A moment of life on a boat in the Marshalls.
Well we left Ebeye as according to the weather predictions Hurricane Kilo was going to pass to the north of us drawing all the wind from down here toward it which causes a west to south west wind. This kind of wind in the atoll lagoon is not the good kind as that puts us on the windward shore – meaning the wind is always trying to push us on shore. Of course this is not good and to top that off anytime the wind speed gets over 10 miles an hour it starts to create wind waves. Wind waves start as very steep and very quick, meaning they get very high and are very close together, often causing very nasty chop on the lagoon. But imagine this wind continuing and also strengthening to over 25 miles an hour the waves can get very large very quick. So it is wise if you can predict the coming winds and weather before it starts and leave to cross over to what is called the Lee shore, meaning the side the wind starts from. This does not give the wind anytime to build up the waves. And since here in the Marshall islands the land does not get any taller than 8 ft over the sea the only wind protection comes from the coconut tree’s and that is not much.
So take today it is Thursday, September 10, 2015 and since Monday we have experienced winds averaging 15 knots to over 25 knots ( 1 knot=1.15 miles per hour ) so out across the lagoon we can see whitecap waves rolling. We are on constant anchor watch which consists of keeping an eye on the computer model of our GPS track and also watching the anchor springer that keeps the chain from coming up hard on the windlass. With the wind whistling thru the halyards and rigging along with a slight to heavy swell coming from the north which rocks the boat side to side it makes it like doing aerobics 24 hrs a day. It is looking on the computer models like this will keep up till Sunday so almost 7 days of doing aerobics 24 hours a day leaves one very exhausted and tired feeling!
Yes we are in the beautiful tropics of the mid-pacific tropical Islands known as the Republic of the Marshall Islands but along with its beauty there is the terrifying typhoons and tropical storms that go raging by us this year it seems like twice a month! On top of this there is only a grocery store in Ebeye and when we leave we have to sore up the boat with supplies for a period of guessed time and many times we run out of boxed milk (the only kind of milk) and any kind of fresh food such as cabbage or apples or even meat. Much of what one eats here comes from a can! But once in a while they get some really good produce. Almost all the meat only comes in 4 oz packages because I believe that most cannot afford a REAL steak! Oh we long for a good steak and a tall glass of real milk (maybe even some half and half for me) to drink!
Anyway some would think that we are just living it up here in paradise but its hard to share the “good” without also sharing some of our challenges. Not that we have it bad but that God is stretching us here in paradise as well.
Doing school on a boat with 2 teens is another story. As parents of teens everything is a challenge. Anyone that has kids can imagine doing life – meaning doing everything from brushing teeth to meals and correction on 60 feet of boat that half the time is constantly moving! Everyone knows everyone’s business. Thus even if we say something in the not in the right tone it can be taken as wrong tone which then can escalate from there real quick if not careful. And with there only being often only 30 feet of separation from one another it can be hard to get some alone time when needed. It must be harder for the kids cause I can remember running to the woods as a kids when I was frustrated and being able to vent a bit before returning back to face the facts. We try to make allowance for this. But when the weather is nice and the jelly fish are not around the recess and after school activities are amazing!
Our family if you can believe it is a huge example to the locals as the family “structure” is very different and very messed up from what Gods true design is. I know that culture have a part in the fabric of who we are but the very essence of who God is and how he has created us to love one another defines how a family unit needs to be. At least in my opinion this is one of the very core things that has got miss directed here in the Marshall’s. It would be satan’s plan to destroy what a family unit is and destroy family relationships, which then would destroy relationships with much of the community.
Anyway just praying that we can make a difference!