Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

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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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Worrall Wind Update - Anatom Island, Vanuatu

Latitude: S 20 14.266
Longitude: E 169 46.606

At Anchor:
Wind Direction: 25-35 knots from the SE
Sky: 50-100% Overcast

Update: Hunkered down in the wind (June 25 +)

It is Tuesday, June 28, 2011. It's been blowing, blowing, blowing for four days. Sunda night was the worst. We recorded sustained winds of 30-35 knots for several hours. Our little anchor track alarm has kept with a tight pattern, so we are pretty confident after these winds that we are good and stuck on the reportedly sandy bottom here in the Lagoon of Anelacoahat on Anatom Island. Russ has replaced the anchor bridle twice due to chaffing.

This lagoon is not well protected from the wind, but it is from the swell for which we are grateful. Nevertheless, there is a constant white cap fetch from the wind, licking and bouncing the hull of Worrall Wind as she pulls back and from side to side on her anchor.

Saturday, June 25 - It's in the mid 70's and cool with the wind howling. We took hot showers and slept in our stateroom with a coverlet. It felt like a cozy refuge. I was alseep at 7:30 and didn't wake up until 7:00 the following morning. How easy it is to take a good night's sleep for granted and such a decadent joy when having been deprived for a few nights while on watch or trying to sleep when not on watch in the bowels of a washing machine.

Sunday, June 26 - It's a high carb, comfort food day. Made blueberry muffins and hot cocoa for breakfast. The wind is howling still and it's very overcast. There are six boats in the lagoon and most of them have stayed close to their boats today making sure that their anchors hold. We had turkey chowder and cornbread for dinner. Finished listening to the Golden Compass. It was much more interesting than the movie, darker too. We are looking forward to the next book in the trilogy. Our time on the boat with this blow reminds us of the northerly we experienced on Isle Partida in the Sea of Cortez when we first got to Mexico.

Monday, June 27 - Our wind generator has been busy! We are actually producing more amps than we are using. The sun has been out today a little as well. Still blustery and the forecast looks like it is going to be like this for a week! At some point I guess we will venture off the boat. Russ has been working on the dinghy davits and repairing the dinghy. We are a half a mile from shore, and the chop and wind make a journey to land look rough and wet. Snorkeling, hot pools, local school, hike to the waterfall, and exploration of Mystery Island (where the locals believe spirits wander at night) are waiting for us when we muster the gumption to get off the boat. We're reading, working on little projects, and listening now to Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. It's pretty funny, and we are getting a few chuckles out of it. We're just happy to not be in the open ocean! We talked to Skylight and Sidewinder on the radio tonight. Sidewinder is waiting for the wind to subside in Fiji to make a run across Bligh water to the north island. Skylight is tucked away in a protected harbor in northern island of Vanuatu. Trim hopes to leave Fiji for Vanuatu around July 10. We have not heard from Gene and Gloria on Pincoya for a few days, so not sure where they are or what they are doing right now.

It's been one year since we came home from Tahiti for Abby and Neal's wedding. We can't believe how the time has flown by. Abby was to have finished her residency this weekend in Las Vegas. She and Neal hope to meet up with Garyn and Jessica in Washington, D. C. over this Fourth of July weekend.

Tuesday, June 28 - We still haven't ventured off of the boat although we are getting "cabin fever". For about 15 minutes earlier today we were contemplating a run for shore when the wind dropped below 20 knots. Then we heard a "pan pan" (emergency) call from one of the other yachties. It was clear and close by, but we couldn't see the person who was calling. It sounded as if someone was calling on their hand held from an adrift dinghy that lost its engine power. The caller said he would get back with a position. With our binoculars we scanned the seas and saw some activity here and there with some intrepid folks venturing out, but nothing looked amiss. The caller never got back with a position report so we can only hopefully assume, he got his engine started.

It's still blowing 20-25 knots and dark clouds are rolling over the top of the lagoon. We're safe, cozy, and looking forward to some calmer conditions, although the forecast looks like the winds may last for several more days. The family on M/V Emily Grace have been here a week and are anxious to leave tomorrow and find a calmer anchorage. I think they will find one on Tanna, but nothing would get me back out there until the wind calms down. Even after the wind calms, it takes a while for the waves to subside. Veteran cruisers tell us that it takes patience for the right weather window. We're still learning. In the meantime, Russ is busy with projects and started another book. I too am reading, learning Photoshop, and enjoying hot tea.

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Worrall Wind Update - Day 5, Arrived and anchored in Vanuatu!

UTC/Local Time: 0217 Saturday June 25, 20011/1317

Latitude: S 20 14.275
Longitude: E 169 46.606

Update: So Glad to Be Here!
According to our weather forecasting information, the winds are supposed to pick up to 25 or more knots later today and last through tomorrow. Our plan was of course to get here before the winds. Well, guess what? They came a day early. Along with the 25+ knot winds came 2-3 meter rolling seas. Last night was just darned uncomfortable as we were between a beam and a close reach with the angle of the wind.

The reach kept us well heeled, but when those rollers would hit us on the beam, we were rolling into the exiting waves and getting a lot of water on the lee deck, squishing through the doors.
As we approached Vanuatu, we also started getting some traffic. I kind of like having the big old ocean all to ourselves and get a little (very) tense when I spot traffic, particular fishing boats with bright lights as it is difficult if not impossible to see which way they are running. I woke Russ up just as he was drifting to sleep around 8:00 o'clock because there were some big white lights in front of us getting closer and closer. There was no AIS identification signal coming from their boat. We could see them on radar and had a visual.
Because the large waves, the radar image was bouncing and we couldn't see a clear direction of their course overground.
Visually, if we see a green light on their bow, we know they are moving across our path from port to starboard (left to right). If we see a red light on their bow, we know they are moving across our path from starboard to port (right to left). If we see both a red and green, they are coming at us. If we see white lights, we know we are coming up on their stern.
Fishing boats are so lit up with white lights, it blinds the eye to any other colors. We know they are either standing still or moving, but don't know which direction. When the waves are big like they were last night and we are on a close reach and moving fast, the approaching boat lights disappear while they are in a trough or we are in a trough, then they reappear and are bigger than the last time we saw them. We know we are closing the gap quickly.
Since were on a close port reach and the traffic was about 1:00 on our starboard side, it would be a close squeeze by if they were moving towards us. We decided to give Hydie a rest and hand steer. After watching them on radar for awhile (they were within 3 miles of us), Russ thought we could probably pass safely and stay on course, but it would be a tight pinch. Every time I tried to angle away from the vessel and more into the wind, the sails would luff, we would lose boat speed and not accomplish a good measure of distance.
Since I was at the helm and a nervous wreck thanks to our friends on Trim who had just written an article for publication of a near-death experience with an out of control fishing trawler, I chose to fall off so that I had more course options, and we would pass them on our port side with a greater margin of space. Little by little, their lights got smaller and we passed them to port. Better safe than sorry.
After that, we started to see more AIS traffic signals, but none that came any closer to us than 20 miles. When Russ got up for his watch, we needed to make some sail adjustments. The wind was shifting around and we were moving too fast. We would reach our destination too early in the dark hours of the morning. We reduced sail and eased off the trim.
An examination of our trailing dinghy presented us with another little Uh oh! The metal loop on the front of the dinghy to which our painter line was tied had snapped off. Now the dinghy was being trailed by a thinner anchor line which was the backup. We said our goodbyes to Avon as we were sure she would be a goner some time during the night. The waves and wind were steadily increasing. We had hoped from our weather information that we wouldn't see these winds until the following day. No such luck.
When Russ woke me at 6:30, I looked out the portholes through sleep blurred eyes to see mountains of water, and oh yes, a real mountain in the distance. We were getting close to Anatom, but had still been moving so fast that we overshot our entrance mark while it was still dark and Russ let me sleep in. Now we had to reduce sail some more and do some back tracking. Russ's first plan was to do a controlled jibe. My plan was to turn on the motor and come about. We decided to go on deck and see how bad the waves really were. It might be too risky to jibe. Our little Avon, believe it or not, was still tethered to us. Jibing would temporarily put the wind and following waves at our back. I was afraid the Avon would wind up on top of our bimini if we jibed.
Once we were on deck, we realized the best thing to do was to bring the boat into a fore reaching position, nose into the wind, slow her down, and still trail the dinghy behind away from the propellor, and prepare the rigging for a sail change. When we were ready to go, I gave the motor just enough throttle to get us out of the fore reach and make the turn. Done! Now we were ready to go on in. Russ called for port control on the VHF. Ha! No one on the island has a VHF. The only response was from a fellow cruiser, Emily Grace. He gave us some encouragement getting through to the harbor and where we might want to anchor.
By 9:30, we were in the bay and anchored with our yellow quarantine flag flying. The bay is a horseshoe of sorts with low lying reefs protecting it from the swell, but not so much from the wind. At 10:00 our first official came out to the boat. He was the quarantine official and we were lucky that he was here. He had just checked out a cruise ship the night before and would be returning to Tanna in less than an hour by way of plane and the small landing strip on the atoll side of the island. We weren't sure whether the officials worked on the weekend. Some do and some are only on the island periodically. The quarantine man was very nice. He asked asked about fruits, vegetables, meats, on board. Nothing seemed to be a problem except he asked us to keep our food on board and not take it ashore. Also, please take any garbage to Tanna and throw nothing over board. He also assured us that the mosquitos on this island did not carry malaria. Nice to know as we had read in an older cruising guide that malaria was a problem in Vanuatu. Seems as if this may now be better controlled. Our quarantine fee was 3,000 Vatu (appx. $35.00). Not sure if this is the standard fee or the weekend fee.
While our "We're here!" adrenalin was still in gear, we cleaned up the boat. It really gets thrashed on a passage, ate some lunch and were finally just laying down for a rest when the customs official came aboard. We chatted with the official, offered him some cola, and got our paper work completed. We have to pay a customs fee in Tanna and go through immigration at that time. Anatom has just recently become a check in port. The custom official is a trainees and not all of the procedures can be completed here yet. Since we are planning on going into Tanna anyway, this won't be a problem for us. As long as we have now cleared quarantine and part 1 of customs, we can come to the island....and yes, we still have a dinghy to get us there.
Snorkeling in the marine reserve and hike to a 50 meter waterfall are the big attractions. This is a very remote little island with no motor vehicles and no grocery store. We'll probably be here 4 days or so resting and enjoying before heading north. Now that we are here, I may not do a daily report, but will keep you posted. Thanks for sailing with us.
All is well with the 2 Sail R's on Worrall Wind.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Worrall Wind Update - Day 4 Fiji to Vanuatu - The expected unexpected happened

UTC/Local Time: 0000 June 24/12:00 p.m. June 24

Latitude: S 19 42.456
Longitude: W 171.21.108
Course Over Ground: 240
Wind Direction: SSE 18 knots
Sea Swell: 1-2 meters
Sky: 100% cloud cover

Update: I hated it when Russ says Uh OH!

Yesterday afternoon the wind, waves, and cloud cover increased. Grey skies, grey seas and occasional dribble melted into the blackness of the night. Neither of our watches was remarkable other than the fact that we knew we were going above our course line, and would make a sail correction in the morning. Our starboard, green running light stopped working, and we switched over to our mast tri-color. Ordinarily we try not to use this one as it takes too many amps, but we had the Honda switched on so it didn't really matter. So, fix the starboard running light got added to the short list.

After we had eaten breakfast this morning, I got my inclement weather gear on. It was still spitting rain. Both of us put on our gloves and life vests. The wind was blowing about 18 knots and the seas were 1-2 meters. It was time to go out, un-pole the jib from its beam and broad reach position, and pull more into the wind for our course correction. I was at the helm keeping on course and working the back lines while Russ went forward took down the pole, and adjusted rigging for the jib. We positioned the boat into the wind and had the sails set. We had one last thing to do and that was to re-adjust Hydie to her new wind angle after I got her on the right course.

Russ went behind me to adjust Hydie 2, and I heard a mild-mannered mumble "UH OH!"! UH OH translates into OH SH@#! in my boating vocabulary. "What's the matter!" I asked partially turning around as I was trying to keep one eye on our compass heading and the wind. The dinghy which usually fits snuggly under the solar panels had completely snapped from its bow cable and half of the back cable had broken off. So essentially the three of the 4 connections holding the dinghy out of the water had failed. Our Avon was dangling vertical by one cable. Her stern was high out of the water and her bow was bumping and dancing over the waves scooping in water. It's bottom side was facing us while the interior of the dinghy was facing way from us.

Not only was our dinghy dangling, but we had had all of our snorkel gear (masks, fins, snorkels) , 4 floating cushions, dinghy anchor, paddles, dive flag, and emergency hand pump in the dinghy. Time for a deep breath! Ok, it's not the end of the world if we lost all of that stuff. Let's concentrate on what to do. By this time, it is now starting to rain and the beam seas are splashing on our port side.

We had had a similar circumstance when Hydie's wind rudder blew a bolt last season between Suwarrow and Samoa, and we had to make a temporary repair by taking the rudder off and dismantling Hydie in high seas. Russ went into the engine room, opened up the exhaust valve and engine thru-hole and turned on the motor. We didn't really need the motor, but our plan was to bring WW into a heave-to position and it's nice to have the engine as a backup. On the other hand, it's not nice to deal with the exhaust when you are working on the back of the boat, but the benefit in the event of Russ going overboard and me executing a quick rescue with the engine running was higher than the risk of the fumes and sputter.

Once we had the boat in a heave-to position, into the wind with the jib back winded and the rudder hard over, the stern of our boat was now in the lee of the wind and most of the waves. She could basically float in this position with little or no attention from us while we concentrated on rescuing the dinghy. We secured Russ's harness onto a line and secured the line with some slack to a stern cleat so that he could climb down the back swim ladder (it's about a 10 foot drop down the stern from the fantail to the water) and grab the dinghy's painter so that she would be secure in at least two places.

Before Russ went down the ladder, he cranked down the dinghy's stern cable; the Avon was now floating on the water but still high enough that the water was not flooding through the plug hole in the stern. We always take the plug out so that if it does rain, the dinghy doesn't become too heavy and will drain out the rain water naturally. Once the dinghy was floating, we could see the interior of the dinghy. Surprise! All of our stuff (with the exception of two of our floating cushions) was still in the boat! Our snorkel gear was in a shallow box that had wedged itself under the cable bridle in the bow of the dinghy. Everything else had also slid to the bow and was wedged into place. Lucky! Lucky!

Russ descended the ladder while I payed out his harness line. The dinghy was alternately sliding away from the boat and snapping at the end of its cable then rebounding and slamming against the stern. The bow of the dinghy was pointed away. We were dragging the dinghy by its stern, and need to grab its bow line. I tied Russ down to the cleat so he wouldn't go flying off the swim ladder while I telescoped the boat pole and handed it down to him. After getting a sense of the rhythm, he was able to snag one of the sidelines of the dinghy and pull it forward enough to grab the painter.

We tied off the painter so the dinghy was now parallel with the stern. Russ was going to have to get into the dinghy pretty quickly, once I further lowered the stern cable so that he could push the plug into stern hole. Then we would completely disconnect the cable. I released his harness enough to give him the slack he needed, lowered the cable, and he climbed into the heaving dinghy. He got the plug into the hole and released the cable so now the dinghy was hanging on by her painter. Then he started to hand up piece by piece all of the stuff that was in the dinghy.

The first thing he handed up was the dinghy anchor and line. It was a mass of spaghetti that needed to be untangled, so that we could use this line as a secondary tie. (Does it ever seem like we as humans spend an inordinate amount of time untangling things?? lines, cords, necklaces, computer cables, Ipod earphones, hangers?) Anyway, try doing this in the rain and bucking seas. Bit by bit everything got handed up with the exception of the emergency pump. Russ pumped out the several gallons of water that the bow had scooped up while dangling. At one point, the boat seemed to be filling with water faster than Russ was pumping. I noticed the plug in the back had popped out and indeed the boat was filling with water.

We got as much water out of the boat as possible. We had two lines on the dinghy. It was time for Russ to come up. He suffered a little bump on his head and gash on his thumb. It may come to pass that the dinghy has to be cut free if the seas get too rough and she fills with water, but we'll tackle that if it happens. For right now, she is skimming along behind Worrall Wind with her painter and secondary line secured nine feet up on the fantail. This keeps her bow high out of the water. The Avon has lasted an incredible amount of years and has an able bodied backup waiting in the wings should we lose her. I am not sure why we didn't notice the dinghy dangle earlier when we first went out, unless it happened while we were actually out there adjusting the sails. Sometimes in the roar of the wind and sea, you can't hear everything as it happens. Given the fact that we had lost so little out of the dinghy, I can't imagine, it had been dangling long before we noticed it.

Worrall Wind is back on course, the sky is lightening up, the seas are calming down, and we are about 24 hours out from Vanuatu. We hope to make landfall tomorrow morning. Only one more night watch! Yeah!

So the expected, unexpected happened, and once again we faced the challenge and resolved the issue within an hour. We hope it's the only one this voyage.

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Worrall Wind Update - Day 3 to Vanuatu - Thursday, June 23, 2011

UTC/Local Time: 0000 June 23, 2011/12:00 p.m.

Latitude: S 19 23.423
Longitude: E 173 15.800
Course Over Ground: 240 @ 4 knots
Wind Direction: E 12 knots
Sea Swell: 1 meter
Sky: 100% overcast
Temp & Humidty: 83 F, 71%
Barometric Pressure: 1016

Update: Calmer seas more gentle winds - Booby Hitchhiker

When Russ took over at 1:30 a.m. this morning, and I went to bed, we were barreling along between 6.5 and 8.00 knots depending on the push from following waves. The seas were still 6-9 feet high, the moon had risen an hour earlier. We went out to the fan tail occasionally to adjust Hydie's course fully jacketed and tethered to the the jacklines.

As the sun had set earlier the previous evening, a juvenile booby decided to land on our port spreader and relax from his fish hunting during the night. The boat was rocking so much, he would slide from outside tip toward the mast when we rolled to starboard and then back to the outside tip with each wave rebound. With one of the waves, he got knocked off the spreader and grabbed frantically and unsuccessfully with his webbed feet to the shroud that has the flag halyard attached. His neck got caught in the flag haylard and he was hanging as if by a noose. Russ had just gotten on his life vest to rescue the booby, when he untangled iw own neck and slid down the rest of the way to land clumsily on the deck. He hopped up on the box that houses the dorad and maintained a precarious perch with his webbed footing over the port side if the box. Each time we rocked to port he would lean back. Each time we rocked to starboard his little webbed feet held him.

There were plenty of more protected places on the bow he could have been had he been smart enough to explore, but he stayed where he was until I went to bed at 1:00. Occasionally, I would turn the head lamp on him to see how he was doing. I don't think he slept much as he seemed to use this time to pick at his molting feathers and whatever creepy little critters live under his feathers. I asked Russ to take a picture of him in the morning light if he was still on board.

As the night wore on, I slept very well. The seas were laying down and the wind growing more gentle. When I awoke at 6:30 a.m., the booby had just flown off. Bye-bye Booby. He left a dreadful amount of booby poop on the bow deck as a thank you. We had 10-12 knots of wind, 1.5 meter seas, and our speed had reduced down to 3.5-5 knots. We were going to have to do a deliberate slowdown (reducing sail) anyway as our anticipated time of arrival in Vanuatu would be o'dark hundred tomorrow evening. By deliberately slowing we would stretch out the trip (something we really hate to do), but at least we would arrive Saturday morning during daylight hours. The island of Anatom that we plan to check into is surrounded by reef so we need good light.

Right now there is 100% cloud cover and we are running downwind. The cloud cover is severly reducing our solar panel power generation from 30 amps to 10 amps. While we are running downwind, our wind generator produces nothing. Since our total amps are down and our refrigerator and freezer continue to pull on the energy, we just got out the Honda generator and put it on the back deck. This would have been impossible yesterday because of the roll and waves. When the Honda gets rolled (off balance)it automatically kills itself. We contemplated running the engine for awhile last night, but decided the Honda is more economical and we would pull it out today if we needed to.

We checked in the HAM Seafarer Net yesterday to report our position, between 0300-0400 UTC on 14.300. Our HAM call sign is KI6YHE for any of you HAMS that want to try and connect with us through Saturday. We were also able to make radio contact with our friends Gene and Gloria on Pincoya last night on 6.510 at 0700 UTC. The copy was very light. We think they said they hoped to be coming into Savusavu on Fiji sometime today. We'll try again this evening to reach local folks on 6.510 or 12B or 12C at 0700 UTC.

If you want to know where we are, check out FIND ME SPOT on the blog. It's working here and hopefully reporting there. Cheers!

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Worrall Wind Update - Day 2 to Vanuatu - Wedenesday, June 22, 2011

UTC/Local Time: 2300 6/21, 2:00 p.m. 6/22

Latitude: 18 45.447 S
Longitude: 175 14/676
Course Over Ground: 250 @ 6.5-7.00 knots
Wind Direction: East 20-25 knots
Sea Swell: 6-9 feet
Sky: 80 percent cloud coverage
87 degrees F and 65 percent humidity

Update: Good wind, confused seas

I really don't know how we manage to pick such lousy wave patterns for our crossings. The wind has been constant and we are plowing forward into big seas at 6.5-7.5 knots. When the waves are on our stern we get a good push (10%) of the time, when they are from the stern quarter, we yaw (rock, roll, forward, back, and the bow rounds up then back (80%) of the time, and then just as we are getting used to the rhythm of the yaw, we are whapped on the beam by a wave determined to go through us rather than under us (10)% of the time. When hit on the side, we do an extreme roll to starboard and just as we are at the bottom of the roll, the wave pops up on the downwind side and floods the decks, often squishing salt water through the sliding doors. We have towels stuffed in the doors and of course all the ports and hatches are locked down tight, with the exception of our skylight, which we have open a few inches to get some much needed ventilation. Yipes! just got a beam hit that sent a salty splash through the skylight.

It is rough and unpleasant, but we are getting used to these conditions and Worrall Wind seems to handle it just fine. I think it is a myth though about good winds and small seas. I guess we'll keep on searching for those idyllic conditions. Hydie 2 is holding us on course and we are making good time.

Hints from Helloise: I discovered a good housekeeping trick last night. We keep the cabin dark to conserve electricity and for better night vision. But we do wear headlamps when moving around. While making my rounds last night, I could really see the mold growing in places that look clean in the daylight, so I did a little anti-mold cleanup at midnight last night.

We are currently listening to Phillip Pullman's, the Golden Compass, keeping glued to our seats as much as possible, taking cat naps, and making the most of being disconnected from the Internet. Ouch that hurts!

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

Worrall Wind Update - June 21, 2011 - Happy Solstice

UTC/Local Time: June 21, 2011 1040/2240

Latitude: 18 11.082 South
Longitude: 176 37.446 East
Course Over Ground: 242 at 6 knots
Wind Direction: S/SE 15 knots
Sea Swell: 2-3 meters 6-10 seconds apart
Sky: Starry and clear

Update: Last Day in Fiji, June 21, 2011 - Happy Solstice

Neither of us slept particularly well last night. Knowing that we're going on a journey, good, bad, or ugly makes for a restless sleep. Cruising the ocean is an adventure. It is an uncertainty and challenge that makes for restless nights.

We were up by 5:30 a.m., did our final prep, said goodbyes to our slip mates, and motored out of Vuda Marina by 8:00 a.m. There was no wind and the sea inside the reefs was calm. We had to motor an hour an half in the opposite direction from our course to Vanuatu in order to check out in the port city of Latouka. When we checked in last November, it was so casual that no one even came out to our boat. Russ had hoped that we could check out the day before and took a taxi to the port office. They completed all the paper work and then the immigration officer said he wanted to come out to the boat to make sure that I was on it. (Usually Russ takes in my passport and crew list, gets them stamped and we are on our way). Sometimes I come along, sometimes I don't. In this case I didn't. Well the immigration official wasn't happy that I wasn't there and insisted we bring the boat back the following day.

Even though we got there at 9:30 and the paperwork was completed,it was almost 11:30 before the immigration officer arrived at the boat. He boarded, looked around to make sure that not only was I there, but no one else was either, and was gone within 1 minute. We hurriedly raised up the dinghy, weighed anchor and headed south on our course. It would take at least 4 hours to get to the pass which would put us with low sunlight as we threaded through the reefs on both sides getting out to the open ocean. It was dark an hour and half later. In the southern hempisphere, we too are celebrating the winter solstice. After tonight, the days will get longer and the nights will get shorter.

Our trip to the pass was uneventful. It was just 4:00 p.m. as we made our way out to the open ocean. As soon as we were clear of the island and the reefs we were met with 18-20 knots of wind and moderate 2-3 meter seas on our beam. We pulled the boat into the wind, raised the sails, turned off the motor, got out Hydie 1's little chubby sister Hydie 2, and got her set up. Hydie is our hydrovane wind steering system. She is wind sensitive and drives her own rudder to keep us on course. Hydie 1 is tall and slender. She was always bumping her head on our bimini (sunshade) last season. Headbanging didn't affect her performance, but the constant banging on the bimini and chaffing on Hydie's wing was annoying. Hydie's little sister is shorter and broader, same wing area. Short and stout is doing the job just fine, and Hydie 1 is resting.

Hydie 2 is hard at work as I write this update, and Russ is sound asleep as I have first watch from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00. With a nice constant wind of 15 knots and waves on our beam, we are rocking and rolling as we are moving between 5.5 and 6.5 knots. It's a bit uncomfortable and I started off feeling a bit queezy, but am feeling better after eating some dinner. The galley when it's rolly is a bad place to be. Russ tied some water jugs outside the galley window on the deck, blocking my view of the horizon, not good. We'll have to change that tomorrow. With a port tack, I used my trusty sink harness to keep me from being thrown against the starboard side and the horizon line keeps me from getting dizzy. I couldn't get out of the galley fast enough, and it has taken a few hours to recover, but all is well now.

Sure glad all I had to do was heat up the spaghetti. I bought these spiffy little plates with lids. Good thing, too. We had some leftovers and put the lids back on just in time as a roller came barreling underneath us and knocked one of the plates upside down on the floor....nice save!

The moon seems to be lazy coming up tonight. It's quite black, but there are millions of stars overhead. Some of the brighter ones twinkle on the waves.

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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Goodbye Fiji

Courtesy of  M/V Emily Grace
We are really sad to go.  Fiji is by far one of our most favorite places....primarily because of the wonderful people, beauty of the islands, and abundance of sea life.

Looks like tomorrow, Tuesday, June 21, Solstice Day, will be the day we head out to Vanuatu.  First thing in the morning, we will head to Lautoka to checkout.  Russ tried to take care of that detail today, but was told we had to bring the boat over because immigration wanted to board and make sure there were only the two of us on board as we leave.

So that's what we will do in the morning.  Hopefully if all goes well we will be out the pass and heading to Vanuatu by tomorrow afternoon.

Our last week here has been filled with running errands, provisioning, cooking meals for the voyage, taking care of projects on the list (reattaching Hydie our Hydrovane rudder, downloading podcasts, updating software, filling propane tanks, getting fuel, water, etc.)

Veggies purchased, washed, and ready for packing
But we have also had time to go diving.  We saw the beautiful lion fish out at the pinnacles dive site.  Lori and Ken from Trim, Scott and Kate from Beachhouse joined together for a dive last Wednesday.  It was a glorious day.  We met up with Suzi and David from Sidewinder and Jules and Lewis from Simpatica.  Jules and Lewis have sold their boat and were selling off some of their gear.  We picked up two more air tanks from them.  Originally, we were interested in their dive compressor.  Unfortunately, we just don't have the room to store it conveniently, so we opted instead for some tanks.  We have seven tanks now which should be good for 3 dives each, plus 1 extra for anchor dives.
Clockwise from 1 o'clock:  Lori, Ken, Lewis, Jules, David Suzi, Roz at 11 o'clock.  Russ (12 o'clock) is taking photo

Yesterday morning, Russ and I took an early morning walk around First Landing and Vuda Point 
committing the beauty and the fun we have had here to our heartfelt memories. 

I spent most of the morning in the galley, making take along (frozen) meals so that cooking is minimal while underway.  I have two spaghetti and meat ball dinners, two coconut, curry, beef meals, precooked taco meat, extra spaghetti vegetable sauce, and bbq'd chicken and steak for salads. We spent the afternoon swimming at the pool, then playing cards with Lori and Ken. 

Our card game has become a cut-throat version of Baja Rummy.  We call it Fiji Rummy and it has two distinctive differences from Baja Rummy.   Coups and Cannibals!   You can either win big or be gobbled up by your opponents.  At some point, I'll publish the rules.    

After our game, the First Landing musicans and staff who have become quite accustomed to our afternoons at the bar playing cards, sang us a farewell song, bitter sweet!  It's hard to say goodbye to a place that seems like home.  We sure hope to come back!
We'll Miss You, Too!

For the next couple of days while we are at sea, our only communications will be posts sent by radio.  Family and friends, please use our sail mail address if you need to get in touch with us.  Check out FIND ME SPOT for tracking our progress and location.  We'll be back on the net again sometime once we get ourselves established with some telecommunication in Vanuatu.
All is well with the 2 Sail R's on the S/V Worrall Wind

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Friends, Old New Friends and Back to Vuda

We have been in the Yasawa Islands now for two weeks.  Most of that time has been in the Blue Lagoon, Nanuya Sewa Anchorage.  The natural beauty of these islands is spellbinding and the friendships we have made here are very precious.  It has been difficult to say goodbye.

We are now headed back toward Vuda Marina where we may make a brief stop to do some re-provisioning before heading out to the Mamanuca Islands, Musket Cove. It depends if we can pick up some fresh vegetables somehwere along the way.    Our plan will be to stay in Musket Cove a few days before checking out of Fiji in the port city of Lautoka and heading off to Vanuatu.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - Baked Brownies

In anticipation of our dinner with  Tui's family in Matakawa Levu Village on the opposite island from our anchorage, I decided to bake some brownies to bring over for dessert.  I spent most of the morning on Skype with Adobe Software talking to a very nice man in India who led me through some pretty complicated procedures to get my licensing to work again with my design suite software.  When my old Mac crashed and I migrated all my software and documents from my clone drive to the new Mac, the Adobe stuff didn't work right anymore.  It's taken several weeks to fix this particular aspect of the migration.  Anyway, it was all a success.  It's quite amazing that while I am in Fiji, a man from India can take remote control of my desktop through a Skype call, and get the computer fixed up.

After brownie making and computer fixing, we decided to go for a dive on the reef shelf at the end of the island.  It was our second dive without an instructor.  There was a gentle downward slope that dropped down to 18 meters.  We saw some beautiful soft corals, huge clams, puffy stars, purple stars, parrot fish, lion fish, and powder blue damsels.  At the end of our dive, we were feeling more confident with our skills and our equipment.  As we were leaving the dive site, a man was waving us down on the shore.  His name was Sosi.  He had heard that we had reading glasses and was wondering if he could have a pair.  Dr. Russ and his eyeglasses are a big hit.  We told him, we would come back the following day and bring him a pair.

After our dive, we scooted around the anchorage to welcome a couple of new boats, Verite and Pickles.  We haven't seen Pickles since we all went to the Nuapapa School in Tonga together.  It's nice to see familiar faces.  We returned to the boat, took showers, gathered our gear, turned on the anchor lights and headed toward the opposite shore.  It would be dark when we returned in our dinghy.  Fortunately, the wind was almost non-existent our ride was very smooth across the lagoon.  Tui and his niece Kuna met us as we pulled our dinghy on the shore.  He welcomed us and reminded Russ as we headed toward the village to remove his hat.

Tui introduced to a few of his neighbors as we walked toward his home.  When we reached his home, we met his family, his parents Ralulu and Livia, and his wife Kelera.  We took off our shoes, or I did, Russ has gone so native he doesn't wear shoes anymore.  We walked through the kitchen to the living room where we sat with Ralulu and Tui and learned about their village and Tui's school days.  He had once attended the Somo Levu Catholic Mission School that we had visited a few days earlier.  From his home to the school was a daily walk and swim.  It would take him over an hour to get to school, 20 minutes of it was swimming across the bay with his school uniform held high over his head.   While we waited for dinner, we brought out a few gifts for the family.  We gave Kuna a balloon and a wind up music box,
 reading glasses for Ralulu and Livia, brownies, and some fishing hooks for Tui.

We enjoyed a lovely meal prepared by Kelera and Livia.  We had snapper in a coconut sauce, skip jack wrapped in Taro leaves in a coconut cream, breadfruit, and kasava root.  Everything was delicious.   The family and people in the village grow all that they need.   After dinner, we returned to the living room where Kelera spread a cloth on the floor mats and set up after dinner tea with fresh sliced bread and brownies.

Kelera, Tui, Tui's cousin, and Kuna (the young people) sat up while we were instructed by Ralulu that the older people lay down on their stomachs.  We were given some pillows to make this easier.   It is a little challenging to drink tea from this position, but we got used to it and had a great time.

Livia presented Russ and me with some jewelry that she had made.  Russ's necklace is made from shark's bone and mine is made from hematite.  Tui said he, Kelera, and Kuna would bring us some fresh scone bread in the morning before our shark dive.  We said our goodbyes and headed back to our boat.  The water was calm, the moon was shining and the sky was filled with stars.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - Shark Dive
We were up by seven and the tea kettle was boiling just as Tui, Kelera, and Kuna arrived at 7:30.  They brought a basket filled with papaya "popo", limes, and the brownie container filled with a moist scone bread.  We enjoyed a nice breakfast with them before we said our goodbyes.  The Ralulu's headed back across the lagoon and we headed toward shore and the dive boat.

The Wednesday morning boat was filled with divers.  A university class, organized by the University of Utah, was aboard the dive boat.  About 15 students had taken the open water diving course and were earning credits in sustainable, ecologically friendly tourism.  The shark dive was the grand finale to a weeks worth of learning and diving.

Everyone was just a bit nervous about this dive, who wouldn't be, diving with sharks?  When we got to the dive site, we were instructed to descend down the buoy line, then swim to a horizontal line stretched between two coral heads.   We all wore enough weights to sink us to the bottom so that we could stand easily and not drift away.  We formed a wall of human bodies behind the line.

Once everyone was settled, the dive masters started bringing down big garbage cans of fish parts, chum, which they emptied out about 15 feet from where we were all standing.  Before they even emptied the cans, thousands of fish were gathered for the feed.  We saw wrasse, bass, snapper, and lots of little fish.  After the chum hit the ground, a frenzy of feeding began.  Pretty soon the sharks started to circle.  First the black tipped and white tipped reef sharks appeared.

We could tell when the big boys were coming because the smaller fish would split off and away from the chum like a synchronized swim team.  The  lemon sharks were huge. I'm guessing they were at least six feet long and weighing 250-350 lbs.  Some of the other divers with under water cameras have promised to send us copies of their photos or links to their photos, but in the meantime, here is a photo from Wikipedia:

There were a couple of times when I nearly swallowed my whole regulator.  The big guys would pickup a large piece of fish they couldn't quite get with a single swallow, and toss it about a bit until their jaws could get it positioned for a gulp.  As they would do this twitchy little dance with their teeth flashing, they would swim right towards the human body line and would get within a couple of feet of us before turning.

Fortunately, the sharks really do prefer fish, and if there wasn't enough dead fish for them, there were plenty of nearby appetizers with fins, dorsal not swim fins.

Our dive and shark show lasted for about 40 minutes and then we headed back up to the dive boat.  All in all it was very exciting, and the best part....we lived to tell about it.  We returned to the boat, ate lunch, and did some reading.  Russ took the dinghy to shore to deliver a pair of eyeglasses and to drop off some garbage.  We returned later in the evening for a glass of wine and dinner with new friends, Denise and Thomas.   We had lovely last evening at Blue Lagoon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011 - Goodbye Blue Lagoon, Hello Soso
We got up early and started to stow things away for our departure.  Our plan was to hang around until at least 10:00 in the morning when the sun was higher in the sky, better to see reefs.  We heard a boat approaching around 8:00 a.m. and thought it might be Tui, but it was Sosi and several other men from the resort.  They were bearing departure gifts from Va and her family.  She sent out a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a coconut bowl and woven stand that she had made the night before, a bag of limes, and lemon leaves for tea.  I think she thought that we would be leaving without coming to shore again.

Once we had almost everything ready to go, we went into shore one last time.  We needed to pickup our dive gear at the dive shop, pay our dinner bill from the previous night, and say our thank yous and goodbyes to all of the lovely people at Nanuya.  And of course, we wanted to stop and say good bye and vinaka  to Va and her family.  Va was delighted to see us, and we both had tears in our eyes as we gave each other parting hugs.  Yes, we would definitely come back to see her if we come back to Fiji.  As we left, she wanted to give us one last gift, a beautiful snail sogasoga shell.

We lifted the dinghy up on the davits, weighed anchor at 10:20, and headed south towards Naviti Island and Soso Bay.  We had met some other cruisers in Blue Lagoon, Ernesto and Vera on Libertee, who had given us some good waypoints for the eastern side of the island.  Worrall Wind spent the rest of the morning and early part of the afternoon playing connect the dots until we threaded our way through the reefs to Soso Bay on Naviti Islands.

This bay is not as protected as Blue Lagoon and the wind has picked up a bit blowing in some clouds.  As I write this blog this evening, we are getting gusts up to 20 knots and we are bucking about a bit.  We were planning on just spending on one night here, and heading out early tomorrow for an all day motor sail to Musket Cove, but it looks like that won't happen now until Saturday morning.  We went into shore this afternoon to  bring kava to the chief and do a sevusevu with him, and were invited to come back tomorrow to visit the village and school.  Somehow, we can't pass by a school without a visit.

The Chief and his family were thrilled to receive the kava as well as several pairs of reading glasses for the elders.  As we were leaving the village today, a man came up to the shore in a boat and called us by name.  "Do you remember me?" he asked.  Of course, we did.  It was Leve, the man who called his ancestors the Manta Rays and made it possible for us to see at least one.  He is now an old, new friend.

Friday, June 10, 2011 - Naviti School, Village, and Popo Scones

This morning we motored over to the village in our dinghy so that we could visit the school. Taru, one of the chief's granddaughters escorted us to the school.   Two of the teachers were either ill or out of town, so classes 3 & 4, 5 & 6, had no school.  Class 1/2 was in session as was class 7/8.  We spent an hour at the school visiting the two classes.  The school in Naviti is one of the best equipped schools we have been in.

The children in class 7/8 ranged in age from 12-14.  They were working on geometry and coordinates.  Talking latitude and longitude with them fit right into their studies.  And as usual the globe was a big hit as they found their island.  Just like American tweens, the boys were pulling their pens apart, poking one another, and were balls of energy confined to a classroom.  The girls claimed that they worked harder than the boys and from the looks of it they were much more attentive to their studies.
Class 7/8 in Naviti

The children in class 1/2 were very sweet.  They too loved the globe and sang several songs to us.

After our visit to the school, we walked around the village with Taru taking photos of the church and buying some bananas and papaya (popo).
Taru and Russ in the Methodist Church

 A larger group of visitors was expected after 2:00, and we were invited to return to the village in the afternoon as the ladies would have their handcrafts on display for sale and the village entertainers would provide some entertainment.  Russ and I returned to WW for lunch.  I took a short nap as the southeast tradewinds blew through the boat.

Preparing for Lunch Party in Community Hall

We returned to the village around 2:30 and tagged with a group of 10 or so other visitors from a touring schooner who had paid for a sevusevu ceremony with kava and some entertainment.  We passed on the kava ceremony, but did enjoy the singing and dancing provided by the local entertainers.

After our entertainment and the large tour group left, Russ and I hung around and got a lesson from Taru and her Aunt Aggie on how to make papaya scones (cake).  After you husk a coconut, you grind up the white meat, mix in a bowl with soft papaya, add water and squeeze out the milk.  Pour the wet coconut/papaya through a strainer to separate out just the milk.

The coconut/papaya milk is mixed into a dry mixture of 4 cups flour and 8 teaspoons of baking soda until a sticky batter is made then spooned into a buttered pan.  We were given a pan full of batter to take back to the boat and bake. Taru had been such a gracious guide to us all day, we were happy to give her a ride out to our boat as she had expressed an interest in a visit.
Taru and Roz
Before I baked the papaya scones, I still had one very ripe papaya that I wasn't sure what to do with.  I don't particularly like the taste of ripe papaya.  I cleaned out the seeds and scooped the soft papaya flesh into a sauce pan, added some sugar, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla.  I used half of the hot papaya mixture as a chunky sauce over the cake mix.  The other half, I added some potato flakes and made a mashed potato papaya mixture to serve with our bar-b-qued chicken kabobs.  It was delicious and so was the cake.

Tomorrow morning we will take bake the cake pan with half of the cake for Taru and her family along with some photos we have taken of them.  We were planning on heading to Musket Cove but are now planning a return to Vuda Point tomorrow.  Apparently the buoys are booked for an incoming NZ race group.

Saturday, June 11, 2011 - Goodbye Naviti - Back to Vuda
We got up this morning and prepped the boat for a long day back to Vuda Point.  The sky was clear and we had a nice breeze.  Before we hauled up the dinghy, we motored to shore to say goodbye to the people in the village and to return the cake pan.  We had printed off some nice photos of some of our new friends and wanted to give them as parting gifts.

After our goodbyes, we made our way back to the boat, raised the dinghy and weighed anchor by 9:20.  We were on our way back to Vuda.  We motored, we sailed, and we motor sailed all the way back, following our waypoints like a faithful dog with his nose to the track.

Have you got a Big Mac to go?

It was a beautfiul day. Our only surprise was the little man in a homemade corrigated metal canoe who paddled like crazy to intercept us a couple of miles off shore.   We were undersail moving about 6 knots, but his intent was to catch us.  We slowed the boat and pulled into the wind so that he could paddle along side.  Had Russ and his eyeglasses traveled this far?  No, but did we have any food he asked?  He had been out fishing all morning, hadn't caught anything, and we looked like the drive through window of a fast food restaurant.  We happily handed over some crackers, cheese, cookies, bananas, and water.  He was very cute and most appreciative.

We returned to Vuda about 4:00.  The marina office was closed, but our friends on Trim said there was a space open next to them, so we glided in, tied off, hooked up the water, plugged in the electricty, took showers, and headed to the bar!  Nice to be back in port for a few days.

That's it for now.

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

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Busy Having Fun!

Since our last update, we've been busy having a lot of fun and doing nothing!  Tomorrow we have been invited to dine with a Fijian family in a neighboring village.  Wednesday, we are finally getting to do our shark dive.  We plan to leave on Thursday and head back to Latouka and Vuda Marina.

Monday, June 6, 2011 - Cave Diving
We visited Sawa-i-lau Island about an hour's boat trip from where we are anchored.  Our boat captain, Tui, skimmed over shallow reefs with the greatest of confidence.  We would have had a heart attack in our dinghy.  When we got to the Island, we descended into the caves for a swim.

There was the main cave, and another one that we had to dive under a rock to get to.  Yipes!  Can't say we enjoyed that.  We had our snorkels and masks on, but no fins.   The tide was high so there was absolutely no air space under the rock.   I am so buoyant that I hit the top of the rocks, and our guide had to pull me through.  It was very claustrophobic, and I thought my lungs were going to burst.

It was pitch black in the second chamber, and we couldn't see a thing, except for when one of the other people in our group took a flash photo with their underwater cameras.  We followed our guide's light into a smaller chamber that had an open chimney to the sky.  Interesting, but I think I could have done without that second chamber.

The main cave was quite lovely.  It was colder water than the sea as it was a mixture of fresh and salt.

Our boat captain Tui has invited Russ and me over to his village tomorrow night to have supper with his family.   The Fijian people are incredibly friendly and generous.

Sunday, June 5, 2011 - Diving at the Zoo
We signed up for a a dive to a place called the Zoo.  It's a reef and deep shelf where huge fish hang out.  Saw some Spanish Mackerel, Walou, Shark, and Lion Fish.  Our dive master also pointed out some soft coral that changed colors when we touched it.  Very fascinating.

We bar-b-qued chicken marinated in fresh lime juice given to us by Va and her family.  Also made a wonderful cucumber, onion, pepper salad with green coconut shavings, coconut juice, and limes.

Last night the moon was gorgeous.  It looked as if it were smiling down on us.

The Blue Lagoon cruise ship was anchored further down the beach from us.  The combination of the moon, tiki lights, star light, and Fiian music being sung on the beach, and a gentle sea breeze was magical.

Saturday, June 4, 2011 - Climbing the mountain at Nacula Island

Russ and I took our dinghy to a neighboring island about 2 miles across an open pass to a place called Oarsman Resort.  Manase, Va's brother, is the village chief and operational manager for the resort that the clan owns here.
Laite, Russ, and Chief Manase
We gave him kava for sevusevu and climbed the mountain behind the resort.

Turns out there was yet another higher mountain to climb, but since we had started late in the day, we were satisfied with our hike and the photos we took from the tops of the lower mountain.

Grass was 7-8 feet tall

Later in the day, we snorkeled around the reefs close to the boat and had a wonderful dinner at the Nanuya Resort.

Friday, June 3, 2011 - Fresh Produce at the Farm

As we were getting low on vegetables, it was time to go shopping Yasawa style at the local farm owned by Toki and Meri.

We used the waypoints we had established on our first trip to the school with some modifications.  It was low tide when we arrived, so we anchored in the middle of a muddy bay and walked to the Bay of Plenty Resort, where one of the employees took us on the trail to the farm.

We picked peppers, onions, eggplants, corn, and cucumbers.  We also packed home some fresh bananas.  Yum!

Thursday, June 4, 2011 - Boat Chores

We hung around the boat most of the day, catching up on reading, doing laundry, baking cookies, working on the computer.  I made up some new fliers for Va and her family.  And of course, we enjoyed a lovely sunset.

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

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

It's a Small World After All

Wouldn't you love to give them the world?

Thursday, June 2, 2011 - The weather for the last three days has been overcast and the lagoon has been an unwelcoming slate grey.  Last night we had quite a thunder and lightning storm with strong winds from the north that turned the boat on its anchor 180 degrees toward shore.  Fortunately, our anchor held well and we didn't drift beyond our safety perimeter.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 was a day of firsts for us.
We made our first dive without an instructor.  Basically, we descended down our anchor chain and explored the area around our boat.  We followed the chain to the anchor which was nestled deeply in white sand.  We dove to 14 meters for about 25 minutes.  We tested our new equipment, saw a few fish, examined the bottom of our boat, and felt pretty exhilirated by our first dive.

We experienced our first sevusevuSevusevu is the ritualized greeting of visitors to a village.  Visitors present local village, in this case it is a family whose beach we are anchored off of a large bouquet of Kava root wrapped in newspaper.  We had purchased three bundles before leaving Latouka for occasions such as this.  We had purchased the highest grade of kava root which happily accepted with three claps of their hands.  Sevusevu is a respect gift brought to the village chief who in return upon acceptance offers his friendship and help to the visitor.  Sometimes, if the visit is late enough in the day, the kava drink is offered.    
Va preparing coconut leaves to make a floor mat.
Our new friends, the Naivalu family and their friend Bill welcomed us to their beach and for a small fee offered to bake us fresh bread, dispose of our garbage, serve us tea, do our laundry.  We were welcomed to walk on their beach and visit them any time.  We are the first yacht of the season to make sevusevu.  
From L to R:  Lai, 2 yr old Ane, Big Semi, Little Semi 5, Va, and Peter 6
Va, the matriarch of the family has books for every year since 2003.  She shared the books with us and asked if we would make a page to put in the book.  Since we were the first yacht this year, we offered to start a new book for 2011.  Va looks after her two grandsons Semi and Peter while they attend the school at Nosomo Levu, which is a catholic boarding school about a 30 minute boat ride down the bay.   Peter and Semi are in class 1 (equivalent to kindergarten).  They were excited to learn that we wanted to visit their school the following day.  We left with 2 coconuts, 4 limes, and leaves from their lemon tree which were to pour boiling water over and steep for tea.  It was delicious!

Wednesday,  June 1, 2011 -  School and Family Visits.
We had intended on visiting the school and the farm in Nosomo Bay, but spent so much time at the school that we postponed the farm for another day.  The Nosomo Levu school is a Catholic boarding school.  Children from several islands come and stay at the school or are boarded with friends and family in nearby villages.  Peter and Semi attend this school, but come home every night to their grandmother Va's home.  Russ and I arrived with a bag of school supplies (pencils, notepads, binder paper, stickers, shampoos, hand soap, nose tissues) at the school shortly after lunch and were able to visit several classrooms.

We started off in class 3 (grade 2) where the head teacher met us and invited us in.  The children were copying addition problems off of the chalk board for their homework. They were working on  adding columns of three digit numbers, very similar to what second graders would be doing at home. As usual our inflatable globe with our marked sail route from San Francisco to our current destination was a big hit!  The kids love that globe, and can't believe how little their "world" is in comparison to the rest of the land masses.          

                                                                                                                                                                              In one class room, we tossed the globe from one child to the next and they each told us their names.  In another class, Semi and Peter's class, I taught the children a song, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands."

In every class, the children were excited to show us what they were working on whether it was adding sums, telling time, writing in their journals, or making arts and crafts.            

As the school wrapped up for the day, the children in all classes were busy cleaning and sweeping.     

Hanging on the Outhouse Door!
Outside of the school there were several outhouses.  The children had branches that they were batting against the walls.  We couldn't quite figure out what that was intended to accomplish, but outhouse cleaning looked like quite a sport!                                                                                                            

The school is better off than the ones we saw in Tonga, but not by much.  Makes me feel very appreciative for all that I had to work with as a teacher.  I admire the teaching that goes on in these little South Pacific schools with so few supplies.  We had an opportunity to visit the boarding village side of the school to see the church, dormitories, dining hall and kitchen.                                            
School Kitchen - Large wood stove accommodates 3 big pots

Dining Hall

Girls' Dorm with Mosquito Netting

Lovely Setting for a School
 he children eat a lot of rice and dahl, split peas.  The head master said they would really like more fish to serve, but depend on local people to donate fish.  Sometimes it happens, but most often it does not. When school was out, we followed the school boat back to Nanuya.  It was much faster than we were.  Just as we reached the anchorage, the rain came down in buckets.  Fortunately, we had taken our ponchos with us.

We arrived at the Naivalu Family's Bure where we were invited in for tea.
Lemon tea with sugar and crackers
We brought some color crayons and paper for the children and eyeglasses for Va. She was delighted to be able to read her Bible again.

 Before we left for the day, we took photos of their family so we could use these as the cover for the new book and fliers we were making for them. If the sun would just come out it would be perfect!  Maybe tomorrow.

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