Arrived back in Majuro Sunday morning to take care of some business after a glorious 6+ weeks snorkeling and exploring the interesting WWII relics on Maloelap and Wotje atolls. On our foray to the atolls we added 10 or 12 new species to our nudibranch list, had several close encounters with zebra sharks, octopuses and turtles, and witnessed a newborn yellow boxfish smaller than a dime attempting to learn to swim without the benefit of fins and tail.
Moved to nearby Anearmej Wednesday after being unable to find suitable anchorage under current conditions at the village islet of Ormed due to swell wrapping in to the anchorage.
Back to Anebing Friday night after snorkeling the wreck of the Toyotsu Maru at Egmedio.
Sailed in brisk gusty trades to the anchorage south of the main village on Wotje Islet Tuesday afternoon in order that we may further explore the WWII relics onshore.
Moved north Thursday to Toleej.
Moved Tuesday to Anebing Island. Great protection here and another gorgeous pink sand beach to explore!
Interesting snorkeling Thursday around Bwodao and the cut to the north where we filmed a small sea turtle wedged under a rock that allowed us to assist in lightly cleaning its shell, an eagle ray that was missing its tail hunting for food in the sand, and the nudibranch Dolabrifera dolabrifera. Moved Friday to Anea Island where an 8' zebra shark startled John when it suddenly appeared within a few yards of him. We also witnessed an octopus changing color while sitting atop of a coral head, a very large stingray with broken tail, and a colorful Phyllidia nudibranch. We're happy to be in Wotje where the protection is good during the current trade wind surge conditions.
Checked in at Wotje Island Wednesday after a short overnight passage from Maloelap, RMI. Anchored at well protected Bwodao Island for the night to avoid the heavy smoke coming from the main village.
Anchored Sunday at beautiful Kumaru Island after a nice sail south from Pigeeyato. Snorkeling Sunday and Monday in the lee of the island, the cut to the south, and near the next islet south revealed gorgeous corals, 3 spotted eagle rays, a very close encounter with a turtle, a plethora of grouper, including pretty Chinese and lyretail, huge sling jaw wrasses and parrot fish, pink anemones with symbiotic crabs, big pink jellyfish, juvenile fish of every sort, and a very tiny new (to us) nudibranch which escaped before we could get a photo because we had already exhausted our camera batteries. It really doesn't get much better than this!
Anchored at Pigeeyatto Island after a great day snorkeling the 2 Japanese ship wrecks at Ollot Island and the pristine reefs off the 2 small islets to the north of Ollot that were teeming with fish. Love sailing across the protected waters of beautiful lagoons!
After a rolly Friday night at Tjan, we did a day sail Saturday north to Enea where we anchored in aquiline waters off the pink sand bar to the east. Gorgeous snorkel off the island just to the east of Enea (Talto?) then back to Ollot for the night as there was no protection on the northern islands from the swell wrapping in from the east.
Nice beach walk Friday around Bokanajbirok Island - 2nd island south of Ollot - followed by a beautiful snorkel in the crystal clear waters lagoonside. Moved the boat north and anchored off of native thatched structures in the village at Tjan Island, at the NE point of Maloelap Atoll, RMI.
Anchored at beautiful Ollot Island, Maloelap Atoll, RMI.
Anchor down around 1:45 PM Wednesday at beautiful Taroa Island, Maloelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands after an overnight passage from Majuro. The first part of the passage was marked by heavy rain and squalls gusting 37 knots but bringing welcome SE wind, before later turning NE 20-25+ knots. John caught a mahi-mahi outside the lagoon and also landed a "doggie" (Dogtooth tuna) inside while crossing to the anchorage so he's got a smile on his face and the fridge is bursting.
It is wonderful to be free from the clutches of the North Pacific gyre which is particularly strong in Majuro this year, making it difficult for yachts to escape:) We visited Maloelap twice in 2004, and are happy to see that the gun emplacement on the north beach and two wrecks visible above the water near shore are still here. There is much to explore here!
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