Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Worrall Wind Periodic Position Report - Safely Arrived Tonga, Vava'u Group

Hello!! Here is a quick position report. For more details, go to WorrallWind.blogspot.com.

UTC/Local Time +13: Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 1700

Latitude: 18 39.577 S
Longitude: 173 59.018 W

Update:

We safely arrived in Neiafu Bay in the Vava'u Group in Tonga this morning at 11:00 a.m. We motored the last 20 miles as there was no wind and the seas were flat. Just as we were nearing the entrance, we were greeted by a pod of humpback whales and dolphins. These are the first sea mammals we've seen since we left Moorea. It was very exciting.

The anchorage here looks similar to the Gulf Islands with the exception of the palm trees. We will be on a mooring ball here for two nights then begin our exploration of the many islands.

The 2 Sail R's on Worrall Wind

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Day 4, Samoa to Tonga - Landfall in the morning

UTC/Local Time: Tuesday, September 28, 0400/Monday, September 27, 1700

Latitude: 17 51.935 S
Longitude: 173 47.350 W
Course Over Ground: 200 @ 3.0 knots
Wind Direction: SE 15 knots
Sea Swell: 1 meter East
Sky: 10% cloud cover
Barometric Pressure: 1013

Update: Last night of passage. Landfall tomorrow.

Well as usual we have poked along on this passage, and will be arriving as we expected tomorrow morning which will actually be Wednesday, September 29. Through out this entire voyage, the wind has been coming from the south, southeast, almost the same direction we need to travel. We have been pinched tightly to stay on the course line due to reefs and obstacle on either side. Because of the strong winds the first two days out, we reefed down our main and let down the traveler to spill out some of the wind and to reduce the heel. We also had 12-14 foot seas on our port beam rolling us more into the heel. We found a good sail combination that kept us moving (although slowly) forward and kept the ride as comfortable as possible. In those conditions, it was not comfortable, but heeling more and going faster would have made it worse.

As the wind decreased, we have been putting up more sail, but again we are pinched tight. For the last couple of hours, we have tacked to get well east of our course line, knowing that we will drift west with the lighter winds and a half knot of west-setting current. Today even though we have been poking along at 4 knots, the sailing has been very pleasant. Seems we don't get to utter those words often enough. It's always a joy to open the doors and hatches a bit when the weather permits.

Tonight, we are within 50 miles of landfall, and as usual we don't want to arrive in the dark, so tonight we will really slow down, timing our arrival for dawn. We have had such a wonderful cruising season, that it is hard to believe that the season is coming to an end here in the South Pacific. All of us are beginning to feel an urgency to get where we are going to be November. Many of the boats are already making landfall or will be making landfall in Fiji, Tonga, and Australia within the next couple of weeks. It was sad to hear that our Polynesia Breakfast Net, which has become our daily contact with other cruisers and weather reports, will be signing off the air October 2, this coming Saturday as the primary organizers have traveled further and faster west than the rest of the fleet.

We are looking forward to making landfall in Tonga, a few weeks of cruising in these waters, then heading for Fiji during the last week or two of October. That passage will also be about 500 miles and take a week, but will be the last for this cruising season.

All is well with the 2 Sail R's on Worrall Wind.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Day 3 Samoa to Vava'u Tonga

UTC/Local Time: Sunday September 26 2200/Sunday September 26 1100

Latitude: 16 18.420 S
Longitude: 173.09.923 W
Course Over Ground: 201 @ 5 knots
Wind Direction: SE @ 18 knots and dropping
Sea Swell: 2-3 meters ESE and dropping
Sky: 40% cloud
Barometric Pressure: 1017

Update: Happy Birthday to Russ - Conditions are moderating

We are in day 3 now of our passage from Samoa to Tonga and are over half way. The first half of the journey has been moderate to rough seas with winds of 20-25 knots forward of the beam. Today, on Russ's 64 birthday, the seas and the wind are becoming more moderate. A nice birthday present. Russ is currently taking a well deserved nap having been on watch from 1:00 until 7:00 a.m. this morning.

Sometime tomorrow, as we are closing in on Tonga, we will skip ahead a day. We will not have officially crossed the 180 degree dateline, but because Tonga and Fiji wanted to be the first to celebrate the new millineum, their time and date reflects the date change. Our local time will jump from -11 to +13 Zulu , basically staying the same time. We will just lose a day in the process. Consequently, Russ will have 1 less day in his 64th year. I guess that means, I too will have one less day in my year. Seems very abstract since time doesn't really exist except as a human manifestation to organize ourselves. Hello to all, and happiness and health to all the family with September and October birthdays and anniversaries.

All is well with the 2 Sail R's on Worrall Wind.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Day 2 - Tonga Bound

UTC/Local Time: Sunday, September 26, 0530/Saturday, September 25, 1830

Latitude: 15 26.372 S
Longitude: 172 50.326 W
Course Over Ground: 181 T @4.2 knots
Wind Direction: SE 18-20 knots
Sea Swell: ESE 2-3 meters
Sky: 70 percent cloud cover
Barometric Pressure: 1014

Update:
So far it's been a pretty bumpy, restless ride. We've had fairly constant winds in the 20-25 knot range, with squall gusts up to 30. Unlike most of our other passages where the wind has been on our stern quarter, it's almost directly on our nose as we head south. We are on a close reach with our main triple reefed and our self tacking cutter sail in place. This combination keeps the boat very steady, not too heeled, but pretty slow. The seas have been 12 feet on our beam and just before the beam often breaking on the side and across the boat.

All of our doors and hatches have been shut tight in these conditions. With the temperature at 85 and humidity at 82 percent, the boat interior is like a sweat box. The little grass fans we bought in Samoa are coming in handy. Every once in a while, we crack open the skylight on the cabin top for some fresh air. Invariably, we get a high splash that makes it in to the cabin. Nothing terrible, but enough to remind us that we need to not keep the skylight open for long. We have covered about 145 miles of our 330 mile distance. We are more than 1/3 of the way to Tonga. Hopefully, wind and sea conditions are predicted to mellow out tomorrow. We'll see.

We've started listening to John Grisham's Testament. It helps to pass the time as it is pretty difficult to move around the boat or read in these conditions. Looking for calmer seas and lighter winds on Russ's birthday.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Tonga Bound - Day 1

UTC/ -11 Local Time: September 24, 2010 2200/September 24, 2010 1100

Latitude: 13 41.398 S
Longitude: 171 58.986 W
Course Over Ground: 236 T
Wind Direction: ENE 15-20 knots
Sea Swell: 2 meters
Sky: 30% clouds
Barometric Pressure: 1016 steady
Temperature: 81 degrees

Update: Tonga Bound, Happy Anniversary Garyn & Jessica!

We cast off our bowlines at 7:00 a.m. this morning. The wind was blowing 20 knots, and we had 6-9 foot swells coming out of the northeast as we left Apia Harbor, Samoa this morning. We are headed from Tonga. One year ago today we were in Tuscany enjoying Garyn and Jessica's wedding. Happy Anniversary you two!

The Vava'u group in Tonga is about a 330 mile passage which should take us about 3 days. Because we will cross over the dateline as we reach Tonga, we will most likely arrive on Tuesday, September 28, pretty much skipping September 27th in our lives. At least Russ will get to celebrate his birthday. I plan to make him a chocolate cake when we reach Tonga.

Right now, we are sailing through the Apolima Straight (the channel between the island of Upolu and Suvai'i of Samoa. We are in the lee of one island and the winds are a bit shifty in here. We hope to be through the straight after lunch today.

We enjoyed our stay in Samoa, having made friends with a young man of 26 who is a teacher turned taxi driver. He is married and has two of his own toddler children, plus he cares for his two brothers who are in elementary school. Andy's mother passed away 5 years ago. After our two days of sightseeing with Andy, we spent a few days working on some small boat projects, doing some local shopping, dining with Zenitude before they left at the Italian restaurant which is now our Apia favorite, enjoying a dinner and Samoan song and dance show at Aggie Grey's hotel. While at the show, we met a NZ woman, Shona, who was on a scouting trip to find housing, schools, etc. for her family. The NZ government is moving her to Samoa for a few years to help organize and strengthen their tax system. She is equivalent to and IRS agent. I think she will have her work cut out for her in Samoa as so much of what goes on is "under the table". She took one of our boat cards and said she would pass on some NZ information and contacts for us.

On Wednesday we went snorkeling at a wonderful deep marine reserve within just a short walk from the marina.
While snorkeling, we saw a huge variety of fish, one 3 foot eel, and lots of new growth on the antler coral. The antler coral is an orange color with bright purple tips where the new growth is occurring. The coral is beautiful here, and we are glad to see that it is so healthy. The most remarkable part of our snorkel experience was being nibbled at by aggressive trigger fish, about 5-7 inches in length with tiny little coral chompers for mouths. We literally had to bat at them, and kick at them to keep them from snapping at our legs. We seemed to be attacked by them one at a time as we skimmed over their territory. They were like barking dogs in the front yard.

Our friends Gene and Gloria on Pincoya arrived yesterday morning. They had had a pretty boisterous ride from Pago Pago and were glad to pull in the marina. Turned out though that they didn't get the right customs clearance papers when they checked out of Pago Pago and had to jump through a bunch of hoops. Fortunately, the customs folks were able to make arrangements for them to wire the $100 customs fee to Pago Pago and their clearance document will be faxed to them. If these electronic arrangements could not have been made, Gene would probably have had to fly back to American Samoa. Hopefully, by the end of today, they will be cleared in. We had a nice dinner with them and Andy at the Wildfire restaurant directly across from the marina last night.

So, we'll keep in touch. We plan to check in with the Sea Farer's net at 0300-0400 Zulu today and for the next couple of days as we are Tonga bound. 14.300. We will also be on Marine Side band 6150 at 0500 Zulu in the evenings to chat if anyone who can get that station wishes to connect with us.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Moored in Apia, Samoa

Latitude: 13 49.683 S
Longitude: 171 45.579 W

Update: Moored in Apia, Samoa

Friday, September 17, 2010
We have been in Samoa now since Friday. We arrived in our slip at the new marina in Apia around 1:30 p.m. We were told to raise our yellow quarantine flag and stay on the boat until we were cleared by all of the officials who would be visiting our boat within the next half hour. We purposely arrived on a Friday because we knew that a weekend check in would involve overtime for all of the officials.

While we waited for the officials to arrive, we straightened up the boat, opened the ports and promptly fell asleep. When we awoke at 3:00 the officials had still not come. Russ called the port control to confirm the instructions we were given. The port captain's response seemed a bit vague and embarrassed. We think someone in his office forgot to notify the other officials to come and check us in. By 4:00 p.m. the first of the four officials boarded the boat. We were boarded by customs, immigration, quarantine, and health. The last of the officials left at 5:00 p.m. when we were instructed to lower our quarantine flag. We were cleared to leave the boat, but it was too late to visit the port control office with our documentation which would not be open again until Monday.

We took a taxi into town to get some local currency from the ATM. The Samoan currency is the tala which is about 2.4 to 1, so 24 talla is about 10 dollars. We looked around a bit, but were anxious to return to the boat, get a bite to eat, and go to bed. We ate a local restaurant across from marina, the Wildfire. We enjoyed sticky beef salad and an excellent chicken bar-b-qued in quava marinade.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

After a refreshing night sleep, we were ready to do some exploring. Our slip neighbors, Austrians on Blue Sky, suggested that we might want to contact Andy, a young Samoan Taxi driver who had served them well as a tour guide around the island for a reasonable price. Ordinarily we like to rent a car and do our own thing, but Samoa is right hand drive on the left side of the street, just like England and New Zealand. Russ and I would be so busy trying to stay on the correct side of the street, we wouldn't be able to look around and enjoy ourselves.

Andy took us to Robert Lewis Stevenson's home and now a museum in Samoa. In addition to Treasure Island which we listened to on the Pacific crossing, Stevenson is best know for Kidnapped and Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde. He also wrote the Child's Garden of Verses. I remember having that book and loving it as a child. Stevenson was well regarded in Samoa.

Next we stopped at a hardwarde store (Russ wanted to see if he could get an electrical adapter for our boat to fit into the marina plugs...we couldn't find one..oh well). After the hardware store, we went to a grocery store to pick up some snacks and two large loaves of bread to feed the giant turtles. From there, Andy took us to a place called sliding rock, a mossy set of waterfalls into fresh water pools. There was a changing room, and we got into our swim suits. We spent an hour cooling off in the pools before returning to the boat for a quiet afternoon of reading and relaxing. We tried calling boat friends at the appointed time (7:00 p.m. Tahiti, 6:00 p.m. Samoan) on 6510, but no one responded)

A block down from the marina, we ate dinner in a wonderful Itlaian restaurant called Paddles. We had a bottle of red wine, eggplant parmagiana, baked fish in olive marinara, chocolate mousse and apple pie with ice cream. It took us right back to Italy. We reminisced about our trip one year ago to Tuscany for Garyn and Jessica's wedding. They will be celebrating their first anniversary in just a few days. Hard to believe a year has gone by.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We downloaded some new weather information this morning. It is looking doubtful that we will be leaving Samoa Tuesday as we hoped. The weather and wind look fine, but the seas coming up from a storm near New Zealand would be sending 12-14 foot waves from the south right on our nose as we headed down to Tonga. It is disappointing, but we will have to skip the regatta in Tonga that is starting on Wednesday through the weekend. It just isn't worth the bumpy ride. We probably will not leave Samoa now until those waves subside, hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday.

Our tour guide Andy, picked us up at 9:00 a.m. for another day of touring. Today, we have visited several beautiful waterfalls, driven into the mountains and rain forests, visited the south side of the Island where many of the resorts are rebuilding after the tsunami last year, and the Baha'i temple. We had brought our snorkel gear and were planning on snorkeling on the south side of the island, but the tide was quite low, and we were advised that the snorkeling would not be the best, so we stayed dry.

At one of the waterfalls, the family who owns the property offered us some taro and taro leaves with coconut cream. They were waiting for their five children to return from church. We enjoyed our visit with them. The proprietor's name is Archie and he got a kick out of knowing that my dad and brother's name was also Archie.

Andy took us to a Sunday Samoan buffet for lunch on the island before returning to the boat. He said this buffet was typical of the foods that the Samoans eat on Sunday after church. The food is prepared early in the morning and baked in hot rock ovens (umu) while the family was in church (raw fish in coconut milk, cracked crab, taro root, taro leaves with coconut cream, sea weed, roast pork, salt beef (corned beef), curried chicken and chicken chow mien. When the family returns from church, lunch is ready followed by an afternoon of napping and bible reading. Children are not allowed to play and families do not go on picnics, swim, or involve themselves in any activity on Sunday.

During our customized taxi tour with Andy, he taught us some Samoan words, chanted the Kava ceremony of the chiefs, sang the Samoan Anthem, played the drums, husked a coconut, made coconut cream, idenitifed some of the local flora and fauna for us, shared Samoan legends and customs. We had a great day.

We are having difficulty connecting to the Internet here so this update is via our radio. Sorry no photos. We'll upload some photos when we get a chance.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - American Samoa to Apia, Samoa

UTC/Local Time (-11): Friday, September 17 2130/Friday, September 17 1030

Latitude: 13 51.846 S
Longitude: 171 28.697 W
Course Over Ground: 310 T @6.5 motorsailing
Wind Direction: East
Sea Swell: East
Sky: 10%

Update: American Samoa to Apia, Samoa

We left our mooring buoy in Pago Pago Harbor late yesterday afternoon around 4:45 p.m. Fellow cruisers Windryder had asked that we notify them just before leaving as it was their intention to pull anchor and claim the buoy. We heard a later radio transmission that confirmed that they were indeed securely moored, but not until Brian on Skylight dove on Windryder's existing anchor to help free them from the rubble on which they were tangled.

Earlier in the day, Russ checked out with the port authorities and paid our dues of $167.00 while I spent $6.00 at the laundromat doing two loads of laundry. Such a treat not to be using my bucket and toilet plunger as the agitator. The sky was finally clearing, and we were seeing sun for the first time in a week. We had been waiting for a window to leave and Thursday afternoon was the window, but not for Tonga.

After a somewhat elongated stay in Pago Pago due to the weather and sea state, we were considering skipping Apia and Nuiatoputapu and heading straight for Tonga. The extended sea forecast however suggested it might be better to arrive in Tongan waters after Wednesday. Going directly would put us there on Monday or Tuesday. Apparently a storm to the southwest of Tonga is sending large waves north. We would have 15 knots of wind on our beam (a good thing), but 12-16 foot seas on the nose (a bad thing). So we made the decision to head to Apia for a few days and wait there while the sea state near Tonga settled out a a bit.
Having seen most of American Samoa and tired of the foul anchorage and the odor for the tuna cannery polluting the air, we decided to move out. If all goes well for Brian and Claudia on Skylight, they will leave Pago Pago on Monday/Tuesday as we will, and we will buddy boat down to the Vava'u group in Tonga. For now we have given up the idea of going to Nuitoputapu so that we have a little better wind angle down to Vava'u.

We met Brian and Claudia in Suwarrow. They are from Acton, CA. We enjoy their company so are looking forward to buddy boating with them. Pincoya with Gene and Gloria are also in Pago Pago, but are currently waiting for a propeller shipment from the states. Within the course of a week, both of their outboard motors and their propellers failed. Hopefully, Pincoya will catch up with us in Tonga. Beginning on Wednesday, September 22, there is a Tonga Regatta for which we are registered. However, it looks like we won't get there for the start, perhaps a few days late. We aren't so interested in the Regatta as catching up with the fleet before they all head to NZ, Fiji, and Australia for the hurricane season. Freezing Rain, Pincoy and Sula are a few of the boats headed to New Zealand. The Road and Endless Summer are off to Australia. Trim, Skylight, and ourselves are headed for Fiji.

We had our sails up and were headed west by 6:30 last night, chasing the setting sun. During the course of the evening and night we had to change course a few times to head north and then northwest to the lee side of Samoa. It was a beautiful sail. The seas after we left American Samoan waters and started heading north subsided from 9-10 foot swells to 3 - 6 feet. The wind was a gentle 10-14 knots. The waxing half moon shone in our windows most of the night.

We are on the northeast side of Upolu Island (Samoa) and within 15 miles of the harbor entrance. We understand there is a modern marina here with electric and water hookups. They will probably have WIFI as well, but I'm sending this update via the radio anyway, just in case. We look forward to a weekend of sight seeing. The wind remains under 12 knots, the seas are less than a meter and the sun is shining. It is a beautiful South Pacific Day. I think now we've had about five of these, so now I can start using the other hand.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How the rainforest got its name....Rain!

Wedensday, September 15, 2010

Today marks one week in American Samoa.  We weren't planning on staying a full week, but we have had so much rain and related sea state that we have not wanted to venture out of the harbor.  The weather is calming down a bit, and it looks like we might leave tomorrow afternoon for Apia in Samoa.  Now it depends on our main GPS system which decided to start screaming this morning and then died.  Russ is trying to wire in one of our other three GPS's to take its place.  We will leave when he has that figured out.

While we have been in American Samoa, we have rented a car for two days and visited both extremes of this island.  It is a lush green rainforest.  The key word is rain.



It has rained everyday since we have been here and the last two days have by far been real gushers with thunder and lightening.

We opened the top to our water tank and within four hours topped off our 250 gallon tank which was probably half empty when we started.  Unfortunately, we have not had a real sunny calm day to explore the beaches and do some snorkeling.  We have seen some very active waterfalls as a result of the rain.  The downpour and runoff is quite brown.  We named this gusher, latte falls.

American Samoa is has beautiful topography and beaches.  The people are very outgoing, pleasant, and are proud to be an American territory.  The tuna industry is the primary employer on the island.  There used to be two large tuna factories, but over the years the tuna industry here has been on the decline not only because there are fewer fish in the sea, but because the American minimum wage law along with other regulations is causing the industry to lose its competitive edge.  It costs eleven cents to produce a can of tuna in other countries (Micronesia-Philipinnes) and forty-five cents to produce a can of tuna here in American Samoa.  One of the factories has closed down, and the Starkist factory and fishing boats look like they are suffering.  Building and boat maintenance or lack of maintenance is very obvious.

Within the last couple of years American Samoa has also been subjected to hurricanes and last year a Tsunami wiping out many of the structures close to the warer (most of the buildings are on the flat perimeter of the island).  It looks as if some reconstruction is under way, but the cleanup process seems to have stalled out.  All along the coast there are piles of tsunami rubbish that have been built for pickup, but there hasn't been some pickup in quite some time.  The lighter weight trash is blown away. There are few public trash drop off points (garbage cans) so it seems that the locals just drop whatever they have in their hands.   Plastic bottles, bags, etc. pollute the waterways and Pago Pago harbor is a terrible mess.

The trashy condition of the island is very sad to see.  Having been in French Polynesia where the French government subsidizes the ailing economy by employing locals for landscaping and cleanup, there is a noticeable contrast, and it has resulted in a clean and pristine environment.  America might want to consider a similar strategy. The could rename Charlie to Charlie the Cleanup Man.

On our tour of the island, it is amazing the number of churches here.  There must be  one church for every 500 people.



There are 63,000 people on American Samoa.  The perimeter roads are clogged with cars and independently owned buses everyday of the week but Sunday.  We rented a car on Sunday and drove around the island, encountering only a handful of vehicles.  Everyone else was busy with church activities throughout the day.  Villages begin to gather at their churches around 9:00 a.m. to socialize.  The service starts around 10:00, after which everyone has a large lunch, followed by bible study and then a late afternoon church service again.

We were invited in one village to come and eat with the congregation.  They motioned to us with hand gestures while we were in our car.  We waved, smiled and declined the invitation.  It was raining, and we were perhaps over reacting to the leprosy warning signs as we had entered the village.

The men and women in American Samoa wear a long skirt.  The women wear a tailored, long tunic with a rounded neck, cap sleeves and zippered back over their skirt.  Many of the Sunday clothes for women are accompanied with beautiful hats.  Some of the church goers wore all white, not sure which denomination it was, but it wasn't the Mormons or Catholics.








There is also a large Seventh Day Adventist congregation on the Island.  We saw some of them at their churches on Sunday, but they were more casually dressed as their Sabbath is on Saturday.

Prior to the missionaries converting the Samoans to Christianity,





it is believed that Star Mounds, radiating rock structures, were used not only by village chiefs to capture pigeons, but were also used for some religious rituals.  There are few of these Star Mounds left.  We found one near the Catholic church behind and apartment building. 

In every village there is at least one pavilion or "guest house" where the chief entertains guests and where locals conduct funerals, celebrations, meetings, etc.  It is a covered outdoor area that is also used to hang laundry when not being used for a special event.   Some villages have multiple guest houses.

Like most of the Polynesian Islands, land passes down from family to family.  There are no For Sale signs on land here.  In most of the front yards or side yards of family homes, deceased ancestors are buried about.

We have enjoyed our stay here, but are looking forward to moving on to perhaps a little more sunshine, but we have certainly enjoyed the beauty.



All is Well on Worrall Wind

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Arrived Pago Pago in American Samoa

UTC/Local Time: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Latitude: 14 16.354 S
Longitude: 170 41.712 W

Update: Phew!

We have safely arrived in Pago Pago in American Samoa this morning after four days of strong constant winds of 20-25 and frequent gusts from a slightly different direction 35+ knots and 10-14 foot rolling cross seas.

After another busy sailing night despite our attempts to slow the boat down with severely reefed sails, we sped through the water between 6-9 knots and arrived outside of Pago Pago (pronounced Pungo Pungo) at 4:00 a.m in the morning, Tahiti time, but 3:00 a.m Samoan time.

We had wanted to arrive at first light so that we would not have to stay outside in the rollicking sea any more than we had to. We pulled in the jib and maneuvered the boat into a fore reaching position. One tanker was also drifting about six miles south of us and another one was coming around the west side of the island.

"Pago Pago Port Control, this is the sailing vessel Worrall Wind."  We were in contact with port control and were directed to hold off until morning light and follow one of the tankers in. We were now on Samoan Time which is -11 hours Zulu. So we really got here at 3:00 a.m. and will have to change all of our clocks accordingly.

The tanker was scheduled to pick up a pilot 0630 a.m. The first light of the morning presented itself around 5:45 a.m. We were in the bay and anchored by 10:00 a.m., after three anchoring attempts. The first try, we were too close to another boat.

When we pulled up the anchor, there must have been 100 additional pounds of rope, chain, and other stuff we pulled up. The tsunami from the Samoan earthquake last year came through here dumping tons of stuff in the bay and devastated much of the shoreline.  Residents only had a 4 minute warning and the water in the Pago Pago harbor completely emptied before it came back in with a wave over twnety feet tall rolling like a freight train into the harbor, sweeping everything in its path to the back of the bay, debris, boats, cars, everythng.

Russ cleaned the junk off of our anchor after 10 minutes of hard labor, but we lost the boat hook that was still looped through some of the ropes and chain we had pulled up.  When Russ finally got the last strand of rope holding all of the junk off the anchor, the remaining weight on the boat hook was hundreds of pounds and Russ was unable to hold it on his own.  The boat hook slipped back down to the bottom adding yet even more debris to the bay. 

On the second attempt to anchor, the anchor dragged without getting a bite. The third attempt, we believe is holding just fine. Nevertheless while Russ is on shore checking in, I'm on anchor watch as we have heard that the holding here is quite iffy. (Update: About 7:00 p.m., a big blow came through and our third attempt also started to drag.  It was now dark and squally.  Endless Summer had left a vacant buoy earlier in the day which no one had claimed, so we pulled up our anchor in the dark and motored over to the buoy and latched on.  Hopefully, the buoy holds.  But we are not dragging anymore).

Some of the other boats in the bay with us are Pickles, Active Transport, Inspiration Lady, Endless Summer, Imagine, Lease on Life, Puppy, Tianha, and Windryder.  We have had many dinghy welcomes today by fellow cruisers who have already been here the past few days while we were out in the sea. They were glad to be tucked in here, even though many of them dragged anchor in the heavy winds. Most of our welcome visitors expressed a real love for this island despite the busy noisy port that often smells of the tuna cannery. The island itself is far more beautiful than expected and the Samoans the most friendly of the Polynesians.

So now that we are here, here are some of the passage details that we didn't want to concern you with while we were out there. We were never in any danger but it was pretty challenging sailing. I think Russ even commented that he was having fun!  Not sure when that was, but we weren't exactly sharing the same sentiments.

When on watch, we were really on watch and constantly helping Hydie with hand steering through the shifting winds, and hoping she would hold together. She did for the most part. We noticed this morning that here shaft was coming loose again. She needs another adjustment.

I kept reminding my somewhat fearful self, that Worrall Wind will always be able to handle the seas better than we will psychologically. And of course she did! We did pretty well too considering it felt like we were inside a washing machine for four days. The more we go forward, the more we are learning and gaining experience. Retrospectively, I wish I had been more relaxed earlier when the seas weren't nearly as much of a challenge.

We are always so thankful that we are not sitting in a soggy cockpit being pooped on by the seas. I guess this kind of makes up for the fact that we don't go as fast as many of our traditional sailboat friends. I was also glad that it was so dark, no moon....we couldn't see the giant swells, only the ones that broke on the boat or rushed underneath our keel heeling us sideways, or thundered underneath our stern and bow lifting us up, sometimes sliding us backward or propelling us forward up to 9 knots of speed. Fortunately, the seas were not steep or it could have been worse.

We had more than one wave break on the side of the boat. It's the first time though we've seen water half way up our pilot house windows running towards the back deck up and over the stairs to the fantail. Good thing we learned about stuffing towels in the bottom of the slider doors to prevent water slosh into the boat, and Russ had reworked all the ports so they would really tighten up and not leak. There were times when looking out the side ports that it looked like we were looking through the portholes of the Disneyland submarine ride, but with a lot more froth and foam.

We thought our back hatch was fairly safe cracked open for some badly needed ventilation...wrong. The water that ran up and on to the fantail, dumped right down onto the bed soaking everything. One side splash, sprayed so high it actually came through the skylight on top of the pilot house into the main salon. Several times Russ's hands were saved by the hard sponge stopper that prevented a crushing close from the forward sliding skylight when the stern was lifted high.

I'm thankful that the teapot filled with water was cold when it flew off the gimbaled stove on to the floor and the water slithered into the bilge and the floor dried before my locking flour canisters jumped from their bungie cords in the pantry spilling no less than 2 lbs of flour everywhere. We would have had paste.

As it was, the stew lids which were on tight loosened in the refrigerator emptying stew all over and when the side refrigerator door was opened, the contents shot out through all of the safety guards on a rolling heel to port, making the galley slippery like an ice rink. Every inanimate object was animated with a life of its own.

So we are here, safe and sound...no injuries, still having fun, but involved in cleanups and dryouts today, comfort food, and early to bed tonight.  Russ has gone to sign in with the port captain, customs, and immigration. There is a MacDonald's by the Port Captain office. While we never ate them at home, I've asked Russ to bring us back some big Mac's, fries, and chocolate milkshakes for dinner before we hit the sack. Tomorrow we find the super laundromat. By Thursday, we will be ready to do some sightseeing.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Day 4 to American Samoa

UTC/Local Time: Tuesday, September 7 0500/ Monday, September 6 1900

Latitude: 14 22.938 S
Longitude: 169 42.193 W

Course Over Ground: 262 @ 6 knots
Wind Direction: SE 25 knots, enhanced with gusts over 30
Sea Swell: 3-4 meter swells from the SE
Sky: 60%
Barometric Pressure: 1013

Update: 60 miles to go

We had a busy sailing night last night, having to help Hydie along through large seas and several squalls. Russ and I were doing a 1 to 2 hour watch schedule. We had Hydie set for a beam reach and she should have been set for a broad reach so we were always having to over correct at the helm. We had to wait until after 2:00 a.m. when the seas calmed down to go outside and reset Hydie.

Today's sailing was pretty uneventful. We heard from my cousin Patricia and her partner David on the Ham radio today. That was a nice surprise even though the reception wasn't good and we needed a relay. We will try again tomorrow night, from Pago Pago.

The winds have kicked up again tonight and now we are sailing faster than we would like as we will be arriving around 4:00 a.m. tomorrow morning to the entrance. We are already reefed down as much as we can be given the size of the seas. We need a certain amount of sail out just to keep the boat moving and keep it from rocking back and forth. We are hoping the winds will die down later tonight like they did last night. It would be perfect to arrive at first light,about 7:00 a.m.

We are looking forward to dropping the hook and catching up on some sleep.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Day 3 to American Samoa

UTC/Local Time: Sunday, September 5 2100/ Sunday, September 5, 1100

Latitude: 13.54.206 S
Longitude: 166.50.783 W

Course Over Ground: 275T @ 5.3 knots
Wind Direction: SE 18 knots
Sea Swell: 1.5-2 meters
Sky: 90% cloud cover
Barometric Pressure: 1018 and rising
Temperature: 86 degrees
Humidity: 74 percent

Update: One year and 7,000 miles under our keel

It is hard to believe that we left San Francisco one year ago today. We could only imagine that we would be somewhere in the South Pacific, and here we are on day three of a passage from Suwarrow to American Samoa. The year seems to have gone by in a flash. We have 7,000 miles under our keel and two children that have gotten married.  In addition to keel miles, we have flown round trip to Italy and back to states, and round trip to and from French Polynesia.

Despite our best efforts to encourage our children to get married before we left on our voyage, both of them chose to marry our first year out the Golden Gate.

Wedding Number One

In the time span from September 5 to September 5, we have traversed the coast of California and Baja California. We took a fabulous detour to Tuscany, Italy in late September for Garyn and Jessica's romantic villa wedding, before heading beyond California.  While in Italy, we visited Florence, Venice, Vicchio, and the Cinqueterra with my brother and Russ's brother and sister-in-laws.  The setting and the adventure of a destination wedding with friends and family that were able to attend was wonderful.

To Mexico

Our friends Clark and Nina joined us as crew on the Baja Ha Ha rally to Cabo. It was fun having them aboard. The 2009 Ha Ha was the biggest rally ever with some of the worst sea conditions on record.  One boat sank after hitting a whale. In retrospect, the weather we experienced on the Baja Ha Ha doesn't seem as challenging as what we have experienced in the South Pacific.

Once in Cabo San Lucas, we turned north into the Sea of Cortez visiting La Paz and northern islands Espiritu and Partida, then across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. We spent our first Thanksgiving aboard Worrall Wind the night before our first duo crossing. Previous to our 2 night passage to Mazatlan we had always had crew on overnight passages. Getting to the mainland of Mexico was a small victory for our self confidence. While in Mazatlan we were able to meet up with friends and enjoy the city and a trip to the Copper Canyon before heading to Puerta Vallarta.

Abby and our future son-in-law Neal joined us for the season's holidays in Paradise Village where we lounged, whale watched, surfed, and enjoyed many Mexican meals together. We ourselves returned to the states in January and February and planned not to return until the following January and February. But as we prepared for our South Pacific Voyage in Paradise Village, our plans changed as now Abby and Neal announced their engagement in late February, and there were plans for a wedding in July back in California only five months out.

To the South Pacific - French Polynesia

Before leaving Mexico, I ordered my Mother of the Bride gown online and could only hope that it would fit in July. Garyn joined us on March 29, and we left Mexico for the South Pacific on April 8 on the Pacific Puddle Jump Rally. It took us 29 days at sea to reach the Marquesas in early May. We are definitely the "Slowskis"....steady but sure.

Our daughter-in-law Jessica joined us in the Marquesas and traveled with us to the Tuomotus, Moorea, and Tahiti. We had some wonderful and adventurous times together.

 Wedding Number Two

Garyn and Jessica returned to the states from Tahiti the second week in June; we returned with our new Tahitian tattoos late the following week to get ready for and to attend Abby and Neal's wedding at Shinneyboo on the Yuba River near Eagle Lakes trail head the fourth of July weekend. I got my mother of the bride dress two days before the wedding, and it fit perfectly! What fun we had for four days with over 120 family and friends.  Neal and Abby did a remarkable job planning the event.   It couldn't have been more perfect. Even the weather co-operated.  The bride was beautiful and the groom tall and handsome....really, no bias here. 


Back to French Polynesia

Once again, we returned to Tahiti in mid-July and took off for Moorea, Huahine, Raietea, and Tahaa, celebrating our 41st wedding anniversary at the Taravana Yacht Club. We confirmed our reservations for a hurricane trench in Fiji from the end of November 2010 to April of 2011. Unless we have a radical change of heart and some very experienced crew, we think we will forgo the passage in our boat to New Zealand. Some of the weather we have had in these upper latitudes is about as challenging as we are up for. While our boat is snug in the ground, we still plan to go to New Zealand. But as others have said, nothing goes to weather better than a 747. We look forward to buying a used camper van and touring for a couple of months.

Goodbye French Polynesia, Hello Cook Islands and American Samoa

We left for Bora Bora the second week in August and while in Bora, also visited the smaller island of Maupiti to the west. From Bora Bora during the third week in August and waxing moon we left for the Atoll and Islands of Suwarrow in the Cook Islands. It took us six days to get there and we spent 10 days enjoying the simple natural beauty of this remote atoll. Now we are on day three of our passage to American Samoa. We are more than half way there.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty nice sailing day, once the seas calmed down to 2.5 meters. The winds averaged about 16 knots and the sky was absolutely clear. We had no squalls last night, and we both finished the books we were reading.  This morning started out beautifully, but as the gribs predicted, the winds and seas are picking up again. We have three squalls going. Two strong rainy ones on our starboard downwind side (not worrisome) and one weak one to our windward port side that looks like it will blow in front of us. Because of the cloud cover we are not generating much solar power today, so we may need to turn the engine on in a little while. We expect the next couple of days to be a little more active with 10-14 foot seas.

The sea height is not as important as the direction, steepness, and speed. Unfortunately, our grib files and Clearpoint weather never seem to give us an accurate picture of this important data. So we just keep the sails conservatively reefed and try to take the waves from the stern and stern quarter. So far that has worked well. We have learned a lot this year and met many wonderful cruisers and made new friends.

It's been an exciting and beautiful year between September 5 and September 5. We are wondering how many boats on the Berkeley Yacht Club Labor Day Cruise to Half-Moon Bay took a southerly left this year as we did. We hope more will cast off their bowlines and wish them all well. Happy Labor Day weekend everyone.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Day 2 to American Samoa

UTC/Local Time: Sunday, September 5 0000/Saturday, September 4 1400

Latitude: 13 59.267 S
Longitude: 165 12.668 W

Course Over Ground: 285 @ 5.3 knots
Wind Direction: ESE 20 knots
Sea Swell: 9 foot cross seas
Sky: 0% clouds
Barometric Pressure: 1017

Update: Day 2 to American Samoa

Last night the seas were restless, and we had a couple of squalls on my watch with winds reaching 35+ knots with rain. There was no moon. We could see intermittent stars between squalls. The cross seas would come from the northeast and southeast often colliding behind and under the boat (which was good, gave us fast ride), on the sides of the boat (which was bad, we would rock and roll from side to side).

We've gotten very comfortable with how Worrall Wind responds in these conditions. She is very responsive and rights herself without fail which gives us great confidence when the winds are howling and the seas very agitated. In these conditions we are triple reefed and have about 1/2 of our jib out. Still we are moving a long at a reasonable (albeit slower speed), but the boat seems balanced and not overly heeled.

We may not be comfortable as it often feels like being in a washing machine, but not too concerned for safety as we are locked down tight and go out tethered up only if absolutely necessary. We do have to stuff towels on the lower part of the sliding doors to keep water from squirting up and in the boat when the water comes over the rail and through the scuppers.

We've also put a hard sponge in front of the sliding hatch so that when we are pitching, it doesn't slam forward as it has done in the past. We have also attached a bungie cord to the hatch handle and the latch on the rim to keep the hatch from sliding backwards to full open. Russ likes to hold on the hatch rim, and I am always concerned that his fingers will get slammed. If we pitch up and the skylight hatch falls all the way back, it requires us to both go outside, pickup the hatch, and put it on its rails to close.

After our first night, we pretty much have figured where all the clinks, groans, and rattles are coming from and quiet them down by stuffing sponges, hand towels, and rolls of paper towels everywhere to stifle the noise. I think the constant noise drives us crazy. There are a few creaks that we simply can't seem to get rid of, but guess that's just part of natural boat noise.

Hydie our windvane steering system is backup and running perfectly. We sure do love her, quiet, efficient, and doesn't gobble up power.  Right now the winds have subsided a bit, there isn't a cloud in the sky, and the seas are slightly more settled than they were earlier in the day. We just gybed because we had gone about 20 miles south of our course line due to the wind direction.

Now we are moving north west back to course. This course over ground with the swells and windwaves is not as comfortable. We plan to cross the course line and then gybe back to the southwest for the night. As of now our estimated arrival calculator is putting us in American Samoa late Tuesday which means we may need to heave to so that we arrive during daylight hours. As we get closer, we will decide to either put the motor on and speed it up to get there earlier on Tuesday or slow it down and get there Wednesday morning.

It's time for nap so I can stay awake on watch tonight. Russ has already taken one and will probably need another in a little while. We are both reading good books which is not conducive to sleep....unless it's our watch. Is Worrall Wind's SPOT working? Family are you getting daily messages and tracking reports? Let us know.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Day 1, America Samoa Bound

UTC/Local Time: Saturday, September 4, 0430/ Friday, September 3, 2030

Latitude: 13 13.901 S
Longitude: 163.28.918 W

Course Over Ground: 250 @ 6 knots
Wind Direction: ESE 20-25 knots, gusts to 35
Sea Swell: 2.5 -3 meters S and ESE
Sky: 60%
Barometric Pressure: 1014

Update: Day 1, American Samoa Bound

After consulting our grib files one more time, we decided to leave Suwarrow today as planned. It is 445 miles to American Samoa and we hope to arrive there sometime on Tuesday. The seas are a little bigger than we like, but the gribs show that they are going to get bigger by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and the wind is going to become quite light at the same time so we would be bobbing around like a cork if left later.

We arose early and got the boat prepared for sailing, re-installing the hydrovane, lashing everything down, hoisting the dinghy, and closing the ports. I made a big pot of stew and put containers of it in the refrigerator, along with some beef and rice curry, pasta salad, and a half dozen hard boiled eggs. I should be able to just heat things up.

We had a bit of a challenge raising the anchor this morning. We were good and hooked on a piece of coral, but the anchor finally pulled loose and we were on our way by 11:15 or so. We cleared the pass through the barrier reef. The seas were large or larger than we expected. They were right on our bow as we pulled up the sail and triple reefed it. The bow would rise straight up and then plunge into a trough then up again. We were glad to turn WW around and run with the wind and the waves coming from the stern quarter. Every once in a while (every 5-7 minutes), we get some southern rollers that pass under our beam. They are moving quite fast and and do a good job rolling us to starboard.

The sun just set. We expect it will be a very dark night with some squalls. We've already had a few today with winds up to 35 knots. I have first watch until 1:00 a.m. We are thinking of all of you snug in your land beds tonight. Once again, we are checking in nightly with the Pacific Seafarers Net 14300 at 0300 Zulu. If you need or want to get in touch with us and know a ham operator, we check in with this net when we are on a passage. Our call sign is KI6YHE.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Worrall Wind Update - Days 6-10 Suwarrow

Update:  Days 6-10 in Paradise


It is Thursday evening, September 2, and we are still in Suwarrow. We had intended on leaving today, but the call of the Perfect Reef captured us for one more day of snorkeling. So we are thinking tomorrow, but the gribs look a little rough for tomorrow, so now it might be Saturday before we leave. The wind in the protected anchorage is blowing 20 knots so it must be really rough outside. Good thing we are not in a big rush. Here's a little back tracking since Monday.

Monday, August 30 - Day 6

Russ and I took the dinghy to shore about 2:45 in the afternoon. With instruction from James we found just the right coconuts to husk for coconut cakes. The coconuts have to have germinated with at least three stems protruding. This means that the inside of the coconut has converted the water into a thick pulpy core as nutrient for the germinating stem.
James shows Russ how to husk the coconuts. The coconuts we get in the grocery store are already husked. To husk the coconut, one has to use a piece of sharp re-bar or a stick to stab the husk and then peel it away from the hard coconut shell. Once the coconut is peeled down to its shell, you take a machete and wack at it across the middle until it breaks in half.

The pulpy center is removed and grated into a large bowl. One cup of grated pulp, one cup of flour (I used a non-gluten flour mix), and 1/4 cup sugar are the proportions. Add enough water to create a batter that holds a mounded shape on a spoon. James heated about an inch of cooking oil in a skillet until it was very hot and then spooned and flattened the coconut mix into the oil to make cakes about four inches across and about 1/2" thick. When the cakes are golden brown on the bottom he flipped them until both sides were golden to dark brown. He removed them from a the frying pan with a slotted spoon and tipped them vertically in a deep dish to drain off excess oil.

These cakes are delicious. I don't even want to think about the fat and cholesterol. As a thank you for showing us how to make the cakes and simply because we know how much he enjoys soda, we made up some cola with our soda machine and took James a liter bottle with ice cubes.

Tuesday, August 31 - Day 7

With Gene and Gloria from Pincoya and Claudia and Brian on Skylight, we took off on an expedition in our dinghies five miles across the lagoon to go snorkeling on a reef close to Motu Taou on the eastern side of Suwarrow. We left at 10:00 and got to the reef an hour later. We took two dinghies with three in each dinghy. There were big swells and and windy conditions as we wove our way through some huge corals heads to the more protected area where we went snorkeling.

The coral heads extended downwards of thirty feet into beautiful blue canyons with white sand. The topography was beautiful. I would float over a submerged coral head two or three feet under the water out over a canyon. It felt as if I was flying. We snorkeled for about an hour enjoying the fish and the coral. As we were approaching our dinghies, there was a school of hundreds of yellow tailed mullets. The average mullet was about 1 foot long. The school let us swim right with them and through them. This was pretty fun until we noticed that we had some reef sharks eying the mullet and because we were right in their midst, it made us a little nervous to see these twitchy sharks moving towards us. Some of the sharks were four and five feet long. We didn't want to get in the middle of feeding frenzy or be a part of the feed.

Our collective minds decided simultaneously to get out of the water. We had lunch in the dinghies, dried off and and started the engines....or at least Brian got his engine started. We had some difficulty getting ours going. Finally, Russ got it going and we didn't have any problems getting back to Anchorage Island, but it reminded us why we didn't come out here all by ourselves in the first place.

Tuesday evening, Gene and several of the more adventurous hunter gathers left at 6:00 p.m. to dinghy to Turtle Island several miles away to hunt lobsters on the exposed reef between the motus. This was difficult walking when we had gone a couple of days before crab hunting during the day. Both Russ and I had gotten some foot wounds on the slippery coral and declined to go lobster hunting. The hunters were going to be out until midnight or longer...far past our bedtime.

Instead, we lay in the hammock with a soft breeze caressing our skin, listening to Master and Commander with our headphone jacks and watched the stars pop out into the night sky. The southern cross was brilliant. We just couldn't think of a better place to be.

Wednesday, September 1 - Day 8

Russ and I spent the morning in the water cleaning the bottom of the boat. I used a snorkel and concentrated on the water line and as far down as I could reach. Russ used the hooka snuba and did the deeper keel work. It took us a couple of hours. While under the water we enjoyed watching the fish gather under the boat as we scrapped off barnacles and other crusty things that the fish seemed to enjoy eating. Where there are fish, there are also sharks. There were a couple that cruised under us, but they didn't swim at us like the ones on the reef and they were only about 3 feet long.
We spent the later part of the afternoon visiting with James and Appii, doing our checkout paperwork. We brought in some more cola and ice and photographs of Suwarrow, us and them. We thought this was a goodbye as we planned to leave Thursday.
Wednesday evening, we had another potluck this time featuring 8 huge lobsters caught the night before. They were sweet and delicious. Right after we said our goodbyes to everyone, we decided to stay one more day. Oscar on Zenitude was telling everyone about the Perfect Reef and his day of snorkeling there. Perfect Reef is about 4 miles south of the anchorage. It is basically a reef within a reef. Shaped like a crescent, it is very shallow on the east side and open on the west although you have to dodge some coral heads to get in. He claimed it was some of the best snorkeling he has ever seen. That did it. We scrapped our plans to leave on Thursday and go snorkeling instead.

Thursday, September 2, Day 9

This time we took three dinghies out to Perfect Reef. Claudia and Brian were taking their diving gear and tanks, so we needed an additional boat. The wind was blowing 15 to 20 knots all day and there was a squall behind us and one in front of us. Fortunately, we were in a patch of sunlight all the way out to Perfect Reef. Unlike our trip to the western side of the island where we surfed down swells coming from the east, we were now moving south and those eastern swells were on our beam, often splashing into the boat. It was a pretty soggy bottom ride.

It took us about an hour to get to Perfect Reef and thread our way in through the coral heads on the eastern side of the crescent. We anchored the dinghies in about 10 feet of water close to the reef edge. Within 2 minutes of being in the water, Russ and I were glad we had decided to come to Perfect Reef. This snorkel went to number 1 in our book. Wow, wow, wow. The living coral of greens, pinks, purples, coral, whites, yellows was amazing. There was apple green brain coral with amber striations, popcorn coral, leaf rosette coral, tree coral, all types and textures.

We saw lots of fish from big parrot fish to the tiniest of little tetras in every color of the rainbow. Huge ruffle lipped clams, big lip-smacking oysters, eels, and puffy pink starfish basked on and in the holes of the coral heads. Claudia and Brian were able to dive down into several of the deep grottos. The water clarity, particularly in the shallow areas was incredibly clear. It didn't look as if there was any water. After an hour, we ate lunch, and after lunch we went back in for another go around. It was spectacular. Best of all...we didn't see one shark!

The wind and clouds were really whipping up when we returned. The ride back seemed wetter than our snorkel. About three quarters of the way back, Gene and Gloria's propeller started to act up and their forward propulsion was almost nil. Gene started to paddle at one point. We all slowed our speed and finally, Brian and Claudia got a hold of the dinghy's painter (bow line) and towed them home. Russ and I had some major de-salting to do of our gear. Everything was soaked in salt water. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and the evening on Pincoya with our snorkeling friends, recounting the day's adventures.

Friday, September 3 - Day 10

We may or may not leave. The wind and seas are higher than we like. If they calm down, we may leave in the afternoon. If they don't, we won't.. Could be Saturday or later before we weigh anchor. I the meantime, we're having fun.

All is well on Worrall Wind.