July 28th blog

There are different types of coral atolls. Majuro is the type that is composed of the top edge of the rim of a volcanic crater. There is a deep lagoon in the center with all of the inhabitants located on the small islands that were formed from the rim of the volcano. The three major islands are connected by a road with houses and shops for one block on each side of the road and then the ocean. Definitely no shortage of ocean front property. Either you face the lagoon or open ocean. Finally got decent internet to send some pictures. To get the internet I signed up with the only company offering anything on the island called the National Telecommunications Authority. They have a hotspot in front of their building with a couple of picnic benches under a bunch of coconut trees with a sign saying “watch out for falling coconuts”. That is about it. Below is a picture looking out into the lagoon. Majuro is a stop for many small fishing boats and frieghters that ply this area since the lagoon is relatively well sheltered.

No shortage of beautiful sunsets in this part of the world. Below is a picture of the reef that surrounds Pohnpei. As you can see the reef extends very far out. Obviously that freighter did not see it. From where I am taking the picture is 1000s of feet deep so there is no warning you are approaching it. There are reefs like this all over the S. Pacific. Now you know why in my blog I always slow down until daylight to approach an atoll.

I recently dove on the mooring that my boat is on. Even after being assured by the owner the mooring was in “OK condition” I decided to dive on it anyway. This mooring consisted of a large block of cement on the bottom with about 12 feet of thick large link chain linked to it with a thick rope attached to that. I would tie my boat to the thick rope. The mooring was in terrible condition. The chain links were rusted through by almost 3/4 in places. One link looked cracked. I rigged up my spare anchor rode and tied it from my boat directly to the cement block as a safety line. This reinforced what I already do – always check a mooring yourself before relying on it, obviously you must be scuba certified and it helps to have a dive tank fill compressor on your boat to do this. Second, always have lots of long strong ropes on board for tying the boat off to various things. I always tell people that being scuba certitied is a necessary part of safe cruising.