Ulithi Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

MogMog Island, Ulithi Atoll
“It’s turned into a tropical storm, but all the weather forecasts show it going well north of us.”  Famous.  Last.  Words.  
On our way from Yap to Guam, we opted to stopover in the Ulithi Atoll, just to regroup and rest.  It wasn’t a planned stop, but we all needed a welcomed break from the seas.  Of course, because it wasn’t planned, we hadn’t told anyone in Ulithi we were coming.  When we dropped the anchor just off the beach of MogMog Island, we immediately got a call on our VHF radio with a polite voice asking why we were there, how many people were onboard, and what our intentions were.  We assured them we meant no harm and were simply stopping to give our family a rest.  Then we all piled in the dinghy with a small gift in hand for the chief (an LED flashlight) to say hello to our new neighborhood.

Chief Stanley greeted us on shore and promptly instructed us on proper etiquette regarding the Men’s Meeting House - women and children were forbidden fr…

Micronesia: Yap Island

The Land of Stone Money, Jam Sessions, and Birthday Bashes 
“We have a weather window that might get us all the way to Guam,” Mark announced one morning at breakfast.  The typhoon season is supposed to be coming to an end, and the tradewinds are scheduled to fill in fiercely at anytime.  This trip up to Guam was going to be tricky.  Our choices of typhoons vs. head-on tradewinds left no easy option.  The best scenario would be to wait until a low weather system passes and brings with it uncommon winds from the south that would be pushing us the entire way, or a period of little to no wind in which we could motorsail most of the way.  
The entire trip from Palau to Guam is about 700 miles, which would take us about 5 full days to complete.  Yap Island is about 250 miles from Palau, on the rhumb line to Guam, and offers a great stopping point if we need a breather.  Would we stop or continue on?   
Overall, the seas are settled as we motorsail towards Guam, but we receive an email on th…

Peleliu: 75 Years After WWII

Nov 2019
Peleliu: A Practice in Descriptive Writing as we walk through what remains of World War II.  Written by Michael (12)Japanese HeadquartersThe massive concrete building towers over the lush landscape as the forest attempts to retake what it once had - the land the building is on. Roots cling to the hole and bullet-riddled walls and slowly cover everything in sight. The roof sags in and threatens to collapse. Brave sprouts spring from cracks in the blackened floor, defying the concrete they had been trapped in.

200 mm Gun CaveThe massive turret guards the hill, guards the cave concealed behind it. The cave mouth beckons any spelunker to enter it’s dark interior, to face the army of crickets waiting to strike. Water drips from the roof as the cave cries, mourning the loss of it’s inhabitants who died decades ago due to the attacks of savages that call themselves Americans. It wants revenge.

CatacombsDarkness beckons explorers to approach the cave mouth, armed with flashlights and …

Palau: Exploring the Rock Islands

Rock Islands, Palau (Warning: this kind of turned into a novel... read on, brave one.) For nearly two weeks since arriving in Palau,  Field Trip has been tied to a mooring at Sam’s Tours Dive Shop and Yacht Club.  It had been a productive two weeks - meeting people, finishing videos and blogs, and getting back into the school routine - but we were all ready to untie the lines and set off again.  Only hours away lie the protected Rock Islands, a maze of gumdrop-shaped emerald islets floating in turquoise waters.  We secured our required permits, paid our cruising and entrance fees, stocked the fridge, and finally set off.

Soft Coral Arch A mere hour motor from the yacht club, we find ourselves carefully navigating between two islets and over a shallow reef to enter a secluded lagoon.  Once the anchor is set in the center, Mark and the kids tie a stern line to the shore to ensure we won’t swing into any of the limestone cliffs around us.  I’m at the helm, keeping us in position and then bac…