Around The World Voyage : Commentary

December 20, 2001 (local)

Hi Everyone,

We're still sitting here on the beautiful island of Kosrae. I guess if one has to be stuck somewhere, this would be the place to be. At the moment we are waiting for one more weather update and if it looks good we will be on our way. Had a great experience today. I was detailed to do the provisioning for our next leg. After dropping Dave and Tom off at the post office (to mail Christmas cards), I explained to the taxi driver what we needed in the way of supplies. On this island there a lot of very little stores and no one store has everything. Thus began my 4 hour taxi adventure. I think we hit every store on the island and put a pretty good dent in the list. It would seem some of the items - like fresh bananas, papayas and limes - would be a snap to find. But since these items are growing in everyone's yard, there's no need to stock them in the markets! My driver is named Alle, and as we drove along he told some really interesting stories and as time went by, we formed a friendship. Soon enough, he's taking me on dirt roads through valleys and showing me waterfalls. He takes me to the fuel dock so we know where to go. He stops by this gravel pit, introduces me to the owner and asks for permission to show me a cave that is not open for public viewing. We hike back for maybe a half-hour through this very lush greenery. Suddenly, in front of us is this mammoth cave with water dripping from the overhead. From the top was hanging vines and flowers. It was unbelievable. In the end we had about checked everything off my list, except the bananas.

We made one last stop before heading back to the boat. Alle dropped by his father's house and introduced me to his family. His mother offered fresh lime-ade and his father asked all kinds of questions about the Nordhavn and where we were going. He told me one of his sons goes to Chico State College in California, and he hopes to visit him. (The mere cost of airfare from Kosrae to California is very comparable to the amount a family could survive on here for quite a few months.) Alas, it was time to move on and as I'm saying my farewells, Alle's father goes around the side of his house and comes back with a big stalk of bananas and says, "this is my Christmas present to your boat." It wasn't the gift, but in the way that it was presented that moved me so much. It's hard to explain in writing the emotions I felt at that time. This is what cruising is really all about. It doesn't get any better then this. This will be one Christmas present I won't forget.


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