This is where I will post updates from the crew as they are emailed to me. They will be posted with the most recent on top.
– Keeper of the Stuff
We were pulled out of the water this afternoon about 1:00, everything went well. Got the food cleaned out, Kip from ADELIA took some of the things and shared with several of the other boaters, main thing we had was some frozen fish, sure didn’t want to dump that. For the most part we did well not having much left over. Some things will keep til next year, so I’ll have a start.
Whangarei has been a great place to be for this last week, walking to everything we needed. We did get two cars to get us to the airport, as we couldn’t fit 4 adults and all of our luggage in one of these small cars. Our plans are to finish up with the Special Blend in the AM and leave for Auckland around noon tomorrow, hopefully we can meet up with Gerald parents and with Errol from IVY-RUBY andhis wife Cheryl (they have move here from South Africa.) all before we get on the plane Saturday night.
Can’t wait to see you all, it’s been a long time, don’t look forward to that long flight, but with every good thing there seems to be a little bad.
Will try to talk to you before we leave, if not maybe when we get to LA.
We packed boxes today and will ship or postal them tomorrow. Mike and Lauri got a car and will spend the next day or so looking around Whangarei. Jim and I will finish the boat packing and cleaning tomorrow and we will pull the boat out noon on Friday. Then we are going to head for Auckland either Fri afternoon or Saturday morning, then be on the plane Saturday night arriving home sometime before midnight Saturday WHEW!! will need a rest.
Can’t wait to see all of you, we’ll try to scype some tomorrow.
Finally we have wifi service and pretty good at that. am going to try a few pictures more later. Here are some of my underwater things, and our lunch in Tonga
Miss all of you so much I think we are looking at Fri or Sat coming home.
Lauri and I did laundry and shopped this AM, Jim and Mike started waxing the boat, I jumped in there also in the PM. We had a knock on the door tonight , it was Kip from Adelia. We hope to see some of the other people Tues night. Reva’s resturant here at the dock does a yatchies night and everyone comes. That will be a fun send off.
Let me hear from you all.
We had a beautiful day, sunny and cool. Jim is still fighting the fuel leak. Think we are going to pull the boat out of the water Monday. We still have things to do on it before we can leave. The stableizers are letting a little water in around the seals again, don’t need salt water inside the boat, mix that with the fuel and it’s too much to deal with
Lauri and I did some shopping, got to go to a real grocercy store and a small mall. It’s been a long time. Not much has changed though. Lot of baby doll looking cloths, is that what is in the states also?
Don’t know if we are going to be able to get wifi, so far none to the boat, most things are closed here Sat afternoon and Sunday, looks like Monday will be busy getting the boat out, lot to do. Jim is sorta over it at the moment.
Cannot believe we are actually in New Zealand, wow have we come a long way. We sure have had a wonderful ride, and some said Martha wouldn’t be able to do it ——WELL!!!!
Last night was surely a bumpy one we were all glad to get here after that. No way were we ever in any danger. We are tied to the dock at the Town Basin Marina 35*43′.476S/174*19′.599E we will be here until we pull the boat out of the water at Dockland 5 just up the creek.
It is really beautiful here moutains and hills are so green, also cool, we have on the heat tonight. Jim is still trying to locate our fuel leak and smell, maybe tomorrow. We stepped of the boat right into Reva’s resturant for dinner what a treat.
Time for bed we are all tired, hope all of you are doing OK. Hope Dane is having a better day.
Miss all of you so much, we’ll see you real soon
WE DID IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4:00PM Friday, Nov 09 2007 we have cleared customs quite painless operation. They did take Jim’s Slim Jims and the dried beans. Got to keep the shells, baskets, etc.
We are now on our way to Town Basin Marina, will be there for a few days regrouping to head home.
The Last 100 nm
It’s 9:00pm here and we have less than 100nms to go. 15hrs28min. We are doing 6.2kts / 109* heading. 34*28′.999S/175*38′.650E Should arrive around noon tomorrow Nov 9. The 11th will be 9 months since we left the Keys WOW!!! What a ride. We have had rip roaring seas today, wind has been back up again, we all just had to pick a spot and stay in it most of the day. Don’t want this to be over yet, but I think we are all ready to see land. We have had a real bad fuel smell since we got fuel the other day in Tongatapu, no matter what Jim does it’s still hanging around. Giving us all headaches and a little nausa. Hard to find where the smell is coming from in a bumpy sea.
Will write more later having a hard time just trying to sit up and control my body
Our picture perfect day yesterday did not carry thru to today, wind is back up, seas are bumpy ad rolly again. One of those days it throws us all over the boat. Core muscles will be in good shape by the end of this trip.
We are starting to get anxious about our arrival into NZ, they are very strict about what can be brought into the country. NO meat, dairy, grains, rice,eggs, fruits, veggies ect. Customs will board us before we can enter, they will take any of this off and destroy it. Some have said they might also take baskets, weavings, coral, shells, ect. we will be very open and honest and hope they will also be fair.
10:15pm we are 32*32′.570S/177*07′.797E OH WOW, I didn’t realize we were East! 205* heading 6.6 kts, 37hrs56min at this speed. One more night after this and we’ll be done with this wonderful journey for 2007. Cannot believe we have come this far, and that it’s almost over. What a grand time we have had. Just missed everyone lots!!!
We are all doing good, still a bit green at times, especially today!
We have had a little problem again with the generator, seems to have a fuel leak we cannot find———so water again is very dear. We sure don’t need air conditioning any more, we’re starting to add more cloths. We’re just layering all the dirty ones since we cannot run the washing machine. Keeps them off the floor.
We hope to have wifi at the Marina so we can send some of our pictures. We’ll keep you posted on what’s, what!
We have had the most fabulous day out here on the water. It has truly been a picture perfect day. Very little wind, one or two rain showers, sun most of the day, the seas are calm, flat at times, we have pictures that look like we are on a lake. What a change from 2 days ago. We did not stop at Minerva Reef, we have such a good weather window, didn’t want to loose it. Some of the boats that were 2 days behind us did stop there today, there is to be some bad weather around the 11th. They would have hit it right on. We should be OK! We might hit some more really rough patches before we arrive.
It is 9:00PM on Tues, 20*12′.877S/178*41′.966W 210* heading, traveling 6.5kts. 397.2nm to go.
How are you all doing? When are they coming for my car? You girls HAVE done a great job while we’ve been out here, been a lot on you plates, I’ve been sick for 2 days with a headache (think it’s the coming home nerves) Cannot believe this is almost over, I sure have enjoyed it so much, look forward to next year.
Hopefull NZ will have wifi so I can send some pictures, got some good one, a lot of real funnies also.
Hey all, we are into our 3rd night, everything is going very well. Few of us feeling a little icky, nothing real bad. Seas are still very bumpy sometimes like a washing machine. We do have stars out tonight, fist time in a week.
25*52′.549S/178*17′.969W 691nm to go, computer tells us 99 hours 29 mins. Heading is 198* @ 6.5kts.
Special Blend is doing very well, seas are a bit bumpy and rolly. Have had 3 big dolphin on but lost all three. One was actually IN the boat and slid out under the door. We lost probably and hours time, but we have now put the rods away for a while. We are doing 7.2 kts @ 1900 rpms ( that is real good for us) 896.1nm to go to Dockland 5 in Whangarei, New Zealand.
The sun is out for the first time in days—yeah! Wind is still up abit, but we can take it. Should calm more by tomorrow. Lauri and I cooked a few dishes before we left, had chicken and dumpling last night. It was enjoyed by all. It’s much easier to warm something in the microwave than start from scratch. Especially when it takes all you can do to stand up.
Lesley send us some of the info on Menerva Reef, we have not made the decision to stop or not, it will depend on what the weather will be like closer to NZ if we take a day or so there.
Much love to all,
We left Tongatapu at 3:30pm, 1032 miles to go. our heading is 211* at the moment we are doing 6.0kts. Position is 21*07′.097S/175*26′.641W. 173hours 51 min and 10 seconds till we reach New Zealand. Seas are not to bad, supposed to get better tomorrow , wind is about 10kts. That is also supposed to get better. All of us are doing fine, I am on the 1st night watch, will wake Lauri in 2 or 3 hours.
We will keep you updated daily, sometimes maybe twice. We have our fingers crossed it will all go without a hitch.
All is well here tonight the wind finally dropped below 20kts, it’s 9:30pm and it is down to 11.0. We were able to take the dink to Big Mama’s Yacht Club for dinner and visit with the other yachties. Everyone is a buzz as the weather window opens tomorrow for us to leave, most are leaving Saturday, Fri is not suppose to be a good luck day to set out on a passage, Jim says after we fuel tomorrow, we’re out of here. Luck or not! Will update you tomorrow.
Well we have had several VERY uneventful days! RAIN>RAIN>RAIN—- WIND>WIND>WIND!!! Some gust up to 35kts. Jim did get the generator repaired today YEAH!! we have the air on as we speak. As you well know we also have no wifi, I do have some pictures I would love to share — later.
I think we are looking around the 2nd or 3rd to head out of here for New Zealand. there’s a whole group of boats waiting to leave around the same times. Comfort in numbers.
We did hear from SILKIE, they made it to Australia without any hitches PRISCILLA was a few hours behind them, also safe and sound. ADELIA and CHANTEL are already in NZ, both had a rough ride because they were anxious to get there.
Jim had quite a trip himself to NZ Tonga almost would not let him back in, but he pulled the “good ‘ol boy” and here he is.
all is well. lots of stories and stuff, parts look right, will know today when i put them on. I didn’t miss anything here.
Another rainy,cloudy, windy day. Lauri and I went into town with Jim this morning about 11:0.0 we dropped him off at the DHL office then we headed to our favorite little cafe for the best cappuccino I have ever had, and pancakes with bananas and syrup, yum!!! Wandered around the small stores and the market, got a taxi back to the wharf to get Big Mama’s water taxi back to the boat. As we are sitting there ALMOST dry @ 4:45pm I see Jim walk by in his yellow rain jacket. He had not been back to the boat at all. He said– come on with me in the dink, I’m leaving for NZ in an hour and a half. Thought we were pulling anchor and heading out. NOT———-he had a flight out at 9:00pm to NZ to go get the boat parts we need, he’ll be back tomorrow night. Everyone hold your breath, as he has rented a car to drive the 2 hours from Auckland to Whangarei (Fangari) New Zealand, on the wrong side of the road. you know how his dyslexia is. I sure hope he makes it back. IF they sent us the right parts, we can get the generator fixed so we can make water, run the washing machine, and we don’t need the air now, but we can have heat. Mike, Lauri and I will boat sit til he gets back. Must run the engine off and on to keep the batteries charged. If the rain lets up we hope to snorkel tomorrow.
your martha has a headache so this is in lou of her note, we are back in tongapu harbor because of wind that will be blowing next couple days, i’m going to start tomorrow in preparing for pasage to nz, parts made it to docxkland 5 in nz, charlie is sending them on here, should have by tues or wed.
Really nice and cool here, 72 tonight, hope right parts comes in for generator so we can run reverse cycle a/c systems if we need to on passage. well griffins have retired to thier stateroom, so i guess its time for bed, its almost 9:00
ta ta until later
We had a really good day, this am we moved the boat to the port area and took on water, Lauri and i shopped with the local produce people. They do have great tomatoes, cucumbers, and some very odd root things, all shapes and sizes. Toro we have eaten but have not tried to cook any. We are finding wonderful apples from New Zealand, canned corn beef is still a really big thing here also.
We are at a new island 21*02.159S/175*08.008W not sure of the name. We walked around it this afternoon not finding any shells or coral to speak of, before dark we went in to start a fire to cook fish. Not sure what the tides had done, but coral (big pieces) and shells were everywhere. Picked up Dane some neat things. We cooked on the big white sandy beach with Tom and Ellen/RASAMANIS and their daughter. The moon is still almost full, what a memory making night. The wind picked up and the waves were beating the dingy around as we tried to get in it to come back to the boat. Jim said “someone is going to get hurt if we don’t hurry and get in” just then, a wave caught us and they dink pushed me down and I was half way under it. Not hurt at all just soaked and sandy. Thank goodness I had not used MY water allotment for the day, so I got to have a warn shower when we got back.
Hope tomorrow is another pretty day, this area has some beautiful reefs, sure do want to look at them. Need to practice my underwater photography.
Mike and Lauri say HI!!!
Hey it’s 12:15am here , I can’t get to sleep.
Lauri and I went to the market today, big one like the one in Tahiti. Did get Brad a little something. This is a good size city, we have sseen very little of it. I think we are going to some of the other “out” islands, weather is not great, but maybe we can fish or snorkel a bit. It looks like it will be after the 4th of Nov before we get a window of good weather to head to NZ.
Hello All! We are having a ball – we checked into Tongatapu this morning – Jim did the dirt work and Martha and I went to the market. We got to shore by going to Big Momma’s cafe and catching a water taxi – then took a real taxi on shore. Jim left to catch the taxi back at 11:00, and Martha and I stayed on and explored a lot. The next water taxi was at 4:00, so about 3:00 it started pouring rain. We stayed fairly dry and rode the water taxi back to Big Momma’s. We waited for Jim, who came dressed in his rain gear, complete with boots, and nothing but his beady little eyes showing. He was kind enough to bring Martha and I a garbage bag each with holes cut out for our arms and head. What a guy!! We laughed the whole way back – Mike got plenty of photos to share. A true Kodak moment.
Weather permitting we will find a snorkle hole tomorrow. On Sunday everything is closed – ALL DAY – so may take a water taxi to another island. I plan to post a Barnacle Scraper log tonight – oh dear! We’re 21, 07, 479S and 175, 09, 869W.
We love you all,
Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad
We are now at anchor off Pangaimotu, Tongatapu 21*07′.501S/175*09′.823. We had a wonderful passage, fairly calm water a little wind (in the right direction) and a bright almost full moon. One of our near perfect nights. Caught a dolphin just before dark, now just how much better can you get?
We went into Big Mama’s “Yacht Club” for drinks and a hamburger. Lot of our boating friends are here waiting for a good weather window before heading out to NZ. Always fun to talk strategy with everyone. Tomorrow is a big day, have to check in with the officials and take the laundry for someone to do. NO generator———NO washing machine!! Lauri is starting to hyperventilate. So must calm her down. We are looking forward to doing some shopping, snorkeling, maybe some fishing before we leave.
We are on the move 4:00pm Wednesday. headed down to Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, about a 24hr trip. We are now passing BOWERS ROCK, we do hope to go past it, not hit it. It sticks up out of the water, the water around it is 500 to 700 feet.
Nuku’alofa is where the King resides. We do hope to get the parts we need for the generator, and it will be our check out point for NZ. Snorkeling and fishing are supposed to be very good around there. We will be here until the end of the month, or when the weather guru gives us the go ahead.
Lauri got to experience a salt water hair wash and shower today, builds character!! Gives a new meaning to squeaky clean. It is really hot trying to sleep with out the air cond. As we get closer to NZ air cond will not be a big thing.
Yesterday was a very interesting day. We had a beautiful snorkeling trip, the reef was just out of this world. Lot of very colorful fish and a sea of coral. At 1:00PM we met Linda at the wharf and walked to her house, I was the first in the house, Jamima and Oka were fanning the food to keep the flies away. The table was set and food already on the table. Toro leaves stuffed with corned beef topped with coconut milk cream, fried hot dogs, white yams, and some-kind of fish. I pushed mine around on the plate, shared one of the hot dogs with Lauri as Jim and Mike ate all of theirs. Now while all of this went on Jamima, Oka AND Linda fanned US and the food making sure we enjoyed every bite. We had candy for the kids and corn meal for Linda (she had no clue what to use it for) she did ask for batteries, DVD’s, headache meds and a few other things. They gave us papayas, lemons, mangoes and brought a huge stalk of bananas to the boat. Jim shared some of his fish lures and line with Oka.
We were ready to do another snorkel trip when we looked out, the wind & clouds were rolling in. Our anchor started to pull so we pulled up and reset, spent the rest of the night taking turns doing anchor watch.
A boat next to us lost his anchor and had to motor back and forth all night.
Today (Sunday) has been overcast, rainy, and very windy. We went to another island could not be satisfied we would be ok for the night, so we are back at the dock in Pangai. Guess we will be here until we set out for New Zealand. The temperature has dropped, about 74 degrees a welcome thing for Mike and Lauri. I have on a jacket.
We are having yellow fin tuna I caught on our way back.
We only thought we were in paradise before, Ha’afeua, Tonga is beautiful. We we were not here an hour before a boat came out and one of the locals invited us to her house for a Tongan food. That’s tomorrow. On our way here Lauri caught a dolphin, and I had a marlin play with my bait. It was an incrediable day and to night the moon is out and all the stars. We hope tomorrow will be another sunny day with no rain. We did get in a short snorkel before dinner.
All of us are doing well. Mike’s knee seems to be holding up.
Do let us hear from you, gets lonely out here.
Love to all Martha
They there, we had a really good day, Jim had to do the check in thing, we had brunch at the Mariners Cafe, when we got back to the boat one of the young local guys was washing the dingy, we got fresh fruit and veggies at the market then Special Blend headed out to do some fishing. We found a great fishing hole yesterday, Mike and Jim could hardly wait to go back.
WE-L-L-L we did see a big marlin, it rolled at our bait, tried to bottom fish, nothing there, rain storm came up so we headed back to the dock. Did get to enjoy the beauty of a pod of whales. we were not close enough for good pictures, but the blow, roll and tail show was wonderful. Before dinner we had an unofficial visit from the customs guy, just wanted to see the boat, he joined us for a drink and invited us to the singing competition tomorrow night. His brother in law came by and offered to take us around the island to sight see. There are several other boats here also, just none of our special friends.
Much love to all,
Hi – we traveled all night last night and arrived first thing this morning in the second set of islands. Martha caught a dolphin and Jim caught a big 40 lb something (we gave it away to four guys in a little open skiff that had pigs on it). We had delicious stew/soup for dinner, fresh baked bread – yum! Last night had two fellow boaters over for some fresh fish, grits and hushpuppies – really good. We took a little strowl around town took 10 minutes) but will explore more tomorrow. We’re having a great time.
All take care, and know that we love you! Hugs and kisses to all, including Boomer. 19 48′.220S, 174 21″.107W
Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad
It’s 11:00pm here, a supply ship just arrived in the little town(Pangai) where we are docked, half the town is out to meet it. Of course Jim had to check it out also, Mike and Lauri have been asleep for hours. We had a good day, rain in the am, cleared this afternoon, beautiful sunset. We will be here tomorrow to check into the Ha’apai Group then we’ll move out to another island. We had a great fishing day, got a big jack cravel(?) about 60/70lbs and a nice mahi-mahi. Gave the jack to some locals when we got here
Arrived safe and sound in the fist islands of the Ha’apai Group. Lauri and I walked the beach around one of the islands, Jim took the dink to explore. Near where we are anchored is the most active of Tonga’s volcanoes. We can see it in the distance not sure just how far it is, maybe too far for the dingy. Today was rainy and overcast again, so we didn’t get to do any snorkeling, maybe tomorrow.
Got a note from Denise/ADELIA said she was putting some underwater pictures/video I took on her web site (www.adelia-sails.com) might check it out. They headed out today for New Zealand.
Yesterday as we cleared the islands of VaVa’U Mike landed a 40lb wahoo. WAHOO!! fresh fish, and was it good. We had Tom and Ellen/RASA MANIS for dinner. We are just way busy having too much fun. We have laughed, told stories, reminisced, laughed some more. Mike and I go back to the 4th grade. Wow that’s a long time.
Tonight I nodded off to sleep while Tom and Ellen were here, Lauri punched me and I jumped and said WHAT!! Time for bed, Lauri said she would write tomorrow.
let us hear from you,
It is 6:00pm our time Monday Oct 15th, we are on our way out of the harbor in Neiafu, VaVa’U, Tonga headed to the Ha’apai Island Group about 70 miles south of here. Will be an overnighter for us.
We have had the most incredible few days here. I have never seen so may beautiful fish and coral, last night we hiked up a little hill on one of the islands, when we got to the other side it was cliffs looking out on the open ocean. Just breath taking. We cooked chicken on the fire and visited with some of the other boaters. It was dark when we got back to the dingy, there was a crescent moon and Christy’s bowl full of stars. the wifi was too slow today for us to get any pictures out, besides it took us most of the day to get checked out and shop for our trip.
Hopefully somewhere will have wifi before we head out to New Zealand.
We are all doing good, Lauri is a pooped little puppy today, but she has done great in the water. the heat for the past few days has been brutal and has whipped us all., sun is starting to set and we’ll be in the open water in about 45 mins to an hour. We’ll update you in our AM.
Love to all,
Hey there, we have been having so much fun, it has just been non stop days. Lauri and I spent most of our day walking on an incredible beach and snorkeling, Jim and Mike fished. Had to look at all the pictures we took, then watch a beautiful sunset. Whew! We sure can cram pack a day. We are 18*41′.969S/173*55′.952W Moorings anchorage # 30. Monday we will go back into town and check out of here to the next group of islands.
I have never had so much fun snorkeling. I love to watch the little anemonefish they come up almost to you then dart back into the anemones. these aren’t the clown fish, have great pictures. Hope to send them out before we leave—— if the wifi will cooperate!
We had a wonderful day, sunshine, snorkeling, whales, and caves. Underwater water was beautiful, we got to show Mike and Lauri some of our favorite coral and fish areas. We went to Mariner’s cave did not find the entrance, it is underwater and in about 15ft.. As we looked for it something caught my eye, whales were breeching and blowing off in the distance, a little too far for us in the dingy. Maybe tomorrow on the whales. We did go into Swallows Cave in the dingy, several others that were a little smaller. Good day had by all, we’ll really sleep good tonight.
Hope all of you are doing well, miss you much. The pictures were great, boys sure have gotten taller, thanks for the DrPepper champaign!! Brad— loved the card!! thanks for all the cards, books etc, awsome birthday, Thanks!!!!!
Love all of you,
Mike and Lauri arrived safe and sound, Aquarium cafe held them for us until we got there to pick them up, we have talked non stop, it’s 11:30pm, latest we have stayed up in months, plus we have not had rain since they got here. Tomorrow is snorkel day again!!!
Love to all more tomorrow.
Hey I had a really good birthday DAY, just after dinner that night I started feeling sick, continued all night and thru the 8th (your 8th) feeling better today 10th (our 10th). It is rainy, dingy was full this am, bilge pump went out So Jim donned his rain gear to to start a new one. Looks like another shutin day, maybe Mike and Lauri will bring good weather.
Past few days have been just wonder snorkeling, we had about 10 days of terrible weather, today has started to rain again, maybe it will blow over so we can go into town for birthday dinner.
We had a large day, this morning we snorkeled the island area we were in for 2 hours, incredible coral, rocks, ledges went from a foot to 60 feet in just a few hundred yards. Had lunch moved the Special Blend to another island location and snorkeled some more, fished a little (no fish) then ended our day at a traditional Tongan feast. Plan to go back next Saturday and take Mike and Lauri, it was that good. The spread was cooked in the ground, served on banana leaves covering the tables, “dishes” were coconuts, banana stalks cut in half and some sort of melon haves we want need to be rocked to sleep tonight. This is the first full day of sun we’ve had in about 10 days, we are afraid it will be rainy and overcast tomorrow so we tried to do everything in a day.
Miss all of you so much, wish you had been here today WHAT A FUN DAY!!
Love to all,
RAIN, RAIN,RAIN, today has been so bad we have not even gotten off the boat, part of the day it looked like it might snow, fine mist rain, wind, no sun, and cool. Tom and Suzie left early AM. ADELIA & SOUTHWIND III pulled in the anchorage so we’ve had a rain party. We’re even breaking out the ol’ ElPasso taco stuff. Party Time!!! Some kids paddled out to the boat selling papayas and cocnut, we bought all they had. Felt so bad for them, it’s crummy outside.
Hope all of you are doing good, miss you. Can’t wait to see Mike and Lauri,
Love you much,
Yeah for me finally got on line and able to send something. These are pix of some of the caves we were in and snorkeling. have had fun with the underwater camera, has been very overcast with little sun so not the best underwater shots, but I am still learning.
Oh by the way check out Priscilla’s web site Suzie put a video of the whales, it’s really awsome of the whale jumping out of the water, I was in the water at the time.
Love to all of you,
Well Friday was a good day, we did 2 snorkel trips, Jim and Tom tried to find the grouper Tom saw yesterday no luck. Did see a whole lot of different things today, the squid were very curious they look so funny in the water, there are a lot of very poisonous fish and shells around here, and so many different kinds of coral not real colorful. Something called a carpet coralliomorph, 15 different kinds, some can be 30ft across, as a general rule coralliomorphs have beaded tentacles, when disturbed can shoot masses of stinging threads thru a lycra suit. We did see one about 2ft x2ft. It is ugly looking. The fish loved to play in it. I could have floated all day and looked at the beautiful bottom and fish. We heard there was an octopus but missed that.
We had another hole in the dingy, Jim had to patch it, got it during the 40kt winds the other night it really bounced around, we had it tied to the back of the boat. Guess it hit somehow, but we are good to go now.
Sometime tomorrow I guess we’ll go back to the harbor in the town area, the market is great, locals have crafts and home grown produce, we actually got okra. Besides we want to go to our “dance” place again. Need to do a send off party for Priscilla. Boohoo they are parting ways!
For those of you that don’t know Andy, he is one of Jim’s highschool friends. Here is an excerpt from Andy’s website goandy.easyjournal.com that tells what happened to Andy:
In May 2003 Andy suffered a small stroke. It happened in the midst of an IRS audit (obviously a time of some stress). In May 2004, the day before he was to leave for Austin for Jed and Virginia Welford’s wedding, he had another small stroke. Testing revealed that Andy has both a patent foramen ovale (PFO or hole in his heart) and lupus anticoagulant, an automimmune disorder. His neurologist, hematologist and cardiologist were in the midst of trying to decide on a course of action when he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage on July 15.
Andy’s wife Tina started a blog to update everyone on Andy’s condition. In May of 2005 Andy was able to take over his blog.
It was after Andy’s strokes that Jim decided he would live out his dream NOW.
Much Love to Andy’s Family,
Just opened an email from Bob Duggan, Andy passed away on the 25th sometime during the evening. Sorry we can’t be there for Tina, we’ll try to visit her later. Andy is why we are out here doing this now! This one is for Andy. Sometime life just isn’t fair. Dance while you can!!
LOVE TO ALL OF YOU
All is Well on Thursday
We had a real blow last night, 40 kt winds lasted for hours. Priscilla had the roughest time here but they are OK just not much sleep. a boat in another anchorage actually was beached, we here headed there this AM to help them off but when the tide came up they were able to get off, so Jim went fishing .No fish.
We will be at out anchorages for a couple more days. Then back to the little town, Neiafu, I think Jim and I want to go dancing again 🙂
Tina and Andy stay on my mind. So sad. If you hear anything let us know, I don’t think we’ll call yet.
Well we just had a FUN evening had Tom and Suzie over just about the time they left a squall came in , we moved to one of the out anchorages today, winds hit 39 kt we drifted some so did the other boats no one hit, at least not yet, it just picked back up again. No sleep here til we’re sure all is OK. This is without a doubt the worst weather we have had the whole trip.
We did do a dingy ride today into some of the caves and snorkeled some of the area, saw a lion fish up close and personal and got a good picture, also lot of the blue star fish here. Really look forward to tomorrow to see what we can see. We have the dive sled with us, the one we use to hunt lobster in the Keys, if we find some place shallow enough we are going to us it. Most place go from 200ft to 2ft within a few yards. Really something.
I have tried 5 times to send you pictures of our whale watch/swim it was awesome. We both were able to get in the water twice with the whales. There was a mom, baby and an escort, not sure if it was male for female. We spent the first 4 hours seeing nothing, then we spotted this group, the weren’t real social but we got to hang with them for a short period of time. Denise was taking pictures from the upper deck of the boat, she has us snorkeling and the whales just beyond us. WISH ALL OF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THIS!!
Very quiet around here today, the Tongans are very religious people and do nothing on Sundays except church. they ask the boaters to respect their quiet day.
Last night as I said we went to a jam fest at a restaurant on another island. Had to take a taxi, then a boat taxi (the guy was a fisherman by day and water taxi by night,) think he forgot to wash off the boat, smelled real good!!! We waded in the water to and from the boat, climbed up the hill to the restaurant taking our shoes off before we entered. Once there we realized we should have stayed at the Tongan feast where the taxi dropped us off. We were served very expensive Tapas that were awful, drinks were expensive and the music was ….WELLLLLLLLLL! like sitting at Idywilde Elementary School in Sanford Fl, listening to the recorder band play. This group of yatchies were not as talented as the group in Suwarrow. They would be best playing for themselves.
The best nights entrainment was the goat and the dog that came in and out freely,(not taking off their shoes), to the shock of the Moms and kids in the audience, that sexually frustrated goat just about wore that dog out on stage while the “band” played. We can home hungry and aggravated we had been taken so. On our way back we stopped to say hello to some of our friends that stayed at the Tongan feast. Jim and the local kids ate the scraps off the table. As we stared to get into the dingy we heard REAL music. like the kids with the pied piper we followed the sound. One guy with a rhythm key board played music we couldn’t sit still to. I had a big good looking Tongan hunk dance around me till I got up and danced with him, and the prettiest Tongan girl pulled Jim on the floor, we came away smiling and congratulating ourselves for ending our evening on such a good “note”
Today was so much fun, what a beautiful place people so nice, tonight’s get together was terrible, but Jim and I went to a place after that had live music. A young Tongan buck zomed in on me and the prettiest young Tongan girl ask Jim to dance and she dedicated a song to us. Country Roads. We had a ball. All the rest of the old farts went to bed, can you believe we stayed up?
The cigarette thing! that’s what drove that community in New Potatoes. you know how Dr Phil says you must find a childs currency, well that was all those people could think about. Money meant nothing, I think Dad wrote something about it. Or did you not get Jim’s email? Plus they wanted everything and did not trade much if anything in return. It’s been the only place I was really glad to leave. I may or maynot get the weaving I traded stuf for. “5th Season” is supposed to bring it to me. At least I left hair products, deod, old towels, stuff I wasn’t using. Wish I had just given that also to the family that was burned out.
VaVa’u is very nice, Mike and Lauri are going to love it, it’s more Americanized than American Samoa in some ways. Several Americans have business’ here. and they do cater to the yatchiting community. Tomorrow we are going on a go-cart tour 15 of us from the boats, anxious to see how that goes.
We are in VaVa’U 18*39″S?173*56″W this is really something it’s a group of islands with 42 different anchorages. The Moorings have a place here, they charter sailboats. I think I might do a whale tour, if they find whales we can swim with them.
We are really tired, more later.
It’s Wednesday 10:30pm, we left New Potatoes around 9:30 this morning. Special Blend is 17*08’S/174*02’W 89.22 miles from VaVa’U heading 178* @ 6.0kt. It has been really rough, the fridge/freezer combo in the stairwell dumped everything as I tried to get something out. Have decided that is not a good place for that design. Think I will let Nordhavn know.
We were glad to leave new potatoes, the cigarette thing got tiring, Jim couldn’t fish, snorkeling wasn’t great and it rained and rained and rained. We did enjoy the fellowship of the cruisers.
Rained again today, just not all day, we did some snorkelng good but not Suwarrow or Fakarava. Hope VaVa’U will be better. We will leave here in the morning.4 boats came in this afternoon, SILKIE, ASYLUM, 5TH SEASONS, AND ROSI MANIS. We had them all for dinner Tom and Suzie were her also, Jim did his garlic pasta with marlin and tuna.
Tom and Susan(SILKIE) are headed ti Fiji then on to Australia so we want see then again, we have been on the same track with them since Panama, John went through the canal with us. Sad saying goodbye.
It’s official, Mike and Lauri Griffin will join us on the 10th or so of Oct. what a great birthday present for me. They will make the trip to New Zealand with us.
Will up date you on our passage tomorrow, should be a 1 day trip.
Rained again most of the day. We took some things into the island today one of the families had a fire and lost everything day before yesterday. Everyone was OK, the ladies that weave were making a roof from palm fronds and a group of men were making a make shift house.
Tonight we had Sia and Niko for dinner, she cooked the lunch for us on the beach yesterday. I baked bread, sheppards pie and my apple salad, They speak very good English, she said some of the ladies in the village ask if I had any lotions, shampoos, conditioners, lipstick ect I would like to trade for their weavings. Guess they had me pegged for the type to have those things????? Tomorrow I will go in to see what they have. Jim is going with Niko to the volcano island to get his parents. Should be a fun day.
Today we had a pic nick at one of the out islands, Sia from the village cooked and invited the boaters, she spread mats on the ground and laid out the food. I took my peach cobbler not a morsel left. She had the pig roast the first night we were here and banished from the island. Sia has called us on the radio several time “SPECIAL BLONDE, SPECIAL BLONDE” and of course, I MARTA!!! Had a great day, just the thing Jim loves. I have invited she and her husband to dinner Tues night.
They make the most beautiful mats here tomorrow I’m going into the village(if it doesn’t rain) and take pictures.
It rained so hard this morning, worst we’ve had, as I was drinking my coffee saw a sailboat pull anchor and float right into another boat. Jim radioed Blue Moon ( He is from St Pete) they were asleep, also we the people on the moving boat, to tell them a collision was about to happe.n people came running out in all stages of dress. No one was hurt just some damage to the other guys solar panel.
By mid afternoon it had cleared a bit so we took the dingy outside the shallow reef area so Jim could fish, I had my snorkel stuff. About a mile away from the boat is a small island we walked around that, very jagged coral, but got to see and take a picture of a BLUE star fish. Oh! My! so beautiful. Jim quickly bored of that so back into the dink to fish. Wind blowing 15 to 20, no need to go INTO the water to snorkel. We picked our way through the shallow area not even a foot at times out to the deeper water, 30, 60, 90ft. Then swells got too big, just at that minute I saw a whale about 75 yards beyond us. My heart just jumped. It was so big, we hung around for a while to watch it, what a thrill! Not sure what kind and didn’t get pictures, too rough, it got a little closer but a 12ft boat is just too small to play with whales. and I wasn’t ready to swim with one yet. Maybe later. We understand when we get to VaVa’U,Tonga we will get to hear them singing.
We arrived 4:30pm,Tues, (WED) in Tonga, Niuatoputapu Island, the cruisers refer to it as New Potatoes.
15*56′.416S/173*46′.265W a whale was there to greet us blowing twice. Such a thrill. Right away we were invited into a pig roast, knowing we had to check in with the authorities before we went ashore we went anyway. the customs lady met us before we could get to the pig and very sternly informed us we must get back on the boat immediately. That she would deal with us tomorrow. Hope she doesn’t send us home.
This island is VERY different from the ones we have seen before, lot of pigs, horses, goats just running loose,a horse was chasing a dog when we got to shore.So far no one has been happy to see us. Guess we’ll learn to follow the rules. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
Priscilla and Adelia will arrive later tonight or in the morning. We are tired and going to bed.
Love to all
To: Special Blend
From: POPONUT TRAVEL (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: MARY ANN HORNSBY
Date: 9/10/2007 3:15:03p
Hope all is well with your sailing, and for Mary Ann, she is doing
great. We will see her off today. She is scheduled to depart Pago Pago @
6:30 p.m. to Apia. She is connecting on NZ flight to Los Angeles and on
Mary Ann had a great weekend. She attended my niece’s wedding (wish you
and hubby were there), enjoyed herself. Yesterday we took her to a
chinese restaurant for lunch, then tour 1/2 way around the west side of
the island, again she enjoyed herself.
Dave (my husbad) picked her up this morning and took her to breakfast,
then came in to the office. Thank God for the travel insurance, they took
care all of her flights.
When you get back to Florida, you can see our pictures(taken in the
office) plus the wedding pictures and more that we took of ourselves with
Have a happy and safe sailing!
We have been in Pago Pago, American Samoa for over a week 6 out of 7 days it rained and rained and rained. Team that with the smell from Charlie the tuna packing plant and the trash in the water it has not been our best anchorage… in spite of all that it is beautiful and the people are some of the nicest and most helpful we’ve met.
Pago Pago has a yacht club, it would remind you of an American Legion in a small town in the states. we have had several gatherings with boaters and locals. Last night was a Pizza Hut party. The bowling club had their awards ceremony night before last.
The island is very spread out, the west end is more traditional, the shopping, Cost U Less, KS market, KFC, Pizza Hut and Checkers is about 10 miles South of the harbor. It takes about 45 min on the funniest little bus to get there. Toyota has two dealerships so we rented a car for a few days to make it easier. We found lot of American products we know and love. I am getting used to powdered milk and New Zealand canned butter ……….but nothing beats a RITZ.
In some ways they are very Americanized here, but have kept their Samoan culture alive. Their Kin are buried in the front yards, families have covered gathering places for funerals, weddings ect., and the school kids wear the traditional lava-lava wrap “skirt” to school (boys and girls) with the school logo on them, sent Dane and Brad each one. men wear an I E Faitaga (wrap with pockets and belt loops) Jim’s new attire.
Christy ask me the other day what us up with the hair-do!!! WELL I’ll tell ya! The humidity is about 200%, any trip to shore is in the dingy,wind blowing 20kt, and a 2ft chop on the water. Mary Ann said from now on she’ll never feel right unless she sits in a puddle of water before she goes any where. Kinda hard to keep a DO.
Mary Ann got to experience the joys of being anchored in a bay that is less than perfect. There is no trash in the Pacific cause it’s all in the Pago Pago Bay. No way were we making water in that, so Navy showers were in order, most of the time without hot water, and no washing cloths. She did discover it was a bit more physically challenging than she was ready to do, and that a passage might not be a good thing for her. We started looking into getting her flight changed to leave from Samoa rather than Tonga. With a great stroke of luck we popped into PoPoNut Travel, Priscilla and her family were just the people we needed.We used their phone to call the travel agent in Winter Haven and found it was going to take several days to do the paper work right and coordinate the few fights available back. Special Blend needed to head out because of time and weather, so Priscilla said no problem they would care for Mary Ann—– and did they! They have taken her to a traditional Samoan wedding and reception, breakfast, lunch and dinner and will get her to the airport. We did enjoy Mary Ann so much the time she spent with us, and our boating family made her feel so welcome.
We are now moving on to Tonga 2:30 PM Sept 10, 14*31’S/171*00’W 178.2 miles to Tonga heading 245*.
We will spend 5 to 6 weeks there. Mike and Lauri Griffin will join us for the last leg to New Zealand. Yep, finally decided where to end this years journey.
Love to all
Just a little note to all, our ocens email will not except attachments, pictures ect. Probably when we leave here (Pago Pago) all we will have is the ocens mail. Bummer!!! Don’t forget about us though, gets a bit lonely out here not hearing from everyone.
Much love to all
New Pago Pago Mayor
I hope all is well with you and that you’re not working to hard, We are certainly enjoying Pago Pago. We have a lot of boats in the bay right now so there ia a lot of people to visit with. I met this nice looking gentlemen dress in the traditional Samoan atire, he looked a lot like your dad. I think he is the new Pago Pago Mayor. I tought you might enjoy the picture. A big hug to both you and Brad. Hope to hear from you soon.
BACK UP AND RUNNING
Just will take a little work to get the old monitor off the laptop and mount the new 17″ SOMEWHERE, gosh have I missed this connection. We rented a car yesterday stocked up on groc, beer etc. today we toured the island it is just beautiful, and the people are so nice. Where we are anchored the mountains are breathtaking, but Star Kiss has a tuna processing plant. DON”T EVER WANT ANOTHER CAN OF TUNA> smell is horrible. The water is the worst we’ve seen, dirty and loads of trash. We have said before we have not seen anything floating here in the Pacific like in the Atlantic. Well…….. thats because of of the floating stuff i is in this harbor.
Mary Ann is having a ball, says if she had to go home tomorrow it’s been a great trip.
Please send emails and messages……we miss the communication.
“Lesley, I have a problem” is all I could understand through Martha’s tears. Of course my heart stopped. “Mom calm down what is wrong.” Again through the sobs I understand “I just broke the computer screen.” All I could do was laugh, but not let her know I was laughing. Poor thing she was cleaning the windows of the Pilot house and fell into the LCD screen of the lap top. She sobs again “All it shows is pretty blue water colors.” Jim was fishing on the dink and she was so worried. Jim lives for checking emails. After a while I got her calmed down and explained to her that they could pick up a screen in Samoa. So no email communication until they get to Samoa. They are going to call once a day to get any messages and get “Granny” updates. So if any one needs to get intouch with them send me an email or call and I can relay the message.
Mary Ann from Haines City is going to meet them in American Samoa to be the next Barnacle Scraper. The original plans were to go to Western Samoa and meet Mary Ann there. But rumor has it that Jim wanted Coors beer and KFC.…so he changed course.
The decision has yet to be made on New Zealand or Australia. I hope they make a decision soon so that Mike and Lauri can make the passage with them.
Still have not closed on my house…..maybe next week!
Keeper of the Stuff
Here is some info on Suwarrow:
Suwarrow (also called Suvorov or Suvarov) is a low coral atoll in the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is about 1,300 km south of the equator and 825 km northwest of Rarotonga, from which it is administered. It was uninhabited when discovered by the Russian ship “Suvorov”, which reportedly followed clouds of birds to the island on September 17, 1814. (The ship was named after Russian general Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov, who appears as “Suwarrow” in Lord Byron’s epic poem Don Juan.) It has been only intermittently inhabited since. The Island name has also been spelled variously as “Souvorow”, “Souwaroff” and “Souworoff”. “Suwarrow” is the official spelling adopted by New Zealand.
Suwarrow was described by Fanny Vandegrift as “the most romantic island in the world”, but it was not the model for her husband’s famous book, Treasure Island. It can lay claim to being a real treasure island though. In the mid 19th century (records dispute whether it was 1855 or 1848), a ship from Tahiti was carrying out salvage work when a box containing NZ$15,000 worth of coins was dug up. Some years later, New Zealander Henry Mair found pieces of eight in a turtle nest. Mair became involved in a row, the find was covered up and it has never been rediscovered. During World War II, Robert Dean Frisbie and several coast watchers lived on the largest islet, Anchorage. Frisbie wrote about his experiences in The Island of Desire. In 1942, a hurricane washed away 16 of the 22 islets in the atoll. The coastwatchers left a hut with water tanks behind, and left wild pigs and chickens on the islet. Later, cats were allowed to run wild on Anchorage Island, to control Polynesian rats which were documented to occur there since the island was discovered by Europeans but conceivably were introduced by Polynesian seafarers a longer time ago. New Zealander Tom Neale lived alone on Suvorov for a total of 16 years in three periods between 1952 and 1977. He described his experience in the first two of those periods in An Island to Oneself (1966 ISBN 0-918024-76-5). In 1978 the island was declared a National Park of the Cook Islands due to the plentiful marine and bird wild life it supports.
At the end of the 20th century, 3% of all Red-tailed Tropicbirds in the world (some 400) bred there, as well as 9% of the global population of the Lesser Frigatebird (about 8500, though only a part of these seem to be present at any one time).
Nowadays a caretaker resides on Anchorage Island. The only way to visit the island is with a private yacht or by chartered expedition from Rarotonga. Most of the small islets have only herbs and shrubs. The larger islands have a dense interior vegetation, the westernmost island, Motu Tou is named after this woodland, its name literally means “tou island”.
It’s 11:15pm and I am watching the lunar eclipse (thanks Lesley) we have a bright full moon, no clouds, and about 15kt of wind. Here we are in the middle of the Pacific, a little island just full of palm trees, water so clear we can see the bottom where we are anchored by the light of the moon, and it’s 60 feet deep and we are having this grand event. WOW!!! Don’t want to go to bed, I’m afraid when I wake up this was nothing but a dream.
Earlier today we took the dingy along with 5 others and the Ranger John his wife and kids, went several miles to some of the other islands. One was a bird nesting area, really got some good pictures, and the others were just beautiful beaches, lava, pink sand and lot more coconut trees. We helped pick up some of the trash around them. Then we cooked fish on the beach that we caught on the way there and back. Veronica and John cut the green coconuts for us to have the milk Sooooo good.
SURE DO MISS ALL OF YOU SO MUCH, I was home sick for you all today. We will try to call tomorrow.
We have been so busy the last few days, snorkeling, dingy riding, cooking on the beach at night and today Jim and John(silkie) took the dingy out 4 times to guide other boater into the anchorage, there are 10 boat here now, we were here buy ourselves the 1st day. whew!! busy, busy,busy.
Tomorrow John the park ranger here is taking all of us to a another island to see some of the local birds, and we are going to help do a beach clean up.
John and his wife Veronica are here for 6 months with their four boys. 6yr old twins, a 10yr old and a 12yr old. Christy, I took cars, bubble gum, lollipops, the little towels that swell up in water and one of the blow up water toys in to them last night OH! and I made soda and had ice. John(the dad) just had ice.
They have no refrigeration, no freezer, they do have some electricity, solar, and a generator they don’t use very often. A supply ship drops them off with supplies that are to last for the whole time, boaters help them out a lot. They are such a nice family.
John was so funny telling a growing up story about living in the islands and eating so much fish and what a treat it was to get a can of corned beef. He said the other kids would not believe you when you told them about the beef. So he said you didn’t want to wash your hands cause that was proof, and said it was even better if you could just rub a little of the grease in your hair. It sounded a little like an Uncle Bill story.
We will leave here Tues or Wed weather has kicked up a little, Mary Ann will join us in American Samoa on the 2nd it think it is. Look forward to her joining us. Haven’t heard from Bill and Jerry, and I am sooooooo excited about Mike and Lauri coming.
Hope all of you are doing well.
This stop has been one of our highlights. Wish we could stay longer, we will NEVER get back here. Will write or call after our sightseeing trip tomorrow, we leave here at 10:00 our time.
Hugs and kisses to all,
4:25AM Friday 8-24-07
We arrived at Suwarrow about 10:30pm, 12*14’S/163*12’W. we slowed way down when we realized we could not make it before dark. We are doing a long back and forth loop on the north west side waiting for daylight. We have had some rain, then clears and we have the moon. Looking forward to anchoring and maybe some good sleep. We hear John and his family are really nice, any snorkeling and stuff they have to take you. More on this place later.
We are 229.8nm to Suwarrow 14*26’S/159*13’W 10:20am local. making good time 7.3kt that’s flying for us. Will be there in 31 or so hours if we keep this speed.
We have turned the phone off, we’ll turn it on to send and receive emails and we’ll check with you all on and off. We have some real issues with it, don’t know if it’s the battery or the phone itself, either way we need to do something.
Jim just caught nice big dolphin 15*53’S/154*04’W. 10:00am our time. 539.5nm to go. Last night and early this AM we had some heavy rain storms and a big flock of birds were having a ball around the boat. I’ve never heard such happy chirping, fishing must have been really good! We finally have some sunshine, it’s been a few days. Seas a a bit more calm.
We are now playing with the idea of going to Australia again Anyone thinking about joining us there will need a visa to get into the country. Jim will let you know all the details in a few days.
Where is the big storm? Dean think the name is.
the battery will not charge on the Iridium phone , hope we have service for a while, we are headed to Suwarrow we are 16*22’S/152*19’W (645nm 285* heading. @ 11:10pm your time Aug 19th. ill try to let you know tomorrow where we are.
Around 11:30 am we pulled up the anchor and headed out of Bora Bora. We are on our way to Suwarrow will spend a few days ther then on to Somoa, Jim will send you a complete up date in a day or so. Several other boats will leave tomorrow headed in the same direction.
Not many people are leaving us messages anymore, gets lonely out here. Also let me know if you get this message we have been having some trouble with the SAT phone. Think it was because we were sitting in the mountains.
40th Anniversary Party
Today around 3:00 in the afternoon we took the dingy’s around to another cove to a little snack restaurant on the beach. John & Susan/SILKIE, Tom & Suzie/PRISCILLA, Bill & Laura/CHANTELLE, and Hugh & Teresa/WESTWARD(86 ft motor sailboat built 1924, look her up, she’s in the national registry) Check out my bobble in the pictures, Jim suprised me with a trip to Tahihi Pearl Market. Ol’ devil comes across when least expected. Guess that’s why I’ve followed him around for so many years, life is never dull.
Last night we had a pon-pon message over the VHF radio. Pon-Pon is an information announcement given over the radio to all boaters in a given area. Here they are in French and we catch some of what they say. It took awhile but they did come back in English warning about the recent earthquake and a wave 1 to 2 meters that would hit the Marquesas around 11:pm our time. Nothing was mentioned about Tahiti or Bora Bora, some of the boaters got real anxious and moved out to sea. For a few minutes I was a little antsy, but our friend John on the Silkie made a call to Hawaii and found out we were in no danger here and the warning was lifted. We haven’t heard if a wave hit Marquesas or not– did hear the quake did some real damage. Also heard a hurricane is coming that way. Hunker down!!!
Tomorrow we are celebrating our 40th anniversary with a group of other boaters at a little snack on the beach under a tree. Wish everyone could be with us. I’ll send pictures
miss you all, much love
We have arrived in Bora Bora oh my how beautiful this is, but very windy where we are anchored 16*31′.580S/151*44′.662W we will be here a few days exploring and getting some chores done on the boat then we’ll be on our way. Priscilla and Silkie here also and we’ll all leave around the same time.
Some of these pictures were in Tahaa & Raitea others Bora Bora, The Special Blend looks awesome sittin’ in these places. everyone seems to want a piece of paradise, even if it’s pieces of tin and old sailboat sails.
Miss you all,
We are rounding the mountains off Raiatea(16*44’S/151*29’W) can see Tahaa just beyond to the west and Bora Bora in the distance to the north west. We are going to spend a day or so here and wash off the big city before we head on to Bora Bora. Little bit of a rough night crossing but we hit calm water about 30 min ago that always feels soooo good. We should anchor in a couple of hours, will update on this island tomorrow.
Love to all
it’s Monday, another beautiful day here in Tahiti. Maybe tomorrow the inverter will be in our hands it is here in Tahiti but not through customs yet. Yesterday we went to a traditional Tahitian brunch with Tuhoe, Yvonne, the kids, Cousins, Aunt and Uncles. What a fun time. The dance group got Jim up to do the Poly dance, what a hoot. He had a ball. SOOOOOO much food, but so good. I will miss this when we leave here.
We should be out of here by Thursday. , we’re just getting antsie. we’ve been here since the 24th of June.TIME to go!!!!!
I do know everyone is tired of the same ol’ same ol’ soooo are we. We are ready to move forward but cannot till we get our inverter. UPS is terrible here in this area, only one plane comes in from New Zealand every week, DHL—-daily!! We did ask for something other than UPS, but that’s what we got.
The mountains here are really something, we took another trip up day before yesterday. You know those dare devil shows where they show those crazy people are jumping off the sides of mountains! Well we were there the pictures show the board ramp and it goes STRAIGHT down. I did not get too close to the edge it was spooky, one slip and we would have been gone. The view was breath taking, we could see for miles. Moorea is 10 miles away and we could see far beyond that.
The green boat is rummored to be Bill Gates, it was also in Fakarava when we were there. You know we only hang out with the best.
Love to all
Jim and Martha are stuck in Tahiti….don’t you fell sorry for them. They are waiting on a new inverter to come in. Maybe one day soon. Last time I looked on the UPS website is was sitting in New Zealand waiting for the “Ship” to take it to Tahiti. The funny thing is that the package was send International Express. Wow…I would hate to see how long regular mail would take.
While the Special Blend is sitting at the dock….I have been watching some of their “Boating Friends” websites. “Kosmos” another 43′ Nordhavn has been with the Special Blend on the French Poly part of the trip here and there. Great pics and fun tales of cruising on their website. http://kosmos.liveflux.net/blog/ “Adelia” is a sailboat that the crew met while in Panama. They have some great tales as well. I think they would have kept Brad on the boat if Chrity had let them. They have some great pics of Brad when they won 3rd place in the Tahiti Tourisme Cup 2007 www.adelia-sails.com
I have a ton of pics to post….I will get them done next week.
Hope everyone is well.
The Keeper of the Stuff
PS….My house is almost done….I hope Dane and I will be Tonga bound next month.
Yesterday Tuhoe and Yvonne picked us up around 8:30AM to take a tour of the island. This time we went in the opposite direction than we did on Sunday. Tuhoe showed us parts of Tahiti and Tahiti Ity we had not seen. Visited several of his cousins. One place we got 4 stalks of bananas, and Yvonne got plants and cuttings from the most beautiful garden, another place we picked pamlemousse and lemons. Yvonne climbed the tree to pick pamplemouse we couldn’t reach. While up in the tree she said “me Jane”. We had lunch in a small out of the way place, Poisson cru (raw fish in coconut milk) has become one of my favorites. We ended the day in Papeete visiting cousin Alex and his wife Tonia, she is from Hawaii. they now live in LA where they teach traditional Polynesian dance, and have a tour group. Tonia gave me a crown of flowers for my head, she could not take back to the states with her, as they were leaving on a 10PM flight.
We have been so fortunate to meet so many of the local people and been shown so many things we could not have done on our own. We don’t speak the language but it has not made any difference, lot of one word sentences and hand motions and we get the message across and vise-versa. I feel sure we will visit here again.
Love to all,
This morning Yannick, Heline and their daughter Chloe picked us up and drove us around, we went up into the mountains to a resturant called the Belevedre. It sits on top (about 2,000 ft)one of the mountains that overlooks Papeete as Yannick said it is SPLENDID. We also went to a shop that makes pottery, stopped and bought mangoes and to a park with the black sand beach. Fun day thanks to them
Here are a few pix from Fakarava, we met a couple on the plane coming back . Pierre & Ginette from Canada, enjoyed talking with them so much. We invited them to come see the boat, they did last night with their friends from Tahiti. Yannick & Helene are from France. He is with the Gendarmerie on duty here for 5 years. They are picking us up in the morning to take us to see some things we have not seen. They will bring their daughter that speaks a little English as they speak none and we don’t speak French. Looking forward to that trip.
Love to all
Jim and I are back on the boat as of about 1:30AM today Wednesday the 25th of July. We had a couple of fabulous days in Fakarava, with Tuhoe, Yvonne and their kids. Jim fished twice with Tuhoe catching 3 or 4 yellow fin tuna. I stayed around with Yvonne at her little snack restaurant across the street from their house. She is a wonderful cook and stuffed us the whole time we were there. Yesterday we drove about 20kl to a beach on the south end of the motu where we walked along the beach and lava rock looking for shells and coral. As we were walking along miles of uninhabited coast we were not talking, just enjoying the incredible view., I wish I could share with each of you what Yvonne shared with me. The beauty of the sand, lava rock, and the color of the water just cannot be put into words. I left my camera home and enjoyed the friendship. We will be here in Tahiti til our boat part comes and the inverter is fixed.
Love to all
We got the boat back in the water on Wed. Stayed that night tied up to the dock in downtown Papeete, went to dinner with Tuhoe and his cousin Maurice, Tuhoe KNOWS how to order food, Christy and Brad can testify to that….. um good! Yesterday we did boat chores, the boat sat in the boat yard 5 days with the doors open, had about 5 layers of dirt and dust on everything, Jim worked on the outside and I did inside, took all day, late in the afternoon we move to the anchorage at Taina Marina (17*34’/149*37′) About 9 or 10 miles from downtown.
Cousin Maurice brought us bananas, limes and their large Southeast Asia variety of sweet grapefruit (pamplemousse) Florida should surly look into it. Puts ours to shame. Also a red spiny-skinned cousin to the lychee called rambutan.(Brad’s favorite) I’m smiling about all the good fruit.
Sunday we are going into the dock , leave the boat for a few days and fly to Fakarava to visit Tuhoe and Yvonne. Jim can hardly wait to fish and talk fertilizer. Tuhoe is the mayor of Fakarava and 7 other atolls in Tuamotu’s. His term will be up next year, he wants to do some farming other than coconuts in those areas. Their soil is very much like Fl so Jim is giving him some pointers. We will be back to Papeete Wed, hopefully the inverter will be here. We’ll get that done and head west.
Today is just beautiful, clear, slight breeze, in the 80’s. Moorea (about 10 miles across the bay) has no clouds, my what a site. Wish everyone could come visit us and share the beauty. I have to pinch myself every now and then to make sure I’m not dreaming. Do miss everyone though.
Til next time, love to all
I am sitting in the lobby of the Sofitel Hotel in Tahiti, the view is just magnificant, Christy was here for a night, she can tell you. Breakfast is 3100f (About $35.00 USD) makes you think twice about having a cup of coffee. Don’t even think about lunch. Jim has gotten real testy about the food since we aren’t on the boat to cook eggs and grits and as he says, Normal food!!!
Well we are still on the “hard” and will be until Wed I think. It’s hard to enjoy the water sitting looking at it. Still having some inverter problems, but we did get enough power to charge the phone and the computer. The boat yard let us use their phone so Jim could talk to California. Can’t wait til we have all kinds of excititng things to write about. I just keep looking at the same ol’ pearl shops. I’m afraid if we don’t leave soon I’m going to end up in one of the REAL expensive ones with no will power 🙂
The boat has been out of the water since Friday, we are at the Sofitel here in Tahiti. Jim worked on the stabilizer Fri and Sat all day think that is fixed, still having trouble with the inverter it is not inverting the generator power to 120 sooo the fridges’ freezer, microwave, laptop ect. will not work, and the plugs are different at the hotel. Did hook up a water hose to the generator a little while ago to charge what we could so we don’t loose our frozen stuff….. still have a long haul and need nourishment. The computer has not been working right either, can’t seem to get it to work except on the boat, that’s why you have not heard from us.
While we are out of the water we are having the bottom painted, if we decide to go to Australia we have to have a cert. saying we have been bottom painted within the last 6 months. We MIGHT go there instead of New Zealand. Haven’t made a complete decision on that as of yet. We rented a car today so could get around and back to the boat (Christy we should not listen to people) it been hard hoofing it every where, the Le truck nor the bus comes this far. Patrick that has been helping Jim and gave us a ride the other day, what a hoot. His work truck was FULL, I rode in the front kinda propped up on stuff and Jim was on all the tools and wood in the back it was a loooong ride to the hotel. Yesterday Tom and Suzie from “Priscilla” brought me over in the dingy.
Love to all,
Well it sure is lonely here, gee I miss Christy and Brad, I keep looking around to see where they are. Jim worked all day getting the inverter back up and running. He fixed it but he doesn’t know how. He talked to Pete @ Nordhavn in California off and on all day while trying to keep the phone and laptop charged. He couldn’t get the phone card to work.
We are pulling the boat out tomorrow to work on the stabilizers so we’ll be at the Sofitel for a couple of days, I think I can handle that.
I wish you could see what I am seeing tonight. It is just beautiful. Water, stars, and only one other boat. The others are about a mile away. We will all move to the other side of the island tomorrow. We are at 17 32′.056S and 149 46′.195W
The Tahiti Tourism Cup was fun today!
Brads team, the Adilia, came in 4th overall and 3rd in sails. They got flowers and a gift. It was all in fun! We need to check out the magazine Latitudes 38 on the internet in about a month to see the pictures of the “race”. Brad was, of course, mostly thrilled that he beat the boat I was on. Sailing across to Moorea was a treat! All of those boats parading their colorful spinnaker sails was spectacular. We owe our friends a big thanks! I will send pics soon!
Love ya! Christy
Christy did not want to stay around the boat today and she didn’t want to go shopping, so we decided to go the famous Tuahupoo Surf Beach, about 30 miles away. Car rental is very expensive, so the Le Truck or bus is the way most people travel. We headed out about 10:15AM picked up the bus right outside the marina. This bus only went as far as the Grotto(about 8 miles) before it turned around to head back to Papeete. We got off and wandered around the caves a short time and waited for the next bus headed south, got tired of standing around so we decided to walk a bit. One bus passed us and it was full. Soooo we walked a bit more when a courtesy van pulled over and motioned for us to get on. Happy as clams we were on our way till he said “done” and pulled into a small shopping center that was by then closed for the noon siesta, he then turned around and headed back to Papeete. Soooo we get out go to the ATM get a little money cross the road and wait on the next bus south, there we meet a local that explains to us in very broken English, that the bus didn’t run to Tuahupoo and back after 2PM, it was 12:45 by then. We got across to her we would just go to the black sand beach. Christy and Brad had been to a week before and had pictures on the camera we could show her. Finally a bus comes, we get on, it was very crowded and we had to stand for the rest of the trip, the local lady made sure we got off at the beach—– 3 hours after we left the marina, and it was only 15 miles.
The black sand is so beautiful and the mica in it shines like diamonds, no way to capture it in a picture. We had lunch right on the beach watching the surfers. Then we walked the beach awhile, Brad body surfed, Christy and I worshiped the Tahiti sun god, then it was time to head back. We got all the black sand off and crossed the street to catch the bus back “home” There was a railing on the side of the road, we sat a while, stood a while, and watched the cars pass, a local from California that runs the surf shop told us the bus runs every day every 20 minutes. There was a construction site behind us, a guy pulled out in a truck and said NO BUS, to make sure he was right he backed up to ask one of the other workers, all we heard was TOMORROW!!!!! Some how we communicated we were trying to get to the marina, he had the young man riding with him get in the back of the truck with the rebar and for Brad to join him, and for me and Christy to crowd in the front seat.
Just like the horse ride in Nuka Hiva it all seemed OK. Off we go with a stranger in Tahiti.
We got back in one day safe and sound, laughing with a great story to tell. How was your 4th spent?????
I have been up for a while now watching the sun peak over tahiti and shine on the sailboats in front of me. It will start to bounce off of Moorea in a few minutes. I am going to go sit on the fly bridge to watch it. I love it here.
We have had another wonderful day here in Tahiti, Christy spent the morning trying to get her return flight changed, she and Brad will leave here on the 11th of July.
Brad went surfing with a group of kids to the north beach and will probably go again Wed. Christy and I had hoped to go to the beach with Brad, but the guy that took them didn’t have room for us in the truck. There we were all dressed and no where to go, SO we went shopping. We went into every pearl shop we could find, and into the market, purchased a few loose pearls (some of the not so perfect) we’ll enjoy seeing just what we can create later.
After wandering for hours we decided to take the Le Truck back to the marina, off we go on a new route. Christy did mention the mountains were on the wrong side and the area sure didn’t look like what we were used to. We were up in the mountains in a community we had no clue about. The driver of the truck had dropped all the passengers off but us, he spoke no English and we spoke no French, we made a motion to turn around– so he did. Then he pulled off the side of the road, next to a beatiful stream and proceeded to have lunch. Christy took a sandwich out of the bag we had packed to go to the beach and we also had lunch. After the driver finished his lunch he cranked the truck and off we went back down the moutain into town. Lesson learned, don’t get on the Le Truck unless you know where it is going, guess it was a cheep sight seeing tour. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Hope Dad is enjoying his stay at home, sure not the same without him here. We went into town today did some shopping, I got a pair of earrings, Christy got hers as a gift. Brad had to have new flip flops, he left his in Toau. We didn’t go back like they did on I-4 to find them. Brad got Nini and Tiffany gifts. It rained off and on all day long. Tomorrow is a holiday here it is there day of Independence.
We had the most fabulous day. Tuhoe, Mayor of Fakarava picked us up at 8:30AM and took us into Papeete, we did errands for his wife, Yvonne,(things for her restaurant) then he took us to his office, a shopping place with local vendors, lunch that was just out of this world, more errands, then a ride all the way around Tahiti making several stops to see the points of interest. We ended the evening at one of the resorts where we had drinks in coconuts. He dropped us off and took Christie from “Kosmos” to the plane. Busy day for all.
Tomorrow we are giving the boat a good wash down and maybe some more sight seeing. Brad wants to surf. Christy and I have to grocery shop. Another busy day!!!
Love to all,
Christy and Brad spent most of their day today at the black sand beach, alot of which is now inside the boat. Have heard it’s bad luck to take sand from those beaches, think I’ll vacuum real good and dump the bag before we leave. It’s just not the same with out Capt Jim, but he’ll be back soon.
Love to all
Jim left here a few minutes ago taxi will pick him up at 12:00 mid night and his journey will begin. It sure is going to be different without him here on the boat. I just hope nothing breaks while he is gone.
Tahiti Is HOT and I mean weather hot. No wind to speak of.
From our dock our bow faces Moorea, the quiet side of Tahiti right across the “bay” or whatever it’s called. Christy, Brad, and I are going to take the ferry over sometime while Jim is gone. We have been getting him ready to leave, paper work and all, then we are to have dinner with the Mayor of Fakarava tonight. Busy day, oh! we also went shopping at the BIG store that would remind you of a Wal Mart, but prices are much higher.
Miss all of you so much hope everyone is doing well.
WE DIDN’T BUST, WE MADE IT TO TAHITI, anchored at 1:30 AM (7:30AM your time) we are in downtown Papeete 17*32’/149*34′. More after we sleep
We are on the move to Tahiti 16*53’S/148*00’W 99.24 miles to go. I doubt the hospitality will be the same as in Fakarava.
VERY bumpy seas not much cooking going on. Holly, very much like some of our passage to the Marquesas. We should be there around 10:00PM or so. We think we can enter the harbor in the dark if not we’ll just do circles til dawn. Have been there done that!
Tahiti or ?
we really dont need to say “Bust” do we? Ok, we are going through the Fakarava
North Pass. Our heading….Tahiti, Society Islands. Our experience in the
atolls is almost hard to put into words. Fakarava is a special place with very
special friends. We actually had tears as we left. Tahoy and Evonne have
invited us all back to visit and they have invited Brad to come back and stay
for a while next summer. They said he could learn french and their kids could
work on learning english. I am sure it will become a reality. Who would have
thought that a visit to a small island would have given so much and enrich our
lives. Ok, enough mushy suff! Brad, Mom and I are trying to study this little
Tahiti tourist guide. We are trying to figure out how to spend our week there.
We want to make the most of it. In the mean time, I am making my first large
passage since the Gulf of Mexico. Dad said that those first days on the boat
have been the worst seas he has experience on the entire trip. I hope it stays
that way. I have on a patch just in case. It should only take us 48 hours to
get there. The best part is that we can make plenty of water so I can wash my
hair today! This is a big deal for me. I have this new long hair and Brad has
suggested that I just go with dread locks…
Till next time….
OH MY what a beautiful place, everyone here knows Jim, Christy, and Brad, I’m the also ran. But, I was greeted like a Queen, wait til you see the pix of the flowers they made just for me. huge flower lei and Christy got to greet me at the plane with the guy from Tahiti air, Joeva, “her” Aunt made one of the leis. The Mayor was leaving to fly to Tahiti so one of his friends drove us with Mrs. Mayor back to town. We ate at the “Snack Restaurant” last night fine French food mmmmm good. Didn’t have a clue what we ordered, girl spoke no English and we spoke nor read French, but we did good. We are supposed to go to Hinano Pearls today, but no one has showed to pick us up, Christy rode her bike the other day, and Gunter said he would pick her up next time. Jim just left to fish with the Mayor.
We are leaving tomorrow for Tahiti, my back has been in spasms for the last two days so I haven’t done too much exploring. Pulling that heavy luggage with Jim’s windless motor half way around the world did me in.
The pearl guy (Gunter) stood us up. We waited for him and he just never showed. I hate that. Well, at least I didn’t waste a good outfit and make up.
Not much happened today, mom’s back hurts(and it takes about 3 days to recover from a 24 hour plane trip). So, i really just spent the day waiting to see if she wanted to see something, waiting on pearl guy, and now we are cooking for the mayors family. I did go to the beach for a while by myself. I went for a refreshing swim and a short snooze on the sand. This next hour, I am going to the fly bridge with my book to read for a bit. (shocking, I know) The view is perfect…Clear water, sailboats, palm trees, and a nice breeze. Maybe I will get a page or two in today. I have to mention our new boat friend, Ray. He is a ramora fish (huge) that has been hanging with us for about 3 days. We feed him scraps. He is always close by, we figure he will latch on to the Special Blend and go to Tahiti with us. As you might imagine, we eat pretty well around here. He seems happy. We saw his shark friend earlier, I assume he will stay behind.
Ok, gotta go…Is it 5:00 somewhere yet? Hmm, a boat drink may go well with my book. Till later…
Today is HOT in Fakarava.
We have to go out past the pass today. We have about 10 gallons of water so we have to go out and make water. We will fish in the process. We are not getting alot of emails sent to us and vise versa.
Mom is here! She was greeted with many flowers and presented with gifts from the locals. She is well. Dad is turning on the ac for her to take a nice nap. It sure is good to see her!
I can’t wait to see mom in a couple of hours. Boat is clean and her sheets are clean, she will be happy. Tell Dane that we have been snorkeling lots and have seen tons of coral, fish, shells, spiney sea cucumbers. It feels like we are swimming in an aquarium!
Dad, brad and I are sitting here discussing what tatoos we may get in tahiti! Love you!
Did mom make it to LA yet? I cant wait to see her tomorrow. We are leaving our little paradise spot today and head to Fakarava. Brad and dad are cleaning up the engine room and we leave in 2 hours. Dad had a nice father’s day, we explored the other side of the pass yesterday and had a big dinner last night for him. I’m sure it is no big suprise to anyone that Brad, Dad, and I spend much of our time planning the next several meals. We have eaten well.
Dad, Brad and I are having the time of our lives. I wish mom was here; that’s why we’re staying in the Tuamotus until she gets here. This place is what mom and dad dreamed about and traveled so far for. I dont know when I have seen Capt. Jim so excited. He keeps saying “take my picture..Here I will take your picture” We are anchored off of the atoll inside the lagoon. Today we have been deep sea tuna fishing in the dink, fly fishing, spear fishing, snorkeling, and coconut gathering. The water is as clear as bottled water with coral everywhere from 1 foot of water all the way out. Other than the “pricilla”crew of 2, we have seen 2 other people out here. This is paradise. Mom, hurry! We miss you and tell granny hello for me.
…Jimmy Buffet is always in the background. Ok, time to drink a coconut… see ya!
We are in the Toau Atoll. 15o56′.364S 145o53’120W. Just enough miles to make me puke. It is just beautiful here. There are only about 40 people on the atoll ; they are on the other side from where we are. Dink is launched, dad is fishing with the mayor, and the “Pricilla”, Brad and I are going to hit the beach and a deserted house that belongs to the mayor’s friend. It is helpful to know the right people. Hopefully we will catch some coconut crabs and lobster today to go with the big tuna we hope dad catches…
later that day:
Hey, why doesnt anyone email us? Is anyone leaving messages on the web site? It is sad when we dont get messages out here.
Today is calm and beautiful. Yesterday the wind blew 20 and it was rough. I dont know what exploring we will do, Im sure it will be an adventure…Dad just got back from fishing in the dink, let me see what he got! Till next time….Christy
Yesterday was not as exciting as the others. I cleaned the boat, did laundry, and finally took an hour to hang out at the beach and visit with my new friend, Eyvonne (she is from the Marquesas and is married to the mayor). Travis left for home and then “Kosmos” arrived. It is a 43 nordhaven like ours from California.
Last night dad made chicken n dumplins. We had the “Pricilla” and the “Kosmos” over for dinner to share food and wine. It was nice, everyone was excited to have fresh veggies and a meal from home. Brad went to church (catholic) with his friend Ray Noui and was cracking up because he didnt understand a word but had his book out anyway.
Today we are actually going to leave and go to another atoll. We are coming back on Tuesday, though. We are flying mom here because she has to see Fakarava. Fakarava is the place where people from Tahiti go for vacation. Maybe we can take her snorkeling. My dad was like a kid going to Disney World when we went to the south pass the other day. Brad was down 70 feet with a scuba tank and we could see him clearly, along with the 100 or so sharks! I took some fantastic photos, cant wait to share them. I miss everyone and hope all is well.
Much Love, Christy, Brad, and Capt. Jim
everyone here in fakarava has been so nice, the mayor, Tekurio and his wife ynonne have been fantastic and given us so many gifts, today yvonne gave christy pearl earings and necklace, they take us places and have done so many nice things we need to bring them a nice gift?? they have son 12 who has been brads friend and i think two little girls maybe 9 and 6.
no telling what they will have for you.
glad when you get here, tom and susie here, kosmos came in today,
Good Morning! We haven’t moved from our spot in Fakarva. Yesterday, the mayor and his wife took us on a tour. It was just awesome. We kept saying “wish mom was here”. We went to a motu, small island of the atoll, where the mayor’s family is from. The island was deserted in the 1960’s when the mosquitoes took over. The entire village moved across the atoll to Rotoava and built the village here. (no bugs) While there, we saw huge manta rays (I got a good underwater pic)! We also went Varo hunting. A varo looks like a large preying mantis, but tastes like a sweet lobster and they have very impressive razor sharp spines that will slice a finger or two. Just ask dad.
Last night, we had a feast with the mayor, his friends, and the crew from “Pricilla”. Brad’s face was priceless when they brought out the huge sashimi tray. He ate tuna until he was stuffed. I was like a princess with all of the gifts of necklaces given to me. It would take 2 pages of writing to tell all of the stories and you would bust a gut laughing. Lots of food, laughs and stories. It was a fantastic night to finish the day.
Today we are going to the south pass, Tumakohua pass, and dive. Dad, travis and I will snorkel and Brad will dare the deeps with walls of sharks! Who knows what we will encounter…
Fararava is the best place we have visited so far. we are tied to city dock and the Pricilla is behind us. I think the couple from england that were at anoha bay at the cookout are going to pull in here today. The people are great and the tee shirts going out fast. I’m going fishing with the mayor today.
having a ball, wish you were here.
Please Send Nose Plugs
“Camping” with these 3 guys has been interesting. The farts are out of control and I had to clean the bathrooms this morning (i found the gloves). The boys menu of spam and raymen noodles is sure to progress to mac n cheese soon. Showers for the guys are few and far between. Travis still hasn’t had one and brad and dad finally had one yesterday. Mom, I used some of your vanilla cream after my shower yesterday. The dive shop is french and I had to wear a wet suit….need I say more? Maybe you could bring brad’s with you. Tom and Susie busted dad. He hasn’t run the ac for me like he does for mom…mom hurry back, it’s flippin hot here and these guys either think they are french or on “Survivor”. I am going on a hunt here in the lower deck for deodorant and line them up for a swipe.
Dad and the mayor are tight. He is taking dad and Travis fishing this afternoon. Brad and I are going to hop on our bikes and go snorkeling off the island. The coral comes all the way up to the beach and the sand is pink from the red coral that sits in the shallow water. Hope you all are well. We will be here at least until Thursday. Travis is flying out from here and we like it. There is a bakery, grocery store, pizza and nice people. Mom, hurry back.
It is 9:00 pm and lights out. No one made it through the entire movie tonight. Brad spent the evening with the local teens sharing music with their MP3 players. We had dinner again next door at the local restaurant. You have a choice of steak and fries or chow mien. We ordered 2 of each and shared last night and tonight.
Brad and I did get to go diving today. It was absolutely incredible!We went to the North Pass of Fakarava. We went 90 ft but it felt like 20. I don’t think Nicholas (young Frenchman) was very impressed with our skills. This was Brad’s first ocean dive and my first dive below 40 in 16 years (my check dive), and we are only certified for 60′. I was nervous and sucked down air fast. Brad was nervous and did the same. Nicholas instructed me on 2 things under 80′ of water. #1… breathe better, #2… leave your son alone. Ok, I got the point. Thank you Nicholas. This means he was watching Brad (and me) and I could look at the field of coral. It was as far as I could see up and down the sloping wall and as far as I could see from side to side. A living, colorful coral forest. It was like rolling hills of coral formations. No sand in between, no rocks in between. It was solid coral bottom. Unlike anything I have ever seen. The colors were vibrant. It looked as if a black light was shining on it at times. Lots of fish. Large tuna, white tip sharks, barracuda, parrot fish, snapper, grouper, beautiful reef fish, and things I don’t even know what to call them (like sea cucumbers with spines). I really want to see a manta ray and a turtle. My next dive will be better because I will be more relaxed and I can enjoy my surroundings. We may wait and dive in Tahiti. This pass is supposed to be the best in all of the atolls. I can definitely see why. Our dive today was almost unreal. Sweet dreams….
I get to go shopping! A tourist boat just pulled in and all the people of the town are set up to sell their crafts, a band is setting up and the “Pricilla” just threw anchor. This is pure excitement and it is only 7:00am. The sun sets and rises at 5:30 so things around here are a bit different.
I finally feel like a normal person today. It has taken several days to catch up on my sleep. By the way, it is BEAUTIFUL here. If you don’t know what an atoll is, it is an “island ring” with a lagoon in the middle. Talk about a rush when landing in a plane!! Fakarava is the 2nd largest. Brad and I were supposed to dive the N pass yesterday but, the guide was late and the sun was going down. Going to try again today. We did snorkel yesterday…I have never seen such coral formations! They were huge coral heads with large delicate formations hanging alll over. Brad, Travis, and I rented bicycles yesterday. When was the last time you rode a bike with a basket? We went 7 miles to the pearl guy, Gunta. We got a tour, educated, and bought a couple of pearls. Travis’ tire blew on our way down the driveway and Gunta gave us a ride in his land rover. People are nice, food is good, everything is expensive (worth it) and I am having the time of my life. Brad has made lots of friends. We may leave later today or tomorrow. We hope to get a dive in.
Love to all…Christy
Sorry there has been silence on the website for the last few days. We had a scare with Granny Boots (Martha’s Mom). She is doing fine now, but Martha flew home because we were not sure. Granny had a Dissection of the Descending Aorta. Most people don’t survive when the Aorta dissection takes place. Not only did she survive, the dissection clotted and repaired it self. ( I know all the medical folks out there this is not the exact way to describe it, but I am not a DR….I just play on TV 🙂 ) I called mom and told her to come home on Tuesday at 4:00 PM EST and we had her back in Winter Haven by 11:30 PM EST Wednesday night. Bless her heart (and Granny’s) she was worn out emotionally and physically by the time she had gotten to Los Angles. When she got on the plane on what ever that little island they were on, we thought Granny would be in surgery before mom got home. She was very relieved when we gave her the news when she called from LA. We had a very emotional home coming. Lots of tears, hugs, and smiles all around.
By the time we all got settled into bed it was 1:30 AM on June 7th. Christy had to be up and headed back to the airport at 4:00 AM to catch her 7:20 AM flight to Tahiti. Yep we are tired. As Christy was running out the door Mom checked her email. Christy had gotten an email from our “Agent” in French Poly. Poor Christy has to stay a whole day and night in Tahiti all by her self before she can get a flight to meet Dad. LET’S ALL SAY IT TOGETHER…….poor Christy…….She just has to stay the night in Tahiti……..Don’t you just feel sorry for her.
So Granny is headed home today. Martha will be home for 10 days or so. Christy is has to stay in Tahiti for an extra day……and we are all working.
I hope the next SB update will be soon. I will get pics up this weekend. Which will include pics of Brad and his Marlin.
Keeper of the Stuff
We are 14*32’S/146*21’W off the village of Tenukupara, Ahe this village seems to do well, nice houses, huge concrete dock, we are doing boat chores today the water is very calm, we are cleaning still from yesterdays dumping of the fridge when the door was left unlocked during Brad’s 1 1/2 fight with the marlin. We landed a 92″ fish Jim estimates about 250 lbs, it was bigger than Jim and Travis. The seas were very rough during the fight we all got thrown around, at one time Jim was standing behind Brad just to hold him up Travis was steering, I was on the radio with him and taking pix. I have a picture of Brad lying beside the fish when all was said and done. Marlin is GOOD eatin’
From an email to Christy:
You cannot imagine how excited Brad was about his fish, the whole boat was destroyed because of being sideways in the waves. Someone left the door of the fridge unlocked and the whole thing dumped, ice, coke(can split), charts came off the pilot house bunk, we were in such bad stuff couldn’t deal with it til we got the fish in. Have a pix of Brad lying down beside the fish, it was hugh.
Sunday June 3 11:26 AM WELL we made it out of the pass at Manihi what a wild ride!!!!! very much like the one in Adventura Mexico. Except this time Jim made us don life jackets.We circled around the inside dodging pearl traps for about 45 mins sizing up the situation. We could have put Brad in the canoe for a white water adventure.
as soon as we cleared(barely) he hollers “put out the rods there’s birds.” No fish yet. It’s about 10 mn to Ahe, can’t WAIT to see what the entrance there is like. Every one is different and hope the next will be better.
Can’t wait to see Christy, wish all of you could have been here at the same time. These atolls are just what we came all this way to see.
Check out Denise &Kip Stumbough on the ADELIA @ adelia-sails.com I think there are some pictures of me and Sylvia with the boobies. She also took some pix the other day which aren’t posted yet. What did you think of the pictures Holly brought? Did get some awesome shots before the camera died Brad did get an incrediable pix of one of those colorful clams I told you about.
Give Dane and Granny Boots big hugs
Love you much
We just spent the last 4 hours snorkeling. So pretty not the colors we see in the Keys, fish colorful but not the coral, did see a clam that lives in the rocks that were the most beautiful colors on the edge where they open and close. we pick up some of the shells.
Lesley I do hope you have the paper work on the camera, we took iit in the water for about 5 min and it got water inside. I’ll send it home with Travis, was sooooo disappointed really wanted underwater stuff.
all is well we’ll be leaving here in the AM when the tide is right.
14*27’/146*01 Manihi (Northwest tip of the Tuamotus)
At 8:00AM we came inside the Atoll rocking and rolling. Surprised we didn’t wipe out a pearl bed. We got to the area after dark yesterday went in circles all night didn’t dare try this pass in the dark, it was REALLY rough, Travis and Brad did not feel well,better this AM. This is just amazing just like all the pictures you see in National Geo. the houses buit out in the middle of the water, lot of pearl farms, that I’m sure we would get shot at if we went near and sandy beaches. We’ll be here for a day or so then on to another atoll.
There are several sailboats here we are the only motor vessel. A young couple Christie and Eric Grabb from San Diego have a 43′ Nordhavn(Kosmos) also. We have hull #17 and they #18. They will be here in a few days.
Love to all
Rough seas. Right now we are currently in a “holding pattern” just outside the entrance of the atoll of Manihi [first stop in the Tuamotu Islands]. Our timing was a little bit off so we are waiting for slack tide before we make a run through the pass which will be around 9:00AM. It’s taking me forever to type this email; holding down the keyboard with one hand. We have reports from other boaters that it’s “glass calm” inside the atoll and [I for one] will be pretty damn glad to see if this rumor is true. Other than that, everything is going pretty well. We’ll catch up with you in the morning.
Holly made it home safe and sound. We stayed up until 3 am Wed night looking and laughing at photos. We laughed so hard at some of the stories that my sides still hurt. I hope that this weekend I will have time to go through the photos and get them posted.
There is another Nordhavan 43 called “Kosmos” they will be headed in the same direction as the Special Blend. They have a website with some great info and even photos of the SB. http://kosmos.liveflux.net/blog/
Keeper of the Stuff
Jim has been camped out all day in The captains chair working with the auto pilot it want stay on course. we have 173 miles to go, we have bumped up the RPM’s to 21,000 because we have no currant pushing us at the moment. Wind has been above 20 all day, and been a little rough, one of those days it’s just best to sit or lie down. All of us are doing well, stomachs have settled down a bit.
12*25’/143*58′ Moon has been just beautiful for the past few night, I love the moonlight nights.
Good night at sea, Brad and Travis did not feel well, better today. Not making very good time 5.3kts at times.
10*24’/141*51′ 330 miles to Tuamotu’s no fish today at all, maybe they don’t swim in 14,000 feet of water.
I’ve had a missing my girls and MaMa day, no girly chit chat.
Love to all Martha
Baie D’ Hatiheu 08*49’/140*04′ We put Holly (as her sisters call her “Daddy’s sweet baby girl”) in a taxi truck with Louise at 9:30AM to go over many mountains to the airport, lot of goodbye tears and she was on her way, She will be in Orlando around 11:00PM tomorrow night if all goes well. (and it will)
Brad and I walked around the town for a few minutes petted the local dogs, watched a little boy get black spiny urchins off the rocks, climbed back on the dingy back to the Special Blend now we are on our way to the Tuamotu’s about three days away.
Our time with Holly has been a very special one, a once in a lifetime trip. We look forward to the rest of the journey with Brad, Travis, Christy, Lesley and Dane. Making our family memories.
I DON’T LIKE GOODBYES, I just wish everyone would stay with us.
this little Bay is just wonderful, completely enclosed, surrounded by mountains, not good snorkeling though. Little murky We had wahoo last night OH MY was it good. I sure am going to miss my personal chef.
We are trying to get Holly to quit her job and just cruise with us.
It’s Saturday we moved to another bay, D’Anaho, another incredible view. We havea hole in the dingy that we have to patch before we can head into shore. Holly will be leaving on Monday, she wanted to see the Melon Head whales that hang out in this area and we did see a pod of them on the way in, also a couple of dolphins greeted us as well. Oh I forgot to mention Holly caught a 40lb wahoo on the way over. Again we lost the tuna we had on. Some how our fishing technique is off with them.
It’s great having Travis and Brad, but we sure hate to see Holly leave, as all of you parents know when your kids get grown and have their own lives it’s a real treat to have them with you more than just holidays. It has been a special chapter in our journey…
Hope this finds everyone doing well
Love to all
Yesterday Holly and I went on a horse back ride, ( decided I had recovered OK from the last one) Our Guide met us in the village, he arrived in his truck with saddles in the back. He rolled up the sides to the to the cover that was over the bed of the truck, that reveled a bench seat, so we climbed over the tail gate and snuggled up to the saddles. OH DID I MENTION he had long black hair in a pony tail and black tribal tattoos on both arms and ONE side of his face. He said it might rain and we said we had been wet before, so off we went up the mountain about 30 mins,to a group of horses tied to bushes on the side of the road. that is very common here we saw that all the way to the airport the other day. Bulls, cows and horses just grazing on the side of the road, some were sight seeing in the middle. Jim says people here have road ranches. When the guide got to his “ranch” we pulled over on the side of the road and he saddled the horses. Now this guy was the real thing. His saddle was a small wooden traditional one. THEN he took off his shirt and he had on a BONE necklace. THEN he strapped a big machete to his saddle and a long rope. I looked at Holly and ask if she thought WE were lunch??? and for some strange reason it all seemed OK!! Off we went up the mountain again this time on horse back, very inch looked like a movie set it was so beautiful, the one thing I said I would not do was ride on the edge of the Mouton. Next thing I knew we were at the top over looking the Bay where the boat was and we might have had 6ft on earth under us. Holly kept saying “Mom your fine just don’t look down”, and again it all seemed OK. We made our way back down and came upon a heard of untied horses on a Plato they also belonged to the guide. He played cowboy for a minute rounding them up, then we were back to the truck. He retied the horses to the bushes and we were off back down the moutain. Holly and I had a special day that will stay in our memory bank forever.
hey mom we made it to nuku hiva yesterday. when i got here memaw and grandaddy came and picked us up from the airport.o ya the ride back from the airport was an adventure by itself we went over the mountains and it was just crazy. the dingy is leaking. i was so suprised to see them i miss you already. it is so beautiful here the mountains and the ocean it is just beautiful. today memaw and holly went horse back ridding so i took them in the dingy and grandaddy and Travis went to go get gas. so i couldnt take the dingy back to the boat so i got to explore the village here on the island. i cant wait to see you soon. love brad
The boys are sooooo tired Travis did not even eat, Brad did wake long enough to do that. We got bags unpacked, felt like Christmas, thanks for all the magazines and stuff. The kids around here will be beside themselves.
Christy thanks for my Mothers Day necklace….LOVE IT.
Lesley can’t wait to use the camera, gosh I miss you all.
Will have Brad email you tomorrow.
We are 08*54’/140*06′ Nuka Hiva, the ride over the moutain was really something, mud slides, dirt road, some of it could not get two cars through. We had to pull over for the on coming cars. We stopped and bought fruit, lady climbed the mango tree for me. I’m glad we decided to rent a truck (4 wheel drive) and go pick the boys up. They were quite surprised to see us. Got pix of them coming off plane.
We’ll try to talk tomorrow.
Travis and Brad left Orlando 7:20 AM EST on 5-23. They arrived in Tahiti 11:20 PM Tahiti time, which is 5 hours behind us (that would make it 4:20 AM). There was not a hotel near the airport so the spent a few hours in the airport until there flight that next morning. That flight left 7AM Tahiti time and arrived in Nuka Hiva about 11:00 AM. Then they had a 2 hour drive across the island to the Special Blend. So they travled about 36 hours to get there.
We picked Travis and Brad up at 11:05 AM, it is 2:30PM now, we made it back over the moutain safe and sound. 4 hour round trip and what a trip it was, winding road wet and about half of it was paved. Had to dodge horses, cows, pigs, and chickens.
Brad has grown a foot I think since we saw him last. Great to have them
Love to all
Last night we had yellow fin tuna not any that we caught, but our friends on the Priscilla were behind us we lost our tuna and they got two. Delish!!!!
Hanamoenoa Bay is just beautiful, Jim said today it looks like we are in Polynesia duh! We went up on the island today an explored a little. Getting on shore was a chore, we had to get as close as we could to the shore, throw out the anchor then jump out and swim real fast before the breakers hit on the gorgeous sand beach. We had read that the no no flies were bad so we drenched ourselves in deet, must not be the season for them here cause we didn’t get a single bite Yeah! .We picked limes,left the coconuts because they harvest those, then made our way back to the dingy and did some snorkeling.
We left the bay about 4:30 headed to Nuka Hiva. Should be there in the AM.
We are 09*40’/139*18′ @ 7:30PM
Love to all
6:30Am we loaded the dingy and headed out for Tahuata (Santa Christina Island) it is a small island stop on our way to Nuka Hiva where we will pick up Brad and Travis.
We had a wonderful 3 days in the Bay of Virgins, yesterday we did a snorkel in a beautiful cove, Jack our guide (we ate at his house the other night) took us to a cave. Holly and I chose not to try to get to shore to see it after we watched Jim crash into the rocks when 3 unexpected swells came in on us. Jack forgot to tell us BEFORE we went in close to watch out for the swells. Well he might have said something but we don’t speak French. By the way Jim is fine, just a couple of scrapes
Later in the day we had a treat, a large pod of spinner dolphin came in the cove where we were anchored and put on a show for us. Must have been 100 in the pod.
The day before we had rain and a rainbow that just took your breath away, I took some pictures it almost doesn’t look real.
It will be a few more days before we get to a place with phones and email, but pictures will come soon.
Love to all,
Everyone is asking when we (the Kids) make our trips. Where here is the schedual for now:
|Brad and Travis||Arriving May 24|
|Holly||Departing May 28|
|Chrisy||Arriving June 7|
|Travis||Departing June 14|
|Christy and Brad||Departing July 3|
Dane and I have no idea when we might go. Our new house is being built. It could be 6 more weeks or 3 months…..If it is 6 weeks than Dane and I will go in late July and stay through August. If not I will take Dane out of school and we will go in September. We will see!
This place is just breath taking, we went into the little village last night for dinner at the home of Desirae’ and Jack. Jim took some of his artificial lures in baggies for the kids. One of the little boys took a liking to Jim, he sat under the table swatting flies and mosquitoes from Jim’s legs.
We had a spread of goat, chicken, local dish with fish, bread fruit, bananas, some kind of root and a shredded green papaya “salad”, none of us are sick today, so it’s a good day.
Jim and Holly have gone fishing in the dingy anxious to see how that goes.
We keep looking at each other smiling, I think we still can’t believe we are actually here.
love to all, Martha
PS If you get a chance to get by a dollar store pick up some little things toys, candy and gum all the kids like. we had some sticky Tootsie roll pops we took in last night, all the kids are at the docks waiting for something. I know we are asking you all to bring a lot. One of the things the men ask for is whiskey, Tom and Suzie brought the small one or two drink size of rum or something, see if you can buy a case from the liqueur store we think you are allowed to bring in a couple of 5ths or so, even Brad. Money is not much good in some of these places they want to trade, Jim traded hooks and a Tshirt for bread this morning
2:55 pm EST
AMERICA THE SPECIAL BLEND HAS LANDED!!!!!!!
We anchored about 8:15AM (Marquesas Time), we are in the Bay of Virgins, Futa Hiva, Marquesas Islands 10*27’/138*40′, it is most spectactular view I have ever seen, I know where they make movies.
Holly and I both have had migraines in the last 8 hours, think it’s the weather, better now. We will stay here for a day or so, port capt and weather permitting. Jim will never rest here we are. We are anchored in a 115ft of water, the wind is strong, and so is the currant. I will take enough pictures. I don’t want forget this place.
Love to all,
1:15 pm EST
we are in marqueses, will anchor when weather clears a little, talk later
WE ARE WITHIN ABOUT 60 MILES OF LAND IT IS 7:15PM OUR TIME 12:45 AM YOUR TIME. 10*00’S/137*43’W CANNOT BELIEVE WE AE ALMOST THERE. 20 DAYS WHERE DID THEY GO?
TODAY HAS BEEN A BUMPY , TONIGHT NOT MUCH BETTER, RAIN IS ALL ALROUND US. I THINK WE WILL BE READY TO STEP ON DRY LAND TOMORROW .
WE SHOULD BE ANCHORED BEFORE NOON.
Holly has been sick for the last several hours with an awful head ache, we have had some rough weather today, rainy all around. We are so excited about tomorrow we could just pop. Jim is worried about a big rock* that we hope to miss, Looks like we have plenty of fuel, we are making water and running air tonight YEAH!!!
TOM AND SUZIE FROM “PRISCILLA” ARRIVED THERE THIS AM AND SAY IT IS BEAUTIFUL.
WE’LL KEEP YOU POSTED AS TO WHEN WE LAND.
LOVE TO ALL
*Motu Nao is the Marquesan name for a small rock island in the southeastern Marquesas Islands, approximately 22 km (14 miles) northeast of Fatu Hiva. At low tide, the top of the island rises to 4 m (13 ft.) above sea level, and is sometimes almost awash at high tide.
Another beautiful day not much wind, big rolling waves ( the ones we were promised weeks ago) It is 1:50 PM we have changed to Marquesas time which is 91/2 hours behind zulu time.
We have one clock on Fla time so Jim will know the office hours, single side ban on zulu time so we know when to talk to the other boaters, and the radar screen is on the local time, so we know when to sleep. It’s hard to keep it all straight.
We are 09*04’/135*05′ 225.8nm to go–around 40 hours. 239* heading traveling 5.8kts Jim can smell land and is getting antsy. Not much longer now.
love to all
We have had a beautiful day wind about 8 to 10kts, gentle rolling sea and Jim had fish for brunch, a tuna hit around 5:30Pm yeaterday afternoon, not a yellow fin but a tuna. See my theory, going fishing at the crack of noon makes better since all the time.
We are 08*07’/132*31′ 389nm from Fatu Hiva. I was wrong yesterday on the time change, it doesn’t change until we reach 135*. It is every 15*. I was off 5.
We are getting excited as we count down the miles. Want be much longer now. Our speed has dropped a little, somewhere around 65 hours to go.
Til tomorrow, love to all
Day 17 *
It is 1:45 in the afternoon beautiful sunshiny day wind is back up over 20 kts, but seas are not too bad.
We are 07*30’/130*15′ we have just dropped another hour behind you. 527nm to the Marquesas. We are doing really well, can’t believe we have been out here 17 days, if things continue to go well we should be there sometime on Thursday.
We want to say hello from the Special Blend to Zoe Duggan’s school kids at Saint Ann’s PreSchool in Roswell Ga. They have been following us from day one.
So far no fish today, but we still have a lot of day left.
Love to all Martha
* I think they finally figured out what day it is….they were running a day ahead….then a day behind….Christy sent them an email over the weekend telling them what day it was.
I had a great Mothers Day, Jim turned on the generator for a couple of hours, so we had air condition, (better than flowers) Holly cooked dinner and made a chocolate dessert. Now just what more would any Mother want.
We are moving right along, 634nm go to, we covered about 175 miles yesterday a record for us. At 10:10PM we are 07*05’/128*39′ 250* heading, traveling 7.0kt, @ 1500RPM. Weather has been beautiful for the last couple of days, hope this will continue. We were able to be out on the fly bridge most of the day.
I cannot believe we are getting so close to our destination, Holly and I were talking today. It’s been 16 days and it doesn’t seem that long. There were a couple of days I thought if I got thrown around one more time I couldn’t stand another day, then the sun came out and all was good. Looks like we might be there by Thurs.
This boat seems to have a magic to it, maybe just being 2,000 miles out on the ocean makes it seem that way. Sharing our dream with you kids is something not everyone gets to do and some don’t want to. I sure did miss you today, but we had a fun day.
Holly and I did a food evaluation yesterday we only have 5 packs of instant potatoes left, we have really enjoyed those. The other day we had to throw out a lot of pasta and beans. WEEVILS everywhere, things that were in those locktite containers and vacuum sealed were ok, Grits, cereal, rice OK. I am starting to worry what to feed Brad and Travis, hopefully we’ll find some good food stores. Fruit will not be a problem just don’t know about fresh veggies and meat. Snacks like I mentioned before aren’t what we are used to.
We just had a boat pass about 6 miles in front of us first boat we have actually seen since the Galapagos.
Til’ tomorrow love to all
We are having a great day, sun is shinning, wind in down some, seas are better and were moving about 7.1kts 860nm to go. At this speed the computer tells us we have 121hr 44min , but I doubt we can maintain this speed. We have some boats close to us on our radar screen about 20 miles to our south, these are the only boats we have seem in 10 days. (hope they are friendly)
It is 2:25PM we are 4 hours behind you, we keep forgetting as our day starts yours is half over.
We wish Happy Mothers Day to our Mothers, girls and friends. Have the best day ever.
Love to all
2:30PM Friday May 11th, Another rough night, sun is shinning today but we still have wind and waves, our sailboat friends are farther south and they are having to motor because not enough wind. We are almost on the last leg of the of this passage in another 20 miles we will only have 1,000 to go.
05*39’S/122*21’W 240* heading traveling 6.8kt
9:00Pm, we are now another hour behind you, 05*23’S/120*38’W 1,123nm and counting. It has been another really rough day the wind is still up and I have seen some of the biggest walls of waves I have ever seen, but I do feel safe, just tired of not being able to move around easily. We love the days we can be outside up on the fly bridge.
Today is Travis’ (Holly’s husband) birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRAV.
We are hoping for a calm sea tomorrow, love to all
Yesterday was our 12th day, we left on the 28th of April, and we have spent the last couple of days trying to decide how many days we had been out. Do we count the 28th as day one OR the 29th as a full day one? This has given us something to to think about every day.
It is 6:00 AM we are 1,209nm to go 05*18′.191S/119*10″.436W wind is back up to 20-22 kt real rough all night. We have made good time for the last couple of days one day we covered almost 160 miles, but we are down to 5.2kt, don’t have a currant pushing us.
Love to all
We are 5* 1′ s X117* 8’w. The seas are great, everyone doing well only 1331 more nm to go.
8:00PM May 804*38′.417S/115*41′.852W 1,420nm to the Marquesas traveling 247* making good time today 6,8 to 7.1 kt that is really good for us, we have picked up some sort of currant.
Today was a much better day, seas were down somewhat , wind down to about 6 or 7kt, we turned off the main engine so Jim and Holly could change the oil. Our auxiliary engine, don’t let anyone mislead you on this, will only push us about 2.3kits, and trying to stay headed into the waves is a real chore. Jim let us celebrate and have the luxury of the air cond to cool off and make enough water for quick showers.
He figures now that we are a little over half way we just might have enough fuel baring nothing unforeseen.
I sure am going to miss Holly when she leaves, it is wonderful having a personal chef.
04*08’S/113*31’W 1,552nm to the Marquesas we are almost half way there, at this point we are as far from dry land as any place we can be on this earth, well how about that!!!!
We are still having a lot of wind 15 to 20 kts, seas 9-14ft, Jim forgot he promised me the Pacific would not be like the Atlantic HA!!!! The other boats we talk to daily got the same speech from their captains. Makes the days really long because it’s hard to get around and do anything.
We really are doing great, just hope we don’t run out of books or movies. We are still OK on the food end. We did try to fish today. Something big hit and Jim lost the lure and all. I am not sure we could have maneuvered the boat to have landed anything.
Hope everyone on that end is doing well
No Sunday afternoon stroll on the pomade deck for us today, we have had rough seas all night and today. About all we can do is our watch and lie around and read. So far we have not taken any waves over the boat. The Capt says we have about another day and a half of this then smooth sailing. I’m ready anytime now. At least today we have sunshine, not that gray stuff we had all day yesterday.
It is 2:00PM local time, 03*34’S/110*19″W 1748nm to go. 261* heading at 6.0kts.
Happy Birthday tomorrow to Lesley, keeper of the stuff.
Til’ tomorrow, love to all
OH MY! what a rough day, it was grey and raining ALL DAY LONG. wind blowing 20 to 22kts. not sure how high the seas are but it’s hard to move around so we just read books all day. No fishing today.
Tomorrow is not supposed to be much better.
Jim did run the generator today so we could make water and yeah!!!! showers.
Christy gave us an update on the Derby and some other news of the day, you know we don’t get Good Morning America, and the evening news here. I’m sure there is some good Hollywood gossip we should know about.
Love to all
we are at 3*09’X107*25’w, everyone doing well a little choppy yesterday, better today and s/b smooth by this evening. haven’t fished, to choppy. a sail boat had problem yesterday, we didn’t know about until later, but one of the boats in our little 5 boat net went to their aid, i don’t know details but i think they lost a mast and it holed he boat, i think coast guard was supposed to get to them this morning, i heard boat was a loss, anyway not us and everyone rescued, if anyone hears about it.
Day 7 at Sea
Another great day on a lot of water, today has been a little more rough than the previous days.
Jim was going to change the oil in the main engine but decided to hold off to see what tomorrow brings. Maybe not so choppy.
It is 7:35PM here,when we crossed the 105*, we are three hours behind your time now
03*00′.328S/106*00′.990W- 2,006nm to go. We are 255* heading, traveling 6.7 kts @1500 RPM we have picked up a currant that is pushing us a bit.
Jim is still concerned about using too much fuel so he want let us run the generator SO no showers, no cloths washing , no air condition Holly and I are getting a little testy, but I would rather have dirty hair than have to row this boat!!!!!!
Everything is really good, reading lots of books, playing cards, watching DVDs, Holly showed us a card game on the computer (free cell) I had never played it before, it’ll keep you busy for a while.
Love to all
Today at 5:08pm we are located at 02*47′.574S/103*07′.675W. Nothing but water with no exciting events – but dad and I did finished a book and mom made root beer. We still are not allowed to shower nor wash clothes until dad approves that we can turn on the generator and make some water. He says “no luxuries because we must conserve fuel in case of an emergency”. So I am hoping for a shower tomorrow. My hair is slicked back – no hair spray needed.
The smelly crew
Holly and I shared a can of Dr Pepper I had been saving, you would have thought it was a bottle of fine wine. I looked at her and she and I both were smilin’, smellin’ and sippin’ when we looked at each other we got the giggles. It just doesn’t take much to be totally satisfied
The sunset was beautiful, just before it set small dolphin (mahi) hit both rods and 20 minutes later the moon came up looking like the sunset. The full moon is breath taking and the sky is clear as a bell.
We have 2289nm to go about 436 hours and 50 min the computer says, we’ll see just how close that is
Miss all of you so much.
May 2nd, Polk County FL…. 50 miles from everything.
Yesterday was a long day no fish, no whales, just clouds and waves. Last night was cloudy with rain off and on.
It is 2:25 PM, Wed May 2, we are 2330 nm from the Marquesas 02*41′.161S/100*31′.968W, we are moving at 6.2kts. We are covering between 130 and 150 miles a day. This morning everything was gray, sky and water were the same color, but the sun is out now and the water is beautiful.
We are eating and sleeping really well, falling into our own routine, at home we would never be in bed at 7 or 8 PM with no internet and no TV,(we do have plenty of movies AND season 1 & 2 of Grey’s Anatomy) it’s easy to fall asleep to the hum of the engine, God forbid the sound of the engine changes. That makes us sit straight up in bed. Sometime one of us will hit the throttle and every one else hollers “WHAT HAPPEN?”
I do need an update on Grey’s Anatomy, who’s with who?????? It’s awful to be hooked.
Keeper of the stuff closes on the sale of her house tomorrow Good luck! She’ll be living out of a suitcase for a few weeks until her new house is ready. Can’t believe she is finally getting a new house and I’m not there to help.
Love to all Martha
Note from the Keeper:
After my helpers and I finished packing the last bit of my stuff, my realtor called and they have put the closing off until monday or tuesday. So no signing the contract on the new house until the other one closes.
We had a good night, but slow. about 130 miles, picked up current about daylight this morning so hopefully closer to 150 tomorrow. no fish yesterday, one of the sailboats we talk to caught nice wahoo. 2*39′ X 99* 51′, will probably stay almost east for next 10 days unless we loose current, shooting for about 3* and 130w* to keep this great seas, then turn more south, maybe??? you gotta have a plan.
12:15 our time Tues May 1st. 02*29′.245S/098*03′.005W
Yesterday as you already know we had a marlin on for about 45 min. By the time I got the boat turned, Holly got the other rod in and Jim was fighting the fish, the tail walking display did not get on camera. Not sure what to do about a camera ready situation, twice we have missed the first great tailwalking explosion. Any one have any ideas?
Things are going well, last night we had a beautiful sunset, almost full moon and a heaven full of stars. Cannot ask for anything better.
Love to all Martha
The weather is great. We lost the current so we have slowed down only 135 miles today. 2*22′ X 97*38′
It’s 10:30 PM I’m on watch until about 12 mid night then I’ll wake Holly, she and Jim go down about 7 or 8. Beautiful full moon night wind is a little cool.
April 30 2007
02*08′.727S/095*40′.676W,9:30 AM, yesterday was a great day at sea, light mist all night, 2 whale sightings early morning not sure what kind, afternoon we think(OH WOW!! BIG MARLIN JUST HIT) Jim and Holly fought fish for 45 min it made a run under the boat and cut the line. Back to whales, we think these were short fin pilot whales, they didn’t like the boat and were gone in an instant .
Things are good last night we had steak and lobster (La Cockroach gave us lobster before we left, I think it was a thank you for all the fuel we bought from him.) We may be the only boat doing crossings that gains weight on the trip.
We are 01*36′.091S/093*09″.476W @ 8:30AM our time. We spent the night dodging long liner fishing boats. Once we got out of the Galapagos waters we picked up the fishing boats.
We covered about 130 miles yesterday and that was avoiding fishing boats and watching whales. The weather is decent a little over cast.
We just talked to Priscilla and Ivy-Ruby, we contact them every morning at 14:30 zulu time, on the single side band radio. Priscilla left just before us yesterday and Ivy-Ruby is closer to the Marquesas. Another boat, Markesha, is near us also.
Will update you in the morning.
Love to all
Today we left the Galapagos (what a wonderful place) – we went on at horse back tour yesterday. Mom and dad have bitched all day about having a sore ass – so I guess I am on my own for the next horse back tour. Well just a few minutes ago we saw humpback whales – I was so excited I almost pissed myself. I was jumping up and down like a little school girl. Dad’s quote of the day “god damn that is a big son-of-a-bitch”. Wow that was cool – we were able to hang with them for around 40 minutes before dad got bored and wanted to get on our way. Mom and I could have stayed with them all day. So anyways I am having a blast – but I will be seeing a lot of ocean for the next few weeks.
Lesley – can’t wait to see your house?
Travis – how are you and the animals?
Melissa – are you hanging in there?
Christy – if you were here, we could of taken over the boat and gone diving with the whales!!
Miss you guys and love you all,
Isla Isabela, Galapalagos
We are in Villamil,on Isabela. 0*7′.84 X 90*7′.83. We going to see penguins today and trip on horseback. Then into the crater tomorrow. Everyone is well. Martha is spending the morning taking pictures of blue footed boobies. Tom from Priscella said the boat in front of him had some worth photographing.
Holly and I had the most fabulous afternoon, we went to a small island a few miles from where we are anchored. We got to swim with the sea lions just a few yards from where the waves were breaking on the black lava rocks, the blue footed boobies were there to watch.
Our tour guide was amazed at how Holly could free dive so deep. He called her United States and me MaMa United States. From there we snorkeled through a cut in a large cliff. It was like swimming down a creek with a 50ft high cliff on both sides. The water was a mix of ocean and a fresh water spring. There we saw sharks and sting rays. Boobies watched from above. Then we climbed the rocks out of the water over a rocky dune, the guide saying “MaMa United States be careful”
We traded our fins for our shoes and walked to the top of the cliff teatering on the lava flow rocks to Dog Beach where we was black marine iguanas more boobies and frigates.
On our way back in we stopped to look at a fishing boat that was cleaning their catch in the bay and there must have been 2 dozen pelicans and 10 frigates within 3 feet of us and fish we didn’t have a clue as to what they were.
The tour boat dropped us at our boat and went on their way.
The cockroach was here fueling our boat so we can be on our way out of here in the AM.
This morning at 8:00 we met our taxi driver to go to the airport to meet Holly. Over the moutain we went. Arrived early to wait for her. It was real foggy and got worse. At the time her plane was due, 9:45AM they closed the airport because they have no lights on the runway to guide the planes in. We waited until about 11:00 found someone that spoke english and learned Holly’s plane had been turned around to refuel because they had circled for so long. It would be about 2:00 before they got back to Baltra.
Close to 2:00 they finally arrived and we were back on our way over the moutain without the fog this time, but our sightseeing day was shot. We were all tired and hungry. Tomorrow is another day. All are safe and well.
Staying anchored here is quite a challenge, we moved to a different location in the bay after the diver retrieved or anchor. Thought we were well and good, the bottom is rock with some sand, big rolling waves breaking about 1 hundred yard from us. Jim woke me about 4:30 AM. Anyone that knows me well knows the early AM is my best time ( NOT) we spent the next hour trying to get the anchor to hold all the while tryng do dodge water taxis and other anchored boats. Finally decided we needed to wait until daylight so we didn’t hurt ourselves or someone else. SOOOOO we boated in circles for another hour until we could see well enough to drop the anchors again. This time, so far so good. Jim is napping it is 12:30 PM , maybe later we can do something besides anchor the boat and wait for the anchor almarn to go off.
It is beautiful here, the people are very friendly and helpful.
Tom and Suzie on PRISCILLA are here also and Errol on IVY-RUBY will be here in a day or so. We talk on the single side band with them daily. They are headed to the Marquesas Islands also. It comforting to know someone esle is out there with us. Not side by side but in the same ocean.
love to all
Well we are back in business. Last night sometime we lost the flopper stopper that helps with the rolling at anchor. Sylvia almost fell out of bed and I got sick. The rollers for some reason coming in were really big. Without a sern anchor to keep us straight the waves were hitting us broad side.
A diver came out about mid day and found both the anchor and flopper. Jim retied all and we moved the boat more to the inside. Maybe this will do the trick.
Sylvia left about 9:00AM she will stay the night with her son-in-laws parents in Ecuador.
If we feel safe leaving the boat alone, we are going on a site seeing trip tomorrow.
Hope everyone is well, miss you
4-17-07 4:30 PM
Sylvia and I took a tour today a 45 min bus ride to the other side of the island. Got our mandatory orange tourist life jackets got on the water taxi to go a hundred yards to the tour boat. there we surrendered our life jackets and had to take our shoes off to ride 45 min to another island. We passed the airport island where Sylvia will fly out tomorrow and Holly will fly in on Sat. arrived at the rocky island where blue footed boobies and frigate birds nest. We were told to put on our shoes and get back in the water taxi (which we had towed with us) so we could go ashore. A one week old baby seal was there to greet us.
Not real sure just how big this island was, we walked just a small part of it. Almost immediately we saw boobies and frigates. I got some great pictures of the frigates they have a big red throat and the blue footed male boobies do a Boobies dance and offer the female a stick, when she accepts the twig or stick then they mate The Boobie dance we got to see she didn’t like the stick he offered and turned her head.
We did get to see up close a nest with a baby and another with eggs that was right in the walking path. No one knows why the birds have blue feet the Darwin center is doing research on that.
We got back in our taxi to go the hundred yards to the tour boat another 30 min to the next island where we were to snorkel with sea lions except there were no sea lions when we got there. Just cold water and not good visibility. Did see ONE flamingo. Several iguanas. Got back in the taxi back to the tour boat 35 min back to the bus. Where we were told to put on our shoes and the orange life vest to go the hundred yards to the dock. Never did understand why we had to remove our shoes on the old ratty boat or wear the life jackets to go a hundred yards. Tourist rules I guess. We did have a great time.
Jim did not go with us today, the stern anchor broke off yesterday and Jim was not comfortable leaving the boat all day. A young man is coming out tomorrow to dive for the anchor. Soon as we get secure again we’ll tour some more.
Pictures to come
Yesterday was a recoup day, this Am we went to the Darwin center where they have the big land turtles as Jim says they have really big gophers here. We have seen all kinds of birds the frigate bird with the red throat, lava gulls, but we have yet to see the blue footed boobies. Jim can hardly wait to see the blue boobies.
We take the water taxi in to shore there is no place to dock the dingy. Tomorrow we are taking a tour of another little island near us where we can swim with the sea lions. Once anchored in the Galapagos Islands you cannot take your own boat to another island. If we wanted to do a lot of paper work and lot of money we could, it´s just cheaper and less hassle to take the tours. When Holly arrives we will do a 3 day trip to the volcanoes.
More to come
Hey there we are at an internet cafe´still cannot get on the web site sure wanted to see the canal pictures. We went to the Darwin center today saw the big turtles, tomorrow we are going on a al day tour with Sylvia.
Holly we are waiting on you to go on a three day trip,, to the volcano’s, penguins real site seeing tour. We´ll go Mon-Wed or Tues-Thurs checking with another tour group.
Yesterday we came into shore, saw sea lions, all kinds of birds, fish market, today is election day. Lot of things are closed. The land scape is really something, cactus, thorny trees, lava rock. Took lot of pictures. Just can´t send the yet, maybe Sylvia will have to bring them with her.
Will call you all at one of the phones later.
We arrived here this AM in the Galapagos in the heavy fog, could not see a hundred feet around the boat. All of a sudden we had land. We anchored around 11:30 AM, within the hour our agent Richardo came to the boat and checked us in. We gave him money, he took our passports and went on his way. Lot of sailboats here one other Nordhavn a 55. Sylvia was able to talk to her inlaws on her cell phone, she will fly out Wed or Thurs agent said no problem. He is booking her ticket. He also is on top of Holly coming in.
Now that we are anchored and checked in we cannot take our boat to the other island, must be done on tour boats, we can get a special permit to go out so we can use the water maker. Also cannot fish. So far the cove we are in has no sea life. Our friends on the Ivey-Ruby are on a different island and say they have lot of sea life. Maybe tomorrow.
We are going to take showers, rest and go into shore later to explore and have dinner.
We will be here a couple of weeks hopefully can find and internet cafe’ and send pictures.
Love to all
This is a message from the Ivey-Ruby. They are on a sailboat and are headed in the same direction as the Special Blend. I have am helping them get an alternator to their boat…..that is a web page all to it’s self. But here is the message that they sent when they arrived to the Galapagos.
Keeper of the Stuff
Well we r at Isla San Cristobel. Beautiful here seals turtles everywhere , fish in the shallows even a huge ray at the jetty, but it feels like we r in a military rule. Something like Russia as it used to be. We may not go to any other island except the one we anchor at. so make sure u want to go to a specific place. I queried this with the port captain , eg. the cruising guide says so and so , well his answer was we make the rules here, so unless u want to catch a ferry or fly between the islands u may not lift the anchor unless u r leaving.
Anyway we will just enjoy the rest here till we get the alternator then push on. Jim we were looking forward to getting together with u guys but it will have 2 wait till new zealand. Will talk on the radio.
Ok on a good note we have arranged for a tour tomorrow with the local guy to c the marine iguanas, tortoises, volcanoes etc.
Errol and Gareth
Another milestone, we crossed the equator tonight at 11:01PM. I made bread today so we put Jim’s birthday candle in it and celebrated with champagne. 61nm more to go. We are 00*02′.268S/089*20′.55631W
We should arrive in Santa Cruise Galapagos in the morning some time. Wish all of you could have celebrated with us. Maybe next time.
Miss you love Martha
We are 158 miles from the Galapagos Islands 1*01’nX88*05″w, we planning really big party for equator crossing, should before midnight tonight. Seas are really flat with light wind. Starting to see more birds, Slyvia looking for blue footed boobies. It’s cold, so I’m looking for penguins. No fish yesterday, too cold I’m thinking. Must be in 60’s this morning. Saw a large pod, school, bunch of small porpoise.
All is well.
Today was a much better day. wind and seas were down, sun was out, life is good. I think it’s a little like having a baby somehow you forget all about the pain.
We have a real classy Nordhavn at the moment, a real Jim Lyle special. The control throttle keeps slipping and we loose rpm’s so it is held up with a bungee cord. Not a good thing to pull apart in the middle of the ocean…. Both of the big antennas up by the fly bridge lost their screws( Sylvia caught one just before it fell.) Both are now bungee corded, roped up and zip tied to the railing. The only thing Jim didn’t use was duct tape and silicone, that may be tomorrow’s job. We be looking really good!!!!!! Nothing we can’t live with though.
It is 12:48 AM our time 197.5nm to go, our position is 01*28′.319N/087*36′.279W sometime tomorrow we will cross the equator,a first for us. We’ll have a champaign celebration.
We have had birds that fly with us at night and catch the fish , squid and stuff the boat scares up out of the water. There little wings have to be sooooo tired. It has been real dark no moon and stars because of the clouds, guess we are the only bright spot in this part of the ocean.
Love hearing from all of you please keep in touch, it will help with those “bitchy days”!
Just brought the biggest sailfish to the boat I have ever seen, must have been 150#. The action photographers on board missed all 8 jumps.
4*37’NX83*28″w, smooth sailing with some rain 483.3nm to go
The keeper is staying very busy these days. Holly is leaving on April 19th to meet up with the Special Blend. So just about daily Holly and I are getting email with list of STUFF that they need. (So maybe I won’t have to keep up with all of it) Holly is very excited. She will be flying in to the Galapagos and then going with them to the Marquesas Islands (which is a part of the French Polynesia Islands). She has been doing research on what she would like to do when she gets to the islands. I think she plans on taking two horse rides one in the Galapagos and one in Marquesas. She is not to keen on the idea of diving with the sharks and the sting rays, but the mock killer wales should be in the Marquesas when they get there. She is all about that. Travis will be meeting them in the Marquesas and Holly will be flying home. Someone has to feed all those animals at her ranch…smile…
Brad had his tonsils taken out today and he is doing fine. His mom (Christy)is haveing a harder time that he is.
Have a great day,
Keeper of the Stuff
Good morning to all I’s about 9:00am here. We are 1/2 way to Galopagos Islands. Cloudy, raining, big rolling waves. I am doing laundry. It is always fun to read the emails from friends and family. Miss all so much. 04*57’N/083*00W 532.4nm to Galapagos.
Seas are flat with long gentle swales. I think will like this all the way?? The way I read the forecast.
All is well,
Good morning, it is 11:30 here 06*19′,020N/081*09’021W 668nm to go. We are in calm water, big rolling waves, no wind to speak of. Sailboates avoid this area because of it. For us it is pleasure boating. Jim caught a 25lb dolphin this am. We are having it for lunch.
Life is good.
We didn’t see the easter bunny here!!
6*30nX80*53’w We made 150+miles in the first 24 hours. The seas are smooth, some rain, and long large swells. We had shrimp scampi, mashed potatoes, and steamed carrots for dinner. Life is tough at sea.
8*10′ X79*19’w stoped at Pearl Islands yesterday afternoon w/ Priscella (the sailboat). We were going to clean bottom but the water was dirty. So we gave up the plan. Left this morning 234* and only 843 miles to go. Ocean chop and current is with us.
Our 1st day in the Pacific was a great one very comfortable rolling waves. Jim decided to make a stop in the Pearl islands for the night. It’s about 40 miles from Panama City. We thought we would clean the bottom of the boat. Water is not clear at all. We caught a couple of Bonita along the way and as we entered the islands a large whale with a baby rolled between us and the shore.
First thing we did was inflate the canoe and head in to the shore, (I haven’t paddled in years) wide sandy beach, big palm trees with small mountains behind. Pictures to come. Across the way from us in another cove are about 20 tents on the beach, we heard it’s a group of tourist on an Eco tour. We thought maybe we stumbled on Surviver Panama. The sunset was beautiful, the moon is almost full that makes the night passages wonderful. Were looking forward to more great days and we’ll be in the Galopagos in about 8 days.
Love to all
Down Town Bowling Green, FL
2:30 PM Tomorrow April 6th is THE BIG DAY we pick up our advisor( the guy that goes through the lock with us) about 4:00pm and head through the Gatun lock around 5:30pm, after we get through there we anchor in the lake for the night. Sometime 6:00am or so another advisor will join us for the rest of the trip. Don’t have a time frame for the other locks maybe sometime between 12:00 and 2:00pm. Sylvia and I did our final shopping trip, had to forgo our walk in the jungle today. Sylvia had quite a walk yesterday. She saw white face monkeys,a howler monkey up close and a coda mongie (not sure just how to spell that) I do think we are stocked for our long passage. We are all so excited. Dee Dee is joining us for the trip through the canal, I know one thing for sure we are not going to wait so long to visit again. We have three other boaters that will line handle for us with Jim. The advisor and I will guide the boat. I thought I was here to take pictures!!!!!!! We will update you on the other side. ==============================================================
Jim called and said that they were ready to go through the canal. So I had everyone sitting looking at this huge ship go through…….2 hours later Martha called and they were NOW ready to go through. When the camera finally got to the SB I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I had Christy and Holly on the phone! Rickey, Jackie, Janie, Danny, Walter, and Henry watching The Special Blend go through the canal. Martha called while they were in the canal and we were so excited we both just laughed. I was able to capture some pics off the web cam.
So after 2 days of watching a web cam its all over….just like Christmas. But boy, was it fun.
Love ya Mom and Dad. Glad we could share this with you.
Keeper of the Stuff
Tomorrow April 6th is THE BIG DAY we pick up our advisor( the guy that goes through the lock with us) about 4:00pm and head through the Gatun lock around 5:30pm, after we get through there we anchor in the lake for the night. Sometime 6:00am or so another advisor will join us for the rest of the trip. Don’t have a time frame for the other locks maybe sometime between 12:00 and 2:00pm.
Sylvia and I did our final shopping trip, had to forgo our walk in the jungle today. Sylvia had quite a walk yesterday. She saw white face monkeys,a howler monkey up close and a coda mongie (not sure just how to spell that) I do think we are stocked for our long passage. We are all so excited. Dee Dee is joining us for the trip through the canal, I know one thing for sure we are not going to wait so long to visit again. We have three other boaters that will line handle for us with Jim. The advisor and I will guide the boat. I thought I was here to take pictures!!!!!!!
We will update you on the other side.
Just got off the phone with Martha. She gave me the website to the Panama Canal. They have web cams set up along the canal. Here is the link: http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html I will find out when they will pass through and let everone know.
We have a new addition to the Special Blend an inflatable canoe. Now mind you, I have been in a canoe with Jim twice and twice we have turned over. So on the maiden voyage we let Jim go by himself. He headed into the wind which was blowing 17kts and it was white capping in the marina. He never made it the 43′ to the bow of the boat. Maybe tomorrow, who knows by then I might want to take a swim.
3-31-07 Martha Hey we just got the word we don’t go through the canal until the 5th of April. I may have to sedate Jim and Sylvia before then. Jim did say I could fly home for a few days if I wanted to. I just don’t know if I want to miss any of this experience. But I do miss all of you. I’ll call you later. Love Mom ============================================================== Sylvia and I went out in the “jungle” yesterday just before dark heard and saw the howler monkeys, my they are loud. A palm frond fell out of a tree and we were sure something had us for sure. We saw the oropendalo birds and their nest I did get pictures but not good light. We had Jim a birthday cake not sure where it came from the girl at the marina got it for us, we had cake and ice cream for dinner. It has taken us 2 days to get online, sometime it works sometime not , things don’t work here like they do in the states. Tomorrow we are going into Colon to do some shopping we want to get some molas that the natives in the San Blas make. Also need another coffee pot the one I bought steams so much the walls stay wet. Dad says thanks for the cards. Love Mom PS. Photos—Some of the are San Andres others are the trip to Panama(pics posted) Somewhere near the Panama Canal Well the long awaited CANAL ZONE is almost in sight. We are 09*41′.146N/080*06′.261W. 20.75 nm from Panama. We think it’s around 4:00PM the time keeps changing on us we’re not sure if we are 1hr or 2hrs behind you now. We have 4 more hours to motor. We are not seeing any boats at all, thought by now we would. Our arrival time will mess up our dinner and a movie, we have really enjoyed our collection of movies, thanks to Holly and Travis and my 2 years shopping spree. ============================================================= 3-23-07 3-20-07 We had a great meal last night and look forward to more here on this little island before the weather lets us head out for Panama. Maybe three or four days. Miss everyone love to all Martha ============================================================== Here are some pictures around the marina, our trip around the island, a street on the west end (that should have only been one way) cars parked on both sides, cars going both ways, and the trash truck. The marina dog ,Havanna, reminds me of Holly’s dog Logan, just as sweet. New boat friends Jeff and Melinda Steinborn on the sail boat Windy Dancer, are from Seattle Wash. They shared their sequin hats with me, I’ll wear it proud all the way to New Zealand. Having a great time, we are moving today to the west end of the island and anchor until the weather lets us head out to Pananma. New crew Dick and Sylvia. 3-14-07 16 20′.243N Barefoot Key Marina, Roatan Honduras Rough night at sea We got here around 11:00 our time don’t know if it’s daylight savings time or not. It took 28 hours to get here. 16*20′.243N/086*28′.542W Barefoot Key Marina, Roatan. What a picture right out of paradise. A boat from the marina came out to guide us in, when we got to the dock three guys were there to help us tie up. When we ask where to go to report and do our paper work, they said oh! We’ll call and they will come to the boat. About three hours later a young man and girl showed up (children of the Port Capt.) he was out today and they were getting all of the paper work for him. He’ll see us in the morning. The young man maybe 13 or so wanted to know if we had T-shirts for the authorities, I said of course. He said I’ll take a medium, and one for my sister, oh and a large for my Mom. My Dad will see you tomorrow. Then he said you going to need a car to get around to see the island. I said I wasn’t sure, so he said you just call me and I’ll help you out. In the mean time the young lady had Jim charmed. We are so tired all we have done is sleep Jim did take a swim in the pool! Tomorrow will be the exploring day and Tues we’ll meet Sylvia and Dick. We do have WiFi here so I can get pictures out. And chat a little more. Martha ============================================================== San Pedro, Belize 17*54′.901N We arrived in Belize this afternoon (Wed) about 2:30 our time (San Pedro 17*54′.901N/087*57′.65W) trip was a good one. We did our check in and had dinner at a real tourist place. The food was surprisingly good .Weather is cool and raining. The weather has not been our friend and we lost a week. The wind was the bad guy in Xcalak. We kept pulling anchor and it was too rough to travel. Jim spent his time working on how to tie the dingy to the back of the boat. He finally did some “Dingy Dangles” off the back that work well. We have also gotten better with the loading and unloading it. Martha ============================================================== ============================================================== We’re enjoying reading the emails from everyone, keep them coming. We miss all of you. Martha ============================================================== 2-11-2007 You might get two copies of this email. I am trying to get everyone on the same email address so that I can just send out one email from one email address. So the correct Email address will be specialblend43@msn .com Holly’s husband Travis and I are working on the website. So send any pics you might have of the “Shake Down Cruses” that some of you went on. I would love to add them to the website. I will be sending Jim and Martha emails everyday. So if anyone wants to add something I will add it to my email. No pics please. They are on a satellite phone, so we have to get a lot out in a short time.
Guess who I spent my day with — Dee Dee. I emailed her last night and heard from her this morning before Sylvia and I went to Panama City. Our driver Stanley took us near her house and she can to meet us. Her youngest daughter has just moved back, she was in New Orleans during the storm. I’ll tell you all about our visit later, she might go through the canal with us, she has never done that.
Dee Dee is one of Martha’s highschool friends who has lived in Panama for 30 years or so. They have not seen each other in about 20 years. So this was a treat for both of them. Dee Dee’s Husband retired a few years ago. He was the head engineer for the canal. Martha will be sending pics of their day out.
Keeper of the Stuff
West Bank of the Panama Canal
We went into Colon’ today on the bus from the marina, went across the canal saw two hugh ships going through, looked like they almost scraped the sides. Dick has to leave us Sunday so he is going through with another boat on Thurs. The admeasurer was here today to measure the boat we are a 46′, 43 footer. They measure from the tip of the anchor to the very end of the stern. All of our paper work is done so now we just wait for the call. Some people crew with other boats to get an idea what it is like before they take their own boat through, Jim said he would like to do that but not sure he is going to.
Somewhere on the Coast of Panama
Our agent Enrique Plummer came today took our passports to be stamped and took our money said he would see us tomorrow. It will be 5 to 6 days before we get the go ahead to go through the canal.
Hope everyone is well, miss all of you love reading the emails.
I spoke with Martha yesterday. They have found a phone that for a US quarter they can talk for two minutes. That is much cheaper that the sat phone. They had a good crossing. Jim has called a few times today….it is raining and they are waiting to clear customs. So he keeps called me because he has nothing else to do.
I spoke with Lynn at the Seabird yesterday her mother Sylvia is on the SB. She said they were having a great time and that Sylvia and Dick saw howler monkeys yesterday and were going to see some kind of white faced monkeys that evening. So I guess the jungle is near where the marina is. Hope they get to some WIFI so that they can send pics.
They are not sure when they are going to go through the canal yet. I will let everyone know as soon as I do.
Keeper of the Stuff
PS It’s Captain Jim’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!
Have had 2 great days on the water we caught fish and everything. Dick landed about a 40lb dolphin today, yesterday Jim got a triple tail and a dolphin.
I think we are ready for our journey through the canal, we have made water and filled the tanks, done laundry, had naps so we are good to go. Just not sure how long our wait will be before we get the go ahead.
We will keep you up to date.
Miss everyone, love to all
Sorry that there are no pics from the SB as of late. Martha and Jim went to the Internet Cafe to make calls and send pics. Well Martha typed a new Admiral’s Log and attached pics……they are still in cyber-space somewhere. So if they ever do show up, I will post them.
Keeper of the Stuff
San Andres Island, Columbia – Off the Coast of Nicaragua
Good morning Bowling Green. We have been on a tour of the duty free town. We had to buy a coffee pot. What a story that was. We had a big wave that rocked us sideways the other night. I had just bragged that the coffee pot had not moved an inch. We-l-l-l it flew across the room. There was coffee, grounds and parts all over the place. I put it all back together, so we were good to go. The coffee pot is one you push the lever and it dispenses coffee. Could not stop the flow, we had coffee everywhere. Jim, Dick and I all had cups trying to catch it, all of this was going on as the boat rocked back and forth. We were laughing so hard it’s a wonder any of us got one cup.
Christy got a call from Jim on Sunday afternoon. They could see a few islands on the radar/map system. The weather was getting bad and they were looking for a place to hide out. They were unsure if the islands were Nicaraguan or Columbian. After a little research I found out that the islands were indeed Columbian. I pulled up “Noonsite” and got them some clearance info that they would need. Wished them luck and sent them an email. I got two emails this morning:
Thanks for info.We are approaching San Andres now, will be calling an agent shortly. Then a little R&R. Everyone is a little beat up.
Contact you later.
We are on st andrew island, 12*34′ X 81*41′ W. The islands are owned by Columbia. It is a very modern looking city.
We will be here until weather changes.
PS Brad did not send me info on Gators and NCAA and I need a nap.
I am sure we will be hearing more about this when they get some rest.
Keeper of the Stuff
We have left Roatan this morning and on way to Panama. Seas are smooth.
Sylvia and Dick arrived in Roatan yesterday. Sylvia arrived with her ships papers…..see below. Can’t wait for the stories to begin.
Good Luck to all.
Keeper of the Stuff
This place is beautiful a perfect place to get away Barefoot Cay, Roatan, Honduras. 31/2 acre island several cottages 1 & 2 bedroom, boat docks, meal and beverage service for guest, a chef cooks breakfast lunch and dinner. Whatever she cooks is what you get. They have open air seating for maybe 20. This over looks the pool area and boats. A dock goes out to a tikki in the water.
We are enjoying this while we wait for the Port Capt to clear us, he has all our paper work it’s 2:30 Pm here and still have not heard from him, wonder if his kids took the T-Shirts and ran?
San Perdro, Belize
Looking at weather I think we may leave here tomorrow morning for Roatan and have a smoother ride. If we wait to monday it may be a little rougher and crew is not taking waves well.
San Perdro, Belize
Hey guess where we are? Yep, internet cafe’. I’m going to try and send you pix. (they are posted under Xcalak)
We going to do some looking around on the water tomorrow.
Spoke with Jim and Martha via istant messinger. They were at the internet cafe’. I think it is more like the “buy a beer and get free internet” Cafe’. We didn’t get to talk long so I guess they needed to do more dringking!!! Mom said that she would send more pics later tonight. I will post them as soon as I get them.
Keeper of the Stuff
This little town is a hoot. Jim did find the Mexican food he had been searching for the whole trip, the roads are sand with broken bottles, conch, bottles caps etc, etc, and the speed bumps are hugh pieces of rope stretched across. Hope I got a good pix. This would be the place to get away from the world.
We are just out side Ascension Bay, Mexico.This is prime bonefish country. Dale from the keys is associated somehow with lodge here. It has been to rough the past two days to even put out the dingy. We are here on boat in a spot with just fair protection. It blew almost 30 knots yesterday.
We will probably get to fish this afternoon and tomorrow some. We will leave here Saturday evening to Xlax to check out of Mexico Sunday or Monday morning and go to Belize by Monday. The weather window will probably close Sunday evening.
Here are a few new pictures. (They have been posted)
San Miguel Harbor
We had a bumpy crossing and the current was running against us.
Christy brought home with her lots of great pics. As soon as I get them organized and captioned I will get them posted. And yes…..I will post the Mayan porno….just wait and see! Mom and dad are having a great time.
Keeper of the Stuff
Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Arrived Monday 19,2007. Anchored off the city pier, just behind the reef.
Christy said it’s like staying between a rock and a hard place! Christy is flying home today. I am sure when she gets home she will tell us more of her (Tall) tales. I still have Nextel contact with them. So it has been nice being able to chat with them.
Keeper of the Stuff
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
as of 10:20 EST
47.3 miles to Cancun.
Seas are great especially for the Yuc channel! Dad forecasted well. Having the blues the first night was worth having the calm Yuc Channel today! Hope to get there before sundown.
Love to all! We are fantastic. Bruises are becoming to sailoretts I hear.
I Just got of the phone with Jim. They are making good time. Not so many of them sick now. They are about 175 Miles form Cancun. He will be sending me Latitudes and longitudes so we can keep up with them. So I attached the google world map so you can follow along at home. We will also have this on the web site.
The Adventure Begins…Jim, Martha, and Christy set out on Sunday on the “Special Blend” with lots of smiles, laughs, and tears. Of course it was not a beautiful day. It was overcast, rainy, and the wind was blowing about 20 knots. Jim was leaving regardless. I think he was worried that Martha and Christy were going to put more stuff on the boat. I had cell phone contact with them until about 9pm. They were going into some bad weather and Martha and Christy were a bit sick. Monday morning I got a message from them. They were anchored off of the Dry Tortugas and taking a rest. They are waiting for the weather to clear out and then set out for Mexico.
Keeper of the Stuff
Hey we just got the word we don’t go through the canal until the 5th of April. I may have to sedate Jim and Sylvia before then. Jim did say I could fly home for a few days if I wanted to. I just don’t know if I want to miss any of this experience. But I do miss all of you.
I’ll call you later.
============================================================== Sylvia and I went out in the “jungle” yesterday just before dark heard and saw the howler monkeys, my they are loud. A palm frond fell out of a tree and we were sure something had us for sure. We saw the oropendalo birds and their nest I did get pictures but not good light. We had Jim a birthday cake not sure where it came from the girl at the marina got it for us, we had cake and ice cream for dinner. It has taken us 2 days to get online, sometime it works sometime not , things don’t work here like they do in the states. Tomorrow we are going into Colon to do some shopping we want to get some molas that the natives in the San Blas make. Also need another coffee pot the one I bought steams so much the walls stay wet. Dad says thanks for the cards. Love Mom PS. Photos—Some of the are San Andres others are the trip to Panama(pics posted)
Sylvia and I went out in the “jungle” yesterday just before dark heard and saw the howler monkeys, my they are loud. A palm frond fell out of a tree and we were sure something had us for sure. We saw the oropendalo birds and their nest I did get pictures but not good light.
We had Jim a birthday cake not sure where it came from the girl at the marina got it for us, we had cake and ice cream for dinner.
It has taken us 2 days to get online, sometime it works sometime not , things don’t work here like they do in the states.
Tomorrow we are going into Colon to do some shopping we want to get some molas that the natives in the San Blas make. Also need another coffee pot the one I bought steams so much the walls stay wet.
Dad says thanks for the cards.
PS. Photos—Some of the are San Andres others are the trip to Panama(pics posted)
Somewhere near the Panama Canal Well the long awaited CANAL ZONE is almost in sight. We are 09*41′.146N/080*06′.261W. 20.75 nm from Panama. We think it’s around 4:00PM the time keeps changing on us we’re not sure if we are 1hr or 2hrs behind you now. We have 4 more hours to motor. We are not seeing any boats at all, thought by now we would. Our arrival time will mess up our dinner and a movie, we have really enjoyed our collection of movies, thanks to Holly and Travis and my 2 years shopping spree. =============================================================
Well the long awaited CANAL ZONE is almost in sight. We are 09*41′.146N/080*06′.261W. 20.75 nm from Panama. We think it’s around 4:00PM the time keeps changing on us we’re not sure if we are 1hr or 2hrs behind you now. We have 4 more hours to motor. We are not seeing any boats at all, thought by now we would. Our arrival time will mess up our dinner and a movie, we have really enjoyed our collection of movies, thanks to Holly and Travis and my 2 years shopping spree.
3-23-07 3-20-07 We had a great meal last night and look forward to more here on this little island before the weather lets us head out for Panama. Maybe three or four days. Miss everyone love to all Martha
We had a great meal last night and look forward to more here on this little island before the weather lets us head out for Panama. Maybe three or four days.
Miss everyone love to all
============================================================== Here are some pictures around the marina, our trip around the island, a street on the west end (that should have only been one way) cars parked on both sides, cars going both ways, and the trash truck. The marina dog ,Havanna, reminds me of Holly’s dog Logan, just as sweet. New boat friends Jeff and Melinda Steinborn on the sail boat Windy Dancer, are from Seattle Wash. They shared their sequin hats with me, I’ll wear it proud all the way to New Zealand. Having a great time, we are moving today to the west end of the island and anchor until the weather lets us head out to Pananma. New crew Dick and Sylvia.
Here are some pictures around the marina, our trip around the island, a street on the west end (that should have only been one way) cars parked on both sides, cars going both ways, and the trash truck.
The marina dog ,Havanna, reminds me of Holly’s dog Logan, just as sweet.
New boat friends Jeff and Melinda Steinborn on the sail boat Windy Dancer, are from Seattle Wash. They shared their sequin hats with me, I’ll wear it proud all the way to New Zealand.
Having a great time, we are moving today to the west end of the island and anchor until the weather lets us head out to Pananma.
New crew Dick and Sylvia.
Barefoot Key Marina, Roatan Honduras
Rough night at sea We got here around 11:00 our time don’t know if it’s daylight savings time or not. It took 28 hours to get here.
16*20′.243N/086*28′.542W Barefoot Key Marina, Roatan. What a picture right out of paradise. A boat from the marina came out to guide us in, when we got to the dock three guys were there to help us tie up. When we ask where to go to report and do our paper work, they said oh! We’ll call and they will come to the boat. About three hours later a young man and girl showed up (children of the Port Capt.) he was out today and they were getting all of the paper work for him. He’ll see us in the morning. The young man maybe 13 or so wanted to know if we had T-shirts for the authorities, I said of course. He said I’ll take a medium, and one for my sister, oh and a large for my Mom. My Dad will see you tomorrow. Then he said you going to need a car to get around to see the island. I said I wasn’t sure, so he said you just call me and I’ll help you out. In the mean time the young lady had Jim charmed.
We are so tired all we have done is sleep Jim did take a swim in the pool! Tomorrow will be the exploring day and Tues we’ll meet Sylvia and Dick.
We do have WiFi here so I can get pictures out. And chat a little more.
San Pedro, Belize
We arrived in Belize this afternoon (Wed) about 2:30 our time (San Pedro 17*54′.901N/087*57′.65W) trip was a good one. We did our check in and had dinner at a real tourist place. The food was surprisingly good .Weather is cool and raining. The weather has not been our friend and we lost a week. The wind was the bad guy in Xcalak. We kept pulling anchor and it was too rough to travel. Jim spent his time working on how to tie the dingy to the back of the boat. He finally did some “Dingy Dangles” off the back that work well. We have also gotten better with the loading and unloading it.
We’re enjoying reading the emails from everyone, keep them coming. We miss all of you.
You might get two copies of this email. I am trying to get everyone on the same email address so that I can just send out one email from one email address. So the correct Email address will be specialblend43@msn .com
Holly’s husband Travis and I are working on the website. So send any pics you might have of the “Shake Down Cruses” that some of you went on. I would love to add them to the website.
I will be sending Jim and Martha emails everyday. So if anyone wants to add something I will add it to my email. No pics please. They are on a satellite phone, so we have to get a lot out in a short time.