What to expect

Rants, missives and occcasional updates about where Masquerade is located and what we are up to.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Island life

This time it has really been quite a while without an update.

Working full time just does not seem like there is all that much to write about. However we are living on a remote island in the middle of no-where, so I will try and do more updates.


We have been out sailing a few times, usually a short trip up to Bigej, about a 10 mile sail and a nice sandy anchorage. This is a nice weekend trip and the winds are normally on the beam so the sailing is good.  We did make a longer trip out to the island of Turruji. This island is on the west reef, so we were anchored Oceanside rather than on the lagoon side. We are still learning about anchoring in coral strewn areas, we prefer sandy bottoms but those are often not available.  The good part was that we had dive gear with us so we could check the anchor even though it was down almost 60 ft.  We had a nice 3 day weekend and had the area all to ourselves almost the whole time. Nice to get away, but the trip showed that we are not keeping up on our boat maintenance. We had an issue with the fridge and also threw a fan belt on the engine. Both issues were repaired underway without too much problem, but not my favorite way to spend my sailing time.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Back on Island

We are back from our annual leave, and back to work again.
We had a good trip and were able to visit family and some friends. It was quite hectic though and a lot of travelling. While driving around we saw both upper 90's weather and snow. We even had to buy chains to get over Donner pass. Luckily we had found some warm clothes before that trip! A few days in Hawaii before heading back to Kwaj was good, but even that was full of shopping and doctor visits. maybe our next trip will be a little more relaxing. Nice to be back in our own home again, plus the cats are happy that we are back.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On the move again

We are traveling again, but not by boat. We are on our “annual leave” and are back in the United States to visit family. Once a year we earn a trip back to the US and a few travel days to get there and back.

We have been very busy and making a lot of miles. We made several flights (most red-eyes) going from Kwaj to Majuro to Hawaii to LA and finally to Mazatlan. A few days there and it was a bus ride to San Carlos. After a few fixes to the truck, we started driving. Up to Arizona, then across to LA to visit Tim’s family. A quick stop with John and Bridget (Sailsoon) at their lovely house. Then Bakersfield to see our Son and family. Next was the drive up to Georgetown and SilverSprings NV to visit Cindy’s family.

As you can see we have been moving fast and have not been able to spend the time that we would like at any of our stops. In addition we are trying to do a years worth of shopping for clothes and other items that are not available on Kwaj. We are also taking advantage of having access to good restaurants. We are trying to taste all the things we have been missing (Japanese, Greek, Thai, Mexican, Chinese, etc…). It is turning out to be an expensive trip!


Sorry to anyone that we bypasses without a visit, perhaps next time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

One year on Kwaj!

It has now been a full year since we arrived on Kwajalein. Time has gone very quickly. It seems a bit odd that we have not traveled more than 40 miles away from our home for the last year! This after logging several thousand miles over the previous couple years.


I have not added too many photos while cruising because many of the updates were done with the HAM radio. Now that we are on shore I can try adding more photos to the blog. Of course we are still on dial-up, so maybe not too many photos.


A few weeks ago we traveled up to Roi-Namur, which is at the north end of the atoll.

This is where all the big radars are located. I think that there are only about a 100 people living there so it is much quieter than Kwaj. It is also less built up and much more vegetation. It also has more remnants from the Japanese occupation. We spent a nice weekend up there, it was sort of a mini vacation.


We have also been doing a bit of diving and are now working on our “Advanced Open Water” certification. We did our first night dive recently, and it was a lot of fun. We were both nervous about it, but it turned out to be easier than expected. I did not take the camera along on the night dive, but I did get some photos of a wreck dive that we did earlier.

We have both been enjoying our new hobby, and look forward to exploring more around the atoll.


We have just completed moving to a new home. We left the BQ (dorm room style housing), and are now in a real house. These are 2 bedroom homes, cinder block homes that the navy built back in the 50’s. A bit dated, but still a nice place to live. We are still unpacking the last few boxes and re-organizing. It is nice to have our own place, a patio, and a BBQ. I will try and get a few pictures soon.  Of course the house also comes with yardwork.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another Tsunami update

Everything is OK here. We were at a low tide when the tsunami passed through, and they think that it helped to prevent a large surge. We only saw about a 4 foot depth swing (down 2’, then up 2’). This was not enough to cause any waves to come over the shore. It may have been different at high tide, but we don’t really know. The other fact in our favor is that we are on the east side of the atoll, with the west side between us and Japan which probably protected us some.  Apparently they did see a bigger depth change up at Roi, but I don’t have any numbers for up there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami Update

Just a quick note to let our friends know that all is fine here on Kwajalein.
We heard about the warnings, but nothing of any interest was seen here. We are both fine and the boat appears to be good also. I will try and get out to the mooring later today to do a better check.

I will try and get a better blog update later...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Yes, I know that it is already February. I thought I better put a 2011 update up on the blog.
Cindy and I did manage to get out for a sail a couple of weeks ago. We sailed up to Bigej and spent the night there. It was a good sail with plenty of wind, we had a reefs in both the main and the genoa. The anchorage was calm so we had a pleasant night. The only problem was that the batteries were not holding a proper charge. It looks like the solar charge controller is over charging the batteries and cooked off more water than I realized. Hopefully there is not too much damage. I assumed that with the boat sitting idle with no electrical drain, I did not need to check the batteries as often. I was wrong.
We did have a good time, and a couple of other boats were there so a bit of visiting occured. We also brought along some scuba tanks and had a nice dive before we headed back to Kwaj. We need to set up a better routine and get out for sails on a more regular basis. It is really nice to get away and relax on the boat.