Sunday, December 30, 2007

Website Update in Seattle

I have been working on my web site, trying to get all the photos to work correctly. I believe it is close now. So all the photos of 2007, from Zihuatanejo to Hawaii, should be on line now. Try http://www.tcls.com/~larryl/log_katielee/photos then click on 2007 in the Previewer window frame. They are stored by month and day, so the newer ones are toward the bottom.

Our daughter's wedding plans are progressing faster than the boat part acquisitions.

The grand kids, Izabell is really cute. Zoe and Morgan are supposed to come visit for the first time today and of course their parents (our kids) too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Seattle Arrival

We had a nice brunch and supper with Bold Spirit and Amochi, Elvin, and dropped the rental car off at the airport at 6PM. Our flight was at 10PM, and the airport has no free WiFi, so we read books all evening.

The flight was long but not crowded, so it wasn't too bad.
Our daughter picked us up this morning in Seattle. Grandbabies sure grow fast!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hawaiian Tourists


We put the boat in dry storage at the marina at 11AM Friday. Then in the rental car, we drove to the north end of the island to Waimea. Found a nice quiet hotel and enjoyed a nice looong bath in HOT water!

Then on around the island to Hilo, where we stayed in "Uncle Billy's Hotel". Not cheap or new, but dry and cool. We had a really nice supper of steak and crablegs. As long as we're spending so much, lets go for it!
We also toured old downtown and a waterfall or two. Near the waterfall we bought some fruit, including a poplemouse, like the French Polynesian grapefruit and rambutan, sorta like a big grape inside. Really good.

Then Today we drove south through Volcanos National Park. There were no active flows that could be walked to, so we saw the rest of the park and drove on to a friend's "Bed & Breakfast near the south end of the island. The most southern point in the United States.
We'll head back up toward Kailua-Kona, where the boat is tomorrow.
Kathi and Jeff on Bold Spirit have invited us to Christmas Brunch Christmas morning.

Oh, yes, that is us wearing long pants! Over a year, we finally get to Hawaii and it is so cold on the east side that we have to break out the long pants! We did have them ready for the trip to Seattle at least.

Monday, December 17, 2007

3 Days To go



And lots to do. We did get 2 coats of new light green bottom paint finished, the transmission on deck and dissembled, rebuild kit ordered "air next day", the screw holes in the deck all plugged with epoxy (twice, I didn't do it right the first time), the bow pulpit re-welded for cracks and all the stanchions polished, a large order from West Marine of mostly replacement parts. The deck steps for the masts look OK. There are coins placed under the mast each time it is put back up "for good luck".

We are working fast and furious 12 hours a day, but it just doesn't seem to be getting completed.

The rigger says the cables will be in Wed and the masts ready to re-step on Thurs. morning. we are scheduled for move to the storage yard on Friday morning, then our "vacation in Hawaii starts. 4 day of homeless with only a rental car and the baggage we are taking to Seattle!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Boat Work

Things are progressing. We have the masts off so the rigger can measure the cables in order to make new ones. He is replacing the lifelines too. We removed the transmission. You should have seen Trinda helping lift the 150 pound thing up the companion way steps, nearly 6 feet high! No I didn't get pictures, I was holding the other end! There is a possibility of getting a used transmission in better shape than mine. I should hear in a day or two. I took the broken parts to the welder, the genoa car,
boom yolk and the bow pulpit rail. The pulpit had several cracks in the welds where it had been repaired by some previous owner.

We are 3/4 done grinding the old non-skid off the deck under where the teak used to be. I have asked a local expert to come advise me on how to refinish the deck. He is busy and hasn't made it here yet. I think we'll just put 2 or 3 coats of fiberglass to smooth and flatten the area. Then paint it white with epoxy paint adding glass bead non-skid material to the final coat. We have yet to start removing the caulk from the teak on the top of the dog house that we intend to keep. It needs to be re-caulked.

Living aboard in the work yard is a little difficult. The shower/bathroom is 50 yards away, and of course that's from the bottom of the 16 foot extension ladder leaning against the side of the boat. Trinda still doesn't like ladders. We can't use that new "diamond studded/gold plated" head, cause it needs salt water to flush. The kitchen sink drains on the cement directly under the boat, so no grease or vegetable matter can go in it. And the boat just feels wrong, cause it never moves any. No gentle
swaying to rock us to sleep.

There is only one other liveaboard in the work yard now, another sail boater. He seems single and is on the opposite side of the yard. Mostly this yard works on commercial charter fishing boats. They are not interested in sail boats and have little support for us, ie. the ice cold shower. And they lock up the gates around 7PM til 7AM so no late night parties or dinners while we are here.

Scott on Avventura left for Maui. His folks are coming to visit for Christmas. We sure enjoyed cruising with him. He is an excellent young man. Maybe we'll see him again some time afer we get back and cruise around in the spring. Bold Spirit is in the same slip in the marina here that we were in, until next week. I think they also plan to head closer to Honolulu for the Christmas season.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

On The Hard




We hauled the boat to the work yard here in Honokohau Marina. I get internet only occasionally.

We have lots of work to do on the boat. I have a rigger lined up to replace all the wires holding up the masts. The wind has been blowing too hard to pull the masts of yet, 4 days of winter storms in Hawaii. The worst they have had in years. It blew up to 46 knots the other day, sustained at 30 for several hours. The mountain top had over 80 knots, that's hurricane strength!

I got new parts for the wind vane, under warranty! Great! The Cape Horn guy is really good. I haven't got them installed yet, I don't have anything to stand on to reach it. The yard doesn't provide ANYTHING, only the space for the boat to sit! We borrowed a ladder from the marine store and saw horses from the rigger.

We have nearly all the teak off and the screw holes filled, but haven't checked for bad places under the fiberglass yet.

I got the prop and shaft out and straightened, polished and ready to put back with new seals. The transmission needs to be checked, so I need to take it out first. It got salt water in it and now the seals in it are leaking too.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Removing The Teak Deck


Yes, Trinda is really ripping up the deck!
She has removed nearly all the teak single handedly. I have helped on a few of the more stubborn boards, but I have been removing the screws, drilling out the holes and sealing them with epoxy.

We rented a car for a few days to get as many of the parts we will need gathered up for the upcoming yard work. We also did laundry again and bought more groceries. The marina and work yard are about 3 miles form town, Keilua, and 4 miles the other way to the "new industrial" area and CostCo. It will be a long hot walk without a car. There is virtually no public transportation here. You would think you were in a backward country, except ll of them had good local transport!

We should be finished with the teak removal and sealing the screw holes before we get hauled out, but I don't know how much of the deck re-finishing will be done.

We got the replacement parts for the windvane! Warrenty repair and air express UPS, Great! Still waiting for the shaft seals and the new rigging. Hopefully they will all be here by Tuesday.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Trinda is removing the teak deck. She has made good progress. This is the starboard looking aft. You can see the pile of scrape teak and the non-skid pattern that was under the deck. We still have to remove the screws and fill the holes.

The shroud that is breaking and the support for it. $wires are broken. I tied the rope and blocks to take the strain off so it wouldn't break all the way.




The gold plated head! It took a while to install, about 10 hours. That's a boat for you. It is guaranteed for the life of the boat, I hope!

Hawaii - Honokohau Harbor

We got a med-moor slip in the state harbor here and have started making arrangements for the boat repairs. We are to be hauled out on Dec 4 and moved to dry storage on the 21st. Then fly to Seattle the 25 thru the 16th. Then hopefully back in the water on the 16th.

We started removing the teak deck and installing the new toilet. Lots of work. Trinda is doing most of the teak. She has removed all of it from the starboard side, except for the fore and aft deck areas and is now cleaning up the remaining caulking.

We bought a Skipper Head, at $1150, guaranteed for the life of the boat. I sure hope it is. I should have it finished today.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hawaii Honokahau Marina

We moved into the marina to start working on the boat. Its going to be an expensive ordeal! We also decided to remove the teak deck and fiberglass over the thousands of screw holes that have been leaking.

On the passage here from Fanning we seem to have broken a lot of stuff. Two shrouds, the windvane, two water pumps, the propane control valve and regulator, several sheets (ropes), the computer is getting worse, the batteries no longer hold a charge long, and that's besides the plan to replace the frige and add a wind generator. The haulout is to be about $600 and $63 a day for the workyard.

We were invited to Thanksgiving dinner, but he turned out to live over 50 miles away and we have no way to get there. Trinda had bought a small turkey, so we are having two single-handlers over and we'll have a small feast here.

We have discovered another Passport 45, Julia Max, in Portland, Or. He has replaced his teak with fiberglass too. Their site is http://www.svdreamchaser.net/

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hawaii

We made it! 4:00 AM this morning. It seems like a long trip, with lots of tense moments, but we are here. I told Trinda, "Did you ever imagine that I'd take you to Tahiti and Hawaii in the same summer!!"
She just said, "Who took who"?
We got checked in by customs and homeland Security then spent the afternoon at Wal-Mart. We just returned to the boat from Pizza Hut! it is strange what you crave. It had been 8 months since we had a Pizza Hut Super Supreme extra large pizza. we ate it all.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fanning to Hawaii

still hand steering. Two hundred miles out from Kona on the west of the big island. Every thing is OK still.
The computer is having more trouble, now it ha no key in the upper corner. I have to cut and pate to get an s.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another long day

The auto pilot gave out completely this time so we are hand steering full time the net 5 days. Not much time for the computer.
we are fine except for being a little tired.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fanning to Hawaii Day 4

Fish! We caught 2 more tuna. They were small, but ok. We also hooked up a medium dorado, about 3 feet. The first one we've seem since Donnie was with us. Just as we were trying to get him aboard, he got off.

The wind has gone wrong, dead on the nose. We motor sailed through the night, and may all day today.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another Day

I got the jib car replaced and the big back up. We are making much better time today, although we mad 101 miles the first day and 111 the next. We'll see tonight. The wind and seas have calmed some so it is a pleasant sail now. 8 more days maybe.

We caught a small tuna this morning and had it for lunch and supper. It was just barely enough for 2 meals, but a welcome change from "cup o noodles"!

We are about 100 miles behind Bold Spirit and Avventura hasn't left yet, tomorrow morning he says. Seems he ate something.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fanning to Hawaii Day 2

we are still trying to go mostly east. The current and prevailing winds for this trip are east wind til the ITCZ (convergence zone or doldrums) at about 7 degrees then 1 to 2 degrees of not much then the winds turn northeast. and the current sets to the west except for a small stretch called the equatorial counter current that sets to the east. Hawaii is about 155 degrees and Fanning was 159 so we are headed for 08N 155w before turning north. This morning we are at 06 17N 156 54W

We tried to change sails yesterday and had some difficulty. the rope for the furler got tangled and by the time I got it un done, the flogging sail broke the pulley on the sheet car on the toe rail. I will move the pulley from the other side over there today. Always something has to break!

No fish.

Monday, November 5, 2007

First day to Hawaii

All's OK so far. A little bouncy and windy almost on the nose, but sailing.
No fish, two lost bites though.

Exciting Day in Fanning



Well I'm not the kind of guy that is overly paranoid about checking every thing before every trip, usually. I did decide that the forestay looked a little loose and should be tightened up a bit. Well I couldn't get to the turnbuckle at the bottom of the cable, cause it is under the roller furler drum. So I took the screws out of the drum to slide it up the cable to make room. While lifting the sail and furler up I accidentally caused the top of the sail to get unhooked.

Well, that's OK, it is designed be hooked and unhooked from the deck. I tightened the turnbuckle some and reassembled the drum. Then I tried re-hooking the sail following the instructions for the sail hook....no good. I can't get it hooked. So I call Scott from Avventura to come over and hoist me up the mast. When I get to the top and start to hook the sail, I notice why the forestay looked loose. The pin that holds the turnbuckle at the top was almost out of the hole!!! Oh no! It had also lost one
of the washers and cotter pins that are supposed to hold it in place. I was really scared. This cable is half of what holds up the mast. If I hadn't had trouble with the sail and not gone up the mast, I would not have known and it might have caused the mast to fall if the pin had worked the last 1/4 inch out!

I seem to have had a lot of "good luck" this way. Back in San Carlos, when we were tied to a mooring buoy, a shackle pin worked it's way out during a rain storm and the mooring was held only by the shackle having happened to turn sideways. Then again in Manzanio, I pulled up the anchor to find the shank hooked to the chain by only the edge of the shackle pin again. Some body seems to be watching out for me!

Scott lowered me back down so I could worry about it in comfort a while. Finally I started going through my junk drawer and found some parts to make replacements for the missing pieces. So I make a new washer by sawing off the eye from the old clevice from before the roller furler, and Scott hoists me back to the top. There is too much strain on the cable, what with the wind blowing 20 knots and the boat bouncing all around. but after a while I finally get it all back together right.

Almost makes me want to go up and check it all out every time before a passage!



Scott did check his!



All that made us late for the Bon Voyage bar-b-que on the beach with Bold Spirit, Southern Cross, Avventura and us. It was fun, we had grilled fish, beans, rice and pasta salad. And some wine to recover from the afternoons adrenalin rush!

We plan to depart toward Hawaii about 7 AM tomorrow. It should be a 10 to 14 day trip, 950 miles. All 3 fo us are leaving together.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fanning - Cruise Ship Left

We had a nice day with the cruisers from the ship.

The ship ami in around 6 AM and soon unloaded a couple of shore boats full of supplies for a lunch for the passengers on the beach. Then the workers to prepare, cook and serve the food. About 8:30 they started sending the passengers by the islands 3 ferries.

We talked to several of them. They were all excited by the prospect of retiring on boats, hadn't even thought of it in several cases. They were from all over the states, mostly, with a few others too. Lots of newly weds and old folks.

All the ladies from the villages brought their handi-crafts to sell. The baskets Trinda learned to make at Christmas, the flowers she taught them to make, necklaces, carved tikis, baskets, woven mats and shell things. Trinda spent most of the day with the ladies group from the village 5 miles south that we spent the time at. We have ridden down there 4 times now.

About noon, when they started serving the food, we found the captain and ask if there was a way for us to pay for lunch. "Na, just get in line." He was interested in our boat and where we had been too. We had a hamburger, hotdog, chicken, potato salad and fruit salad. Then they had apples and oranges out for snacks. Each time Trinda walked by she grabbed a couple more and stuffed in my bag. By the time we left she had 4 apples and 10 oranges. It sure is nice to have fresh fruit again. The last 3
islands had no fruit! As they closed up the bars, we noticed they were throwing away the sliced limes and lemons used for making drinks. We asked and to a gallon ziplock bag of limes! I hope they ill keep a few days.

They started loading up the passengers about 3:00 but didn't finish until after 5. The last thing they took was all the trash bags they had filled all day. Nothing was left behind except the uncooked food and beer, which seemed to be sold to the islanders via the local property manager for the facilities of the cruise lines. We tried to get some of the beer left over, but even young single Scott only managed a few bottles before the boss came round.

The next day, Kwai, the supply ship from Hawaii came in. It is an old 120 foot freighter that has a mast and sails added. He makes trips from Hawaii (Costco) to Christmas, Fanning, Washington and Palmyra. Sometimes he even goes as far as the Cook Islands too. The other boat here (been here since August) had an order with them and now has lots of stuff including some fresh stuff like cabbage.

One of the ladies from Trinda's group got a ride out to our boat via the local ferry yesterday. She wanted us to buy a big battery from the Kwai and sell it to her. We would not have to pay the 30% duty. I figured it was not right, so I didn't understand her. We took her to the ship to help her get a battery, but they said leftovers weren't to be sold until Monday. We told her we would help carry the battery then. When we took her ashore, she had a motor scooter. She asked Trinda to ride down to
her house and spend the day with her. She did. "The road is just as bumpy on the scooter as it is in the bike!" But she had a nice day, even ate lunch with them. It was fried fish and rice.

She gave us another bottle of coconut palm tree juice boiled down to make syrup. It is very good, almost tastes like maple syrup. She also gave Trinda another blouse. They sew pleats or flowers around the sleeves and neckline. I remember mom and the neighbors having similar blouses when I was a kid. Seems to be a fashion form the 40s & 50s I think.

We are having a pot luck with all 4 sailboats and the Kwai tonight. It should be fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fanning - Cruise Ship


Today the NCL cruise ship is arriving. It is the total thought of the islanders, every thing is geared toward it. At one time, they came twice a month, but it has been several months since the last one now. They knocked all the coconuts down from the trees on the beach where they will land this week, so no one will get hit by a falling coconut. The life jackets and beach chairs were all washed. They have pedal boats, kayaks, Hobie Cat catamarans and bicycles for them to rent.

The locals put on a show and pose for pictures. Kathi, Trinda and Jeff are in the upper left background.

There will be bars and a big lunch buffet we hope to crash. The carver, Sean, from the village Trinda has been weaving with is the cook and invited us to sneak in.

All the handi-crafts people plan to have tables set up to sell their stuff. The Saint Mary group that Trinda has taught to weave the flowers is really excited about today too.

We are looking forward to a fun day watching the passengers.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fanning Pedaling Again

We borrowed the NCL bikes again today. We took them on the ferry to the north side and pedaled about 6 miles up the island to the high school and the old trans-pacific telegraph relay station. It was a quite long ride. We are sore again!!!

I took a few pictures, but it looks like all the other islands. Ha! Seen one tree, you seen them all!

Off to bed.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fanning Bicycling

The Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has a cruise ship stop here a few times a month normally. They skipped October, but are expected in Nov. They have two beach facilities, one with all kinds of stuff for the passengers. Kyacks, bicycles, Hobie Cats, BarB Ques, Volley ball courts and basketball courts. They are not here and had over 100 bicycles, so we borrowed 4 (Bold Spirit and us) and pedaled about 5 miles down the island. We were looking for the store operated by the customs agent, Maurina. She
seemed to be at her office, but we did find the store. Not much new there either, dry goods only. Trinda did find some crocheted thread she couldn't live without. Kaonnari, the librarian from Christmas, had a blouse made for Trinda which had a crocheted neck liner, so she had to have the thread to make another.

We later got tired Trinda and I stopped to rest while Jeff and Kathi rode on to see if there was anything around the next corner. While we were waiting, the people in a near by hut came out to see what we wanted. Then another lady cam by on her way to the local Catholic Church (a sheet metal shed) to do some weaving. I asked if we could come along and watch a little. Trinda and Kathi asked if she could make a few place mats for us instead of the large sleeping mats. "Sure", she said, "How big?"

Well we followed her to the Church and Trinda started showing them how to weave the flowers she learned ant Penrhyn instead. We didn't get to see how to weave the mats still!

We promised to come back Thursday morning to pickup the mats and bring a finished flower so they cold see the finished thing. They then gave us a stalk of bananas each and we pedaled back.... a good 25 lbs of bananas in my backpack, and I am so in shape to ride a bike to begin with! My bottom hurts!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fanning

We arrived Fanning about 12:30PM but the tide was going out and the current was too fast in the pass, so we motored around in circles for an hour and got anchored by 2:30PM.
All's well.
No fish. The immigration lady says we can buy yellow fin tuna from the fisherman here, so I guess its OK.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Christmas to Fanning

112 of 158 miles
All's well. Making 6 to 7 knots in only 15 knots of wind on the stern quarter. We seem to have a current pushing us along.
No fish yet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Leaving Christmas

We plan to leave Christmas Island tomorrow early. We are going to Fanning, which is a little over 100 miles north west. It should be only about 24 hours

We really enjoyed visiting here. We went shopping this morning and checked out wit customs and immigration. Immigration want to charge us $60 a month more, but she finally said it was a new rule and we would not have to pay until the next time we come. It seems excessive to charge $0 for a visa, the add $60/ month while you stay with that visa!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Xmas - day 21

Not much new here. It is hard to believe we have been here 3 weeks today. I wish the wind would quit for a while! It has been blowing 15 to 25 the whole time here. It makes small waves in the anchorage, so it is a little bouncy, but it bothers my ears, the constant whistling.

I went spear fishing yesterday. No luck, the rubber in the spear gun broke on the second shot. The fish are hunted so much that you can't get close to them. The locals keep them skittish I guess. We bought a 30 pound yellow fin tuna from a fisherman. We had asked another one, but he didn't get any so he pointed to another canoe. He had 3 big ones. Bold spirit and I split it, each taking a fillet. We intend to make some fish jerky. Trinda liked his he made from the last fish. He marinaded it in terriki,
brown sugar, pineapple juice and a little salt and pepper.

Trinda has been making jewelry from mother of pearl shells to give to the librarian tomorrow when we go to learn how to weave mats from panderias leaves. They resemble bear grass that has done really well. She copied a small dolphin necklace that Bold Spirit bought in Tahiti and I made a Polynesian fish hook one. She also made a flower necklace that looks just like the one from Raraka, but smaller, only about 2 inches across instead of 6.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

X-Mas still

Nothing new. Trinda's burn is nearly healed. We went to the store yesterday for a few things, cookies, crackers and canned peaches.
The wind has been less the last few days, only 10 to 15 knots. It had been 20 to 25 and probably will return in a few more days. We are thinking about moving on to the island of Fanning soon.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Fish

On the way to the librarians house, we sorta got lost. We had her name written down and the name of the village she lives in on a piece of paper. I showed it to people we met as we walked toward the village. When we got close, a young fisherman seemed to say he knew her. He said, "Is it ok if I follow you?". "OK. Thank you." I said, giving his broken English in the moments before, I assumed he meant to lead us. He did. I was about a mile. Along the way I started asking him about himself. He is a
fisherman. He has been married 7 years but his wife is now pregnant for the first time. He is looking forward to being a father.

I asked how the fishing was and if he every caught extra fish. "Yes, I sell them to my neighbors, sometimes." he said. So I asked if he might catch one and sell it to us. "Sure, I'll bring one tomorrow." I asked if he fished on Sunday, as this was Saturday. He said probably not, so promised to bring some on Monday.

Yesterday, we needed to go to the store, so we and Bold Spirit took an early collective bus over to the other side to JMB Enterprises and bought the things we needed. We were back by 11, and all the canoes were still out. We seemed to have made it. About 4 PM, as I was repairing some corroded electrical wires, we hear Bold Spirit on the radio, "There is a canoe by your boat!". Trinda looks out and sure enough it is Tanre. I look and see 3 very large yellow fin tuna, maybe 40 pounds each. We ask him
aboard for a drink and call Jeff on Bold Spirit to come so he can help us decide how much fish to buy, as he had said if I succeed he would like some fish too.

We offer Tanre a drink, water, beer or juice. He says he can't have beer, "My wife would know..." and settles for water. I gave him a tour of the boat while waiting for Jeff and Kathy. It must have been the first time on a sailboat, cause he was surprised at everything. We finally decide that Jeff and I would split one fillet today, and maybe buy another fish about Thursday, in 4 days. He gets $1 a pound for the whole fish, so we settle on $15 for the fillet. He made a show of putting it in his pocket
so his wife wouldn't know he had it.

We asked him about his fishing technique. He got back in the outrigger canoe and demonstrated the technique. He doesn't have a down-rigger like the salmon fishers in the northwest. He had a large milkfish. He cut off a fillet and skinned it. Cut it into 1" cubes and put 3 or 4 on the hook and line just above the hook. Then he laid it on a breadfruit tree leaf (a roundish leaf about 8" across) and packed a had full more of the bait around it. Then he laid it on a round rock and wound the line around
the rock, leaf, chum and baited hook. He then looped the line under the winding and put a small piece of leaf through the loop and pulled it snug. The next part was a little tricky, He measured off 60 to 100 feet, depending on the time of day and gently lowered the rock and all down in the water. When it is deep enough, a couple of quick jerks pulls the loop through the leaf. The rock falls away and the hook and a hand full of chum are there in the deep where the big tuna are. In 9 hours he had caught
3 fish.

Jeff took his home to get it in the fridge and we visit a little more. Trinda gave him a flower she had weaved from the prepared palm leaves she got at Penrhyn. He was thrilled. "My wife will be so surprised!" I suggested he tell her a mermaid gave it to him, or else she might guess he had sold a fish to a cruiser and would have to give up the money. We had a good laugh and wished him a good day.

I had 1/2 pound of sushimi with wasabi for supper.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Weaving

Trinda met the local Catholic High School librarian on the collective bus the other day. Saturday we walked up to her village and found her house. They spent several hours with Trinda showing her how to weave coconut leaf flowers. She wanted to learn more, so we invited her and her husband to the boat Sunday, yesterday. They came after church and stayed for lunch and almost til 5. They had a good time. Trinda showed them all the crafts she has made and received as gifts on the trip so far. They make
some crafts to sell to the cruise ships that stop her. Only 3 or 4 a month. She gave Trinda a "war knife" replica. It is made from shark vertebrae for the handle, coconut shell and bamboo for the blade studded with shark teeth and bone fish fin bones along the edge. They weave mats from a local plant and baskets with shells in the weave. We made arrangements to go to their house again next Sunday so Trinda can learn how to make them.

Trinda's burn is getting much better, only one of the 3rd degree places still has scabs, the rest is only red.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A day at Christmas

Trinda woke up at her normal 6 AM and made her coffee. She is out of the special stuff from Costco, so it was Milo, instant coffee and Coffee Mate. She played a few hands of Spider solitaire while waiting for me to awake at 7:30. While I was having coffee and watching a cruise ship send shore boats to town, Jeff came over to see if I wanted to go meet the captan of a 82 foot fishing boat arrived here. Just then we heard CHuck invite him to breakfast over the radio.

So we made another cup of coffee and Jeff and I went over to Chuck's and met him there. He is a 26 year old Hawaiian. He brought hs fish hold full of supplies from Hawaii and is looking for 25 crew that want to join the fishing fleet there for a few years. He is staying here a week.

Afterward, we decided to take the local bus for a sight seeing tour. The bus is a small Nissan 9 passenger van. It stops for anyone standing beside the road. It cost $3.50 Australian each for the trip to the end of the road and all the way back to town. At times there were as many as 18 people aboard, plus a few bags of rice and other things people were taking home.

Soon after we boarded, Trinda struck up a conversation with a woman about our age, who had to sit in her lap. She turns out to be the librarian at one of the high schools. There are 3, a catholic, prodastant and a government one. She also likes to weave and invited Trinda to her house some time to weave together. I asked several questions of the young man next to me. We passed several wind mills, but there are no cows here. The mills pump all the drinking water for the island, he says. There are
4 here and 2 around the other side. He pointed out lots of other sites as we toured along. He lives at the end of the bus route so we had a nice visit, except for the very loud rap music the van driver was playing.

It took about 45 minutes to reach the end of the line. The island airport was there and the small village of Banana Beach. We didn't see any real center of town or other tourist attraction, so we just stayed on the bus. Part way back the van stopped at JMB Enterprises, al local importer, store and gas station. We took advantage of the break to buy a cup of ice cream each. We thought we might as well ride back all the way to town and maybe see some of the cruise ship tourists. The island is so bare
and dry and the town so small we couldn't imagine what they would be doing.

By the time we reached town, the last shore boat had left taking all the tourists back and the cruise ship was weighing anchor. Oh well, next time, maybe. We walked around the parts of town we had missed on previous trips. We found a bar and had a beer for lunch. It had a diminutive pool table so Jeff and Scott played a game while Trinda visited with the owners wife and I visited with the owner. He has only been here 3 years, but the bar is doing well and he is happy. I played him a game of 8 ball,
(and barely won) then we were off to the store. Kathy and Jeff got some more groceries. We had shopped the day before so Trinda only for another ice cream cone. Thy have no fresh vegetables until the next cargo plane, which no one seems to know when will arrive, some time in October.

Now it back to the side of the street to await the bus. When it finally comes it is so packed another 10 year old wouldn't fit. We start holding out a thumb to each truck that comes. Soon we are picked up and dropped off at the jetty. It is a large pier that the Japanese built several years ago, but have never used. The Kerebati Port Authority has its office at the head of the pier. We pause at his office to study the large map he has on the wall. Jeff and Scott had not met him, so I introduce us
around. I had ben up to see him a few days ago to see about a problem he is having with his office internet router. He says we can come up and use out laptops on his network any time. It is extremely slow, but we may be able to do that one day soon.

Then we walk on out the get the dinghy. The jetty and dock are 25 feet above the water with old rusty stairs leading down. Because the wind blows almost a constant 20 knots from te east, the trade winds, I have tied the dinghy to the bollard on top of the per with a 50 foot line so it will stay far from the rusty parts of the pier pilings. We pull it up, get in, taking Scott back to his boat with no problems except for getting a little wet. With the wind, even this close to shore, there are 2 to
3 foot wind waves and they splash over the sides of the dinghy all time.

Back aboard the Katie Lee, we are tired and hungry after our 6 hour outing. I fry up a batch of chicken legs and wings as Trinda still can't stand to be near any heat because of her burn. We also warmed some stir-fry noodles with pork we had leftover from a previous trip to town and lunch at a Chinese cafe. Then off to bed.

Every day is not like this, but it was a typical day in the life of cruisers that happens maybe once a week.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Penrhyn - part 2

The 21st birthday party was a major event. Bold Spirit, Jeff and Kathy, Trinda and I were treated as guests of honor. When we arrived at the church Sunday school building they put flower leys around our heads and had us sit with the elders while final preparations were completed on the tables.

There were about 8 trestle tables in a line down the length of the room, with one crosswise at the head with a small table to hold the cake between it and the rest. A koroke style boom box was conspicuous at the head table and a small new video recorder on a tripod set near. The food was all in quart sized plastic containers with some of each food piled around each two plates. Lobsters and coconut crabs were wrapped in saran wrap and scattered along the table too.

They had us all take our seats. We 'English speaking guests' were seated at the beginning of the row of trestle tables, where the largest of the coconut crabs were. The birthday boy James, arrived and was robed and seated in the center of the head table. On either side was the eldest elder in the village and his wife, Saetu and Rariki, and the new minister and his wife. The father, Rio, did not have a chair.

After everyone was seated, the ceremony began. Papa Saetu opened with a prayer or two in the local Polynesian language, then James was presented, then we were introduced in both English and Polynesian. Next came singing. It turns out the singing is memorized passage from the Polynesian translation of the bible, where the men sing one part and the ladies sing the other all in harmony. The only catch was the ladies sing clear but very loud. Trinda was seated next to the most capable of these ladies
and had trouble hearing during the rest of the meal.

More prayers then the father came with the mike. He apparently gave more introduction of James and counted his accomplishments to date and their hopes for his future. The new minister (they are appointed for 4 years at each post in this area) prayed some more. Two symbolic keys were presented to James. Where American parents often give luggage to their children as a graduation gift in hopes the leave home and start a new life on their own, the key is a similar symbol. It is the key to the door so
they may leave, but also the key to open the future. Each key is designed uniquely for each young person with subtleties about their life and plans in the design and ornamentation.

Then James was escorted to the table with the cake. Trinda was acknowledged for supplying the cake again. His uncle Michael and aunt Ngu lit the candles and helped as he blew them out and then made a ceremonious cut in the cake. He returned to head table and sat while more praises were given by his father and some others.

More prayers and singing then we were invited to eat. That was when we noticed the startling omission of any silverware anywhere on the table! None. No knives, serving spoons, not even a plastic fork. We watched and realized that every one was opening the small boxes of food close to them and helping themselves with their fingers. When in Rome… so we too dug in. Bana, who had been running the video camera, gave the needed guidance to get us started. The curried pork and chicken posed the biggest
dilemma, but when poured over the sticky rice it was easier to handle. Also the coconut with tapioca covered in coconut cream was sticky but manageable. We ate the tail of a lobster, but noticed no one else were eating theirs. There were no tools to get to the inner parts. As the meal finished, and more prayers, talks in Polynesian, and in English, thanks to their English speaking friends, the party began to break up. A young girl came around the table with a large dishpan full of soapy water. Trinda
had been busy talking and eating and not paying attention, so when the girl came to her, and got her attention, She looked at the soapy water, picked up her plate and dumped it into the "finger bowl". There was a sudden stillness, then chuckles as the girl pantomimed she should retrieve her plate and only wash her hands… So much for the silverware.

Everyone was collecting the remaining food boxes, lobsters and crabs to take with them. The ladies came over and ensured Trinda had some of everything, including two more lobsters and the largest coconut crab there. Because the shellfish are so difficult to get to the good parts and so messy, they take them and most of the meal home to enjoy in private, where they have more tools and can be as messy as it takes to get the best parts, in their own homes.

Monday, September 24, 2007

X-mas

We are doing better. We had supper with Bold Spirit tonight. Trinda was able to wear a bra for a couple hours, then I took her home and went back for a hand of cards. Scott from Avventura came so we had four without Trinda. Kathy made curry over rice. It was good. We took some of the cookies we had made to take ashore, since we didn't have the gas to cook brownies.

We have made so many cakes and cookies that we have run out of propane. Supposedly, they have propane here. We'll find out tomorrow. If not, it may mean no coffee and cold dinner for a few weeks.... ugh!

We intend to go to town tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Knee

I apparently forgot to say what happened to my knee. Since I had the knee surgery back in 87, they cut the nerves to the skin over the knee cap. Therefore, when I kneel down, I sometimes don't notice that I kneel on something sharp. I knelt on a piece of dry coral rock on the beach in Penrhyn, loading stuff in the dinghy just before we left. I noticed a "rock" stuck to my knee and brushed it off and thought nothing more of it. 3 days later I have this red streak growing up my thigh, and we are 200
miles from Penrhyn and 450 miles from Christmas. I start getting scared. I call on the radio (we check into a HAM net every night at 0300 Zulu, the Pacific Seafarers Net, and I ask for advice. They are slow, so our friends on Bold Spirit, 40 miles ahead of us, use their sattelite phone and call a friend. He is an emergency room doctor, sand he recommends the correct antibiotics...but we only have 3 days worth of it left.

Maybe that fills in the gaps?

Christmas Island

We are better now. We went to the doctor. He gave us more antibiotics and Trinda some silver sulfadine crean for her burn. It looks ugly, but maybe it is getting better. Lots of blisters still. My leg is much better, but my ankle is still swelling, but if I keep it elevated part of the day it feels OK.

We went to town again today. We went to the bank, paid for our visas, customs and the store. She gave us 90 day visas, so we are set for a while. They have virtually no fresh produce, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, oranges($2 each) and apples. And everywhere the ever popular New Zealand corned beef in a can and canned mackerel. They get the produce by air cargo plane about every two weeks, but we don't know when th last one was. $75 fit easily in one backpack. Eggs are $.80 each, homemade bread (not
very good) is $2 a loaf.

There is an ex-American surfer bum living here on a sail boat. He immigrated in 1979 and is no longer a US citizen. He has helped us a lot. The other guy, Scott a 22 year old from Calif., made the crossing from Penrhyn with us is also a surfer. They are having a great time talking surfing and Scott gave Chuck 10 surfer movies. The men, Jeff, Scott and I had sunset cocktails at Chucks tonight and watched the sunset. Nice. Trinda was too tired from the trip to town and Kathy had a problem with the
Chinese lunch....

Still no more work on the "Penrhyn story".

Christmas Island

We are better. We went to the doctor on Sunday. He gave us more antibiotics and silver sulfadine cream for Trinda's burns. My leg is much better, but I still need to keep it elevated most of the day. Trinda's burn is looking ugly, but maybe normal. No swimming till the scabs are gone though.

Christmas is a desert dry atoll, not many palms, but a few, not much other vegetation either. It is windy and not much rain, especially in a La Nina year, like this. We have had 15 to 20 knots of wind all time, except tonight. We went to town today again, went to the bank, paid for our visas, customs, and the store. Not much fresh produce here. They get a cargo plane about every two weeks. They may have internet, but they have a "keystroke monitor" program that captures your passwords, so I'm afraid
to try any banking...

There is an e-American surfer bum living here that immigrated to Kerebati in 79, no longer a US citizen. He lives on a sailboat and does charter fishing and surfing. Quite a character. Scott of Avventura, a 22 year old kid we met in the Marquesas, made the passage with us. He is really enjoying having a surfer to visit with. He shared 10 DVDs of surfing movies with Chuck.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Christmas Island at last

The worst week we have ever had. We left with the last of the flu. Trinda had a small scrape start to infect and took antibiotic for 2 days. Then my scrape becomes very infected very fast. Then Trinda gets a bad burn and can't wear any clothes or lay down except for one position and discontinues her antibiotic so I can have it. We get close and have to put big jib down, the sheet gets caught in the prop and I have to dive and cut it loose. Then we finish by motoring 8 miles into a 25 knot wind at
only 4 knots (2 hours).
All in all a bad week, BUT we are here and safely anchored. Plan to find the doctors tomorrow.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Still Going

We are doing OK I guess. My leg seems to be responding to the correct antibiotic. Trinda is in a lot less pain, but has two areas like a .50 cent piece that are bare and two dine blisters and two 4 inch areas that are bright red.

Only 125 more miles. We should cross the equator in another hour or so.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Penrhym to Christmas

we have 230 miles to go. Estimate Friday morning.
My knee has become very infected and 2 false starts on antibiotics, but Bold Spirit called a Dr. on his satellite phone and got me on the correct antibiotic. If it is not better in 24 hours I should do something??? we'll hope.

While trying to make iced tea, Trinda poured a cup of boiling water with tea bags, then the boat hit a wave and splashed it on her. She has lost skin in a breast and belly just below it. we have only one burn medicine, so no choice there. She is taking asprin and tyenol on opposite 2 hours.

This is NOT a good passage!

wind is cooperating, 6.5 knots all night and most of today.
Not fishing. No one wants to deal with it if we caught one!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Penrhyn to Christmas

We left Sunday morning, much to the church's disapproval. Jeff and Trinda both turned up sick Saturday morning so we stayed one more day. Probably didn't make much difference, as most of us had a relapse under way.
Trinda and I have slept almost continuously since we left, Just peeking out every now and then.. She is too hot to sleep below and I am too cold to stay in the cockpit. It is a very un traveled part of the ocean, at least.

Three of us left Penrhyn, Bold Spirit and Aventura, a young single handler. They are both ahead of us by 25 miles today but I changed head sails so we might catch up in a few days.

Back to bed.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A month in Penrhyn -first part

We were blasting along through French Polynesia, along with most of the other cruisers, having only a 90 day visa to see the 118 islands making up the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Gambiers and Society Islands. Just a day or two at each anchorage and not seeing many of the sights. Feeling that we were going too fast to really get a feel for the places we stayed when we overheard another cruiser say they were planning to winter in Hawaii and do French Polynesia again. We had planned to take 3 to 5 years to
cross the South Pacific and at the rate we were going, we'd be done way too soon. That sounded interesting, so we talked to them som more. It looked like a route from Bora Bora in August to Penrhyn, Christmas, Fanning then reaching Hawaii in November. 4 months in Hawaii, then back to the Tuamotus in April would give us another shot at the atolls we missed.

Shortly after arriving in Penrhyn, the local health inspector, OJ, invited us to cross from the western village of Omoka to Te Tautua on the eastern side with him as a guide through the coral heads. They were widely spaced and brightly colored, Most have white poles with a triangular flag on top making them resemble the greens of a golf course spread across the 8 miles to Te Tautua. So the guidance was not that necessary, however the visit along the way was worth it. He was planning a trip to Rarotonga
and wanted to gather some clams to take to his family there. We got invited to go along on the clamming excursion.

The next morning OJ gathered some nephews in a small aluminum skiff and had us get our snorkeling gear and follow in our dinghy. About 5 miles south in the lagoon, we stopped at a coral head with less than 18 inches of water over the top, but 30 to 40 feet deep around the edges. Large clams with very pronounced scalloped shells and bright colored lips grow imbedded in the tops and sides of the coral heads. You pry them out with a large screw driver. We gathered clams for an hour or two, just piling
them on top of the coral head. When we had plenty, they all swam up on top and sat up on the coral head and started cleaning the clams. Almost all of the clam turns out to be eatable, it is mostly muscle. I noticed OJ taking a bite now and then, so he first offered me a choice morsel. You just reach out beside you and rinse the clam meat in the fresh sea water and pop it in your mouth. It adds a little salt and its better than chicken! Then he offered another piece he says tastes like it has cream
on it. Before we were done, I had sampled the entire clam. Trinda was a little reluctant to sample clams that fresh, "But they're raw!" We gathered more at a place or two on the way back to the anchorage without cleaning them so we accompanied OJ and family to the shore and helped shuck the rest. It was well after lunch, so OJ took off on a scooter and as we finish shucking the clams he returned with lunch. Two cans corned beef, a can of mackerel and a pot of hot rice. We teased about 5 gallons of
fresh clams and all the reef fish we watched while clamming and to eat canned mackerel! Rice is the current standard fare here. The average family buys a 35 kilo bag every 3 months or so.

Trinda has decided that in lew of letters of introduction she should make a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies and walk through the village to get acquainted. We dinghyed ashore near the middle of the village and stopped each time we saw someone and offered a cookie. Saitu and Rariki, the eldest deacon of the church, insisted we have a cool drink. He opened the fridge on the porch and pulled out several husked, green coconuts, chops off the top and we have ice cold coconut juice. Very refreshing.

We wandered on through the village of 50 people, including children, passing out cookies. We meet Taina and Ben who calls himself Bana after his grand father. They are the keepers of the "Yatchie Guest Book" and insisted we take it back to the boat and write a page. It was started in 1987 with John Niel and Bana's grand father and had entries from several boats we that we had met during our 2 years in Mexico. We were the eighth to sign in 2007, but the harbor master said we were the 35th boat to
check in this year. I guess many of them were on the fast track and didn't make it to the quiet anchorage of Te Tautua.

The next day, since the cookies were such a hit and they all responded with refreshments for us, Trinda made one of her famous chocolate cakes with the thick fudge for icing. It was shared around widely! and more local refreshments returned. Later we were told about a birthday celebration coming up, a 21st birthday. It is a celebration of the young man entering adult hood and given a symbolic "key to leave" his parents control. The catch was that the special birthday cake for the event was to be
shipped up from Rarotonga by plane and it didn't arrive! They asked if Trinda could make another cake for the party and invited us to join in.

The whole village participated in the preparations. There were excursions to collect more clams, fish, coconut crab, crayfish (spiny lobster like in Mexico), chicken and a hunt for a wild pig. Then all the coconut for the various treats made from them.

Penrhyn - last day

We plan to leave in the morning for Christmas. Maybe 6 days passage.
I am still working on the story of Penrhyn. Maybe in a few days...
We had a nice steak dinner at Bold Spirit and Mike of Mike's Pearl farm, tonight and a noiice afternoon with Ale and Christine, the head of the church here in the village of Omoka.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Penrhyn - Omoka

We moved back to Omoka, the village near the pass into the lagoon today. Bold Spirit has the flu too and decided to wait another day or two before coming back here.

It has been a very nice 3 weeks in Te Tautua. We met lots of nice people. I hope to write a story about our stay, but still feel very uncreative. Mostly because I am not over the flu even yet. Trinda is still under the weather too. It has left us with a bad cough.

We plan to get some provisions and maybe head for Christmas Island, Kerebati about Saturday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The party and the Flu

We went to the birthday party. It was some affair! There were coconut crabs and lobsters for everyone plus curried chicken, curried clams, coconut raw fish, breads, taro, and lots more.
They gave James the "key to his life", a beautiful wooden plaque about 2 foot long shaped sorta like a key.

I did get pictures of the coconut crab they gave us, so some time it will be posted here!

We have the flu and have had for over a week. We can hardly get out of bed still. It is the worst flu I remember having.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Penrhyn - Coconut cabs fishing and computers

I need to print a retraction about the coconut crab!! They are great. Joe brought a real one by this morning. It looks nothing like the crab Trinda and I caught at Rangaroa. It looked more like a giant spider, complete with a backend similar to an ant. But it still has big claws on the front legs and tiny ones on the back two legs. It is a strange looking crab. It turned bright red when cooked, just like a crab should. (The sand crabs stayed white when cooked.) It did have coconut oil floating around
inside as I tore it apart. It tastes much better than the sand crabs we ate. As good as dongeness or even better. I forgot to take a picture of it. Maybe in tomorrow night we will get to go on a hunt for them too, And I'll get some pictures then.

I went fishing tonight. Joe's father, Sedik, picked me up at 7PM just after dark. We went out to the coral head next to our boat and anchored. He said I didn't need anything, he had it all. All was a 10 foot bamboo pole with 10 feret of line and two 3 foot porles with 18 inches of line and a hook each.
He thew the long line in a couple of times with no bait on the hook and caught a 6 inch red snapper (maybe). then said he would bait my hook. He poceeded to bite the chin off one of the fish he just caught and put that on my hook. It worked great. In 30 minutes we caught about 30 fish.

I left the front hatch open and the computer on while I was cooking supper night before last. As you would guess, it started raining and I forgot all about the computer!!! It filled the keyboard with water. But that is not the worst. I took it apart and tried to dry it out. I have some contact cleaner that is mostly alchol so I thought I'd soak it good with that and it would get all the water out.....It says on the side of the can, "safe for most plastics".....Well, I put the keyboard back on and
was just starting to test it when a key top poped off! Then another... I smelled the acetone like smell of the contact cleaner and realized that it was eating the key tops! I quickly took it back off and ran to the sink where i rised it thourly in fresh water (again). Now for 2 days I have been trying to get the water out of the keyboard. The off onn switch doesn't work and various letters suddenly go "auto repeat", but I think it may eventually dry out and mostly work....Another $800 down the drain!
Arggg. I keep loosing money faster than it comes in.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Penrhyn - Spearfishing

No pictures, but I did go fishing with the locals, Bana, Mike and two young guys. We took their 13 foot aluminum skiff to the southern end of the atoll, through a sort-a-pass to the outside reef. We stopped and caught about a dozen crabs, the ones we caught before thinking they were coconut crabs, but weren't. They put them in a rice bag and tied the top with the strings cut from the top edge of a coconut frond. Then we went to just the inside of the outer reef. The younger boys took their 10 foot
long hand spears and started walking the reef. They carried a few of the coconut frond strings as well.

Then Bana took the bag of crabs that i thought we were going to eat, and put them on the reef and started jumping on them. Then I realized he did say he was going to chum the fish. Pronunciation is everything! They have a strong New Zealand accent along with the Polynesian lack of pronunciation. The water clouded with the crab parts and the parrot fish started coming around. Two of them stood on the reef and speared fish as they got close.

Jeff from Bold Spirit came too. He and I snorkeled with our spear guns around the area after we saw which kinds of fish to try for. There were several sharks smelling the crab chum too. Maybe a dozen 3 to 5 foot black-tip sharks! They didn't come closer than about 6 feet of me that I noticed. I did keep a close eye on them. They keep telling us it is OK to swim with the sharks, but we don't see any of them swimming!

The water over the parts of the reef that didn't stickup out of the water was 2 to 6 feet deep. There was from 1 to 4 knots of current depending on how much reef was blocking the waves. So here we are swimming around over coral with only inches of room between the belly and the sharp coral, with bloody fish and crab parts, and the bloody sharks every where.... Well, all was well. No bites! I did manage to spear 3 fish, if size doesn't count. One was big enough for two, but the others were small.

After the boys got back with their catch, we took the skiff back toward the village a ways, through the ever present rain. It has been raining 2 or 3 times every day. We let the boys out again at the end of a large motu (island on the edge of an atoll) and we went on to the other end. We went ashore on the picturesque beach, under the coconut trees and cleaned the fish. Maybe 30 mostly smallish parrot fish and a few others that I really don't have names for. When we finished, the boy were not back
yet and we were thirsty, so we shook a few green coconuts from a tree(with one of those 10 foot spears) and drank the water from a couple apiece. Then Bana ask if we were a little hungry. He found a few dry coconuts that were just beginning to sprout then cut them open. The water was all gone, and the inside was filled with a pithy, white part that is to be the new tree.We ate it like that. There was a little of what we call a normal coconut meat around the edge and it still tasted like usual. He
said that they also fry the inside in oil sometimes. It had a very different texture and flavor, but good. Jeff said that the coconuts for sale in the states are the very worst tasting stage that a coconut goes through. I sorta agree, but I like the dry hard ones too. Here they shuck the green coconuts and put them in the fridge to chill them and that is the normal drink offered instead of water or coke!

Then he picked up one of the parrot fish we had just cleaned and cleaned it a little more, then sliced down to the bone every 1/2 inch or so, then proceeded to eat it with a little more green coconut juice and bites of the pithy inside. After tasting it , I decided that it was just fine that way too. There is obviously no excuse for going hungry here!

When we got back to the boat, I fixed one of my parrot fish the same way we had in Raraka, as Poisson Cru de Coco. It was the first time I had actually used my rapper for shredding the inside of a regular coconut that I bought in Tahiti. I shredded it then put it in a cloth and squeezed the milk out. It is almost as thick ass cream and very sweet. With some cucumbers, onion, salt and a little lime it was great. Trinda refused to try it, cause she likes her "raw fish" soaked in lots of lime juice
for at least 20 minutes, not just a little for flavor.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Penrhyn - Rain

We stayed 2 nights at Omoka, then moved across the lagoon to the village on the eastern side. The easterly trade winds at 15 knots were building a 2 foot wind chop making the anchorage bouncy.

Th health inspector, OJ, rode with Bold Spirit guiding us across. It was a nice sunny day, most of the 8 miles across. It did shower once or twice on the way. The coral heads coming straight up out of 150 feet of water made beautiful light colored water. They have marker poles on lots of them. A white pole with a white triangle at the top, made them look very much like the green of a golf course. The deep water is dark blue with the coral fading through turquoise, light blue, baby blue, yellow and
finally white and some brown where the coral is only a few inches from the top.

Saturday OJ and his cousin and nephew took us to gather clams. He is flying back to Raratonga for a month and wanted to take some to his family. We collected a whole boat full. The clams are a relative of an oyster, in that they attach themselves to the coral heads and the coral grows around them, making them hard to get off. They just stuck a screw driver in the top and pried it right off. Trinda and Kathie declined to eat them raw, in the water, but Jeff and I dug right in with the locals. You
just pry it open, cut out everything from the shell,, cut of two blak looking lumps and the rest you can rinse in the salt water and chow down! Donnie, yes we had the right ones, and almost every thing inside was good to eat.

OJ insisted that it was OK to walk around town after church, so Trinda and I went in about 1:00. She made a chocolate cake. Joe, OJ's cousin, took the cake and shared it with his neighbors and family. But, Most of the people gave us funny looks. They are VERY religious here and believe in Sunday being a day of rest. The little children are not even allowed to play outside until after 4PM. Everyone just lays around in the shade. It may be OK to watch DVDs though. Joe has borrowed several every day.

Monday we planned to walk around and meet more of the people, but it started raining early. It rained hard from 9 to 3 with wind gusts of up to 40 knots! Our anchor didn't drag very much, thank goodness. Every thing is wet. It must have rained 6 or 8 inches. I am sure glad we are on this side of the lagoon, as that kind of wind would have made 5 or 6 foot wind waves on the other side. We have not heard from the other boat there to see how bad the waves were.

Today we hope to go walk around.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Penrhyn

We anchored outside the pass to the lagoon for 2 nights. We were tired and the sun was the wrong angle to see the coral heads under the water, so we waited. Then Bold Spirit, called and was working on their engine so we waited outside in case they needed help anchoring if their engine was not back together by the time they arrived. It was, so all was OK.

We checked in yesterday and today, $30 each passport, $10 for fumigating by Agriculture and $10 for health/immigration plus $2.50/day for the privilege of anchoring in their lagoon.

I made pasole and had them over for dinner. First they had had since Mexico.

There maybe internet here but no WiFi. Tomorrow we'll go to the one store that will accept American dollars and give change in New Zealand dollars. They want us to pay all these fees, but refuse American dollars. Bora Bora bank could not give us New Zealand dollars, so it is a catch 22.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Land Ho

8 miles to go.
We are about 2 hours from the entrance pass at Penrhyn. We can see lots of coconut palm trees in the distance.
We were thinking of anchoring the first day just outside the pass, but since it is early in the day, we may go on in. We'll see.
No more fish. We ate some of the tuna for supper, pan broiled with butter and garlic.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Fish

80 miles to go, maybe tomorrow.
Finally caught a fish. A small yellow fin tuna.
Trinda made peanut butter cookies and banana bread today.
Weather is not cooperating much, not enough wind then too much then back again.

Bora Bora to Penrhyn - Day 5

119 mile to go
Still slowly heading NW at 3 knots. Lots of small rain squalls steeling the wind. As they approach, the wind builds to 15 then as they pass it drops to 0 for a while then back to 5 to 10. And then again.

We ran the spinnaker til sundown yesterday, then the wind changed to the NE so we had to take it down. Now it is back from the E, but too inconsistent for it.

We bought some frozen bread, ready to bake, in Bora Bora and this morning tried it. It is purty good, excelent in that I didn't have to kneed it myself!

Still not a hit on either fishing line. I can't figure out where the fish are.

We seem to be adjusting to the night shifts OK. We are in better spirits yesterday and this morning than previously.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Bora Bora to Penrhyn - Day 3-4

230 miles to go
Not much new. Not much wind. No fish.
We're fine. One of us is sleeping most of the time.
I have been watching the Hornblower series during my night watches. We got a copy from another boat.
Trinda is watching a few movies too. We have the old laptop setup in the cockpit for the movies. We just set the radar to alarm on anything within 15 miles and sit back.
We have been running the spinnaker again. 8 knots of wind and making 5 to 6 knots with it.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bora Bora to Penrhyn - Day 2

170 miles done 430 to go
Had a great spinnaker run through the night, 6 and 7 knots. This morning the wind came up around 18 so we put it down and are running just the jib. Later it slowed, but it is so much effort to put it up and the wind unsteady that we just went a little slower.

No fish, although something did break the hook off one of the lines. It was a little rusty, more than I thought I guess.

I made steak fingers and grease-eye gravy for lunch, since we still have bread from the French. I may miss fresh bagets every morning.

Nothing broke yesterday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bora Bora to Penrhyn - Day 1

We finally checked out and left Bora Bora.
We put the dinghy up on deck and washed all the slime off the bottom and sand and mud from the inside. Its now rolled up on the fore deck, hopefully safe for the passage.

It was tough saying "Good bye, See ya somewhere, sometime." to all the friends we've made so far. Most of the folks are headed for Tonga and New Zealand from here. Only two or three are going north, although several said they thought of it, or wished they had time to do it again.

We motored out of the pass with Jeff and Kathi on Bold Spirit. We put up all the sails and had a "photo opportunity". When we get some where there is internet, maybe I will remember to post some of them. We plan to sail along with them to Penrhyn. After we got the pictures, we shut off the engine and started trying to sail. No good. There is only 4 knots of wind. I see Jeff put up his spinnaker, so I start pulling sails down and put up ours too, but leave the main and mizzen. Still no good. Finally
I drop all but the spinnaker and we're off. Now making about 3.5 knots. Bora Bora is still a big mountain behind us. Oh Well, I thought it might take 6 days ....

No fish coming out through the pass, and none here either yet! It would be nice to catch a big tuna or something. We haven't had much fish for a while.

Bora Bora

We decided to stay en extra few days because the guy running the Bora Bora Yacht Club, Rapa, said he was going to do a Tahitian pit bar-b-que. He changed it to a regular grill bar-b-que though. It was good. He also had the restaurant put on a special Chinese dinner last Saturday night. It sounded really special so we promised to come. When we got there, he just started serving us. I t was really good and lots of nice dishes. Then when we were done, he brought the bill. $90 for the two of us and a
beer, bottle of water and a mi tie for Trinda!!! A little surprised, but I guess there won't be any more restaurants for a while.

Trinda asked for a stalk of bananas and he found one (for free) and all he gave us a bag of fresh home grown tomatoes. Trinda took a couple of Hershey bars back for his kids. We promised to stop by next year when we come back. We told Rapa about Raraka and he said "You went there?". He saw so surprised because no one goes there. He thought Trinda was special.

They have a high speed catamaran taxi from the main dock in Bora Bora to the airport. It runs every half hour or so. It is free, so we decided to go to the airport and have a cup of coffee and back just for the ride. Another "photo op". It was a nice day.

We went to the Gendarme to get our final checkout and he looked at the papers "our agent" filled out. He said we couldn't leave yet cause we were supposed to leave on 2 Aug. I tried to argue with him, but he spoke no English. He found a janitor that did, so I explained what I wanted, to him. He said OK, fine, but, just stood there. So I asked him to explain it to the Gendarme. He tried, but I don't think he did it right cause he still wouldn't check us out.

Then we went on to get some groceries. $300 for just a little. I wonder if the Line Islands and Penrhyn will be as expensive.

We went to the fuel dock. We only used 90 liters (20 gal) since Tahiti in both the engine and watermaker. They had a 100 liter minimum, so we filled both big jugs we got in Mexico. $250 for diesel and gas! $.80 a liter for diesel and $2 a liter for gas. We did get the duty free discount for the diesel but not for gas.

So, we are all ready to go.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bora Bora Still



Here are a couple pictures from the boat in Bora Bora

We haven't done much for the past few days. We walked to town, about 2 miles. We bought a few groceries thinking the store would give us a ride back. But no, they only give rides the opposite direction.

Trinda had a nice birthday. In Tahiti I bought her a "roll up piano" keyboard. I succeeded in getting it aboard and hiding it til then. She was so shocked that I got her something without Wyndi telling me to, that she just sat and looked at the pretty rapping paper for a couple hours before she opened it. It doesn't play quite as well as advertised, but it is something else to do. I have been trying it too. Besides the old standby, On Top of Old Smoky, I found the music I used when I was learning
the organ when I was a kid. I played Roses Are Red and Que Sara. Trinda can remember several songs too.

We went snorkeling with Bold Spirit and they had us over to play Mexican Train and eat chocolate cake for her birthday too. Yesterday we took the dinghy for a ride around the island some. The wind has been blowing so it was a really wet ride.

Tonight the caretaker at the Bora Bora Yacht Club is making a special Chinese dinner and maybe tomorrow a Polynesian pit feast. I hope he doesn't change his mind again. Last night I made lamb chops and fried taro root. Because of the nearness of New Zealand the stores are full of lamb cuts. I realize that is sacrilege to eat sheep, but they don't seem to have much beef. Sorry Uncle Jim.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bora Bora

We sailed to Bora bora, about 25 miles from Riaitea and Tahaa. As we left Tahaa an old brig square rigger fell in behind us. It was quite a sight . It only has two masts, but seemed to have lots of sails. It was too far off to get pictures though. When they got to the southern tip of Bora Bora to turn 90 degrees to come up to the entrance pass, it took them 30 minutes to drop all the sails, make the turn and then raise the sails for that tack. It has a paid crew of 14 for all that sail handling,
plus passengers that pay to come along. They leave New Zealand each season, got to Easter Island, Pitcairn, the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Tahiti, Tonga and back to New Zealand. It must be quite an experience.

The internet here has been down for a couple of days, but they promise it will be back today.

I think we have decided to make a loop back to Hawaii for the season, then back to the Tuamotus again next season. There are two other boats planning that route. We'll save the Marshals for next year.

When we got anchored here, a boat come over and said there was to be a bar-b-que at the Bora Bora Yacht Club Sunday afternoon. We went and ate. It was prepared by the Tahitian that takes care of the club house. It was really good, grilled steak, chicken and sausage, passion cru de coco and breadfruit. There were 6 Norwegian boats out of the 10 from Norway this year that they knew of. 3 Americans, 2 French and one Japanese. Aki, the Japanese, played the guitar and sang cowboy and bluegrass. I never
thought I'd go to Bora Bora to head a Japanese version of a hoe down! Except for a few funny "R"s, he was great. Trinda later took her guitar and ukulele over to show him and play a little.

They are planning an authentic Tahition "in the ground" dinner for next Sunday. I would like to stay for it, but we'll see.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Raiatea

We made a trip to town here today. We hitchhiked the 5 kilometers in to the main part of town. It is a smallish island 11,000 people, with only 5000 living in town. There are only 5 taxis.

Trinda looked at almost every pearl there! then we bought some vegies, Taro root and taroa root. They are sorta like hard potatoes they say. a lady at the market told us how to cook the second one. The taro we learned of in Tahaa the other day and liked it fine, that's why we bought a bunch of about 6 this time. You peal it then slice it about 3/4 inch thick, boil it for 25 minutes then fry it or pour coconut cream over it as a salad. The other is similar, but less boiling and is often put in a vegetable
salad with mayonnaise.

The work yard of the little marina we are anchored in front of has a beer happy hour Fridays at 6:00, so I plan to go. Trinda is not too much for that kinda social thing, so she is just sending me.

We also found dry roasted peanuts, from China for about $2 a kilo (2.2 lbs) They are very good. I haven't had peanuts for a while.

A boat we met in Bara de Navidad, Mex. just anchored next to us. We had a nice visit, catching up.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tahaa Vanilla Tour






We took a tour of Tahaa with "Vanilla Tours". The day started with a beautiful sunrise.
Then we saw a vanilla orchid farm and then the beans curing. We stopped by a plan with really large leaves. It used to be eatable, but it took 12 hours to cook. With microwave ovens now, it is only used for umbrellas.
Then we drove to the top of the mountian and had fresh grapefruit (popplemoouse) and green coconut juice.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kissed A Bloomie

We decided to motor around to the north end of Tahaa. We got a little further than we wanted so turned around and out to the edge of the outer reef. the lagoon here is different from most of the others we have been in. It is 100 feet deep and flat on the bottom, from the edge of the reef next to the mountain to the edge of the reef around the motus on the outer reef. We noticed a small catamaran we had met a while back, anchored near the motu, so we headed toward them. I forgot how little water a
catamaran needed. The bottom came up from the 100 foot to around 50. The water saw so clear. I was watching the coral heads slip past, the tops at 30 feet as we got close to the catamaran. Then we just stopped with a jerk! I looked over the side and sure enough the coral head looked like it was the same depth as the others at 30 feet, but it was only 6! we need 6.5!!!

Peter from the catamaran, Risho Maru, came shooting over in his dinghy to help. We just gave it a little more gas and slid right over the coral, slowly, without even any scraping noise. But then the others were even shallower. Peter had looked around good before he anchored and knew the depths of several of the other coral around u. He came aboard and help point the way between the taller ones. Trinda followed our instructions admirably as we yelled left, right, back FULL, left,... We made it back
to deeper water in about 15 minutes of careful visual navigation! And anchored in a sand patch at 30 feet with 20 foot tall coral heads all around. The anchor held fine and we relaxed a while. I snorkeled to inspect the bottom of the keel and the anchor. Only a small scratch of bottom paint missing, 3"x10". It feels nice to have a boat built like a tank sometimes.

We later went ashore to the motu.
Peter, Alexandra and young Finn and their guests were plying on the beach too. I showed them how to husk a dry coconut with a pointed stick, and they showed us how to open a green coconut to drink the water with their machete. We chased some coconut crabs, with no luck and had a nice afternoon.

The wind has come up to 17-20 during the night, so it looks like snorkeling this morning is out. We may go on around the island today when the sun gets a little higher so we can see the bloomies better!
Just a little later this rainbow appeared.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tahaa

We rested yesterday and a lot more today. We are anchored just inside the reef on the east side of the island. This morning we went snorkeling in the pass. It was the healthiest coral we have seen and lots of little fish. The pass is over 90 feet deep, so we didn't see any sharks, they mostly seem to stay toward the bottom.

There are only a few boats here, a couple of cruisers and several local charter catamarans. The water is clear about 50 feet. We anchored in 25 feet for a change. The guide book said of the two islands (motus) on each side of the pass, that one is private and doesn't appreciate visitors and the other is uninhabited. Wrong again, they both have "private Property" signs. We'll move on north around inside the reef tomorrow and see what's there.

I made red beans and cornbread for supper tonight. We slept most of the afternoon away again.

One of the boats here came over and said, "We sorta met you from the South African boat, Sarabond, who said you make a great Key Lime pie. The word was out about you!" Trinda was pleased. We may have to make a pie for them in a few days.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tahaa - First Day

We made it OK, about 11:30. We're tired. Sleeping the rest of the day. We'll save sight seeing for tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tahiti



We passed these boats at the begining, but...


Things are coming along. I got the wood to make a new steering oar for the wind spent a couple hours with the little spoke shave and am only about 1/3 done.

I took the propane bottle up to be refilled, but they said they don't fill "rusty" tanks! "You should clean it and put on a little paint, then maybe they won't reject it", they said. So I spent the rest of the afternoon with a wire brush. Now maybe I can take it to them Monday (weekends start on Friday of course).

We entered the Tahiti Cup Race this coming Saturday. It is a fun race 10 miles to Moorea, with activities afterward including canoe racing, which I signed up as a paddler. We'll see.

Yes that is me in the middle.

I found some more of our friend's webpages and added them to the bottom of my page. If I fail to describe something, then maybe they did, HA!

I still haven't gone diving for the block for the dinghy davit. Maybe tomorrow.

We had a nice 4th aboard a large catamaran, Bare Feet, along with about 8 other couples. Hamburgers, hotdogs and beer. Of course apple pie and Trinda and I made a pecan pie. I did the crust as usual and she did the filling. It was the hit of the desert table!

Trinda with the consulation prize. We came in last in the sail race and I came in last in the canoe!

Tahiti Market Day

Trinda in "La Truck".


We are not ready, but leaving Tahiti today anyway.

Yesterday, we went shopping and as we were crossing the market a little girl came running up saying "Hi Trinda!!". It was Eugenia from Raraka! The school teacher, Madame and her daughter are here vacationing since school is out. We spent a wonderful day visiting and walking around the shops. It really is a small world!

The Raraka crowd.

I bought a coconut shredder, what they use to make homemade shredded coconut and coconut cream. Now we can try to make our own Passion Cru de Coco, the raw fish with coconut cream on top.

I got ythe wood to make a new steering oar for the windvane, but haven't finished shaping it. Will work more on it under way. We are headed for Tahaa and Bora Bora. It is about 120 miles so maybe 24 hours. Maybe the internet will be better there.


Trinda and Madame, the school teacher, with the band at lunch.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Tahiti

Things are coming along. I got the wood to make a new steering oar for the wind spent a couple hours with the little spoke shave and am only about 1/3 done.

I took the propane bottle up to be refilled, but they said they don't fill "rusty" tanks! "You should clean it and put on a little paint, then maybe they won't reject it", they said. So I spent the rest of the afternoon with a wire brush. Now maybe I can take it to them Monday (weekends start on Friday of course).

We entered the Tahiti Cup Race this coming Saturday. It is a fun race 10 miles to Moorea, with activities afterward including canoe racing, which I signed up as a paddler. We'll see.

I found some more of our friend's webpages and added them to the bottom of my page. If I fail to describe something, then maybe they did, HA!

I still haven't gone diving for the block for the dinghy davit. Maybe tomorrow.

We had a nice 4th aboard a large catamaran, Bare Feet, along with about 8 other couples. Hamburgers, hotdogs and beer. Of course apple pie and Trinda and I made a pecan pie. I did the crust as usual and she did the filling. It was the hit of the desert table!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Raraka Loot



I finally took a picture of the pearl stuff from Raraka. Donnies and Trinda and Mine. Trinda's tree looks similar to Donnie's.

Another Sh*ty Day in Paradise


The first day in Tahiti was calm and beautiful. We relaxed and watched a movie as we rested from the rough crossing from Rangiroa. The next day we spent the day shopping. I found the marine stores and welding shops. They are all 10 to 15 blocks past the end of the bus lines. Lots of walking. Trinda found the craft supply store and the pearl stores too.
When we returned to the boat just before sundown it was apparent that we had dragged anchor some. We busily reset the anchor a little further form the neighbors and watch the wind build. During the night, the wind switched around to the south and came up to 25 to 30. We dragged a little again. We took down all the awnings and shade tarps and the boat settled down some and stopped moving. It then blew all the next day and the next. No one seems to have left their boats. This morning it seemed like
it was going to stop, but by 10:00 it was blowing 20 again.

The surf on the reef.



During the first blow, the dinghy was off the davits and the new block I ordered in Nuka Hiva came loose in the gusting wind and unstrung. One of the blocks and its shackles came completely off the line and sunk. It is about 60 feet deep, so it will be possible to scuba dive to look for it after the seas calm and settle. When we first anchored, I could see the bottom some, but the wind has stirred up the sand and added bubbles so visibility is below 30 feet now.

We haven't been able to visit the other boats because of the wind and waves. Even though we are inside the reef and there is less than a mile of open water, the wind waves are 2 to 3 feet high.

With the cool weather, we have had spaghetti and oxtail stew. I did make it ashore for bread and a few veggies. Trinda has been doing the laundry and polishing some shells.

Tomorrow, if the wind dies back like it is supposed to, I will go pickup the new heat exchanger for the transmission oil cooler and get the stanchion base welded.

Tahiti is very pretty from a distance. in town, the first "big" town we've seen in some time, there's lots of noise, dirt, traffic and air pollution. Everyone is rushing around and have little patience. There are two bus lines, the regular bus and 'la truck'. La truck is a small flatbed type truck with wooden seats along the insides, a roof and most have windows that can be closed. it is cheep, at 130cfp or about $1.50 each way the 5 miles to downtown Papeete.

Trinda says, "But it does have big grocery stores!" One called "Cost & Co" even has a lot of Kirkland brand stuff, just like Costco. The groceries are still very expensive. The only bargin here is bread. A regular French bagget is about 50 cents. eggs are $4 a dozen, beer is $60 a case for Hinaken and $50 for the local stuff, Hinino. Thank goodness we still have a little $20 Mexican beer left and don't have to buy it. All we could fit in our 2 back-packs was over $150, that's about 3 regular shopping
bags. The French have lots of tax on everything.

Photos Uploaded

Eldon has uploaded the CD of our photos.
Look for My Cruising Photo Album, 2007, and below.
or
http://www.tcls.com/~larryl/log_katielee/photos/

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tahiti Arrival

We made it into the main port of Papeete about 2:00AM. We were tired, so we anchored just inside the port and slept till 8 this morning.
We then moved around to the west side of the island, near a marina and all the other boats. Too many to count. Several acquaintances here. It will be fun to visit.
We rested and watched a movie. Then tried to get our WiFi account moved from Nuka Hiva to here. Soon I will have access again for a few days.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rangiroa to Tahiti Day 2

All's well. We had lots of wind and bigish seas on the side. The wind has died down some in the last hour, but there are lots of rain squalls around, so it will probably come back. Tahiti is still 9 hours away, so we'll arrive in the dark. I haven't decided if we'll try yo anchor in the dark or wail outside till it is light. We can get in the lee of the island so there won't be big waves to wait in anyway.

No fish.
We are tired, not used to the effort of staying up all night in just a 2 day trip.