Friday, December 18, 2009

OSHA, the Race and the Canoe

It has been a while since I have written. It has been busy and rainy here in Majuro.
We have started re-finishing the inside of the boat. We are using polyurathane instead of varnish. Gloss on the floor and trin and simi-gloss on the walls and doors. It ovcourse started lots of rain just as we were committed and the instructions say less than 75% humidity and less than 80 degrees. Maybe it will just dry slower as we never reach those minimums!

Phil, who just purchased Windswept, a 65' trimaran, made a temporary mast. He plans to sail to Thailand to do a major re-fit and repair. Here the local guys have stepped the temporary mast and are trying to get the sling the crane used off the mast. He did not fall off the pallet! Amazing.

We entered the first Yacht Club race of the season. Before the wind blew it was almost calm as I approached Irish Melody and the local canoe passed between both of us.

The crew for the race. Ali is Maraine's husband. Trinda spends time with here sewing and baking and such. They are relatives of some frinds we made on Aur atoll. I have trouble with the volenteer teachers names., must be some sort of mental block!, Heather, Lee, Ru and 2 more, theN Rob form Yohala came along as experienced crew. This is after the jib (foresail) is ripped and we are motoring back to the buoy with our tails between our leggs.

The next day the WAMM canoe bulding and construction class graduated and this is their class project. Beautiful canoe. They shortly broke the boom doing about 15 knots and flipped the boat end over end (pitch-poled). It didn't hurt them or the canoe any more though. It was a fun day but I sunburned my nose bad and got a back ache from standing around all day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Majuro Canoe Class

There is a program here in Majuro to help young people to learn some skills. Most classes build a traditional canoe as part of the program. This was graduation week for them. The took three of their canoes out to Enako, an island in Majuro lagoon for kind of a celebration and a chance to "live what they have learned". They cooked a turkey in an 'under ground oven' along with coconuts, pandanas and breadfruit. And of course rice and fried tuna.

They invited the yachts to come out and if we gave them a tour of the yacht they would give us a ride on their canoe. I sailed on one like this. I took pictures underway, but it is too small to see so you get this picture of Linda (Hawkeye) instead of me. Trinda's tatoo is still to be kept out of the salt water (for fear of infection) and she is still suffering symptoms of the flu, so she stayed on the boat. Notice there is not much free-board here. With two kids and a 'kelip rebelly' (fat American) on board, the bow is very close to the water. We got a couple of wind gusts that spead us over 12 knots and the bow wave flew over the ama! Not to mention the part of the wave that washed over "all occupants"!
It is definately quite a ride.

Another of those unresistable sunsets.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Majuro Beer Can Race

We participated in the annual beer can race last night. I took an easy second, but Trinda easily claimed very last.
Its hard to see but that is her beer can sailboat at the bottom at the starting line.
I won a Friday night 'Mexican Night Buffet" for two. I guess I'll have to share my winnings with the big looser!
The local kids made the boats. For $5 we buy a boat, put it in the pool and give a good blow to get it started. The first one to the opposite end of the pool is the winner. It was fun and yet another oppertunity to have a beer with friends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things in Majuro

Ever since the French Polynesia Trinda has been threatening to get a tattoo! Well a cruising couple is leaving and Chris decided to get a memory of her life here. Trinda went with her and came back with these!

I tried to get a picture of the faces she made during the process, but they aren't suitable for publication!

The turtle has a beach scene in the middle and the word "Yokwe" across the top. That is the Marshallese word for 'Hello' or 'I love you' or 'good bye' depending on how it is used. I may get a better photo after it heals some.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photos from Likiep

At Wotje a bird landed on my wind arrow on top of the mast and bent it. Since I had to go up there to fix it I took the camera. This is the bay in front of the village at Likiep from 60 feet up. From the left, the copra shed (dried coconut to be processed for oil), the Fish Base, and Community building where the Internet is installed.
The airport and terminal building with Mayor James Capelle in the Police rain coat. most of the people go out to meet the plane hoping family in Majuro has sent something they've requested. Junior got a few beers and a newspaper from the pilot, his relative.
I fixed a VHF radio for Matsen and made him a new antenna, so he offered us a coconut crab. This is one of the larger ones we've had. He came with the leash, but grabbed Trinda's dive knife while I was trying to get the picture. I'm lucky he didn't know how to use it! He fed us both with a little left over. Much better than the Dunngeness crabs.
The Fish Base is sponsoring the growing of giant clams. The tank is full of the ones they are ready to sell to the salt water aquarium folks in Florida, about 12000 of them. Junior was showing Trinda the tank. They sell the clams about 12 to 18 months old and about 2 inches across. They raise 4 varieties, some of which get to 4 feet across in their life time, lots of years. They started the program to re-stock the atolls that have eaten too many of their own but then discovered the aquarium market. At $2 a clam they say it is easier work than making copra.
Junior's wife, Titi, made us coconut cookies, cinnamon twists and cinnamon rolls. With their German and Portuguese background, the ladies here bake a lot more than the other islands we've been to. And their baked goods are delicious. That's quite an oven, a barrel with a place for a coconut husk fire underneath and two racks for cookies, or whatever.

Trinda also had a sewing class to teach the smocking stitches to several ladies here too. 3 made significant progress and promised to help the others finish their blouses. The Catholic Priest came for a couple of weeks to each atoll and was watching the ladies after I gave him a tour of the boat.Another day Trinda took the beads ashore. They were a big hit too.

Here they are wearing their jewelry, mostly earrings.And the swim toys were a hit too. Several kids ask for more cause they were elsewhere when these few got passed out.
Just before we left, the ladies insisted we come to a going away function. They presented us with necklaces, hats, earrings, the dress Trinda has, and lots more handicrafts. And of course a pumpkin and more coconuts to drink on our trip back to Majuro.

Photos from Wotje

Nauto is the vice principal of the Northern Islands High School. We were the postmen for the families of the kids. the boxes and letters on the table are what we brought. Nauto is from Kiribati and we talked a lot.
This is downtown Wotje Village on Wotje island in Wotje atoll. That is the just past President's house in the background ( he lost the vote of no confidence last week). Here they all complain about all the "Japanese cement" everywhere. They left lots of small generating stations all around too. I think I have photos of at least 10 sites of old rusty motors.
We were invited to a first birthday party. This is my plate. Turtle, chicken pork, pumpkin in leaves, doughnuts, breadfruit pudding in plastic bags, pumpkin in coconut cream sauce and bananas in the middle.
Getting the turtle out of the "in the ground oven". I was almost more thrilled to be able to see how they did it than to eat it, but not quite! They line the hole with pieces of coral and build a coconut husk fire. When it burns down and the coral is hot, they put in the cut up turtle and shell, cover it with banana leaves then palm fronds then plastic sheet and finally a layer of sand. Maybe 6 hours later, just before the party, they dig it up. It was dark so they had trouble finding all the feet and the heads.

Photos from Kaben, Maloelap

Looking up main street in front of the school and clinic. Big water catchment tanks for catching rain water and big breadfruit trees. With no cars, the street is kinda vague (behind the trees).
Just after handing out the box of 100 'Blow Pops' to the kids then the ladies. Kaben has a beautiful sand beach, but it is on the up-wind side and the normal trade winds build 3 foot breakers here so most yachts don't stop. We had a very calm day coming up here from Airik, but the wind started again just after we arrived, so we could only stay one night.

It was "Customs Day" and they were to play softball on this beach, but when the saw a yacht coming, they just stood around and waited for us to anchor. Two guys even paddled out is a leaky canoe before we finished anchoring! We were teh first yacht in 4 years.

Photos from Airik, Maloelap

The ladies in Airik, Maloelap noticed Trinda's blouse (Kiribati cibuta) so she offered to teach any of them that wanted to, to learn to sew the smocking stitches. These three spent two full days sewing. Trinda got prudy sore sitting on the cement floor all that time. I worked on a generator annd visited the guys while she did this.
Besides the World Teach Volunteer (posted a few weeks ago) we had another teacher and his family out to the boat. All they can say is "Wow!". We don't think the boat is that different, but we have much more than the average islander's house has; gas stove with oven, refrigerator, watermaker, mattress, couch, etc.

Photos from Aur

Spike from Holokai was here with us. This family named their baby boy Spike. Jedirc Spike invited us all for dinner pictured here. Coconut crab, lobster, rice, pumpkin, breadfruit pasta salad and coconuts to drink. Then the kids got the ukuleles and sang and played a while. Quite a night.

Spike had his son along, and contracted a model canoe. This is Reed Capelle from a real canoe making family making it for him.

They invited us to church on Sunday and kinda insisted we all come. In our honor, they re-did parts of their Christmas program. Most of the ladies even had the dresses they wore for it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Return to Majuro

We are safely back on our mooring in Majuro, tired but here. Not a bad passage, but 52 hours with not much sleep.

The wind was almost on the nose so sailing slowly as close to the wind as we could and only motor-sailed about 10 hours.

After Ice tea and a hamburger from Tide Table we're going to bed!
More later,
Good night

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Few More Days in Likiep

Mayor James Capelle in Likiep.

We are really enjoying it here! I have spent time with Joe DeBrum great grand son of the original settlers here, and his sister-inn-law Bonnie. They are among the few islanders older than us. They have lots of stories and enjoy ours.

Trinda took the beads ashore one day. They had a great time. Then today she taught 9 ladies to make the Kiribati Blouse. They had another good time.

We went snorkeling at the next island up, Lado. We saw 2 giant clams in the water. Maybe about a foot across. Bonnie asked why we didn't take them. We said we didn't know how to fix them anyway and they were too big for us. It was also close to the clam farm so I didn't want to bother them.

I fixed a VHF radio for Maxiam so he offered to get us a coconut crab. Just finished it. Was wonderful and BIG! Much larger than the ones we've had from other islands lately. Loved it!

The mayor and several other guys went to the small island about 20 miles from the atoll here for turtle and such for s party in Majuro. They have 4 big turtles. I wish the party was to be here!

Trinda made a few more pairs of kids shorts for some of the ladies and gave them the patterns and showed them how to make them. Lots of teaching going on. I worked on their internet computers some more. Found lots of virus and mal-ware on them this time. Maybe they are better now.

We will be sad to leave next week, but we are running out of food. We plan to leave Monday or Tuesday, depending on the wind. We will head straight for Majuro, about 230 miles so a 2 day trip.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Marshall Islands World Teach Volunteers

Christine is the World Teach volunteer in Wotje, Marshall Islands. This is one of her "English" classes. All her classes are in the same room. Most of the elementary students stay in the same classroom all day, but they come to her room for English.

Her host mother had a special birthday, 36 years, while we were there, so Trinda made her a chocolate cake.

Heidi is in Kaben, Maloelap, Marshall Islands. It was "Custom's Day" when we arrived, so everyone was down to the beach to play softball for the Holiday. We kinda interupted their celebration. The gentelman behind Heidi is the grandfather of her host family. He passed out the lolly-pops Trinda brought.
Because of the Holiday, her class was not available for a photo, but some of her kids did come to say "Hi".

Elayna is in Airik, Maloelap, Marshal Islands. She is very excited about her classes and the new books that had just arrived. The school is at the opposite end of the island fromher host familie's house, only about a 15 minute walk.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Finally an update from Likiep. It is quite a different looking village here. The whole atoll was purchased in the late 1800 by two of the traders, Capelle, Portuguese and De Brum, German. Most of the people here are descended from those two, so most last names are one or the other. We met a lady today who has 60 grand children and several great grand children. She is 74, one of the older islanders we have met. She had 12 kids. Two of her daughters had 9 each. She is a DeBrum. Her brother is the one who talks to us on the Yacht net on the HAM radio every day.

According to a web page I saw, they have 18 buildings here that the historical society is interested in cause they were constructed between 1865 and 1905. One is falling in, but most of the others still have families living in them. There is African Bermuda grass growing everywhere. There are giant old trees lining the bay that were planted by "the old folks, long ago". It makes it a very picturesque view. The old houses are very European and look just like in the old movies of the South Pacific. Many of the homes have furniture in them whereas most of the other islands have only mats on the floor. They seem more sophisticated here in several ways. They haven ovens for baking made of barrels in a brick house whit a coconut husk fire underneath, instead of a ho;e in the ground lined with coral rock. Many of the paths (streets) are lined with rocks and rows of flowers.

They recently got internet and cell phones here. I have been helping with the internet some, but haven't sent any mail out yet. It is extremely slow. They don't know what the problem is and I haven't really looked at that part yet. There was supposed to be a repairman on the flight today, but he didn't get off the plane. They get 2 flights a week as long as the plane is not broke. Taiwan gave them the satellite dish and 2 years service free! They said it worked better last month.

We had the Mayor, James Capelle and the internet lady, Frida, out for supper last night. I asked him if he wanted Marshallese food or "cruiser food". He chose cruiser, so it was meatloaf, corn onion soup mix poured over potatoes and baked and cornbread. Followed by chocolate cake. They wanted several recipes including the cornbread!

Today we went to see the clam farm. They raise several varieties of the giant clams for sale to salt water aquariums. They are only 1 1/2 to 2 inches across when they sell them (about 1 1/2 years old). They keep the adult clams in the lagoon and bring them up and put them in a tank when they are ready to spawn. Then catch the fertile eggs (100s of thousands of them) and keep them in special tanks til they are about 1/2 inch wide. Then the give them to the locals to raise in special trays they float inn the lagoon. They have to scrub the algae off every few days and in 6 to 9 months they are nearly 2 inches across and sell for 2 to 5 dollars each.

Then we walked around handing out blow-pops to the kids and a few adults claiming to be kids. Trinda and the kids both really enjoy it! She also gave a few more of the large eye needles the women like for doing their handicrafts. We plan to stay here several more days before heading back to Majuro.

Friday, October 2, 2009

No Tsunami Here

Apparently there was some kind of big wave near Samoa and northern Tonga. That is a looong way from us. We are fine!

Quite a few people were killed there and lots of flooding. It must have been bad, BUT it is a long way away.

We went to a birthday party for a 1 year old. They had Turtle, baked inn an underground oven. It was delicious! I have really been looking forward to trying it. Parts were white meat, much like chicken and other parts were dark, sweetish more like buffalo, but both had just a hint of fish. I really liked it. Next, I'm looking forward to turtle soup. I hear it is even better. Trinda made a chocolate cake and a reversible top with matching shorts for the baby. The kind she used to make for Wyndi. The local World Teach, Christine said she remembers having them too.

We were planning to head for Likiep tomorrow, but delayed a day to let some locals see the boat. May leave early Sunday morning. It is about 60 miles and we have the track we came in on so we can follow it and leave before there would be enough light to cross the lagoon.

Trinda is getting quite a collection of little flowers woven on a wire frame. I now have 3 small antique fish net floats that a re about 3" glass balls, and an insulator looking one. Trinda has a 14" glass float that still has the netting rope tied around it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We took the letters and packages to the high school and gave them to the vice-principal to deliver. He sad the kids were excited to get them.
Today I took a packet of cantaloupe seed s to the agriculture teacher there. He thinks they will grow, since they grow squash and something they call pumpkin. I hope so.

Then we were invited to meat the WorldTeach teacher's host family. Today is her host mother's birthday, 36. Her name is pronounced Katie, but spelled Khetty. We told her the boat name. She got a kick out of that. Trinda and I made her a mother of peral necklace and Trinda took the standard chocolate cake. We are invited to her niece's birthday tomorrow night (with cake of course).

Her husband is the doctor here. Wotje has about 800 people and 250 more students in the Northern Islands High School. This is the most populated Island we have been to. The president of the Marshall Islands is from here, so it seems the most prosperous too. There are quite a few cars and trucks. And the plane comes here twice a week. It was a big Japanese base during the war, so there are supposed to be lots of relics too. I plan to take a walk to morrow to try to see some. I did find an old 6 HP hit-n-mis engine like the one from Taroa.

I have promised to post photos of the WorldTeach kids when we get back to Majuro. I have been trying to take a photo of each one in their class room for their families at home.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kaben, Maloelap

The anchorage is on a lee shore, and the wind came up so we had to leave early, only one night. Trinda passed out the usual lollys, this time 2 boxes of Black Cherry Blow Pops. A big hit. All the kids lined up at the dinghy and a local man passed them out. Then most of the mothers got one too.

We met the WorldTeach here, Heidi. She was lonesome some and hungry for American food. We had her out to the boat for Louisiana Dirty Rice, corn on the cob and green beans. She was very happy. We also gave her a few bottles of water. She said the local rain water catchment has bugs and she is tired of boiling it!

I fixed a couple of solar panels and Trinda visited with the co-host mother for Heidi. SHe wanted recipes for bread and cake, so Trinda gave her a set of measuring spoons and cups (thanks Sherry).

We left about 4PM for Wotje. After a long slow motor boat ride we arrived inn the anchorage about 10AM. The fuel filter on the engine started leaking and before I got it fixed the fumes gave Trinda sea-sickness so she had a miserable time. We lost about 5 gal of fuel, but not enough to effect our trip.

We slept all day and will take the mail to all the high school kids in the morning. All the families in the other villages had asked us to take letters and packages to their kids in school here. The only other way would be to send them to Majuro by supply ship (sometimes once a month) then hope they get forwarded back here.

Airik, Maloelap

After a not very successful spear hunt and a "0" lobster hunt and a nice dinner party we left our friends in Tobal and motored up to Maloelap, about 6 hours. We stopped at Airik again. We saw our friend Romeo again and the ladies from the church group.

Trinda offered to teach them to make the blouse (cibuta from Kiribati) so they sat and sewed for two days. Anita was the main one. She was one of the ladies that came out to the boat the last trip and remembered Trinda's popcorn.

I worked on a solar panel and printed a few photos for them. We had 2 sets of folks out to see the boat, Anita's sister's family and Romeo's family.

We met the WorldTeach here Elayna and I took photos of her in her class. I'll post them back in Majuro. We had brought a letter to her from Michael the one inn Tobal. I sent an email to her family for her. We also brought letters from her to the WorldTeach in Kaben and Wotje. Just call me the Postman!

These kids have quite an experience. Most have just graduated from collage and not really been away from home. They get a few weeks orientation in Majuro, including a 2 week class in Marshallese, then get sent out to live with a family in a remote village for a year. They get to go back to Majuro for Christmas break. Most families have at least one member that speaks a little English, but sometimes that is stretching it! I don't think they are told they will be living on rice and fish and sleeping on the floor when they sign up.

Elayna is supposed to get a barrel of gas to use to travel around the atoll, but it is "lost" She is in a village with no scheduled transportation at. 10 miles to Tarao and 31 to Kaben. At least Kaben has an airport. However the plane has been broken for 3 or 4 weeks. This weeks' flight was the first since then and they only had passengers, a little mail and no supplies.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kaben, Maloelap

We motored up to the island of Kaben in Maloelap this morning. The WorldTeach volenteer from Airik sent a letter with us to the teacher here.
In a day or two we'll go on to Wotje where they have a high school. We have letters and packages for the kids from their families in Aur and Maloelap.
More later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tobal, Aur Atol, Marshall Islannds

We are still here in Tobal. 8 villages to visit and still on the second. Oh well.

I helped Boulong, the iroji (king) tare out a wall that the termites had eaten yesterday. Today we goofed off and visited several other families. Trinda made 3 chocolate cakes with icing (in 6 pans) and we passed them out. Spike on Holokai really liked his, as well as the villagers.

Tonight we had Boulong, Patlynnn and Rasine out for pizza. I thought they didn't eat much, but Trinda says they really liked it. I guess I shouldn't judge others eating against mine!

We are going spear fishing in the morning about 2 miles away by dingy. Hope to have fun. Trinda is going to teach some ladies to make the Kiribati blouses while we are fishing. Women don't fish here. Ha! I'd just as soon she did it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Aur Once Again

We left for Aur, Aur about 2 PM yesterday afternoon. We had some freight and 2 1/2 passengers. The baby boy is sick with the flu I think. The mayors grand daughter was one.

Spike and Anglia on Holokai came also. They had a lot of freight for the World-Teach, Jadd. He seems a nice young man, maybe 23, just out of collage. He is coming out to try to send an e-mail this evening too. He came. Trinda insisted he stay for supper. Since it has been 6 weeks since he has seen American food he was really excited.
ust greenn beans and hominy mixture.

We plan to go to the other village here, Tobal, tomorrow afternoon for a few days.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Anchor Chain

The good news is that the chain arrived, was delivered, the old chain removed and the new loaded in the chain locker. And it was exactly what I ordered.

BUT!!! di ya think I was smart enough to read the specs on my old chain before I ordered the replacement? Naw, I know what it is....NOT! I ordered 3/8 BBB when the old stuff was 3/8 high test proof coil. What's the diff, its 3/8" right? But each link is 1/2" shorter that the old chain so it doesn't fit the chain wheel of the windlass.

I spent the next 2 hours in a dumb state trying to figure out what to do. Then after giving up with the realization that I needed a new $600 chain wheel and might have to weigh the 60 lb anchor and the 500 lbs of chain by hand for the next 4 weeks in the outer islands. I was walking up to the store for none last item before we left, when one of the other cruisers happened by and I had to tell him my sad tale. He says he has an old windless he is trying to sell because the chain wheel is too short for his chain! We are trading chain wheels.

I have the parts apart and am having to do a little mod on them but should finish in the morning. Only one day late.

We took the boat right up to the dock to unload the old chain and pull in the new. While we were sitting here, we acquired 3 passengers for Aur and a load of freight. Never tie up to the outbound dock!!! Oh well, it will be fun. Spike and Anglia of Holokai, were also heading out today to take Spike's son on a short tour of some islands. But, the plane decided not to fly from Hawaii today so his son isn't here. They say he should check back tomorrow at the same time, maybe the plane will come then!

Life in the 4th world! ( that's in a smaller more backward place than the 3rd world countries)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Anchor Chain

We ordered new chain for the anchor. 300 feet of 3/8 chain came today by ship. It should be delivered to the dinghy dock sometime this afternoon. We will take the boat over to the dock where we can unload the old chain directly ashore and pull the new chain in with the windless.

It has continued to be rainy and a little cooler the past few days.

We are preparing to take a month cruise to a few outer islands and return here in a few weeks. buying groceries and cleaning the boat. So far we don't have any passengers scheduled, but they always seem to find out when we are leaving and beg for a ride. If we don't get any requests for Aur we may go straight to Maloelap instead.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Changing the Masthead ights

Several years ago I bought new lights for the top of the mast. Dr.LED lights were supposed to last forever. However, on the way to Aur last month another boat said he could barely see my lights 1/2 mile away.

So I searched the web and found some more that are guaranteed for a long time, Bebi Electronics in Fiji. He is a cruiser that "got stuck" in Fiji and started a business making LED lights for boats.I bought new ones for the top and new reading lights and a few to replace the lights we leave on the most. They are really bright.

I had to bring the fixture down and devise a way to install the new lights. The old ones had a normal base and just plugged in, but these only had wires.

While I was up there I took a few pictures. As usual, my finger crept into the best shot of the stern deck.

If you look close, you can just see Spike from Holokai on the bow, just to the right of the sail near the front. He was good enough to come over and help pull me up to the top so I could get the fixture down.

This is a view of Majuro from the top. Notice you can see over the atoll to the ocean outside. When we go ashore, we take the dinghy just past the big ships at the dock. It is not always this calm, usually there are ripples and waves on the water! Windswept is the trimaran in the foreground with no mast.

This is from bottom to top, Holokai, Moonbird, Seal and Hannoa.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trinda's Eye Exam

"Nothing serious to worry about...", he says, "It has been 10 years since the last exam so a few months won't make any difference. If we are planning on the Philippines next year, just wait and go then. No problem."

So we think that we heard that he can't tell if they are getting worse without the "now days, normal 4 tests" which he doesn't have the machines for. He couldn't figure out her old doctors papers because, "They're in this same form most Americans used to use. The exam results are mostly subjective, depending on which Dr. looked at them."

Trinda will continue to take the eye drops for a month and go back. He got all the info for flying to Manila for 3 days. Total cost there would be about $545 for all 4 tests, 3 days for 2 in a hotel, and taxi to/from airport, but the catch is it would be $2000 each to fly there!

He said the holes the guy in Seattle made are still open and fine. Her pressure was up a little at 17 last week but 14 and 15 today. 10 to 21 is normal without glaucoma and they want to see below 12 for post treatment glaucoma.

I think he was just playing it safe. He can send the Marshallese to Hawaii and they get it for free, so that is his standard practice for glaucoma checkups.

I think we'll go to Manila by boat some time next year.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Generator - watermaker working again

It only took 2 1/2 days to get the new pump installed, but it is working again. It should not have taken so long, but I decided to move the pump a few feet and that meant new hoses and wire to the pump. I had the generator working I thought. Then I turned on the high pressure pump for the watermaker and it sucked full of air! The last half day was trying to find the air leak in the new hose. I first thought that it must be an automatic, electric valve had quit, so I took it apart and cleaned it, but no, it still leaked. It turned out that I didn't tighten the hose clamps tight enough.

Trinda has had a rash for the past couple of months. She thought it was just heat rash. It finally got bad enough that I convinced her to go th the doctor. She was right, just heat rash. He did give her a steroid cream to use for 10 days though. Only $17 to visit a private doctor in a clinic. She asked about her prescriptions too. He couldn't give her the medicine. Said she had to go to the hospital. $17 for a hospital visit also. And they filled her 3 prescriptions free. It is curious that the prescriptions had the price on the label. One month of each is all they give at a time, but they added up to $117, but we didn't have to pay it? I guess it is a sort of socialized medicine.

She also asked to have her glaucoma checked. They have no machines here, not even the little air puff one. That is the result of socialized medicine! They also have a barometric chamber, for treating divers with the bends and burn patients. They have had it more than a year, but it has never been installed properly so it can't be used yet. No one will come here and finish the install because they bought it with grant money, but half from two different companies. They have very little in the way of facilities, for all the millions of dollars that US and foreign tax dollars have been donated.

The doctor was shocked at the state of her glaucoma damage. He wants to see the reports from her specialist from 2000 in Seattle. We have a copy here on the boat, so no problem. Since he has no equipment he suggested we go to Hawaii or the Philippines for a complete exam. After he reviews her papers next week we'll see what he thinks then. He did say that the "extra holes the drilled" were still open and clear, but he put her on eye drops in the mean time.

We thought we were on the other side of the world, but the Philippines are still 3000 miles further west! Hawaii is 1800 miles east and Seattle is 4000 miles east. Of course there are no cheep airline seats anywhere from here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Obituary for my Dear Uncle Jim Williamson

A memorial service conducted by family and friends is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 19th, at the First United Methodist Church in Portales to celebrate the life of Jim Williamson, 96, a Roosevelt County pioneer and rancher who died Wednesday at Roosevelt General Hospital. Following the service there will be a reception and time for visiting in the fellowship hall at the church.
Jim was born October 18, 1912, in Pecos, TX, to Asa Lee and Lucy Betty Hunt Williamson. At the age of three, he came with his family via covered wagon to a homestead in the sandhills of south Roosevelt County, joining other family members who were in the area.
Jim spent three years in England during World War II working as an aircraft mechanic with the Army Air Corps. Except for that time and his early childhood in Pecos, he lived all of his life within a few miles of the original family homestead in south Roosevelt County.
On November 26, 1957, in Cleveland, Ohio, he married Nancy Godwin with whom he shared his life for nearly 52 years. They honeymooned their way back to New Mexico as only Jim would, visiting the stockyards in Chicago and Kansas City along the way.
Although Jim's family farmed early on, it was raising and feeding cattle that became his true passion. He devoted his life to learning all he could about the cattle business. Besides doing everything he could to continually improve his herd and his ranch, he loved buying cattle from all across the southeastern United States to commercially feed.
He was a natural born salesman, and for several years in the early 1960s, he helped set up aerial spraying for brush control with ranches all over southeastern New Mexico.
Jim and Nancy had three children, and he was a devoted and involved father, driving countless miles to attend rodeos, ball games and academic events. The year he turned 83, he was thrilled to gain two granddaughters within seven months of each other.
Being involved in the community was very important to Jim. He was a longtime active member of the Portales Rotary Club and the Masonic Lodge, and served on the Roosevelt County Fair Board, the Roosevelt County Soil and Water Conservation District Board and the Dora School Board of Education for many years. In addition, he and Nancy enjoyed many years of light-hearted travel with the Conestoga Good Sam Club in Portales.
He had a special fondness for Mexico, having spent considerable time as a young man visiting a favorite uncle who ranched there. Many family vacations were spent in Mexico over the years, and he was proud to be one of the people who helped the Portales Rotary Club set up a sister-club relationship with the Rotary Club in Delicias, Chihuahua, many years ago. He cherished his Mexican friends on both sides of the border.
Throughout his life, Jim enjoyed dancing, rare steaks, the "House Special," and the chance to sit and tell stories and laugh. He loved being in the midst of social gatherings of friends and family members. His Fourth of July sandhill picnics were legendary for more than 40 years. Many people, both locally and from around the country, remember being taken by Jim over bouncing roads at dawn to watch the prairie chickens booming in the spring, then coming back to the house for a big breakfast cooked over an open fire in the yard.
He was a lifelong avid reader. As his vision blurred, he turned to books on tape through the New Mexico Library for the Blind and had listened to more than 900 books in the last few years.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Jo Harvey and Katie Littlefield, and his brother, Jack Williamson. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, of the family home; two sons and daughters-in-law, Stewart and Toni Williamson of Portales, and Gary and Christine Williamson of Reno, NV; a daughter and son-in-law, Betty Williamson and Milz Bickley of Pep; two beloved granddaughters, Chloe Williamson of Reno, NV, and Katie Bickley of Pep; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of wonderful friends.
Because of Jim's lifelong love of learning and education and ranching, and his belief that good causes should be financially supported, in lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions may be made to any of the following (or the cause of your choice): The New Mexico Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (Friends of the NMLBH, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, NM 87507); the Portales Public Library (218 South Avenue B, Portales, NM 88130); the Eastern New Mexico University Foundation (1500 South Avenue K, Station #8, Portales, NM 88130); or the Ranching Heritage Association (P.O. Box 43201, Lubbock, TX 79409).
Arrangements are by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales, 575-356-4455. Published in Clovis News Journal and the Portales News-Tribune from August 16 to August 17, 2009
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