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Archive for May, 2012

We arrived at Pana Pom Pom last night after motoring for 10 hours into 20+ knot head winds. We will stop here until the weather is better to keep going east. At least here we can do some work with one of the churches we liaise with. They should be over in their sailing canoe this morning. Their island is five miles away but too shallow for us to get to.

God bless,

Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We’re anchored in the Louisiades but I don’t feel like we’ve yet arrived. We managed to get the timing right, with no trouble negotiating Flinders Passage and arrived at Herald Cays the following afternoon with good visibility to anchor. The island was a delight — absolutely covered with birds, flying everywhere, nesting everywhere and totally unafraid. Some came to roost on the boat at night and one actually came down inside the boat and had to be gently encourage to vamoose.

Bright red hermit crabs were everywhere on the sand and we both enjoyed filming their erratic progress. It seemed strange to be anchored on a sand island in the middle of the ocean. We walked around it in less than an hour — taking our time photographing things.

It was good to stop but had the down-side of making the crossing seem much longer than usual. And the seas were rough and confused with constant huge beam swells. I was sleeping on the settee berth one night and the boat gave a huge lurch and unloaded the shelf above me dropping a heavy jar on my face and chipping my front tooth. I was not impressed!!

The reason I say we don’t feel like we’ve arrived is that we haven’t put a foot on PNG soil yet. We are in a rather dicey situation, hanging on anchor behind a tiny sand spit with crazy winds blowing (up to 33 knots) and no let-up in sight. We sailed 30 nautical miles west to clear customs only to find they didn’t like the weather either and their boat has gone back to Alotau. The first time we set the anchor it wouldn’t hold and we had to re-anchor just before dark.

Please pray that we stay safe, have some resolution on how to clear customs and get back to greet our friends and get into the work. From here to the first area where we want to work is about 40NM right into the wind and current so we need the weather to abate before we tackle that trip otherwise we burn a lot of fuel going very slowly.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

The deadline is getting closer. Phil has successfully wired up the new autopilot — they sent him the wrong instructions but he worked it out anyway. The new sail finally came but without the batons — a further wait. On the plus side, we had a fast if rolly trip up the coast from Bundy to Bowen in time for church there on Sunday and to catch-up with some old friends.

Now we are waiting on the final weather check. We would love specific prayer for our setting out:-

1) The timing. We are going through a reef passage that is new to us and want to traverse it in daylight. We will leave Bowen sometime at night but it is difficult to predict the speed of wind and current that will get us to the reef passage at the required (daylight) time.

2) We hope to stop at Herald Cays, a small sand cay about one third of the way across the ocean. Apart from being told that it is a lovely anchorage, it is supposed to be a very good anchorage to sit out strong south east winds and it would be good to have checked it out.

3) The right weather to leave. The map is complex and is predicting too much wind in some places and too little in others and too much easterly for the last half of the trip.

We are hoping to leave towards the middle or end of this week.

Thank you for caring.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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