Friday, May 23, 2008

Birthday and Driving

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. We had a really nice party on the NCL beach north of the anchorage. Teuta and Ruby came down and Tonera and family from the fuel depot came to as well as Bold Spirit, Swell, Elise and Southern Cross.

There was too much food, Trinda made a chocolate cake with fudge icing, beef & onions over rice and hearts of palm salad. others brought raw coconut fish, fried tuna and other small fish, octopus and Te Varo spaghetti, fried breadfruit and several more. We made a bonfire on the beach and drank a little wine, beer and green coconut (mui moto) plus lots of water.

While I was looking for wood for the fire, mostly dry palm tree parts, I scratched my shin a little. I didn't notice it at first. We went spear fishing the next day and I swam for maybe 3 hours. Yesterday I noticed the scratches were large, red and angry looking so I started on antibiotics and salve. It will be a few days before I can get it wet again.

Tearibwa and husband came yesterday, just as we were trying to decide if we should borrow the NCL bikes and pedal down to see them. It has been 2 weeks since they last came. They brought a large stalk of green bananas. Trinda and she crocheted all day. He doesn't speak hardly any English, so he watched me epoxy a broke lamp/flashlight back together. We fixed them a nice lunch. We had a steak in the freezer that was thawing out so we had to eat it. They loved it. Not much beef here since there is
no refrigeration since not much electricity on the island. Also pancakes, fresh squash (pumpkin) from Ruby, rice and octopus.

We took them back across to the other side and waited with them for the school kids' truck. We discovered they like to play cards! So next time we get together we'll play cards instead of me and her husband just sitting while Trinda and Tearibwa sew.

Today Tauta drove down to deliver a ladies church group to the ferry to go to the other side. He wanted to go fishing so he asked me if I could drive a car. I said yes. He asked if I would wait for 2:00 and drive the ladies back to his house then. He said (I'm almost sure) that he would fish and take his boat back up to his house and I would meet him there.

Well we had a nice ride up. It is about 5 miles, but the road is so bad that it took just over an hour to get there without throwing the old ladies out the back ouf the flatbed truck! It is a 2 ton Toyota. Then we found Ruby at her school. She had no idea why I had her truck. I explaned then we went to her house to wait, since Tauta wasn't there yet. We had tea and dried breadfruit soaked in boiling water with shreaded coconut and sugar. We also had a kind of smoked/dried tuna. It was a nice snack.
Still no Tauta. At sundown we went to the beach where he is supposed to bring his boat. No one has seen him. Ruby is getting worried. We drive back to her house and another truck pulls up and says Tauta is waiting at the ferry dock beside our boat!

So Trinda and I drive his truck back. Bold Spirit and Swell have fed them supper and kept them entertained while they waited. They and caught several tuna and gave us a nice fillet. I just had some sushimi.

What we had here was a lack of communication!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

(no subject)

Just when you think that nothing else can go wrong, the last fan belt breaks for the generator!

At least the Kwai hasn't left yet. Maybe they will remember to get me some spares.

I borrowed a bicycle again yesterday. Borau, the boy from Southern Cross went with me. We pedaled the 5 miles up to the North end where Teuta and Ruby have the bee hive. I was so tired when we got there I couldn't even look at the bees. It took 20 minutes sitting in the shade and a quart of water before I could stand up. These 12 year-olds pedal faster than I can!

The bees are in the box still. Teuta moved them to his house and put them under a tree in the yard. I opened a few of the top bars. I couldn't see in very well to see how they were coming, if they were building hive from the top bars, so I stuck in my camera and took a few snaps. Even the flash didn't seem to bother them much.

But no, they are still only working the old hive laying in the bottom of the box. I just looked it up, it has only been 9 days! I guess I expected them to move faster! I wish we had been able to get just the bees without the old hive, but that's the way it goes.

We had a pot-luck at Borau's stepfather's house last night. We met the guy on the other boat finally, Chris on Elise. Seems like a nice guy. The girls, Trinda, Borau's sister, step-sister, mother, Lorraine and Liz of Swell all played cards and jacks. Us guys just talked and had a few beers. They have one of two ducks on the island of Fanning! There used to be a papa duck too, but he didn't make it. It was really funny to watch the duck and a dog rub each others neck while waiting to try to steel
food from the pig. His trough is between the cooking fire and the table. Borau's mother fried breadfruit and fresh fish while this was going on! It was a nice night and all the food was good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just Another Day

We were having our morning coffee when I looked back and noticed the two smaller solar panels were not there! I asked Trinda if she had seen them lately, but she didn't really remember. They were held on with hose clamps, since 2000 in San Diego. Sure enough half of one hose clamp was still there. The wind was strong a while last night. It must have been too much for them. The stainless clamps had rusted through!

We are anchored in only 12 feet of water, but it is never very clear. So we suited up and started snorkeling. Liz on Swell noticed us and swam over too. She had been cleaning her boat bottom. She helped a lot, she found them and even got a rope tied on them before I could get back in the water. These kids are better at holding their breath than us old folks!

Trinda had been trimming the cabbage we've had since Hawaii, and threw her favorite knife over with the peels, while I was getting my suit on to look for the panels. I didn't find it. The visibility was only about 2 feet here this morning.

After I got the panels up and rinsed them off, I noticed the inverter was flashing an error code. I started checking it. I had to take out all the canned food from 3 shelves, unscrew 2 shelves and take out the inverter to just get the lid open to look. I didn't find anything obvious! Darn! I then turned it back on and measured the volts. Only 96 volts. That was the cause of the error code. Well, the only thing we have that has to have the inverter is the computer. All the power tools and Trinda's
cake mixer can live without being used if they have too. I checked the power adapter for the computer and it says it is good from 100 to 240 volts, so we'll limp along for a while.

We may have to stay here another few weeks to order a backup inverter. The Kwai supply ship is planning on leaving Hawaii on May 28 for the next trip here. That would make us miss getting to Samoa for the June 28th trip to Seattle...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Almost Bees

I did borrow a bike Friday afternoon. Trinda insisted that we do a boat project first. We re-caulked the cleet on the side of the boat that we think was leaking water into one of the cabinets and a couple of windows and the trim above the windows. These boats just seem to LEAK!!

So I didn't get started til after 3:00. It is at least 5 miles up there, so I was peddling hard. After only 2 miiles, I was getting tired, but I looked up and saw a truck coming. It was Teuta. They were out gathering coconuts to feed the pigs and dog. And some green ones to drink. So I stopped and helped them instead of going on up to see his bees. He said that most of the bees are staying inside the box! Hurray! He still hadn't moved the box to his house, its still in the school yard. I had told
him it needed to be in the shade, so they put some palm leaves over it to keep it cooler until they do move it. After we picked a lot of coconuts from his 3/4 acre, he said he wanted more from the government land closer down by us. So we put the bike in the truck and came back.

He was planning to take Liz, from "s/v Swell", fishing on Sat. and wanted to confirm with her. So when we got to the dock I went to get her. He gave me several coconuts and some for the other boats. So we have lots of coconuts again.

Saturday, Liz did go fishing with them. While they were out, the wind came up and blew like crazy for a while. 40 knots for a little,35 for an hour and 30 for most of the morning. Another boat has come, Chris on Elise. His anchor chain broke and he started drifting toward the reef. He got it started, but was by himself so couldn't get away. I picked up Lorraine and we went over and got aboard to help, in the 6 foot wind chop! We let go the rest of his chain. It is only 10 feet deep, so he was sure
he could find it. And he went out the pass and waited for it to calm down before he came back and re-anchored with his backup anchor. As soon as I got back to the boat, I checked our mooring lines to make sure they weren't chaffing through. They were fine.

We worried about Liz and Teuta and company. But they showed up a little later with a couple of wahoo, 2 big yellow fin tuna and a small rainbow runner. Yes they had some wind and waves, but they were catching fish! Liz shared her tuna with all of us. Nice sushi mi for me and we had it bar-b-qued later too.

All of our potatoes are sprouting, the sweet one and the baby reds both. Trinda cut a bunch of the eyes with a little potato attached and put them in water. This morning we took 2 bunches to town to the Customs lady, Marina, and to the NCL manager, Bobby. Bobby then gave us several breadfruit to share among the boaters. This afternoon we didn't do much.