Diary for Sailng on Windwanderer.


Friday 22 June 2012

2012-06-22

Friday 22nd June 2012.

We own a boat, OMG.....

It's so unreal we went in to sign all the final papers and Andrew decided that we might as well move on today as they were catching an early flight back home in the morning.

So back to our resort throw all our stuff into suitcases, load it all up in a hire car that Andrew hired back to the dingy.

This was going to be a challenge, we have so much stuff and the dingy is not that big, I kept telling them to do it in two loads, but no guys being guys wanted to take it all in one trip.

So two huge suitcases, three over night bags, my hippy bag, my handbag, a camera and the 3 of us all go out to the boat.

And we made it hahaha,

By this time it's getting late and Vic needed Andrew to run through all the in's and out's of the boat, they only got through half which is a worry.

Hey we OWN A BOAT...hahaha


Saturday 23 June 2012

2012-06-23

Saturday 23rd June

1st full day on boat.

Well we survived the night what a sleep if u can call it that, I don't think I slept at all, was so seasick and excited and worried and scared, man and thinking what have we got ourselves into.

But hey we are here we slept in the cockpit as it's so rough and hot down in the cabin.

And today have just been going through lockers and looking at all the stuff they have left here, they have more drugs and medication than a chemist I swear, it's unbelievable.

Vic has been busy stressing over all the important stuff like the engine, generater, water maker, and stuff.

Hope I get some sleep tonight.


Sunday 24 June 2012

2012-06-24

Sunday 24 June  2012

Well we are rocking and rolling around so bad and I still feel quite seasick have been taking pills again and have the wrist bands on, only helping a little bit, we went into shore to talk to the guys at the customs to see if there was a better place that was more calm, after a lot of running backwards and forwards we come across someone who told us to move in closer, but we were worried it was going to be too shallow as there is so many coral reefs around it's a very popular divers place. So we get back to the boat and decided to give it a go.

Man this was the first move so I was very scared and the surge of the waves and not to mention the wind.

Vic had such a hard time getting the boat untied as they had tied it up in a crazy way, so I had to steer it into the bouy while Vic untied it.

U may think that's easy but I have no idea even how to put it into gear, and the captain at the front giving me hand signs.

So our first trip in Vic at the wheel me on the bow sprit watching for coral reefs going through very shallow water but we made it, is it any better and less calm? we thought at first but not anymore.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 25 June 2012

2012-06-25

Monday 25th June 2012.

Well it,s the third day on the boat am laying up here in the cockpit, being tossed from side to side, it's such a rough anchorage, we are hoping if the weather is right we can move to the other side of the island tomorrow. We had our first experience getting groceries today, what a drama just getting into the dingy was rough with waves crashing all over the place.

We got into the dingy and realized it had so much water in it that the fuel tank had tipped over and the whole thing was just a slimy mess, was not so happy about this as I  had just had a shower and clean up, all day I had been going through the boat and working out all the food they had on board to what we need, does anyone really want 12 cans of beans?

So anyway getting back to the yuck dingy we wanted to get to the nearby beach and drag the boat up there and go shopping and get fuel, easy right? NO....

We surfed in on waves to the beach kinda fell out and then could not drag it up, so Vic decides that the jetty near by would be a better option.

Off he goes tries to jump in and lands back in the water almost neck deep, if I wasn't so wet myself I would of laughed but thought best not too as he was not a happy camper.

So finally too very tired and wet cruisers went in search of a supermarket and petrol station.

After what felt like hours in this hot weather but was only minutes we found both, got what we needed than the long hall back with a Jerry can and 3 large bags of groceries, only to find the dingy full of water again, so Vic jumps in runs it around the ocean a bit to get rid of the water than back to pick me up with all the stuff.

Now this in itself was a challenge with surging waves me throwing bags and Jerry can to him and then I had to judge the waves to get back in.

I might add this was all watched by people enjoying a fine meal at the restaurant that we were tied up too, I think they may just have been enjoying our antics more than there meals,

So back to the boat me hanging over the edge to wrap the rope around the boat as we got closer got the rope hooked climbed up and then holding the rope with my food while Vic passed all the bags to me.

About three hours later we had it all done, man who said the cruisers life is easy.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 26 June 2012

2012-06-26

Tuesday 26 june 2012

Well day 4, we have arrived at our new spot on the other side of the island what a journey it took almost 5 hours, but we arrived safe, even though there sure was some hairy experiences.

We had huge swells with the boat rocking from side to side so bad that water was coming through the hatches, which we forgot to close, which resulted in only the bathroom getting soaked thank god, but it's a bit scary to see waves coming through into your boat.

Then we had wind gust of 28 knots not good either but the surge changed and instead of the boat rocking from side to side we where kinda surfing into the waves which I know sounds scary but I kinda Liked it.

So we had it all programmed into the nav thingy then just set the auto pilot and off she goes even though we did not have the sails up as we just motored but that was enough for now.

We had to come into this side of the island in a very narrow channel which we stressed about a fair bit before we took off, and to be honest all the stress was warranted, man it was so shallow that at one stage I could not even look at the depth sounder, it just scared me so much we should have ran aground and could not believe we didn't. Vic has just said that we got down to .03 of a meter.

He said he was stressing so much that the hair on the back of his neck was standing straight out, am so glad he told me that after...lol

Oh  by the way we have worked out that the depth sounder measures from the base of the keel so the depth of the water was not as bad as we first thought.

So we finally found a bouy to tie up too then went exploring into the little town in the dingy as we can not get Internet on the boat here but it's so calm here and we are the only ones in the whole area just know we are going to sleep well tonight.

Well I have to go am cooking up a whole heap of chicken as the freezer decided to stop working and most of the food started to defrost, the joys of owning a boat I guess stuff just goes wrong all he time.

Oh and I saw my first flying fish today was so cool at first I thought they were birds then as the dived back into the water I realized what they were.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 27 June 2012

2012-06-27

Wednesday 27 june 2012

Well another day we had such a good sleep last night, it's so calm here the boat hardly moves at all.

Right at this very moment we are watching a huge black cloud coming our way, not sure what to make of it at the moment.

Today I decided to do some washing for the first time, why is everything so much harder on a boat?

I used so much water that Vic had to run the watermarking for about 5 hours to bring up the supply again.

So armfuls of clothes and a bucket I set to work, this is not a simple thing to do and I still think life has to getting better than this, I really feel for our parents what they went through before washing machines were invented.

So 4 hours after the boat looks like a Chinese laundry, with rope and clothes hanging everywhere, and heaps of pegs on each item as I'm so scared they are going to blow overboard, would not be happy if I had to dive overboard to retrieve clothing although it kinda sounds quite nice as it's so so hot.

I decided to wash the all the windows and the deck and cockpit, as I already had the hose out anyway.

By this time I was ready for a rest but no Vic wanted to go to shore to check emails and stuff, so showered and dressed we went to shore.

We decided to see if we could get a Internet connection for the boat again so after talking to some locals we caught a bus to another area and tracked down a phone shop who sells sim cards, get back to the boat guess what yeah can't get it working, another trip into shore tomorrow.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 28 June 2012

2012-06-28

Thursday 28 June 2012

Well another day another wash, all the towels this time man this was hard work, I thought the clothes were bad, but trying to wash towels in a bucket and then trying to ring them out, as u can imagine my hands are hurting so bad, but hey I did it.

So we decided to go back into town to see if we can fix this Internet problem we have, we got a prepaid sim card as we have three different devices and just thought one of them at least would work, yes? ....no

So off we go armed with laptop, iPad, phone and the three devices, all in a waterproof bag of cause.

The little computer place that we went to first could not help so we caught a bus into the next town where we got the sim card the first time, They call it a bus but here on the island they are actually little mini vans that run all over the island every 15 mins or so, which is hard to work out as most people drive mini vans too, u know u have the right one when they stop for u, lol

We made it to the shop and the young guy who sold us the sim yesterday was still there damn, mister personality plus, but he surprised us and went out of his way to help he could not get Vic's laptop to work so out comes my iPad no battery left but they managed to plug it in and finally after what seemed like hours we got it working thank god so off we go and sit next door at subway to use there free wifi as we don't have a huge amount of data on ours.

Turn on Vic's laptop which I might had only has one bar of power left too, god knows why we did not charge them both before we left.

Well Vic's laptop could  not open a web page, far out am starting to stress now, so off we go back to the shop, am sure the young guy thinks we are idiots by now, but he has a look and somehow the device we were using had changed the settings after a little bit he has fixed it all.

Off we go again back on the bus back on the dingy and back on the boat,

Can u see why we get so tired and this is all done in extreme heat, are we having fun yet?

After all that drama we are back have all three computers working online so we are happy campers.

Next drama the dingy leaks Vic has worked out it's the plug that has broken so race around trying to get a new plug and can not find one yet, then we start the generator and it makes a funny noise, we have run out of diesel now that's major as Vic needs to hand pump fuel from one tank to the next which do not work so well, I kinda stay away from all this as he gets himself in quit a state and is not happy.

So all fixed he is sweating like crazy goes to have a shower we have run out of water....I so want to laugh but I'm sure if I do I will be made to walk the plank.

Tomorrow is another day.


Friday 29 June 2012

2012-06-29

Friday 29 June 2012

We have to move the boat today as the bouy we are on belongs to the local sailing club and they need it for there races, they came on there boat to ask us if we could moved it today which is fine and suggested to go to Camana bay, it is supposed to be a very happening place with the biggest shopping mall in the whole Caribbean, so we thought we would take the dingy in and have a look first, well over an hour of searching we found the entrance and made it up the long canal.

If this is the most happening place I sure would hate to see the quiet ones.

It just had really expensive shops and was dead hardly anyone around, I wanted to get some touristy things for the kids and some lozenges yeah I know I still use them I think it would be easier just to smoke again.

So after trekking all over the place we decided to catch one of there little bus/mini vans into Georgetown as we know they have everything we need there.

Oh I also wanted to get some sand and shells off the beach it's another little thing I wanna do at each place we stop, I can see the look on Vic's face.... Hahahaha lucky he love me.

So we get there get sand and shells from the beach Vic bitching cause it was so hot, Me not game too but oh so wanted to.

Found a coffee mug for Bek, a shot glass for Madd, and a keyring for Tim, I wanted to get Marion and Robin something too but the look on the captain's face ....well I will find them something special on our travels.

Ok four things checked now to find the lozenges, man I should just smoke again, we walked for ever found a little bar on the water front had a very cold cocktail a nice chat with the bar man, and looked over the very calm water where we moved five hours from a few days before.

That just made us feel so much worse .....hahaha

We even considered moving back there.

Well i'm not sure how long it took us to find the lozenges but it felt like hours walking in the heat but I have two packets now, and it all seems better now that we are back on the boat and have had cold showers and sitting having a quiet drink on deck.

Oh we moved the boat as well just down a little bit from the bouy, it's a bit rocky but not too bad.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 30 July 2012

2012-06-30

Saturday 30 july 2012

Well another day been up early again, and not much sleep, am getting into a pattern here that I'm not so sure I like.

Vic has a terrible rash all over we are sure it's a heat rash and I have broken out in pimples from the heat as well.

So today I spend almost 10 hours cleaning and de anting the lockers in the galley and the dinette that's shippy for dining room so the captain says I think it sounds like a 50's restaurant.

I took everything out of all the lockers threw away all the stuff that had ants in them and even the stuff that looked like it did, I HATE ANTS.

Man it was a mess I also cleaned them and sprayed with surface spray for bugs put down ant traps and also cockroach traps.

With any luck a may have got on top of them, I sure hope so.

Vic did a lot too, what, am not so sure but he sure is busy with the boat all day.

So after a very long sweaty dirty day, I cooked a lite tea, while Vic had a shower then he starts the generater  and watermaker there is a funny noise, so Vic makes a mad dash to see what is happening yeap the watermaker is not working again, and guess what we have no water so no shower.

Am not happy Jan.

He manages to switch tanks so I can have a shower after a few hours which was so nice.

When things like this happen and the poor captain is up to his eye balls in tools bilges and sweat, I take off, he never goes off but as a very serious pissed off look on his face. I wish I could help but I know nothing about engines and things so I just go up on deck and enjoy the cool breeze and let him fight the inner workings of the ship we have got ourselves, am so so sure at times like this he wishes we had a motorhome...lol

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 01 July 2012

2012-07-01

Sunday 01 July, 2012

Well another hot day,

I cleaned out the captains desk and the saloon was not quite as bad as I thought still hunting and killing ants, man this boat must be just a floating ants nest.

Went into town to see if we could fix this Internet thing no such luck yet,

The guy told us we should be able to do it online well u can't and being a Sunday everything closes here as they are quite religious, and we found out tomorrow is a public holiday.

AnyWay tomorrow we will go in and buy some more groceries and hook up with the shores free wifi and hope on Tuesday we can work it all out.

So back to the boat, I had my first lesson in dingy driving and was going good until we hit turtle weed and Vic had to take over, me nil turtle weed one.

It was so hot that we took our first official first swim in the ocean, which is a drama as Vic broke the swim ladder the first time we tried to use it, that's why we have not swam yet, and it's way to high to climb back on board without one actually it gives u a gym workout even using the ladder.

So many ropes and bad language yeah he uses it even though he thinks it's only me who does.

Well I have to say even though it's a bit scary and I was waiting for a shark to get me the swim was great and the water is warm, was nice.

So back on deck I decided to cook a damper and I had taken out some ham to defrost for tea, I put the ham in the oven as well to cook it slightly while the damper cooked, went to check to see how all was going and opened the door right on a wave swell and u guessed it the ham tray and all flew out across the floor, f....k what a mess, at this rate not much is gonna get cooked I can tell u.

So salvaged the ham cleaned up the mess, cursing the whole time Vic disappearing real quick and of cause being an unknown oven which a lot of us woman can relate too, the damper burnt....a bit more cussing went on here....

But we still ate it with gritty ham...lol

Tried to sleep in our cabin last night as Vic wanted us too, it did not go down so well it was so hot and stuffy and I felt like I was in a coffin,

Was horrible and I had a panic attack and could not breathe and climbed out with my pillows tucked under my arm and came back up on deck where it,s much cooler and open.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 02 July 2012

2012-07-02

Monday 02 July 2012

Started the day in tears, I think things are just a bit too much at the moment am a bit of a emotional wreak.

So things should of got better from here....hell no.

Just when u think things can't get any worse....think again.

We have dragged the anchor, now u may be thinking that's ok just move a bit and reset it, yeah we thought the same, but we are in very shallow water as it is.

Now the drama starts, first Vic can't loosen the ropes around the anchor, and when he finally gets it free we have hit bottom and are stuck hard.

Bad hey it gets worse, the cayman island fire emergency crew just happened to be going past in their boat so we waved them over to see if they could help tow us back to deep water.

So after much hauling and us in reverse going flat out we made it, everyone is smiling so they untie the rope and ask me to untie the other end, but guess what they let go of their end and so do I.

We are still going in reverse as well so guess where the rope ends up around the propeller.....far out can it get any worse?

So they leave us to it with a promise if we need help getting the rope off to radio them.

So poor Vic who is already exhausted jumps overboard goggles snorkel and flippers oh and a one very large knife, to try and undo the mess we were in, it's starting to get really rough and he decides to get out the real stuff,

diving equipment, and would u believe it there is a bit missing so he can't use it...I think he would kill the previous owners right at this moment.

Meanwhile we have drifted back into shallow waters and are stuck hard again, so we call up the fire rescue they come out again this time with divers they take ages to get the rope undone but managed to in the end.

then we have to get the anchor up so they can tow us back into the deep again, half way through this the anchor winch snaps so now, We have to drag it up by hand.

So all going ok but no matter how hard they try we are stuck hard, they leave us again and said they will come back when the high tide gets here, so after hours Vic gets a spare anchor out the back of the boat and set so when the tide hits we won,t go anywhere.

At the moment we are listing over on one side so bad I'm scared we are going to go right over.

Vic has just gone in the dingy to shore to get weather update and a few things as we just heard on the radio of severe weather coming our way.....far out.

Am sitting here by myself scared.

The captain didn't abandon ship after all, was a bit worried for awhile there he checked the weather and emails and got a few groceries the weather was fine so that was a plus.

The tied was coming up too and we are starting to straighten up which feels a lot better even though we are still on the bottom.

I guy and his son come over in a dingy to see if we were ok and said not to trust the fire guys as they don't know much about boats he ran the harbor guys and they came out.

Rescue number 3

Well these guy wanted to do all dumb things had some crazy ideas, Vic suggested to just pull the nose around and she should come free, guess what it worked thank god big sighs of relief all round, next problem it's getting rough and we have them towing us and wanted us to let go of the back anchor and the guy in his dingy will pick it up, good plan this is a 2nd spare anchor that u should not have to use much and the problem is it has about a hundred meters of rope on it and it's a big thick rope.

So Vic at the wheel and me trying as fast as I can to let it all out overboard.

Far out who needs a gym, am gonna have big guns....hahaha

So the rescue mob go and get the anchor and rope, to get it back on board this is huge as I'm at the wheel now and have to keep the boat in a straight line while they try and get it all over to us, man that was so hard to do, u have to remember she is a big boat with big heavy equipment I can't even budge that anchor, but all is done so with a new heading set we motor off to find the local yacht club to tie up too and do some repairs, so we limp in more the sailors than the boat although she is very messy with rope and tools and stuff all over deck, and a broken boat hook which means we can't pick up a bouy so have to tie up to the jetty/sea wall thingy, but we make it at about 9pm and are met with a young man saying he is the  harbor  master and a security guard and once we tie up he will talk, far out we do not need this after the last 15 hours we have just been through.

But Sheldon is our new best friend what a nice guy and could not be more helpful if he tried.

After a few very stiff drinks we are turning in.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 03 July 2012

2012-07-03

Tuesday 03 July 2012

Well before I start lesson number god knows how many, no matter how close the boat is to a dock don't jump, have had quite a nasty fall and hurt my ankle ended up in a heap of rubble and junk not nice lucky for me I don't think anyone was looking but man I'm in pain.

Well today was a run of doctors, hospitals, X-rays and injections but lucky for me nothing is broken Just one very puffy ankle with a lot of skin off,the unlucky bit is it cost a small fortune.

We decided to hire a car for a day cause we have to run around and get supplies and stuff, and I'm limping so bad we just can't get around that easy on foot.

We are back on board and Vic is wrapping my ankle in a brown paper bag soaked in vinegar a lovely local lady told us this would work, I have to keep it on for a day or so, we will see...lol

Oh by the way we have named these the " Brown Sugar " as we had a local taxi driver called brown sugar who told us a lot of different voodoo things...lol

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 04 July 2012

2012-07-04

Wednesday 4 July 2012,

Another day not a good day today, am down and feel like chucking it all in.

Anyway I threw myself into cleaning as I seem to do every time I get upset, place is looking good...lol

Did a massive wash also which took up a fair chunk of the day as well.

Anyway it's still stinking hot and I would love to be on the move am over this place now.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 05 July 2012

2012-07-05

Thursday 05 July 2012

Another day I so want to be moving on it's hot and we are in a area that nothing is going on, Sheldon are new friend ran me to the grocery store to stock up on supplies, god it was so expensive, but we should be right for food and supplies for a fair while now.

Vic has decided that we should go back to America to his friends place so we can do some much needed repairs, looks like Tom is going to fly over here and sail most of the way with us.

Am not at all sure I'm ready to be thrown out in the middle of the ocean for 4-5 weeks and know nothing about this boat.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 06 July 2012

2012-07-06

Friday 06 July 2012

Well we are moving back to the other side yay....am happy I know we had to stay here for awhile to fix a few things on the boat, but it was so hot and mozzies everywhere and the area is so quiet and dead we could not get around anywhere unless we got a lift from a local.

So we made it back went through a very rough sea to get here was not liking it too much, but we saw heaps of flying fish again and we are settled back on our old bouy, feels like we have come home again.

There is so much happening on this side from cruise ships to all types of boats.

At the moment we are looking at the strangest little boat if u can call it a boat it looks more like a box.

It must have about 20 men on board not sure what is going on but it sure makes me feel safe being out in the ocean in our little ship.

Honest it looks like they don't even have a motor but they got here somehow....scary

Oh on the way over here we lost our brand new boat hook that cost a small fortune and I might add unused so as we are steaming towards a bouy Vic was trying very hard and fast to repair the old one so at least we could hook up as u are not allowed to anchor here.

But all went well and we are settled again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 07 July 2012

2012-07-07

Saturday 07 july 2012

Well we tried the cabin again last night Vic made the whole night, me about 5 hours which was great but I woke up so hot so sheet pillows again tucked under my arm am back up in the cockpit again.

Will keep trying till I can make a full night.

Did not do a huge amount today Vic has been going through all the nav gear and I actually had about a 3 hour sleep.

Then I attempted to make some bread and a rice dish in the pressure cooker the rice dish that is, it ended in tears, it's so hard to do anything on this damn boat, for a start I could not get the pressure cooker working then realized the gasket was missing found it and guess what yeah it's broken, so we used it as a saucepan which ended in burning it may take a week to get it out of the base...lol

Then we turn to the bread well the first dough would not rise it is fish food now, the 2nd rose and cooked with a very burnt base man I gotta work out this oven.

But hey we have very white teeth from all the charcoal ...lol

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 08 July 2012

2012-07-08

Sunday 08 July 2012

Well quiet day on the island not much is opened today as they are very religious and everything stops from midnight Saturday till around 1pm Sunday, then they are allowed to drink alcohol, seems funny to us but it's the way they live it's kinda nice in an old fashion way.

We had lunch with Sheldon his wife and two kids today at her parents restaurant, this is a local only place not a touristy place so we got to taste there typical food and life style what nice people.

Sheldon was given some barracuda  from a friend so they 

test it to make sure it does not have that poison not sure. The name of it but it's quite common here, so what they do they cut a piece off each fish and lay it where there are ants and see what happens, so a little while later we go have a look the pieces are covered in ants well one more so than the other but it's a good sign that the fish is ok, just leave it a bit longer and see.

Than about 30 mins later we go have another look and most of the ants are dead serious they were curled up in balls everywhere, we were all shocked, now these fish were huge and would of feed two family's for days, but u can't eat them, it's such a shame, but getting poisoned from these is so bad it can take years to recover.

I want to take some back to the boat could be a good way of getting rid of our ants...lol

The sad thing is this poison is caused by man, from the lead that leaches out of ships that have sunk and all the oil and diesel from the ships that come and go from the port.

Anyway after all that and a nice lunch we went back to there house and Sheldon showed us some DVDs that he took when he was a tourist guy who took people out for the day on his boat and dived with sharks and stingrays and all that was just a nice pleasant day.

So after being dropped back at our dingy we start to motor out and the engine stops, Vic gets it going again stops again after about the third time I'm thinking we are gonna have to swim but it starts again and gets us back to the boat thank god.

Just another problem, we are getting so used to this...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 09 July 2012

2012-07-09

Monday 09 July 2012

Well I can happily say not a damn thing went wrong today...sorry to disappoint everyone...hahaha

I can honestly say I'm really starting to enjoy this life, took a long time coming.

We had two lovely swims with snorkels and goggles out here today the water is so warm and crystal clear and did not see any sharks...lol

Did a bit of shopping and did not even get wet, yesterday I forgot to say that the dingy decided it didn't like me just as we got to shore it dumped me overboard....nice, as I was dressed up to go out for lunch yeah spent most of it dripping wet...lol

Another lesson don't dress up.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 10 July 2012

2012-07-10

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Today was an over hot one, man this heat can be a killer, you just sweat all the time.

We had a fantastic snorkel this morning.

We have noticed a lot of people swimming in one area so we decided to swim over there and check it out.

It was a lot further than we though or we are just not that young anymore..haha

But it sure was worth it fantastic fish and there was also a wreak, this may have been put here just for the tourist but it was good to swim over.

There where these little yellow striped fish I think they may have been Angel fish, swimming all around us and not scared one bit, and little blue fish that were so bright.

Also there was a huge school of fish at least 100 so closely packed together u would think it was just one huge fish.

It's so funny every time I see these types of fish all I can think of is finding Nemo....lol

I managed to cook dinner in the oven this time without burning it...haha and even a dessert which was so rich we could only a little bit.

Our eating habits have changed so much we hardly eat anything sweet and only one or two cups of coffee a day and very small amounts of food. It could just be the heat I guess, who knows but it has to be doing us some good.

Oh but we do have a couple of nice cocktails every night, can't be too healthy....Hahahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 11july 2012

2012-07-11

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Did I say yesterday was hot...man today was worse, we are both feeling the heat real bad, it really wipes u out, I have never drank so much water and sweat so much in my life. Will be glad to be moving on.

Well the circus began real early today two huge cruise ships came in before five this morning, the island turns on the side show for them all.

It's so funny and sad too to see what they do. People come here for a look at a tropical island, it's like cattle herding they get them from the ships in little ferry's that go back and forth all day, bring them to shore and they go here and there doing all the touristy things they have planned for them, the sad thing is they see the fake island like a big theme park not the real island that changes when the ships pull away.

In all fairness I guess they have a good time spend a fortune and go back not knowing any different.

Well dramas or the day....I did a big wash today which resulted in running out of water, another lesson, tell captain when ur gonna do a big wash so he can make sure the tanks are full.

While I'm washing the captains tries to see if he can work out the Davits on the back of the boat to pull the dingy up.

They told us u just hook the ropes to the dingy and winch it up yeah right.

It does not go well the captain nearly kills himself trying to climb up the back of the boat and is muttering about how many things can go wrong before u are allowed to kill such person who sold us the boat.

Me quick exit back to washing, it's safer on my side of the boat, he may just want to practice on me....hahaha

But the sun goes down every night and a few cocktails later enjoyed on the deck, and life feels good again.

Oh and I managed to sleep till about 3.30am in the cabin last night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 12 july 2013

2012-07-12

Thursday 12 July 2012

 Well what a day,  had an early swim, we tried a different spot this time was so nice over coral reefs fantastic fish but the coral is not like ours back home it's quite dull.

We had to go into town today to renew our visas and do some shopping, so in the dingy we get dodging around all the boats and the hype of activity going on as two more cruise ships are in today.

So get halfway and the outboard motor stops, starts stops, this goes on a bit, lot of muttering going on, me thinking swim time, but all will be ok, right...again NO.

God damn it can anything go right with this damn boat.

So out come the paddles, I think swimming would of been so much easier, man it is hard work when u are trying to dodge boats, rocks, sea walls, and a tide that is going out and ur going in.

Well we made it puffing and panting sweating like crazy and oh so hot.

So Vic pulls the thing apart nothing we think it may have been water in the fuel as the dingy has a hole in it and leaks bad, anyway a Jamaican guy stops to help and him and Vic get more fuel, won't work, new spark plugs wont work , by this time I can't stand the heat anymore and go shopping and leave them to it for awhile, so after about five hours and an almost rebuilt motor it's working,  yah

So what u do when u have had a hard day? Go to Margaritaville and drink...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 13 July 2012

2012-07-13

Friday 13 July 2012

 Well today is my sister Dianne's birthday happy birthday sis, even though it's a day late back there is Aus, not sure how it was being Friday 13th but I'm sure you had a good one.

Today also was special cause I got to talk to a very dear friend, for awhile at least until the Internet decided we had talked enough rubbish and cut as off...hahah was great catching up Lyn. xx

The hunt for ants is still on...will it ever end?

The little bastards are everywhere I have found out they are pharaoh Ants, that would be right I have a South African boyfriend, on a South African owed boat, and now am overrun by South African Ants, got no hope of winning.

And I might add we have to fly the South African flag too until we can register it as Australian.

All these foreigners around me...hahaha

So getting back to these illegal ants on our boat, and u think boat people are bad, try having a boat full of boat ants and man they hide everywhere, wish they would just jump ship right here on this island, they could have a wonderful life living here, as long as they don't eat the local fish...hahaha

So after days weeks even, checking out google I have every bait, spray, traps known to mankind and they are still running around oh so happy with little smiles on there face's. I found some liquid ant kill at a local hardware store that everyone on google swear by ..... they lie, these ants have built little dams around it, serious am not sure if they are saving it for a rainy day, or they just know it's poison so they know to avoid it. So I google again this is a sweet bait some ants like savory food....far out I may have gourmet ants.

So out come the peanut butter they say mix that with the poison,..... Now I have little dams built around that as well. :-/

Well today I have had it, have decided to bring out the big Guns, I now have borax this stuff is suppose to kill any bug in sight, you mix it with water and powered sugar and bake it in the oven, like little biscuits, OMG ....I'm cooking for them now.... It better work.

Ok rant over for now...hahaha

After terrorizing the ants all morning we had to get to the immigration office so we could extend our stay, off we go in the dingy that runs great now, land on shore and begin the big walk to find the office, so off we go in unbearable heat miles down the road and can't find it, so The Caption finally asks directions, yeap we are going in the wrong direction, so turn around walk a hundred miles back, not really just felt like it asking more directions we finally find the office, walk in and there are a heap of people sitting standing waiting....this is great. :-/

Just think centerlink back home....but finally get called up to the counter and we have to pay to extend but they won't take a credit card only cash, so Vic goes off to find a ATM machine, he is gone so long I thought he just gave up and went back to the boat, but my hero comes back armed with money we wait awhile then pay our money but they are not at all sure then about us living on a boat and leaving on a boat so after several phone calls later all is good, we now have our little bit of paper to say we can stay another month if we have too, sure hope we don't as the longer we stay the more chance of getting hit by bad weather.

Talking about that we thought we were going to cop it tonight, a huge mass of clouds built up and we battened down the hatches and tied down everything on deck that could be tied down, and then nothing, just a bit of lighting, thunder and light wind, pathetic and they say they have bad storms.

Oh I forgot we have managed two full sleeps in the cabin now, we must be getting used to the boat.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 14 July 2012

2012-07-14

Saturday 14 July 2012 

Well today was a quiet one. Am glad to say it was a cooler today as it rained a good chunk of it, but it got hotter towards the evening and at 9.15pm it was still 29° that's about as cool as it gets around here, I will never ever complain about the heat back in Aus .

Man I cooked tea last night with sweat literally running down my legs, arms, face....gotta be losing weight.

Talking about tea if I do say so myself I made the best hamburgers in town, they tasted great even if it took about two hours to make, still getting used to ovens stoves that sway all the time, even getting things out of the fridge is a challenge in itself, u have to judge the right time between swells so that when u open the door everything doesn't fly out across the room.

And then there is the heat, u can't leave things out of the fridge too long or they go off, and I might add the main fridge we use is in another part of the boat, so ur running from kitchen to other part of the boat, not sure what the boatie name for it is, sure the captain could make up some name for it...hahaha

So running back and forwards bracing urself open fridge real quick hope like hell food and stuff do not fly all over the place, race back to the galley (right name for kitchen)  turn over food that is cooking cut up what u have got out of the fridge, race back to put it back in the fridge, so it won't go off, brace urself wait for the right moment open real quick, shove it in real quick, close door real quick, race back to galley hoping like hell the food isn't burning, then do it all over again about a thousand times ...see why I sweat.

And don't even get me started about the freezer....ok just a little I make a lot of ice and the only way to do it is to fill clip lock bags with water and freeze them, as I learnt the hard way that trays don't work u fill them up go back an hour or so later and they are empty with no water at all, boat moves way too much.

Also the bags don't always work real good, they sometimes stick to the shelves in the freezer and u think they are frozen solid and try to get one out and bang.... The best water bombs on earth...hahaha u get covered in ice cold water and everything around u as well.

Sometimes who am I kidding almost all the time it's like a three ring circus around here...lol

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 15 July 2012.

2012-07-15

Sunday 15 July 2012

Well it's Sunday the day the island sleeps...it's there rest day so nothing opens till around 1 pm but only a few small places.

It's funny it gets so quiet and everyone is relaxed and happy, this is how it should always be like.

I have been onto the captain for the last month or so to cut his hair, he looked like nobody owns him, it has actually gone from grey to a blond red not quite strawberry blond....I guess that's why he wanted to have a lot more of it...hahaha

So today he gives in and lets me cut it.

Now where to do it, I have cut his hair many times and it gets everywhere, he wanted to just do it on the boat and we will just wash it off.

Are u kidding me we will be walking, eating, sleeping in hair for the next 6 months....not gonna happen.

So the dingy it is....we were going to go for a swim anyway, so I figured that we can jump overboard once we finish and wash all the hair off.

So we tie up the dingy, Vic bails it out first, the leak is getting really bad now and most the time it's almost half full of water.

We load it up with our goggles, flippers, snorkels, and with swimmers on and scissors I get to work, all the while trying to stand there and balance and cut ...not easy.

The captain bitching not to cut it too short and it would be so much easier cutting it on the boat, alright for him he is the  one sitting down....lol was tempted to just rock the dingy a bit too much and watch him go overboard...haha

So cutting away not toooo short, and all of a sudden we have fish swimming and jumping all around us...haha was the most funniest thing they were eating his hair...gonna be a lot of fish around with hair balls....lol

And I know u are waiting for it but no we did not fall in the water, we went in on purpose to wash all the hair off...hahaha that's my story and I'm sticking to it. No really we even got on all are snorkel gear and all.

Oh and his hair IS short not quite a skinhead but looks good.

I have to say I have very happy well feed ants now,

They have little biscuits with condensed milk and sugar, they have, condensed milk, jam, and a mix of peanut butter and honey, all in little cups all over the boat, have been cooking and preparing these all day, they just better eat it...hahaha

U should see how happy they are at the moment all smiling away, they keep climbing all over me to thank me. :-/

By this time I am so hot and sticky, and have that much poison over me, I so need a shower to cool down and I'm tired, if the captain thinks i'm gonna cook dinner for him as well he has another thing coming I've had it.

So me bitching like crazy to myself off I go and have a nice cold shower, oh that's another thing that needs fixing we have no hot water, the heater thingy does not work, just another one of the hundred plus things that need fixing.

I come out make us one very strong cocktail, and we sit up on deck and life is good again.

And Ok I did give in and made some dinner just a little salad, so no he did not have to eat the ants gourmet food...lol

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 16 July 2012

2012-07-16

Monday 16 July 2012

Well today was quiet nothing much happened,

We went to shore and did some shopping walked a mile or two to the pharmacy, then back to the boat, I know I complain all the time about the heat but each day seems worse than the next, it just wipes u out, we were going to do so much today and by the time we got back we were both ready for a nana nap, and it was only around midday...hahaha

We decided to buy some rum cakes, these are cakes that are traditional around here and are all over the place, so we buy two they are not much bigger than a cup cake, one was a piña colada flavor and the other a chocolate flavor, were they any good?

Not really very ordinary, nothing to write home about...hahaha pun intended.

So only after a quarter of each they are back in the fridge, man have our eating habits changed or what.

We have taken to these skinless frankfurts they have a kinda chicken, beef flavor and are easy to prepare,so we made flat bread pizza's with them for dinner, yeah I know, but I love pepperoni pizza so I put a lot of chilli..... Just love my chilli, and spices and it almost tasted the same.

So our main things that need to be done today did not happen so tomorrow it is, we will be moving on real soon, the captains friend will be here on Thursday and if we get a good weather window we will set sail back to America.

The first 4 days could be really rough as we have to go around the top of Cuba and the ocean is not so friendly there, but after that it should not be too bad as we come back into American waters, but it will take 4-5 weeks so it will be our first huge crossing.

We Need to sort out all the safety gear and fix it up, this worries me so much, we actually had no idea where the life jackets even were and after listening to the VHF radio yesterday of a power boat that had eight people on board including two infants that was going down, was so scary we listened to the whole thing as it was happening, at first they said they were taking In a lot of water and needed help real bad, and they wanted a boat to come out to them with a pump, all drama broke out and the next they were saying we are sinking we are sinking, my god Vic and I just sat and listened to the whole ordeal with goosebumps, but lucky a boat got there and got everyone off before it went right under.

Things can just go so wrong so quick out here on the water.

All this happened on the other side of the island were we ran aground, it seems that side is cursed glad to be back here.

So safety first tomorrow.

And to my little friends, they have turned nasty and are biting us all over, I think they just may have seen me put the poison in their food even though i was real sneaky about it.

Well they can have there friendship and stick it, I don't care go find another boat who needs that many friends anyway...I'm cleaning out my Facebook friends and deleting them all....hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 17 July 2012

2012-07-17

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Well we have our first official crew coming in a few days so I have been busy trying to get things neat and tidy which is almost impossible around here, it just seems like a bomb has gone off all the time, nothing has it's own place and u can't find anything, it drives me crazy or should I say drives us to drink...hahaha

No not really but we do enjoy a few cocktails every night, they have left us with a supply of alcohol, that the captain said would last years... He really doesn't know me that well hey...lol

So I have been trying out different drinks each night, I down loaded an app for cocktails and am trying to work through it, at the moment we keep going back to piña coladas, our style.

Oh and those of u who really know me it is sad to say there was only half a bottle of tequila on here and it was such a nice drop, pity the captain didn't get to try it...hahaha

Talking about drinks a new yacht sailed in here yesterday with a solo sailer so vic jumps in the dingy bailed out first of cause, and went over to greet him, which resulted in being invited over for happy hour, at first I didn't want to go, yeah I know me missing drinks but I was tired after cleaning in this heat all day and I also had to make up the v berth on the boat for our new guest, man that was hard try making a bed on all fours in extreme heat and it's in the shape of a triangle....:-/

Sure was a man who designed boats...cause there is no way in hell they would make up a bed like that.

So getting back to happy hour, I did go with the captain over to the new boat what a nice guy, retired and just sailing around all by himself happy as can be, and oh so loves to talk...between him and the captain I had no hope.

He made the most amazing cocktails well after the first few they where amazing...hahaha just joking,  Frank's Rum punch ... Pineapple, Mango, very strong dark rum with a sprinkle of nutmeg. very very nice.

Will be trying these ourselves tomorrow night.

So after a few drinks and some crazy stories it starts to rain, and I was keeping an eye on the time cause I wanted to ring my girl back home in her lunch hour, which did not work out. :-(

Maybe tomorrow Bek?

So us racing back in our water logged dingy in the rain as we had all the hatches open, which is such a pain u race around like crazy closing them all and the rain last about five minutes, really, happens all the time but if u don't close them your gonna be sleeping in a wet bed for sure that night.

So dramas u bet, we have to run the generator and water maker every morning and night to charge up the batteries and make water of cause, so Vic turns it on and it stops...far out here we go again.

So after getting back on board feeling mellow laughing after having such a nice time well that stops too.

So up come all the floor boards torches the captain in the bilges, trying to work out why it stopped, and there is a light flashing on the thing, so hunt around for the Manuel, find it and count the blinks, now u gotta understand we have been drinking Frank,s rum punch as well, so we are almost sure the blinks where three blinks stop three blinks stop, so read the Manuel three blinks means not enough water getting in, ok the captain takes off the filter cleans it checks the water flow nope not that maybe it was four blinks or could it of been five...hahaha

Should really not laugh here as it is not fixed, and the captain is oh so not laughing, so we have to run the motor which u have to close all the back hatches as the fumes come in so bad that there would be no Way u could of slept in there tonight if we didn't.

So tomorrow the poor captain will have to spend a good part of the day pulling it all apart and hoping it can be fixed.

And we did managed to get most of the safety gear fixed and in place for easy reach in case we ever need it.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 18 July 2012

2012-07-18

Wednesday 19 July 2012

Well another hot one in paradise.

The Captain spend most of the morning fixing the generator, and am happy to say she is purring away very nicely now, the Captain has a smile back on his face, puffed out chest very proud of himself...hahaha

I did my usual washing this time the sheets and was told not to use too much water, it is so hard as I can't help myself, every time I get the hose out I wanna clean the decks, they get so dirty, the two side decks are not timber, and they have a nonslip surface that collects dirt so bad, this is on our list of things to fix as well.

But in the meantime I have to look at this and I hate the dirt, most of it you can't get off, have tried everything, and yesterday even pure bleach, so of cause u have to wash that off right? ....and yeah with me out of control washing hosing and scrubbing, u guessed it ran out of water again....smile fades off the captains face once more...:-/

I had a bit of excitement with my new friends....yeah they are back being all nice climbing over me saying sorry all that, well we had some gate crashers, they flew in here all black, looking very tough, double the size of our little south African ones, and they looked scary, leather jackets, chains, smokes hanging out of there mouths, ...ok getting carried away a bit but they did look tough.

I just sat here and thought now what....are they gonna make trouble? Who will I call?, the ant nazi's?, my so called friends took off in all directions hiding way out of site, just left me too it...nice

But they were just soft Pansy's crawled around a bit ate a bit of food then flew off again, no dramas at all, that sure was a relief.

My friends slowly came back out again, still with little scared looks on there faces but have settled down again now.

 Frank our new neighbor, came over to our boat for happy hour tonight, was nice spent a nice evening drinking snacking and talking rubbish...hahaha

Well tomorrow are crew comes am a bit nervous about this, he will be with us for a long time I just so hope we all get along ok, gonna be hard if we don't.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 19 July 2012

2012-07-19

Thursday 20 July 2012

 Well today was quiet to start with went and did a bit of groceries, no dramas...hahaha

Also had a swim mainly to search for a pair of reading glasses, that Frank our new neighbor, lost overboard last night when he went to climb in his dingy, and after a few drinks..lol

So I geared up with all my snorkel gear and went over to search after only about 15 mins I found them was quite happy with myself as there is a lot of water out here but the water is very deep so the captain dived down and retrieved them.

Frank was so happy he brought us a bottle of red, so yeah we were happy too.

We caught a taxi to the airport this afternoon to fetch Tom our new crew, was strange to be waiting for a flight to come in and not catching one out. The plane was late as usual so we had quite a long wait.

There was a bit of concern as Vic has not seen Tom for over 30 years and was worried that they may not recognize each other but all went well and they did straight away.

So we collect Tom catch a taxi back get in the dingy come back to the boat and the ocean is kicking up a bit, so we are rocking and rolling all over the place.....not such a good first impression of the boat as we would have liked.

But all seems to be going ok, they have chatted so much I think they wore each other out...hahaha

Again I don't get much of a word in.

So the big plan, The captain and Tom are going to go through the boat tomorrow with a fine tooth comb, to make sure all is ok then we will set sail tomorrow, OMG...am a bit scared about this it can take anywhere from three to five weeks.

Our first big crossing, but at least when we get there we will be safe and out of the hurricane belt.

So I will continue to write my daily blogs, but may not be able to upload them till we get Internet reception again, so u may all have a lot of reading to catch up with....hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 20 July 2012

2012-07-20

Friday 21 July 2012

Ok where to start we set sail tomorrow....scary scary stuff.

We have been busy all day getting things ready.

Went and got the final supplies.

then The Captain and Tom went in to port security to see what we need to do to clear out of Cayman, while I started do do some cooking for the first few days at least in case we hit rough weather we can get some food without too much fuss.

So have just sorted everything out start to boil some water as boiled eggs is one thing Tom said is quick and easy to grab and will be easy on you, if ur not feeling well, and there is a yell from outside, the boys are back and in business they have cleared out which means we can not go ashore anymore, and we are to go straight away into port to fuel up.

Not only have i got ingredients all over the galley and water boiling, but I have to take down all the washing ,then run around and make sure nothing will fly off counters etc...in about five seconds flat....far out talk about stressing me out.

So Tom is busy getting the ropes all out tie up all the fenders to the outside, while the captain is busy starting and getting the engine warmed up.

I come up on deck to catch my breath, realize the captain has started the engine and make a mental almost comical slide kinda jump down the steps as the back hatches are still open and they have to be closed or the fumes will kill us. Well not kill I guess but the smell just might....lol

Oh are we having fun yet?

So we race into, The port as we come around the Corner  we are looking up at a concrete wall about 20ft high, are they kidding me? I look around at the Captain and ask are u serious....yeap he is.

OMG...we got really close and there is a huge swell so we are getting pushed up to the wall very fast the guys up the top are yelling to slow down, I'm looking at the huge mass of concrete right in front of us, and just take off down stairs, no way in hell can I watch anymore.

We made it...hahaha. Not at all sure how but we are now tied up getting fuel, but the gauges don't work so the captain is down with hatches open watching with a torch and dip stick me on top of the stairs relaying messages Tom is holding the nozzle in the tank and the guy up top with the truck controlling the flow.... :-/

Told u it's a three ring circus around here.

The captain had to pay up front for the diesel and they thought they would need about 150lts, so we get to that and we need more, well u can't unless u pay up front, fare bit of cussing went on here from all around, so the captain has to go in and pay for another 50lts before we can have it....the big thing was how do we get him off the boat.

So Tom pulls one of the Ropes in close the captain stands on top of the rail, me behind him pushing,the guy up top pulling and the captain leaps and gets up...hahaha

This actually happens twice as the captain has to go back once more to sort out a few things and pick up a spear gun, yeah we have one of those too.

So other than a rope snapping, we get back safe to our bouy, and I can finally start to cook, this took about three hours while the boys slept, should of been born male.

But we are now relaxed up on deck frank has come over and we are sharing a few cocktails and the boys tall tales...lol

The next entry will be out in the middle of the ocean somewhere....love u guys. Xxx

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 21 July 2012

2012-07-26

Saturday 21 July 2012

Well we set off around 11am, was I scared u bet, had no idea what we would be in for but it is not too bad, not great but bearable. 

I took some seasick pills before we took off which helped, although I still feel a bit queasy, 

We spend most of the time in the cockpit anyway so that makes u feel better.

But man we rock and roll like crazy I thought I had bruises before u should see them now.

It's the strangest thing being out here surrounded by nothing but water, we get gently swells and the boat just rocks from side to side ever so gently, then u get the big mumas, and man I think we are going to roll right over...those I hate.

I have decided to write my journal a bit different than just daily while we are out here as we are working in shifts so I thought each shift I do, I'll write up what is happening, as so much goes on and I'll just forget.

We have worked out a roster the boys have three hour and I have a two hour shifts, as I'm galley slave and cook, although I mainly just cook dinner at night and everyone fends for themselves for breakfast and lunch.

My shifts are 7am to 9am, 3pm to 5pm and 11pm to 1am. The boys are being real nice to me as I know nothing so they spend it with me I follow Tom so he sleeps beside me on the daybed for an hour just in case I'm concerned and then he goes  and wakes up Vic then Tom gets to bed and Vic comes up and spends the second hour of my shift asleep beside me.

So I'm not alone but I do keep watch by myself but they are there if I need them, and in case something major happens then we are all on watch.

Shift 1

3pm

My first shift, god was I scared the poor Guys did not get much sleep, there is not a huge amount to do, we just have four sails up and the auto pilot on, so every now and then the wind will shift so u need to adjust the auto pilot sounds easy well no, i'm sitting here sails flapping all over the place trying to remember which direction I need to adjust to and had no idea, so Tom jumps up in a few seconds he has it all under control. Then u have to look at the nav thingy and make sure we are on coarse and every ten minutes or so just stand up and check all around for boats.

So easy.... Oh and the boat goes so far over with the rolls of waves u gotta hang on tight as well.

So I sitting here checking every minute..hahaha and think I see heaps of boats but it's just ur imagination, but hey I survived it and all I saw was a wood railing float past. But was so so glad it was over was almost in tears it really stressed me out heaps.

Shift 2

11pm.

Here we go again, now it's dark, this sounds really scary but in fact I like it better as u can't see the waves....hahaha

And the stars Omg....there is so many and they are so bright...I can't even begin to describe how they look.

Tom settles in for a sleep and tells me to keep a watch out for the clouds behind me, as there is a bit of lightning and if the stars start to disappear to wake him and then the same with any lights, (ships)....  :-/

Now I'm like standing up almost the whole time scanning the horizon for lights and looking up at the stars constantly, talk about stressful.

Then I spot lights Omg I better wake Tom, he opens one eye leans over the edge takes a look, yeah it's fine, tells me to wake him when it gets closer than starts snoring again.

I'm sitting here stressing as he didn't tell me how close, how close does it have to be? I don't know have no idea, is it ten,  five two miles.....nope nothing nada

So stress levels are roaring, am. Scanning, watching clouds and now have the binoculars out looking at the lights as well.

Then I see a glow in the distance so am scanning, watching clouds, binoculars on lights and watching a glow.

Far out it has just came into view it's another ship...I think I may just have a stroke at this point.

So am scanning, watching clouds, and the binoculars going back and forth from one set of lights to the other, look to my left and there is too more sets of lights.....far out its a freaking highway out here.

Well that's just way too much for me to handle, I tap Tom on the shoulder race down and wake up Vic, race back up again and we all sit for awhile Scanning, watching clouds, and now four boats,we decide to change coarse a little as one was getting a bit close, then Tom goes off to bed.

My shift ends and I stay up with Vic for awhile as I'm curious about the 2nd ship as it looks real big to me, I think a cargo vessel the boys are thinking fishing vessel.

But in the end I'm just too tired so give in and go down to try and sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day night not so sure out here....hahaha


Sunday 22 July 2012

2012-07-26

Sunday 22 July 2012

Well it's 7am my shift

I quickly Make two cups of coffee, as I won't be able to for another two hours.

So Tom greets me with a dead flying fish...our first one this happens a lot out here they get chased by something and they take off and sometimes their aim is not so good and they land on deck and die.

Then I saw my first pod of dolphins they were small compared to the ones back home but still playful and jumping all around the boat, other than that not much happened, my shift went without any trouble and the ocean was quite calm, which was nice or a change.

3pm my shift

This is another easy one as everyone is awake and not a Great deal is happening, Tom gets tired and decides to go have a sleep.

We get very tired out here even though u don,t do much u are constantly moving so u are getting the best workout ever, u gym junkies out there go buy a boat and set sail man every muscle in ur body gets worked, even when u sleep.

Then the wind decides to pick up from nowhere we are going at a racing pace a bird tries to land on us twice then gives up and flys away.

There is a ship behind us as well that I'm keeping an eye on, in the daytime it seems so much easier.

Well that's it my shift done and dusted now I'm going to try and cook dinner.

My shift 11pm

Ok well that was a drama cooking dinner man felt like a five hour marathon, but I managed to make a vegie type pie, and it worked out quite well, then I took over Tom's shift, while he went down and made rum bananas they were great.

There have been a few ships around tonight we saw our first cruise liner which was pretty cool.

We had to change directions as the way we were heading we would of ran right over the middle of Cuba, we knew this had to happen, but we put it off as long as possible cause we were riding the current and that made us go a bit faster.

So at about 11.30 I go wake up the captain and they turn the boat and now we are back on coarse but it makes for such a bumpy ride all night long was not nice.

Well my shift is over and I'm so tired, just hope I can get a bit of sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 23 July 2012

2012-07-26

Monday 23 July 2012

Ok had a shocking sleep again as we had to change coarse, and it has made it a really rough bumpy ride, we have been and still are being thrown around a fare bit.

I have suffered heartburn most of the night am sure it's the rough water, at least im not throwing up.

Anyway the captain gets up to see if Tom thinks we should change coarse, now as we have to soon again  anyway, well it's was 5.30am so I decided to get up as well, really wish I hadn't .....they decided to start the engine first as we were going slow, and then turn in the right direction as we picked up more speed, so engine starts fine but we are not going anywhere.....far out here we go again.

 Tom goes down to look in the bilges at the prop shaft to see if it's turning, at this very moment I walk past look in and we have what appears to be blue water in the bilges....so of cause panic hits, me thinking OMG we are sinking, but no it's diesel in the bilges, great, one or possibly more tanks are leaking.

Not that it matters right at the moment as it appears we have lost our propeller.....this is serious we now have no engine only sails coming along a major shipping lane.

I'm on my shift now it's 7am

  I can see three big ships at the moment.

We just radioed the ship closest to us to get an update on the weather and there is a storm brewing it's about 4 days away....will it be big not sure till it gets a bit closer,we do not want to be out here when it hits without a motor.

Ok things have just started to look a bit better they have worked out that we still have a propeller...thank god, so the problem is elsewhere.

They are down there pulling floor hatches up checking oil and stuff and have left me up here by myself rocking and rolling all over the place.

It's strange I'm not panicking much I guess because we have Tom here and he has sailed all over the world for 30 odd years and a good chunk of it was without a motor.

That alone makes me feel better.

I have just been handed a plate of Vegemite on toast, by the captain, am sitting here in the middle of the Caribbean ocean eating Vegemite....Aussie ,Aussie,Aussie ...lol

Just have to add this little bit we have just spotted land for the first time in 2 days, yeah we are looking at Cuba.

My shift 3pm

We are not moving at all, there is no wind, I have to say its a bit of relief as we just had a big squall come through was not nice at all rain thunder and the wind was shocking the boat was flying but way over on its side, I went to the bathroom and the ocean was pouring in the closed hatch, what the hell, I kinda lost it right about that very second, was so angry as I thought the boys were doing this on purpose than when I realized they were not well then I just cried, I was scared this is not the kinda sailing I want.

I think it has to be the built up of emotions over the last two days and hardly any sleep, and we still have no motor, they have worked out it's the transmission, we can't fix that out here so we have to limp into American waters if we can and most likely get a tow into shore, great.

So we are sitting here about ten miles off Cuba bobbing around doing nothing.

It should take about two days to get there but if this keeps up who knows how long.

My shift 12pm

What a night , did I say that  was a big squall earlier, well this one was his granddaddy, 

If I had a choice right then and near land, I would have jumped on land and never ever set foot back on a boat.

It was bad, the storm hit around 10pm I guess and went for a good hour  if not longer.

First came the wind and we were getting blown so far over I was sure we would just tip over, then the lighting and thunder, just give u a little picture.

One boat floating, kinda sideways floating,  I should add here while riding a roller coaster, it's very dark nothing around you but water, and the lighting hits right beside you, now u can't see real well, than BANG the thunder hits, and now u can't hear real good, than the rain hits and it pours,  waves crashing onto deck and it's pushing you further onto your side in the water.

Now double, triple that.

Tom was trying to steer,  cause the anto pilot was not working so well i'm holding on and praying, and I look at Tom and just said I don't like this, he nods and said go get Vic we all need to be up here,  he didn't have to tell me twice I flew down so quick yelled out to Vic that we need him,  the moment he gets up here it settles down heaps, but I think he can see by the look on my face and knows it was bad.

Anyway he goes back to bed after a little while and poor Tom is so exhausted that he lays down for a sleep beside me.

I'm sitting here wedged into a corner to stop from being thrown around, the wind still blowing a gale we are still right over to one side, but at least the rain and lighting has passed.

And I hated every bit of it, I was so scared I could hardly breathe I wanted to chuck it all in then and there.

If this is sailing u can forget it.

The captain finally comes up and Tom goes down to have a proper sleep.

Vic lays down for a sleep as well, he is so sound asleep I let him sleep an extra half hour into his shift, as he is so tired as well. 

I then go down and cry myself to sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day. 


Tuesday 24 July 2012

2012-07-26

Tuesday 24 July 2012

My shift 7am

Well I woke up with a start, all is quiet no wind we are not moving, to me this is a huge relief.

But not so good really as we need to keep moving, if we had the motor we would of just started that and kept on going.

How do I feel today?

A lot better than last night that's for sure.

Ok  the wind has just picked up a fair bit now which is good as we are moving again.

We just had a cruise liner go past, man those things are big, it got quite close and with binoculars I could make out the name, it's called the Legend.

Well that's me done shift over think I may just go have another sleep.

My shift 3pm

Another shift, it is so calm out here now, its crazy how quick the weather changes.

We are right at this moment hardly even moving, and it's hot again.

We just watched a huge car carrier go past and had a little chat with them on the radio and got the latest weather report, the good thing is the big storm that was coming our way in four days has dropped off to nothing thank god.

But we still need to get to America ASAP, as it's dangerous out here with out a motor.

Well we have now tacked and are making waves again, so at the moment we are heading for Key West, will see how the wind blows.

Oh and we were just visited by three very large pelicans....can u believe it am not sure why they are way out here in the middle of nowhere.

Well my shift is over done and dusted. 

My shift 11pm

Man I'm tired, we are going along a steady pace, which is good. The pelicans have visited us three or four more times, they fly real close than land in the water next to us and just stare at us....lol kinda creepy.

We have come to the conclusion that they must think we are a fishing vessel , and are waiting for some free food.

I have watched two ships go past at a fare distant so no worries there at all.

We have got the radar working now so that makes life a lot easier, I can see both ships on the radar right now, they are about eight  nautical miles away that's good.

You still need to get up and scan the horizon just in case but not as much as before.

The boys are both up here at the moment both snoring away, not sure who snores the loudest I think Tom is winning this one at the moment,  they are kinda almost making music...lol

At the end of my shift we are changing directions again so while they wait they sleep.

I have to say even though it's only been four days it's taking it's toll and we are all starting to feel the strain, none of us are getting any decent sleep,  so we all fall asleep any chance we get.

Well it's time to wake these sleeping beauty's up.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 25 July 2012

2012-07-26

Wednesday 25 July 2012

My shift 7am

Had a better sleep last night, well sort of.

We are sailing in what they call windward, it basically means that the boat leans over to one side quite a lot, I know it won't tip over but it sure feels like it, and it's uncomfortable, you have to always wedge yourself into a corner when sitting and sleeping , and don't even get me started on trying to move about.

Tom just sad that the boat really does not like going to windward at all and I said it takes after its first mate, or should of said Deck Scrubber, Tom is really the first mate.

So we get woken up early today as there is a barged being towed, and it's getting real close, so we need to change coarse again.

I came up to have a look as well, Tom thinks I'm the only one who worries about boats, huh.....but I do like watching and trying to work out what kinda ship it is, nothing much else happens out here.

ok that's me done and dusted.

My shift 3pm

Far out....this ocean just loves to throw all sorts of crap at you.

Just when you think you have it all figured out it throws a curve ball.

I'm back popping sea sick pills, as we are flying which is good but it's like being on a roller coaster/ washing machine.

There is a really big swell and we are have waves crashing over the bow, it's like being on a huge rocking horse that just went mental, your  rocking forward backwards and rolling side to side, while riding huge waves, not fun at all.

We are having a rough time trying not to be thrown about even sitting is hard.

Now you know it's bad when are seasoned sailor has asked me to dig out the seasick wrist bands we have here...:-/

I can tell you now if he starts chucking I'm gonna be right there beside him, as I'm just barely holding it  down myself.

Not sure about how the captain is as he is asleep, I guess we will find out soon enough, as I have to wake him soon.

Well the captain is fine and we all are again, we are now sitting here with no wind at all and a dead calm sea.

Well that's my shift done and dusted.

My shift 11pm

It's still nice and calm just a gentle breeze, when it's like this I really love it.

The stars are out and it clear skies all round.

Tom and I just changed coarse so we are back heading for Key West once again.

Just before we tacked he made me go down and wake Vic up just so he knew what was going to happen so he would roll out of bed,,,,I wanted to go down with the camera ready to film it,...hahaha 

Was lucky I did wake him cause he was right on the edge of the bed and would of for sure fallen out, would of been so funny.

Oh I forget to say the water maker has now stopped working so we are being real careful on how much we use, than the power supply where I charge my iPad broke, I was so not happy about that but with some tape and blue tac have another one working.

Did I just say calm? The wind as just picked up again and we are back on the rocking horse again ....far out.

Have been watching a lot of ships passing as well tonight , this is a good sign we are lose o land.

That's me done in way to much wave action today.

Well tomorrow is another day,


Thursday 26 July 2012

2012-07-26

Thursday 26 July 2012

My shift 7am

We have land in our sights....yay yay yay

At the moment we are about 5 miles out.

Now the fun begins we have to get a tow in as you know we have no motor.

Ok no one is really having a shift as all hands are on deck, we have contacted a towing vessel and they will be here shortly to tow us in.

Well we are now being towed in and land is so close I could swim to it...well almost.

Have just made contact with Bek to let her know all is ok....then I just sat there and cried.

It's been a tough trip. :-(

we now have two boats one in front one in back as we are coming through a small channel.

And we have made it. Thank god.

So we have spent almost the rest of the day with customs than went to find a prepaid Internet, and bombed out, can you believe it America of all places.

So have very limited internet so will get on as much as possible.

We are about to go to a little restaurant and have a few happy hour drinks and spoil ourselves a bit.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July 2012

2012-07-29

Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July 2012

Well, Key West Florida....what can I say, not much at first, we are in a industrial marina,it's shocking and oh so hot.

We can't do anything about it as they had to tow us in and this was the closet place.

Also they have what they call lobster fest, on the go so the place is packed, so they say.

What we saw of this place yesterday, well to me it still looks third world, it's shabby with trailer parks, and run down buildings everywhere, does not look like an America place at all.

After yesterday's drama of trying to get a local data sim card for Internet we decided to go right into the heart of Key West.

Now we are talking this place is great really lovely old beachside buildings and a huge street filled with excitement touristy things, bars restaurants u name it they have it.

Was a cross between Old Town San Diego, and Venice Beach, my girls would know what I'm talking about.

So after looking on the net we found out that T Mobile, have pre paid cards, so we go looking for the shop and it ends up being, Radio Shack, it's a bit like a Tandy store back home.

And of cause they don't deal with T Mobile anymore, anyway after about three hours and a huge amount of money we now have ourselves a device and prepaid Internet.

Just as we are paying and setting it all up we notice that it's the wrong plan and say to the guy that this is not what u told us it would be, he says sorry I made a mistake and basically tough luck ur stuck with it.

Well Vic and I both blew up, and it all ended in, if we just use the month we paid then we could just return the device and change it for the one we really wanted.....so two very unhappy campers stormed out cursing, but there was not much we could do about it.

So finally get back to the boat and u guessed it, does not work...far out everything about this boat seems to be a disaster, 

I did not sleep well and in the morning tried again to connect, nope nothing.

Tom has decided to fly back home for a week as they have to rebuild the transmission on the motor and it could take that long to fix.

They also moved our boat this morning to the back of the marina, I can tell u it's a toss up between a dump and a boat graveyard and hotter still. I would say more graveyard, as we are up against this, metal pontoon and it creaks like a old ghost ship.

Just waiting for some slimy creature from the deep to rise out of the water and kill us all, or some grandaddy of a alligator climb on board....am sure they have them here.

So we drop Tom off at the airport and are armed with laptops, iPad, phones and devices and are not coming back till we get this all sorted out.

Well it worked we now have a prepaid phone and a working Internet and on the plan that we wanted, have never seem the captain quite so angry, but hey it worked.

We also bought an extra fan to try and keep us from melting away, I so hope it works.

 I never though I would say this but, I can,t wait to be back out in the ocean, we're it is clean and we have nothing around us.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 29 July 2013

2012-07-30

Sunday 29 july 2012

Well another hot day, man where they have moved us too there is no breeze at all, just so so hot.

The fan we brought helps a little, but I can't wait to get out of here.

It was laundry day today, actually way over laundry day.

We decided to go to the local laundromat, as we had a lot of sheets, towels and clothes.

so loaded up with three huge sacks of laundry and washing liquid, we called a taxi, to take us there, man what an experience, anyway three to four hours later and a huge amount of money we are back and have very clean clothes.

I also have been trying to organize the galley for the last few days, which is kinda a waste of time as no matter what I do it does not work.

It sure is getting me down, but at least it's a very clean galley now.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 30 July 2012

2012-07-31

Monday 30 July 2012

Well the guys came today to get the transmission out, while they were here they checked all the other bits and pieces as well.

The shaft has a warn area where a pipe has been running up against it, which needs to be fixed, as in a whole new shaft, if this breaks it will tear a hole in the boat, not nice.

The good thing is that if we don't drive the engine too hard we can fix it up at Tom's, as we have to take the boat out of the water up there anyway, but not an expense we need, with everything else that needs fixing.

They also found another hose thingy that was supposed to be clamped hard the clamps came off in his fingers, this could of also sunk the boat, they are fixing that one here.

Then we come to the transmission, that one is going to kill us with the price to get it fixed and not to mention what they are charging us here to stay in this hell hole.

Honest it is shocking, it's dirty, noisy, bugs flying everywhere and it's so hot without any breeze at all, it's now just coming on 8am and its 31° already not to mention the humidity, it's a killer.

So after they take the transmission out I'm left with a huge mess to clean up, what ever they were using there is a fine grit all over the boat inside and out, not good as i've had to dust clean and scrub everything, with sweat running, was shocking.

 

Am not liking this at all, I wanna go home, have had enough.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 31 July 2012

2012-08-01

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Well what can I say another shocking day here, in Banjo land.

Serious am expecting to see that creepy guy sitting on the porch any day now.

It's 7am and 29° at the moment and I have to say it feels quite cool, just tells u how hot it has been here.

To make matters worse we have been told its going to cost us $2 a foot to stay here per day, that's crazy for this hell hole, the jerk who owns this place said it was real cheap as all the other marinas cost $5 to $6 a day.

What a load of croc we rang and googled some of the others not one is over $3 and they are so so much better than this.

I had a day off today and just lazed about and read a book, with four fans around me and I was still hot.

The captain has been trying to tie up the hose pipe up out of the way so it won't rub on the shaft anymore.

And we also waited all day for the guy to bring us his pump so we can get this diesel out of the bilges as well.

They have very strict laws around here and if u pump it straight out into the water u get a huge fine.

Not that we would anyway if u were out in the middle of the ocean it would be no problem as the amount that's in here would do no damage in that amount of water, the huge tankers and cruise ships do way more damage, daily.

Anyway we are still waiting for the pump.

The good news we should have the transmission back in by tomorrow afternoon, yay.

Sad news we have to wait here in banjo land till Tom gets back on Friday.

He is driving back as he is bringing a whole heap of stuff that we need, for the next leg.

Most is extra anchors and stronger rope, basically hurricane gear.... :-/

Scary stuff I know, but we can't kid ourselves we are still in the middle of the season, and need to be moving to a safe anchorage.

At least we will be not far off the coast, we will be going up the east coast of America and u usually can get a few days warning when there is a hurricane coming.

We will be able to get into a safe area and secure the boat much easier.

Oh and Tom is bringing his lady friend Edie, along for a few days, she will sail with us to Miami, as we need to stop there first to sort out our visa's as they run out on Monday.

Joys of trying to stay in other countries.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 01 August 2012

2012-08-02

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Well another hot one, in banjo land.

We went into town early today, as the guys were coming to put the transmission back in just after lunch.

We have managed to get the price of repair down a bit, by paying cash.

But the drama was to try and find a bank that would give us that much cash in one go.

Man they just don't trust foreign banks, but we managed to get it in the end.

That's one thing we have a lot of trouble with all over the world, they just don't like Aussie bank cards at all.

 Anyway while the captain fixed that I started to do a grocery shop, then we headed back to the boat, I just wanted to drive around in the taxi all day, was so cool with the air con going, he was quite happy for me to do it, as long as I showed Him my check book first...lol

would of been cheaper just to buy a air con for the boat.

Well after waiting all afternoon for the guys to come, yeah u guessed it they didn't turn up, one of them came really late to apologize, but collect the money anyway.

They better turn up tomorrow.

So I did some cooking which nearly killed me, with the heat in this galley, but the food tasted good, at least.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 2 August 2012

2012-08-03

Thursday 2 August 2012

Well hello Banjo land, man will be so glad to leave u.

So the guys came today and put the transmission back in, it took them all day the poor guys, they sweated so much at one stage I thought we may just have to start the bilge pump...lol

But it's working...yay yay yay

Tomorrow they will be back and we Will do a sea trial and make sure all is working perfect, then we will come back and tie up at their marina, 

So no more Banjo Land, thank god.

Tom and Edie, arrived last night around 9pm, so we all had a bit of dinner a glass of wine and just sat around talking, was nice, and Edie seems lovely.

The poor guys were so tired as they drove for two days straight to get here, so am sure they will sleep well.

So with any luck we should be on our way tomorrow afternoon, if all goes well it should only take about a day and a half to get to Miami, as we need to get our visa's fixed and Edie has to fly back to work on Monday.

Then we will leave on Sunday if the weather is fine and start our trip again, this one will be anywhere between two to three weeks, but a lot easier cause we will be following the coast line up.

So they tell me, we are watching a very strong storm approaching, should be here in a day or so, but with luck it will settle down by the time it hits.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 3 August 2012

2012-08-04

Friday 3 August 2012

Well we said goodbye to Banjo Land......yay

Well the boys that fixed the transmission, came on board to give the boat a sea trial.

All went well even though it was a little bit hairy getting out of Banjo Land as it was quite shallow and the U.S tow boat helped to guide us through.

 Then we went back to their marina, was so nice with such a cool breeze blowing, wish we could of just been here the whole time.

So the boys where busy running around doing all the last minute stuff, and us girls were busy chatting...haha

After doing some more laundry, we went into town and had dinner and drinks, was nice.

 So all is set to take off first thing in the morning, we are going to Miami it should take a day or two.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 4 August 2012

2012-08-05

Saturday 4 August 2012

Well we are out in the ocean again, there's hardly a breath of air, and dead calm. We have not even put up the sails yet, as we are just motoring.

Man it was hard going as we left key west, we were told yesterday that,  they had just set out four hundred thousand lobster pots....and we had to dodge and go around almost all of them, was shocking the captain was on the wheel and us three were look outs calling directions, u really don't want to run over one of those, they wil

 Get caught up in the prop shaft real quick.

So as there is four of us at the moment we are all having two hour shifts, with the boys sharing an our each with us girls. But it should work out ok I hope.

My shift 12pm 

Well not a great deal is happening, calm seas a few fishing boats, water and clouds...haha that's it.

I'm keeping a close watch on the wind as I prefer to sail, than have the motor running, it's just so much more peaceful.

Well that's me done and dusted.

My shift 8pm

Well so far all shifts are going good we are now motor sailing, have a bit of wind just not enough, we did managed to sail for a little while without the motor but then the wind just died right off again.

We were visited by the U.S coast guard, a few hours ago two of them even came aboard to check all our papers, yeah I know out here in the middle of the ocean no land in sight...go figure.

But we all passed with flying colors, other than that a few ships, and nothing else, happened.

Well that's me done I now have to go clean the galley after cooking dinner earlier.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 5 August 2012

2012-08-06

Sunday 5 August 2012

My shift 4am

This just sucks, have had about 3 hours sleep am not happy.

But we are looking at the lights of Miami, yay we made it.

Today is my boys birthday Happy Birthday Tim, wow I can't believe my baby is twenty, how old do I feel?

I wanted to try and ring Tim and no matter how we tried nothing would work, I made them take the boat in as close as possible, and finally got to talk to him, and yeah I cried....I miss the kids so much and have been very homesick lately.

Anyway after a nice chat, and good wishes, we started our way into the channel as it is light now,

Man talk about hairy, as it quite shallow and hard to work out where to go it weaves around all over the place.

If that was not bad enough we then had to go under a bridge...now remember our mast is 60ft high and the bridge is 70ft at the highest point, but we can't go under at the highest point as its too shallow.

Far out talk about stress, we made it by inches only.

it only took about 3 minutes to go under but man they were 3 very long minutes, I swear I did not breathe the whole time.

So we are now docked at the marina and all is well, there is a beautiful breeze blowing, and what do we do, we sleep we all hit that brick wall so fast, was crazy except the captain trying to be the hero....lol, not really he was just busy, on the computer, but he crashed not long after we all woke up again.

We had all the plans to go shopping as Tom was going to cook dinner for us and we were going do lots of thing on shore.

Well we did none of it, we all felt like we had been hit by a truck, so we just chilled on board, we found enough ingredients for Tom to cook a chicken curry, and a few cocktails later we were all happy little campers.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 08 August 2012

2012-08-10

Monday 08 August 2012

Well after dropping Edie off at the airport, we went to immigration, they could not help us at all with our visa extension, the customs at Key West had given us the wrong answer, ok so not so happy, they sent us to customs back at the airport.

So we go back to the airport talk to customs, they can't help either, now we have two choices as our visa's run out today, we can jump on a plane fly out of the country, and fly back again and we will get another 90 days.

Or we stay illegally here and take the risk of being caught and deported.

Now the big drama is that there is two tropical storms heading our way one is already classed as a hurricane the other not yet but any day now can turn into one. 

The only choice is to leave now on the boat we can go hard and be In a hurricane safe harbor within four days and wait it out, there is a very good chance that the storms will just fizzle out to nothing, than we will just continue, on our way and may get to the chesapeake within the week.

So we are going to be illegal citizens and sail under the radar we are taking down the south African flag and hope to just look like an American boat and hope like hell we don't get stopped by the coast guard.

Wish us luck we will sure need it.....arrr just call us pirates.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 07 August 2012

2012-08-10

Tuesday 07 August 2012

Well we are out here again.

We set sail around 5pm yesterday, after trying to get back out through the channel, then we faced that dreaded bridge again.

Man it's so close I swear, we only make it by inches. Or centimeter's, I think we have been in America too long, as it is so easy just to go back to the old ways of feet and inches, also when talking boats it's always in feet.

Yeah even America itself thinks we ave been here to long...lol

 So we had a bit of a rough night, the wind was changing all the time, so we are constantly 

Adjusting sails,  putting them up and down, wind so strong the sails getting tangled, sometimes coming off the track, oh and the rain, man we got wet.

7am my shift

After a very small amount of sleep and two cups of coffee, my eyes are open and its looking like a beautiful day.

There is just a gentle breeze enough to keep the sails happy and we are cruising at a good speed, but we have had the motor going the whole time as well.

I'm up here by  myself now as the boys are so tired, they were both awake with me last night, to help cope with the wind.

We had a real messy section no matter how I tried to adjust the sails she was not happy.

Can you believe it not only do I adjust the direction on the auto pilot, I'm now adjusting sails.

I'll be sailing this beast single handed soon...hahaha

Even though they decided to leave me here all alone on this huge ship, in the middle of the ocean, waves, wind, rain,... :-(  actually it was not so bad and the boys are close, just downstairs so I can yell out if I need them.

Well that's my shift done and dusted

3pm my shift

Well we sure are wasted, if we are not on a shift we all are just sleeping, last night took a lot out of us.

Anyway today has been smooth sailing, still with the motor running as we don't have a huge amount of wind.

It's almost to the point of boring, as I think we have only spotted two ships all day, and nothing else, u think a whale or something would at least pop up beside us, would be so cool.

Anyway that's me done and dusted, time to go have another little sleep than cook some dinner.

My shift 11pm 

This is the hardest shift of all, as I'm always so tired this time of night.

The wind has picked up a fair bit and we only have two sails out at the moment, why I not sure the guys say something about it will sail better, I think it just rolls more.

Tom is asleep beside me snoring away, I have instructions to wake him if the wind swings around the stern as all hell will break out.....  :-/

Not sure what will happen but I don't think I want to find out, so am keeping a very close watch on the wind nav thingy.

I so wish we could turn off the motor,it is so peaceful out here and the moon has just come up, over the horizon and shining  on the water, its a lovely sight, I could watch it for hours.

Well that's my shift done and dusted, time for some sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 08 August 213

2012-08-12

Wednesday 08 August 2012

My shift 7am

Ok woke up to a face full of water....nice
I'm sleeping on deck, as it's to noisy and smelly down in our cabin with the engine going. 

It's still noisy up here as well but it's not too bad and it's a lot cooler, the only trouble is every time the wind changes they have  to adjust the sails, so they wake me up to move, most of the time it's only when  its a major adjustment, but it sure is not nice getting woken up from a deep sleep, just so they can change sails.
I know I sound grumpy, it's cause I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet...lol
Anyway getting back to the face full of water, it's raining, kinda a relief that it was only rain and not ocean.
It's looking like a miserable day, rain, overcast, wind that has no idea what it wants to do, but it's cool, not the shocking heat we had yesterday.
That's so far anyway.
 One thing I am learning out here it can change so quick.

Just checked the gps, we are off the coast of Georgia, we are making good progress.

Oh far out we are on the rocking horse again....this is so, not nice at all.
Well my shift is done.

My shift 3pm

Omg....we are in the middle of a granddaddy storm was worst than the one before, this started about 1pm and is still going, rain, wind, thunder, and a ocean that's is crashing onto the boat.
Tom has had to hand steer most of the time as its just way to rough for the auto pilot.  We have been watching it on the radar the whole time, it's about five miles wide and no matter what we do we can't get out of it, it's the strangest thing we are stuck right in the middle and have been for over two hours, we are wet, cold and getting very tired, the rain is coming down so hard everything inside and outside is wet, its coming in the hatches, ports everywhere, we can't see much around us just hope there is no ships out there,

And if things can't get worse, the captain has just said it could be worse at least we are not in the Bermuda triangle, Tom looks over and said actually we are right smack in the god damn middle, are they kidding me?.....I so wish they were but that's exactly where we are.
I think that bit of joyful news is scaring  me way more than the storm.

So things settle down again, my shift is over now I'm going to attempt to cook dinner, still with all those horror stories, of the Bermuda Triangle running through my head.
This is one place I never ever wanted to be, and I'm very much strung out, not only does the boat takes a beating the crew does too.

My shift 11pm

After cooking dinner which nearly killed me, man it was so hard I kept getting thrown around so much with the swells, but it turned out well, even though I managed to get a new set of bruises.

So the guys now are trying to tell me we are not in the Bermuda triangle, just on the outskirts, am not sure what to think, are they just trying to make me feel better? it really doesn't matter even on the outskirts is way too close for me.

So all is quiet  again for awhile the captain attempts to go have a sleep again as I had to wake him to come and help with the storm.
Tom and I are reading, and trying to just relax, the wind is almost not blowing than all of a sudden there is a huge crash....what the hell Tom and I jump up to see, the boom on the main sail has just come apart...far out.

I race down and wake the captain again, it looks as though the bracket that holds the ropes and stuff has fallen off, so its a mad rush to get the sail down and tie up the rest of the boom, as all this is going on I'm kinda stressing and holding a torch so they can see, I spot two red lights. One on top of the other at the front of the boat, then they disappear, then they reappear, I yell out to Tom to take a look as it looks like a boat coming straight for us even though it was a few miles out.
By the time he looks up they disappear again so I check the radar, nothing at all showing up.
Then all of a sudden on the horizon there is three very bright white lights about a quarter mile apart from each other all in a row...then they disappear. Then only one appears again, then nothing.
Am seriously freaking out here. Yeah sure we are not in the Bermuda triangle my arse....there is weird stuff happening all around out here.
No way am I gonna be able to sleep tonight, for all we know we are already in another dimension ,not even on this planet anymore. :-/


Well tomorrow is another day, hopefully still in this world.


Thursday 09 August 213

2012-08-12

Thursday 09 August 2012

My shift 7am

Well after making my morning coffees, I come up on deck, all looks ok, a bit of rain not much else.
The handheld radio is making a funny noise, so I find the manual for Tom to have a look at, it may of got wet yesterday so we have it sitting in front of a fan.
Tom had a look at the other one as well, still can't get it to work.
So all of a sudden the engine starts making a funny noise, we both hear it at the same time, Tom slows the boat and said go wake the captain, we could be running out of fuel.....man here we go again.
So the captain gets up checks the fuel, nope it's low but we still have enough in that tank, we still have some here and there in the other tanks, so he is now transferring some over to see if maybe there is a bit of muck in the bottom, now we wait and see.
Now the transfer pump is not working, I just spilt my coffee, and it's raining again....are we having fun yet?
Well as we are sitting here bobbing around going nowhere, still waiting for the tanks to fill, we were just visited by three dolphins, I just love watching them, they just played around the boat, checked us out, decided we were not that interesting, and swam off again.
I have to say I always get a bit of a fright when I first see a fin in the water, once I see it's a dolphin and not a shark I'm fine again.
I hate sharks, all I think of is jaws....lol
Well the engine is working again...yay
We have decided to turn into Southport to lick our wounds and try and do some repairs we should get there sometime today if all goes well.

That's me done and dusted.

Man the motor has just stopped, there was a terrible noise then it stopped, we are stopped dead we can't sail as the boom is broken, it's looking like another tow into shore.
Well we are trying to contact tow boat US they are not answering, now we have to try Coast Guard.... :-/
We are being towed in again, we were twenty miles off shore so it's been a long tow about two hours or so, but I'm now looking at Cape Fear, in Southport.
Ok we are tied up to the dock, talk about a backwards kinda place it's so strange just like a movie set deep in Georgia
We have an old guy on the boat at the moment looking at the motor, he has such a southern drawl, I'm having a hard time not laughing every time he talks.
But what a nice old guy has to be pushing eighty but is down in the bilges working away and telling some amazing stories, he has five daughters, two have died in there thirty's from the flu i think and the other was burnt is an accident and was burnt so bad she ended up with cancer and died from that, but he has about thirty grand kids and I think about sixty grand kids.  
I just can,t get over this place he told us they film a lot of movies here and when u look around u can really see it. 
Anyway I have hit a brick wall.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 10 August 2012

2012-08-12

Friday 10 August 2012

First of all a big Happy 16th Birthday to my nephew Mitchell, hope you had a great day. xx

Well what a place, the guy that is fixing the motor, just took Tom into a local hardware place and dropped me off at the laundromat, then just waited around till I finished and brought us back.

I have to say this is another place I could live.

It's such a pretty place, just a little fishing village with little cottages, and the nicest people you could ever meet.

The people that live here just love it, every hour or so someone will walk down the jetty and have a chat, and they all love the boat, we have even had some take photos.

The boat needs fixing and a lot of cosmetic work, all I see is a very tired boat that one day will be beautiful.

There has been a lot of movies made here.

The latest is Safe Haven, from the author of Note Book and Message in a Bottle, also I know what you did last summer, was filmed about 100 meters away from where we are, Revenge a tv series, and also, Mary and Martha,.... And a lot more I forget all but everyone, who comes out to chat all have a story about this or that movie, and They are so proud of it.

So the rest the day was a clean up and tidy, when your out at sea, u can't get a great deal done, so when you come into shore, you are faced with a huge clean up.

Tom is taking over galley duties tonight and cooking dinner, I always feel so spoilt when someone else cooks, am trying to get the captain to watch how Tom does it, maybe, just maybe he could learn to cook.....lol

In my dreams.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 11th August 2012

2012-08-12

Saturday 11th August 2012

Well we have the motor fixed...yay
Cost a small fortune, but at least it works.

I have spend most of the day trying to keep out of everyone's way, it's not easy as no matter where I am on the boat someone needs to get past or wants to do something right where I am...grrr
I sewed myself another dress and did some mending of other clothes, that I have changed or adjusted, as I'm only hand sewing they fall apart quick....lol
Then decided to cook Chilli Cheese fries, my girls, home made ones are so, so much better than the ones we had in Old Town San Diego.
Only the mess to clean up after was shocking.

Tom has almost finished fixing the boom, he has had a hard time drilling holes in the stainless steal bracket, with many visits back and forth to the local hardware shop to buy mire drill bits and stuff.
It looks like it should be all fixed tomorrow afternoon,
Then we will set off again early Monday morning.
The captain has been busy trying to work out how the hell are we going to afford to get everything fixed on this boat, man I don't envy him, as every day we have to fork out more money.....so much for the sailing life being cheap.....huh
But we will get there once we get on top of all the much needed repairs.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 12 August 2012

2012-08-15

Sunday 12th August 2012

Well what a day. 

The boys have spent all day fixing the boom, which is working great now, then running the engine which also works great.

I cooked all day, made sweet and savory muffins, biscuits, a huge salad and a chilly bake for dinner.

So we should be right for a few days out, although we had so many visitors, today and they all had to taste test a bit.

This guy turned up in the morning, and kept coming back all day, he wanted to come on as crew, no matter what we said he was determined to come with us, even to the point of giving his girlfriend money and told her To go buy groceries for the trip, man talk about a few cogs loose, we were trying not to be rude to him, but he would just not take the hint, he even came back about ten at night, still asking.... :-/

He was not a young guy well into his late 50's I'm expecting to see him on the dock in the morning and will be checking the boat before we leave to make sure he has not stowed away somewhere. 

As we are leaving just on sunset in the morning we wanted to have an early night.

Yeah that did not happen, the tow boat guy, who Tom knew from years ago came over, for us to pay him, and then stayed for a chat, well that ended in him, rigging up one of my fishing rods, and giving me a lesson in blue water fishing, which I was very excited about. 

I now have a rod and line all rigged up ready to go.

Oh as he was rigging it up he looked at the reel and said u know the movie Jaws, well this is the exact reel they used in that.  Yeahaaa.... Gonna catch me a shark, but a may need a bigger boat...hahaha

Anyway he then invited his wife to join us, that resulted in all having dinner here with drinks and a very late night, the food stores went down a fare bit... :-/

It's gonna be hard to get up in the morning.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 13th August 2012

2012-08-15

Monday 13th August 2012

Well after checking the boat for stowaways we are on our way once more, there is quite a swell out here today and we are rocking and rolling a lot.

I even had to take a sea sick pill, to try and settle this tum of mine, it always happens when we first take off again, I always feel a bit off, but I know it settles real quick.

I'm also not the only one who is feeling a bit off, Tom has just come up on deck wearing the sea bands.....the captain is the only tough one among us, it seems.

My shift 3pm

This is my first official shift for the day, my first shift the captain did as he was getting us out of the area and hand steering.

So we have just put up the main sail as there has been very little wind till now, still not a huge amount but a bit at least.

I have my fishing line set up and out the back, if u remember in the movie Jaws, when he first gets it hooked on the line and u hear the click, click well mine did that a few moments ago, there was a flurry of excitement, then nothing, I reeled it in and yeap hook gone, must of been a big one,

So we re rigged and it's back out there again.

Just seen another dolphin as well he came around for awhile and stayed a bit then left again, I wonder what they think of us, the one thing I've noticed is they only come around when we turn off the motor, it's strange but it happens all the time, you see nothing of them, and the moment you turn the motor off, there they are.

Well thats my shift done and dusted.

My shift 11pm

This one I hate, even though I managed a two hour sleep today, I'm still feeling wasted.

But I have to say its a beautiful night out here, just a gentle breeze, a gentle swell, with an occasional large roll, just enough to have to hold on every now and then. 

And the stars are amazing, at the moment Tom is asleep on the day bed beside me, not yet snoring, but it will come...ha ha.

I'm watching a single white light off to my left, it's about two nautical miles off,I would say its a very small boat, as it only shows up on the radar every so often.

There are two very large boats on the radar that are way off at the moment but am keeping a watch on them as well, I can't see them yet, which is good.

Also there is a red cross, Tom told me to watch this as its a marker beacon thingy and we have to make sure we keep that on our port side.

I hope the captain is awake by the time we get closer, as I,m not so sure about that one.

Well we went past the beacon with no worries at all.

So that's me done and dusted....time for sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 14 th August 2012

2012-08-15

Tuesday 14th August 2012

Well what a night trying to sleep.

First I tried down in the cabin, was almost asleep, maybe even was I'm not sure, then suddenly I thought I heard a very soft cry for help, so I lay real still, waiting listening, then heard it again.... Omg has the captain gone overboard, this is one of my biggest fears, that someone will go overboard, and everyone else is down below asleep, so we made a rule that no one leaves the cockpit at night, if they are by themselves.

So I race upstairs and the captain is sitting oh so happy reading his book, thank god.

He looks at me while I try to explain the voice I heard, yeah he thinks I'm weird...lol

I actually have no idea what is was maybe just the wind, who knows, so after that fright I decided to sleep up on deck, as it's so much cooler up here anyway.

So pillows and sheet I make a little bed up here, you kinda also tuck pillows all around you to stop you rolling around as well.

So all cozy in my little bed, gently breeze blowing I drift off to sleep, the Thump...right in the chest, OMFG, ( my kids yeah I did the noise)....they will know what I'm talking about.

So I jump up at a hundred miles an hour the captain nearly has a heart attack,  a freaking flying fish has hit me in the god damn chest..... So it's flapping around all over my bed, the captain and I are trying to catch it, me squealing like a little girl, the captain trying oh so hard not to laugh, and we finally nail it with a pillow.

He grabs it and throws it overboard.

With my heart still pumping way  too fast, I take one look at my once cosy bed, that is now full of fish scales and stinks of fish, look over at the captain who has the biggest smirk on his face, and grab my pillows and go back down to the Cabin, it may be hot down there but at least I wont be terrorized by any fish, I'm sure I could here the captain laughing as I once again drifted off to sleep.

My shift 7am

 

So climb up on deck, and there is Tom greeting me with a dead flying fish, am sure the captain and him had a great laugh about it. I give him the death stare, yeah I'm not impressed, I'm sure I will see the humor in it one day.

Anyway it's a beautiful day up here the sun just rising a gently swell, and I just checked my fishing rod, rigging still all attached put it back in the water, and hope to catch something for dinner tonight.....hahaha

We just saw a large pod of dolphins, they are so cool I just love watching them.

Just checked the gps, we are now off the coast of Virginia, and we are moving at a great rate, we are getting about 4knots of current pushing us which is great.

I'm just watching a cargo ship going past, this one is so loaded up with containers, it's huge.

A few more ships went past for awhile longer than nothing again.

Well that me done and dusted.

3pm my shift

Well I have just woke from another huge sleep, I'm so glad I woke up, as I was having shocking dreams and was real stressed about not being able to find my home address and was lost. The guys just laughed at me, I told them its because my home is on the move all the time.

I have to say it upset me, I'm homesick I miss you all, I have all the little family birthday videos that I have done over the years, now on my iPad so late at night I sit here with head phones on and listen watch and cry.

But I watch them over and over it makes me feel like I'm kinda there with you guys.

Ok I think we may be still in the Bermuda Triangle, I have just seen the most strangest sight, way off on the horizon, it looks like a little town or an island with a lot of buildings, at first I thought it was a couple of ships, and so did Tom, but the more I look at it, it looks like buildings, I want to sail over closer, Tom won't have a bar or it, they are so no fun, I made him take a real close look through the binoculars he just rolls his eyes and thinks I'm weird too.

Maybe I just need more sleep....lol

We just heard this loud noise and I'm thinking oh no, then a air force jet flys in so close we nearly die of shock, it was real pale blue in color, they were just checking us out I guess.

Well that's my shift done and dusted.

  

11pm my shift

Ok my turn again, we had the motor off for awhile this afternoon was so nice just to be sailing and all quiet, but the wind just died so we had to give in and start the motor again.

We just finished dinner when we heard the click click of my fishing rod, well I was up in a flash, and yeah I had a fish, I was so excited and slowly brought it in,I let in run then  reeled some line in, it took a while but at last I could  see it was a dolphin fish, not the cute flipper type, but a mahi mahi , it was not a real big one but would of made a good meal at least, did you noticed I said would have, I had Tom and the Captain on stand by with the gaff ready, and just as I got it close to the boat, the captain leant over to gaff it and yeah it got away.

Hey but I did catch it, just not land it....It was one lucky fish.

So all is quiet for my first hour of my shift, so the second half Omg, we are getting very close to moving into Chesapeake Bay and I just looked at the radar, are you kidding me there must be twenty odd ships on the radar.

The Captain had just gone back to sleep, I felt bad waking him up, but only for about a second...lol

There was no way I could deal with all this.

 The bay here is nothing like the ones back home, two hundred miles long and around thirty wide with hundreds of huge rivers feeding into it.

 

There is a lot of shipping coming out of the entrance, from Norfolk and Baltimore, so it's very busy.

Anyway we are both watching out for ships until my shift ends. I stayed up with the captain for awhile than had to give in and go down to sleep.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Wednesday 15th August 2012

2012-08-17

Wednesday 15th August 2012

Well what a night, had a shocking sleep, they had a hard time at the entrance of the bay, came very close to a large cargo ship, which resulted with the boat being thrown around all over the place.

I was asleep at that time, and was woken by me being bounced all over the bed, nice I could here them laughing up on deck, I was not a happy camper.

 My shift 7pm

So we are in the bay, it looks no different from the ocean, it's rough, windy and heaps of boats. I can just make out land on one side, if I try real hard.

It's amazing how different it is from our bays back home, honest it looks no different from the ocean.

Just heaps more traffic, I hate looking at the radar, there is so much on there it just scares me.

But we have internet yay, yay, yay.

I don't feel so cut off from the world now.

We are slowly making our way closer to shore, as there is bad weather coming, and there is a lot of rivers running into the bay that we can duck into if we need a safe spot.

 That's my shift done.

Well we have a problem....I just knew it was too good to last....we have no oil pressure, Tom just said go wake the Captain up, far out.

Well the floor boards are all open we have no oil in the engine, so where has it gone, and the big problem is do we have more oil on board.

Yeap they have found more oil, and it looks like that was the problem.

Thank god that was all.

My shift 3pm

Well I just did my first pass with a huge barge and a bouy...was so tempted to wake Tom, but I didn't, I have to say it was very close, and my palms were sweaty, but we made it, am actually quite chuffed with myself.

Well another first I have just spotted a burnt out cargo ship, and thought that's weird,so I just checked the gps and we are very close to a military practice area, so I woke Tom, and showed him where we are and he said we are fine, so all is good again.

And I just caught and landed my first fish...hahaha was so excited, it's a bluefish, it was at least half a meter long, kinda in the same family as snapper, salmon and something else, Tom has a chart on the local fish here.

But then I had to gut it and scale it....not so nice, but hey it is in the fridge as I've already cooked dinner for tonight. We will be having fish for dinner tomorrow night.

My shift 11pm

Man am I tired, I hate this shift and I hate even worse being woken up from a deep sleep.

Thank goodness we will be there soon with any luck I think tomorrow afternoon.

After cooking tea and catching the fish, I was just so tired, so the caption offered to do the dishes for me so I could go have a sleep, I sure needed it.

At the moment I'm sitting here looking at the lights off Annapolis, I think or very close to it.

But the stars are no longer so bright and the water is now more green then the deep blue we are used to. 

I'm actually missing the ocean, it even smells different out there.

Oh and it's actually starting to get cold of a nighttime up here, I have a long sleeve shirt on.....first time since we brought the boat...we sure aren't in the tropics anymore.

Am about to hand the boat over to the captain.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 16th August 2012

2012-08-17

Thursday 16th August 2012

I can't believe it I actually went searching for a blanket last night, it was cold.

It has to be the first time in two and a half months, and it still is quite chilly this morning.

It looks like we are almost there.

At the moment we are off the coast of Baltimore, and Tom says we only have about an hour or so to go.

What a journey we have had.

My shift 7am,

The last shift for a long time.

Man we are in the river heading up to Toms place they have me on watch which is totally unfair, as far as I'm concerned.

I have been standing the whole time and steering the boat only with the auto pilot, hitting the button this way and that, weaving in and out of a shipping lane and dodging crab pots, talk about stress the crab pots are so hard to see, as most are just black in color.

So the captain comes up and decides to stand on the bow sprit, to Give me directions, as it looks like a mine field now, they are everywhere, after about ten minutes I caved in and made Tom take over, I was so stressed I needed a stiff drink and could of really used a packet of smokes right at that moment.

Anyway we have made it we are finally tied up at the dock after running aground right at the dock, and all stood around for an hour while the tide came in a little bit more, I had a fender up against a pole holding it there so we would not hit it.

But we are are now tied up safe and sound no more hurricane worries.

This place is just a little country town very much like Cape Fear, just not so pretty, but still nice with lovely people around.

So we will stay here for about three months and wait out the hurricane season and try and get this boat fixed.

We have a mountain of work to do, not really looking forward to it.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 17th August 2012

2012-08-18

Friday 17th  August 2012

Well first official day here.

We were so wasted last night, that we didn't even do the dishes, just left everything and went to bed.

I woke up went to make a coffee and was faced with all the mess, not nice...so wish I had cleaned up before we went to bed, was hoping the cleaning fairy came in the middle of the night, no such luck, maybe if we stay in one place long enough she may just find us....haha

So after cleaning up the galley, Tom took me into town to do the laundry, man I so wish we had a washing machine, it's hard work, I have to say I'm not a fan of laundromats at all. Although u get to meet some interesting people to say the least. 

 

So after two odd hours the Captain comes and picks me up, and then we went hunting for a marine shop to see if we could buy a power plug, to connect to shore power.

Found one at the second shop, come back and he tried all afternoon and well into the night, to connect, it appears American power supply and South African power do not like each other at all, no way in this world, are they gonna get along.

The guy in a big power boat behind us knows a fair bit about all this so tomorrow him and the Captain will try and make them friends, maybe offer them some wine and chocolate.....hey it works for me...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 18th August 2012

2012-08-19

Saturday 18th August 2012

Well today I cleaned up all the decks, was such hard work.

There was a lot of netting around half the boat, you have this on as a safety, thing for small children, pets or just way too paranoid.

I have been wanting to take it off from word go, but just never got the chance, so today was the day, and wow what a difference, the boat looks heaps better.

The only problem now is the railing looks a bit rusty, so more work to bring that up to scratch....it never ends.

So after hours and hours scrubbing and cleaning, I needed a nanny nap, I did not get much of one after about twenty minutes the captain comes in, and tells me we have been invited to a chicken wing night at the local fire station.

Man I could have just cried, I was so tired and it was the last thing I wanted to do.

But I got up and showered and dressed on an very large angle.

It was a really low tide, and we were sitting on the bottom which resulted in the boat leaning so far over, if it wasn't for the jetty we would of been right on our side.

 When we left the boat and looked back at her, she looked so bad just like a old haunted ship that had been left to rot.

So anyway the old couple who own this place were the ones who invited us out, what a nice couple, and there house is just amazing, so American country.

They put on buffet nights, at the fire station once or twice a month to raise money as the government gives next to nothing to the fire brigade,so was nice to help the local community a little bit.

After dinner we went and had a look at the fire engines, and yeah, they look just like the ones in the movies...lol

While we were looking they had an emergency, where a little four year old girl, had fallen up against an electric fence and was hurt real bad, she had also had a bad push bike fall the day before so they weren't real sure if it was from that or the fence.

So out the back we all went and watched a rescue helicopter land and take her off to one of the major hospitals.

After that bit of excitement, they took us to the local, carnival that was in town.

When I was at the laundromat the other day, I meet a father and son who were carnies, as they called themselves, we chatted for hours, so I was also on the look out for them so I could introduce the captain to them.

After awhile we ran into them, I still think they were lovely and the captain agreed.

And yes the  carnival was so much like the movies as well...hahaha

We had a really lovely night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 19th August 2012

2012-08-21

Sunday 19th August 2013

Well after a small clean up and sort through some stuff, I decided to have a day off.

Tom has been telling me this for a few days now.

He has been saying that you need a day to just rest after going though so much your body needs time out.

Well I hit the brick wall about 11am, and actually felt like I had a huge hangover.

So I grabbed my book and went and had a lay down, for a very good chunk of the day.

Then made a nice dinner without the boat rocking from side to side, which was so so nice.

Then went to bed.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 20th August 2012

2012-08-22

Monday 20th August 2012

Well, I wanted to start well and truly into getting this boat into shape.

That did not happen.

The captain had to go to Baltimore, customs and check in the boat, so I decided to go with him.

So wish I hadn't, we went in Tom's ute, man what a trip, it's an old clapped out thing.

We had two gps, things with us that we had to keep turning off and on cause they would not charge, 

And we had no idea where we were going.

What we could see of Baltimore, did not impress us much, we wanted to see a few sights but found it way too hard, most of what we saw was just ghetto, not nice at all.

But we did see where Babe Ruth was born.....for any of you baseball fans. 

Stu you would of liked it.

So after fighting with the gps we decided just to turn around and go back to the boat.

I think we may just be over big cities, give me the ocean anytime.

So after a big day in the city, we are now resting again back on board.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 21st August 2012

2012-08-22

Tuesday 21st August 2012

Did a little cleaning not much as I need stronger cleaning fluids or a maid would be better.

Am hoping tomorrow we can go into town and buy some heavy duty stuff.

I so wish I could trust myself driving on the Wrong side of the road, I could just get away from here for awhile have a bit of me time.

I have the blues...big time am over it all at the moment, I want to come home, but I have no home to go to, I'm tired, am over everything, it's such hard work, no matter what u try and do.

I guess i'm just homesick, and I miss my family.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

2012-08-25

Wed, thurs, frid,saturday.

Ok have been a bit slack in writing, just been busy.

 Wednesday, we went into town, to get a few things, this is never just a simple trip.

But after visiting several stores, we managed to get one of the things we needed, including some extra heavy duty cleaner.

So after hours and hours we finally got back to the boat, I actually think the dingy warts and all is easier than riding in Toms ute, man it is a wreak.

Maybe not, if you could see the dingy at the moment the ute does look good. It is so full of water and it's a slimy green looking water, yeah so the ute does look better, just.

Anyway I am happy to say the the cleaning stuff works, am getting grime off a lot of places even though it still takes a lot of scrubbing.

Thursday,

Just more cleaning, have started in the main cabin, it's looking like I may never get out of there.

It is so much work, just in one area.

I think I,m getting old, man it is hard work, give me a little boat any day, and one with no wood.

Were we crazy or what buying such n old boat no matter where you look something needs fixing, cleaning, changing, and polishing.

I Need a MAID...... The Captain just told me he would buy the outfit.

Would not dare tell you whatbmy answer to that remark was.....

So after a full on day we were invited with Tom to a local ladies house for dinner.

Wendy is a lovely lady, who has a house that was built in the 1700s.

What a house man it is fantastic and so clean....lol

We had a lovely night, although they talked politics, a fair bit, which kinda bored me to tears, but the food was great and I didn't have to cook or clean up the mess.

Friday 

more cleaning, the Captain has been busy fixing the oil problem in the engine, which is finally fixed, and I have finally finished the main cabin other then the floors.

I have to say it is looking great, the rest of the boat looks shocking but at least we have one clean and sparkling room/cabin.

Saturday,

Finished the floors, in the main cabin, so that is done and dusted.

Just need to get a quilt and a few nice things to make it look a bit more like home.

As I'm starting on the bathrooms next, I have been researching all kind of things and driving the Captain and Tom mad, about the ideas I want for them.

We have three in total.

Off the main cabin is a basin and vanity, which I call mine as I have my personal stuff there, then there is the main bathroom with a shower, basin and toilet/head boat terms for toilet.

Then the forward cabin has a toilet, and basin, it also has a hand held shower, but we are getting rid of that as its useless and you can only use one shower at a time anyway.

So the big thing is I want to do the lot up, we saw a boat in California, that had the  most amazing Mexican basin, I so wanted to buy the boat, solely for that reason alone.

Yeah did not sit well with the Captain he still goes on about the mast that was rotten and needing replacing.....huh miner stuff.

Anyway have found some basins on eBay that look great but I just can not make my mind up on which ones, it's so hard to chose.

The size is a bit of a problem  as well the two main bathrooms are ok, but mine is causing a bit of a headache, as I need a very small one.

So Tom and I have been looking into tiling and new taps and so on, the Captain is staying right out of it, he just rolls his eyes and thinks I'm gonna spend all his money.

But I'm not really, just trying to make this boat feel a bit like home.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 26th August 2012

2012-08-30

Man where do the days go, I so have to update this more often.

So we are still busy flat out actually, I'm so over cleaning, when does it stop?

Sunday, 26th August 2012

More cleaning of cause, then laundry day, I hate going to laundromats, but only slightly better than washing in a bucket.

It's so expensive as well, so this time the captain came with me.

We loaded all the washing in, now you are most likely thinking how come we have so much washing, well as I'm cleaning I found a whole heap more sheets and towels, so they all needed washing.

But the towels are great so bright red and pink stripe, very hippy...lol

But the sheets are boring white.

Now I have a thing about bright sheets I hate them, but boring white come on....at least a nice soft print, maybe I should tie dye them and make clothes out of them...hahaha

Actually that gives me ideas.

I so want to buy a sewing machine, my hand sewing is not going so well, my clothes keep falling apart... :-/

So getting back to the washing after loading all the washing in three machines, we decided to leave it and go shopping, as we needed to pick up some stuff and also diesel, for the generator.

As we are driving there the captain said, here we are driving in the country in America, who would of thought, it's a strange world.

I actually don,t think of it too much, I think it would do my head in.

I kinda just go day to day, as so much happens all the time, if I stop, and think about it I may just go crazy.

  

So We get back to the laundromat, clothes are finished so now into the dryer, this time I use four, they have heaps anyway.

We are both sitting watching the clothes go round and round....hahaha 

We need a life.

Actually u do need to watch as you put in a dime at a time and it lasts for 6minutes then u have to put another in.

You would be amazed at how many people use laundromats, in America, it's heaps, I have no idea why they don't have a washing machine, when they are so cheap to buy over here.

Anyway this lady and man Come in, I swear to god he must of been 7 foot tall, and built like a mountain, god he was big.

He sure looked like he lived in the mountains as well u would not like to get him angry.

So we sat there watching our washing go round and round very quiet like little mice....lol not game to look sideways at him.

 

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 27th August 2012

2012-08-30

Monday 27th August 2012

Another day, its raining....has been since yesterday afternoon.

Not much cleaning happened today, as the captain and I decided to do a lot of research online.

He is trying to get all the power issues sorted out, so we don't have to use the generator so much.

 

I have been looking into sinks and bathroom stuff again and decided to get serious about it now. am happy to say I have now ordered three sinks and some tiles from eBay, they are hand painted Mexican ones and so so nice, and not very expensive, I tell you, you have to research as man the price is so different from place to place, but managed to get a good deal, I hope,will see when they arrive.

Am excited about them.

Bek, Madd you would love them they are like the big dishes we saw in old town San Diago.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 28th August 2012

2012-08-30

Tuesday 28th August 2012

Another day, my life is just a cleaning lady...:-(

They have still not got me that maid yet.

 The high light of my day was talking to my friend on Skype, even though it was only a quick call and not a very clear line we managed to catch up on the local gossip, back home.

Was great talking to you Lyn. 

So am getting through this boat room by room, actually it should be cabin by cabin, gotta remember this boatie talk.

Have almost finished the spare cabin, other than some painting to be done.

So that's the main cabin, the little bathroom, the main bathroom and now the spare cabin....am slowly getting there.

As I go from cabin to cabin I'm writing down all things I need or want for each cabin.....man we need to rob a bank.....lol

So now that I have the bathrooms sorted out, I'm trying to decide what quilt I want, at least for the master cabin.

The boat that we so wanted to buy in California, had a great quilt and would love to find one like that, so far google and eBay are not playing nice... :-/

Have spent hours looking.

 I,m after one in navy/ gold coloring man it's hard to find.

We had a visit from Tom's ex wife Donna and their son Tavis, today. Was nice for Vic as he had not seen her for thirty odd years.

They are lovely people, I found it hard as I thought like I was betraying Tom somehow....which is crazy as they talk to each other a lot but, they don't really get on.

But it was a nice visit anyway.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 29th August 2012

2012-08-30

Wednesday, 29th August 2012

Are you sick of me writing about cleaning?

Well guess what? I'm sick of doing it....lol

Have painted the bits that needed doing in the spare cabin, and it is now finished...yay

Am into the main saloon, boatie again...haha

Man I can see myself bogged down for weeks here, this is the main living area and it needs so much work doing to it, anyone want to come and give me a hand? Would love the help.

My head is now full of stuff I want to change in here, the poor Captain, just nods his head, and I'm sure does not listen to me one bit.

I start on the ceilings first, am sure there is a boatie name for them too, have no idea what.

So far have only managed two panels yet, but they are big panels and you should see the difference it's amazing.

But the days go so quick before you know it, it's getting dark and we don't have bright lights so no work can get done at night, thank god or I would never get any rest, but I have to say I am sleeping well.

Well tomorrow s another day.


Thursday 30th, Friday 31st August 2012

2012-09-01

Thursday 30th, friday 31st August 2012

Well another day, just cleaned all day again, nothing much is happening other than that, I might as well add Friday here too, cause that's all I have been doing sorry to bore you all.

Have almost finished the main cabin, but I have ran out of cleaning products, Rich, one of the local guys here was going into town so we asked if he could pick up some Brasso, for me, yeah have found that it works great on the ceiling of all things, but on the brass work it's hopeless....lol

All the portholes are brass and a lot of the fittings as well, I would love to be able to get them shiny, but it won't happen, the boat is thirty years old with a lot of sea water splashed on them through out the years, so nothing is gonna make those suckers shine, believe me I have tried everything.

So tomorrow Tom and Edie are going sailing on his yacht, so he is leaving the truck for us to use.

It's actually a ute Chevy and its a heap but it's free to use which is great.

So we will be able to go shopping and get some much needed supplies.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 1st September 2012

2012-09-01

Saturday 1st September 2012

First of all it's fathers day back in oz, Happy Fathers Day Dad, wish I could be there with you. :-(

I love you heaps. xxx And happy fathers day to all the other dad's out there too.

I managed to skype Dad and the rest of the family tonight, was great seeing them all and catching up, although it makes me sad, I miss them all so much. Love u guys. xxx

Well today we went into town, in Toms truck, as they call it here it's actually a ute, but don't tell these Americans that...lol

We had to get a lot of supplies including a lot of cleaning products, am going through them at an alarming rate.

  

We went into Middletown, sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings...lol

We took a drive through the main street what a place so many cute old buildings, I will have to take my camera next time and get some pics, I'll put them up on Facebook.

After driving for what seemed like hours we finally managed to get what we needed, I tell you it is so much easier back in Australia at least they have proper shopping centers, here you have to drive miles to find anything.

 We went searching for some figs, we had them the other night at Wendy's place wrapped in prosciutto, and they were so nice.

So the search was on several stores later no luck, then we remembered that the Amish, people who live here have a stall every Saturday on the side of the road, there is a very big community of them, the other day we saw a family mum, dad and three kids, on a wagon being drawn by two horses...it's crazy.

So anyway we stopped at there stall and they did not have any but told us to go down the end of the road as their daughters farm is down there and she will give us some.

Well what an experience, man it was like stepping onto the set of little house on the prairie, I swear to god.

They had a little house in the middle of fields and about 7 or 8 kids running around all dressed like the olden days, and all working in and around the place.

Crazy, crazy stuff, but you know they were all happy and so friendly, and you got a real sense of peace, was just amazing.

So finally made it back to the boat with our figs, and it was so hot we did nothing much for the rest of the day.

All my plans for carrying on cleaning went out the window and we just rested.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 2nd September 2012

2012-09-06

Sunday 2nd September 2012

Well guess what? I cleaned today, surprise, surprise.....hahaha

I am happy to say I have finished the main saloon, yay

Just have to do the fridge and freezer tomorrow.

I have rearrange scrubbed and cleaned every damn part of it, and it's shining.

I finished with the floors which I scrubbed then polished with a home made polish I got from google.

It's just either white vinegar or lemon juice, with olive oil and a few drops of essential oil.

Man, do these wooden floors shine.

They are so old and scratched that i had my doubts about it working at all, but man it looks good, the vinegar cleans and the oils makes it shine.

After you rub it in you then have to buff it to take away the oil and make it not so slippery,

Well that's the theory anyway.

So the captain was worried about it being slippery, especially the steps, so I buffed them extra and told him just to be careful for the next few days, till it sinks in a bit.

Well you guessed it, who slipped down the stairs, No other then the captain, I wanted to laugh, but thought I better not, as he was not a happy camper I can tell you.

But I know that within a few days it will settle as this is how I have cleaned all the woodwork, so far and man there is a lot of it.

 

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 3rd September 2012

2012-09-06

Monday 3rd September 2012

Well another day I need to get back into to doing this more often the days are just getting way to ahead of me.

I am finally onto the galley ( kitchen ), can see myself bogged down here for months, man it sure is a lot of work in such a small area, some of the cupboards, go back so far I can not reach no matter how I try, so I just sprayed them with cleaner and hope for the best.

I have pulled everything out and rearrange it all again.

I also cleaned and defrosted the fridge and freezer as well.

I was up to my eyeballs in dirt and mess when Bob the owner of this place wanted us to join him and his family for lunch it's labour day long weekend here, and they were having a big get together.

Well no way was I going, I was in the thick of it, and for those of you that know me when I'm cleaning, nothing is going to stop me, I just keep going till its done.

Actually  night time here does stop me cause I can't see so well as our lights aren't so bright.

Anyway the captain decided to go as he thought at least one of us should, so I'm cleaning away, was actually sitting on the floor with stuff piled all around and on top of me, when one of the guys comes down trying to get me to come up for lunch, I thanked him but said no, it took a long time for him to accept it but finally he did and left.

Well this made me feel guilty, and then angry, all I wanted to do was clean, I'm sure if they realized how much work I still have to do they may understand, well maybe not.

Anyway next comes one of the ladies and her daughter....was really thinking god here we go again, but they came with plates of food for me this time, four actually with desert.

Way to go to make me feel even more guilty.

But they also wanted to have a look at the boat so I guess that was ok.

The worst thing was I couldn't eat any of it cause they were not sure about it having garlic or nuts, so the captain had it for dinner that night.

At least I got out if cooking for a night, which was great.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 4th September 2012

2012-09-06

Tuesday 4th september 2012

Well still cleaning the kitchen, will it ever end?

Anyway we have new friends on board.

Let me introduce you to the American flies, man and I thought Australia has a fly problem.

My other little friends have finally left us, except for a few stowaways that I come across every now and then, who are just way to attached to me to leave, but am armed with a special orange ant killer spray that Edie got for me to try, it's supposed to be great, will wait and see, but does it kill flies? ....no. :-/

Have almost exhausted google with fly remedies, I can tell you, it's desaveu all over again.

Man we have tried it all, we have those horrible fly strips, that the flies get stuck on, I hate them it brings back memories, of my grandma turner my dads mum, when we were little she would hang them over the dinner table, while you were eating to stop the flys..still gives me nightmares....lol

So they do work but you keep running into them and u get stuck...it is so not nice especially when your hair gets stuck to them....god I'm gonna have nightmares about these till I die, I just know it.

The most funny thing happened to the captain, was when he got stuck right down his back and hair, I laughed so hard I could hardly get it off him, then there was a dead fly in his hair, man he made me get it out, I almost threw up, was so not laughing then.

Speaking of the captain, he now has the new job of fly killer, he has his own 

Plastic fly swatter, which is also another thing that freaks me out, they are so dirty, god they are horrible, but he acts like this big hunter, killing hundreds daily. It is always by his side...lol

We also have fly spray of cause but it's horrible over here it never sprays in a fine mist, just comes out in big globs, and it's sticky.

So google again, they say a plastic bag filled with water and a penny in it, will keep the flys away,....we now have about ten of them hanging up around the place and have a thousand or so flys still flying around oh so happy, they can look at them selves as they fly past, am sure it's a macho thing cause they look heaps bigger when they look at themselves in the bags.

Back to google burn lavender candles, that helps, have a beautiful smelling boat of lavender burning away guess what still have files, they seem to love the lavender smell as well. :-/

So back to google this is getting out of hand, man am wasting so much time on here.

They say u can get a trap that is just a plastic bag that has a sweet smelling stuff in it and you fill it with water and hang it outside and they are attracted to it fly in and can't get out again and die.

So we go hunting and find some at the local hardware store, on the way home I'm reading all about it and they say it kills, now get this, it kills house flys, lesser house fly, cluster fly, lance fly, secondary screwworm fly, flesh fly, false stable fly, blow flies and bottle flies.

Are you freaking kidding me, no wonder we have so many flies here, at least some of them are exotic ones, maybe I could send some to aus, they get so upset about the boat people, maybe they could use some of these boat flies instead.

I thought my ant friends were driving me crazy, I have to say I think the flys are worse.

So we are now armed with two outside fly traps, ten plastics water and penny filled plastic bags,

Three horrible sticky fly strips in different sections around the boat that u get stuck on all the time no matter how careful you are, two lavender candles burning, a plastic fly swatter that the captain has on him almost all the time, maybe I should make a holster for him...lol

And cans of fly spray dotted around ready to grab at any moment.

Watch this space....hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 5th, Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th 2012

2012-09-10

Wednesday 5th, Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th, 2012

Ok well am cheating a bit here and putting these all in one, I know I have been slack and keeping this up to date, but I have been so flat out, with all this boat stuff, that the time just gets away.

Am happy to say I am almost finished the inside of the boat....can I get a big cheer here..lol

The galley is done, the dinette is done, the V berth is done and just have the 2nd bathroom and the little area outside of it.

The Captain is starting to panic, cause the last cabin to do is his workshop area.

Now this is a very sore point with me, it's a double cabin that is just full of boat junk....

Well maybe not junk all the spare parts, for everything on the boat, plus spares for the spares,

It's crazy and I wish we could have the cabin back to what it should be, but we also need to have this stuff somewhere, but why the captain  is freaking out is because I'm making him get rid of at least half of it and organize it as well, at the moment it's just a junk heap.

So I can see both of us bogged down here and a few tense moments when I wanna chuck and he will wanna keep....watch this space.

 Back to our new friends, all the traps and stuff around are helping a little bit, we are still getting a lot of flies but nowhere as many as before.

What worked and what didn't I'm not real sure.

The so called sweet smelling fly traps, turned real nasty real quick, and when I say nasty I really really mean nasty.

The smell got so bad that I made the Captain, take it to the furthest part of the boat, he did it bitching all the way, I don't blame him one bit it was so bad.

Has it worked are there flies in it? Who knows none of us are game to go near it and look.

Until the other day when I was in the V berth cleaning it out and was getting this horrible smell coming through the hatch, I was almost throwing up, so the Captain being the hero, went up there holding his nose and armed with plastic bags to take it down and get rid of it.

He said there was only a few little flies in there so much for catching all those exotic ones.

So  those are never going up again, I would rather have the files serious than those foul smelling things.

The plastic bags with water and coins are down to three, as the Captain also bitched about these as he kept hitting his head on them and water would run down his back....hahaha

Well at least I could see the funny side of it. The Captain was not so happy.

The candles we both still agree on as they smell nice at least do they work...no.

The flies like the smell as well, they are always climbing all around them.

So to those horrible fly strips they go up and down, when we get too many inside I'll hang one or two up for a day or so, but I still hate the look of them.

And to the Captains fly swatter, man I hate that thing and he loves it.

It is still constantly by his side, and no not on his hip but I'm sure he would love a holster.

He kills his quota of about fifty flies a day and is happy.

So the fly war continues.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 9th September 2012

2012-09-10

Sunday 9th September 2012

Well first of all today is a special day, the Captains sister and brother in law, have become Grandparents for the first time. 

Congratulations to you Russ and Meg, and to Rob and Sherry they now have a little baby boy Toby.

Can't wait to see lots of pics. xxx

Well today we made an early start, Tom needed the truck this afternoon as he was going to spend a few days with Edie, and we needed to get into town to buy supplies again.

So off we go  to many a shops once more, I so miss Australia for the shopping, you guys have it so easy, I can never find anything I want over here without going to a mental amount of shops.

Anyway five hours later we are loaded up with goodies, I get excited about buying little things for the boat, yeah I know, but hey we are stuck here and my life is one of cleaning and more cleaning so there.

Anyway we have a new black dish rack, I had a white one that did not go with anything, the captain can not understand us women, in his words there is nothing wrong with the white one, and you only brought it a month ago, man they know nothing. :-)

We have a new can opener, he agrees with this one, as the one we brought before was hopeless 

And I made him open all the cans with it, so he totally agreed with me....lol

A new dinner set, which took a lot of talking him into,  and we get it home and half the plates are broken, that's going back.

I might add here that we only have plastic dishes on the boat and I hate them, I know they are practical and all that but I want to eat off real plates.

A little table for the cockpit, that wobbles so bad, may keep that one, could be handy somewhere else.

A step ladder for the  V Berth as its so high to get up and down there, with the step we have, but the ladder is not strong enough so it goes back.

And some wine glasses, which we had a nice glass or two of red out of them tonight so we are keeping them, and I might say that wine does taste better in real glasses.

Oh we also went to a fair few antique shops that they have here the captain wants a table to go down in the salon area, his ideas and mine are so totally different, don't think we are never gonna agree on that one.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 10th September 2012

2012-09-12

Monday 10th September 2012

First of all two people have a birthday today.

Happy Birthday Marian, and a special little boy, Happy Birthday Ethan. Big hugs and kisses to you both. 

Well another day and I have to say its freezing, looks like the last of the heat has gone from the area.

The Captain thinks we have to stay here till november, man I think we my just freeze to death,

Am sure we will need to soon be looking at buying some kind of heater at least.

Am happy to say I finished the inside of the boat today...yay, but there always is a but hey.

We still have to do the Captains workshop am not looking forward to it, I can tell you, that cabin is scary.

You know certain parts of this little ship we have freaks me out, it's weird some lockers, even some small areas, fixing the V Berth was one, and the guest bathroom was another, then I had to clean out a locker in the bilges, now this had to be the worst.

I knew it would be the moment I lifted the hatch on the floor,

It was dark and a very tiny space, I got up to get a torch to have a really good look, and also to see what was in there and what I could get rid of.

Well there were bags with cases of beer, some garden hose, yeah I know why?

And some metal drum that neither the Captain or I have any idea what it is.

So after getting all this out I decide to have a good look with the torch to make sure there is nothing left in there.

So wish I hadn't,  I'm lying on my tum trying to see right up to the end, I'm up in the bow

( pointy end )of the boat, so it's a long way to look up.

It was so scary like an old haunted ship it was dirty looked like rust, but just dirt and a cobweb like you would not believe, omg this boat has been to a lot of places around the world and there is no way I want to meet up with a spider that can build a web like that, think horror stories, horror movies, man just think Stephen King, maybe I read too much and watch too many horror stuff, but that sure is a place in your nightmares.

So me being female just empty a whole thing of insect killer in there close the hatch and plan never ever to open it again .... hahaha

So there  still a lot that needs doing on the inside but at least it is now clean and looking good.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 11th September 2012

2012-09-12

Tuesday 11th September 2012

Well the 11th of September, A day the world will never forget, was a bit unnerving being in America on a day like today, and so close to New York, it's only an hour and a bit drive to get there and washington, is not that far away as well, kinda scary stuff.

After a few hours our boat even looked like a bomb had gone off in it.

Yes I finally have the Captain cleaning out his domain.

What a job it is, honest I have never ever seen so many spare parts, tools, hoses,cables.... The list goes on and on.

There is no way you need all this on one boat, what were they thinking, did they think they would never, set foot on land again? Or maybe never be able to buy spares for the boat.

Crazy stuff, we have piles of this stuff all over the floor of the boat with the captain trying to sort it all out, can see us tripping over all this for days.

But at least he has made a good start with it.

Well today I finally picked out a quilt for our bed, after almost a month searching on eBay, the whole of the Internet.

It has been so frustrating, we both knew what we wanted just could not find it.

I even got to the stage of looking for material to make one, but could not even find the material.

Donna and her son Tavis, come over with a parcel for The Captain, one of the many things we have ordered online, and suggested a material shop that is also online to look at, well they have a mental amount of material but not the one that we wanted.

So I finally went back to the one online that I have had my eye on.

It's not really what we would have liked but it was a good price and am hoping it will be ok.

Also we are starting to get really cold at night and need it....lol

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 12th September 2012

2012-09-16

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Well another day, still cleaning the Captain still has a mess everywhere, it's starting to drive me crazy, and the once beautiful clean sparkling boat now looks very sad indeed.

Tom has been away for a few days and is know back thank god, cause we need to go shopping especially food shopping, there is no junk food left and I'm freaking out...lol

So after waiting for Tom to be free with his truck, which I might add takes forever, but we can't complain as it's a very cheap deal, we just put petrol in when it needs it and that's it.

So here we go again armed with a big list of things to get' off we go rattling down the old country roads.

Did we find everything we need? .... NO, Do we ever find everything we need?.... NO, Does it drive us crazy?... YES, Does it take forever and ever to get it all done? .... You bet.

So after hours and hours we are back at the boat, loaded with groceries at least, and it's five o'clock, we all know what that means,

So I quickly get the groceries put away, while dodging all the captains mess which is not easy, pour myself a drink and swear I am never going shopping here ever again, I'm gonna shop online, pity they don't deliver groceries or I'd get them online too.

So sitting here on deck trying to get over the latest horror shopping visit and I could hear Donna and Tavis and it is Tavis, not with a R. Even spell check has a hissy fit over this one.

Anyway I  could here them coming down the dock, and I'm thinking oh no, not now, I just want to be left alone with my little drink... But they are nice people and this time even nicer...lol, as they came with a whole lot of deliveries for us.

If you remember Donna is Toms ex wife and they live close together, and we use her address for deliveries as she lives in a house with their son and Tom lives on a boat.

So anyway they had parcels after parcels, I was so excited, as my basins had finally arrived and a new microwave yay.

Now these were in huge boxes, four of them and they all had to be added to the captains mess down stairs, man we sure were tripping over stuff.

After they left I opened them up, the first one I was not real sure about, but the other two I just love, I can't wait to be able to install them, I have to find tiles now to go around them, so the way I am about picking stuff out they may sit here for years without being installed....lol

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 13th September 2012

2012-09-16

Thursday 13th September 2012,

Just another work day here in downtown country America.

Tom and The Captain are flat out sorting stuff out and working out what needs to be fixed and what doesn't.

We are starting to freak out a bit as there is so much still to be done and time is running out.

Tom has a very sick Aunt who is dying and he is the only family she has left so he wants to be there with her in her last days, so this is always on our minds as he could be called away anytime.

So they finally sorted out The Captains mess and what needs to be thrown away and what need to be kept, thank god, at least I can start cleaning it all up again now.

I started doing some of the varnish work outside today, the boatie  name for it is Bright work, yeah I know they have some strange ideas, but it is all the timber work around the outside of the boat.

So you all now know, if I start talking the talk and talk about bright work you will know what i'm talking about.....hahaha

So I started doing the "bright work" and man what a job, are they kidding me it took hours just to strip off one little bit, I'll be here for years, and not to mention the sanding and revarnishing again.

Oh I don't even want to think about it.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 14th September 2012

2012-09-16

Friday 14th September 2012

Well today I was up early, was so sick of falling over stuff and this boat being in such a mess, so today is clean and sort day, sounds like just another day here.

So I hit the floor running, putting this ship of ours back in order.

Rich the old guy that lives here has offered me the use of his washing machine so I have been going back and forth all day with washing as well. 

And I have to say I'm proud of this boat once again it is sparkling and I even managed to cook a big pot of chili as well.

Donna and Tavis, minus the R....lol, came with a wrapped parcel today just like a birthday present all wrapped it blue paper.

I had a bit of a joke the other day with Tavis, minus the R, when he came with all the parcels, that at least he could of wrapped them pretty for me.

So today he did, was quite chuffed with him self, it was so funny, then we opened the parcel which is one we have been dying to get, it was a gift from Marian and Craig for the Captain for fathers day and also a boat warming gift.

Thank you so much guys we have a lovely picture to hang up, two beautiful towels that are monogrammed one with Captain and the other with Captains mate, we are arguing over which one is for who...lol

And right at the bottom  of the package is, wait for it.....two Cherry Ripes and two packets of TIM TAMS, I have died and gone to heaven. Really truly I so love Tim Tams.

So after that I thought nothing could spoil my day...well I was wrong.

I had gone up to put some more washing in the machine and told Rich if he wants to have a look inside the boat now would be a good time as its all clean and tidy.

I might add he has wanted to have a look for ages, but I kept putting him off till it looked a bit better.

So down he comes and spends a fair amount of time with us just checking it all out.

While they were busy talking I went back up to fix the washing, and was walking back on the dock when there was a lady sitting there with her dog, I had Rich's dog with me and he ran over to her and she got all upset about the dog.

Now I am sure  she is one of the neighbors here but I have never really meet her.

So the fun begins, she has this massive hissy fit about the dog, then about Rich, the owner than about the Captain, saying he was rude to her and insulted her when we first got here and than at me for hanging around both of them.

Well I'm sure I was standing there with my mouth hanging open, I walked towards her to try and get her to explain what she meant and she jumped up so quick and took off so quick that my bottom jaw must off been touching the jetty by now.

I walked down to the boat and could swear I could softly here banjos playing.

I told the guys about it and Rich said not too worry she is a bit strange, and the captain was taken aback some what as the only time he had seen her was when we first arrived and there was people everywhere and we were trying to tie up the boat, and she handed him a tub of tomatoes and he had no idea who she was and asked if he should give her some money for them, she said no and he thanked her very much, maybe he should of looked harder for the scar on her neck....

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 15th September 2012

2012-09-16

Saturday 15 September 2012

Well today I have rested, I did so much yesterday and put my back out again, so decided to rest up and do some research online for all the little things we need on the boat.

The Captain and Tom have been busy all day fixing stuff so I left them too it.

 Did I find what I wanted...no way, it's crazy I want to go back home at least I can find stuff there.

So we are sitting up here on deck just resting when Rich comes over in his little boat and has a go at the captain....man what the hell is going on here, do they all have scars, on there necks?

Now Rich was here earlier in the morning nice as pie, gave me a lend of his pressure cooker and some recipe books and asked if I wanted to help him sometime next week in cutting up some food and he would show me how to bottle it and preserve it in a pressure cooker.

I said sure would love to it could come in handy on the boat.

So all was fine until this afternoon.

The Captain had to cut off some wire on the dingy which is now up in the grass near the dock as it has had it, it has a huge hole you can fit your hand through it.

He was going to take it to the dump but the owner of the whole area, Bob,  to explain it a bit, Bob owns the whole area, he is a very wealthy man, and a very nice guy, all the others just rent from him, one of Bobs many houses is here, and there are two more houses and two boat sheds kind of little cottages that anyone can use, the other two homes are rented by Rich and the looney lady.

So we have the dingy sitting in the middle, and One of Bobs workers wants it so he is coming to pick it up this weekend, and Bob is fine with it, he was there when they took it up.

But there was this security thing attached so the Captain decided to keep that but he needed to grind it off, which took a total of 5 minutes.

Well this upset Rich big time, he was going mental about working on his land....yeah I know banjos again.

The Captain was very calm and soothed all his ruffled feathers, me I was ready to take strips off him, I was so angry, and had to bite down hard on my lips to stop myself from saying a word.

Far out we can't leave this place quick enough.

Well tomorrow is another day. 


Sunday 16th September 2012

2012-09-22

Sunday 16th September 2012

Well today we did not do a great deal I was really rung out, and upset.

The last two days have really thrown me, I really want to move on, I know we can't do much about it but it has put me in a really sad state of mind, it's crazy how  two narrow minded people can do to you.

But all will settle down and I'm sure I will be my old self in no time at all.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 17th September 2012

2012-09-22

Monday 17th September 2012

Well today we had to go back to Baltimore, we need to get the chain and two anchors re galvanized, so the Caption and Tom load it onto his truck and off we go.

Just before we left I looked up some 2nd hand furniture shops there, as we still have not found a table for the saloon.

So we find the place to drop off the chain and anchors, and armed with Carmon our trusty gps, off we go hunting tables.

Well I swear they must of all been in different directions all over the city, we just went back and forth so many times it was making us dizzy.

How many shops we visited I have no idea, there was two in one area that was so bad, I would not even let the Captain stop the truck and was locking doors real quick.

It was total slum, and very scary and sad, these buildings are so old and could be renovated, but they are just so run down, Think ghetto, big time American style.

We did end up finding a table at a great price, and it is now very happy in its new home.

Has our opinion, of Baltimore changed, no, not one bit, I still think it is a horrible dirty place.

I guess that's big city's for you.

Well two very tired campers are how with there feet up swearing never to leave the boat again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 18th September 2012

2012-09-22

Tuesday 18th September 2012

Just another boring day in old country America.

Still doing the brightwork, and sorting stuff, waiting on deliveries and working our butts off.

But I did get a good surprise, my quilt finally came...yay

Does it look good? You bet, am so happy with it, even the Captain likes it although it was not what we really wanted it still is very nice.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 19th September 2012

2012-09-22

Wednesday 19th September 2012

Well today was a shopping day again.

Man here we go again, I swear I will never do this again and yep I do.

Does it get any better? Hell no, I hate it.

Once again we took hours all day actually, and still managed to get lost several times and come back with next to nothing, this actually put me in a really bad mood, am not a real happy camper at the moment.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Thursday 20th September 2012

2012-09-22

Thursday 20th September 2012

Well another day.

Still doing the brightwork, is it happening not really.

Did some hand washing, and before we knew it we were getting ready to go out for dinner.

Bob the owner has invited us all out for a meal including Tom and Bobs friends that have arrived here in their catamaran, it is a huge boat.

So we all pile into two vehicles and off we go, Bob is thinking of buying a house boat, so he wanted the boys to have a look and see what they think of it.

Well after driving around for what seemed like hours we finally found it, we all got out checked it out, it seems ok.

I have to say we sure are seeing some  different areas around here.

Then we drive into this boat yard and I'm thinking what now, but right in the middle was a little restaurant.

I kinda felt, like running in the opposite direction, it really was looking like banjo land, but the food was really good and we ll had a good time.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 21st September 2012

2012-09-22

Friday 21st september 2012

Well another day slaving away.

Am still at the brightwork, it's driving me crazy, it is so hard work.

Tom gave me a lend of his heat gun to try and get the varnish off, it works a little bit.

Nothing seems to work real good at all.

Anyway after hours and hours, I gave up, it's just too hard.

Am really feeling like this is mans work not females, for me this is huge, as anyone who knows me .....well I always think that I can do anything a man can do.

I just can't do it, maybe it's the stress of all we have to do, maybe it's my poor hands that are cracked and starting to split open, or  just way too tired, I don't know, but I spat the dummy, and downed tools and went and had a sleep, well after a huge cry first.

So woke up after a few hours sleep, do I feel any better?  No, am still teary, but the captain decided if we do it together for a few hours morning and then a few hours in the afternoon we will slowly get it done.

I don't think he actually  gets it, I don't want to do it at all, but I know I will keep at it, and with many a tear shed for sure.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 22nd September 2012

2012-09-22

Saturday 22nd September 2012

Well first of all Happy Birthday to my sister Myree, I sure hope you had a great day and got spoilt rotten.

I must say I had a shocking sleep last night, I think the stress of all we have to do is starting to show.

There is projects happening all over the place and not one of them is finished and even looking like being close to finishing.

I would not even know where to start in even telling you what still has to  be done, but the panic is starting to hit.

We had to go shopping again....yeah I know I keep saying I'm never going to again, but here we go again.

And yeah still came home with not much at all.

As for work on the boat not a great deal happened, we both feel very wasted, so we both had a lay down and a little Nanna nap.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 23rd and monday 24th September 2012

2012-09-28

Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th September 2012

Well I know I'm getting a bit slack with my writing.

The truth is we are so busy and by the time night time comes I'm just to exhausted to write.

So these two days are put into one.

Just another two days of cleaning, sanding and fixing stuff, not very exciting.

Oh but the 2nd set of tile samples came today and we have finally decided on one, so They are now ordered and I can't wait to start fixing up the bathrooms.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 25th September 2012

2012-09-28

Tuesday 25th September 2012

Today we had to go back to Baltimore, to pick up the chain and anchors.

I really did not want to go at all, I hate the place and the drive there is so boring and long.

I had decided to not go, until Tom said we could have the truck all day and night, and the Captain, said we can do some more looking around for a rug, and get the curtain material.

Well he had me, I was in the truck like a flash.

So after picking up the chain and anchors which are looking all shiny and pretty, we go off, rug hunting, oh by the way it's a floor mat, they call them rugs over here.

I am armed with a few addresses for carpet stores, but as we are driving there we spot one and pull in there to have a look, they don't have the size we need, which of cause is not a regular size but this guy says why don't you try Ollie's, well we had never heard of them, so we get the address, and off we go.

What a find this place was, it's a shop that sells off all discontinued stuff and things, we not only managed to get a rug, but also a quilt for the V berth, at a very cheap price, and they both look great.

So very happy with ourselves, we finally get to the material warehouse, and pick out the curtain, this is the 2nd visit here, and we had already worked out what we were going to buy, but yeah it turned out quite different but we now have a very nice roll of navy and gold stripe material, and a roll of backing material, that the Captain thinks I can turn into these professional curtains, me am very worried, I can see a lot of google  research happening here.

 

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 26th September 2012

2012-09-28

Wednesday 26th September 2012

Well today was a huge cleanup day.

After all the stuff we got yesterday it needed to go somewhere.

So all day long I cleaned rearranged and tidied, the boat looked great, until the Captain and Tom decided to pull the V Berth apart to start fixing the anchor locker, yeah I know just when I made it all up with the new quilt, which took hours.

I had forgotten that they were going to do this, and I was not a happy camper I can tell you, it looked great for a total of about twenty minutes.

So yeah I kinda felt like the day was just a waste of time, but it did look good for a little while.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 27th September 2012

2012-09-28

Thursday 27th September 2012

Well what a day,

I had decided to try and dye the cushion in the saloon and dinette instead of forking out huge amounts of money to get them recovered.

So trusty google came into the picture again, this has been going on for awhile.

I have researched and researched, to try and find out the best way to go about this, and the best dye.

Well I have to say you almost need a degree in dyeing, man there is so many different dyes out there I had no idea.

My experience in dyeing is not great, yeah I have done the occasional pair of black pants, and thats about it.

Then you have to know what material it is, how much it weighs, how are you going to do it, in a tub, in a washing machine, on the stove......this one I love, can really see me burning all the covers......yeah still have problems with that stove.

Then the colors, man this may just be too hard.

So after many a sleepless nights I order some dye in navy blue, and went the easy way you just pop it in the washing machine with a cup of salt and that's about it, the catch is you need to have the wash cycle going for an hour or so, in hot water.

So the big day arrived, the dye came this morning.....yay,then omg.

I don't have a washing machine to use so the wash bucket will have to do, many a discussion was happening on where to do it, how to get hot water to it and how to be careful that no other boat around including our own does not end up tie dyed in the process.

So me being me, says what the hell, am just gonna do it here on the jetty beside us, I have a hose, and we can boil hot water on the stove, easy.

So get everything ready, read the instructions, I have to now weigh the dry fabric, ok next problem, how to weigh, I ended up finding a fish weight thingy with a hook on the end, perfect, so weigh 2lbs of covers, which is around two covers, then I washed them then rinsed them.

Then have saucepans of hot water boiling on the stove.

Now into the bucket goes the dye, a cup of salt saucepans full of hot water, then the covers, then more water as they have to be able to move freely around, but not enough water to weaken the dye.... :-/

Man where is that degree when you need it.

So now me sitting on a bucket with a big stick, actually plastic pipe that the Captain uses to steer the dingy, and I have to keep this lot moving around for an hour.

I kinda felt like a witch, with a big cauldron of brew, by the time I finished I was chanting and cursing just about everybody on the planet.

So the hour was up, then to carefully rinse till the water runs clear, pop in some fixative, wash again then done.

This had to be done eight times over, are you kidding me, I ended up doubling up on some, I think I did it about 6 times, and it took all day it was actually getting dark, when I finished.

I wanted to then take them to the laundromat, to give them a final rinse and dry them in there dryers.

So after hours there we finally came home with our newly dyed covers, are they navy?

No,do they look great not really, was it a waste of time, you bet, but to be honest we have not put them back on yet so tomorrow we will see how bad or good they look.

Right at the moment I feel like I have been hit by a truck.

Oh and not one single boat got tie dyed, just me, am covered in dye from head to toe.

Well tomorrow is another day.


The missing week.

2012-10-08

Ok so I know I'm in trouble and have not wrote on my blog for awhile.

I have been flat out and time just gets away.

I am just rolling all the days I have missed into one post, as the days seem to merge into one here anyway.

So we managed to get the cushion covers back on, well the Captain did, my hands were hurting so bad from all the work yesterday that I could not do it, I think I did one and that was about it.

Do they look good?

Well I would say ok, not what I wanted they are a bit patchy and not as dark as I wanted but they are still better then when I started.

I have decided to start on the curtains, we asked Bob if we could use the cottage here as they have a great big long table, and would be so much easier to cut and measure all the fabric.

So the work began, after a lot of research on the Internet, thanks to google I now have an idea in my head of how they should turn out...hahaha

I have made a Valance of the same material and made it into a box pleat, it actually turned out ok, which really surprised me...lol

We stuck this up with Velcro which has not worked so good, so I tried to sew the Velcro on and bent three needles so now it is clued on, I just hope it works.

Where all the pleats meet I am making covered buttons, and attach them, why? ...I have no idea it's crazy as I have to make 64 of them and so far have only made 10 with help from a friend, man we will be sailing into Sydney Harbour by the time I'm attaching the last button.

Then you come to the curtains themselves I have to make 18 of them, and this is only in the saloon area, I know they are not very big curtains, but they all have to have a backing sewn on them and they are all different lengths.

Man can see these being finished sailing into Sydney as well...lol

And don't get me talking about the ties I'm making.

So with all that going on and Bob the owner of the  area wanting us to come out for dinner and breakfast, and all the rest of the stuff that is happened around here it had been very hectic.

 

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 4th October 2012

2012-10-08

Thursday 4th October 2012

Well today is cleanup day...big time.

The Captains, friend and his wife are coming to stay with us or a few days.

So this boat needs a good clean up.

We have never meet them in person before, but the Captain and Roger have become good friends through emails and a few phone calls.

It's always a bit of a worry when someone is coming to stay with you and you don't really know them, and it's such a small area that we live in and will you all get along.

Well I have to say, my worries were crazy, we all got along great, what lovely people they are, and Katie and I just hit it off, we just talked and talked.

It's funny I was not really that worried as from what we have experienced along the way most boatie people are so friendly and just nice people and I suppose you have a lot in common so there is always stuff to talk about.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 5th October 2012

2012-10-08

Friday 5th October 2012

 Well today we went to the boat show in Annapolis, another first, although we did not see a huge amount of Annapolis, what we saw of it was great such a pretty old worldly place, would love to come back and spend more time here.

So to the boat show we go, we had to park a long way away from the place and then they take you all in buses to the venue.

So today we got to ride in two yellow America school buses...haha was pretty cool.

As for the boat show, well I think it was the same as any boat shows I have been to, u get sore feet, tired, and see way too many things, that you just can't afford...hahaha

But it was not a bad day, just tiring and a late night home.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 6th October 2012

2012-10-08

Saturday 6th October 2012

Well today Katie drove me into town to pick up some things at Walmart and the hardware stores.

Yeap I'm still mucking about with my door knobs as nothing seems to fit, we managed to come home with two different types of handles and you guessed it neither fit.

Man I should of just left them as they were.

Katie helped me with my curtains and we made some button for them as well, they are starting to look good, I can't wait to see them finished.

While we were shopping Katie suggested we buy some food for a BBQ, well we have not used it so far so this will be another first on the boat.

And it turned out great, the Captain cooked his famous salmon, and I made my salad and special sauce to go with the fish.

We invited Tom as well and what a great night we had, even though we did drink a bit too much...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 7th October 2012

2012-10-08

Sunday 7th October 2012

Well today are friends left, goodbye Katie and Roger, was great having you both here, will miss you two.

I think they actually left just at the right time, it has got so so cold, freezing.

I have been making curtains all day up in the shack, until my fingers were almost frozen, then came back to the boat OMG...it was worse on the boat.

We finally hunted out the doors...yes we actually have doors, they may only be two feet tall, but they are doors...lol

The only way we could heat up the boat was to put the oven on, so I cooked a damper and at least we had a bit of warmth.

So tomorrow we go to trusty old Walmart and buy a heater or two.

Well tomorrow is another day.


The missing weeks 20th October 2012

2012-10-20

I can't believe it's been so long.

But when ur busy and the scenery does not change, there is not a lot to write home about.

So what is happening, the curtains are finished, yay.

I managed to work out how to do the monkey fist with rope, so they are the new tiebacks.

I ordered cotton rope online, and waited forever for it to come, when it did it was so white, so I dyed it, yeah I know me and dye again, but this one was easy just a saucepan of hot water and heaps of tea bags, the next problem was how to dry it, I ended up putting it in a bag and then into Rich's dryer.

After awhile I sent the captain up to collect it for me, and he came back with 100ft of tangled mess, which stunk of earl grey tea...Hahahaha.

But he managed to sort it all out for me, so after all that I'm sitting here trying to learn how to tie the monkey fist finally nail it, and they are way too big, the rope is too thick, here we go again, have to order more rope thinner this time.

Nothing is ever easy or works the first time around here.

But I have to say after weeks and weeks, the curtains are all up, the monkey fist ties are all up, they are not perfect but I'm happy with the way they look.

I have also decided to do some decorative work with the rest of the rope, actually I have ordered more as well, three different sizes.

I have made six cushions that match the curtains and have sewn a rope trim around these, and also making more monkeys fist as grab ropes around the place, and I'm also going to do a few trims here there, just not real sure yet where and how.

We now have glass and brass door knobs, up on all doors, these were such a drama, with me having a dummy spit which ended in tears.

This seems to happen a lot lately, I think we are way over stressed, tired, wanting to move on, and me well I'm major homesick as well.

Anyway after a thousand and one different bits and pieces for the door knobs with the guys wanting to drill holes in them and all sorts if stuff I managed with a hammer and a lot if cursing got then all on, do they work?, not so good, but hey they look great.

We also have more floor mats as well now which are also not perfect but gives the boat a nice feel to it.

I'm onto the tiling in the Vberth head/bathroom, wow this has been a challenge.

to get the old basin out, Tom decided it needed to be cut out, and would take ages and be a real mess, the captain says maybe we should just leave it and do it later down the track, me well yeah dummy spit, tears the whole works, yeah I know I told you they happen a lot lately.

So after a nights sleep we get up and the captain decides to drill a few pilot holes in the top as we know it s screwed down somehow, so that does nothing, will not really but got me going with a hammer and screwdriver, and got the damn thing out, much to everyones surprise including myself and the amazing thing is the new basin fits in perfect. Huh...go girl power...lol

So moving right along the next problem is the tiles, well Tom says u have to lift all the surface stuff off first or at least sand it all back and get this special tile glue and filler, I just look at him and say no way, thats too hard, he is horrified as I managed to order some of my special glue that I used when I did the mosaic on Maddy's guitar, he was so sure it would not work, the captain was a bit worried too, and to be honest all this negative attitude had me concerned as well.

So me being me, just went at it anyway, I have also been using Tom's tile saw to cut them,  it has a diamond chip blade and he promised me it will not cut your fingers so far I still have ten the last time I looked.

There were some tiles I just could not get the right angle cut so the captain came to the rescue and did those for me.

Has the glue worked?... Well those suckers are not going anywhere, man I tried to move one slightly and no way would it budge, the boat may fall apart but the tiles will still be stuck hard.

So today is grout day, I'm sure it will come with all it's dramas and a lot if tears on my part, but I hope it at least will look good.

The Captain and Tom have been real busy too, as we only have a short time left here, it's getting really really cold, and will start to ice over here soon.

We are both the height of fashion here at the moment we were so cold that a trip to Walmart was in order and we now are wearing track pants and flannelette shirts...so stylish.

 

But we now have ground tackle working, anchors chains and stuff, three solar panels in place still to be wired, an engine that can be turned off at the helm instead of having to lift the floor boards to turn it off, and the best thing is we now have hot water, yeap after months of heating a kettle on the stove to wash and do the dishes, I can just turn on a tap, and beautiful hot, steamy water comes out, well of cause we need to run the generator first to heat it but hey it works.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 28th October 2012

2012-10-28

Sunday 28th  October 2012

Well here we are again, facing another challenge, we seem to face a lot lately, life is sure not boring around here.

This is one challenge I would gladly skip, we are about to come face to face with our first ever hurricane.

As most of you already know it is called Hurricane Sandy, may have to call, myself a different name after all this is over.

Of cause us being us with everything we try and do, is always a major drama, well it is looking like this hurricane is going to be the same.

Not just a normal hurricane, oh no, it is going to join up with an extreme cold weather front, and turn into what they are labeling as a super storm.

It's making it's way towards us as I write, at the moment it is freezing cold, and a slight wind blowing, and the water is a bit rough, but the whole area has that eerie feel to it, talk about the calm before the storm.

They have now classed all the states around here as a state of emergency, some places are already starting to evacuate, yesterday was bedlam, people buying everything in site moving, all there outdoor stuff inside or tying it down.

We are the last boat left here in the little marina, as all the others were small power boats and the owners came yesterday an moved them to their homes and onto land where possible.

I can tell you it was a very sobering feeling, as we watched the last one leave and know there is nowhere we can go to get out of this, our boat is way to big to get it out of the water.

 

We have moved everything around to safe spots inside, and everything we could move inside from the deck is down here with us.

All else has been tied down with all the extra rope we could find.

We have got enough diesel, gas and water and food to last about a week or two, so one way at least we will be better off then most on land, as when it hits they will lose water power the lot.

Now it's a waiting game, we check online a lot to keep track on Sandy and where she is and what she is up to.

Am I scared you bet, and I worried...terrified, it's going to be a rough couple of days ahead.

I guess the worst thing is we have no idea what to expect, that's what scares me the most.

So we sit, we wait and hope for the best.

I just want to say I love you guys. xxx

Sandy.


Thursday 1st November 2012

2012-11-02

Thursday 1st November 2012

Well we are still here, alive and well.

What a scary time we had, but all in all it was not as bad as we thought it would be.

Yes we had rain like you would not believe and wind that was just crazy stuff, we rocked and rolled all over the place , I was so seasick and popping pills like they were going out of fashion.

We really only had some really bad moments, and I was so scared and yeah I cried.

But New York was the place that really was hit bad.

The decision to stay put was the right one, and so glad it was, at one time I could see the worry on the captains face and asked him should we leave the boat, he said no we will be fine, and we were.

As for damage to the boat, none what so ever the only thing was we found out we had a lot more leaks than we ever though possible, I think we had every bucket, bowl and saucepan we could find out and around the boat.

To make things worse we finally decided to try and get some sleep, and we had a major leak right in the middle of our bed...great, so strip off all the sheets, and the mattress was not so wet, but the Captains 3am plumbing was quite funny, it was dowel with blue tape going down to a saucepan, I will have to put up a pic, but hey it worked.

Did we get much sleep not really the hardest thing was when all went quiet and we knew we were in the eye of the storm and not knowing what it was going to be like on the other side.

But all was fine just had a bit more wind, and high tides which our jetty went underwater so we couldn't get to shore at all, but it all went down and was fine.

Am sitting here at the laundromat watching this little girl push a trolley around and into me a lot....but she is so cute

OMG....the laundromat has just turned into Walmart at its finest, we have a mum in her jamas, screaming at her child, then another screaming at her husband cause he went out for a smoke, and a heaps of kids screaming, man where is the Captain when I need saving.

Wish I could take pics...Hahahaha but I better not. 

Hurry up washing I need to get out of here, am standing in a corner taking it all in and trying hard not to stare, not that my mum told me it was rude, but I may get bashed.

So just message the Captain to come and get me and am waiting outside, a dude just asked if I needed a lift, I told him I was fine then he gets in his truck an sits there and has a joint....man hurry Captain.

 

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Friday 2nd November 2012

2012-11-02

Friday 2nd November 2012

Well first of all today is my girls birthday Happy Birthday Madd, wow 22 years old, man this mumma is starting to feel old.

 

My kids Birthdays are really hard on me I so want to be with them on their special day and being so homesick does not help much at all. I just hope you have a lovely day, and hope I don't miss anymore birthdays. 

So it's freezing cold and we are so ready to move on.

The original plan was to be leaving early November....yeh that turned out well. :-/

At the moment we have a massive amount of jobs in various stages of completion.

It seems everything that gets started something is way more worse than what was thought it would be.

Am sitting here looking at a heat light trying to dry out the shower base, it was suppose to be a simple repair, put in a new drain...yeah right

First the hoses would not fit, sorted that problem out then find out the floor is rotting...man here we go again, so the rot has been dug out, now they are trying to dry the rest of it out then will have to repair and re fiberglass it.

So we are back having showers up at the cottage, am not happy as I finally get hot water for maybe two weeks if that and I still can't shower here, and I won't even mention the icicles, that attach to you as you are walking up there and back.

Ok well not quite but it is cold, and feels like it.

I now have two bathrooms in pieces, am waiting for The Captain to connect the basin up in one and that one is finished and the second one needs the taps and basin connected, but I have to wait for them to get connected so I can start on the last one.

The Captain won't let me start on it till the others are done, he keeps going on about we need to at least be able to clean our teeth at a basin...huh

I think he should do it up at the cottage, with the icicles and all....Hahahaha.

That war continues.

Was a bit of excitement yesterday as the new roller furling for the masts came, so the old sails and all the bits are getting removed today ready for the new ones to go up.

This is going to make our sailing life so much easier to handle, I just hope it works.

Well Tom has had to leave early as he had a hot date...haha

So guess who is going up the mast to continue undoing all the bits and pieces....watch this space.

And yeah I went up not quite to the top but close enough, on a chair, with a drill in one hand a can of WD40 in the other and legs wrapped around the mast, and tried so hard not to look down.

I was shaking so much not sure if it was the cold or the height but I managed to get a lot of screws out still have heaps more to go.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 30th November 2012

2012-11-30

Friday 30th November 2012.

Well Hi everyone, I'm back.

I know it's been a long time in between post, but a lot has happened and there never seem to be the right time or the right mind set to continue with my writing, story telling, rumblings whatever.

I think it started with the cold weather hitting, and man is it cold, we are facing below temps all the time now, and they say it gets worse...not sure I like that one bit.

The big change and I mean huge, is we are not leaving here till after winter, the boat is not ready and to try and cross the North Atlantic ocean in winter is just plain crazy, especially with new rigging and us not knowing it real well.

So this came as a huge shock to me, it came right out of the left field, one moment I was getting ready to leave in a few weeks, to not leaving for 3 to 4 months.

Well as you can imagine it did not go down well, to put it as delicate as I can, let's just say there was one member ready to jump ship and things were a bit tense for awhile.

It still upsets me big time, but we value our lives way to much to take crazy risks, to try and cross an ocean that can be very unforgiving.

And we will get a white Christmas, that is something I have always dreamed about, so another tick can come off the list.

So slowly getting over the first set back, and we get news from my son Tim. He has eye problems and without getting into  huge detail, the last specialist outcome was not good.

This threw me so bad, and I so want to go home to him, I know we have a lot of family at home to take care of him, but it's just not the same.

But there is nothing we can do about that at the moment, we just can't fly out of here yet.

After that shock I found out that stress upsets me really bad and I had one of my attacks which lasted into the following day, was not good, so I guess I not only avoid Garlic and nuts, but now stress as well.

The third thing that happened was a very dear lady passed away back home, this was such sad news, and then another death, of a friends husband...man what happened to it only coming in threes.

When someone dies and is around your parents age it hits hard as all you do is think of them, but I think  it is so much worse when they die at your own age, and you know them so well, and you realize that life is way way too short, they will never have the chance to get old, live a full life..... I found some words that I think say it all.

'' Do not regret growing older. It's a privilege denied to many."

So I have cried a bucket of tears, got angry, sad, hurt, homesick, and so so depressed was not a good time.

But with some help of friends and family, I have picked myself up off the floor and am my old self again, heaven help us all...haha.

Thats enough for now.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 2nd December 2012

2012-12-03

Sunday 2nd December 2012

Wow December already, how quick does time go, although I wish these next few months would hurry up, I'm really not sure I will survive the winter here, it is so cold already, and they just keep telling us it will get worse, and I have to say I'm so over America, well at least this area, I want to move on.

There is really only two ways to get out of here, the first I mention earlier crossing the North Atlantic and the other is what they call the ICW....which is kinda inland a bit.

We actually studied the maps yesterday, and I got a glimmer of hope, but only to be let down again.

You see there is a lot of bridges to go under most are opening bridges but the very first one is the one we can't get under, it's 65ft high, we always thought are height was the same and maybe at low tide we may just be able to get under, but not to be, the Captain went out and measured again and we are actually over 66ft, now you think a foot yeah that's nothing, but losing that amount of mast would not be fun, especially after you spent weeks getting the new rigging up.

Talking about that what a job it was, man did she put up a fight.

This was going to be a simple job, take off the old rigging, put up the new system, maybe a few days work, no problem.

Boy were we ever wrong, it  took weeks just to get the old system off, it was so cold and us all having a fear of heights did not help.

I was the lucky one I only went up the mast once, but the poor Captain spent days up there, in the freezing cold, sometimes  when he came down I thought he would  never thaw out.

Then it was onto the new system, this came in huge boxes, it reminded me of a huge meccano set, or Lego or something like that.

The hardest thing for the guys was trying to work out where all the pieces went, and it did not help that they sent the wrong bits, and some holes screwed on the wrong side and screws being too wide and so on, but finally after getting the right bits and a lot of cussing it is up, now we wait for the new sails to arrive and just hope they fit.

Oh and we have a very eerie noise coming out of the main boom, it sounds like a spaceship landing every time the wind blows,

Not sure why this is happening and the Captain has tried every thing he can think of to stop it, but so far nothing, we just hope once the sails go on it might stop, I sure hope so it almost drives you crazy.

And so the work continues we have had problems after problems, water heaters almost blowing up, the never ending generator problems, and things deep down in the bilges of this boat that are a never ending repair job.

Some days all I see is butts, as the guys have their heads and bodies deep down there, what seems like days on end, thank god I don't have to go there, I tell you it is one scary place.

I have also started on the last bathroom/ head, that's boatie terms, which is starting to look like a nightmare as well.

It has all these weird angles and the basin was way bigger then the one we are fitting in, which resulted in the Captain having to glue and pack stuff around it, and of cause it seems like the glue does not like the cold weather either, I can totally understand how it feels.

The list just seems to get longer and longer.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 1st January 2013

2013-01-02

Wednesday 1st January 2013

Well a new year 2013, how time flys, I can't believe we have been away from home for ten long months, seems like only yesterday we were saying goodbye to you all, and here we are ten months on and still sitting in this place.

It's funny how a new year always makes you look back on what we have done that year, and what a year we have had.

I can honestly say I feel like I have lived a lifetime in one year, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I could see, experience, so much in such a short time.

Thirteen countries, twelve plane rides, not sure how many ferries, some overnight, could not even begin to count how many trains, taxis, hire cars, the list goes on and on.

Then the time zones, man I would like to sit down one day and work that out.

Then the emotional dramas and boy have we had our share and then some.

I know you have all read about our dramas, family dramas, hurts, upsets and disappointments, and we had one finale one about eight hours before the new year.

This I don't want to go into details, but if there is a god out there I sure hope he is watching over you, in this rough time, love you guys and am thinking of you. xxx

It's been so cold here, and has even snowed twice, I so wanted a white Christmas, if we had to be stuck here, at least we could of had that, but no, we had snow Christmas Eve, and Boxing Day, but I can't complain as it was so much fun to watch the snow fall, and even if it does not last long we did have one very white covered boat, not sure she has ever seen snow before and I don't think she was impressed as much has her owners, but she is the one keeping us here, so start liking us a bit more, and we can all get along and be out of here soon.

We have not been doing a great deal at the moment, Tom has been away for about 3 weeks and looking like it might be a long time still till he gets back.

The Captain and I have been doing the little things that need doing while he is away.

I have finally finished tiling the last head ( bathroom ) and man it was a hard job, it has a lot of angles so many a cuts had to be made, with me measuring racing outside in the freezing cold, cutting and then racing back inside to thaw out again, this went on way too many times, but hey it is finished, now the Captain has to connect all the plumbing back up and we will have finally finished the heads (bathrooms) will kinda, we are going to buy and install an electric toilet in one of the heads ( bathrooms ), so that's another project to do.

With the weather being so bad, with freezing temps, wind, snow and the rain, man has it rained, we have found so many leaks inside, I swear sometimes there is more water inside the boat than outside, these boats sure live of to their names, they are classed as the Leaky Teaky, boats.

I for one am so tired of washing wet bed linens, mopping up and trying to dry mattress outside, every time we get a bit of sunshine, which is not often.

The worst leak is right over our bed, and no matter what we can not find out where it is coming in. So that hunt continues and if I'm quick enough I can put some buckets down when it rains to catch the leaks.

And the work goes on and on.

Will it ever end?

And the new year begins, it did not get off to a great start, the poor Captain is sick, with the man flu, and I'm having bad sinus issues and a tum that's not so good either.

So health we need to fix, as well as this boat, it never ends.

But this year is going to be so much better than the last four months or so of last year.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 10th February 2013. - 12th March 2013

2013-03-16

Sunday 10th February 2103

Well so much or New Years resolution, I told myself I would get back to writing daily, yeah right.

So here we are still in this cold place, and man has it been cold, we have never experienced cold like it.

It has snowed so much that the whole area is just white, even though its cold i do love the snow.

I was actually standing in the galley the other day just watching the snow fall through the closed hatch to the floor, yeah you heard right the hatch was closed, we sure need to fix that soon.

Then there is the ice which is just as bad if not worst than the snow.

The river freezing solid, which I have never experienced in my life.

and oh so much fun, well I had fun with it, I had an arsenal of weapons that I would throw to see if it would break, from pegs, screws, rocks nothing would break through it, until we got out the big guns, we had pieces of solid stainless steal that had been cut off some part from the boat, not sure where, I finally convinced the captain that is was just junk, he finally caved in and gave it to me, and boy did they worked great, they broke straight through , hahaha I was like a little kid.

I then decided to get the boat hook out to see if I could break though it, that was all fun and games until I dropped it overboard.

Now am not sure you remember but this is the second boat hook we have brought, and they are not cheap, the captain lost the first one overboard before we had even used it, come to think of it we have not used this one yet either, can see a pattern happening here.

So the captain is inside and has no idea I just lost the hook overboard, I'm standing there using a lot of pirate language, thinking he is gonna kill me, and I'm just gonna have to jump in and get the damn thing, it was floating in the little area that I had broken a hole through the ice, bobbing around oh so happy just out of my reach.

So I get the gaff and after a cat and mouse chase, lots more pirate language and what seemed like hours, not to mention I was starting to freeze myself, I finally landed that sucker and got it back on the board.

Man it was hard work but there was no way I was gonna face the captain with the bad news that he would have to buy another hook.

Oh and the ice on water does crack just like in the movies, you know when you see someone trying oh so carefully to walk on ice and it all starts to crack right under them yeap? Well that's exactly how it goes i had so much fun watching it, that's what i was doing when i lost he boat hook, if you wanted to know. :-)

Sometimes I get bored...:-/

We have actually had more ice than snow, as it actually gets to cold to snow, that really shocked me, but yeah it does, some days we have had more ice inside than out, it's crazy how it just freezes solid on the inside windows and hatches, I'm gob smacked ever time I see it, and it has been inches think.

We have two heaters going constantly and it's still cold I just can't wait to leave.

But we keep working away and are now making great progress.

Tom is now back his aunt died which is sad but also a blessing as she was really sick.

I have been doing a lot of outside work as well, I know crazy but we rug up really well and when your working away its not so bad, as long as you go inside a lot to thaw out.

I have been stripping the old varnish off the rails around the cock pit, with a heat gun and scrapers, the heat gun is so good when it's cold, and then sanding them all, washing them with a special cleaner than using a brightner, and am now ready to oil them the captain thinks I'm crazy as its way to cold, but I want to get it finished, as we are in or more rain tomorrow and then I have to wait another day or too for everything to dry out again

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Well we are still here, yeah I know we were leaving on the 1st, but stuff just happens and things take longer to get done.

But the countdown is on under 10 days now, and boy are we busy, we are going none stop to get the last few things done.

When I started stripping the teak around the cock pit, I thought that would be enough for awhile, I should know me better.

I have decided that the whole boat needs to be done and have taken on the challenge to get it all done before we leave.

Will it happen? Probably not.

So here I am working my butt off stripping varnish, sanding washing twice and oiling, in all kinds of weather the only time I'm not out there is if its raining, I have even melted ice off the timber with a heat gun first so I can keep on working.

And most times in below freezing temps, I wear thermals two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves scarves jackets you name it, and I still freeze.

Sometimes I can only stay out for about 10 minutes at a time and have to come down and thaw out.

My hands get so frozen that I can hardly even hold a paint brush, but the end result is so good, we are using a special oil/sealer that is suppose to last about four years, I hope it works cause it's going to take me that long to recover.

She maybe a very old boat but she is starting to look very cared for, even though she still fights us every step of the way, I think she is getting used to us, and starting to realise we are here on her for the long hall.

So we are on the last leg of our stay here, sorting at the last bits and pieces of repairs, and the Captain has just hurt his shoulder, man can things ever go right, he is still doing as much as he can one handed but each day it is improving, so not long now and we will head out with Tom for the first leg down to the Caribbean, than onto Panama which Robin Vic's son will have joined us, and then we do the big crossing of the Pacific Ocean by ourselves and finally come back to Australia, it's been way to long away from family and friends am one very homesick lady.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 11th and Friday 12th April 2013

2013-04-13

Well today is the day.

After a shocking sleep, I'm up racing.

Am sitting here at the laundromat for the last time in America, thank god, with any luck no more Walmart look a likes.

We have so many last minute things to do its just crazy, I have already been in a flood of tears, but now am just too busy to think about tears.

Tom is still trying to get the engine running as I speak, we had dramas yesterday after filling the tanks with diesel, the night before, when we opened up the floor hatches to do some engine work, guess what?

3 out of the 4 repaired tanks have leaks....yeap here we go again. :-/

Yesterday The Captain and I had to do some last minute shopping, so he drops me off at Walmart and what seemed like 4 hours later came to get me, he had major problems getting some fittings for a new BBQ we have, all I can say he was not a happy camper, and he thinks I use a lot of pirate language, man I was not game to look sideways at him, I can tell you he is so over America.

It's a lovely country and we have meet some great people, seen some amazing sites, lived the way that tourist never would, but it sure is time to move on, if you add it all up we have been in this country almost 10 months.

So with a heavy heart I said goodbye to Walmart...hahaha not.

And soon goodbye to America, it will take us about 3 days to get down the bay, and a bit longer than that to be out of American waters.

Well things just never work to plan with us I'm sure we must be cursed, we finally fix the leaking tank problems, than find a crack in the oil filter holder thingy.

So a million phone calls the captain running around everywhere he finally tracks one down, but now it's too late to leave.

Well I can tell you I was the one then who was not a happy camper, I was so angry I could barely see straight.

But calmed down after awhile and the captain and I spend the rest of the afternoon and into the night getting the last minute things done on deck, this was not fun as it had turned really cold. We have had great weather for the last few days with yesterday getting up to 41°, yeah it sure was hard to believe that two weeks before it was snowing.

So today was the day we got everything working the guys went off to do last minute things and then we decided to leave around 4.30 pm when the tide was right.

So the captain goes to check that all the navigation lights are working and the stern ones not.

Here we go again after changing bulbs and wriggling wires nothing worked.

Now trying to work out where wires go on a boat is a major problem, nothing runs where u think it should, so down to our cabin we all head, screwdrivers in hand, we take apart every bit of timber we can and nope nothing, so then up come the cushion mattress and up come the bases and into the bilge and there we find a mountain of wires running all over the place.

So after testing cutting repairing pulling more things apart, and a lot of pirate language, we now have the nav light wired to the fan in our cabin until we can sort all the mess out later.

So hours later we set off the wind is blowing us onto the dock and trust me it was hard going trying to keep her from hitting the pilings but we finally managed to get going in misty rain and the dark starting to creep up on us.

So all is going fine it's dark now and I'm down cooking dinner and thump I'm almost thrown across the floor, and with a thumping heart race up to see what has happened.

We just ran aground this part of the river is very shallow and Tom was steering so the captain was ribbing him about, being such a good sailer, and then not longer than 20 minutes later after getting out of that one the captain runs aground, man I tell you this was getting crazy, then the captain decided it was time to call it a day, so we found a nice safe spot and are anchored for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 13th April 2013

2013-04-14

Saturday 13th April 2013

Well after a shocking nights sleep, we are on the move again, we are motoring at the moment but plan to set the sails soon.

This will be great excitement....I hope, as we have not used the new sails yet, so watch this space.

So we are back to watches again, it's my first watch after about 8 months scary stuff.

3pm my watch,

We are in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, and there is big ships all around us and a lot of other boats, so I'm constantly searching around so we don't hit any, it's funny I'm nowhere near as scared or worried anymore, hope it stays that way...lol

Tom has been trying to teach me who has right of way, do I now understand?

Nope god help us all...lol

I can't believe I just said that, I take it all back.

From what started out to be a beautiful day has now turn into a shocker.

First off the wind has picked up to over 20 knots the water is really rough, we are rocking and rolling all over the place I just watched the bow sprit that's the pointy front end...nose dive under the water...not fun.

Then lockers have opened and thrown everything all over the floor, trying to get it all back is oh so much fun as soon as you open the door to put something in, that you have chased all over the floor to start with, what is left in there falls out, so then you chase that one and on and on it goes, and also your getting thrown around as well.

And yes I'm popping seasick pills again.

Then the two new very expensive I might add, behind the mast, sail systems have let us down, the stays that hold the sails in place have come off on both mast, we are not sure why, Man sailing is such fun.

We have finally got the sails under control and are heading back a bit to anchor for the night so we can fix this rigging in the morning.

At the moment I'm laying on our bunk watching the water come up over the port holes, and the guys are hungry.... :-/ how I have no idea, do they cast iron stomachs or what.

Well we made it safe we are now anchored out of the wind and rough weather, thank god for that.

Tomorrow we do some repairs to the sail stuff, fix the nav light and most important to me is the hot water system, for some reason it is not heating up with the engine running which it's supposed to and I can tell you that boiling a kettle and having a sponge bath is not my idea of fun especially when it's freezing cold.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 14th April 2013 and Monday 15th April 2013

2013-04-15

Sunday 14th April 2013 and Monday 15th April 2013

So we woke up to a beautiful morning, sun shining, gentle breeze, what a pretty spot this is.

So the men get to work and within several hours have all the rigging fixed, we decide to fix the other stuff at a later date, as we have good winds and weather so off we go again.

3pm my shift.

Am sitting here not doing much at all, we have great weather even though its still a bit chilly.

There is a few ships and boats dotted around the place but all are behaving themselves at the moment.

The Captain has just told me that we are going to get bad weather again so there is a little bay not too far away and we are going to anchor there tonight and wait it out,

I sure hope we get there before the bad weather.

Well we got there just fine, I even took over the steering with Toms help and the Captain at the bow of the boat ready to set the anchor. Boy was I scared we had very shallow water and I'm thinking man I can not run aground I have to keep the girl power going...hahaha

It's still strong and in tact. :-)

After cooking a real nice dinner, off to bed we went, as we plan to have an early start tomorrow.

Monday

Don't you just love it when plans go out the window, huh how plans never go to plan...haha

I went to bed with a little bit of pain in my tum, now those that know my reactions to Garlic and Nuts will know what I mean.

By 3.30 am I was awake in full blown pain, nothing worked to ease it, I had a losing battle and throwing up for about three hours flat, I have to say this was the worst one yet, the poor captain was my nurse though the whole thing, I felt so sorry for him, as it turned real nasty, but hey I'm alive still and woke up about 11am feeling a lot better just very fragile.

The hunt was on then to find out what ingredients I cooked with to see what had garlic in it, as I have had these attacks often so I am super over careful to what I cook with, I read every label of food that I buy and even if its a tiny bit iffy I never eat it, but all the searching turned up nothing, I have no idea, but I can tell you, I had cooked enough for tonight as well, and there is no way I'm eating any of it.

The guys are quite happy about this as they can eat it all themselves...lol

So we did not go this morning I was just way to sick, the guys fixed bits and pieces and the Captain tried to get the outboard motor for the dingy fixed, yeah another thing not working.

So we decided to motor into another area around here that is about a 3 hour trip, to a little place called Oxford, it is gorgeous, very old money, you should see the houses, man they are pretty very old worldly.

There is a marina here with a boat mechanic who will look at our little motor in the morning, as we are kinda just hanging around waiting for a good weather window, and we have Internet yay, not sure or our long but at least it's something.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 15th April 2013

2013-04-16

Tuesday 15th April 2013

So my pet hates for the day.

No 1, Crab pots.

No 2, Tug boats pulling barges

And

No 3, big arse ships.

Well the day started out lovely blue skies, pretty area and so calm, hardly a breezes at all.

We got a phone call from the local boat yard to come around for him to have a look at our outboard motor,

So off we went tied up to their dock with no dramas, the guy comes aboard and within 5 minutes has it all fixed easy as.

So we get charged for half an hours work which sucked but what can you do, pay up and shut up.

So the decision is then do we head out or stay put, the weather forecast is for strong winds in the afternoon, we want to get to a little area in the bay called, Solomon's island, it has a safe anchorage and a few stores where we can get a few parts for the boat.

So against Tom's judgement the Captain makes the decision to just go, and it turned out to be the right decision, just.

So going back to my little rant to start with about the 3 things I hate.

As we are not doing proper watches at the moment we are still trying to do as best we can.

Tom was on watch in the afternoon the wind had picked up a bit, the Captain was down stairs trying to fix one of the navigation things on the computer, and I was reading for a little while, than Tom got a phone call from his new lady friend, so I decided to lay down on the daybed in the cockpit and have a little sleep, my watch was in an hour or so.

Well I just drifted off to sleep and this huge wave hit us man I almost fell off the bed, I jumped up so fast heart racing again, Tom laughing as it was just a wake from a big tanker that went past.

That was the hate for big ships, so I settle down and come down to help the captain fix the computer, he goes up on deck and all of a sudden, a huge tug boat goes flying past the window, than a second later the barge it was pulling goes flying past, what the hell, up I jump again race up the stairs and ask the guys what is happening, apparently, the tug decided to change coarse right in front of us, Tom grabs the radio and calls him to ask what his intentions are, that's very polite boatie talk, man if it was me I would have been using a lot of pirate language, anyway he answers with two whistles, what the hell, so they tell me this is more boatie stuff it means passing on the starboard side, far out why don't they just say we are passing on your right....is that too hard. Man I have so much to learn, so that was the tug boat and barge hate.

And number one hate is wait for it CRAB POTS....these things drive me nuts, not to mention putting my stress levels way into overdrive, I'm on watch standing at the top of the stairs, hitting buttons on the auto pilot to go left than right the back and forth as the guys are on the lookout Tom on the left, no port, gotta be boatie, The Captain on the starboard, (right), why they can't just call it left and right is way beyond me.

Anyway there is a land mind of these little bastards, they are calling out 10° port, 5° starboard, I'm hitting button like crazy and it goes on for ages, I just wanna get a huge machete and cut all the floats off as we go past or better yet grab my gaff and have a huge crab meal for dinner.

Anyway we finally get through them all and are now safe in our new little anchorage for a few days now, then we should have a really good weather window and finally get out of the bay and into open water, the Caribbean is calling us.

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Wednesday 16th April 2013

2013-04-18

Wednesday 16th April 2013

Well today has been a rest day, well for me anyway

The guys have been busy doing bits and pieces not really sure what , but they have told me they got a lot done....haha

I actually gave myself a girlie day, with a facial, I cleansed scrubbed used a face mask the whole lot, I even dyed my eye brows, and no they are not red...lol

Than I managed after a bit of coaxing to get the generator running to get hot water and even washed my hair.

It crazy 15 months or so ago this would of just been a normal daily thing, but we have been so busy I just have not had time to do anything, and I feel so much better after all this pampering was nice it did my soul a lot of good.

I even managed another nana nap as well, and this afternoon have just lounged around reading was so so good.

We have not got off the boat at all today we had planned to go into town, but a part for the boat that the captain ordered has not come in yet so tomorrow will be the day.

We will go pick up the part get a few groceries and then the way it looks we will set out early Saturday morning and by midnight we should be out in the ocean.

Watch the stress levels rise then...lol

Am glad to of had today to unwind.

Ok we did get off the boat, the Captain and I decided to take the dingy ashore and see if we could get some ice and have a cocktail, we have a dry boat when we sail, as alcohol and sailing do not mix, she is too be a boat to not have all your wits about you out there, too many things can go wrong so quick, but as we are here for a few days we can indulge a little bit.

So off we went in search of ice, there is a big hotel just on shore so on the off chance we decided to ask them where we could get some, within a few minutes a guy comes back with a huge bag of ice no charge nothing, there still is nice people out there.

So we climb back into the dingy, with not much grace i might add, we sure our out of practice doing this, as I almost lost my pants getting out earlier, talk about plumbers crack..... :-/ Lucky it was only the Captain around and yes he did have a good chuckle.

We had a little ride around this ship of ours, and even though the hull needs a good clean she sure is looking good. So tomorrow I'm going to drag the captain with me in the dingy and try and give her a good wash.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 18th and Friday 19th April 2013

2013-04-19

Thursday 18th and Friday 19th April 2013

Well Thursday was a busy day the guys fiddled about with the spinnaker pole, most of the day and I spent a good chunk of the day cleaning the hull in the dingy.

This was done with a lot of cursing from all, as I had such a hard time getting it clean and making the guys past me down all sorts of cleaners.

I tell you it was not easy even though we had the dingy tied to the boat it still would sway away every time I tried to scrub one spot, then I had to wait for it to sway back and try real quick to clean and on and on it went.

And yes I put a lot of pirates to shame with my language, it was so hard and frustrating, it nearly drove me mental.

But the end result was so worth it, and the Captain and I went for a little ride in the dingy and took a lot of photos.

Friday 19th April 2013

After the big day yesterday, I started the day very slow, but not for long.

The Captain wanted to go shopping early, so off we went, we pulled the dingy into the little marina here and the guy who runs it said he would run us into town, we actually only wanted to ask where to catch a bus, as we had bags of rubbish to get rid off, do some grocery shopping and get a gas bottle refilled.

Before we knew it the bags of rubbish was loaded into his pickup, gas bottle as well and us.

It's ok Bek no basement, but it did cross my mind.

Anyway he drops us off at the shopping mall, and said he will take care of the gas bottle, and come back and pick us up.

And so he did, with no dramas at all.

So now we are on Tornado watch.

I so hope it just stays as a watch and not alert that's when we need to worry.

But the Captain has made things secure and we have extra anchors ready to set out if need be.

The guys have gone ashore to the local tiki pub, it a big night tonight the place comes alive this is the start of the season for them so they are expecting a huge crowd, I have decided to stay on board as I have a gland up on the side of my neck it is all swollen, am just feeling off.

Tom has told me to watch the sky, if it turns green it means a Tornado, funny in oz that's hail to us.

So far all is good.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Saturday 20th April 2013

2013-04-21

Saturday 20th April 2013

We had a bit of excitement last night with the Tornado alert, the wind picked up really quick the sky went very dark, and we decided to start the engine to keep us from dragging the anchor.

It worked fine and the wind settled down but it rained almost all night, and the best part no Tornado

And the journey continues, we are right at this moment taking on water, as we can not make water until we reach the ocean, it needs to be salt water and here in the bay is not salty enough just yet.

We plan to get to Norfolk, it may take a full day to get there, and then we wait, for the next weather window, as we do not want to be out in the Atlantic Ocean, crossing the gulf stream in bad weather.

3pm my watch.

We have sailed most of the time without the engine running, it was so and quiet, but the wind died and on went the engine for half an hour or so.

But now we are doing quite good again with no engine.

So all is good and nothing exciting happened, that's me done and dusted.

11pm my watch,

Man I hate this watch, not only am I tired but it's so dark with a lot of lights blinking around.

It's hard to make out the lights on land and what are boats.

At the moment we have the new AIS system working and I'm watching a tug boat pulling a barge beside us, on the lap top I can see all his info, it even tells me how fast he is going and the name and all. It's quite something, well worth the money.

So after watching a lot of ships coming and going and only waking Tom up once, when a tug and barge got a bit too close for comfort, nothing much happened, the Captain came up and took over from me, and this one tired puppy is off to bed.

OMG...we are being tossed all over the place, things are flying everywhere in here, the wind has picked up to over 25knots, I fly up the stairs well kinda as best as I could, to see the Captain on deck frantically trying to get the sails down Tom steering to help him as much as possible as they need to slow the boat down.

She is going way too fast the wind is shocking its freezing cold, big ships and tug boats all over the place and we are trying hard to stay out of the shipping lane.

We have reached Norfolk, we were trying to get there in daylight as there is just way to much happening in this area, to be here in the dark and not to mention being in such strong winds and very very rough water.

We finally managed to get all the sails in and are now just trying to stay out of the way from all the boats.

It is shocking I hate this, and none of us have had any sleep other than the guys got a few hours before there shift.

Well we finally made it, I went down to have a bit of a sleep and try and warm up, I was chilled to the bone, I have just woken up and all looks right again in the world thank god.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday21st, Monday22nd and Tuesday 23rd April 2013

2013-04-23

Well Sunday was really wiped out for all of us, as we had hardly any sleep the day before, we have done not much but sleep all day.

We so needed it, and I was in such a bad mood in the afternoon and even into the following day.

No one could look at me sideways I can tell you.

Why, I'm still trying to work that out, I can only really put in down to the stress of the trip here, it was so rough and I was scared, it was ok for the guys they spent it up in the cockpit, I was the one getting thrown around down here, and I have very sore ribs from being thrown up against stuff, and not to mention trying to clean up the mess that had been flown around the place.

It seems that no matter how careful you are about stowing stuff away, when the weather throws strong winds and rough seas at you things just go haywire.

So Anyway the usual happened, when I get upset I clean. I can tell you this boat was sparkling.

Monday was a cold windy rainy day, so after my cleaning frenzy we all just chilled for the rest if the day.

Tuesday,

Well today has been a hive of activity, we are getting everything ready to leave.

The wind has finally settled down thank God, we have had gale force winds for last couple of days and it sure gets on your nerves, after awhile.

But all is looking good for leaving first thing tomorrow morning, we will head out into the ocean straight away and head for the Gulf Stream.

This will be the scariest crossing so far, it's only about 60 miles wide but will take us about 8 to 10 hours to cross and we really don't want to be out there in rough weather.

Then we head to wait for it Bermuda, yeah I know that damn triangle again, once we get close we will turn south and head for Antigua.

So with any luck in around three weeks we should be there, so after tonight we are off the grid, but I will still have our sail mail and will sent emails.

I will keep up my blog and post when I can, here's to more Adventures.

Love you guys. Xxx

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 24th April 2013

2013-04-29

Wednesday 24th April 2013

Well we have finally set off.

Yours truly steered her out and into the main shipping channel for awhile, until it got a little too busy with ships tugs, coast guards etc, so I let the Captain take over.

In less than an hour we will be in the ocean, scary stuff, but in 12 miles we will be finally out of American waters and get that Aussie flag up. :-)

3pm my watch

Well this is not fun, we are getting hammered cold,big winds, big seas equals one very seasick girl here.

We were doing 10 knots, all sails up and healing over so far it was shocking, once again things were flying all over the place, far out, I was feeling so ill the Captain went down this time to see if he could pick some of the stuff up, well there was this yell to ease up the sails we had water pouring in the port holes in the galley.

Well I raced down and man we were flooded water everywhere, the port holes were not latched properly and he was not a happy camper.

Now I had closed all the hatches and had asked him to check before we left to make sure they were tight enough, I can tell you by the look on his face this was no time to say I told you so.

Me getting greener by the minute raced to the back of the boat to make sure the port holes were not leaking, well I hit our cabin and man what a mess there was stuff all over the place including two lap tops both on the floor and one in pieces, not sure whose yet.

I picked up that mess than checked the port hole over our bed, yeap soaked, great, than went into the Head/Bathroom and yeap that one is pouring in too.

I yell to The Captain and well let me just say that things turned a little nasty, with a few stern words Tom finally slowed the boat down he was not too happy about it, but we want to get there in one piece hopefully the boat the same way.

Tom likes to go fast, but this boat wants to do it all in her own time.

So rocking and rolling we are still at it, but we finally have made it out of American waters so all is good that way, has the flag gone up? Nope no one is game to leave the cockpit to do it...hahaha

11pm my shift

God almighty is this ever going to stop, it is shocking even worse than before, we have been slammed by huge waves that I don't even want to know how big they are. Water is still coming in some port holes, I have lost count on how many times I have seen the bow go under water, the boat getting hit by huge waves and we heel so far over, that the side rails go under, at least it's dark so you don't see the waves which is a blessing I can tell you.

We watched an American helicopter doing sea rescue training a little while ago, I so just wanted to jump up on deck and wave my arms around to make them come over and rescue me, take me away from all this madness.

That me done and dusted.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 25th April 2013

2013-04-29

Thursday 25th April 2013.

7am my shift.

Well here we are still alive I can tell you it was a rough night, I don't think I slept anymore than an hour, am very tired and grumpy.

I'm up here by myself, Tom is sleeping on the lounge down below, if I need him I can just call out.

Is it any better just! I think, at least, the waves are just as big, not so choppy, but man they are big, am still holding on for grim death.

And yeah we have finally made it into the Gulf Stream.

How you tell your in it is the water changes colour, we went from green, and this is a real royal blue, and once we are out if it, well it goes that brilliant blue, then I will finally feel like we are back on track.

There is more of a mess inside than ever, it's crazy you don't stay done there for long or you just might get hit by one of these missiles, and water omg its everywhere inside and out.

Once we get a bit calmer weather I'm gonna have to face that mess and try and work out a better way of storing it all.

3pm my watch,

Well we are still at it, cold, wind, and very big waves, man these guys are something, still not sure how high.

If I had to guess I would say most are around 10-15 foot, and then just to be nice Mother Nature throws, some huge mamas, these little bastards sneak up on you, they come out of nowhere and are in sets of two, the first one hits, and you heel so far over i swear we will roll over, then before you can recover the second hits worse that the first, its such joy, :-/

All I'm doing is sitting hanging on and if I have to go down stairs, I put it off for as long as possible. I'm so sick of being Tossed around, man we are gonna be black and blue.

Well that's my shift done and dusted.

11pm my watch,

Well after my shift, the Captain ran the generator so I could have some hot water for one much needed shower.

It's been almost two days without one, and I was almost going crazy. It's funny it does not seem to worry the guys they will go for days on end without one.

Anyway after a nice but very quick shower, as we need to be careful with the water at the moment, till we can get into better weather and slow the boat down some to make more water.

I started doing some much needed cleaning up, I started in our cabin, and put dry sheets on the bed rearrange the bedding some as we are heeling over the opposite direction and instead of me squashing the Captain, we now have to be careful to not roll out, this can be very tricky, many a times I have almost rolled straight off the bed.

So I have made up a little thing with the cushions sort of packed down sideways at our feet and we kinda lay across ways, and so far so good, I managed to get two and a half hours sleep and it feels like 8 hours, boy I sure needed it, and I left the Captain down there snoring away he also needs it.

So back to my watch, it's not so cold anymore still need jumpers but man it's so better than before, we are still rocking and rolling, I'm not sure if its getting better or I'm just getting used to it.

That's me done am very tired.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 26th April 2013

2013-04-29

Friday 26th April 2013

7am my watch

OMG, this is just plain madness.

It is the worst it's ever been, I just hate it.

We have no sleep, and we are coming unstuck some.

Last night was so rough twice I was thrown out of bed, lucky we have a seat in there so I didn't hit the floor, but it still hurt like crazy.

Then the Captain comes to bed just dropping off to sleep and bam both of us and the mattress went flying. We just sat there and laughed, why I have no idea.

We eventually, made a little bed tucked into the corner with our feet jammed up against the side, by this time it was hitting about 5am, and yeap at 6am Tom yells out there is something wrong with the main sail.

So the Captain jumps up goes up and the main rope that makes it all work has chaffed and broke great, we can't do much about it until the sea settles down and then the guys will try and fix it.

I Also decided to get up, I went into the the galley to make a cup of coffee twice I got thrown across the floor and slammed into the table, then got flown onto the floor where I just sat and cried.

Am really hating this.

3pm my watch,

Well the guys have fixed the main sail, now the lines holding the dingy are chafing another one they have to fix.

We are still getting rocked about I am so over it.

11pm my watch.

Nothing much has changed if it I think it's actually worse,

Am so over it, I can feel myself unravelling.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 27th April 2013

2013-04-29

Saturday 27th April 2013

7am my watch

Guess what? Nothing has changed, man this is really starting to get on my nerves.

Oh actually somethings have changed now we have a broken float switch, which means the bilge pump has to be worked by hand.

Now how it works water comes into the boat from waves leaks etc, and when it hits a certain level ie... The float switch it automatically comes on and pumps it overboard.

Well that stopped working, so now we gotta keep lifting the floor boards and check the level, and the turn on the pump. Great this worries me a fair bit.

So I get up this morning and notice the davits that hold the dingy and one very expensive solar panel Is leaning over to one side.

Here we go again.

This a major concern, if we lose the davits we lose a lot, not to mention the davits themselves, it's an expensive piece of equipment, it has our main solar panel on top, so not only lose that but a big source of our power, than we have our brand new dingy, and it's motor, so yeah we have a lot to lose.

3pm my shift,

Well the wind has dropped a bit not by much, this is just shocking, I so want out.

The boys have tied down the davits as much as possible, and The Captain has made the decision that we will stop at Bermuda,

We have the motor going now to try and get there as soon as possible, but we still won't reach it until tomorrow night.

11pm my shift.

Well I tried to cook dinner which was a total disaster and is was only scrambled eggs, I fell apart, it's just way to dangerous to even try, honest I would rather starve than have to go back there again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 28th April 2013

2013-04-29

Sunday 28th April 2013

Well today is Tom's Birthday, Happy Birthday Tom.

I planed to cook him a nice dinner and even bake a cake, huh that went out the window real quick.

7am my watch

Well after hardly any sleep once again, here I am.

Early hours of the morning the engine stopped, great we have run out of fuel, lucky it was only in one tank, the big problem was that it got air in the fuel lines so they had to bleed the lines before they could change tanks, not much fun.

But we got it all working again.

At the moment we have the engine off and are just sailing.

It's a little bit better not quit so rough.

I even ventured into that place I swore I would never go again, and made myself a coffee, was not fun.

They have rigged up what they call an arse sling.

This is a major hate of mine I told them all along that I will never use it, if its too rough down there I'm just not cooking, well I have tried it out several times and its shocking this morning it slipped up around my ribs and I swear one feels like its broken, they can take there arse sling and shove it as far as I'm concerned, and besides I'll be damned if they think I'm going to be tied to the kitchen , they think its a real joke that I get so upset over the thing, come on guys, they should know I'm no Mary Jane, from the 50's. I'm telling you the mere thought of it makes my blood boil.

Oh and George I can't even clean at the moment to let off the steam...hahaha

3pm my shift,

Well things have settled down some, thank God.

We still are rocking and rolling quite a lot but we will soon be in Bermuda, most likely in about 4 hours, we were running really good and almost thought we could make it in the daylight but that's not gonna happen.

I really can't wait to see land, have had this little worry in the back of my mind that maybe we will never see land again, and we will be riding these seas for eternity.

Well I have been reading a lot of horror books lately and we are in the Bermuda Triangle.

And we can see land, thank god, I so wanna get off this boat and kiss it...lol

Well we are here shaken and stirred ....lol

What an entrance it was pitch back and we just had to try our best.

Tom has been here many of times, so we are not too worried, well I was anyway.

So we have her on autopilot, Tom at the wheel working out all the lights, The Captain, on the chart plotter, and me at the top of the top of the stairs, hitting buttons port and starboard, see how boatie I am...lol, also I have my head out the window trying to see as well.

So they are calling out directions 1° port, 3° starboard, and all of a sudden something huge is straight ahead, well I went into panic mode, don't even though how many times I did the noise.

My kids know this noise, apparently I do it all the time when I'm scared, I really don't know how to explain it other than a huge intake of breath, and a sound with it....lol

But it has freaked my kids out for, forever I'll have to ask them one day how to explain it.

So this huge thing is coming at us in an alarming rate, I'm yelling we are gonna hit it, we're gonna it hit, the guys are now in panic mode as well, and the front of the boat missed and it slammed into the side almost where The Captain was sitting.

It was an unlit very old Buoy, it was made of metal and about at a guess 4 or 5 feet across, and most likely 6 feet high.

We where on top of it before any of us could do a thing.

Now if I had been thinking clearing I only had to push a few buttons and we may have just missed it, maybe.

The navigation charts are supposed to have all the buoys on it lit or not, yeh right.

So Tom rushes to the front of the boat to see if he can see any better The Captain is going from the chart plotter to the side to look as well I'm almost out the window looking with two fingers on the buttons and another one comes up, this one is like a huge tower well at least I could steer away from this one.

Man my hands were shaking so bad it gave us all a hell of a fright.

We eventually made it into the harbour and went straight to the customs dock. We had been in radio contact with them from miles out so they knew we were coming.

We tied up to the dock and two very stern customs officers came out and wanted us all inside ASAP, with our spear gun, and flare guns.

So off we get and I thinking can I kiss the ground, but thought I better not, with guns and all our papers, we were all worried cause we did not check out of America, as you all know we were not supposed to be there.

So The Captain had this story all ready to tell why we had not checked out, and they never even asked....lol

All went smooth and here we are all legal.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 29th April 2013

2013-05-02

Monday 29th April 2013

Well we all slept like logs, and I did not even move I'm sure.

It's a bit chilly but nice, and we finally have that beautiful teal blue water, :-)

Well Tom as landed a bomb on us, he has decided to go back home, so it looks like we are on our own.

Scary scary stuff.

We can't help feeling a little let down by it all, to be honest.

But we totally understand his decision, and wish him all the best.

Today we will go ashore and see if we can get someone to fix our davits.

Well off we went to shore, I did some major cleaning up before we left, I still have heaps to do yet, but I so wanted to get off the boat.

Oh before we left we finally put up the Aussie flag...yay

So off we go no dramas, find a local guy, what a character, very nice guy.

We have two parts one from the main boom, and one for the mizzen mast, that needs fixing as well, so they will fix that and tomorrow at high tied we will take the boat in and they will have a look at the davits and see what can be done about them.

They will not be able to start the work till next week anyway, so we are not sure how long we will be here.

It could even been up to ten days or more.

So after that we decided to go into town and have a look around, what a pretty place, if you have to be stuck somewhere this little island will do just fine.

It's a funny shape it kinda like a sea horse shape, it's only about a mile and a half wide, and about 20miles long.

I always thought of islands to just have single story homes and huts, and palm trees.

But so far they all have multi story buildings and quite modern.

As we were walking around it kinda reminded us of Gibraltar, I guess because it has the English influence.

The problem now is the later we get away from here its looking like we may not make it to the Caribbean, we may just have to go straight to Panama instead, either way it's gonna be a bit scary doing it ourselves.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 30th April 2013

2013-05-02

Tuesday 30th April 2013

Well what a busy day,

First we took the boat over to the guys that are going to do our repairs.

At first they wanted us to take off the Davits and bring it into there workshop, this would of been a major thing, I guess it would be ok while Tom was still with us to help, but he will be long gone by the time it was ready yo put it all back together, it's just way to big a job for the Captain and I to get it all back together.

There were the 3 guys and The Captain and Tom, all trying to nut it out to try and come up with something that would work.

They have decided to leave it in one piece and do it on the boat, thank God, we are going to try and back the boat into the wharf with the fenders all round and hope they can do it that way, we do have to make sure it's a really calm day first, also they maybe able to start it on Friday which will be great.

So that took a good chunk of the day, but we are back on our anchor,

Then the guys go into town, I decided to stay behind and try and get this boat into some kind of order.

I swear I have never seen so much salt inside a boat before, it was crazy I spent hours after hours washing everything.

But now she is sparkling again.

There were a few more boats that came in yesterday and all had some degree of damage mainly to masts and stuff, these guys came from a different direction to us, but they also got hammered, so at least we were not the only ones.

It was just rough oceans.

Oh and one of the boats is an Aussie boat as well, that's kinda nice.

Then I cooked dinner and even made a home made Apple pie, which went down well.

The apples I got before leaving did not hold up all that well so I had to use then quick.

Actually all the fruit and verges did not last, so unless we can get local stuff along the one we may just have to live off can stuff most of the time, I'm not real keen on this but what can you do.

Oh and we can pick up wifi, every now and then on the boat it's a real pain in the butt as it is so so slow, and drops out all the time but at least it's something.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 1st May 2013

2013-05-02

Wednesday 1st May 2013

Well am up early, it's nice to be up by myself, the day is overcast and looks like rain, this will be good as my next job was to try and wash all the salt off the decks, but I may be spared that which is fine by me...lol

The guys have gone into town, and I have decided once more to stay behind, I need to get all the laundry ready as we have to find the laundromat real soon, I have been wanting to go for the last two days, as we have no much wet stuff and its starting to smell.

I thought about doing some cooking but after cleaning up and stuff I decided to have a lay down first, man did I sleep, I had a good to hours or so.

By the time I came too, it was getting close to 2pm, so I thought the guys would be back real soon, so decided to not start cooking.

Well I was wrong, they never got back till around 5 or so, was not real happy.

Tom wanted to invite a friend around for drinks and dinner, I said that's fine, but I'm going to the laundromat so you guys do what you want.

So The Captain drops me ashore and helps me get all this washing to the place, man we weave in and around streets up hills past homes, I'll never be able to find my way back, lucky he will come get me in a few hours.

So here I sit waiting on the washing oh joy!

At least it's not Walmart look a likes.

All done now finally back to the boat and then a quiet night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 2nd May 2013

2013-05-08

Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd May 2013

Well these two days were quiet filled with the normal cleaning sorting fixing etc.

The Captain and I had a nice walk around town and took pictures than a quick drink at the pub.

I have been wanting to try a Bermuda Triangle, and the Captain a Dark and Stormy,

Well I think they have just became our new favourite, very nice but lethal, well mine anyway.

Oh the other thing is I've been treated to a bit of eye Candy the last two days, a boat next two us, not sure wether they are Dutch, or what but every morning he hangs off the side of the boat and has a wash completely naked, kinda nice. But or should I say Butt

All good things come to an end, and they have gone now.

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Saturday 4th May 2013

2013-05-08

Saturday 4th May 2013

Today The Captain and I decided to go into the main area of the Island to the town of Hamilton.

So we go ashore and ask the local info Centre about bus's and where and when and so on.

The guy there is a real character, and no we did not get the easy explanation, as he put it. He was giving us the seed not the food, so we walked away after missing about 4 buses, and still way confused...haha

But we managed to get there in one piece just, these bus drivers are crazy they drive so fast and it feels like your going around bends and turns on two wheels.

It's quite a big city, no real shopping centres just rows of shops.

The Captain and Tom have been in several times but this was my first.

What stands out the most is how nice everyone is, they are so friendly and everyone says hello wether you are just, passing them on the street or getting on the bus and of cause when you go into their shops, and the place is so clean no rubbish no graffiti it's nice.

So our first stop is a local electronics store where The Captain had a new Kindle on order, oh I forgot to say that was another thing that got broken on the trip here.

I got one for his birthday, and I kept telling him you should have a cover for it but did he get one?, well in all fairness, he did try to get one before we left, but it kinda went on the back burner and did not happen. So he had it in his pocket one watch and yeah cracked the screen, that was the end of that.

So he now has a brand spanking new one, and a cover...haha

Then it was onto the marine store after walking miles once again, we have to get used to this it seems all places we go you know if you want to buy something you have to walk for it.

Anyway we finally find the store and they are so expensive so did not buy much there at all, we have quickly discovered that everything is way over priced here its crazy.

Our last stop was to get to one of their beaches, Bermuda is known for their pink sand, it's a mix of red coral and shell fish that has died that give it a pinky colour not bright just a pale pink.

So we hop on yet another bus, and being so touristy ask the driver what is the best place to go see it, apparently all the beach's have it but he drops us off and tells us where to go.

We are left at the side of a road no beach in site, walk a little bit this way and back again this happens for a bit, get out the map again and finally find the road to the beach.

It is so pale pink you really have to look hard to tell, but I have never felt such soft sand in my life, it's like a fine powder, it was so nice walking on it, and I managed to get a bag of it to add to my collection.

We stayed for a while and just chilled, then the long walk back to the main road to find the bus stop and back into town, where Tom and a friend of his was to pick us up and go to his place for dinner.

Charles, Tom's friend cooked us a lovely dinner and what a nice guy we had a really good late night.

I was a bit anxious cause I wanted to get back to the info centre to ring home.

So finally get back find myself a quiet corner outside of cause as it was 12.30am make my phone call to Mum, she answers the phone and I wish her a Happy Mothers Day....she laughs and tells me it's next Sunday, haha

We got that one wrong, but I did have a nice chat with both Mum and Dad, so that was good, and if all going well we will be in the middle of the ocean next Sunday anyway, so I was just getting in early.

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Sunday 5th may 2013

2013-05-08

Sunday 5th May 2013

Well what a day.

I finally got in the mood for cooking, this was something I needed to do before we take off again.

I had decided to try and cook enough hot meals to take us to Saint Martin, oh maybe I forgot, to say we are still going to the Caribbean, but have decided to go to Saint Martin instead so we won't see as much this time but we sure will be back, in the near future.

As our plans are looking we will go home, and stay for some months then head off towards South Africa, stay for awhile and catch up with The Captains family than so on, we will continue onto the Caribbean with a lot of stops of cause on the way, then we can tick off the circumnavigation, which will be one hell of an achievement, in our eyes.

Man I get so distracted, so I finally get in the cooking mode, and the guys decided they need help, far out.

They are in the bilges trying to fix the float switch, all I have seen is butts in the air for hours and a lot of pirate language. they just can't reach a few wires, they decide that because I have long arms they think I can reach.

Now I can tell you I so do not want to go down there it smells bad and it's dark and scary, it gives me the creeps.

But I down my tools and head over, as it happens after a lengthy discussion Of what I have to do, and you really needed to hear it to believe it, are you kidding me, strip wire get a crimp, crimp it and get the other wire strip it and crimp it to the other end, oh and make sure it's the right wires, there is a lot of them down there, and doing all this head first almost upside down in a stinky, scary hole... and Guess what? I couldn't reach, there is a God... Haha

So we had to come up with another plan this was about plan 10, Tom decided to slid down under the stairs, and me on one side of the bilge passing stuff and The Captain on the other side holding a torch for light, this is all done with us all laying on our bellys.

All goes well until Tom gets stuck, so The Captain and I have to grab a leg each and drag him out, I actually lost count on how many times this happened over the next hour or two, but we finally got it all cut and crimped together.

What a job, we were sweaty oily and dirty, after I cleaned up, i was going back to my cooking, then they wanted to move the boat over to where we are getting repairs done.

This was a major event as well as we had to back in and try not to smash the back of the boat up against the wharf, it sounded easy at first but when you have a huge heavy boat and a swell its not so easy we finally got a rope tied to the wharf and winched ourselves in there, as you can tell I did not get much cooking done.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 6th May 2013

2013-05-08

Monday 6th May 2013

Well today has come with its new set of problems.

The Captain, has noticed that the spreader on the main mast has come away from the mast, are you kidding me, man dies it never end.

The spreaders hold the rigging in place, so this is a major one, we can only guess that it happened out there in the rough ocean.

But we are so lucky we found it before we left, it could of been a major disaster if not found, so now that needs fixing.

After only five hours we have the davits fixed at a fraction of the cost we were expecting, but of cause it came with problems, as well.

The Captain and Tom, had to remove anything that would melt as they were doing a lot of welding.

The main thing was the wires to the solar panel, but they forgot about the rollers that bring the dingy up and down.

This resulted in one melting beyond repair, and of cause we could not buy the right roller anywhere, but they managed to fabricate something that worked, thank god.

The other problem was and still is the wires to the solar panel, these were pulled down in a way that it would be easy to just pull back up and attach, yeah right, that did not work to plan, and they are still not connected yet, we may have to try and find more of the right wire.

So after all the davit work and stuff we decided to go back to our normal anchorage, as it was way to windy where we were for The Captain to go up the mast to access the damage to the spreaders.

Well we got back and up the mast The Captain goes, the poor guy, he was up there for so long and had to hang off the side and try and undo the rigging and bring the spreader down this was all done with one very sore shoulder, he did not look so good when he finally came down.

At least we know how to fix it now so it will go to be welded tomorrow.

Me I finally got to do my cooking, and man am I tried too, I cooked all day from about 8am to about 5pm, but at least the freezer is full of meals that we can just heat up in the microwave, till we get to Saint Martin.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 7th May 2013

2013-05-08

Tuesday 7th May 2013

Well today Tom has left us.

This has come with a lot of mixed emotions, we are sad to see him go, and happy as well.

It has been a long and hard road, from July last year, to now, but we are finally doing what we started out to do.

We are on our own, about to take off into the wild blue ocean, scary, scary stuff.

I'm sure we will have good and bad times, at least we no what we are in for now, and as we go along our Journey we will get to know more an more about our boat, and

what she likes and what she hates.

I'm not sure I'm ready am very nervous about going out there just the two of us, but we will never know unless we get out here and do it.

We were hoping to get away on Thursday, but it's looking like it may be Friday, and yes I know you should never set sail on a Friday, but we may just have too.

A rigger was going to come on Wednesday to fix the spreader but its looking like strong winds and rain so that may not happen.

We have both been real busy all day getting the boat back in order and clean, so that if we do leave on Thursday we will be ready.

And late in the afternoon we both had a hot shower, it may not seem so exciting to some but believe me when water is limited and you just can't turn on a tap and have hot water, you have to start the generator and let it run for about half an hour to heat up the hot water,so you put it off for days, an when you get to have a shower it's so nice I can tell you.

I do have a wash the days we don't get to shower so don't worry am not too feral yet...hahaha

Anyway after our shower we just had a drink on deck and enjoyed just getting back to being us, it's was so nice.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 8th May 2013

2013-05-10

Wednesday 8th May 2013

Today was going to be a on shore day, a visit to the laundromat again, get some groceries, pick up the spreader, go online with their free wifi, do a little bit of shopping, and go to customs, to extend our stay a bit longer.

Well that did not go to plan, we woke up to rain, wind and rough water.

I had a very bad night with not much sleep at all, so I actually went back to bed after only being up for an hour or so.

Well that did me the world of good and when I got up the weather was a lot better.

But it was getting late in the afternoon, so we decided to make a short list, I went to the laundromat, the Captain went to customs, then checked his emails and stuff, rang the riggers our spreader is ready to be picked up, then he came to get me but the washing was not completely dry, so I left him with it while I went to get some fresh milk, and then to check my emails and stuff.

You remember me telling you how expensive everything is here? Well it cost us over $50 to do the laundry, and to get two litres of milk cost $7 crazy crazy stuff.

So I'm sitting here checking emails and there is a wedding in front of me in the court yard, well taking photos, I kid you not I counted 9 bridesmaids, it was crazy, to me it looked like 3 main bridesmaids as they had dresses that had gold, green and purple, the all the other had only one of these colours each, and they all wore Mardi gras masks in a gold colour, very different but entertaining to watch.

I was sitting there chatting to an older couple and they said you must come from Australia, most people guess it right, or say New Zealand, as if a sound like a kiwi, huh not like someone I know Mr Ant...hahaha

So they all ask where about it AUS do you come from and we always say about 100km north of Sydney, and they so oh near Newcastle, hahaha that was a first no one knows Newcastle, but they where an English couple and they had spent some time in Newcastle playing bowls, the people you meet.

Anyway we finally get back to the boat, was very choppy getting back but we made it in one piece.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 9th May 2013

2013-05-11

Thursday 9th May 2013

Well today it's still not good weather.

The Captain went and picked up the spreader and fill up the jerry cans with fuel.

It's just way too rough to take the boat over to the fuel dock, and we are kinda just filling in time.

He got back and was soaking wet from the waves, so glad I didn't go with him.

I stayed behind and cleaned and did a bit of cooking, then we both decided to have a lay done, the captain decided to go lay down on our bunk, cause he thinks I talk too much, well he didn't say it in so many words, but I knew what he meant, huh as is I talk too much.

Me well I decided to fight with the Internet for awhile up here on deck, but it won, so I decided to have a lay done here for a bit, the Aussie couple on the boat next to us where coming over for happy hour, and I wanted to clean up the dishes before they came.

Well I was woken up by them yelling out, I was so sound asleep I had no idea where I was, could not believe that I slept for well over 2 hours.

But we had a nice chat and a few drinks, they have just come from St Martin and have been there a lot so they told us all the ins and outs, about the place, which was so good to know.

At least now we know everything there is to know about the island including a lot of crime, this is a first for us we have never had to lock anything.

We need to make sure we have enough pad locks now, as the dingy and the motor, jerry cans basically anything on deck that can easily be stolen, and the boat itself we never even lock the companionway, boy it sure will be different.

Well tomorrow s another day.


Friday 10th May 2013

2013-05-11

Friday 10th May 2012

Yeap still here.

Today it's wet cold and windy, so looks like no work up the mast again.

The rained eased up, so we decided to go ashore and ring the rigger to see how he felt about the weather, and there was 3 shops I wanted to visit.

So in we go waves crashing over the dingy me trying so hard to keep the laptops dry, we do have waterproof bags but they don't close up completely.

We get to the dingy dock and as per usual there is heaps already there.

This is always a challenge, you have to force your dinghy into the middle of them, and drag them all out of the way, to get to the steps, then grab the steps with a death grip, all the while you are being thrown around by the waves.

It so much fun....not.

So after you get the death grip then jump, kinda climb up onto the steps without doing the splits, I somehow always manage to get one foot on the step and the other still in the dingy, when it decides to move away from the dock, and I can tell you I'm way to old to be doing the splits, but I sure am getting a lot if practice lately.

It always give me such a fright, my hands shake for a bit after.

So finally get the dingy tied up and The Captain on shore with all our bags, and off we go.

The first stop is to check emails and stuff. We often just sit outside the visitors centre and check it all, or we go to the super yacht centre, which is across a little road, but today that's way too busy, as a lot of boats have come in today from a rally, they call it The Ark, they race from the Caribbean to here, we are kinda overrun by boats at the moment.

Anyway I check my ipad and stuff and leave The Captain to do his stuff and head off to the shops, well two out if three are closed, are ya kidding me, far out.

So come back to The Captain am not so happy.

He has moved inside now as its a bit quieter in there.

As we are sitting there a guy comes in and picks up a guitar and starts playing, and is very good I can tell you.

The guy that works there, you remember, bus's and seeds? Yeah the same one he is such a character, and he starts making up words to go along with the music.

Then he grabs the guitar and looks over at me and says Madam, this song is for you, well it starts off with she has freckles on her bum, I'm thinking omg, as there is a heap of tourist coming and going in here as well...hahaha

I have some of it on a video clip and will try ad upload it on facebook, it was so so funny.

So we go back yo the boat and The Captain decides to take the dingy over to have a chat with the rigger and there is a guy that he wants to have another look at the motor on the dingy, it's still running a bit hot, so off he goes an says he will be back soon.

Well I'm sitting here 6 hours later and no sign of The Captain, all these emotions are going through my head, as you could well imagine, from anger, to frustration, to being stressed out of my head.

While I'm sitting here waiting a big Catamaran, comes so close to the front of the boat and hits the anchor chain, it made a hell of a noise, my stress levels went into overdrive, am thinking great now what, no Captain in site, if we start dragging what then I can't set the anchor by myself, as you need two people, so do I just start the motor or what, then I'm like well I'm not sure how to even start the motor, I've done it several times but when your in panic mode all this goes out the window.

So am sitting watching a house on shore as they have told me to get a site on shore and watch it and you can tell if your moving or not, well that's fine to say but when your swinging on the anchor, it's not easy at all.

Well am not sure at all if we are dragging or not and watch this house for over an hour, then realise if we are swinging on the chain we have to be still hooked on the bottom.

Yeah I know, but I did say I was in a panic mode, and of cause that started a whole new list of panics as I'm thinking what if something has happened to The Captain, how will they know where he has come from what will I do, I even had thoughts of swimming ashore and see if I could find him, crazy stuff.

Well he eventually comes back looking very stressed, and I went through another lot of emotions, I was so angry, but so relieved as well.

So the engine had died and he had to row ashore and then wait for hours for the guy to finish a job and come and have a look at our engine, he was also very stressed cause he knew I would be stressed out...we were both stressing out about each other...haha but all is good again in our little world.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 11 May 2013

2013-05-13

Saturday 11th May 2013

Well a big Happy Mother's Day to all the mums back home.

And yet another Mothers Day that we have missed, :-( .

I so need to be home, am way over homesick, I guess it won't be long now anyway.

Well today yet again has more problems, we finally got some good weather and The Captain, goes and picks up the rigger.

Up he goes with the fixed spreader puts in back in place and noticed that the other side is broken as well, far out, so down that one comes and has to be welded, this can't be done till Monday as the work shop is closed for the weekend.

Am starting to think we may never get away from this island. If we get it all fixed on Monday, we are looking at leaving Wednesday now as we will have the right winds to take us to St Martin or at least a good start in the right direction.

There is a little beach here that is suppose to have a lot of sea glass on it, so The Captain and I decided to jump in the dingy and take a little ride.

To get there you have to go out through the main entrance and cut around the corner and back in again.

I can tell you I was a little bit nervous, as we headed out all you can see is ocean, and it's a bit unnerving in a little dingy, but we made it just fine, and talk about sea glass it was everywhere.

Got myself a little bag full and the hoped on home again.

Then we decided to go ashore, to see if the few shops that were closed yesterday were open and get some grocery's and of cause get on the Internet.

So, after the dingy shuffle we get ashore and I leave the captain at the visitors centre all happy as he has Internet and off I go, and yes they where opened, I got what I needed and headed back.

By the time I got back to the centre it was full with tourist, a lot of them were French and they were all having problems trying to connect to the Internet, I spent ,more time trying to help them then checking my stuff.

So we leave and get some grocery's and head back to the boat, after doing the dingy shuffle once again.

On the way back we decide to drop off the grocery's and head back in to buy some dinner and have a drink or two and then call home for Mothers Day.

So get back on board and realise the batteries are low so have to run the generator, by this time I'm over going back again so we decide to have dinner and drinks on the boat and go in around 8.30pm.

So off we go dingy shuffle again, climb up on shore and sit down happily to make our calls, and guess what no coverage, far out, we had decided to go to the super yacht place as its more quiet, even though the place was closed normally you can still get on to the wifi, but not tonight.

So we pack everything up and walk back across to the visitors centre, it getting later now, so I ring Bek first, we talk for about five minutes then it drops out.

Well we did the walk back to the yacht centre nothing back to the tourist centre nothing this goes on for a fair amount of time backwards and forwards so so many times.

There is also a little restaurant up the road that you can get on their wifi so off we go there, but realise that we have no money with us and we are not really dressed to go anywhere as we were just going to make a few phone calls and it was dark too.

Yeah we looked a bit like homeless people...haha

There were a few people sitting outside and the waitress came out, we decided to explain to her that we had not brought our wallets with us and just needed to get on line for a few minutes, she would have no bar of it, you have to buy at least a drink, and then they would give you the password.

There was guy in the corner on his laptop, so The Captain decided to go ask him for the password, and he gives it to us no problems.

Then we were like little thieves and hid around the corner to get online.

Guess what it did not work no reception... Haha

So back to the walk again over to the visitors centre no nothing, then over to the yacht centre were we managed to get online with the restaurants wifi, I was so happy, tried to ring but we had shocking reception, by this time I was over it big time, and by the look on The Captains face he was over it two hours ago...haha

We decided to call it a night go back to the dock, dingy shuffle agin and back to the boat, it getting onto 11pm by this time and I managed to get online at least to message the kids and tell them what happened.

As you can see kids it was not from lack of trying.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 12th May 2013

2013-05-18

Sunday 12th May 2013

Well not so Happy Mothers Day to me, yeah I cried a lot and missed not seeing my mum, and spending time with my kids.

The Captain wanted to take me ashore and have a nice meal, but to be honest it was so windy and the water was so choppy. Just the thought of getting wet not to mention the Dingy shuffle and trying to climb onto the shore had no appeal to me at all.

So we just had a quiet day and night on board, I replayed my little family movie videos and cried more, but hey I allowed myself today to be sad and homesick, and left it at that.

I just keep in my mind that day that we sail into Lake Macquarie, under the Swansea bridge and see the faces of our family, man that will be one of the best days of my life.

Love you guys. xxx

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Monday 12th May 2013

2013-05-18

Monday 12th May 2013

So we get up nice and early The Captain wants to get the last spreader down to the welder and I wanted to try and ring the kids, as we knew that the wifi should have been fixed onshore by now.

So he drops me off, it's too early for dingy's so that was nice just a straight forward climb up on shore.

I notice that the super yacht centres door is open so head over there.

I managed to talk to Madd for a bit which was so nice but it ended up being too late to ring the others, it sucks with the time difference, as we either have to be up really early or stay up late at night to talk back home.

As I was sitting there a huge black bird flew down and grabbed a baby sparrow out of a nest and flew off, there was another baby that almost landed at my feet, I tried to pick it up but it fluttered away and then the parents came to its rescue, yeah I know it was just a sparrow well I think a sparrow, I'm sure they have another name for it here but it was sad anyway.

It reminded me of the other day that we took the dingy around to the little beach, on the way back we spotted some sea birds flying around the rocks and cliffs, they are a bit like a sea gull but more slender and have a huge long tail, we wondered wether these were the birds a local guy was telling us about, apparently they have a bird that is almost extinct here, that calls out, with such a shriek that when the sailers in the olden days got too close to the island they could here it and thought it was a devil calling out, the island was named the devils island for a long time and no sailer would go close to it for fear of the devil getting them... Haha they were so superstitions, and a lot still our to this day.

I did a bit of google research and no it was not that bird, but they call this one a Long Tail...haha

Anyway The Captain comes back with the good news that the spreader will be fixed after lunch time, the bad news it's still way to windy for the rigger to go up the mast.

So we are not sure when it will be put back on, there is supposed to be bad weather with thunder storms and heavy rain, so maybe tomorrow may be better, we are getting itchy feet we so want to get going.

After checking emails and stuff I went for a little walk to the local pharmacy, it was so strange walking these little streets with no one around, being so quiet it was a nice peaceful feeling.

That sure went out the window when it was time to go back to the boat, I swear every dingy on the island was tied up where we were and man was the water choppy we managed to get back in the dinghy after a bit of a struggle, but man did we get splashed by cold water a might add, on the way back we were soaked big time.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 13th May 2013

2013-05-18

Tuesday 13th May 2013

Well did it rain or what?

We had thunderstorms and rain like you would not believe, and of cause new leaks.

It's got us beat where the hell they come from, we think we work it out seal that spot then another one appears in a completely different area, it frustrates the hell out of me, I tell you.

There is a massive one in our cabin again, and it just poured in all night, I thought I was clever and put some containers around where I knew it leaked which was fine, but this leak was so bad that it just kept over flowing.

We will have to seriously fixed this one, real soon.

So after a very soggy night we come up on deck to access the damage up here and yeah even though we moved all the cushions forward they all managed to get wet as well, I kinda just throw my hands in the air and give up, I really can't do nothing about it at the moment anyway as its still drizzling with rain.

So we check the weather forecast and its still no good for the rigger to go up.

The captain goes ashore by himself again as I just don't want to face the dingy shuffle and the water is still rough and windy and cold.

You know I always felt a bit worried about what I would do all day and would I just drive myself crazy being bored, man did I worry for nothing, you really are busy all day long, sometimes you wonder what with, but the days just fly.

The weather did managed to clear up but still very windy, which I was pleased about as I had everything out on deck that I could to dry out and it dried in no time at all.

I even managed to do some washing, yeah am back with the old bucket, I could just take it all onshore and do it at the laundromat, but I am so over paying so much money to do it.

So here I am facing this damn bucket again, I was kinda hoping that the thing, would have just washed overboard and I would never have to wash clothes again...yeah right.

I also thought that if I kept up to date with it all, it would not be too bad, wishful thinking, with the leak in our cabin last night a lot of clothes got wet, so here I am with a huge bucket load with strict instructions from The Captain not to use too much water yeah yeah, how many times a day do I hear this....haha

To be honest I'm so worried about using too much water I'm never sure the clothes are really clean anyway.

So I get it all washed thinking that he wouldn't know how much water I have actually used cause his not on the boat anyway, but believe me he knows, and of cause we now have a working gauge that he can just press a button and it tells how much is in each tank, even before we had that he would be able to tell, I'm sure he as an inbuilt radar that sets off an alarm when I use too much.

The next problem is I have to tie up the rope we use for a washing line and its still blowing a gale, and I'm thinking, which is dangerous in itself...how am I actually going to keep the clothes on the line anyway, as there is no way the pegs alone will hold them.

So I come up with, I will thread the clothes through the line itself, so am fighting wind threading a line through arm holes and legs and so on feeling quiet proud of myself, tie one end securely to a cleat the right way and all. Am learning how to tie boaty knots, then go to lift it up to tie up the other end and the damn thing is so heavy I can't lift it...haha so much for good ideas.

So back to the drawing board take off half the clothes, and start again, at least this time I can lift it to tie the other end but it was still major heavy, and all the time I'm struggling to tie the end with the wind howling and with one foot firmly on the other clothes to stop them flying overboard, I eventually got it all hung up in sections, i sure hope no one was watching my antics, and I was so warn out after it all I needed a nana nap to get over it...haha.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 14th May 2013

2013-05-18

Wednesday 14th May 2013

Well today is the day the weather is right for the rigger to get up the mast finally.

We waited till after lunch to ring him, as the Arc Rally boats where leaving and we wanted to watch them race past us out into the ocean, it was fun to watch, they all took off so fast but they all had to slow down once they got to the opening to the ocean as only one boat can go out at a time, it looked like a bit of a waste of effort to me, as they only went about half a mile and had to almost come to a stop anyway, talk about boys and there toys, crazy.

So The Captain rings the rigger and arranges to go pick him up and his friend to come back to the boat and finally fix our last major problem.

This guy we found out today is 78 years old he was up the mast for well over two hours, I swear he is in such good shape you could easily take him for a 65 year old or younger, although he did look warn out when he got down.

But all is now fixed yay, we can finally leave now with the next good weather window.

We will check in the morning and see what the weather is doing, so watch this space.

So the Captain and I are up here on deck enjoying a drink, he is fighting with the new laptop.

Am not sure I mention it but we brought a new one just before we left America for all our navigation stuff, and also The Captain was having dramas with his email passwords, and a virus we think on his old laptop.

So is the new one good, I hear you asking...haha

Nope it's a heap of crap, it has windows 8, and if you are thinking of upgrading to it don't, man it drives us nuts.

Maybe you tech heads can work it out but us old folks have no idea. So so many times I have almost had to restrain The Captain from throwing it over board it's not funny.

He then gives it to me to work it out and I have to tell you it is so tempting to throw it over too.

But we are very slowly getting used to it, well some days anyway, but he is still having problems with passwords almost daily he has to change them and not just emails other sites as well, I have taken to writing them down on a note on my ipad just so I can remember them, as he asked me daily what they are as well....haha

We have the generator running and making hot water as well as the water maker going, it's about time for me to have a shower, so I put one foot on the top step and hear water gushing out somewhere, we both fly down the steps and open the engine door and get hit in the face with water of cause yours truly was in the line of fire, I yell The Captain rushes to turn off the water maker, and the water stops, we both get torches to see what pipe has busted, and can't find it so The Captain goes and turns it on again with instructions to look where it is coming from, I have my head in there torch on ready, he turns it on and yeap face full again, I jumped back so quick I still could not work it out, so I make The Captain do it this time and I turn on the switch, he tells me to only turn it on for no longer than I second.

I was so so tempted to leave it on longer, but thought better of it, man am I getting soft...haha

He finds it straight away and we decide that job can wait till the morning to repair.

I could still have my hot but very quick shower no wasting water, besides even having a quick one still feels good and I am getting quite good at showering fast now.

The Captain decides to have one after me, he comes up with a look on his face at first I thought i may have used all the hot water and am thinking oh no, i'm in trouble again, or worst no water at all, but no the pump that drains the shower water has stop working as well now, man does it ever end.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 15th May 2013

2013-05-18

Thursday 15th May 2013

Well today is a day of repairs once again, well for The Captain anyway, me i just try and stay out of his way, as sometimes things don't go so well.

It starts with the easy one, the hose repair this goes really well, in no time at all it's fixed and all working great again.

Then onto to the shower pump, he is in the main cabin with the floor up things in pieces for ages, all of a sudden I smell this horrible rotten egg smell, and race down to see what is going on.

The tank under the shower which hold the sump pump is full of rotten smelly water, this tells us that the pump has not been working for awhile now.

Now it's not such a real issue as the water just goes into the bilge, and the bilge pump is working now, but the only problem is we have to have it turned off as there is so much diesel in there from the leaking tanks that we have to wait till we are back out at sea before we can empty them.

So the captain test everything all is working fine so it is has to be the wiring somewhere in the boat, this is way beyond what The Captain can do, so he jumps in the dingy goes down to the local repair yard, who now are of first name bases, I'm sure they are going to name their first born child after him now as we will kept their family feed for the next few years.

The guys is gong to come up tomorrow and have a look.

On his way back I got him to pick up some fish bait for me to do a bit of fishing, have kinda been hanging out a bit to do this.

So he comes back with some bait great, but now I have to almost pull the boat apart to find the fishing gear, I only wanted a hand line as my main rod is rigged up for outside fishing, and I really could not have been bothered to rig up one of the other seven rods, yeah you heard right we have been left with a mountain of fishing gear.

So finally find it all get my squid find what side the sun is on and park myself on the side of the boat, and start fishing, I actually could not care less if I caught anything as its is so nice just sitting looking at this water and letting the world go by.

Well that lasted until I caught my first fish, it was huge and then the hunter in me came out, I was determined to catch more...hahaha

These fish are called Pompano, which is a kinda like a jack, but a lot bigger, they just came out of nowhere and hung around the boat I swear I could of almost caught them in my hands, and some I actually caught with no bait at all, it was crazy stuff, in about 20 minutes I caught nine of them I was having so so much fun.

So then we were not really sure if we could eat them, it took me longer to connect to the Internet to find out then it did to catch them all.

Well you can eat them and they have hardly any scales at all.

So the next thing is how many do we keep, I had them all in a bucket with salt water so they where all still alive, we decided to keep the three largest and throw the rest overboard, they all swan off very happy.

I'm the fish cleaner as well. So I get out there with my new fishing knife and start to cut them up, man it was so blunt I could have chewed through them easier, so go down and get a kitchen knife try it nope no good, go back again get another knife still nothing are you kidding me, by this time I'm yelling out to The Captain that I need help, I wanted him to just cut the heads off and I would do the rest.

Now I know he has not cleaned a huge amount of fish in his life, but to see him getting greener and greener by the minute and muttering about, going back to being a Vegan, was so funny.

There was blood and guts all over the place I really thought he was going to throw up, once the job was done he raced off so quick, am still not sure if he will be able to eat them....hahaha

Once I finished gutting them and cleaning up the mess I decided just to bake them in foil as its less messy and I was in much need of a shower.

The captain then informs me that I can't have one as the sump is kinda in pieces, man I can tell you I was not happy at all.

I had to settle with a sponge bath and I can still smell fish on me. I so can't wait till tomorrow to get it fixed.

After all this I sure hope the fish taste good.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 16th May 2013

2013-05-18

Friday 16th May 2013

Well today, we get to fix the shower pump, I hope.

The Captain has to ring the guy at 11am and see if he can come out to the boat.

We have subscribed to a weather forecast guy, who is supposed to be very good and the best thing he is on the radio every morning so you can listen in, and also talk to him on the radio or Internet on his web site.

So far we are having a problem with him hearing us on the radio, not sure why, but today we managed to get him on the computer, the best weather for us to leave is on Monday, if we leave any sooner we will hit a very big tropical storm, we sure don't want that.

So we will contact him again on Sunday just to make sure, but it's all pointing to Monday at the moment.

The biggest problem will be getting this boat tied up to the wharf at the customs place, with just the two of us, it's very unnerving I can tell you.

Oh and yeah the fish I caught, well they don't taste that good, it's a pity as today after I cleaned up the boat, I did a bit mire fishing hoping to catch something else, and caught five more of these guys, a lot bigger than yesterday, but I just threw them all back in again.

Anyway the guy Glen comes out and We now have a working shower again, yay.

Then The Captain and him go on the hunt to find and repair the transom light, now I tell you after hours of searching almost every locker and emptying them, the boat looked like a war zone, now I had spent all morning cleaning remember, so was not so happy.

They were trying trace the wire back to the control panel, as per usual with a lot of butts in the air.

After hours they almost gave up then realised it worked all along, was just hooked up to a different switch...hahaha

So all is working fine now.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 17th May 2013

2013-05-26

Saturday 17th May 2013

Today we had a day off, we decided to go to the other side of the island, and just spend a day hanging out and looking at touristy things.

This place is called Dockyard, and it's where the cruise ships come in.

Of cause there was one there as well, so a lot of people around, but we walked around and enjoyed all the little shops and stuff, watched guys blowing glass and turning them into bowls and things, stopped at a pottery studio, and seen the most amazing pottery, they had a whole table setting set up from cups plates to dishes, it was amazing, I so wanted to buy some, but yeah not real good for a boat.

We had lunch in a little cafe, and then caught a bus back to Hamilton to hunt out a few grocery stores, we are trying to find some local honey.

We had a taste of it the other night , it's is so nice very soft taste with a hint of lavender and mild, we were told any supermarket sells it, so after the third one we were told that nowhere on the island has it at the moment, as the bees have certain seasons and now was not the right one, oh well we were major disappointed, but not much you can do.

We finally made it back to the boat and are once again settled in for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 18th May 2013

2013-05-26

Sunday 18th May 2013

Well welcome back to the madness, yeap back out in the ocean, man I must be such a crazy person to be talked into this again.

We woke to a really good weather window, with good winds and decided to try and contact our new weather guy and see what he says about leaving today, we know of bad weather on the Caribbean end, but with any luck we should miss it completely, if we get it right.

So this started a flurry of activity, we had good reception for once on the boat, so I thought I would give Dad and Mum a quick call to let them know we were leaving either this afternoon or early tomorrow morning.

The reception was still bad, so we jumped in the dingy, after only half a cup of coffee, bed hair and all, as it was getting past 9.30pm Aussie time, and I know they go to bed early.

Was too late for Mum, she was already in the land of nod, but got to talk to Dad for awhile, which was nice.

Then I rang Bek, woke her up, she was in gaga land...haha

I bet she is still thinking she just dreamt it all, than rang Madd no answer there, and didn't even try Tim, cause He gets up super early for work and knew he would be fast asleep.

So we then come back to the boat, I drink the rest of my coffee, had a bit of breakfast, than the captain wants to go ashore again and ring Chris, the weather guy, and wants me to go with him, so this time at least I get to brush my hair, and off we go again, back to shore Dingy shuffle this time, climb ashore try and ring him, no answer, wait ten minutes try again nope nothing this goes on for awhile, so we send an email, grab a few last minute grocery's and back to the boat we go.

we decide to start to get the boat ready to leave, you may think this is easy, trust me it took almost all day going flat out, man the things you need to do is crazy.

All the time we kept checking emails to see if Chris had sent a reply, the Captain finally tried to ring, and got through, but it dropped out again, so he jumps in the Dingy and back to shore, thank god I didn't have to go this time.

He comes back with quick jump in the dingy we have to go to customs straight away they are going to check us out in the dingy.

Now this is a real no no, they want you to bring your boat to the wharf and sign out that way, this was a major concern for us as trying to tie a thirty tonne boat to a wharf in winds is hard going.

But as luck or their bad luck, when we were coming into shore the second time, a big racing yacht was tied up there trying to check out and was stuck hard, the tied was out, they threw a rope to us and wanted us to try and tow them, so there we were me holding the tow rope The Captain in reverse, three guys on the boat, pushing off the dock, and almost the whole island watching...haha

Naturally that did not work so a guy on the island said to bring the rope over to them and they will pull from the other side, so they throw us a longer rope we drag it across the harbour, worried that a boat is going to come through the middle of it all, and yeah no go, now everyone on shore had their own idea on what to do, in the end we just left them to it, to try and figure it out.

But what it did do was let us go in with our dingy as the poor customs guy sure did not want a repeat performance from this morning...haha

So we clear out pick up our guns and head back to the boat with the orders that we have to leave within the hour, yeah right, three hours later to very exhausted people pull up the anchor and set off, we look at each other and think omg, this is real we are finally doing it.

We motor out of the entrance and are instantly hit with huge waves and rough ocean, are you kidding me, here we go again.

So it's my watch almost 2am

Am sitting here once again getting thrown around, extremely sea sick, I even got out the big guns and took a really strong seasick pill, which worked a bit, the Captain is asleep opposite me, and we are doing this by ourselves yay, are we having fun yet? Nope...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 19th May 2013

2013-05-26

Monday, 19th May 2013

9am my watch. Day 1

Well after a good sleep but not a long one, but man did I sleep.

And it's daylight, I always have mixed feelings about what I like better.

Night sailing is great as you can't see the waves..haha

But also it makes it easier to spot boats with their lights, you can actually see them from miles away, not that we have seen any yet.

It still amazes me how you can be out here for days and days and see nothing but water.

No wonder people get lost at sea and never ever get found, it just makes me so glad we have all the right navigation gear and safety beacons, and also when you check out from one country, you have to tell then your next port of call and how long you think it will take you to get there.

I hope this is not them just being nosy, I like to think if we don't turn up at the right place around the right time that they would at least try and contact you by your radio if nothing else.

They most likely don't, but hey you never know.

So getting back to night and day.

Day is good for obvious reasons, you can see...hahaha

Not that there is much to see, other than water, but it's nice when you see birds and of cause, the occasional flying fish.

We decided to do three hour watches at night and a bit more relaxed through the day,

So far it has turned into four hour watches, this may be better for us, we will just have to see.

And me yeap still seasick, I hate it, if I go below it takes me a good few hours to get over it.

But the good thing is I know within a day or so, I'll be fine again, just wish I had The Captains tum, he is always fine.

7pm my watch

We are not real good on our watches...haha

But have decided to at least make the night watches a bit more strict.

At the moment The Captain is down below doing the dishes, and I'm up here watching a beautiful sunset, being seasick does come with benefits....haha

I had my first cargo ship go past today, was the most exciting thing that happened all day, life at sea can be boring....haha

I have to entertain myself somehow as I'm too sick to read yet and these post take a long time to write as I have to keep stopping and having a rest.

But as darkness creeps in, we hunt out our jumpers and blankets, as its still a bit chilly at night, and we settle in for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 29th May 2013

2013-05-26

Tuesday 29th May 2013

4am My watch, day 2

This one is a killer, after not much sleep, I kinda feel like death.

The Captain is snoring across from me, I so wish I could sleep like him, I swear he falls asleep even before his head hits the pillow.

A lot of my problem was that we have hardly any wind and the boom keeps cashing to one side and makes a hell of a racket, so every time I drifted off to sleep bang it would go again and wake me, The Captain just sleeps through it all.

It's still the same now I have lost count of how many times I have jumped up hit the autopilot 5° starboard 2° port and so on, and nothing we are still hardly moving, at least I can sit without holding on so that's a plus.

6am

I just watched Mother Nature wake up this morning and what a performance she put on.

The colours were amazing from pinks, yellow, to orange. I decided I could not pass this up so I took some videos on my Ipad.

The second set of videos, was like something you could not believe, it looked like a column of light, pulsating inside a orange ball of fire and if you look close it actually looks like a lady, well I think it does anyway.

When The Captain finally come out of the land of nod, I decided to have a walk around deck as it is still very calm seas and sometime in the night, that we both heard something go ping, this was either a bolt or pin that came undone, but so far it's still a mystery, and nothing has fallen apart, yet.

We had a chafe in the mizzen sail which resulted in a mad dash to get it pulled in and secure, that actually happen the first night out, so much for getting it fixed in Bermuda, so we lost the use of that sail straight away, but today being calm The Captain managed to rethread the rope through the boom, it was quite safe, but I was a bit worried when he was hanging off the back of the boat with a grabber thingy trying to get it through a pulley, at the end of the boom.

But all went well and he has just now completed the repair and we have a working sail again..yay

9pm my shift.

We are still not real strict with our shifts, but hey who cares, we are doing it our way, we really are trying to keep the night shifts to 4 hours on and 4 off, daytime is whatever, if one of us is tired, which is almost all the time...hahaha

We just take turns sleeping, but you are in a constant state of almost hangover feeling which sucks.

At the moment we are scooting along at almost 7knots, we have the four sails up and moving well.

We are a bit off coarse as we did not have much wind and without the mizzen it was quite slow, the heading is 180° and we need to get it back down to 150° but you have to very slowly do it sometimes only 1° at a time, or she kicks up such a fuss, man she can turn nasty on you real quick, she flaps her sails, bucks and kicks, so you have to be real sneaky about it.

Once again The Captain is sound asleep snoring, one minute he is talking away than bam in the land of nod.

I'm still a bit sick this is the worst I have been so far I was ok earlier but now the wind has picked up and we are rolling around a fare bit I'm back popping pills again.

But we both managed to get a hot shower and I got to wash my hair so we feel human again, which is nice.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 21st May 2013

2013-05-26

Wednesday 21st May 2013

Day 3

Well first I want to wish my nephew a Very Happy Birthday, hope its a good one Troy, xxx

I don't always remember my niece and nephews birthdays and my great niece and nephews god help me I'm shocking, my sisters and brother I'm not too bad,but their husbands and wive well am hopeless there too, but we do have a big family including mum and dad and other half's and kids we have, 45 of us, with one more on the way as far as I know, so yeah I guess I can't remember than all.

So it's 6.30am my shift.

The Captain let me sleep, I bit longer thank god as I was so wasted, I almost got 5 hours this time which was great, but it was interrupted as per usual, some time in the early hours, I was rudely awoken by yet again a noise out of the usual, it's funny all the normal noises you get so used to, and think nothing of them, but as soon as you hear something different you are awake and jump up real quick.

So this one?, wait for it anther break, yeap looks like we can not survive a single 24 hours without something going wrong.

The main sails, rope got a chafe this time, far out so much for repairs again, and of cause the winch to bring it in is right where I was asleep, so I jump up out of the way so The Captain can get it in and under control.

Man I am really starting to think this new roller furling system is garbage, but The Captain keeps saying its just teething problems, and we will sort it all out.

The main problem is we lose a lot of speed, which I kinda like, but the later we get to Sait Maarten, we are going to get hit with bad weather, Chris our weather man has told us to try to get there before Sunday, but it's not looking real good at the moment.

But today is looking very nice not a cloud in the sky, a peaceful ocean, and a nice temp, and the Snoring Captain across from me...hahaha

7.30 pm my shift

Well what started out as a nice day, with calm seas, has turned into a lumpy rough ocean.

Every part of me hurts, I'm so sick of been thrown around, and being slammed up against everything.

Oh and we have been hit by our first mega wave, and when I say mega I mean big big mama, Mega, I was down in the galley getting dinner ready, and The Captain, was in the cock pit, this massive wave hit us side on and went right over the top of us, soaking almost every part of this boat on the way, all I saw was a wall of water, and the look on the poor Captains face.

Lucky for me as 5 minutes before I was sitting right where most of it hit so I was spared a drenching which is always nice.

The Captain changes our coarse some so with any luck it won't happen again.

But it's still rough and I think we are in for a hard night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 22nd May 2013

2013-05-26

Thursday 22nd May 2013

4am my watch Day 4

Ok am a bit of a blubbering mess.

We have had a shocking squall, rain wind and rough seas.

The last almost 24 hours has put a strain on both of us, everything is wet, and cold.

Neither of us has had much sleep, although I think I have had more than the Captain.

At the moment we are looking at two huge clouds, that are quite scary, The Captain has played around with the sails, trying to settle down this ship of ours, we also have just switched fuel tanks in ready for starting the engine if things get worse so we can try and out run this storm.

I have a Constant watch on the radar, watching these clouds and am praying that they just pass us without too much damage.

6am

Well daylight is here, although I wish it was still dark, as I'm looking at one angry ocean, I think my tum has finally settled down, why I have no idea, it should be ten times worse at the moment, but I think stress has taken over.

It looks like the rain may have passed by, although there is still a lot of clouds around, I should be trying to start drying out these cushions and stuff, but at the moment I'm too tired and wet to care, besides we have so much salt around, I may just be stuck, to this mattress.

9am

Ok well I can honestly say I don't do storms well, or should I say squalls, just when I thought all was ok, we got hit with this Granddaddy, I'm not so sure I can write about it.

I was a mess and still am a bit, it started again with another Mega wave, which drenched everything that was not wet before, then the wind picked up, than the rain, than all hell broke loose.

The Captain tried to bring in the head sail, in god knows what wind, then things went pear shape from there on, the boat was spinning wildly one minute we where on coarse then we were heading back to Bermuda, next Africa, than Bermuda, I even think I saw Finland at one stage, well it was engine time started that up, The Captain trying desperately to get us back in the right direction, all the while we are getting thrown from one side to the other, things crashing everywhere down below, me on the cockpit floor jammed into the corner, tears rolling down, than look at The Captain, and see fear starting in his eyes, we are not going anywhere, engine running flat out but not moving, there is sails and ropes flying in all directions, we are thinking that maybe a rope has got tangled around the prop,

and the Auto pilot is freaking out, the alarm is going off constantly, finally we get the boat moving, not sure what happened there, and things start to settle down some, The Captain lies down, and two seconds later the wind hits again this time gusting over 30 knots, man here we go again, at the moment we are heading for Cuba, I think we may just fly straight over the top, maybe bounce off South Africa, we can wave to George and Heather as we fly past....and maybe just maybe land in the Pacific Ocean.

Yeah Yeah I know I'm stressed out ok.

Am not so sure where we are headed at the moment, Aut (the autopilots new name) is so freaking confused I think he is going to jump ship and leave us to it.

Well well well, the sun is out, can you believe it, cause we sure as hell can't.

I'm pretty sure we are still in The Atlantic Ocean, just not sure who we will visit next, and we must still be in the Bermuda Triangle, as there is crazy stuff happening here.

Well after almost 6 hours we are heading in the right direction again, Aut is still with us, even though he does look a bit greyer now, I'm sure he is still not sure, about these two crazy Aussies, but so far he has decided to stay on board.

The motor has been turned on and off a fair bit as well, as we have been keeping an eagle eye on the Radar, and dodging storm clouds for well over two hours, but am happy to say I think we might have just made it out the other side, and once again the sun is shining and all the contents of the cockpit are scattered all over the place trying to get as much sun and wind on them to dry them out.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 23rd May 2013

2013-05-26

Friday 23rd May 2013

3am day 5

Is this ever going to let up, I'm am so over it.

We have nothing but rough seas, big wave, rain, dodging rain and wind gusts that you would not believe.

We have almost dried everything out, than a huge wave will hit and yeap everything is wet again, we have been trying at least to keep the rain off, the cushions as much as possible, but it's a pain in the butt, as soon as it looks like rain we jump up, throw the cushions all forward, fold up the mattresses and wait, most times it's a light sprinkle, so back out everything comes again, I've actually lost count

on how many times we have done this in the last 24 hours, I know it's driving me nuts, we seriously need to think about closing in this cockpit, we have thousands of sea miles to go and doing the pillow/ mattress dance over thousands of times is not my idea of fun.

Well am sitting here dripping wet, yeap just had my daily mega wave wash.... :-/

These bastards just sneak up on you, I was minding my own business, lounging back on a bean bag, enjoying the wind, in my hair... Actually I was trying to keep myself awake, and bam, smack in the face. You have to see these waves to believe them, it's like a huge wall of water, as big as the boat, and when they hit man, lets just say I'm wide awake now...haha

It's 8 pm, not sure whose shift, but we are both awake at the moment, we are sitting here cushions and mattress all wet once again, it poured down rain once again, we managed to save a few things from getting wet so at least we have a cushion or two to sit on, I dragged out one of the covers, that help keep the weather out a bit, and The Captain has just put it up on one side, the only problem is we can't see out of it so every now and then we have to get up poke are heads out around it to see if we are getting chased by pirates, or some other craft, not that we see much of them anyway, in 5 days we have seen a total of 3 ships, and it's great excitement when we do...hahaha

Two out of three have shown up on the AIS on the computer so we get to find out there name and all which is always kinda cool.

It is looking like we should hit Sait Maarten, that's the Dutch side of the country and the French side is called St Martin, is strange to have two country's on one little island.

Anyway we should hit there on Sunday, with any luck.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 24th May 2013

2013-05-26

Saturday 24th May 2013

4am Day 6

Another birthday today, Happy Birthday to my sister in law, Renee, I hope you have a great day. xxx

Well we are still at it, rocking and rolling all over the place, man I'm not sure how much more I can take.

After a train wreak last night in the galley, with me trying to do dishes and clean up, we hit a huge wave and everything went flying including myself.

Two of our favourite bowls broke, and yes they were plastic.

Well things kinda went pear shape, me crying, pirate language, and a bit of a tense moment between The Captain and crew, we have decided that if either of us have to go down below we change the heading of the boat by about 40° and it settles down some.

The only problem is it takes us way off coarse, so we need to do what we have to as quick as possible.

After putting up the awning type thingy to stop the rain last night, well it hasn't rained since...hahaha

But the weather is sure starting to heat up, we are in shorts and t-shirts, and have gone from using two blankets on the bed to just a sheet.

The last two nights I have been busy in the galley, I have been in a lather of sweat, and actually have had cold showers, oh man this brings back memories, so now you are gonna have to put up with me winging about the heat again...haha

It's still looking like we will make it to Sait Maarten on Sunday, we were hoping to get there before than as we have been told we are going to hit bad weather on Sunday but there is not much we can do about that.

I just looked on the nav thingy and after over 1,000 nm we have about 174nm to go, yay

We average about a 130nm a day so that's not to bad for this old girl.

5pm

There is great excitement on this boat, we are getting closer to land, are down to 101nm to go.

The bad weather at the other end is looking like it will miss us, so that's a huge relief off our shoulders.

We have both been reading up about the island and it looks like a fun happening place.

The reason we decided to go there is to do the last bit of repairs, haul the boat out to anti foul the bottom, and stock up on provisions, for the long haul home.

And of cause see a few sites as well, we tend not to do too many touristy things as we enjoy seeing the real island a lot better, not what they want you to see.

But if we find some things that are really interesting, we dip into the touristy stuff but only a little.

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Sunday 26th May 2013

2013-05-26

Sunday 26th May 2013

Day 7

Well some how I have messed up the dates, so I hope now I'm back on track, at least I had the days right if nothing else.

So a Big Big Happy Birthday to you Mr Anthony, I hope you have a fantastic day. xxx

And another to my Nephew James, I hope you have a great day too. xxx

Yeah I know we have a lot of Birthdays in and around May in our family.

6am

Well our stress levels are in overdrive,

For the last hour or so things kinda went pear shape once again.

I woke up with The Captain starting the motor, asked why, was told that we need to gain some speed if we want to make it into Sait Maarten in daylight, then offered my help he said no its fine just rest there.

Yeah right,

He goes down to check the bilge and its full of sea water, far out, I'm up in a flash, race down, well not really race, more like a sideways fast crab crawl, we have learned that if you don't want to get thrown from one side of the boat to the other, you start at the top of the stairs and slide down sideways with your butt on the handrail, and basically go sideways almost all the way around, grabbing onto stuff along the way, now we do have handrails on the roof to grab hold of but yours truly, is too short to reach them...haha

Anyway he has that all under control, the bilge pump is working fine, i'm a bit worried about where it is coming in, but we both think its from all the waves that crash over us all the time.

So I go make us a coffee each come up top, take one mouthful and The Captain races up the steps, and turns off the motor, earlier in the journey we notice that a hose had fallen onto the prop, that was supposed to be fixed, and the captain needed to go and tie it up, so down he goes grabs all his tools and gets to work, again he says he is ok,

That again last about 5 mins, three more sips of coffee, he needs paper towel, so do the crab walk down again, pass him the paper towel, about to come up again, he than wants me to grab a torch, and go around the other side of him and shine it into the hole,

The poor guy is on his tum, trying to tie up a rope and desperately trying not to face plant the floor with each wave.

We are rocking and rolling so much and I'm trying so hard not to chuck as I can feel myself getting greener by the minute.

When he gives me the green light to go I race up so quick and just hang my head over the side and breath in the cool air.

Ok so number three, he comes back up starts the motor,and there is this almighty crash, on deck, OMG, we both fly for a torch and race to the back of the cockpit to see what has happened, it's still quite dark, and can't see anything at all, then we notice a shroud from the rigging has broken away and fallen on deck, this is a very thick wire rope that holds the mast in place.

Another thing to get fixed it is ok at the moment as the Captain got the sail in and there is no pressure on it right now.

On a brighter note we just saw lights from land, yay yay yay.

We are about 10nm off our first waypoint, this is the island of Anquilla, and we will head around that and onto Sait Maarten, it is still about another 30 odd miles to go, and I know both of us can't wait to get there.

Well it's 9am and we can see Sait Maarten although its a way off its like a huge mountain in the sky. Another yay yay yay.

Wow we are getting at bit closer and all you can see is mountain ranges, it's amazing not at all what we expected.

It looks like from here like something out of Jurasic Park, you know when the helicopter come into view of the island, well that's exactly what it looks like, you can almost see the dinosaurs roaming around.

And we are here after almost 1,000 nm and 7 days we have made it, we are very very tired but quite proud of ourselves.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 27th May 2013

2013-05-28

Monday 27th May 2013

Well we have woken up to a bit of a cloudy day, which is fine by me, it was so hot yesterday we thought we might just pass out.

I have a lot of cleaning up to do, as once again there is salt everywhere inside and out.

We had so many leaks this trip that almost every locker is wet and salty, that's one thing we are going to try and do while we are here is to fix the leaking port holes, as I really don't want to spend days every time we come into a new country having to clean this boat from head to toe.

We actually slept in the cockpit last night, as all our sheets and bed linen was soaking wet, but also it was a lot cooler up here.

Yesterday afternoon we got in the dingy and went on a wild goose chase to find the customs to check in, on the French side as its a lot cheaper to check in this side than the Dutch, but you than have to anchor on their side as well.

We were advised to where we should go and anchor and find the customs.

Well after what felt like hours going through the area they said to anchor it was like a boat graveyard, it was shocking and smelt bad, we than went up further into town and tied up the dingy in a very third world area, talk about dodgy.

We walked through alleyways, rubbish, filth, homeless you name it, and no one speaking english, but we did managed to find a few little cafes, and a bread shop, and yes from leaving England, so many months ago, we got real bread, we so enjoyed it so so much.

It was getting late and we really did not want to be here after dark, to the fact that two police officers walk past wearing bullet proof vests, that sure made us walk faster...hahaha

So back into the dingy that is now padlocked, and finally made our way back to our boat, with the decision that we don't care how much extra we have to pay we are checking in on The Dutch side and staying there....haha

In all fairness I'm sure and we will find that there is some really nice areas, on the French side, but our first opinion was not good at all.

So today, I have cleaned this boat from top to bottom, and The Captain, has gone ashore, to try and find Customs on the Dutch side, try and see if we can get Internet on the boat, and also find some people who can get this boat fixed for us... This list is long.

Me I finally got the boat back in order, all clean and tidy again, well the inside anyway.

And then it Rained and man did it rain, it poured all afternoon, my once clean boat is now looking like a swimming pool, I have buckets and towels all over the place, and racing back and forth changing towels and emptying buckets.

I thought I was tired before, man I am now exhausted, but at least it's cooler today so that's a plus.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 28th May 2013

2013-05-29

Tuesday 28th May 2013

Well Happy Birthday to me...hahaha

I always said I wanted to spend my 50th Birthday, in the Caribbean, well The Captain came through, even if it is a year late...hahaha

So today we are going to the Sunset Bar and grill, this is where all the planes almost land on top of you, I really can't wait...haha

Well we had some errands to run first, surprise surprise.

After a late start we decided to go to the Sunset Bar, for a late lunch.

First we had to take the shroud from the mast into the riggers for them to have a look and see if they can fix it, this place is right next to a bar, called Lagoonies, where a lot of cruisers hangout, you can get free wifi and stuff.

So The Captain and I go ashore order a drink, now get this he had a Apple Juice, and I had a fruit smoothie, as we getting sad or what, actually we are in so need of fresh fruit and veges, that's all we felt like....hahaha

So The Captain goes off to the riggers, I'm here trying to open a web page, they say that cruisers are really laid back, and just go slow with everything, but man does the wifi

Have to be as well, come on, this is driving me nuts.

I give up in the end and just read, The Captain, has also gone off to talk to, a boat yard to see how much and how long it will be for us to haul the boat out and get the Anti-foul done.

So things are going a bit slower than expected, he finally comes back, hours later, and off we go.

Now we have been told that you take the dingy down to a place called, Barnacles,

And tie up there walk to the main road and catch a bus, to the Sunset Bar.

We were a little concerned as the out board motor is playing up again, so we take it real slow, searching for this damn place, mile after mile, and yeap the motor overheated,

So we are stopped in the middle of the harbour, just sitting there bobbing up and down... :-/

the Captain takes off the cover to let it cool down some, and we sit and wait, after awhile its cooled down enough, so starts up again this lasts about five minutes, than it just dies.

Yeap out come the oars, and off we go, man it is hard work rowing who ever said that rowing is fun, need their head red, it's bloody hard work, we eventually get to a wharf tie up there but it so high up, I'm thinking I'll never ever be able to climb up, but hey after the second attempt and almost falling in the water, I made it, and The Captain did as well, we tied up the dingy and went looking for the owners, it happens to be a hertz rental place, well they were not happy with us leaving the dingy there but The Captain used The Face, and all was ok.

The Face, is a long story, but to make it short, when we were on the Island of Lerios in the Med looking at the Very first Boat, the family that adopted us at a local night club, well there teenage daughter, told us that we have a face, that told her we were nice people, so from then on we always use The Face, to get what we want...hahaha

Anyway we finally manage to get a bus, to the Sunset Bar, and guess what the last big plane to land, landed about 15minutes ago...far out.

But we saw a few small ones land and take off, had a meal, than stopped at a market on the way back and had ourselves a nice French Red, a French breadstick and nice Dutch Cheese on deck not a bad way to end the night.

And we will go back to sunset bar another day.

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Wednesday 29th May 2013

2013-05-30

Wednesday 29th May 2013

Well today The Captain goes off early to get the outboard motor fixed, comes back very frustrated, as we were told that it needed a new impeller and a new thermostat so go there tell the guy, they tell him to come back soon, so he comes back they change the impeller but tell him it really didn't need it, they said not to worry about the thermostat as its really hard to get to and they never fail, so they put it back on the dingy, and start it up, and yeap it overheats, another guy looks at it and says there is no water coming out, of the outlet, The Captain tried to tell them this at beginning, so this guy grabs a stick shoves it up the hole, wiggles it around, a whole heap of stuff comes out, that was the problem, so after a fair amount of money a new impeller that we don't need but at least we now have a spare one, all is fixed.

He comes back to the boat to get me, as we need to get to the laundromat, we have a obscene amount of dirty and wet stuff to get clean, the laundromats here charge $1 a pound and they do it themselves, we decided that was going to cost us a fortune, so just the sheets and towels went, I will wash the others In my oh so favourite trusty old Bucket...oh joy....haha

We also wanted to talk to a guy about getting this cockpit waterproof, also get to the Internet place, as we have Internet on the boat now and it was supposed to be wifi but its not, and to find a supermarket.

So off we go, motor working fine, The Captain with a big grin on his face, revving it up and speeding along, and yeap it heats up again, there is no water coming out once more, he fiddles with it and the water starts flowing again and all is well again.

So we have ticked off everything on our list, but we need to bring the boat into the lagoon so the guys can have a look at the rigging and the cockpit.

Now next problem, there is a bridge, that you have to go under to get in there they open it up several times a day to let boats in and out, this comes with a huge price tag, we were thinking we may just go under the radar and go in, but I have spotted cameras on the bridge so, The Captain is going to go ashore in the morning and have a chat and use the face...hahaha

And maybe just maybe work out a deal with them.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 30th May 2013

2013-05-31

Thursday 30th May 2013

Well the face worked we can now stay on the Dutch side, for the cost of the French side...hahaha

So the fun begins, now I don't think I had said on here how good we were at bringing up the anchor and setting it.

This was a major concern on my part, as The Captain and I have never done it by ourselves.

When we left Bermuda, it all went like clock work, the Captain at the Bow lifting and Bringing up the anchor chain, me at the helm, steering, both with two ways so The Captain can tell me what to do.

For those who do not know, the boat has to be at a certain angle to bring it up and also we have what you call a snubber, tied to the chain this helps with the strain, so you need to get the chain to a certain height than unclip that and keep bringing it in.

As you can imagine the boat is swinging all the time, so my job is to try and keep it in the right direction, it's not that easy, I'm at the helm he is giving instructions, go port, go starboard, put it in idle, put in reverse, and so on, all the while trying not to swing to close to other boats.

So back to Bermuda, well it worked like clockwork we were very chuffed with ourselves, then it was time to anchor in Sait Maarten same kind of deal but this is more stressful, as you have to make sure you have just the right amount of chain down, and then put it hard in reverse to see if it holds and really, really try hard not to hit the 20 odd boats around, and of cause its great entertainment for all the other boaties as well.

I'm sure most are just worried that you may run into them.

Well we did it like we have been doing it all our lives, first go and all, went perfect, so we are walking around chest puffed out so proud of ourselves...hahaha

So getting back to today, I was not too worried about doing this ad we have done it, perfect before, well I should of been worried...haha

First we had to get the anchor up real quick, as the bridge was opening in about 8 minutes time, if we missed this opening, we would of had to wait another 6 hours to go through.

So all is going well then the chain jams, it's like a mountain of chain piled on top of each other, so desperately going to port and starboard forwards, reverse with 3 boats very close to us, I,m panicking and telling The Captain we are getting to close to this one and that, he has his head down, fighting with the Chain, the others are on their boats watching, I'm sure ready to fend us off if we got to close.

But we managed to get it up finally, so much for pros, and look at the time we have about 30 seconds to get over to the channel to go through the bridge, far out.

But we made it just.

Then come into the lagoon, now we have been told some parts are shallow, so we put on the nav thingy, and yeap does not give much depth, so watch the depth sounder instead.

There is only a few boats anchored here but behind us are some really big yachts and mega yachts, we so can't afford to run into them.

We still were not too worried, as we have done this before right?

So we pick our spot The Captain goes forward, me at the helm walkie talkies, he goes to put the anchor down, I look at the depth, 0.1 meters depth, OMG, me yelling at The Captain, through the Two way, him not answering try several times, than realise I need to push the talk button in first...hahah

So he yells out to put it in reverse, and nothing I'm thinking man we are grounded, he comes racing back, but we eventually start to move, it is also very windy.

So take 3 or 4 we keep trying every time we just kept getting into shallow water, than a guy pops up on deck from a boat close by and tells us it's way to shallow on that side anchor behind him, so we try that, take I think 6 by now, this was more stressful than the first few try's as not only did we get way to close to him several times, but beside us was a very expensive yacht and man we got close to it a lot, by this time we are in such a panic mode, we are half yelling out, and half using the two ways, The Captain running back and forth cause the damn boat won't move, at one stage the wind picked up so hard we were just spinning in circles, oh and also there was a great big barge dredging the area as well.

The big problem was that the anchor would not take, there is a lot of weed around and the anchor just rolls over the top if it.

But finally after about god knows how many tries we got it, two very stressed out, sweating cruisers gave a big sigh of relief, and went hunting for a stiff drink...hahaha just joking its only 10am, but we sure wanted too.

I did some cleaning up around here, washed some clothes, while the Captain went to talk to the riggers, they came out in the afternoon, and it looks like, three more of the shrouds for the mast have to be fixed, man are we ever going to get this boat right.

I guess it's good that we found out now and not be in the middle of the ocean when they let go.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 31st May 2013

2013-06-01

Friday 31st May 2013

Am sitting here this morning watching a heap of Mega Yachts, and boats go out of the lagoon under the bridge, they are just going one after the other soon there will not be many left.

You ask why?

Well tomorrow is the 1st of June and the official start to the Hurricane season.

Man we feel like we have come full circle and almost have, we bought this boat in the beginning of the Hurricane season and made a mad dash to get out of it, and here we are back in it again.

We are trying very hard to get the repairs done so we can get going to, if we don't hurry up and get through Panama soon we will be in the cyclone season in the pacific, all we are doing is chasing our tail, it's driving us nuts, but once we get through Panama we can finally settle down and really enjoy this life as it was meant to be.

We had a guy come out to have a look at our cockpit today and see what can be done to get it weather proof, it's going to cost a bit, but at least we will have dry beds when we are out there in the ocean which will be great.

After he left we decided to go ashore and find a local supermarket that is supposed to be the cheapest on the island, so jump in the dingy, take off and the wind picks up big time, now this would be ok, but it also makes the waves big as well, and big waves in a small boat means that all on board get wet, yeap we were drenched, I had water dripping off my nose, and my nice clean hair this morning, that I had blow dried and all, and even having a good hair day, for the first time in like forever, was plastered to my head.

Was not happy.

And did we find the shop? Nope, but we did find out that it was way over the other side of the island...hahaha

Oh and the other thing we are right under the flight path of the airport, most of you may have seen the video I put on facebook.

Now I know I wanted to see the planes go past real close but man I only wanted a afternoon watching them, not day and night, all the time, to be fair they only start about 9am and finish about 3pm.

Also I'm on a quest to film the perfect jumbo jet flying past, I have a time schedule

On them that I am keeping track of the big guys, and race up at the right time to get a clip with my ipad but with the wind and sun in my eyes I'm almost doing it blind and holding on so the wind does not blow me or god forbid my ipad overboard.... Haha

So watch this space.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 1st June 2013

2013-06-02

Saturday 1st June 2013

Well today we did not do a huge amount, we did not get much sleep last night, as there is a nightclub right behind us on shore, and they blare out very very loud music, till about 3am.

So you have two very tired and grumpy cruisers here today.

The Captain has fixed the problems of both sails, and fingers crossed thats all that needs doing to them.

We are starting to watch the weather again if all goes well, we are looking to find the best weather window from Saturday next week.

All the jobs are lined up, early in the week we hope the rigging will be fixed, Wednesday the boat comes out of the water, but we are not getting the Anti-foul done just a clean and a fitting put in so the water maker will work better out in the ocean, and toward the end of the week the Canvas work should be done.

So that's the plan, will it work? Who knows but we sure hope so.

The Captain and I still have a lot of work to do ourselves.

My beautiful teak work that took me months and months to do, with this new beaut, fancy teak oil that should last about 4 years, well they lied, within the first few weeks we started to notice a few patches wearing now almost the whole lot is faded so bad that the timber is showing through, this makes me cry I can tell you, after all the hard work I went through to make it look good, well now she looks almost like a homeless boat again.

We have to do something real quick about it or the teak will start turning grey and then I will have to go through all the cleaning and prepping again.

Now we still have 2, 4 litre drums of this stuff left that was really expensive and I just wanna chuck it all into Davy Jones's locker.

So much for making the teak simple to look after, we are not sure what to do now, do we just keep using it till its all gone or just oil it with teak oil, either way it's gonna be a big job.

Then we have to replace all the seals on all the port holes, we have found a new rubber, foam that may just work, so have one glued in place, and tomorrow we will put it back and then get the deck hose, and blast it from the dingy and see how it holds up.

I sure hope it works.

Then we will try and get through the next mountain of stuff, but it is hard, to work not only is it extremely hot, oh have you noticed I have not complained yet about the heat??...watch this space...hahaha

But it's such a laid back place you kinda just want to join in with it all...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.

This one is For you Heather. :-)

In the harbor, in the island, in the Spanish Seas,

Are the tiny white houses and the orange trees,

And day-long, night-long, the cool and pleasant breeze

Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

There is the red wine, the nutty Spanish ale,

The shuffle of the dancers, the old salt's tale,

The squeaking fiddle, and the soughing in the sail

Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

And o' nights there's fire-flies and the yellow moon,

And in the ghostly palm-trees the sleepy tune

Of the quiet voice calling me, the long low croon

Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

-- John Masefield


Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd June 2013

2013-06-04

Sunday 2nd June and Monday 3rd June 2013

Well we are starting to tick off the list of jobs to do.

We put the port hole back in blasted it with a hose and yeap it still leaks...far out

But its not the seal its the surrounds, so we will put a bead of seal around that as well, another job to add to the list.

We have decided to just use teak oil on the timber, as its much easier to do, I know we will be doing it most likely monthly but at least the wood won't go grey until we can think of another solution, I did some yesterday and it looks like it will need two coats, I only did a small section as it was way too hot, and I'm not sure but i think the sun got to me, as I felt really off the rest of the day, but this afternoon when it cooled down The Captain and I did almost the whole boat, so that was good.

We had the riggers coming and going yesterday and its looking like it will be finished tomorrow, yay.

The canvas guy came and we have worked all that out, and it should be done by Thursday, we are a bit worried about it working or not, but it should be a big improvement at least. ( no more wet mattresses we hope )

And on Wednesday the boat will be lifted out of the water, to the clean and stuff can be fixed, I'm excited about this one, not only will she get a good clean, well her bottom but it will be the first time we have seen her out of the water.

The big problem we have with her is that she is a big heavy boat so not many boat yards have a lift big enough to get her out of the water, lucky there was one here so thats good.

So the work continues at a slow pace we know there will always be a list of things to do but at least some are getting done.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 4th June 2013

2013-06-05

Tuesday 4th june 2013

Well first I would like to wish my brother a very Happy Birthday, hope you have a great day. Xxx

So today we finally got the rigging fixed, yay, one more problem fixed.

After the riggers left we decided to go to shore, The Captain wanted to go to the French side to talk to a local here who knows everything about the island, and also we needed to get The Captains Chair fixed that was another broken thing.

Me I so didn't want to go to that side, but went anyway.

I can tell you it's still yuck, it's actually so sad, and very third world, on the outside of this island, it's all modern and resorts, then you get just inside and it's so third world and so poor it's shocking.

So we found the guy, he also has a laundry and The Captain, wanted to take our laundry there as well as he did not like the lady who did ours on the Dutch side, I can tell you it is staying on the Dutch side as this guys place was so dirty and smelly, the clothes would come back worse than when we left them.

We also found a guy that can fix our chair so that's good.

Then we came back to the other side and very wet once again went hunter for bits and pieces.

And guess what the Dutch side has the same third world as well, just not as smelly, we wanted to find a hardware store and was told if we just walk up the hill there is one there, should only take 5mins max, they lied too....haha

After god knows how long weaving on and off the road dodging water that smelt like sewage, trying not to get run over or mugged, two very tired and sweaty cruisers, finally came to the store, man we were blown away it was huge spotless, just like a huge department store with everything, I for one was very impressed.

Got what we needed then headed back to the dingy safe and sound.

Back to the boat and The Captain even had a nana nap...hahah

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 5th June 2013

2013-06-06

Wednesday 5th June 2013

Well where do I start, what a day, we feel like we have been rung out to dry.

It started with me setting an alarm to be up by six, so I could ring my oldest, we have been trying to get in contact for ages and just kept missing each other.

So I have never set an alarm on my Ipad before, and was so worried it would not go off that I kept waking up to check the time...haha

Anyway I was up way before it went off, and yes I did managed to talk to her, it was so nice but sad, after a teary spot but it just makes me won't to go home so much I miss them way too much, love you guys.

So than we were running, we had to get the boat over to the boat yard to get hauled out, by 8am.

As per usual we had problems getting the anchor up, which made us a bit late, but managed to get over there, well we have never been in this area before only by dingy, and the chart plotter is hopeless, so we were going by markers and the depth sounder, yeap we run aground...far out.

We managed to get off ok only to run aground again, over and over this was getting way out of hand, we had rang the guys and they were all standing at the shore waiting for us.

After god knows how many times, I looked over and they were all sitting down...hahaha

Well the last grounding we were stuck hard, no way were we going anywhere, we rang them again and they decided to get the tow guys, yeap once again we are getting towed off, man we should have shares in the tow boat industry, the amount we have paid these guys over the last 12months we could of at least brought our own tow boat...haha

Now I for one was kinda glad to see them as it meant they would tow us into the shore if you could of seen where they wanted us to reverse in, it was crazy, I'm sure glad I was not the one at the wheel for a change.

Actually it may of been a bit easier as I was running around like crazy trying to get all the fenders tied to the side of the boat.

Once the tow boat got us in close they threw the ropes to the guys onshore and they just pulled us in, but we came in so fast and all hell kinda broke loose and I'm chucking ropes to them and trying so hard not to hit either side, while The Captain was trying so hard to steer it in as well.

So they finally get us all tied up and safe, and we just sit there stressed out of our heads, and wanting to get that stiff drink... Once again it was way to early hahaha.

Awhile goes past and we start looking at each other and saying what now, so we jump ashore, The Captain goes off to find the office and I start taking some photos, as its is the first time we have had the boat out of the water, so we want to record it all.

Another worry is what surprises are in store for us, as we know the way this boat is there will be more things broken or wrong with her.

So we finally get her out of the water, and she is in really good shape, and not much growth at all, so gets a good clean, the captain puts on a new connection for the water maker and all is good to go back in the water.

The one thing that really blew us away, is how big she really is, she reminded me of an ice berg, just a little bit showing on top, and the bulk under water.....haha.

I wanted to go and take some more pics of her going back in the water, but after climbing up on board on a very swaying ladder I decided to stay put, than finally got the courage to go back down, but it was too late, as they had already taken the ladder away.

So we get put back in the water, with no problems, they tell us which way to go out, so we don't run aground again, why they did not tell us as we were coming in I have no idea, ( maybe they have those shares in the tow boat...haha )

And we make it back to our original spot to put down the anchor, once again.

Now if you remember from last time we had a hell of a problem, getting the anchor set with all the weed, well this time was worse.

Talk about stress, no matter how many times, we tried, and going around in circles for so long, me at the helm the Captain at the stern, wrestling with the anchor, and one very close call, with another boat, man I really thought I was going to run straight into it, because she is a heavy boat she takes a long time to turn, and I had to really up the revs to miss the boat, talk about hands shaking.

But after about 8 tries, The Captain will say 3 here...hahaha we finally get it to take and this time I needed the nana nap...haha

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Thursday 6th June 2013

2013-06-07

Thursday 6th june 2013

Well first off I want to wish my girl and her man a big congrats for getting your house keys...yay let the Renovations begin, well done guys. Xxx

Ok the day started off very early, with The Captain, in pain at some ungodly hour of the morning, actually not sure it was actually morning, now we know how guys are when they are in pain, but man do you have to wake up the whole Lagoon with your cries of agony?...hahaha

All joking aside he was actually in very bad pain the poor guy, he has been suffering from leg cramps, and this one was the worst so far in his thigh this time.

So up we get and he is trying to walk around to ease the pain, and I hit the computer, with good old trusty Google, it seems that he needs more minerals in his diet, as our water maker makes the water so pure we are not getting any of these minerals that are usually in the normal drinking water.

We have some stuff on board some he is going to start taking that and see how he goes, lets hope it works.

I ended up sleeping up in the cock pit after this as it was so hot in the cabin, and also to let The Captain get a bit more rest, or maybe me get more rest...haha

And he wakes up this morning just fine and dandy, like, nothing had gone on at all.

There is a bit of quiet tension starting to happen on this boat of ours, as you know we are in the beginning of the Hurricane season, and not much really happens to later in the season, well that has changed, there has already been two named storms, one is Hurricane Andrea, we have been keeping a close watch on Andrea, and luckily she is going to miss us, but it's still scary, the sooner we get to Panama the better.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June 2013

2013-06-09

Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June.

Ok well Friday was a busy day still trying to get all the bits and pieces done before we head out.

We went to the local chemist here, as we needed some supplies, as in strong pain killers and some antibiotics, we have been reading up on updating our medical kit,

We have most of Everything already, but no antibiotics, so go to the Chemist explain what we need come away with all this stuff all, prescription medicine, no doctors visit, they just hand it over to you and very cheap, gotta love these islands.

In the afternoon the canvas guy came to hang up our new weather proof stuff, and yeap it does not fit, back to the drawing board, actually in all fairness it was not too bad, just needs some tweaking, so now we have to wait for Monday afternoon to see how that goes.

Saturday,

Today we hired a car, and went for a drive around the island, we needed to get a big shop done as well, we had been told of two stores that are really good for provisions,

So after getting lost heaps of times I think by the time we finished, it felt like we had been around the island ten times...haha

We also took a walk around, Philipsburg, on the Dutch side, where they have all these stalls mainly for the cruise ships, but it was fun, got ripped off buying two dresses, got hassled by everyone, trying to sell you this and that, but got a feel of the island a bit as well.

This island is such a mixed bag, you have really nice areas, and then the slums where you close your windows and lock your doors this is while your driving.

On the Dutch side there is no speed limits, on the French there is, the road does not start or stop, there is just a small sign to say what side you are on, so you need to be a bit careful, but other than a speed limit on the French side, there is no other road rules, it just a free for all, kinda a bit scary, and it felt like The Captain was driving so fast, but he was mainly only doing about 40km, I guess we are so used to the boat and dingy going slow...hahaha

We still did not get everything we needed so we are keeping the car for one more day and will head out again tomorrow.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 9th June 2013

2013-06-12

Sunday 9th June 2013

Well we set off early today, so we could get to Sunset Bar, where the planes come in.

We checked the flight tracker, before we left so we knew that a big 747 plane was coming in the morning.

If you remember this was my birthday thing I wanted I do, but by the time we got there on my birthday the big planes had already landed for the day.

You usually only get two of these big mamas a day so you gotta time it right.

So we get there nice and early today, and had to wait well over an hour but it was so worth it, man those guys are big.

I stood behind The Captain and filmed it with my ipad and he took pics on the camera, talk about stressful, you only get one chance as they come in so quick, but as most of you have already seen it on facebook, by now, we were so happy how it turned out, actually to be there and just watch them land is just amazing, we were like little kids...hahaha

So after that we had more stuff to do as we only had the car for one day,

We wanted to find a local markets that we have heard so much about, well after driving for what seemed like hours, we finally came across them, being Sunday there was only two stalls open, we didn't bother stopping, instead we checked out a bit more of the island, then finally stopped at the grocery store to get our finale shopping done, and yeap the store closed about a minute before we got there...far out.

So back to the boat we go, two very tired cruisers, and we will set out very early in the morning to get the food, as the car will be picked up at 10am.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 10th June 2013

2013-06-12

Monday 10th June 2013

Well we hit the floor running.

We wanted to listen to Chris the weather guy before we left, as The Captain had sent him an email and he usually answers on his live radio broadcast, we need to see when we can move from here and head for Panama.

So after waiting for ages, we just had to go, off we went finally got to the supermarket, this time it was open...haha

The Captain dropped me off while he raced around to do bits and pieces, than back to the boat.

I then had the big task of sorting out and putting away all the stuff, man it took all day.

We also had the canvas guy come out with the new covers for the second fitting and they are looking good, lets hope it helps keeping the rain out.

It better it cost an arm and a leg...haha

We also have another break down, one of our fridges is not working properly, so after a few phone calls that got us nowhere, The Captain jumps on the radio, talks to the local guy here and within a few hours he is out here.

So after we almost had to dismantle the whole saloon, they finally got the fridge out, well part of the way out and he regas it ,they then decided to move the fan, as it was doing nothing where it was, this fan is supposed to cool the motor down, to make it run more efficiently.

Now The Captain is not only the water nazi, but also the power usage Nazi.

So he was very happy about this, the guy put a new fan on our other fridge as well so The Captain was overjoyed..haha

Did it make the power any better...nope, did it fix the fridge.....nope

So back to the drawing board once again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 11th June 2013

2013-06-12

Tuesday 11th June 2013

Well after talking to the weather man Chris, it is not looking good to leave for Panama, for at least another ten days or so.

There is very unsettled weather all around, with gale force winds, big seas and a lot of rain...great.

The biggest issue is we have to sail around Columbia, and it's really bad weather there at the best of times.

We are thinking of leaving to sail down to the ABCs islands, this should take 3 to 4 days, and we will be a lot closer to Panama, and may just get a good weather window, to sail across.

We are in contact with Chris daily as he is trying to get us out of here.

So with that plan in mind, this boat has been a hive of activity with me organising everything down below doing some cooking, packing stuff away, and The Captain, racing around getting bits and pieces and fixing all the odd jobs on deck.

Oh and all the port holes have had the seals replaced put back on tested and no more leaks from them...yay

All is going well then he notices another shroud that looks iffy...far out here we go again.

So that needs looking into, the fridge still needs looking into, but the boat is shining down below, some extra food cooked ready to be frozen, a lot of jobs on deck crossed off the list, and on and on it goes.

Will we be ready to leave in a day or two? We sure hope so.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Wednesday 12th June 2013

2013-06-13

Wednesday 12th June 2013

Well today was a busy one once again, The Captain and crew, have been flat out, doing all kinds of stuff, so that when the weather window is open, we can just take off.

Right at the moment we are thinking about staying here now as the weather in the ABCs is not looking real good either.

We are so ready to move on, but it's still looking like maybe Thursday next week may be good to leave.

We are thinking of moving around the island, to the French side, when we went for a drive the other day we found a few nice areas to anchor off the beach on that side, so we will kinda be in a new country...haha

There is a very quiet or not so quiet war happening on this boat of ours.

We are being over run by fruit flys, these little bastards are everywhere.

And you know me the Bug Terminator has come out to play again, thanks to good old Google, there are traps, all over the place, cans of bug spray, doted here and there and yes they are still flying around everywhere.

Google says you have to find and get rid of the source of what they are attracted to, and make sure there is no food and stuff left around...these guys will go for anything.

So the hunt was on, and yeap found the source, one of the lockers in the dinette, that has a lot of can stuff in it, well there were two pierced cans of peaches and three cans of beer that had been pierced as well, and a million fruit flys, so I guessed that was the place.

I was not real happy about getting in there to clean up all this mess I can tell you, after spending all day yesterday cleaning everything, I had a bigger mess today, and I just hate beer, the smell was shocking.

But I managed to clean it all up, all the cans got a nice bleach bath, along with the locker, and yours truly, had a fair amount on her as well.

Now you may think its just one locker not so bad, well when your hanging almost upside down to reach the bottom, under a table, in extreme heat, with the smell of rotten fruit, beer and bleach, not fun at all.

Are they all gone?...nope but at least the numbers are down.

This brings me to another story, I have been reading on facebook all these little handy hints and decided to try one out.

In this humid weather my hair has been going very curly, and I hate it, I try to blow wave the top at least to make it a bit straight.

So this hint says that you mix brown sugar with water and spray it on wet hair let it dry naturally you will have shiny straight hair.

Well I just had to give it a go.

So hunt out a spray bottle, mix it up, and yeap, all it did was go sticky and the fruit flys were chasing me all over the place...they thought it was Christmas...haha

Not gonna do that again.

But on a brighter note well kinda, we decided to go into the local bar here and have Happy Hour drinks.

We needed to go to the local supermarket first, so get up to the dock, waves crashing, I go to climb up first, one leg on the dock the other still in the dingy, and the dingy moves, well The Captain, just gives me a huge shove on the butt, I shoulder plant the dock, a fair amount of skin off but at least I didn't fall into the water, although that may of been a bit less painful.

So after that little episode we went to the supermarket, could not find what we wanted, so back in the dingy and it starts to rain, well we race back to the boat as all the hatches are open, The Captain jumps on board runs around to close them all, we are both drenched, and of cause it stops just as they are all closed.

He looks at me and says I can't believe how hard it is to take your girlfriend out for a drink...haha

So we eventually get there have a few drinks and come back to the boat, was it worth it? Not really but it was nice to get off the boat for awhile.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 13th June 2013

2013-06-14

Thursday 13th June 2013

Well we have had the fridge guy out so many time we have almost lost count, he is starting to becoming a permanent fixture on this boat.

And yeap we have found out it has a leak in the lines, but just can't find it.

So we will have a little gas bottle permanently attached and once a week or so just put in a little more gas, this is as best we can do other than buying a brand new fridge, we looked up these online to see how much and they are well on $3,000 so that's off the cards for now at least.

The shroud that looks iffy is looking like it needs replacing, we have been trying to get one of the guys to come out to the boat but so far have not seen any, so The Captain, has taken photos and he will go show them and see what they think.

But we have managed to cross of almost all the stuff on the list, other than a few more leaks that are driving us crazy.

We had a lot of rain yesterday , which was good in finding the worse leaks, out of the 13 windows only five are leaking, The Captain is very happy about this as I was trying to get him to reseal all of them.

The other major leak in our cabin, which is coming in from the base of the davits, well The Captain sealed this up really well, and yeap it still leaks, we have now found out it is coming from the bolts, so late into the night he was on deck unscrewing while I was on our bunk holding the nut in place, we still have one screw to do and then hopefully that will be fixed.

We are that close to being ready to move on, but the weather is still against us, we really do have itchy feet, and want out of hear, at least going around the other side of the island will be nice, as our fridge guy, has told us there is a beach there where a lot of sea turtles are, this will be so nice.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 14th June 2013

2013-06-15

Friday 14th June 2013

Well we have changed from clogs to frogs, yeap we are now anchored on the French side.

We decided to go for a weekend away. :-)

After a bit of a stressful day we are now, sitting here on the French side, it was a two hour trip to get here, it's crazy when you think about it, as we could of just gone under a different bridge and been there, in about ten minutes or so.

This bridge was so close to us, but this ship of ours can't go that way as the water is too shallow, so we had to go the long way.

We also had to wait for the other bridge to open, as I have mentioned before it only opens 3 times a day, 9.30am, 11am and 4.30pm, so if you are not there at the right time, tough luck.

We went through at 4.30pm, with not too much trouble getting the anchor up, but it's still not right, we did some modifications, to the anchor locker back in America to stop the chain mounting up on top of itself, it is supposed to just fall down into the bilge, well that's not happening, we still have to work out something different to fix this problem.

So today's dramas, well the guys finally came out to have a look at the shroud that looked a bit iffy, this only happened when The Captain went in and showed them a pic of it.

It does need replacing also the one on the other side needs doing to, and at the front of the boat is what they call a dolphin striker, why I don't know it's not like you hit dolphins with it, just another dumb boatie named thing.

Anyway it's a long piece of timber that has two metal bars that attach to the front of the boat, it kinda holds all the front of the rigging in place, this is so badly cracked, they told me it's really really dangerous....far out, it really never ends.

So The Captain comes back and I have to break the news to him...lucky me.

As he is climbing on board I notice his leg, he has blood running down it from two puncture wounds, and is a bit shaken up.

He explains that a dog attacked him, are you kidding.

He was on a hunt for a globe for the boat and was told to go down next door from the marine shop, it was a bit of a dodgy area and he went down between two homes thinking that's where the shop was, before he realised a dog was attached to his leg, he looked up just as another dog came barreling toward him, he's thinking oh god I'm gonna be attacked by two now, but the other dog attacked the dog still attached to his leg, he managed to get the first dog off his leg by hitting it with a bag, just as the other dog, got there, and raced away to let them fight it out.

So we thought he should go to the medical centre, as one of the marks looked very deep to me, but several phone calls and we could not get through.

I went on a hunt to find some dettol to clean it up, and could not find anything, so wait for it, we cleaned it with listerine...haha

We also have some antibiotic cream so put that on as well, and we will watch it over the next few days to make sure he does not start to foam at the mouth and it does not get infected.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 15th June 2013

2013-06-17

Saturday 15th June 2013

Well have woken up to a very pretty spot, beautiful teal blue water, I don't think I will ever get enough of this colour water it's just beautiful, and crystal clear, we are in about 3 meters of water and you can see the chain and anchor right to the bottom as clear as day.

They have a local markets, on shore today so we decided to go have a look and have breakfast in one of the French bakeries.

So off we set, get to shore have a little look around the markets, most all sell the exact same thing it's crazy, how they ever make any money, and they all hassle you, as your walking past, they try to stop you and want you to buy this and that, I don't like it at all, even if you say you are just looking, well no way do they listen, you actually have to be rude to them and just walk away.

And heaven help you if you pick something up to look at, man they jump on you, they tell you how much and you say too expensive then they try and bargain, we are not real good at this as we feel sorry for them, then on and on it goes.

And the big rule is you never ever look them in the eye, or your gone, you might as well just hand over your whole wallet...haha

So we fight our way through the markets and go to our little French bakery, I call it ours as we have been here several times, and the breads and pastries are really nice, well most of the times.

The only thing here is there is always the same guy hanging out the front of the shop, begging for money, but only a dollar, he stops everyone, and even yells out to you while your sitting there asking for a dollar, he death stares everyone, all the time, we refuse to give him any money, as to be honest he looks like he really does not need it and he creeps me out.

But I can't help watching him, I even took a photo of him, I'll put it up on facebook.

So we decide to head back to the markets as there is a few herbs and spices I want to buy, so off we go again, and the hustlers continue, we eventually made our escape with some spices and The Captain got roped into buying two tshirts...haha

So next we decide to take the boat around to another little spot, this one is called Friers Beach, they say there are often a lot of Sea Turtles here, well did we see any? Nope

But we decided to jump over board with goggles and snorkels and have a swim around, we ended up right in shore, so we took a little walk on the beach then decided to sit for awhile, to catch our breath for the big swim back.

While we were sitting there we noticed a guy swimming very close to our boat, now it's a long way off shore and we are thinking we will never get out there to stop him.

He disappears behind the boat and we jump up real quick, the panic hits, there is a guy with a dingy, that just came to shore, so we race to him and ask if he can take us out to our boat, he can not speak English so we are frantically trying to explain what is happening, and look up the guy is swimming back around the other side of the boat, it looks like he was just having a swim and checking out our boat...haha

Major drama over, and after our heart beats settles we swim back to the boat and breath a huge sigh of relief.

You may think we over dramatised this a bit, but when you here on the two way everyday to make sure you lock everything on board and the stuff that gets stolen daily is just crazy, also we had not locked anything up as we were only going for a quick swim.

So the next stop was a area called Grand Case, so off we go again, by the time we get there The Captain has a problem with his ears from swimming and has gone completely deaf.

So google to the rescue, man the things we did to get the water out of his ears was crazy, from him hopping up and down, hitting the side of his head hanging upside down over a seat, pouring alcohol into his ears, warm olive oil, syringes with warm water, the list went on and on, did it work? Nope

So we go ashore anyway, me being the guide, so he would not get run over by traffic, and walk around all these third world places, trying to find a nice place to have a cocktail or two.

I felt very uneasy about this place from the moment we set foot onshore, and just did not feel safe at all, we managed to find a take away place and the Captain ordered some ribs and Chicken to go.

They have these BBQ's all over the island just little road side places they just cook up chicken and rips and sides, they are so dodgy, I was a little upset that I could not eat any, as we have no idea what spices they use, and besides, I'm not sure i really wanted to eat from them anyway, but The Captain, had a fine meal and was none the worse after it, pity it did not fix his hearing.

So too very tried cruisers call it a night, lets hope his hearing is restored in the morning.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 16th June 2013

2013-06-17

Sunday 16th June 2013

Well what started out as a lazy Sunday morning enjoying the scenery, turned into a stressful afternoon.

The Captains hearing was not much better, so the last remedy surfaced, peroxide in the ears, he so did not want to try this, but I had read some good things about it, the day before, so out it come.

Well it worked a bit the first time, so I made him lay down again, and have a second go, he was not happy.

While he was laying down letting the voodoo magic take affect, I decided to try some more home made stuff on my hair, yeah you think I would of learned the first time, but no this was actually the third try...haha

I have read some good stuff about dyeing your hair with herbs, so the first attempt the other day was to dye your hair red, just use paprika in water, well I mix up a tea with this stuff and its fire engine red, I'm thinking there is no way I'm putting that on my head, so go hunting to find something that will dull it down a bit, so add coffee, and vanilla essence just cause it smelt bad.

So after it all cools done, I put it in my hair, well the smell was so bad, it took three washes to get most of it out, but I can still smell it, and the colour well it gave my hair a bit of a red tinge, but the smell...well wont be doing that one again.

So take three hair treatment, while we were at the markets I found this local herb, that they use for colouring food and other stuff red, will this looked great, so I got some of it.

So out it comes the hot water and all, this time it's bright orange, far out , so out come other bits and pieces, and yes I now have kinda, orangey, brownie, coloured hair with a kinda yellow tinge to my face...hahaha

So go back and rescue The Captain, from a fate worse than death, and stop his brain shrivelling up...haha

And it worked, he can now hear almost perfect again, am glad some thing worked at least.

So we then decide to start heading back as we need to get to the bridge opening at 5.30pm.

After a quick stop and dingy ride into shore to stock up on bread and ok some pastries, we start heading back.

As we were a bit off shore I decided to get out my fishing rod, in hopes of catching dinner.

Yeap I caught my first barracuda, had so much fun fighting with it got it to the boat and you guessed it, it got away, we are so going to get a net tomorrow.

By this time we are close to where we have to go in, to get through the bridge, but we are an hour early so we just switch off the engine, and float around the ocean for awhile and read.

We check out the time and we only have ten minutes to get there...far out I'm thinking there is no way we are going to make it, The Captain is calm and relaxed and assures me we will.

Well the calm does not last, we are getting close to the bridge, when the Coast Guard, pulls up beside us.

They want to come aboard and check our papers and safety equipment, we try to explain that we need to get through the bridge first, so three of them climb aboard, and say ok go through.

Now The Captain is major stressed and getting angrier by the minute, as he is trying to concentrate to get through the bridge and they are wanting to see this and that.

I go and get all the papers, they are asking all kinds of questions, and one of them wants to see all our safety equipment, now it's all over the boat, so him and I go downstairs and he wants to see the flares and guns, some of the flares are not in date so he is not happy about this, we only have one fire extinguisher that is in date, not happy, then he wants to check out the engine, I tell him its under the floor boards, feel free to look, he decides to forget it.

Then comes up the stairs and stands right in the way as The Captain is going through the bridge, one of the other guys, pulls him out of the way, I think The Captain is about to kill one of them by now.

They then want our phone number and address, back home, we explain that we don't have a phone, they are not happy about this as well, then we just gave them our old house address, so yeah good luck with that one.

We make it though finally and they jump off, back to their own boat and go along there merry way, The Captain is livid.

But he settles down enough for us to try and anchor again is this horrible weedy place.

We made it with the second attempt, which was not bad.

There was another yacht that came in with us and they had a terrible time, we were watching them as well, they went too close to another boat and ended up in a terrible mess both tangled together.

We wanted to help but were too busy getting our anchor set and by the time we were right, there were others from boats around, helping out, no matter what they did they could not free them.

So we jumped back on the radio and tried to call the Coast Guard jerks to do something useful and help them out.

Well it was answered by the French side, can you believe it, we were on the Dutch side.

With a thousand calls back and forth we finally got in contact with them and they wanted to know all the ins and outs about our boat, and the others, position and how to identify it, serious they only had to look out their window to see they were that close, and they were the only two boats doing a tango in the lagoon, man how hard was it.

By the time they finally understood the others managed to get them free and with the help of a few fellow sailers they got them anchored in a safe spot, so much for the Coast Guard.

So after a few stiff drinks life settled down again and we are once again back in the lagoon and will be up early to set off to see the riggers, once again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 17th June 2013

2013-06-18

Monday 17th June 2013

Well bright and early today the Captain headed off to talk with the riggers, we were not sure how they wanted to proceed with the new lot of repairs.

We thought we may have to take the boat into their dock, this made us a bit uneasy, as you remember, the last time we took the boat in there we ran aground about 5 times, but as luck has it they will come out to the boat tomorrow and take everything off here and take it back and fix it at there building.

So that sorted we got stuck into the last stuff we want to get fixed.

On the way back from our little weekend getaway, the dingy, knocked, the plugs off the big solar panel, it was kinda our fault as we had it just swinging off the Davits, we should of had it tightened up, but we were only going a short way, so thought it would be ok.

So The Captain spend a good chunk of the day fixing the solar Panel, the biggest issue was what wires went to what plug, after hours wiring together and taking it apart and changing it and so on, and a few phone calls, he finally got it working...yay

Then onto the many leak repair jobs, me well I cleaned out The Captains, Man Cave...( the tool and spare parts cabin) which took awhile, then went onto oiling the outside timber work, this took the rest of the day.

So we have both been really busy once again, it's still looking like Thursday is the day we leave and with luck we will be in Panama, in about 8 days and finally out of the Hurricane belt.

But going through the Canal is going to be such an ordeal by itself, there is so many rules and regulations its crazy, not to mention costing between $1,500 to $2,000 to go through, you have to have line handlers and a pilot to go with you.

These all cost as well and it takes a few days to get through.

And don't even get me started on the prep work, you have to check in find this and that office, go to a certain area and get measured, this all takes several days by itself.

Lucky we have been talking to a lot people, about how to go about all this, the fridge guy had just came back from there so he was a wealth of information, and told us that a lot of the areas, well you just do not walk around even to catch a taxi around to the next street it's that bad...great am so not looking forward to this.

The guys that come with us to go through the canal will stay on the boat over night, and the pilot only stays through the days, these guys I have to feed as well, man I'm just going to be cooking the whole time.

But they say its a great experience to go through, and to be honest although its scares me a bit, we actually have no choice, we have got to go through this way.

I'm sure I'll have a lot to tell about this experience.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Tuesday 18th June 2013

2013-06-19

Tuesday 18th June 2013

Well another very hot day today, it's crazy it never gets below, 30°, it climbs to about 34°, and that's it, day or night its the same.

That does not stop us doing all the bits and pieces, that need to get done we just use heaps of sunscreen, drink heaps of water and have cold showers, but hey we are surviving.

The riggers still could not come out today, they are promising Wednesday, I sure hope so, as we really need to leave Thursday.

The Captain has been busy running around getting bits for the Fridge and stuff, and what took a good chunk of the day getting it back in place, it is now hooked to a canister of gas and we hope this will be enough to get us back to Aus, where we can get it fixed properly.

And me well I have been oiling the timber all day, I think I may just have more on me then the boat, i could stand out in the rain, and the water would just run off me, am actually afraid to jump over board for fear of getting charged to clean up the oil slick...haha. but hey its all done now except the sides but I need to get into the dingy, to finish that last bit.

Will it last? Who knows we are only expecting to get a month out of it, but she sure is looking good again at the moment.

We decided to have a movie night tonight, as we have unlimited Internet at the moment, I have been downloading a heap of movies and tv series, yeah I'm a real pirate...haha

We really enjoyed the third series of Game Of Thrones, and tonight we watched Jack The Giant Slayer...even though it was really a kids one, we did enjoy it.

As we have had no TV since we left Australia, and to be honest we really do not miss it one bit, but we do like to watch the odd movie or two.

I have a fair few on my computer now, so that will keep us going for awhile.

And other than that we read, man I have read so many books I would not even be able to count them all, lucky I have a kindle App on my ipad so I have at the last count about 200 plus on there, all free of cause.

Am glad Cloud is about as most are stored on that and when we are about to take off I download a heap to my ipad, so I can read them along the way.

I just love modern technology.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 19th June 2013

2013-06-21

Wednesday 19th June 2013

Well what a night we had, it stormed the whole night, talk about rain, man it poured.

The big leak in our cabin looks all fixed finally, but yeap another has sprung up...far out it just never ends, but this one is on The Captains side, at his feet, it will make a change as my feet always got wet...haha watch how quick this one gets fixed.

So it ended up being a rainy miserable day, on and off all day it rained, we did the cockpit cover shuffle all day, well it felt like it, down the covers would go zip them, down, rain stops zip them up, rain starts down they go again, at least they keep out most of the rain, so that is great, but it gets so hot in here, you just are hanging out for it to stop raining so you can let some breeze in again.

So dramas for the day you bet, the never ending fridge problem, well The Captain finally tracked down a gas bottle, as we already had the fittings, on board, so all we needed was a can of gas, so yesterday he hooks it all up as I had said before, all is working great, well this morning nothing, it is not cold at all, so back to the drawing board, it looks like all the gas has come out.

The guy who fixed it for us, is away delivering a yacht but we are hoping will be back, today or tomorrow, so all the stuff that we could has been transferred to the other fridge and small freezer.

Also we have still not got anywhere with the rigging, The captain goes in twice sometimes three times a day to see them, but still no luck there at all we actually want to leave tomorrow, but that's not gonna happen now.

Me I finally got to clean half of the hull of the boat, this was done in the dingy, in light rain, and blowing a gale, it was so not fun, trying to hang on and clean at the same time, and I so did not want to fall in this water, as we are in the lagoon, the water in here is not real nice and not very clean at all.

But managed to get the rust marks once again off the side and she looks good, well one side anyway, I still have to oil the timber trims but that may have to wait awhile now.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 18th June 2013

2013-06-21

Thursday 18th June 2013

Well Robert the fridge guy is back...yay

He came out around lunch time, and tried everything to get the fridge working again, it looks like there is air in the pipes, so tomorrow he is coming back with stuff to fix that, meanwhile it looks like the fittings we had were dodgy, and we also needed to get some more gas cans, so the only place was in the main town in Phillipsburg, so The Captain and I go to catch a bus into town.

Now you think bus but they are only Mini Vans, and there is no bus stops, you just stand at the side of the road until a Van stops, it only cost about a dollar each to go anywhere on the island.

So after a bit of a hairy ride, and a very close call with a guy who flew out of a side street in front of us we finally made it to the store.

As I have said before there really is no road rules here its kinda a crazy free for all, even to cross a street can be scary, you never know if they will stop and half the time they drive on the side walks anyway. They do have a few pedestrian crossing here and there if you can call them that, but not that anyone takes any notice of them, honest you are better off just taking a chance, and running like crazy, and hope they just stop, some do some don't, man I tell you it is much safer on your boat, even out in those wild seas...haha

Did I actually say that...it's been awhile since we have been out there again.... :-)

Talking about that, we have to leave tomorrow, come hell or high water, as its the best weather window we have had in two weeks, if we don't we will be stuck here for another week and we really can't wait that long.

We finally got the go ahead and we are taking the boat first thing in the morning to The Riggers dock and finally they will fix our last bit of rigging and if all goes well we will leave tomorrow afternoon, man is tomorrow going o be stressful.

Well Tomorrow is another day.


Friday 21st June 2013

2013-06-22

Friday 21st June 2013

Well we are not leaving today, man this just never ends.

We are both feeling very down at the moment.

The fridge is stuffed, for some reason it won't hold any gas longer than two hours, we have tried to find the leak but no go, it must be inside the internal walls which is impossible to locate without pulling the fridge apart, which is not an option at all.

So we are down to one chest type fridge and a small portable freezer, which is not good.

I'm kinda feeling like we are camping now, it sucks, but the cost of a brand new fridge is out of the question at the moment.

So much for the idea of frozen meals to make life a bit easier, that won't happen much now.

2nd major problem, the rigging will not be finished till Monday afternoon, and we are stuck tied up to a dock, that we have to pay for daily, I can tell you The Captain is not a happy camper at all.

These guys have stuffed us around so much over the last week, we are both ready to punch them out.

Honest if we don't leave Monday afternoon at the latest, god knows how long we will be here for.

So we sit we stew, and we can't even go an anchor somewhere as the boats stays are all loose, and its hot..... Ok end of rant....haha

Ps... And my hair is so so red, that maybe why I'm feeling so fiery...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 22nd June 2013

2013-06-23

Saturday 22nd June 2013

Well it's still so so hot, but am feeling a little better, just.

We had another guy come and have a look at the fridge, just for a 2nd opinion, as we still are hopeful that just maybe someone can fix it.

It's only three years old, and a $3,000 fridge, come on, you think it would last.

Well lets just say its now a food storage unit.... :-(

Yeap it can't be fixed, we have weighed out all the options, and have decided, to move the small freezer out of the bilges.

Yeah this one in down in the scary part of the boat that I hate, and you have to pull up the floor boards to get to it.

That so does not happen out in the middle of the ocean, so we are moving it out and placing it under the table, for easy access.

The other thing, where we have the other fridge is like two boxes side by side in the galley, those of you who know boats will know what I'm talking about.

So one works the other doesn't, we have always just used this one as a food storage as well.

They both still have the old fridge elements in them, and have not worked for like forever, so The Captain is pulling them out to make more space, and the one that does not work we are going to try and get ice to go in there and see how that goes.

It does cool down a bit with the other beside it, so that may help.

Now google to the rescue once again. There is a million stories out there on how to slow down ice from melting, so I have been researching on and off all day.

Dry ice is really good, block ice great, dry ice and crushed ice together fantastic, adding salt to the water before freezing, even better, adding salt to the ice, no good, adding flour to ice, good, adding sugar, not so good....haha

It just goes on and on, am getting horrible memory flashbacks from awhile back, with my ants, remember they were gourmet ants, am now starting to think I'm gonna have to make gourmet ice....far out.

So we finally decided on the dry ice, with crushed ice, from what we have read this can last almost a week, perfect.

So a million phone calls plus a dingy ride, no go, no one sells it on the island.

So plan B, block ice, same again, no one sells it on the island...far out.

Plan C.... Yet to try, we are going to ask the local hangout here, called Lagoonies, and see if they can freeze some bottles of water for us, The Captain and I are kinda not sure which will work best so, am thinking, we have four, two with salt water and two without, we will also get several bags of ice and put in containers in there as well, so fingers crossed this may work.

And the dramas continue.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 23rd June 2013

2013-07-03

Sunday 23rd June 2013

Well I really think today as been the hottest day yet.

The problem is we are so used to being on anchor and the boat just swings with the breeze, and even if its too hot down below, it's always cooler up in the cockpit.

Well not here, being tied up to a dock, and all the side port holes a blocked by a cement wall there is no breeze at all, you go up on deck and nothing, it's shocking.

We have been busy still doing last minute things so tomorrow when they finish with the boat we can just untie and go, as long as its the same time as the bridge opening that is.

Being a Sunday not much is opened, so Plan C from yesterday with the frozen water bottles at Lagoonies did not happen as they were closed too, so The Captain went to a little Chinese run supermarket that our all over this island, and asked if we could put some bottles in their ice fridge to freeze overnight, they were more than happy to help.

Lets hope that works.

We also got a bag of ice from them to do a little experiment to see how long it will last, and No, no sugar, salt or flour was added to it.

We also wanted to get some groceries, but they are mainly fridge stuff and fruit and vegies, so this will have to wait till tomorrow.

And the rest of the day was filled in with us just pottering around doing this and that and trying to keep cool.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 24th June 2013

2013-07-03

Monday 24th June 2013

Well after a shocking nights sleep, I actually had a little sleep in, woke up at 7am, that's really late for us we are usually awake around 5.30, 6.00am.

This was not a good day to sleep in, we had way too much to do, to get away today.

The Captain went in first thing and asked the riggers if they would finish today, as per usual they would not promise anything, but said its looking like after lunch, we once again, told them we have to be out through the bridge at 4.30pm this is the last time it opens for the day, they just say yeah we know, and go on there merry way, seriously they are so frustrating, it drives us crazy.

So we just said the hell with it, we are going to get ready, anyway, so then it begins.

We were going to take the boat in to fill up the fuel tanks, but this was not looking so good, so The Captain decides to save time he will fill the jerry cans, and make several trips, we have a lot of cans, and don't need a huge anoint, as it is, we properly already have enough but to be on the safe side, we decided to get a top up.

The first trip I go with The Captain, and he drops me off at the local supermarket to get the groceries while he does the fuel thing, so that done, The Captain makes several more trips, tanks now full, then decides to take back the Internet device, go to the bank, and then customs to sign out, of this country.

I stayed on the boat and get everything else organised, you have no idea what it takes to get ready, it's crazy, from closing all hatches, lashing down everything that may move, reorganising the Galley to ocean mode, filling everything up, like sugar, coffee, flour, etc, then soaps shampoo, hand wash you name it and also get the food items that you may need out of lockers for easy reach, it just goes on and on, everything has to be lashed, wrapped tied, inside and out.

We try and be completely organised, but it never goes to plan, one day we may get it right.

I might add that this was all done, before we were 100% certain we were leaving, eventually 3.30pm comes around and they finally finished, so then it was just sheer chaos.

At 4pm they had still not got the bill ready for us to pay, I was just ready to skip this country and they could just send us the bill...haha was worth a try and after we got the bill we sure wish we had skipped the Country.

So we make it to the bridge and get outside, we breath a sigh of relief, and head out, now we still don't have everything done, so we switch off the motor and float around, till we organise the last bits and pieces.

And here we are I'm on watch once again, rocking and rolling all over the place, with nothing but water all around well I think so, it is night time and I really can't see much, but I sure can hear the waves crashing.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 25th June 2013

2013-07-03

Tuesday 25th June 2013

Day 1

4.45am

Well after trying to sleep for the last few hours, as its so hard we are on a following sea, well almost, it means the wind is coming from behind, this is the best seas to have, but as we don't have the main sail out at the moment, being that it was dark by the time we got the sails up last night, and to put the main up, can be quite tricky, and neither of us won't to be on deck, in the dark, if we can help it, so the results are we are rolling so far over one way and than then roll the other way.

This is shocking to try and sleep, you have cushion tucked in all around, but it still feels like your internal organs are rolling from side to side, serious, it really does, and with me having lost a lot of those bits and pieces inside, I feel like they may just all tangle up together, into one big giant mess...haha god help the next doc that had to open me up again, nothing would be where it should be, lungs, liver, kidneys the lot, all mixed up.

man I get carried away, I finally managed to sleep dreaming away and bam down it pours, so the mad cockpit cover shuffle was on things getting untied zippers, going down, it is not perfect, but it sure kept most of the water out, which was great, but the rain was just a typical, tropical shower, it comes down in buckets, out of nowhere, and by the time you have everything, zipped down it stops, The Captain thinks there is someone up there, turning the tap on and then cracking up laughing, watching us do this over and over.

Anyway it's my shift not much happening, just enjoyed my first coffee for the day. And sitting here with the sun starting to come up, I can already feel the warmth on my shoulder, and a nice breeze blowing.

12.30pm

My watch kinda.

The Captain has just layed down to sleep, we have been busy all morning playing around with sails, as there is not a lot of wind.

We now have a pole out with the Yankie and the main mast up as well, oh and the mizzen so this was a huge effort on The Captain, as he fiddled this one and that for hours, is he happy with them now? Well not really but they will do for awhile, and at least we are heading in the right direction again.

Me well I finally have my fishing rod up again and all set, just waiting for the click click click....been waiting awhile...haha

8.34pm

My proper watchfor the night.

Well it's dark, a gentle breeze blowing, and the stars are out, man there are so many and they are so bright, it takes your breath away.

And yes the sails have been rearrange a fair few times through the day, but all is happy now.

We are doing on average 6knots and making about 140nm a day which is great.

We have also had several showers on and off, the typical 10 minute ones, and the zips have been flying up and down a fair bit, it's a pain to put them up and down so much but at least all is dry inside.

And yeap no click, click, clicks yet, so sadly no fish for dinner.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 26th June 2013

2013-07-03

Wednesday 26th June 2013

Day 2

7am my watch

Well I was rudely awaken by The Captain, well not really but , one minute I was dreaming away and then woken up by a concerned voice.

I jumped up so fast, heart racing, and was handed a pair of binoculars.

There was something on the horizon that The Captain could not make out, so bleary eyed I look, at first it looked like a very small island with palm trees, and The Captain was convinced that's what it was, but why was it getting pulled by what looked like two tug boats.

On second or third look to me it looked like an oil rig, which I told The Captain, he was like no way, he grabs the binoculars off me, and finally gave in and said yeah your right.

He was so concerned that it was an island that was not on the charts, and thinking man we could of just ran straight into that, ( he had been awake for a long time ) haha

So am thinking situation under control can I go back to sleep now, I look over at the time, it's 6.30am, I had been asleep for 5 hours, man that was a great sleep if woken up in panic.

We do not see much boat activity at all so it is great excitement when we do, so was glad he woke me, in the end.

At the moment I'm watching a tanker go by about 6nm away, so thats two in one day wow.

The only two other boats we have seen was a tug boat the first night, which we had a bit of a situation with as well we were trying very hard to get out of his way, he was not trying so hard, we ended up starting the engine, to make us go a bit faster, and we past each other by 0.3nm a bit too close.

The other was another one that gave me a fright, I was on watch it was night time and the alarm goes off on the AIS, yeah we have an alarm working on it now, thank god.

The fridge guy who could not fix our fridge, fixed our AIS...HAHA go figure.

So the alarm goes off it tells me we are on a collision course in about 4 minutes, talk about panic, I drop everything jump up, this time I woke The Captain, as I could not see it.

Wildly scanning the horizon, we eventually see it about 4nm away, the AIS got that one wrong, well the distance anyway.

And I know your waiting for it, nope no click, click, clicks... :-(

So yeah that one not so exciting, with that situation under control we both settled down once more.

Well we sure have had some highs and lows today, what a mixed bag.

The highs, I had clicks, :-)

The first fish must of been so big, he took off racing, with all my rig and a good chunk of line, the 2nd I caught, what a battle it was I had so much fun, when it got closer we realised it was a big barracuda, now we do not want to eat them as around the Caribbean they have ciguatera poison and we so don't want to get that, so we try so hard to get it off the hook, far out any other time they come off, so easy, so out comes our brand new trusty net, between the two of us we wrestled this damn fish on board, and man you should of seen the teeth on this monster, they looked like a cross between a shark and dogs teeth, scary stuff.

Now this guy was at least a meter long no joke, it was huge and the hook was right stuck, so we both look at each other, and both saying I'm not putting my hands near that mouth.

So The Captain goes and gets some pliers, while I have my foot on the handle of the net, which in turn is squishing its head still, then he comes back we swap places and the hook comes out real easy, next we had to get the thing overboard, man no one told me fishing would be so hard.

Man we were puffing and panting like crazy but managed to get it over with all fingers and toes in tack.

So am not sure if this was a high or a low.

But the real high was dolphins, we had three of them jumping and playing around the boat for a good half hour or so, we both actually, went up on the front deck and just enjoyed the show, was so nice.

Then the lows, it looks like we can't go a full two days without something breaking, once again, the main sails line chafed through, far out it never ends, The Captain managed to get the sail in, with a bit of a struggle, but is so not a happy camper.

The problem with the main sail down, is that we rock and roll all over the place, we have had really calm sea and it been so nice, well that changed in an instant.

We had been dodging rain clouds for the last hour or so and was keeping a close watch on one, off to our port side.

Everything was calm and The Captain decided to go and try and fix the main sail, he took one step out of the cockpit, when all hell broke loose, the storm came on us so quick we hardly had a chance to do anything, I was madly trying to get the covers down and zipped up, when I felt myself falling backwards, I grabbed hold of the closes thing to me and turned around, man I so wish I hadn't.

We were heeled so far over, And we were laying sideways in the ocean, I can tell you I thought the other stuff was scary, this went way beyond scary.

I just cried out to The Captain and he said I know I'm trying to face us into the wind, he was pushing buttons like crazy on the auto pilot, to get us turned around into the wind so we could get upright again.

I really could not tell you how long it took, as I was just crying and hanging on.

We actually did a whole 360° turn to get the boat right, and then it was over, it did not last long at all, but it sure was nasty.

I don't think I ever want to go through that again, its the first time that I really thought our lives were in danger, scary, scary stuff.

It's 6pm and I'm feeling so strung out, I can't even write anymore today.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 27th June 2013

2013-07-03

Thursday 27th June 2013

Day 3

7am

Do I feel any better? Not really, I'm feeling like an emotional wreck.

You know the feeling you get when you have had such an emotional shock, and you just feel devastated, your mind and body just kinda goes into numb, mode.

Well I have that big time.

The Captain keeps telling me how proud he is of me, as it was such a horrible experience to go through, I can tell you I feel way away from being proud, I don't know if I want to scream or just sit an cry.

To make matters worse our once calm sea is now a choppy big wave mess, the boat is going like a cork screw, with each wave, we are rocking and rolling all over.

7pm

I have been on watch for awhile now, as I had a very long lay down today, am quite seasick once again, we have the most ugly sea, out here with almost 30knts gusts, it's shocking, I just hate it, and the waves man they are those big momma's, one hit us side on and a wall of water soaked the cockpit, yeah the one and only time I did not have the covers down.

The highlight today was, I sat here and watched a pod of Dolphins, entertain me for a good hour or so, they are so much fun to watch, they actually love these big waves and surf them all the time, one even done a brilliant acrobat performance, was just great.

They just seem to love being around the boat, I'm not sure what it is but they dive under from side to side, and all around the front of the boat, then they take off and turn around and I swear they race each other back to the boat. I could watch them all day and never get tried of them.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 28th June 2013

2013-07-03

Friday 28th June 2013

Day 4

4am

Well we are still at it

It is so rough I can hardly write on this thing, as you have to hold on for grim death, to stop yourself getting thrown from one side to the other

Am yeah am extremely sea sick, I just hate it.

We have tired everything to settle the boat down and nothing works, the wind is just too strong and the waves too big.

All I can say is thank goodness it still dark, cause I know once I see this angry ocean I'm gonna freak out. :-/

I just checked the GPS and we are 110nm off Venezuela, I'm trying to get The Captain, to go closer to land, and hug the coast a bit more maybe that would be better than this, but even though we are only 110nm off it would still take us a day to get there.

5pm my watch kinda.

Well it may just be settling down a touch, maybe not.

We have been trying to get in contact with the weather guy,and finally today, we got an email back, in his words for last night, " oh boy, it gonna be rough" that came a day late,

He said we would have strong winds gusting up to 32knt, close I saw 35knts, and 10ft waves, I have seen almost double that, honest some are so bad, all I can say is its so not nice out here, we are being hammered.

Just to add to all the drama, the generator stopped working this morning, The Poor Captain had to be woken up once again, he has tried to get some sleep, but has been woken up so many times by this and that, and it is really hard to sleep with the boat being tossed all over the place.

So anyway down he goes to have a look at the generator and there is a strong smell of diesel, great we know one of the tanks do leak, and with all this rolling around, maybe more so, but he open up the floor and it was just full of diesel with one tank bone dry, far out, he has spend a good chunk of the day in the bilges, trying to find the leak as we think its in one of the main hoses.

I felt so sorry for him, it was not easy being down there with the smell of diesel over powering and not to mention being so hot, then throw into the mix this angry ocean, I tried so hard to warn him to hold on, with each big wave, but there is so many it was hard.

Well he came out of the bilges, very stressed out, could not find the leak at all, hating the boat, hating the fuel tanks, hating the ocean, just about anything and everything, he was so not a happy camper.

Oh and the generators problem no fuel, at least that one was easy.

After he cooled down some and had a nice cold shower, he felt a lot better and also managed an hour sleep.

And so it continues the waves have picked up again, I swear half the time we have more water on the boat than out, I have actually lost count of how many times I have seen the side rail go under, the side fills up with so much water it looks like a swimming pool, lucky it drains away real quick.

So we sit we hang on and hope like hell this will be over soon and once again settle down to a gentle swell.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 29th June 2013

2013-07-03

Saturday 29th June 2013

Day 5

6.30 am my watch,

Well the ocean has settled down a lot, :-)

We still have big waves but nothing like the last two days, this kinda ocean we can handle. Not the one we just went through, it really wears you down, both physically and mentally.

We had a situation last night.

The Captain, went down to turn off the generator and just as he was about to flick the switch a big wave caught him, he fell forward and accidentally knocked the auto pilot switch off instead.

I can tell you Aut (the Auto-pilot), was not impressed at all, and just refused to talk to us, no mater what we did, we could not get him to come back to the party.

This turned into a very serious situation real quick.

With big seas like this even Aut struggles to keep us on track, so there was a mad dash, to get the things away from behind the wheel, one of the bean bags had actually fallen down there and we had just left it sitting there, man it was an effort to get that thing out.

The Captain than had to hand steer, this was so hard for him, as you can imagine in over 10ft waves and wind gusting 35knts and pitch black, not a good combination at all.

We thought we were getting thrown around before man this was shocking I had to go and hunt out the Manual ,after being thrown all over the place I finally found it, and it was useless, I was sitting here with a torch trying to read the thing and hanging on, I pressed this button and that but nothing, it said that you have to be in standby Mode to do anything, the big problem was, it's flashing an error message the whole time and we could not get it back to standby mode, and of course there was nothing in the book about that error message, everything else but that, by this time I'm throwing my hands in the air saying, I can't do anything more, The Captain, was also showing signs of stress and he had only been steering for awhile.

So went back down and turned everything off again and then back on, this time it flashed standby, then back to error code, so plan about 8 by now, I would go back down turn it off, and when I turn it back on, The Captain would let go of the steering wheel, race to Aut, and push the button before the standby code would disappear, did it work? Nope all it did was throw us and the boat in circles.

Far out am really starting to freak out here, as I know I could not steer the boat, in conditions like this and also knew The Caption could not keep up this pace for hours on end either.

In sheer desperation I went down once again, and just turned every damn thing I could off, waited 5mins, and turn them back on again and it all fired up fine, everything working, man what a relief, The Captain comes around to give me a hug, to settle me down and right at the moment he puts his arm around me a wave hits, and his head slammed so hard into to the side of my head, that it knocked us both back on our seats.

Well that's was the last straw, I just sobbed and sobbed.

The stress of the last two days finally hit, not to mention the pain in my head, he is now barred to his side of the boat....haha only joking, it was just an accident.

After we had both calmed down some, we finally got back to eating our now cold dinner, minus the cheese that the Captain tried to sprinkle on top, right when another wave hit, which resulted in cheese covering everything from the galley to the dinette, minus our plates...haha

Talk about things coming in threes, we should be right now until the next round hits us.

Well getting back to today we are now off the Columbian coast, we are making good progress and hope to be in Panama in around three days, it can't come quick enough I can tell you.

5.30 pm my watch again kinda,

I can tell you there is never a dull moment on this boat, we had another situation, it seems to always start with The Captain laying down for a sleep.

Now I had been trying to get him to have a sleep all day, as I was really tired, and I always have my sleep after his.

Not today in the end he said he was not really tired so I lay down instead.

around 4.30 pm he finally decides to lay down, this lasts about 5mins and up he jumps again, he is not happy with the sails, so fiddling around with this and that he finally decides he likes it.

This get us talking about falling over board again, as he had to go out and adjust some lines on deck.

So we are discussing what order of events he would do and what I think we should do, now we have a Man Over Board button on the chart plotter/ Radar what I usually call the NAV thingy.

We have never pushed it at all, and then we decided to push it and see if it went to a different screen, how it works is it usually puts what they call a waypoint with the exact position of where they fell in.

Then you can turn the boat around to go locate them.

So we push the button, big mistake, it goes to a different screen alright with a symbol of a little man in red waving his arms in the water and a line drawn from the boat to the symbol.

That's all cute and all but also a piercing alarm and in turn sets of a radar giving notice to all satellites around, well we freak out and try and turn the thing off and can't.

By this time I'm cracking up laughing and The Captain says will will properly have every coast guard from all over the country sending out search parties.

So we race down and once again search for another manual and it says it is sending out morse code every 30 seconds, far out this had been happening for the last ten minutes or so, we eventually managed to work out how to switch it off, and just hope like hell no one comes out here.

So after that little episode, he goes to lay down once again and I notice a boat on the radar about 20nm behind us, no big deal we have seen a lot in the last few days, so I just keep an eye on it for awhile, make sure the alarm is on the AIS and go back to reading my book, now it usually pops up on the computer screen when it's about 10nm away, so look over after some time and yeap there it is, so that's good its on both screens, then all of a sudden it disappears off the AIS, far out this means they have properly turned there AIS off, but why , I'm thinking pirates for sure, am hanging out the back of the cockpit and can just make it out, way off in the distance.

I have read the previous owners blog and was telling The Captain their two hairy experiences of what they thought may have been pirates, this puts us into combat zone, I go down and get one of our mace sprays and the stun gun, come back up with them we both go through on how to use them again, then I'm on my way back down again to get more weapons, The Captain stops me with a yell its back on the screen again, man I had a list as long as my arm of what I was going to bring up...haha

So that little drama out the way, The Captain decides to go start the generator, and yeap he turned off the Auto Pilot by mistake once again, by this time I can tell you there was a hell of a lot of pirate language coming from both of us, if they were pirates on the other boat we would of scared them just by the language on here alone.

And yeap once again all hell broke loose.

To cut another long story short, as this is almost turning into a novel already, the auto pilot stopped working, the AIS stopped working, the radar stopped, and to throw into the mix we had the huge oil tanker beating down on us, was so not fun.

We made the decision after a hundred attempts to get it all working, that at least we had to get the radar back on so we could watch the tankers direction.

The tanker finally goes past very close to us I might add, and we eventually get everything all up and running again, man I sure could of used a stiff drink, and now The Captain is banned from the instrument panel as well...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 30th June 2013

2013-07-03

Sunday 30th June 2013

Day 6

7am my watch kinda

Well we have big seas once again, man this is just shocking, in the early hours of the morning, my whole shift was just one of hanging on, jumping up changing, to 5° port than back to starboard.

The winds were all over the place,and the waves,all I can say is I'm sure glad that it was night time.

Then to throw into the mix, tankers, it's nothing to see two or three an hour, as we are getting closer to Panama now and they are either going in or are out of the canal.

So we get another email from Chris the weather guy, as per usual a day late, he tells us once again we are going to have big seas.

We listen to him every day on the Ships radio, but sometimes the reception is really bad and you only get bits and pieces, it's not a bad service really but it all stops once we get through the canal as he only covers the Carribean.

He did say to head closer to the coastline as things will be a bit more settled there, so off we head.

Talk about one extreme to the next, now we have hardly any wind at all, and doing under 3knots, man at this rate it will take weeks to get to Panama.

So once again we change coarse, and head back out to see some, and the Captain, changes the sails a million times, but still a very slow boat and calm seas.

I have no problem with this at all....hahaha

And even managed to do a little bit of cooking.

Not much but we did have pikelets, flapjacks, in South Africa and pancakes, in America, what every you call them, they felt like such a treat with Strawberry jam, and Cream, even if the cream did come out if a can. :-/

I have had so many things out of a can or dried stuff it's shocking, powdered milk takes some getting used too, and don't even get me started with Coffee, I can't wait to get home and have a Moconna coffee, we have drank crap coffee for way way too long now.

I have to say that Australia has the best food out of all the Country's we have visited so far, The most variety of fresh and healthy as well, so next time you go to the supermarket market think of me... Hahaha

I so can't wait to get home for that as well, never ever thought I would say, I'm hanging out to go to Coles or Wollies....haha. Been on this boat way to long.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 1st June 2013

2013-07-03

Monday 1st July 201:

Day 7

4am my watch.

Once again our watches are all over the place, we really are not doing it real good this trip, we try to at least give each other 5 hours sleep at night and then day time is what ever goes.

Its not working out real good, and the strain of not enough sleep is starting to show. Sometimes we do get five hours but most of the time, it never works out.

Last night on my late watch, I noticed a cloud on the radar, now from previous entries you will know I try to dodge these guys as much as I can, so am sitting here keeping an eagle eye on it.

It's starts to get bigger, and then I see lightning, man I wake The Captain real quick.

He starts to reduce sail, while I race around getting all the covers zipped down, and we sit and watch and wait.

We decided to start the engine to try and out run it, we have two choices, we can go flat out and try to out run it, or head straight for it, it was on our port side, the reason to head straight for it was that as we got to where it is now the wind should have blown it well away from us, this meant going way off coarse but hell we sure didn't want to be in the middle of this lightning storm that's for sure.

So The Captain makes the decision and off we go heading straight for it, I'm sitting here thinking I so hope he made the right choice, to me heading straight for a storm felt all wrong.

But it worked by a mean effort from The Captain, man he battled with this storm for hours, it kept changing all the time, it would build up then go this way and that, we were headed in so many different directions, even back to Sint Maarten at one stange.

But it eventually caught up with us, it made such a drastic turn with a lot of wind behind it and we coped it.

How bad we'll I'm not real sure, I had hit that brick wall, and fell asleep a few times sitting up, so decided to lay down, I do remember, getting up a few times and pulling up zippers as it got real hot and stuffy, and then pulling them down, also a lot of thunder, wind and rain.

I woke at about 4am to see The Captain sound asleep in front of the radar, the poor guy, was so warn out, so he is now snoring away beside me with some much needed sleep, he did real good, I may have to rename him The Storm Captain....hahaha

9pm my watch.

We are trying to do 4 hour watches from now on and see if that works better, the problem is, that we both hate waking the other one up, as we know we both need more sleep than what we are getting, but it's not doing either of us any good in the long run, so we shall see.

Now to this ocean, well we have no wind, from gusting over 35knots, to now gusting 2knots....it is a mill pond, well was almost all day, now we have a gently swell that just rolls us a bit from side to side.

We also have had the motor going as well all day, and got to talk to the weather guy on the radio, and it's going to be like this all the way to Panama.

We never thought we would have three full days of motoring, this ocean sure is crazy some times.

We are hoping to get to Panama now sometime on Wednesday, with any luck.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 2nd July 2013

2013-07-03

Tuesday 2nd July 2013

Day 8

4.30am

My watch

Well I got woken up by click, click, click....I had a fish.

I jumped up The Captain is nowhere in sight, I look down the campion way, and he has the floor boards up checking fuel, I yell to him I have a fish.

Now I would never go out there in the dark in rough weather but as its still calm, I race out, by the time I get there all is quiet, looks like that one got away.

I reel it in make sure all the tackle is still there, by this time The Captain has joined me with a torch, and we check yeap still have the hook and all, throw it back in and hope next time.

So dramas, yeap.

The Captain, lays down for a sleep, I go make a coffee, and sit here and fiddle with the chart plotter, see our position, then switch to the radar, man, you should see the storm clouds.

This always puts fear in my heart I can tell you, I hate storms.

I sit and watch for about 15minutes or so, than decide to wake up The Storm Captain, we sit and discuss the situation, pull down all the covers, they are not zipped down yet as it gets so hot in here when we do, but they are all in place and ready.

Now there is no way we can out run these clouds, so The Captain goes and lays down once again, me I'm just watching and waiting, and with any luck it may just break up, and be ok.

I know I'm dreaming but can only wish.

While I'm sitting here I took some pics, of the radar, and the chart plotter will put them up later, so you can see why I'm so worried.

But on the upside we have about 144nm to go to we get to Panama.

And by sheer luck the clouds just all broke up and went away, thank god.

So we now have some good pics of dolphins as well, they just gave us another performance, it seems like everyday now they visit us, and we always rush to the front of the boat to watch them, like little kids...haha

9.00pm my watch

Well it looks like we will make Panama by morning, am happy and sad about this.

The last 3 days have just been great, mill pond seas, gentle breezes even though, it has been very hot in the day time, but the nights have been great.

It really can be magical being out here with nothing around at all, other than the occasional, tanker going past, tonight we could see something in the water, we slowed the boat down, and went up on deck, but it ended up just being a ship far off that looked so close.

And then we just sat and looked at the stars, and guess what we must be getting close to home, as we just spotted the Southern Cross, yeap it's the first time we have seen it since leaving Australia.

Oh man I'm homesick.

The water of a night time turns into a spectacular show, there is a lot of phosphorescence, In the water and it just sparkles, like Christmas lights it sure is something to see I can tell you.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 3rd July 2013

2013-07-03

Wednesday 3rd July 2013

Day 9

6.30 am

Well we can see land, yay yay yay.

So after 8 1/2 days, and over 1,100nm we are almost there.

Man has it been a mixed trip, from the first two days of great sailing, to a horrible storm, to 3 days of sheer torture, which was making me wanting to quit this kinda life completely, to the last 3 1/2 days of such calm seas, it made the trip worth while.

Even if we did have to motor the whole last 3 days.

I'm so glad we had those good days, I was so seasick those rough weather days, I really really hated it.

And wanted nothing more than getting off this boat for good.

So in about 2 hours or so we will be there than the fun begins.

To cross through the Canal is no easy thing, I have been reading up about it, if you get a chance you should google it and have a look.

The canal has 3 locks on one side which take a day to go through, than you sit in a man made river over night, than on the other side you go through another 3 locks and it spits you out in the Pacific Ocean, back on our side of the world.

You have to book a transit which takes a fair amount of running around, to get done, from one official office to the next this can also take several days.

Then you wait it can take up to 2 weeks before they let you go through.

You also have to hire a pilot and line handlers to go through with you, the pilot stays through the day but gets off at night time then returns the next day, the line handlers stay with you the whole time.

You have to hire car tyres, and lash them all around the outside of your boat, and there is a lot of safety stuff as well.

When you enter the canal, you will be rafted up to at least 3 other boats, these can range from anything to a yacht, cruiser, tug boat you don't know what till you get there.

Than the cost, man it cost a fortune, we are looking at over $2,000 just am glad we are not a big tanker, as they get charged well over one hundred thousand dollars, man it's crazy stuff.

Well another situation has just landed on our lap, just when we thought everything was fine, Aut ( the Auto-Pilot)

Decided to have a hissy fit, right when we were about to pass a huge Cargo ship.

I think he got excited about seeing land, and just started heading for it.

I went into panic mode yelled out to The Captain, he comes barreling up the stairs, and Aut goes back on tract, this happend two more times, I'm not sure what the hell is going on with him, I know it's been a long journey, and maybe he is just warn out, like the rest of the crew.

And we have landed on land, we are in bortobello, in Panama.

More to come.

Tomorrow is another day.


Part two Wednesday 3rd July 2013

2013-07-04

Part two wednesday 3rd July 2013

So after a bit of drama anchoring yesterday, not us either the chain decided to tangle itself in the anchor locker, and then got Jammed in the tube thingy, well I guess I don't have to tell you what The Captain, felt about this, after pulling all the V Berth apart dismantling almost everything in there, me I was at the helm, stopping the boat from running into other boats, and staying well out of The Captains way, he just kept going back and forwards getting more and more tools, and he had to work in there in extreme heat, the heat is so bad here, I have no idea how hot it is, but man it's miserable, and it rains about every hour or so, and that just makes the heat worse.

So after The Captain got the Anchor down, and calmed down some from hating every body and everything, we needed a cold drink, actually a stiff drink but that had to wait as we needed to go ashore and clear into this Country.

We have been putting bottles of water in the little freezer and they come out so cold it's great, so I go and get us a couple of coldies...hahah

And everything in the freezer is thawed out...OMG

It was my turn now, I was ready to just leave the damn boat and walk away. I was so so angry.

So we just had cool water then gathered up are passports and all our papers and headed to shore.

So what can I say about, Portobello, the first thing is we so should of taken some Spanish lessons... :-/

No one speaks English, it is just a little town at the foot of a jungle, serious, they have Jaguars, monkeys that are called Howling Monkeys, and Crocodiles.

Yeap so no swimming here, they actually say that these crocs, even go through the locks in the canal, and joke about that they are the only things that go through and not have to pay.

The Jaguars and crocs we have not seen yet, and the Monkeys either but we have heard the monkeys, they make a sound like a dog howling when it's been hurt, it's sends your teeth on edge.

And the place well it's so third world, it shocking, run down, dirty, poverty you name it, and really does not feel safe at all.

So we get to the dock, if you can call it that, and two locals meet us help us tie up the Dingy then charge us $3.00 to watch our boat...hahaha

But in very broken English they under stand that we need to go to customs, so one of them walks us there, we try and have a conversation with him but most was just the three of us laughing at each other, as we had no idea what he was saying and he had no idea what we were saying.

But we made it to customs, he then walked away and I'm thinking man I hope our dingy will still be there when we get back, as there was no way I,m swimming with the Crocs back to the boat.

We were just about to walk into Customs when I looked over and what we assumed was a bank and there is these two guys standing there with rifles, I think they were security guards, at least I hoped so.

So we scurry into the Customs office as quick as we can, and the lady there can not speak a word of English not one bit, great

Lucky there was another guy checking in that could speak some, so that was a help, but we were told that she was closed for the day, so come back tomorrow.

So we decided to have a walk around and check this place out, we had read up a lot about it, coming here and the pictures made it look so good, and talking about these little restaurants here and there, that are very nice and it's a quant little town.

Man it's a dive, and the restaurants are just run down shacks, that there is no way I would eat in any of them.

They do have lots of forts as they were attacked by pirates in the past so there is a lot of history here.

To top it all off they have the famous statue of The Black Jesus.

Yeap you heard right its in this really old Church, and as we were looking for a local bar, that we were told by the fridge guy is really good, we stumbled onto the Church, not that you could really miss it, it's the biggest building here well almost.

So I dragged The Captain in to have a look.

Talk about over the top with gold and garish trimming, it's actually behind glass, but we managed to get some photos. Was not sure if we were allowed but I did anyway.

Now this you have to google, serious, every year thousands of people make a pilgrimage to here some walk over 200 miles and the last mile most walk on there knees, to ask for forgiveness for there sins.

I'll let you look up all the rest, but google The statue of the Black Jesus of Portobello.

So we eventually find a local bar not the one we wanted, but this one at least had English speaking people and free wifi.

So caught up all all our stuff on the Internet, than made our way back to the boat and yeap dingy still there, come back and just about passed out both of us from the heat and lack of sleep and the couple of drinks we had.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 4th July 2013

2013-07-05

Thursday 4th July 2013

Well first of all, a big Happy Birthday to my nephew Dean, I hope you have a great day.

Also Happy Independence Day, to all our new American friends, am sure you will celebrate in style.

So today started off as a quiet one, we slept the sleep of the dead, last night, our first full night sleep in nine days, although not in our cabin, as its just way too hot.

Yesterday we managed to get a local SIM card for our phone which we hoped had Internet as well, and can use the phone as a wifi modem, so after buying that and going to the local bar, we decided to have a look at this thing put it in my phone, and connect up.

Not gonna happen as you all know with prepaid sims, you have to conform your minutes, easy? not when it's all in Spanish it's not.

So I kinda go begging to the bar man who is American, and he gets it all connected for us, to get the sim and Internet cost us under $10.00 dollars, but we have no idea, how long it will last and how much data we can use, I guess we will just have to wait and see.

The big problem is at the moment we threw all the paper work away at the bar, and now have no idea what our phone number is...hahaha

We eventually decide that we need to get ashore to check in, so off we go.

This time we decided to tie up to a different dingy dock.

As we got closer there was a young couple there, and they spoke English, YES.

So chatting away, we ask them where they are from, They say Maryland on the Chesapeake River, huh can you believe it, then he asked us if we knew Tom, talk about a small world, we actually met Trevor before we left America, but didn't recognize him at first. At one stage we were hoping to leave with them, this was back in November, crazy stuff and to meet up with them here of all places after, 8 months.

So off we go to Customs, and from what we could make out from the lady with a lot of sign language she was at lunch, and to come back at one, man we are starting to think why bother at all we just won't check in.

Now it's feels like 180° and what do we do go check out the local fort, yeah crazy, as its so hot I feel like I'm gonna die, we walk around a bit then come back, to some official building and sit on there steps in the shade, it felt so cool, there is something about building in stone, it felt like walking into air conditioning.

But we had to brave the heat once again and go see if this lady was finished eating so we could finally check in.

This was so hard, we could not understand a word she said, but we got our passports stamped and some official papers, so we think all was ok, then we were told to come back tomorrow at 11am, to see the port authority, well we think this was what she said....hahaha

Once back at the boat we needed to get some stuff done, as there is always a mountain of things to fix and clean.

The Captain fiddled and changed the new rigging, so hopefully no more chafing,

Me I was down in the galley in extreme heat trying to sort out all this fridge problems.

I started with the portable freezer, as it needed defrosting and was hoping this might fix the problem.

While it was defrosting, I went on the hunt again for the manual, and could not find it, so good old Google to the rescue, find one online, after The Captain and I with torches and mirrors trying to find the make and model number on the thing, which was a effort I can tell you, we have it all lashed down and to untie it all would of taken a lot longer well so The Captain said, me I thought it would of been easier.

Anyway so find the right manual, and even though it says its a Fridge/Freezer, it actually is only a fridge that keeps the frozen food frozen for a few days ...far out, no wonder things were defrosting, am not a happy camper.

Now we have two fridges, not very big ones and no Freezer. :-/

I don't even want to tell you how I feel about this.

So after I get everything back in the now 2nd fridge! It's time to do battle with the other fridge which also needs defrosting, this one had so much ice in it, you would swear it was a freezer, but no the more ice it has the less it cools, go figure.

It was about 11.30pm when it finally defrosted and everything packed back in there.

So we will see how it goes now.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 5th July 2013

2013-07-06

Friday 5th July 2013

Well what a night we had, it rained and rained, we managed to get all the covers down, but have found leaks in them too, man this seems like all we do is chase around fixing leaks.

And boy have we found more today, it has rained so heavy almost all day, that the leaks we thought we had fixed, have sprung leaks...haha it never ends.

The Captain went in to shore by himself this time, and fixed the last bit of stuff with the Port Captain, well he thinks he did, but we do have more papers now, and they are all in Spanish so we really have no idea what they are.

Me I spent all day still cleaning sorting, and a good chunk of the day, racing around opening and closing hatches and covers to stop all the rain coming in, it's way too hot to have them closed all the time, so any chance you get to open them you jump at.

We still have not got any closer to fixing up our passage through the Canal, but are working on it.

And the Howling Monkeys, what we thought was them howling I was wrong, we looked it up on google and the sound is so different, these we here on and off all day and night, they must be all around us in the jungle, I would love to see them but so far we just hear them.

They make such a racket when the rain comes its quite funny, you here the rain and wind coming through the mountains before it hits us, than you here the monkeys, so we know instantly that it's gonna rain.

The other thing we have been watching is Pelicans, now these guys are such a sad species from ours back home.

For a start they are so skinny and dirty brown in colour, and we get great entertainment in watching them land, it's the funniest thing, they don't put out there feet and glide into the water like normal pelicans, they put there feet down hit the water a hundred miles an hour and just face plant the water, it's so funny.

I have tried to take a video of them doing this but so far no good ones.

Will keep trying.

The water has now turned a muddy brown with all the rain, and the stuff that is floating pass is unbelievable, from branches to huge logs, I have been watching everyone that goes past, you never know one just maybe those Crocs we hear so much about.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 6th July 2013

2013-07-08

Saturday 6th July 2013

Well first off, a very big congraltions to The Captain's daughter, Marian and Craig, who are having a baby, we are both very excited for you guys, and as luck had it we will be home, for the birth. :-)

Well guess what it rained again, they tell us it's the rainy season now, well they sure are right.

All we do is race around on and off all day closing hatches, opening hatches, pulling down covers opening covers, it never ends, and don't even get me started with the new leaks, that have decided to grace us with their presence, and then to top off ,the extreme heat...are we having fun yet?

I needed to do some washing, now this was going to be fun, so I convinced The Captain,to put up a few covers over the outside of the boat, to give a bit if protection from the rain, although it took two days for the clothes to dry it worked quite good, and it also cooled the inside of the boat a little as well, so added bonus.

I have been watching a lot of fish jumping around lately, and so want to get another rod fixed up to try and catch these guys, but am not sure what to use for bait, will have to think on that one.

We actually saw a local guy fishing in a dug out canoe, as he got nearer we called him over to find out what he was using for bait, we ended up buying a big hand of bananas off him...hahaha

Neither of us could understand each other, but I really really don't think he uses Bananas for bait.... :-/

And so it goes, the fridge system is driving me nuts, I rearrange stuff daily to try and get the most out of it, nothing is working real good at all, this is a major concern for me, as its looking like we can not get anything here in Panama, as in a portable freezer, and it seems the more we put into the fridges the less they work, the last two days I have come across two lots of milk that was off, and it was nasty, serious it's starting to turn me off food completely.

If it was easy to keep fruit and vegies I would just eat them, but they go off real quick as well.

We have done a lot of research, on people living without a fridge, and it's hopeless, most used caned, pre packaged, or dried....now I could maybe work around that, but most of these things have garlic in them, so that's out the window.

I just have no idea what we will live on out in the ocean, our next leg is three weeks or so, and I'm going to have to cook down there, daily and I get so seasick in rough weather, which lately is almost all the time.

So yeah it is a problem.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 7th July 2013

2013-07-08

Sunday 7th July 2013

Well today after a few repair jobs, oh I forgot to mention, all the fans in the back half of the boat have decided to not play nice, actually not play at all.

They stopped working a few days ago, The Captain is trying to find the right wire to them, and get it fixed, not easy at all, so far nothing, but he will continue his hunt until he does, well, I hope so.

They have a local get together with a BBQ, at the local bar Captain Jacks, so we decided to go in, and have a bite to eat and a few drinks, and also to get onto there free wifi and download some stuff that we can't do here on the boat.

So off we go armed with lap tops, ipad, phones, cords you name it. We waited for a break in the weather, and set off.

And yeap it poured down just as we got to shore, I'm sure it only happened, cause I had washed and dried my hair before we left... :-/

So two very soaked cruisers get to Captain Jacks, cursing everything and anything, and the place is almost empty, we had got there a bit late.

But they cooked us a burger each, mine with no garlic, and they tasted so so good, or maybe it was just the drinks before hand, but it was nice.

We also wanted to chat to a few people about going through the canal, as we are in two minds of wether to get a Agent or not. If we do everything can be done here, so no going into Colon the next town over.

Colon is a very dangerous city, you never walk the streets or anything, as you will get mugged, you catch a bus to the taxi place and step off the bus straight into a taxi and the taxi will drop you off at the door of the place you need to go to.

But if we go with an agent it comes with a huge price, so yeah still debating that one.

So after chatting for awhile, we needed to go back to the main area and get some more, credit for our phone, while we were at Captain Jacks we got, the girl there to find out our phone number for us, and she told us we only had 12c left on it, she told us just go to any of the local supermarkets as they all sell it.

So off we go, head down the street, Captain Jacks is on top of a hill, and go searching for the shop that we got the SIM card the first day here, and it's closed, great.

So standing in the middle of the street, and I guessed looking lost, a local guy comes up and asked if we need help, and of cause we said yes, he can speak broken English so we explain what we need, he says follow him, so off we go, to make a long story short, we ended up going to 4 different shops until we ended up with a new SIM card from a different carrier, which was ok, but it didn't work, so sitting outside a shop, me typing what we need on a app I down loaded on my ipad to translate English into Spanish, him reading it, we still could get nowhere, we were trying to tell him all we need was just a top up, on the one we had.

Man how hard can it be, so then he grabs the phone rings some guy and hands it to me, at least this guy could speak English but he could not help us at all either.

We are getting very frustrated by now, this guy is saying well just go to a local place and use there wifi instead, we were saying no we want it on the boat like before, so he then calls what he tells us is a taxi, we all can go together back to Captain Jacks and they can fix it there.

( I'm thinking cellars Bek )

But we go and he drops us all off for $1 haha.

So the girl is still there and we explain what is happening, she goes off at this guy like you would not believe, and sends him on his way, he wanted, a $5 tip for helping am not sure what she said to him, but he scurried off very quick.

We had been conned, a lesson learnt, never accept help from locals, they just try and rip you off.

So the guys at Captain Jacks got us back on the previous carrier, and we topped up online on there computer, after a few strong drinks, and about four hours later which should of taken like 10minutes, we headed back to the dingy.

It was pitch black by now and a bit scary, and after a heart stopping moment when we could not find our dingy, all was ok, it had just been moved a bit by someone else, so they could get there dingy in.

We headed back to the boat trying to find it in the dark this was also a challenge, but we got there ok.

I am so hanging out to get back home, where up you can just walk into a shop and get exactly what you want.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 8th July 2013

2013-07-10

Monday 8th July 2013

Well it has rained all day today, with not many breaks at all.

The Captain has spent almost the whole day researching all the stuff that we need to go through the Canal.

It's looking like we will do it ourselves, we have detailed instructions, on it all now, so should not be as hard as we think.

Just a lot of organising, you do have to have a adviser who comes on the boat with you plus 4 line handlers and of course The Captain, we also have to hire ropes and car tyres.

And set up a date to get the boat measured as well, so it's all starting to come together, we may even get the boat measured on the weekend, we have to go around the island some, so will most likely leave this area soon.

I'm quietly happy about this, as its so hot here with not much wind at all, and we have had such a swell coming in from the ocean this afternoon, that I am sea sick again, honest am back popping pills, not fun.

Everyday we hear what sounds like a Muslims prayer service, over a load speaker, which we kinda thought was a bit weird, it turns out its a guy selling fruit and veges, from a truck, its very loud and I'm sure everyone all over the mountains can hear it

We have also noticed that the several times we have gone ashore, you often see a couple walking together and the guy is wheeling a wheelbarrow full of bags.

This has intrigue me a bit, well me being me, wanting to know about everything, gets a little closer to them and its their groceries.....hahaha

They use wheelbarrows as shopping carts, can you believe it.... Now we notice them all the time, I even saw a guy walking up the hill near our boat pushing one.

So next time you get one of those stupid trolleys, ( Push Carts ) for you American guys,

that has a mind of their own and curse and swear at them, well think of these guys who only have a wheelbarrow to use, even though I think it may just work better than the trolleys.

So as the sun sets and the monkeys start up their evening song, we enjoy the ( I was gonna say silence) haha it sure is not quiet, but it does feel peaceful.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 11th June 2013

2013-07-10

Tuesday 11th June 2013

Well it's raining again, are you getting sick of hearing this?, cause we are so sick of living with it...haha

We are still sleeping in the cockpit, as its just way too hot down in our cabin, but it means getting up and down all night opening and closing the covers, I swear we both just do it in our sleep.

Sometimes I'm just too tired to care and lay there and think, whatever, and wet legs won't kill me, but when the rain starts hitting you in the face you know that's enough and up you jump once again.

The Captain has finally found the right electrical wire that is not working for the back fans.

After pulling almost the whole boat apart, now he just needs to find the spot were it has stopped getting current through, as one end is live and the other is dead.

So that is still ongoing.

Me I have been like a caged animal, these last two days, and am driving myself mental, I just hate being cooped up in the rain.

So I decided it was time to start fishing.

I have been watching three local guys in their dug out canoes fishing everyday, so they must be catching something. All they use is a hand line but for the life of me I have no idea what they use for bait.

So of cause I google some home bait recipes, they sure have some weird and wonderful recipes.

As we have no meat, chicken or fish on the boat, that one is ruled out, but we do have some tins of tuna knocking around here so am thinking tuna oil and bread.

So that's a start, the bread is not so fresh and just falls off the hook, I'm sitting at the back of the boat, where the hand of bananas are hanging and some have fallen to the ground after The Captain had a fight with the dingy rope, a pulley and bananas, not really sure which came out the best, although after he was finished they all looked a bit worse for wear, there was bits of bananas, all over the place, jammed into pulleys, ropes, and one very frustrated Captain, am still picking up bits of bananas two days after the event

So this gives me an idea, yes the bananas, so cut some up dip them in tuna oil, and cast out, yeap nothing I even, cut them in little fish shapes.

So back to google they say to make dough balls, and the smellier and bright colour the better, so go a hunting and come up with dough balls with chilli, cheese and a bunch of herbs and spices, The Captain looks at this and just says very serious, I don't think they are Mexican Fish....haha

And nope nothing, but the dough at least sticks to the hook better.

So after hours and hours and using almost everything I could find even gummy worm lollies yeap, we actually had some of these on the boat as well.

Nothing is working, there is fish out there as they taunt me jumping all over the place, I even dug out all the fishing gear and rigged up another rod with lures, tried that and still nothing at least I'm not bored anymore...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.

.


Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 12th July 2013

2013-07-13

Friday 12th July 2013

Well the last few days have been very quiet, up until today.

Wednesday, was a cooking day for me, I have been having a never ending battle with making bread, I have blamed everything from The Oven, The Ingredients, The Boat ( rocking), the temperature either too hot, or too cold, the yeast, being too old, The recipes you name it, I have blamed it.

Well am finally gonna admit it, It has to be the cook! No matter what I try it does not work.

Now I have had some great recipes given to me, ( Thanks Heather )

and also in books on board, google well you can get lost there in their recipes, but still nothing, have tried with yeast, no yeast, flour no flour, butter, no butter, sugar, no sugar the list goes on an on.

Now don't get me wrong it always taste good, if you don't mind, the charcoal, or cutting it with a chainsaw, or the so over cooked, and so under cooked, that its just like eating raw dough.

I guess I'm lucky that The Captain will try and eat anything, and is very nice about it all, even though sometimes it taste so bad.

So will keep trying as sooner or later I have to get it right, and we can always buy it here, but it's not so nice bread either.

So Thursday,

Well talk about all dressed up and no where to go.

We decided the night before that we would get up early and head into Colon to get some paperwork done, we need to go to the Admeasure office to arrange to get the boat measured to go through the canal, this is step one.

So up we get, get dressed and its raining surprise surprise, and after an hour of waiting it looked like it was set in for the day.

So we took the day off, changed back into boat clothes, and had a relaxing day of just reading and lounging around, was so nice just to do nothing.

Well today sure made up for that.

Friday 12th

We decided yesterday, rain, hail or shine, we had to get into Colon.

This came with a lot of organising, as you know it's not a safe area, and we have been told to only take enough cash on you that your willing to get stolen.

So The Captain wore long cargo pants with lots of pockets, we were told when you go to any official office you should where long pants as its a mark of respect and they will help you so much more.

I can tell you by the time we left this boat we were almost ready for world war three, we had Mace spray, we had hand held tasers, we had money in socks and Bras, we had papers hidden, credit cards is separate pockets, dummy wallets, you name it, yeah I know I had read up a lot about travel safety, on google.

So we meet up with Trevor and Gwen, from America, and off we set in the famous bus's here, man what a trip, they are old American school buses and they are decorated up like you would not believe, the more hotted up they are the better, these young guys treat them like the guys at home treat their cars, but are really bright big mufflers the lot and talk about loud man it's crazy.

They also play very loud music, I suppose it's Spanish duff duff, and they only care about the outside, the inside is falling apart ripped seats, holes in the floor, and not very comfortable.

they fly, man they go so fast it's crazy, the roads are sometimes not even roads, but do they care no way, you bounce and fly all over the place, and it's hot, no air con, just small windows, and sweaty bodies.

They also do not give too hoots about how many people they let on the bus, it just keeps filling up and up, until you are all most bursting at the seems, and road rules, huh there are none, everyone just hoots their horns all the time.

So after an hour of sheer torture, Trevor and Gwen get off to do some grocery shopping and leave us to it, they say we have at least another half hour, to get to the terminal, I almost cry.

And on hops a guy, that must only be a preacher, he gets on with a mega phone, and a bible in his hands, he says something and everyone starts clapping, then he starts up,

Now it may of been quite enlightening, if we could of understood what he was saying, but I swear he never came up for a breath he went from almost good cop, bad cop, if you know what I mean, one minute he was screaming, then next talking so so soft and smiling, than back screaming, then would throw in a little song and so on, this went on for at least half an hour, The Captain and I am sure had our jaws on the floor and at one staged looked at each other and just burst out laughing.

It really was so so funny.

Anyway we eventually made it to the bus terminal where we were told to get straight off a bus and climb into a taxi.

Well that was easer said than done, man what a place there was so many people and bus, cars taxis all beeping people yelling, and I have never ever seen such third world in my life.

Just shocking, I really just can't understand how they can live like that, it's so so sad, so dirty, it's a wonder they don't all have horrible diseases, I was just so shocked, it's hard to even describe it.

Anyway we are standing here in the middle of all this, turning around in circles trying to work out which way to go, there are people in our face the whole time saying this and that all in Spanish of cause, and a local guy comes up and he can speak English, we almost kissed him.

We explain where we need to go he says follow me, now I'm thinking bad move, we have been through this before, but all was ok and he walked us to the entrance of the dock.

One very nice guy.

Long story short, after a lot of sign language, broken english, having to go hail a taxi to take us into the office, ( your not allowed to walk there,) we made it to the office, the taxi driver even walked us up to the door, all went well we are booked to get the boat measured on Monday, so will motor around there on Sunday afternoon.

Then we got dropped off at what they call free zone, where there is a heap of shops that are duty free, walk around a bit, then taxi back to the terminal find the right bus and off we go again this time to rap music blaring in our ears.

So nice.... Not.

But after a stop at the grocery store we eventually got thrown out of the bus back in Portobello, that was now looking very very nice...hahaha

And back to our little home on the water, that has never felt so good.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 13th July 2013

2013-07-13

Saturday 13th July 2013

Well first of all a big Happy Birthday to my sister Dianne, I know you had a great day. Xxx

We did not do a huge amount today, we are both still super tired from yesterday, and have lounged around a good chunk of the day.

And it's so hot, with hardly a breeze at all, I have no idea what the temp has been and I really don't want to know...haha

The Captain had a list a mile long of what he wanted to do, and said that it would take him all day...huh

On the top of his list was, getting one of the gas bottles refilled, and to get more diesel.

There is a local guy here right where we tie up the dingy when we go ashore, that sells all this, yesterday on our way back we stopped in to talk to him but he was not there.

So today he was delivering fuel to a boat near by and came over to see us.

We gave him some jerry cans and the gas bottle, he goes off and several hours later, returns with it all, except the gas tank, tells us he will be back with that later.

I just laughed at The Captain as, he was so warn out getting all that done sitting on his butt..... he though it was going to be a massive job.

We then decided to go around the island a bit in the dingy, as we see a lot of boats going back and forth with what looks like tourists and had asked a local where they take them.

She told us there is a little beach area that is really nice and it's a nice place for a swim.

As the water is too dirty to swim here we so wanted to cool off, so off we go, go around the corner which took I guess half an hour, and come across this place from a distance it's looks fantastic, up close not so good, we were the only white people there.

But the water was great, we had a good snorkel, and swim, even though the water is very barren, there was a few very colourful fish, and we had a little wander around the edge of the Jungle it was worth going there.

We got back to the boat at lot more refreshed and just had a quiet night, actually all our nights are quiet...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 14th July 2013

2013-07-14

Sunday 14th July 2013

Well today was a hive of activity, we have to get the boat around to the entrance of the canal, which they call the Flats, to get the boat measured to go through, this is step one.

This took a good chuck of the morning I can tell you, some of it was researching Aut ( the autopilot ) on google as if you remember, he was having a hissy fit as we where coming in here and we really did not want to start out again with him not working properly.

But in the end we just had to go, as it was going to take us about 4 hours to get there and we so wanted to get there before dark.

Well I had not tied everything down real well as The Captain said it would not be too rough,.......... big mistake.

It was rough, we rolled from side to side so bad, we had things flying from one side of the boat to the other, most were in the galley, and not a huge amount of damage well just the kettle, but we can still use it.

Now I don't think I have ever seen so many cargo ships in one area in my life, talk about stressful, I guess you have seen the picture I put up on facebook, of the AIS by now.

Man they were everywhere the alarm was going off like you would not believe, and flashing all their details just one after the other.

Most of these are at anchor, which was fine as we could just work our way around them all, but we also had to weed out the ones that were moving as well.

This was not easy, several times we had ships almost running as over from behind and in front and from both sides, man we have never got so up close and personal with so many ships.

But we made it, here, we are sitting here at the entrance to the canal, although we can't actually see the canal.

We have been watching ship after ship go past, and tomorrow the guy will come out to measure us, and than we can book the crossing.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 15th July 2013

2013-07-15

Monday 15th July 2013

Well today the Admeasure guy came out to the boat, what a nice guy.

All went well even though he almost ate us out of choc chip cookies...haha

A bit of a surprise for us was that our boat is a lot longer than we thought, we are 54ft on deck but our over all length including the dingy on the davits is 65ft, man no wonder the beast is hard to handle.

We are always surprised when people say its only the two of you?

So I guess in their eyes they look at the size of the boat and think we are crazy.

To be honest she is really easy to handle, when we are sailing there is never a problem, once the sails are up and The Captain is happy with the angles and all that, there is nothing much else to do, but sit and either enjoy the ride, or hold on for grim death, the later more so...haha

As for steering into ports and such to anchor, well she does tend to have a mind of her own, it takes a lot for her to turn, and she kicks up a fuss a lot but we eventually get her to behave and anchoring, we have it down pat now, when the anchor chain decides to behave, I'm always at the wheel and The Captain fights with the anchor and chain, this works really good although I stress so much about trying not to hit other boats, while he is playing up front.

But am learning to back off or give more power when needed.

So anyway after we filled in all the paperwork and stuff, we had to go ashore and pay.

now the guy told us just to dingy around the harbour a little bit, to a place called Club Nautico and then catch a taxi, to Citi Bank, easy....no

Well we motored and motored, dodging huge tankers, boats of all kinds, wrecked boats, washed up close to shore, in and out of inlets, huge waves, you name it we did it.

A few times some locals in small boats told us to avoid this and that and go this way and that.

After about what felt like an hour, me stressing and freaking out, it was a scary, very industrial area and run down, actually the wrecked boats freak me out more than anything, and we are talking huge tankers here, there is a lot of them all on their sides, just rusting away.

I'm not sure why they scare me so much, they just do, it's not like some creature from the black lagoon is gonna crawl out and kill us, or they are gonna break into pieces and fall on top of us, or evil spirits, are gonna attack us, yeah I know I read and watch a lot of horror stuff...haha

But I seriously hate these guys.

We eventually came across a guy on a yacht, went over to him to ask where this place was and he told us we were there....haha

We were sure we had missed it about 30 minutes ago.

So we go tie up, and are told that we have to go to the office to pay, for the dingy.

Long story short, security guards, locals, office lady, no English spoken, we paid $6 and and was given green wrist bands to put on...why? no idea....haha

So off we go and catch a taxi, to the bank.

Talk about a rough area we drove through, it says a lot when the taxi driver locks all your doors.

We come to the bank and there is 3 security guards, all wearing bullets proof vests and checking bags and using a scanner before letting you into the bank.

At least we felt safe inside here and it had Air Con, man I was happy to stay here all day...haha

The captain goes up to the counter and is told they are at lunch, we have to sit and wait, no problem at all, I was like a kid in a candy shop..so so happy just to be sitting someplace cold.

Then the fun began, he goes to pay, they won't accept credit cards, only cash, no problem we are in one of the biggest named banks of the world, just get cash out and pay that way.

Are you kidding, they would not give us cash out, The Captain had to walk down the street to another bank and try there.

The big issue is we are in Colon, the most dangerous place in Panama looking like tourist and having to carry $2800 dollars in cash down these streets.

I stayed in the bank The Captain, armed with Mace Spray, goes off trying to look like a local.

So he goes to the other bank and they give him a $1,000 in $20 notes, well that's not enough, so goes to the ATM, and he managed to get two lots of $500 from two separate cards in $5 notes...haha

He was gone for ages I was so worried that he had got mugged, but he comes back with pockets bulging.

Man what a relief, but we still did not have enough cash, so out he goes again, they had a ATM at this bank as well, so with fingers crossed he tries that one, we were sure they would have put a hold on our cards by now, but no he managed to get another $1,000 in $20's this time.

So all is good we pay up, than taxi back to the dingy, me crying as i had to leave the Air Con, The Captain crying for having to pay so much money...haha

The journey back to the boat was not quite so bad this time even though we had a fully loaded cargo ship barrelling down on us at one stage, but as luck had it, the waves were behind us this time, so we kinda surfed our way back, and it was a lot quicker.

The plan was to go around to a place called Shelter Bay to a marina there and stay for a few days, but it was just too late when we got back, so decided to stay where we were one more night among the Cargo ships.

At least there is something going on all the time here as we are anchored just off the entrance to the Canal, although we can't actually see the canal, but we watch all the boats coming and going.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Tuesday 16th July 2013

2013-07-16

Tuesday 16th July 2013

So today we have decided to go around to Shelter Bay Marina.

After a shocking sleep for me anyway, As there was a lot of activity happening all night, a lot of ships going and coming out of the canal, and a lot of smaller ships all over the place, there was so much going on it was crazy.

We later learned that a cargo ship from, North Korea had been stopped coming out of the canal, and checked by the coast guard, they had what was supposed to a cargo of sugar, was actually some type of Missile radar thingy that they were trying to smuggle in, scary stuff.

Apparently all hell broke loose, as you could imagine, with security, Coast Guards, police, The Captain of the vessel faking a heart attack, the 35 crew sabotaging, the Cranes trying to lift off the other cargo to check the ship out completely, this all was happening about half a mile away from us.

I actually watched the ship at around 3am coming in very close to us, but had no idea what was going on, man if I knew I would of been hanging off the back of the boat with binoculars, watching it all happening, as for The Captain, he blissfully slept through the whole thing.

So after organising some stuff with our crossing it looks like we will be going through, on Friday.

There is another yacht coming through from the other side on Thursday, and we have been in contact with them, and are going to have their line handlers come with us as they need to get back to the other side anyway.

We do have to pay them, which is normal and they will stay overnight with us and then do the last crossing the next day,

We will also have there car tyres to secure around our boat, and most likely there ropes as well.

The port authority supply the pilot to go with us but he only stays through the day.

So we sure will have a boat full, and yours truly has to cook for them all. :-/

We have been hearing a lot of horror stories about the canal and a lot of boats come out damaged so we are very nervous going through, at least one of the line handlers coming with us has been through about twenty times so that's good.

There is a web site that has a live web cam, and you can watch us go through if anyone is interested, we are also a bit excited as well, after all it is listed as one of the modern seven wonders of the world.

I will let you know on facebook the direct link and time and all that, later.

So after that took a good chunk of the day we motored around to Shelter Bay Marina, we were in radio contact with the manager here and he was meeting us at a specific spot to help tie us up.

This can be a nightmare for us as its so hard to steer into small spaces, and talk about small, when we got to the spot The Captain and I just looked at each other in fear.

Are you kidding he wanted us to go into this tiny, tiny spot with a boat on one side and a cement wharf on the other, man I thought both of us were going to have a heart attack.

But we made it, with The Captain at the wheel, me at the bow (front of the boat)

Giving hand signals, and throwing ropes to the guy, we made it without any trouble at all, although we did need a very stiff drink afterwords.

So here we sit its pouring rain and once again we have the Howler Monkeys serenading us off to sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 19th July 2013

2013-07-19

Well what a very busy last few days we have had.

Wednesday was just full on doing laundry, going backwards and forwards all day long.

They have a laundromat here at the marina, but only have a few machines available for the public to use, of cause I needed to do about 4 loads, so every half hour or so I did the hike, up to the laundry, even getting on and off the boat is a challenge in itself, they have two cement blocks one on a crate and they expect you to climb onto this, from a fair hight, it scares me every time I have to use it.

In between running back and forwards I tried to clean the boat some, but I never really got much of a chance.

The Captain was busy doing some repairs on the boat all day as well.

Thursday,

Today I just got stuck into cleaning the boat, in shocking heat, but man is she shining now, it took all day, I even polished the floors a bit, it so nice to have a clean boat, and smells like lavender, this, The Captain thinks is a bit Gay...hahaha

This afternoon the new crew arrived from their yacht, the one that are going through the canal with us.

We met up at the restaurant here at happy hour time, and had a few drinks with them, but it looks like the couple, Grant, and Carly, have changed their minds and may not join us, but will find out for sure the next day, which is cutting it fine, we are not real happy about this as we feel let down and it means making a million phone calls tomorrow to try and find someone at the last minute.

Leo is the other one who is French, but talks Spanish, and has been through about twenty times, what a nice guy, he is only 24 but acts so much older, he has dreadlocks and we can only just understand his English, but a very funny guy we were instantly friends.

The Captain of the yacht, is Ben he is just doing a delivery of this boat as he lives in America, well he is one funny guy as well I wish he could come back through with us too, but he needs to get back home.

Friday

Supplies shopping this I hate but we were told its cheaper to get grocery's on this side of the canal and also we needed to stock up on enough food to feed all this lot for two days.

So The Captain, myself Ben and Leo all caught a free bus ride from here to town.

Ben and Leo had to go to customs and check in, they dropped us of at the supermarket .

We had about two and a half hours before the bus came back to get us, and we were running to catch it I can tell you.

Armed with two trolleys and a list two pages long, everything here is in Spanish, so I had all the Spanish names for stuff as well.

Which is why it took so long, as we had to read almost every label, not to mention if it had garlic or nuts in it.

Then to the check out, a very nice guy came to help us he unpacked everything and another guy was packing it all up for us, of cause we had no idea what they were saying.

They carried on a lot after it had all gone through the check out we had no idea what they were saying, than Leo walks in and comes to the rescue.

Apparently they wanted a tip, but they were swearing to us and calling us all these names in Spanish, they had no idea Leo could speak Spanish.

Well that's when all hell broke loose, Leo was so angry with them and would not allow us to give them a tip, he just said grab your trolleys and go, well these guys were having none of it, they are trying to grab the trolleys back, screaming at us in Spanish, Leo is screaming back at them. We had no idea what was being said, and I think I was glad that we didn't.

Well they followed us all the way to the bus, which was a fair distance away, still screaming in our faces, when we got to the bus, people where getting of the bus yelling at them as well, I thought Leo was gonna punch them out by this time.

Now we really had no problem giving them at tip except the first guy gave us his card to use we thought it was a discount card, it ended up being just him getting a fair amount of points for him to use later, like a Fly Buys card.

So The Captain refused to give him a tip, he said that the points he earned on his card was more than enough tips.

In the end I said just give them a tip, and lets get out of here, so The Captain, gives the guy $4 and said two for each of you and that's all, well no way was that enough for them, this starting another screaming match, by all. In the end we just got on the bus, and left them still carrying on, talk about stressful, we felt like we had gone ten rounds with Muhammad Ali, I tell you.

Oh and the great thing on the bus right to and from we crossed one of the Canal locks, this was our first time of seeing it, man I tell you we were looking up at these gates that they let the water in and out of they are huge and very scary looking.

Am so nervous about going through.

So after all afternoon of me packing and sorting out all this food, The Captain and Leo organising extra line handlers, we now have friends of Leo's coming with us there is a lady and a guy and her son who is 15, so that in itself is a boat load than we have the pilot and he or she is bringing a trainee we think with them as well.

Man what a boat load.

So Ben and Leo came over for a chat and a few drinks, at around 5pm, which lasted till about 12am, man what a night a bit too much drinking happened, but we have never laughed so much for a long long time, they are just the funniest guys, but am sure there will be a few fragile bodies around in the morning.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 20th July 2013

2013-07-20

Saturday 20th July

Well today is the day, our big crossing.

Are we nervous? Are we ready for this? Not really but we are doing it anyway.

So the day starts off with a flurry of activity, us both racing around getting things done tied down, just basically organising everything so things can go smoothly.

We went to the little shop here as they sell a lot of fishing gear and Leo had told us that there is a really easy way to catch fish with a cedar plug thingy.

So as we are about to go into the shop we run into an Australian couple touring around on their mini bus/ truck.

We get to talking and then they came onto the boat to have a look around, while they were there our crew arrived.

Maria, or Issa as they call her she is from Columbia, and can not speak English, her 15 year old son, Brian he speaks broken English, and their friend Alessio who is Italian, but has lived here a very long time, he speaks good English, but you still have to listen very hard to understand, and of cause Leo who is French and speaks many languages he also speaks English but sometimes very hard to understand.

So Leo has been through the canal about 20 times, he is kinda in charge, Alessio ( Alex )

Had been through once before, so that was good too.

We get them all settled in and they go off and do some stuff while we carry on with all the rest of the prep work.

After lunch Leo was about to walk us around and explain to each of us what we need to do.

Basically there is four of us, line handlers, ( controlling the ropes ) two at the stern one on each side, and two at the bow again one on each side.

When you enter the first lock, they throw down ropes , these have a weight in them with what they call a monkeys fist, and no they did not howl like the howler monkeys, but the guy that got hit in the head with one sure did. Hahaha, ( get to that story soon )

So they throw the rope down you tie your end of the rope to it they pull it up, and then they just walk up there with it, as we go along, us, well we are responsible for our end, to keep the boat from swinging too much and god forbid hitting the walls.

This is very physical work, as there is a lot of pressure on the ropes, you have to tie them and lock them onto the cleats, then untie, loosen them, or take in the slack, then tie and lock them to the cleats again, this is non stop the whole way through.

The Captains job is at the wheel trying to steer through it in a straight line, not easy, when they fill up or empty out there is a lot of turbulence, from the water and also tankers in front or behind you.

Once you are inside the locks they close the big gates and man these guys are huge, they then let the water in, it fills up at a massive rate.

Once they are full you get going across them to the next lock and it all starts again.

Anyway getting back to the first part, Leo was going to show us all what we need to do, we looked up and could see a huge storm coming our way, we decided to just get going and anchor at the flats where we need to wait for the advisers to join us, these guys are supplied by the port authority and their job is to tell you what and what not to do.

So we are reversing out of the marina berth, when it hits with massive wind, this is when all hell broke loose.

Now we had Million dollar boats all around us, and no control of the boat.

Long story short with Leo jumping off the boat into the water to grab a rope that fell, all the rest of us running around trying to fend off other boats as we were about to hit them from one side to the other, guys on the dock rushing from all directions to help the boat almost doing a 360° they managed to get us into another berth, till the wind settled down some, and it was bucketing down with rain, everything from the outside to the inside was drenched.

We eventually tried take two, and made it just, with the whole lot of us fending off another boat, that was way to close for comfort, but we made it out of the marina, with very wet, and major stressed out crew...hahaha welcome to our world guys.

The major problem is that you can't get them to understand how heavy our boat is, she just takes a long time to respond.

So yeah we were a very sad, wet, pale looking crew when the advisers arrived.

Before they arrived and after we had mopped ourselves and the boat up some, Leo eventually got to do his little talk and teach us what we had to do.

I can honestly say I was so, nervous about the whole thing, I was ready to turn around and just go around Cape Horn instead.

For those of you who do not know Cape Horn is the only other way of getting to the other side and its very very rough, not many make it at all, and a lot of lives have been lost attempting to go around, the reason they built the Canal in the first place.

So we have a boat full, eight in total, the adviser asked us are we ready for this, I'm like not until I have drunl a bottle of tequila and smoked at least a half dozen packs of cigarettes.

But no we just all said yeah with a very nervous smile, and pale faces all round, mine being the worst I'm sure...haha

As we motor down to the entrance they tell us we are going to be tied up to the little speed boat, that had 3 very massive engines and they can control the speed, which was fine by us as it meant less work for us, as they would have two line handlers on there boat and we only needed two on ours...yes it meant I didn't have to stress about handling the line, just to be his helper if needed.

So we get up to this boat and tie up together and find out its just a dingy for there owners boat, man this thing was huge I would of loved to see how big the boat was.

And two of them on board where South African this made The Captain very happy.

They had about six on seven on there boat so there was a lot of people here, one of their line handlers came over to lend us a hand, I actually think there were way too many people which just added to my stress levels, as if I needed anymore.

So we enter the first lock, they throw the lines down to us and you really have to watch as they fall, we even had the solar panels covered up with bean bags and mattress to protect them too.

And Bam, one monkeys fist hits an adviser from the other boat in the head, there was a lot of laughing going on as these guys should no better, but no harm done, so all was ok, until they threw down the 2nd rope and this hit him as well, well I honestly thought the guys up the top were going to die from laughter, man it was so funny to watch, but still he seem fine so off we go.

By this time all our crew are over the stress and actually enjoying themselves, The Captain and I made up for it, man we were stressed.

But all went like clock work and we got through number one.

It sure is an experience just to watch how it all works, it's just hard to explain.

So we get into the 2nd lock still all tied up, the lock starting to fill up when things go bad, apparently the guy that got hit in the head twice...haha it's still funny in a sick sort of way.

Well he is not feeling so good and is starting to feel very dizzy, we all think it was way over reaction but anyway, they decided he needed to go to hospital, so then we had to get to the wall, this is major as you sure don't want to hit the wall hard.

There must of been at least 20 people waiting up there with an ambulance, and after a few tries we got him off the boat.

So back to the job at hand, we get through the rest of the locks with no drama other than me trying to help the guys back home see us as they were watching the live cam.

I can not tell you how much that meant to The Captain and I, it kinda made it just that much more special, to have you guys going through it with us, even if you were on the other side of the world and it was getting dark and very hard to see, you still hung in there.

To My Bek, and Lyn one very big thank you, and to anyone else who was watching or trying to watch, thanks Madd for trying, we love you guys. xxx

We motor into the river find the buoy Leo jumps off the boat onto the buoy ties

us up to it a boat comes and gets the advisers, and we settle down to a few very stiff drinks...haha.

Once we had the crew well feed and still drinking The Captain and I retired to our cabin and left them to it, as the next lot of advisers were joining us at six in the morning, which we all protested to, but no suck luck they were coming that early and that was that....haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 21st July 2013

2013-07-21

Sunday 21st July 2013

Well after not much sleep we were rudely woken by an alarm that I set the night before, bleary eyed I stumbled to the cock pit, and everyone is still off in the land of nod, I could not believe it as the phone was right next to their ears, and no one heard a thing.

That quickly changed I had them all up, would like to say up and running, but there was some very sad bodies around this morning, and no rum left in the bottle...hahaha

I barely had time to get dressed when the next adviser was here, this time just one.

And we were off.

It took a long time to motor to the next lock, so a few crew members disappeared I later found them snoring there heads off in various parts of the boat.

But all hands were on deck by the time we were approaching the next lock, and I must say looking a lot better now.

This time we were being tied up to a tourist boat, they take bucket loads or should say boat loads of people through the canal daily.

So we are all busy tying up fenders and stuff as they are getting close to us, it was quite a big boat and I was a little worried, ok a lot worried the stress levels had not gone down much.

We had Leo at one end of the boat with a rope, Alec at the other end with a rope Isa and Brian standing by and me in the middle with our last fender just in case.

This boat, which seemed like is was barreling down on us full of all these tourists hanging out the boat all watching, The Captain trying so hard to keep the boat still, and all the fenders are too low, far out, am almost having a stroke now as their boat had a very large lip on the side that I knew it would of taken off our top rail for sure, so I run with the fender hold it against our boat yell at Isa and Brian to grab the other fenders and try to hold them up and racing and dragging the fender up the length of the boat we all had our feet on the other boat trying to push it away so the guys could get the ropes attached and lift up the other fenders and tie them properly.

And they wonder why I stress.

All the tourist on the other boat are thinking this is a great joke and all trying to talk to us, I won't even mention what I wanted to say to them I can tell you, it would of been very nasty.

Now the good thing with these locks is that you don't have to tie up ropes, why? not sure, but we only had to steer, but as soon as we got through one lock you have to untie, than they go first and then you tie up to them again in the next lock, I'm thinking are they crazy we have to go through that two more times.

But that's how they roll.... :-/

So we untie, which did not go so well, we came very close to hitting the wall, as the turbulence is very strong and The Captain had everyone shouting at him to do this do that, that was the last time he listened to them after that, as I said in previous posts, we know how heavy she is to handle.

And it did not help our stress levels that we had a huge cargo ship right behind us, coming up very fast.

Am glad u did not see that episode Doug and Ruth, cause you may of been just as stressed as us.

Doug and Ruth our friends that we met in American who took us under their wings and showed us a lovely time in Tacoma.

Well they went with us this time on the live web cam back in America.

I got a bit mixed up with the locks but the camera starts with the 2nd lock once we got all that sorted they were set.

Once again I want to say how this felt so special to us, their excitement and encouragement meant the world to us, so a big big Thank You. You guys are so great. xxx

It was a pity the last camera stopped working as we were about to come out of the last lock, but they managed to see us a lot better in daylight, I was a bit sad that we were just too busy to take any good pictures from the site of us but at least we got one if only of our masts... Haha

No the next two locks went ok, a hairy moment when a rope fell into the water and just having to fend off the other boat so many times took it toll on all on board.

But we made it, we are in the pacific, with a few tears shed from yours truly, not sure from all the stress or just plan being homesick, we are here.

I hit the brick wall before we even found a spot to anchor, after going through all that stress and only having about 4 hours sleep in two nights, I had to go have a lay down, and Isa god love her cleaned up the inside of the boat as best as she could for me, a big thank you goes out to her and all our crew, they all did well.

With no damage to the boat at all, except it looking a bit rough around the edges, nothing that a bit of spit and polish will fix up.

I actually think us two cruisers came out the worst, we sure have a lot more grey hairs than when we first went in, that's for sure, and I'm sure we are going to wake up tomorrow with a lot of aches and pains.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 22nd July 2013

2013-07-22

Monday 22nd July 2013

Well we slept the sleep of the dead, once again, well I did anyway The Captain said he was up a few times, checking out some strange noises, but I never heard a thing.

We are both feeling very warn out, so have not done a huge amount, I did manage to clean up the boat a little bit but other than that, we just lounged around a good chunk of the day.

We had arrange to go ashore and have a late dinner with our crew, as Leo was going back home to Mexico in the morning and we wanted to give him a sent off as well.

It was not meant to be.

Now we have been warned about the dingy dock here, as it can be a bit of a struggle, to get ashore.

Well I can tell you it is way more than a struggle, it was dark when we left the boat, which is always a worry to start with as we have no lights on the dingy, in America it is law that you have to have full nav lights on your dingy as well.

But not here thank god, but you do need something as there is a lot of boat activity , around so armed with a little torch me holding it up in the air, we set off.

We get to the shore and they have a little floating dock that you tie your dingy to, than climb into a little old wooded boat and you pull yourself to shore on a pulley system with a rope.

So we check this out as much as we can in the dark, take a deep breath and think ok we can do this, The Captain decides to drop me off at the steps, so I can climb up, and he will do the dingy thing.

Now they have huge tides here, sometimes up to 20ft, and tonight was one of them, we get to the steps and that are all out of the water, I'm thinking this is great no getting wet, but as we shine the torch onto the steps we notice they are covered in slim and very very slippery.

I decide to take off my shoes and go bare foot, for better grip, so with the surge of water at the right point I go to climb up, I put one foot on the step, and break out in a cold sweat, there is no way I'm gonna do this, it is just way too dangerous, I step back into our dingy for plan B. well not really step back I kinda fell back in on my arse, very lady like...not.

We dingy around some and there is nowhere else to get out, man this is crazy, we then heard Leo yelling out to us, so go back to the steps and he says we can climb up the rocks, instead of the steps, I'm looking at this and thinking are you crazy they are covered in not just slim but oyster shells as well, so put the shoes back on and give this a go, with the help of Leo and The Captain and a rope I manage to drag pull myself to shore, I get ashore, still in a cold sweat, hands shaking, knees knocking together, and with just a little scrape on my foot, I make it, and very chuffed with myself, The Captain comes next with no problems at all, he had on runners so he was fine.

Leo takes charge as per usual, jumps in our dingy goes and takes it back to the floating dock after coming back once, as The Captain had forgot to give him the pad lock to lock the Dingy, all is ok until Leo goes to get into the little wooden boat, and the rope breaks.

A lot of pirate cursing happening here.

So we have a situation Leo is stuck on the floating dock, we are stuck on shore, and no way to get to each other.

After about plan F, with trying to get the rope back to us which was just a tangled mess, we decided the best thing was to just go back to our boat and make it another night.

Leo goes to get into our dingy to bring it around to us, and of cause its locked, with the key safely tucked away in The Captains pocket, ( on shore ).......

Man this is turning into a nightmare.

So Leo climbs into the wooded boat and gives one almighty push and makes it to our side, grabs the keys, again another mighty push and floats back to the other dock.

Unlocks our dingy brings it around to us, we do the death walk back over the rocks he climbs out, we say goodbye wish him good lock on his journey home, and come back to our boat.

Talk about all dressed up and no place to go, and to make matters worse i was having a good hair day, which does not happen often out here.

So all dressed in our finery, we climb back on board, get back into our boat clothes and have cheese and crackers for dinner washed down with a fine glass of their local red that cost about $3 a litre ....hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 24th July 2013

2013-07-24

Wednesday 24th July 2013

Well talk about hot, man it is stifling, I don't think I have ever felt heat like this in my life. It's just shocking.

I managed to get a lot of washing done today and once again the boat looks like a Chinese laundry.

That took a good chunk of the day, other than that, not much else happened around here other the a spot of fishing off the deck, catching only one small fish, that I have no idea what is was, and just the two of us resting and a few nana naps.

Wednesday

Well, all I can say is the last few days have finally caught up with me at least, I hit the brink wall big time.

My whole body aches, and I'm feeling very sick, and it's just as hot as yesterday.

Am not a happy chappie today, so we are just resting and taking things easy.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 25th July 2013

2013-07-25

Thursday 25th July 2013

Today has been very hard, and it's not over yet.

As any mum out there will understand, when your child is not well all you want to do is be there with them.

Tim my baby, yes you may almost be 21 but you are still my baby boy to me.

He has had his 2nd eye op today back in Aus.

Long story short, he found out he has a disease in his eyes, not long after we had left Australia, I so wanted to fly back home then and there, but he assured me he would be ok.

Several months ok he had his first op on his good eye, to slow down the process of it getting any worse, this took a lot longer than expected to heal and he had poor eye site for awhile, but now that is fully healed, it was time for the big op.

Today he is having a Cornea transplant.

Now this has been a big worry, yes I know they do them all the time, but when it's your own child it makes it so much worse.

He has assured me he will be alright, as I have wanted to fly home, to be there for him, but at least I had comfort in knowing that his girlfriend Tiarna, his dad and sisters are all there for him.

The op was schedule for about nine in the morning, so all day I have been worried, and I just hate the time difference, I have been checking facebook and emails all day, waiting for news.

It was supposed to be about an hour and a half op, so after about that time, I started messaging, to see how it was going, he had gone in later than expected, so i had a bit longer to wait.

I left it for awhile than the messages flew back and forward.

The eye op went well as far as they know at his stage, but my boy not so well.

He vomited while he was being operated on which resulted in a rush to emergency, to have his lungs drained, his oxygen level had dropped 85%, as you can imagine I was so ready to jump on a plane home.

I know I almost sent my girls and Tiarna around the bend with messages back and forth, but thanks guys for trying to calm me down some, it did help a little bit, although I do know you were trying not to say too much to make me worry even more than I was, I love you guys. xxx

They now think he may have pneumonia and are keeping him in hospital over night to keep a close eye on him.

After a very late phone call to my mum, it was about one in the morning here, I feel a little bit better, see it does not matter how old you are you always need your Mum when things go wrong, it just breaks my heart that I can't be there with my boy.

And the worry continues.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 26th July 2013

2013-07-26

Friday 26th July 2013

Well after my son almost put me in an early grave, he is finally able to go home.

This has been a very hard 48hours, so my boy look after yourself, stay at home wrap yourself in cotton wool and don't move ok, and stop stressing your mother out so much....haha.... I love you heaps. xxx

Man between kids and boats, I have no hope of keeping the grey out of my hair, am spending a fortune here on hair dyes...hahaha

As for life on our boat, not much is happening, we are still having very quiet days and recovering, we can not get over our tired we feel and am not sure why, I think it's just stress and the heat.

Although today has been a lot cooler, and very windy.

We were sitting here in the cockpit this afternoon when we noticed a dingy floating away from another boat, now it looked like no one else had noticed including the owners of the dingy.

So Wind Wanderers crew to the rescue, now it was really windy and I'm watching it heading out to sea, while The Captain was madly trying to lower our dingy into the water, we get it down finally both jump in our dingy, race off, well as fast as a 9.8 horse power motor can go.

Battling waves and wind, get three quarters of the way there and another guy, gets in his dingy and grabs it, and it starts to rain...great.

We slow down some, get to the other guy he has it all under control, and is in his way back to their boat and all is well again.

So two very wet cruisers make our way back to our boat, having almost done our good deed for the day, and climb back on board again.

That was the most exercise we have done in two days...haha

But the owners of the dingy were very happy they had their mode of transport back again, with a lot of arm waving to thank us anyway.

But it's what you do out here, everyone helps everyone, things can go pear shape so quickly, and losing your dingy is like losing your car, so we were happy to lend a hand.

So once again we parked our butts back in the cockpit, after The Captain got into dry clothes he got really wet when a wave hit him full on and settled down again, to do nothing...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 27th July 2913

2013-07-27

Saturday 27th July 2913

Well it seems like not a huge amount of things are happening around here, am a bit scared that we are becoming boring...hahaha

I have not done much other than the occasional, bit of cooking, reading heaps of books, and windging about the heat...the last being the worst.

I hate this heat it's driving me crazy, oh and we have had heaps of nana naps as well, we sure are recharging our batteries if nothing else.

We finally decided to try and meet up with the canal crew once again tonight, we have been trying to make a date since the last dingy dock disaster, so tonight was the night.

The Captain had been busy fixing the spinnaker pole, and that is all done now, he was so hot and tired he than needed a nana nap.

While he was in the land of nod, the lady on the boat near us yells out to turn my radio on quick.

Of cause I go into panic mode as I'm thinking whats wrong with our boat, are we sinking, has the anchor dragged, what can she see that I can't.

Yeah I know this boat still freaks me out a lot.

But no she just wanted to invite us over for drinks, I felt bad about saying we can't, as we already have plans tonight, but after watching dingy after dingy go over there and the amount of people that were climbing on board, there would of been no room for us anyway, man I could see their water line going lower and lower into the water.

I suppose we could of gone for and hour or so, but The Captain was asleep, and I still had to have a shower and get dressed, also I wanted to ring my boy back home, just to reassure myself that he was ok, and give him a bit of mum love. Yeah and a few tears on my part.

So after feeling a lot better knowing he is ok and getting all the horror story, that happened, am glad my girls kept most of it from me if I had known the full extent of it all, nothing in this world would of kept me from catching a plane home to him.

Even now I'm still struggling with it, so guys please nothing more ok, just don't do anything else till I get home, actually I think you guys should all wrap up in that cotton wool till I get back.... Haha and that goes out to The Captains kids as well.

I love our kids to death, but man it can be so so hard being a parent.

It's funny I know exactly the moment when something is wrong, even before I talk to them, it's crazy how I can be across the other side of the world and I just know, my kids know this as well and they always joke about it, sometime they think that Mum knows even before they do...haha

So getting back to our date night, well we get dressed and off we go, now this time we have judged it, so it will be high tide, and we can just climb up a few steps to shore.

With fingers crossed and pitch black with just our trusty little torch, we make it to the dock and yeap all is good, The Captain brings the dingy right to the steps, I say a few Hail Marys and climb out, with no dramas at all, he then takes the dingy to the dock locks it up and as he is trying to get into the rocking little wooded boat another guy came out to his dingy and gives him a lift to the steps instead, this went great other than a wet foot we were set.

So with a huge sigh of relief off we go, to wait for the guys to pick us up.

We all climb into their car even there little dog as well, which was trying to lick my face the whole trip, am not sure if you know but I have a few problems with animals, and dogs are on the top of this list. I can't help it, it's just a thing I like them and all but from a distance, well this little fox terroir was having none if it, he was a bundle of energy, and just took a shine to The Captain and me.

The Captain tried his best to keep him at a distance but in the end we just gave up.

But we had a lovely time, we all walked around the city with Alec telling us a lot of the history as we went.

Man a lot of it is still very third world but at least here they are slowly restoring it back to its former glory.

We drove and walked through some very scary places, they assured us that we were quite safe I had my doubts, but we are still alive.

Everywhere you look there is security guards, military personnel, and police all with bullet proof vest and carrying not just a normal gun, but shot guns, scary stuff.

We were stopped at a check point at one stage and one of the guards was playing around with his rifle and had it pointing straight at us at the window, this really freaked me out a lot.

But all in all we had a lovely meal with great company.

Then back to the dreaded dingy dock, Alec and Isa insisted on coming back to the dock with us to make sure it all went ok, The Captain and I tried to talk them out of it as we did not want them see us make a fool of ourselves, it can be quite embarrassing, watching us, I can tell you.

And true to form I very unladylike slipped down the steps and landed on my arse, but I can tell you I jumped up way faster than I went down but yeah other than The Captain, it was seen by all. :-/

Lucky there was no blood, but am gonna have a few very large bruises in the morning that's for sure.

My ankle and elbow came out the worst.

We had been away so long that the tide had gone right out again and after a climb over the rocks we made it back into the dingy with not much bother at all.

Thank god.

After a shower to wash off all the dog slobber, we have now both hit that brick wall, and once again the rocking of the water sends us off to sleep, and of cause the million and one bugs buzzing around our heads.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 28th July 2013

2013-07-28

Sunday 28th July 2013

My war on fruit flys.

This is a never ending battle, these guys are driving me nuts.

I have tried everything to get rid of them, the last time we were invaded in St Martin, if you remember it was from a can of peaches that had exploded.

Well not his time, I have searched the whole boat and can not find anything, that can be causing this.

Now I have an arsenal of fly spray, that we got in America, am sorry guys but your bug spray sucks.

It does not kill anything, I need the stuff back in Australia that kills all types of bugs.

Now I'm talking about the the big guns, the stuff that the bugs almost die when they see the can coming, yeap You guys all know it, the one and only Baygon.

You spray this stuff around and for months on end, not a single creature will even enter your dwelling, even the runner up is good too, we all know Louie the fly. ( Mortien )

So it was with great delight when we went into a grocery store here in Panama, and low and behold sitting on the shelf was cans of Baygon...yes was one Happy Hunter.

So we get a can of this stuff, as from previous experience even though the brand may be the same the contents can vary so much from country to country.

Does it work? .... Well it sure drops these little buggers to the ground I can tell you, but sadly not as good as our Aus brand.

Leo, our helper through the canal, told me not too worry about them, as its because of the jungle all around us, we will have them all the time while we are here, well jungle or no jungle, I'm not buying that, I want them out, they can go visit other boats.

Of cause I have done the google search, way too many times, have tried everything from lavender, cloves, wine, ( the Crappy wine that we can not bring ourselves to drink anymore ) vinegar, dish soap, you name it I have tried it.

So in sheer desperation, out came the horrible disgusting creepy sticky fly strips.

These things will catch anything and everything, including The Captain and myself...man I hate these things.

This time I refused to hang them, I just could not handle the dead bodies clinging to it and clinging to my hair, oh man it still gives me nightmares.

So, decided to try just pulling them out a little bit and sit them around the boat.

It has resulted in a few arms and various parts of our bodies being stuck, but with a quick race to a tap, from yours truly to wash off all the bodies., before I freak out completely, it's not too bad, this happens several times a day.... :-/

These sticky strips work a treat, but we have so many of the buggers flying around I can't keep up with them.

They say you should have screens on your windows and close all doors to keep the bugs out.

Well we have screens, with holes, bigger than bugs, and the screens blow out every time it's windy, which is all the time, and no doors at all, so yeah it's a never ending battle.

I have finally used my last lot of sticky strips, and nowhere to buy them here, so good old google to the rescue, you can make them yourself, yay this was huge excitement, so out come the honey, sugar, water, brown paper cut into strips, mixing all in a big pot on the stove, dipping, dripping all over the place, hours later and do they work? Nope the flys just come in to land, have a nice little feed and fly off again, back to google once again.

The war continues.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Monday 29th July 2013

2013-07-29

Monday 29th July 2013

Well there is excitement on this here vessel of ours....our new portable fridge/freezer has arrived from America....yay

Yeah I know it may not be too exciting for some, but having lived without a freezer, for months now it is way over exciting for us, now we might just get some ice for Happy Hour, and I can go back to cooking up a storm, and freezing them for our passages.

The big thing was as always, how our are we going to get it to the boat.

Now it's not over big, but still heavy, and there was just no way we could get it from this crazy dingy dock, I'm sporting a very nice 4inch bruise, on the side of my ankle, from the last episode, so that was not gonna happen again.

We found out there is two other dingy docks here but you need to go out around the island a bit to get to them, and also pay to leave your dingy there.

So off we go in search of the other docks, they told us it would take about 15mins, more like 30mins later we get to the third dingy dock, as we bypassed the 2nd, we were meeting a couple on their boat, who were giving us their paper charts of the pacific, as they are selling their boat after only 2 years sailing and going home.

Now why we needed these, only The Captain knows, we have paper charts from all over the world on this boat at the moment, but in all fairness a lot are borrowed, but we have a USB chip with every chart of the world, plus back ups as well.

But anyway it was nice meeting them and I'm sure the charts will come in handy one day.

So we go to the dingy dock near them, you are suppose to pay but the couple told us just to walk straight through and act like you know the place and you won't have to pay.

Now us being the good people that we are...not, did just that...hahaha

So off we go, very quickly in case we are being chased down and find the Marine Wharehouse where are freezer has arrived to, now this was a bit of a walk in extreme heat with us really having no idea where it was, and stumble across it about 100meters from our own crappy dingy dock...hahaha

So get the thing on are trusty fold out trolley and off we go for about a meter and realise this thing is not going to make it all the way back, without The Captain breaking his back, or the thing falling off and breaking.

So The Captain goes off on the hunt to find something to tie it down with, he notices some plastic tape around a section that is cornered off in the car park, and thinks yeap that will do, I'm thinking the guard on duty is gonna shoot us.

But there was a strip off it blowing in the wind so he breaks this off and comes back with that old pirate look and ties it up.

So all is good get back to the dock, now we have a very steep walkway to attend too, so I go down first, than The Captain with the freezer in front of him, all went well then to the dock, we manage to get it into the dingy, without it going into Davy Jones's Locker and all breath a sigh of relief.

Then the journey back, well the wind picked up just as we headed off, and man talk about rough, we thought the trip to here took a long time, I can tell you the trip back was worse, with as crashing into waves getting thrown all around trying hard to keep the paper charts from getting wet, thank god they were in a plastic bag, and making sure the freezer did not go overboard.

The Captain tried everything from going fast, going slow, going sideways the later may of just been the waves, but nothing we had to just go really slow and put up with the wave crashing onto us.

Two very wet cruisers climbed back on our boat, with a sigh of relief, yay we made it, now to get the damn thing out of the dingy and onto the boat.

By his time I was so not excited anymore with water dripping from head to toe, and every part of me hurting from being thrown around, I left it in The Captains hands to work that one out.

He just had a brain storm and decided to lift the whole lot up on the davits and when then dingy was level with the back of the boat, just slid it straight off onto the deck, it worked perfect, he them dragged it into the cockpit and I unwrapped it.

All was ok I was so worried that it would of been ruined by all the salt water before we even had a chance to even turn it on, but it was bone dry thank god.

So we managed to slid, kinda pull it down the steps and it is just sitting here, as we are both way too tired to do anything else tonight, tomorrow we will look at installing it.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 30th July 2013

2013-07-30

Tuesday 30th July 2013

Well today I once again tried out yet another home remedy, and yeap another hair product.

This one came about while I was trying to find a better remedy for those sticky fly paper.

I googled extra sticky fly paper and a home made shampoo and conditioner came up... go figure.

So of cause I had to try it, and yes I do have mountains of shampoo and conditioner on the boat, but the sun, wind and salt water is taking its toll on my hair.

Not to mention the hundred and one hair dyes...haha

I'm also not sure whether it could be just our water as well, the water maker turns salt water into pure safe drinking water, which we use for everything.

It is very clean water, but does have a hint of salt to it, but thats not really a problem as everything on here is salty, you do get used to it really quick, and we drink it by the litres daily.

So maybe that could have something to do with this hair of mine.

Well here it is, you mix a tablespoon of baking soda with around a cup of hot water, and stir till dissolved, this is your shampoo, you wet your hair thoroughly than pour it on, rub it well into your scalp and hair, rinse well, oh and let it cool first don't go pouring hot water on your head.

The next is the conditioner, again mix a tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice with a cup of water.

They say the vinegar is better but I hate the smell of it, and besides the fruit flys go nuts over this stuff, they love it and they sure don't need any more encouragement I can tell you.

So I opted for the lemon juice.

So after the baking soda has been washed out pour some of the lemon juice onto your hair, mix it in and again thoroughly wash out.

Now I have to say when the lemon juice mix went on, my hair instantly felt like straw, I was terrified that my hair would just break off.

But once you wash it out its a lot better, after towel drying i put in a tiny bit of hair oil stuff that I use all the time anyway, and man you should see the difference talk about soft and it's so so shiny, am totally impressed with this stuff, just have to get The Captain to try it now....haha

They say it can take awhile for your hair and scalp to get used to it, so we will wait and see what the next few days do, but so far I'm sold.

Give it a go, you never know and just think how much money you will save on all those expensive shampoos and conditioners that we all get sucked into buying.

So now to boat stuff our new you beaut fridge/ freezer is getting installed today, yay.

By none other than the resident electrician on board, yeap he is not only The Captain, but a jack of all trades now.

So after not much time or cursing everything went smoothly and the old portable fridge has a new mate, hopefully working a lot better than the old one...time will tell.

We had arranged to meet up for dinner with the couple that we got the charts off yesterday, so after a very careful discussion, we decided that we would once again brave our dingy dock...yeah I know how crazy are we.

At least this time it was still light, at 5.30pm.

So off we go, as we get closer we notice a lot of young kids, on the steps, and a lot of rubbish also, it seems that they had all been out on a few boats collecting rubbish around the water edge, and man I can tell you there is a lot of rubbish floating around here, so good on them for at least trying to clean it up some.

But it was all over the steps not just, one or two steps, there was everything from rope, boat parts, paper, and a lot of broken glass.

They were in the process of ferrying people and rubbish all to shore, so a lot of activity was happening.

We got to the steps and two of the young guys held onto the dingy and helped me get ashore, this was so nice of them, and I thanked them in Spanish, about the only word I know in Spanish is Gracias, ( thank you )

Now they are still holding the rope of the dingy and wanting to help The Captain get out, we are both trying to explain that he did not want to get out here as he needed to get the dingy to the floating dock first and lock it up.

And down one of the guys go, slipped on his butt down two steps, and another guy comes down and slips down about three steps on his back, they had blood running down their legs but still trying to help us.

See it's not just us cruisers that slip it seems the locals have major problems with this dock as well.

So eventually we get them to understand and The Captain gets to the floating dock locks up the dingy, climbs into the little wooden boat and pulls himself to shore, with a little bit of help from me pulling the ropes, as he was going nowhere, just sitting bobbing around, was kinda funny.

And we made it no slips at all, and off we go once again having survived that horror and meet up with, Jane and Ean, what a nice couple, we had a very nice night, with a lot of tall stories and lots of laughs.

The laughter soon stopped once we faced the dock, to go back to the boat, but all went well, as the tide was almost high, and it was easy to get back in our dingy, and once again with another huge sigh of relief we headed back to our boat.

And all is right in our little world once again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 31st July 2013

2013-07-31

Wednesday 31st July 2013

Well the freezer is not working like we were hoping it would, this is a real let down, but maybe in a few days it may just get better we are hoping.

We are getting the boat ready for our next leg, we are going to go to Las Perlas, first this is a one day sail, and it's supposed to be very pretty with a lot of Whale activity at the moment, we are hanging out to see whales.

Also there is about 4 other Aussie boats that are leaving around the same time and heading back to Aus.

Even though we may never see them, as all boats sail at different speeds, it will be a huge help if one of us gets into trouble at least someone will be a bit close to lend a hand, it may take a day to get to them but, it's better than nothing.

So it's a hive of activity once again, the couple that are selling their boat and going home, have a heap of supplies on board, so The Captain has been ferrying back and forth getting some supplies off them that we were going to buy anyway and they were selling cheap.

So while he was doing a very different grocery shop, I was busy going though the boat working out what supples we still need for our long hop and rearrange stuff.

And I can tell you now that we have our new freezer I have rearrange things into this plus the other two fridges, than changed them back again, than rearranged them Into other ones and so on, this has happened way too many times and am still not satisfied, so that's on going.

Also I have done some bulk cooking and trying to freeze some meals this is not working real good either, so that's ongoing as well.

So The Captains trips back twice with supplies has made me have to rearrange lots of stuff again and again, it's not easy i can tell you, where do you store an extra 10 bags of flour, 10 packets of 4 toilet paper rolls when you already have about 30 packets, and all the rest of the stuff as well, we have bulk of almost everything you can imagine.

Serious we almost have a floating grocery store on board here, it's crazy, we better start eating heaps I think as most of the stuff may just be taken from us when we hit Australia.

So after all this it was really getting late into the night we just had to call it a day, have a not so cold happy hour drink, still no ice, :-( and settle in for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 1st August 2013

2013-08-01

Thursday 1st August 2013

Well it the 1st of another month, man the days are flying.

Today we decided to do the rest of our shopping, this I was not looking forward too at all.

As we wanted to get some fresh fruit and veges, that at least would last longer than a few days, yeah serious, it goes off so quick it crazy, am not sure wether it's the humidity , or salt water or what, but we have been told if you can get it from a local market it last a lot longer.

So there is a lot of local markets here but you need a local to go with you, first we can not speak Spanish, and 2nd they rip you off something shocking, if your not from around here.

We were told there is a local guy here that will pick you up and take you there and buy it all for you, so we call him in the morning and he is busy, but will be available in the afternoon.

So all is good we will go to a few other places first, so all dressed, off we go face the dreaded dingy dock, but it's fairly high tied so we handled that one ok, and go to catch a taxi, now almost anywhere around here cost no more than $5 but the first place we were going should of only been about $1.50.

This is a strip of shops that sell anything and everything, but were told not to go to any back streets as its very unsafe, so we flag down a taxi and he wants to charge us $5

We say no, he gets all angry, so off we go to find another one, we get to the next one and he says $5 also, we say no way, and the fight continues, we ended up paying $3 but it was still a rip off, but we were over it all by then and just happy to be at least on our way.

So this guys drops us off at a side street as no way will he drive us any closer, so out we hop, to a very busy area very third world, a bit scary, but I had my mace spray in my hand and a death grip on my bag.

And we get to this shopping area, man I tell you it is so different than shopping back home, the sites and smells is not real good, but the stuff was so cheap, we were actually on the hunt for some cheap clothes, as we have been told its really cheap here, and the clothes that we now have are not so good, you kinda try to find the least amount of stains and the least amount of holes in to go ashore.

So yeah we were in need of some new clothes, now we were not looking for anything fancy just short tshirts, skirts and such.

And boy did we find it, talk about cheap about $3 an item, we stocked up big time.

So after hours of walking shopping and taking in all the locals even the local Indian tribes called Khuna the ladies wore the most colourful outfits, it amazing, several times I had to stop myself staring at them, I just could not help it, as they were everywhere and you sure could not miss them...haha

So overloaded with parcels we decided to go to another shopping mall, so another taxi ride, this one $3 again, and the guy drops us off at the entrance.

Now I have to say I have never in any country, seen a shopping centre like this, it was massive and so up market, talk about one extreme to the next, man it must of been miles long, they say its like shopping in America, well I had never seen a shopping complex like this in America I can tell you.

We walked for hours and it just kept on going, there is no way in the world you could see it all in one day.

And yeah we ended up buying more clothes here as well, but needed to get the food shopping done, by this time it was getting late in the day, and we were both so tired that we just decided to get what we needed here and a few fruit and veges and be done with it.

So we then needed another taxi to get back to the dock, this guy wanted to charge us $15 we just said no way, but I was so warn out I would of paid $20 but no The Captain managed to get him down to $7, which was ok I guess and off we went.

Now the big problem was it was now low tide, and we are looking at this with a Million packages and having no idea how we are going to get it into the dingy without doing some major damage to ourselves.

But as luck had it, we managed to get it all on board and other than wet feet, we survived, I still have no idea how it all went down but it must of just been our lucky day.

So get back to the boat, get it all out of the dingy, into the cockpit, down the companion way, and into the galley.

And it's 6.30pm, now The Captain had arranged to meet some of the guys ashore at a local pizza place for dinner, I just looked at him and said you go, I'm way to tired, and was not feeling real well, and also I had to at least put the fridge stuff away.

So off he goes I managed to sort out the fridge stuff put that all away , and just chilled for the rest of the night.

There was no way I could of put the rest of the stuff away, it just had to wait till tomorrow.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 2nd August 2013

2013-08-02

Friday 2nd August 2013

Well I woke up to stuff everywhere, I so wish I had the energy last night to pack it away, anything would of been better than facing this stuff I can tell you.

I have to say provisioning sucks, you not only have to buy the stuff, then get it back to the boat, but worse is trying to find a place to store it all, and also to store it right, you can't just pack it into a pantry and that's done. No you have to take it out of the original package pack it, into other bags or containers, so it's bug proof, waterproof, and make sure it does not move around and get broken, this alone can take days, oh and also to remember where it all is, and it can be anywhere in the boat believe me.

We have been told several times, to make sure you have rum and stuff to trade, when in the islands of the pacific, as its very hard for them to get a lot of goods, so we bought some extra rum yesterday, and today that got me thinking about all the other stuff on the boat that was on here when we got it.

I so wish I didn't think so much. :-/

This started a whole clean out of every locker on the boat, and also to repack a lot of stuff, as we had some critters in a bag of sesame seeds, and I so didn't want critters in the rest of the supplies, so out came everything, all the dry goods, flour, seeds, lentils, beans, just to name a few, all got repacked, in very strong double plastic bags with enough bay leaves to send them all back to china.

While I was going from locker to locker I was sorting out jars and cans of food that we will never eat and also about 6 more bottles of alcohol that we don't drink as well, so all this has been placed in the Vberth, for swapping for food or fuel, or whatever.

( oh and if your wondering, no we have not given up on drinking, as its so so cheap here we have enough on board of what we like to drink, to last a very very long time, well maybe). Haha

This took all day with me also cleaning the boat from top to bottom.

We were going to leave tomorrow , and I always like to start out with a clean and organised boat, not that it stays that way for long, but it always makes me feel better, to start with.

The Captain has been busy also, going back and forth getting extra fuel, to pulling the water maker apart, we have had a leak in it for quiet some time now and have been waiting for a spare part to arrive from America.

So that is still all in pieces, as he can not get the end off no matter how hard he tries.

So with a heap of emails back and forth and a few tools borrowed from another boat here, it's looking like that repair is going to have to wait till tomorrow.

Also our new freezer is not working the way it should, as we have them both wired to the same lead, this may be the problem as there is not enough current going through, we think, so he needs to look into that and also check the motor and stuff,

So tomorrow we will still be here.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 3rd August 2013

2013-08-03

Saturday 3rd August 2013

Well a busy busy day, actually the last three days we have been flat out, and boy are our bodies aching.

The Captain, spent almost all day fixing the water maker, after a huge struggle I tell up you, and it is back making pure, slightly salty water once more...hahaha

His next job was onto the freezer, after chasing a new wire, to use for it, this took ages, but it was just going to take way too long, he has finally given up, we are going to try and turn the old fridge temp down and see if that helps the new one.

Myself well after the water maker was fixed I did our last huge was for awhile, and got it all hung out around the boat, only for it to rain, yeap Murphy's law ...hahaha

Can see us sailing away tomorrow looking like a Chinese laundry.

Then I decided to make bread again, yeah I make it every 2nd day, it still is not rising, but it taste great, until today's, this one was like a brick, I have no idea what I am doing wrong, I have used a million and one different recipes, but still no luck.

Also I have been busy altering the clothes that we got the other day, into cooler clothes, as its still way to hot even to just wear a t-shirt, so yeah the high fashion of the high seas,....not. Haha

So tomorrow we leave, we will go to Las Perlas, for a day or too, watch some whales, and meet up with the other boats and head off, for our big big crossing.

I will still write daily on my blog, and upload it all when we get Internet again, so man are you going to be reading for days...haha

We do have email on the boat, and can send and receive emails out at sea, so if anyone , wants to keep in touch feel free to drop us a line, just no pictures as they won't allow that. Oh and we love to get messages, it's the high light of the day.

The email is VJN4195@sailmail.com

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 4th August 2013

2013-08-04

Sunday 4th August 2013

Well today is the day, we are out of here...yay

So we are up running, well kinda, we did have to have a few coffees to wake up first.

We had so much to do before taking off, so it was all hands on deck.

After checking the weather window, The Captain decided that we needed more fuel as there is not much wind around, and it looks like we will be motor sailing a lot.

Now the problem is its Sunday, and not much is open on a Sunday around here, so he jumps on the radio, and asks around, there is one place here that he should be able to get fuel, so off he goes with all the jerry cans.

Me I start getting the boat organised, from tying down to closing and locking hatches, wrapping stuff that we know moves around a lot, turning the galley once again into its sailing mode, this I hate doing, but you have to do it, all breakable stuff gets packed away, we put pot guards on the stove, we have a wooding divider thingy, that holds cups and plates in one spot, all the anti slip mats come out and the dreaded arse sling, man I till hate that thing.

This takes several hours to get everything ready, after all that, The Captain had still not come back and it was getting close to 10am, he wanted to leave around 9am.

So I start doing The Captains jobs on deck, he usually ties and secures all the stuff on deck, so I get stuck in and do all this, and still no Captain in sight, I do the final walk around inside and out, to make sure all is secure, and decide to sit down and turn in all the nav gear and get it up and running.

The Captain finally comes back, puts the diesel in the tanks, and ties up the jerry cans, secures the dingy and we are set to go.

Well we thought we were, we could not get the AIS working, after about an hour, of fiddling, downloading updates still no go.

We made the decision to just go, and try and fix it when we get there.

Now it's about a full days trip to Las Perlas, and a long time ago after seeing how bad the charts around islands are and seeing rock formations that are not charted at all, well we decided we will never go into an unknown area, unless its daylight, it's just way to dangerous.

So we opted for a little uninhabited island instead, that was a lot closer and we could get there at dusk.

We were wrong, with a current going against us and a lot of growth on the bottom of the boat, it slowed us down a lot.

Resulting in it being dark when we got here, talk about stress levels in overdrive.

For a start there were a few lights on shore ( buildings ) so that got me thinking its not the right island, but they had a flashing light in the right place so maybe it was.

Things are so confusing in the dark and it's not like you have street lights to light your way, it's so so dark and scary.

We managed to get the anchor down, but it took several times, with the boat not behaving like it should, and almost running aground, I watched in horror as we went from 3 meters of water to .01 meters in a matter of seconds, well I just panicked and threw her in the opposite direction, and the captain came barreling back into the cockpit, to steer her back out to sea, and then try again, we were so not having fun, I would of been happy just to go back in the ocean and just go around in circles all night till daylight.

But no we tried again and eventually got the anchor to set, man what a relief.

A very stiff drink was called for, but once again, no ice, yeap the new freezer is about to be chucked over board, we should of just let it go into Davy Jones's locker, the first time.

So we settled for white wine, at least it was cold if nothing else, and we are both sleeping in the cockpit, with a spot light handy, just in case.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 5th August 2013

2013-08-05

Monday 5th August 2013

Well today my boy is officially an adult, Happy 21st Birthday my boy, I know you would of had a great day.

I so wish we could of been there to celebrate with you, but we will when we get home, love you heaps. xxx

So we finally feel like we are living the dream, it may be short lived, but right at the moment it feels good...haha

We moved after lunch today to go to the island of Contadora, on the way here we got to see the long awaited whale sighting, man we were so excited, that we forgot to take pics...hahaha

There were two about 100 meters off the back of the boat, we slowed the boat right down and just sat and watched, it bought tears to my eyes, they are so so big, but we still only got a little glimpse, they dived down after awhile and we waited for a bit but they did not surface again so off we went once again, this time with me sitting on the back bench of the boat, binoculars in one hand and the camera in the other, sadly we only seen a few more in the distance so no good pics, but still great to see.

We finally got to this new island and grabbed a mooring ball, and all was good.

Man I so wished we could of come to these island sooner, what a pretty place.

We managed to get the AIS fixed after several phone calls and The Captain fiddling with the settings on the computer, which was the problem all along, it's now up and running, was so nice to hear that alarm bell go off when another boat got close.

An the freezer this also after several phone calls, we now know of a few things to try and see what is going on, I may not of told you but the old fridge decided to stop working as well, that one came way too close to going over board, man these things are driving me nuts, it was looking like we were down to just one fridge at one stage, a small one at that.

So we called some guys in America, and yes another South African, man they are everywhere, the Captain had a fine old time talking to him in Afrikaans, me i had no idea what they were saying.

But he told us a lot of stuff to try with both fridges, so we are working on that.

This afternoon we decided to dingy to a little deserted beach and have a walk around, and what a pretty spot, surrounded by tropical forest and not a single foot print in sight, man we just sat on a log and took it all in, you could just imagine Tom Hanks and Wilson here...haha

We walked around collected some sand for my collection, and noticed some little black shell sea snails on the rocks, The Captain called them periwinkles, and told me he used them for fishing when he was younger, a long long time ago...hahaha

We then noticed a few locals on the rocks with a bucket and net so me being the great fishing woman that I am...haha, had to go find out what they were catching, it turned out one could speak perfect English, and said they were catching small fish for fishing, The Captain asked him about the periwinkles and he said yes they will catch great fish, well that's all I needed, I wanted to strip the rocks bare, but The Captain would only allow me to take about a dozen, he has this habit of Rolling his eyes and says Angell, I know this look so well, and I usually give in, but I did sneak a few extra in while he was not looking...haha

So back to the boat we go, it's starting to get dark now and as soon as we are on board , I park myself on a bean bag at the back of the boat, with a little hand line and start fishing, oh man I had fun, hours later, with The Captain throwing out little hints about stomach pains and starving to death...hahah it was about 8.30pm.

I had caught about 15 fish, only two were big enough to keep, but that didn't matter, I still had great fun, but now gave in to The Captain and once I cleaned, gutted and bagged the fish to eat tomorrow, with a little help from The Captain, to cut off their heads, and the back of the boat looking like a mass murder had taken place, I cleaned up and showered and got some dinner ready.

And here we sit, with the boat smelling like a fishing vessel, The Captain complaining about his hands smelling like fish, and me with a contented look on my face, life is good.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 6th August 2013

2013-08-06

Tuesday 6th August 2013

Well we woke up looking at this place, it's so nice to be looking a pacific islands, it just has the right feel about it.

Today we are moving to the last island to meet up with the other boats, as per usual it is always another hive of activity.

I started with making some yogurt and bread. I have to say this was the best bread so far,  I so hope I can make this one again, although I may not be able too as per usual I throw in a but of this and a bit of that.

The yogurt did not work at all...  :-/

Then washing a few clothes cleaning up and eventually, the job I had been putting off, cleaning the deck, where I was fishing last night, also we had some resident pelicans while we were in Panama, who decided that they like the look of our boat and camped there for about a week, and man had they made a mess also.

So after all that scrubbing and washing in extreme heat, I was in much need of rest.

The Captain had been busy also doing odd jobs and then going ashore to see if he could get one of our gas bottles filled, he came back empty handed nope they did not have the right fitting here to fill ours, we do have plenty already, but you just never know.

So that was not gonna happen, after a quick tie down we were off to the last island.

This one took about three hours to get there with us both on the look out for whales, we did spot a few but still only at a distance, I have to say we are a bit disappointed, as they told us they are everywhere here.

We reached the island and we slowly motor into an anchorage and there are no other boats here, except a few doing what looked like road works on the water, serious there was even a tractor on a boat scooping earth into the water, was the strangest sight.

We check our charts again and find a few more anchorages so off we go nope still no boats, we are starting to get a bit concerned here, than we spot a place on the map so we go there, we come around the corner and there they are yay.

So after a bit of a hairy episode of anchoring in very strong winds all is good, The Captain goes off to say hi, and see what is going on , and I stay behind and make if I do say so myself the best beer battered fish and chips, in town.... Hahaha

It looks like we will all set off about 5am tomorrow, there is us two Australian boats and two French boats, they are not all going back to Aus, but at least part of the way.

One of the guys on a French boat has a new nav system that all the guys drooled over so after dinner they were getting together to work out a route to take.

I stayed on the boat and just chilled, well for about ten minutes until this huge mother of all mothers Moth flew into the cockpit, I can tell you this thing looked like in was straight out of the dinosaur era.
Man it was huge, now it flew in and yeap my kids I did the noise...hahahah
And it landed on the roof inside, well I can tell you I did not move a muscle until The Captain came back, I'm sure he noticed the fear in my eyes and I just pointed, and of cause it took that moment to start flying around, well talk about screaming when it landed on me I seriously thought I would have a heart attack, The Captain said I was brave as if it had landed on him he would of screamed louder than me...haha

Now The Captain wanted to kill it but I wouldn't let him, the thing looked like it had been alive for a million years already, so we shoo it out with a few pillows, a few times as the first time it flew straight back in again, ( a bit more screaming here, ) and once our hearts settled down some, we called it a night as we had an early start in the morning.

Well tomorrow is another day. 


Wednesday 7th August 2013

2013-08-07

Wednesday 7th August 2013

It's 10pm my first official watch.

Day 1

We have had all kinds of seas, winds, and a million sail changes, man talk about different.

The weather is all over the place, us 4 boats all left around about 6am, well except for the other Aussie boat he was a bit late off the mark, but soon caught up with us.

Most of the day we have been in sight of each other, but now it's just us two Aussie boats that can see each other, the other two are about 5nm ahead.

We have talked back and forth on the radios on and off all day.

The French boat with the new nav system is  kinda like the one in charge sort of, he is getting updates all the time and he tells us all what direction to take.
The system he has is real good and it plots the way for you with the best weather window and all.

It kinda feels like a little community on the water, everyone is checking on each other all day long just to make sure we are alright,and chatting away, I'm very put out, as they are enjoying relaying what fish they are catching along the way, and yours truly has caught  none so far, other than my two lines that I had out they caught each other real well, which resulted with The Captain and myself sitting on the back of the boat for what felt like hours, untangling a huge mess, oh actually I did catch one other thing the dingy we now have a very nice Lure attached to the outer side of it that no matter how hard we tried we just can not reach it.

So then it gets dark we turn on the lights and within about five minutes two large moths fly in, now these are nothing like the monster last night, but man they are still big enough, its so not nice when they fly into your face and body I can tell you, so I gave in and let The Captain kill these ones, I thought two were bad man we were overtaking by these guys they just kept coming and coming, The Captain was on his 2nd can of spray and still they kept coming, I'm trying to have a lay down as I had not much sleep the night before and I'm laying here with a sheet covering from my feet to right over the top of my head and they are still landing on me.

We are both freaking our so bad, and the fumes from the spray is almost killing us, I decided to close up all the covers to keep them out, this lasted about 10 minutes, and we were so hot, I look at The Captain and say why don't we just use the sun shade covers, we had almost forgotten about these as we have not used them since we got the new covers installed, and they are still up there as well, and the good thing is they let the air in too.

Why we did not think of this in the first place I have no idea, but man I'm sitting here bug free, well almost I just killed one that found its way in, but all is good now, until tomorrow when we will have to collect all the bodies and toss them overboard, could take us all day...hahaha


Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 8th August 2013

2013-08-08

Thursday 8th August 2013

Day 2

3.45am my watch.

Man am I tired I had a few hours sleep, but got woken up so many times it was crazy, we had some really strong wind, and the boat was healed over so far, that I almost fell out of bed.
We are back motor sailing once again the wind is just all over the place.

The moths have seemed to be settling down a lot now, The Captain caught two, on his watch and when I got up I went down to make us a coffee, and do some dishes, there was even one in the sink, and yeah who does dishes, at 3am, that's just crazy,

But I had to wait for the kettle to boil, and its just too rough to go back and forth so decided to do them.

So here I am once again, questioning my sanity, why am I doing this again, you don't enjoy it, well when you have gentle seas I guess you do, but most of the time its just horrible, it's hard to move, around, quite frankly it's hard to do anything, and you have  to be so careful, that you don't hurt yourself big time.

At least my seasickness is a lot better under control this time, as we got some really good stuff at the chemist here in Panama which cost and arm and a leg I tell you. So it wanna be good....haha
I would of almost  sold my soul to get good stuff anyway, anything is better than feeling sick for days and days.

That's me done and dusted.

9am no ones watch.....haha

The days we just do whatever if one is tired they sleep if not we just chill do odd stuff here and there, eat, read, fish and change sails. A lot.

We have just had a huge storm but more rain than anything, it's looking like the rain may stay around for awhile.

The Captain has tried to contact the others boats with no success at all, we are really not sure where they are at the moment.

5.30pm my watch

Well not much is happening, we have  had grey skies, rain, almost all day.

We ended up getting an email, from the French boat, both the French boats, are way ahead of us, although one was about only 5nm's away at one stage, as for the other Aussie boat we have no idea, there has been so much cloud on the radar all day that we can not make out if there are any boats around.
I guess they are ok, we have tried several times to radio them all, but it only works to a short distance.

The Captain has been busy a good chunk of the day trying to get sailmail to work, I think with all the storm and cloud activity it's blocking the signal.

And me well I have been fiddling with fishing lures, sorting and making up a lot of different rigs, I try a different one almost twice a day, and still no luck.

Am not using my rod at the moment as the wind is all over the place, and I never know what side of the boat the sail will be on, it's just way too hard to keep going and changing it, from one side to the other.
So instead I am using what I'm told is all you ever need, is a bungee cord tied to the boat with a thick line and rigging over the side, so far all it's done is lose lures and get tangled.

Yeah I'm not real good at this is fishing business out at sea it seems.

So has we settle in for the night, and have a nice dinner of homemade Clam Chowder, with Kentucky biscuits, ( they are actually very much like our damper.)

And hope we get an easy night with a lot of sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 9th August 2013

2013-08-09

Friday 9th August 2019

Day 3

5.15am my watch

Well The Captain let me sleep for 4 hours, man do I feel a lot better now.

At the moment he is snoring away across from me.

So what is happening in the little world of ours,? Not much I can tell you.
It's getting lighter outside now, I can see scattered clouds, am wondering wether we may get some sunshine today, I kinda hope so, the last few days have been so overcast, that we actually have not seen the sun at all.

We are still motor sailing as we only have 5knots of wind, this old boat of ours needs at least over 10knots to even get her moving, we have the wind on the nose, so we are doing the rocking horse motion all the time, with a bit of sideways roll thrown in for good measure.

There is nothing showing on the radar at all, I actually just turned it off and back on again to make sure the thing was still working, and it is.
No boats around at all, we really have no idea where the others are, so much for being close together.

I guess at least I don't have to listen to how many fish they have caught now...haha
The score is zero, on this boat if you really have to know. Haha.

6.30pm my watch

Well we have had the main sail chafe through once again, The Captain is not happy about this at all, but has now fixed it so all is good again.

Other than a storm not much has happened, we managed to change direction that the storm was heading and caught the edge of it, so was mainly just a lot of rain.

But still no wind if it wasn't for the motor running, we would be just bobbing around here going nowhere.

The Captain is thinking we should change the name of the boat to Wind Wonderer, we wonder if we will ever get wind again....haha

At the moment we have a vibration happening and it sounds just like the music from Jaws when the shark is coming, just that first few seconds of the music.
And talking about fish there must be some mighty big ones out here as three times they have bitten through a steel leader, on my lines, this is so frustrating as I know they are out there, but maybe I don't really wont something that big on the boat anyway.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 10th August 2013

2013-08-10

Saturday 10th August 2013

Day 4

2am my watch

First of all I like to wish my nephew, Mitchell a very happy birthday, I hope you had a great day, lots of love. xxx

Sometimes I should just shut up and not say that nothing happens around here, man we have just had such a fright.

I woke up and could see a red light in the distance, we watched it for awhile, and than The Captain decided to call them on the radio as we were thinking it may of been The other Aussie boat.
But no answer, we decided to stop the motor for awhile to see if it changed position, as I was thinking it looked more like a buoy to me.

The Captain decided to go have a closer look, so we started the engine and was watching on the radar as well and started to get less than 1/4 of a nm away from it, I stood up with my head through the cockpit opening and looking through the binoculars,
And man it came up so quick, it was a huge structure, I yelled at The Captain to change course quick, and we just missed it, I can tell you every single part of me was shaking from head to toe, man it scared me.
What was it? We really have no idea, it was shallow water around, like about 8meters, which is fine for us, so maybe it was just a beacon for ships, it looked like it was on the top of a huge tower, but very wide as well, twice the size of us easy.

Whatever it was it really freaked us out, as it was not on the maps at all, I can tell you that I'm spending more time looking out the hatch than sitting at the moment.

7am 

Well after a a few hours sleep I feel a lot better, and have gotten over our fright, well kinda.
In one way it has made us more alert, I guess we needed that little wake up call, you tend to just take it easy look around every now and then, as nothing really happens its just water after water, an occasional bird, and a few dolphins and nothing else, and as I said to The Captain curiosity killed the cat, so we are never going to do that again.

9pm my watch

Well I still have not really settled down from our earlier fright, it's been really freaking me out still, if we had been going one or two degrees to port we would of hit it, I think what concerns me more is that The Captain had fallen asleep on watch, so I have really not been able to sleep real well since.
We hunted out the manual tonight for the radar, and have set an alarm, am not sure it works yet as we have to wait for something to come into the area that I have set around our boat, I sure hope it works, time will tell.

As for today, the day started off the same no wind motor sailing, till around lunch time then the wind picked up big time, we turned off the motor and are now sailing, but it means we are having a shocking time, getting thrown around so much, it is so uncomfortable, and to be honest scary.
To the point that I could not even make dinner tonight as its just too rough, neither of us are really hungry anyway, and we have bread that I baked yesterday, so if we get hungry we can make a sandwich.

And still no fish, :-(, I was told that the green or blue lures are better than the rest, so this morning I dug out all the fishing gear, and man do we have some, and sorted it all out.

It was a huge mess, but I managed to find some blue and green ones, and sorted out all the rest, everything has its own place now, and all the lures, are in little clip lock bags, these clip lock bags are my new best friends, i have hundreds of them in all sizes, and I use them for everything.
The fishing gear is so neat and tidy now and I can put my hand on anything real quick.

The amount of stuff I have here I should be pulling in fish, every minute I tell you, but no, nothing and the green and blue well they just suck, have not even had a nibble.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 11th August 2013

2013-08-11

Sunday 11th August 2013

Day 5

Well we still have shocking seas, it is so bad and so uncomfortable.

I woke this morning in one of my pain attacks, man I hate this, I just feel like I'm dying, actually I don't think dying would be this painful, it has left me feeling very weak.

3pm my watch,

I felt better after midday, so I decided to try and clean up the galley some, when its rough like this, you try to spend as little a time as possible down there, actually you really try not to move around too much at all, as you just get thrown around so much.

Anyway The Captain tried to slow the boat down some so I could at least clean up and cook some food. We now have enough to keep us going for a few days.

The Captain decided to change coarse and sails some and as I was laying down to have a sleep he makes it go heaps faster, we had planed this as it does not bother me too much when I'm asleep.

I woke up with a start as I heard my rod clicking, I raced out, well kinda crawled out hanging on for grim death, and reel it in, to have it get away half way here, man that sucks.

I reel it all the way in, check to make sure all the rigging is still there and cast it out again. I have to get lucky sooner or later.

I get back in the cockpit, and The Captain has a funny look on his face, he says he can't believe me, all hell broke loose while I was sleeping and the back sail, chafed through, and he said you never stirred, but as soon as your rod goes off your up running...hahaha 

I guess I'm so tuned into the fishing rod, and the sails are always flapping around, so it always just back ground noise to me.
And you either have fishing in your blood or you don't, I sure do, my mum loves to fish too, so I guess I got it from her.

Well it seems like I'm in trouble or was, I managed to get the alarm set and working, actually way too well, it goes off even when it sees a big wave, and we have nothing but big waves at the moment.
So you can see the issue here, and it's so loud, so I decided to fix  it, which resulted in resetting the whole thing, :-/ and not just the radar the whole nav station, and to make it worse The Captain was about to change coarse.  :-/ :-/

 So hours later it is up running again, with the radar alarm sill sounding very very loud, although I managed to get it tuned down some so it does not freak out over nothing, which freaks us out as well, again over nothing.

And am now banned from touching the thing ....hahaha

10.30pm my watch.

Well after a few hours sleep I'm back again, we changed coarse again, are now heading west I think.

The wind has died down some so we are not moving real fast once again, 
 And then the wind picked up we were screaming along for hours, but it's so uncomfortable.

Well tomorrow is another day.
 


Monday 12th August 2013

2013-08-12

Monday 12th August 2013

Day 6

7am my watch kinda.

Well we are still at it, as we turned last night and headed, north/ west, to try and get somewhere at least.
We are up to day 6 and should of been getting close to Galapagos, buy now, we have decided to stop there as we need more fuel for the next leg, we were never going to stop here at all, as its just way too expensive.

To check in would cost us around $2,000 which is just crazy, but if you have boat repairs or need fuel or water, you can stay for 72 hours free, or maybe a small fee.

Or plan B maybe we will turn back towards the coast, and head into Ecuador, and get fuel there, at the rate we are going we will be nowhere for weeks,  we really are just bobbing, or rocking around the Pacific Ocean.

Oh and we have just past a little island called Malpeo, it's basically just a huge mountain jutting out of the ocean, this was actually our second time we have past this, in 24hours, but the first time, we could not see it as it was about 20nm away, this time about 5nm.

The fishing gear has been changed again, for the day, am slowly making my way through the mountain of lures on here, sooner or later these fish are gonna like one.
So far the only two they did like was the cedar plugs, and both got bitten off, wish I had more of them.


7.30pm my watch

Well we have turned around once again, it feels like we are just going up and down here, and yeap we have passed the little island for the third time, it's like oh look, there's an island, than look there is that island again, and oh no not again look...hahaha

There is a bit of logic in what we are doing we are kinda zig zagging, to go as far west as we can, but it's just not happening real well the wind is just against us.
So we have made the decision to go to Ecuador, and get some fuel and a some more fresh fruit and vegges, And than take off and by pass the Galápagos Islands completely.

So, that's where we are at, at this moment anyway, The Captain does tend to change  his mind a lot, so who knows.

The wind died down some today so I managed to make us a nice lunch, we had carrots sticks with homemade crab dip, home made ginger beer, and wait homemade again, bread but this time  cinnamon bread, we felt like kings, ....hahaha

And I hooked a fish, yay just didn't land it, no yay...hahaha
But it put up quite a fight which was fun, by the time I got the lure back on board and looked at the mess it was in, I'm kinda glad I didn't land it.
It must of been one big fish.

So am sitting here trying to keep myself awake its now about 9pm, yeah I know that's not late but when you are bone tired and have been thrown around the boat so much, and very little sleep, it's hard I tell you.

And with The Captain snoring away across from me it's even harder still.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 13th August 2013

2013-08-13

Tuesday 13th August 2013

Day 7

4.30am my watch.

Man it was hard when you are woken up, but The Captain, let me sleep for 4 1/2 hours,
Which was great, I just wish it was 8 1/2 hours..haha

So not much is happening, we are still heading for Ecuador, still motor sailing, still rocking and rolling all over the place.
And once again trying to stay awake.

It seems all you do is sleep, do your watch, eat a little, and try and keep yourself from sleeping.

7pm my watch
We have had quite a busy day.
I decided that we desperately needed to do some washing, and today was the day, it was actually the most sunny day we have had here in a long time, and the seas were quite gentle.
So off I set I actually washed them in the kitchen sinks, I have been doing this for awhile now and do the big things like towels and sheets in the buckets outside.

Now all washed am sitting here with a huge amount of clothes, and trying to work out the best way to hang them out, The Captain says just hang them on the life rails.
Thats  fine at anchor, if they blow off its not that bad to jump in the dingy and go after them, but out here that's not gonna happen.

So out comes the line and we thread it all through the armholes, legs you name it we did it, we did sections at a time, and the Captain would tie off each section as we went along, then we would peg them, and on it went, until we had almost the whole side of the boat looking like a Chinese laundry, once again.
At least hanging them like this you don't need to worry, too much about them blowing away, but I still, check them a lot, just in case.

So the fishing activity is stepping up some, today the reel starts clicking away, and up I jump, we had decided that this time, if I managed to hook another one, that we would let it stay on the line for awhile to let it tire itself out.

This was so hard to do I tell you, I tightened up the tension, and sat watching on a bean bag, at the back of the boat, every now and them i would reel in a bit of line.

As it got closer, I could see it jumping out of the water, I was so excited, to the point I was even working out where to clean it, how to cook it you name it...hahah

So after what seemed like hours of me sitting reeling in some more, it finally come into sight, it was a Mahi Mahi,  man I was so excited The Captain, was ready with the net to catch it we got it right up to the back of the  boat, and it was huge at least two and a half feet long, and yeap once again my great fishing skills came out to play, and off the hook it goes, man there was a fair amount of pirate language happening.

But in a way it did not bother me too much, as they are such pretty fish bright greens and blues, that I think I would have had a hard time killing it and cleaning it.

I think I just love the game itself, more so than the actually kill, but it would of been so so nice to land that sucker I tell you.
 And on it goes, both the lines are out again, awaiting the next escape artist...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 14th August 2013

2013-08-14

Wednesday 14th August 2013

Day 8

12.30am my watch.

Well As bone tired as I was I could not sleep, it felt like I just tossed and turned,
Its  rough again, and this makes it that much harder to sleep.

As I lay here for a bit, deciding should I just give up,  I  glance over to The Captain and he was sound asleep, far out.

So I woke him up as he was doing such a great watch... Haha. Not!, and made him lay down.
The problem is, he does not allow himself to sleep through the day, so he is so tired at night and is just not catching up on his sleep at all, that sure is going to change, if I have any say it. 

I decided to let him sleep as long as possible.
At around 5am, I'm starting to see things, serious, I was so tired I just had to wake him up.
At least he managed to get a good chunk of sleep this time, now it's my time to try and catch up, it really takes it out of you, I tell you.

Last night before The Captain went to sleep, I ducked down and had a very quick shower, why quick?.
Well  other than they are always quick, ,,,haha our water maker has stopped working.

Yeap once again, at the moment we have four things broken, the mizzen sail, just the rope on that one, a shackle that has broken on the main sail, just a minor repair, the water maker, which we have found out its an electrical thingy, one of the wires, and our new beaut winchrite, oh actually one more the AIS, this is working but it's flashing a red error message that needs looking into some more, as well.

The winchrite, is driving us crazy, if you remember, we got this at the Annapolis boat show, and it was quite expensive, what it does is, it's a hand held device that you hook into the winches and it turns them into electric winches, when it works its great, it just break down all the time.

This is the second one we have had replaced with also a few times them having to send us new parts, the new one was one of the things we were waiting in Panama for.
So this has not lasted less than a week.

Now getting back to my shower, after I had a quick shower I was coming up into the cockpit, when I looked up and saw a very small boat coming towards us with three guys in it.
I yelled to The Captain, as I grabbed the mace spray, yeah I know I may go a bit overboard, but with all the pirate stories going through your head you just never know, and we are out in the middle of the ocean, like 150nm from land.

As they get closer they start waving things in the air and there is a lot of arm action happening.
I'm  looking thinking do they have guns, should I go back for the tasers, speargun and flare guns, and what the hell are they doing out here in such a little boat.

We watch for awhile, am sure neither of us were breathing, we were getting major concerned, they came closer still and I could make out what was happening, they were holding up fishing lines and trying to tell us to go behind them.

I told The Captain, he was very unsure, but we turned the boat around and headed back around them, I actually saw one of them cutting a few lines so I guess we were already over some.

We eventually got around behind them and with a wave of thanks from both boats we settled back down again, although I did watch them behind us for a long time, this was actually happening right on nightfall which is crazy, as we would have no hope at all if it was pitch black, we would never see them at all.

So the theory was, that they were guarding the lines and must of had a mother boat out here somewhere, we checked the radar and yeap sure enough about 20nm away was a bigger boat.

So that pirate boat shot down we settled in for the night.

9pm my watch

Well what an eventful day.
I did a lot of cooking, as the sea was not too bad, well at first anyway.
By around mid afternoon, it was bad, rough seas, big winds, big wave, I hate it like this.

I really can't cope, it just scares me so much, the best thing I can do is, just lay down and sleep.
I had tried to get The Captain to have a sleep with no luck at all, in the end I just had to.

The Captain woke me, some time later, with an excited voice, telling me I have a fish on the line.

Well this sure got me up and running.
He had already reeled it right to the back of the boat, I was shocked that I never heard a thing.

Yeap it was another mahi mahi, and just as big as the other one that got away.

We had made a plan from the last escapee, that we would lift the rod down this time, so it was at a better angle.

The problem is, it's such a heavy rod and reel, that I have a hard time lifting the thing.
I usually just leave it in the rod holder, and reel it in that way.

The Captain, lifts it out of the holder, and I grab the net, and lean over, I was so determined, that this guy was not getting away, that I wedged myself, in between the spare dingy motor and the BBQ, as we were rocking and rolling everywhere, which has resulted in some major sore bruised ribs.

Anyway with some team work happening here,  he brings it in closer and I scoop it in the net, yeap we had ourselves a fine specimen.

Now this thing is big, and flapping all around the place, we had read that if you pour a little alcohol into their gills, they die straight away.

I race down pick up a bottle of Pims, yeah not our choice of drink, and race back up.

Now this was hard going with a boat going all over the place, and a fish flapping everywhere, The Captain trying his best to keep the thing still, and me pouring it a nice alcoholic drink.
Let me tell you it's body got covered in it, Captain Neptune had a nice drop or too, The Captains toes caught some and my legs as well, did we get any in the gills?.... Nope hahah   

Ok plan B, The Captain, lifts it up by it tail and I try again, yay success right in the gills, it instantly stop moving, says a lot about alcohol hey, if I had to drink that stuff, I think It would have the same affect on me too, we did try it once and its not real good.
We may just have enough to use on one more fish....it was almost a full bottle... :-/

After we argued on whose fish it really was, we settled on both, it was a team work, so I said we have to be a team and clean it...haha

I managed to get The Captain to slow down the boat some, which is a really major thing with him, also we were in a bit of a rush to get to Ecuador, as a friend of his, had organised, for us to meet up with a pilot at around 7am in the morning at the entrance to where we need to go in, apparently it's quite shallow.

I can see the logic in this, but trying to set a deadline when you are sailing is almost impossible, there was a few tense moments between The Captain and crew, when the boat was heeling over so far and we were being thrown around so bad with water pouring in from a porthole and such, but we managed to comprise and all was ok again.

So getting back to our Fish, we decided to just fillet it and be done with it, now my filleting skills are right up there with my fishing skills, they both suck.
But somehow we managed to get it done, with way less fish for the size of that sucker.
What should of been maybe easy four meals, is down to about two...haha
We just need to catch more fish so I can practice more.

After that disaster, I go down to have a shower, and come back up to The Captain once again fighting with the boat...hahah you thought I was going to say another fish.

No the boat this time and there are lights everywhere, we can only imagine they were fishing vessels.

The Captain finally has it where he wants it and settles in for a sleep, I'm thinking this is gonna be one crazy watch as these small boats were really not showing up so well on the radar, so I was standing up almost the whole time with my head hanging out the window, trying to work out where they all were.
Was not a pleasant watch.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 15th August 2013

2013-08-15

Thursday 15th August 2013

Day 9

12am still my watch.

Well The Captain has just woke up and we are both sitting here watching the nav thingy, as we are about to cross the equator this is a huge excitement for us.

I had my ipad ready, to take a photo, we also had a close watch on a big ship coming our way, and still more fishing boats.

I go to take a pic it's 12.15am, even though the clock on the nav thingy says later, we still have not worked out how to change that yet.
I missed it by one second, man I could not believe it, but we are now over the other side..hahaha another tick off our list.

And no we did not celebrate as we were both way too tired, but the boat did, by breaking the stay sail. There is a bracket under the boom that holds it in place and it broke away.

So The Captain with the harness on goes out and brings it in and ties it down.
Now we are down to two sails.

7am

It's day light now and we can see land, I had a huge sleep, over 5 hours, as The Captain has been too busy to wake me, he just let me sleep, which was so nice.

And once again the main sail has chaffed through, we are down to one sail only.
The Captain is so so not happy, we paid a fortune for this new sail system, and it has let us down time and time  again.

We picked up our pilot, and on the boat he hops, and can not speak a word of English, great still so wish we had done those Spanish lessons.

But with a lot of hand directions and sign language we made it here.
At one stage we were heading straight for a beach, in less than a meter of water, I'm freaking out, telling The Captain I really don't like this, and where the hell is he taking us, as there was no entrance, nothing.

I'm thinking maybe they want to wreak our boat and claim salvage rights.
Yeah I know but it has happened before.

Anyway he finally tells us to go at a different angle, apparently we were just going around a sandbank, and he gets us to the anchorage.

Now they want us to use their mooring balls, and he has jumped back in his boat now and told us to follow him, well we think that's what he said.

We get way too close to other boats and we were so uncomfortable, with this but they managed to tie us up, to a buoy, front and back, and here we are.

Next he wants to take all our papers and passports, to shore, I tell the Captain I'm not happy about this and he agrees, so he try's to go with him, and he is saying no no.

We ended up ringing on the radio to the port authority, who speaks some English, and they say this is normal, so we let him take it all.
And we are to stay on the boat, as we have not had a yellow fever shot, and we had no idea we needed one, see we can communicate, with these guys.

Within ten minutes, another boat comes out with two officials and climb on board.
He had papers with him as well.
He asked us all about the boat what food we had on board, what medication we had, do we have any drugs, etc
And also had we had shots for yellow fever.

This was all done with him speaking no English at all, but the young guy with him could speak a tiny bit.
To the fact that he was trying to ask us if we had any meat on board, we had no idea what he was saying, and the young guy was struggling as well, to find the right word, in the end he just said moo moo, we all burst out laughing, but at least we knew what he was asking.

Then he went down and checked all the fridges, and seemed happy, signed the papers and we were allowed ashore, but had to go straight to the port authority.

So get to shore, go see these guys, and they want our Zarpe, now I hear you saying what is a Zarpe, well when you check out of one country to the next, they give you a piece of paper to take to the next country, and this is called a Zarpe.

Well they wanted ours and us being the pirates that we are did not check out in Panama.
Why?  Well it was going to cost us a fortune, as we where kinda flying under the radar, and had not paid a lot of there fees, so we just left.

So get here and they will not accept that, so now we are only allowed to stay for 72 hours and then we have to leave, if there was nothing wrong with the boat we would not of been allowed to stay at all.

But they can see we need to fix the three sails and that we need fuel.

So as I cook up are fish, which was really nice, we enjoyed a drink on deck, and looking at all the lights around here, it maybe a third world country, but it's clean and has a really nice feel about it, and everyone is really friendly.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Friday 16th August 2013

2013-08-16

Friday 16th August 2013

Well we slept the sleep of the dead, man it was so good to sleep in your own cabin.

But we were up bright and early, ready for a full on day.

We meet so many people yesterday, mainly other cruisers and some locals, one in particular was a guy called Alan.

He was actually the guy we talked to on the radio yesterday, by the sound of him we thought he had been here for years, but found out he has only been here 4 weeks, he seemed like he knew everyone.

That's just how it is here, they are all so friendly, and everyone wants to help, locals and all.
You never get the feeling that they are trying to rip you off, they just do what they have to do, when you ask how much, they kinda look very uncomfortable, and its always such a fair price or way too cheap.

Anyway Alan knew I lot of the locals and said don't worry he will organise it, he comes with a guy, early in the morning and gets to work.

So first on the list was, the water maker, The Captain explains what is wrong they open all the doors get tools ready, turn it on and it works perfectly....hahaha that one was an easy fix.

So they discuss all the other stuff that needs fixing, before we know it we have, two local guys out here cleaning the bottom of the boat.

This was one thing The Captain was going to do as well, as we were getting a lot growth, and it slows the boat down a lot, so they both clean it for a very low price.
Then they take the bracket that fell off the stay sail, to get welded, also they arranged to come back in the afternoon and get us fuel.

Now the fuel here is so cheap, if your a local, if not, it's a lot more expensive, and it's very hard to buy.

So late in the afternoon they come back and load up with our jerry cans,  they had some of their own as well, they did three trips as we needed 180 litres, now wait for it, it cost us, 36c a litre, can you believe it, and the locals pay about 23c a litre, it's crazy cheap.

They bring back the bracket as well and we notice another crack in it so they take that back to be welded again as well.

Meanwhile Alan, Aristio, and The Captain, decide to fix the bilge pump, this has been a pain for us for a long time, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't , we actually had to manually pump it out once out at sea a few days ago.
Before this they did a complete oil change to the engines.

So getting back to the bilge pump, this ended up taking hours and hours, as nothing seemed to be working, Alan had this you beaut tool that The Captain drooled over, it's a handheld device that you touch on a wire and it tells you if there is current in it or not, Alan was lucky to take it back with him I tell you.

In the end it ended up being the bilge pump itself that was broken a brand new one at that, lucky we had a spare.
So Aristio climbs down into the bilge, now so far no one we have had on this boat could fit down there serious it is such a little space, but he is a little guy, and we were actually all a bit surprised that he could fit.
They changed pumps and all is up running again.

Then The Captain gets onto removing brackets off the two masts, and me well has per normal I cleaned.
I also had to dry out a few lockers once again as we still have leaks, and basically just got everything organised for the next leg.

The Captain, had to go ashore, to the office, and do some stuff, and of cause the guys came while he was not here, with the first lot of fuel, and wanted to put it in, now we have two inlets tank filler, thingy one is for water and one for diesel, on each side of the boat on deck, they each go to two tanks, two diesel two water, again on both sides, and you have to switch tanks inside.

Now I really did not want them to do this till he was here, but the language barrier is so bad, and our tanks are really weird, they somehow, and for the life of us we can not work out, they gravity feed each other, even when there is no way it can possibly happen, just another strange thing about this boat.

So I had no idea how much was in the first tank, so me with a lot of charades and a Spanish dictionary trying to explain this to them, in the end one of the guys goes to look for The Captain,and comes back and says no worries, he says this all the time, so we think its ok, I was not so sure.
They are up to the sixth jug and I'm freaking out, almost having a stoke, thinking I should just get them to take me ashore and I will go find The Captain, and ask him myself.

Well he finally comes back and I'm almost yelling at him, half way here, with images of the bilge filling up with diesel, and in about two minutes flat he has them stopping, so he can switch tanks.
I don't know what he said but they sure seemed to understand him better than me, maybe it's a guy thing and they just thought I knew nothing.

So it's almost 7pm by the time they finished and we had arranged to meet up with Alan on shore to buy him a few drinks, as a thank you, at 6pm.
Lucky he was still there, we eventually ended up with a crowd at the table with some of the other cruisers, and we all had a really good night, although a bit too much wine, on my part.
Believe me it was only about three glasses but when you have not had any alcohol in almost two weeks it goes to your head, very fast, but at least it was a good night.

Well tomorrow is another day. 

 


Saturday 17th August 2013

2013-08-17

Saturday 17th August 2013

Well today was another early start, as we need to get some fresh fruit and veggies, at the local farmers market, and also in the next little town from here they told me they had cedar plugs for fishing.

The later I was so excited about, so we go ashore and get a taxi, again another language barrier with the driver coming into the office here and the girl who speaks broken English try's to explain to him where we want to go, and what we want, with us two standing there acting out us casting out fishing rods, yeah you should see us, it's quite funny, but we managed to get him to understand, and all was good.

So we go to the place and they have no idea what we want, far out here we go again, with the actions and The Captain drawing a picture, me looking up words in the dictionary, and nope nothing, so the taxi driver takes us back to another store, all the time him getting out as well and coming into each store with us, what a nice guy they really go out of their way to help.
But nothing, so we decide to just go to the markets instead, he takes us there and we pay him a very small amount, and out we get.

These markets are something to be seen, man they have so much stuff a lot we had no idea what is was, but we managed to get bags and bags of stuff, and some local cheese, and some real peanut butter for The Captain, they just grind the nuts right there into paste, that's it.

We walked around some and I kinda thought we may get some chicken and beef as well.
Nope not gonna happen, there is rows of the stuff, just sitting there, It did not smell or anything, but seeing whole chickens, heads feet you name it, we just looked at each other and The Captain says you could turn vegetarian real quick here hey...haha

We left with just fruit and veggies, and caught a little bike thingy back to the dock, on the way there I even saw people selling chickens, with feathers and all.... :-/
I better up my fishing skills.

So back to the boat I get stuck in trying to sort all this food out and The Captain the last two sails, this new system we have sucks big time, the Captain takes down the mizzen boom and the bracket that holds the end rope, is gone, somewhere in Davy Jones locker, he is so not happy, with the help of Alan they managed to fabricate, something that we hope will work, we worked as much as we could until it was just too dark to see, and will be up once again early tomorrow morning.

We have to leave tomorrow on high time, which is about 1.30pm so we will be racing to get it all done.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 18th August 2013

2013-08-18

Sunday 18th August 2013

Yeap, we are up and running.

We figured the pilot would come out to us around 12pm, and we had a mountain of stuff to do.

But we got there, we even managed to race into shore, dump our rubbish and hook up to the Internet, check emails, facebook and update blogs.

The Captain checks his bank statements and there is two withdrawals that were quite a high amount, like over a thousands, dollars each.
Now we racked our brains, and we can not think of anything that we had got recently, for those amounts, and they are all from Panama.
We checked the dates and it was like day 6 out at sea.

It looks like we have been scammed, the only thing we could do is send an email, to Vic's book keeper/ accountant back home and hope she can deal with it.
So yeah it's a worry.

12am on the dot the pilot comes out and hops aboard, and off we go, we had not had a chance, to get the dingy up and tied into place, so after the pilot got us out pass all the sandbanks, we had cleared land somewhat we put the boat in neutral, and bobbed around till he got it all up and secure.

The next major drama is the wind nav thingy is not working, we can not get any wind speed at all, only wind direction...far out here we go again.
Out come all the manuals, we should just keep these guys in the cockpit all the time, we seem to read them more than we read novels, maybe that's what cruisers do for reading material...haha

We can not get it working at all, no matter what we try, also the chart plotter is giving us funny readings as well.

So we just set off, and hope maybe they might right themselves, and hope for the best.

once again we are back out here no land in sight, no ships no nothing, just us and nature, and hope we make it to the other side, in one piece.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 19th August 2013

2013-08-19

Monday 19th August 2013

00°27'S.  81°23W. 65.5nm

3539nm to go

Day 1

3.30am My Watch

Man I'm tired, not much is happening, other than the wind nav thingy still not working.

I have really struggled through this watch, as its so quiet, I think I saw one boat, the whole time, I could feel myself falling asleep so many times, no amount of coffee or snacks would wake me up enough.

I ended up getting the old lap top, with ear plugs in, am not sure here if it was to  keep from waking The Captain, or keeping out his snoring....haha

We have about 10 or so movies downloaded on there so I just watched bits and pieces, of most of them, but it got me through the watch.

10am

Well after a great sleep, I have woken up to a grey old day, with still not much happening.

We are heading west, and should be heading south, but the wind is not playing nice, so we come about a lot to try and get somewhere.

We have motor sailed most of the trip so far, but managed to turn it off for a few hours which was nice.

Of cause I have my rod and line out but still no fish.

As I was polishing the windows, yeah go figure, that is what you do when you have smears on the window and can not see out, we are only talking cockpit windows here.
I had tried several time to clean them before we left, but nothing seemed to work, and last night was really hard to see.

So the only thing left to try well almost was polish, I did have a harness on and clipped to the life rails, as we were heeled over a fair bit and it was a choppy sea.
I only managed one side as it was just way too rough to do the other, so that will have to be done tomorrow, and yes it worked they are sparkling clean.

So getting back to me going on deck to do the windows, I spotted a squid, on deck, am not sure I have mentioned them but we get a lot on deck, dead of cause, this is great excitement on my part, as I instantly pull in my rod and hook it on.

It seems to work good and it sure can't do any harm.

8pm

After struggling for what seemed like hours cooking dinner, we now have full tums, and once again we are settling in for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 20th August 2013

2013-08-20

Tuesday 20th August 2013

00° 21'S. 82° 30'W. 

3443nm to go

Day 2

12am my watch

Once again am trying to keep myself awake, my watch actually started a few hours ago, with nothing happening at all.

I have been thinking of the things I have learned, along the way, with boating and stuff, not to mention the obvious, like learning to sail, reading instruments, leaning how the boat handles...etc

But I guess lessons and mistakes along the way, in the galley, now I could write a novel here...hahaha

I have learned, that fresh fruit and veggies do not last long at all, they rot almost right before your eyes.

I have learned to invent crazy dishes, to use up all the fruit and veg that is ripe or over ripe.

I have learned that cold water will clean dishes, I hardly ever use hot water. And that a lot of country's use a cream to wash dishes not liquid.

I have learned that it is normal to see the water running out of the tap, horizontally at a 45° angle, and that salt water will splash up and out of the drains.

I have learned to use the oven, without burning too much stuff.

I have learned that the salt water that sometimes drips in from the vent above the stove, saves me from adding extra salt to dishes.

I have learned that no matter how careful you are when placing things on the counter top, the moment you take your hand off it, it will fly off the counter, and turn into missiles real quick.

I have learned that plastic bowls and plates do break, when flown across the floor, almost always, full of food.

I have learned to use the arse sling,  although it is never long enough to reach that one item you desperately need.

I have learned that the fridges will,  freeze stuff solid one day and be all thawed out the next day,  also that you have to unpack the whole contents, searching for that one particular item that always manages to be right at the bottom.

I have learned that when making coffee, the contents never land in the mug.

I have learned to force myself to like powdered milk, can veggies, can meats, and that canned chicken, no matter how it is prepared, does not taste or resemble, chicken in any shape or form.

I have learned that my yogurt making skills are next to none, and have given up.

And finally I have learned to make bread, yeap you heard me right, I have finally mastered it, and it taste nice as well...hahah

7pm my watch

Well not much is happening around here, the wind picks up some, and we fly along at around 6knots, or so, then the wind dies and we do about 1 knot, this has been happening all day long.

There has been a lure change on one of my lines, and still no hint of a fish in sight.

And a good chunk of the day we have slept, The Captain had a much needed sleep earlier in the day, and then I have slept almost the rest of it, on and off, I did wake up at one stage with one of my pain attacks, but managed to get it under control real quick, and was back asleep in no time at all.
I have no idea what brought this attack on, but at least it was not too bad.

And once again I sit here trying to stay awake.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 21st August 2013

2013-08-21

Wednesday 21st August 2013

01°34S. 83°27W. 

3277nm to go.

Day 3

My watch 2.30am

Well I did not get much sleep we have had some rough seas, man we have been tossed all over the place.

We were hit by one of those big momma, waves and scared the life out of us, it actually covered the whole boat, thank god for our new covers.

I think I say this daily, as its got real cold, and they are down more than up lately, and yeap we are not wearing jumpers, but it won't be long and we will be digging them out.

At the moment we have a full moon, it's incredible it almost looks like day light. 

9pm my watch

Well not a great deal is happening once again, although we did spot a boat on the radar behind us, tonight the first boat we have seen for ages.
It did not get closer than about 4nm so that was ok.

I had been reading up about pirates in The Pacific, so I kinda freak out every time  I see a boat, one thing I had not thought of was to include in my arsenal of weapons, was a spot light.
We do have two really good ones, and I had read that it's a good way to blind them, in the case of an attack. 
If I have to carry out my plan of attack it will take me hours to get it all up here on deck...hahah

I do have to admit when we see a boat I always grab the mace spray just in case.

So once again I sit, I try to keep busy and stay awake, listening to The Captain snoring across from me, and on it goes.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 22nd August 2013

2013-08-22

Thursday 22nd August 2013

02°39'S. 086°23'W

3125nm to go 

Day 4

6am

Well after a really good sleep, The Captain let me sleep for about five and a half hours, as i was not feeling real well last night, I have a sore throat, and a bit of a temp, but not too bad and the long sleep done wonders.
 He also has a bit of a sore throat and a ear ache.

I think it just that we are very run down and lack of sleep does not help at all.

I have to say I made the best bread ever last night, it's so so good, we will enjoy this one for a few days.

Well we have a disaster, well in my world anyway.
I have lost all my books on Kindle on my ipad. Disaster plus, am feeling like ,my right arm is cut off.

I connected it to the computer,and it decided to put them all in Cloud, along with my music and videos.

Now this is fine as they are officially still there but you need Internet coverage to get them back.

I managed to download some songs, and the videos back on, but not my books.
It sucks big time as I had downloaded over 150, to read on this passage, and now have none.

Am back to old school reading a paperback, :-/
At least we have a fair few novels on board, so that's ok through the day, but nighttime, comes and I have nothing to read, unless I read by torchlight.

So out came the external hard drives, that have movies and tv series on them, although we have watched most already, I don't mind watching them again, anything will do to pass the time away.

I wish we could just pull into some island and connect to the Internet just so I can get the books all back on, somehow I don't think The Captain, will come to the party on that one.

Other than that not much is happening.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 23rd August 2013

2013-08-23

Friday 23rd August 2013

Day 5

04°18'S. 88°15'N

3044nm to go

1.30am,

Well it's been a long time on watch, I actually tried to have a sleep but it just would not happen, so have let The Captain catch up on some much needed sleep.

Well it 4.30 am and I'm done in.


4pm

I have just woke up again, have slept on and off all day, and we have sunshine, yay 
The first in about 5 days, it's been shocking and overcast the whole time, but we have ugly seas, I guess you can't have it all.

Right as I type I have hooked another Mahi Mahi, and managed to get it to the back of the boat, but it's just way to rough to go back out and get it on deck.

I can see the thing, and am just hoping the sea settles down so I can land that sucker.

10pm

The Captain has just woken up, and it's time for me to rest.

The ocean is still horrible and we are being flown all over the place, I just hate it when it's like this.

And I have no idea if my fish is still on the hook.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 24th August 2013

2013-08-24

Saturday 24th August 2013

Day 6

04°34'S.  89°36'W

2830nm to go

5am my watch

Well I had a bad night, with tummy pain, and coughing, The Captain ended up, hunting out some cough mixture, for me, which tasted horrible, but it worked.

I finally slept, but I still feel like I have had none, at all.

We still have shocking seas, and the wind is all over the place, I'm jumping up every five minutes to hit a few degrees this way and that.
The Captain has been at it all night, and is now sleeping.


As for my fish, no idea what is happening there, as its still dark.

6pm my watch

Well we are getting hammered, this is just shocking, I hate it.
The wind is blowing so fast I have no idea what kts it's doing, as our wind nav thingy is still not working, am kinda glad it's not, cause I'm scared enough as it is.

Then we can talk about the waves, man these are huge, and keep crashing over the boat.
Every time one hits water pours into the saloon, am not really sure how, and almost all the hatches are leaking again.
And just to add to the mix, we get really strong gusts, and the boat heals over so far that everything is flying around down there as well, are we having fun yet?

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 25th August 2013

2013-08-25

Sunday 25th August 2013

Day 7

05°15'S.  91°39'W

2707nm to go

6am my watch.

I just want this to stop, man it's horrible.

My whole body is hurting, from being thrown around so much, and The Captain, is feeling the same.

The waves are so so big, if I was to guess I would say over 15ft easy.
Then you get the roll action happening, we roll so far over, that everything, crashes to one side down below, including the water in the toilet bowl, (it is clean water), then we roll back the other way and everything rolls to the other side, pity the toilet water would not roll back in. :-/
This goes in sets of four, with a five minute break if we are lucky.

I kinda lost it, it just got way too much, and just cried and cried, it terrifies me, when the ocean is like this, and to top it off we have had two squalls Come through, which resulted in not only rain, but crazy winds, so not fun.

But amongst all this chaos, the fish I had yesterday, well it was food for a much bigger fish, bite right through a wire tracer and all.

But I managed to catch another Mahi Mahi, this time on the hand line, I pulled it in some, this I can do in the cockpit, then we waited for a bit of calm, and both with our harnesses on we battled the weather, and got it on board.

It was already dead by this time, with a missing eye and the other hanging out, was gross, we can only imagine that when it died, it's mouth fell open and the pressure of the water, did that to it.

So now I'm faced with this one eyed freak, and I gotta filet it, in rough seas.
I managed to wedge myself at the side of the deck, and set to work, with as The Captain said, one hand holding the rail, the other hand holding the fish and a knife between my teeth...haha 

Not really but close, and what a mess, there was blood and guts everywhere, the waves crashing on me helped clean some of it away, and I had the water hose out as well, but by the time I was finished I sure needed a shower.

Am starting to get a little better at my filleting skills, just, at least this time we seem to have more fillets, and also I have some bait for the next, adventure.


Well tomorrow is anther day.


Monday 26th August 2013

2013-08-26

Monday 26th August 2013

Day 8

05°32'S.  094°27'W

2659nm to go

6am my watch.

And we are still at it, man this rough weather is taking its toll.
The Captain is snoring away beside me, as he is desperately trying to catch up on some much needed sleep, he has been woken up so many times these last few days, to help settle this boat down, not that there is much you can do.

We got an email, from a friend, Alex, who gave us a weather update, it's looking like this lumpy sea, is going to stay with us, all the way.
That's really not what I wanted to hear, it's shocking and I am not at all sure I can handle another 3 weeks of this.

I caught another Mahi Mahi, today well actually two, but once again it was way too rough, and the first one got off, which was good, the second one I could of landed, I actually had it right at the side of the boat. But it was getting dark and I'm still not feeling real well, so I just let the line back out and hope, it got off

It seems that the flying fish are the trick to catching fish.
They land on the boat all the time and die, so every day I just grab one put it on a hook, and throw it out, works every time.

The only problem is, they smell so fishy, serious, I have never come across a fish with that strong a smell.
So I keep a packet of baby wipes up here and wipe my hands afterwords works great...hahaha

These baby wipes are great I use them for lots of things, and a quick freshen up with one when you can't have a shower works great too.

So once again darkness is creeping in, the Captain is asleep, I have a rum cake baking in the oven, and dinner heating up on the stove, and all is great,  then the gas runs out....far out now I have to wait for The Captain to wake up, so he can change the gas bottles, and I was hanging out to try a piece of cake.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 27th August 2013

2013-08-27

Tuesday 27th August 2013

Day 9

05° 58'S. 96° 30'W

2532nm to go

1am my watch

Well we are trying to get our watches back in order, as its not working out real good how we are doing it now.

The Captain has been trying to let me sleep longer as I have had this head cold, and an upset tummy for days, but it's resulted in The Captain losing a lot of sleep, and then me trying not to sleep so he can have more sleep, and on and on it goes.

So now we are back at nighttime to 3-4 hour watches and see how that goes.

8am

Well we are still at it, man I know I have said this daily, but it's really wearing us down, we are just rocking and rolling the whole time.
I just want it to settle down.

We have the trade winds now, these we have been waiting for, to make us go quicker, and we thought it would settle the sea down as well, we were wrong.

I managed to do some washing today, just the towels and tea towels, and have rigged up a line in the cockpit, with a few flaps open, and hope the breeze drys them.

This line was very hard to put up with the boat rocking all over the place, and a little scary moment when the boat rocked and I landed on The sound asleep Captain...hahaha
But I managed to get them hung and they are flapping away as I write, spraying drops of water all over the place. :-/

As for the fish none today, even though I hunted around the boat for bait, of flying fish, and found a few but no luck.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 28th August 2013

2013-08-28

Wednesday 28th August 2013

Day 10

06°44'S. 98°43'W

2441nm  to go.

4am my watch

Actually it has been my watch for awhile, I tried to lay down and sleep, but it did not happen real well, so I gave up and The Captain, is snoring away across from me.
Although he did get a rude awakening a little while ago, with me squealing.

I was sitting minding my own business, listening to music on my ipad, watching the radar and AIS, when I heard this BANG on the covers, then flapping, next to me, man another flying fish, this one  managed to get through the only zipper opened next to me. 

Well I jumped up so quick the damn thing is flapping around my feet now and of coarse The Captain had to come to the rescue, and get it out for me, although I would not let him throw it over the side, just onto the deck, can't waste tomorrow's bait.

So now I sit with the strong odour of fish, until I can clean the mess up in the morning.

10.30 am

Man what a sleep I managed to get five hours, it feels like ten...haha

I look around and I have bait everywhere on deck, well at least what  I can see.
I have two flying fish, and three Squid, one squid is sitting on the window ledge of the cockpit, go figure.

Am not sure about these squid, do they fly, or is it a wave that puts them there, where is google when you need it.

So in comes the line, and it has been bitten off at the tracer once again, it must of been one big fish, as the line was also stretched and curled, am glad that one is not on the boat.

Although The Captain keeps saying I have that much bait around here, that they are going to start thinking the whole boat is one big bait...hahah
 
6pm 

I feel as though I have been cooking all day.
We had French toast and maple syrup for brunch, and then a kinda salad, with the leftover fish and chips from last night, for dinner, and then I made coconut bread, but was a bit disappointed as it does not have that real coconut flavour I was hoping for.

And with some more washing done, the cockpit once again looks like a Chinese laundry.

This afternoon The Captain put up the staysail to find it has a rip in it, only a small one but it will need repairing soon, we will need to keep a close watch on it.
He has also been busy on and off adjusting the sails, all day as well, just trying to get that, extra knot or two.

It's still a very lumpy sea, with big rolling waves, am not sure if we are just getting used to it, or what, although my body tells me different, man there is not one single part of me that does not ache.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 29th August 2013

2013-08-29

Thursday 29th August 2013

Day 11

07°28'S. 100°23'W

2337nm to go

1am my watch

So here I sit once again, trying to stay awake.

Today I found out I'm a Great Aunt once again, another little boy, that makes 9 great nieces and nephews, with one more on the way.

The wind, is going all over the place, and I have been jumping up and down pressing buttons, this way and that, to try and stop, the damn sails from flapping around the place, we are only doing about 3kts which is pathetic, at this rate it will take months to get there.

On the fishing skills, yesterday I hooked 3 Mahi Mahi, but they got away, the last one is still on the hook, I think. 
this guy I caught just when it was getting dark, I managed to get him right to the boat, and man he is over a meter long, but being dark it's just way too hard to clean and fillet, so I let the line back out and maybe just maybe he may still be there when it gets light again.

They seem to really go for the squid, I hook one every time, but their 2nd best is the flying fish, this works good too.

I actually have not hooked anything else, but Mahi Mahi, even using different lures, am starting to wonder if that is the only fish out there.

9am

Ok its daylight and my fish is still there...yay

I decided to have a coffee first before pulling in this monster.
So minding my own business, finishing off my coffee, when I heard the line snap, OMG are you kidding, I lost it, if only I had not had that last bit of coffee.

This set the mood for the day, I was grumpy, and just feeling tired and yuck.

So after hunting around the deck for anything I could use for bait, I ended up with 3 very dried up squid, and three dried up flying fish.

The first flying fish last about five minutes and comes off, the squid was much better, I caught a big one that decided he liked my hook as his latest lip piercing, and off he takes.

Another squid flicked over board, great, as you can see things where just not working out good, had almost decided to quit for awhile, it was just way too hard a work.

I ended up having a lay down which did nothing, as The Captain had decided to change the sails once again, this time I think he called it wing on wing.
It's basically the yankee sail with a pole attached going out one side, and the main sail going out the other side.

Now this usually works really good, but not this time, with the swell quite large it resulted in the wind catching one sail, and rolling us deep to one side, then catching the other sail, and rolling us deep to the other side, and I'm trying to sleep, I look at The Captain, and say you gotta be kidding, he says just think of it as your big brother rocking your cradle really hard, huh I'd like to rock his cradle.
Then he tells  me at least we are heading in the right direction, I did not care, I was not happy Jan.

So after he got sick of hearing me groaning and complaining for like forever, he finally decided to change sails once again, as the pole was coming down the end broke off, great, another repair to be dealt with.

And on we go, with a hundred sail changes, and one very lumpy sea and once again, we settle in for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 30th August 2013

2013-08-30

Friday 30th August 2013

Day 12

08°01'S.  102°26'W

2213nm to go

3am my watch

Man it's rough again, am over this, big time.
And I hate night watches, somehow, I have managed to get two night watches every night.
Am not sure how that happened, this so needs to change.

So am sitting here holding on with a death grip, as I try to think about how to write, about my latest fishing story, yeah I know that's all you hear, but other than this horrible crapy ocean, and sail changes and eating, nothing else is happening out here, we have not seen any signs of human life in well over 10 days.

We are so lucky we get on really well and like each others company, if not it sure would be miserable.
Am saying that now, another 3 weeks of this and maybe not...hahaha

So my fishing story... Well I make up my own rigs, am sure the fishing experts would be horrified if they saw what I do, but hey I'm here to prove them wrong, it seems to work.

The knots I use are anything that works, the rest is the same, but I need someway of keeping the last flying fish longer on my hook than five minutes.

So I decided with another hook, on a long piece of line, attached with a swivel to the other swivel thingy.
I think I have about five swivels on this line at the moment.

Anyway I put the bait through the first hook, wrap the extra line around and around the bait then onto the second hook, haha.. Have myself a nice little wrapped flying fish parcel.

Throw the whole lot over board, and watch that little sucker, going through the water, he looks like he is surfing on his tail through the water...hahaha

Within ten minutes I've hooked another Mahi Mahi, surprise, surprise.
It's about 3pm in the afternoon yesterday and the ocean has settled down some, so The Captain and I, decided to sit on the back deck, and with me slowly pulling in the line we watched this guy fighting all the way.
He was a beauty well over a meter long, and the strain on the line was almost cutting through my fingers, I actually had the line around my knee as well trying to brace it some.

We get it closer and I got The Captain to get the net ready, and then we sat and watched some more.
I was getting desperate for another catch, as I wanted to use one for bait as well.
All of a sudden it goes mental and off the hook it goes, only to get jagged by the tail with the second hook....hahaha

Now I'm pulling it in backwards, by the tail, and yeap we have pics to prove it, The Captain raced to get the camera as he said no one will believe this one.

Now the theory  out there, says if you pull a fish backwards, it will drown, is so so wrong.
At first we thought it was right, as it finally stopped flapping about, and we thought it was a good time to bring it on deck.

Am not sure who was holding what at this time when chaos erupted.
There were lines, there were hooks there were nets, a fish going mental, me trying to pour Pims down its gills, The Captain cut his hand mine got ripped by a hook and there is alcohol, scales and blood flying everywhere, not sure who's blood was whose.

But we managed to quiet it down, and still have it on the deck.
To make matters worse we both had clean clothes on that I had got off the line like two hours ago and now along with the rest of the boat was covered in fish scales, fish slime, and blood, what a mess, it took hours to clean up.

The Captain goes back to his pole repair while I fillet the fish and also get myself some nice bait.

And after some much needed showers we have a kinda clean boat once again, after all this hard work am starting to think this fishing business is not so fun anymore. :-/

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 31st August 2013

2013-08-31

Saturday 31st August 2013

Day 13

08°26'S.  104°55W

2064nm  to go.

6am

And we are still at it.

Am starting to get cabin fever real bad, I'm driving myself crazy.

The ocean has settled down some, although we still have big rolling waves.

We have another break on deck, will it ever end.
The Captain, fixed the the pole for the staysail  and its now up, and working, now the main pole thingy, for the spinnaker sail, looks like its come apart.

I noticed it was not furling properly, when The Captain, was taking it in.
He has had a good look at it, and it's still working ok for now, if it goes we can't do anything out here to repair it, so fingers crossed it stays working.

And the other problem is our sail mail, we are finding it really hard to connect, so we can send and receive, am not sure if its just the area we are in or what.

And on it goes, we rock we roll, I bitch and moan....haha
But our little world is still ok.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 1st September 2013

2013-09-01

Sunday 1st September 2013

Day 14

08°29'S. 106°36'W

1965nm to go.

1am

First off a big Happy Father's Day to my dad and all the other Dads back home in Australia, I hope you had a great day dad, I wish I could have been there, I love you. xxx

And here I sit again, did I say I was bored?  Well I am, I hate night watches, they just drag and drag on.

I have watched a few TV series on the hard drive, tried a thousand times to connect to the email stations, still no luck, and almost drank all the coffee on board.

At 3.45am I was done in I could not keep awake any longer, so I just had to wake up The Captain, and off to sleep I go.
 
So what's been happening all day, well The Captain has changed sails a million times, we have gone from, being on a rocking horse, to being rolled so far over to one side, and then back to the other side, I swear the boat is going to tip over.
We have had wind than no wind, but still the ever constant choppy sea.

At the moment we are just rolling gently from side to side, with a few big rolls thrown in every five minutes or so.

I started on the many leaks once again.
This time in the forward head, I have sealed all around the hatches, and anywhere else I could think that it might be coming in.

The Captain, tried to do the ones in the dinette, but we were rolling so far over and the ocean just looked way too close.

We still are having no luck with the emails, at all, I just hope the kids and family are not getting worried.

Well I hooked a huge Mahi Mahi this one the biggest so far, both The Captain and I were pulling it in, man it was a struggle, and as per usual it got off right at the boat.

You should of seen how disappointed The Captain was, I think he may be turning into a fisher Man yet...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 2nd September 2013

2013-09-02

Monday 2nd September 2013

Day 15

08°44'S. 108°40'W

1843nm to go

2.30am 

 I came off watch about 2am, and could not sleep, no matter how hard I tried, and it didn't help that the boat was rolling so far from side to side it was crazy.

In the end I just gave up, and let The Captain, lay down to sleep instead.

Just the usual been happening, nothing much to write about only that I started on the leaks in the saloon area.
Around the windows, and hope that, may stop the leaks  there.

And surprise the email is working finally, it took 4days this time, although we could not get all them through at least it was something

 Fish of the day, well I managed to hook a tuna, I was so excited that it was a different fish....haha

I have no idea how heavy this guy was but I could not reel it in.
The Captain took over and even he struggled.
We eventually got it to the boat, and it was already dead, but it was too heavy to lift in the net.
The Captain and I swapped and he tried to get it in,  yeap you guessed it, it came off, but this time we were left, with part of its mouth and gills, was gross, 
It just proves how heavy it was to rip that away, and the good thing nothing gets wasted in the ocean, it will be another fish's meal tonight, although I was tempted to jump over board and catch it, as I watched it float away.

And once again night crawls in and we really have no idea what time it is.
Our clocks are still set on Panama time, but it's still pitch black at 8am and still light at 8pm, so yeah we need to work something out here.

Well tomorrow is another day.


 
Well I came off watch about 2am, and could not sleep, no matter how hard I tried, and it didn't help that the boat was rolling so far from side to side it was crazy.
In the end I just gave up, and let The Captain, lay down to sleep instead.


Tuesday 3rd September 2013

2013-09-03

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

Day 16

08°45'S. 111°10'W

1694nm to go

3am

And here I am, have just been woken up from, a very deep sleep.
Am not real happy, at the moment ,maybe once the coffee kicks in  I'll feel a lot better.

Today once again I was busy.
I had been planing to wash some towels for days now and still, by the time I finish  all the other stuff I do, I'm just way too tired.

I managed to clean out a kitchen cupboard, and then go through a lot of the lockers, moving food around getting out extra supplies that we need, and putting them in lockers close by, kinda like doing a grocery shop...haha

The ocean is kicking up such a fuss, and once again we are being thrown around all over the place, I think The Captain is so over me, asking him to do something, to try and settle the boat down.

I just can't help it, it's miserable, I hate it like this, and it makes everything that much harder to do, not to mention all the extra bruises.

And no fish today.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 4th September 2013

2013-09-04

Wednesday 4th September 2013

Day 17

8° 52'S. 113°39'W

1543nm to go

3am

Well there is great excitement on this here boat, we have spotted a ship...yay

This is the first time, in over 14 days, so now I can stop worrying that there is no one out there anymore but us...hahaha

The Captain is asleep, well kinda, as neither of us can sleep real well as its just way too rough, we are really struggling tonight.

So I'm watching this ship on the radar, as its about 14nm away and I can't see it yet.
It's gets to 8nm and I can see lights, the thing that worries me is that it has not moved at all, I'm starting to think it maybe a oil rig, or pirates.. 
:-/.

At 6nm it still has not moved and am really starting to worry, I want to wake The Captain, but he is snoring away, its the first time all night he has been in such a deep sleep.

So I get some weapons ready, the spotlight, the mace spray and the stun gun, are all keeping me company at the moment.

Then it gets to 4nm, now it should be showing up on the AIS by now, but nothing, I open the hatch and look through with the binoculars, and there is a lot of lights, am certain oil rig.

Well panic hits I wake The Captain, and we both sit and watch, he changes course a bit, then finally it comes onto the AIS, it's a Japanese fishing vessel.
Well that's a relief, we assume they are fishing for Tuna, as that's what I caught yesterday.

We had to change coarse several times to miss it as they kept changing coarse as well, at one stage they were heading straight for us, it was a bit scary, but the most exciting thing that has happened for awhile.

Then we settled down again The Captain tried once again to have a sleep, myself I watched a movie and the night went on.

Well tomorrow is another day. 


Thursday 5th September 2013

2013-09-05

Thursday 5th September 2013

Day 18

08° 58'S. 115°29'W

1436nm to go.

3am

And here I sit yay, have I told you I hate night watches....haha

Yesterday morning when I did my morning walk around deck, hunting for flying fish, and maybe just maybe some squid, if I'm lucky.
Lately not so lucky on the squid department.
But man was there some flying fish, at least 13 of the guys...haha

Boy was I happy, there was some serious fishing going to happen today.
In fact I had a hit on my rod early in the morning, and raced out there before it took all my line, only to have it get away, while I raced back to get my harness on, as it was still very rough.

So bring that line in, and it had snapped the wire tracer, then bring in my hand line the same, tracer snapped...great.

At the rate I'm going I'll have no tackle left soon.
So after I re  rigged  both lines I start on with the flying fish and have used them all day, with no luck at all.


So today, we have no wind to speak of at all, we are lucky to be doing 1knt, this is crazy compared to the last 24 hours or so, from being thrown around so bad for so long, now we are just sitting bobbing around.

Am thinking I may be going crazy, who in their right mind would hand wash towels at 4am in the morning?

Yeap me, there is a method behind this madness.
I was so tired that I needed something to keep me awake, so I cleaned up the galley, and than decided to wash and soak all the towels.

This set a trend for the whole day. I cleaned rearranged lots of things I was really busy all day.

Late this afternoon, I dragged out the printer, this is in a locker under the Nav Chair, and has a lot of things in their including all our extra life Jackets.
To my surprise I found 9 more large rolls of paper towels, now this is like finding gold, I tell you.
We use them for everything and I was down  to my last roll and things were getting desperate.

I so wish I had got a lot more in America, as they are very expensive to buy anywhere else, and I was told this, and we honestly thought we had got enough.

Getting back to the printer, earlier in the day I had typed up, a provisions list and wanted to print a few copies, this is a formal list as close as possible in detail, as we are starting to come into country's that will not allow a lot of items into their country. This list they can read   
And it saves them searching through the whole boat, I can just locate the items they want.

Now it's a not everything on board list, as something's are left off and hidden as I'm not giving them up, for no one.
Call us pirates once again.... Haha

After printing that off, I also typed up a crew list, this is another thing that all countries want, just detailed info on names, dob, passport no, nationally and position.

It's the first time I have called myself First Mate, not the usual name I go under as Deck Scrubber, was kinda nice.

Than I also printed off my whole blog, to date, so this can go back with my girl and her man, to give to my parents to read our adventures.

Man do I right some stuff, this is so thick, she will have to pay extra baggage weight...haha 

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 6th September 2013

2013-09-06

Friday 6th September 2013

Day 19

09° 00'S.  117° 38'W

1305nm to go

3am

So here I sit once again...oh joy.

You may have noticed I wrote on yesterday's blog about my girl.

Well I have big news....  :-)

Bek and Anthony are going to join us in Fiji, for two weeks, yay yay yay

Am so excited, man I miss my kids, I actually miss them so much it hurts, I just hope the rest of them will be able to join us sometime in the near future.
That goes for The Captains kids as well.

Bek and Anthony were going to meet up with us once we hit Australia, and sail home with us, but with dates and things its looking like we won't be back as soon as we thought.

So I had the idea that maybe they could join us in Fiji instead.
As there is over 300 islands dotted all over the area, and we thought what a great way to be introduced, to our little world, and just island hop, relax, catch up and have fun.
I did try a few options with them, but they balked at doing a ocean crossing with us...hahaha
Can you blame them? But after they get a feel for this life and get used to the boat, they may take us up on it.

Actually today has been so calm out here, we would have to say its one of the best days we have had ever in the ocean.
The Captain has this huge smile on his face, he is so content, and just really loving life at the moment.

I guess we both are, as we are both just so excited that the kids are coming to visit, it has put a very happy buzz on both of us.
The Captain has been reading up all about Fiji, and planing what are the best islands to visit and all that, man we are going to have fun.
          
As for the rest of the day, we have very calm seas, almost no wind at all.

I have really enjoyed today, it's so nice to be able to do stuff without getting thrown around all over the place.
 
Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 7th September 2013

2013-09-07

Saturday 7th September 2013

Day 20

09° 04'S. 119°11'W

1218nm to go

2am

And yeap here I sit.

We still have very calm seas, man it's so nice.
The only problem is there is no wind to speak of, and we are already up to day 20.

Can you believe it, 20 days man the way we are going at the moment it will take us another 20 days to get there.

I so wish there was just a happy medium, even a bit like a few days ago, just enough wind to be doing about 5knts.

We did managed to get a lot done yesterday, and today I hope a lot more.
We have sealed 4 port holes, and one more window, which is great.

Today I managed to clean out three lockers in the galley, I also painted the inside of these as well, man what a job, it took almost all day.

I actually want to repaint all the lockers as they sure need it, and while the seas are calm I thought today is a good day to start.

There is a reason for my madness with cleaning, as we had all those leaks again, and everything in those lockers were wet with salt water, and also, we have been taken over with fruit flys once again.

Now you know how I am with bugs, of any shape or size, well these little bastards are doing me in.

I have tried everything to get rid of them, I swear I use a can of spray a day, and all the other stuff that is suppose to get rid of them, and nothing and I mean nothing is helping.
I can only guess that they must of hatched from the previous ones, three weeks or so ago.
I even have the old disgusting fly swatter out, with some modification, of a plastic zip lock bag, taped around it, as the holes were just way to big, I think they are made for large flys. At least this works, a bit.  

The other bit of excitement today is we got the spinnaker sail up for the first time.
This is a huge sail that has always just sat in a bag on deck.
It is very light weight and meant for very light winds.

The Captain has been thinking of putting this out for a few days now, and always when he thinks he will do it, the wind picks up, you really do not want this sail up in big winds.
Also it's a lot of work to put it up, as you have to take in the Yankie, and stay sail.

Now we were not sure how to go about putting this up as you have to anchor certain points of the sail to here and there, and it's a big, big, big, momma big, sail.

So we decide what the heck today is the day.
Out it comes from it's cover, now The Captain had told me what it looks like, but man, it's a strange thing.

It's in what they call a sail sock, with a fibreglass thingy, seriously it looks like a very large intestine coming out of a toilet seat, serious, and the theory behind it, this goes up the top of the mast, with the sock and you attach ropes and pull them down, then the sock slides up and the sail comes out.

Well after both of us being tangled with ropes and sails flying everywhere, up she goes, and it worked....haha

We were both surprised how quick it all happened.

It's a very nice blue colour and as it's filling out, we are smiling at how pretty it is, and low and behold dead smack in the middle is a huge ugly white Rabbit..... :-/   ( the smiles fade )

Yeap the previous owners last name was Hare, and their blog was called Rabbit on the Run.
Hence the rabbit, the rabbit is so so ugly, this is something we seriously need to fix....haha does not go with our image at all.

( this sail is now official named "The Rabbit" )

But after some adjustment it's working fine and giving us the much needed speed.
The only problem is, we can't leave it out over night, so the whole process as to be repeated, every time we want to use it.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 8th September 2013

2013-09-08

Sunday 8th September 2013

Day 21

09° 08'S. 120°54'W

1055nm to go

2.30am 

Once again here I sit, and try everything and anything to amuse myself, and keep awake.

I always start with a Coffee that The Captain has in his hands freshly made when he wakes me, :-)

We have both started doing this for each other, and it really helps, put you in a better mood, well sometimes...hahaha
Being woken up at two or three in the morning, with only about 3-4 hours sleep under your belt, can really be a struggle, and half the time you really don't want to even look at anyone or anything, grumpy as can be, but a smiling face and a coffee greeting you, is always nice.

So I usually drink my coffee growling away to myself, trying to find the fun in this, which never happens.
Until eventually the eyes come into focus, then I play a few games on my Ipad, that either puts me in a better mood, or worse, depends on who is winning...haha ( so far the Ipad.)

Then I check emails this can take up about an hour of my time, as sailmail, can be very iffy, it's not like you just turn on your computer and they download.

You have to turn on the computer, load up sailmail, put in the coordinates, turn on the communications button on the control panel, along with switching everything else off, that you possibly can, to stop interference, than with a torch in hand, cause you have switched off the cabin lights as well.
You turn on the radio, wait for it to fire up and connect, than plug that into the computer, and cross fingers that it all marries up.

Then you have to find a station with enough coverage that you can connect to. This alone can take for ever.
When you finally find one you hit connect, and wait, sometimes it will connect sometimes not.
The fun part is, if it does not connect, you have to turn off the radio un plug it from your computer, and start all over again.

It's nothing to do this dozens of times, in one sitting, sometimes, you even have to restart the computer as well.

While this is happening you jump up and down a lot to check that nothing major is going on up on deck, as you need to turn off the alarm on the radar as well, or it goes mental.

So several coffees later, after you have cursed everything and everyone, who had anything to do with, ham radios, computers, boats you name it, you either connect and have mail, or connect and have nothing, the later you curse even more as it was a completely waste  of time, or you can't connect at all, and just give up, and try again in an hour or two.

So yeah please pease send lots of mail, not only is it the highlight of our day, but at least going through all that drama makes it worthwhile.

We have had a beautiful day again today, although I slept almost half of it, but a sure needed it.

I was about to tackle the galley again, when I heard my rod start to sing, sounds a bit like our boat.

Have I told you she is a happy boat, well she must be cause she sings and hums.
Serious, it is only the wind in the rigging, at a certain angle, but it really sounds like singing, with words and all, very strange.

So getting back to my rod, I race up on deck, and start the cat and mouse chase, slowly bring it in, let some out, bring some in and so on.

And guess what it is in sight, it's a Mahi Mahi, surprise....haha
Now this guy is huge, so I leave him for awhile to let him tire himself out.
After a lot of waiting and watching, I think he must be just about done in, so The Caiptain gets the net ready.
We decide that there is too many things on this side so we move the rod to the other side.

I was very nervous about this as I was sure we would lose it.
But we went very steady let out some line to take some tension off and got it there.

we get it in a good position where I can reach it with a net and I try to scoop it up, but it's way too big for the net.
We swap places The Captain grabs the net and try's too, nope this is not gonna happen.

So out comes the gaff, now our previous experience with this thing has not worked at all, every fish we have tried to hook with it we have lost.

I'm thinking there goes this beauty, but low and behold, we jag it and bring it on deck.
Now we both stand back to wait, and sure enough it starts a mental dance, man it kicked it bucked, blood everywhere, at least this time we were both out of the line of fire.

With the camera in hand we watched in amazement as it changed colours, it went from yellow and blue, to all silver and blue, to back to yellow and blue, crazy.

Then out come the tape measure, we just had too, it was a whopping, 1 meter, 25cm long, the best so far.

Then the big job of filleting, this took ages, but we now have, a lot of meals ahead of us, and I have some more bait.

I clean up the mess, put some of it on the hooks, throw both lines out, and go and have a much needed shower.

After I soak my clothes, to try and get some of the blood stains off, I settle down to have a coffee, before I even park my butt on the seat, the rod starts singing again, far out.

This time there is no way I'm going through all that again, so I sit with my coffee in a bean bag, on the back deck, and watch and hope it gets off.
I even reeled it in really close where we lose them all the time, but no way was the guy coming off, so we scoop it up with the net, I get the hook out and let him go, was a shame to let it go, but we really did not need anymore fish at the moment.

After I fine fish bake we once again settle in for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 9th September 2013

2013-09-09

Monday 9th September 2013

Day 22

09°24'S. 123°16'W

914nm  to go

5am

Here I sit coffee in hand, feeling like I have had no sleep at all.

It's been a rough night, with strong winds going in all directions, and one very lumpy ocean.

Late last night my rod started singing again, then stopped, then started, this went on for awhile until I just had to go out there and at least tighten up the tension.
I got my harness on and very slowly made my way out, now daylight is creeping in, I want to go check and see if anything is still on there, I doubt it very much, but hey you never know.

Well nope it's not there anymore, which is sad, I was hoping for something different than a Mahi Mahi.
Once again I caught another Mahi Mahi, on the hand line, of coarse this happened just when I went to lay down for a sleep, typical, so I just left it to wear itself out.

After I woke up, I was not in the best of moods, as we have had to change coarse some, and we have been rocking and rolling so bad all day, it has not let up at all, that and one angry ocean, does not make a great combination.

I hate it when it's like this, you can not do anything but hold on tight.

I decided to pull the fish in, and let it go, so that's one lucky fish.

And here I sit its 9.30pm and I'm on first watch once again, watching a few scary clouds on the radar, and hoping they turn into nothing.

We have seen three ships in the radar today, which was exciting, but only one got close enough to see, it was a huge car carrier. 

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 10th September 2013

2013-09-10

Tuesday 10th September 2013

Day 23

09°25'S. 125°14'W.

789nm to go.

6.30am

Well first off a big Happy Birthday to The Captain's daughter Marian, I know you would of had a great day. xxx

9am
Oh boy it's rough, we are going through the worst seas ever.
I don't even know how to explain it to be honest.

We had to change coarse early in the day, as the way we were going we would not make it to the Marquies at all.

The only downside was that is was going to be a very rolly, uncomfortable, ride.

Well uncomfortable was not the word, it was shocking.
I was so tired as I only had a few hours sleep, but no matter what, I could not sleep in these conditions.

We even wedged cushions under the mattress to try and stop us rolling off, but nothing worked, the rolls were shocking, we would get rolled over so far to one side than back to the other side.
It was so bad that we could not even go down below.

The strain was showing, with a snappy moment between Captain and crew, we decided to change coarse to try and settle it down some.
This resulted in sheer horror.

I can honestly say I have never and never ever want to experience, an ocean as ugly as this ever again.

It was horrible, we had 25knts and over of wind, gusting gale force, 15 to 20 foot waves sometimes more, and choppy as hell.

The waves were crashing the whole time on top of us, we were getting thrown every which way.

At least three times the boat even stopped dead in the water, this we can not explain, it was like the anchor was down and firmly held in place and we were going no where.

Aut ( the auto pilot ) could not cope at all, and Just kept turning off, which resulted in just making it worse, we would spin all around wildly.

In amongst all this mess was a commercial fishing vessel. That the AIS sure told us was around as the alarm was constantly blaring away, the whole time, we just had to ignore it and hope like hell it stayed out if our way. 

The Captain tried everything he possible could to get some control, of the situation, from hand steering, racing from one winch to the other, letting sails loose, tightening them up pushing buttons on Aut ( when it worked ) but nothing seemed to help, even starting the engine, and trying to power through it did not help, which ended up with the kill switch, broken and having to lift the floor boards to turn off the engine.

I tried just to stay out of his way, and let him fight with it, I felt so helpless, but he assured me, it was better to just let him do it.

I just sat on the top of the companion way steps and held on, tears streaming down, I was so scared.

This one particular wave hit and I sat helplessly watching my laptop, go airborne off the nav table, and crash onto the floor, it actually dented the floor it hit so hard, and just watched it slide and smash from one side of the boat too the other, I could do nothing about it but just watch.

then everything went flying, doors flying off lockers, the contents flying everywhere, Vic's laptop in our cabin, crashed onto the floor, along with all the baskets their contents dumped all over the place, and the galley OMG, what a mess.
There was so much stuff on the floor, that you could hardly, even see the floor, in every single cabin.
Even in our most roughest conditions all this stuff is usually secure and stays put.

The next big wave, resulted in so much water on the boat it was almost on our side again, then it washed off a gas bottle that was on the side deck, and all my fresh bait, I was so not happy about that one, and the strain on the sails, resulted in a bracket thingy snapping off the main mast, The Captain had to go out in all this to tie the mast with a stay rope so it would still work.

And it just did not let up for hours on end, by this time we were both so exhausted, it was sheer madness, but eventually the choppy seas settled some, and the wind has died down a lot, but it's still rough and sleep is very hard to do.

Am sitting here so upset holding on with a death grip, just hoping that it goes back to normal soon, we are both reaching breaking point.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 11th September 2013

2013-09-11

Wednesday 11th September 2013

Day 24

08° 36'S. 127° 19'W. 

678nm to go

4.30am

And still it continues, man it's rough.
Every part of me is hurting, from being thrown around so much.

I managed to get a few hours sleep and The Captain is sound asleep at the moment.

But we sure have some catching up to do.

I just hope the ocean settles down enough so we can get some decent sleep through the day.

10am

Yes, it's finally settled down.
We have changed coarse and heading in the right direction once again, but this time we have calm seas, not dead calm, but so so nice compared to yesterday.

So we are gently rocking side to side, doing about 5knts, sitting here enjoying a coffee, and the beautiful day we are having, seems perfect hey.

Well I thought so, not so The Captain. He wants to put up the pole for the Yankee  as he thinks we need to adjust are bearings just a touch, I'm saying leave it alone look how nice it is.

Does he listen nope, does he ever nope....hahaha

So out he goes and puts up his damn pole, me am thinking there goes the nice ride.
Well to my surprise its not too bad at all, maybe a bit more rocking, but not bad, The Captain, just gives me that I told you so look, and off he goes to have a look at the Water maker.

The water maker, stopped working yesterday, and we are starting to get desperate, for water, we let it run down too low, not on purpose, but after another big wash, and hosing down the deck the other day after filleting the fish, used a fair amount of it.

Normally we would just catch up on and off for the next few days, but having rolly seas and the rough weather yesterday, we could not make any.
If you roll to far to one side you get an air lock in the hoses and it can't draw in water, this happens a lot.
He thought that's was all it was, but no, not this time, man here we go again.

The roll is getting a bit more serious, and there is not much chance of making water.
So up The Captain comes and announces, that he is going to take the pole down, and hope that settles the roll.
This time I have that look on my face...haha

To take down the pole is not so easy as you have to roll in the sail first, take the pole off and then let the sail back out again.
It usually works like clock work, but not so this time.

I notice a tear in the sail, near the end, which resulted in, when the sail rolled in, it got all tangled, and would not roll out again...far out.

I was down below, and The Captain yells out, that he needs my help.
I come barreling up the steps, with fear in my heart, thinking a big storm is about to hit.
But no thank god just a huge tangle.

We wrestle with this thing for ages, both on each side of the boat at the winches, letting it out, taking it in, etc.
Eventually we get it to unfurl...yay

And it works, we have settled down, once again, he goes back to check the water maker, nope not working, out comes the manual. :-/
Nothing happening, we are starting to get concerned, as we still have about 5 days left and what happens if we run out of water.

We both were in desperate need of a shower, and I so needed to wash my hair.

But after fiddling around for awhile he gets it working...yay only for it to stop again, no yay.
This goes on for awhile, and finally she starts making water...yes.

By this time my bread has finished baking, well actually bread rolls, yeap you heard right not only can I make bread, but now rolls as well...haha
But they don't look, much like a normal roll should, but they taste good, and it sure is a lot easier that having to slice the bread all the time.

So next breakdown, as The Captain was getting in the pole earlier he noticed the life line had broken, on the starboard side....never ends hey.

This is major, as when we are out there you really depend on these guys to stop you falling over board.
Some Clip has broken away, The Captain searches through all the spares and can't find the right fitting, so he goes out and fixes it with some rope, that will hold until when can get it fixed properly.

It seems not only The Captain and crew fell apart from the horror seas yesterday, but the boat did as well, lucky most are small repairs, but we are starting to get a long list of repairs once again.

As for me I spend a very large chunk of the day, cleaning sorting and rearranging stuff, man was I tired in the end, so much for all the catch up sleep I needed, at least The Captain got a good couple of hours.
 
And now the generator has stopped working...far out.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Thursday 12th September 2013

2013-09-12

Thursday 12  September 2013

Day 25

08°40'S. 129°20'W. 

565nm to go

6am

We still have nice seas, man if it only stays like this the rest of the trip I will be so so happy.

Once again we are having problems with sail mail.
Apparently you are only allowed 90 minutes air time a week.
We have gone way over that, and it sent us a message a few days back, saying we need to limit our usage.

So I did by only going on twice a day.
Apparently that's not enough and now they won't send any more messages, only receive.

This is a worry as the last message I sent to the family, was that we were having rough seas and now I can't send anymore.

I looked up there manual...seems like all we do hey is have our heads buried in one manual or another.

They say if you send an email to them they might give you more time, but only for an emergency, crossing oceans is not a emergency in their books so The Captain is going to nut out a email and hope they will give us some extra time, if we behave ourselves.

Well it looks like we don't need to send that email after all, as they have let us back on, we are going to be very careful and only check twice a day, from now on.

The generator is back working again another great deed by none other than the resident Mr fix it man, he is very chuffed with himself...hahah

And the water maker is slowly making water once again, this is a huge relief.

As for me I have finally got the boat back in order, and she is sparkling again, pity I'm not.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Friday 13th September 2013

2013-09-13

Friday 13th September 2013

Day 26

08°19'S. 130°38W

401nm to go

3.30am

Just sitting doing nothing, trying to keep myself awake, I so so hate this watch  I do anything and everything to try and stay awake.

I check the radar, no ships, or big scary clouds, I check the map, yeap kinda going in the right direction, I get up and look out and all around, this to me always seems just a huge waste of time, as its so pitch black you can see nothing. 
And on and on it goes, I am really struggling to stay awake, I think it's because I have warn myself out too much the last few days.

We decided to have a day off today as we really need it.

The strain of not enough sleep is taking its toll.
I actually had two sleeps through the day, and I think The Captain was the same.

But I'm still feeling very tired and run down, so what do I do, I cook, so much for the day off...haha

But anyway at least we have food or a few days.
I try to cook stuff that is easy to snack on though the night watches, as you really need something that you can grab quick, and get back up on watch.

Not that we stress too much about being back up there the whole time, as we have the two alarms set always,and boy do they let you know, if something is getting close, it goes off with such a ear piercing sound.
Many a times you will be down stairs, and the alarm goes off, you come barreling up the gangway, heart racing, trying to silence it so it does not wake the other up, and thinking your getting run over by a cargo ship, to find its just a cloud....haha

I really think we are both so used to it going off, that we just sleep through it anyway.

As for the ocean, well it's still nice, gently swell, a few rolls here and there,but  this is nice sailing.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 14th September 2013

2013-09-14

Saturday 14th September 2013

Day 27

08°27'S 133°46'W

363nm to go

5pm

Yeah you read right have been a bit slack today and have not written any thing all day.

I'm just way too tired, I can't seem to shake this warn out feeling, at all, no matter how much sleep I get through the day nothing is helping.

I've been watching a mini series on the hard drive that was downloaded ages ago, and even though I have seen it before, I could not remember a lot of it.
This has kept me entertained a fair bit, as it had thirteen episodes, so I have chilled and watched it on and off all day.

The Captain has also been chilling, and just reading, we both so much needed this day.

The ocean is picking up a bit, the waves are getting a bit bigger and choppy, but still ok.

This afternoon I caught myself another, wait for it... Mahi Mahi....hahaha
Serious it is the only fish out here in this ocean, I swear, they must be the kings, and rule the whole pacific, or just plain dumb and get suckered into the bait.

I let him wear himself out for ages, than we had to make the decision to bring it onboard or let it go.

It was getting very late in the afternoon, and I really did not feel like going ten rounds with this guy, trust me that's what it really feels like.

Man you think they are so warn out, almost dead, but don't let them fool you.
Actually they do every time, you would think we would have learnt our lesson by now.

It's alway a joint effort, when we get one online, I mostly reel it in, to the back of the boat, than The Captain takes over, he brings it around to the side, I have the net in hand and together we lift it up and onto the boat.
Now this little sucker, will be all quiet, sometimes kick a bit, and you think yes, this one is gonna be easy, until you place it on deck.

It's like something clicks in its brain, and they go mental, serious it's like it's possessed, it kicks it bucks, it showers everything with blood and scales, than it changes colour, it goes from the brilliant blue, green and yellow, to silver and blue, it's the strangest thing, then it gets its second wind, goes mental once more, than dies and the yellow, green colour comes back.

We watch this every time in wonder, at a very safe distance, I tell you, we have learnt too stay way, out of their way.

But this guy we finally decided to let go, the main reason being that we still have not built back up our water supply, and you need a lot to clean up after the kill.
As per usual, it would not just get off the hook by itself, this only happens when you want to keep it, so we lift it up and grab a pair of pliers get the hook out and watch it swim away. Another lucky fish.

And once again we settle in for a long night, ahead.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Sunday 15th September 2013

2013-09-15

Sunday 15th September 2013

Day 28

08°43'S. 134°55'W. 

295nm to go

5am. 

Well The Captain has let me sleep longer than usual, it's so nice of him, to do this, but I always feel so guilty as then he never gets enough sleep.

I still feeling very wasted, and again not much got done today.

The main reason is because it is so rough.
Yeap are beautiful ocean has turned on us once again, it's not really choppy, just big waves that throw us so far one side to the other.
And they are big, we are getting tossed around so bad, I hate it like this, it wears you out so much, not too mention the mess it makes down below and just trying to do anything well it's just hopeless.

We had anther break in the early hours of the morning, the main sails rope chaffed through.
At least this time it's has lasted almost a month, which is a great improvement from only lasting three days.
 
This is an easy fix, that The Captain, has had a lot if practice at...haha
But in this kind of ocean, it's not gonna happen, it just way too rough.

So that's three out of four sails needing repairs, not a good track recorded this trip and we also have to repair the Yankee pole as well.

But we are getting closer to land, only a few days left with any luck, than we will have completed our biggest crossing that we will most likely do our whole sailing life.

It's been a long hard trip, but we will be able to say, that these too oldies have sailed a 65foot boat all the way across the pacific, not many would have done this without a boat load of extra crew.

Maybe it would of been easier with extra aboard, but we have coped and it's just really nice, just being the two of us.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 16th September 2013

2013-09-16

Monday 16th September 2013

Day 29

08°55'S. 136°36'W

195nm to go

2.30am

Am here I am once more, The Captain once again let me sleep a bit longer, and I think it has finally paid off.
I'm not feeling so wrung out anymore, sure I'm tired, but not that bone weary tired that I have felt for so many days.

We still have rough seas, man these waves are big. Everything is hurting, from holding on so tight for so long.

I have to say we have not had many nice days, to really enjoy this trip, and I for one will be so glad to sea land once again.
It's been way too long.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 17th September 2013

2013-09-17

Tuesday 17th September 2013

Day 30

09°22'S. 138°40'W. 

80nm to go sort of.

7am

Well there is great excitement on this here vessel, we are getting close, in fact so close that we actually have slowed the boat down.

Yeah I know it's hard to believe, but we don't want to reach the island that we are going to in the dark.
We still have about 20 hours to go, so we are just going to sail this way and that, inching closer the whole time.

But wait in about 15nm or 4 hours, we will see the first of The Marquises islands.....yay yay yay 
The first land sighting in over 30 days...OMG I'm so excited. :-)

There are ten islands of the Marquises, and the one that we are going to is the biggest, this one is called Nuka Hiva.

So finally we will have something different to look at, other than ocean, these are all volcanic islands, so they rise up big out of the ocean, which should be easy to see.

As for the ocean at the moment who cares...haha
No it's still very rolly and you really have to hold on, but hey we are gonna see land, yay yay yay. :-)  

AND WE CAN SEE IT, LAND AHOY.

its huge staring at us coming right out of the ocean.
This one is called Fatu Huka.
It was so funny we have been chatting away about all the islands, and making sure we don't hit any, and then saying we should be able to see it as its 1000 ft high, and we both look up and there it is.

Well there is some cheering going on I can tell you. :-)

30 days at seas, looking at nothing but water and now we see land OMG, this is great.

We are like little school kids, here, you would swear we have never seen land before in our lives...haha
Trust me when you have been this long looking at nothing but water, it sure feels like it.

So this little island, I should just call it a massive rock cause that's all it really is, you can really see that it was or still is a Volcano, well I guess it will always be a Volcano, just active or not, well this was on are starboard side, and on our Port side, is another huge island, you can just make it out, this one is called Hiva Oa.

Then sadly they went out of site, god damit, nothing but water again, :-(
But in all fairness it is dark...haha
No they actually were out of site before it got dark. 

Seeing land started a hive of activity, to get this ship of ours, back into shipshape...haha
With a massive tidy up, from top to bottom, we are so ready now, so come on bring on all the officials so we can check in, they can inspect the boat and we can plant our feet on something solid.
I can't wait.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 18th September 2013

2013-09-18

Wednesday 18th September 2013

Day 31

09°01'S. 139°49'W. 

17nm to go to the entrance of the bay....yay yay yay

3.30am

Are we there yet?

Hahaha, so so close, about 4hours to go, man it's going so slow.

We have passed in the night two more islands, one called Ua Huka, to our starboard and one called Ua Pou to our port.

These we could not see in the dark, but the Captain said he could make out a beacon light off one of them, on his watch.

And here I sit on my watch,having no problems at all staying awake, it's just all too exciting, with some nervous energy thrown in.

It will not be long until I see land again, but am a bit worried as its dark and The Captain left me with orders to not run into any... :-/

While I wait, I thought I would just jot down the things that have broken along the way and man we have had some stuff let us down.
The most important, we will try and get fixed here, if possible, but we don't plan to stay long, as Tahiti is the place we need to get too, so we can get the rest fixed, another 6-7 day ocean sail...:-(

1. So the wind Nav thingy is still not working.

2. The speed through water thingy has stopped Woking.

3.  The AIS still needs looking into, although we have it working, but it keeps flashing an error message.

4. The Spinnaker pole end broke off, but now repaired.

5. The water maker is playing up.

6. The generator stopped working, but has been repaired.

7. The kill switch stopped working on the engine, but now has decided to start working again.

8. My favourite Blender, that makes the best smoothies, got thrown on the floor, and refused to play anymore, has now been repaired, and working great again, just looking a bit worse for wear.

9. The many leaks have been repaired except for a few.

10.  We noticed a knocking noise near the back of the boat, a few weeks ago, which after some looking around by The Captain, uncovered that there is what they call a stuffing box, for the rudder, and it looks like the stuffing is stuffed...haha, ( just needs more packed in )

11. The staysail, has a tear in it, not real bad but needs fixing.

Now all the rest happen with the horrible day of strong winds and big sea.

12. We lost the new gas bottle, The Captain is still crying over this.
 I lost all my bait, I'm crying harder over this.

13.  A thingy that holds down ropes for the mainsail, broke, The Captain has fixed this.

14.  The Yankie sail, trim is coming apart.

15. The  Yankie furling tube has come apart.

16. yesterday we noticed a rip in that sail as well, this has to be repaired before we go anywhere else.

17. One of the lifelines broke, the Captain has repaired it, for now.

18. The day before I found half a split pin on deck, we found out it broke away from the gooseneck of the main boom, this one could of been very serious, as a loose swinging boom would not be fun, it's tied in place and will be repaired before we leave. 

So I think that's about it at the moment, I sure hope so.

And we are coming into the bay as I type it's 9.30am, man I can't wait to go ashore.

So it's taking us 31 days and traveled just over 3700nm, or 7400klm of nothing but water.

To date we have done just over 9000nm which in Klm is 18,000 man just think about that traveling 18,000 Klm across water, it does my head in and we still have a long way to get home yet.

And we are here feet firmly on land...:-)

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 19th September 2013

2013-09-19

Thursday 19th, september 2013

Well here we are in Taiohae, on the island of Nuka Hiva in the Marquises.

What a pretty place this is, it really has a nice feel about it, the local people are all very friendly, although most speak French, but understand English as well.
Even though its very third world, its also a very clean place, you can tell they have pride in their little island

Today was catch up day on the Internet and than organise with a local guy here, from what they call yacht services, Kevin the owner is American, so that's good, we can understand him.
He has been organising to get our repairs done, check into the place  laundry, basically anything, yeah he does it all.

We sit at the local little, cafe, if you can call it that, it's kinda plastic chairs and tables, they serve food and drinks, and wash the dishes in a tub outside, but very clean as well, well kinda with dogs, cats and chickens running around your feet. 
They let you use their WiFi if you buy something.
It's on the waters edge surrounded by little market like places, a kinda shop here and there, locals cleaning their daily catch, hanging fish slices out to dry, just a mixed bag, of anything and everything
.
So what do we do when we land on land? we order a fresh
 fruit juice, yeah we are so hanging out for fresh fruit and veggies.
They make this juice from bananas, grapefruit, and papaya and it taste so good, we had to have two just to make sure....haha

So a good chunk of the day was spend on the Internet, catching up on the last month that we have missed.
The Captain left several times to run errands, and I went off to the local fruit and veg market to check them out.

I came back with two bags full, man I could have brought heaps more, I decided to try a few local fruits that we have not had before, the main one was a grapefruit, or as they are really called a pamplemousse, they are about the size of a rock melon, and look like a green orange. 
Well I could not wait to get back to the boat and try it.
It's a strange flavour it's kinda sweet, it's like eating a lime green orange, and tastes like a orange, lemon and lime all mixed in together, we are sure going to buy more of these that's for sure.
I also got some dried bananas, these are in a long rubber type roll tied with string, and wrapped in bamboo. you just unwrap it and just slice it, once again a strange flavour, kinda like dried dates. 
I think I may make some scones with these, or just eat them as they are.

As I'm sitting here with my ipad on my lap and my laptop on the table, and The Captains laptop next to that, yeah I did say I had a lot of catching up to do.
We actually where downloading stuff on all of these.
Anyway the owner of the place, a guy called, Henry comes up behind me and looks at my laptop and my screen saver is of my three kids, and he points to Bek and says is that you, and I laugh and say no it's my daughter, he says well she looks like you, than looks at Madd and says huh Brittany Spears....hahaha
Poor Madd I still laugh every time I think about it, and Madd no you do not look like here at all, we are talking a very small island here, they are really cut off from the real world. 

And life goes on, we go back to the boat,and start the hundred and one repairs, until we are just too tired to go on.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 20th September 2013

2013-09-20

Friday 20th September 2013

Well the day started off as per usual got a few things done on board than, into the dingy we carefully climb, have I mentioned how rolly this anchorage is?
Man it's rough, nothing like the ocean of coarse but still very very rolly.

When we climbed into the dingy the first day here, we were really shocked to see, how much growth is on the bottom of the boat, as The Captain said there is enough shell fish on here, to make shell chowder for the whole island, for weeks....haha

Not sure if they eat this kinda shell fish (barnacles) but you never know, they used to be eat people, yeap they were one of the last islands to stop, having human Potluck...hahaha
Actually there was a guy a few years back that was supposedly taken pig shooting and was eaten, so The Captain read in our cruisers guide, so no pig shooting for us.
You know you look around and you can easily imagine the cannibals still being out there, it's such rugged, mountains all around.

So we have the rolly seas to contend with, Cannibals, and Sharks, yeap that's another one the book warned us about.

I actually asked one of the guys here if it was safe to swim, and he said sure, I said what about sharks, he said, yeah there are a lot here but they are harmless, he also said although I would not swim, when they bring their catch in for the day and clean it, right near where we were standing. (I very carefully backed away from the edge).

There was a lot of dolphins around as we were sailing into the bay the other day, and I swear I saw a shark fin go through the water, guess I was right.
So now we get to shore and have to climb up a very steep ladder, with a death grip on it I tell you.

We still have a fair amount of Internet stuff to sort out as the connection is really slow, so it's taking its time.

While The Captain is busy I decide to go check out some of the local supermarkets, they actually have three here, but they are all pretty much the same, as they are in all the third world countries, just very small Chinese owned, and all in French this time.

So I go in armed with a list, trying to work out what it all is, some things are in English as well, but the prices are not.

Any way I get a dozen or so things, and go to pay for it and I don't have enough money, when they say that's 9,000 thanks you almost have a heart attack, but it ends up being $90.00 US dollars, well I only had about $60.00, so totally embarrassed I hand some stuff back and walk out with less than10 items, for $60 bucks are they crazy, I actually felt sick that it cost so much, we will not be getting a huge amount of supplies here I tell you.

But as I strolled back the Klm or so and just took in the surroundings, and looked out over the water and saw Wind Wanderer, floating there  surrounded by huge mountains, I felt so very lucky to be living the life we are living, just wish I'd had my camera with me.

Then we went back to the boat to meet up with a guy who was taking down are sails to get repaired, he also, did a few other odd bits and pieces as well, and tomorrow was coming back to do more and clean the bottom of the boat for us.

Sean another Aussie guy came over for happy hour drinks and a nice night was had by all.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 21st September

2013-09-21

Saturday 21st September 2013

I woke early this morning, after a great sleep, man I slept the sleep of the dead, I don't think I moved at all through the night.

We wanted to go in early to shore today as they have local markets on the water front, and they usually start around 4.30am and finish about 9am, yeah I know crazy hey, I can understand now why all the shops close for lunch from 11.30am, to 2am, they are all catching up on their missed sleep.

So we land ashore at about 6.30am and it's all over except the fruit and veggies stall, so we stock up on them and then decide we might as well go up to the supermarket again and just get a few last things, as everything is closed on Sundays.

Kevin was at the waters edge at a table cleaning his fish, he had caught some really really big Tuna, put our little one to shame that we almost landed on board.
He is throwing heads and guts and stuff into the water, I look around just in time to see a shark fly up and grab it, god it gave me the creeps, he just laughed and said I like to call this the Shark show.
I can tell you I sure was freaking out as I climbed back into our dingy.

So back on board The Captain gets down to fixing stuff and myself the same in between downloading heaps of Movies, and books, from a hard drive that Sean lent us, man I was in heaven I tell you, it will be so great to watch something new, and the books there is hundreds of them, we have enough now to go around the world heaps of times.

And on and on it goes.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 22nd September 2013

2013-09-22

Sunday 22nd September 2013

First off I want to wish my sister Myree a very Happy Birthday, I hope you have a great day, lots of love. xxx

Well today is the day we leave once again.
We have so much to do its crazy, and it's pouring rain, damn it.

I wanted to go have a last look around and take some pics, that's not gonna happen.

So we worked flat out getting everything ready, closing up, packing away, tying down, rearranging  and getting this ship of ours sea worthy again.

It took all day, but we managed to up the anchor, with several attempts as the chain is still piling up in the locker, which results in a mountain of chain and no room for anymore, so The Captain, as to go and knock down the mountain and then race back up and try again, he is so not happy about this I can tell you.

But as we motor out of the bay, I kinda feel a bit sad, I would of loved to stay longer and explore this place a bit more, but Tahiti is calling us.
And out into the wild blue ocean we once again return.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 23rd September 2013

2013-09-23

Monday 23rd September 2013

Day 1

10°08'S. 140°56'W

755nm to go.

And here we sit once again, I'm really sure now that we have lost our minds.
Serious it's so rough once again, it's like being on a roll a coaster that never ends.
Man I tell you theme park rides will never be the same, their rides will seem so lame now compared to what we have to put up with.

Neither of us got much sleep last night so that's two nights for me now with very little sleep.
We both have tried several times to sleep through the day with still no luck. 
There is some grumpy people on this boat...hahaha

Well the day has just dragged on, each trying desperately to get some sleep, The Captain managed a few hours finally, me well none but at least when this watch is over I will try.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Tuesday 24th September 2013

2013-09-24

Tuesday 24th September 2013

Day 2

11°10'S. 142°13'W

575nm  to go.

4am

Well here I sit having had a few hours sleep, man it's been rough again, the wind picked up big time and The Captain has been fiddling with sails most of his watch.

I tried so hard to sleep, and did managed a few hours so I guess that better than none.

We have had rain on and off all day and have done nothing but zip the covers up and down all day.
It's getting hot again, so you cannot keep the covers down for too long.

And now, we have no wind, from around lunch time, the wind has dropped off to nothing, and when we do get some, it's just in all different directions.
the Captain has been busy all day changing and fiddling with sails, but most times, we can not get past 2 knts.

This is crazy it will take us weeks and weeks to get there.

As for my fishing, I'm a bit too tired to bother at the moment, but I did find a Huge flying fish on deck, so decided I just couldn't let that go to waste, so rerigged my hand line, and that's been out all day with no luck at all, tomorrow I'll fiddle with my rod and put that out as well.

Talking about fish, I made a fish and veggie pie for dinner tonight, and after cooking for almost 3 hours, I have a problem with the potatoes we have here.
They don't seem to cook like normal potatoes, back home. They are very yellow in colour and they just don't cook right.
I have tried several times to make hot chips, or fries for you Americans, but they don't go crunchy at all, and last night I tried to boil them to make mash potatoes, and just could not get them soft enough.

But the pie turned out great, thank god, because I had made a big pan of it.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 25th September 2013

2013-09-25

Wednesday 25th September 2013

Day 3

12°00'S. 143°19'W.  492nm to go

4.15am

I sit here trying so hard to open my eyes and focus, man I hate getting woken up, at this ungodly hour, and after only three hours of broken sleep.

Several times it rained through the night, so I was jumping up and down zippering covers up and down.

We are now motor sailing, as there is still no wind, to speak off.

5.30am

Am sitting here still, trying to stay awake, the loss of sleep over the last few days has finally hit, and I'm feeling like I could just lay down and sleep for days straight.
At the moment I'm watching the sun slowly start to peak it's head out, it's looks as tired as me, and struggling to break through the mass of clouds around. But it is pretty, you never get sick of watching it rise, and turning the sky with pinks, orange and yellows.

It's been a day of storms, rain, and very little wind.
I have not done a great deal of anything, have just hit that brick wall, I so need some sleep.

the Captain has been changing sails on and off all day, we even motor sailed for awhile as well.

As for the fishing! Nothing not even a single flying fish has landed on deck.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 26th September 2013

2013-09-26

Thursday 26th September 2013

Day 4

13°08'S. 144°46'W 389nm to go

1am

Well here I sit once more, I managed to sleep about 4 hours which was great but just not enough.
Am just so so dog tired.
I have been jumping up and down changing directions, as what little wind we have, is changing directions all the time.

 7am, well after another three hours sleep, I'm up making bread, and banana cake type bread.

Yeah I know it was early and even before my first coffee, but if today is anything like yesterday, with me being so tired, I figured if I got it done early at least I could relax the rest of the day.

So what has happened all day, not much.
It's been cloudy, rainy, stormy, and very little wind.

We are getting close to a group of islands, and should come near them sometime tomorrow morning, these islands are called, the Tuamotus Islands, they stretch hundreds of miles, they are only a few feet high the highest thing on them is palm trees.
As you can see we so need to be extra careful going through these, we have worked out a gap, of twenty miles, to go through and then we turn and go through another gap.
A lot of ships through the years have been wrecked in here so we are being so so careful.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 27th September 2013

2013-09-27

Friday 27th September 2013

Day 5

13°57'S. 146°23'W 286nm to go

4am

And here I sit once again, I have to say, no matter what I do I can't shake off this tired feeling, maybe it's that we have just not caught up from our big hop yet.
I have an eagle eye the radar, as the first lot of islands are about 20 odd nm away, well that's whats on the charts at least, I'm a bit worried as we know from previous charts some islands just do not show up on them at all.

Well I have slept on and off almost all day, do I feel any better? Not really, well maybe a little.

We saw our first boat in five days yesterday, was a bit of excitement, it was not a huge boat, more like an island ferry or maybe a fishing boat.

I have to say in The Captains words, a good track record at the moment with my cooking.
I made a fish pie the other day, which was really nice, and we dined on it for several days.
Then some more bread, I had not made any for awhile, so was a bit worried I'd lost my touch, but nope, one of my best so far.
Then yesterday was the Banana cake/bread, man this was so good.

So tonight I made pizza, yeah I surprised The Captain and myself, as he said how can you find any ingredients for pizza? Well we had some canned ham, can Chicken (that does not taste or look like Chicken) Avocado and cheese with a few herbs thrown in and man they tasted good and finally some choc chip cookies, these as well are good.

So you can see I'm on a roll with the cooking but not so the fishing, still nothing at all, not even a bite.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 28th September 2013

2013-09-28

Saturday 28th September 2013

Day 6

15°16'S. 147°07'W  196nm to go

7am

Well The Captain let me sleep for 5 hours and man do I feel good.

Well we can see land, yay

We have gone past a few islands already but could not see them until now.

This looks just like a line of palm trees, crazy and this one is actually has people living on it, only about 60 odd but still it seems crazy.
We have not got real close as its way too shallow, but we can still make them out on the Horizon
Well we can see beach and palm trees. And islands a lot of islands, they are in a long line going for miles, we have one more to pass, but this one we may not see, as it should be about 20odd nm away.
We are now clear of them all, we a huge sigh of relief and on we go.

We have had such a beautiful day, very light winds, sun shining and calm seas, it actually hot. As for fish, nothing :-( not even a hint of one.

But the calm seas, and sun has made up for it, we would have to say this has been our best day on the ocean so far.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Sunday 29th September 2013

2013-09-29

Sunday 29th September 2013

Day 7

17°19'S. 149°05'W


6pm

Well it's 6pm, we have a lighthouse blinking in the distance on our starboard and ship lights coming up behind us on our port and a plane in the sky.
Man this is getting busy hahaha.

We are about 20nm off Tahiti, and it's dark.
All day we have tried to slow the boat down so we can get there in daylight, but its was not meant to be, so we have headed back out away from land, which seems all wrong.
But if you could see the nav charts that we are looking at you would understand, there is no way you wanna go in here in the dark, it's just way too many coral reefs, so we will sail around here until daylight then we will head once again back to shore.

I just caught a fish, yay yay, but it's dark no yay
We decided to bring it close to the boat so we could just see what it was, well it's the strangest looking fish, a very beaky mouth, and very thin and long, I have a fish ID app so I look it up and we think it must be a ribbon fish, it's not something we want to eat, it just looks wrong so if its still there in the morning I will use it for bait.

Well my fish was gone...:-( we so wanted to see this guy in the morning, but no, oh well we may catch another one.

Oh and we had the biggest flying fish I have ever seen on deck this morning, this guy was a monster.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 30th September 2013

2013-09-30

Monday 30th September 2013

Day 8

17°35'S. 149°37'W

So after just over 783nm we are here, shaken and stirred, man have we had a shocking 12 hours or so.
It's been rough and we have been hammered with big sea, big waves and strong winds.
While I was asleep The Captain decided to overshoot the entrance for awhile so I could sleep a bit longer, never again, this resulted in having to beat into the wind, and a wild angry ocean, for hours on end to try and get back to the entrance.
I can tell you we were so exhausted when we finally got there, and then there is the channels, with coral reefs right on both sides, that wind around for miles.
We had to have an eagle eye on all the markers to make sure we would not go too far to either side.
But we made it a lot greyer than when we first got here and are now firmly anchored to the bottom.
What's this place like? Well I have not touched land yet, The Captain went ashore, just to get a bit of info, and tomorrow we will go and start sorting out all the stuff that needs doing.
From what I can see from the boat, it looks like every other island we have been to so far, but with a lot more buildings.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 1st October 2013

2013-10-01

Tuesday 1st October 2013

Well man did we sleep, although we still slept in the cockpit, as its so hot. It even rained and we did not wake up, and we had all the covers up and all.

I have to say its in the most cleanest water we have been in, in a long time.
The Captain has been running around all day, we had some breakages along the way surprise, surprise.
The bracket that broke from the main sail, that he repaired in the Marquesis, broke again, so it has taken him all day to get it off, and he took it into a local guy here to have welded, that is now done, but the bolts that hold it in place, well these guys go through the fitting, through the deck and into the saloon and are about 25cm long, they are huge, one was damaged while he was getting it out, so he had to run into town to get some more threaded rod, so the local guy can make another one for us, that's ongoing.

The shroud that needs repairing he has got off and taken it in to this guy as well, now the guy does not have the right fittings for this, so while The Captain was in town he went to a riggers to see if they had the right fitting and no such luck, so the local guy has to now order the part in from New Zealand, man it's gonna cost us a fortune, and we have getting it flown here as quick as possible, so we may have to sell our souls to pay for it all...haha
The gooseneck for the main boom, a fitting on it broke away and that needs repairing as well.

Me well as per usual I cleaned and organised the boat once again, with a few cold showers...man it's hot.
Finally I decided it was time a set foot on land.
There is a couple here living on their boat who is friends of a friend of The Captain's.
Of course he is South African and she is French, they have been living this life for well over 35years and are as happy as can be.
Eric and Daphne are really lovely people, and he looks just like The Captain, serious it's scary how much they look alike, they have been here for well over 12 months and even the locals are Getting them mixed up.
I'm starting to wonder if some wild oats were sewn many years ago...hahaha

So anyway Eric takes The Captain into town, as they have a car, and while they do that they drop me off at the local bar, where I can catch up on some much deprived Internet.
I sit and order a white wine, and about 5mins I start to feel one of my pain attacks starting, I go into panic mode as they only speak French and I wanted to order some ice cream or something to slow it down some, as there was nowhere I could go or contact The Captain.
With a lot of broken English I managed to get through to them what I wanted, or it may of been the look of pain on my face, that did it.

It was a bad one, with me ending up dropping everything and spending a long long time in the Rest Room, :-(
The ice cream eventually worked, and it all settled down again, but it left me so exhausted and fragile, I just hate it, and this time it was nothing I ate, so must of just been stress.

Anyway The Captain came back to pick me up as we were going to the local grocery store, but that didn't happen he got me back to the boat and I just slept for an hour or so and felt fine again.
Eric and Daphne came over for a few drinks, and we had a nice night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 2nd October 2013

2013-10-02

Wednesday 2nd October 2013

Well today was another hot one in down town Tahiti. And man is it hot, from the moment that sun comes out we are pulling down the sun screens in the cockpit, opening hatches and turning on every fan, just to try and cool things down, even a little bit.

As per usual we are still madly fixing up the repairs that need doing, this took a good chunk of the day, then we decided to go to the local supermarket.
This was my first official look around town, well this part of town anyway.

It's just so much like the other places, just a lot more modernise, to be fair I have only seen a little bit of the island so far.
You may think why, well when you come into a place and you have been out in the ocean for a week or two, well you are totally exhausted and you tend to run hard to get things organised, find guys who will do repairs, try and get the boat back in some sort of shape and in amongst it all you hit a brick wall, and man is it a big hard wall.
Myself when I first get to land and start to walk around, my body really hurts, especially my lower back, I guess it's just different muscles, that you have to start using again, so after that long story....hahaha well we don't venture too far from the boat in the first few days or so.

So getting back to the grocery store. Well we are walking away in extreme heat me bitching to myself, trying to find the fun in this, every part of me hurting, dodging chickens, flys, bugs and cars thinking what sort of food are we gonna face, and will I even be able to work any of it out and how dodgy will this one be.
Well wow, surprise surprise we come around a corner and there is a whole shopping centre here, yay yay yay. I'm in heaven....haha there is even clothes shops, shoe shops, newsagent, and the biggest grocery store since leaving America, I can tell you I was like a kid in a candy store.

After failing miserably trying to get a local SIM card, with Internet, we gave up on that one, and me having a quick look in a few clothing stores and seeing the prices, well we gave up on that too, man are they expensive, so onto the grocery store, now this guy is huge, I really could of spent all day here, it was like a department store as well.
But still very expensive, I so wish we had stocked up more in Panama things there were just so cheap.

We had to cut our shopping short as The Captain had to get back to the repair guy and see how long we have to wait for the part that is getting flown here from New Zealand.
It's looking like we will be out of here by Monday all going well.

It was getting onto 5pm by this time, so a quick trip back to the boat drop off all our stuff, grab our computers and off we go back to the little bar here that has free Internet, although it is so so slow it almost drives you crazy, but we managed to catch up on most of the Internet stuff and once again we are back on our on little world and enjoying  
The cool night even though it is sprinkling with rain.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Thursday 3rd October 2013

2013-10-03

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Yeap another hot one, it never ends.

The Captain has managed to get a lot of repairs done, after a trip into the main town with Eric, he managed to get a few bits and pieces that he needed.

Me well cleaning sorting baking, as per usual, I finally have the boat back in shape, well kinda.

I go to sit down and relax and notice as few different type of bugs had flown in over night in our cabin.
Well this started another all out war, not to mention another massive  clean up in our cabin, man my once clean boat looked like a bomb had gone off on it.

So the hunter is back out in full force, well to be honest she had not gone very far anyway.
I have been battling with the never ending fruit flys for god knows how long.
We managed to get some more fly spray at the grocery store and some of those disgusting fly strips, I was actually happy to see them...hahah

I actually think I now have mixed breeds onboard because wherever we go we seem to pick up more and more.
We now have them from Sait Martin, Panama, Ecuador, Nuka Hiva and now it seems we have the local Tahiti ones as well.
Man it's a never ending battle, once again I have the fly strips hanging all over the place and almost every cabin has a can of spray sitting there waiting to be used and boy do we use it, I swear all you see is clouds of this stuff floating all around our boat, seriously you would almost think the boat was on fire some days, there is not much, floating around.
And then we get this invasion of these other bugs man I may as well give up, and god knows how many of these things we must eat, the fruit flies are always on our food and to drink a coffee is a nightmare they are always flying around it and you are forever digging them out  you have to have a thorough  inspection before you drink..... are we having fun yet?


Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 4th Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October 2013

2013-10-06

Friday 4th , Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October 2013

Well today was just another one of cleaning and fixing, in extreme heat.
It never ends.
In the evenings we go ashore at happy hour to the local bar called the Pink Coconut have a drink and try and hook up to their free WiFi, which takes hours it so so slow.

It seems like the colour pink is a popular colour around all the islands, just pastel pink as well as yellow and orange, they seem to use it a lot, even painting their houses as well.

While we were sitting there the other afternoon one of the grass huts just goes floating past on the water it was such a strange site, but they are actually on like a floating boat and they just move them from place to place.

Saturday was the day I wanted to go into the main town.
I really wanted to see a bit more of the island, and try to see something nice about it.

We have heard so many stories about how lovely it is here and so far we have not seen a huge amount of that at all, it is lovely as in the water is crystal clear, and he views of the mountains takes your breath away.

But I was disappointed, it really is just like another Sait Martin.
It has lost it's island charm, and is just another fake island for the tourist, everything is so way over priced and commercial.

We caught a bus in and on the way you look around at all the third world and the modern buildings that would of once looked grand, now just look tired and warn out.
You get to the main town and you can really tell this is what they want the tourist to see, it's just another dog and pony show, all down up in its finery so the tourist can think wow what a place but its not real, it's actually very sad.

So in a saying I hate, " been there done that" we have, its not an island we will ever come back to.

So far we can count them on one hand of the places we want to visit again and spend more time at.
They are Cape Fear in North Carolina,  Bermuda loved Bermuda, Ecuador and Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas. Although there is heaps that we have sailed past that are now on our bucket list as well.

Don't get me wrong the other places are still nice in their own little way and we meet some lovely people along the way and still enjoy ourselves, I guess we are just wanting to find that one island that the natives still live like traditional modern day natives and their island has not been spoiled by tourist.

The one thing that is nice here is they still keep up the traditional canoeing only they have modern day ones of course, but they are everywhere, they have races and all, it's nothing to see at least a five or six always going past sometimes too fast and not looking where they are going, many a times they have hit our anchor chain, it gives you a hell of a fright at first but then you look out, and yeap just another canoe, maybe they have not learned to steer these guys yet...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 7th October 2013

2013-10-07

Monday 7th October 2013

Well we are hoping to get away tomorrow, with any luck.

So of coarse we have been racing all day, who ever says this is an easy life, well you need to see us in pre ocean mode.
Man we cram so much into the last few days its crazy, it's like we are possessed, no wonder we always sail out of a place so totally exhausted.

So we make a final list, and off we go, The Captain needed to go into the main town, to see Port Authority, to fix up some paperwork.
As luck had it Eric came over and offered The Captain a lift into town, which was great.

We jump into our dingy and off they go and leave me to go do the grocery's.
But first I have to walk there, this is something I really did not want to do, not only is it the hottest day ever, I know I say that a lot as well but it really is an over hot one today.
And I gotta walk in it, but I eventually get there cursing everyone and everything...hahaha bitching like crazy.

But at least it's air conditioned inside, yes may just stay here all day, so I start provisioning and cursing once again about these shocking prices, but what can you do.

The Captain finally comes back to meet me, we finish off the last little bit, then off to pay, you really do not want to know what this little exercise cost us, other than we may need to sell our souls soon...haha

Now the big trip back this time pushing and pulling a trolley, over dirt footpaths if you can call them that more like dirt tracks, one pushing and one trying to steer, but we made it sweat pouring and back to the dock.
Now to get it all into the dingy, I climb in first the Captain passes everything to me and I pack it all around me, he then climbs in and off we go to the boat, dodging reefs and a huge block of cement type thing that we hit the other day, it's partly submerged and yeap we were so busy looking at the water, that we hit it, was a bit scary as we thought the dingy would of for sure got a hole in it but all was ok, thank god.
So very carefully we make our way back to the boat, this time I climb up first and The Captain passes everything up to me, then down they all have to go so we ferry this lot done into the boat, by this time I'm feeling like I'm gonna pass out from the heat, so I race and have a cold shower, then I'm faced with sorting replacing jotting down it all so I can add it to my provisioning list, of where it is all going.

Half way through The Captain needed to go to shore to see if the shroud was fixed so he could put that back in place, and so I down tools gather all my washing and head off with him.
Am sitting here in the marinas laundry washing and drying the clothes sweating once again and cursing everything, and this is almost costing more than the groceries, an to put me in a better mood the dryer is crap, we ended up taking it all back to the boat and hanging it up here, in the dark yeap it took that long.

So once again we sit with the boat looking like a Chinese laundry, stepping over groceries and just too plain exhausted to do anything else but have a few nice homemade Dark and Stormy's.
I say home made as you can't buy ginger beer here, or at any of the islands, and you can't have a dark and stormy without ginger beer and of coarse Bermuda's fine dark rum.
I found a Jamie Oliver's version of ginger beer and if I do say so myself it's a fine drop...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 8th October 2013

2013-10-08

Tuesday 8th October 2013

Well today is the day, we are leaving, I was up racing at about 5am, I sorted out the last lot of grocery's and tidied and cleaned this boat from top to bottom.

The Captain was busy getting the shroud back in place, and as per usual it was not going well, the fittings where all the wrong size, so he was going back and forwards racing into shore to get this part and that part fixed.

We eventually get it all done by midday, and once again this boat is ocean ready, we go over and say goodbye to Eric and Daphne and off we go.

This one is only a short trip over to the island of Moorea, about 4 hours.

We have arrived oh man what a pretty island it is just massive volcanic mountains, even though its westernised its still has a nice feel about it,
Once again we feel like this is the right kinda life to be living, I actually was so glad to be out of Tahiti.

The Captain wanted to find the famous Bali hai Hotel, so we could have a drink there and take a few pictures for his daughter Marion.
Marion had done a musical of the South Pacific and if you know that Musical at all the Bali Hai was in it.

But it was not meant to be the hotel has changed names now or so we were told at the first place we went to.
The second place said no its still there and after talking to a couple they told us where it was, we were moored almost out the front of it. But we actually think its still not the original one, and this place was closed for the night anyway.

So after a drink at the second place we headed back to the boat, in pitch black.
We climb onboard and are meet with a boat full of flying bugs that will not be named, they were everywhere The Captain and myself both armed with cans of spray literally sprayed every inch of this boat, and as we sit here looking like the boat is on fire with the cloud of smoke (fly spray) floating all around us, we settle in once again for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 9th October 2013

2013-10-09

Wednesday 9th October 2013

Well we have woken up to this place and man is it pretty and yeap we have a million pics to prove it...haha

Actually words can not explain it it's just stunning, but I gotta run as The Captain is biting at the bit to get going the next stop is Raiatea this is an overnight one and with luck we will be there sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Well here we are again, it's 9pm my watch.
It's a beautiful night gentle seas and gently wind, we are only doing about 3knts but that's fine as we don't want to get to the next island at nighttime, we may even by pass Raiatea and just go to Bora Bora, it is actually the way this ship of ours seems to want to go anyway, or the wind at least.
We are not sure yet I guess we will just have to wait and see.

We have had another sail boat in the distance following us all day, but right at the moment I have no idea where they are. But there is a ship on the radar  off our starboard side about 4nm out but I know that's not the sail boat as they should be on our port side.
I can see lights in the distance, The Captain has just woke up for his watch he checked on the radar it seems to be a ship and its 12nm away, so it must be one big ship.

Well I'm off to sleep, 

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 10th October 2013

2013-10-10

Thursday 10th October 2013

Well it about 12.30am and I'm still awake, I just have to see what ship it was curiosity got the better of me, and it is a Cruise ship man, these guys are big, and must have a thousand lights on the thing.

Well I woke up to land in the distance, yeap we can see  Raiatea in the distance, we had no worries about hitting it in the nighttime as its still hours away and there is not much wind so it's gonna take all day to get there, it's about 2.00pm, and we are at the entrance.
Now we know why we left it to daylight to come in, there is only one safe area to go into, the whole island is surrounded by a coral reef, talk about hairy going in but we made it just fine and what a or pretty place, I have to say these lot of islands out here are just gorgeous.

We motored all around the island very slow just taking it all in and also on the look out for a good anchorage for the night.
We made the decision to go to the next island of Tahaa which is not far away and also you have an entry/ exit out into the ocean very close by.

So once again we motor around this next island to find a nice little sheltered spot to spend the night. We eventually came to a little bay, and with a bit of a struggle, we eventually set the anchor, and here we are in a tropical island in the South Pacific  listening to a cow bellow...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 11th October 2013

2013-10-11

Friday 11th October 2013

So up bright and early, for an early start we are off to Bora Bora.
Now we have read that this island is the prettiest out of all of them, so we are pretty much excited to get there, this one is only about 3-4hours away..

And we are here a bit shaken and stirred ...hahaha was a bit of a rough crossing.
And once again another gorgeous island, is it the prettiest? We actually think Moorea was out of all of them, as it has the massive mountains all around, but this sure is a close 2nd. 

We motored around again to find a nice spot, we eventually decided on a mooring just off a little yacht club/ bar, the first attempt by yours truly to pick up the mooring went well, as you have a big boat hook learning over the side and just have to snag that sucker as quick as possible, and I got it , The Captain races up but the boat won't slow down quick enough and we can't hold it, the wind was blowing really hard.

So take two, with strict orders from The Captain to give him better directions and not try and hold my skirt down with one hand and the boat hook in the other, well my skirt was blowing around my neck almost.
Me a bit huffy as he had not told me to give him directions, I am still learning, and bitching away to myself, as I thought I was so clever but nope we had to turn the whole boat around face it into the wind and try again.
This time with my skirt flapping everywhere boat hook firmly in one hand giving hand directions and a local guy comes out in his dingy and just passes it up to me so so easy The Captain comes up and secures it perfectly.
He was a worker from the yacht club, and after asking him a heap of questions, he could speak English thank god, we can pay to stay the night on the mooring or have a meal at their restaurant and stay for free. Me not having to cook sounded great to me, so we went with option number two.

After a quick shower and into shore clothes, we lowered the dingy and set off.
The pilot book we have says that where we are is only a restaurant and the yacht club is around in the next bay. So we decided to have a look at the other club first, we get there dodging coral reefs, yeap this island has them to it was another very careful entry in here.
We get there and its just a restaurant so we decide to go back to the first one.
We get ashore on a very rocky jetty with the wind blowing so hard I thought it would just blow us straight off it.
Then get to the end and there is a huge gap that you have to jump over to get to land, I look at this and think nope not gonna happen. The Captain laughs and says he will go first and drag me up, which he did and all went well.
We sit down and order a drink as it was happy hour, and they have Internet yay yay yay.

Although its not real good but at least it's something, there was another couple next to us and we start chatting, they are from Texas and were on their honeymoon.
They were very curious about our boat and life style, that we eventually asked if they wanted to come out to the boat and have a look and a drink on board.
We thought they would just politely so no which was fine, but they jumped at the thought, and down their drinks so fast...hahaha

So we brought them out and they just loved it, we had drinks on deck and just had a lovely night chatting away, and telling them all our war stories.... Hahaha.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 12th October 2013

2013-10-12

Saturday 12th October 2013

Well I'm up bright and early, with not much sleep at all, the little bar last night decided to have a bit of a party, with music blaring all around way into the very early hours of the morning.

I'm sitting here catching up on my blog, when I look up and was shocked a huge cruise ship has just come into the bay and got very up close and personal to us.
Man they are big, I never thought a cruise ship would come in here at all and we were so careful coming in the entry...hahaha
They just ploughed right in.

The Captain was sound asleep so I waited till it was right next to us and woke him up, the look on his face was priceless....haha

So today once again we leave this time for Tonga, with any luck we should get there in 12-14 days.
We raced like crazy all day in 25knt winds it was blowing a gale, so not fun in the dingy I can tell you.
We even could not go into the fuel dock as it was just way to rough, so the poor Captain had to ferry jerry cans back and forwards for hours.
Myself I sat at the little bar fixing up all the last Internet stuff, for a few hours at least.
Then we had to do groceries, imagine my surprise as i was looking in the frozen section for some squid or such to use for bait for the next leg, and of cause everything is in french, so you kinda work it out by what it looks like, and I come across this bag of frozen stuff, for the life of me I could not work out what was in there, then I read the label and in the top corner is a picture of a frog, OMG they were frozen frogs legs, I dropped them back so fast and just took off in the opposite direction, I still shudder every time I think about it. So after that horrible episode The Captain comes from clearing out at customs  and we get this little ship of ours ocean ready once again.

We finally left at 4.30pm and here I sit The Captain is snoring away beside me even though its only 7.30 at night but he is so warn out.
So it's my watch.
We are rolling from side to side like crazy, why I ever think this is a good idea I have no idea...hahaha
We have had the cruise ship chasing us for a fair while but now it's turned off and heading to Moorea.
In about 12nm's we will pass another small island called Tiriano so I'm keeping an eagle eye on the radar, and once we past that one, that's it for a long time.
So we passed the island with no worries at all, even though I tried real hard to see it, it was just way too dark I did see one of their flashing beacons, so I guess that was something.

Well tomorrow is a other day.


Sunday 13th October 2013

2013-10-13

Sunday 13th October 2013

Day 1
8am
16°48'S. 152°49'W
1227nm to go

So it's morning and we are still rocking and rolling, we had a shocking night, with not much sleep at all, even though we did try.
Around 8.30pm I heard a funny noise with the generator and raced down and switched it off.
Now when we sail at night, with the radar, the nav thingy and the nav lights all going it uses a lot of power so every three hours or so you have to start the generator and charge up the batteries.
We had to start the main engine and run it instead, today The Captain will have a good look at it and hope he can repair it.

At the moment he is up on the front deck harness on and trying to wrestle with the spinnaker pole, as we need it up for the wind direction.
And I was wrong about the last island we have another on the charts, actually a lot some a few days apart, but we sure will need to keep a close watch out.

So the generator can not be fixed out here, so nights will have to be the main engine, and daytime at least the solar panels will keep the little batteries happy.

So what's been happening all day?
Well we have slept and then slept some more....haha
I did some laundry and the back of the boat looked like a Chinese laundry.
And fiddled a lot with my fishing gear.
Yeap still no fish and no flying fish at all have landed on deck either, we hardly even see any at all now, am not sure why maybe they just aren't in this part of the ocean more in tropical waters.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Monday 14th October 2013

2013-10-14

Monday 14th October 2013
Day 2
4am
17°03'S. 154°31'W
1124nm to go

Well here I sit on my watch, trying so hard to get my eyes into focus, and it ,s hard I can tell you.
I managed to get 4 hours straight sleep which was great, just wish it was more.
Last night we passed the next island with no dramas at all although it was a bit of a worry when it took ages to show up on the radar and once again it was just way too dark to see it, the next island is about a few days away so that's ok, no stressing over running into one of these guys at the moment.
Well I have a fish on the line. This is the first one in days, I was almost ready to give up. It was just on sunrise and The Captain was sound asleep, so I got on my harness and out I went, I tightened up the tension then let some out and tightened it up again, this guy I battled with for well over an hour and a half, by this time The Captain was awake, as it got closer to the back of the boat I could see it.
And yes it was not a Mahi Mahi , I sat and watched it for a fair while on the bean bag at the back of the boat, it was a beauty and way big, and way too much life still in it...haha
So we sat we waited, for it to get tired, I know I was...haha
We eventually decided it was time to get that sucker on board, with The Captain holding the rod and slowly making his way around the side of the boat, me with the net getting ready to catch it, I get one good look at it and snap goes the line, was so so not happy.
Now I have no idea what size this mother was but man it was big, we really don't know what type of fish it was either and to be honest I'm not sure we would have been able to get it on board anyway.
So one fish feeling very lucky and one fish slayer feeling very unlucky.
But the fight was a good one.

It did put me in a real downer all day, but hey what can you do.
The ocean has not been bad just rolly, and we are making good progress, we also are having problems with sail mail once again and can't seem to get a signal at all, I guess we are just way to far away from anyone.
And on and on we go.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 15th October 2013

2013-10-15

Tuesday 15th October 2013
Day 3
17°00S. 157°56W

932nm to go

7pm

So it's night time my watch, what a day we have had, talk about highs and lows.
The highs, I woke up to find a flying fish on deck, this is the first one for ages, so of course I put it straight on my rod, which now has heavy duty swivels and stuff on it, I was wrong yesterday when I thought the line had broken, it was my swivel that had snapped.
So anyway the line is not in the water any longer than ten minutes when it starts singing, up I jump, race as much as I can in rocking rolling seas.
Now this guy feels more like a Mahi Mahi  and sure enough as it gets closer I see that it is, once again I sit and watch it for ages, as we know how mental these guys are, if you don't at least try and ware them out.

After what seems like forever I ask The Captain is he ready for this, he once again gets the rod down and slowly brings it around the side, me once again with the net, I lean over with the net to catch it and drop it, off floats our you new beaut net.
Man I was not happy, so I race and grab the gaff, and The Captain and I change places, at first I thought I could gaff it as it did not look that big.
Well I am so glad I didn't attempt that, we land this sucker on board and its huge, yeap we measured it this one is the biggest so far a whopping 1325cm.
Now we were told that to calm them down when you bring them on board is to put something over the head, so I had an old t-shirt as per usual it's doing its mental dance with The Captain and I staying well clear, he grabs the t-shirt throws it over its head, but got a bit too close and his family jewels coped a few good whacks with its tail, so not funny.. Hahaha  

and now its doing the mental dance with what looks like a balaclava on its  head a nice pretty green one at that......hahaha
So much for that theory so it shakes it off at my end this time so I grab it throw it over again and stand with one foot on it head, it was kicking and bucking so much I thought it would throw me over the side as well, but it slowly started to change colour and go still.
Man I tell you I have never ever in my whole life seen a fish that goes that nuts when you land them they are totally mental.
So now the big job of filleting this guy, half way through The Captain yells out that I better hurry as there is huge storm clouds coming our way, so I grab whats left and bring it down stairs to finish, just when I was about to put it all in the freezer, the storm hits, man I got thrown right into the table and everything went flying including a dozen eggs that smashed onto the dinette cushions, so not fun.

Man we battled these storms for hours and hours, with huge waves and gale force winds, was just shocking, I'm starting  to think  King Neptune is angry with us for taking one of his children, I tell you it sure seemed like it.
But the storms finally past but it has left us with shocking seas and big big waves. We are rolling all over the place, we both have cushions tucked under both mattresses to try and stop ourselves from getting thrown off.

Are we having fun yet?

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Wednesday 16th October 2013

2013-10-16

Wednesday 16th October 2013
Day 4
17°01'S. 159°05'W. 
870nm to go
9am

Well I have woken up to a situation and one very stressed out Captain.
It appears our main engine has a serious problem.
It's over heating, now if you remember the generator died on us a few days ago, so we are relaying on the main engine to keep the batteries topped up at night time, so this is huge.
As we have to run it every 3 hours or so to keep everything and I mean everything going.
At the moment The Captain is down there with all the floor boards up, and a lot of tools scattered around, I have not heard a word out of him in ages, this could either be really bad or a good thing.
After hours and a lot of manual reading and fixing I'm asked to go start the engine, with crossed fingers I fire it up, and watch the temperature slowly creeping up, I'm stressing out it gets quite high and then starts to go right down again, yes yes yes, he has fixed it. With a big grin and puffed out chest The Captain goes off to clean up the mess he made and a very cold shower, it was like a sweat box down there.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful until around 5pm.
There is an almighty bang I was actually asleep and jumped up so fast, thinking oh no what now.

A bracket under the boom that holds the ropes and stuff snapped, and ropes and shackles went flying everywhere including the boom and add a flapping sail to the mix, well it was not a pretty sight, and we had rough seas.
We both fly into action The Captain straps himself into the harness and out he goes to do battle with it.
The Captain always does this kinda work I'm just the helper racing getting this for him holding onto that rope winding in the other rope, you name it I try and do what ever I can, most times I just feel helpless as there is not much I really can do.
It was really hard to do anything at the angle we were facing so I point the boat into the wind and The Captain brings in the staysail as it still has the pole attached to it, as he is winding it in, it gets tangled around itself but we decided the main sail needs attention first.

So he gets that all repaired I am holding a rope with strict instructions on not to let it go no matter what, all goes well there is still a jam in one of the ropes but that can be fixed tomorrow as it starting to get dark.

So onto the stay sail, well no matter what we could not get that untangled. It actually looked like a big pretty bow at the front of the boat...haha

The Captain spent a massive amount of time on the bow sprit I'm watching him on this roller coaster ride, I lost count of how many times he got wet with waves crashing man the front of the boat was nose diving into the water so bad I was getting tummy flips just watching him.
We eventually decided to just secure it all and leave it till morning as it was getting onto 8pm by now.
After some dinner The Captain lays down for a sleep and I notice the top of the sail is starting to unwind, The Captain gets up and has a look yeah it's fine he says but man you should of heard it flap flap flapping away, I'm thinking there is not gonna be much sleeping tonight with that thing, doing its merry dance.
 


Wednesday 16th October 2013

2013-10-16

Wednesday 16th October 2013

part 2

After some time a big gust of wind hits and it unravels almost all the way.

Up jumps The Captain for about the third time now, and decides he will untie all the ropes and we will attempt to let it out.
So once again up he goes harness on, with luck we had a full moon so it was almost like daylight, after what seemed like a lifetime, with me stressing that he was going to fall overboard he yells to start winding her in, man was this tough going the strain on that thing was crazy but out she flys, yes one more thing fixed.
So it's now about 10pm The Captain had been awake since midnight am sure he was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
But this boat was not finished yet she had to throw in one more thing before we could rest, the preventer that holds the main sail in place to stop it swinging from side to side, well the shackle snapped, man I tell you The Captain was so not happy, but he managed to do a quick repair and will have a proper look at it in the morning.

What happened to things coming in three's ?

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 17th October 2013

2013-10-17

Thursday 17th October 2013
Day 5
17°13'S. 160°45'W
775nm to go

I managed to only get around three hours sleep last night so am not so bright this morning.
The Captain has just finished fixing the jam in the main sail rope, and is now onto the preventer repair, me an still sucking on my first coffee, so am  no use to anyone just yet.
So all the repairs are done, once again thank god.

It's been a very laid back day today not much has happened, we have calm seas although still rolly.
After I had cleaned the galley up some I was going to start to tackle some oiling of the bright work ( timber work ) but time just got away and it never happened.
I fiddled with my fishing lines and rod a bit, but no more fish so far, not even a hint of one.
And the big news about 8pm tonight I managed to get sail mail working once again, it may of been our fault this time as it looked like a plug had came loose on the back of the modem and seems to be working fine again for now anyway.
We had 9 messages so was very excited to get them, although it seems like NSW back home is having bad bush fires, with my son having to be evacuated from his house  whole towns cut off and over 100 fires still raging 30 or so still out of control, gotta love the Aussie climate, just hope there will be some place still standing to go home to.
It's funny how you just forget how bad it can actually get when you have been away for so long and no place we have been ever gets fires like in Aus, they call it The Sunburnt Country, maybe it should be just The Burnt Country.
It changes so much tomorrow it can be over half the Country flooded, it sure is one crazy country but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, my roots are there and I'll always be proud to call it home.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 18th October 2013

2013-10-18

Friday 18th October 2013
Day 6
17°16'S. 162°23'W
683nm to go
5.30am

Well here I sit trying to get my eyes to focus and man is it hard, I have actually been awake for an hour or so and still am struggling.
Through the early hours we have dodged storm clouds on and off and lucky for us they have just past us by.

Well the good weather has not lasted man we have had shocking seas, big waves and hitting Gail force winds.
Man we have been thrown around all over the place, it's shocking.
And talk about waves I can honestly say these are the biggest momma's I have ever seen.
These guys wear you out real quick as its just way to rough to even let go of something in case you get thrown across the other side of the boat.
We have both tried to sleep a bit but its just not working real good.
Sometime in the night we heard a crash, the wind has been blowing so hard that we are going off coarse so much the Captain has had to start the engine and motor back on coarse so many times, one particular wind gust threw the Yankee to the other side so hard something had to give.

The big problem was we still had the spinnaker pole attached to the Yankee, and basically way too much sail out, but it's just been to rough to go out and get the pole down first as that's the start of bringing in the sails.
That was a mistake, with this sudden wind gust the spinnaker pole went crazy and bent almost in the middle at a 90° angle, which is now useless. So The Captain had to go out and tie it down as much as possible, if there was any bright side of it at least we could take in some sail and slow us down some and finally get some control over this boat.

And on it goes.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 19th October 2013

2013-10-19

Saturday 19th October 2013

Day 7
16°26'S. 166°02'W
10.30pm

No idea how many nm to go as we are not sure where we are going.

We have had a day of sheer hell, we thought yesterday was bad today has doubled tripled that.

I finally managed to lay down around 4am, and was woken up once again by a very worried Captain, at 6am.
He had accidentally switched off the Auto pilot switch on the main switch board again.
If you remember from the last time this happened all hell broke loose, well this time it was worse.
No matter what we have tried we can not get it working again, and also it has done something to the main Nav thingy and its not working properly as well.
Talk about stress overtime, I have tried everything I can possibly think of to get them both working again.
And its rough the ocean and winds have not died down at all.

So now we have to hand steer, in this kind of weather it is not easy I can tell you, The Captain has been steering since 6am with me trying several times to steer but it's just too rough and she is to big a boat for me to handle.
I have reset all the nav equipment several times and still no luck, at least we have part of the chart plotter working so we know we are going  in the right direction, we have made the decision to go to the closest island to us  which is American Samoa, as they should have people there that can have a look at this stuff.
So we start the engine as we want to get there ASAP, and to be honest I am a bit of a mess the tears are flowing way too much.
And the engine over heats again, just great.
Now we have to make a decision as to who will steer and who will fix the engine, this may sound crazy but after trying to steer and being terrified the engine to me sounded like the best offer.
Down I go pull up the floor boards, which are very hard to do for me at the best of times,but  being thrown all over the place trying to get them up was just crazy.
The Captain talked me through the process of bleeding the water filter thingy to get all the air out and fill up the tank again, and I even shocked myself that I got it done.
So we start it up again and yes she is purring away, well more like a lion roar, but it's not overheating.
I eventually managed a few hours sleep and before I knew it it was dinner time, I won't even bore you with that disaster but at least The Captain got some food into him, very quickly as I was steering haha.
It's about 9pm by now and The Captain was struggling so bad, so we decided to heave too, this is a process that we have not done before and do need more practice but basically you set the mizzen sail, the one at the back at a certain angle and the boat stops moving in the water and causes a slick on the water which slows down the waves kinda breaks them, and you can then both sleep.
So we set it up it does not work 100% but not too bad we are still doing a knot in the water but at least it's not too rough, well kinda, I set all the alarms and The Captain, was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Me I was on the wrong side of The boat, so I kept getting thrown up against the wheel and then when I did fall asleep I kept waking up as I was worried about the batteries getting too low.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 20th October 2013

2013-10-20

Sunday 20th October 2013
Day 8
16°21'S. 166°38'W
261nm to go
11am

Well the day is not much better than yesterday still nothing is working, and we have been up since 4am, I have tried again to get things working and it's not meant to be, and to top it off the AIS has decided to join their party and stop working, this we can not understand as they are completely different systems.
I can tell you there is a lot of nav systems here that are about to join Davy Jones's locker.
The only good thing is the ocean is not quite so rough at the moment, but man the rolling is still shocking.
We only had the mizzen sail out so decided the Yankee might help as well,
Good idea Captain, but the ropes for it are all tangled at the front of the boat. From the other night with the gale force winds.
We take a look at it and decided its too rough to go out there, I was thinking about it.
Then I looked out again and I have two fishing rods tied up the front that had come loose, well that had me strapping my harness on and getting out there, I was not going to lose my rods.
Man it was hard going, with one fall with me landing on my arse tangled in the stay sail, but managed to get the rods tied back into place.
Then decided I'm out here anyway I might as well have a look at the mess the ropes were in.
Man what a mess, one rope that had no business being there at all, ( it should of been tied up near the cockpit) well it was all tangled around a spare anchor tied to the bow sprit, so with me sitting up there doing the roller coaster ride, I managed to untangle it all thread it back to the cockpit. Only to discover it was still tangled so bring it all back to the front untangle the last bit and try again.
Than get it all wrapped around the winch, to pull out the sail, and it worked even if I did smash my hand a bit into the winch, but the sail is out and the boat has settled down a bit.

Well it's 6pm, we have had the Autopilot switched off all day and decided to give it one more go, we are still a day and a half away from American  Samoa, so I go down fingers and toes crossed and switch it back on, and yes yes yes, we have all systems up and running, so I race up and switch it to Auto put in the degree and off we are to Fiji once again.
The Captain can finally let go of the wheel, it will be his first time today in 13 hours other than a quick pee break where I tried to steer, and not too bad I must say.
Now I can also stop running the whole boat as well, I can tell you it's a huge relief, man I cried again we are both so totally exhausted but at least we are kinda back to normal, even though we have shocking big seas.
Oh but of coarse it can't just be all fun and games, it took me ages to get the AIS back up and running, and it looks like we have lost our fuel tank for the dinghy overboard this must of happened when we had the really bad winds, and yes it was tied down.

Well tomorrow is another day, I hope a much better one.


Monday 21st October 2013

2013-10-21

Monday 21st October 2013
Day 9
16°20'S. 169°11W
667nm to go

Onto Fiji we still head, all systems are kinda still working although the AIS is still playing up, I am starting to hate this thing.
We actually still have really rolly seas and needed to make water so we tried the Heave to again, it still only kinda worked ok, and we managed to get a few things done.
Like making water, me cleaning up the much needed galley and The Captain having another look at the generator. Which is still not working.
That one is going to need repairing in Fiji.

As for my fishing well that went out the window for the last few days, although my line and rod were still out.
Today around lunch time my hand line caught what must of been a big momma, as The Captain was asleep on the side where it was I could not check it.
I decided to climb around the outside of the cockpit and have a quick look, but before I even got my head out the line snapped, one more lucky fish.
So I bring in the rod and no hook and half the lure is missing, I decided to leave that one.
And have rigged up my hand line again and just have that out now.
And it looks like other than the AIS nothing has gone wrong today.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 22nd October 2013

2013-10-22

Tuesday 22nd October 2013
Day 10
16°24'S. 171°18'W
6pm
544nm to go

Well problems are happening once again.
The AIS is not working at all now, for such an expensive piece of equipment you would think it would last longer than 6 months.
But no it seems nothing last much at all around here, the ocean life sure is brutal, to most things.

And we have another rip in the Yankee sail, yeap right next to the repair that was fixed in Nuka Hiva.
This one is a big one, so we are trying to not let it jolt too hard, so it does not get any worse, now we have to  add one more repair to the list to be done in Fiji.

We thought about turning around and going to Samoa but have decided to  keep going to Fiji instead and just hope the rip does not get any worse.
We still have around 5 days to get there, so fingers crossed.

I have to say this has not been one of our better crossings and I think the most stressful so far. One day we might get that perfect crossing, I guess you can only hope.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 23rd October 2013

2013-10-23

Wednesday 23rd October 2013
Day 11
16°30'S 172°27'W
472nm to go
7.30am

Well here we are still at it, I for one will be so glad when we get there, am tired and over this crossing big time.
To make matters worse we got an email from a friend, who helps us out a lot, with any problems and he just checked the weather forecast for us, it looks like we are in for bad weather, with very heavy rain fall, just great, why not throw something else at us.
After I finish my coffee I'm about to go do some much needed washing as we have finally caught up the water supply, and it's either today or never, by the way the sky is looking.

So washing done, once again the boat looks like a Chinese laundry.
In between  washing clothes, I have been rearranging the lockers again, why?  Am not so sure but I think it just needed it, I try to make things easier and something that will work better while doing the crossings, I so want a pantry, how good would it be just to open a door and have it all there at your fingertips, instead of almost having to dismantle the while boat just to find a tin of beans, one can only dream I guess.
So I finally get the boat back in some kind of order, cook some baked fish and once again we settle in or the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 24th October 2013

2013-10-24

Thursday 24th October 2013
Day 12
16°22'S. 174°40'W
354nm to go
7am

Well in the early hours of the morning we got to see our first ship in over 12 days, so there is still life out there, even though we could only see its lights at least it was something.

I had a rude awakening, this morning, with The Captain climbing over me to look out my side, and I could here a boat engine.
I jump up to see what is happening, and there is I guess a fishing vessel with guys hanging off it yelling hello.
Well at least that's what we think it was.
It was a strange site, honest it looked like a party bus, with the last of the drunken rebels still having a great time.
They motored very close around behind us, I'm thinking mace and taser time, but they just checked us out and off they went in another direction.
the Captain said he had been watching them on and off for awhile on the radar, and said they had gone off in all directions, then all went quiet and before he knew it they were right beside us, strange things go down out here in the ocean.
The rest of the day has been a bit boring, which was kinda nice nothing went wrong...hahaha
We had anther ship last night it followed us for about 3 hours, always about 4 nm behind, until I was just too tired to stay awake to see if it would come close.
So I wake up The Captain for his watch and ask him if it gets close to wake me.

Tomorrow is another day.


Friday 25th October 2013

2013-10-25

Friday 25th October 2013
 Day 13
16°20'S. 176°52'W
228nm to go

Do you see that, 228nm to go that's under two days, yes yes...haha
As you properly guess I'm a tad excited, am so over this crossing, and I for one can't wait to get there, although I may change my mind in the next few days, as we are going to have to be on hi alert.
We will be coming into the areas that have a lot of small islands, shallow waters, and reefs.
The entry into Fiji is going to be very nerve racking by what we are reading in our many pilot guide books and what we see on the maps.
They tell us they are not always accurate either great.

But on a brighter note we are getting closer to home, on our SSB Radio, which we connect to for sailmail, there are NSW stations coming up now although we can't connect to them yet they are there.
And I woke to sunshine and calm waters yay, but no wind, well I guess you can't have everything.

And we just spotted dolphins, this is a sure sign that land is close.

We had a busy day today, I took advantage of the calm weather to start cleaning and organising this little ship of ours to be ready for customs.
Fiji is very strict on what you can and can not take into their island.
So we have been rearranging hiding some stuff and trying to use up others, also The Captain has put a lock on one locker so we can padlock it, as some alcohol may have to go into it.
I have hidden a lot, but after going through the lockers and working out what we have, well we have way too much on board you are only allowed a litre each, huh we have about twenty times plus, sometimes they will allow it, if you have a lockable locker and they will put a seal on it.
But we have hidden enough to have some major parties if we wanted...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 26th October 2013

2013-10-26

Saturday 26th October 2013

Day 14
16°28'S. 178°21'W
141nm to go

Well we are getting closer yay.
And have woken up to a lovely sunrise, all oranges and pinks.
It amazes us just how different the colours are as you sail different areas.
The sunsets are way more orange and yellow, than the ones we have been used to seeing, as they where more pinks and orange.

We finally have the boat ready she is all clean sparkling and organised, well the inside anyway, man she sure is looking tired on the outside, I tell you, I think her owners are pretty much the same.

It's 4.15pm and we have just spotted land, yay yay yay a tiny little Fijian island looks like we may have just survived another crossing.
Now the fun begins, we have a mental amount of island to get past not  to mention the coral reefs that maybe if your lucky will have waves breaking.
And to top it off the maps are not completely correct, great.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 28th October 2013

2013-10-28

Monday 28th October 2014
Day 15
16°58'S. 179°39'W
61nm to go
1am

Well well well, we are almost there, it's my watch the last official one for awhile at least, man it will be so good just to sleep a full night in our own bed.
 I have an eagle eye on the navy thingy, radar and the AIS chart, it's still not working properly and we have tried everything to get it back running, nothing works, we are stuck in silent mode which means the other ships can't see us but we can see them as I big tanker went past when I was asleep and The Captain said it showed up, so at least that's something.In about 4 hours we will cross the International Date Line, even though we lose a day, we will be almost back o Aussie time, just 2 hours ahead, man that's the closest we have been to the correct time at home in 20months.
It's a nice feeling.

We have passed several islands so far and all is good we are in a channel called Nanuku Passage, so I guess it's a passage not a channel...haha

And are at the moment going past a bigger island Taveuni which is about 24nm long than we will hang a rIght and slowly make our way into Savusavu sometime around midday I guess.
Then the fun will begin, having to deal with customs is gonna be a nightmare, from what we have read they are brutal but at least at Savusavu they seem to be better than clearing into Suva, we will wait and see.

Well I was wrong we did not get here till 4pm and we had to up the revs on the motor to get here at that time.
A guy at the marina if you can call it that, it's a little shack on the shore, well he came out and led us to a mooring ball and then we asked him all kinds of questions, all the officials will come out in the morning as they have closed for the day as daylight saving started today so we have to put the clocks forward another hour, we are now 3 hours ahead of Aus.
This place has a nice feel about it, although its hot, man is it hot and not a breeze to be found.
We settled in for the night with a wine or two and a mozzie coil burning away, we are very close to an islands edge.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 29th October 2013

2013-10-29

Tuesday 29th October 2013

Well what a wake up, I sat up to a beautiful island staring me in the face, we are about 75meters away.
We have not had a chance to sleep in our own bed yet as its just way too hot.
I did not get much of a sleep as it was way hot and the aroma of the mozzie coil blowing over me all night long, was not so crash hot.....haha
But the view in the morning made up for it all.
Man it's pretty, when you look to shore you can see steam rising from the water edge in several places, these are hot water currents, I guess there really is volcanic activity around.

Today is the day of officials, Aseri the guy that came out yesterday, said he will bring them to the boat first thing this morning, all four of them, they will check our health, our food, are papers you name it they will do it, and we have a mental amount of paperwork to fill out as well.
One of them we need is a cursing permit, apparently we have to wait a day or so for this before we can leave, which is a pain but not much you can do about it, as you are not allowed to move around the islands without one.
It's still going to take a days sail to get to Nadi where we will meet the kids but we still have time on our hands, we were just hoping to get the repairs done before they get here, fingers crossed we can.

Well all went great with the officials, although it took almost to midday to get it all done, and I think  The Face and home made choc chip cookies, helped a lot, they all went off happy, we had no problems at all.

Now we can go ashore...yay, so about 1pm we planted our feet on Land for the first time in 16 days, it sure felt good.
This is such a nice place, even though its third world, you can tell they take pride in their own little island and the Fijians are such friendly people, always smiling and even out on the boat, you can hear their laughter.

When we finally arrived back at the boat, we decided to have a little swim as we were so hot, there is a little island right next to us, so that was our plan, we decided just to get on our flippers and not worry about goggles and snorkels, big mistake half way there it got really shallow with a lot of coral around and not being able to see it properly we decided to turn around and head back, the last thing we wanted was to be ripped up by coral, and after a bit of a struggle with the out going current, we were in going we made it back to the boat, very refreshed, if not a little exhausted, and just had a nice night on board, catching up on all our Internet stuff.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 30th October 2013

2013-10-30

Wednesday 30th October 2013

Another busy day, what happened to just relaxing on a beautiful tropical island? That's does not what happens when you have a boat.
I spent a good part of the morning hanging upside down in The Dingy trying to clean the hull and side of the boat, we have picked up a lot of growth and this old ship of ours is looking very warn out, she sure will need some tender loving care when we get home.

So I got almost have the boat done and The Captain needed to go talk to a guy about navigation to Nadi.
I stayed behind and started cleaning and sorting the inside of the boat.
In between rain showers on and off all day, which had me running up the stairs zipping down the covers closing hatches, for it to stop in five minutes, then go back out open them all up only to have to do it all over again a hundred times, I wish you could just leave them down but it's so hot, and with no air flowing through you almost die.

The Captain comes back with news that the way we were going to go to Nadi, was going to take us 3 days, as there is so many coral reefs around you just can't do it of a night time so we would of had to stop each night.
Well that can't happen, so plan B we are going around the long way past Suva and then up to Nadi, this will take us about a day and a half.

We actually wanted to leave today but, we had so much stuff to do, and also to clear out at customs, so off we go to shore once more and the errands was on, We did a bit of shopping, arranged to get a gas tank filled, got a jerry can of outboard fuel, paid the Marina fees, paid the fees bio security fees, checked out at customs, which took forever, as we had to arrange for a cruising permit, to visit all the islands, it's a letter to the chief of each island saying that we agree to all their customs and they agree to look after us....haha
I'm not sure if I have mentioned this, but in the remote island they take there customs very strict, with a dress code for woman, of no Shorts no long pants, you have to be covered with a long skirt, or wrap a sarong or Sulu, around your clothes, and have your shoulders covered, this is only in the villages, and if you enter a home you have to take off your shoes, the men get it easy they can wear shorts and tshirts.
And then you have to present a bunch of kava wrapped a certain way to the chief, he will either agree or not for you to be able to anchor in his water, and go ashore.
kava is their ceremonial drink and sometimes they will mix some and you have to sit with them and drink it, apparently it's very bad tasting, and it leaves your mouth numb, but it gives you a little high feeling.
Not sure i want to do this, but it's a major insult if you don't.
Watch out Bek and Anthony we may all be high the whole trip...hahaha

So we went to the local markets to buy us some Kava and some fresh fruit, we got ripped of with the kava, but the guy at customs told us we had enough for 3 islands at least, then into a stall where I had been talking to a local lady before The Captain got there, she was just so nice, she ended up throwing stuff into our bags as we were going, we got limes, ginger and a huge paw paw all for nothing, what a nice person.
I just love this little island, the people are so nice and friendly and where in the world could you walk into a government office and the males are walking around in skirts and barefoot...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 31st October 2013

2013-10-31

Thursday 31st October 2013

Well today we are off on our Journey to Nadi.
We left around 7am to once again another hot day, at least out here in the ocean there is a breeze blowing.
The work is still ongoing as we try to get this boat ready for our visitors and man there seems to be so much to get done its crazy.
We have just sorted and clean all day, as well as dodging boats, coral reefs and shallow waters, this is one wild coast.
We got all the waypoints from a local guy before we left thank god or there would be no way we could of done this without having a stroke or two.
The Captain has double, triple checked them over and over as some go so close to land you almost hold your breath and hope like hell this guy knows what his talking about, man it's been scary than night falls, my watch and I'm freaking out the whole time.
Well I'm off to sleep am going to let The Captain get the grey hairs now.

Well tomorrow is another day. 


Friday 1st November 2013

2013-11-01

Friday 1st November 2013

One more sleep, well actually for us it may be many, if you count all the sleeps we try and get...haha
So my girl comes tomorrow I so can't wait, also tomorrow is special in another way, it's my girl Madeline's Birthday, so I have two things to celebrate, although it makes me sad that I miss yet again another birthday.

And it's the first official day of the cyclone season, great more storm watches and worry, this is the Third time we have come into one of these season, what happened to us saying we will pick the right seasons and never sail in these areas that sure has not happened, the good thing is most cyclones only start around in a months time so we hope we will be lucky, but we sure will be checking the weather a lot more now.
Think I better not post this until my girl is on the plane...haha

We have been flat out once again, I had no idea there is so much work on a boat it's crazy, I decided to start oiling the timber work, as it sure is looking tired, man this has been happening all day, I have hardly stopped at all, The Captain has been on watch the whole time in these waters you sure need to be.
We had really strong winds at one stage, I was hanging over the life lines trying to reach the timer work on the side of the boat when The Captain  yells out to hold on.
I just planted myself on the deck wedged myself up against a sail bag and held on for grim death, we had an incredible strong wind come through, which blew the boat right over, I'm sitting with the ocean only a foot away from my face, watching the water, coming closer and closer, man was my hands shaking, The Captain battled with these winds for what seemed like forever, I was so scared, he needed to get The Yankee sail down so I decided to make a run for it to the Cockpit as you really do not want to be out on Deck when that guy comes down in strong winds, the ropes fly everywhere with such force, that I'm always convinced they will hit and break something, honest they are bad, it would break bones if you got hit with one, many of times even in the cockpit they fly in and you have to dodge them.

So late in the afternoon way after the winds had settled down and the ocean as well, strong winds always kick up big waves, I called it a day I was just too tired, and sunburnt to carry on, although I was covered with a long sleeve shirt sunscreen and for about five minutes wearing The Captains big straw hat that was tied even under my Chin, ( so stylish) haha, but a gust of wind blew it straight off into the water and we both just sat and watched it float away, I felt so bad losing his hat, then right in the middle of the strong winds we both watched one of the winch handles drop off the winch and fall into the water, that one The Captain was using, so we both were equal there...haha

And once again we settle into a stressful night, at least we have dead calm seas and no wind although we are on a  Leeshore It means you have the shore on one side and the wind blowing you towards the shore so you have to be very alert. ( see how nautical I am ...haha  I only know this cause The Captain just told me about it and told me to be careful as this is dangerous sailing ) great, way to go Captain just add some more grey hairs, as if I need anymore.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 2nd November 2013

2013-11-02

Saturday 2nd  November 2013

Well first a Big Happy Birthday to my girl Madeline, I so hope you have a great day. Love and miss you heaps. xxx

And today is the day my girl and her man get here, yay yay yay
Well I hit the deck running, I cleaned and organised, till I almost dropped, The Captain had the hard job of navigating through all the reefs and narrow passages, and we finally made it.
We anchored and jumped off the boat into the dingy and raced to shore in very rough water, we came to this spot as it was so calm when we first got here and wanted the kids to feel safe for there first night at least.
That did not happen, we got to the airport just in time with a few minutes to spare, it sure was tearful seeing her come through those doors but they were happy tears, man I have missed her.
We got back to the dingy loaded up with suitcases bags of grocery's and the four of us piled in.
We were hoping the ocean might have settled down by now, but it was having none of that, if anything it was worse, the poor kids were very pale by the time we got back to the boat and with a very hairy moment when they had to board the boat with Bek  almost refusing to get on board, cause it was so rough, but we managed to get then settled in, and the ocean decided to settle down but poor Anthony was so seasick and just slept for a fair while, but managed to come right after he woke up. We had a lovely catch up and then all settled in for the night

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Sunday 3rd November 2013

2013-11-03

Sunday 3rd November 2013

Well up bright and early, the kids did not sleep real well but seemed a lot happier.
We decided to go to an island called Musket  Cove, it took about two hours to get there, with Bek feeling very green, but they managed to enjoy themselves as well, Anthony and I put out the fishing lines as he thinks he can catch a bigger fish than me, haha
So far we are nil on that score.
What a pretty place this is a nice island for there first official visit.
As we were trying to set the anchor, the engine stopped dead and as we had a lot of boats around us I was really really concerned.
We yell to The Captain he comes running, and tries to start it and nothing, on the third attempt it starts, we decide to just leave it where it is and hope  the anchor set.
We decide to go ashore as this place is almost all resort so we decided to have a look around and have a happy hour drink.
As The Captain is pulling in the dingy we had been dragging it behind us the rope would not pull in, then we realised that it was wound around the propeller great at least we now knew why the engine stopped we all got our swimmers, snorkel goggles and flipper on except Bek as she would not in fear of sharks....haha
And jumped over board the guys dived for an hour trying to free the rope, they got most of it off but were just too exhausted to keep going, in the end we decided to call it a day and do the rest tomorrow, we then went into shore and had a nice walk around, Bek had a swim off the beach there and then came back to the boat for Happy Hour drinks as they were way to expensive on shore, and once again settled into the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 4th November 2013

2013-11-04

Monday 4th November 2013

Today the guys went back in and freed the rest of the rope and this time even Bek got in, the two of us decided to swim to the reef and have a look around but we got a quarter of the way there, and decided it was just way too far away.
We ended up all climbing into the dingy and going over to the reef, we anchored the dingy and all went snorkelling around the reef talk about beautiful fish, although I had a massive panic attack when trying to swim over some coral that was just way to close to me, The Captain came and got me and held my hand like a little girl....hahaha but we went out deep where the coral drops and man was it so pretty.

We than decided to move once again, this time to another little island that is actually just on the other side of this island, we manage to get there, in under half an hour, with poor Bek once again being seasick.
And what a pretty place this is. We were the only ones in this bay.
Ant and myself were itching to get ashore to walk around the rocks and try and find some periwinkles to fish with as we have tried with the handlines and lures but having no success.
The Captain gave him instructions on handling the dingy and off the three of us went.
We got half way there and almost hit the coral, Bek and myself grabbed the oars and pushed ourselves free in a bit of a panic, but we managed to get back to the boat with no injury to the dingy or ourselves.
We talked The Captain into taking us ashore, man even that was hairy with us having to lift the motor and paddle in, but we managed to find bait and then we pulled the dingy back to deeper water and had a swim.
The kids and myself fished through the night and we caught one each although they were just little reef fish it still was fun.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 5th November 2013

2013-11-05

Tuesday 5th November 2013

Well where do I start?
Today started with a beautiful sunrise, Bek and myself sat up at the front of the boat sipping our coffees and just taking it in, it sure is peaceful here.
The others slowly came back from the land of nod, and then the rush was on.
We had to get back around to Musket Cove as a guy was going to meet us there to have a look at our generator, so off we set.
Poor Bek was feeling green once again, but soon forgot about it once we come around into the bay.
Her and Anthony were sitting up the front of the  boat and The Captain and I were in the cockpit navigating around all the reefs, we were talking away and not looking where we were going when we were jolted to a stop.
We had run aground on a massive coral reef, The Captain had gone on the wrong side of a pole.
And yeap all hell broke loose, Ant came running to us looking very pale yelling that there was a huge coral reef ahead just as we hit it, Bek was almost having a heart attack and was mumbling on and on about the Titanic...hahaha The Captain and myself just turned grey.
we were stuck hard on a falling tide, panic was all around.
Now these reefs are huge and we could not move the boat in any direction, we tried over and over but nothing worked, we ended up calling up the guy who was coming to see us, and he had a boat with a lot of horse power, so he was coming to the rescue, a guy came over from another boat and he dived under the boat to see how bad it was, The bow of the boat was wedged hard in between two very large bits of coral meanwhile with us all still freaking out at least we could see the coral and some beautiful fish which was kinda nice.

The other guy gets there in about five minutes and also three guys from another boat came over as well, with a lot of tugging and pulling us over on our side a bit they finally managed to get us free, there was a panic mode happening from all around as the tide was going out real fast but all went well and we floated away from it.
With a sigh of relief we set the anchor way away from coral and the guy had a look at our generator and could do nothing but got us in contact with a guy back in Nadi so off we set once again, this one took about two hours with Bek being so sick the poor kid, but we made it and this time decided to go to a marina berth.
I hate this with a passion as the boat is so hard to handle and to get her into a berth is a nightmare, just as we were coming into where we needed to be the wind picked up and there was no one there to meet us and grab our lines, The Captain grabs the radio calls them and we have to go past the spot to wait for them to get there this also was in very shallow waters and yeap we run aground again, the poor kids were ready to jump ship big time and I was right there beside them I was in a flood of tears by this stage and just over boating big time.
We managed to get ourselves off it as it was only mud and reversed back and then into the berth without too much drama although the guys handling the lines struggled a bit to control her but we are all tied up to the wharf and safe and secured, only for The Captain announcing that we only have about 30% steering great another repair, this little bit of joyful news set me off in another flood of tears.
We ended up showering dressing and going ashore and having a few stiff drinks and a lovely meal at an authentic Fijian restaurant and tasted Kava, for the first time. we had a really lovely night although Bek ended up sick when she had something with gluten in it, but still it was a nice night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 6th November 2013

2013-11-06

Wednesday 6th November 2013

Well here we are at the dreaded marina, I hate being at Marina's there is never much of a breeze, and this one is a shocker.
And to make it worse we are surrounded by multi million dollar mega yachts, so we really look like the poor relatives.
We had the guy come and take down the sail to be repaired today which had it own dramas surprise surprise, there is something wrong with the pole and they just could not get it down, after what seemed like hours they finally managed to free the sail, but now we need a rigger to come and fix it.
Meanwhile we have battled the heat all day, and man is it hot.
The kids decided to go to some of the resorts here and have a swim, as the water at the Marina is not so nice. They have an agreement with all the resorts here that anyone staying at either can use the others facilities, so us being the pirates that we are told the kids to just walk in and have a swim, although Anthony was not so keen and Bek said it took awhile to get him in the water, they ended up having a great time and came back a lot more refreshed.
And so it continues, we wait for tradesman to turn up, as we suffer the heat.
I did manage to get some if the growth of the side of the boat so that was good.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 7th November 2013

2013-11-07

Thursday 7th November 2013

Well another hot one in downtown Marina, and man is it hot today, I think this is the hottest so far, you know it's hot when the locals start complaining about the heat.

Bek and I decided to go into the main town to do some shopping and do some provision.
They have guys here that will take you anywhere you want and they just wait for you, it's usually a standard price of around $60, Fiji dollars. Which is around $35 Aus which is not bad.
So off we went we wanted to find some cheap clothes so we asked him to find us a store well he drops us off and said he will come in and get us, we walk up these dodgy steps into what is like a salvos, not really what we were looking for, so we go out to wait for him, poor Bek was so worried as she has never been in a third world country before I was trying to reassure her that this place is nice compared to the others, we have been to.
We ended up walking to a few other stores and the driver managed to find us, and we even made it back to his car without getting our throats cuts, am sure Bek thought we would...haha

Then onto the supermarket this one they tell us is the best to do all our provision, well, not only was it so so expensive and I ran out of money but there really was not a lot here at all.
So strike two.
Then onto the fruit and veg markets after a quick stop to get more money. Now we have been to a few of these markets so I knew Bek would like these, they are just an open covered area, which made Bek happy as she does not want to get sunburnt, and the food is so so cheap we ended up with bags and bags of stuff, we sure will be eating healthy for the next few days.
Then the dreaded trip back with all to the boat and me having to find places for it all to go, that took almost the rest of the day, but I did manage to get some oiling done on the outside of the boat which was great.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 8th November 2013

2013-11-08

Friday 8th November 2013

Well if you can believe it today is hotter, man I think I may just die, it has put me such a grumpy mood.
It feels like we have been here for a week not three days and I'm hating it.

We are so sick of tradesman not turning up that we are almost ready to give up.
We did manage to get the generator fixed yesterday as well, and The Captain and Anthony fixed the steering so that's great, but we are still waiting for a rigger to come out, he has promised daily that he will come and still no show.
The sail is now repaired and sitting on deck just waiting for the rigger.
We all decided to take the afternoon off and go to some of the resorts, talk about nice, we had a lovely afternoon swimming and relaxing, than came back to a local  bar/ restaurant and had a few drinks and a nice dinner.
Although we had to grab all the food and drinks and make a mad dash for cover when it started to rain, but at least it cooled the place down and maybe just maybe we might get a better sleep now it's cooler.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 9th November 2013

2013-11-09

Saturday 9th November 2013

Well today the riggers finally arrived and after a few hours the pole was fixed and we now have a working sail up with no rips.
So by this time it's after lunch and we decide to head off, only to find once again the AutoPilot is not working.
Once again we try over and over to get the thing working, with Anthony reading all the Manual's this time but still no luck.
We decided to ring the guy that fixed the generator and he came out to the boat and had a look.
It looks like we have a fault in the gyro so he is ordering one in for us

We decided to get going anyway as we were only going to the little island that we left the other day and two hours of hand steering is not so bad.

Off we go, I had loaded the kids up with seasick pills so they were both asleep when we left, other than almost hitting a pole with the bow sprit, we managed to get out of the marina fine.

The kids woke up shortly into the voyage and poor Bek was once again very green, and anyone who knows her will know she does not suffer in silence...hahaha
I do feel very sorry for her as I know just how she feels as I suffered a bit this trip as well.
Although she did come right 3/4 of the way there, so fingers crossed she may just be getting used to the motion.

We finally got there and we decided to have a fish once again we caught a lot of little ones but managed to get three decent size ones that we had for dinner.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 10th November 2013

2013-11-10

Sunday 10th November 2013

Today we decided to go onto another island, this one was about another two hours, Bek was not so bad this trip.
But man was it hairy, we had to go through so many shallow reefs and be so careful I for one was just glad when we got there.
And it rained all day which was a disappointment, but at least it was cooler and we just chilled on the boat, fished a little with no luck and just watched the world go buy.
We are in a bay that is surrounded by coral and three islands that we can make out all have resorts on them so tomorrow we may go ashore and have a look around and a swim and snorkel off the beach.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 11th November 2013

2013-11-11

Monday 11th November 2013

Well today we decided to go ashore, so loaded up with snorkels, goggles, flippers and towels we all pile into the dingy and set off.
It was only a short distance to shore and we pulled into the jetty, only to be told by a security guard that you have to ring first and ask permission to go ashore, great.
He goes off and asked the manager of the island and comes back to say that it's ok to go ashore.
So loaded up off we go.
Bek, Ant and myself, put on all our gear and get into the water, The. captain wanted to have a chat to a few guys about going around the islands and stuff.
There was not much to see in the water and I don't think I even saw any fish I looked up and The Captain is standing on shore calling us in.
Apparently the manager changed his mind and decided that we could walk around the island and have a look around but not swim or snorkel.
Well we were not happy at all, so we climbed back into the Dingy and thought we would try another island, the poor security guard was so upset and said the other islands were a lot better.
So off we go once again to the other two and same story you have to ring first, by this timed we were pretty much pissed off with island resorts, but The Captain decided to give one more a try.
This one is called Castaway Island but it was a fair bit away from us, not a problem for The Captain apparently but with the ocean started to kick up a bit the rest of us were not that keen anymore.
As we got closer I spotted a little remote beach and so we decided to just go in there and pull the dingy up on the beach.

Well it sure was worth the hassle we had with the other islands and with not another sole in sight we snorkelled swam and beach combed, we even spotted some bright coloured bugs that were amazing and just had a really good time.
This is so what I was hoping to find for the kids and us just a remote place to hang out.
The tide was starting to go out so we decided it was time to go back to the boat as we had to cross some coral reefs and did not want to do it on low tide.
What a trip back it was shocking with waves crashing all over us and it just seemed like it took hours.
We eventually made it back. I did some clothes washing while the kids had a nap. Then The Captain decided to go have a snorkel around the reef behind us and Ant and myself decided it was fishing time.
We did not even get a bite so decided to jump in the dingy and paddle over the reef and try there, The Captain dived down with the anchor to secure us and there we sat getting no bites and just hooking the reef. I did manage to catch a fish that was about 5cm long and Anthony caught a huge chunk of coral...haha
We decided to paddle back to the boat and tie the rope to the back of the boat, we were hoping we would just drift towards the reef some, but no suck luck. We could see fish jumping all around the sand bank behind the reef so decided to paddle the dingy over there and try our luck.
If your wondering why we are paddling it's because the coral is very close to the surface and it's easier to paddle over it without damaging the motor.
We had no luck there either and it was getting dark, so once again back to the boat, where Bek had cooked up a lovely stir fry and we settled in for the night and watched a movie.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 12th November 2913

2013-11-12

Tuesday 12th November 2013

Well what a day we have had.
We decided to move to another island this one was about 4 hours away.
After a very shaky departure with getting the anchor up and floating back on the reef, which happened so quick, one second all was ok and Than The Captain is shouting to put it in gear and go forward fast, I turned around and all I could see was reef, talk about a fright, but I managed to get us back into deep water, with shaking hands and knees knocking, I gladly handed over the control to the Captain.

Then we had to navigate back around all the reefs once again, this time I just stayed down and cleaned the inside of the boat, I really don't think my nerves could take much more.
The kids were only a bit green but it was so hot that all we wanted to do was go for a swim.
We finally arrived and had read that you have to present the Kava to the chief of this island.
So we get into respectable clothes and off we go ashore.
Now I really think we came to the wrong area as this is so so third world, I for one was a little bit concerned.
We were greeted at the beach by a dozen little kids which was really cute, but that sure changed as we came onto the island, it was so dirty and run down, a local took us to see the chief and we sat on a plastic sheet and he and another guy sung a little song and a few claps and that was about it, I think they were a little put off with the amount of kava we gave them and tried to joke about next time bring more
But we were allowed to go around behind their island and anchor, which we decided not too as it was really shallow and we had heard a few horror stories of boats running aground and the locals looting them, so the vote was that we go to another island, this one was about another 3 hour trip there is an island here that you can see cliffs underwater that the water is so clear you can see right to the bottom of 85 feet deep.
So we set off and the kids were quite good until about 15 minutes into the trip when this huge storm hit.
The poor kids were so scared and so so sick, and Anthony had bad sunburn so they were not in a good way at all, I was sick too and terrified of the storm, it was a bad one.
We finally got to the island but it was way too rough, so we motored to another one this place was so pretty with huge mountains and white sandy beaches.
We settled in for the night with Bek feeling a lot better but poor Anthony was not good at all.

Well tomorrow is anther day.


Wednesday 13th November 2013

2013-11-13

Wednesday 13th November 2013

Well all is still not good on this here vessel, the wind picked up in the night and with it a huge swell.
The kids had not slept much at all and were in a bad way, there was a lot of tears from my girl as she was so tired and felt so sick, Ant was not much better.
They ended up laying down in the saloon area and both fell asleep soon after.
The Captain and I decided to take the boat around the other side of the island hoping that it would be a lot calmer.
We came in here with just a few hairy moments of shallow water and coral reefs, and set the anchor.
This time in calm waters, the kids woke up and felt a lot better, we have had a swim off the boat to cool down, watched squid swim around the boat and scare them to watch them ink..hahah oh and tried to catch them.
We have spotted goats on the mountains and even two pigs on the beach.

We decided it was time to go ashore and do the Kava thingy, Bek did not want to go ashore as this was the first time she felt ok in days so she stayed onboard.
The rest of us climbed in the dingy and off we set, the chief here was a really nice guy and the place was well looked after, even know it is a very small village he told us there is 300 living here, where they all live I have no idea.
We chatted for ages and they were very concerned that we left Bek on the boat, I told him we tried every thing to get her to come with us and I said he was free to go out and try himself, he just laughed.
Oh and we gave him a huge bundle of Kava as we don't think we will need anymore so he was very very happy.
Over the hill is a resort that they own and most of the locals work there, he told us it was an easy walk and should take about 15mins.
He lied, after we made a quick trip back to the boat for wallets, off we set.
I'm not sure how long it took us to get there it felt like an hour, and the first part was easy but the rest man it was up one mountain and then a heap of steps down the other side, I just knew coming back was going to be a killer, it's just a mountain track very pretty but smelly in some places as they have pig pens dotted here and there, we passed pigs just wondering around, saw cows and mountain goats and with luck no spiders, we have read that although the spiders are harmless, they are huge, am so glad we didn't see any.
We got to the resort and what a pretty place just very basic but nice, we had ourselves a very quick drink, as we noticed rain coming, I was so worried Bek would freak out so we rushed as much as we could climbing a million steps up hill which was sheer murder and made it back to the boat, Bek was pretty upset as the wind had picked up as well, but settled down once we were all back on board.
The rest of the evening we just took it easy, played cards and enjoyed the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 14th November 2013

2013-11-14

Thursday 14th November 2013

So today we leave and go back to our favourite little island.
The kids leave tomorrow and we will as well but first we have to check out, we have decided to check out at Vuda.       
 This will be a lot easier for us, but the officials are only there till 12pm so we need to get there early.
This was a long trip back taking about six hours, I was really concerned for the kids as they don't do crossings so good.
Well surprise surprise they were fine and it was me this time who was sick..haha
In all fairness I had next to nothing sleep the night before, am worried about my child back home, I guess being a Mother and no matter how old your children are when they are upset, you worry so much and just wish you could help them.

So early in the trip I took two strong seasick pills and went and layed down. I managed about three hours sleep and woke up fine, the gently ocean helped too.

So we finally get back, this place we know is a quiet anchorage, and it's also the only place we have caught fish.
As soon as we got there we geared up to go snorkling as it was getting late in the afternoon, and in Bek's words it's when the sharks come out...haha
So all loaded into the dingy we set off trying to find some nice coral after about the third attempt we managed to find a nice spot.
We dropped the anchor and jumped in, talk about nice we seen lovely coral and the most bright coloured fish you could ever imagine.
I'm so glad we had a last good swim and the kids loved it, even if I did have a moment when I could not get back in the dingy, everyone thought this was a huge joke, I was not so impressed.
We then cooked a nice dinner well with very meager rastions we did ok...haha
Had a few wines! Let off some fireworks that Bek had got at the local supermarket and just had a nice night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 15th November 2013

2013-11-15

Friday 15th November 2013

Well today we say goodbye to the kids and Fiji.

I so don’t want them to go, and am going to miss them, big time, but it’s only a short time and we will be home.

 We have had such a great time with the kids, lots of ups and downs, but overall I’m sure they had a good time, if they take away the seasickness, the terrifying storm, running aground, battling huge waves in the dingy, having to learn real quick how to have very short cold showers, a hand pump toilet, not getting enough sleep as the boat was rocking too much, nearly dying of the heat, sunburn, and the stress of trying to navigate around all the coral reefs, just to name a few…haha god reading this they may never set foot back on the boat .But all jokes aside it was just so nice to spend time catching up again, man I miss my kids.

We were up running at 6am as we had to get to another marina before 12pm, to clear out, they have a guy that comes here for a short time every week day, and it’s a lot easier for us to check out here and also its only a twenty minute taxi ride for the kids to get to the airport.

We made it by 10am which gave us plenty of time, although we did not take the boat into the marina we just anchored outside the entrance, and it was a very calm spot, actually the trip here was very easy with calm seas and for the first time the kids were not sick at all, it figures just when they have to go home they finally get their sea legs….hahaha

The Captain goes ashore to get started on our checking out, and we organize the boat gather all the washing in hopes of a Laundromat and Bek packed their bags ready to depart.

The Captain comes back and has done all the clearing out paperwork but just needs a stamp from the official guy but he had not turned up yet, so we all climbed into the dingy with the laundry and went ashore, the kids still had a few hours to kill, so they helped me locate the laundry and we got the washing started than just sat at a little café here at the Marina, and watched the world go by. The Captain waited at the customs office for the guy to turn up.

We started to get a bit worried as the kids needed to be at the Airport by 1pm and their gear was still on the boat and it was after 12pm. Finally The Captain comes back all papers stamped and him and Ant climbed back into the dingy to get their luggage. They were back by 12.30pm so all was good, we packed then into a taxi, with a few tears shed and sent them off on their way.We then jumped in another taxi raced to a poor excuse of a supermarket, got what we could and raced back out to the boat after picking up the laundry, we were supposed to leave within the hour or two of getting are papers stamped, yeah well that didn’t happen.We had so much to prepare it was more like 4pm by the time we left. Which was still fine navigating around the reefs, but we did have to go through a very narrow passage with reefs on by sides in the dark.But managed it with flying colours and out into the big blue ocean, which was as rough as hell.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 16th November 2013

2013-11-16

Saturday 16th November 2013

Day 1

18⁰22’S. 175 51’E.

  572nm to go.

12pm

Today is the reason why I have classed myself as crazy anyone in their right mind would never cross an ocean on a sailboat in seas like this.

It has been shocking and still is big waves, strong wind and just plain uncomfortable. I am seasick and just to make matters worse the water maker has stopped working again, and major disaster in my world my ipad is stuffed.

It was playing up before we left and not charging properly but I managed to fix that but sometime in the early hours of this morning, I was asleep with it beside me on the day bed, when it fell off the mattress  through the window in the cockpit and crashed onto the floor in the work shop cabin.

Great just great, I raced down and expected it to be in a million pieces, but not even the screen was cracked, which is amazing in itself. But it won’t charge anymore no matter what we try it’s dead flat and that’s it.

So my whole world has come crashing down, I have nothing to occupy myself with, I’m always playing games or reading or writing my blog updates, or plotting our journey on the many apps I have on there.

Now it’s all gone, other than the sheer boredom I now face, I just hope I have not lost everything on there, as I also have a lot of photos as well.

So am writing my blog on the computer at the moment and am not impressed at all. I feel like just chucking it all in, am over sailing, this boat as everything breaks all the time and this ocean is so not fun. And I miss my girls and my boy.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 17th November 2013

2013-11-17

Sunday 17th November 2013

Day 2

18 51’S. 174 20’E.

439nm to go

4.15am

Well we are still at it the seas are still really really rough and its taking its toll, neither of us is getting much sleep and my body is starting to ache from trying to hold on so hard.

Around 9am the seas finally settled down some although we are still rolling from side to side pretty bad.

And now the seas have picked up again we have the main sail out now which has settled the boat down a little and doing over 7knts but it’s windy and rainy, this is so not fun.

The Captain and myself I think are just really burned out and we sure will enjoy being home where we can recharge are batteries for awhile.

I have had my hand line out but not the rod as its just way too rough, but we have had a few flying fish on deck which I have put on the hook but nothing is biting, maybe the fish are too burned out like us and they don’t want to play anymore as well.

Well tomorrow is another day.


monday 18th November 2013

2013-11-18

Monday 18th November 2013

19 50’S. 171 .26’E

318NM to go

9am

Well  another boring rough day, although the ocean has been a mixed bag, from shocking swells to calm seas, but the calm does not last long I tell you.

I have done everything and anything to stop the boredom but nothing is working from cooking to cleaning, to reading a book on The Captains  kindle, to playing games on the laptop, to watching movies but nothing is working, I miss my Ipad.

Then I hooked a fish, yay the first one in awhile, I had changed lures and found a tiny flying fish on deck so put that on as well and a squirt of WD40 for good measure.

It was not in the water any longer than 5mins we I got the strike, just when I had layed down for asleep, up I jumped and played around with it for awhile, got it towards the back of the boat and could see it was a mahi mahi, so decided to leave it out there for awhile to wear itself out.

I then layed back down and slept for a few hours, when I got back up to check it, it was still swimming away quite happily, I could not believe it I thought for sure it would be dead by now, I started to pull it in thinking it must be at least warn out by now, boy was I wrong, these guys are one tough fish. He fought all the way, I managed to get his head out of the water and left him there for awhile.

I had some cleaning still left to do, so decided to do that first as I knew I would need a shower after filleting the fish and if I had to clean after that well then I would need another shower, so halfway through the cleanup I go check how this guy is doing, and he is finally dead, so I rush through the rest of the cleaning go change into my fish cleaning clothes,( yeah I do have those they are the ones that have the most holes and stains on them, ) and go find my fishing knife for The Captain to sharpen, only to look over the rail, with my vision of a nice fish bake for dinner gone. OMG I could not believe it, I even checked three times, and it was hooked on hard the only thing I can think of was that a much bigger fish must have got it.

So back to the boring life again I was so not happy, and the veggie dish we had for dinner really did not help…haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 19th November 2013

2013-11-19

Tuesday 19th November 2013

20  48’S. 170 00E.

223nm to go

6.30am

Well today I feel like I’m back, I feel a lot better, it may have helped that I recieved an email from my sister, who actually ran over her Ipad with her own car…haha but she told me that she managed to save all her stuff through Itunes, so there is still hope. I just have to get another ipad somewhere and hope it works.

And I guess that we are getting closer to land helps heaps as well, also the ocean has settled down heaps to the point that we have had to start the engine as we were getting nowhere, doing about 2knts.

I have been busy again cooking and doing a bit of hand sewing, just another top, I have been wanting to re fashion for awhile now.

The Captain and I have also been reading up on New Caledonia, and working out the entrance into the bay, it’s a shocking entry with a lot of coral reefs and shallow waters and it’s about 40nm to get to the harbor.

We were discussing that maybe we should go around the bottom of the island instead and come up into the other entry on the far side as there seems a lot less shallow water here and only about 10nm into the harbor.

So we are sitting here nutting it out when we hear a noise it sounded like a dolphin or better yet a whale blowing air out of their blow hole. Well we both jumped up raced across the other side of the cockpit and looked out, I’m not sure what we were expecting to see as its pitch black, so I grab the torch we shine it on the water still nothing and we can still here it so so close, so I race down and get out the big mama, our you beaut spotlight, now we have two of these guys on board and I swear they are so bright you could almost see the bottom of the ocean, no matter what depth you are in…haha well maybe not but they are bright, The Captain will not let me use them much as you turn one on and it almost sucks the batteries dry.

But this time it was ok, so I race back up and by the time I got the thing plugged in the noise had stopped but it did not stop us hanging over the rail and having a good look around, and besides I love these bright lights, as you can just see so much, as we are looking I’m thinking if it is a whale and it pops its head up right in our faces we will  have a heart attack, so I guess it was for the best that we didn’t see it.

That was possibly the most exciting thing that has happened the whole trip, well it has felt like a long boring trip, the other exciting thing was that we spotted a huge cruise ship in the distance, this is the 2nd one of these that have showed up on the radar, and the size of the mark on the radar is huge, double even three time the size of a large cargo ship.

The first one we saw on there I even thought it may have been a small island serious it was that big, but tonight we saw their lights, and it was 14nm away, that’s crazy, you can hardly see a cargo ship at 5nm so you can imagine how big these guys are. I would love to see it up close.

And once again we settle in for the night.

Well tomorrow is another day.

                                                    


Wednesday 20th November 2013

2013-11-20

Wednesday 20th November 2013

22 .05’S  167 .42’E

71nm to go

7pm

Well we are still at it, not much has happened all day, just still reading up on New Caledonia and the entries.

We have decided to go into the original entry, as we have had several emails back and forth from a friend of The Captains and its looks like the weather and tides are with us. It still makes me very nervous about going in this way, when you look at the charts it looks worse than Fiji, and Fiji was seriously nerve racking.

I still have my hand line out, but have not had even a fish smelling it, even if I did put on some old bait that we had here that smelt so bad we had to chuck the rest overboard, man it was on the nose. But nothing apparently these fish don’t like the smell either.

And once again we settle in for the night, The Captain is having the first sleep a lot earlier than usual, as we should reach the entry by 4am and then it’s all hands on deck.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 21st November 2013

2013-11-21

Thursday 21st November 2013

And we are here, finally safe and sound if not a bit shaken and stirred.

After 6 days and around 750nm   we are here, man we are clocking up the nautical miles, I think we are now classed as serious cruisers, even if we still don’t really feel like it.

So the entry and the passage into here was not as bad as we thought, I managed to have two hours sleep before The Captain woke me around 4.30am when one of those huge cruise ships went boring past us, man they sure are big.

We actually followed it into the entry, so we realised that if a big mama like that can go through it must be fine for us and it actually was a lot deeper and wider that we thought, sometimes it almost felt like you were out in the middle of the ocean again, but it was very deceiving as on our port side (left) was all reefs but you just could not see them, On are chart plotter was a line to follow and we stuck with it like glue, I tell you.

We had a current flowing with us which helped until we came to a passage between two islands when the wind picked up and was blowing on the nose, it had to be over 20knts and we were beating into it with massive waves crashing onto us, and the bow sprit (pointy end) nose diving under water about every 3 minutes, so not fun.

I tried to take photos looking through the window of the cockpit as there was no way I was even going to poke my head out around the cockpit, they did not turn out real well, but if you look at the pics hard enough I’m sure you can see how bad it was.

Am glad Bek and Ant were not with us on the leg of the Journey they would have been calling the coast guard for sure to come and save them, hell even at one stage the thought crossed my mind...haha

But we made it here, around 2pm we call up the marina and asked if they have a berth for us, as this is what you are suppose to do to wait for the officials to come aboard.

They come back and tell us the number of the berth and to head in, now the mad scramble to get fenders out by yours truly on the side they said, and then I took over the boat while The Captain got all the ropes ready.

So in we go counting down numbers when we see a lady waving to us and directing us in. Into what The Captain described as a trying to squeeze a Tonka toy into a matchbox space. Oh man it was a tiny space with a dock on one side and a huge catamaran on the other, well we only had fenders on one side so I raced to get more out so we would not damage the cat.

With The Captain having to make three attempts to line it up and me stressing like you would not believe and a guy standing in front of us on the jetty trying to give The Captain directions, which was just stupid as you cannot see directly in front of the boat, I raced out and relayed the directions, and we made it how I have no idea But The Captain should be really proud of himself as that was some fancy manoeuvring on his part and we did not hit either side at all.

We tied up and even before we could catch our breath they told us we had to go ashore straight away to the office here with our papers and check in.

So off we both get, now officially only The Captain is suppose to go ashore until all is cleared but I was itching to put my feet on dry land and what is the first animal we see on land? A lady walking a French poodle...hahaha

We sure are in Frog land again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 22nd November 2013

2013-11-22

Friday 22nd November 2013

Well today we were up and running once again, we decided to hire a car for the day as we have so much running around to do. But as per usual all good plans never work out, for a start we had a map, that was missing streets and all streets are one way, this was also wrong on the map, the lady at the marina here did her best to adjust it, but still it was a nightmare trying to get around especially if you miss a street, than you almost have to go around the whole island to get back to it.

All I can say is I was navigation most of the time and we sure saw a lot of the island many many times over... haha

And then the offices close at around 11am for lunch and open back up again at 1pm. So we had a lot of waiting time and changing stops here and there.

We had made a list of what and where we need to do.

  1. Immigration to check in and check out all at the same time, as we are leaving early Monday they give you 48 business hours to leave, so Monday is fine and it’s a lot easier than having to go back and forwards.
  2. Customs, to check out and pick up some paper work that has a number on it that we needed to pick up at DHL, a replacement AIS was being sent to us there, and if we had this number we didn’t have to pay import duty’s on it.
  3. Then a place to try and either get our water maker pump repaired or a new one, which resulted in about 5 different shops, but no luck there at all. The only lucky thing here was that they were all on the same street.
  4. 2nd trip back to DHL, as they were closed the first time, having to wait for all the paperwork than drive around the back to pick it up, this was as the lady said 3 lefts, even though it’s in the street right behind them.
  5.  Next stop was to find the Ipad store, we had been told about two stores, and the first one was an Istore so this was the first stop, with sheer luck we parked right out the front of it. The Captain here had the hassle of trying to find a shop to buy a drink or something to get change for the parking meter. I had finished all my stuff before he even come back.

The prognosis is that my ipad can be repaired, but it will take a week here to fix it, so it looks like I am without one till we get back to Aus. Man my life is over...haha

6. We then hunted down a chemist to get a few things luckily it was in the same street.

Then decided to have a wander around at the local shops and stuff and just take in some of their life. They have a huge park in the middle of all the shops and everyone just hangs out here, I swear I have never seen so many people enjoying one area, I guess it did help that it was a WiFi free zone...haha but it was still just nice seeing the local people from all ages to two little kids that entertained us even though they had no idea I was watching them break dancing and taking photos.

7. But our little rest had to come to an end as we still need to find a supermarket. So off we go around the island several more times missing the correct streets and finally got to the supermarket, got what we needed than back to the boat.

Man were we tired we just dumped the cold stuff in the fridge and walked back up to the little local bar here and had ourselves a few drinks and listened to a local band and distress some.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 23rd November 2013

2013-11-23

Saturday 23rd November 2013.

Well another hectic day.

Once again we were up early and running, we had to have the car back by 10.30am and we still needed to do a few more things.

First off was finding a beach so I can add sand from here to my collection, than back to a supermarket to pick up a roast.

The one thing we noticed yesterday at the supermarket was how clean and fresh the meat products look, this is the first time in almost a year that it has looked appealing.

I myself have not had any real meat for well over 12months and as we can’t keep any meat in the freezers we decided to cook a roast and have ourselves a nice backed dinner and the leftover meat can be used in many dishes later.

Now the big problem was trying to work out the right meat when it’s all in French and the butcher people cannot speak English, it was quite funny listening to The Captain, mooing like a cow and such...haha

Eventually they told us it was lamb, which was great, only to hunt The Captain down and tell him, they made a mistake and it was a little cow, Veal...haha

I’m not one who normally likes Veal but I have to say after finding a nice recipe on google and adding my own input on it, it tasted great, even if it felt like I was cooking it all day.

We also had a wander around a local market here at the marina with a lot of fresh fruit and veges and clothes and stuff, Bek you thought the one in Fiji was great you should have seen this one triple the size, but very expensive, actually everything here is expensive, the prices are crazy.

So another tiring day with a big clean up, a huge wash and installing the new AIS which is not working either, we settled in to a nice baked dinner and a restful night.

Well tomorrow is another day.


2013-11-24

 Sunday 24th November 2013

Well today we once again got up early, the local fruit and vegies market here are only opened in the morning so we wanted to stock up, as tomorrow they are closed and with luck we plan to leave in the morning.

Off we go and pick up some supplies, although we never can get everything on our list it seems no matter where we are in the world they never have everything you need. We are getting used to this and just make do with what is available.

So back to the boat and now the fun starts, we have a mountain of things to get done once again, so we can leave.

Since we have a water supply on hand here my first thing was to give the deck of this boat a really good scrub and clean. That was the first thing on my list, then get back down below and give the place a good tidy up and clean at the moment it looks like a bomb as gone off once again.

It gets me beat how quick it all falls apart down here in a few hours it can go by looking great to a disaster zone, the only thing I can think of is that it’s just a small area and it looks messy real quick if you leave stuff out.

The Captain is busy trying to get the AIS to work he managed after what seemed like hours to get it all up and running, it appears that it’s the Antenna and not the device itself, great but at least it’s up and running now, thank god.

So after all day scrubbing the decks I have decided after only getting through half, that we need a smaller boat...haha

It was getting late and I needed to do stuff down below and was very hot and tired, we got a visit from a friend of a friend who told us to look him up when we got here, The Captain and him chatted for hours, about anything and nothing, while I cleaned, once again I should of been born male.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 25th november 2013

2013-11-25

Monday 25th November 2013

Well today we leave come hell or high water.

The Captain has paid up our marina fees, and we need to be gone by around 2pm.

We franticly fix all the last minute bits and pieces and we both had showers, than refilled all the tanks and any bottles with water, oh I may have forgot to say, that we have decided to go without getting the water maker pump fixed, it was just going to take too long and we really had not found anyone that could repair it here.

We are not too worried about not being able to make water the tanks hold heaps and if we be real careful we should be fine, fingers crossed, but we do have a lot of water in bottles all over the boat as well, actually more than enough.

So it’s around 1pm and we switch on all the systems only for the AIS to stop working again, are you kidding me? Will it ever end? Man I get so so sick of all the systems, why can’t they just work the first time and stay working? It’s not like they are cheap or 2nd hand, they are all brand new or close to it and expensive pieces of equipment.

So after pulling apart and changing settings we managed to get part of it working again, we can still receive but not transmit, it means its back to what it was before still not right but at least we will be able to see other ships, but they won’t be able to see us, at least it’s something, maybe in Aus we can get someone to look at it.

Now the big thing is to get out of this little matchbox car space, with our Tonka Truck. The Captain untied all the lines, I had the engine warming up, and she is leaving without him, I yell for him to hurry up and jump on, all goes perfect and we reverse out without touching a single thing...haha are we getting good at this or what?

We then had to go around the corner and tie up to the fuel dock, meanwhile I’m frantically swapping over fenders to the side that we will be tied up too and busy pulling in ropes so they don’t fall over board and tangle the prop.

We get up to the fuel dock and slide in next to it they throw us their ropes and we are all secure, we looked like we have been doing this all our life...haha if they could really see the panic behind the smiles, but hey we made it just fine. Filled up with gas and we set ourselves free, it was a little bit hairy turning the boat around to head out of the entrance but once again all went well.

Both we puffed out chests feeling quite proud of ourselves we finally make it out into more open area only to find the AIS has stopped working once again, I swear I’m gonna give it to Davy Jones. Once we managed to get around all the coral reefs and out into the big blue ocean, we fiddled with it some more and got it running again.

And we had a lovely send off from a pod of dolphins, they played around the bow for ages and I swear they were watching us as they kept turning on their sides or back and looking up, it was quite something.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 26th november 2013

2013-11-26

Tuesday 26th November 2013

Day 1

23 .06’S  164 . 26E

654nm to go

9.30pm

Well what a day we have had, the seas have been quite calm, which is great, but it’s been rainy and overcast the whole day.

We have actually been a bit bored, I decided to do some cooking and make us a nice salad for dinner, only to get it all prepared and just have to add the lettuce, when I got it out of the fridge, now we had two lots of lettuce one a bag of mixed and the other a whole lettuce, only to discover both had gone off, I could not believe it they didn’t even last two days, man this frustrates the hell out of me, I tell you, I just hate how things go off so quick on a boat. So we ended up having a salad on bread without the salad...haha

After we had watched many episodes of a TV series that we had downloaded, and finished the whole series we became even more bored.

So in the afternoon I discovered some games on the computers that we could download without internet and play, at the moment, I’m fighting with wizards and fairies and saving the world and The Captain is playing a hidden object quiz game and has so far won a toaster, and a BBQ  ...hahaha

 yeap it’s been a boring day.    

Well tomorrow is another day.


wednesday 27th November 2013

2013-11-27

Wednesday 27th November 2013.

Day 2

23  24’S 162  18’E

531nm to go

11.30pm

Well I for one want yesterday back, I would rather be bored than put up with this lot.

Man is it rough and it has been all day, we have big big waves, strong winds and one very choppy ocean.

The wind is all over the place and changing constantly, The Captain is forever changing sails and direction and letting the sails out or bringing them in tighter.

No matter what we do we can’t seem to ease off the pressure enough to settle it down some. I have been constantly seasick, and have layed down and slept a good chunk of the day and night.

I could not go down and cook anything as it was just way too rough, but luckily we had plenty of left over’s to eat.

We have discovered that the games we have been playing on the computers you can only play once so if you close it you lose it unless you go online and download from there with a price attached I’m sure.

So the fairy world has properly blown up by now without me there to help them, everyone else is winning The Captains prizes and we have played many others only to get hooked in only to have the same fate happening over and over, oh well at least it keeps us from going insane well a little bit.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 28th November 2013

2013-11-28

Thursday 28th November 2013

23  32’S, 160  55E

473nm to go

Day 3

7.30pm

Well today is much the same as yesterday its rough and uncomfortable, but it has settled down a lot, we are not doing much other than sleeping reading and playing games.

I still have no fishing lines out yet as it’s still too rough, maybe tomorrow.

The highlight of the day well actually it was early hours of the morning, when The Captain woke up for our watch change, which I might add we are not doing real well, I seem to sleep a lot through the day, so I’m not that tired at night so I let The Captain just sleep till he wakes up, he usually sleeps 5-6 hours than I go have around the same amount of sleep, its working so far so why change it.

Anyway getting back to the highlight of the day, when The Captain woke up and I was just about to lay down, I looked out in the darkness and you should have seen the show that the ocean and stars put on.

Man the phosphorescent in the water just turned the ocean into a thousand sparkling stars, it was like magic, than we looked up to the sky, now I know I have said this before but the stars were so bright and thousands of them shining the sky almost looked like it was daylight. It was like the Ocean and the sky were both reflecting off each other. We both just sat there taking it all in, words really cannot explain how it really looks like, but this is one part of ocean crossing that makes it so special. The rest well....as the saying goes, (Ocean crossings are mostly boredom interrupted with sheer terror.)

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 29th November 2013

2013-11-29

Friday 29th November 2013

24 05’S, 159 18E

380nm to go

Day 4

Well today its calm yay.

I for one so need this I hate the rough oceans it really terrifies me especially at night when I’m on watch by myself and its dark and you can’t see anything but feel the motion of the boat, which feels like it’s going to capsize any minute. You really cannot do anything but hold on and hope like hell nothing bad is going to happen.

So this calm ocean is such a welcome relief, The Captain on the other hand looks at it as if it’s the worst thing in the world, we are doing around 2-3 knots he wants to be doing around 5-6 knots.

I open my eyes to calm and serene man it’s so nice The Captain is itching to get up and change course, sails the whole lot, I plead with him to just let me enjoy the calm for a little bit.

To his credit he last about an hour, than up he jumps, I’m thinking there goes my comfy ride, now he fiddles, with this and that changes sails and stuff, and still nothing is happening...hahaha there is a god.

He eventually gives up and lays down for a sleep, me with a little skip in my step and a smile goes down to face that what looks like an explosion has gone off in the galley... smile fades some.

The good thing about gentle seas is I can once again get the boat back in order, two days of neglect sure builds up quick.

I’m busy down there for hours, and yes I am on watch and I race up the steps and look around very often, although we do have the radar alarm on so anything that gets 8nm to us, it will go off, although the AIS is not working now at all, so that alarm is gone with it. It’s just sitting here on the wall looking smug as it has got the better of us, what a piece of crap equipment it is, seriously it causes nothing but problems, and the other piece of nasty work on this boat is Aut (the auto pilot) he decided to have a hissy fit last night while I was on watch I’m sitting here enjoying reading a book with a torch for light, man I miss my ipad, when the alarm goes off, I quickly jump up looking around thinking a cargo ship is about to run us over, when I realise it’s  Aut, not the radar, I have not named the radar yet, will have to think on that one.

Well he has switched off Autopilot and gone back to Standby, which means nothing is steering the boat. I quickly switch it back on to Auto and it works but we are now way off course, I fiddle some but nothing is working to get us back on track, I wake The Captain who jumps up presses a button or two and all is fine, with a sigh of relief we sit back down.

Our butts barely touch the seats when off it goes into some other mode, flashing all this stuff at us, once again The Captain tries several buttons but nothing is working this time, with visions of hand steering the next four days and panic setting in I race down to get the trusty manual, that I can now put my hand on in about two seconds flat.

I race back up torch in hand and start reading, as per usual its useless and tells us nothing, in sheer desperation I switch the thing off, and no not the main power as we know what that does, just the unit itself up here, I wait a few minutes and start it back up again, we hold our breath and Yes once again its working fine, man I look over at The Captain and we both agree that it’s the first thing we get fixed when we hit Australia, seriously it stresses me out so much, I almost have a stroke every time the damn thing goes mental.

Ok rant over...hahaha

Back to my cleaning I decided to clean and organise the lockers and do a new list, as we have been told Australia is the worst country to come into with very strict rules and regulations, we are starting to get very concerned about this, as we have been told how bad they are and will go over your whole boat with a fine tooth comb, so all my hidey holes are out, it’s better to play dumb than look like we are hiding stuff.

So out come all the goodies that were hidden the list is accurate now which sucks, as I hate to abide by rules, but I tell you if they try and take it off us there is going to be one hell of a fight. Especially my sand I don’t care who they think they are they are not getting that. The Captain just rolls his eyes, but man he has not seen the real me when it comes to fighting for my rights.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 30th, Sunday 1st Monday 2nd December 2013

2013-12-02

Saturday 30th, Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd November 2013

26  10’S 155  12’E

9am

132nm to go

Day 4, 5 and 6

Well am putting these all into one post, why? Well the last 3 days have been a sheer nightmare, today is the first time I have been able to type, and only just I have myself wedged into a large cushion and every few minutes I have a death grip on the side of the cockpit.

It all went pear shape around 12pm Friday the wind started to pick up The Captain jumps up and heads us into the wind to stop us healing over too far.

This last for a few minutes then nothing is helping, we are being faced with a full on gale, with waves  15 feet and over, wind gusting over 45 knots pouring rain and one ugly ugly ocean.

After an hour or so we finally managed to get the sails in this helps some but I tell you it was not easy getting them in, with rope burns on my hand from it being ripped out of it to The Captain having to go out in it to untangle a rope.

Now from previous experience these types of storms usually last 30min Max, but not this guy we are onto almost 3 full days of this, it’s shocking although I think the wind has died down some, the waves and ocean have not.

The wind is so strong that the Aut (Auto pilot) has a hard time coping and switches off all the time, which in turn throws us way off course.

I have never experience winds like this in my life, it is blowing us all over the place not to mention blowing us more on our side than upright, actually I can’t even remember the last time we were upright.

We have the engine running flat out to try and have some control and you know it’s bad when you hear the engine miss a beat and know we have been pushed so far over that the propeller is out of the water.

Than the waves these mamas are huge towering over the boat, there is nothing more unnerving than seeing a wall of water racing towards you and knowing all you can do is pray and hold on hoping against all hope that this one is not the one that is going to knock us right over and they are constant they never let up they just keep pounding into us.

We have had so many come crashing down right on top of us that you can see nothing but water, with the result that everything is wet inside and out. We have had rivers of water coming in downstairs, how it’s getting in has got us beat, but I can tell you it looks like the aftermath of a flood down there.

We had one massive wave dump on us that it actually lifted the hatch above the galley as it was not secured down enough and just dumped half the ocean in there.

All the lockers are full of water all the cushions are wet and everything that has dried out some is covered in a layer of salt.

Then we get to the ocean being so rough as a result we can hardly move around at all as you have to have a death grip on something, to go downstairs is almost a death sentence and we both come back into the cockpit sporting new bruises.

The wave action has also sent everything all over the place from pots and pans to plates and cups to empting out lockers, with a lot of breakages to lifting and throwing a heavy plastic crate full of large water bottles, That I can hardly move as it’s so heavy, this was sitting on the side cushion next to the table and was picked up and thrown over the table and is now upside down on the back cushion behind the table.

There is not one thing that is not untouched by this shocking seas, My good old trusty laptop was up here in the cockpit it got thrown down the stairs and crashed into three pieces on the floor below, it took almost 12 hours before we could go down and pick it up and we put it back together and it’s still working, man that’s one tough computer.

Our new computer has not fared so well, we were so worried that it would come to the same fate that we tied a cord to it and anchored it up here only to have such a bad jolt that it broke two keys on the keyboard, it’s still working but only just, this is one of our main nav systems as well,  so it was a shocking moment when we thought we had lost it, the two portable inverters that we use to charge the laptops have stopped working when water got into the sockets that they plug into and the main chart plotter keeps turning itself off and on.

The good news we have about a day and a bit and we will be in Brisbane with any luck, we sure could use some at the moment.

And we sit we hold on, I cry, I go from being utterly terrified to just numb, we are both at breaking point, we try and catch a few hours sleep here and there on wet mattress’s and just hope that it will all calm down soon.

This is the worst crossing ever and has shaken me so much, I’m not so sure this sailing life is for me anymore. I know I will feel better once things settle down but at the moment, I would love to get off this boat and never set foot back on another one again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 3rd december 2013

2013-12-03

Tuesday 3rd November 2013-12-04

Day 7

3am       

Well its 3am, and up I stand to have a look around and in the distance I can see a large white glow on the horizon, I just sit back down and cry, I wake The Captain, as we were changing watches, and we both just stared and took it in, It s our first sighting of Australia, we have almost made it we are almost home.

The ocean is still big with strong gusts of wind that blow us way too far on our side still, but we are only getting the occasional waves smashing into us.

I managed to get some sleep and when I woke and sat up and looked around I could see our homeland on the horizon man I cried again...haha

What a journey we have had, after almost two years, I think 17 countries and the handfuls of Small Islands we have visited, we have sailed almost half way around the world, in nautical miles we have sailed over half way around.

Actually if you take in all the places we have visited before we found the boat we have actually been all the way around the world, man thats crazy.

I kinda look at ourselves as Cruisers but a friend of ours told us we are Voyagers... haha maybe we are maybe were not, maybe we are just crazy.

When we left America 7months ago, we were told by many that the two of you don’t have enough experience, and cannot possibly handle a boat that size by yourselves you will need crew.

Well I guess all the modifications paid off we always said we did not want crew, this was our Journey our time to shine, have we shined? More like a huge smudge....hahaha but we are here the boat is in one piece and we are in one piece, and I have to say the journey as brought The Captain and I a lot closer together, we are a solid team.

As we slowly make our way to land the tension starts to build, we need to get somewhere a bit calmer so we can try and tidy up the boat before customs boards us. Customs here are really strict and it has been stressing us out a lot these last few days, we have all the horror stories from other cruisers about entering into this fine country of ours.

From taking almost all food on board to going over the whole boat checking for white ants, to demanding an anti foul is done within the first week of arrival and many many more restrictions.

Then you can add the fees we could be up for stamp duty this can run into one hell of a lot of money, we could be up for $17,000 $18,000 who knows.

But the pressing stress attack at the moment is ships huge mama ships they are everywhere, we sure are getting close to a main city, we have to have an eagle eye out, and we study the Chart plotter constantly so we can make our way around shallow areas.

We eventually get closer to a bay that we think will shelter us enough to get some cleaning down, but its way to rough there as well, so the decision was made that I will do my best to clean and organise while we motor into Morton Bay, as this is where we have to go and check in.

It was not easy I tell you being thrown this way and that, but after about 6 hours I managed to clean and mop up as much salt as I could, every locker and bench plus walls and floors was dripping with salt water or dried salt. It was shocking and don’t even get me started on the mess of articles, that were thrown out of lockers it was bad.

The Captain had the nerve racking job of navigating through this major shipping channel, as its shallow waters on both sides, we tried to stick like glue to it and had to pass very close to ships and a cruise ship talk about up close and personal, man those things are big.

I’m not sure what I was thinking when he told us we have to go down this channel, I was kinda thinking it would be like a freeway I guess but in water well no, it’s just in open ocean with marker here and there although it is well marked you still need to have all your wits about you.

We were about two hours away from a spot that we were going to anchor for the night (it’s a long way in) when the engine makes a funny noise, talk about fear set in, we are in a major shipping lane, shallow water nearby and one huge Cruise ships boring down on us.

The Captain races down and lifts the floor boards and the prop is not spinning I’ve grabbed the two way radio ready to call for help, when it starts working again, we get out of the cruise ships way real fast and continue on at a much steadier pace.

We finally come into the area that we want to anchor in pitch black something we always don’t do, but had no choice.

And we are here finally anchored in Australian waters, and tomorrow we will go the last leg of around 12nm which should take about three hours and face customs.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 4th December 2013

2013-12-04

Wednesday 4th December 2013

Well it’s really nice to wake up in Australian waters I tell you it’s a good feeling, and what a pretty spot this is even if we do feel like we are anchored in the middle of the ocean. We are still a Nautical mile off shore but in under 6meters of water crazy.

We took our time this morning as we know we only have about 3 hours motoring to go and to be honest we are just both so exhausted.

So after the final clean up she looks as good as we can get her and off we set, as we get closer to where we need to check in, we radio Coast Guard to get permission to enter into the Bay and they tell us that you have to go up the Brisbane River to Rivergate Marina to check in now, great that’s another 3-4 hours away and its almost 1pm already.

So we head off in another direction cursing for wasting time and get ourselves back in the channel to get into the harbour.

As we get closer to the entrance we are listening to all the big ships radios and watching them come and go.

Once again we radio Coast Guard at the entrance and they tell us after this next Cargo vessel coming out we have a free run in.

So we are motoring away when yeap the engine starts playing up again, well actually it’s the transmission, and it stops I look up to see the Cargo ship boring down on us, The captain races down stairs pulling up floor boards me radio in hand, ready to call someone as we are going nowhere.

This ship is heading straight for us, I’m in a major panic and relaying to The Captain that its getting closer, we had watched ships before them coming out and the channel sweeps around beside us and knew it would turn very soon, but man I was almost having a heart attack waiting for it to turn, it did in the end and talk about up close and personal man it passed close, I for one have had enough close calls in the last two days with these big guys to last a life time.

So that drama over The Captain gets it all working again and into the harbour we go, we still have a fair way to go and we are starting to panic as we don’t want to get there after hours as they charge a mental amount of overtime rates.

We make it by 4pm a guy from the Marina meets us at the wharf and helps tie us off, yay we are here safe.

Customs comes on board first man were we nervous but they were such a nice pair and we chatted like long lost friends, all went well at first with them and then quarantine come on, The Captain was still busy with customs so I went down with The quarantine guy and started with him doing all the paperwork.

Once again he was a really nice guy too, but man did they take a lot of food off the boat, some of what I never thought they would, he bundles all this into two huge plastic bags along with our rubbish bags and I ask him what they do with it now, he turns around and says we burn it.

Now don’t get me wrong but they take away all this food that is packaged in plastic bags put it in more plastic bags to stop bugs and diseases getting into the country, which is great, but then they burn all that plastic, that’s great for the environment how many times has it been drummed into us not to burn plastic it’s a real no no with all the toxic fumes it puts out. Good one Australia you really look after the environment, crazy.

Then back to Customs and the fun starts, they hand The Captain a email that we were suppose to get before we entered into Australia that was sent when we were in the middle of the ocean.

Stating that they have made a decision with us, we have to pay Stamp Duty and Tax up to around $20,000 or we are only allowed to stay in our own Country for 30 days and then be imported and also we are not allowed in those 30 days to leave Brisbane waters.

As you can imagine that do not go down well, for a start we are not paying them the money as we are not importing the boat into Australia and when the time comes to sell we will be selling overseas.

Any other foreign vessel coming into Australia is allowed to stay up to 12mths have the freedom to sail anywhere around Australia and pay nothing, but because we are Australian citizens on an Australian registered boat we have to pay this crazy money or be kicked out of our own country.

And to put icing on the cake, anywhere from here to sail out is putting us back into full blown cyclone weather, the only safe place we can go is New Zealand but not from here if they allow us to sail down to Sydney we may get a good weather window and sail across there and leave the boat and fly home for awhile.

We are not going down without a fight I tell you, there are emails and phone calls flying back and forth, so watch this space.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 5th December 2013

2013-12-05

Thursday 5th December 2013

So today we moved the boat to a spot in the Marina, we still have not completely finished with Quarantine as they have to send two guys out to go over the whole boat and inspect all the timber for white ants, but we are allowed off the boat, yay I can finally plant my feet on Australian soil.

And the first thing we do is hit the Laundromat, great the joys of sailing, but man did I have some wet clothes around, I think I used every towel we own over the last 4 days trying to mop up as much water as possible, but it was almost a never ending battle I tell you.

So washing on the go I come back to the boat, just in time for three marina guys to help us move the boat. We had asked them earlier if they could be available to grab our lines as we came around, as the wind and fast moving tides around here are not a good combination for this heavy vessel of ours.

One young guy jumps on board all pimply face looking like he should be still in school oh and with one very important look on his face. He says he will help us navigate in and we had two guys waiting on shore.

It was so funny I swear this young guy thought we knew nothing about boats and we were just plane too old to handle a boat like this,  if we had let him he would of even take over the wheel...haha

But the funniest thing was his accent we are so not used to the Aussie slang, everything was mate, go this way mate, can you see that mate, turn her a little bit more mate, that’s great mate, a little slower mate....hahaha it took every ounce of my strength to stop from cracking up laughing....man we have been away way to long.

But we made it in once again they squeezed us into a tiny tiny spot, and we missed hitting pilings  and all the other boats and are now safely tucked in for awhile.

Then our big adventure to get groceries and pick up some bits and pieces We catch a taxi to the nearest shopping centre, and the first thing that shocked us was all the cars, man it was crazy, we are so used to no traffic at all or just a small handful of cars here and there.

Then the shopping centre and the people and noise I tell you we could not get out of there quick enough, we had to catch a bus to the next shopping centre to get to an Apple store for them to look at my Ipad, well I can tell you this centre was massive, We both hated it and just wanted to turn around and leave, but with a deep breath we ploughed on man this was more nerve racking than sailing oceans.

We were just so out of place to think this was my world working in all these kinds of centres man I do not miss that one bit.

After hanging around waiting for an appointment with the Apple store, who makes an Appointment with a shop, come on guys have you lost the plot completely this is nuts, yes making an appointment with doctors and such fine, but to make one to talk to some little very important 17 years old who thinks he knows everything, man I was so not impressed.

And we got nowhere with my Ipad they say it can’t be repaired and we can buy a reconditioned one for almost the cost of a new one, or buy a new one.

We left there in search of a repair shop...haha we came across one who said they can repair it but no guarantee that it will fix it this was almost as much as the 2nd hand one. So we have so far made no progress with the thing at all.

Next stop was good old woollies, man we have never seen so much fresh fruit and vegies in years, even the stuff that was over ripe and selling off cheap, looked ten times better than what we have been able to buy, we were like kids in a candy shop I tell you.

With bags and bags of groceries we managed to get a taxi back to the Marina, which nearly cost as much as our groceries and headed back to the boat only to discover it had rained and everything, was wet, all our mattress sheets doonas pillows you name it, we had forgot to close up. Yeap once again wet beds to sleep on, this is so not fun.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December 2013

2013-12-07

Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December 2013

Today started with a quick run around clean up as the guys were coming to check out all the boat for pests and diseases.

We passed with flying colours well almost they caught a few fruit flys and we played dumb and said well they must of flew in here when we got here.

These flies are our stowaways, and yeah I have never been able to get rid of them, we have collected them all over the world, sometimes there is heaps, sometime not so many. But we sure have a mixed bag of them on here. So they catch a few of these guys and take them away, but all was ok, thank god that was over.

The rest of the time was just washing everything that I could on the boat with the rain yesterday there was not much dry on here I tell you, this took me days,

 The Captain was busy trying to contact all different guys for the many repairs we need doing.

And all the catch up phone calls to family, man the phone as been glued to our ears for days.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 8th December 2013

2013-12-08

Sunday 8th December 2013

Well today we got to see our first family member on The Captains side in almost two years.

Kristen The Captains niece came to visit we had a lovely time and chatted for hours and hours, it was so nice catching up with family, but I am busting to get home and see more family.

Yes we are still stuck here customs have not changed their mind yet but there is a little hope on the horizon we should find out on Monday what is going on.

As for the rest of the day well I started once again cleaning the hull of the boat man we have managed to get a lot of growth happening again, it never ends, The Captain was busy pulling things apart to be ready for the many guys that should be visiting us soon for repairs.

And on and on it goes.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 9th December 2013

2013-12-09

Monday 9th December 2013

Well another day of visitors, this time from some old friends of The Captains from his hometown in South Africa.

John and Rosemary what a lovely couple they are, The Captain and John were away most of the day running around picking up bits and pieces, while Rosemary and I just chatted.

I had planned to do more cleaning of the outside of the boat but we were having such a lovely chat that we just relaxed and chatted the day away.

We had two guys here fixing the transmission, and I would of loved to know what they thought of us...haha man did we talk my jaw was sore...haha

I felt a bit guilty taking a day off but sometimes you just need it, so thank you guys it done me the world of good to relax, talk and laugh the day away.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 10th December 2013

2013-12-10

Tuesday 10th December 2013

Well here we are still, we were suppose to hear from customs yesterday but no word, as you can imagine the stress levels were starting to rise big time.

At around 9am The Captain gave them a ring, well guess what? We are free yay yay yay

We can sail anywhere in Australia for 12 months and not have to pay any fees at all, talk about a huge relief, they finally came to their senses now we just have to wait for some official papers get the last of the repairs done and then we can head off.

We are thinking of leaving on Thursday or Friday if all goes well The Captains son Robin is flying up to join us on our journey home, which is pretty exciting, we have missed the kids so much, it’s been almost 2 years since I have seen my son Tim, 19months since I have seen my daughter Madeline and about a month for my daughter Bek.

The Captains two kids Marian and Robin it has been almost two years, so we are starting to get very excited to be home, and of course to see all the rest of the families, and friends one very close friend in particular I have missed her so much you know who you are! It’s been way to long, so in under a week we should be finally home.

The day sure has been busy, The Captain and John have been doing a lot of stuff around the boat, not exactly sure, but man have they made a mess, and I have been flat out with the cleaning of the outside, it is such hard work and I know I will never really finish it but at least I trying to get as much done as possible.

Well tomorrow is anther Day.


Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th, Friday 13th December 2013.

2013-12-13

Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th, Friday 13th,  December 2013

Well the days are just rolling on, man have we been busy.

Customs is still giving us a hard time, they came to the boat with a list of Customs Brokers that we have to contact one and employ them to arrange a Temporary Importation.

Ok so it looks like the fight is still on, The Captain rings a few to see what it involves and most have said yeah we can arrange it but it will take a good week to organise, as you can imagine this did not go down well.

We finally manage to find one guy that will race with it, so fingers crossed we can get moving by Tuesday next week.

But it’s all coming with a cost, an obscene amount of money to pay him, they have to contact quarantine again and maybe come and have another inspection, or just accept our letter that it’s all been sighted, but even though we had to pay them $300. The first time we still will have to pay another $49 even if they come to the boat or not, we may or may not have to have the boat valued that is still ongoing, but the good news we may be able to leave without it all being finalised and each port we sail into we will have to contact them till its finalised. This we can handle if it means we can leave, we so want to be home for Christmas and man are we cutting it fine.

The water maker is all fixed and we are hoping it’s working we cannot test it here as the water is not real clean so once we are in the ocean again we can give it a good run and fingers crossed it will work fine.

The AIS is up and running again, after we downloaded new software so fingers crossed no more near collision with big ships and they should be able to see us and we them.

The Transmission is all back together and working fine, he even fixed our hot water so it should heat up while the engine is running, but man we almost had to sell our souls to pay the bill.

And this old tub of ours is taking on a new look once again, I have been flat out scrubbing, cleaning and oiling all the timber trims once again, she will never look like showroom condition but it sure is an improvement.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 14th December 2013

2013-12-14

Saturday 14th December 2013

Well today is The Captains aka Sir Henry’s Birthday. So a big Happy Birthday to my best buddy, I love you heaps. Xxx

Now you may be wondering where Sir Henry has sprouted from, he actually started with Henry, from the Movie My Fair Lady, most have seen the movie and can understand Henry Higgins and with The Captains love of the English language, and proper accent, and me having the Aussie accent he rips into me a lot...haha

So Henry came into play and after a good friend of ours told us we are voyages, and we deserve a Knighthood from all our travels...hahaha this cracks us up big time, thanks Roger, he is now officially named Sir Henry.

So the days continues The Captain has had the phone glued to his ear most of the day, with many a Birthday greetings and I well just cleaning and oiling, I don’t think I will ever get to the end of it.

The one big thing we have noticed is how much more expensive everything is back here in Aus, we went grocery shopping yesterday and man it has doubled in price, it’s crazy and don’t even get me started on alcohol, man the price we paid overseas which we thought was expensive at the time was nothing to the prices here, big bottles of Rum was costing us around $18 and here they are over $100 a bottle, we sure should of filled the water tanks with Rum and the other tequila, what were we thinking filling them with water...haha.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 15th December 2013

2013-12-15

Sunday 15th December 2013.

Well today The Captains son has come to join us, welcome aboard Robin.

As you can imagine we have not seen Robin in almost 2 years so man did we have some catching up to do.

After our jaws were to sore to chat anymore, we still chatted..haha

But we set him to work on the many odd jobs around here that are never ending we are starting to tick off a lot on the list once again.

It’s so nice having an extra pair of hands on board and also someone new to chat too, Robin is staying with us and sailing down the coast back to Lake Macquarie, so it’s looking like he will be with us for a week or so.

 It’s so nice to see The Captain and his Son working side by side and getting to know each other again and catching up on all those lost times in the last few years.

Well tomorrow is another day.


16th December to 21st December 2013

2013-12-16

The lost weeks Monday 16th December to Saturday 21st December 2013.

Wow how time flies, we have been so busy I have not had a moment to rest, we have been racing like crazy, but today I finally am making the time to catch up on my blog.
Just a warning this one may turn into a novel...haha

So let's start at the very beginning...haha this sentence always reminds me of the song in The Sound Of Music movie, you all know it,

Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A B C
When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi

Yeah I know I'm gonna be singing it all day now, along with the rest of you...haha

So way back on Monday 16th Robin and I got stuck in an oiled almost every bit of timber trim on deck, we went flat out all day so this here vessel of ours can look a bit better when the Family and friends see her.
The Captain had the horrible job of still dealing with Customs and racing around getting papers scanned and sent to our customs broker, and chasing him up almost hourly, we are now waiting on quarantine to give us the ok and then we can finally get out of here.

Tuesday morning we decided we had had enough, and decided to go anyway as we are still allowed to sail in Brisbane waters we figured by late this afternoon we would only then be leaving Brisbane waters so they could just contact us by phone and if they insisted on looking over the boat again we could pull in somewhere along the way and they would just have to come to us.
We were so over the Australian officials, serious if it was not for family and friends we would never have brought the boat back to Australia it is discusting how we have been treated and quite frankly Australian officials you should hang your head in shame, we have sailed over half way around the world and have never ever been treated like we have here in our own country.

The exit at the Marina did not go well with a marina employee suppose to be holding the ropes let go and we slammed into a piling and bent the bow sprit, then going into the fuel dock was almost as bad with me fending off a roof and The Captain and Robin trying so hard to hold ropes and pulling us in closer to the dock, but somehow we managed to fuel up and limp out of the river, still in one piece.

Once we reached the boarder of how far we were legally allowed to sail and still we had not heard anything we just kept on going...haha call us pirates but with luck we finally got the call to say we were allowed to leave, hours and hours after we were way out of Brisbane waters...haha

We did not have an easy trip down the coast we were slammed by everything, poor Robin got the lot, from peaceful seas, to raging winds, from going so slow it nearly drove us crazy, to racing at one stage doing 10knots.
We had no idea what day we would reach Swansea Channel it changed from Saturday to Sunday almost hourly.

Our newly fixed transmission that cost over $900 to fix let us down the first day, one very hairy moment and many more to come when the drive just stopped turning, we quickly discovered that we were losing transmission fluid at an alarming rate, and only had enough on board to run the engine for so many hours, so we had to pace ourselves with the usage of the engine, which was not easy as sometimes we were just sailing so slow and needed to get moving all the time.
We had worked out all the high tides at Swansea as it's quite shallow there and needed to be there on the high tide to go through the entrance.
The transmission was just the start of the breakages it seems like we can not sail anywhere without something going wrong, in high seas and strong winds a bracket that holds the traveler that holds one of the ropes in place for the Yankie sail, just came apart from the rail and bent right back, this is such a thick piece of steal and shocked us all how it just bent, so The Captain had to get on his harness and get out there and rig up another way so we could at least furl in and out the Yankie, I happened to be coming up the steps the next day and looked over at the other side and the same was happening there we quickly moved the traveler back some so it was less pressure on that one which worked fine.
The other major thing that went wrong was the main sail our great new system let us down once again, the track that also holds a traveler type thingy came apart and as we were letting out the main sail it fell off with ball bearing flying everywhere once again the safety harnesses went on and The Captain and Robin went out and jury rigged it and off we went again.
The last 12 hours we were hit with a southerly and it was touch and go wether  we would even make it to Swansea at all we almost went into Newcastle harbour, we were just getting nowhere and beating into the wind doing around 2 knots if we were lucky.

I was not happy about going into Newcastle harbour at all, we had come this far and it has been our dream for so long to sail into Swansea with family and friends to greet us on shore as we went by, so we ploughed on I think The captain and Robin were not happy about this at all and there was a few tense moments with The Captain and crew but we made it, in hind sight we would of been so much better going into Newcastle Harbour, but to their credit not one of them said a word about I told you so, even though I was saying it to myself over and over....haha 

The entrance into the channel was a shocker, we skimmed over a very shallow spot all holding our breaths but made it just fine, only to go through a very narrow spot and the transmission died on us once again. it had happened several times before and we had worked out how many hours we could get on refilling it so we should of been fine, but obviously no one told the boat this, she had her own way of working it out.

So we are faced with a huge break wall of rocks shallow water on the other side and one very fast moving current, we had no hope in hell of doing anything, The Captain grabs the radio and calls Lake Macquaire Rescue for urgent help and then Robin and him race to get the anchor down only for the switch to die on us.
They had to get it down by hand and by this time we had hit the rocks side on.
Talk about panic I honestly thought we would ship wreak the boat right here, but with luck it was a very gentle hit and we only took off a small amount of paint, also it helped that the rescue boat got to us really quick.
This was all watched by family and friends on shore much to their amusement when they announced over the loud speaker that the bridge was opening up for an emergency and the rescue boat came flying through with lights flashing, it's so typical we sail all this way and come to a crashing halt in full view of all the family, I'm sure they are still scratching their heads and questioning our sanity.

So we get towed off and the rescue boat decided it was much safer all round if they towed us all the way under the bridge and to a safe anchorage, so with all the mob watching us we got towed passed them waving and crying by almost all, it was a very moving moment on my part at least when I spotted my Mum and Dad man did the tears flow than my boy who told me all along that he would not be able to come watch us, and of coarse my Bek and Ant, my best friend lyn and her husband Pete and my sister Di and Stuart and some friends as well.

They start towing us through the bridge at an alarming rate and we swayed to the port and the stays caught and scrapped right along the top of the bridge man what a noise it made I'm sure the whole of Swansea heard this but luckily no damage was done.

we told everyone we would go to Lake Macquarie yacht club and tie up so as we were getting towed there they all jumped in their cars to meet us there.
It was not meant to be the so called rescue boat pulled us right onto a sand bank and we were stuck solid.
They decided to turn us around and were going to take us to a buoy just this side of the bridge, so I rang everyone to go back to Swansea, only to find out that we are too heavy for their buoy, so they got us in 5 meters of water just of Pelican, so another phone call to everyone this time to come to pelican luckily these suburbs are very close to each other so they did not have that much of a distance to go, but I'm sure they were getting over going this way and that by now.

Friends of ours Deb and Rod have a boat at pelican marina so they loaded up everyone except mum and dad as they needed to get home, and ferried them all out to us, where many more tears happened, Robin jumped off the boat with the rescue crew and they took him ashore as he was getting picked up from there but it was so funny watching him take off with this relieved look on his face, and thanking us for a great time and the near death experiences... Haha

We enjoyed a great afternoon catching up, it's good to finally be home.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 21st April 2014

2014-04-21

Monday 21st April 2014

Well here I am or should I say here we are, we are back on our next adventure.
At the moment we are being rocked all over the place, it's cold and we well and truly need to head up north into warmer weather.

We are anchored off Salamander Bay. We left Lake Macquarie, on Friday morning, our journey actually started the day before, we motored to Pelican, which is a little spot just before going under Swansea bridge.
What a trip getting there, they had dredged the lake while we were there and we were assured that we would have 2-1/2 meters depth even at low tide.
They lied...we hit bottom 3 times, the third stopped us in our tracks, I'm sitting there thinking tow time and having horrible thoughts of the dramas we had getting in here, surely not all that again, but low and behold, The Captain got us moving, again yay.

But the fun wasn't stopping there now we had to anchor in the only deep spot around here, with the channel on one side, a sand bank on the other, wind howling and the current flowing against the wind, talk about stress levels in overdrive, and we are not even out in the ocean yet. But after only six times ...haha, going around in circles we finally managed to set the anchor, The Captain had a huge list of to do things on deck, myself needed a nana nap..haha

So bright and early the next morning we are up, ready or not to continue this journey, last night we made contact with Marine Rescue to let them know we were leaving, find out conditions, etc and book a bridge opening.
They warned us about the shipping containers that had fallen off a ship near Sydney, 3 had been accounted for but there was still a few missing, we had already heard about this, from my brother the day before and had made the decision to do a day sail, other Than a night sail, at least we could keep a look out for them.
So racing around like two maniacs we got everything in order and started off, I had  a count of 14 boats going through the Bridge, The Captain says 9... Haha
and almost the same amount to come in.

We made it through the bridge with no dramas other than ageing ten years and more grey hairs, only to be faced with ten or so boats all sitting in the channel.
Oh man, The Captain is trying to find a maker, as it's very shallow water and we need to be in that channel, he makes a split second decision to go straight into the flotilla of boats, I'm yelling saying you can't there are two many boats, he is like watch me, yeah he was mighty annoyed that they could be so stupid to block the channel.
Well I tell you there were bow thruster starting in all directions, and boats parting like the Red Sea...haha
And we made it, I'm not so sure how as I had my eyes closed...haha
But we were through and made it back out into the wild blue ocean, and man was it wild, we had huge swells, I was popping seasick pills like crazy and even The Captain, was a bit green.
Other than being in the middle of a yacht race with one yacht getting very up close and personal at one stage, it went ok, we saw no containers at all.
It was a long day trip there but we were back in full swing, it did not feel like we had been out of the game for four months.
As we were approaching the entrance into Port Stephens, I got a little fright when I saw a black fin swimming straight towards us, yeap it was a  three foot shark, The Captain raced over to my side to check it out and frightened the poor thing and it raced off real quick..Haha

We made it into the entrance over the bar, only just missing an island and surfed our way into the bay, it sure was rough. But we managed to anchored in Shoal Bay for the night.
We had just set the anchor when a boat sailed passed very close, it was two guys that we had met at Croudace Bay, so of cause we had to go over for Happy Hour on their boat where we meet his wife as well, it was a very nice evening catching up.

The swell had not settled one bit, after trying to sleep in our bed and almost getting thrown out we decided to sleep in the Cock pit, and not very well at that, in the morning we decided to move and head up to Soldiers Point, where it was nice and calm.
My Daughter Maddy and her man Jason joined us there we had a lovely visit with them and a sad goodbye.
But at least we will fly back home more often this time so it should be a lot easier on all of us.
And that brings us back to Salamander Bay we moved here yesterday so we could walk to a shopping centre and get some fresh stuff, man where is a car when you need it.

We had a loan of a car the whole time we were back, thanks again Russ, it was a life saver.
I won't bore you to death about all the details of our last four months back home, well maybe a little, we had birthdays, Christmas, a brand new bub, yeap we made it home in time for the Birth of The Captains daughters first Child.
Little Isabelle Rose came into the world on 10th January and has stolen our hearts completely, she has a mop of auburn hair and is so so cute.
Craig Marion's husband had a 50th surprise birthday party and we dressed up as Caribbean Pirates, haha
Mum and Dad celebrated another birthday, and I managed to be home for My daughter Beks Birthday as well.

We had a weekend away At Meg and Russell's trout farm, I caught up with my best friend Lyn, and kept here company every second week at work when she had to travel a long distance, thanks Lyn for reminding me why I left work haha, but we sure had a lot of laughs, was just like old times again, I sure am going to miss you.

We also roped in a fair few family members to help us anti foul the boat, you guys were a great help. And of cause the million and one boat repairs, that has almost sent us broke.

We also had the never ending visitors to the boat almost all the family members came out to check out our new home, and even got the boat onto a dock so my mum and dad could have a look around, it was great, it was a very special moment in our lives.

Have we done everything we wanted to, not even close, but we managed to do as much as possible and also have a nice rest and recharge our batteries.
 We did not have a big farewell, just  caught up with each of them one on one and said goodbye with not so many tears shed this time, I think they all have faith in us now that we live this crazy life and survive.

Today Bek, Anthony and Tim are coming to visit and to farewell us off and on Wednesday My Brother Darren, Renee and there kids are visiting than we will set off again.

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Monday 28th April 2014

2014-04-28

Monday 28th April 2014

Well we made it, we are safely anchored in Coffs Harbour.
But man is it a rocky anchorage, I think I'm going to run out of seasick pills real quick the way I'm going...haha

Last Monday Bek, Anthony and Tim come out to the boat, we were going to move back to Shoal Bay, as it was a bit rocky here, but after doing stuff around here first we left it a bit late, but still it was not too bad.
We had a great catch up and a lovely afternoon, but all too soon we had to say goodbye, and yes the tears flowed thick and fast after dropping them off, at least I waited till they were gone this time, it's just so hard saying goodbye, it breaks my heart every time.

But my boy came out again Tuesday afternoon this time with Tiarna, it's the first time she has seen the boat, we went for a little poodle around but not for long as it was getting dark, I so wish they could join us one day for a sail, I know Tim would love it. 
Anyway after dinner I got Tim and Tiarna to drive me to the local shopping centre to get a few groceries.
Well this should have been any easy trip yeah, well let me tell you riding a dingy in the dark, with just a little torch to show you the way, dodging buoy's that you can't see till your on top of them, thanks Tim great spotting...haha
Then we get to shore now it's the beach we have to land on climb out in knee deep water, and drag the dingy up on the beach, no problems we have done this before.

Well yesterday when we came ashore with the kids we noticed thousands of crab holes just under the water, now you know grab pots are my number one hate, but I tell you crabs on a beach, has to be right up next to them.
We come close to the beach shine the torch on the sand and it is alive with tiny blue crabs, I'm not talking just a few here, there were hundreds of them, the whole god damn beach was full of them, I took one look and said you got to be kidding me, there is no way I'm crossing that.

Well we had too, poor Tiarna had the same feeling as me, the guys were just laughing, us girls took a big breath and ran and screamed across them, man it was horrible I could feel them crawling over my feet, but the worse was I knew I had to come back over them.
We managed to calm down enough and off we went shopping, The Captain stayed to keep watch on the dingy.

Well back we came, we said goodbye and yeah I cried once again, than almost cried again knowing I had to face these damn crabs again.
I tell you it took all my strength to run across them again, I'm sure I took a flying leap landed in the dingy and told The Captain that he would have to push us back into deep water as there was no way in hell I was getting out again.
We had to use the paddles to get us out deeper, and it was such a lovely night we decided to just paddle all the way to the boat without using the engine, it helped Soothe my nerves a lot and we had a nice peaceful night on the boat.

I have to say Coffs Harbours anchorage sucks, we have tried everything to stop this vessel of ours to stop rolling so much, to putting out a bit of the main sail and putting out a stern anchor, neither helped, I have been seasick the whole time, and to make matters worse it has poured rain for the last day or so, which has resulted in everything getting wet again, man this boat sure lives up to its name, Leaky Teaky, I will be so glad to leave in the morning, four days of broken sleep, being seasick, rolling all over the place and the constant rain has taken its toll, I can't wait to get out of here.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 3rd May 2014

2014-05-03

Saturday 3rd May 2014

Well we are anchored in Southport Queensland, right near Sea World at Surfers Paradise.
Should be like wow hey? Yeah well it's not, every touristy boat alive goes screaming past us, you have Aqua Ducks, Ferry's, a hundred and one thrill seeker boats, and the never ending pleasure crafts, all out here taking in the Views.

To think only a few short years ago, I was one of these tourists, I've been on the Aqua Ducks, the pleasure crafts and always wanted to have a go on those thrill seeker boats.
Man, I so do not want anymore thrills out on the water, we have a mental amount of it and we don't even try to...haha

Going back a bit to catch up on the last few days or so, as I'm still a bit slack at keeping my posts up to date.

While we were in Coffs we ran into the same guys from Port Stephens on a boat Called Camelot, they also made friends with another yacht, not sure of the name, but we all ended up leaving for Yamba together.
This is normally not my scene I like to be alone and do our own stuff, but they are such nice guys it's hard not to join in and besides we are all heading in the same direction anyway.
Of cause we lost sight really quick as they have a cat which sail a lot faster than us, but the other yacht left after us so they where behind us a fare bit.

Now the big entrance across the bar into Yamba, Camelot made it with flying colours although they did say it was a bit rocky, we come up to it, I take one look at the huge waves crashing, break walls on either side and look at The Captain and say you got to be kidding, there is no way I wanted to go into that.
After a bit of a merry dance out front dodging fishing vessels and a cruiser we started to head in, I have to say I was terrified and I even closed my eyes the whole way into the entrance, we surfed all the way in, and to The Captains credit he did a fine job.
We managed to get all the way into the river with not too much bother, well ok I was still stressing out major, but we made it safe and just before sunset thank god, and there were four other boats from previous anchorages there as well.

The following night we all met up on one of their boats for a happy hour, we were having a good time when all of a sudden I had one of my pain attacks, now I had eaten nothing wrong so all I can put this one down to was stress, great am I losing my nerve with the sailing stuff?

The next morning we decided to head off by ourselves as I was very anxious about crossing that bar again we radio the Coast Guard and they said it was nice and flat and should be an easy one, they lied.

It was shocking worse than the first time, this time the waves were crashing at the side of us and we were getting slammed big time, we finally managed to get out deep enough into the ocean where it settled down a lot. 
With strung out nerves stress levels in overdrive We sailed along actually quite well, the wind was all over the place but we did managed to turn off the engine several times which was great.

Night time comes and I am now settled down ready to take over this vessel while The Captain has a sleep, all goes well for the first half hour, then all hell breaks loose, the AIS stops working, I saying to myself that it's ok this happens all the time, and besides look at all the other boats that sail without one, yeah no matter what I said the stress was there.

So I do everything I can think of to get this thing working again, after hours of deleting program's reloading program's loading and deleting maps onto the thing While jumping up every few minutes to dodge boats and getting a bit close to shore, I finally manage to get the thing up and running.
I settle down some and sit back to relax and turn on the radar and there is a massive mother of a storm cloud about to hit us.

Oh man I wake The Captain up real quick as we have all the sails fully out, when a storm is about to hit you need to take in some of the sails so you don't get thrown about so much.
When The Captain finally comes too, he has a look around and says lets wait a bit just to see, well that lasted five seconds the wind went from blowing 12 knts to 23knts we tried to get in the yankee with me on one side trying to slowly let the rope out while The Captain is on the other side winding it in, the rope slips from my fingers and goes wild, several times I had to duck to miss this missile hitting my face and it flys into the port light on the side of the boat breaking the backing plate, then goes on its rampage and breaks two life lines on deck, man what a mess.

We eventually get it under control straighten out the Port light as best as we can the life lines we will fix later, and try and settle once again, only now it's pouring rain and I mean bucketing down.
I lay down to have a sleep as it's now about two in the morning and a river of water lands on my butt and legs, are you kidding I jump up to a new leak, far out, the hatch in the cockpit has now sprung a leak on both sides, so we both are getting wet.
After a massive amount of wet towels wet sheets and wet blankets it finally stops leaking and I managed a few hours sleep.

But we made it into Southport safe and sound and sometime today I will try and dry everything out once again.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 11th May 2014

2014-05-11

Sunday 11th May 2014

Well a big Happy Mother's Day goes out to all you mums out there, I hope you all have a nice relaxing day.
Mine not so much relaxing, yeap we are back out in the big blue, rocking and rolling like crazy.
Am feeling sad also, as I miss my mum, and my kids, special occasions are always so hard, love you guys more than you will ever know.

I know I said I was slack and would write more often but time gets away so quick, before I know it a week as gone by already.

So what have we been up to this last week, well let me tell you, not a great deal...haha
The first two or three days we were closed up in here with pouring rain, we just hung out not doing a huge amount of anything, until I almost went crazy talk about cabin fever.
John The Captains friend come to the rescue and picked us up in his car to run a few errands, as they had a bit to do, they dropped me off at a shopping centre, to get some groceries with a promise of being back in a few hours, well five hours later they finally come back, I was not such a happy camper, there is only so much shopping you can do, coffee you can drink and magazines you can read.
Talk about magazines, I grabbed three at the coffee shop to read and the first one I read is a sailing magazine, man I am getting so sad...haha

We ended up going ashore a few more times, one was with John and Rosemary this time, we drove all over the place trying to find a place to get our gas tanks filled, I can't believe how hard it is to find a place, we eventually found a BCF that fills them and of cause I had to go check out the fishing gear and I bought some bait as well, yeah I am still fishing, just not mentioning it, as there is nothing happening, no fish at all.
I have also been feeling under the weather, am not sure if it's just a head cold or an infection but have been fighting off high temps and headaches for the last few days, not good I hate being sick.

Yesterday we had to go into the fuel dock and fill up this vessel of ours, we did our research before hand and took the dingy in the day before, to make sure it was an easy access as you all know how terrified we are of marinas, it looked fine so we set off early in the morning before the wind picked up and slowly made our way into the dock, we had talked to the guy before coming in and he said you just have to watch out for the first pole and the rest is easy.
Well of cause we didn't listen too well it seems as we slammed sideways into that pole, not too much damaged although neither of us are game to have a real good look.
So when you go and fill up your car next time spare a thought for us, try putting in 800 or so litres of fuel while crouching down in a tight place and holding in the lever as the clip thingy would not work man were my hands hurting.
We get all that done go to take off undo the lines the wind picks up and we almost took out the davits and solar panel with the 2nd pole, he didn't warn us about that one.
Man was I shaking talk about stress, does it ever get any easier?

Of cause we filled our days in with the few repairs that needed to be done, we had a beauty day on the boat, with facials and I played hairdressers, and not only dyed my hair, but I even put in some highlights as well, they actually turned out not so bad, The Captain was hiding most of the time, but I managed to hunt him down, no way was he escaping the scissors, his hair had grown so long, that I even put it in a pony tail when we went fancy dress to Craig's birthday party a few weeks ago.
Well he fought me all the way but I eventually cornered  him and he got one well and truly good hair cut and a beard trim, I was a bit worried as normally his hair ends up all over the boat, and tends to hang around for weeks, it gets very clingy we sleep with it eat with it, it keeps us company all day and night...haha
But this time the wind was blowing so hard the only evidence I found was a bit of it in the dingy thank god.

So this brings us up to date for now, we are on our way to Fraser Island, we should  make it in about 30 hours or so, sometime tomorrow we will have a new view and another place to explore.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 12th May 2014

2014-05-12

Monday 12th May 2014Well we are still at it, we are rocking and rolling all over the place.We have motor sailed the whole trip, once we tried to turn off the engine but our speed dropped really low, so back on it went.The wind and if you can call it that has only once gone over 9knts the whole trip, we have two sails up but only to try and steady the boat, so we don't rock so much.Huh maybe someone should tell the boat that's what she is supposed to do, she never ever listens to us.Man have we rocked, I have been so seasick, and once again popping pills like crazy, I sure hope I don't run out anytime soon.It's has been actually a bit of a boring trip, the morning started off great with the many phone calls to wish me a Happy Mothers Day, and a chat with my Mum and Dad, than a long afternoon chat with one of my girls.But even that was a problem, it seems we don't have much reception out here, which has come as a bit of a shock to us, we got so used to having hardly any contact with the outside world for the last two or so years, than the last 6mths we had it all, we have got so used to just picking up the phone, turning on my Ipad, or the lap top, and it is there at your finger tips, well not out here it's not.It seems so strange it's not like we are way off shore, we are only about 2nm's off shore the whole time, it seems Queensland needs to up their game a bit we never had this problem in NSW.So we have been reading a lot, and playing games on the computer, man it feels like we are back crossing the pacific again....hahaThe problem with sailing so close to the shore is there is always a lot of traffic, last night was a shocker we had every fishing vessel know to mankind out here and a lot of tankers and cargo ships, you had to keep a pretty close watch around, and we both did a lot, sleep did not come easy for either of us, I think we both managed about three hours each which is not so good.I'm sitting here writing this trying to stay awake, and looking at The Captain, he looks like he is about to nod off any minute.As for the fishing story, still none to tell, my bait is not even working, I think my problem is with my tackle, it's more deep sea fishing stuff and I don't think these little fishies out here like it at all.We have seen a few fish around, there was a school of fish that went by it must of been half a nautical mile wide it was massive and you could see them jumping all over the place, I have no idea what type they were but I sure wish I still had my net, also we have seen a fair amount of dolphins, a few sharks we think, not 100% sure but almost! and what we think may have been an old sea turtle, I say old as it looked old, all brown and what looked at first like a mat of seaweed with a small buoy attached to it I watched for awhile and had convinced myself after hoping it was not a body, that it was just seaweed when it disappeared right before my eyes, so The Captain and I decided it must of been a turtle. Other than that we are just going along doing about 4knts we are off what they call Rainbow beach which is just past Noosa and hope we will get to Fraser Island this afternoon sometime.Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 13th May 2014

2014-05-13

Tuesday 13th May 2014

Well here we are it's early morning, we are anchored just off Fraser Island in a little bay called Pelican Bay.
The sun is just coming up, it's chilly, quite a strong breeze blowing we are gently rocking and Wind Wanderer is singing.

Yes I know you may be thinking we are mad, but serious she does sing, or what we call singing, when the wind blows at a certain angle it catches the rigging on the boat and makes a noise, it really sounds like singing or music playing, or maybe we have been living on this here vessel way too long...haha

So are we going to explore Fraser Island? Well we sure were hoping to, but all good plans can come crashing down sometimes ours more so than most.... Haha

Yesterday morning out in the ocean we had a massive wind shift, and man it started blowing strong, with big choppy seas, just the kinda sailing that scares the life out of me.
We were also coming in close to the entry near Fraser Island, and it is a bit of a nightmare even in good weather to get in, there is a lot of sand banks and you have to navigate very carefully around them as some are quite shallow. 

So the wind was blowing us onto these shallow spots, we decided to bring in the last sail, the Yankee that's the pointy end one.

We have had this sail repaired a few times before, and earlier I had noticed it was looking thin in a few spots, I told The Captain this, and said we may have to get it repaired again soon.

Well it came sooner than we thought, The Captain was trying to bring in the sail when the wind caught it and it started ripping, and all hell broke loose, I'm at the auto pilot trying to bring us around into the wind,  Aut is having no bar of it and shutting down, we now have two pieces of sail and the water is getting shallower by the minute and don't even ask about the huge waves crashing all around.
We finally get it all under control, but by this time the Yankee is way beyond repair.

We eventually get into the bay, but man was it hairy, with big waves strong winds, just missing sand banks, and not to mention the ferry that takes 4wd's over to Fraser Island,  we actually had to do a complete 360 just to get out of its way, I looked over at Fraser Island and it just looks like a huge sand bank, I'm thinking after going through all this it so better be worth it, but once we got into the bay it settled down real fast thank god.
We dropped the anchor had a warm shower and both had a much needed sleep.

So we have to leave Fraser Island behind and go onto Bundaberg and try and get a new sail made.
It will take us a few days to get there, we are going up the inside of the Island and have to be really careful with tides as there is a lot of sand banks here as well.

We are hoping we can order a new sail and we know we will have to wait a while to get it made, so we will come back to Fraser Island and explore it while we wait.
Well thats  the plan anyway...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 14th May 2014

2014-05-14

Wednesday 14th May 2014

It's early morning we are both sitting here anchored in a little bay called South White Cliffs it's raining and we are both looking still quite shell shocked from a day of hell yesterday.
 We all have those days the ones you wish you could just wipe off the calendar completely.
Man I so wish yesterday could be wiped off.

What a day, it started off beautiful we had ourselves all prepared researched the area we had to go through and had studied the charts very well or at least we thought we had.

You see we were going up the inside channel of Fraser Island to get to Bundaberg, in hind sight we really should have gone back out into the ocean and sailed the outside.
We knew there is a lot of shallow water and sand banks everywhere, but we had read up major, worked out all the correct tides and believing in the charts, we set off.

There is a line on the chart that you follow and as long as you keep roughly on that line you are fine, yeah right.
We had around 21nm to go to the next anchorage and had worked it out that we would get there in plenty of time to set the anchor in day light, as you know we try never ever to go into an unknown area in the dark, it's just way too dangerous.

So off we set the tide was pushing us along so fast that we had to slow the boat down a lot, as we had to get to certain areas at different tide times to be able to get through them.
All was going well, we had a few scary shallow spots that we both held our breath as we skimmed along the bottom, we were both on watch studying the chart then all was clear I was busy doing stuff on my ipad, The Captain was relaxed but still keeping a good watch on everything, we were about three hours into the trip, when bam we were stopped in our tracks.
Yeap we had hit a sand bank, so much for charts we should of been in deep water.

Now I don't know if you have ever been on a boat and ran aground, I know Bek and Anthony know what the feeling is like...haha
But it's a gut wrenching feeling I tell you, the only good thing about this if there is a good thing is that it's only sand and land was close by and we had a rising tide so we knew eventually we would come loose.

But still it's scary we tried every which way we could think of to get out of it, the wind had picked up and with it the tide we were so far over on our side, I had to wedge myself in to stop being thrown over the other side.
And then a great big storm hit us, we rang Coast Guard to ask them which way to try and head to deeper water, and was told there is another yacht a few miles back behind us grounded as well, at least we weren't the only ones, we eventually got ourselves free and breathed a sigh of relief, this time, I was watching the chart with a eagle eye while The Captain was standing up at the auto pilot punching in the directions I was calling out to him.

We went for about another 30mins when bam straight onto another sand bank, man this was crazy by this time we were also following the buoys as well we got close to one that was different from the rest but assumed we had to have it on our port side we were wrong.
Again all the drama started, but no matter what we did we could not get off, back to calling Coast Guard again, we gave them our position and they said we had to try and turn to our starboard side as that is where the deepest water is, our charts were saying that was shallow water, eventually we got off that sand bank, The Coast Guard had rang us to see how we were going just as we got off, they told us to go back around the right side of the buoy which we did but we drifted over too far and bam straight onto another sand bank, this one we hit so hard that The Captain almost fell down the companion way, man it was like hitting a truck full on.

This one we were firmly stuck, no matter what we did we could not move, we were still talking on and off to the Coast Guard, and it was starting to get dark and the stress was really taking its toll, we asked them how long it would take for help to come and he said at least an hour and a half, great.
We were so close to the anchorage that we could see it in the distance, that was not helping either.
By some miracle we finally managed to move again The Captain puts it in gear to go forward as we were hard in reverse when we got stuck again, but we eventually had enough high water to get us going again.

By this time it was pitch black and we still had a fair way to go, we finally managed to get just close to the anchorage and decided that that was enough we were in deep water and we just could not go on any further.
So we set the anchor in what we hoped was a good spot, I know we were very close to shore but we were beyond caring.

We both so needed a stiff drink, our nerves were shot to pieces, The Captain goes down to break up some ice for our drinks when I hear this yell, I race down to see whats happened and he has almost cut the top of his thumb off, oh man.

To make ice we freeze drink bottles and we cut the bottle away from the ice with a knife, then break up the ice, it has worked really good until now.
So panic sets in, It was bleeding like you could imagine, I'm saying we need to get to a hospital, he being The Captain and all says no just get a pair of scissors I'll hold the piece up and you cut it off the rest of the way.

Yeah I almost fainted then and there, I said you got to be kidding, you will bleed to death, I raced to get a compression bandage and I think actually when he thought about it he realised it was a bad idea too.

So I give my daughter Bek a ring as I know she has done a first aid course, she helped a lot Thanks again Bek.
After talking to her we took her advise and rang the closest hospital, and explained all that had happened, what we were doing was the right thing and to get to a doctor as soon as possible, tomorrow would be ok.

We eventually got to have a stiff drink and man did we need it more so than ever.

We decided to have an early night as we were both so strung out, but it was not meant to be for me at least The Captain got some rest, thank God.
Myself I was just too stressed and ended up having one of my pain attacks early in the morning which was not good at all.

But it's morning we are both still alive, I have had at least one cup of coffee and the rain has now stopped, and we will continue on.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 15th May 2014

2014-05-15

Thursday 15th May 2014

Well another day in sunny Queensland...not
It's pouring rain, what happened to Queensland being beautiful one day perfect the next?
So far we have had rain everyday since we have been here.

We are on the move again, we wanted to leave around 5.30am but the alarm did not go off, yours truly set in on the wrong day, yeap sometimes even I get it wrong, not often but sometimes...haha

Yesterday was a much better day than Tuesday thank god, we only went across shallow water a few times and made it easy no kissing sandbanks this time.

It took us all day to get across the bay, I can't believe how big this bay is, serious it's like being out in the middle of the ocean, if you looked real hard you could just make out land on one side, but man did we rock and roll all over the place.
The scenery earlier in the day was quite special, Fraser Island really is a pretty place, well what we have seen of it so far.
We had a few Ferry's get up close and personal, and a few Fishing vessels but other than that there is not a great many vessels around here, maybe they all know about all the sand banks and keep well away from it.

Last night we had to anchor in the dark again, man I hate this but we had no choice, at least we had a full moon which helped a lot, it was strange we were anchored in what felt like the middle of the bay, and just felt all wrong but it was only about 4m's depth so that was ok, although it was very rolly which sucked.

The Captains, thumb is still attached...haha no serious it's not so good on advise from a doctor at Bek's work we changed the dressing which was a bit of a drama in itself as we had to soak it first in warm water just to get the dressing off, I gave it a good coating of betadine and redressed it, so far there is no sign of infection and we hope to get a doctor to look at it today.

We should arrive in Bunaberg early this afternoon, we are going to stay over night in a marina so a sailmaker can come out and measure for a new Yankee sail, I have to say we have been getting a few quotes over the phone and we are shocked at the price, In America we brought two sails for around $4.000 here it's going to cost more than that for one sail only, it's crazy but what can you do we have to have it.

So all going well we should be safely tucked into a marina berth tonight and might even manage a good nights sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 16th May 2014

2014-05-16

Friday 16th May 2014

Well it's early morning I'm sitting here trying to finish my first cup of coffee, and it's not going so good The Captain and Martin the sailmaker our trying to get our Yankee down and it has tangled around itself, and this boat being who she is, is not going to give it up without a fight.
Enter 2nd helper, another guy has come to give them a hand, man it's a struggle.

Yesterday we motored for around 6 hours in fairly deep water thank god, but man was it rough without the Yankee to stabilise us we rocked and rolled everywhere, but we eventually made it to Bundaberg Marina.
After a merry dance at the dock with Wind Wanderer wanting to tie up stern too, well after all she is a European design boat, ( for those not  in the know in Europe when you come into a marina or such they all tie up there boats stern too that's the back end in.)
Well we were trying to get her side on and she was having no bar of it, the wind had picked up and kept blowing us away from the dock.
Eventually with help from two other guys we managed to calm her down enough, and got her snugly tided up.

Within a few minutes Martin the sailmaker comes down to the boat, we get to chatting and I ask him where the nearest medical centre is, The Captain was fighting me all the way on this, this time I was having no bar of it, he was going to get a doctor no matter what to look at his thumb, even if I had to hog tie him and carry him there myself.

With luck am not sure whose The Captains or mine...haha Martin was going into town and offered us a lift in.
So off we set we went via Martins house first as his wife also wanted to go into town, it was a long way there, I'm so glad I didn't have to carry him...haha
What lovely people they are, they showed us a lot of the sites around town and told us all about the big flood they had there last year, we had heard about it, on the news but seeing and hearing the effect it had on so many people really brought it home, what a shocking time they had.

We got dropped of at the local hospital and with only a short wait got to see the doctor again we were surprised at our nice and friendly all the people are around here, it must be country living for you, we even ended up with extra medical supplies given to us, to add to our first aid kit, at no cost at all.

They cleaned The Captains thumb, could not stitch it as it had been too long, he had a tetanus shot, and they redressed it gave him some antibiotics and we have to redress it every 2nd day.
So he survived the ordeal, he still thinks it was a waste of time, I don't and am glad we got it looked at. The next big thing was how to get back to the boat, we had decided to catch a cab, and had geared ourselves up for the shock of the cost, we walked out the door and there was Martin waiting for us, we were quite shocked, as it had been about two hours.
They gave us a ride back which was great and we settled in for the night, although we were still bouncing around the place as the wind was still very strong.

So getting back to the Yankee sail it's still up, they managed to get it all furled out, started to pull the sail down and it gets caught on the mandrel and it won't budge, apparently the tube has twisted and it's now out of alignment, far out, so it's wound up again, and now we have to wait for a rigger to come up from the Sunshine Coast next week and fix it.
Man life is never easy on this boat.

Well tomorrow us another day.


Monday 19th May 2014

2014-05-19

Monday 19th May 2014

Well a few days have gone by, yeah I know still not writing everyday but I'm getting better.
Besides there is not a huge amount to write about at the moment.

We have moved from the end dock at the Marina to what they call a pen. I never realised what number pen we are until I was taking a few photos yesterday afternoon and low and behold we are in number 13, oh man us being sailors, pirates whatever we are very superstitious, well I am at least, I sure hope it's a lucky omen, as we sure as hell don't need anymore bad luck at the moment....haha

The move to the pen took place on Saturday morning, there is a guy here who actually lives on his boat, we thought he was a marina guy, but no just a local, well he seems to think he knows everything, he was trying to tell  The Captain how to tie up at a marina and all, I was biting my tongue and trying very hard not to say a word.

Well he decided that we had to move early in the morning before the wind picked up, we were already going to do this anyway.
He takes control makes a guy jump on board to handle the ropes, he completely ignored me.
Now anyone who knows me, if I have not even finished my 2nd cup of coffee in the morning they are treading on dangerous territory, well let me tell you I had not even finished my first cup.
The guy goes around to the pen to grab our ropes, we come around fine line up to go in, but we are getting very close to a pylon I yell to him to watch the bow sprit he ignores me again I yell at him and eventually between the two of us we push the boat away from it. Then he tells The Captain to reverse back and aim straight for the boat in front, by this time I'm standing at the front of the boat he is on the dock, I say to him he can't hear you and he has a blind spot dead ahead again he ignores me, man I was ready to punch him in the face.
I turned around and directed The Captain in with hand singles as we always do and we got in fine.
Man I was so livid The Captain smiles at me as who could tell how angry I was and once we were safely tied up although he was trying to tie us up his way, I stormed off, the whole time he never once said a word to me, it was like well she is a girl how would she know anything, I'm sure they think The Captain is the only one that sails this boat.

So rant over...haha
No wait I have one more, did I say I had nothing to write about...haha

Now so far all the boatie people we meet are really really nice, well that went out the window on Friday while I was doing some washing at the laundromat here at the Marina.
There were two dryers and I had a massive amount to dry, one of the dryers was being used and when it stopped I waited for at least 3/4 of an hour for the person to come back and get their stuff, one of my pet hates is sitting in a laundromat waiting on washing it has to be one of the most boring things in the world, and man have I sat in many all over the world.
So I decided to take it on myself she had a big bag there so I carefully got her clothes out of the dryer and placed them all on the bag, I made sure none was touching the counter or anything and yes they were well and truly dry.

She comes in says hi all friendly until she sees her washing man talk about huffing and puffing, I say to her I hope you don't mind but I just needed to get mine in, well she ignores me, did not turn around nothing, am thinking what is this, with all this ignoring stuff, I'm starting to get angry myself and I so felt like fighting her but she was a big woman, not fat at all just large, she was German and looked like a German tank, and stood about two foot taller than me, I'm thinking this is not such a good idea, so I smile sweetly at her as she walks out and she just glares at me.
I finish my washing and thinking to myself what a horrible person, but am glad I did nothing as it could of turned really ugly, I walk back to the boat and noticed she is on a yacht that is worth easy over a million dollars, it seems like having a lot of money does not give you good manners, see that's why we are so nice and friendly, we have none...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 26th May 2014

2014-05-26

Monday 26th May 2014

First of all I would like to throw out a few Happy Birthdays, today is Anthony's Birthday, so a great big Happy Birthday to you, also my nephew James is today, last week was another Nephews Troy, then my sister in laws Renee, also I have a dozen friends, so a big Happy Birthday to you all, oh yeah and there is another Birthday in a few days time but this one I try and forget....haha

Well you are most likely wondering why I have been so quiet, yeah I know how strange is that...haha

It's been a real mixed bag of a week, earlier in the week I was so bored I really could not be bothered to write anything, nothing was happening, that sure changed in what feels like a second, now The Captain and myself are feeling like two very very old people with a lot of aches and pains....haha

Before I get into that let me go back to earlier in the week, we were running low on fresh stuff to eat, so we decided to walk to the local IGA here in town, it was a nice walk. although a bit long, but the scenery was nice, we loaded up with groceries and they have a curtesy bus that will take you back to the marina, which we used thank God I really am glad we did not have to walk back with all that.

Also we have had a never ending run of boats in all shapes and sizes coming and going, one in particular caught our eye, it's called South Passage.
Now it's a big old schooner, well actually not that old just built to look old.
There were a lot of school kids on board, so we googled it to find out all about it.

If you get a Chance look it up, and if you ever feel like you want to donate to something this is it.
What a service they supply, they take out groups of school kids from a few days to up to a week and teach them what they call ROPES,

R espect                  for others / for the ships hierarchy / for the ship         
O pportunity             for personal growth / for stepping up / for stepping out
P articipation             by everyone
E njoyment                in a job well done / in the surrounds / in the company
S afety                       is maintained whilst personal boundaries are explored

The kids basically run the whole ship, the smiles on their faces as they were leaving the dock said it all, what an experience they must have, my hat goes off to the guys that run it as it's all voluntary.

We also have another kind of visitor here every night, just not sure what it is, all we know is that it's big. Every night something comes in around our boat, it splashes and jumps around us, so far the only two things we can think of is a croc or a shark.
We were watching old sci fi movies and Alien was playing I tell you this creature jumped so close to us I was up in a flash closing cock pit covers real quick...haha, I sure don't want to fall in this water in the night that's for sure.

So this brings us back to the two old people living on this here vessel, haha
It all started when the riggers came out to fix the stuff, well what started out as a simple job has turned into a nightmare for The Captain, the pole thingy that the sail wraps around was twisted and we thought the riggers could just straighten it out and that would be the end of it, we thought wrong.
It is now in pieces on the dock with The Captain trying to strengthen it, there has been many tools, going back and forth, and a lot of pirate language going on for several days now, and still it's not fixed.

As for me, I so wish I could just relax and enjoy this life of ours and be happy, just to sit and chill, seriously there must be something wrong with my genes, I have this cleaning gene that just has to work all the time.

For months and months now I have sat and looked at the deck and how badly stained and dirty it looks, this has now turned into my personal nightmare.
It started with the timber decks getting scrubbed and and brighten, you would think that would have been enough, as it took days to do, well no, I then started on the side decks, no matter what I could not get them clean, so out comes the paint, I am now painting the side decks, cleaning all the stainless steel, as I go and also scrubbing and cleaning the entire boat, man I can never see the end, it's not even close.
We are working from dawn to dusk, and wake up to way more aches and pains then anyone should ever experience.

Are we having fun yet...haha


Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 3rd June 2014

2014-06-03

Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Well here we are back out in the ocean, yay, yay, yay.

I was so over Bundaberg and the Marina, it was a lovely spot, and I think this is the nicest marina we have ever been in so far, the only bad thing was it's just so far away from everything, to get anywhere you had to either walk a million miles or catch a bus or taxi.

We have had many boats come in and have met some really nice people, a big cat came in one night, and we had helped them tie up to the dock, later that night we were settled in for the night, in our PJ's and all, when the guy comes over and asked us over for a glass of red, well that turned into many bottles of red some great conversation and one very late night/early morning.

The Catamaran they were on was huge, but they are not the owners they just deliver it where ever the owner wants and have a fantastic time doing it, they spend a lot of time in The Kimberley's  and had many stories with pics, I so can't wait to get there, I wanna by pass that big reef everyone talks about and go straight there...haha

Also we had The Captains friend/ ex sister in law, Meg come out for a visit, with her daughter Catherine, we had a lovely time and The Captain and her had a great catch up on all the lost years.
The next day they were going to the local market and asked if they could get us anything, we really did need some fresh produce, so gave them a little list, the next afternoon they came back with boxes and bags of fresh fruit and veges, way more than we could ever eat, but it was so nice of them, this time, they brought some old friends of The Captains parents and her son in law and the kids, we had a lovely afternoon and I'm sure Russ the son in law could not wait to get home and start looking for a boat to buy...haha

We have still been really busy, The Captain finally got the pole sorted out after days and days working on it.
I managed to finish painting the side decks, but discovered that the fantastic anti slip paint that we got in America is not one bit anti slip, man when it dried it was like walking on glass it was so so dangerous and that was with no water at all on it, heaven help us if it got wet, but it looked great..haha
So google to the rescue, we found that you can buy an additive to mix in with the paint, a quick trip to the local boat place here at the marina, and they had three different types, we ended up getting these little glass beads that you mix in with the final coat and that should work fine.
Man was it hard to paint I cursed the whole time, but at least it's now anti slip, maybe a bit too rough and the dirt catches in it, so the whole exercise of getting rid of all the stains and dirt was almost a total waste of time, man I just love playing boats...NOT.

A few days ago we found out that The Captains computer, and the one we run the AIS and nav stuff off, can not hold its liquor after The Captain spilt a glass of wine over it, there was a frantic rush to dry it out, and with The Captain holding a torch and yours truly pulling it completely apart and drying it all out, with fingers crossed we turned it back on and it worked fine, for 24hours than decided it had, had enough, and started doing strange stuff with the touchpad.

So a new laptop was in order great just what we needed after forking out for a new sail and riggers, but what can you do, it's a major piece of our navigation as well.

Meg came out and ran us all around town we ended up with a new laptop and some much needed shopping, we went back and had lunch at her house with her family it was a lovely day. If you get to read this, thanks again for all your help and lovely company.
And as Murphy's law goes we get back to the boat with our spanking brand new laptop, turn on the old one and it's now working fine....obviously the hangover didn't last too long...hahaha

Yesterday the riggers came out and put the pole back in place than the new sail went up, we are a bit disappointed with the sail as it seems a lot smaller than the last one, there is a not too happy Captain, about all this, but it still looks good and now we have all the sails matching, the only thing that needs changing now is the sail cover for the stay sail and all will finally be the same colour.

And that brings us up to date once again, I'm not going to promise to write daily anymore, as I'm just too slack, but at least we are on the move again so there is always something to write about, with luck we should be at Lady Musgrave Island, by late this afternoon, this is the start of The Great Barrier Reef, and yes we will be spending a lot of time sailing in and around the reef.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 4th June 2014

2014-06-04

Wednesday 4th June 2014.

Man where has the time gone, we have now been back in Australia for 6 months now, it's crazy how quick it's gone, we only have 6 more months and they will be kicking us out of the country.
Well actually we are allowed to stay just not our home, it's a sad state of affairs when your own country won't allow you to live in your own home any longer than 12months, yeah I know it's a boat but it's still our home, and it still makes my blood boil every time I think about how Australia has treated us.
But all those officials are stuck in their lame life and we are free to go anywhere we want, maybe not stay as long as we want, but we are free...ok rant over haha

Anyway it's early morning and we are anchored off Lady Musgrave Island, surrounded by beautiful aqua blue water, yeap we are back in it, I so love the colour of this water and will never ever get sick of looking at it.
We are in a bay surrounded by a huge coral reef, it was very hairy getting in here I tell you, with The Captain at the wheel and me on the bow sprit yelling out directions to avoid all the coral, Bek and Ant know what I'm talking about, and yeap it was just as bad as Fiji.
But we made it without hitting any of it thank God.
The trip here was a good run, not much wind, so we had to motor sail the whole time, but it was not too rough, the swell was steady with a few washing machine action every now and then.

It's a little bit lively here and all night you could hear the waves crashing all around us on the reef, but I slept like a baby, after weeks hardly getting any decent sleep being tied to a marina, I think I'm meant to be in the ocean, maybe I was a mermaid or something in a former life, yeah I know more likely  I was a whale or a shark, but a mermaid sounds so much nicer...haha

It's overcast at the moment and we have had a few short showers of rain, but we are going to drop the dingy into the water and go over to the island and explore it a bit, we are thinking of going for a swim and snorkel but not while it's still overcast, as you all know dusk, night and overcast days are a real no no, just maybe too many sharks around.
Oh and we have no Internet or phone reception, it's peaceful but man I am sure missing it, we sent a few emails off last night to let family and friends know we were here safe, with Sail Mail, and it took us ages to work out how to use it again...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 5th June 2014

2014-06-05

Thursday 5th June 2014

Well we are at it again, we left around 7am and are heading for a place called Pancake Creek, it makes you wonder who made up all these names hey.
With luck we should be there in about 6 hours, we had a few scary moments getting back out, with yours truly back out on the bow sprit giving The Captain directions, boy did I stress I could only make out the coral about 6 feet ahead of us, some I just held on tight and hoped we would make it over.

Yesterday turned into a really lovely day, in the afternoon we took the dingy over to the island, again another hairy ride dodging coral, but we made it to the beach without kissing any coral and dragged the dingy up onto the beach.
What a pretty place it was, they have a walkway through the middle so you don't disturb the local wildlife , and we followed this around through most of the island, there was a sign saying this way to a camp area, so we decided to go have a bit of a look, it would be such a lovely place to camp for a week or so, it's right on the beach and very pretty.

We decided to walk on the beach around the rest of the island and spotted something dark swimming close to shore, to our surprise it was a turtle, well we just had to get photos of it and yeap The Captain took hundreds as we stalked the poor thing for ages. There were actually two of them and we managed to get a few good shots, it was lovely watching them just swimming around and I'm sure they taunted The Captain many times and just knew when he wasn't looking to pop their heads up....haha

We eventually headed back to the boat to grab a few party supplies, as we were invited to a dingy party off the back of a boat here in the lagoon, there is a couple who are sailing around the coast raising money for prostrate cancer, and charge $5 a head and give a little concert off their boat.

I was very unsure about the whole thing and we waited awhile for any of the other guys around to see if any of them were going, it was so funny cause everyone had the same idea.
Eventually one dingy decided to be the first off the mark and then we all started going over.
We ended up having a really good time and the the grand finale was we all got to see the famous green flash as the sun went down.
In the middle of the concert we had a small drama when one of the boats started drifting, the owner Pat got taken back to his boat where he tried for ages to get the anchor to set, with no luck at all.
The concert was rapping up when he came back with his boat and said it won't hold and he was heading out again to do another night sail, we told him he could just raft up to us for the night, it was a very small boat and we have very good ground tackle.
I kinda thought it was a good idea until the middle of the night and I'm still laying there wide awake.
This is the first time we have ever had anyone rafted up to us, and it's not pleasant from the creaking and groaning, to the horrible motion it was causing and adding to the worry of us all ending up on the reef nearby I did not get much sleep, but the guys seemed to have slept like babies, lucky I can catch up on my sleep today sometime.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 7th June 2014

2014-06-07

Saturday 7th June 2014

Well its early morning and the sun is just starting to come over the mountain.
We are both sitting here with bags under our eyes looking a bit worse for ware.
The reason is neither of us got much sleep last night.
We are anchored in a little bay off what they call Hummocky island, it's a beautiful little spot, with a deserted beach, and caves at the bottom of the cliffs, just looking like a sea creature or dragon is about to swim out of them any minute...haha

But man is it rolly, we have rocked and rolled all over the place, also it's very shallow in spots and adding to that, the rest of the island is just cliffs and rocks.
So we have not only been kept awake by the rolling but the never ending worry of the anchor dragging and ending up on the rocks.

We were laying in bed this morning talking about how many times each had got up checking the anchor and depth, and thinking that the other had slept through it all, in fact between the pair of us, I think we just about covered the whole night...haha

The night before we stopped at Pancake creek, which was another nice place, also quiet close to the island but we had a lot of other boats around so all was ok.

The trip up here yesterday was interesting with a very rolly ocean, and a lot of cargo ships, and when a say a lot there were heaps, I think we counted 23 on the now working again AIS.
The whole reason we came to Pancake Creek was to be closer to the mainland to get Internet as the never ending problems with the nav stuff and computers always being a huge drama for us.
Yeah I know we really don't need the AIS and can sail quiet easy without it, but it's a safety thing and I like the comfort in knowing that ships can see us and we can track them and keep out of their way.

Thank God we got it fixed with all the ships that were out there yesterday although most were at anchor waiting to go into Gladstone port.
We actually had to weave in and around many of them, talk about getting up close and personal, man I tell you they are big big mamas.
  
We had the radio on and we heard a call out that a helicopter was about to land on one, we can only think that someone was very sick, we were hoping to see it all, but by the time we past the ship it was all done and dusted, which was a shame as we went by it and could almost reach out and touch the ship, we were about 5 miles past when we heard the call again they were coming back out to the ship, no matter how much I pleaded and begged The Captain would not turn us around to go back to watch.....haha
Actually by the time we got back it would of been all over again anyway.

So today we venture on and the next stop is Great Keppel Island, it's only about 4 hours sail away so we are taking things a bit slow this morning and hope to get there around lunch time.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 8th June 2014

2014-06-08

Sunday 8th June 2014

Well Great Keppel Island.

(Well great Keppel you suck, we just walked over Mount Everest , to get milk and the shop was closed and then we thought we would take the easy way back and had to climb over rocks and cliffs, after about 5kms or so we finally drag our sorry arses back to the dingy, only to have to drag it out waist deep over breaking waves to get back to the boat.)

This is my status on facebook yesterday, I guess it says it all...haha

Of cause you are now going to hear the full version, if nothing else our adventures gives us something to write about, but man. I so wish we had some with a little less pain.

Let me go back a bit first, we left Hummocky Island, around 9am and made it too Great Keppel Island around 1.30am, or if you want to be politically correct it's called Wapparaburra, now try saying that quick...haha
But we are not big on all the political clap trap, so let's just call it Great Keppel, or if I was going to be real Aussie it would be called Kep, as we shorten every name we can possible shorten..haha

Anyway we made it to Great Keppel, and we are low on milk, now I know we can have UHT milk, but that makes me want to throw up, I hate the stuff, we do have powdered milk and if you mix it with freezing cold water it almost comes close to real milk, but still it takes some getting use to.

We have a book on board which is almost like the Sailors Bible, it's written by a Guy called Alan Lucas, he has charted almost all the Australian coast, and gives you all kinds of info about how to come in and out of places without getting into trouble, like hitting rocks, coral reefs etc...  and also what's on islands and such, just little bits and pieces of everything.
We follow it all the time and so far so good until yesterday.
He said there was this little walkway over to the other side of the island and they have a small shop, that sells milk and bits and pieces.

As I recall we had three choices, take the dingy there, walk along the beach, or take the walking track.
I'm not sure who's dumb idea it was to take the walking track but that's what we did.

It started out pleasant walking through the bush and around a lake that was all dried out, we dodged mud potholes kept a lookout for moving logs, (Crocs) and actually enjoyed our bit of much needed exercise.
All was fine and dandy until we came around a corner and was faced with a mother of all mothers Mountain, and yeap that's the way the track was tacking us.

Now I'm not one to back down on challenges but this was taking it to the extreme, I took one look at it and said you got to be kidding me, let's go back, the powdered milk was looking real good by then, hell I'll even drink my coffee black.
But no being the dump arses that we are we decided to take it on, man was it hard, I whinged and bitched the whole way, and had to stop about every 5mins or so to give my legs a rest.
We finally make it to the top of Everest only to realise it was not done with us yet, we still had more climbing to go, I just looked at this and wanted to cry, if only I had the energy, I would have.
Finally after what felt like hours we made it to the top, and talk about a steep descend  
We almost needed brakes to get down it.

There was little sign posts along the way and we followed these to the resort as that's were the shop was located.
The walk down was really nice and we went past an old resort that was shut down and just overrun by foliage, it was actually sad to see it, actually the whole place is very run down, except one area they have spruced it up some, but personally I would not want to spend a holiday here.

So we get to where the shop is puffing and panting and the damn thing is not only closed but for sale.
Will not even go into the conversation that took place here, but there was a lot of pirate language and hating on Alan Lucas.

We decided that we were not going to tackle Everest again, we were going to take the easy way back along the beach.
There are about three beaches that we knew we had to walk along before we could get back to the dingy, each one is a mile or so long, no problem we could see little rock outcrops between them we can climb over those easy.
Well let me tell you each little rock outcrop was like climbing up and down the side of the Grand Canyon, when we got to the third one I seriously considered swimming.
My feet where hurting so bad, hell who am I kidding my whole Body was hurting bad, swimming had to be easier than this.

We eventually made it back to the dingy only to be faced with waves crashing on shore, we had dragged the dingy up a fair way onto the beach.
The plan was to drag it back into the water and I'd climb in and The Captain would push us out over the waves and then jump in and we would row out a bit into deeper water where we could then start the motor and get back to the boat.

Well, we dragged the dingy back to the water with the last of our strength got it into the water and realised our plan was not gonna work so we both pushed it out to waste deep over the breaking waves and kinda climbed, fell on board.

We made it to the boat and had to tackle a huge swell to get back on the boat and just collapsed on the deck.
After some strong pain killers, a warm shower, a few wines and a bit to eat we finally managed to get back to our old selves as long as we didn't move too much, the pain is manageable...hahaha

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Wednesday 11th June 2014

2014-06-11

Wednesday 11th June 2014

Well we are still here, locked up on the boat, rain and winds blowing 25knts gusting 35knts.

Where I hear you say?,  well we are in a area called Port Clinton, you would think with a name like that, it would be a hive of activity, well let me tell you there is nothing in sight, other then, water sand dunes and a hill thrown in here and there.
It's like a huge bay with very shallow spots and a lot of sand banks, on low tide.
I tell you when that tide goes out man does it get shallow, we have moved once as we were just way to close to a big sand bank, and did not feel comfortable being so close.

We left Great Keppel, on Monday, our plan was to stay at Port Clinton overnight and then move on to a much better anchorage, we knew there were very strong winds coming and big ugly seas.
The trip to Port Clinton was not pleasant at all with big rolling waves that threatened to tip us over any minute.
It reassured us that we were doing the right thing to hide out awhile and let this horrible weather pass.
But as always our good plans turn out the opposite to what we planned...haha

Here we are stuck in this area, and talk about cabin fever, I have the worst case possible.
I can't even go out on deck, for fear of getting blown overboard, if that is not enough we have had a lot of rain as well, and not to mention that we are well and truly in croc area now, although we have not seen any, we have read up that they are here and warn you about swimming in the area, it says a lot when you look at the other three boats that are dotted around here, yeap we are not alone these other poor souls are stuck here with us, although they are way away from us, it really is a big area.
But all these other boats all have metal dingy's that says it all in my books, crocs find it harder to bite through metal than rubber.

I did think about dropping the dingy and taking our chances with the crocs and going for a trip to shore just to break the boredom but that lasted a minute or so, when I stuck my head out one day and it almost blew right off, 35knots of wind is really really strong.

The first day here the winds were not too bad and I did a bit of morning fishing and caught nothing, the afternoon we got here I threw a line out and caught two small flatheads one I used for bait the other was set free, it's about the only thing I have caught in weeks yeap the lines are always out lures getting changed all the time, bait, no bait, and nothing, so I was pretty chuffed just to catch anything.

We have not been doing a great amount of anything, as it's so rough the wind blows us from pillow to post, one minute we are being blown so far on one side I swear we are going to be blown over than the wind whips us around to the otter side and for a change it blows us the other way.
We are constantly bracing ourselves from one side to the other and it's taking its toll I tell you.

We have had to venture out on deck a few times as the rigging flaps and bangs all over the place, we put up with it for a awhile until it drives us crazy, I give The Captain the look and up he hops to try and fix it.
Early one morning at around 3am I was out on deck trying to lower the boom, it had not dropped into the cradle enough and with every gust of wind it was sliding from side to side and making a heck of a racket.
The Captain was sound asleep, and I did not have the heart to wake he, although it was very tempting...haha
So out of bed I get, I drop it down in the cockpit and race out battling the huge winds drop it into the cradle make a mad dash back to the cockpit to tighten it back up, and there is my hero already onto it, or so I thought.
Apparently he was not so sound asleep as I thought or maybe with me bashing around on deck woke him.
We both go back to bed The Captain falls asleep again before his head hit the pillow, who does that?....man I so wish I could do that.
So I'm drifting off to sleep when the boom starts it's merry dance again, what the hell! Apparently The Captain had not tighten it up after all , he thought I had already done it and was just checking that I had secured it properly....yeah we need to work on this hero business a bit more.

With luck the winds and waves are suppose to settle tomorrow and we can get out of here, and maybe just maybe find a nice anchorage and get some decent sleep.

Well tomorrow is another Day.


Friday 13th June 2014

2014-06-13

Friday 13th June 2014

We are rocking and rolling out here, but we are sailing...yay it's not often that we get to turn the engines off but today so far its great.
We have about 18knts of wind and cruising along at around 5.7 knts and Wind Wanderer is happy.

Yesterday we finally managed to get out of Port Clinton, in hind sight we really should have waited one more day, man was it rough.
The bow sprit (pointy end) was buried under the water more times then I would have liked, we had big big waves strong  winds and a very lumpy sea.
And she was not happy one bit, man was this vessel of ours having a hissy fit, she kicked and bucked shook everything down below until things started flying in all directions, what a mess.
We had these mother of waves crashing on us, and several times they made their way inside, one in particular hit right over the top of us and managed to lift the hatch in the galley and dumped half of the ocean in there than went on its rampage and dumped the rest into the cockpit, this ran down the stairs like a waterfall, we were grabbing towels and anything we could find to mop up the mess as much as possible.

I sat here in the cockpit looking down at what looked like world war three had taken place, and just could of cried, yesterday I had spend a good chunk of the day cleaning, polishing, tidying I had this boat spic and span, I was not so happy about this new mess.
But we could do nothing about it, the only thing we could do was hold on tight and try not to get thrown from one side to the other.
It did settle down some as the day went along, it was still wild the only good thing about all this was knowing that in six hours we would be out of it.
And we were, we motored into a area that is called Cape Townshend island, holding our breath skimming over shallow spots dodging rocks, and come into the bay and right in front of us is a huge sign on the beach, Danger Bombing Range, far out.

We do know that right along this section of coast is a military practice range, but they only practice a few times a year so we put the radio on to listen if anything was happening.
I was out fishing off the side when the call come over, far out they were starting a practice, just our luck, The Captain listened very careful, well as best he could as it was a shocking reception and what he could make out the area we were in was safe, well we hope that's what they said.
Apparently when they are doing this kind of training the whole Army, Airforce and Navy get involved, it would be fun to be close to watch it all going down, just not in the middle of it all, with luck nothing happened around us so all was ok.
This anchorage seem a nice calm spot, I fished for  a few hours, The Captain played his guitar, and all was right in our little world.

The fishing was nothing to write home about, I spend more time rigging my lines and changing to stronger lines, there were some big mothers down there and I can say that a lot are sporting brand new lip piercings.
Eventually after I lost a good chuck of my fishing gear, I decided to call it quits.

We settled in for the night, only to have a huge swell come in and were back rock and rolling all over the place....oh man I so need a decent sleep.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 14th June 2014

2014-06-14

Saturday 14th June 2014

Call us, Rescuers, Pirates, or just plain dumb.

We have had three sea rescues today, now don't get too excited, no one fell over board, and no it was not us that needed rescuing for a change...haha
We were the rescuers.

I was sitting here writing on my Blog, and feeling a bit bored, when I just happen to look up and there is a upside down dingy floating past.
I jump up and tell The Captain, now if you know The Captain, well he will not turn the boat around for anything, he is like a man on a mission, he has it all worked out how long it's going to take to get to the next destination, come hell or high water he is going to get us there in that time, he fiddles with the sails constantly, and likes to keep us at a certain speed.
There has been many an item fallen overboard on this here vessel, and will he turn around? no way.

He had the boat sailing along beautifully, we were clocking along at about 6.5knots, so it come as quite a shock when I asked if we are going to try and get it, He looks at me with those pirate eyes and says you bet.
He whips the boat around so quick, there are sails flapping in all directions, rigging screaming and the hunt is on.

Now we get close and I can see a yellow rope hanging off the front, so I grab the boat hook, as we fly straight past it....haha
Ok that was a bit quick, so try again, he whips the boat around again, same thing sails going mental but this time we get a bit closer just not quite there.
Now if any one was watching us they would think we were going mad, as we are doing great big loops out in the middle of the ocean sails flapping me hanging over the side, with a 10ft pole.

So about the fifth time I nail it, I have the rope on the boat hook, I yell to The Captain he comes running, only for the rope to slip away just as he is about to grab it, oh man.
Back to the wheel he runs and we do another 360 this time I get it again, out he runs and between the pair of us we grab it, but man was it hard to hold onto, we got it tided off to a cleat almost losing a few fingers, and finally take a deep breath, with grins from ear to ear a few hi fives, we settle back and get this boat back under some kind of control.

We are sailing along again thinking how clever we are and chatting about who must of lost it and such, when I look back and there it is floating away, we are left with the yellow rope and nothing else, oh man.


Enter rescue number 2

This time I thought he would not turn around again, but that pirate glint was still there, yeap he whips the boat around so quick it almost took my breath away, sails, rigging flying in all directions, he was not letting his booty get away.
I race out on deck again and then stop dead, I look at him and ask how are we going to get it with no rope attached now?

Well that's no problem he was going to lasso the engine with a rope. Yeah it still had the motor and all attached.
I'm looking at him and thinking are you crazy, My idea was to lower our dingy and have it tied to the boat with a long rope The Captain wearing a life jacket can then motor over to it and try and turn it over and then tie a rope to it that way.
No he was going to put on a harness lower the ladder at the side and climb down and hook it.
Now you need to know as I said before we are in the middle of the ocean and we have a fair amount of swell and waves crashing all over the place.

So while I'm getting harnesses and robes out, he drops all the sails down, to settle the boat down some and off we go doing 360's all over the place, man was it hard trying to get close to the thing again.
I have no idea how many times we went around but with many near misses I finally catch a handle on the side of it with my fishing gaff, don't worry it does have a rubber hose thingy over the sharp point so I was not worried about putting a hole in it, but the pressure was so strong it just ripped the gaff straight out of my hands, great.

Now we have a gaff and a dingy tormenting us in the water.

Enter rescue no 2 again.

This time we were trying to get the gaff back, now it's floating upside down just a pole in the ocean and I have strict instructions to keep an eye on it, as The Captain races back to the wheel and does the 360 about a million times, we come so close to nailing it, I had the boat hook this time with a death grip on it, but it was not working so I clip myself onto the side of the boat climb down the ladder and am standing on the ladder in the water and trying to grab the thing as it sails past just out of my reach.
After the 2nd attempt I got too scared so The Captain took over.

He would bring the boat in real close then race to the ladder with me pulling the gaff in close with the boat hook only for it to float just out of his reach, by this time he is wet right to his waist.
He climbs back on board and I look at him and said this is crazy, I might add, we had spend almost two hours trying to get it, but my big mistake was. I took my eyes off it and lost sight of it.
Well we went around and around in circles trying to find it, with me on the bow sprit searching and holding on,  I tell you it was a roller coaster ride.
Eventually as I was giving up The Captain spots it again, I'm thinking great I was hoping he would just give up on it, but no back we went to our 360's.
I get it finally with the boat hook again drag it to the side of the boat. The Captain by this time is harnessed to the boat and back on the ladder hanging off the side and he grabs it, YES YES YES.

We both fall back on deck so relieved, thats one down.

Rescue no 3

Now back to the dingy again, the whole time we were trying to get the gaff the dingy was just hanging around us so once again The Captain lines it up in his sight and charges for it.
I still have no idea how we are going to do this, but I have the Boat hook in my hands my plans where to try and push it up to the side of the boat and then The Captain was going to go into cowboy mode.

I had my doubts that this would work at all, earlier we had noticed that there was a long white rope hanging under the front of it, I yell out to The Captain that I'm going to try and catch that rope first, and I'm not sure who was shocked the most here, The Captain or myself but I nailed it first go, I grab the rope as The Captain flys out of the cock pit to help and between the two of us once again we wrangle this mother in, we tie it to a cleat again and then I pull in the rest of the rope, and it has an anchor attached to it.

Now the big problem is we need to tip it over as it was just too much of a drag on the boat.
After The Captain did some brain storming we decided to lift it onto the deck with the topping lift, this was no easy task, with the dingy hanging in mid air, me trying to hold it still while The Captain got the engine off as it was going to wreak our deck and also very heavy, but we made it.
The engine is tied to the deck, the dingy after a bit of a struggle is now tied up on the side deck and all is safe and secure.

We both sat here feeling like two very very old people...haha we are so warn out we can barely move, we are battered and sporting some nice bruises, I have cuts on my hands and we both are a little too sunburnt, but hey we are very chuffed with ourselves, we managed to get some sails back out and started back on our journey, three hours later.

What we are going to do with the dingy I hear you ask?
Well we were hoping when we got to our next stop which is The Percy Islands that the owner maybe there and be very relieved that we found it, but there was only two other boats here and both had dingy's.
So now we have two dingy's and two engines, we will still look for the owners each place we go to, but to be honest it could be anyone's, The Captain is hoping he can get the engine up and running and has already started on drying it out and spraying it with WD40, the engine and the dingy look brand new and by the state they are in they have not been in the water any longer than a few days at the most.

The pirate in him is hoping we can't find the owners because its about a $4.000 engine and the dingy well I guess around $3.000.
So if no owners turn up we will keep the engine and most likely sell the dingy, even though it's in a lot better condition than ours it is a bit too small for us.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 15th June 2014

2014-06-15

Sunday 15th June 2014

Percy Island, well actually we are at what they call Middle Percy Island.

What a pretty place this is, I could quite easy spend a lot of time here, we even managed a decent night sleep with just a bit of rolling, or just maybe we were so warn out from our eventful day yesterday.

In the morning we dropped the dingy and went ashore to have a look at the A frame building here.
We have heard about this before and apparently for over 40 odd years, passing boats have stopped and hung up a sign or leave sometime there that says they have been there, they have a BBQ area that you can sit with other yachties and pass the time of day or night if you feel like socialising, considering we were the only boat left in the bay, that may have been a bit awkward. I guess we could have socialised, with each other....haha

There is actually a couple who live here full time and you can go visit them at their homestead as well, also there is a guy who lives here too in a little shack and actually came down to say hi while we were there, The Captain and him had a nice old chat.

But talk about memorabilia man there is so much stuff here you really don't know where to start looking, people hang up anything and everything, from signs to old boat parts, to toys, bottles even undies.

Of cause we had to hang something we decided to do a message in a bottle, we get to work The Captain writes up the sign, with our boat name, date and our names.
He holds it up for me to look at, I give him my approval I take some pics, we battled a few times to get it in the bottle, and finally it opens up inside the bottle, more pics, we take it ashore with us, The Captain hangs it up more pics taken, we finally go back to the boat, after a nice morning spent ashore.

As I said before I wanted to stay here a few days, but we knew we were going to get some really strong winds in the afternoon, and the anchorage we were in would of turned real ugly real quick.
So off we go we are about halfway there when I decide to check out the pics I took earlier, we had taken so many and also some really good ones, which I will post on here as well, I think I've culled it down to around 30...haha
Well I show  The Captain the pics he takes a look and mumbles some Pirate Language, I look at him wondering what has got him all upset, he shows me the pic and he not me has realised that we have spelt Wind Wanderer, as Win Wanderer...hahaha I'm so glad he wrote it and not me, but in all fairness I was the one taking all the pics and should of noticed it as well.

So if you happen to go past the island and drop in, go search for Win Wanderer in a bottle hanging off a guitar and please please add a big D, cause there is no way he is going  to turn the boat around to go back to change it, now if it was a dingy....haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 16th June 2014

2014-06-16

Monday 16th June 2014

Well it's very very early morning, we have been awake on and off through the night.
The wind has picked up major and it's gusting 30knots or so, and we are getting blown all over the place.

We are in a little bay called Curlew, we arrived here late Saturday afternoon, and what a sail it was.

The first half of the trip was fine but not much wind at all, we were motor sailing along when we noticed, some storm clouds they were building up really quick, with a little panic I started pulling down the covers while The Captain got the main sail in, we sure did not want too much sail out in this storm.

What a storm it was, we got hammered, with winds over 33 knots pouring rain and huge waves crashing over us.
I flew over to The Captains side of the boat and hung on for grim death, it's was so scary with the boat so far over on its side I was sure any moment we would tip over.
Between the waves and the rain they both managed to find their way inside the boat and talk about a mess, everything was wet, we are always baffled at our it makes it's way inside but it sure does, not one cabin was spared this deluge, I came so close to crying several times, I'm not sure if it was the storm or the fact that eventually I was going to have to clean up this mess.
It lasted well over two hours but eventually we got in around this island they call Curlfew and got the anchor down and we settled down some.
We mopped up as much as we could but had to leave the rest till morning when we could get the cushions and stuff out side to dry.
I tell you we slept well that night.

Yesterday was wash and dry day, we spend almost all day at it, we had planned to go ashore and have a nice walk on the beach, and stop to say hi to three other boats here, we kinda know them as they have been in many anchorages as us and we got together on one of their boats  for Happy Hour once.

Ron on a boat called Roseanne, came over for a visit and that was it, we chatted the afternoon away, and actually had a really nice time swapping horror sail stories and such.
Before we knew it, it was dark and way to late for our walk.

We were going to leave today, as was Ron, but with this wind we are both sitting tight as I for one do not want to be out in the ocean again in this.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 17th June 2014

2014-06-17

Tuesday 17th June 2014

Well we smell, or we must, actually we do but I'll get back to that in a minute.

Yesterday all the boats left us, except one.
These were the ones that we had meet up with before. They were Roseanne, Rene and Arkadies, we had tried to call them several times on the radio throughout the morning but never got a reply, we are after a weather report, and really wanted to find out what it was like out there before we stuck our nose out, to have a look.

Yesterday when Ron was on our boat he said just google it, apparently they all have Internet here and have never lost it, yeap Optus you suck, we have had none for days and days and yeap they all have Telstra.

Anyway we watched them all leave and thought what is wrong with us?, do we smell, do they know something we don't, or are we just chicken.
You see it was still gusting 30knots or so,  I actually think they were crazy but apparently they had had enough of this anchorage and that was that.
Yeah we do rock and roll a bit but I guess we are the biggest heaviest boat here so we handle the movement a bit better, but still it would of been rough out there, we were really happy with our decision to stay one more day, that was until just after lunch.

Enter why we smell.
I still wanted my walk on the beach, but the wind was blowing so hard it would of been miserable, so we waited for it to die down some.
The decision was made around 1pm we would go ashore the wind had dropped and The Captain was just going to try and listen to a radio station to see if we could get a weather report, then we could go ashore, yes I had been waiting all day.

All of a sudden we could here a helicopter, it got closer and closer, it not only came into view but it landed right on the beach.
Well this was exciting, I sure wish we had been on the beach when it landed, so with binoculars we watch what was happening, all we could see was a guy walking around and two pilots doing something at the chopper.
As you could imagine we had some way out stories flying around to why they were there, from some famous person wanting to buy the island to surveyors, to gangsters, you name it eventually we decided they were up to no good, why I have no idea...haha

So they hang around the beach for awhile, scheming up all their bad stuff when all of a sudden they take off again.
By this time they have four sets of eyes on them us and a boat that came in earlier, we are all hanging out on deck watching with binoculars, they follow the ridge of the island going back and forth and then disappear over the other side of the island.

Well that was a bit of excitement, we all settle down again, back doing nothing, when all of a sudden a big cloud of smoke drifts up from the other side of the island,  I jump up thinking it's crashed, then we see more smoke in another area, than more and more,
They were starting fires, now we should have realised that it was a red helicopter so of cause Fire brigade.

But why? Why would they start a fire on a deserted island there is nothing here, it does not make sense at all.
But talk about burn and the smoke was terrible there were 4 boats in here now and you think at least they could of called on the radio on channel 16 and at least gave us a chance to close the boat up or more away.
But no nothing, so we have coughed and spluttered all afternoon and into the night and the smoke has got in everywhere.
I had forgotten Aussie bush fires it's been well over two maybe three years since we have been in one and yeap they stink, and nope. I never did get my walk on the beach, as it was just way to smokey.

Well tomorrow us another day.


Wednesday 18th June 2014

2014-06-18

Wednesday 18th June 2014

Well it's very early morning, I love the peacefulness, of early mornings, I think getting up early sucks big time though.

I'm just sitting here way before sunrise having a cup of coffee, there is just a gentle breeze blowing, I can make out two other boats in this little bay, but only by their nav lights and all seems right in the world.

Enter The Captain, well he checks the battery power, yeap it's low, I knew it would be so I purposely didn't check it, All I wanted was my first cup of coffee in peace.
But no he turns the generator on to charge the batteries, oh well at least I got half a coffee in peace.

We are in a  place called Scawfell Island, in a bay they call Refuge Bay, and I tell you we sure needed the refuge.

What a trip it was here, we had strong winds, and big ugly seas, it was like being in a washing machine the waves were easily 3mts and they were coming in all directions, we were getting thrown from one side to the next.
And just to add to the mix it was cold, I sat with a blanket over me almost all day.

It took 6hours to get here and man was it a long six hours, it was not a perfect anchorage as we still had strong winds and we were rocking and rolling a fair bit, but it settled down a lot in the night and we both managed  a decent sleep.

So today we head for Goldsmith, it should only take about 5 hours if we are lucky, once we get there we are officially in the Whitsundays, yay I may just get my walk along the beach today if I'm lucky.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 19th June 2014

2014-06-19

Thursday 19th June 2014

Well we are not in Goldsmith Island, we have come to Shaw Island instead.

Once again it was a rough passage, it seems like we are destined to have big ugly seas and strong winds, they seem to follow us no matter where we sail.
We do have patches that settle some and we manage to have a really nice sail, but that does not last long and in no time at all, we are back hanging on for grim death, I have to say this is not pleasant sailing at all.

We managed to get to Goldsmith and I for one was happy, we made good timing and was there before midday, which was nice, it was such a pretty place with no one around and a nice big beach, my walk was looking good.

But no The Captain being who he is decided that, this place is still a bit windy, and we still have plenty of time why don't we go to the next island, which is Shaw island, it's only a few hours sail away, I could see my walk slipping away.

So off we set again, another shocking passage man it was rough, we motor into Shaw Island and it's blowing a gale here, great.

I did manage to have a little fishing time, but it was miserable out there, although I did catch a smallish fish, am not sure what it was but it was pretty...haha

And no I still have not got my walk on a beach, maybe tomorrow.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 20th June 2014

2014-06-20

Friday 20th June 2014

Well here we are anchored off the famous world know beach, White Haven Beach.
Have you heard if it? Well I haven't but apparently every tourist that's comes up this way has...haha

The Captain had known about this beach with its beautiful white sand, and it is pretty and very soft and fine, but man does it get a lot of tourist, they come in droves, in all kinds of boats and even a sea plane.
This plane landed right next to us, we watched it and were trying to work out how they get the people on the beach, well that's no problem, you just get real close to shore and put down a little ramp and off they walk.
The same thing happens with the tourist boats as well the ramp goes down they line up and like little sheep they all climb aboard.

We finally managed to get our walk on the beach, tourist or not it was still nice, I even got a small bag of sand to add to my collection.

Last night we had a nice neighbour for the night, The Endeavour came around the corner and anchored quite close to us, what a ship it is, we sure were not the biggest boat in the anchorage that night.
I'm not sure who knows the history of The Endeavour but it was given to Australia for our bicentennial by Great Britain, and it's a training sail vessel, it sure is a beautiful boat.

The anchorage here was ok but got very rolly through the night, so yours truly  did not get much sleep.
Today we are heading for Airlie Beach were we will get some much needed fresh supplies, I for one are hanging out for some.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 21st June 2014

2014-06-21

Saturday 21st June 2014

Well we did not make it to Airlie Beach yesterday, instead we decided to come into a little bay in Hook Island, you know they just getter prettier as we go along, this place is almost perfect.
It's so quiet and peaceful, no rolling, no strong winds blowing nothing but calm and serenity.

The only thing wrong is there is zero fish here, serious I fished for an hour or so, not even a bite, nothing, nada, zilch honest, I tried all different stuff but nothing worked.

Yesterday as we were leaving, the tourist boats came in droves to white beach, it was actually nice to get away from there, we had a few scary moments having to go through some narrow patches near Hamilton Island but made it fine, talk about Hamilton Island it sure has developed like crazy there are high rises and holiday homes all over the place.

So today we will head over to Airlie Beach and get some serious shopping done.

Well as I'm sitting here writing this we get some visitors, two cockatoo's have come aboard, now by the look of these two guys, we are not the first boat they have visited before, talk about tame, they were so close to us I almost thought they would just come into the cockpit, they were being all cute and stuff it was really quite funny, we knew they wanted food, so The Captain goes down and gets some frozen bread, I'm thinking they won't eat it frozen, but hey they did not care one bit.

 They made quick work of the bread, but they wanted more, one came and sat right beside me on the railing, and kept acting all cute until I went done for some more food this time I got some sunflower and pumpkin seeds, man they thought they were in heaven, only they never touched the pumpkin seeds but they gobbled up the sunflower seeds in record time.

The Captain protested about giving them anymore seeds as we have them with our breakfast cereal of a morning, so this time I got more bread, they looked at this and looked at me like, are you kidding me, where's the good stuff, but once they realised that was all they were getting they got stuck into in no time, they eventually had full bellys and off they fly, never to be seen again.
I did manage to get some great pics of them and they were happy to pose for the camera, not once did they move away I was right out there with them, and got really up close and personal to them, I so want a bird as a pet, I really want a macaw one day but these guys would be a close 2nd.

I'd like to get a baby Macaw and hand raise it, maybe one day when we sail into, the Amazon or such we may just get one...haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Monday 23rd June 2014

2014-06-22

Monday 23rd June 2014

Well the tourist are out in their droves, there is a big Cruise Ship that has come in, well not real close in as it's very shallow here but they are anchored off a bit and their Ferry's are going back and fourth, man there is a lot of action happening.

I am really happy we have left Airlie Beach it would be horrible there today with all the crowds.
Yesterday we went for a long walk along the foreshore into the heart of Airlie, man has it changed, I was here 31years ago in another life.

Back then most of it was just dirt roads, with a few shops here and there it had a nice feel about it, it still has a nice feel today just different.
It would be a great place to have a holiday, no matter what age you are it seems to cater for it all, they have the most fantastic outdoor pool/play area for kids, then they have a few night clubs here and there and lovely resorts, than lots of back packer places, it just seems to have it all, who ever planned this done a great job.

The day before we did are dreaded grocery shopping, we were running late getting going and had to dingy a fair way away from the shopping centre, as we could not go into the beach that is near it as it was a really low tide, when I say low tide I really mean low there is a difference of around 3 meters, you just can't get your dingy in close enough to shore.
So then we had the problem of will we walk and take a few hours to get there and risk the shops being closed or taxi it.
We decided on a taxi, I tell you the cost of it was almost more than our groceries, but what can you do, one thing it made the trip a lot less painful and in no time we were back on the boat sipping cocktails.

So our biggest decision today is which Island are we going to explore first.... haha its a hard life.
Serious this has to be one of the best cruising places in the world, in a few hours you can be at any number of islands, I know we are not in the high tourist season so it makes it more peaceful, but it really is a pretty part of the world.
I'm saying this at the moment as the ocean is all calm and very little wind, this can change any minute and I'll be back bitching about the horrible seas....haha

Well tomorrow is another day.


Still Monday 23rd June 2014

2014-06-23

Still Monday 23rdth June 2014

Well we ended up going back to Hook Island, after poking our noses in here and there, to have a bit of a look at this and that.

The two reasons why we came Back to Hook island was number 1. it's  so peaceful here, we just love it. The 2nd we have been told about a short walk at the end of the bay that leads you to an aboriginal cave, with paintings.

One of the Taxi drivers the other day told us about this, and said just look for the stone steps and yeah it's an easy walk, he was very young and fit, I was worried.

The 2nd was good old Alan Lucas, our guru book. We all know what he says are easy short walks, remember Everest on Great Kepple Island?

So we go into Refuge Bay, in Hook Island, it's a kinda running joke with us at the moment, as almost every 2nd bay we come to is called Refuge Bay, it's like guess what this Bay is called?

So with much trepidation we Dingy down the bay in search of these rock steps.
We eventually find them and it's sign posted...haha
We drag the dingy to shore and set off, I 'm not sure what I expected, I guess just a climb up rocks and then stumble up to a cave.
Well no being all touristy it's a well set out place, they have built stone steps all the way to the caves, little rest stops along the way  and little stories about the tribe that lived here as you go along.

At the very beginning it says you need a good level of fitness to go up here, great I'm ready to turn around and forget the whole thing, but you know we are dumb and decided to push on.

I have to say it was hard work, but not as bad as other climbs we have done, and you got to rest a lot, cause you had to just stop and read all the stories.

We get to the cave very quietly as they say you should approach softly so you don't disturb the Aboriginal Ancestors, well we tried to go quietly, I hope the ancestors forgave our puffing and panting.... Haha

Being all the rules and regulations that Australia is famous for, well of cause it had a fence around it, just so you could not walk in and really have a great look.
But in all fairness, it's a good thing I suppose as at least it preserves it.

This was my first official Aboriginal Cave, yeah how sad is that I have lived here for 50 odd years and never seen one of their caves.
It was interesting the drawings where good one in particular looked so much like a dinosaur, I wonder if they were around in their time?

That's another tick off our list, we wonder on down and there is a charter boat having a hard time trying to anchor, us being all friendly and all decided to dingy over to them and see if they needed help.
Well they thanked us politely and said no we have it all set, so off we go shaking our heads, as we could tell by the angle of the chain in the water it was not set at all, oh well I just hope they didn't end up washed on the rocks or something.

We get back to the boat, and settle in I fished as usual The Captain played his guitar and we had the best night sleep ever, it was so peaceful here, and the stars were just magic.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 24th June 2014

2014-06-24

Tuesday 24th June 2014

Today we left our serene anchorage in search of some more adventures, and what a busy day we had.

A couple of hours got us into Blue Pearl Bay, were we have been told by the taxi driver again, our own little tourist guru....haha
That this has to be the best diving spots around, considering it was a nice hot day today, it's actually been too cold to swim at all.
So we grab a mooring buoy  and decide to have a snorkel around, the only problem The Captain wanted to jump straight off the boat and slowly snorkel in to shore.

Normally I have no problem with this at all, but as soon as we were on the mooring, we had visitors, at least five bat fish, they are huge at least two foot long, I was not happy about jumping in around them.
He said they will be fine they are docile and just looking for food, that did not make me feel any better, as they may think we are food.

So The Captain jumps in and they swim straight to him, I watching holding my breath and they do nothing....haha
Ok so my turn, I jump in swim like a mental straight to The Captain, they come back around and one touched my leg, yeah I freaked out a fair bit....haha
But eventually with a tight grip on The Captains hand, we swam off, the fish just went straight back to the boat, most likely waiting for the next person to jump off and terrorise.

What a snorkel we had it was great the coral and fish were fantastic, we eventually made it into the beach.
We have been surprised at how many beaches around here from a distance look like beautiful sand, but when you get up to them they are just all dead coral, this was the same.
Coral is really hard to walk on bare foot, and flippers where not a option at all.
But we wanted to explore a bit, The Captain goes off in one direction looking at some caves, I in the other direction along the rocks looking for bait...haha

All was going well until I slipped on a rock and my foot come down hard on the coral, yeap two cuts, blood and swelling starting straight away.
Great so My Knight swims back to the boat and brings the dingy back for me, I considered swimming back with him but I was not so keen to swim with blood pouring out.
We get back to the boat, sterilise it and realise it's not so bad after all, we then decide to go onto our next anchorage .

Enter Butterfly Bay.

Now this one being the name it is, well yeap you can go on a little trek to see a heap of butterfly's.
Well we round the corner into the bay and apparently every charter boat as been talking to the same taxi driver...haha

We weave are way in and around this lot and find a mooring buoy, hook up to it and jump in the dingy to go ashore.
It was extremely low tide but we managed to get in close but had to walk a fair way in water to get ashore.

This beach was just all mud not very nice to walk on, but we were on a mission The Captain had been here many many years ago and remembered seeing these butterflies and how special it was, all you had to do was walk up a creek bed and there they were.

Well apparently his memory did not include the exact spot, after about the fifth creek bed, I was over it, who needs to see butterfly's anyway, The Captain decided to keep going and eventually found the right creek bed, but by this time I was already back at the dingy, while he was having his own little adventure I was having one myself, I had to walk out a long way to the dingy, as the tide was coming in, there was so many Steve Irwin killers ( Sting Rays ) around here, that you had to be really careful where you put your feet. I tell you after about the fourth one scaring me, I think I almost walked on top of the water in my frantic race back to the dingy, where I took a flying leap and landed in the dingy and that's where I stayed.

The Captain finally came back and after a small discussion on wether I wanted to face the Sting rays and creek beds again, I decided to give the whole thing a miss.
We went back to the boat and was faced with even more charter boats, oh man.
We decided to get going and moved around a few bays to a much quieter spot. We did rock and roll a fair bit, but I slept the sleep of the dead, not so much The Captain, apparently the rocking and rolling was a bit too much and he was up several times trying to stop stuff banging, myself just slept through it all.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 26th June 2014

2014-06-26

Thursday 26th June 2014

Well we are back out in the deep blue and man is it rough. I so want to turn around and go back to the gentle anchorages that we have been having.

Today we left the Whitsundays behind, with a sad feeling, we have enjoyed this area so much, but we have to keep moving on.
We do know, we have not seen the last of the Whitsundays, after all it is in our own backyard and one day when we are finished with our big adventures, we may just get ourselves a cat and sail these waters for a while.

At the moment we are heading up to a section between islands called the Gloucester Passage, to me it seems very small and I am not sure at all how we are going to make it through.

Well we made it with a lot of breath holding, but The Captain had it all under control, well he looked like he did,  we had to zig zag in and around a lot of shallow water I tell you, but we made it to the other side, man it was tense.

We made it safely to what they call Stone Island near Bowan, it was a rolly anchorage and I did not sleep well.

A new day another crossing today we sailed to a place called Cape Upstart, and in a little bay called Nobbys Inlet, at least that's sounds a bit like home.

The names of these bays are crazy, I have never heard of hardly any of them before, there is little settlements dotted here and there so people do live here, I wonder what kind of lives they have, I've always wanted to live by the sea or on a island and never thought I could afford it, well I tell you, here in our own country you can, you just have to get out of the main stream and find it, it's all here, I'm actually shocked at how many places you can actually go to and we have only seen a small part of this country so far, and they are so pretty and remote, no wonder everyone wants to come here and live, we have the most fantastic country in the world.

So tomorrow we head to Cape Bowling Green...hahaha told you the names are crazy and the following day we should be in Townsville.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 29th June 2014

2014-06-29

Sunday 29th June 2014

Well we are in Townsville, we made it here Saturday afternoon.
 The night before we made it to Cape Bowling Green, I just can't get over why they have no many crazy names for these Bays, but coming in here sure explained this one at least.

It is the most flattest place I have ever seen, there are no mountains, hills nothing just flat land, and the bay is huge, and shallow, it seems this is the norm at the moment, we anchor in very shallow water, we watch the tides very careful and try not to anchor in anything less than 3mtrs, but it always feels like we are anchored in the middle of the ocean, we just can't get in close to land at all.

This anchorage was a shocker with the wind blowing us one way and the tide blowing us the other, which meant a very uncomfortable night, I tried in our cabin for hours to get to sleep with the rocking and water slapping, until I was so sick I felt like I would throw up, so up I jump pillow in one hand doona in the other and came to sleep up in the cockpit, the movement and the noise was no better up here but at least I had a bit of a breeze around me, did I sleep?
Not really, I read most of the time, but managed a few hours sleep so I guess that was something.

The next day we had to get moving early, and I was not such a happy camper, but spotting some whales in the distant change my mood real quick.
I was going down the companion way when I happened to stop and look around, it's a habit I always do, I stand there and just have a good look around scanning the horizon looking for danger...haha
Well just making sure we are not going to run into reefs, boats rocks islands etc, when I spotted I long black fin in the water, it was at least a nautical mile away which is around 2klms so your eyes can play tricks on you at that distance, which we know only to well.

So at first I didn't say anything, than I saw it again, well that had me racing for the binoculars, The Captain grabs a pair as well we slow the boat down and just look at these magnificent creatures, there were at least two of them and they were just rolling around in the ocean being all lazy they would just have a fin up, or half a tail, we tried to get a bit closer but then they disappeared, we scanned the area for a fair while then had to give up and get moving again, but man did it put us in a great mood, whale spotting is one of our biggest thing we do out here we are always on the lookout, we have never got up close and personal at all which is a shame, but you never know one day we just might just not to personal I hope...haha

Ok getting a bit distracted here, I just looked up and watched a huge cargo ship come in beside us, it just looked so whimpy, here they are these big mothers of ships and it's following a tiny tiny little red boat, and getting pushed in by a tug boat, well it looked whimpy to me anyway...haha

Ok getting back, we finally make it to Townsville and at around 7pm we head into shore to pick up Robin The Captains son, he was flying up here and combining business with pleasure and spending a few days with us.
After a lot of headaches trying to work out where to come ashore and get in, this place is not very pleasure boat friendly, with its low tides, shallow waters and really nowhere to land a dingy, we had to go to one of the marinas fuel dock to pick him up, but all worked out fine and before long we were back on the boat having a lovely catch up.

Sunday we decided to go over to Magnetic Island, for a day sail and get some grocery's  yeap it was actually easier to go ashore there and shop then try to get into Townsville itself.
What a pretty little island this is, we walked around some and then found a nice little place for lunch, and just had a really nice time.

Back to the boat we get and make our way back to the anchorage in Townsville, as Robin needed to get back to business, it was a short visit but a nice one. I'm sure there will be plenty more.

Tomorrow we will take this vessel of ours into the sane fuel dock and fill her up, and then set off once more, we will day hop up the coast until the next big port being Cairns.

Well tomorrow us another day.


Monday 30th June 2014

2014-06-30

Monday 30th June 2014

Well the dreaded day is here, another visit to a marina.
Even though we avoid these like the plague we still have to get fuel unfortunately, so we work out when it will be high tide, as it's very shallow water coming into the marina.

We set off give the guys a quick ring to let them know we are coming in and hopefully they will be able to give us a helping with our lines.
They ask us how long we are as there is a seaplane at the end of the dock, great I'm thinking this will be fun...not, but at least I should get some great pics.

So we carefully make our way in, at one stage I could just not watch as we were getting very close to the break wall just as we get around a bend the plane comes out, well that's one less problem we have to deal with.
The plane is a old style like a tiger moth and painted red, it takes tourist out on scenic flights.
So we are going towards the dock but the wind is blowing us away from it, the guy yells to say come in around the other side it will be a lot easier.
Around we go and The Captain in fine style gets us right up next to it no hassle's at all.

As we fill up the plane comes back in, I grab the camera and quickly take a few pics and race back to keep an eye on the fuel thingy.

We cast off and out we go again all looking like we are professionals, haha if only they knew.

By this time it was getting on in the day so we make our way back to Magnetic Island were we spent the afternoon doing the washing and enjoying the nice spot.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 1st July 2014

2014-07-01

Tuesday 1st July 2014

Magnetic Island is such a pretty island, the rocks all around on shore are really something, it's like some giant has just picked them up and arranged them on top of each other, it's really strange how they just sit there and not roll off, it got us discussing all the possibles to Giants, aliens, earthquakes, you name it, but then it hit, it must be magnets after all it is called Magnetic Island...haha

So we leave this place and head off once again, this time to Orpheus Island, it was an ok sail, a bit rough and rolly, but we made it before dark, as we were coming in we noticed a few Marine Park buoys, so decided to pick one of these instead of anchoring, which is easy except I have to grab the thing as we fly past it, so far so good, I have not missed one in ages, how it goes The Captain lines up the boat, I race out on deck with the boat hook and grab the rope, then The Captain comes running to give me a hand to get the rope up and secured.

I ended up having a little fish off the boat, lost some tackle and caught nothing...haha
But it was cold, it seems the last few days has had me looking for long sleeves.
It's been quite windy and that wind sure has a chill in it.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday 2nd July 2914

2014-07-02

Wednesday 2nd July 2014

Where is the time going? Man it's the 2nd of July already.

Today we left Orpheus Island and are heading to Dunk Island.
I'm starting to get a bit nervous with each trip we are doing now, as we are well and truly in The Great Barrier Reef.
When you look at the chart plotter all you see is reefs, rocks, shallow water and islands.

It sure makes some interesting sailing, you have to have your wits about you that's for sure and there is no way I would want to sail these waters at night.

There was a few places we wanted to sail through the main one was Hinchinbrook Channel, it's supposed to be lovely to sail through with sheer cliffs and such, but by the time we got there it was very low tide and we would of most likely not made it through.

It can be quite shallow in spots and with all the groundings still fresh in our minds from a The a Great Sandy Straight, we decided to give it a miss, but it's still on our bucket list for one day.

So here we are in Dunk Island, it's pretty, but has that run down feeling to it, I guess it can't always be paradise.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 5th July 2014

2014-07-05

Saturday 5th July 2014

Wow time gets away quick, ok a little catch up here.

 On Thursday we left Dunk Island in overcast conditions, we planed to go ashore and have a walk around but it was cold and windy, so off we set, we sailed in rain almost all day, which sucks, and ended up anchoring in a river for the night called Mourilyan Harbour, it was scary coming in as it's a very narrow passage, but we made it fine, and talk about calm, we were getting blown around everywhere outside and in the harbour it was as calm as could be.
It was a nice anchorage as long as you looked up the river, if you looked down you were faced with a huge sugar mill and loader, although there was no ships in at the time.
It was still raining in the morning as we set sail once again, things around here was really starting to look water logged I tell you.
Apparently this section of the coast is known for its heavy rainfall, and it sure looked up to its name.
But with luck once we sailed past the area the rain stopped thank god.
 
Our next stop was to be Fitzroy Island, we made it a few hours before dark, but it was such a rolly anchourage, and not much room to set our anchor, there was a lot of boats around including Ferry's going back and forth.
So we made the decision to go onto a little area called Mission Bay, if we went fast enough we could get there just on dark.

Well we went faster than we thought and made it in plenty of light, but it was a shocking anchorage we rocked and rolled all night long, maybe we should of just stayed at Fitzroy instead.

So up bright and early the next day, we headed off to Cairns, it was only a few hours away, and here we are in Cairns a big milestone, most coastal cruisers only sail to here and than turn back, not us we will keep sailing on, to many more adventures I'm sure.


Well tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 8th July 2014

2014-07-08

Tuesday 8th July 2014

Well we have just left Cairns, and are on our way to low isles, it's about 8nm from Port Douglas.
We have had quite a busy time here, well kinda anyway.

On Saturday we went ashore to have a bit of a look around, it's a very up market Marina and area, with a lot of multi million dollar boats around, one in particular is Golden Shadow, we met this boat when we were leaving New Caledonia, it's a huge research vessel owned by a Sultan of some Arab country, who has poured a lot of money into saving the oceans of the world, we have found out a lot about the boat,  it's a massive boat with at least five boats as deck cargo and it's nothing to have at least 28 crew plus scientist and Researchers, I sure would love to have a look onboard, it just looks so classy.

Cairns is like the new upmarket Surfers Paradise, and man do they have it all, from every tourist thing you can think of, even jet ski croc spotting, yeah I'm not sure how many takers they have on that one.

Near the marina they have all the posh shops, you can buy almost any designer Brand label you want, as you walk on a bit it comes back down to the real world, with still every store you can think of, of cause it has all the cheap little Chinese shops as well.
We hunted down a Woolworths and got some much needed groceries, as we were pushing the trolly back to the marina, many blocks I might add, the area is so spaced out its a bit of a hike to get anywhere.
We were walking through the park and came across a band playing, they are called Get Off Your Couch, they were going for a world record of Ukulele playing and there were hundreds and hundreds of people in the audience all playing a Ukulele it was quite something to see.
 
We evenly had to keep going and finally made it back to the dingy load everything in and back out to the boat.

We both had a bad night sleep that night why? We have no idea but ended up spending a good chunk of the next day just taking it easy, although I did catch two nice fish that we had for dinner that night, not overly big but nice ones, maybe my luck might be coming back again in the fishing scene.

On Monday we decided to go ashore again, this time we were hunting for a Marine shop and a Dan Murphy's, as our Red Wine and Rum stores were looking grim.
We did a bit of research and with the help of a map we decided it's was only around 4klm to Dan Murphy's and the Marine shop was on the way,  we decided we would walk there and catch a taxi back.

Why we ever think it's a good idea to walk is way beyond me, man we decided or The Captain decided to go a different way, to the way on the map, I was getting very concerned about this as I had it all worked out, but no as per usual we got side tracked and ended up in a huge shopping centre, I think we actually walked a few kilometres just in the shopping centre itself, than The Captain wanted to find a music shop, so a few more k's to there than finally we get to the Marine shop, by this time I was had it, and was so warn out, I have no idea how many kilometres we had walked but it was way over 6kms that's for sure, we ended up getting a taxi to Dan Murphy's thank god as that was another 5kms away, got our much needed liquor supply topped up and taxied it back to the Marina, load it all into the dingy 11 boxes and all and headed back to the boat only to have to find a place for it all.

So two very tired cruisers had a quiet and early night.

Well tomorrow us anther day.


Wednesday 9th July 2014

2014-07-09

Wednesday 9th July 2014

Well it's early morning, we are anchored off a little island called The Low Islands, and there is a kinda dingy boat, with a tent thingy attached to it, and it's flapping and slapping in the water next to us, It's driving me Crazy, it's been doing this all night long.

Yeah as you can tell I'm not such a happy chappy this morning, with not much sleep from that damn boat and only half my first cup of coffee down, maybe I'll feel a bit better when I finish my 2nd cup.

But it is a pretty place, and we are in about 8 meters of water, it's so clear you can see the coral on the bottom,
Although it's a bit crowded, there has to be over a dozen boats here, as we were sailing closer or should say motor sailing as we had zero wind yesterday, we changed coarse several times and swapped sails from one side to the other, nothing helped, I actually don't think the wind blew over 7knts all day.

So it was a bit of a boring day, I had both my fishing lines out with no luck at all, I made date scones, with no luck at all, they taste good but just don't really look like scones...haha

Anyway getting back on track, The Captain came to these Islands in another life about 33 years ago, he was doing an expedition with a six others in  little catamarans, one of the Cats had hit the reef near the island and they had to spend some time here doing repairs.
Back then the lighthouse was manned now it's all automatic, the lighthouse keeper and his daughter used to come down every day and chat, as they were camping on the beach and doing the repairs there as well, try doing that now, the tourist industry has taken over and yeah The Captain was a bit sad, that it had changed so much.

We would have liked to have had a walk on the beach, but we need to keep moving, besides the tourist boats will be here in their droves soon, and that's so not our scene.

So onward we go...haha that sounds like a country cowboy scene, you know Hi Ho Silver and all that, not sure what the yachty word for it would be, but I'm sure The Captain could come up with plenty.

I guess you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.
Although we grew up in a town, we spent a good chunk of our lives at my Grandparents dairy farm, so I always see myself as a country girl, God the fun we had in those days with all our cousins, good times, good memories.

So today we will try to make it to a little place called Hope Islands, with luck we hope to have a bit more wind and be able to turn the engine off, and I hope my fishing is better today, all I want is one nice big fish we have our new BBQ all connected now on the back rail, and it's sitting there all nice and shiny just waiting for that fish.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Thursday 10th July 2014

2014-07-10

Thursday 10th July 2014

Banjo land here we are.

Man what a day, we are anchored, I'd like to say safely anchored, but am not real sure at all, in Cooktown.
This is the last place to provision for at least two weeks, and am I going to provision?
NO, this place sucks, the area is seedy and the locals are all playing banjos and there is no way I'm getting off this vessel of ours to let the locals take it over.

Seriously what is with Australia lately we go from Ukelele playing to now Banjo land.
I guess that's not fair We really enjoyed the Ukelele thingy, well kinda, at least it was entertaining. 

Let me go back to yesterday, when all was right in the world, and we were feeling like the two most luckiest people in the world.

With no wind once again we sailed into a little place called Hope Islands.
What a pretty place although it was quite hairy getting in there with so much coral around, but we made it fine and picked up a marine buoy.
These buoy's are dotted around here and there and it's always nice to see a free one, it's so easier than anchoring.
We were just off what they call a coral cays, and we had the whole place to ourselves, our own little deserted island.

Talk about a pretty place we dropped the dingy and went to shore for a walk around, there is something so special when you are the only ones around with the water so clear you can see all the Coral and fish even in meters and meters of water.

We had a cocktail on deck and just took it all in.
In the morning I decided to do stone much needed laundry, and have a quick fish.

The Captain even got in on the game and we both fished, we ended up catching four in around 20 minutes with only keeping two to eat.
The first one I caught was a Sharksucker, I had no idea what it was, it actually looked like a small shark, but google to the rescue, when we got here to banjo land told us what it was.
Am glad we did not keep it, as we never know which are ok to eat or not, so any thing that looks a bit strange goes back over.
But we had to leave to get to Cooktown, it was only four hours away and we wanted to get there in time to grocery shop.

So the usual tide checks water depths, weather checks, all looking ok off we go.
I had all my washing out on deck hoping the wind that was suppose to blow would dry it. Guess what? No wind, we just motored all the way, we didn't even bother putting the sails out.

So we get to the harbour entrance and start looking for the Buoys red and green that will show us the correct path to take.
There is two way off coarse to what the chart platter is saying and then one lonely little green with no red in sight.
The way you get into and out of places is by following these Buoys.
So we decide to go for the red and green as often the sand banks move so we thought that was why they were so far off track.
Well our decision was the wrong one, we were heading to it when bam, we ran aground, far out here we go again.

We eventually get off that sand bank, radio the coast guard and they say, oh yeah those ones are in the wrong position, are they kidding us, how stupid is that, having two leading markers in the wrong spot, as you can imagine The Captain was not such a happy chappy about this at all, yeah there was a lot of pirate language going on.

So we are told just to head to the yellow markers, that's where the deep water is, and yeap bam again right on another sand bank.
There was a dredger near by and one of their  guys comes over in his boat and says just go to the right some more and than you are in plenty of deep water.
So we eventually get moving again take the guys advise and bam straight on another sandbank.
I won't even mention how The Captain was feeling at this moment.
To make matters worse there was a boat pulling in a fishing trawler, and bearing down on us real quick.
We were stuck dead smack in the channel, they actually had to push the dredger over so they could get past.
After what felt like hours we eventually got off that sand bank dodging the dredger by a few feet and make our way in, we are looking at good old Lucas"s book and he tells us where to anchor. Apparently he has no idea what he is on about, we go to the spot and bam onto yet another sand bank.

By this time I am in tears and way beyond any sane reasoning all I wanted was to get off the sandbank turn around and get the hell out of there.
But the worse was yet to come, the trawler that passed us going in, well they decided to get two small boats one to pull and one to push them into a better position, all was fine until the boat pushing lost it's  engine and the boat In front had not enough power to control it, and it come bearing down on us at an alarming rate, I was so stressed. I actually could not watch and dived down the stairs but just could not help myself and came back up pretty quick.

They eventually get an anchor out on the trawler, and stop it but not before the guy onboard has a mental break down and went off his head at us, as if we could do anything about it, we were stuck hard.

Now things got a bit hard we were very close to shore, had a yacht off our back corner and a trawler stopping us going the other way.
We radio Coast Guard again they were hopeless, but eventually the tide came in and we  started to float we back up just miss the yacht behind us by inches skim past the trawler, give the jerk a death stare, and made it back into the main channel, and here we are anchored in the only deep area here which is lucky to be 4meters, and tomorrow on high tide which is first light thank god we can get out of here.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Friday 11th July 2014

2014-07-11

Friday 11th July 2014

Well this is fun...not.
We are getting thrown all over the place, with big seas and big winds and man is it uncomfortable.

We finally got away from banjo land, not as early as we wanted to, as The Captain went ashore to get some stuff at the marine shop.
While he was away I got the boat ready to take off as soon as he got back, we were racing against the tide and I really did not want to stay here another day.

So we get the anchor up fine, The Captain does some fancy steering and gets us turned around in one very tight spot.
Out we head, now we have to get past the dredger, but it's moved right over, were we need to get out, no problem they had left a small space on the other side, so we headed for that.
As we get closer I notice a pipe coming down from shore and call to The Captain that we can't go that way, he has a look and thinks it's ok, me not so sure at all.

I notice a guy on the dredger so I race out to ask him, he holds his hands up to say stop, and go to 16.
So we call them on 16 and as per usual in Banjo Land no one answers, the guy then Jumps in a small boat and comes over to us, meanwhile we are having our own little tangle with a wharf, well almost we were floating back on it real fast.
The guy comes up and tells us to go around the other side of the dredger, you should have plenty of water to get through, this is the same guy who told us yesterday that we had plenty of water, great.

So with us both holding our breath and watching the depth sounder getting lower by the second, we finally skimmed through, man were we stressed out.
We finally get into some deeper water, and breath again.
We get the Yankee and mizzen sails up and off we go doing six knots, although it was rolly.

The Captain being a hero goes down and makes us some coffee, while he is down there the wind picks up, I'm having a panic attack The Captain rushes up and tries to get some kind of control over the boat.

It was not easy the wind picked up to around 36 or so knots, now you may think 36knts yeah that's nothing, but when you consider gale force starts at around 40knts, it sure is rough.
Aut the auto pilot was having none of it and just kept switching itself off, I'm getting up and down trying to get it working again and we are going head first into a mountain.

The Captain grabs the wheel and gets us out of that predicament and points us back out to sea.
We manage to get some control and the wind has died down a lot, but it's left us with a horrible lumpy ocean.

We finally make it to lizard Island, The Captain wanted to go ashore but I was just to tired and not feeling real well, so we just stayed on board took it all in and enjoyed not being thrown from side to side.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Saturday 12th July 2014

2014-07-12

Saturday 12th July 2014

Well we are up bright and early, well maybe not so bright, but we are on the move.
We left just on daylight, as we have a big distance to go today, actually this will be are longest day trip so far, we are trying to reach Cape Melville by sunset, if we can stick to 6knts all the way we will make it.

Lizard Island has a bit of a history, the famous actor Lee Marvin, used to come here marlin fishing and would fly back to America and tell all his friends about it, and more and more would come he made the island very popular.

Than there was a family who lived here many years before, it was two guys a wife and child and they had two Chinese servants.
They used to go out collecting sea slugs, and made a living off them.
One day they were out collection them when aborigines, attacked the wife, they killed one of the servants and injured the other, the wife, baby and the injured Chinese guy all got into a cauldron that they used for boiling these slugs or to be fancy they are called "Beche- de-mer" and set to sea, the tides took them to another island but sadly they all died from thirst.
Their house is still there and the bay is now known as Watson's  Bay.

Going back a few more years, Captain Cook landed here and was so stressed out about trying to get through all the Coral Reefs, we sure know that feeling.
That twice he walked up a huge mountain here to see if he could see a better way through, but each time he went up, it was too misty to see anything, and decided to go back another way to get through.

So now you have all had a major history lesson....haha 
I'll go back to the horrible rocking and rolling, and reef spotting ourselves.

Well tomorrow is another day.


Sunday 13th July 2014

2014-07-13

Sunday 13th July 2014

Well first of all I'd like to wish my sister a Happy Birthday, hope you have a great day Di. 

Once again it's early morning, we are rocking and rolling, just off a big beach, we are in an area called Bathurst Bay, at Cape Melville.
We made it here just on sunset last night which was kinda nice, we sat and watched on the AIS six ships go through a narrow channel just after we got through, am so glad we didn't have to face them, it would of been a tad stressful.

Today we are just going to do a small hop to The Flinders group, which should only take about three hours, with any luck and the next day we will do another big hop of about 60nm's.

At Bathurst Bay there is a monument on shore, and wait for it another history lesson....haha
The monument is in memory of ships and crew that lost their lives here way back on the 5th March 1899, in a Hurricane.
Three of the ships named were "Sagitta" the Captain aged 39, his nephew aged 25, a ship called "Silvery Wave" the Captain was only 20, and another ship called "lightship" they were the main ships mentioned but over 50 vessels were w