Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tiny Home Tuesday ~ Majuro and Holland

Every once in awhile a crew letter from my friend Chuck comes along that opens up my own tiny world enough to want to share it. Chuck's tiny home is his boat Deviant ("Deev"), home ported in Majuro in the Marshall islands. 

Chuck's latest adventure is...well, I'lll just let you read about it for yourselves. First, some reality check weather facts, then the adventure. 

Thanks, Chuck!
   Ahoy Crew! Ahoy!
   Now hear This!
   Although I am currently in Europe in Holland's oldest city, Dordrecht, and involved in a boatbuilding project  there is a lot happening in the  Western North and South Pacific that I have been calling my  homeport for the last 7 years. The "Deev" is securely moored in Majuro again and under the watchful eyes of friends there. And the weather has been very bad with high winds and a lot of rain. A 999 millibar Low Pressure System sat there for  a few days before moving west where it will  most likely develop into a Tropical Storm. 

[I looked up the weather forecast for this area, check it out, it's pretty crazy!]

Historically The Marshall Islands, 7 degrees North of the Equator, have relatively few Tropical Storms but the area is a breeding ground for the suckers before they head west to wreak havoc on the rest of Micronesia, Palau Guam, The Philippines and Japan. However the water temperatures have been rising in the Marshalls every year and more Tropical Storms are now being predicted. With the average height of land in these atolls being only 10 feet above sea level (which is also rising) the storm damage will be devastating when it does happen. Food for thought... Where ya' gonna run???
   Fifteen hundred miles to the south of The Marshalls at about 15 degrees South of the Equator lies the beautiful island nation of Vanuatu. Vanuatu is only about 500 miles or so west of Fiji where I have spent a lot of time. My cruising plans for later this year include visiting Vanuatu its many mountainous islands.
   You have probably heard that Vanuatu was just slammed by Super Typhoon Pam, one of the most powerful cyclonic storms to have ever been recorded with winds in excess of 175 MPH. Those of us who have experienced Hurricanes in the Caribbean know what this means. TOTAL DEVASTATION! Hurricanes Hugo in 1989 and Marilyn in 1995 left the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in a shambles with housing and infrastructure in disarray for months and months. Many small villages in Vanuatu have very lightly built buildings of a tropical nature. I'm sure that as time goes on the death toll will rise. The capital city of Port Vila is a small modern city and reports from there are also bleak. Man, that sucks!

Back to Europe and the Wolfhound Project... I've already told you guys about this project and sent a bunch of photos from when I was there for the month of October. Now I am back for a scheduled 3 months (which is the length of my visa) to work on the decks. I am 2 weeks into a 12 week stint and I think that it is going quite well. The boat is 120 feet long on deck and I am covering it with 3 inch wide wooden planks. Starting with the middle planks we are working outboard. Careful measurements by myself and the builders indicate that after said two weeks I am slightly off,looking from the bow to the stern, by 1 1/2 millimeters. That's the equivalent of about 1/20th of an inch! Not bloody much! You sure as shit can't see it. I  am very pleased with progress thus far, to say the least! One and a half millimeters over 120 feet is nothing!! Cool!


It is still cold here in Holland. The ground has been covered with frost in the mornings as I ride my old bicycle in the pre dawn darkness the 5 kilometers to the boat shop. The trees still have not started to bud but the first flowers are starting to pop up.

The above pictures were taken Saturday in the fabulous marketplace in downtown Dordt (Dordrecht). Granted, these flowers were greenhouse grown but I have seen signs of Daffodils and Tulips appearing. More shots of the Saturday market...

Speaking of markets, very close to where I have my lodgings are located 3 grocery stores. All very good  and each very different. One is a very high end Western European/Dutch Supermarket chain. Next to it is a fine market that specializes in Eastern European and Ukrainian foodstuffs. Nearby is a market that is strictly Turkish and Middle Eastern! What a selection of wonderful foods. Yes, I am getting fat again! Good thing that I work hard every day and ride the old bike, huh!

The food choices reflect the international mix of people here. I am happy to say that Holland, at least where I am, is a wonderful cultural melting pot of West Indians, Africans, Turks, Arabs and Asians with some white people thrown in. Everyone seems to get along... most of the time.

The apartment that I'm being lodged in is a small 4 room apartment located in the basement of what used to be an old Dutch farmhouse. The area that used to be gardens and crops is now all housing units but look what I found in an old shed on the premises where the bicycle is stored... These are authentic and NOT from a souvenir shop! Cool, huh?

On that note, Crew, I will leave you to your duties...

Carry On and Press On Regardless!

   Chuck Handy, from the farmhouse but thinking of the sea...

1 comment:

  1. Interesting and exciting post. I enjoyed it very much, but pictures didn't download. Could be my connection.