Thursday, October 27, 2005

Onotoa, Kiribati

Location: Onotoa, Kiribati
Position: 01°49.55' S 175°32.63' E llz=-1.82583,175.54383,13
Next Dest: One of the many atolls in Kiribati

The first big news is that we are officially out of the cyclone area! Safe & happy! We
are currently anchored in Onotoa Kirabati ... our first destination that is not even
mentioned in Lonely Planet! Off the 'beaten track' and loving it! The atoll is
mis-charted by at least 2 miles (scary this day and age), but we think the last chart
was from the 1800's ... so what's to be expected? The lagoon isn't charted for depth,
so we anchored outside and took the dinghy in with the hand held depth sounder and found
a place in 15' of water.. nice and calm.

The village is amazing ... extremely traditional and clean with terrific & friendly
people. We (Island Sonata and us) are the first two boats of the season. We increased
the ematong (white people) population dramatically; there are two Peace corp workers
from the states and a British Guy (who was born here in the 50's) who married a local
woman and just moved back two weeks ago after "30 years in trousers". A few days ago
some of our friends arrived (three additional boats) -- the locals are happily
overwhelmed ... one guy told us they have never had this many boats at one time, and we
think they don't usually get more than this in an entire year! Last night we went in
(w/ all the other boats) for what we thought was just going to be a little music
impromptu, with a couple of locals playing guitars and MJ (Island Sonota) playing the
keyboard ... the locals put together an entire party with food, dancing, and music. It
was a fabulous night!

On our way into the lagoon, and then again when Chris helped two other boats enter the
lagoon, we came across a huge pod of spinner dolphins, who seemed to love playing in the
wake of the boats. A few days later when Chris and John (Island Sonata) went out
fishing the dolphins were still there and loved 'racing' the dinghy. Chris was like an
excited child when he got back to Billabong and told me about the dolphins. The next
day we went out together, loaded up with lots of camera gear. Dolphins are amazing
creatures, and zooming around playing with them from the dinghy makes our top ten list
of cruising experiences! We got some terrific underwater footage and are already
planning our next trip out! Chris did try to jump in the water with them, but as
playful as they are, the were a bit skittish and took off (but not before Chris got a
good look at them in the crystal clear blue waters!).

If you can't tell ... we love it here, and are extremely happy that we 'found' this
little piece of paradise!


  1. hey are still on line?
    chris and cece

  2. Good to hear you guys are ok. Was waiting for the next posting.