Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Day 7 Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America ( Bikar atoll)

July 3, 2014 @ 7:30am or (UTC July 2 @ 1930)

Day 7 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

Tags: Bikar Atoll, Japanese glass fishing floats, turtles, turtle nests

Anchorage position: 12 11.85N 170 06.53E (southerly anchorage near Bikar Island, Bikar Atoll)

4nm day/352nm total

Wind 15 NE
50 % Cloud cover with a few rain showers
Air Temp 85F

Seas: flat inside lagoon
Sea temp 86F

Yesterday, day 6 we sailed down the Bikar lagoon scouting for kiting and snorkeling spots. There's a really nice sand bar near the ship wreck on the west side of the atoll which looks like an all tide kite launch site and also looks like it might offer some limited wave protection in easterly winds. Since the wind eased from 20+ early in the day to 15 by the time we got to the sandbar, we decided to continue to Bikar Island in the south of Bikar Atoll. Bikar islands provided superb beach combing where Dave found two rolling pin shaped glass floats and Kathy found the biggest glass ball ever. Kathy's glass ball was so heavy that we didn't even try to carry it back to the boat as we couldn't imagine what we'd do with such a giant glass ball or where we'd store it for the long ocean journey ahead.

We found some other unusual items on our walk such as the tip to a military missile which had several bullet holes through it, several turtle skeletons and sheets of dried turtle shell that resemble sheets of heavy plastic and that we hear make great guitar picks and lastly a US Army Core of Engineers survey marker from 1952.

Turtles on Bikar island seemed to be flourishing with turtle nests covering the entirety of every available inch of beach and lots of fresh tracks with at least 50 recent nesting sites based on fresh turtle tracks in the sand. On the SW corner of Bikar island a dozen palm trees languish, few with coconuts, but we managed to knock a few loose with a long stick and enjoyed the refreshing coconut water midway through our circumnavigation.

Today we plan to check out the kiting sandbar and nearby shipwreck and do some extensive snorkeling.

Based on yesterdays GFS grib, we might head out early on July 7 local (July 6 @1800UTC) as a low passing to the north could give us some southerly component winds on our way to 30N where we hope to find westerly component winds. However, all this could change based on the GRIB I'm about to download after I upload this message.

That's it for now.

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