial. Ants thought that the real reason the navy cancelled was the Superbowl final was on, as there was very little wind apparent in the bay. We were however happy with a visit to the USS Missouri, a huge battleship that was operational from 1925 up until the nineties and a WWII submarine, both were impressive.
USS Missouri 14 inch guns

Ants loading a Torpedo

PAPER plates and a good view at the Eco? Paradise Bay Resort 
In between dental appointments we spent two nights on the Windward coast. We bussed around the Island for a very reasonable $2.50 with a quick visit to Hailiewa and the famous Pipeline surf beach. Paradise Bay Resort on the Windward coast was a bit of a misnomer as it was in reality a mangrove creek. But to give them credit they provided complimentary Kayaks to use in the bay and we enjoyed paddling out to a sandbar turtle spotting and afterwards utilised the hotel spa and pool. There was a Mai Tai evening buffet which we enjoyed....A Mai Tai being an Haiwain cocktail that is a mixture of rum, coconut, pineapple and most probablly more very strong rum!! There maybe other spirits in there but I found it too strong to drink let alone taste, it reminded me of of the Irish hooch poteen. Ants appreciated them much more than I did!
We managed to climb a few hills while we were there after being starved of altitude in RMI (the highest hill in the Marshalls is 30ft, Mt Majuro- the rubbish dump- is a bit higher!). The classic Diamond Head was nice but crowded but the Olomana ridge views were probably more spectacular. The volcanic ridge walk was a good but serious climb with lots of exposure and scrambling. Some bits had fixed ropes which helped, it certainly got the heart rate up.
...and seriously steep
Olamana Ridge, it was quite narrow...
Kayaking from the resort
All in all very enjoyable even if I had to go through the dental work...

In our absence the Annual General Meeting of the Mieco Beach yacht Club was held and Ants was elected Race Director which I think he will enjoy doing. All that number crunching and statistics is his forte. He has already organised a reverse handicap for the next race which should be quite interesting. If it goes to plan a whole range of cruising boats should cross the finish line together.

'til next time.J&A

For those interested the link to our yacht club web page is

which includes quite a few photos of Break Free, the results of Race 3 and mentions our involvement with the club.
Break Free nearly catching Seal after starting twenty minutes behind