Around The World Voyage : Commentary

December 21, 2001 (Local)

Current position: N 05'24:213 E 162'59:106

Course: 278m

Next port: Pohnpei - for fuel only

We are finally under way. Calm winds and a little sun peaking through high clouds. Its 88 in the shade. As Faxie heads WNW we will follow in her wake. I hope she travels faster than our 7 knots or we will meet again.

We came to this island in a gale, tired and worn. The landscape that greeted us was hard reef and rock, wind and waves. This did not have the feel of a place we would like to stay. We leave this place, this oasis, with a completely different feeling.

I woke this morning wanting to go, wanting to raise anchor and hear the hum of the Lugger and feel the roll of the deck. It was time. I went ashore and got a taxi to the Immigration office to check out. The taxi man knew us, asked if I was the captain, had watched us come in that night. He said he was with a group that had heard us on the radio and came to the bay to watch. He said they all were very quiet when they did not see us come through the channel (we had turned out to sea for a few minutes) and then all relieved and laughing as they saw the lights come into view. We talked a bit and then shook hands as I got out of the cab and said goodbye, he reached out held my arm for a second and wished us luck and to return one day... and really meant it. This kind of thing happened every day that we came ashore.

Coming in here we had to be cold and tough, even mean, to get the job done. But this island and her people have left us warm and a bit soft, wishing we could stay for the parade...they invited us to stay for Christmas and be a part of the parade.

I will miss them, but maybe one day when I'm old and gray I'll come back, I'll get into a cab in front of the store at Lele Harbor and there will be an old cabby at the wheel, in the mirror as we drive I will see him staring... then smiling eyes as he says "Welcome back, Captain".


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