Thursday, June 30, 2011

From the Captain's wife

We're here bobbing on the water in the lagoon on Moorea.  Motored/sailed over on Sunday.  Took 4 hours of pounding as there was about a metre of swell topped with whitecaps.  Didn't panic but had to wonder why anyone would want to pound through the ocean like that for hours on end.  Then the dolphins arrived chasing a school of flying fish.  Boy are they neat fish!  They look like they are flapping stubby little wings.  The dolphins were so neat!  They swam with us a while till we headed into the lagoon.  Happy to get to Cook's Bay.  Motored out to the lagoon on Monday morning and found it too lumpy and windy to swim.  Realized we have a logistical problem in that I can't climb into either the boat or the dinghy from the ocean without help from your dad (give me a little push!).  Spent the day reading your book and finished it last night.  Motored back into the bay to sleep as the weather report predicted high winds starting at 2 a.m.  Dead calm this morning so motored back out to the lagoon to row ashore to town and rent a car.  None available.  Booked one for tomorrow but David met a friend he's made here on Moorea (we're going to his house to do laundry and shower tomorrow!) who told us that tomorrow is another national holiday and everything will be closed so we rescheduled the car for Thursday.  Had a lovely lunch at a small greasy spoon in town.  Waited 1/2 hour in the post office to buy stamps for postcards and got a huge laugh from the guy when I said I wanted stamps to Canada.  $1.40 each!  You'll probably get your card when I'm home as I have to write something first.  Got Shelley's done though so I can mail that tomorrow.  Had a coconut ice cream and sat and chatted with dad's friend.  Nice guy.  Bought some ripe bananas and a papaya at a roadside stand.  The bananas are fabulous!  Wish we could get them at home.  I'm looking forward to trying the papaya tomorrow.  Got back to the boat by 4:30 and crashed!  I slept for 2 1/2 hours and dreamt of cats.  I felt like I'd been run over by a truck.  Not a strenuous day but after sitting and reading all day yesterday, except for the swim, I guess it was busy.

Take care all of you.  Miss talking to you.  Looking forward to talking when I get home.

Love you lots, hugs to all,
At 22/06/2011 4:08 AM (utc) our position was 17°34.86'S 149°37.09'W

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Sam diet

It's only 9 o'clock at night... but if every meal took this long to make I'd be wafer thin in no time, maybe I could patent that... "Cooking with ADD, oooh shiny!"
One shopping trip, thawing and frying bacon, one season of battlestar galactica ftp'd to my xbox, one borrowed egg favor from a neighbor and more salt and pepper on the floor than in the dressing... but, it's done!
As an added bonus it doesn't taste too bad either :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From the Captain's wife

It's hot here and no swimming in the harbour as the pollution is bad (we're pumping sewage overboard as the holding tank filled up by Thursday and spewed sewage all over dad's clean laundry - never a dull moment!). I've been treated to pancakes twice which was very nice. Sorry I can't eat bread as the loaves dad gets at the grocery look delicious. Dad's lost weight and is looking good. More white hair than at Christmas but I suspect that's the sun bleaching his hair. I've still got heat rash on my legs but doing well otherwise. I'm struggling with the language and everything being totally different and new and your dad's difficulty dealing with crowds and noise (I was enjoying the spontaneous singing while it was bugging your dad greatly.) but on the whole doing well. I'm looking forward to being able to swim in the ocean. Found your book, Sam from the Swedish author Larsson and enjoying the end of that trilogy. Will talk when I'm home.

Love you guys lots,
At 22/06/2011 4:08 AM (utc) our position was 17°34.86'S 149°37.09'W

From the Captain

Cooler is a godsend - working it overtime. Power is holding up provided the engine get's run and things like the anchor light isn't run. I need to get LED's up the mast for the tri light and the anchor light.

Mom is mostly catching up on sleep - she's sleeping well on the boat. Haven't moved (except for about 150 m that mom found exciting - apparently I shouted and sounded angry - I was just trying to be heard) Had to reanchor because got too close to another boat. Anyway, might start to do something soon.

Here's Mom.

Love the short hair! It's perfect in the wind and on the dinghy. We've been back and forth to shore a number of times. Got prickly heat rash on my thighs which is extremely painful and uncomfortable. Washed my hair this morning on the boat in a tub and it worked pretty well. Nothing dries here. It's all damp and mildewy. Wish I'd brought more shorts and nighties. Skirts are impossible for climbing in and out of the dinghy. Need more socks too as my feet sweat in my shoes and I wear them for all the walking on shore. There's no beach here, just pavement and concrete which runners are the best shoe for.

Daniel, hope you are well. Please phone Granny and Auntie Marg to let them know that we're fine and I'm enjoying being in the tropics with your dad.

Went into town day before yesterday. Pretty different from home. Lots of small grubby little bars and shops, many of the buildings look like they are crumbling in the climate. Not pretty at all. Lots of construction happening.

Try and connect another day.

Love and hugs,
Mom and Dad

Monday, June 27, 2011

Burlap sack...

I'm sorry NCIX but you need to be placed in a burlap sack and beaten. Why you ask? Well please feel free to enlighten me but did the screen protector (the colored bit on top) *really* need it's own box?!?!

Yeah if you're wondering all that brown stuff was in there too, you know to keep it from flopping around and hurting itself IN ALL THAT SPACE!

Now, granted this indiscretionary use of boxes is not nearly as bad as The enourmous HP box spotted from space... and all the materials used *are* recyclable, but it was still taking up space on a truck somewhere that consequently had to make 57 trips to deliver all the screen covers rather than one.

It hurts my little hippy heart, and it was made that much more obvious in comparison to IKEA, who does an exemplary job on their packaging. Even their plastic wrap is recyclable!

Little bit tired...

After three trips to Vancouver, working, taekwondo, climbing, biking and visiting until midnight I'm a little tired. Not quite dysfunctional, but definitely sensitive.

My week and a half of insanity just caught up with me... My little brother broke my car last week, I always thought I'd be the one to break my car... so I wasn't really prepared, I mean it never occurred to me how I might feel or react when someone else did.

Yes, he's still alive.

Sometimes you're fine until your best friend asks if you're okay, and you have to tell her you are because you know she's got to get back to work.

Thanks though, I just needed you to tell me that everything is gonna be alright so that I could have a ten second crocodile cry. Besides, that's what insurance is for right?

I feel much better now :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

From the Captain

Mom is here catching up on sleep.  Haven't moved from a a crowded anchorage but at least the weather has been calm.  Boats everywhere from everywhere.  The super yachts are something else - gross but still impressive.  HOt here.

Hopefully we'll move tomorrow = not sure exactly where.

Anyway, take care.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

A mother's love

Sometimes our world falls down around us, we are forced to question our beliefs and the granite columns which our lives are built upon are shaken. 

Sometimes, a girl just needs to talk to her mother... but when she can't be there she packages her love up and sends it any way she can.

I can be as simple as a text message, it's purity leaving no doubt as to its depth.
"I love  you... one breath at a time" ~Nona
Sometimes it's good to be reminded that we're loved, and just as important for us to remind others that we love them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brand new woman!

Well folks for the first time in... well since dinosaurs roamed the Earth... I'd like to introduce my Mom, whom I almost didn't recognize. She has just cut her hair short. Like shorter than short shorts!

I think it looks great! My apologies however, as I suck at taking portrait photos.

It was pretty cool all weekend though, as Mom experienced the freedom and lack of maintenance associated with short hair.  Like the wind on the back of her neck, and not getting hair in her eyes when we drove with all the windows open, and not worrying about her bobby-pin falling into dinner while she was making it... I thought "Does that happen often?!?!" but then I decided... that was something I really didn't want to know the answer to... oh and her amazement and excitement at how little shampoo she was going to have to take for her month-long visit.

All of this almost makes me wonder why I'm growing mine out...

Captains' wife's log... Day 1

Hi kids

Made it safely to Tahiti last night.  Hot but beautiful here.  Woken up by my bladder at 3 a.m. but was able to get back to sleep and woke with the sun at 6 a.m. when the roosters crowed to announce the sunrise.  The silly things crow all day long!

Dad looks like the wild man of Borneo.  He's let his beard grow out and it has gotten all bushy and grown up his cheeks.  He's quite cute.

Looked at the Guide books this morning and decided to go around the Island tomorrow to the south side where there's a bay leading to the botanical gardens.  They looked interesting.  I'll let you know.  Hope all is well at your end.

Love and hugs,
At 11/06/2011 4:35 AM (utc) our position was 17°30.29'S 149°49.23'W

The Captain of many words

Mom has arrived OK and is fine.  She managed to get a decent nights sleep on the boat.  All is fine.

Currently at Tahiti and will be here a day or so before going to Moorea and sitting in the lagoon for a bit. After that, not sure.

Caution: cooking fail in progress

It says 'drizzle'

I know I'm not a professional when it comes to cooking, but somehow I don't think this is what it's supposed to look like...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Can't contain awesome

Best Taekwondo evar!!!!!!

So after mixing up the class times and showing up an hour early... Leaving... and showing up again I found out it was stripe test night, and promptly swallowed a proverbial bumblebee.

See I missed all of my tkd classes last week due to the 1000+ miles I put on my car (yes really, I worked it out) so I had no idea what I was supposed to know?!?

I've been having a little trouble picking up the second half of my poomse but it ended up being totally fine, I got a little crash course and it seems to be sticking with me.

That's just the cool part though, the awesome part is that we finished our stripe tests early, everyone passing with flying colours so we got to do some kicking drills and two of us did a triple front kick!!!

Now this is the part where I can admit to you, my Internet readers that a wee tiny major bit of the reason that I did it, was cause one of the boys did it first. I can't help it, it's like an anything you can do I can do better gene that is recessive until exposed to testosterone... then it kicks into overdrive!

It was the coolest thing evar though! Like I might as well have been doing aerial flying mortal kombat kicks with flames shooting out behind me!!

Seriously, it was that cool.

So super pumped, but I'm pretty sure my legs are gonna hate me in the morning...

The look on our instructors face though, as she sat there shaking her head that *two* of us could do it, and had both picked it up relatively quickly... was priceless. She's been building it up for weeks now ;)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yes, we're related...

So we get to the airport with 2 hours to spare, and promptly everyone has to pee. Ben opted for the super casual just rolled out of bed jammies look...

Ben: should I put underpants on?

Mom: well do they open?

Ben: uhhh sometimes...

Then how 'bout yeah, we don't need you to get arrested for indecent exposure in an International Airport.

Sent... While in transit ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And lo I say unto you

'twas early, early morn...

She says: take this here lettuce that you may have it with your cereal, and the kids did laugh.

But I ask you this, be ye any brighter at this ungodly hour?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Mother's love doesn't need a direction

Mom: I'll email and let you know where we are...

Granny says: I don't care where you guys are, I just want you to be safe!

Sent... While in transit ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Are we there yet?

The trouble with being on the ferry at night is that you can't tell how far (or close) you are to anything...

*yawns* k I'm tired, and done with being in the car now. This has been the longest roadtrip evar... Well other than the one up to High Level (first level of lunar orbit)

Sent... While in transit ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Heh. Just beyond Hope... Again!

*Ugh* it's ten o'clock at night and its finally certain that I'm most definitely, going to make it onto the Duke Pt. Ferry home. Home as in where my Mom lives... So that I will be able to see my littlest brother graduate :) neither of my brothers can technically be called little anymore... but I think that's one of the perks of being a big sister ;)

I'm back in Vancouver 16 hours after leaving this morning. Bear with me, it's a lot of crazy to wrap your head around... And I'm pretty sure it's going to fall into the category of "what was I thinking?!!"

I haven't had a chance to collect my thoughts since Tuesday morning... But despite everything I'm sure you've already heard about the Stanley Cup playoffs it was awesome, I had a
fantastic time and I'm really glad we came down for Game 7!

Sent... While in transit ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


One pee stop, three maps, a set of hand written directions and OMG WE MADE IT without killing anyone!

Now to find the big screen, maybe we should have checked this before we left...

Okay now we've peed and eaten we're good to go!

Sent... While in transit ;)

The Pilgrimage!

So here are the shirts we're wearing!!!

Thanks soooo much to the super amazing people who helped pull these together. They shall remain nameless as I don't wish to endanger our agents in the field.

But you know who you are ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I'm so excited I could pee!!!!!

I'm going down to Vancouver to partake in the street Mayhem!

Today was a whirlwind of butterflies, attempting some semblance of organization and trying to get shirts done up for the game!


When I die... just put me on ice

I knew I was never going to survive as long as my Granny has...

But at the rate I'm going my gravestone is going to read "Died of Canucks related causes"

Sent... While in transit ;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

I speak for the people!

I think Wed should just be declared a National fricken hockey-day and eliminate the need for everyone to call in to work dead ;)

I mean really.

No, for serious.

Heeeeyyyyyy, what doing?

Saw this guy just at the end of work on Friday :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The quest...

The anticipation is palpable, it's humming through the air. Connecting total strangers through nods, thumbs up and knowing smiles, passed on and amplified exponentially, one fan at a time.

Horns honk, encouragement and approval of your support. Flags whipping and cracking above and behind cars, this is our battle flag.

Energy crackles sending shivers down my spine, and goosebumps rippling across my skin. It's incredible and intoxicating seeing all these people, their hopes and dreams hooked on a hockey team. A wait for some that has lasted the better part of 40 years...

With bated breath, cheers escape bleeding off some of the pent up energy. Scattered clapping and then a whistle break through the dull roar of the bar, it is beginning.

The anthem, takes on an entity all it's own when sung by the entire arena, and most in attendance...

We are Canadians together, supporting our team.

Our Heroes.

Friday, June 10, 2011


While trying to set up a meeting yesterday this comment struck me as particularly funny;

M&M: "I think I have something this afternoon that I don't know about"

From the Captain...

It blowing through the anchorage today and last night =25 to 35k.  I pulled in the Bruce anchor yesterday after untangling it from the keels and it's rode was wrapped around the one to the plough (CQR) anchor.  The latter seems to work better in this material - one of the real pluses of the clear warm and shallow water is actually watching how the anchor and chain system works.  Wasn't real happy getting up this morning to the moaning of the wind.

My CPAP died so I'm not sleeping well, then the anchor alarm on the gps went off suggesting dragging.  Not really - just the alarm circle is 164' and I've got out 110+ feet of scope, the wind turned around and the swing fell out of the alarm safe zone.  Not to worry but I did go for a swim to check the anchor set.  It did move  about 6' - looks like when the boat swung the full circle it trip out and then reset itself.  Holding fine but I'm not moving today or leaving the boat.  Anyway, I grumpily bailed off the back of the boat and the fist thing I see is a beautiful spotted ray gliding by - made the snorkel.

Got sort of going, made some pancakes for breakfast, checked the anchor, drift, took distances off with the range finder etc. Measured wind speed.  Spliced up a float for an anchor indicator.  Re-read the section in the Cruiser's handbook about anchors, rode and chain - still have to replace the chain and really don't want to go to the city to do it. I'll have to get at least 66 m to provide a long piece of 50 m and replace the rusty section currently on the CQR.  The bow roller arrangement need modifying - when the boat is dancing the rode likes to flip out off the roller. It needs some ears welded on, and perhaps some other additions to help secure two anchors.  I can't find a home for the bruce down below - awkward.

Reading the Art of War - I'll try and remember to send it back to you with Mom. My computer acted up this morning - it seems to be getting confused somehow with the wireless network.  I now have two icons on the right hand control bar for the wireless.  One with a red X, the other says life is good.  Anyway, for whatever reason, I shut down, rebooted and I have I net.  I really don't like it when the machine appears to reconfigure itself and gets confused.  Hopefully it will contine to work.  Right now I'm using the Wirie with the baby antenna in the boat ham shack and the transceiver plugged in direct rather than through the main antenna out back.  Was that part of the problem ? Don't know - this works, I'll put it all back after I get this off and try it again "properly".  Who knows.

That's about it - today I sit and let the wind blow.  It's up to 30 k, I'm holding (both accordig to the GPS and my distance off a fixed reef marker - lazer rangefinder estimate)  and some idiot has just slotted a big cat in front of the cat ahead of me.  Not much room for him if things get ugly.  Hopefully the wind will ease soon as the front goes through.

Take care, Dad

The Captain: Dancing in the dark

I managed to change the offending valve without sinking the boat - I now have a working head!  that's a job I've been avoiding and procrastinating around for awhile.  The plunger routine didn't work, but I did get the valve changed without hauling the boat and only let in perhaps 5 to 8 l of water - it actually went very well.

Worked my little tail off today - sorted out anchors (gave up on the Bruce- in doesn't set inthe low density coral sand - but can't find a home to store it below - awkward shape), did the head, dealt with fuel tanks (time to add biocide and fuel conditioner), cleaned up some - especially the lazarette), did dishes, and I think I figured out the internet problem (Wirie got itself turned off I think)  Tired but not ready for a nap so rowed out to the reef (about a km away and bailed over and did a snorkel drift / swim back to the boat - a kind of transect from the inside of the reef where the waves break to the coarl sand plain where the yachts anchor.  Depths vary from 0 to about 8', with patches of sand and areas of coral.  Much of the coral was killed off by the El Nino year and is now in recovery mode.  Incredible variety of fish, urchins and my favorite - the big clams with the iridescent colored lips.  Saw patches of anemones with the clown fish faces peering up at me.  The tube worms are all kinds of colors. Really good snorkel.  Got back and made lunch - a can of tuna and rice cooked in the pressure cooker.  So, fed, and tired I'll try for a nap.

Still putting off going to the big city again to look for chain.  One of the yachties told me there's another major center to the west that is well equipped and cheaper.  Not sure what to do. Did learn that anchoring with two anchers is fraught with issues.  If the boat swings, the liens get twisted, if one is slack and the boat dances, the keels can catch and hook it.  The first time I muscled ti while snorkelling - hard work.  Middle of the night it did it again - and I managed to snag the line behind the keel since it was now under tension leading out perpendicular to the boat, and pulled in slack and wlaked to the stern - and dropped it.  It sank and the boat swung over the bight and the keel was free.  happy dance on the foredeck in the dark in my undies.

Take care  I need an underwaqter camera.

At 08/06/2011 5:20 AM (utc) our position was 17°28.89'S 149°48.95'W

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

That ball's been ThunderSTRUCK!

It was such a crazy night, I zipped up to my friend's after work and helped her move a bed. Drove a kid to soccer, played pass with my football, grabbed my ball gear, did a great taekwondo workout where I "learned" my three new defensive moves.

By learned I mean I know what the moves are now, the movements though, looks more like a puppet with early onset Alzheimers and Parkinson's... there's a distinct pause as the thought of what I'm supposed to be doing twitches through each of the incorrect limbs before finally moving the right one. Like Data driving the star ship enterprise at light speed while being tazered.

After all that I called to see if ball had been cancelled and then hauled the mail through the pouring rain to get there on time because the answer was "Of course not! Get your #$(*& up here!". I'm so glad I did, I got a home run right over the right fielder, man it felt good! *grins*

Next up to bat was pretty decent too, I got on base... and was thrown out at two after a valiant attempt to beat out the throw from the second baseman.  Luckily I don't live at home anymore, because my Mother wouldn't have let me in the house like this... I probably would've had to strip down on the back porch, not that I can blame her really ;)

I totally felt like a little kid playing out in the thunder and rain... every five more minutes we got was sacred and special because I just couldn't shake the feeling that it was like at any moment my Mom was gonna call me in :)

From the Captain...

I spent the day rowing, reading and snorkelling. I rowed in this morning with two things to do - laundry (cost me a lot - but it's done and the sheets are clean for mom), and to call you.  I'd carefully made notes of what I wanted you to do, model numbers, contact phone numbers etc. -- got to the phone booth and realized I did not have your number - it's always just been on my cell.  Row back to the boat, back to land and do it all again - tried you twice, tried Dan, finally called home and the one I didn't expect to connect with was home - go figure.

The boat is over a sand desert with an occasional oasis in the form of a coral block or some bricks and debris where a cluster of tropical fish hang out at each one.  I swam towards the reef where the coral get's dense and there's all manner of fish in a few feet of water, along with tube worms of amazing colors and clams that are in rock crevices - their shells gape about 20 mm and the lips are bright blue and purple and black and yellow.  There was a really cute baby Moray eel hanging in a crevice.  His head was about 50 to 75 mm across but his color was something else.  Imagine a bright yellow background overlaid with a black fish net with maybe 10 mm hex mesh woven by a slightly tipsy netmaker.  It was really neat.  And no, I didn't try to pet him although that big one I saw at Rangiroa, the divemaster was petting.  I leave thing strictly alone.  There as also a different style of puffer fish with horns above his eyes that stuck out forward and a long tail (most of the puffer fish tails look like hatchery trout tails - worn off)  Anyway, I'm told that this reef is "dead" but I find it neat.  I think people want to be overwhelmed, and this way I can focus on one spot or colony or fish and just hang out a bit.  I forgot the ray that hangs about - maybe a meter across.  I wish I had a good underwater camera - it would be worth taking some pictures.  The vis is 20m+.

I wonder what a decent underwater camera and light source might cost?  I wonder what your camera, with a housing might cost?  Could you look that up please?

I'm getting some boat work done.  I cleaned out the chain locker and removed the mass of rust that was a chain, and then pounded it to loosen the rust and make it chain like again.  I cut off about 5 m to use as a weight for the series drogue should I ever need that - now that "package" is complete.  The instructions suggest a 12Kg anchor should be attached to the end when deploying but I'm thinking I'd rather have a dedicated lump of disposable weight in the kit rather than having to dig out an anchor when things are rough.  So that's done, there's another 5 m I'll just leave in the lazarette.  It could, I suppose perhaps be used in an emergency.  Anyway, got the chain locker cleaned up and resealed (I hope).  Fixed the lite in the head, and the one on the port side, main cabin.  That one is not pretty (no fixture to screw the bulb into so I soldered the wires direct to the bulb - and led) but it works and it is one of the most useful lights in the boat.  I still haven't worked up the enthusiasm to deal with the head.  First task is to hand bail out the holding tank.  After that it should be fairly straight forward - pull the holding tank, take apart a bulkhead, use the toilet plunger on the outside of the boat to seal the through hull (I think I expleaind how that works in a previsou note - re a beer and discussion on an Aussie boat provide that solution rather than a haulout) turn off the old valve, put on the new one and reverse the above (but not having to refill the tank!)  Hopefully the end result will be a working head that doesn't smell.

Anyway, take care - I think you'd like it here.  It's different than I expected, and the cruising community is quite different as well.  Loosly knit, sort of social but not really.  Maybe I'm just not connnecting.  Such is life.  Had a cold beer tonigh from the cooler unit - that's been a god send, though it eats power.  Need a wind generator.

Love Dad
At 08/06/2011 5:01 AM (utc) our position was 17°28.89'S 149°48.95'W

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

In hockey news...

 I don't wan to talk about it, so I was flipping through the interwebs when I came across this comment, and it totally made me giggle:

Only in Canada will you receive a "Breaking News" alert from a major news radio station that Boston just beat Tampa Bay in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference.

The Captain, on various questions

Canucks stand a good chance of being consisent - and blowing it.

The working language is french - but it's tourist country so there's enough english around to make things work.  Bit frustrating though because I can't "discuss" or ask the questions I'm interested in.

Snorkelling is good.

Eating - not as well as we were.  I'm just not that interested.  The bread is really good french bread provided I get up early enough to get some before it's gone from the shelves.  I got two baggettes today - and ate one in the dinghy before I got to the boat.  The fish is great.  Red meat is scarce and pricy.  The restaurants here are expensive - but there's this really good place in Nuka Hiva ....  I like the coffee here.

At 07/06/2011 5:41 AM (utc) our position was 17°28.87'S 149°48.96'W

Monday, June 06, 2011

From Le Captain

Thought I'd update you.  I'm still at Moorea, having taken the ferry to Tahiti to check in with customs etc. a couple of days ago.  I was at Opauna Bay night before last and it blew nasty.  Anyway I didn't drag in the night like other boats did, then went to shore to walk about 12 k to find a phone to call Mom (anniversery) and the phone booth didn't work.  Got back, all was well, went to have a nap and the guy in the next boat "hooted" me - I was dragging then!  Anyway, hauled up the anchor, toured around the bay dodging boats and reset almost exactly where I had been - dove over the side and swam the anchor to watch the sucker move!  I slid a second anchor down the rode to improve things and it held.  Got lunch then picked up the works and got out of there - crowded, windy and nasty.  Motor sailed and motored into Cooks Bay where I first arrived and the wind is howling.  On the way in, while furling the headsail the flogging sail whipped the sheet across my hand and hit my thumb - it's now a multitude of pretty colors!  Funny how a wet rope being flogged by a 20+k wind feels a lot like a hockey stick being smacked hard onto your ungloved hand in a "serious" fun game.  Anyway, got in, anchored, hauled up because I was too close, motored about and re-anchored, and then set a second anchor.  Almost dark, tired.  Wind howling but not as bad as the night before.  Set the gps and woke up lots.

Got up this morning and swam the anchors.  Neither has moved.  Learned something though - the second anchor is a plough and it's buried itself, while the Bruce seems to be half set.  All was well, wind down so went into town to do some shopping after having a long swim.  Got back to the boat and found it sitting oddly in the wind.  Dove and found one of the anchor rodes had wrapped around the keels so I muscled that off - one of the down sides of the keels is that they can hook the anchor rode really effectively  Now all is fine but it bears watching.  Tonight, secured for 30+k and it's dead calm.

Getting in a lot of snorkeling.  On one hand it's a bit of a sand desert around the boat, depth abut 3 m, but there are chunks of rock etc. and at each one is a colony of various tropical fish.  Mostly small pretty ones of an amazing range of colors and shapes, plus larger ones about.  There was a big (1 m across) ray flying along the bottom and then "parking" under the boat, parrot fish and a couple of puffer fish. As I swim further back from the boat, I get into more corral and there's more variety - all in 2 to 3 m of water.  The water is warm so it's not unreasonable to spend an hour or so at a time mucking about.  A 1.3m black tipped shark came by - I'm told you don't need to worry about these but I kept an eye on him and he just moved on.  

On shore there's a "tourist town" of small shops etc. selling the usual stuff but prominent are the black pearls that are cultured here.  The prices are high - basically double what I was seeing in the atolls before, but half what you pay in Papettee!  Most consumer goods and groceries are at least 30% more expensive.  Fortunately I don't need much.  Chatted with a local fellow who found I was an engineer and we started talking water system - and he wants me to help him come up with a package treatment system to sell around the islands.  Not sure I want to go there, but I'll try and talk to him again tomorrow.  See what happens.  Seem like I carry around in my head a lot of information people can use - at Rangiroa it was a tourist tunnel, here it's water systems and pre-fab houses.  I wonder if it's  possible for me not be an engineer?  

So, it's warm, doing lot of snorkelling.  Had an exciting day and night with high winds.  Managed to smack my thumb.  Forgot - the Customs people descending on the anchorage to check boats - and all my paperwork was in order!  They seemed surprised - it was just a bit disconcerting but perhaps that was because I had just settled down for a nap when then arrived.

Anyway, take care.  I really should get some supper of some sort.

At 07/06/2011 4:13 AM (utc) our position was 17°28.87'S 149°48.96'W

From the Captain...

Today went for a hike to a view point - the hike turned into a bit of an epic because decided to try to avoid the 5 k walk back down the road with the traffic.  So, there was a trail to another lookout from which you can see the two main bays on the north side, as well as the reef etc. on the south side of the island.  Lots of vertical.  Anyway, the trail system is convoluted and it took awhile to sort out the way down - did eventually.  Problem - hiking in sandles with my flat feet is not a good idea.  Survived.  Hot.  The swim back at the boat was lovely.

Nice dinner - fresh big piece of tuna, some fresh veggies etc.  Big day tomorow - catch the bus to the ferry, then the high speed ferry to Tahiti (30 min) and deal with the customs people  - formalize my visa and look for some parts etc.

All is fine - I'll add some notes in a day or so.

Glad you had a good visit with granny.

Love Dad
At 03/06/2011 4:09 AM (utc) our position was 17°29.37'S 149°51.09'W

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Who says I'm not creative?!?

Look what I did this weekend, it's just acrylic so it'll wash off... but pretty cool eh?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Canucks avenger!!!

I know you gotta use your imagination a little, but this is the best shot I got of my Canucks hockey flag flying off my back roof rack!

For those of you who were wondering, yes I took the picture myself... and to keep from dropping my phone I hockey taped it to my hand. Sticky side out of course.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Musings from a half-awake state

Awesome is waking up thinking "Man I wish I could've dragged my butt out of bed earlier so I could go ride my bike"... only to roll over, check the time, and realize that it's a half an hour before I actually have to get up and shower!

I totally dove out of bed, suited up in my new shin guards and went for a ride around the block *grins*

I want a job that makes me want to get out of bed like that ;)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Words of wisdom

The airline stewardess told me I didn't have to sit this far back... I distracted her by asking if I had the whole row to myself.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that my Grandpa flew a spitfire in the war, and walked away from 7 plane crashes. 8 if you include the plane just back from repairs he refused to fly. He had a dream it was going to crash at the end of the runway. It did, and his friend that was flying it was killed.

I was probably 7 years old when he told me to always sit as far back as you can... even if it's noisy sitting with the engines.  Airplanes, he said usually crash nose first.

Besides, I have checked luggage. No matter how fast we deplane I'll probably have to wait. I'm not in that big of a hurry.

Part Sunday, take 2

So remember how I slid head first in to third base last weekend? Well on Sunday we were playing on a diamond reminiscent of the backyard days of yore. Using a broken hockey stick as a bat and a tennis ball... Where the base line wasn't square and the bases were more often than not pieces of clothing.

Grass infield, with an odd sandy mixture at the bases. I took one look at it and said to one of our awesome girls "I'm sooo not sliding in this..."

Famous last words.

So there I am running to third, not even really a close play... and next thing I know I'm doing a torpedo roll feet first into third base.  When asked what on Earth I was doing sliding, well all I can say is... I slipped *shrugs*. There was even a large skidding divit in the grass to prove it!

By this point everyone was laughing, as I emptied the sandbox out of my sliding shorts... and examined the addition to my collection of war wounds for the weekend.

I totally made up for it during our next game though, when all the planets and stars aligned... and I hit the 267 meter fence. *hugest grin evar* it was AWESOME!!!! The clouds opened up and the angels sang, grown men wept at the beauty of it at being burned by a girl... and I grinned all the way to third base :)

For the rest of the weekend I was still slightly in awe, and would turn to Jody...
"Hey Jody..." 
she'd say "yeah?"
"I hit the fence" *s*