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oCT 1, 2007 tues
Today we dropped the mooring and started towards Isle of Pines. Unfortunately we had no wind for the first 2 hours of our journey and had to motor. But, later in the morning we were able to start our beat to Isle of Pines. Our headway is slow going but the ride is pretty smooth. We were so lucky to see a bunch of Whales swimming around. They were breeching and it was just a tremendous site to see.
Oct 2, 2007 Tues
We sailed to the Island of Pines today. We had winds on the nose so it was a beat to weather. We were doing what seemed an endless number of tacks. Our 8 hour sail took 12 and we had to go through the pass at night! Luckily we have great charts of this anchorage. We were pulling in to anchor and you could hear the loud crashing of waves. We knew from the charts that there was a beach here in this bay, but the sound of the crashing waves was incredibly loud that it seemed we must be near it. Luckily there were boats all around and we chose a spot behind all of them. I did a lot of cooking during our sail, baking mostly and then worked on the logs. We saw a group of whales and one of them breached right next to our boat!! It was an incredible sight. We have not seen many whales and when we do it is an incredible treat!! We think they were sperm whales.
Oct 3, 2007 Wed
We woke up to the most beautiful anchorage, powder white sand beaches stretching for a mile and clear blue waters. I felt like we were on vacation here. We are in Kuto Bay. We decided to explore the island on the Goped. We went all around the island to the only town that has a bank and there was a big church there that was beautiful. It had a cross on the ceiling that was made from 5 different types of wood. We went to check out all the bays. The water was clear blue at all of them. One of them had the old wood carvings that looked similar to totem poles. We stopped at a cemetery that held all the French that were sent here. There is also an old prison here that housed prisoners from France. We stopped at a snack shop and had a half chicken with French fries. They gave us so much food we just ended up sharing! It was yummy. We decided to check out the cave before we go to explore it this way we know where it is and how far we will have to walk and if we nee to take a cab or hitch hike there. The cave looked very interesting but we did not have any flashlights so decided not to go too far inside there was really no point since we could not see. We stopped at the bakery/general store on the way back and bought some bread and some other items for lunches. We stopped in one last bay on the way back and met a local there. He was interested in the goped but did not speak English. Jason was able to communicate a little and gave the kids a ride and then let the guy try to ride it. He really enjoyed it. He opened some coconuts for us to drink and then we were on our way. We needed to get back before dark.
Oct 4, 2007 Thurs
We hiked up the mountain Pic n’ga. It was a straight up hill hike. We really enjoyed the hike up and the views were spectacular. There was a 360 view from the top where there was a big cross. We stopped to have lunch at the top and just enjoyed the views before we started our decent. I guess you can hike down and over the hill next to it but we decided to skip that part or do it with New Dawn when they arrived. There is a woman that sits on the side of the road and has a blanket down selling tea and coffee and some fruits. She is dressed really nice and just sits there asking people if they want tea or coffee. We bought a papaya and she gave us another one free. We decided tomorrow to have a holiday and spend the entire day at the beach having fun! We saw a boat we new in the anchorage so went over and said “hello”. It was Savoir Vie. They invited us over for dinner the next evening. We had drinks on the deck and watched the sun set. We were able to see the green flash, it was spectacular there was not a cloud in the sky just the sun setting over the water.
Oct 5, 2007 Fri
Today we packed up our dingy for the beach. We brought a football, hammock, boogie board, and skim board as well as pain killers and snacks. We decided to walk to the hotel across the street and get some ice. We bought some ice added it to our drink and put some in a cooler and we were set for the day. We ran into a man who was fixing the refrigerator on the island. Since our system is not working right now, he asked him if he could look at ours on the boat. Apparently, ours is not working and we have to use the 110 volt system instead of our engine driven one to charge the batteries. We have to run the generator 2 x a day for 2 hours. He said he would come over and fix it for free. Of course, we weren’t able to use his supplies since we use different refrigerant. Oh well it was a nice try. Finally Jason arrived back to the beach. I waited on the beach enjoying the incredible beach and water lying in my hammock. It was exactly the feeling of being on the most perfect vacation!! The water so light blue and the white sand like powder!! Jason used his skim board for a while and then started to use the boogie board. I jumped in with him and gave it a go. It was fun except when I wiped out and ate sand!! The water is pretty cold here so I did not last more than a half hour and then left Jason to it. We played football something I have not done in ages; I actually could still throw it! The only toy we did not play with was paddle ball. We brought all our snacks and treats so we ate well as well. We decided that we had better head back to the boat for our dinner. We were feeling no pain when we arrived at their boat and had a lovely Italian dinner of lasagna and had some gin and tonics. Life is great!
Oct 6, 2007 Sat
We decided to have another vacation day! Yesterday was such a success! We were about ready to leave when New Dawn came on the horizon. We were so excited we called them right away and they are going to join us on the beach or rather we are going to pick them up to go to the beach. They have had a long and hard sail from the Loyalties (the island group that was our point of entry into New Cal. So we picked them up with Monkey’s Business boater’s limo and off we went to the beach. We were so happy to have our playmates back! We set up the hammock and some chairs and had lunch. After a while, we decided to walk to the store. They needed a few things. The store had three times the choices compared to when we were here yesterdays. Their must have been a delivery. We walked back and took the dingy back to our boat. Laura and Ross were coming over to dinner so our boat limo went to pick them up and we had tacos together. Oct 7, 2007 Sun
We walked to the caves which is a 4 mile walk. A half hour into the walk we stopped at the snack shop for some fries. We got the family size and all shared. They are so good here. It seemed to take forever even though it was only 1 hour and 45 minutes. We were armed with flashlights this time. Jason and Ross went into the artic tundra waters while Laura and I watched and took pictures. The cave had the big fissures hanging down that were beautiful. We walked part of the way home and then caught a ride the rest of the way. We went to New Dawn’s for dinner and had pizza! It was so yummy! They even made a dessert one with cinnamon sugar. We played asshole afterwards and had port and beer. It was fun
Oct 8, 2007 Mon
We went on the goped into town to get money from the ATM and then a stop at the store to pick some apples up and off we went to the northern side of the island. I was very sorry to leave the beach. I could spend a whole season here!! Another wonderful thing about New Cal is it almost never rains!! So polar opposite of Vanuatu!! We decided to take the inside passage to go to the northern bay. There is reef all around the island and so we had to be alert the entire way, especially as we came closer to the pass to enter the Northern Bay. The depth was as low as 8 feet. Luckily we draw only 4 so we went first into the bay to make sure that New Dawn could make it. They have a 6.5 foot draft. We both anchored and stopped to look around. It is a scenic bay with all the water in it looking clear blue and white sands under. There were a few little white sand beaches but other than that we were surrounded by little atolls. It was spectacular. I poured us a glass of Jaeger and then we opened a bottle of Champaign to celebrate this glorious bay to have with our dinner of arroz con pollo which we ate on deck. You could see all the stars here.
Oct 10, 2007 Tues
We went for a dive this morning. The water was cold but I was wearing Laura’s dive coat and I was plenty warm well until the last 5 minutes of the dive. We saw a reef shark and lots of fish, but it was the coral that was center stage on this dive. It was pristine and so colorful. There were a few little caves but with the hookah we could not go through them. Ross was able too though with his tank. He looked so happy. We had lunch when we got back to the boat and afterwards Jason cleaned the first half of the bottom of our boat. We need to have it cleaned before we enter Australia. They check it with underwater cameras. Luckily we had our bottom done in New Zealand this year so we fit in the one year time frame. The cat that was in the anchorage invited us all over for drinks. Jason and I brought some sparkling wine and some cookies that I baked this afternoon. We ended up having a drink of rum, sugar syrup and lime. They were good. We ended up playing asshole again and had a blast. We opened the sparkling wine and had some of Ross’s scotch. We got home late.
Oct 11, 2007 Wed
Jason and I worked on the boat. We need to start preparing for Australia. He finished the other side of the bottom of our boat which was a lot easier for him since we were in only 8 feet of water plus the hookah which made it a cake walk. Around 3pm Jason and Ross went fishing in the afternoon while Laura and I watched a chick flick and had girl time. It was fun. We kept wondering at around 6pm what had happened to the boys when we finally heard them arrive home. They had caught a mother of a fish!! It was at least 5 feet long. It was a trivally and must be 40 years old to be that big!! It took them until 8pm before it was all cut up. The only problem is we have not idea if we can eat it. Some fish can make you very sick. We decided to not eat it and check in the village tomorrow. They were not only excited by this fish they had to fight to get but they saw a bunch of whales while fishing!! Laura made up some food and we all snacked for dinner. Jason’s account of his fishing excursion: Ross and I went out about 3 miles past a small island trolling and got sidetracked by watching a wale and its calf by following them another few miles out. After the whales left, we fished off a nearby reef with bottom lines and Ross’s super lure which resulted in a large fish grabbing Ross’s line. After a 3 minute fight, the line went slack and with great disappointment the super lure was lost due to a broken line. Ross grabs the last super lure he has and gets the setup ready. It is now sundown and we decide to troll back to our anchorage. Within 30 seconds of trolling, super lure gets hit hard, and I keep the boat moving forward so the fish can’t spit the lure. The reel is burning out line and I stop the boat, and end up in hard reverse trying to keep the line from getting spooled. The fish slowed and allowed us to get the dingy turned around and Ross was at work fighting the fish. After 15 plus minutes of reeling, spooling and chasing the fish with the dingy, we finally get the upper hand and see the fish below. With little effort we get the completely tired Giant Trevally next to the boat, all 4.5’ and 80ish pounds of it. After a debate to keep the fish, we decided it good to eat and most likely the fish would not survive without quite some time of revival. So into the dingy it went with no resistance. Completely amped that we were on our way back to the boat with this great fish, we navigated back to the anchorage with the last hints of light with 1 hour of fish filleting left to do.
Oct 12, 2007 Thurs
We went into the village in the morning to find out about the fish and to look for shells. We found only one person out and about and after using what French we all know we found out he was the chief’s brother. We forgot the picture of the fish so we had to go back to the boat to get it. Jason and Ross went back in without us. We were printing picture and then Laura taught me a new card game and we ended up playing until the guys came back. They were gone a while and when they got back home they still had no answer to whether we could eat the fish or not. We decided to try just a little and see if we get sick. All night none of us got sick. It appears we can eat it. Jason took some fish into the chief.
Oct 13, 2007 Fri
Jason and Ross went fishing in the morning. I made some 5 grain bread and spent the time inbetween working on getting the boat ready to leave tomorrow back to Noumear. Jason came back midday without any fish. They went bottom fishing I guess the snapper and tuna were not biting. We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening getting the boat ready. We had the scuba gear to put away as well. We had to stop getting ready to go to New Dawn’s for dinner. We had fish tacos. I brought the sour cream (which you can make yourself with heavy cream and a squirt of lemon juice) and black beans. Laura made homemade tortillas they were so good. We did not stay late since we still had to put the outboard and dingy on deck and finish putting the goped and lobster trap back in the deck bag. We did not finish until 9:30. We went below deck and watched an episode of 24 and went to sleep for our early departure.
Oct 14, 2007 Sun
We sailed the rest of the way back to Noumear. It was a good sail we did not motor at all the entire way. We anchored next to Salicorn!! We have not seen them since Panama. We were very excited at the prospect of spendign time with them. They invited us over for dinner. Rob was not there since he was delivering a boat. But we met Ben and of course Joe was there Rob's mom and her man Peter. It was a super fun night.
Oct 15, 2007 Mon
Jason was sick today. We went over to New Dawn since there were at the Marina and we needed to use our skype. We bought a monthly card so that we could call any time. We spend the time there uploading the websigte and calling Denver mom as well as my parents, Elizabeth, Christy and paul. It was so nice to hear everyone's voices. Jason was feeling really bad so we went back to the boat and went to bed early.
Oct 16, 2007 Tues
Ben stopped by to see if we needed anything and I ended up going in to the market with him to pick up some fresh vegatables and fruits that I needed. He hung out at the cafe using the internet card we have trying to connect. On my way to the market I ran into Ross and Laura and told them I would stop by on my way back. Ben and I had a beer and he realized that he could not connnect much more without a power source for his computer so we went over to new dawn and he plugged in while I was able to spend some time with my friends. After a while we were ready to head back to the boat and decided to stop for one more beer which turned into two. It was fun. Jason was still feeling bad so we just watched a movie and went to bed early.
Oct 17, 2007 Wed
we went to the aquarium today which is in the area known as …… The Aquarium was incredible. It was a complete surprise. I usually am not that fond of aquariums since I would rather observe them in the water diving or snorkeling, but this aquarium had a whole display of Natal us and we were so fortunate to see them feeding and swimming. They are only in the very deep water so usually you see the shells being sold or find them on the beach which is rare. They also had an albino sting ray which I have never seen either. The displays were first class with simulated waves to keep the ecosystem correct. We spent a lot of time there observing the turtles, sharks, stink rays, and many different types of big and small fish. After the Aquarium we decided to go try Sobetiers which is supposed to be the best ice cream and crepes in New Cal. They were good but not nearly as yummy as the ones you can get in Tahiti. We walked part of the way back and stopped to look at a gallery of art from all over the pacific islands. There was some beautiful stuff and it was fun to guess where it was from and be correct. We have seen all these types of works except for the Solomon Islands. When we arrived back we decided to stop at the store for some groceries since we plan to leave on Sunday. We were exhausted and late for happy hour by the time we arrived at the Marina. Jason was feeling tired since he was still sick. We dropped of the groceries in the dingy and went back to say hello and explain we were tired. Joe, on Salicorn, offered to take me back in their dingy if I would stay and have a beer. She assured Jason it would not be for long. I decided to stay and Jason returned to the boat to rest. I was really happy I stayed too since our friends on Savoir Vie came by to have a beer with us. We finally left to head back to eat. Salicorn invited us over for dinner and we accepted. We had a wonderful dinner of pasta and wine. After dinner Ben wanted to go to the bar and Jason urged me to go. We went to a popular area for going out and ended up listening to live music and then checking out 2 other dance bars before ending up at a gay bar. It was a super fun evening and I danced the whole night away. We did not arrive back to the boat until 4am. This was of course all recognizances for our planned evening out dancing on Friday night when Rob is supposed to be back in town.
Oct 18, 2007 Thurs
We had a day of sleeping and movie watching. Ben stopped by to see how we were and then Jason and I went into town to do a little more shopping and then to New Dawn. Ross, Jason and I went out for a beer or two and then back to New Dawn for some snacks and good conversation.
Oct 19, 2007 Fri
We woke up early today to go to the pastry shop that Laura and Ross have been going to. They have been holding out on us. After eating one of the pastries last night t their boat we decided we had better not miss going today. I got up early for the occasion. It was well worth it!! I had these little savory bite size pizza type things and they were to dye for as well as some delicious sweet pastries. We brought two back to the boat for tonight as well as some 3 chocolate mousses. We had dinner at Laura and Ross’s boat which was really good and then Jason, Ross and I met Joey and Ben at the bar. We proceeded to a lounge type bar to start which made their own flavored rum. It was really good. Then we went out to the south beach side of town to go clubbing. We stopped at a brew pub first since we were under the impression they had a live band, which they did. After there we went straight to the gay bar to dance. It was fun. We ended up having to walk home afterwards. We kept losing Ben but were able to find him each time. I think he was looking for his statue to rest on.
Oct 20, 2007 Sat
Today was planning for our crossing. I made empanadas and homemade pizza for dinner. It was fun. We also watched a movie and relaxed after last nights festivities. October 21, 2007 Sun We woke up really early to make it to the fuel dock. There is a regatta leaving today and tomorrow so we wanted to get there early to fuel and water up. We also changed our head sail from the Genoa to the head sail. We heard there would be heavy winds. We bought magnum bars for breakfast to start our journey the right way. We hailed New Dawn and there sat phone which is their only way to communicate via email or phone call was down and they could not leave so we decided to wait to leave with them. We went back and anchored. Ben came over to hang out and we watched a movie and laughed a lot. Afterwards we went to a party on Van Demon. We ended up showing up second and were invited via new dawn. It was a very fun party though with lots of young cruisers as well as some locals that was Americans married to locals. We stayed until everyone else left.
Oct 22, 2007 Mon
We went to the art fair in town today. It was surprisingly good. After the art show we went to the grocery store and picked up a few more items and walked back to our boats. We went to bed early tonight since we are leaving first thing in the morning. October 23, 2007 Tues We woke up around 8am and pulled up anchor and left New Cal. We had great winds and had a beautiful sail.
Oct 24, 2007 Wed
Our sail today is going great. We are making great speed 6-7 knots. We are just relaxing on deck reading enjoying the beautiful day. This trip so far is the reason to sail. New Dawn is behind us but is in sight now. I made some yummy curry for dinner tonight. My neck is still hurting and I cannot turn my head. Both of us were on deck all day except Jason took a nap in the afternoon and I took my usual one before my 9pm shift. My shift was fantastic. It was a full moon and beautiful out. The sails were fun and we continued to make almost 6 knots.
Oct 25, 2007 Thurs
I woke up to a beautiful sight. We had 4 sails up; the head sail, mizzen, main and our drifter! We were making over 6 knots with less than 10 knots of wind. It was such an amazing sight as well as feeling cruising along so fast. New Dawn was behind us now but close. It is strange having another boat so close to you for so long. We could talk via the VHF we were in such close proximity to each other. Jason and I were also lucky and caught a medium sized mahi mahi this morning!!! That was so thrilling. We only bought one day worth of Chicken for the sail so it will be nice to have another meat protein to eat. The day went along very smoothly with our sails up the entire day. At one point when I was on shift the auto pilot went off and I thought I had put it back on by pressing both buttons simultaneously but apparently I did not since we were floating backwards!!! This is when New Dawn gained on us. They were running their spiniker and it was only a matter of time before they passed us anyway, but still I felt really annoyed that I had made such a stupid mistake and worse I had not noticed for 15 minutes!!! Which in sailing is a big mistake with much time lost. We had an uneventful rest of the day and I was able to take my normal nap at 5:30. When I woke up and was on deck for duty before 9pm it was apparent to Jason and I that this set up was not going to work for the evening. The sails were flogging way too much. We took down the drifter and decided to just sail at wings. It has been a very frustrating shift for me since we are making a speed of 4-5 knots but the actual velocity make good is only 3 or so knots. Not to mention that the sails keep flogging and the autopilot keeps going off with a message of wind change. Basically, my only course is to start auto again on the same course which seems like I am doing every 15 minutes or so not exactly an enjoyable and the constant flogging of the sails (every 15 minutes or so) is like scratching your fingernails down a chalk board. Poor Jason is not getting much sleep with the noise, but at least he can stay in bed so far. I just hope the wind does not shift unfavorably until he gets up for his shift. I hate to wake him when it is his off time. Maybe the drifter up alone would have been a better choice even though was not the safe bet. So, here I sit listening to the sails flog watching as we sometimes make good speed to our destination and sometimes fade off south. The wind is supposed to clock around to the North so going a little south is the best choice given the grib files. Update: sails flogging too much and making 1.5 knots towards our destination! I decided it was time to wake up Jason to help me with the sails. We decided to take down all sails except the mizzen and try sailing with the drifter up using the pole. All went well until we pulled it up and it was tangled around itself. We let it down, took off the pole and then tried putting it up, untangling it as it went up. All went well now we must pull it down part way to attach the pole. Alas, we are sailing to our destination making almost 4 knots. Life has improved on Monkey’s Business. Assessment of crew: Jason exhausted, and Laurel reinjured her almost healed neck/shoulder. But, Jason is off to bed to sleep for 3 hours no matter what time that ends up being but I am guessing around 4:30am and then I will sleep until around 9:30. What an evening after so many great days of sailing!
Oct 26, 2007 Fri
My shoulder was hurting very bad so I took full advantage of my off time and took some valium all day. It was the hardest night watch I have ever had. I could barely turn my head to look around. The wind was good though and we had our drifter up. New Dawn was now out of our sights since we took different tracks.
Oct 27, 2007 Sat
Our drifter halyard severed!!! We had to makeshift a new one since the winds were so light. I made homemade beer bread and oatmeal cranberry cookies to snack on since my arm was feeling better after some much needed rest. I t is hard for me since I am always trying to give Jason the most amount of sleep which sometimes leaves me with a lot less. I just figure he is captain and needs it more. It was another glorious day out and had great sailing. J I woke up from my sleeping shift to having to take down the drifter since the winds had picked up. I was so exhausted from my lack of sleep because of my shoulder not to mention all the valium I was on I forgot that Jason wanted me to watch the off course number. I noticed we were getting away from our course so kept turning the boat more right but unfortunately it was not good enough. I should have woken Jason up to change out the sails so that we could have better went more right and farther away from the land. When he woke up at 4am ( I let him sleep longer than I should his shift started at 3am) he was angry since we were off course still and too close to the land up ahead. He was able to turn us more right by trimming the sails and all was well but it took a toll on our relationship. Sailing can really be stressful. Even when you think you are turning right and on the right path, it can not be good enough. October 28, 2007 Monday I woke up from my shift to the drifter being out again. Unfortunately, Rendezvous Cay called us and told us the winds were picking up to 17 knots so we took the sail down. We were making 6 knots or more with it up but when we changed out the set up to our main sail and head sail we were still making around 5.5. Not bad for our boat. We arrived in Bundrerburg by 3pm. There is a long line of boats here waiting to check in so we are just sitting at anchor waiting our turn to go to the dock to check in. It is quite annoying because all we want to do is have a few drinks and we must wait until we dock the boat and check in which could be Lord only knows how long so we twiddle our thumbs waiting. As it turns out it went smoothly. We motored over to the dock area to check in. Then we went back out to anchor. They did not take too much but we did not have much either. We opened a bottle of bubbly and celebrated being in Australia. We were dancing on the deck we were so happy.
Oct 28, 2007 Sun
Oct 29, 2007 Sun