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


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


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.