Jason and Jeremia at one of the bon fires.

September 1, 2006 Tues

We took the day off today from all activity, or rather I did. Jason went fishing with John and the family. I was in need of a day of rest and relaxation!!

September 2, 2006 Tues

John took us to an excursion motu Somoa. It was a nice island and we gathered coconuts and drank and ate them. We did a little snorkeling and Jason and I went to see if we could get some lobsters. We walked out on the reef that was over knee deep. It was a little scary since there are little sharks that will bite your ankles if they can sneak up on you. We were out pretty far and Jason went under with his snorkel while I stood on the coral head looking for sharks. He came up with a start and said there were two pretty big sharks in the whole not lobsters and asked if I could see them. I could not. This made me very anxious to get back to shore. Jason had to keep snorkeling around to see them and keep them at bay. I could not see them from the surface since the water was up to my belly. We made it without incidence, but it was definitely scary. We walked back to the dingy and jumped in and met the rest of the gang for lunch. After lunch we trolled on the way back and caught 2 fish. It was awesome. Jason is getting so great at fishing any way. We always have something at the end of the day!! That night we went to the beach for a barbeque and bonfire. It was a nice time.

September 3, 2006 Sunday

Pelican Express is arriving today we are very excited by the news. If you do not remember they and Dutch Touch have been on a similar path as us. They went to Easter Island as well. We have met up with them several times along the way and have become friends. We rested most of the day doing only small tasks on the boat. It was a nice time. In the evening, there was a barbeque on shore. We brought the fish that Jason had caught and he prepared it so yummy. Pelican Express came as well. It was a fun night; I left early with Pelican Express though since my back was a bit off. Jason stayed until midnight talking with John. During their discussions Jason was able to secure one of the islands to be named after me. We just need to make up the signs. John really likes us obviously. Jason is so cute. He was super excited when he got home and told me that we will have a Monkey’s Island here in Suworo in the Cook Islands.

September 4, 2006 Monday

we were invited over to Pelican Express for some of Bill's famous bloody Marys. They are the best I have ever had, I must mention again. I brought over some crepes and Gene had some muffins and snacks out as well. We had a nice time. Dutch Touch was arriving today and we were excited to see them. We stayed until around noon. My oven is broken as you know, so Gene offered for me to make some bread for our journey in her oven. We are supposed to leave in a couple of days. I went back to the boat and made some wheat bread and brought it over to bake. We decided to have happy hour and had some wine and cheese. Dutch Touch was too tired to join us. It was such a nice time. We left at around 7pm to go home and make dinner. What another wonderful day in paradise! We decided to have one of our steaks for dinner tonight and opened the Caymus wine our last of our wine cellar from home. It was so delicious!! What a meal!! We watched a movie and relaxed tonight!

From right Linda, Gene and Monkey.

At the bonfire we sit with Dutch Touch, Linda and Peter, Jeremiah (he has my hat on), and Jonathan.

September 5, 2006 Tues

We went fishing with John and his family at Bird Island. It was very low tide and we walked out onto the coral. We put on snorkels and looked into the holes and searched out fish and then from the top we would spear them. Jason speared 3 groupers and one parrot fish. John was using a line and caught one grouper and one parrot fish. The boys were spotters with their heads in the water checking out all the holes. Jason spied a huge red snapper and was trying to shoot it with his head in the water while I was watching a huge shark splashed up and out of the water at Jason's head!! Jason was quick since he saw it coming and jumped back. It was an incredible sight. John had been bottom fishing right near Jason with live bait unknown to Jason and had attracted the shark. It was the craziest scene. Veronica showed me how to eat a sea urchin the pencil kind. It looks like peanut butter when you crack it open and you eat the parts that look like a mussel. It had sweeter meat. We ate them right then and there with nothing but a little salt water. It was very cool. Jeremiah gathered 11 of them for a before dinner tasting for all. Jason and I had planned a small dinner party on the beach for Dutch Touch and Pelican express we invited two other boaters as well as John's family. That is one of the reason's we were out fishing. We had a very successful day and learned a lot about this new way to spear fish. It is a much safer way being that there are so many sharks in this lagoon. The tide was coming in and it was not safe to spear here any more so we headed back to the boat and ate our lunch. It was a very nice afternoon. When we arrived home we prepared the fish and brought some wine to shore. Linda brought her ipod and speakers so we had some fun music to listen to while we ate. We also all brought lots of wine so it was a very nice dinner. We ended up staying out dancing a little and mostly chatting until 1am. What a fabulous night.

September 6, 2006 Wed

It rained today so we stayed home watching movies and cleaning up the boat.

during our outing to Turtle Island we stopped to have lunch.

September 7, 2006 Thurs

We went on an outing to Turtle Island. We snorkeled in beautiful waters and saw a turtle swimming under water. It was beautiful. After everyone left the snorkel sight Jason speared a nice parrot fish. It was fun! I am going to make some paella with it for our ceremony tomorrow. We went to the island and joined everyone for lunch. I made my curry chicken salad with mango chutney. It was super good. We walked over the coral that was ankle deep to the ocean and ate some sea urchin right there with a little sea water. It was pretty good.

Ocean side view of Monkey's Island.

September 8, 2006 Friday

we went to the island that was to be named Monkey's Island to set up our signs and had some paella and a toast of rum punch. John and his family came as well as Pelican Express and Dutch Touch. We christened the island and snacked. It was super hot out so we did not stay too long. Jason went fishing to help John catch fish for Jeremiah’s birthday feast tomorrow evening and I rested.

Jason putting up one of the two signs for Monkey's Island.

September 9, 2006 Saturday

Pelican Express decided to have it be Bloody Mary Sunday on Saturday morning since we were leaving tomorrow morning. They had a huge brunch on their boat and Dutch Touch was invited as well. It was super nice. The food was delicious and they had mimosas as well as Bloody Marys. We had an absolute wonderful time. After brunch I took and nap and woke with horrible spasms in my back and was unable to attend Jeremiah’s birthday party. I made some Tapioca pudding from scratch for him and he loved. Jason went and gave me an account of the entire evening. Apparently fun was had by all.

Monkey by the Monkey's Island sign, it is now official.

September 10, 2006 Sun

We went to Monkey's Island to post the last of our two signs to show the island's name. We went in to say goodbye to the family we have grown so close to. It was a tearful goodbye. We were assisted by snorkeled to retrieve our anchor. It was wrapped around several coral heads and would have required us to use the third lung if he would not have assisted us as well as took many hours. We were out of there by noon. Unfortunately, when we were putting the main sail up I went to do something and Jason had already loosened it and it whacked me right in the head. Luckily, it did not knock me out, but it did leave quite a mark. I was lucky. Rookie mistake, I cannot believe I did that after a year on the boat. I guess weeks in Suworo have left me a little less sharp. I am over that fast! The seas are nice and we have good winds and are averaging over 6 knots. My night watch was uneventful.

Our last picture with waves of goodbye from John and his family on Soworro.

Jason caught a Wahoo, yummy.

September 11, 2006 Tues

We are sailing to Tonga today. We are having great weather and making great time. When I woke up this morning, Jason had already caught and filleted and ate some of a Wahoo. I had a taste and it was delicious. There is no lack of fish or variety of fish on this boat, we have Wahoo, mahi mahi, trivali, and grouper!!! Life is great on Monkey's Business!! Jason and I decided to do 6 hour night shifts, letting the other person sleep for as long as they can, but not past 7 hours. During the day, anyone can take a nap whenever they like. My sleeping is usually from 5-9 and then I usually let Jason sleep 7 hours from when I get on shift and then I am to bed again at around 4/5am. This seems to work well and we both seem to be getting a good amount of sleep. Jason's naps during the day are short so he needs the longer rest at night. I seem to sleep less each time but do so 2 times. Dutch Touch, we heard on the net this morning, left Suworo and is hot on our tail. They should arrive the same day as us (they are a lot faster in their 60 foot boat) only in the evening and we will arrive early in the morning on Saturday. Should be a fun time once we arrive with them there with us!!

Jason caught another fish, a barracuda.

September 12, 2006 Wed

Jason caught another fish today. It is a barracuda or from the barracuda family. We threw it back. We have plenty of fish, but we are hoping for a tuna!!! Winds are still great we are moving along very fast at 6-8 knots. We have had to slow the boat down because we were hitting 9 and our hull speed is 8. Fun stuff! I really love the sailing part, and I think Jason secretly likes it as well. I think he would rather have it always be one to three day trips rather than weeks, but I believe he has a little grandpa going on in there and secretly loves it!! Then again I could be wrong entirely!! HA!

September 13, 2006 Thurs
We are cruising along and will be in Tonga on Saturday morning. We have to run our engine a little longer now to keep the batteries charged since our generator is not working. I think we are going to have someone come and look at it in Tonga, if we can find someone. Our oven is still not working either and I made toffee bars on the grill today. Unfortunately, the bottoms burned. I never thought I could live without an oven but it seems you can!! Luckily Pelican express let us use their oven to make bread. I found a recipe to make some in the pressure cooker but we do not have a bowl that is the right shape to fit in the pressure cooker. When we get to Tonga I will try on the grill. Maybe if I put two pans under the bread pan it won't burn. I can try. This is the closest we have come to being out of our provisions, and we still have milk, butter and one egg left. We did very well provisioning in Panama, we still have lots of canned good left in fact we are going to have to eat a lot of canned chicken before we arrive to NZ since they will take it. There are so many things they do not allow in their country. I am actually starting to get a little excited about being near a big city again!! Although, I am still looking forward to Tonga and Fiji very much. We are going to send some emails out to see if anyone wants to meet us in Fiji to take the sail to New Zealand with us. It would be fun to have a friend along, like Mike from Salicorn. We'll see. Remember any of you adventuresome friends, we could always use a hand on passages and the rewards are great once you arrive to paradise!!

September 14, 2006 Fri
We passed the international date line so today therefore there is no log! We have lost a day forever!!

all of us our last night together before our friends left for New Zealand by plane for a conference.

September 15, 2006 Saturday
We arrived this morning early in VaVa'u. Shoestring met us as we were arriving and showed us to a mooring ball right next to them. They picked us up and we went into town to get a phone card to call Jason's mom to see how she is doing. After our phone called, we went to breakfast/lunch at this little tea shop/internet cafe with them. It was nice we had awesome French toast. After sitting and chatting for a long while, we went to the market and picked up a papaya. We couldn't get too much because we are not checking in until Monday and they take all your fresh produce that you bring into the country. Mark and Jason took the dingy and went boarding while the girls watched some Sex in the City and chatted. It was fun. We then went into happy hour at the yatch club. Jason and I got our free beer for our arrival which is nice of the yatch club. We were all getting very hungry so I got out my almonds I always carry in case of a hunger emergency!! Finally, we got the bill and walked to the Mexican restaurant for dinner. Mark and his father met us there. Jason was escorted by the girls on land. The margaritas were super sour but it was nice to have one. They made homemade lemonade and Jason drank that with some vodka. Mark's dad was super funny just like Mark and we had such a fun time!! I was so excited to eat Mexican, their salsa was yummy, and they put coriander in it. I had the nachos and Jason the soft tacos, both yummy. We were really exhausted so we did not stay out too late. It was a sad goodbye since we know we will not see them again. We are hoping they will come visit us on the boat sometime and somehow I think they will, I hope. If not we will see them in South Africa. We had to run the motor when we got back and so we watched TV until it was finished. It is a pretty big town here. There are several grocery stores. It is strange to be in a place so big and with so many people since we were last in Soworrow. Everyone is in mourning here for the king, who passed away recently. Almost all the people are wearing black.

September 17, 2006 Sunday
We slept in very late this morning. Jason woke me up to bring us breakfast in bed of apple pancakes. It was yummy. He took a nap and when I woke up at noon he was gone. I think he went to say goodbye again to Shoestring but he still wasn't back long after they sailed!

September 18, 2006 Mon
Work day today, yuk! Jason worked on the boat and getting some errands done and I finished getting off the internet all the items for our tax return. Yes, I still need to finish it. I need a whole day really. I think I'll work on it on the way to Fiji. We went out to the Italian restaurant for a pizza tonight. we also went to the Yatch club beforehand to have a few beers and met a guy named Jason who works at the Moorings. It was a fun night.

Jason in our dingy on the way into the cave

Laurel just out of the water getting ready to climb to the cave

View of the cave from the dingy

September 19, 2006 Tues
we left the town today and went to explore some of the islands. We went to a small motu and walked around the whole island. There was only a small little resort there, very small. We hung out on the little beach for a while and had a few beers and played dominos, then we decided to move the boat and go to the anchorage near the caves so we can see them tomorrow. When we arrived we met Roland a guy we met in Bora Bora and his girlfriend was in visiting. They had rented a power boat and were exploring and camping. How fun!! We met them on the beach for a bonfire and there were a bunch of other people there as well. It was really fun. tomorrow they are supposed to go wake boarding and then we will explore Swallow's caves. I am so excited about that. I hope it is sunnier tomorrow than it was today!

"View from in Swallow's cave out to the entrance

This is the view from inside Swalllow's cave up to the hole in which they lowered people and food in from above for the banquets in Swallow's cave.

September 20, 2006 Wed
We woke up and did a little snorkeling in the anchorage. It was nice. After we snorkeled we went to explore swallow's cave. It was neat on the inside. You could take your dingy inside but only a small ways. You had to get in the water and swim to the rocks and climb up to get to the cave inside. They used to hold feasts in the cave. There is a hole in the ceiling where they would lower the people into the cave and all the food. We walked around the cave which was very cool. We met some people doing the moorings deal and talked with them a little and they invited us over for a drink. We were going to leave so we just stopped by to get some info from them and then decided not to go to town. We were only going to go watch Xmen 3 but they aren't playing it after all. We stayed and had a couple drinks with them. It was nice. It started to rain hard and it was super windy out. I hope the weather gets better here.

September 21, 2006 Thurs
We left anchorage 7 and went back to town. We were just going to go in to get a few provisions and leave again to go to another anchorage. But, it was late by the time we were done. While we were running around Jason wanted to get a Tongan skirt that all the males wear. We walked into a store and asked and a guy took us to a shop where they sell them. He then took us to get our propane filled. He was super nice and asked us to call him when we come back in town. We tried to find a market that sold different kinds of breads but had no luck. Tomorrow we will try again.

September 22, 2006 Friday
We went into town to get a few last items we forgot yesterday and also got an ice cream cone. It was yummy. We arrived at anchorage 16 around noon and went to say "hi" to Wind Pony, we have not seen them since we had lunch together in Boca’s de Torro, Panama. We made plans to meet at their place for a drink around 5:30 or 6pm. We took the dingy to the old dock where their used to be a hotel and hiked up to where the hotel used to be. There were fruit groves there and we gathered some papaya, squash, and coconuts. It was fun. I found something we could use as a ladder and picked the coconuts. We had to carry them down a far distance and used an old crate to help us carry what we had gathered. We went to the boat and made some drinks to bring over to Wind Pony. I was having coconut water and spiced rum my favorite drink. We had a very nice time.

On our hike with Wind Pony

On our hike with Wind Pony on the cliff

September 23, 2006 Sat
We Were at anchorage 16 and did a hike in the morning with Wind Pony up across the island to the other side and sat on the cliffs having some snacks. The Moorings people were there that we had met as well and they started the hike with us, but had to leave early. We helped them find their way out and then continued on. We were glad we brought the machete it really helped. We headed back after a nice relaxing time having lunch on the cliffs and headed to anchorage 11 for the Tongan Feast. We kept hearing it was canceled but when we arrived it appeared it was still on. They just did not have any pork. They had Cava, which is a strong drink that makes you crazy. Although, I am not sure about that it really has any affect. The food was great we all sat on this long mat and drank and ate. It was very yummy, with so many things to try. Everything was wrapped in banana leaves. We had a super good time.

Jason having some cava. It is custom for the son who cannot drink cava yet to serve it.

This was the dinner presentation, there were three of these all the food cooked in the ground.

September 24, 2006 Sun
We got up early to go to Catholic Church a local is driving us there. The mass was so beautiful. the singing was amazing. The sing 100 percent more than we do in the states at mass and it sounds professional. After mass we were exhausted and took a long nap. After our nap we decided to stay here for the day. It is not very nice out and we are taking a day off to relax. We watched movies and worked a little on the boat today.

The water was so cool and crashing so hard. The blow hole was super cool but the picture did not turn out too good.

Another picture of the waves crashing into the cliffs.

September 25, 2006 Mon
We left for Anchorage 30 today it was super windy out actually cold while we were sailing. We arrived and there was only one boat here. We dropped anchor and went to one of the islands to watch the wave’s crash against the cliffs and to look at the many blow holes. It was super cool. It was really cold out so we headed back to the boat for dinner and a movie. What a nice day.

the outside of the cave we were about to enter

Jason in the cave on our hike

September 26, 2006 Tues
We are at Anchorage 30 today and we went and explored two islands here. The first took us to a fresh water lake in a cave. This was very cool. Then we walked across the other island and saw the waves crashing against the cliffs. We also hiked the rim of the island. We had a nice lunch on the cliffs overlooking the water crashing. It was so nice. After lunch we continued to hike around. In the late afternoon we came back and moved the boat closer in it is super windy out.

This is the narrow entrance into the anchorage.

September 27, 2006 Wed
We left today to go to anchorage 30. It is on the opposite side of where we are today. We had to go through a very narrow and shallow pass to enter the blue lagoon. We saw some whales on the way over. The winds were very strong and the seas a little rough. We were making great time. It definitely is not warm while you are sailing. Before we went into the blue lagoon, I stayed on the boat and kept it in the general area at a holding pattern while Jason took the dingy into the lagoon to see if we could make it through the pass at low tide. You are supposed to wait until high tide because it is very shallow and a narrow pass. Jason came back and said one of the other boaters told him it was 24 feet deep so we decided to go through. We did not have a problem but it was more like 10 feet deep thank goodness for our shallow draft!! In order to anchor we had to drop anchor backwards with the nose out from the beach and then throw a stern anchor down to keep us in place in case the winds shift. After we were all settled, we had some cheese and wine on deck and watched a couple of other people arrive. It was a little cold out. It is really more like a lake here. It is pretty calm. It would be fun to be able to water-ski in here. We went to check out the beach and there are tons of shells there. It was getting late so we made some grouper and went to bed after a movie.

We got a tour from a local of their village garden

Our bonfire dinner.

September 28, 2006 Thurs
We woke up and decided to take the dingy over to the village. We walked up the tiny little dock. There was what could have been someone’s home there with a fence around it we asked if there was a path and they pointed the way. There dogs were barking like mad at us and growling. We walked up the little path up the hill past a couple of houses to the village. It was a small quaint village. We met a man once we arrived by the town hall (he announced that is where we were) and took us on a tour of the village. We saw the children's school, the village garden, and lots of fruit trees. It was a nice village. They have no power on the island except a few solar panels. They do not use cooking gas to cook with but build little fires for cooking. They really live off the land it costs them nothing to live there. It is amazing that people still live that way and seems such a nice and simple way of life. Everyone has to help each other out to some degree and they must work together. I am assuming they must need some money for things they cannot grow, so they must sell things in the big town at the market, but he did not seem to say so. He also told us a man from New Zealand invested in their village to grow what is necessary to make Tapa, so that he can export it to New Zealand. We had a bonfire this evening to cook our steaks on and we opened our last bottle of wine from Napa Valley. It was so delicious.

We had a nice day today

September 29, 2006 Fri
We hung out in town with Ross and Laura and then in the evening we went to the bar. After a while we were starving and went to pizza with Aribe. It was fun.

September 30, 2006 Sat
We had the best day today. We took the goped and rode it to get some transmission fluid for the motor and decided to keep going to check out the interior. We rode for about an hour when we came to a sign that said there was a great view. We kept going and ended up at the airport, we went back and noticed the sign we missed. We should have taken the dirt road we decided to go for it and spent another half hour walking down this dirt road past all of these farms. We saw some four wheelers that were on a tour and he said it was about 20 more minutes to the North point. We finally arrived there and it was beautiful. We met one of the owners of the tour and Aquarium and he told us to come to this party they were throwing tonight. A couple of boats were going to raft up and party. We had plans for the movies but we were going to try and come afterwards. We rode the gaped over the dirt road part of the way back and walked part of it until we found the road again. It was really nice. When we got back to the boat we had to shower and get ready to go to the free happy hour. There were some boat sellers at the bar to tell us about selling our boats in New Zealand the scoop on the market. Anyway everyone is going because it is free beer. We went for a little while and then went to the Paradise hotel to see the movie Xmen with Ross and Laura. We went all the way there and there was no movie tonight. What a bummer. We decided to go to our boat and watch a movie. It was fun we had popcorn and candy with some drinks. Afterwards, we were getting ready to leave to go check out that party when Toby and Michi showed up!! We were so psyched. We ended up hanging out until late.