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
Posted in 2016 Cruise, Teaching | Leave a Comment »
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.
Pam and Phil
Posted in Maintenance, Queensland coast, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
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
Posted in 2016 Cruise, Bad weather, Maintenance, Queensland coast | Leave a Comment »
Today we are packing the boat up and getting ready to set off in the morning for Australia. The weather report is encouraging and our aim is to head for Gladstone if possible.
We’ve had a fruitful week at Rehuwa (after Phil got bitten by a dog as soon as we arrived) with me teaching in the daytime and Phil repairing their LED lights and then showing films in the evening. They have really worked us hard but their responsiveness makes it all worthwhile.
The anchorage is very exposed and even with 10-12 knot winds we have had to wear wet weather gear going back in the dinghy against the chop.
We were saddened to hear that one of the Rossel elders — Linus — was set upon by two men and is now in hospital in a serious condition. Please pray for him. This is the third bashing that CRC Church members have received from the local mainline church people. Also please pray for a safe passage for us across the Coral Sea. I’m looking forward to carrots and snow peas and Phil his chocolate and ice cream.
See you in Aus.
Pam and Phil
Posted in 2016 Cruise, Rossell, Teaching | Leave a Comment »
We’ve been off the air for the last few weeks as we have been staying ashore at Jelewaga, a village on the south coast of Sudest Island. It’s been a real encouragement to see the growth in this fairly new church. Last time we were here I challenged them to read the Bible right through and set them a three year plan to do so. They are working on it and Stanley, one of their leaders sets them in home groups, gives them the readings for the week and does competitive quizzes after church on Sunday. It’s a popular event!!
I had also started English classes here before, especially for Ken their pastor who had never been to school. I continued with him and he has made great progress. One of the young men will continue his lessons when we leave and I’m confident he’ll be reading fluently within another couple of weeks.
As well as this I’ve done a lot of teaching with the Sunday School teachers and we’ve shown films most evenings. They really liked “Fireproof” and “Courageous” as there are a lot of marriage problems in this area and the life of Reinhardt Bonke — a real challenge to evangelism.
Meanwhile, Phil has reinstall their radio installation that was destroyed in the cyclone but they lack a battery and are using our little film batteries until we leave. Being able to communicate with the outside world with the radio makes a huge difference for them as there are no other radios on the whole of the south coast of the island.
We were most impressed to see they had kept all the church material safe during the cyclone as this area was the worst affected by the cyclone and many of their homes were completely destroyed. They managed to salvage the solar panel and antenna (the radio and battery died), guitars, Sunday School materials, blackboard, etc and to protect them in a couple of the houses left standing — quite a feat and symbolic of their priorities and depth of their commitment. They decided to rebuild their church building before they rebuilt their own houses. Three young people; a married couple and a single man are planning to go to Bible College next year.
Meanwhile we are waiting on the weather to go to Rehuwa at the end of the island where we would like to spend a couple of days with the church there before we head for home. So far it has stayed wild, wet and woolly!! Thankfully the anchorage at Jelewaga is very secure in the strong south east winds but it is an hour’s trip both ways paddling the banana boat whenever we need to return to the yacht.
God bless you all,
Pam and Phil
Posted in 2016 Cruise, Sudest, Teaching | Leave a Comment »
Australian Waterways Authorities would have a fit if they saw the way we came back from a trip to Jobe last Sunday. Access to Jobe is up a winding narrow passage through mangroves then up a steep slippery mountain slope to a plateau where the village perches overlooking the lagoon and the ocean — a million dollar view.
We had the day in this isolated village and showed videos in the night then set out for home about 10.45 PM. In the dinghy we had the seven of us who had gone there originally plus all the film gear, seven extras who were going back to another village plus eleven school students with all their food for a week who were returning to Damunu school — 25 in all — not bad for a 19 ft dinghy!! Fortunately it was fairly still weather with only a slight drizzle. We poled the dinghy through one lot of mangroves then up another creek to let out the first lot. From time to time the order came to duck or lean to one side or the other as we brushed the mangroves. The water lapped against the gunnels often with so little freeboard and nobody cared!!
We arrived back safely to our boat at 12.30 AM and fell into bed for a well earned rest. I hope you can picture it all!!
Phil went back there again yesterday with another lot in the dinghy to do some repairs on their radio and on the way back they picked up a huge load of bush timber for building a house. Once again very little freeboard as they poled their way home. It took nearly three hours of poling and paddling to get back. He slept well last night!!
Pam and Phil
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We’ve had a quiet week — at least activity wise. Phil has been busy doing repairs. He brought the HF radio back from the Bible College on the south coast to repair it. He fixed the problem and Peddy took it back over the mountain (a six hour walk) to the college. It worked for a short while then stopped altogether so Peddy walked back with it. The second problem couldn’t be fixed so Peddy walked back with a replacement radio which seems to be working well. It’s a harsh environment for the radios but generally they are going well. The main problem has been the solar regulators — four of them have failed which causes the batteries to eventually go flat and die. We are amazed how much use the radios get. They pass messages all around the Milne Bay Provence with them –school information, health information, trading boat movements, personal messages — there is a constant stream of people coming to the church asking for a message to be sent.
Since then Phil has repaired two generators, the schools whipper snipper (all working), a chainsaw (not working — needs parts) and repaired (fibre-glassed) holes in two of the local’s dinghies. In return two men spent three hours diving on our boat to remove the forest that was growing on it. So much for Fiji anti foul!!
Meanwhile the weather has been anything but quiet with bucketing down rain and bullets off the mountains that keep us spinning like a top around the anchor chain.
They had plans for us to go to another outreach this week but a death in the village has put our trip on hold but I think they will send us to a village on the opposite side of the bay for this weekend (nothing confirmed as yet). We are looking forward to moving and catching some fish. It has been a very lean year fish wise.
Please pray for some better weather and some relief from the Rossel mud. Phil has his soccer boots out to negotiate the slippery slopes.
Radio Australia has been dead for a fortnight so we haven’t had much news from home except what we get from our friend Bruce when Phil talks to him on the HF radio.
God bless you all,
Pam and Phil
Posted in 2016 Cruise, Bad weather, Maintenance, Rossell | Leave a Comment »