Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Fun Day!

That it was. Ranger Charlie took us touring the islands, for a fee: $10 per person, plus gasoline. It was worth it! The crews from Evergreen, Lazy Bones, and Moondance loaded up in the ranger's aluminum boat and headed across the lagoon.

First stop - Gull Island. I am not sure why it is called Gull Island - we never saw a gull - but we did see thousands of birds. Mostly frigates and terns, plus some boobie birds. And so many eggs and hatchlings laying everywhere. One was so new, it didn't have any feathers and couldn't hold his head up. My favorites - the white fluffy baby frigates. You get close to them and they open their mouths to be fed - too cute.

Second stop - Seven Island. Named that because at 7 in the morning the dolphins arrive - only in June though. Charlie showed us how to find the famous coconut crabs - crack a couple of ripe coconuts and they come crawling out of their holes. They are the strangest/ugliest things - kind of cross between a crab and a lobster. They are mostly blue, have big strong claws, climb coconut trees, plus bury themselves in the ground. Charlie dug a couple of really big guys out from under a tree for our potluck dinner. They were trussed up with palm leaves and road with us on the boat all the way across the lagoon. I was afraid I was going to lose a couple of toes!

Next, Charlie dropped the snorkelers off along the reef where they drifted along - everyone said it was beautiful. Great visibility, lots of little fish, a few turtles, and only 1 shark.

Then, back to our anchorage - time to get ready for our potluck. It turned out great with lots of good food. Charlie had gone fishing and caught Wahoo to barbecue. He said he lost 4 others to the sharks as he was pulling them in. Guess you have to be fast! The best part, the big coconut crabs cooking on the grill. They were yummy!

So, Monday was a very Fun Day. The rangers did an excellent job of sharing their special island with the cruisers and we really appreciated it.

We have more company in the anchorage now - 4 new boats showed up yesterday from Bora Bora. Sounds like there might be more on the way. We are surrounded by catamarans. Guess monohulls like Moondance are old fashion now!

Today, is a rainy gloomy day, so everyone is hunkered down on their boats. Maybe it will clear up so that we can go to shore and play some bocci ball later and meet the new boats. That would be fun!

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Anchored in the Suwarrow lagoon

And so happy to be here!

The trip was only 36 hours (208 miles), but we were pooped and ready to drop our anchor. Since we had to have an "unscheduled" departure from Manihiki, we weren't rested and Moondance wasn't prepped. It sure makes a difference.

Our weather the first day was good. No squalls, good wind, and the usual lumpy seas. We spent most of the day trying to catch up on sleep.

Second day, was stormy, rainy, and too much wind. The pass into the Suwarrow lagoon is a challenge anyway, but add in the weather conditions - whew! We used the waypoints in Soggy Paws Compendium to navigate the pass and kept a sharp watch on the reefs that surrounded us. Anchoring was another challenge - the anchorage has lots of coral heads/bommies that you have to weave through. It has been 2 years since we have had to navigate through an atoll - you got to be on your toes.

But, we are here and it is beautiful! The lagoon is all different shades of blue surrounded by islands/motus topped with coconut palms. Yup, it is a postcard picture for sure. Plus, a whale (humpy we think) came by for a visit, plus several small reef sharks - yikes!

Evergreen made it safely too. Nice to have them close by again.

Suwarrow is a special place for cruisers. It is a Nature Reserve and has 2 Rangers that reside here from April to October. From what we have heard, the Rangers spend time with the cruisers teaching them about the island - fishing, snorkeling, catching and eating coconut crabs, and lots more fun stuff. Plus, inviting everyone to shore for potlucks. Sounds like our kind of place.

Suwarrow is also known for a man who lived here for long time and befriended cruisers passing through - Tom Neale. He wrote a book about his experience "An Island to Oneself". I can't even imagine what that would be like - being a hermit - I would drive myself crazy!

The Rangers, Harry and Charlie, came by this morning and processed all of our paperwork - very nice guys. So, we are officially checked into the Cook Islands - total fees $50.

We unpacked the dinghy and went to shore this afternoon with Evergreen. Charlie showed us around Anchorage Island - what a wonderful place. The Rangers take excellent care of the island - raked pathways, landscaping, and beautiful places to rest and enjoy the views. Charlie showed us how he calls in the sharks every day and feeds them - now that is unusual. Also, told us some history of the island and also where some of the bodies are buried - interesting. One of the buildings was built in 2011 and is decorated with shirts, flags, etc. of all of the cruisers that have passed through. We recognized so many of them: Totem, Dilligaf, Aeolus, Lardo, Rutea, and so many more. So fun to think about our friends...

Then Charlie started Happy Hour by cutting the top off of green coconuts and made rum drinks for all - very tasty and very potent. Then the other 2 boats in the anchorage came in to join us. One boat came all the way from Luxemburg; one from St. Martin in the Caribbean. And we thought we had covered some ground!

Tomorrow, we are going to go snorkeling - there is supposed to be lots of great places to snorkel - one with the manta rays. Monday - sounds like we are having a potluck on shore.

Should be fun!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sailing to Suwarrow - all ready

LATITUDE: 11-33.48S; LONGITUDE: 161-55.13W
Miles traveled in 15 hours: 86
Miles to Suwarrow: 121 (should arrive tomorrow - Friday morning)

You know us, we don't usually leave a place early, but this time we had to!

Well, we were rafted up with Evergreen yesterday and were very comfortable - getting ready for a nice relaxing evening. But, around 5pm the winds and waves really kicked up and made the raft up uncomfortable and unsafe. So, we untied and went out to sea.

We had thought of heaving to for the night, but that wasn't working very well. So, we just decided to leave a day early for Suwarrow and set sail around 9pm last night. Moondance wasn't quite ready for sailing, but we stashed and stowed the necessary stuff and threw the rest of the stuff down below to be sorted later.

Evergreen stayed behind and left this morning very early. They should be catching up to us any time. They were very helpful with our departure and giving us weather updates, which we really appreciated!

So, not quite what we planned, but it has worked out all right. We have had good wind and lumpy seas (as usual), but no squalls. Hope that continues for the rest of the trip.

Looking forward to being anchored in Suwarrow tomorrow!

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Safe and sound at Manihiki - Cook Islands!

You just never know what to expect when you are going to a new island and a new country.

Manihiki isn't a normal stop for cruisers, so our books didn't have much detail and neither did the web. Evergreen and Moondance decided to stop here anyway to help break up the trip to Suwarrow - 6 days versus 8 days - and a chance to rest up.

Evergreen arrived first - yesterday afternoon. They were very fortunate and happen to meet up with the cargo ship, Kwai, just before they left Manihiki. Remember we met the crew of Kwai at Fanning Island? Well, Captain Evey said that there really wasn't a good anchorage in Manihiki, but he very nicely let them tie up to Kwai's big mooring ball. Perfect!

Well, about 1:30 in the morning, Moondance finally arrives - along with a big scary lightening storm. Dennis and Carol have already come up with a plan - we will just raft up together - and that's where we are right now. Side-by-side with Evergreen with a bunch of lines and fenders keeping us together and apart. So far, it is working - even with the winds kicking up this afternoon.

The Evergreen crew and Captain Evey - so wonderful to always have good people watching out for you!

We finally collapsed about 4am this morning and slept to almost noon - we were pooped. After a big brunch of bacon and eggs, we started puttering around the boat doing a little organizing and cleaning. Nothing major.

A little disappointed we won't be going ashore - it looks like a very nice atoll/island. But since we are only going to be here a few days, it wasn't worth paying the customs fee plus unpacking our dinghy. From what we have read, about 500 people live here in two small villages, plus an airport and maybe even an ATM. The Customs guy came out to visit Evergreen yesterday. He said that we weren't required to pay the fees as long as we don't come ashore. Oh well.

Now, we are relaxing and planning our next leg to Suwarrow... Hope we can find a good weather window for the 36 hour crossing!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 5 - Christmas Island to Manihiki, Cook Islands

LATITUDE: 09-06.13S; LONGITUDE: 160-35.81W
Miles traveled in 24 hours: 143
Miles to Manihiki: 87 (should arrive Wednesday - probably early morning)

Almost there - yeah!

You know, I was bragging about our beautiful weather in my blog post yesterday... Well, that will teach me! We decided to have a beer with lunch yesterday to celebrate (big mistake). Before we had finished, a bunch of big dark clouds built up to the East of us.

The 1st squall dumped a lot of water, plus stole our wind. We had to start our engine.

The 2nd squall was pounding rain so hard, it squashed it's own rainbow! It was the strangest thing to see. All of the colors of the rainbow on the surface of the ocean. Hope my pictures turn out.

The 3rd squall - lots more rain.

So, winds weren't a factor, just the rain. Moondance and crew got a good fresh water rinse.

Last night, during my watch, the squalls built up all around and lasted for a couple of hours. But, Moondance only got a few sprinkles. I am pretty sure that was due to my storm fighting outfit: my powder blue Gil jacket and white panties. Dead sexy for sure - hah!

Today, is a beautiful blue again. We are hoping that holds until we drop anchor. We really don't like anchoring at night, but might have to or hove to close to the anchorage. The winds are supposed to shift around soon and we want to get to where we are going before that happens. Fortunately, Evergreen will be there before us and will help guide us in if necessary.

It will be nice to stop moving for awhile!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 4 - Christmas Island to Manihiki, Cook Islands

LATITUDE: 06-52.13S; LONGITUDE: 159-60.81W
Miles traveled in 24 hours: 135
Miles to Manihiki: 224 (should arrive Wednesday)

Happy to report...

That we have had a good sail over the last 24 hours - yeah! The nice weather is holding with 12 - 18 knots of wind, fluffy clouds with just a few sprinkles, and the waves are behaving. We are trying to average 5 knots per hour (no more) in order to time our entrance into Manihiki for Wednesday morning. If we go much faster, we will be anchoring in the dark in a new place - we don't like that. It is a little spooky!

So, we have been doing a lot of R&R'ing (our dock buddies would be so proud of us). Lots of reading, relaxing, and resting. Evergreen is ahead of us about 20 miles - I miss watching their running lights at night. They kept me company during my watches. But, we have arranged to talk with them twice a day via VHF or SSB radio, which is very nice knowing how everyone is doing - keeps us connected.

Hope the weather conditions hold for the next couple of days!

Enjoy that beautiful full moon tonight - we will be for sure.

PS: I saw an amazing site. The constellation Orion rising from the east - parallel with the ocean - so bright and clear. Looked he was just waking up from a nap and ready to get busy crossing the sky. Wish I could have shared a picture with you!

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 3 - Christmas Island to Manihiki, Cook Islands

LATITUDE: 04-43.13S; LONGITUDE: 159-27.81W
Miles traveled in 24 hours: 146
Miles to Manihiki: 347 (should arrive Wednesday)

Over half way - yeah!

It is amazing the difference a day makes. Yesterday morning, we were soaking wet fighting squalls. Today, the sky is a beautiful blue, the winds and the waves have calmed down, and we are having a good day of sailing averaging 5 1/2 knots. This weather pattern started after all the squalls passed and it has just gotten better and better.

So, we are taking advantage of the good weather. We both got a good night sleep, and now Moondance and crew are getting cleaned up - showers and opening up some hatches - fresh air. We are all getting a little stinky after being on the road for 3 days.

There is a rumor that the winds are going to lighten up a little bit more tomorrow. Of course, we don't want them to lighten up too much. We still got some ground to cover!

Last of's...
This is something we say almost every day as we consume the last of something. Even though the boat is still full of food, our fresh supplies have definitely dwindled. We have a few tomatoes, onions, apples, and garlic left, but that is it. We are very happy that we purchased the freeze dried Thrive supplies from Crystal (s/v Heart Strings). The broccoli and asparagus are a real treat after the fresh stuff is gone and only takes a couple of minutes to hydrate. We also been using the powdered whole eggs to bake with - seems to work just fine.

We are almost ready to say the "last of" to the Diet Coke. No caffeine - yikes!

It looks like we will be able to re-provision in Western Samoa about the middle of August. Hope we can make it!

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 2 - Christmas Island to Manihiki, Cook Islands

LATITUDE: 02-52.13S; LONGITUDE: 158-58.81W
Miles traveled in 24 hours: 129
Miles to Manihiki: 503 (should arrive Wednesday)


We finally found the 17 knot wind that the weatherman said we should be having for the last couple of days - about midnight last night. The seas flattened out and it was wonderful sailing under that big ol' moon. Great night to catch up on our sleep too, which we both needed. When the seas are rocking and rolling, you just don't get much rest no matter how hard you try.

This morning, we have been fighting squalls. Which means, constantly changing sails, getting soaked and re-soaked, and getting Doug up from his nap (several times). No rest for the Captain! Evergreen is ahead of us and kept giving us feedback on the squalls as they passed through them - that helped a lot.

Now, we have our 17 knot wind back, the sun is shining, and the seas are calm. Perfect. Well, except for the sink full of dirty dishes and wet clothes hanging all around! Oh well, can't have it all.

It is Saturday. Hope you are all doing something fun. We thought that, if we were still in Ko Olina, we would be going to Chuck's for a Mai Tai walk with our dock buddies. That sounds like much more fun than what we got planned!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 1 - Christmas Island to Manihiki, Cook Islands

LATITUDE: 00-20.00S; LONGITUDE: 158-17.69W
Miles traveled in 24 hours: 148
Miles to Manihiki: 631 (should arrive Wednesday)

We are zooming along!

At first, we had a current that was pushing west - off our course. Now, we have a current that it pushing us south - we like that one. Our winds and waves are bigger than projected (of course), but Moondance and crew are handling it well.

We are adjusting to sleeping in shifts, eating "One Pot Wonders", and toning up with our boat yoga. Guess that is what crossings are all about.

Evergreen is close by. We have been talking to them on the radio at least twice a day and can even see their running lights once in awhile. It is nice to have company out here.

We crossed the Equator today - that is our third time. We shared a toast with Neptune - some fine 7 year old Cuban rum. So far, he doesn't seem to have appreciated the offering, he hasn't smoothed out our ride yet. Maybe later.

Miss everyone and hope you are all well!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Off to Manihiki - really!

Dennis, Carol, and Josh were successful and were able to resolve their issues, so we are sailing south to the Cook Islands today. Manihiki will be our first stop - just a short 6 days (and nights) away. We will spend a couple of days there resting up and then sail on to Suwarrow. Looks like we have a good weather window for the trip. Hope it holds!

We were boat locked all day, our dinghy is folded up on the deck ready for take off. So we puttered around on projects. Even laundry was a good experience - the spinner dolphins entertained me, the terns screeched when I wasn't doing it right, and the frigates soared above keeping a close eye on me. I had a crowd watching over me.

Mel would be proud of me - I learned a new boat knot today - a Moku hitching knot. I was covering the mast pulpit where Doug stands - trying to keep him from slipping. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out quite like the picture. Guess I needed more directions. Oh well, it will hold until I get to re-do it Suwarrow!

Even though we have enjoyed Christmas, we are looking forward to seeing another country and another island. Time to get moving.

As always, we will be checking in daily with the Pacific Seafarers Net, updating our blog, plus our position report so that you can keep track of us.

We won't have internet access until Western Samoa, which should be around mid-August, so I will have lots of pictures to post and share.

Miss you all!

PS: We have been at Christmas long enough to get used to the daily activities in the anchorage.

The guy that paddles out every night in his small canoe about 4pm, sets his net, and waits for the fish. At dusk, he pulls in his net and paddles home. We can never tell if he catches anything or not...

The big fishing/cargo ships (the Mother ships) behinds us. The smaller (still big) fishing boats that attach to them and spend days and days unloading their catches into their cargo holds. Eventually both boats sail away. The smaller boats out to catch/net more fish; the Mother ships back to South America (we think). Worried about all of the tons and tons of fish that are taken out of the Kiribati waters daily...

The local fishing boats that come out to check their traps daily. Based on the huge spiny lobsters in the freezer that Carol found, I am thinking that is what is in the traps. Doug thinks it might be aquarium fish that they are catching and sending to Hawaii(?) for sale. If it is the lobster, I sure wish I would have figured that out sooner. I love lobster!

Then there is the two government ships that move around a lot in the anchorage, plus transport boat loads of cargo and people around the Kiribati islands. Quite a process.

Plus, we got to see the Wednesday plane. It comes in every Wednesday from Hawaii. At first, we couldn't figure out what was making all that noise. We haven't seen or heard a plane since we left Hawaii. Too funny.

As you can tell, we spend lots of time in the cockpit watching life around us and making up stuff we can't figure out. One of our favorite things to do!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Christmas Island - Take II

Yes, we are back anchored off of Christmas Island!

We sailed off as planned yesterday and the winds and the waves seemed to be in our favor (unusual, huh?).

We just were starting to lose site of land, when our boat buddies on Evergreen called and let us know they were having electrical/charging issues - bummer. So we all did a U-turn and headed back to Christmas. Moondance just might have boat parts on board that might help, plus extra bodies and brains that might be of some assistance chasing down the problem.

We hope that Evergreen's issues are minor and that we can start our journey south again soon.

Since we have already checked out of the country, we had to call Port Authority (Radio Christmas) and let them know that we were returning. They were very helpful and offered assistance if needed. Hope we don't have to pay all of those fees again!

It was a nice day for a sail and the spinner dolphins put on quite a show as they led us back to anchorage. Plus, did you see that moon last night? It was so clear here that, with our binoculars, the craters on the moon were huge - what a sight.

For now, we are settled into our favorite spot, with a view, and we will enjoy Christmas Island - again!

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Enjoying Christmas Island!

And we have.  Even though we have been "stuck" here because of the Independence week celebrations, it has been a great place to be stuck.
After the parade

Almost daily, we would dinghy into town to explore the villages, shop, and watch the Independence week festivities.  It has been a non-stop party in the village of London for sure.

My favorite part, the parade where all of the the school kids (pre-school through high school), plus the police, marched by the stadium and presented themselves to the town officials. 
Pre-schoolers marching - too funny!

All the schools had their individual uniforms which included shorts, sarongs, dresses, and the traditional dress of the Gilbertese people made of woven palms. 

You had to laugh at all the pre-school classes - it was like watching the teachers herd cats - colorful and adorable!

Hitching a ride
Hitchhiking is a great way to explore the island - you just stick out your thumb and cars stop.  We have got to know so much more about the island people as they drive us around, plus they are very curious about the boat people.  Are you from the yachts?  Ha!

We hitchhiked out to the village of Banana to check out the JMB (big box store) store, plus see the Captain Cook hotel.  Unfortunately, not much at the store that we needed and Captain Cook's bar was closed - rats!  But, it was a good adventure.

Sam, the Policeman, showing us his home
Sam, the Policeman, continues to be very helpful.  He even took us out to see his home and meet his extended family.  They live in traditional Kia Kia's, plus have a concrete block house.

Cooking is done outside over open fire grills under a thatched roof.  The whole family has to contribute or Sam says they have to move out.  Seems fair.

Sam's Kia Kia

Sam wanted us to sample some fresh coconut milk, so sent his brother-in-law climbing up the tree.  It was yummy, but would have been better with rum - hah.  Sam also wanted us to experience the Kia Kia - where they sleep and relax.  Very comfortable and a wonderful breeze off the ocean, but I would have missed my pillow!

Evergreen hanging at the internet cafe
Now, everyone is back at work and all of the government businesses are open.

We got fuel delivered Monday, which took most of the day.  Yesterday, we checked out of Christmas Island. $50 for anchorage fee and $50 for rat inspection (which never happened).  Very interesting.

Drinking a Budweiser?
Plus, we need to do a little more shopping.  Punja is the best store on the island, but it is a long dinghy ride away.  But, we scored 2 cases of Heinken (at $62 AU dollars - ouch), plus they gave us ride back to our dinghy.  Very nice people.

Can't find vegetables on the island, but we bought some fruit.  Oranges and pears - $2 each.  They better be good!  The locals wouldn't sell us any papayas, but they gave them to us for free.  We like that.  Helps make up for the 90 cents eggs!

Jim and Jill (s/v HooRoo)
We are going to miss our new friends - Jim and Jill on s/v HooRoo. They are heading north to Canada and left yesterday.  Thanks for sharing your internet and your fish balls recipe!

We are sailing south today.  Our destination - the Cook Islands.  We hope to make a quick stop at Manihiki - a 6 day trip.  Then on to Suwarrow.  We are hoping for a great sailing experience - cross your fingers!

And more pictures....
Moondance, HooRoo, and Evergreen

Beach by the Captain Cook Hotel

Christmas Island

Getting coconuts

Waiting for a ride

Beached at the Ikari House


The parade on Independence Day


Too cute

Catching up on the internet

Kangaroo crossing - too funny

Transporting a Kia Kia

Championship soccer match

Doug shopping at the mall!

Wrestling match - tough guys!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our crazy life!

We met a wonderful couple, Jackie and Joel, over Mai Tai's at our favorite place in Ko Olina - Chucks! It turns out that they love to travel and explore as much as we do - we had lots in common and enjoyed hearing about each others adventures.

Jackie and Joel have an amazing blog where they document all of their travels - great stories, pictures, and travel tips. They are exploring Greece right now, plus there is lots of information about visiting Hawaii and other wonderful places, so be sure to check it out http://www.travelnwrite.com.

After hearing our story, they asked us to send them a short blurb about our life so that they could write a post about us. Below is a link to our story. Jackie did a wonderful job of summarizing our crazy life!


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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pictures Finally!

A collection of pictures from Hawaii through Fanning Island.  We will try to post some from Christmas Island before we leave.  Enjoy!
Moondance anchored in Fanning
Laundry day
Sunset at Fanning
Taro farm
Tabata shredding coconut
Jo Jo and Agnes
Dolphins and tourists at Pokai
Ko Olina send off
Sailing canoe
Tabata picking breadfruit

Rescue at sea

Leaving Steve at Fanning
Walking the lagoon
Cooling off

Bruno, Tabata, and gang

Carol sewing the jib

Fred and Mike's fish delivery

Evergreen and the Kwai
Island ferry

Beautiful Kara and Aaron

Hawaii's volcanic sunset

Sunday, July 7, 2013

They call it a Bash!

We have been very fortunate not having to do too much Bashing since we started cruising in 2008 - it is not much fun!

But, our trip from Fanning Island to Christmas Island was a Bash. We weren't able to sail, but had to motor into 15-20 knots of wind, 2 knots of current, plus waves coming from all directions. Moondance was bouncing all around, but handled it well. Captain Doug kept changing our course to keep us all as comfortable as possible, but still trying to make Christmas Island before dark. He did a good job! Sleeping was almost impossible, but I did find a very comfortable spot on the sole/floor of our cockpit. Good thing I am short and flexible!

We were happy to finally drop our anchor and pop a nice cold beer - just at sunset. Friends on s/v Mala had shared their waypoint and we were able to find a great spot to rest up.

At Christmas Island, you anchor outside of the lagoon - not inside - but are very protected as long as the normal trade winds are blowing. Hope they hold, cause we are going to be here awhile! We just happen to pull into Christmas (or XMS as they use on their license plates) during a week long celebration of their independence from England. It is a big deal and all government offices are closed - except the Police.

We have gotten to know Sam, the Policeman, very well as he has helped us track down vacationing Custom and Immigration people to help us get checked in. We are getting closer everyday. Plus, we are making a new friend, which is always wonderful. Sam drove us around the village today looking for the Custom's lady - no luck - we will try again tomorrow. But, Sam did chase down a young boy to climb the coconut tree to bring us some good coconuts - very tasty - I promised cookies in return. Sam also invited to visit his home, which we hope to do. It will be good to learn how the islanders live.

Plus, the all the XMS people have been very friendly - always waves and Mauri/Hello or Hi or Howdy (not sure where that comes from). Also shopping. I think they have at least 10 very small grocery stores (with almost identical product) here and we have checked out each one. No vegetables - but some fruit - and $1.00 per egg (ouch).

We also met a couple of cruising boats. Jill and Jim on s/v HooRoo (direct from Australia) and Doug and Elena on s/v Windcastle (long time cruisers). It was wonderful having their assistance as we acclimated to XMS. Cruisers are wonderful - making friends easily and sharing everything. Tonight, we are going to HooRoo for more sharing. Looking forward to it!

So, we are probably going to be here all next week for the Kiribati Independence Day celebration - July 12 - until the government offices reopen and we can officially checkout. That will give us lots of time to get diesel, figure out the internet (hopefully), and enjoy the daily celebrations that lead to Independence Day. Sounds like lots going on including music, volleyball, track races, a beauty contest, and more. Should be lots of fun.

Happy Birthday, Mom! Sorry I wasn't able to figure out the phone system here yet, but will keep trying. Love you!

PS: Did you know that you can get liquor out of a coconut tree? The locals have figured it out. A very interesting process - plus totally free. Amazing!

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Safely anchored at Christmas Island on the 4th of July

How strange is that? But, we are very happy to be here.

Tomorrow, when we are rested, I will sum up our trip. Did I mention that we were very happy to be here? Well, we are!

Hope all of our family and friends had a wonderful and safe 4th of July celebration - miss you!

Love Carla and Doug

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Christmas in July?

Well, Christmas Island that is. Fanning Island has been a great place to hang out and work on projects, but it is time for Evergreen and Moondance to get moving again.

Christmas Island is southeast of us and only 160 miles away (1 overnighter). It is supposed to be fairly calm weather this week, so we might end up motoring. That's ok too. After our wet and bumpy trips to Fanning, an easy trip sounds dreamy.

With all of the projects we have been working on, we haven't explored Fanning Island as much as we would like. Hopefully, we can squeeze some fun time in before we leave, plus we need to say goodbye to Bruno, Tabata, Fred, Mike, and the rest of the gang. They have been very good to us, plus we have enjoyed their company and hospitality.

Jib and cockpit enclosures have been restitched. They won't win a beauty contest, but they should get us to Fiji. Doug has been busy re-bedding our leaky mast pulpit, turtle (hatch enclosure), and anything else that might leak, tuning up the generator and dinghy engine, and more fun stuff. Laundry is done and the boat is cleaned and organized (kind of). We still have to check out of Fanning, and stash and stow everything, but that's it.

So, we are checking the weather and should be out of here Tuesday or Wednesday. We are ready to roll (and not rock)!

Hope everyone has a wonderful July and has a big celebration on the 4th. We are thinking of shooting off a couple of old flares, but that would probably get us in big trouble!

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