Maya The Magnificent

The full statement is “Maya the magnificent cockroach hunter”! We came home late on Wednesday and I climbed into our bunk in the forward cabin. Maya came up there with me, which she rarely does (she’s slept with us for only 3 hours in 18 months). At the foot of the bed are 4 piles of books on a shelf in front of the anchor locker doors. Suddenly she goes to the left stack of book and starts furiously digging, ripping down the entire pile of books onto the bed. About that time I started getting alarmed, this definitely not being typical Maya behavior, and I hollered to Rob that perhaps he should come with a flashlight and paper towels. I left the cabin and he went up into the bunk and suddenly I hear fierce pounding against the wall. Apparently Maya had sniffed out about a 3″ cockroach, which Rob completely pulverized. We were absolutely amazed that she could smell a cockroach hidden in a pile of books, and even more astounded that she pulled down the pile of books for us to get it. She definitely earned a little treat of soft Friskies every day for the rest of her life!

As far as finding her a playmate, that didn’t work. The folks at the vet clinic didn’t have time to work it out for us. The woman on the boat behind us found a tiny stray Siamese kitten the day before yesterday, but the vets were already gone and we couldn’t get a health certificate, so we couldn’t take it. Likely we would have landed in Micronesia or Palau and been told to leave if they had found him without papers, even though I doubt there’s any vet between here and the Philippines. But we’re hopeful we can find a mate in Cebu City where we check in to the Philippines.

We started working on the final list of things to do on Wednesday, when Rob took our propane tank for a refill. He got to the office of the Marhsalls Energy Corporation to pay for it, and found out the island was out of propane. Later that day he also discovered that the main pump on our watermaker was having intermittent but frequent problems that he couldn’t sort out, and decided he needed to install a new pump configuration. That left me today to do the paperwork runaround to get us checked out.

First visit is to the Port Captain’s office at the other end of the atoll to get a Port Clearance document and pay our exit fees. The Captain was in a meeting, so they typed up the doc, gave me a copy and sent me off to Immigration and Customs for our other clearance papers. Into another taxi and back into town to Customs, where I got that clearance. Another taxi took me to Immigration for the stamp in our passport. Then into a fourth taxi back to the Port office where the Captain had signed off on my document. A fifth taxi took me to the grocery store for one last stop, since the island had also run out of eggs and cabbage earlier in the week. The sixth taxi brought me back to the boat.

But Rob was still busy with pumps so I decided to run out to get the propane filled. Into another taxi, all the way past the Port Captain’s office to the propane place I go. The man behind the gates kindly informed me that at 1:00 they were still at lunch, and to return at 2:00. Alrightee then, taxi number 8 takes me back to the boat, waiting for taxi trip 9 to go back and fetch my hopefully filled tank. When I arrived at 2:30 the tank wasn’t full and when I finally got their attention I was told that since we paid on Wednesday, the price had increased and I needed to go back into town and pay another $10.50 before they would fill my tank. Given that it was now 2:30, I did not have $10 on me, and I was running out of time and patience, I did the only thing I could think of – I played the girl card. I pleaded with him to please fill the tank at least part way and explained that I had my clearance papers and had to leave today (not exactly true, but part of my plea). Evidently the tear-filled blue eyes worked, because he called the office, got permission, filled my tank and sent me on my way to taxi number 10 of the day.

We need to be on our way by Sunday so we arrive in Kosrae before next weekend to get checked in. The wind is blowing nicely right now, but the seas outside the atoll are a huge mess from a monster storm that started on the western side of the North Pacific about a week ago (and should be slamming into the west coast of the US about now). We’ll have a pretty bouncy ride, but the seas are continued to be high through the week, and we’re really pushing the window to have enough time to get to see Hong Kong. We found out earlier this week when I talked to Cindy on the HF radio that they’re sailing straight to Kwajalein, so we wouldn’t get to see them even if we had waited. Right now they’re taking more of the stinky weather, reporting 35 to 45 knots of wind and 12 to 20 foot seas with very short period wavelengths. I’m hoping that tomorrow night we’ll be out at Enemonet so I can hear Cindy and get to talk with her. Our ride won’t be nearly as bad as theirs, but will still be “boisterous”.

As far as stops along the way, we’ve burned up a bit of extra time trying to get out of here, and will have to be speedy in the Micronesian islands. We also learned that unemployment, drugs and alcohol are huge problems in Chuuk, and we will not be stopping there. I really wanted to see some of the wrecks there, but it’s definitely an unsafe stop for us right now, so we’ll pass. But the diving in Palau will more than make up for missing Chuuk.

Today on Yohelah we’re just about done checking things off the list.