Thursday, July 03, 2014

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

July 4, 2014 @ 7:30am or (UTC July 2 @ 1930)

Day 8 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

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

Anchorage position: 12 12.68N 170 06.88E (west side, mid-atoll at kite launch sand island)

2nm day/354nm total

Wind 15 NE
40 % Cloud cover with a few rain showers
Air Temp 85F

Seas: flat inside lagoon
Sea temp 86F

It's 4th of July, so happy birthday to my cousin Kim! In celebration of the 4th of July, we'll be shooting off some Roman candles we've had onboard since Fiji.

Yesterday we moved the boat up to the sand island that's midway down the west side of the Bikar Atoll lagoon and yep it's the perfect kite spot. Now all we need is the wind to pick up a few knots. The sand island is an all tide launch site and even at low tide there's enough water for some freestyle jumps/crashes. We'd hoped to check out the ship wreck just to the north of the sand island, but the tide was too low to navigate the coral gardens on the shallow reef, so we combed the sand island for beach treasures and pretty quickly found 2 small Japanese glass fishing floats. Just a couple more floats and we'll have our beautiful hand crafted Marshallese basket completely full. During our exploration a big squall came through and pelted us with a deluge of rain, so we slipped into the water for some snorkeling. The corals near sand island were ok, but the wildlife was superb. A 9.5 on a scale of 10 for wildlife, huge schools of all sorts of fish, countless giant clams, black lipped oysters, large Palau clams the only thing missing was big sharks. During low tide the visibility is pretty bad so, maybe the big sharks were there lurking in the shadows?

The remainder of the day was spent onboard. Kathy made rice crispy treats, Dave and Kathy studied the weather and discussed routing, Dave touched up the deck paint between rain squalls, we took a nap and lounged around until evening when we had a great pizza and watched a movie. With a constant 15 knot breeze the 86F air temp is very pleasant, no more constant sweating in the calm conditions found at Majuro.

Today, we started early on the high tide to check out the ship wreck, it looks like an 80-90' steel fishing boat. The bow is ripped off and located 1/8 of a mile away and still contains the entire anchor rode (chain) which is rusted into a 1m x 1m x 2m block. Can you imagine the storm that moved that chunk of metal?

Later today we'll scout the sand island in the NW corner and then head back to the best anchorage in the NE corner and explore the remaining island there.

That's it for now.

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