7th of January 2019, The Fanning Flu

It has been quite a while since we carried this many passengers. Thanks to the inter-island services of Air-Kiribati, we have grown accustomed to having only a handful of locals traveling with us from island to outer-island. Seventy-three passengers and thirteen crew had to find a spot between the 150 drums of fuel that we carried on deck. This posed no problem, because we have three decks to accommodate passengers: the Cargo hatch, the Aloha deck, and the Aft deck. Some cheeky youth even crawled on top of what we call Monkey-Island. What seems like a tangled chaos of human bodies on board, was actually the sweet testimony of sense of community that still lives in indigenous societies like these.

The problem though, with so many people sharing a confined space for considerable time, is that viruses are easily transmitted. Hence the fact that many crew members started showing signs of what I call the Fanning Flu. One after the other, we had to take to our bunks with two shots of Nyquil. Luckily this is a flew of the volatile kind. Within 24 hours, you’re back on top.

Fanning had been subjected to weeks of constant raining. On our first day there, we had to start-and-stop our cargo operations frequently because of passing squalls. One day later, the weather turned fair. This was a nice surprise, as it was our Sunday off.

The last day on Fanning we woke up to the fact that our mooring-buoy had managed to escape. Luckily one of the locals informed us that it had washed up on the beach inside the lagoon. I went to retrieve it in the dinghy with Arioka. To re-attach the huge buoy to the mooring-chain I had to use half of my smarts and whole of my physical power to get the job done.

We are now underway under full sail towards Washington island where we will spend two days discharging cargo and loading copra. The ITCZ is located below our position, so we expect the weather to stay fair.

Bengineer