Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fiji - sunday

tRain, Rain go away..........
Been raining pretty steadily since we arrived. Upside is that it is actually cool (Josh had socks on last night! yeah I know first time in ages). Downside is it is cool and damp and hard to do the outside projects. Hopefully the weather will get over itself soon.... doesn't it know I have things to do???

In spite of the rain, we went to the market yesterday. Very nice, lots of fresh veggies and yes eggs - unrefrigerated!!! a flat for about 7.20 US. We picked up bread and lettuce/toms/carrots/passion fruit/pineapple/bananas - the usual. And some unusual - plaintains to boil and then fry into chips and taro and coconut to make my new favorite dish (the lady talked me through the process a couple of times). I am also the proud new owner of a coconut scraper. Going to have to post a picture of it cuz it is hard to explain - you cruisers out there know what it is - the board you sit on with the scraper at the end to get the coconut out. Pretty much did a circuit of the main downtown area. Dennis chose a sulu - very brightly colored - I am proud of him (that will need a picture as well). We picked up a router oh and yummy bread. The bread store had chicken chile meat pies - Dennis had two. They were good and hot.

After we got back to the boat, Dennis spent the whole rest of the afternoon trying unsuccessfully to get the new router to work. OMG, what a pain in his neck, butt, back, head...... I think the sadistic SOB who makes those things needs to be painfully killed. I mean really it shouldn't be this hard!!! Hopefully he will get it up and running - I hate it that he has to spend so much time and energy on something that SHOULD BE EASY!!!!!

I spent the afternoon rearranging under Josh's bunk, hanging new storage hammocks and trying to tidy up and make a space for Paul - More of that today as well as changing our the filters in the water maker. Otherwise not much going on. It is Sunday - the streets are rolled up until tomorrow. I have been up since 0530 - good time to use the internet when everyone else is asleep. But, Dennis is up now - coffee is brewing - time to start the day.....

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Arrived in Fiji

We are here in SavuSavu Fiji - YAY!
Last night was not too bad - Finally had to start the motor around 0430 - the wind really died down (less than 10kts). It tried to come back, changed directions some, but never got strong enough to turn off the engine. We were all tied up to a mooring ball by 1030 local time (that is an hour behind Apia for those of you following behind us).
It is a very tight little mooring field. Our mooring is in 50 feet of water - pretty sure we can see at least 30 feet down the mooring line. The CopraShed Marina security guard led us to our mooring, then brought out all of the officials we needed to see. Quarantine didn't even get on the boat, we just filled out a form and will go pay at the hospital on Monday. Customs and Immigration was all one person. He had all the documents I had scanned and sent, but also wanted the originals, 2 copies of our crew list, and then I filled out arrival cards (like you get on the airplane). He was very pleasant, and only stood in the salon and then left. The biosecurity guy saw us walking out of the marina office and we did his paperwork at the restaurant there. Crazy easy.

We had lunch at the one of the marina restaurants - best curry I have had in a long time. Josh was not too enamored of his pork chops with teryaki on them, but they disappeared quickly anyway. After that we split up, I went to find an internet place to do some immediate email, and Dennis and Josh went to the other marina office (we are on their mooring ball) to check in with them and see if we needed to move (we don't) and then an ATM. We met up, found an atm, I went to immigration to deal with on coming crew paperwork (Paul will join us next week), Josh found new earbuds to replace the ones that just died (another one of those disposable things it seems), Dennis and Josh picked up a USB internet modem from Vodaphone. 50 US for the USB and 11 gbs of data. Hopefully that will get us through the next 6-8 weeks. AND best of all, the dinghy engine started with only half a zillion pulls - a good omen I think.

So we are settling in. Have several projects that need to get done while we are here, not the least of which is laundry, but it is cheap here and they do it for you 2.50 US per load wash, dry fold - woohoo I have died and gone to heaven!!! On the downside, the bimini I put together in Mexico is on its last legs, so really need to make a new one. I hope I have enough fabric. Oh yeah and we need to clean out the spare bunk for Paul. That will be interesting, not sure where it will all get stowed, but pretty sure I can figure it all out. Watermaker filters need changing too. Just like a house, there is always something.....

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

En Route to SavuSavu - day 4

0530 zulu
lat 16 deg 53.37 S
long 179 deg 37.70 W
course 246 T
speed 5kt (second reef on main, staysail and partial jib)
wind 10-15 SE
swell 3-4 ft S SE
mosly sunny

Well, we have been seeing the Fijian Islands since early this afternoon, but will arrive at the checkin port of SavuSavu tomorrow - probably in the morning -- about 80 miles left to go. Last night was the same old weird stuff. About 0100 the wind picked up and by the time I came up at 0130 we brought in the jib - we still rocked and rolled until about 1000 this morning, then the wind came down and the seas calmed. Craziness. Makes for difficult sleeping. Otherwise very quiet. We are all ready to be done, but in the grand scheme of things it has been a pretty nice crossing, so not complaining. Fixed the radar today - Raymarine used a pretty useless connector and we had problems with it all the way to Mexico. Dennis finally got some very expensive goo with silver in it and has worked ever since. Just wiggled it a little bit and back in business.

Woo Hoo land ho

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

En route to SavuSavu Fiji day3

0530 zulu
lat 15 deg 46.41 S
long 177 deg 29.23 W
course 245T
speed 5.4 knots (just started the motor to charge up the batteries)
wind 15 E to SE
seas - mixed/confused from the southeast ish 4-6 feet
mostly sunny all day

Was a rock and rollin night last night. Dennis got a little seasick so Josh covered a couple hours of his watch so the meclizine could kick in. He is feeling much better today. My watch was full of dark clouds, off and on rain and wind around 25 knots. That kept up thru Josh's watch, although the clouds started to diminish around 0500 - even saw a few stars. The wind and seas calmed down a lot today - which made for a much more comfortable day. To the point that Dennis and I even braved the back deck for a quick rinse - that sure felt good. We are running the engine now to give the batteries a boost. We have the parts coming to Fiji with Paul to re run the water for the generator so we can use it underway. Until then it is the engine. (yep there is always some project).

Otherwise a nice uneventful day. Shared a beer between the 3 of us before dinner. Just the way all you guys think it is every day (except when it isn't right?) Still looks good for a Friday arrival in SuvaSuva. Hopefully in time to get checked in - if not, it will be a quiet weekend on the boat for us - actually that doesn't sound all bad......

til tomorrow......

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Monday, August 26, 2013

En route to Fiji day 2

0530 zulu
lat
long
course 230 mag
speed 6-7 knots
wind 20 ish
swell 8-10 SE and S mixed bag of uncomfortable tricks
cloudy all day, but no rain

Well, crazy night. rain, wind, then no wind and then wind from all directions. All on top of first night of a crossing sleepies. Something just not fair about that. Finally around 0430 it settled into what we still have 15-20 behind the beam. Rockin and rollin. So yeah, the usual stuff. Got good speed going with just the main (2nd reef in - wish it were the 3rd) and the stay sail. Managed to get everything closed up before the waves started hitting the deck - a first I think. Woke up for my watch and my computer was not in its place - Josh had seen some lightening on his watch, so all the laptops were in the oven. That still cracks me up. Don't know if it would work, but at least we could say we tried...

We are about 350 miles from SavuSavu, so Friday is still looking good. Hopefully before quitting time. Huge thanks to Brad for the weather info. It sure is comforting to know he is out there watching for us. PJ give him a big old smooch for me!!!

Wondering if my position reports are posting on the blog? Anyone? My little computer doesn't always want to play with this program. it looks like they are being sent, but would be nice to know for sure.

Speaking of which, off to wrestle with the SSB, position report, request for gribs etc. cross your fingers....

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Suvai'i to Fiji

zulu 0530
lat 13 deg 40.36 S
long 173 deg 15.03 W
course 241 T
speed 5-6 knots
wind 14 SE (except when its not)
sea state - calm waves 1-2ft following (yeah!)
cloudy with the occasional rainbow

So yeah, I forgot to mention that we swam back in the rain - darn it we got wet!!! It rained hard most of the night. This morning it was hot and sunny very little breeze. Dennis helped me get the kayak down and I went in a settled our bill in Australian dollars and talas. Pretty funny actually. Loaded the kayak back on the boat, stowed everything and headed out. That entrance channel is crazily narrow, but we just followed our track back out, so no worries.

Hurray we are on our way to Fiji!! The winds today have been pretty squirrelly. We had to motor almost to the end of the island before we got any decent wind. Poled out the jib port, furled it, put it out starboard for wing and wing, jibed the main back and forth and now at 1830 local we have the second reef back in the main, the stay sail and partial jib with the wind back behind the beam. During my watch this afternoon it did about a 360 ended up close hauled thru dinner, and now it is behind the beam. Will see what the evening brings. Quiet day other than the multiple sail ins and outs etc. Hot. Should make Fiji by Friday if we can average between 5 & 6 knots. it could happen, if not, we will still be moving and when we do get there we will laze around the boat until Monday (if we get there before then - which we should even if we go realllyy slow).

Back to crossing mode. Hate to say it, but so far the motion has been great - probably jinxed myself, but trying to be thankful for the small things. I hardly knew how to cook in a galley that wasn't pitching around. Nice!

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Saturday & Sunday Suvai'i

Saturday was a lazy day. We all slept in, I made a late breakfast, then we internetted, schooled and read until about 1400. Then we decided to go in to see what was what. After a zillion pulls and lots of cursing, the dinghy engine finally started. In the meantime Tortuquita (Dave and Booker) and Wendy Ellen (Zack, Susie and Ronan) came to the anchorage. It was low tide, so it took lots of persistence to finally make it to the beach and up to the Savai'i Resort. Once there we had beers, a fruit platter (with the first grapefruit since Fr. Poly) and fries. We did a quick tour of the immediate vicinity (they have a pizza parlor) and then headed back to the boat. I made bbq ribs -rum. We watched the first "Taken" movie with Liam Neeson - Not bad for a shoot 'em up movie.

This morning we got up and started stowing the boat for the crossing to Fiji. Major pain, but we decided to put the dinghy on the deck to save some wear and tear. The davits are hard on it on a long crossing. We finally were ready around 1130, so up came the anchor and we were off like a herd of turtles. Not much wind, but the sea was calm. We were able to sail for a little while, then around 1400 turned on the motor, hoping to get out of the Island's wind shadow and commence real sailing. Around 1500 we were passing the harbor of Asau and decided to stop for the night. The entrance gave us a few more gray hairs, but we got in and anchored and all is well. For anyone coming after us, the waypoints in the compendium are good - kind of disconcerting as our navionics charts put those waypoint on land..... but visually (in the real world) they were right on. There is no second range mark that we could see, but there are three poles (for want of a better term) sticking out of the water and the center one lines up with the white triangular range mark. Taka from the Moana resort paddled out to meet us, but by then we were through the worst of it. Luckily the light was good enough to see the shoals.

Since the dinghy was on the deck, Dennis and i swam in for a drink. Note - yes you can use a credit card, but 100 tala minimum charge. That part got lost in translation, so not sure what is going to happen. i will have to go in in the morning and figure it out with someone with the authority to make those kinds of decisions. sigh...... Anyway, pending what the gribs say we will be on our way tomorrow to Fiji. We expect it will take 4 full days, so hope to be there before closing time on Friday. If we don't leave tomorrow, probably won't leave until wednesday, as cannot check in to fiji on the weekend.

More tomorrow....

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Catching up again

Seems like being at the Marina is a big distraction from writing the blog.

So Sunday turned into a sewing day. Re-covered one of our throw cushions in the cockpit, and put hems in two pieces of material I am using to cover the settees. The settee cushions are pretty much in need of replacing, so i am hoping covering them will help them last and also covers are easy to clean. After that we went for a walk. Found a couple of supermarkets open - got bread and eggs and scoped out stuff we might want for later. Then put up the sunshades in the rain. That way we were able to keep some hatches open. It is really hot in Samoa, and having to close up the boat makes it miserable.

Monday we went in search of a connection for power for the boat. i won't bore you with the details of 240 vs 110 and 50 hz vs 60 hz and transformers etc. Suffice it to say we hit 4 hardware stores and had no luck finding what we were looking for, we did however manage to spend 80 Tala on the taxi and get our propane filled. So, not too bad. Later that day the marina electrician came by and he and Dennis decided we could do what we needed with an extension cord and some parts Dennis already had. So, that afternoon, we walked back to town to the fresh market, the grocery store, caught a taxi to haul all our stuff back to the boat, and stopped by ACE on the way back to the marina. Pricey things 30 meter extension cords! That night we had a potluck on the dock - very nice until it rained.

Tuesday we rented a car and did a tour of the west end of the Island. First stop was the Robert Louis Stevenson house. I knew he wrote Treasure Island, but didn't know he wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Good to learn new things. The house had been renovated thanks to a hefty donation from some guy from the US I think. Any way, RLS only lived in Samoa 4 1/2 years before he died - of consumption (TB?). But in that time the Samoans came to love him and he ended up being buried here and his wife's ashes too. From there we went to the Baha'i temple (one of 8 in the world). Beautiful grounds, interesting architecture. Next was the tallest waterfall - thankfully seen from the pullout, so no hiking in the rain. The road was taking us up through the rain forest to the other side of the Island. The side that was hit hardest by the Tsunami. More lush vegetation, narrow roads, each village had at least one church. I read somewhere that Samoa has enough seating for the entire population of the south Pacific - I believe it! Our next stop was a small water fall with a swimming hole. Josh and I waded some, seems like it would be a great place for a picnic on a sunny day - lots of mosquitos though. Next was finding a lunch stop. Finally around 1330 we stopped at Samoan Beach Hideaway Resort. Very quiet - but beautiful location if you wanted to get away from it all. After that the road stayed on the coast and we passed some nice beaches, turned the corner at the south western tip and headed back towards Apia. Again up into the hills and then down to the coast. We stopped at the cave pool, but it was closed. It was raining again so we passed up the black sand beach. We were almost back to the boat when Dennis jokingly said "Pizza for dinner?" We said sure, and the next place we saw was a pizza place. Yippee! We got it to go.. Wouldn't go out of my way to go there again, but it certainly filled the hole at that point. That evening we went to a firedance show across the street at the ice cream shop (yes, the one that sells beer and wine and icecream - hey it works for me!). it was amazing!! They are a group whose purpose is to keep traditional dancing alive.

Wednesday, we were up and at it by 730, Dennis drove us to the grocery store for final provisioning, then he took the groceries back to the boat and returned the car. I went to immigration (didn't open until 0900), then the digicel place (modem wouldn't work in Fiji, so we are sticking with the wifi for now), then back to immigration, then to the market to buy Josh a sulu or lavalava with pockets. From there I walked back to the boat, then went to pay our marina bill (so nice to sit in a/c), then customs (not so nice waiting outside), then back to the boat. Internet had been crappy all day, and Dennis had been working on the ground wires to the boat and the transformer (again the details are confusing) he finally got it so we were making hot water - yay! We decided to stay one more day to wait for a little more wind to fill in.

So, Thursday we went to the Tourist center to see demonstrations of traditional Samoan culture. The kavakava ceremony, how they use hot rocks to cook the taro and fish. My new favorite food is taro leaves with coconut milk wrapped in either breadfruit or banana leaves and cooked - YUM! I guess that traditionally the men cooked. Then we saw them make tapa - cloth made from mulberry tree bark. Ya, now I know why the men offered to cook - it is a lot easier than making tapa. Poor woman only made one strip and she was wiped out. We bought a piece with a turtle on it - Hope we can find a frame in Fiji. Next was wood carving, then the tattoo hut. Another very interesting custom. The men get tattooed from their waist to the knees - front and back. It is an excruciatingly painful process - takes days. It is all about courage - to take the pain and to accept the responsibility for caring for the family (the extended family, serving the chief and the community). Chris (our host) said that sometimes men would commit suicide after the first or second day because they could not bear the pain or the shame of not completing the tattoo. Kind of a harsh custom. Even now men and women are flown to NZ septic - some die, others need skin grafts etc. That may be a hard tradition to keep alive. Not my idea of a good time. Women only get them on the thighs - front and back. The tattoos themselves are all about the family and the service. It was interesting to note that you can only be a tattooer if you are from the family that does tattooing. So, no quitting my day job just yet!!

From there we were served the lunch that we were shown how to cook earlier, and they did some traditional dancing and showed how they started fires (before lighters). All in all it was three hours well spent. In the afternoon Dennis finished up on the transformer, and I started stowing things on the boat. Josh has been busy cranking out biology -as the internet here has been the best we have had so far. We had happy hour on the dock and then took down the awnings and stowed them in preparation for an 0700 departure today.

Sadly, neither Dennis nor I slept well, but we did manage to get off the dock by 0730. We had a pretty good downwind run (poled out jib and single reefed main) and had our anchor down here in Matautu by about 1600. Steak and broccoli and rice for dinner with coconut taro from the security guard at the dock. Yum. i was not a great mom today - poor josh got a bar for breakfast, and goldfish and chex mix for lunch. Dennis wasn't feeling well, so went down around 1100 and slept until 1500, I was tired at about 1230, so Josh came up and sailed us the rest of the way here. Dennis and i got up in time to help him with sails. We got our daily rinse just as we started to enter the anchorage, so circled for a while until it passed. After that - smooth as silk. Anchor down first try.

We are getting internet here too!! A breeze and no mosquitos - just about perfect. I love the marina for the power, unlimited water, internet and the ability to get on and off the boat and go visiting. We had a great group there too. Many we will see in Fiji and New Zealand. We met a couple from Auckland, and after talking with them, we are rethinking our plan to go to Tonga. May not work out as sailing 400 miles up wind is not my idea of a good time, and Fiji is very strict that once you check out, you have to be out right away - and no stops along the way as you are leaving. So, we will see. In the meantime, we will spend at least tomorrow here and then maybe go to the anchorage at Asau or may be just head to Fiji (my vote). I will let you know.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Samoa - catching up

Wow - time flies and I have some catching up to do

Tuesday Am. Samoa - Fueling and Tesa's beach bar.
Pulled the hook at 1030. That went well. Messy but no problems. Fueling tends to be one of the more stressful aspects of cruising for one reason or another - wind from the wrong direction, lines, swell, spills to name a few. This fueling was totally an exception to the norm and probably one of the easiest ever. We pulled up, the attendant guy helped us tie up. Took our paperwork in (had to pay at a different place), they have an regular nozzle adaptor to put on the big ass hose, gave us a stack of white pads and we were off. When we got to the 80 gallons we had paid for, we still needed more, so they let us keep going which was real nice. So, in and out in roughly 30 minutes. We were reanchored by 1215. We had lunch, then Dennis went to the office to pay for the difference in gas. When he got back we picked up the crew from My Muse, went in and caught the Aua bus out to Tesa's Beach Bar and Grill on the east side of the Island. It was very nice. It was one of the few structures on the coast that was not totally wiped out by the tsunami. Amazing actually as they are right on the beach. Our waiter/cook - Candyman (sp?)- was from NZ but had been in Samoa for 17 years, at Tesa's for most of those. In fact he had been there so long and served Tesa and the village so well, that he was allowed the honor of getting the samoan body tattoo. They hunted the boar for the tusk and everything. Very traditional and very painful - took 17 hours in total. But, quite the honor for a white man. He told us all about the tsunami and the 6 villages on the three bays that are the "family" that Tesa (she is the chief) is the head of and takes care of. We were hoping to meet her, but she had gone for provisions and never came back that we saw. So, we had a very nice visit, did crab races with the hermit crabs, ate some delicious shrimp and banana chips (made like french fries with platains(?) the angular bananas). Wasn't enough though, so when we got back to PagoPago we stopped by Mc Donalds. Not the same caliber at all, but it filled the hole.
Wednesday
We got up and did the divide and conquer thing again as the plan was to leave in the afternoon. Dennis and I went to the bank first. Then he went off to the fishing supply store and the hardware store. I went to make phone calls - only somewhat successfully. The phones died after my first call. Next to the port captain to pay (52$), then customs ($100). I thought I had to go to immigration, but the customs guy didn't think so, so he called and since we have US passports I didn't have to go. Sure was nice of him - saved me a long walk. Next on my list was groceries. I tried calling the boat, but no answer, so started walking towards them. Finally got a hold of them, Josh came and picked me up in the dinghy, i dropped off the first bit of groceries and then we headed to the store by the laundramat (best price on beer). Finished my list there, got our beer and sadly the credit card machine wouldn't work because - Yep the phones weren't working. I had some cash, but not enough for everything, so sadly had to put one case of beer back. Oh well, 2 will just have to do us..... Got back to the boat, made lunch and then got the boat ready to go. By 1430 we were ready to go. Pulling the hook was not quite as straightforward this time. Poor Josh. The chain got the wheels from a kids toy wrapped up in it. Was fairly difficult to get them unwrapped, but he did and we were off. We planned an overnighter so we would arrive in Samoa in plenty of time to check in as we lost a day coming here. (left on Wednesday, arrived Friday morning) We had good wind coming over, but it was almost directly downwind. Sailed with the triple reefed main only - still made good time. Was pretty rolly, but was easier to take knowing it we would be in the marina the next day.

Thursday - now Friday
Made it in to the harbor at Apia by 0830. Had to wait for them to place a catamaran, then the boat came to guide us in. Feels weird to be at the dock. We weren't supposed to get off the boat until all the officials visited us, but we did anyway. It took awhile, but finally the health and quarantine people showed up. Immigration showed up around 1230. At 1330 we called Port control, and they said that we should go to customs as they might not get to us. If they didn't then it would be Monday before they did - and technically we would have to stay on the boat. We walked over - got yelled at that they would come to us, then got yelled at again for being off the boat when the guy finally arrived. He seemed to get it out of his system - gave him some rootbeer. So by 1430 we were all checked in. During our wait Dennis figured out how to get shore power - what a luxury. The batteries are in heaven - fully charged! The shower facilities are a hike from the boat, so we took our stuff and headed over. I know that the thought of a cold water shower doesn't sound appealing to you, but to be able to just stand under running water - again heaven! Also it is pretty darn hot and humid here. We were melting. From there we went straight to the bar - and pretty much stayed there until time for dinner. By then it was raining. We had a restless night between the siren going off on land at 1230 (no one on shore seemed to mind it, so we just went back to bed) and our smoke detector going off - who knows when. Good to know it works - it detected the smoke from our mosquito coils.

Saturday
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN. We decided to brave it though, and walked into town to the tourist center (beautiful building), the bank and the market. I bought us all a hand fan and a lightweight top of local design for me. It was a deluge, so we taxied to the yacht club (with Moondance) for lunch - but it was closed. So back to the boats for lunch and rainy day activities. Later in the afternoon we went across the street to the ice cream parlor with Moondance for a change of scenery. Gotta love an icecream parlor that serves beer. They sponsor a school for samoan fire dancers. Were able to watch them practice a little bit. Dennis took a taxi to ACE looking for parts for power as we are now in the land of 240v/50 hz vs 110/60. Dennis installed a transformer, we just need the adaptors for the cords. Ace was closed, so that will have to wait until Monday. Since the rain showed no signs of letting up, we decided to put up our sunshades, so we could keep a few of the hatches open. We got totally soaked, but it did make the rain stop!! Our big event was watching "Battleship" on the big TV. It requires a lot of power, so we don't use it very much. So it was a nice treat.

Today has started off slow, was nice to sleep in and sleep all the way thru the night. No alarms or sirens or other abrupt wake up calls. On a sad note though, the 50hz fried our coffee maker. Dennis is going to try to fix it - bypass the timer I guess. But that is a very bad/sad thing. We can compensate as there is no way I would not have a back up plan for coffee, but still it is a bit of a crisis. More to come on that I guess. No big plans today. Maybe some sewing we will see.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Pago Pago Sunday & Monday

Well, Sunday wasn't much of a day of rest for us. But, that was a good thing. Nothing to do to distract us from our chores. First off Dennis fenced in the darn fan. Stupid thing bit me again! It fell out of the port hole running and got my thumb when I caught it. Then Dennis worked on the exhaust, and by the end of the afternoon everything was back in its proper place awaiting final testing this morning - which went well. So, we won't be asphyxiated on CO from the exhaust - always a good thing. I did 12 or 13 loads of laundry - lost track. It took about 3.5 hours. Everyone was still at church or sleeping in when i got there, so was able to use 7 washers the first time and 5 or 6 after that. Dryers were a bit bigger, so not quite so many dryer loads. But still about $40 worth. But only 1.25 to wash and 1.75 to dry. Cheap at twice the price compared to Papeete in Tahiti.
Tried to write and post this 4 times last night, but finally gave up - it became obvious to me that my computer just wasn't interested in cooperating. Josh's quote this morning from one of his games: "computers are like old testament god - lots of rules and no mercy"! We are all having computer issues - don't know why exactly, but probably a combination of the environment and internet access.
We have had a couple of pretty extraordinary experiences since we are here - related to how nice people are here. Saturday at ACE I had forgotten my ID, so was not able to use my credit card. Dennis was with me and had his card, but at that moment was in the restroom. I had cash, but was about 8 dollars short. Imagine the look on my face when the lady behind me in line offered to cover it for me!!! Definitely not an everyday experience in the good ole US of A. Maybe in Crystal Falls when I was young, and then because they knew me and that i would repay. Dennis eventually showed up and paid, but I was in shock all the way home. Then yesterday as Josh and I were leaving the laundramat - each of us totally loaded down, 2 youngish (mid 20s) offered to give us a ride to our dinghy. We declined as we were real close, but still - they thought that we were going to walk all the way back in to the dinghy dock in town, and they still had laundry going. Crazy nice people here.

Today was a divide and conquer day for the Evergreen crew. We decided it would be more efficient to split the chores. After a successful run of the engine to test the exhaust fix, Josh and I dropped Dennis off at the dinghy dock by the small boat ramp and then headed to town to make calls and provision. Dennis went to the hardware stores by the laundramat, and actually caught up to us as we were waiting to catch the bus to Cost U Less. We split up again - Dennis to go to the fishing store (cc machine was broke, so we still lack that stuff on our list) and organize fueling the boat, Josh and I to provision.

Josh and I made a detour for lunch to Carl's Jr. Yum! Best burger I have had in awhile. According to Josh it is the only burger I have had in at least 60 days, so what was I comparing it to? Details - it was good. He enjoyed his burger as well. So we definitely did not go grocery shopping hungry. Didn't help, we still bought a ton of stuff. I can't imagine what would have happened if we were hungry! Our first stop was KS Mart. Josh found Monster - so was extremely happy. Very American store, even found pinto beans. Lots of variety. Of course we bought heavy stuff there, so had to take the bus back to Cost U less (we could see it from KS Mart). Filled up two carts at Cost u Less, but the freezer is full again, as is the fridge. Still lack a few things, but will be able to get them here in Pago Pago. It is a 30 minute bus ride to Cost U less and KS Mart, so not too excited to do it again. We took a taxi back to the dinghy dock. Nice driver from Samoa (Western) has 9 kids!!! 6 girls and 3 boys.

The plan was that whoever got done first would take the dinghy and come pick up the last ones back. We called and called on the VHF, then Josh left me with my pile of groceries and walked down the road towards where the boat is anchored. I thought I was going to melt - and my frozen food too. Finally Graham from My Muse came in his dinghy to rescue me (my hero). I guess our dinghy was at the far ramp, Josh found it (Dennis found him there), but it wouldn't start (POS!!!). Dennis finally got it started this evening - replaced the fuel pump, but not sure if that was the problem or not. We will see I guess.

Dennis was able to arrange for fueling tomorrow at 1100. That was not exactly straight forward either. Bus driver let him off where he thought the office was, Dennis had to backtrack only to find out the office had moved - right where he was first thing this morning!!! So, by 1600 we were all back at the boat - sticky and grouchy. Then Josh and Dennis went back to the fuel office to see about dinghy gas. While they were gone I put stuff away. That is a chore that is actually better done with them off the boat and out of my way. I was mostly done by the time they returned - no go on the regular gas.

Gave Dennis a haircut tonight before it got dark. I hadn't been able to see the incision site from the mole I removed for a while. Looks pretty good. I probably won't quit my day job just yet, but not bad for my first solo surgery :)! Had Samoan beef bangers and mash for dinner - yum.

We are hoping to leave on Thursday for Apia, Samoa. Thursday is actually Friday there. We will cross back over the dateline again. Dennis has finally got his computer cooperating again and is plotting our course. Looks like we are going to have to leave on Wednesday night as it is 75 miles and we need to be there early enough on Friday to check in. So, we will probably leave before dark on Wednesday, do one overnighter, lose a day and arrive on Friday hopefully by noon. Winds look like they are going to be light as well.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pago Pago Saturday

Civilization is a good thing, but awfully strenuous.
Yesterday was very productive, but also very tiring. Josh took me to town early so I could make some phone calls. Dennis stayed at the boat removing the part of the muffler that was leaking. Managed to break his big ass pipe wrench in the process. That boy sure can be hard on his toys! Josh brought me back and then Dennis and I went in to get the Tafuna bus to go looking for the Harley Motorcycle guy who the compendium said did welding. Found him - its Harvey's Motorcycle and Scooter repair - Tafuna bus get off at the traffic circle before McDonalds, turn left about 1/4 mile on the right. Interesting character, ex marine/merchant marine. Things were not looking so good initially, but in the end he got the stainless pipe (looks like a closed spring) that we needed from the NAPA store (I think that is the only thing they did have) and said he would have it ready today at noon. After leaving there we walked to the Cost u Less. That was a bad call as it was way further away than I had imagined. Finally came within site of it, and stopped at a store for a beer - drank it on the curb in the parking lot. One of the best beers in a long time. We were so hot and sticky - really hit the spot.

Cost U less is pretty impressive. For those of you that have been to the one in Papeete - this one is 4 times the size. Lots of good selection, so the cupboards will be happy. We didn't buy anything except cream, will go back on Monday for a big run. We didn't make it to the KS Mart food store, too tired. Caught the bus back to Pago Pago and got back in time for a quick shower and to put food together for a BBQ on My Muse. That was very nice. We had bangers and Mahi Mahi and coleslaw and tossed salad and rice. Yep we have all been away from fresh food for a while, so are fixated on getting fresh greens.

Today we woke up to rain and lots of it, including thunder and lightening. Being the good New Mexican that I am, i actually really like thunderstorms, just not anywhere near my boat. Dennis bailed out the dinghy and by the time we left 45 minutes later it was ankle deep in water again. Like I said lots of convection. I wish I had a picture of us in the dinghy going to town - with our two umbrellas up. I am sure it was quite the picture.

So, checked out the "Tool Shop". Pretty nice - were able to get some screws for the exhaust (I guess Dennis had to break all of them to get the part off) and some screen for my new kitchen fan. The kitchen fan deal is pretty funny actually. Dennis rigged up a small computer fan that fits nicely into the port hole over the stove. It is hardwired 12volt. The blades are a solid plastic - and it bites! I was the first one - it took a good chunk out of the tip of my thumb, then it got Josh, then Dennis. So, it bought itself a fence - or in this case aluminum screen. Not that I will ever put a finger anywhere near it, but just in case I have a memory lapse or something.....

From there we went to the post office - no packages. We are still waiting on one of ours and one for Moondance. Guess I will be in making phone calls again on Monday. Got back on the Tafuna bus and just barely made it to Harvey's - thankfully he waited for us. $100 later (part and labor) we are in business. So, anyone reading this coming to Pago Pago - Harvey is the man to see for stainless welding (or any welding) for the boat. From there to NAPA - what a joke, no ATF, no heater hose, no jumper cables therefore no sales. After each request they said "ACE will have it", so on our way out I told them I would tell the people at ACE that they sent us... Bus to the corner, get off, get on the Leone bus less than two miles ACE on the right. WOW! nice store. Had jumper cables (10, 6 and 4 gauge), no heater hose, had ATF, had a 12volt inverter with the outlet and usb adaptor, new container for water for the fridge, drain covers for the showers, they did have metal plumbing fittings, just not the ones we need. But, Dennis was able to get everything he needs to fix the exhaust so you know what he will be doing tomorrow.

Sigh,,,, just saw over 22kts of wind here in the anchorage, we heeled and my pretty rum bottle fell off the counter and broke. On the upside it was nearly empty, on the downside - I really liked the bottle. It had a picture of an old sailing ship etched into it, now we are going to have to go buy a new bottle or container for rum. :( Where was I????? Oh yeah

Seems like we were not back at the boat before we left again. The sun was out by then so pretty muggy. This time we were in search of the internet place. We decided to buy a week's worth so Josh could be sure to have it for his on line biology. Found it and the Laundramat where I will be spending a good chunk of my day tomorrow. It is one of those good/bad things. I don't really want to spend all day doing the laundry, but having washers and dryers will be so nice and having linen and clothes that smell good and are clean will be even better. And, what else is there to do here on Sunday???? The answer is nothing. They rolled up the sidewalks this afternoon, and nothing much will be open again until Monday.

We were impressed again today at how nice the people are here, very open and friendly. It is very refreshing. Still hope to be on our way before the end of the week. If there are no major setbacks, we may even get a play day in.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Am. Samoa - Thursday

HEAVEN! Flat bed, breeze, cold beer. Life is good. Everyone slept well, ready for a big day today. First priority - power (ran the generator), then food (thrive scrambled eggs and leftover tritip), then internet. Almost stopped at internet, but we needed to get checked in. So got the dinghy down and headed in around 1100 local.
I have to say that this was the easiest, friendliest, most helpful check in to a country ever - including the US. First we went to the Harbor Master. Got taken care of by the Harbor Master himself as his staff was all out doing community service at a local grade school (refurbishing I guess). Very nice guy - his kids were born in the bay area, so lots to talk about. Then he gave us great directions for our next three stops. Next was the harbor office to drop off paperwork, then customs. All these in the same building. The guys in customs were a hoot. Filled out one piece of paper, and then they asked us if we needed anything here, and proceeded to give us directions to the stores and good restaurants, the buses and such. On our way out of the port area we dropped off a piece of paper with the security guards and then headed to immigration. Got our first rinse of the day on the way there. Immigration was in and out in less than 5 minutes, actually used the crew list we supplied, stamped our passports, and told us to come back when we are ready to leave. The highlight of the day came next. Lunch....
We had lunch at Sadies by the Sea (Goat Island Cafe to be exact). SALAD!!! OMG it was amazing! Not cheap, but who cares it was good! Service was pretty good too. The hostess was very friendly, talked about AS (American Samoa) and Samoa (western - she is from there), I was able to ask her about eggs - they are local, but kept cold (guess I will have to deal). She had the traditional Samoan tattoos for women - we could only see a little bit of them as they get them from waist to knees. Another OSHA moment - kittens playing on the tables. The cats looked in good shape, so no worries there as far as I was concerned.
From there we went back towards the dinghy dock. Stopped at the fuel office - no one home, but an Ozzie guy stopped and gave us phone numbers. Then stopped at the post office 1 of 3 packages here. Then small grocery store (chicken legs, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, bread eggs, pretzels(with salt :) ), snack mix, local beer (recommended by the customs guys), juice and evap milk = $40). By then we were all pretty tired, so back to the boat and more working on the internet. We are pirating with our Alfa antenna right now. The wifi for purchase doesn't seem to work very well in the anchorage, so we will see what happens with it. Josh needs to work on his biology, so internet is critical.
Tomorrow we will start on our lists, probably take a bus ride out to the stores.
So, AS has a poor reputation among cruisers for being not a very nice place. So far, we are not on board with that opinion. The harbor is a working harbor with a cannery, so it is not picturesque by any means. The water is not great, but it is not the worst we've had either (remember Barra de navidad in Mexico? the water there was too thick to drink and too thin to plow). The harbor looks like it is the filled in caldera of a volcano - another jurassic park type of location, green, lush walls surrounding us. The houses and buildings are all in pretty good shape and seem well kept. There is a good bit of garbage around, but nothing different than any of the other islands we have been to so far (except Suwarrow which was immaculate). The people are all amazingly friendly - they look at you, smile and say hello. The cannery smells a little bit. Josh assures me that my brain will block it out eventually, sort of like white noise. I am okay with that happening sooner rather than later, but it is not overwhelming by any means. One of the more interesting sites so far has been in the dock area where they were repairing fishing nets. It is a huge operation. Guess I will have to take a picture, cuz I can't figure out how to describe the sheer amount of net.
I guess we are happy to be here on several levels. Being in an English speaking country sure makes it easy (how american of me huh?). Didn't try the Mc Donalds today (no salad there), but looking forward to some fries and a diet coke with ice! Oh it is the small things.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pago pago Am. Samoa

Well we made it, and before dark no less.
My watch zoomed by, Dennis let me sleep til 0200. First thing when I came up i saw lights to starboard. Fishing boat? Did not show up on radar. I waited awhile, checked again, still did not show up on radar, finally figured it out - was the island of Ta'u. Made the wind kind of weird, had to head more east than I wanted to, but downwind at 6-7kts with 15-20kts of breeze, was faster than motoring. Josh had an uneventful watch as did Dennis. We had to jibe a couple of times to get in the harbor, and finally turned on the engine with about 10 miles to go. Easy entrance although the upper range marker is hard to see. We are anchored in the slime with 200 feet of chain out and the anchor alarm on. Pago Pago is notorious for boats dragging. We would prefer not to join those ranks. My Muse beat us here from Suwarrow. They left after us on Sunday and got here today early afternoon - that's a catamaran for you.
So, beer thirty was really nice. Spaghetti for dinner. Do you know they make unsalted pretzels? Seems pointless right? Well, that is all that is left of snack food on the boat - we picked them up at Target by accident. Who knew there was such a thing? Amazing what will do in a pinch.....
Tomorrow we will check in, and scope things out. Josh is all over going to Mc Donalds (we can see it from the boat), we need internet, the laundramat (Josh says his swimsuit smelled so bad it made him want to throw up. Pretty sure the whole boat is that way) and then provisions. We would like to be out of here in under a week. We will see how that goes. Since we are here, we should see some sights

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Pago pago Am. Samoa

Well we made it, and before dark no less.
My watch zoomed by, Dennis let me sleep til 0200. First thing when I came up i saw lights to starboard. Fishing boat? Did not show up on radar. I waited awhile, checked again, still did not show up on radar, finally figured it out - was the island of Ta'u. Made the wind kind of weird, had to head more east than I wanted to, but downwind at 6-7kts with 15-20kts of breeze, was faster than motoring. Josh had an uneventful watch as did Dennis. We had to jibe a couple of times to get in the harbor, and finally turned on the engine with about 10 miles to go. Easy entrance although the upper range marker is hard to see. We are anchored in the slime with 200 feet of chain out and the anchor alarm on. Pago Pago is notorious for boats dragging. We would prefer not to join those ranks. My Muse beat us here from Suwarrow. They left after us on Sunday and got here today early afternoon - that's a catamaran for you.
So, beer thirty was really nice. Spaghetti for dinner. Do you know they make unsalted pretzels? Seems pointless right? Well, that is all that is left of snack food on the boat - we picked them up at Target by accident. Who knew there was such a thing? Amazing what will do in a pinch.....
Tomorrow we will check in, and scope things out. Josh is all over going to Mc Donalds (we can see it from the boat), we need internet, the laundramat (Josh says his swimsuit smelled so bad it made him want to throw up. Pretty sure the whole boat is that way) and then provisions. We would like to be out of here in under a week. We will see how that goes. Since we are here, we should see some sights

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Suwarrow to Pago Pago - Tuesday

0430 zulu
lat 14 deg 05S
long 168 deg 16 W
course 250 mag
speed 6-7 kts single reef main and staysail
wind SE @ 15-20
seas 1-2 meters SE choppy
partly cloudy - no rain since sunrise

Well I knew i was jinxing myself by raving about the conditions on Sun and Mon. The winds shifted and the seas got choppy so the spinnaker came down around 2200. Then it was hang on for the ride. Dennis had some rain, but no wind so the full jib was up when I came on. About an hour later in the rain, Dennis came out and helped me reef it in (think we were doing 8-9 kts at the time). I finally brought it all the way and used the stay, wind died, so put the big jib back out part way, then the wind and sea and rain picked up. it was a pretty bouncy night. I stayed on watch until it was getting light, then got Josh up. We reefed in the jib a little more. I was exhuasted! Dennis was in the salon - our bed took some water in the transition from flat to bumpy, so I took Josh's bed - slept hard. By the time I got up things had smoothed out some - at least to a tolerable level. I guess during his watch Josh took a wave that covered the whole boat, the salon hatch was not latched all the way, and Dennis took wave to his chest. So a little bit of drying out again today.
Spoke with Moondance on the radio, they are a day behind us on their way to Western Samoa (technically just Samoa, but I added the W. for clarity). They have had a lot of rain and not much wind and bouncy seas.
We expect to make Pago Pago (pongo pongo) tomorrow mid afternoon - if the sailing conditions remain the same. Josh and I are dreaming of cheeseburgers and frenchfries.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Suwarrow to Am Samoa Day 2

0400 zulu
lat 13 deg 41 S
long 165 deg 49 W
course 251 Mag
speed 5-6 knots (spinnaker and single reefed main)
wind 10 kts SE
seas calm
sunny and hot

Amazing!! Day 2 under spinnaker. I am probably going to jinx us. But yeah, this is what cruising is supposed to be like. i had an awesome sail on my watch last night. Winds were 9-13 with occasional 15 kts and our speed averaged over 6 knots and had some 8 & 9 in there when the wind crept up to 15. There were dark clouds all around, but never showed up on radar or put out much wind. I am sure the boys were happy that i didn't have to wake them up for a sail change.
We hardly know what to do with ourselves. Sleeping was good, cooking and eating is easy, poor Josh even had to do school today - no excuse not to. The generator ran with no problems and we caught a dorado/Mahi Mahi. Funny how that can happen if you actually have a line out.
So another great day. Hard to believe we have been out 52 days - and even longer than that since we have had access to a real grocery store. Down to the last 2 cans of corn, then that is it for veggies. Will be quite the shopping trip in Am. Samoa.
Just got called on deck to see a couple of small humpbacks!!! Cool!

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Suwarrow To American Samoa

0430 zulu
lat - 13 deg 18 S
long 163 deg 42 W
course 245 M
speed 4kts
wind 8-10 east southeast
seas flat (yay!!!!)

sailing - spinnaker (poled out), and single reef main.

So today was the day you all think we have every day. It has been sunny and hot, seas flat, winds calm. We have the spinnaker up and all the hatches open, in your honor we even had a beer at 1800. Sorry, no ice for umbrella drinks. Boring - absolutely perfect!

We left Suwarrow this morning around 930 - made 5-6 knots initially, but have settled into 4ish. Even have the current going with us. Somebody pinch me I am dreaming! Dennis says we are back on the milk run, so this is how it will be. I don't know, but i will take what I can get right now.

I made fish chowder yesterday, and we had it for lunch today. Thank you Crystal for the Thrive diced potatoes - worked great!. We are having chilli and corn bread for dinner.

We have voted and will leave the spinnaker up tonight. All have agreed it is okay to wake each other up if need be.

Wish you all were here to enjoy the beautiful sail!

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Suwarrow - Saturday

Beautiful day today.
Today was one of those days that we cruise for. Blue, blue skies, blue green water, flat calm lagoon. Only thing missing was the boat boy with my umbrella drink!
Poor Dennis had to work on the dinghy engine again - I think it has a thing for Dennis. I don't know, but it is fixed again. I made a ginormous breakfast, I wasn't sure Josh was ever going to get full. All that spearfishing uses a bunch of calories. Homework got done, I finished a book, made fish chowder all very laid back. Went in after the dinghy engine was working again to check out - Only three forms this time (not including the 3 I had already prepared for checking out).
Josh did a little skurfing with Sam - the lagoon was like glass, perfect for skurfing. Big dinner and early bed.
Current plan is we will leave for American Samoa tomorrow morning. Winds will be pretty light, but that is okay as long as there is some. Will take around four days. I will post the blog and a position report, but may not do the net. Looking forward to internet and fresh food! The cupboards are looking a little bare, so and infusion of provisions will be good. Charlie wants us to have a burger for him. Josh said he would have at least two. There is supposed to be a Carl's Jr that is better than any in the US. I guess we will see. Also looking forward to being able to laundry in a real machine. Lord knows we have some that is ready to walk on its own....

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Suwarrow - Saturday

Beautiful day today.
Today was one of those days that we cruise for. Blue, blue skies, blue green water, flat calm lagoon. Only thing missing was the boat boy with my umbrella drink!
Poor Dennis had to work on the dinghy engine again - I think it has a thing for Dennis. I don't know, but it is fixed again. I made a ginormous breakfast, I wasn't sure Josh was ever going to get full. All that spearfishing uses a bunch of calories. Homework got done, I finished a book, made fish chowder all very laid back. Went in after the dinghy engine was working again to check out - Only three forms this time (not including the 3 I had already prepared for checking out).
Josh did a little skurfing with Sam - the lagoon was like glass, perfect for skurfing. Big dinner and early bed.
Current plan is we will leave for American Samoa tomorrow morning. Winds will be pretty light, but that is okay as long as there is some. Will take around four days. I will post the blog and a position report, but may not do the net. Looking forward to internet and fresh food! The cupboards are looking a little bare, so and infusion of provisions will be good. Charlie wants us to have a burger for him. Josh said he would have at least two. There is supposed to be a Carl's Jr that is better than any in the US. I guess we will see. Also looking forward to being able to laundry in a real machine. Lord knows we have some that is ready to walk on its own....

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Suwarrow - friday

Busy day. We were all up early to get the boys off for their fishing expedition. Sadly Charlie forgot them, so an anticlimactic wake up call. Dennis and I went back to bed, but Josh couldn't go back to sleep so did homework for awhile. Not sure why it seemed so busy today? What all got done? I made tortillas and a peach crisp for the potluck, lunch, started the water maker, did
dishes galore (I think they just multiply in the sink, tried to clean the stains off the side of the boat - by then it was 1500 -time for the bbq. Josh and Dennis did geometry, then Josh went spear fishing. Dennis cleaned the bottom of the boat.

Dennis and Josh also did a dinghy rescue - luckily hadn't gotten far. The anchorage remains at 21 boats (1 left today and one came). Josh spent the afternoon spear fishing with Sam from My Muse. He was unlucky, came home frustrated but ready to go again tomorrow.

The bbq was good. Yummy tuna and lots of good side dishes. Carla made killer peanut butter chocolate chip cake - can you say reeses? Ranger Charlie was on a roll. He really did not like Tom Neal. Cracks me up to hear him say his (Tom Neal's) book is booshit (that's right no l's in bullshit on Suwarrow). He and Harry also sang some Maori songs for us. It was very nice. The kids even did crab races. Josh and Sam never did make it to the bbq (the great hunters), lucky for Josh I brought him some tuna and Carla sent the rest of the cake!

Looking at leaving on Sunday, Monday at the latest. Finally managed to get the stupid gribs to download. My bad, i asked for too big of an area and the time kept running out on the download and sailmail would boot me off. oh well live and learn. We have sailmail on two computers now - so there is no fighting over the one computer. Trouble is that it gets hard to keep track of what got down loaded where. Looks like there are several boats on the same track as us, and My Muse will go to Am. Samoa next as well. That will keep Josh happy. So tomorrow we will start reassembling the boat for travel, and check out with the rangers as Sunday is a rest day for them (Pretty civilized huh?).

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fanning tues-thurs

Tuesday - total rain day.
Wednesday - woke up to sun and excess energy - add coffee, and i hardly knew what to do with myself! so, I went for a swim. Went to Moondance and My Muse and back. Finally mid morning went to shore to rinse out the spinnaker and do a little laundry. Got back to the boat in time for the boys to head out fishing. So you know how the trades always blow from ne/e/se? Well, not so much yesterday - got the whole compass out of it. Sadly that put our stern in 8 feet of water (not at low tide). so I spent a couple hours with an eye on the depth gauge waiting for the great white hunters to return. when they did (with a small something or other we can't name) we then spent a couple hours repositioning ourselves. during which time we figured out that at some point during the last 5 days the valve for the hydraulic steering fluid got messed up or messed with and we had no steering. Total cluster! But all turned out well and we repositioned ourselves far enough away from the reef and other boats to be comfortable. It is pretty tight in here right now. At last count there are 21 boats in the anchorage - beginning to feel like downtown San Francisco (kidding!). After we settled the whole anchoring thing, I went to put my lasagna together for dinner and found that all the fast cooking pasta (lasagna noodles and cannoloni) were infested with bugs - YUCK!!! new packages from HI too. good thing happy hour was scheduled for 1700 - lord knows that by then I totally needed it. Lots of nice new people to meet. Josh even has someone close to his age to talk to (20 yr old Sam from My Muse). So, all in all an okay day mostly.

today we got up fairly early to go do the manta ray snorkel - I guess they didn't get the memo, cuz they didn't show up. Maybe tomorrow. The rest of the day was spent doing a little of this and a little of that. Josh did homework, I bled the hydraulic steering, Dennis wired the stupid valves closed. After that Josh took me to get the laundry from the line on shore, but we got sidetracked at My Muse with an invite for Josh to go spearfishing. So, back to the boat to gather up all his gear and send him off. Dennis and I then went in for the laundry. Met some Ozzies of of Wendy Ellen. Nice folks with a small child named Ronan. I can only remember his name because of Ronan from Stargate Atlantis. cute kid, nice parents. Charlie of course had to give us fresh coconuts to drink the water from. is good, refreshing even warm. My brain should be all sharpened up after this stop (one can dream right???).

Josh brought home a medium parrot fish and had quite the story about the grouper that got away. There is talk of a fishing expedition in the morning with Charlie. Hope it comes together, freezer needs food.

Had our new very close to us neighbors over for happy hour tonight. they are from Seattle - Brett and Stacy - sv Bella Vita. That was fun and nice.

So, are thinking about when to leave. Have to look at weather etc, but is looking like we will leave by Monday. Tomorrow is another BBQ on the beach. With 21 or more boats, it ought to be quite the shindig. i am hoping that Harry plays his guitar. He was telling me that in Rarotonga, he plays regularly at different hotels and restaurants. Multi talented guy. Probably has carpal tunnel from checking everyone in over the last few days. No computerization here - no sirreee, it is all by hand.

going after weather now.....

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