It looked like we were running out of luck looking at the weather when we reached Fanning Island. The whole day a drizzle made our jobs miserable. Not enough rain to close the hold and just enough rain to keep your body soaking wet.
The next morning though we were greeted by the friendly tropical sun and this time there was no stopping the local stevedores. After discharging the grain and building materials all the lumber in the hold had to be re stacked by hand because the lumber for Fanning and Washington were not clearly marked. By nightfall captain Evy decided we would depart for Washington the next day.
Arriving at Fanning meant another change in crew. Banu, Teruia and Kaiaba stepped off to see their families. Arina and her sister Timeeri stepped on as well as Tokateke, Beni and Bota. Tebitoa was sent ashore to spend some days welding anything that Tyrone asked him to fix. For this purpose we brought our own welding generator. Stani stepped off to spend some time at Bruno’s Bed and Breakfast.
Bruno shared with me his concern for the impact that will result from the airstrip that is about to be finished. This will mean that an ‘exponential amount’ of tourists will flood the island. Most of the visiting tourist though will be surfers or fishermen. I don’t think these mellow people will have a huge effect on the peaceful atmosphere on the island. And this goes for all the Kiribati islands that I know. Do you know, btw, that there is no McDonalds or KFC in the whole Kiribati group? Unbelievable in this era, huh.