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


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


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.