Around The World Voyage : Commentary

December 16, 2001

We are currently anchored here in Kosrae, Lele Harbor. There is a little bit of bad weather outside and we will wait here until the blue skies return.

We are in a well-protected spot with two sailboats anchored to the east of us, the "Rebecca" and the "Scappare". From out the front windows I can see 10-ft. surf breaking on the reef, a little confused swell but I bet when it's calm here there is some good surf, both a right and a left.

All along the shore in back of us is a row of small houses, all old, some brightly colored, some just.. old, and all right on the waters edge. The tide was high last night and with the wind blowing more water in, some of the front row houses were flooded - not much, maybe 6 inches or so. From our aft deck we are about 75 feet from the backs of these houses. With the lights of the houses we could see people out back watching us and watching the water rise. It was kind of surreal, rain whipping by, 35 to 49 knots of wind, islanders in bright colors on the shore watching us to see if our anchors would hold against the rising wind and us watching them and wondering how much higher the tide would go. Then the island power went out and all went to a deep black.

The island was gone, rocks loomed up on either side of the boat, wind began to howl, we were dragging anchor, the boat next to us had broke free and was washing down on us ...I was sure... I could feel it. Then my eyes became accustomed to the night, one by one flashlights lit the shore and the monsters disappeared. We were safe once again. In the future, when my daughter asks for a light on at bed time...I think I'll do it.

This morning the tide is low and the winds have calmed. Both boat and homes are safe. The locals are all gathered about 100 yards behind us at a large white church for Sunday service. If you listen close you can hear the singing. High, steep peaks surround us, completely covered in a thick blanket of green, tops lost in the clouds as if to hide one final mystery. This is a place I would love to walk and spend a week just looking around. Mountains, mangroves, beaches and towns - there is so much to see. The storm has brought us here and it is the storm that lets us stay.

I know when the storm passes we will have to leave this place. Once the peaks are revealed it will be time to go. I think for the time being I will go out back and try to be a part of the service, say thanks...and maybe pray for just a little more rain.


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