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Greetings Everyone,

We are leaving on the outgoing tide Thursday morning! We have had a very full social life catching up on our many friends in Bundy and are loaded up with oranges, mandarins, sweet potatoes and good wishes. One lovely friend loaned us a car for a week and another spent all day yesterday with Phil shifting nine batteries, four solar panels and other goods in his ute — lots of muscle power involved.

We also were able to get to the memorial service of a very dear Christian lady in Gympie who, together with her husband, used to pray for us every day while we are in the Louisiades. We also got to see the movie “The Case For Christ”, the story of Lee Strobel’s journey from a devout atheist to becoming a well known Christian apologist. He was an investigative journalist with the Chicago Tribune and when his wife became a Christian he set out to prove the whole Christian thing was false and a delusion. He came to the conclusion that when people are confronted with the facts of the crucifixion and resurrection the only reason they will not believe is because they “just don’t want to”.

We came in with a tidal flow and a nippy breeze to the fuel wharf and had some tricky maneuvers trying to tie up. In the middle of it one of our fenders broke free and took off down stream at a furious rate of knots. As our dinghy was on the davits and the outboard tied up securely, there was no way we were going to catch it. I said to Phil, “We need a friendly tinnie to come along”. And one did!

Our ocean crossing should take about eight days — just over 800 nautical miles. The weather looks good for the foreseeable future. Please pray that it stays that way.

Next update from the Louisiades.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

Greetings Everyone,

We are anchored in the Burnett River at Bundaberg awaiting some supplies — HF radios, solar panels and regulators, etc and the weather. We had ideal conditions sailing up the coast from Iluka with 10-15 knot south west winds. We left Iluka Wednesday afternoon and managed to keep ahead of the bad weather and arrived at Wide Bay Bar at mid tide enabling us to cross the bar and take the tide all the way up the Great Sandy Straits, under a full moon, to Kingfisher where we anchored for a night’s rest then on to Bundaberg the next morning, arriving there at 9 pm Saturday night.

It has been great to catch up with old friends here. One couple have loaned us a car which makes provisioning so much easier.

We hope to leave Bundaberg sometime next week. Please pray for the right timing and an eight day weather window to get us safely to the Louisiades.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

Greetings Everyone,

Things are falling into place. We had a false start on the antifouling as the slipways had a backlog due to the previous rain. They put us off for a week and we just scraped onto the cradle with the lower tides. Coming back down we had to sit on the cradle and wait for the higher tide at midnight to float off. Still, the antifouling is done and that’s the beast part of antifouling.

We have some YWAM fellows taking over our house while we are away — a blessing to us and to them. The YWAM base is affiliated with our church at Byron Bay. Young people come from all over the world to train for short term missions. It’s refreshing to partner with them.

The only hold up we have is waiting for a new masthead wind transducer. A bird has bitten off a part of it — a $700 snack!!

We are moving down to Iluka after the weekend and leaving as soon as the weather permits. Please pray for fair winds as we make our way up to Bundaberg where we have to pick up more equipment to take over with us.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

Greetings Everyone,

This is just a short note to let you know we are back on the air. We are getting ready to leave for what may be our last trip to the Louisiades, hopefully in early June until early November. we are slipping the boat at Iluka on the 24-25th May and are at present embroiled in provisioning and packing.

Please pray for a suitable tenant to care for our house while we are away and for our visas to be processed quickly.

We will let you know when we are about to get under way — we will need some good weather to get our jobs done beforehand.

We need to leave soon as it is getting way too cold for us here!!

God bless,

Pam and Phil

Greetings and a Happy and Holy Christmas to Everyone,

A BIG THANK YOU for those of you who have cared, prayed, supported us during the year.

We are settled back in Brunswick Heads for a few months and getting involved in activities. Phil did his first Gideon church presentation in eighteen years. It was his first attempt at a Power Point presentation and the pastor said it was one of the best Gideon reports he had seen. Phil says he still wants to improve it but the Pastor’s comments were an encouragement. Meanwhile I am co-ordinating three Gideon groups on the Gold Coast for the ladies and will be doing a bit of travelling and liaising and have learnt to do “GO2” meetings by computer. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Phil has joined the local VMR (Volunteer Marine Rescue) — pay back for some of the service we have had from them over the years. He also wants to join the local gym which has an indoor heated pool where he can do some laps for excurse. I’m content to walk and swim on the beach and enjoy the beauty of Brunswick Heads.

We have a spare bedroom if you are ever passing this way.

We wish you a happy and holy Christmas and God’s blessing in the year ahead.

Pam and Phil

Admiral’s Update Christmas 2016

Greetings Everyone,

Maranatha is safely moored back in Iluka .. well at least most of it is safe. Not the hard dinghy. We were anchored in the river at Bundaberg .. a fatal place for us .. and at 3.30 in the morning someone crept up and untied our hard dinghy (and motor) from the back of the boat and roared off towing it up the river. Phil woke up in time to see them torch it and release it in a ball of flames to drift past us and into the bank. He contacted the police the next morning and while filling out a report with them they told us the same people stole two other dinghies and attempted to take one from inside the marina. Ours was the only one burnt .. a charred mass and a blackened outboard with only our name visible on the stern. So if anyone knows of a seven foot hard dinghy with outboard going cheap …

We will be going to Sydney in November as Phil has to have a check-up on his eye and will visit family and friends on the way.

Keep praying for us .. we obviously need it.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

Greetings Everyone,

We are back in Oz but …. this would have to rank as one of our worst trips home. During the first night out the halyard holding up the roller furler on the big headsail broke and left us sailing underpowered and unbalanced (well maybe the admiral was unbalanced but the skipper is quite balanced, typist) with main and staysail. The winds were light and we limped along averaging 2-3 knots. When a southerly change was forecast we decided to change course for Mackay and go through Hydrographers Passage. The change came in earlier than forecast hitting us with driving rain and 25 knot winds on the nose as we navigated that strong tide passage. The wind against tide kicked up huge short steep waves and we motored flat out to do fifteen miles in twelve hours!! It’s now on my list of passages NOT TO DO.

When we exited and could have used the wind it died completely and we motored all the way to Mackay finally clearing customs nine days after leaving PNG, almost double our usual time.

Today Phil and our friend Bruce spent the morning replacing the halyard … not his favourite job as he had a couple of trips up the mast.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are heading for Bundaberg for a couple of days and then making for Iluka when the weather permits.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil