Tuesday, January 31, 2012

11 27.79N 150 10.21E

Hello All,
We have just ran out of wind this morning and have struggled to keep the sails full so at 1300 today I started the engine. Looking at the weather it looks like we have come into a light wind zone. We are hoping this will fill back in tonight but I guess we will see. We only have 300 miles to go so we are getting close.
All is well onboard and we have been using the great sailing to make some really good meals. I am ready to get there already but this is all part of the experience. The weather has been fabulous, we have not seen one drop of rain since we left Pohnpei last Saturday. The nights have been clear and the half moon offers good light.
I will keep in touch as usual so I will talk to you soon.


10 06.99N 152 33.58E

Hello All,
Sailing to Guam has been a trade wind paradise. Beautiful days and squalless nights. At the rate we are going we should be there by Friday or Saturday morning.
This morning we made our first sail change since we left Pohnpei. We took down the smaller working jib and put up the larger yankee. It increased our speed by a knot so now making even better time. The sea has been very comfortable so we have been making some nice meals and getting lots of sleep. I hope this keeps up, this is trade wind sailing at its best.
I will talk to you soon.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Position 08 00.06N 156 24.26E

Hello All,
We left Pohnpei at 3 pm yesterday afternoon. After getting checked out of the country we made our way to open water and got the sails up and have been sailing a beam reach ever since. The wind is blowing 15 to 20 knots so I have my small working jib up, the staysail and a single reef in the main. We have been making 6 knots since we left and more to come I think. This is some of the best sailing I have done in months and its a great feeling. If we can keep this pace we should be to Guam by the 6th of Feb. The weather is sunny and a balmy 85 degrees. Everyone is doing well onboard out side of a little seasickness.
I am going out to enjoy the nice weather so I will talk to you soon.


P.S. This is being posted 1 day after Rick set sail. He should be much further by now.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Leaving Pohnpei tomorrow

Hello All,
We have had a brief but great time here in Micronesia. We have been touring all over the Island by taxi seeing lots of sites and in between getting the boat stocked up to make the 10 day trip to Guam. I have been used to paying through the nose for every thing you buy at the stores but here it is very cheap. There is heaps of American food at a very good price and the local food is also really cheap. I would love to spend more time here but my crew need to catch planes in Guam. Yesterday we went to see a Japanese defense gun from WWII and today we went to see some ancient ruins from a thousand years ago, we were told it is the best ancient site in the Pacific and they were right, it was an amazing place to see.
We have met some really nice people here and in Pacific Island fashion they are very helpful. Robinson, the guy we rented the mooring from gave me a ride in his dingy to get fuel for the boat this morning. Town is not very close to where we are so with a fast boat you can be there in no time. I just gave him a few bucks for gas for the ride and yesterday I got the boat stocked up with groceries.
We made arrangements with the officials to check out tomorrow afternoon. This is the shortest time i have spent on a Pacific Island but I will make up for it in Guam but I am sure it will be a more expensive place to stay. I may have to return to Micronesia someday to see more.
I uploaded some pictures of Pohnpei so take a look when you can. Beautiful place and as usual sad to leave so soon.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Arrived Pohnpei Micronesia

Hello All,
Position 06 57.76N 158 12.11E
We are safe and sound moored in Pohnpei Harbor. After a few hours of check in procedures we made it into the bay and grabbed a mooring buoy. We were going to anchor but after Robinson, a local, came out and guided us through the reefs he offered us a mooring for 5 dollars a day. We will only be here 4 days so I found this very reasonable. They use U.S. dollars here so I don't have to try to figure the exchange.
The last few days sailing was a mixed bag of heavy wind and sea or a nice breeze and enjoying the sun shine. The winds blow here north east and we were heading due north. For 3 days the wind was due east which made an awesome sail but 24 hours before we got here it picked up in speed and turned to the north east so we were hard on the wind. Not what I would call fun but we made due and got here on the day I planed to.
We went to the beach today and briefly looked around. We found a super market not for from here and I was like a kid in a candy store. They had most of the brands I am familiar with from the U.S. and not bad prices either. Micronesia is an Independent country but with close ties to the U.S. It may sound funny to get excited about groceries but it is the first store I have seen of its kind since Port Villa, Vanuatu 5 months ago.
We are talking about hiring a taxi to show us around the Island tomorrow. It is a high Island with awesome rock cliffs and very green through out. It is a very beautiful Island and I will get lots of pictures for you guys to see.
That's all for now.


P.S. Rick sent this 1-24-2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Best of Both Worlds

Hello All,
I am on a 2 am night watch and I thought I would comment on something I have kind of taken for granted the last few years. The stars in the sky, it is a perfectly clear night and it is quiet breath taking to see millions of stars. They look so close it looks like you could pick them out of the sky. It makes you feel pretty small out here but glad you are. The unique thing about being close to the Equator is you can see the Big Dipper and the Southern Cross in the same sky. We are headed north so the Big dipper is right in front of us and you look around to the south and there is the Southern Cross. That is one thing I will miss about these long passages in the middle of the sea. I have a star finder on my I Phone and myself and my former crew have had heaps of fun finding and picking out all of the planets and the many stars that are shining down on us on a clear night such as the one this evening.
We are in a place on the planet most people have never been and I feel lucky to have the best of both worlds.


P.S. This blog was sent 1-22-2012 and the previous blog this morning was sent on 1-21-2012. The delay must be going through San Diego.

04 37.87N 158 50.00E

Hello All,
The last day and a half have been great sailing but very up and down. We have had to make a lot of sail changes to match the wind speed to make it a fast but comfortable trip and today it has all paid off. We have been sailing in steady 15 knot winds and the sea has been 5 feet or less. The weather has been sunny and hot in the day and have had a few squalls at night.
We will be in Pohnpei Wednesday morning early. We were trying really hard to get there tomorrow afternoon but it is not going to be possible. Just to kill some time we will sail by the Island heading north then turn around to come back in the daylight. Sometimes the timing just isn't right, I have been there before.
Everything is good onboard but I think everyone will be happy to get there, including me.
I will let you know when we get in. That's all for now.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Back Into the North Pacific

Hello All,
Position 00 08.50N 159 53.14E We made it past the Equator at 1130 this morning. The wind started coming out of the East as predicted so we are now under full sail making 5.5 knots. I was really getting tired of running the engine so far but the Southern ocean is very calm this time of year. We should have good wind all the way to Pohnpei Micronesia and hope to arrive in 4 days. We did get to sail a few days ago which gave us some easting to make our wind angle better as we got closer and so far it's working out great. I have about 60 hours of fuel left onboard in case we need it again. I lost the alternator yesterday, it was over charging my batteries so I disconnected it and just used the solar panels. I have a spare one but I will look into it when we arrive.
While I was working on the engine yesterday Kaspar decided to go for a swim. It was flat calm so he was having a great time enjoying the clear blue water. It is not to often you get to swim in the middle of the ocean.
Both of the guys are doing great helping me sail the boat and it's good to have them. I will talk to you soon.


P.S. Rick wrote this blog on our Friday (his Saturday 1-21-2012)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Position 02 44.64S 159 26.07E

Hello All,
We had been sailing the last 24 hours but a wind shift to the north forced us to motor sail this morning. The forecast is still calling for north east winds for tomorrow (Friday) so we will be holding our breath. Outside of wondering when we get to sail things are pretty good on board, just catching up on sleep and reading. We spotted a small ship tonight, first boat we have seen out here. The sea has been pretty flat so at least the motion of the boat is comfortable.
I will let you know when we finally get the wind we need so for now I will talk to you later.


P.S. The blog was sent on 1-18-2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Position 03 59.69S 158 26.47E

Hello All,
We are about 200 miles from the Equator heading due north. The weather the last few days has been beautiful, sunny skies puffy cumulus clouds and very little wind. We have been motor sailing for 70 hours now. I am hoping for wind above the Equator to get us on in to Pohnpei, we will see. The nice thing is the seas are basically flat so it is easy to sleep and eat. Kaspar and Magnus are doing great and we have just been visiting and hoping for some wind. I have enough Diesel for about another 100 hours of running. That should get us out of the calm area known as the Doldrums. We will keep our fingers crossed.
That's all for now and I will let you know if anything changes.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Heading to the Sun

Hello All,
My position is 07 14.04S 158 00.19E We finally got out of the country and are heading north. The wind is very light and is blowing NNE which is not in our favor but it is 5 knots or less so we have the main up and I am running the iron sail for now. This time of year the trade winds go away and are replaced by westerlies or are very calm. The equator could be anyone's guess and I hope there is a nice north east trade wind blowing once we get into the North. Everyone is doing well on board and we caught a 15 lb mackerel today woo hoo! so we will have a good dinner.

Yesterday morning we left Liapari and headed to Gizo to do some last minute things and then headed for Sunbis Resort. There was an acustic 3 piece band playing there. Noel and Rosie from Liapari were there with their power boat to see the band and visit with everyone. There were also a few cruising couples there so we stayed a few hours and had Pizza before we left at 1800 last night. It felt like a send off party so it was a great way to say good bye.
I will keep in touch. That is all for now.


This was delayed coming to me. Rick did this blog on Saturday the 14th.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Breaking in the new crew

Hello All,
I finally got the boat out of Gizo and took the boat to Liapari Island to show the guys Noels place. We had a northerly wind so we got to sail most of the way over. Magnus's luggage hasn't showed up yet so we figured we would spend till Sunday here and then go back to town and see if it had come in.
We will be leaving the country Sunday night either way. The weather looks okay to go north so it's time to go.
Gizo has been a fun town to hang out in and I have met some really great cruisers and locals.
I will let you know what we are up to over here and keep you updated.
That's all for now.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New crew is here

Hello All,
I have my new crew on board. Kaspar from New zealand and Magnus from Denmark. Magnus arrived yesterday and Kaspar today. We have been visiting and getting to know each other. Kaspar has sailed heaps costal in NZ but never off shore and Magnus hasn't sailed much but is keen to learn. It should be a good time sailing with both of them, looking forward to it. Magnus's luggage didn't make it here from Fiji so we will wait a few days for it to get here, we hope. For now I will get them used to the boat, we will go out for a sail tomorrow and show them how everything works and will hang out here until the weekend. We will check out of the country on Friday. Then we will be off north to Micronesia, Pohnpei them Guam. This will be the first time the boat has been north of the equator in over 2 years.
I will keep in touch so till then.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back to the Rat Race in Gizo

Hello All,
I made the 3 hour crossing back to Gizo with flat calm seas and no wind. My time at Liapari was so good, I said good bye to Rosie and Noel and really didn't want to go. The trouble with sailing is the boat always moves so when you get to know people you don't want to leave. This has happened so many times I am numb to it. If weather is crap when my crew gets here I may go back to Liapari to wait, but we will see.
For now I will be here anchored in front of PT109 and visiting with the boats anchored here. I need to get fuel and groceries on the boat and I may have to do more paperwork to get the crew here. So for now I am in the big city of the west.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone,
I had a great New Years Eve here on the Island. I took a 5 mile walk over to the other island Vella Lavella. I found the old air field that was used by Papi Boington and the Black Sheep Squadron during WWII. It was mostly grown over but you could still see where it was. The walk was on a nice trail through the bush and it was very hot. I think it got to 100 with 90% humidity yesterday. When I got back I was worn out.
Last night myself and 2 other boats brought in the New Years with a BBQ at the Round House. We had BBQ chicken, salad, potatoes and many other things that people brought. Noel made a massive bon fire that we set off minutes before midnight and we used expired flares for fireworks. The party was a big hit and we all had a great time.
Tonight I will get to have another New Years Eve with my family via a phone call. My Mom has family visiting to bring in the new year so it will be cool to talk on the phone a few minutes.
The next few days I think I will hang out here and enjoy the nice quiet anchorage.


P. S. Rick sent this on Saturday Dec. 31, 2011