Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

There are lots of boats here in Majuro. I think there were about 30 boats for Christmas dinner at the Tide Table restaurant. We had a pot luck out back on their back porch. It is a hotel too, so it was really in a meeting room/patio sort of thing. The local yacht club sprung for two turkeys and a ham. Then we brought the rest. I made stuffing and Trinda made 2 chocolate cakes. It all went purty good. I ate so much I got sick again, just like Thanksgiving! Ha!

We played the gift giving game. Everyone brought one gift. We drew numbers to see what order to select and open them. After Trinda got to go first, all the rest of us had the option to steel someone else's gift or select a new one to unwrap. Trinda had hers stole twice and me once. When it is stolen, you can either steel again or open. I had a nice LED flash light for a few minutes. I ended up with a squid jig. Trinda got a collection of perfumes.

We moved from anchor to a buoy. There are good newer buoys for $3/day and questionable ones for $1 to $2. We are planning to fly to Seattle and Texas for a few weeks so we took one of the good buoys. It is in 115 feet of water. The deepest buoy I seen! The anchorage was only about 50 feet with good sand holding. I had a little trouble getting the anchor up, but it was just white sand drifting off it when it came up.

The weather here is fine. We get a light sprinkle almost ever day, but so far not enough to fill the tanks. The trade winds seem to blow 15 to 20 most of the time, but the town is in the east end of the lagoon, so there is no fetch. It is nice here. The club got together and put in half a dozen buoys at two other motus in the lagoon, both less than a couple hours away. Several boats went out to them for the time between Christmas and New Years.

There is a big 'block party' scheduled for New Years Eve. They block off the main street and have several live bands in addition to the usual stuff. We are looking forward to it.

There is WiFi available in the anchorage, but it is quite expensive so far. We can carry the computer up to the restaurant and if we buy something its free WiFi. It is a pain to do so. If I don't get the photos uploaded, I'll take them to Seattle and do it there. Looking back through them, I see that I didn't do so well as a photographer!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Arrival Majuro Marshall Islands

A long slow passage, but nothing broke this time...Maybe it has to do with the wind!

We had very little wind the whole trip. Twice during rain squalls we got to 30 knots, the rest of the time it stayed below 13. We had one 30 mile day due to almost no wind all day. We finally motor sailed the last part for a total of 24 hours on the motor. They tell me diesel here is only $2.90/gal so maybe it wasn't as expensive as I was thinking. We get better than 1 hour for .9 gal

We left the fishing pole out and drug it almost all the way. Trinda did catch a fish!!! But is was a small (18") barracuda looking thing so we threw him back. On the last day wile we were bobbing around in circles, waiting for the wind, the line got caught in the prop and broke off. So we lost the lure. The fish are still ahead!

There is supposed to be WiFi here in the anchorage, but we had to anchor too far away to get it so far. We'll see later.

There are buoys here to leave boats on, but they're all full right now. As soon as we figure out when we can get one and figure out the flights we'll see about coming home for 6 weeks or so. I think the plane only comes once a week, maybe Sundays.

We hear that we are soon to be grand parents again! Yea Guy and Amanda! We are hoping for another boy (like we had a choice any way).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On to the Marshals

We left Tarawa Wed morning about 10:30. (that might be your Tuesday).

We are no longer fugitives, but the results are that in order top stop at the outer islands, we would have to pay for two officials to fly there and process the paper work there. A little too expensive, so we decided to try to make Majuro for Christmas dinner.

Things went well for the first 2 days, We made good time for the light air. Sunny skies and almost no waves.
But then it got nicer! no wind and no waves. We have made 10 miles in the last 10 hours! We still have 200 miles to go. Maybe the wind will come back in the morning.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Preparing to leave Tarawa

We finally to around to repairing the sail today. We plan to start the check out procedures so we can go to Abaiang Wed. We also plan to go on to Butaritari after just a few days there. Maybe spend Christmas in Butaritari with some other boats. Then on to Majaro, Marshals.

To check out here we need to write letters requesting permission top stop at the outer islands to both immigration and customs. Then we'll find out about our passports I guess.

Yesterday we went to Elizabeth and William's and showed Eli how to make the wacky cake. She had tried it on Christmas after we left but she said it didn't turn out right. When she saw the measuring cups and spoons, she said" Oh that's how much a1 cup is. I see!" It is somewhat hard to follow American recipes if you have never seen American measuring stuff before I guess. She wanted the cake for her niece's 1st birthday party. They also bought a big fancy commercial cake from a local baker here,
but it was a typical store cake.... not very tasty.

It was a VERY fancy party. It didn't start until almost 8 PM. They had an MC to announce everything. There were a local dance group that presented a small cake to her and did some traditional dances, a tai kwn doe demo and a group of local boys ( uncles of the baby some) that did a Hip Hop demo dance. All carefully corea graphed of course!

They had 2 whole roasted pigs and lots of other food. It was quite a party. They mostly celebrate the 1st and 21st birthdays, but just little family parties for the rest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No News is Good News??

Still no word from the authorities here.

We went to Konnang's house, Borau's aunt Saturday and made spaghetti. They seemed to like it fine. Trinda also took a cake. It definitely was a hit.

Sunday we went to the other folks house, Tamoli who is Rubis' aunt from Fanning. We had a nice day. Another cake. We had breadfruit fixed a new way. It was boiled with sugar, drained then coconut cream added and boiled again. It was sweet with the consistency and color of banana pudding, but no banana taste. It was good!

Their house is at the opposite end of the road on this island. It must be near 20 miles with speed bumps every 200 feet. We got an old bus (9 passenger mini-van) that had bad shocks. We had the very back seat and needless to say my back is still very sore. Monday was a Holiday(human rights day and maybe Guadalupe's Day for Catholics) so we just laid around the boat. Then Tuesday the same with no excuse.

We had an afternoon cocktail with the other boats. 3 of the 6 here left the next morning and the other two are leaving as soon as the wind changes, maybe tomorrow. They are mostly headed for the Marshals too. I'm still amazed that so few of them have made friends with the islander the way we have. They stop and take the tourist tour and move on????

Today I went top town by myself and shopped for boat parts, a pressure switch for the fresh water pump and a spare fuse for the watermaker engine. I forgot the pipes for the watermaker engine exhaust though.

Friday we'll go to Elizabeth's to teach her how to make the wacky cake. We gave her the recipe in Christmas Island, but she said it didn't turn out right. We' try again. She has invited us to a 1st birthday party Saturday evening and wants to take Trinda's cake!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fugitives in Kiribati

Well a little update....
As you know we decided to stop in Nikunau and visit the relatives of our friends from Fanning Island. According to Kiribati rules, we were supposed to have gone to Tarawa and checked into the country before visiting any other island here. It seems that immigration didn't think visiting relatives was a good enough reason to break the rules, even though the policeman there gave us clearance.

They took our passports and had us write out a statement and sign it. It might have been easier if we had said we had boat problems, but no, we told the truth. We have been waiting since Tuesday for the results. Our "case" is with the "principle investigator" and still pending a decision. We have gone back 3 times and they keep saying come back later. Now they will contact us next week.

We met the head of immigration in Christmas Island last year when we checked in there and she remembers us. Also Elizabeth and William, that we gave a ride from Fanning to Christmas, is the presidents daughter, and they say it may not be too big a problem. Trinda is getting an ulcer worrying that we'll be put in jail, but I think it will work out, maybe.

We put Borau on the supply ship and saw him off. I hope he is happy in Fanning. Also we were supposed to visit with Tauta's daughter who was going to high school here. Semester break started last week, and apparently she was on the same boat. We missed her! She'll be back in Jan, but we'll probably be in Majro by then. Tauta is supposed to come here "in December" to get his mother and take her back to Fanning by supply ship. I hope we'll get to see him. He may be on the next boat back.

We went to see Rubis' aunt, that Tauta's daughter was staying with today. They invited us back for dinner Sunday. We also went by to see Elizabeth and she invited us "to bring a chocolate cake" to a function next Saturday. And Borau's aunt asked us to dinner tomorrow. Trinda is going to help her make Italian spaghetti.

So it looks like a full calendar and lots of chocolate cake while we wander the island as fugitives...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving in Kiribati

The other 4 boats came over for Thanksgiving. We had roast turkey (rolled thighs and legs with spices), southern dressing, bean salad, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows (Trinda finally toasted them with out burning the marshmallows!!!), pickled beets, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and ice cream, brown gravy white gravy fresh bread and pretend croissants.

A good time was had by all.

Most boat parties last about 2 hours. That's as long as most women can hold before the restroom is required. BUT!!! they stayed from 2PM til 7PM!! SO it must have been a success. I had fun anyway.

We all brought all the books we had read and exchanged. So now Trinda has some more to read. I seem to be falling behind. I have about 15 books on my shelf, but she only has about 6 and she has read all of mine. Today a German boat arrived with more books and took all the leftovers. They will take the ones they don't want to the local library.

We made photos and DVDs of photos of the Fanning people's relatives to send back to Fanning. There is a supply /passenger ship here due to sail for Christmas and Fanning tomorrow. We sent the stuff with Borau, who is returning home after his short cruise with the Southern Cross. We'll go to the loading/send off tomorrow about noon. After 3 delays, it is supposed to board at 2 PM tomorrow.

Tonight we went over to Imagica for sundown drinks. We had a nice visit with a little wine and beer. They have been cruising for a few more years than us and have been several places we have, but different times. They are staying in Kiribati this season, visiting the outer islands.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First visits in Tarowa

I found Borau, the boy from Fanning that went with Southern Cross but couldn't get a visa for New Zealand so returned here to Tarowa to go on home later. We are to go to their house on Saturday. They will come pick us up. Robby and Lorraine sent a bunch of stuff for them with us. We'll take it then.
I also found the wife of Taatii's friend at the library and took her a photo from Nikunau. She was very surprised!
When we got back to the boat, Elizabeth called us on the radio. I had taken her and William, her husband and friend Marco to Christmas Island from Fanning when we left last June. They are her now. She invited us out to her daughters 2nd birthday last night. We had a very nice supper and visit. I sat with her father (the president of Kiribati) and her brothers and had Kava for the first time. Trinda decided not to try it. It is a mild drug causing relaxation and numbness of the lips, tongue, cheeks,
and he says the brain too if you drink enough. I didn't have that much! They had bar-b-que chicken, raw fish, fried tempura fish, a couple chinse stir fries, ice cream etc. Very fine evening.
Trinda explained her version of what Thanksgiving is supposed to be to President Anote and he said, "Oh, that's a very good idea to have a day for everyone to get together and feast and say thanks to their neighbors for being there and thanks for all the good fortunes of the past year and thanks for the good harvest. Maybe I'll start that here!" She was excited!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! There are 5 boats here, counting the Australian who will do dinner with us too. The local store had turkey legs and thighs, so we'll have a big Thanksgiving feast! We are doing the dressing, bread and pecan pie.
The computer is still just barely working. I found a key stroke the will let it boot, so its not so bad now. I was able to print photos of some of the folks we visited. I need to remember to take more pictures! I went to print one for Eliz & William and didn't have one of them together at Christmas Island.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tarowa Arrival

Finally got the computer to boot up. The enter key no longer works and it wanted me to choose something during boot so.... I hope to find a fix for it here! but we are still on a small rock in the middle of the Pacific! Who knows.

We had a slow but mostly uneventful crossing. Only tore the main again. I don't know what's up with that. It tore right next to the patch we put on before. We'll just have to sew it up again. The first day and a half we had less than 5 knots of wind and only made 20 miles. Then the wind did come up to 15 and we made it here in only two more days. It should have been 48 hours inst3ead of 80 something.

We brought two passengers from Nikunau. The son and wife of Tautebua (Tauty) who is Tauta & Rubis uncle from Fanning. They are coming to Tarowa to go to school. Tererebu to the 18 month seaman's school so he can get a job on a container ship and Taneta to be a school teacher. The both had a little of the seasick on the way but not too bad. They did eat a few meals.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nikunau, Kiribati Arrival

We arrived about 1:00 AM. Too dark to anchor so we put the sails down and just drifted in the kee of the island. I guessed wrong about the drift. We were making 1.5 knots and would pass the island shortly. We had to motor for an hour back up wind before we could sleep.

At 5:30 I got up and we were only 3 miles from the marked anchorage. We motored up and finally found a place to anchor. Only 2 miles offshore the water is 16400 feet deep! I don't have that kind of anchor chain length! Ha!

Just after we got the anchor down in 45 feet of water, just off the reef (there is no lagoon here to go inside of) a skiff came up with 3 folks in it. One had a police uniform. I asked permission to stay and go ashore to visit the families of friends from Fanning first. Then they asked for my clearance papers from Tuvalu. After a little discussion, they decided we could stay. We gave them coffee and a tour of the boat. The policeman got a little queasy down below. They told us where the families
lived then said to just come ashore and theywould show us. There is a festival going on for the next 2 days.

We decided to take a nap first, before going in. Thew last day was tiring.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Funafuti to Nikanau

we are at 05 01S by 177 41E About 470 miles from Tarowa and 220 miles from Nikanau.
We have had 2 days of almost no wind. We made less than 50 miles each day. Today we made 50 miles from 7AN to 3PM so it looks a little better. It still says 2 1/2 days to Nikanau. We still did not get a reply to our request for permission to stop there, so we'll see how it goes. It is not much out of the way, so if they don't let us stop it will be about 2 1/2 days on to Tarowa.
The boat is fine, nothing has broken so far and the sail repairs are holding up nicely. I have read 2 books so far and starting a third! Trinda is making a cibuta (Kiribati style blouse) It is too big, so she is taking out the sleves again to make it smaller one more time!

The enter key on the computer is still not working, so this is a pain! We did have a good time in Funafuti. Rubis' cousins turned out to be very nice people. We enjoyed getting acquainted. We also met another couple that was nice too.
We are keeping a radio schedule with another boat, Iornie, Steve and May. They are about 60 miles SW of us and getting the same lack of wind. We are hoping for a little more the next couple of days. We talk at 7:30AM and 5PM.

Trinda cooked up some food for the trip so we wouldn't have to cook underway. We have eaten nearly all of it. A bowl of pasta salad, a baked chicken and a pot of beans, brownies and co-chip cookies. I am baking another chicken now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuvalu to Kiribati

We are under way, a day and a half. Only 100 miles or so though. Not much wind. We have been drifting at 1 to 2 knots for most of the day today. Everything seems to be working OK, except the return key on this keyboard! Arg!!! I can't get a paragraph but maybe you can read it anyway. It may take us 5 or 6 days to make the 450 miles to the first island, Nikanau, where Teuta ans Treibau were raised. We tried to e-mail Tarowa for permission to stop, but got no reply.
We may not be allowed to stop and have to go on to Tarowa (250 more miles).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Funafuti

We had a really nice Sunday dinner with Rubis' cousins, Simeti and Neta and family. They made bar-b-que chicken, pumpkin (not the squash the Kiribati call pumpkin), chicken stir-fry, taro, fried breadfruit, fried fish, raw fish, and of course rice. Trinda and I took a peach cobbler and a pasta salad. They really liked the cobbler.

Then today we had a traditional supper with Femala and Vaitupu and their family. We met them walking up the street looking for a bus. They saw we were hot and tired and offered us a cold drink while we waited for the bus. The only thing new was a kind of tree leaf they cook like spinach. Trinda and I took an apricot cobbler and a pasta salad. They really liked the cobbler again! They also had hard boiled eggs and lamb sausage links. It was all very good. We had a nice time visiting and talking about
places we had been and that he had been.

Tomorrow I'll go check out and we'll leave for Nikanau and Tarowa. It should be 4 days or so to Nikanau then 2 more to Tarowa. I hope they let us stop there. Rumor is that they insist you check into Tarowa before you can go to any outer island, but it is over 200 miles up wind if we got to Tarowa first.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Funafuti - Sails repaired

We worked 2 whole days on the sails and the roller furler. All finished. Not as much trouble as I thought it would be. The main had a tear about 3 feet long near the top. We used sail tape then sewed a patch over it. Good as new. The Jib had the protective green cover coming un sewed. Trinda sewed it while I fixed the roller furler. The stiffener inside had just slipped down, so I pulled it out , cleaned it and re-glued. All the major things are fixed now, we're good to go. Course all the little
things I keep putting off are still needing repair, but I'll wait till they are an emergency! Ha! I hate to plan ahead!!!

Last night the boaters all had an or'durve party to celebrate the elections. All the folks in town knew more about the election than we did. We took cheese, guacamole, chips and a chocolate cake. It as a good time.

We went to town this morning for bread. We took the last of the cake to a guy we met waiting for the bus the other day. He was real impressed with the fudge icing. He gave us a bread fruit and then a ride back to the center of town. We went by Rubis' cousin again. Neta gave us some flying fish and coconuts. We had Ironey over for grilled flying fish with coconut sauce, Uto pancakes (the root ball from inside a sprouted coconut with flour and sugar), breadfruit French fries and cone snails sautéed
in garlic butter. Oh yeah, we went snorkeling with Steve and May about noon. May is from the Solomon Islands and she recognized some cone snails that they eat 'at home' so we gathered a few to try. They were very like clams, but more tender and a little sweeter. Very nice too.

Tomorrow we are supposed to meet Neta after her church (She goes a 5:30 AM!!!) to go the the Taiwanese vegetable garden. They have a demonstration garden showing how to grow veggies here. They give the locals starter plants and fertilizer free if they'll grow a garden. They also sell the extras from the garden Friday mornings. Cucumbers, squash, green beans, okra, chills, basil and lots more.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Funafuti

We took the bus all around the motu, $1 each and only about 30 minutes all the way to each end. There is only one road most of the way. Through the center of town and next to the airport there are several streets though. They all live here on the one motu. There are several other motus but two are game reserves and the others are too far to commute, I guess.

I got the windvane quadrant welded at the PWD (public works division. I thought I had one more grinding wheels for the bench grinder we bought in Hawaii. I made a deal with the welder to give it to him for the repair job, but I couldn't find it. I did find a couple of angle grinder disks and a wire brush wheel. He said it was 'exactly the right payment!" I think he was glad to get them. It is all back together and looks like it will work good again. No more hand steering!

Trinda made a wacky cake with the fudge icing. We took it to Rubis' cousin's family, Simeti and Neta and their 3 kids. They really liked it and wanted the recipe. They gave us some fish and asked us to stop by and visit every time we come to town. I made a CD of all the pictures I took of Teuta and Rubis for them. Simeti will copy it and send it to Rubis' mother. She lives on another atoll in Tuvalu. We would go see her too, but if we got permission to go there, we would have to come back here to
check out afterward. Maybe next time.

They have an internet cafe, I think. I haven't been there yet though. They have satellite TV, 16 channels for $50/mo. About the same as Seattle!

Tomorrow we will work on the sail repairs. I think we'll stay here through next weekend. They have invited then.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Funafuti Tuvalu Arrival

Here safe and sound. We arrived last night after dark, and waited 10 miles off for the daylight to come into the lagoon. This morning we motor sailed up to the pass and then the 5 miles across the lagoon and anchored about 11:00.

As Aunt Kitty always says, "If it weren't for bad luck, We'd have no luck at all!". Yep, it started when I noticed the foil for the roller furler was not acting right. It has a channel of aluminum inside to hook each section together. The bottom one that hooks the main foil to the drum to wind up the sail had sheared off, making it difficult to roll up the jib (the big sail in front). Its not too serious to fix here at anchor, I'm just glad it didn't tear the sail before we got here. Then it quit
steering. Auto kept loosing the course. I tried all the usual fixes to get it to work then giving up went below to check the ropes and pulleys that had failed on the way to the Marquesas. Then I noticed the quadrant had broken off. No fixing that at sea, it'll take a stainless welder to put it back. I sure hope there is one here. That was night before last, so we were hand steering the last day and a half. While I was bored sitting there holding the wheel, I looked up and noticed a dark looking patch
near the top of the main sail! It was night, so I got out a big flashlight for a better look. Darn! The top seam of the sail had blown out. When they sew a sail, it makes a row of little holes in the material, just like the 'tear here' lines on the plastic bags. Yep, it did, right there all across the top section of the sail. As soon as the wind died back after the next rain squall (one of many in the last 4 days) We pulled it down. We finished a little slower with just the big jib (still nervous
about rolling it up with the broken foil) but we made it.

Just after we anchor, Trinda makes this pan of biscuits (just Bisquik) and butters up a couple and eats them. Then she notices the butter smells a little funny. We didn't realize that butter goes bad, but.... sitting on the pot or in front of it the whole 2 hours it take me to check in with the officials! She is just recovering enough to think about food again tonight!

Now for a few days fixing these things.

Funafuti reminds me a lot of Christmas Island, just more crowded. The folks I met during the check in seem very friendly.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wallis to Funafuti

Midnight and 200 miles to go, about 48 hours.

We left Wallis about 9:00 AM and motored down to and out the pass. It took over an hour. I had forgotten how long the island and its atoll are. We were late for the slack water, but there was still not much current. When we went in last week, we had about 4 knots against us, which made traversing the pass a slow 1 knot ordeal. The wind was light but OK around 10 knots on the stern till we rounded the southern tip of the reef and turned NW.

Just before we left, the lady we met in the store close to the Gendarmerie, Malia (no 'R' in the alphabet here for Maria), came down to the beach and waved us in. She had gifts for Trinda. A lavalava (sarong) and a small purse made of tapa covered in plastic. Tapa is a paper hammered from tree bark and then painted with black ink very similar to tattoos. They are both beautiful gifts and very unexpected. Trinda did try to teach her how to do the flocking for the cibutus (blouses) that she learned
in Fanning.

I met her co-worker in the little store, Petelo. He wanted to be our guide with the car, but the car was too small for 5 people and he doesn't really speak English anyway. He has some, and very correct but it is limited. He is a Johova's Witness and says he is brothers with others all over the world, even with Gary and Ronnie! If you show up here he'll put you up and take care of you in his house, he says! Actually a really nice guy.

The wind has been steady except for the occasional squall. We've had 7 or 8 in the last 36 hours! Some with gusts up to 35. But they don't last long.

We had some shoalls to pass, about 60 miles out the water goes from 6000 feet deep to only 20 feet! We skirted them with 15 miles to spare then turned directly toward Tuvalu, I thought! I made one of the classical errors. We are cressing the real International dateline this time. Although we already had to change the calendar and the clock, we are crossing the 180 degree line. Funafuti lies at 179 degrees East and we have only cruised in the West longitudes so far. I forgot to change the target in
the GPS so we were headed 100 miles too far East, but only for an hour or two.

The auto pilot is being persnickety again. It tripped up the steering oar every 30 minutes this morning for several hours. I changed the bungee twice and hammered on it some too. It is wearing out some I think. I may need to have a welder rebuild the catches soon.

We are both getting tired, as usual but every thing is fine.

Still not fishing. Don't know why.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Leaving Wallis

We plan to leave at low tide in the morning, Sunday here.

Wallis is a French foreign pot, much like American Samoa is sorta like another state. Most of the folks work for the government. They all get paid twice what the same job pays in France, so the stores are priced double too! Not a good place to shop. Even the fresh cheese in the deli, says either 'pour avión' and $25 a pound or 'pour bateau' and $15 a pound. I guess it is heavy for the plane instead of the boat! But still! That's for cheese we bought in Hawaii for $6 a pound! I didn't actually buy
any.

Oh Well, Tuvalu is a poor country, so what little they have for sale should be les expensive than here.

Ironie is headed that way too, as are 2 other boats we met in Apia. So we should know a few people when we get there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wallis Tour

(I tried to send photos, but they are too big. It used one hour of time and was only half done.... Maybe later)

We rented a car with Steve and May from Ironie today and drove around the island and saw the sights. It is only about 8x5 miles so it didn't take too long to see it.

It was a nice day. We have some 500 pictures we and others have taken, but I can't send them yet. We will check out here tomorrow and head for Funifuti, Tuvalu this weekend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wallis Still

We went snorkeling today, about 3 hours. Trinda got a good sunburn. My nose got a little tender but I think I avoided the most of it. The snorkeling here is not as good as some places, but we did see some things new. They have sea cucumbers about 5 inches in diameter and 2 feet long. Most we saw before were more like 2 inches in dia. and 8 inches long. The water saw mostly clear near the reef but visibility was more like 40 feet. We went about 4 miles in the dinghy.

In Apia, I decided to re-glue the safety rope pads on the dinghy as they were pulling loose. When I started, the transom started to pull loose too. The only glue I could find the first day and used on most of it wasn't as good as the original (which ain't sa'in much!!) It started pulling loose today again, the first time we went anywhere. I don't think it is going to sink us, but it is dis-heartening! I did find some 'high temperature' contact cement afterward in Apia that I will try next time.
The catch is, you need to glue it and let it set for 24 hours before doing anything with it.. That is hard when it is your only transportation at anchor and we don't plan on being in another marina for some time yet.

We are thinking about renting a car to look around here some. Another boat, Ironey with Steve and May, want to share the cost and go with us, maybe Thursday. I'll go see if I can set it up tomorrow morning.

They only speak French and Wallis'ian here which makes it a little harder. Pierre from Vesper III is French Canadian and is fluent in Spanish and French has been walking around town with me. It is a different place when you can speak to the locals. We have found a few people with a little English though.

Trinda and I went around and checked in yesterday. The Gendaramire found one guy to talk to us (they were all Frenchmen) and the Duanea (Customs) had a guy from the West Indies who had pruty good English. It was about a 4 mile walk. Just as we were within a 1/4 mile of the dinghy Trinda twisted her knee again. It was a slow limp back! She drank lots of water and NO soda pop and she was fine by this morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wallis Island

We made it here OK. I guessed wrong about the distance it was 298 miles. It only took 2 days, 9:am to 12:30pm. The channel was running about 4 knots against us, but we motored in anyway.

We are in a new time zone, +12 hours instead of -11. That makes it Sunday morning so we are a day ahead of Seattle and 5 hours behind.

The only other boat here is Vesper III, the single handler French Canadian we met in Pago Pago. We haven't been ashore yet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leaving Apia, Western Samoa

Its well passed the 6:00 AM departure that I had dreamed of...The clothes were still out drying as we had a light sprinkle of rain just as we started to get them in last night. This morning just before 6, we had a good shower so we'll wait an hour or so for them to dry.

We are still headed for Wallis/Fortuna Islands, about 400 miles west. It should take about 4 or 5 days depending on the wind. It is supposed to be light, 10-15 on the stern. We haven't sailed straight down wind is a long time....

We didn't get to eat the sea worms, Palolo, as maybe they didn't show up on schedule. The old men predicted 3:00 AM SUnday. They come once a year for about a week. Usually the full moon at night in October. Tapelu didn't get back in time to have us over.

We spent the day yesterday doing final provisioning and checking out. We had a fair sized order from the duthy free store, mostly wine and beer. They deliver it to customs and we pick it up just before we leave.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Photos

I just got word from Eldon that the pictures are also on my web site at the normal place. That is http://www.tcls.com under "My Cruising Photo Album" and "2008"
or just http://www.tcls.com/~larryl/log_katielee/photos/
I was purdy lazy, so not many of them have captions, but a few do.
Enjoy.

Pictures from 2008 posted

Finally some of our pictures this year are posted. Due to some difficulties Eldon has not posted them on my site yet, but my sister has put them up on her site.

So if you have a desire, see http://www.e-snyder.org/album/ under Larry and Trinda and 2008

We are planning to have dinner Monday with a local family, friends of Robby and Lorraine of Southern Cross. We are really excited. Tapelu went fishing today at the other island Savi'i, to catch a special fish. They only come once a year for about a week. The 'old men' say the will arrive at 3:00AM Sunday. Palolo they call them. I believe they are small, about 2 inches long. I can't wait to see and taste!

We are planning to check out of Samoa Tuesday morning and head for Wallis next. It should be 4 or 5 day passage.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Apia

We have mostly been working on the boat here too! Since we are in a marina and don't need the dinghy every day, I decided to try to re-glue the pads on the top that the safety ropes are tied to. I set the dinghy off on the dock and spread it out then went looking for my contact cement. Not found! I had 3 tubes of the good stuff, but it no longer seems to be on board. I don't know where it went. Oh well, off to the store to find more. Oh, but this is Samoa. The only contact cement they have is for
building houses. OK I'll try it. I get back to the marina and discover that in the warm sunshine the glue has let loose around most of the transom! Arg. Instead of the simple job of gluing on some pads, I spend the day trying to glue the transom back on. You know, the board in back that the outboard motor clamps onto. I had moderate luck I think and now have glued the pads back too. I haven't inflated it yet, so I don't know how well it is going to hold.

I went in to send an email and discovered that in the process of lifting the dinghy off the boat, I accidentally slammed the hatch closed on my external antenna for the WiFi for the laptop!. No, they don't sell them here either. I'll just have to sit up in the cockpit to access the internet for a while, or take the laptop to town. I don't seem to have good luck with the antennas, as this is the third one to quit.

I finally got the right sized CF card to install the updates into the radar so I can use the new navigation charts on the radar display. I tried to update it, but it seems that it was not necessarily the CF card, but the radar display itself that doesn't work. Looks like we are not going to be able to use the fancy charts until I can get the radar repaired. It seems to still function well as a radar, so we won't spend the time here to get it fixed but wait until the Marshals. I still have the charts
in the computer and some paper charts too. Gee! it is only money, anyway.

I did get the HAM radio antenna fixed again. The same guy, Pierre from Vesper III that helped me install the first time in Pago Pago helped me. I still cannot go up the mast because my stitches are not completely healed from having the mole removed from my thigh.

We went to see the Robert Lewis Stevenson Museum here. He moved here to Samoa 5 years before he died and made such an impression on the Samoans that they have several monuments to him. It was very nice.

We met with Robby and Lorraine of Southern Cross. They were to have supper with a Samoan family they met here. It was to be a good bye dinner and invited us along. The night before, 16 of their relatives arrived unannounced to stay a couple of days while waiting for their flights back to New Zealand. So they brought a portion of the food to us at the marina and visited a while. We had Robby and Lorraine over and ate it on our boat. It was delicious, octopus in coconut cream sause, baked coconut cream
in taro leaves, taro root mussels and fresh bananas.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Apia, Samoa

Now in what was Western Samoa, they changed it to just Samoa.
We have to go into the marina, no longer allowed to anchor in the bay. There seems to be no checkin or outr fee but the marina is $52 Tala a day (at 2.64 tala/dollar)

I could not send an update cause I broke the antenna wire for the radio and when we got here I bought 20 hours of internet WiFi to the boat. But, they screwed up the login/password and I can't get it checked till Monday. Today is our 33rd anniversary and our friends from Fanning, Southern Cross, gave us 3 hours of their time so I could send this!

We had Robby and Lorraine over for supper, steak, salad, octopus, eggplant, Pecan pie and lemon pound cake. Of course a little wine. They also brought a champagne looking bottle with a scratched up bottle. When we finally got it open and it didn't fizz out, we noticed that it was "almond grape wine sparkling". I don't know if it was supposed to fizz, but it tasted OK. We drank it!

The trip here went fine, no wind so we motored the first 4 hours then drifted at about 3 miles an hour for 10 hours. Then the wind picked up and we sailed the rest of the way in, 78 miles in a mere 20.5 hours. But we were here by 1:00PM so we got checked in OK.

The colds we picked up in Pago Pago are still with us! Don't ever go to a hospital when you're not sick! You will be! Arg!

We met a boat, Blue Jay, that went to Penrhyn and Manihiki after us and both places asked them about us and sent their regards in case they saw us sometime. We tell the stories from there often. I'll think fondly of those islands a long time I think.

Looks like we'll be here for about a week, maybe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good Bye Pago Pago

We are planning to leave this afternoon from Pago Pago for Apia, Western Samoa. It is about 80 miles and a whole different country. No more American dollars and English! We've enjoyed our stay here except for the smell of the fish plant. I may never eat StarKist again!

This may be the end of the internet for a while too. My HAM radio antenna broke so it may be a while before I send more e-mail, unless Apia has WiFi. Since I had the mole cut off my leg, I can't go up the mast to repair the antenna til it gets well. The Doc said a few more days.

I sent CDs of pictures to both Eldon and Sherry. Maybe Sherry will get some of them posted so you can see them until Eldon gets the server back on line properly.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bus trip to the North Shore of American Samoa







Today we took a bus trip to the North side of American Samoa. Since we plan to leave in a day or two, it is time to be a tourist!

We had a nice big breakfast at the DDW Cafe ("Don't Drink the Water") then back to the bus stop. The buses here are all converted vans and trucks. One day the bus said "Aerostar" on the dash! but most are old flat bed pickups and trucks.
That's Trinda on the far left.

This is the inside of our bus. There is only one bus for Vitia Village on the North shore in the park. So we waited an hour (15 minutes local time!) for it to arrive and get ready to return. The inside of this one is just painted wood. Some are very nicely varnished! Not the interior you expect. But they ALL have the big amps on the boom box CD player!

I got several pictures of trees out the window of the bus, but finally got Pago Pago Bay. The Katie Lee is next to the white speck in the far back right of the bay!

Cooks Comb is what the charts call this rock. A lady on the bus says "You have to count 6 waves then go fast so you can take the boat through the pass, but if you count wrong, the boat gets full of water!". I don't think we'll take the Katie Lee through there!

From the brochure:
Vaiava Straight National Landmark as seen from the Vatira road through the National Park. The 130 metre high cliffs are home to many sea birds including frigates, boobies and white terns.

The bay from the bus stop in Vitia. We had a nice visit with Pola and Oso who operate the store and take out in Vitia called the VP Store. They make good hamburgers and chili dogs!

It was a very nice day being a tourist instead of working on the boat or shopping for parts and supplies!

We walked out to the beach where we could see Cook's Comb up close. Notice the arches in the cliffs. Its not me or the camera, the top looks fuzzy in person too!

Pago Pago Market Bar-b-que



A few days ago I had a few beers at the market place. John and Michele, from the boat Canondale, were invited to a going away party. I went along. This is Polu with them. One night John's dinghy came loose. He noticed an hour or so later it was missing and called for help. I picked him up and we went down wind looking for it. When we got to the end of the bay, it was banging on the rocks with no motor, gas tank or oars! They were neatly stacked on shore next to Polu's truck. He is the watchman for the market. He saw the dinghy banging on the rocks and got the motor off before it was damaged.

John went back the next day to properly thank Polu. They became good drinking friends!

After the Bar-b-que and a few (too many) beers. Our boats may be in the background.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lone Motu

This rock stands just off the road to Fatuna where we shop.
I'm just testing the ability to upload photos from the radio.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Doctors and all

We heard that the hospital here was really purty good and cheap. So, off we go. Trina needs her lab tests to ensure the dosages of her drugs are still good and I haven't had a checkup in a loooong time.

The LBJ Tropical Medicine Center is close to the anchorage. We got ID cards as 'aliens' free and easy, "Just fill out this form then pay your $10 over there." That's $10 US for each office visit. So off we go to the Primary Care. Trinda asks for her blood work and I ask for a physical and teeth cleaning. Back to pay the $10 each for the lab tests and for the dental clinic. Also $10 for the Surgery Clinic to remove a mole. Then back in line in the offices. Trinda's meds are fine. He says my health
is better than when we left Seattle, but my tests aren't all back yet.

The teeth cleaning went ok I guess, I think the girl was new, it hurt. And they scheduled me for a filling and I also chipped my bridge. I went back again. Before they started they said I had an unpaid $35 bill from yesterday??? Seems the $10 is for the room and the doctor charges beyond that. But it is still VERY reasonable. He can't find the cavity the other dentist saw, even with a new X-ray. So he knocks $10 off the bill since I had to pay to get in and all. Then I point to the bridge and he
spends all of 5 minutes adding and shaping a small patch in the proper color to it! No more mention about the bill!

Today I went back for the mole removal. Got there at 8:30 to pay the $10 and get in line for 10:00. At noon, I finally get called to be told that I was supposed to have a consultation first so he could plan the procedure, only 15 minutes, but time for the antiseptic to work. So come back next Tuesday for a real appointment, not get in line and not pay again. So I worry about GOING UNDER THE KNIFE ALL WEEKEND NOW! Not really but he will take a couple of stitches and I'll have to have him take them
out a few days later. That means we'll be here another week. Still no idea of the final bill, but it won't be much.

Oh and Trinda asked for prescriptions for her stuff, for 6 mos. "Only 3 months max" but the total bill was $65 for the 3 months plus a prescription for her Zantax heart burn stuff. The same pills were $600 in Mexico and over $1000 in Seattle, so we aren't complaining yet. And they are all brand name, no generics.

I got some more packages yesterday, but none today from the 'Express Mail' plane. I have hopes for the 'Cargo' flight tonight that I can pickup tomorrow morning. Lets see, I got the laptop battery and charger, our paper mail forwarded (thanks Mary Sue), HAM radio parts, the 'boat store order'(navigation chart chip for radar, toilet repair kit, hose, windlass switch and more fans) and the Amazon book order. Just waiting on the watermaker switch, dried eggs, green chilies, Guy's wedding DVD, memory
card for radar, and new better inverter.

I probably forgot to mention that the neighboring boat talked Trinda into getting a 'portable ice machine'. Just like the one in your fridge, but it sets on the counter. It makes 12 cubes every 6 minutes after it warms up (or cools down). So the plan is to run it while I charge the batteries for an hour every few days and make a quart baggy full of ice. It doesn't like the cheep inverter. It runs real rough and all the cubes melt before the next batch falls out. It was only $60 (half price so I couldn't
pass it up).....Also you wouldn't believe how small it looks in the picture, but 16"x14"x16" won't fit anywhere!

Speaking of 20/20 hind sight or buyers remorse! but that is another story.

Whe I got back from the Dr., I didn't notice the boat wasn't quite where I left it. Even after sticking out the night with 43 knot winds and the day and a half of 35 knot winds, today in less than 20 ti decided to come loose while Trinda was napping. A couple of the neighbors showed up and helped her re-anchor the boat back close to where it was when I left this morning.

So the holding in Pago Pago is NOT very good as we had heard. I had been deluded by the 2 weeks of not moving in strong wind. Go figure. Anyway, the other boats helped out and thought nothing of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pago Pago




Pronounced as "pango-pango". All the other languages around here have a character in the alphabet "ng" pronounced like in sing, but these folks just add the "n" mentally, without writing it.


The view from the boat of the beautiful fish cannery and the small boat docks where we land the dinghy. If only you could smell it like we do!!! You can't see the garbage in the water either. Every styrofoam cup on the island washes down the streets and into the anchorage during the daily rains.

Today I cleaned the sludge from the port fuel tank again. Donnie helped me do it once before, in Mexico. It seems to have gotten a little water in it, maybe while we were redoing the deck in Hawaii. A little water and it grows algae, which immediately poop lots and die. This all floats to the bottom. First bumpy wave stirs it up and poof! Clogged fuel filters. I got about 1/2 gallon of crud and a quart of water out. Now the whole boat stinks of diesel (to mask the cannery, I guess) because it is a sloppy job, in the floor in front of the kitchen sink.

Then I went in search of a memory chip to use to update the firmware in the radar/chart plotter. I have ordered a Navionics chart chip that has detailed charts of all the South Pacific, Hawaii and Japan to plug into the radar and display with the radar reflected signals. It will be a good backup to the computer navigation charts we've been using.

The first package (of many, it seams) arrived today. The replacement battery and charger for the laptop. Now maybe it will quit loosing time, and even allow us to use it outside the boat some. For the last 2 months, it would not hold a charge more than 10 minutes, so it had to be plugged in all time it was on. Now we are just waiting on the books, chart chip, boat supply order, CDs from Guy, powdered eggs and green chili's, paper mail, etc.

It is nice to be at a place that US mail actually arrives in a reasonable time!

We have met a few boats heading north too. But most seem to be going to Fiji, Tonga and/or New Zealand.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Samoa

Not much to write about. Since we have internet, I have ordered several parts, from several vendors, and now we wait. I have spent most of my time searching the internet for the things we needed and trying to find companies that will ship them to us. Most companies on the internet do not think American Samoa is a US territory. But the folks living here sure do. The post office even says US Post Office above the door and it flies an American flag, and even has a normal zip code.

We still have several projects to work on, that we do have parts for. One fuel tank seems to have a little water in it and has contaminated the fuel some, so I need to pump it out to a jug and filter it and scrub the tank again. That means the boat is going to stink like diesel again. Trinda is not happy about that!

They have a store like CostCo here, Cost-You-Less, even has some Kirkland brands. In general it seems like a fairly inexpensive place to shop, except California veggies are already turning bad in the store. It is still a long way from there.

We haven't spent much money since Hawaii (that was enough!) but we did eat most of our provisions. So we need to replace all those cans and bags of non-perishables. We usually have at least 6 months worth of that kind of food aboard, you know, pinto beans, rice, flour, sugar, corn meal, canned tomatoes,beans, corn, green chilli, dry pasta, top ramin, and all.

I used up a lot of spares too like bolts and nuts, electrical connectors, fuel filters, oil, antifreeze for the engine and such. But it shouldn't be anything like Hawaii.

We have met several boats here. most are headed for Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand. Only one, Rubicon, going to the Marshals like us. They have been wondering around here 8 years they said. They knew some of the people we met on the islands too.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Trinda's Birthday Speech



The camera doesn't do all that well at night, but you get the idea. It was an emotional evening.

Sorry I had to edit it down so it would be small enough to upload. Its still 24 Meg, down from 68 Meg, in case you don't want to wait.

Photos from Manihiki




Cathy is John-Mary's wife.

On the way to the kowa where John Williams lives. He is John-Mary's father. A kowa is a coral head in the lagoon that has trees and is large enough to build a house. It is also a pearl farm.


The fish trap. Just carefully placed rows of rocks. The fish enter during the tide change and can't find their way out.

Me, Arthur Niel and John-Mary Williams. It was sure hard to say good bye.

A few photos


The John and Veronica's son caught a coconut crab so that Ian and Lynn of Cloud Nine could see what they were. We did not get to eat this one, as they are protected here on Suwarrow.

Ian did get to hold it. We all escaped injury as we played with it. It is about the same size as the ones we had on Manihiki with John-Mary and Cathy.
It still amazes me that this guy can shuck and eat a coconut. Those are some powerful pincers!



Back on Penrhyn, Alex's son is displaying the varo (mantis shrimp) we caught, Actually, they caught, I did not succeed in catching one. Those claws stuck in the flip-flop are very sharp! Sauted in the shell in butter, these were fantastic. This are the ones Trinda had for her birthday dinner.





These are from the dinner. The matching shirts Christine made for us and the hat for Trinda. Alex, me , Trinda and Christine.

These are a few of their kids. Some of the older girsl and the older boys are hiding somewhere else.

Trinda blew out all the candles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Samoa - internet access

We are here and fine. The email would not work so I couldn't send any updates.

I signed up for internet access (wifi) in the bay just now so maybe I can send some updates.

Pago Pago Arrival

We made it in and anchored by 6:30PM on 8/24
Tired

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Suwarrow to Samoa

Still making good time. Tonight there are rain storms all around us. We took down the jib and are still making over 6 knots with just the reefed main. The sea is still rolly.

Still no fishing. We had canned ham and instant hash browns yesterday and spaghetti tonight.

Our daughter sent a copy of her blog. Had a good read. Izzy seems to be growing like a weed.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Suwarrow to Samoa

I had forgotten how it is to sail down wind. We have 15 to 20 knows of wind, but it only feels like a light breeze at our backs. The swell is a little off to one side so the boat has a nice gentle motion for a few minutes then a rough roll to the side. things flew around for a while til we got it all wedged in.

other than that it has been a pleasant ride so far. Nice weather, no rain or gusts yet. Should be only 60 more hours at this speed. We are making over 6 knots most of the time.

No highs or lows and were not fishing yet.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Leaving Suwarro

We plan to leave today and head for Samoa. We just heard that Trinda's brother-in-law passed away last week and she wants to get to where we have better communication with the family.

It should be about a 5 day passage.

Suwarrow is a very nice place and the the caretakers are very friendly. There is a $50 US park fee for two week stay, but I guess we'll leave early anyway.
PS. We left at 1:00PM

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Suwarrow

W have had a nice reunion with Cloud Nine, Ian and Lyn. They are off tomorrow for Tonga and New Zealand. Maybe we'll see them again in a few years, who knows.

We haven't done much here yet. We did take the dinghies up to the Gull Islands (motu) to see the birds. It is a nesting area for Frigit birds, Masked Boobies (illegal to eat here!) and a small turn. There were thousands of them nesting on the small patch of dirt above the high tide line. The motu they are on is only 100 by 300 yards with one palm tree and a few scrub bushes. The bird nests are just on the ground. There used to be more palm trees, but the last few hurricanes have mostly wiped out
the trees and bushes.

We planned to snorkel on the way back but there was nothing to see. The birds clean out all the small fish close to the motu, so there aren't any bigger fish that would normally eat the small ones.

John and Veronica and their 4 boys suggested we have a pot luck at their place yesterday, so Cloud Nine and us did. There are two other boats here but they were too busy scuba diving the pass with the sharks to come. We had a nice afternoon with them.

There are sharks here. Lots of them! John's oldest son went fishing just before the pot luck so they could provide the fish. He said "I caught one and a half fish." Turns out the sharks got the back half of his second fish. A regular occurrence here. I have not been swimming yet. Not really because of the sharks, but when I slammed my finger in the hatch, it split open. It is healing fast, but I still don't want to get it infected by spending too much time in the salt water.

Three more boats came in today. After so long mostly by ourselves, 7 seems a lot. They have had nearly 100 boats so far this season. At least one boat all time since the park opened April 1st. They are only open April to November, due to hurricane season. John and Veronica have been the care takers for 4 seasons now. They go back to Rarotonga for the off season.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Heartbreaking Goodbye

Was it really only 11 days? How could we become such good friends in such a short time? When we left Penrhyn, both Alex and his cousins Emere and Soloman had insisted we find John Williams, their uncle on Manihiki. His son John-Mary Williams was the health inspector that checked us in. We hit it off right away and had a wonderful time getting acquainted with his family.

The worst thing about cruising this way is the number of times you have to leave friends and nice people behind, likely to not see them again for a long time. Eline Quin, a cruiser and song writer even wrote a song about the heartbreaks of leaving each anchorage. I didn't realize when I heard her how true it would be.

The weather report was good, I thought, 15 to 20 on the beam and only a little rain. The swell was to be a little more than I wanted, 8 feet first day and 10 the second. It should take 48 hours at our usual 4 to 5 knots. But no. The 15 turned to over 20! We made a steady 6.5 knots the whole first 24 hours for almost a record time of 149 miles. out of 206, that was making us too early. ETA was 8PM, just after dark, so we would not be able to enter the pass. We couldn't go any faster. So we tried to
slow down. first I changed from the big jib to the staysail. We speeded up, but the boat stayed flatter. still too fast. I tied in the second reef in the main, the mizzen still had the cover in it. Finally we slowed down to 4 knots. Then the predicted and the 20 turned to 30 and more during the rain squalls. Back to 6 knots.

At 10:30 PM only 36 hours instead of the 48 I planned, we were just 10 miles off the reef. Nothing showed on the radar. The entrance pass here at Suwarrow is on the east or up wind side. I had planned to arrive up wind so it would be easier to finish the last few miles straight down wind. But with that much wind I decided to heave to there, 10 miles out to make sure we didn't drift into the reef while we slept. We set the radar alarm and an alarm clock. We must have had a current. We were still making
1.3 knots by the GPS but the water wasn't moving by the boat.

The motion was really uncomfortable, over 10 foot swells on the side rolling the boat back and forth. We tried to sleep on the setees. Neither of us rolled into the floor, but we were still tired each time we woke up. We had both a touch of the 'mal de mir' this trip, and didn't eat much, just crackers, cheese, salami and some jelly.

At 4:30 the atoll was on radar though only the motus, none of the reef. I couldn't decide how far the reef came out. I thought we were too close so started the motor and motored back 3 miles more from shore. At 7:00 the sun started up. We were back to about 4 miles off, but still couldn't see any island. At 3 miles it showed up! I'm sure glad we are traveling by GPS. This would be a tricky business by sextant and eye alone!

The pass was uneventful. As we rounded Anchorage Island we saw 3 boats. One looked familar, but I didn't really expect to see anyone I knew here. We anchored in 35 feet of water between small coral heads. Probably have trouble with the anchor again.

Tired from the rocking and rolling and lack of food, we tried to get the boat ready for the anchorage. Wash a few clothes, hang up all the wet stuff from the waves splashing around. Put up the tarps over the hatches and open them up to dry out. Woops!!! All kinds of bad language! I dropped the forward hatch closed on my finger. The crack is only about a 1/4 and guess what? It made the red stuff leak out, a lot! ouch, I hit it on the keyboard again! I don't think it broke the hatch, or the finger,
but I have a nice long fish hook shaped cut inside my ring finger from the pad past the first knuckle. "That's gona take a long time to heal", is all I could think. Don't work around complicated machinery when you're tired!

All day I kept looking at the fartherest boat. It looked sorta like Cloud Nine, but it couldn't be. I haven't heard from them since they were in Central America several months ago. They should have already passed by. But mid afternoon, as the pain killers were wearing off (Bayer aspirin, pain killer, Ha!) They came over in their dinghy. I didn't feel up to putting ours together yet. And sure enough it IS Lynn and Ian. They were working on their boat in San Carlos the whole time we were there in 2006.
We saw them again in Zuatenajo briefly too. It will be nice catching up with them again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Suwarro Arrival

We made another passage ok.
Old friends here, Lynn and Ian on Cloud Nine from San Carlos.
More Later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coconut Crab - Manihiki

Today, after attending the Catholic service with Cathy and kids, we were to go on a picnic with John-Mary, Cathy and kids. But John scraped his leg and shouldn't get it wet. So we had lunch first. And a very fine lunch it was, black pudding, pork, raw fish, bar-b-que fish, cabbage and cucumber salad and two cakes Trinda made, chocolate and a vanilla wacky cake. It was all delicious. Trinda even liked the raw fish and the black pudding. The raw fish was the boneless fillets we cut up yesterday with
onions, bell peppers, lime juice and coconut milk. The black pudding was various pork organs, heart liver kidneys and some secret ingredients for Trinda's sake. It may be an English dish, but over rice it was really tasty.

Then John decided his leg was OK, so we went on to the motu after lunch. He just tried not to get it wet. We went hunting for coconut crab. Trinda finally decided to go along and for the first time got to crash around through the jungle of an uninhabited motu. The coconut trees, ferns, pandanees trees and other scrub brush make it much like a jungle. Spiders and their webs every where and you have to watch carefully to not step on a sand crab, the little ones we thought were coconut crabs back on
Rangaroa.

John showed us how to spot their activity and track them to their hole. Once you find the fresh hole, you poke a stick in and see if he grabs it, indicating he's home. They are nocturnal, so they stay in holes during the day. We found 3 large ones. Once you find one, you corner hin in the hole then grab his legs above the pincers so he can't grab you. Ha! I'm a real chicken when it comes to pain. And sticking you arm down a black hole with a pissed off crab in it just sounds like pain! John would
stick the stick in and let the crab pinch the stick. He'd then look at the stick and check the angle of the mark the crabs pincer made. He could determine the position of the crab and figure the safe angle to put in his hand to catch him. I just couldn't do it. The jungle is full of sticks. Just wack off a palm frond, clean a few leaves off and you have a nice fresh stick. When you have a live crab and need to carry it back, there are the palm fronds again. Make a little cut in the top edge toward
the end, then peal it back to the base. You have a nice string up to 8 feet long. Tie it around all the crabs legs so he can't wiggle and leave one long enough to carry it like a basket. If you get thirsty, just wack the end off a green coconut and have a drink. Oh, a bush knife or machete is required!

Then Trinda and I went for a swim with the kids and we came back. I had a bottle of wine and some of the 3 year-old Gouda cheese cause I thought it might be good if we steamed the crab there like a cookout. It was good back at the table too. Here we are on a little island in the middle of the pacific. We had a nice wine, aged cheese, fresh coconut crab and rice by candle light. "Even had kittens for waitresses", says John. (He has a fe pet cats.) It was a perfect day.

Also had a shower when we got back to their house. REAL ACTUAL HOT water shower! Felt great. Haven't had hot water in the shower for months!

They want us to come give a talk to the school kids tomorrow, so we'll likely leave for Suwarrow Tuesday morning.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Slippery Dinghy

Well Trinda did it again... We came back from the Gospel Day celebration in the dark and walked down to the wharf where the dingy was tied. I pulled it up close and she stepped off the wharf onto the tube of the dinghy. Guess which way she fell? Butt first between the wharf and the dinghy. Good thing it was only about 3 feet deep, she just got a little wet, up to the waist. She didn't have on the new dress, just her shorts and the shirt Christine made her. Oh well.

We had a really nice day. We went to the special Gospel Day service at 10:00. Then we changed and went to "John-Mary and Cathy"s for a quick lunch the out to the island where his father lives and has a pearl farm. I took a few pictures and he showed us around. His father has a nice portable garden, mostly all in buckets. He gave us a couple large cucumbers and a had full of bell peppers. He had egg plant ripe too.

Then we went to check John-Mary's fish traps. They are just specially placed piles of rock on the reef. A large V open at the point into more of the same except smaller each time. They also have sort of steps in the V so that fish don't notice the way back. There were several good fish. We netted them from the smallest pen and tossed them into the boat. Back to the house, he filleted them. SOme to the freezer, some straight on the coal from the bar-b-que chicken and some raw. Since there were 2 special
ones plus the dinner already cooked, we had to try it all. John has been reading this blog, so he says "You're eating your way around, so eat!" I almost ate too much. The bar-b-que fish with butter smeared on just off the fire was exceptional.

Before it all settled, it was 4:00 and time to go back to the singing and dance part of the celebration. Guess what they do after singing? Eat some more. I was not hungry yet, but I had to eat some. They always insist that we go first, so I couldn't not eat some anyway.

The government in Rarotonga chartered a ship from Tahiti to transport free all the folks from the northern islands who wanted to go, down to Rarotonga for the Constitution Day. About 40 went from both Penrhyn and here. Therefore there were not the usual number available for the dancing and singing competition, so this time it was the Mamas vs. the Papas. It was cute. The guys did a traditional dance, with some impersonating the girls part and same with the ladies. The ladies were much better at it
though. Or is that just a guys opinion? They also sang a traditional gospel song, just the way they do in church. The ladies sing one part and the guys sing other parts in harmony. So in the competition, the guys impersonated the girls again. It was funny even though we couldn't understand the words. The guys had real trouble reaching the high sustained notes the ladies are know for.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Manihiki - Northern Cooks still

The Constitution Day celebration lasted a little longer than expected, with the older crowd singing the older songs (the traditional songs but mostly from the 50s) and playing instruments. Hand made drums, ukuleles and a guitar. They said they were mostly love songs and stories like our music was about the same time. We didn't get to go to the pearl farm. Maybe another time.

Yesterday I did get to meet Johns father, Banapa's brother. He lives on a kowkow, an overgrown coral head with trees on it, out in the middle of the lagoon. Several folks live on them here. I went in to see them and see if I could access the internet at the hospital. I couldn't get the WiFi to connect, so the Dr. let me use his hardwired connection just for a little while. Just long enough to check the bank account, update the anti-virus stuff and repair the problem I was having with the radio e-mail.

Then John and I went to his house. Trinda didn't feel well so she had stayed on the boat. They were all worried about her, a lady on a boat all by her self. I assured them she was OK. We had lunch then worked on their coconut shredder. I showed John how to dissemble an electric motor and check the bearings.

Today a larger swell came up from the SW. We are anchored on the west side of the atol. There is no pass to enter the lagoon here, so it is an anchorage in the roadstead, or behind us is the open sea. The landing area or dock is a small cement wharf sticking out maybe 15 feet into a notch blasted in the coral reef. Most of the time it is OK. The prevailing trade winds from the east have kept the dinghy away from the rocks and sharp reef, until today. The swell is causing breakers to roll right up
the little cut and break on top of the wharf. We had to stay on the boat all day. We could have landed the dinghy OK but would not have been able to get it over the last of the reef and up the beach out of harms way. So we took a break.

They assure me that by next cruising season they will have 4 mooring buoys for boats and iI suggested maybe a safer place to land rubber boats.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Still Eating My Way Around The World

We are getting acquainted with Alex's cousin, John-Lee Williams and his wife Cathy. They had us out for lunch yesterday. A simple bar-b-que fish, rice, coconut cream sauce, etc. Cathy has a little Chinese background (from the Tuamotu's of French Polynesia ???) so cooked a small bowl of fish jerky with ginger and oil in the top of the rice. It was really nice. Trinda took the remains of the banana bread she made for our trip here from Penrhyn.

They invited us back for Sunday lunch/dinner today after church. They are catholic like Alex and his family. But only go once, from 10-10:45 where Alex goes twice on Sunday for an hour each time. Turns out the fish we had is Alex's favorite and one which doesn't exist at Penrhyn. John teased him un mercilessly about it. Alex called his cousin John last night to see if we made it OK and wondered if we had found him yet. I don't know what he told them about us, but they are sure nice to us. John also
invited us to tour his fathers pearl farm Monday afternoon after the Cook Islands Constitution Day celebration in the morning.

Any way, back to lunch. You will never guess what the main attraction was. Trinda made a pasta salad and a Wacky Cake, but left out the chocolate and added extra vanilla. It was not quite a white cake, but purdy good! They cook Sunday dinner in an 'in the ground' oven filled with coral rocks. They fill it with coconut husks, burn it down and then when all the rocks are really hot, put in all the food and cover it over till Sunday morning. They make a bread-ish sort of thing they call flour, that
is wheat flour mixed with coconut cream and maybe some spices, then bake it in a deep pot. Also a chunk of tuna fish was baked in a pan, another separate just above the coals. Also in a pan, bar-b-que chicken, the local free range kind. Baked long enough they are really tasty and tender. The 'boiled then fried whole' ones we were served on Fanning and Christmas were not cooked long enough and thus were quite tough, although still tasty. John's grown son got up early this morning and collected a few
coconut crabs, the biggest ones we have seen so far. The claws must have been 6 inches long each. They were boiled this morning along with the rice and such. Oysters cooked 3 ways, bar-b-que, curried and raw with lime juice.

They also have little use for silverware. Trinda says "Larry, if only your kids could see you now, eating with your fingers, slurping the rice soaked in coconut cream out of your hand and sucking the water from a fresh green coconut! And all the time you yelled at them for not using their forks correctly in the restaurants!"

There are usually serving spoons and lots of folks can come up with forks and spoons for us, but raw fish with the bones still in them MUST be eaten carefully, with the fingers. It often gets a little sticky, and I am a little embarrassed to grab the serving spoon with my sticky hand to get more, but that's the way they do. They do have a knack for only getting one hand really sticky, reserving the left for drinking, holding the dry part of the fried fish or the bread or breadfruit or whatever. But
to eat rice on a plate with half a cup of coconut cream sauce (with lime and onions added) poured over it, enough to dip a morsel just removed from a whole fried fish, you just get a little sticky. When in Rome, do as the Romans! They do always have a finger bowl ready when you finish, and I have learned to ask to wash my hands before we sit down to eat.

Give up yet? Would you believe 'Blue Footed Booby' on the menu! Yes that's right, the crazy little birds that attacked our fishing lures all through Mexico. A delicacy only occasionally enjoyed. They skin them so they won't be too greasy then put them in to bake with the rest. It is a little gamey and tough. Really reminds me of quail or dove we use to eat on the ranch. They sent the leftover one home with us since I seemed to enjoy it. They were sure surprised that I tasted everything and liked
most of it. I think they are a little surprised also that I dig right in and eat the way they do.

It was a quite tasty meal. After we ate all that, we had a cup of coffee with Trinda's cake and sat around the table grazing most of the afternoon.

Like I said, still eating my way along ...
from Manihiki, Northern Cooks - 10 25S x 161 02W

Friday, August 1, 2008

Manihiki

We made it to Manihiki at 2:00 AM, so we heave to till 7 them motored on up to anchor. It was a long rolly passage for only 35 hours. Trinda had a little 'mal de mer' and we didn't sleep much but every thing is fine.

We went in for a walk around after a rest. We met the local doctor and told him all about PHACEs and had a nice visit. He knows Alex from Penrhyn too. We took a family photo of Alex's family and showwed it around then gave it to Alex's cousin. He had come out to check our paper work, so he was easy to find.
We are going in for lunch with them tomorrow.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Penrhyn to Manihiki

After a tearful goodbye Tuesday night, we are now over half way to the next short stop.

Trinda and I went hunting for varo with Alex's kids. We got 4, a couple small and a couple larger. I didn't try to actually catch one, but watched closely as Ed did. I think I could do it now if I needed to. It is somewhat dangerous as the claws, remember it is called a mantis shrimp after the way its claws are shaped, are very sharp and are slightly barbed and don't come out without tearing the flesh. You hold a fish over its hole and when he claws the fish you catch [his claws with your fingers
and pull him out of the hole. Easier said than done.

We will sure miss Alex, Christine and their kids! They took us in as part of the family, fed us and entertained us.

Almost there 7:30PM. Should see it on radar by midnight and be able to anchor at sunup. I couldn't get the radio to connect earlier.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Net Fishing and Church

Trinda decided to stay with Christine and the younger kids while the rest of us went fishing. The water wasn't right in the favorite place, tide wrong and too much current, so we went further. The two older boys put the net out along the edge of the inside reef, then we splashed along the reff to scare the fish into it. It is a kin of gill net. We got a few, mostly parrot fish. As we were going along in the boat, they could see the school of fish and decide where to put the net! I couldn't see squat!

I tried to 'rush' up to help get the fish out of the net and tripped. I could see this big patch of coral, like a miniature pine tree, in knee deep water, rushing up to fillet me. I couldn't think of any way to miss it, so I finally just gritted my teeth and put out a hand to try to slow down. It did quite a number on my hand. 10 or 15 little cuts that bled good. I spent the rest of the day not using my hand much. When we got back, they boiled some water and made me plunge my hand into it. I;m a
whimp, It was really hot! It is supposed to kill the coral and clean the wounds. It did seem to work, as it is getting better without getting infected, mostly anyway.

After putting out the net twice more, and get too few fish, we started gathering supplies from the motu (island). They needed more of the young coconut palm fronds to weave the hats and stuff. Also the dry coconuts that are just beginning to sprout. The inside is filled with a pithy white stuff destined to become the tree. Baked in the shell, it is sweet like a banana, shreaded it can go in pancakes or a drink, and natural it is like coconut bread. While we were looking for the coconut sprouts, they
started finding coconut crabs. We found 5 or 6.

Then we took the scenic route back to the village. There is another pass into the lagoon just north of the main pass. It is not really suitable for boats due to the current and wave action on the outside, but the scenery is beautiful. We stopped near there to swim a while. There were some sharks, so I tried to get some underwater photos of Ed and the sharks, but the water had a little too much sediment for pictures.

Then on back to take care of the bounty. Trinda and Christine had made cookies and candy while we were out. The oatmeal chocolate no-bake cookies and chocolate coconut balls. But there was no chocolate to dip the coconut balls into. They all disappeared as soon as the kids saw them anyway.

We had the coconut crab sautéed with onions and garlic. It was fantastic.

Sunday morning we dressed for church and went in about 9:00. Trinda in her new green and white traditional hat and the dress suit that Alex's Auntie gave her from the other village. I only had a white shirt and faded blue jeans, but it was OK. They go to the Catholic Church. Lots of folks are visiting Rarotonga so there were just Alex's family and his brother and us. But that made 18. The singing was beautiful.

We went back to his house for dinner, all cooked in an underground oven over night. The sprouted coconuts were just husked and put directly in the oven. Several chickens were killed, plucked and put in with soy sauce. Breadfruit, rice, fish, bananas and more. Some of the cooked sprouted coconut was mashed and juiced to make a drink. It was sweet and coconuty. It was quite a feast. We really have enjoyed eating here.

We went back to the boat and rested the afternoon away. Today we are supposed to have them all out to see the boat. They wanted to go for a sail, but I don't think we will. I also need to work some more on Alex's VHF radio antenna. He can hear but no one can hear him.

We may leave for Manihiki tomorrow or Wed. It will be hard to leave.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to Omoka, Penrhyn

After a wonderful week at Tautua Village we came back to the first village here at Penrhyn for Trinda's birthday. Alex and Christine made a dinner party for Trinda. Varo (mantis shrimp), crayfish (spiny lobster), raw fish, bar-b-que fish, baked fish, rice, pan bread (coconut, flour, sugar like pancakes), chocolate cake and some kind of pudding. Each of the older kids made their favorite dish. Not to mention a bottle of coconut rum and a little Jim Beam for us. They made us matching tropical shirts
and they made Trinda a traditional hat, green and white straw with 3 big flowers. Beautiful! They sang a couple of happy Birthday songs and a gospel song, "You're Special in the Eyes of Jesus". With 13 kids it sounded like a quior.

Before we left Tautua, they gave us (mostly Trinda's birthday) lays, a hat band with 3 of the woven flowers, a fan, necklace, bottle of wine and more. Fresh bok choy and a chunk of tuna.

We feel so special here, like we are part of this great extended family. Not every yacht that comes to Penrhyn gets this special treatment.

We are going net fishing this morning with Alex and his kids.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

(no subject)

I did go lobster hunting. The tide was wrong. We walked about a mile in the rocky surf, in the dark, tripping over coral for about 2 hours. "Excellent exercise", they said! My legs are sore and my ankles are scratched up and I hurt all over. I missed one, but they caught it OK. We only saw 4 or 5. They speared some fish and found a few crabs. Not dongenes, but nice sized! The full moon came up about the time my flash light went flat. The walk back to the boat wasn't too bad.

This morning we went back to Banapa's house, had breakfast then off to church. The singing was nice. I recorded the whole hour of service and will send it or post it when I can. It was almost all in Marui, the Cook Islands native tongue. Just the welcome to "Our English speaking Friends" in English.

There was no lightening, Trinda made it in and out OK!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Penrhyn - Te Tautua

We moved across to the other village today.
They talked Trinda into attending church with them tomorrow. They even gave her a beautiful dress to wear and are loaning her a hat! We'll see ...

I am going lobster hunting tonight on the reef with a flashlight.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Penrhyn

The Kwai supply ship came and went. They left this afternoon about 6. We managed to not buy much from them this time, however the islanders sure did! Lots of stuff was delivered. No fresh veggies though, just basics and electronics. Diesel, DVD players, CD players and gameBoys, pots and pans and silverware. I don't know why the silverware is so popular since they never put it out when they serve us dinner.

I went to the presentation where the Queen's Rep pinned the medal on Christine's father. Trinda wanted to come but didn't make it. We went to Alex's house to go with them, but we were not dressed approprately. It was in the Prodistant church so no sleevless blouses or pants for women and long paants for men. On the way back to the boat to change, Trinda got hit with diarryha and had to stay home.

I got back to the church a few minutes late. The constables and his body guard had the street blocked off and I had to wait while the Queen's Rep entered the church. Then they locked the door until after the first song. Then they let us stragglers in. They said, "Go on in, face Him and bow. Then take a seat.

It was all in Mauri, the native tongue of the Cook Islands, so I didn't understand much. Until they read the letter from the Queen. It was in English. Seems Christine's father has been employed by the government for over 40 years!

Then we went across the street to the activity center and had supper. there were over 40 dishes. I did my best to sample them all as you would guess, but by the time I got back for the second pass, many of them were empty. I did try pork, curried scallops, several fish, sweet & sour bread fruit, arrowroot (tapioca), rice, taro, and several stews and pasta dishes. ALL with out benefit of silverware or serving spoons. Just you try hot stew with just your fingers! Aah well, when in Rome ...
There was a finger bowl and community towel afterwards.

The captain and crew from the Kwai came also, but they were too late even for the food. There was none left 30 minutes after the start! Christine and Alex invited them and me back to their house for drinks and supper for those who missed out. They got the good deal, lobster, more scallops (better tasting), fresh bread, etc. I had to settle for just some scotch, as I had bragged about eating my dinner and having to have Trinda's share too since she was sick. We all had a little too much scotch. Alex's
daughters danced for the crew from the Kwai and they played guitars and ukulele and every body sang (except me, I don't know any songs).

Alex wanted to buy some of my fish hooks, so I set the price at 2 lobsters and 2 varo (mantis shrimp). He thought I was kidding, just some food for the hooks? I said sure, I really wanted to taste the varo. So, tonight they had us in for the varo. It is like a very large prawn or shrimp, but has legs in front that remind you of a preying mantis. the edible part of the tail was maybe 8 inches long an 1 to 2 inches wide. the head is only about 2 inches, so it looks all tail. It was sweeter than shrimp,
not as rich as lobster, but better than crab even, Trinda said. Usually they feed us lots of choices, like the parties, but tonight it was just the varo, fresh buttered bread, rice, tea and coconut cream. The varo was sautéed/steamed in garlic butter. I was the best meal we've had in a long time.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back on the air

I found a cable/adapter. I have e-mail again! I had a USB/serial adapter on the GPS cable that I had forgotten about.

We arrived Penrhyn OK, about 7 AM. Got here on Sunday morning. We thought we might have a problem, but they said "No problem! Come on in and anchor in the lagoon about 3 PM." We did and they waited to come out and check us in Monday morning. We got water made and some laundry done waiting for them. And plenty of rest. Most places want to check us in before we get to rest from the trip. So it was nice for a change.

They all seem glad to see us. Trinda brought stuff for Alex and Christine and their daughter, the island baker.

The Kwai came yesterday too and there is one other boat. We are only the 3rd and fourth boats this season. They wonder where all the boats are.

The Queen's Representative is here today to give an award from the Queen of England to Christine's father. There has been lots of kids dancing and music and kaikais (feast in the maneaba). Having fun in the good weather.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Penrhyn Arrival

We arrived at Penrhyn Island, Northern Cooks about 8:00AM today, Sunday July 6. All is well.

I think that's right at 6 days. All this International Date Line crossing confuses me. Oh well, should be OK for a few months, till we head back up to Tarawa.

Alex and Christine remembered us. They called on the radio just as we anchored. They said it would be fine to come on inside the lagoon and anchor, even though it is Sunday. Only leaving on Sunday is bad.

We are glad to be anchored again. It is a little rocky in here, with a 20 knot wind and 5 miles of fetch. We made water to fill both tanks full. We still had over 50 gallons in the second tank. We seem to unconsciously go on rationing as soon as the first tank runs out.

Our initial plan is to stay about a week. We saw another sail boat arrive outside just as we were dodging coral heads on our way in. They haven't answered the radio yet and we can't see them from inside, but I suppose they are still out there somewhere.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day 5 and 6

90 miles to go.
The wind came up and the sea got a little bouncy, too bouncy to sit up front and type a letter. We did make good time though, 148 mile day yesterday. That's close to our record, just over 6 knots for a 24 hour average. We've slowed a bit this afternoon though. We should be there some time in the morning.

Just great! They got mad at us for leaving on a "Sunday" and here we show up again on Sunday! Oh well, they'll get over it. Maybe this way we can just anchor outside for the day and catch up on some rest and chores.

We are half out of water, and I think maybe the reason the water maker broke is that it sucked too much air from making water under sail in a rough sea,on this same tack from Hawaii. So I decided not to make any water till we get there or go on the other tack so the intake is on the downhill side.

Still not fishing. I don't know why, we just aren't.

I made beef and broccoli stir-fry last night. As usual I forgot to start the rice till it was almost too late, then Trinda had said she cut up all the stuff but the onion. I looked in the fridge and saw a baggie of broccoli and thought that was all. I missed the stems so it was a 'light' meal. It was good anyway.. We had some fresh ginger for it so that helped.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 3 and 4

Still nothing exciting, thank goodness. The wind got light and too far SE so we motor sailed about 6 hours upwind last night got get back some easting. Now the wind is back to the East and we are doing fine. Still 365 miles from Penrhyn.

No fishing still. I'm cooking a couple of steaks in a pan on the stove for tonight and mashed potatoes plus left over pasts salad.

Reading lots of books. We are watching Heros season 2 on the portable DVD player during the night watches. I couldn't believe we forgot about them till now, but it is nice to have something new.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Xmas to Penrhyn - day 2

Not much exciting.
The wind is changing for the better. Yesterday it was almost on the nose. We were 27 miles off course by midnight. Today we are almost back and thinking of loosening the sails a little. We are sailing 'close hauled' or as near to into the wind as we can. The waves are low and not an unpleasant ride.

We are not fishing yet.

We are only a few miles from our 3rd equator crossing. We have no party planned. In fact, I just noticed it. Oh well, jaded sailors! Ha!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Leaving Christmas

We plan to leave Christmas at first light in the morning. We have the dinghy stowed on the fore deck and every thing put away...a 3 hour job this time!

We had a wonderful time here this time. William and Elizabeth loaned us their motor scooter so we had transportation. We had dinner with them Monday night. A beach picnic at Henry's next, then Konnari's, then Williams again, then Minis's, then William again. I think? Lots of visiting. Lots of eating!

We had ordered a boneless leg of lamb from the Kwai. Marco, William's consultant said he loved lamb. We asked William to marinate and cook it for us all since they were too sea sick to eat it on the way. It was really good. Each time we got together, we ALL got together. William and Chuck and a Japanese guy, Matsuru, are all trying to get business proposals through the council, so they wanted to get acquainted to see if there might be some synergy. Henry is a retired marine biologist and good at
writing proposals. We were the common link to them all. It was a lot of fun and ya'll know how I love to eat anyway. There was a little beer or wine involved each time too, hehehe!

We had heard that Konnari and her husband had moved back to Tarawa so we didn't look for them. But no, they are here. We didn't get to visit them as much as we would have liked because of all the other plans. They did not get the dremmel tool we sent at Christmas time. I found the receipt for the mail and they are trying to trace it. We hope they find it. Trinda did not get to get with her to do any crafts and both were disappointed. Maybe next time? Thye also plan a trip to Tarawa for the holidays,
so maybe we'll see here there.

We went the 15 miles out to JMB store (John Brighton, a Scotsman here for a long time) and got fresh vegetables the other day. We managed to eat most of them, so we took the scooter out there again this morning to get more. He is the father of the Island manager for NCL Cruise Lines on Fanning, Bobby. It was nice meeting the rest of the family. Bobby is the one who lent us the bicycles so we could visit the folks there.

Minie is the sister of the minister to parliament for the line island group. We had met her on Fanning but didn't have time to get acquainted there much. She came up here on the Matangare (local supply ship) and recognized us. It was nice to get better acquainted. We have lots of names and addresses in the Tarawa area now. It may take all winter to see everyone!