Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fanning Island - Who needs TV?

Busy the last 4 days.

 It took 3 days to redo all the seams on Moondance's jib. Whew! Big job - but glad it is done. All the urgent chores are done on Evergreen as well. The generator appears to be working properly. We rehung the radar reflector, and Josh checked the sails while he was up the mast and we are making water. I even got some non urgent things done - cleaned out paperwork and the storage behind our bed. Got some things together to give to the school here and reorganized. Good job done there too.

first load of lumber
piles of rice and flour
Really - I don't think so....
We watched the unloading of the Kwai today. Coffee and boat unloading - nice way to start the day. I am not sure I can even describe it. So they set up the crane and first moved lumbar. The bargie type boat (primary job is ferry/school bus) was busy so the first loads were taken in with an aluminum fishing boat. The first load of 2x4s seemed reasonable, but the second load - 2x6s was way big, we thought for sure it would sink the boat, I guess they thought so too after setting the load in. Out it came and reloaded with a smaller batch. Then they opened the cargo hatch on the deck - it sort of accordions to one side leaving the whole middle of the boat open. They off loaded lots of boxes of dry goods first - into the same small fishing boat, shortly after they started that, out came a pallet that went into the bottom of the boat - wow they filled that thing up, then loaded on 6-7 people - talk about the little engine that could!!! After that load there was a pallet of rice and flour. Finally around 1000 they barge boat came by and the process started going more quickly. Only one hard hat to be seen - and gotta love those steel-toed flip-flops/bare feet. But, seems all survived intact. Frankie was on shore with Cindy checking things in and out to people. Was definitely like Christmas here - appropriate I guess since the Kwai came from Christmas Island!
After lunch (fish tacos) Dennis and Josh went fishing after dropping me off at the wharf. I dropped off the books/paper etc for the school with the mayor, then walked to Bruno's. I was hoping to catch Tabita so I could write down here fish with gravy recipe. I passed her leaving - she said she would be right back. Oh yeah island time. Finally JoJo (one of Tabita's helpers) talked me through the recipe and I headed back to the wharf. Earlier when I stopped by the internet place, I met the government officials that are here checking things out. They are from Tarawa ( the capital of Kiribati is there) and are out visiting all the islands to ensure things are in order.




Great white hunter.  Barracuda - yum! who woulda thought?
Just as I was getting to the wharf, I saw Josh and Dennis coming in from the pass. They stopped by Moondance, so I figured they must have had a successful expedition. Sure enough Josh was dragging a big (30 inches or so) Barracuda and there was a Travalle in the dinghy. Great white hunters. Then the hard part - cleaning the fish, the dinghy and the deck. It would be nice if the rain that the clouds keep threatening us with would come down hard.

So we are getting ready to wrap up our time here on Fanning. Tomorrow I will start restowing things, retrieve my sewing stuff from Moondance, clean up a little more. The winds have been light on the gribs. Dennis says he thinks that means convection (remember rain), and also unreliability in general. So we will continue to check and pray for the best, but will probably head out be the end of the week.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Fanning Day 4

Well, according to Doug the gribs were/are forecasting 8kts or less of wind. Good thing we know that is +/- 10 kts. Blowing at least 18 today. Made sewing that much more fun. Accomplished a lot today on Moondance's jib, as well as bashing my own self in the nose with my own thumb! I have a perfect imprint of the edge of my thumbnail on the bridge of my nose. I am not sure I have ever hit anybody that hard - on purpose or otherwise. Lots of unladylike language, a little blood and yes I even made my own self see stars. Sheeesh want a clumsy butt I am! I think I should be able to wrap up that project tomorrow.

Lots of excitement around here today. The MoaMoa came this morning. It is anchored just outside the pass. Lots of boats (small) back and forth today. Huge pile of rice and flour bags on shore , I saw a boat go by filled to almost overflowing with boxes of canned goods. Must be like Christmas for these folks. Then our neighbor up the lagoon - Jean Michael - lost control of his sailing dinghy and was getting washed out the pass. So the Moondance/Evergreen rescue dinghies went out and towed him back. They were literally chased in by the Kwai (yeah I was spelling it wrong). It is at least 100 ft long and is anchored right in front of us. It is pretty interesting right now as the current here does a version of the La Paz waltz. So we are facing north east, and the Kwai is facing north west (ish). We laughingly (sort of ) wondered if we should put out our fenders. Anyway, there has been lots to watch this afternoon.

We also scored 2 fresh Trevalle from Fred and Jim. Nice size. They also had one big ulua - maybe 50 lbs and two other fish around the same size, but we are not sure what they are called. Nice! So you know what we are having for dinner tomorrow.

So what else? The generator had another successful run today. We are making water (yay!). Oh and the pressure relief valve on the hot water heater blew this morning. Dennis and Josh ripped up the floors trying to figure out where the water was coming from. Fun! Glad I missed it - even if I did bonk myself in the face. Dennis and Josh made the trip in to use the internet. Josh says it was so hot that he didn't do everything on his list he wanted to get done. Personally, I think that looking at facebook tipped him over. Sometimes being a teenager being dragged around the Pacific has got to really stink. Got to give him credit for putting up with us and trying - in general.

Had yummy tri tip tacos for dinner on Moondance. Just as we were prepping to leave, the tender from the Kwai came by - to let us know they had to be where they were (which is pretty close to us) and in a nice way say if we didn't like it, we should move. Frankie was nice and invited us for drinks later. Well of course we took them up on that offer. The Kwai is out of Honolulu, goes to Christmas, Fanning, Washington, Christmas, Fanning, Christmas then as far south as Rarotonga (Cook Islands). The crew is multinational - can't name all the countries, but the captain is Israeli, US crew, maybe Aussie and then locals. It has sails, and the Captain (Evy) says they motor sail as much as possible. Very interesting to talk with them all. Tomorrow (Sunday here) is their first day off in a couple weeks, so they all seemed to be looking forward to an off day.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fanning Day 3

Hooray we have power! Dennis was able to put the generator back together and after some fits and starts (and loud use of his extnsive sailing vocabulary) got it running. Everyone is happy - especially the batteries.

So that was Dennis' big job done. Still not sure why we had the problem. I guess that is next on the list. We still have a few other chores to get done before we can leave, but no real rush for those. Guess we will have to start looking at weather for a good wind window to Christmas Island. It is only 160 miles, but we have been told that in light winds it is hard to overcome the current - plus it is upwind. So we will see. But for now, we are going to enjoy this island. Josh's job list was pretty short, but the big one was to stay on the boat, help his Dad and make lunch. He tells me Mac and cheese is much easier in the microwave. "Pots are hard". Welcome to my life - lol!

Today I worked on Moondance's jib. Sure hope they can get their money back from Art Nelson in Oahu. Not only did they not oversew all the places that needed it, after 6 months and only 1200 miles - the new patches are falling off!! I mean really! I got a good bit done after the requisite arm wrestling with my machine. Today it wanted oil - once it got it - it was all happiness and nice stitches. Of course finding the oil - now that was another matter in and of itself. I had given up and Dennis said he thought he had some light machine oil in the liquid/sealant/oil/caulk/glue bin and yep, you guessed it - that is where I had put it for safe keeping. Finally quit for the day around 1400. Still have a lot to do, but hey we are retired - no point killing myself - it will be there tomorrow. Carla's trade was to do some laundry for me. I am sorry their sail needs repair, but it is a good trade from my point of view. Sewing for Laundry - good deal.

Well, it seems there will be no little vanilla harnesses running around. We found the dinghy motor harness in one of our under bed storage areas - right where I put it I am sure. The vanilla must have been a figment of my imagination. It was definitely on my list (I went back and checked), and I remember looking at it in the store but I guess I didn't buy it. Lucky for me Carla is willing to share.

Did a short tour around this end of the lagoon with Dennis this afternoon. It is shallow (go figure - its a lagoon), lots of fish traps - not sure if they are functioning or not, but that is the only reason for all the sticks that I can think of. Lots of fishermen out in their outrigger canoes. They cast hand lines. We went for a snorkel around a coral head. Saw some fish, a few bigger ones. The water is pretty murky though. I imagine it is because of the constant out flowing current; the water just doesn't ever settle. That's my theory - think I will stick with it. We took the dinghy out the pass - the water was much clearer in the pass and outside, but we did not see anything interesting on the bottom.

After that, we tooled on back to the boat, chilled a little, had a lame dinner (tortellini with red sauce) then played mexican train. Had to quit at 4s - we were all tired. Josh is sleeping in his hammock outside tonight - will once again have the best bed on the boat. I continue to struggle with being too hot at night. Makes me crazy (or maybe crazier??) Anyway, wish me luck, more sewing tomorrow - maybe more 'splorin' in the afternoon.

No Kuaui today - maybe tomorrow. Watched the kids (?) practice marching today. Their independence day is coming up - July 12. I guess July is a good month for independence.

Delphinia must be in SF by now. Bet they are happy to be on land - hope they toasted us at Trader Vic's!!!!

Heart Strings - How are you doing??? Getting good wind?? Hugs to Mom, bro and the kiddos

To the rest of the R&R gang - do a maitai walk for us.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fanning Day2

Well, another beautiful sun shiny day - filled with boat projects. In a good way though.

I am having trouble sleeping. At the risk of TMI, the whole getting older thing is killing me. Just can't sleep if I am hot and last night I was up until 0200 trying to cool down. Anyway - I slept in. Can't believe Dennis didn't wake me up so he could get started on the generator. I sure appreciated the sleep though. Believe it or not - Josh was up before me. That is pretty scary.

Last night I promised them a real breakfast this morning, so I got right on that. Probably should have just given up right then and gone on deck to read a book. So yeah, waffles need eggs. Sadly all my eggs went moldy and I have had to pitch them all. Thankfully I have some Thrive whole powdered eggs. They worked great. Was quite frustrating though, breaking and tossing a 1 1/2 dozen eggs. I am not even going to bother with the last 2 dozen. So we had breakfast at the butt crack of 1100.

After breakfast we all started (or in Dennis' case continued) our chores. Another productive day on the good ship Evergreen. Right after breakfast I helped Dennis by cleaning up the remaining fluids on the bottom of the generator compartment while he worked on hoses in the galley. By the end of the afternoon, he had the generator most of the way reinstalled. I set Josh to work on dishes and hanging the second wind scoop (more air flow, cooler, better sleep for me). With those projects done, he then went to work on the dinghy engine. He cleaned and replaced the fuel filters and voila - working again - took a couple of hours. He then hung his hammock and chilled for a while.

In the meantime I redid the lines on the radar reflector (the one that fell of the spreaders on our way here) and then spent most of the rest of the day looking for the new dinghy engine harness (used to lift the outboard from the dinghy to the boat). Understand that that was not exactly a linear process... I thought it might be in the spare bunk, but had to go thru the veggie bins and throw out science projects, then rearrange the snacks. It wasn't there. Then I thought it might be in the anchor locker. So I moved things around in there, moved the fan from the spare bunk to the forward part of the anchor locker. - Not there either. Went thru the cockpit cubbies - 3 times. Not there. Checked the outside deck boxes - soaked up the water in the one with the crack. Not there. Checked the storage behind the settees - removed the pillow cases from the settee cushions and hung them out to air. No luck. Checked the tool cabinet - nope. Under Josh's bed - nope, but lots of beer there :). By this time it was 1530 ish time to make wacky cake to take to dinner at Bruno's.

Wacky cake is Josh's forte, so he puts it together and I search down the ingredients. Flour, cocoa powder, sugar, vinegar (oops that one is distilled water - dammit could you mark the bottle? OSHA would have a fit!), oil, water, and vanilla. Where is the vanilla? Well, after tearing apart my galley twice I sent Josh to Moondance to get vanilla from Carla. I think the motor harness and the vanilla are having a sordid affair somewhere on this boat. Next thing you know we will have little vanilla harnesses running around.......

Dinner at Bruno's.
Wow! Personally it was the best meal I have had in the South Pacific - rivaled Gaston and Valentine's in Tuao. We had whole baked red snapper, fish with onions and gravy (local dish), a variation on poisson cru, rice, pasta salad, bread fruit french fries and wacky cake for dessert. I told Tabita (Mrs. Bruno) that I need to come and be her sous chef for a week to learn how to cook those dishes. A pretty involved process I might add. The French fries were made from bread fruit, but she did not boil it first, just cut it up and deep fried it (yum!) The poisson cru type dish was made with raw fish, curry, onions and freshly ground coconut. Carla and I watched her crack open the coconuts then shave out the meat with a Tahitian style coconut meat shaver outer (i am sure that is the technical term for it). Picture a flat board with a crescent shaped scraper with teeth (about 7 inches long by 3 inches wide) attached to the middle of one end. She sat on the board on the edge of a rock with a bowl on the ground and scraped out that meat in no time.

It was an interesting group. Our host is French, but has been on Fanning for 30 years. He has guest rooms on his property as well. Tabita is from one of the main Gilbert Islands, but met Bruno on Washington Island. They have two small children Paul (5ish)and Agnes (annyay) (18 months). Fortunately Tabita has a couple of female friends that help her cook and with the children. Not sure why she did not come to the table to eat, but I gave her and her helpers first dibs on the dessert, which they willingly took. I guess rice and fish are no big deal, but chocolate is a treat. At some point I will post pictures to go with this post, as I am not sure words can adequately describe everything. Really wish we had had a video camera so you could have seen Carla and I do the land crab shuffle. We were minding our own business standing in the living area of Paul's house when this land crab - slightly larger than a dessert plate came scuttling across our feet. Watching us jump was pretty funny, but it was equally funny to watch the kids chase it around the kitchen with a small bat. Little Paul got a huge kick out of the whole scene.

Finally called it a night around 2100. No street lights or signs here, so we were dependent on our flashlights and memory to find the right path to the beach and the dinghies. Oh and the stars! and the milky way! and the southern cross. Totally amazing and beautiful. Reminds us of how fortunate we are to be able to see it in a way that most people will never experience.

Time for bed now. Dennis says I am not allowed to sleep in tomorrow - he wants to finish up the generator. I am going to dig out the sewing machine and restitch the sunbrella on Moondance's jib. Josh wants to go see about real internet. And maybe the Kuai will be here tomorrow - that will be interesting to watch as well.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fanning Island Tuesday/Wednesday

Oh man is it good to be still and sleep on a flat bed! We all slept really well. After a leisurely start, we started on our various projects. Lots to be done to regroup after a crossing.

Dennis spent the morning working on the generator. The head is off, so now it is matter off fixing it and figuring out where the water came from in the first place, so we don't have a repeat performance. He held pretty true to his vow not to do marathon days - sadly the dinghy motor had other ideas.

Josh and I had a pretty long list that we plowed thru as well. He took off the rudder to the windvane steering, then we floated the inflatable dinghy. That may sound straight forward, but it entailed lifting the hard dinghy up on the spinnaker halyard, disassembling the frame the hard dinghy rests on, pulling the inflatable out (finding the foot pump which I hid from myself pretty well :) ), partially inflating the dinghy, rigging it to the whisker pole topping lift, lifting it up and over the lifelines and then lowering to the water. At that point Josh walked it to the back of the boat, tied it off and finished inflating it. Oh and did I mention the rope slipped in the winch and Josh got a nice rope burn on his forehead - thanks Mom. After that we reassembled the frame, lowered the hard dinghy and put the forward deck back in order. I did one load of laundry - had just enough rain water to wash all the salty dish towels. Helped Dennis with the generator, put on the sail cover and wrestled with the grill.

The grill was kind of a surprise - it just did not want to light. All the parts had been replaced right before we left, but the crossing with the liberal application of salt water managed to gunk up the lighter knob. I finally managed to get that all cleaned up and the innards put together properly - just in time for a late lunch. Plank salmon, carrot sticks and apples.

After lunch we got all cleaned up to go to land exploring with Doug and Carla. This is the point that the dinghy motor laid low Dennis' - no marathon work day vow. 3 hours later the fuel lines are hard plumbed and the motor running well enough to get us to shore, but still needs work. Carburetor I think, or maybe the fuel pump. Beginning to feel like engines have a grudge against us........

On a more positive note - the breeze is back so at least working was reasonably comfortable. The lagoon is beautiful and the water warm (funny, it is still salty. Wonder when that will go away?) We had a mini tour of the immediate area and met Bruno (french), Fred and Mike. We will go back to Bruno's tomorrow night for a potluck and garbage burning party. We learned how to say hello in gilbertese (?) - May or ri (roll the r's).

The people here live in what most people would consider primitive surroundings, but it works for here. Separate huts for cooking, sleeping huts on stilts with thatched roofs and no walls, some solid buildings and some thatched buildings with walls. I am hoping Tabitha (helps Bruno with cooking) will show us around while we are here. Of course there are the requisite chickens running all over the place. I am at the point now that it is weird to not have free range chickens running about. Lots of pigs as well - piglets are just so cute. Oh yes and lots of dogs. I don't think I would ever want to be a dog in the south pacific - it is a hard life. I am going to have to remember to take a picture of the "school bus". OMG OSHA would be apoplectic! It is a flat bottom aluminum barge filled to overflowing with children - reminiscent of the boat people coming from Cuba! Definitely have to have a strong constitution. Everyone seems quite happy though. Lots of fishing from outrigger canoes. It is interesting to see them coming and going thru the pass riding the current - doing eddy turns. There is a vicious rumor about a kava bar - supposed to be open on Saturday, so maybe we will see what that is all about.

It is going to be a busy week here. The triennial supply ship (Kuaui)should be here Thursday and another ship the MoaMoa(?) is leaving Christmas Island for here tomorrow. Hope we are not anchored in their way. I guess they will let us know if we need to move. Will be interesting to see what ends up on the shelves in the store. Not that I need anything and even if I did it can wait until
Samoa.

Well, that is all for today. Hope everyone is well.

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Re: Day 8 its called convection

Thanks for the well wishes! So happy to be moving, and having washed all of the stuff that was puked on by the kiddos and g-ma, I understand the rain bucket thing. I just salt water washed over the side and hung them. Was going to rinse in the Splendide, but a nice little squall finished that for me. :p Hope you guys enjoy the port call and we will eventually figure out whom all to send our updates to.

FW&FS
-Crystal

Day 11 Arrived Fanning

1600 local time - 0200 zulu (but only Tuesday)

YAY! We have arrived at Fanning Island.

Not sure of lat and long, but hey we are here.

Another day of motoring (after a day and night of motoring). The wind helped a little bit last night, but Dennis brought in the stay sail and jib this morning - may have been slowing us down - certainly were not helping. The wind was right on our nose for most of the last day (south - Brad) anywhere from 5-10 (max) knots. Seas were flat, and today was bright and sunny -clouds around us but no rain. The iron genny got a real workout the last couple of days.

The pass into the atoll was cake - fast as it was a flood tide, but no problems. We were contacted by Moondance about 15 miles out - invited us to dinner. Got a good connection about 4 miles out and got the scoop on the pass. Was very nice to be greeted by a friendly voice at the end of a long haul.

Since the seas had been so calm I was well rested, so had the boat in reasonable shape. Flags up, plants hidden, alcohol jugs put out of sight, main salon mostly tidy. Poor Dennis - trying to read and I kept bugging him with questions.

Anyway made it thru the pass and anchored next to Moondance (only took three tries - ok we are rusty). Was so nice to be still. We had our celebratory beers and were generally relaxing. Doug from Moondance went to the dock to pick up the customs and quarantine folks (our dinghy is still deflated on the forward deck) and they came aboard about 1730ish. Pretty laid back group - all 5 of them. Not sure who was what, but the lady was the quarantine person, there was the customs guy and the police guy and two others who not sure what they represented, but one of them did a lot of translating. Anyway, after explaining that Dennis was the captain on the seas, but I am the captain of paperwork - I got to work filling out forms. Pretty standard really. The quarantine lady had me write out what fresh fruit and veggies I had on board, meat, eggs, and then sign that we had no pets or plants (ok, so I perjured myself a little there, but hey - they are Josh's plants). They ate chocolate, cuties and peanut butter pretzels, had water and beer (only one took up that offer). After the paperwork, they came down and did an cursory look around, I paid them $60US and off they went - courtesy of Moondance taxi company. They said there is internet here, so I may be able to post some pictures -we'll see.

As atolls go it is pretty standard, small, pretty, lots of coconut palms. Their supply boat is coming on Thursday (comes 3 times a year!), so ought to be pretty busy around here this week. Doug and Carla could name all the things on the shelves in the store, so I guess it is time for a reprovision.

Had yummy lasagne with Moondance - and Carla's mom's peanut brittle - double yum! Have a said how nice it is to be still????

Was not a bad crossing, but still glad it is over. Hope Delphinia and Heart Strings are hanging in there. BTW Delphinia - won't be much warmer in SF. In fact can be downright cold there in the summer. Lots of fog in the mornings, sometimes it burns off, sometimes not. The hotter it is in the central valley, the colder and foggier it will be in the city. Won't matter to you though, cuz you will be still!! Hope the R&R had a good potluck tonight - Hi and hugs to all. Welcome back Kara - how did the dress fitting go? Hey Ryan - did you get a picture of us????

Well -time to go to my nice still bed. Got lots of boat chores to do - and stillness to enjoy.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 10

0300 zulu (117 miles to go - if we were going in a straight line)
Lat 5 deg 54 min N
Long 159 deg 15 min W
Course 201 T
Speed 5kts motoring ( since 0600 this morning)
wind 7 kts from the N, NE, NW....
Swell 1 meter from the e/ene
cloud cover 30%
Bar 1011 falling

We went back to sailing on Dennis' watch last night, and managed to sail until the end of mine. We have been motoring since. On the up side, we have a full tank of good water, the batteries are all the way charged up, and we are dry. On the down side, it is too slow! We have decided we would rather have wind and rain than no wind at all.

So, since it was sunny and flat, we had a chore day. All the pillows and towels and rugs were hung out and are now dry and semi better smelling. I went through the fresh food and tossed some interesting science experiments and managed to save some zuchinni and the little oranges. I made eggs and corn beef hash for breakfast (the guys probably wondered what was wrong). Anyway that was good. The moldy eggs, not so good. Will definitely be cracking the rest of these individually into a separate bowl. So yes - it is very humid and 88 degrees in the salon right now. I cleaned the stove (BTW Dan K if you are reading thanks again for helping us with that - I love it) and generally tidied.

Dennis decided to work on the generator. Pumped the water out of the head (?) where it shouldn't be and then sprayed WD40 into the head to get it dry. Funny - we proved that diesel engines will combust on more than just diesel. You should have seen Dennis jump. He asked me to turn the key so the engine would turn over and it started - on WD40!! Probably had to be here, but made me laugh. Looks like it is a blown head gasket, next is to find out where the water is coming from so we don't have a repeat performance. More on that later.

During all this poor Josh was back on watch. Next thing you hear is "Dad - the steering went out". Luckily Dennis was working on the generator, so our bed was already torn up and he was able to see the hydraulics. The lever got turned off. Josh said we went 180 degrees to the right and 180 degrees back. Happened two more times. He also saw a ship on the AIS - 780 feet on the way to Panama canal.

We will make Fanning tomorrow - pray that it is in time to catch slack water to get in the channel - that means pray for wind. Oh yeah and for those of you whom tomorrow is Monday, for us it will be Tuesday. Fanning stays on the same time as the western most Islands (where the capital is) of Kiribati. Thank you Carla and Doug for reminding us.

More tomorrow

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 9 ICTZ

0300 zulu 1005 miles (sadly not in straight line or we would be there)
lat 7 deg 50 min N
long 159 deg 10 min W
course 179 T
speed 3-5 knots motoring
Wind speed/direction 6 kts S (unless it is back to the NE)
swell 4ft ene
cloud cover 100% (saw a teeny bit of sun earlier in the day) intermittent light rain
bar 1010 down 2 points over the last 4 hours

Well, today we didn't have too much convection (there was convection all around us though), so managed to dry out for the most part. Had good sailing until noonish, then full on ICTZ mixed bag of tricks. We able to use the sails for awhile, but then the wind shifted to the South, then behind us, then south, currently is behind us. So we are motoring along, making water (yay, can't wait to have the good stuff again), drying out, opening and closing hatches. Pretty much a typical day in the ITCZ (sure hope I got those letters in the right order). What it really stands for is squirrelly weather zone.

I had a good watch last night - actually put the partial jib out around 0500 (all by myself, didn't have to be told by the captain) and saw some sustained speed of 8-10 kts - nice. For sailing that is - not so good for Dennis trying to sleep in our bed..... Oh well, the stars must have been aligned just right, because after I went off watch Josh had trouble with the windvane. Better him than me, I say. I had wrestled with it for the first 3 hours of my watch. I guess you know you had a wet day, when things actually start drying out at night. Crazy.

So lots of reading and lolling about today. Pretty comfortable, baby jesus driving and lots of jesus juice to charge things up. Josh has just about finished all the episodes of Game of Thrones. (somebody out there tell me the order of the books? We have them, but not sure of the order.) Josh says he guesses he will have to start reading the books, he says the series is a little different from the books, so won't ruin it for him.

Today I relearned how to place the flags on our boat. All very proper etc. So our US flag is off the starboard backstay, the R&R burgee is going to come down off the flag halyard on the starboard side and the Kiribati flag will go up with the quarantine (yellow) flag below it. In theory nothing is supposed to go above the burgee and it used to be flown from the masthead. But, with all the instrumentation on the masthead these days people fly it on the starboard spreader. So, it is a dilemma on how to be correct. My fix is to just take down the burgee, it will last longer that way too. Now you have had your sailing etiquette lesson too.

My final commentary today is on food and cooking. So provisioning is a big deal and I am pretty good at it in general. This trip is a little different as our first destination will not have much if anything in the way of fresh provisions. So, my freezer is full and I have a good supply of citrus (it keeps well wrapped in foil) but, we are already pretty much out of fresh green stuff. My main fresh provisioning run was done the Tuesday before we left - or almost 2 weeks ago. Our fridge doesn't keep fresh stuff that long at the dock - so imagine out here (and it is small). Add to that, I am not a chopper and cooker at the best of times, and underway - well they are lucky to get food at all. I call myself the one pot wonder. Since I do all the dishes and cooking on crossings, I do my best to keep dishes to a minimum. Also with all the rocking and rolling getting pots out and putting them away can be pretty hazardous to the health and well being of my toes. Doesn't seem like the same amount of food goes as far as when we started either. (darn teenager) I keep out 1 pot, the pressure cooker and the fry pans. The pressure cooker is great for cooking pasta in. I don't put it under pressure, but with the lid tightened down just a little, I don't worry about it falling off the stove and burning me. I worry about it falling off and having to clean up the mess, but that is just a mental pain. All that being said - I have a couple of cabbages and actually the tomatoes are still doing well and some zucchini. Don't think that will last another however long it will be til we get to Samoa. Wish I would have gotten more Thrive green stuff but oh well - its not that we will starve, but I guess I better make sure the crew is all taking their vitamins. And so far no one is complaining about the menu (much). The other thing about meals is that breakfast time is during my long sleep, so I am not up until lunch time. I personally have no problems with a granola bar for breakfast, but I am not a growing boy either. So breakfast has been pretty unusual (read peanut butter filled pretzels or mixed nuts) for Josh. He says he keeps forgetting that there is yogurt in the fridge and it really is too unstable to have cereal with milk (its just not a good look on your t shirt and more laundry - stuff of another rant). You can imagine that by lunchtime he is one hungry boy. As is Dennis. So food is the first thing I do when I wake up and the last thing (before email) I do before bed.

I hope you have enjoyed your inside look at the glamorous life of cruising. The good news is that we are having a good crossing - very comfortable measured against the last one, and it is almost over. Sigh just as I was getting used to it (not).

till tomorrow

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 8 its called convection

0300 zulu (822 miles)
lat 9 deg 36 min N
Long 158 deg 53 min W
course 182 (ish) T
speed 4 kts (motoring)
Wind speed 7 ne
swell 5 ft from the ne
cloud cover 100% raining
bar 1009 (down from 2 from yesterday)

Okay, so what do you call it when two different weather patterns come together and cause clouds - convection. Yes, I am from a profession that likes to use big ass fancy words instead of plain english, but really, why not call it what it is? RAIN and lots of it. It has convected nearly all day today. In plain english we are wet, wet, wet.

I had a good watch last night - once again subdued the windvane steering. No rain for me, but really damp. Josh was on his way off watch (0900) and took a huge wave. He was wet through. I was snuggly tucked away in his bed, so I missed that.

Next thing I hear about 1000 is a big splash - and Josh jumping up and looking for towels. You guessed it, the salon hatch was open and he took a wave (as did the settee, the table, the floor etc). So I helped him clean that up and went back to bed. Later on just as I went into our aft head (to do what you do in a head), it started raining. Thinking I had time to finish my business, I figured to close the hatch after - well, no such luck. Our cabin took a wave. It was so big that water came in coming and going - talk about a helpless feeling.... The bed got some (but could have been worse), the rug was wringing wet, clothes and towels - all wet. It really has not stopped raining since. So yeah Brad, lots of convection, and I think the southerly is coming early. We were able to sail right until 1700 ish (0300 zulu) then the winds dropped to nothing. Motored for about an hour and a half, wind is back sort of but from the SE. So looks to be one of those kind of nights. Can't complain though - It is a warm rain. Felt good to cool off.

Oh, and you can tell I am a cruiser - my thoughts regarding the rain ran mostly to - "bummer if only I could put buckets out to catch it for the laundry".

Here is another sailing tidbit. Although it looks like we should be arriving at our 900 mile destination, we probably won't get there until Monday. Sad but true we don't sail in a straight line - its even worse with the windvane. So yeah we have come 822 zig zaggy miles. We try not to get too disheartened by it.

On some personal notes - good to hear s/v Heart Strings has left the dock for San Diego - fair winds my friends. High fives to Chase and Dagny. Hang in there Delphinia, look at it this way, we are warmer, but you are eating better.

Well, just turned the motor back on. Need to make water, but the batteries need to get topped off first (dam gen set).

til tomorrow - from the very damp crew of sv Evergreen.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 7 - we may not be there, but definitely in the tropics

0300 zulu miles 722 (146 in the last 24 hours)
Lat 11 deg 54 min N Long 158 deg 50 min W
course 175 T (more or less with windvane)
Speed 6 kts (sailing, triple reef main, stay sail and partial jib)
Wind for the East at 15 kts
swell from the east 2 meters
cloud cover 70%
Bar 1011 steady ish

So, not too much new to report. Ran the engine to charge the batteries - guess what -not pulling amps. HMMMM what now. So Dennis checked everything - voltage regulator, alternator and finally the most simple thing - the alternator belt. It was loose. Had just been checked before we left Oahu, but oh well, it was loose. At least it was a simple fix and we are all charged up.

The seas have calmed down some, so we have had some hatches open - a little bit. Because OMG it is hot. Debbie on Delphinia en route to San Francisco dreams of hot showers, I dream of cold ones. Partly sunny today, cloud cover was nice - maybe it kept it cooler??? Josh had a wash up on the back deck and I had a shower after dinner, so feeling a little more human. The alternator thing through off our watch schedules some, but I hope that means I will sleep well tonight before my watch.

Little bit of excitement on Dennis' watch last night. Saw a freighter - only 3 miles away - on its way to Japan. And the radar reflector fell down. Didn't feel like I slept much, but must have slept some as I didn't hear it fall. Dennis' said scared the crap out of him. He was able to grab it with a boat hook and tie it down. Evergreen rule number one - never leave the cockpit when you are by yourself - especially at night. So good boy - saved the reflector without leaving the cockpit.

So, figure we have a little more than two days to go. Should be the most interesting weather wise. Brad and the gribs agree the wind should die down tomorrow and we will probably see some rain and squalls. Boat sure could use a good dousing (everything inside too), not too excited about the squalls, but I guess that just comes with the territory.

Gotta give a plug here for Thrive dehydrated foods. I used the seasoned ground beef in burritos tonight, and it was really good. Thanks Crystal. Have any of you R&R er's heard if they left and how they are doing?

till tomorrow....

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 5 - No we are not there yet

0300 zulu 576 miles (145 last 24 hours)
Lat 14 deg 0 North, Long 158 deg 33 W
course 183 T (more or less with the windvane steering)
speed 5kts sailing (triple reef main and stay sail)
wind E (maybe ENE)
windspeed 20 kts (range 17 to 25)
swell 9 ft from the E
cloud cover 70%
bar 1012 steady

So, another relatively uneventful day on the good ship Evergreen. It has been mostly cloudy today - no rain so far. The windvane steering and I both love the third reef in the main. It and I are actually getting along. Not quite BFFs, but definitely civil - amazing what a balanced boat will do for that relationship.

Still pretty bouncy even though the wind is behind the beam. Sleeping arrangements have been pretty funny really, kind of a round robin for the two best spots - the settee and Josh's room. I slept in Josh's bed after my watch this morning - seriously considering moving in (kidding Josh - sort of). He has it the best. Normal size bed and a hatch that can open. Its the small things....

Dennis opened up the generator compartment today to see if he could diagnose the problem. Still not sure, but probably the head gasket. Milky oil and all that. Bottom line, nothing to be done about it until we get situated at Fanning. So until then we are dependent on solar and running the engine (sucks makes it hot down here). Did decide that the new rule is no whole day marathons working on the generator. To aid in his grieving for the generator, Dennis had a glass of wine with dinner. I had a sip, but decided against more.

Which brings me to my next topic. Do you realize this boat has been decaffeinated, alcohol free and sleep deprived for 5 days??!! Its amazing- all body parts are accounted for and intact. I imagine it also accounts for the increased intake of advil - at least on my part. I think that seasickness manifests itself as a headache and no appetite for me - which I will take any day over nausea - kinda tired of the headache part though. Josh and I were thinking about cold soft drinks, and even he wasn't too excited about that.

For Mr. Brad - weather man extraordinaire - I think you have called it well so far. Hey who was to know that the big island cast such a long shadow. Of note the clouds today produced a most excellent sunset - hey the teenager brought it to our attention, so you know it had to be pretty spectacular! Sure wish I could post a picture.

Otherwise, just here in the middle of the ocean, kinda hanging out moving south. Also of note is that the teenager had 3 emails tonight - ALL FROM GIRLS! I think we got out of there in the nick of time.

aloha...

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 4 - are we there yet?

That was the dinner time question from Josh. Think we are all thinking that - gotta love the teenager for voicing all of our three year old thoughts....
so where are we
lat 15 deg 56 min N
long 158 deg 25W
course 178 at 8kts (little slower now- we brought in the jib)
wind 20kts from the east (maybe a little north in there)
50% cloud cover bar at 1012 and falling slightly

My watch was uneventful last night, the windvane was cooperative, so we got along well. I sleep first, and that was definitely not fun, so really didn't sleep much at all. Even as short as I am doesn't help when sleeping sideways in our bed. I was awake before Dennis came to get me. Slept great for a few hours on the settee this morning. Dennis and Josh put out some jib and whoosh we were off. Was a very fast day - made a total of 152 miles in the 24 hour period, and considering I never got over 5kts last night.....today was rip roaring. Which of course means waves. Finally have all hatches closed, sad as now it is stinking hot down here.
Took one as I was serving dinner. Into the main salon - we had turned down and only opened it a tiny bit so I could not burn up - well mother nature tried to douse me. I am going to have a huge load of towels to wash. Gotta love microfiber though, I have everything covered with it - dries in no time.

The only other thing today was the obligatory mal function of the generator. We don't even know what is wrong as Dennis hasn't had the heart to open the compartment. That and it is so rolly, would give him another bout of seasickness.

So, all is well. Jealous of Delphinia and their fisherman aboard. Not that I think anyone here is actually up to fish at this point. Also congrats to Moondance on their arrival at Fanning. Happy Birthday Mel.
Take care all
til tomorrow

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 3

0300 UTC
Lat 17 deg 58 min N, Long 158 deg 12 W
course 183 T
speed 5 kts undersail
winds from the E at 16 kts
swell from the E at 7 ft with a few 12footers thrown in to keep us on our toes

I guess we are finally away from the effects of the big Island. Was a pretty bumpy day today. Sunny though, so that counts for alot, especially when you are trying to dry things out. I closed the salon hatch, but didn't dog it down all the way on the port side (the direction the waves are coming from) and of course we took a big one. Not too big of a deal, mostly a PITA. After that all the books and stuff came off the top shelf on the port side in the salon - the Evergreen version of 52 pickup. Picking up all the coins was the most fun. Both boys were a little off today. Josh said he waited to long to take his medicine - he was down for the count from after his watch at 0900 until about 1530. Dennis laid pretty low as well. He got up just in time to give our position report on the net. I had a moment and didn't get him up. Pretty easy for the cook though - no one was hungry until suppertime.

Right this minute it is nice and calm. We have come about 285 miles. No overland speed records, but that is okay as it has been relatively comfortable. We may put up more sail tomorrow. I had a couple squalls blow through last night, but they were mild - actually gave us some wind so I could turn off the motor. About the time I got my rain coat - it stopped raining. Not seeing much out here - a few birds and the obligatory flock of flying fish (none of whom have come to visit - thankfully).

Hoping for an uneventful night
more tomorrow

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 1 Evergreen Oahu to Fanning Island

position at 0300 UGT
19deg 30 min N
158 deg 13 min W
course 180 T
motoring at 4kts
wind East at 7kts - variable
swell 4-5 feet
barometer steady 1013.6

Had an okay first day. Have made about 160 miles. Currently in the wind shadow of the big Island. Made it out of Pokai at the butt crack of noon. The boys made me brownines for my birthday yum! We changed our reefing lines in the main to from the first and second to second and third. Nice! Boat is way more balanced, especially if we are just using the staysail. Kind of bumpy getting away from the Islands. Made myself seasick because I forgot to close the front hatch, we took a wave and then I had to clean up in the bumps and it was hot. Bleh! hate that. Over it though. I think we have everything (finally) stowed securely and so that it is quiet.
We all pretty much vegged today as sleeping conditions last night were not the best. The sun was out all day, so at least it was pretty. I had premade chilli and rice, so that was dinner tonight.
Otherwise, settling in, getting my remedial training on the windvane steering. That is another object with which I have a love hate relationship. Actually I love it - requires no power, is quiet and is backup steering. It however hates me - always sets perfectly for Dennis - holds a course etc. Not so much for me, but the new sail configuration helps (smaller main = less weatherhelm) so, maybe we will call a truce. I will let you know after my watch tonight.
Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there....

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 0 We are off the dock

Well,it is official - we are cruisers again. YAY! Spent the morning Friday finishing up with emails and other boat prep odds and ends. Josh and Dennis returned the cable boxes ours and Moondance's)and did a final Safeway run and brought home lunch from KFC. What will life be without MONSTER and the Colonel? Brett and Suzanne, whose boat name I cannot pronounce help cast us off at 1430. Then came the circus at the fuel dock. Of course we get there at the only time in my memory that there where boats waiting in line. But several hundred dollars and a bit of frustration later, we were all fueled up and heading out the channel - behind a barge. We were able to say our farewells to Ron on Serenity on the VHF. He was just returning from Kauai. For all the R&R folks, he had a good trip (24hours) winds never above 25, broke something on his reefing rig that he had to fix at 0200, dodged a few barges, but otherwise no problems, home safe and sound. Karen and Ed supposed to be leaving today. Winds are supposed to be lighter. Hope they have a good trip as well.

After leaving Ron, we motored over to Electric beach, anchored for a few while Josh dove on the prop and bottom of the boat. All was well, so we left for Pokai Bay. The winds ranged from 2 to 25 knots. We had the staysail and the double reefed main up. Made Pokai by 1830. Had steaks on the BBQ and listened to the live music coming from the beach. Was a good night, but not necessarily a quiet night - Friday night in Waianae was hopping. More sirens than I have heard in a long time. Reminded us of how quiet Ko Olina is.

Today we are having a leisurely morning. I am going to try my hand at making loco Moco - a local dish with rice, spam or hamburger, fried eggs and gravy. Dennis and Josh put together brownies for my birthday - smells yummy! I guess it is my birthday I could have brownines for breakfast if I wanted..... We are trying to bribe Josh to swim in the last bag of garbage. Maybe after I feed him?

Day one tomorrow

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday

Well we are stowing, securing and tying down the last few things and our captain is still in go mode.  Yee Haw  Fanning here we come!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Final last night at the dock

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Captain has determined the weather window will be open tomorrow, so slip on your life jacket, clip into the jack lines, cast off the dock lines, bring you tray tables to their full upright and locked position, grab hold and off we go.  Finally.

Spent our last day doing land-based things.  Slept in, went to a movie (Iron Man 3- liked by all of us), had a big soft drink with ice, drove to the end of the road going north (Ka'aena point), bought ice and had ice cold bottle beer, went for a last walk around the lagoons and spent time on the computer.

So, the plan for tomorrow is to leave the dock, put up the sails (move the first reef to the third position), make sure the electronics and new furling lines are working correctly, then anchor at Pokai Bay (not too far up the coast) for the night.  Saturday we will have a leisurely morning, secure the things we forgot but made themselves known on the trip to Pokai or overnight, and head out.  We expect the first couple of days to be a mixed bag of conditions.  Calm (read motoring) behind the Islands, and a bit wild as we cross between Islands (the wind funnels thru creating waves and yeah lots of wind).  As we pass the southwest corner of the big Island (Hawaii) the seas are usually pretty confused, and again the winds increase as they compress and wrap around the Island.  After that it will be somewhat more consistent (or at least as consistent as sailing gets).  There will be squalls to look out for, and as usual I am wishing for wind behind the beam (or trades with a more northern component) as that makes for a more comfortable ride.  No matter though - it is only 900 miles to Fanning Island, our first stop.  In other words only about 7 days a short hop by cruiser standards.

I think we are all ready to go on several different levels - it is really hard being in the no man's land between land life and cruising life. Hardest on Josh I think.  He is really awesome about all this, but multiple goodbyes are no fun. Have to say again how lucky we are with him.  He deals with all of this and us better than most adults would.  Sure hope he looks back on it as a good experience.

With any luck at all, I will be posting from the SSB for the next month or so.

This is WDD7203 standing by.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday -Ok, so maybe not....

Right, so the chip came yesterday (Tuesday), worked fine.  We were on track today (Wednesday) to leave around noonish.  On his way to return the cable box (internet) Dennis spoke with Ryan our coast guard neighbor who said the forecast for the next two days called for high winds - in the 40 knot range.  Now, I am pretty adventurous, but with that kind of wind, comes wind waves - in other words an uncomfortable ride.  So, we decided to hang out at the dock (where there is internet and ice and showers) for a couple more days.  The current, tentative, maybe if the stars align just right plan is to head out to Pokai Bay (about 2 hours away) on Friday to get our sea legs and make sure we and the boat remember how to do this thing.  Then head south on Saturday.  As I said, that is the current plan - no promises.
Just another  example of our ongoing love-hate relationship with the wind.  We don't want too much or too little - we want it to be just right.  Or at least within the range of just right.  Seems kind of crazy, and if we had only been stopped for a couple of months, we may have just gone on. But, since I haven't been on the water since Thanksgiving, discretion is the better option.  I really want to go, but not that bad.  Sort of like leaving for San Francisco from Tracy on a Monday morning at 0700 - just for fun.  Not!  I have to keep telling myself that we are not in a rush (which we are not) and to just chill.  It will come back to me, but right now am still in work, get ready and go mode.
On the up side - the boat is in very good order.  We can pretty much relax until we go.  I even cleaned things not on my list today!  Josh got a driving lesson in the jeep and according to Dennis did real well.  I made muffins and enchiladas, cleaned the fiberglass in the cockpit (Collonite Fiberglass boat cleaner - great stuff), cleaned the stainless in the sinks (gross - really guys?  just say no to cleaning varnish brushes in my very expensive sink) and played barber for Dennis.  All in all a pretty good day - oh yeah and the laundry is done.
So, I will keep you posted on our ever changing plans.
Oh, and it seems the blog is in a different time zone than me - this was written by me on Wednesday at 1900 hours


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The countdown has resumed

Looks like we are really going to leave tomorrow.  The new chip arrived today, and all systems are good to go.
We ended this stay in Hawaii as we started it - Dinner (late) at Chuck's.  Only this time we knew our waiter (same one as on that first night - thanksgivinig eve 2011), knew the woman delivering drinks (Kristin), and knew how and what to order - fish and chips for me, salad bar for Dennis and maitais.  We were also in time to see the fire dancers, the finale to the resort Luau.  Not bad.
Josh is in Honolulu for a final night with friends - so all is good in everyone's world.
Still have a few items to stow, a meal to cook, laundry final load, keys to return and cable box to return, but we should be done and out of the slip by noon.  Hopefully I am not being too optimistic, but really we are in good shape.
Now, if only the wind and weather cooperate.  The first day and a half will be a mixed bag as we navigate behind the Islands - no wind, thru the passes - lots of wind and repeat until we reach the southern end of the big island which can be pretty windy with mixed seas as the trades wrap around it.  After that it will be back to the regular, irregular.  Hopefully there will be some wind and not too many squalls. 
Our first stop is Fanning Island, part of the Line Islands in the country of Kiribati.  It is about 900 miles from here - pretty much due south.  After that it will be short hops from island to island.  Christmas Island, Kiribati, (another Line Island), and then we will see which ones we stop at before heading to Samoa, Western Samoa, then Fiji.  Fiji will be our main destination this summer.  Sometime in August (probably towards the end) we will head to Tonga, hang out there for a while and then wait for a good weather window to head to New Zealand sometime in October.  All of this is pretty loose - as we try not to sail to a set schedule.  If we like it we will stay longer, if we don't we will leave and find someplace we do like. 
We are all looking forward to going back on cruiser time.  I am the only one that wears a watch.  Our schedules are pretty weird during crossings, as someone in almost always trying to sleep.  We seem to have a system that works for us, and that is all that matters.
I will be posting via sailmail until Samoa or maybe even Fiji.  Look forward to hearing from you

Monday, June 10, 2013

Addition of tracker to blog

Trying to get fancy - added the map with our position posts on it.  Seems like it takes a long time to load, but is working.  The URL for the actual website is http://shiptrak.org.  Enter our call sign KI6HAI in to the box at the top and enter.  It also takes a while to load, but you can also see any comments we posted with the position report.  Hopefully this technology won't bite back....

Saturday, June 8, 2013

T minus 1 and holding - Houston we have a problem

10  Motor - check
9   Sails - check
8   watermaker - check
7   generator - check
6   provisions - check
5  outboard - check
4  SSB - check
3  laundry (5 loads) - done check
2  updated charts - check
1  chart plotter functioning - not!!!

So, we were mostly on track to head out tomorrow.  Dennis was working on the charts last night and lo and behold the new upgraded charts would not work on the chart plotter.  After a late night and much muttering and head scratching he was able to upgrade the software on the chart plotter this morning.  Crazy thing uses compact flash drives - in the megabyte range.  Unheard of these days!!! Worked it out though.  New NZ charts working fine. Old charts, with $150.00 worth of upgrades - not so much.  Pretty sure the chart plotter upgrade corrupted those files causing a catastrophic fail. Cannot get this chart chip on Island, I mean why would we be able to get Pacific Islands charts in Hawaii (a Pacific Island)?? By this time the west coast was closed. Were finally able to get a hold of Waypoint in Alameda - for a price they will go in tomorrow (Sunday) set up a chip and ship it out Monday first thing.  We should have it by Tuesday, and be out of here on Wednesday - should being the operative word.  Really, as much as I love technology, there are times when it really is a pain in the butt!
We pressed on regardless however.  The boat is looking pretty good.  Both dinghies are on deck, one of three weather cloths is up, new fishing pole holders installed, settee free of provisions, our patch of the dock is looking pretty bare.  I even cooked dinner - for the second night in a row.  Who knows we may have to relax......
So Houston, we are in a holding pattern and expect the countdown to resume on Tuesday.  I will keep you updated....

What do boat projects/provisioning look like?

Here are just a few of the projects we have completed in the last 2 weeks.

This was the new VHF remote in the cockpit - means we don't have to use the handheld.  Hard wired to power.  Nice
 Josh redid the teak cockpit table.

 Hard to tell here, but the stainless steel stern pulpit is missing.  We had to take it in to Honolulu to get it welded.  Major pain.  It is all back in place now.  Looks great!
 Took the Green Machine to the cushions in the salon - yewww!  Definitely on the list to replace in New Zealand (new stainless for the aft deck too)
 Did an all day provision yesterday (Friday)  too late to put it all away last night - still have some out there now, but Josh did a great job of stowing the beer in his lower bunk.  Hmmmm Motivation???
 Finally found non refrigerated eggs - 5 dozen shown here - before Josh dropped the toaster on them - Omelets for lunch!!!
 The rest of yesterday's shopping - and I had put some away at this point.  The settee is provision free at this moment.  Fishing poles are in their new holders on the back rail.
Oh, and lest we get thirsty - don't forget the alcohol.  Seriously, it is soooo expensive to get out of the US.  The plan is for this to last us to New Zealand.










Friday, June 7, 2013

T minus 1 do over

Okay, so maybe we were a little optimistic - We are cruisers it comes with the territory.  Lots got done today, but not enough to depart the dock tomorrow.  So, tomorrow we will hit it hard again and try to head out of here (the dock) on Sunday.  Except for tortillas - my provisioning is done. YAY!  Was a shopping day to put even the most avid shopper to shame - 3 dock carts to get it from the van to the boat.  The boat's need list still has a few items left - propane, ATF, distilled water to name a few.
Highlight of my day was putting my work phone and computer in the mail!  I feel a little nekkid without the phone, but it is all good.  Dennis and Josh have phones that will work a little longer, so we will manage to get by I am sure.
The cable box - read internet access - has to go back tomorrow.  I think that will be the hardest for Josh.  The computer has been his lifeline to friends over the last 18 months.  It will be a real adjustment for him to be unable to chat with his buds every day.
So, off to bed to rest up for another pre cruise work day.  I will probably be updating by SSB from now on.  Thanks to those of you who have sent emails.  Our inbox was full tonight - cool!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Leaving the dock T minus 1 day

Gotta love cruisers - can't pin them to a schedule for love nor money.  Goal was to leave today, but that just wasn't realistic. And anyway, other than the cost of another two days at the dock - what difference does it make?  We are leaving - soon.  Josh was able to see his good friend JT graduate and participate in the myriad of activities surrounding that.  Tuesday he took his Life guarding test and passed (we are safe now - for sure). I have bought many dollars worth of groceries and supplies - makes me laugh - still nothing to eat on the boat!!  I found a source for fresh non refrigerated eggs!!!!  The hard dinghy has new paint, I found the Samoan flag that I had managed to lose on the boat - sewed the reinforcement today and the sewing machine is stowed in its place.  The kayak is tied on, the anchor locker full (to overflowing), and the shade down. Still have one more food run for fresh produce and the things on my list that didn't get checked off.  We found scuba gear for Josh and had our two tanks hydro'd.  We are cleared to leave the country and Wednesday was Josh's last day at swimming - we brought pizza (a snack to tide them over till they got home for dinner).  I posted my "gone sailing" out of office on outlook at work!  That was fun.
Today's biggest hurdle was getting laundry done.  Seems that some (add adult language here) fisherman washed some very fishy laundry in 3 of the machines in the marina laundry room.  Thankfully for me (not so much Carla) I came after the discovery of the contaminated washers.  Wow her laundry smelled like fish!! One of the nice things about this community is that we help each other out.  So, I went to the office to report it and volunteer to run bleach thru the machines - while Carla went for bleach.  I ran a bleach cycle in each of the machines, then reran Carla's wash and started on mine. 4 washings later and her laundry was passable. Mine was fine - just was slow doing it in 2 machines instead of 4 (#4 is out of order).  So, except for the clothes on our backs today - everything is clean.
Tomorrow is tie up loose ends and finish up stowing day.  Hopefully it will all come together - if not maybe we are actually T minus 2.  Not going far when we leave - just up the coast a mile to clean the bottom of the boat and then a few miles further to a nice little anchorage.  Winds are looking pretty good for the sail to Fanning Island - approximately 900 miles south of here.  We expect it to take about a week.  Will not be any amenities there, but pretty and a good cultural experience.  Once we leave I will be back to posting via the SSB - Hope I remember how.  Please feel free to send us text emails (WDD7203@sailmail.com - cc our gmail just in case).  I vaguely remember that we have to email you to add you to the accepted emailer list - or some such nonsense. I understand it keeps the spamers out, but is still kind of a pain.
Well, gonna eat my icecream - treat we won't have access to for a while.
later....

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to follow our progress during crossings

For those of you interested in following our progress during our crossings (looking at our position on a map) here is the link and directions:
http://pacseanet.com
Home tab
bottom left
Yotreps link - will give you a list of boat names and call signs
Shiptrack link - enter our call sign in the top left box (WDD7203) and click - will bring up our track.

You can also listen to the net, go to the "for friends and family" tab, download the software and listen in.

Boat projects furiously continue, expected departure date is Thursday - even if we just go up the coast a few miles and anchor out.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Relaxing after a crazy busy boat work day

So, what does a day in the life of a cruiser - pre cruise look like - Well, here goes.  Up at 745 (I slept in), do yesterday's dishes for Josh, fix breakfast (eggs, bacon and fried potatos).  Get Josh up to eat by 0900. Dennis was working on mounting the subwoofer in its cabinet, so I could replace the rest of the contents of the cabinet.  Dennis and Josh out the door by 0945.  Josh going to a friend's graduation event in Honolulu.  Dennis list consisted of:  Drop off Josh, return toilet seats to Home Depot (sadly did not fit), buy new toilet seats at West Marine (so expensive they should wipe for you), go pick up stern pulpit (second crack being welded) - not ready, so will need to be picked up today, buy surfboard cover, pick up Josh - oops Josh is going to lunch with friend, come home, drop motor mount in water, wait for Josh to come home to go dive for it. While they were gone I took advantage of being the only one in the boat and: tore apart the port bunk (this was a far more complicated process than it sounds), laundered the blankets and sheets for storage (this requires three round trips to the laundry room, actually remembered my gate key two of those times!), make up bunk with new sheet and cover with tarp to protect, replaced items in subwoofer cupboard, cleaned out Josh's school shelf, emptied my briefcase, sorted aft cabin cupboards, brought out Josh's school books for sophmore homeschooling, culled as much as possible, restowed, pulled out my regulator and BC (required removing all the books on top of it), replaced books (including books from all around the boat that needed stowing, and we all have e readers....), Sorted my "cubbie" in our cabin, found yellow Quarantine flag - Yay!  Replaced all items in port bunk. Some place in there I ran the engine for 30 minutes.  Dennis arrives home - doesn't look like I have done anything but make a mess!  Josh arrives home and does multiple eye rolls and " I hate you"'s, before diving for the motor mount, finds it, showers and gets the rest of the day off (except for the dishes he did before he went to bed).  Dennis works on motor mount, I dust our cabin.  At 1530 I decide I cannot face the boat another minute, but its too early to stop.   So, off for a walmart run - oh and KFC for Josh - oh and Ace for stainless steel bolts and lock nuts for Dennis.  Arrive back at the Marina at 1715, quick stow a few items, shower and head out to Waianae (why a nye) to Tacos and More with the whole dock gang (pictured below).
Today, pretty much a repeat of yesterday, with more driving than yesterday.  No Tacos and More tonight.
Plan to leave on Thursday - if the weather cooperates and the stars are aligned properly..... No matter, its close and still lots to be done.

Photo: Celebrating Delphinia's cutting the dock lines at Tacos & More.  Have a wonderful adventure!

L-R (Capt. Kim, Kristie, Kaki, Brad, Me, Dennis, Debbie, Ron, Kara, Steve, Doug, Ryan, Carla, Carol, April)