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Archive for July, 2012

Greetings Everyone,

We are back in Misima and Phil is flying home for a 50th school reunion in Sydney. He said he missed the 40th as we were in PNG and there might not be too many left for the 60th. He is doing some major maintenance so that hopefully nothing will break down on the boat while I’m on my own.

We managed a ONE-DAY break in the weather before leaving Rossel and dinghied 10 miles down to the new outreach on the eastern end of the island to show DVDs. The people there had NEVER seen a movie before and came in droves from miles around. We showed a new cartoon version of the Jesus video from the Voice of the Martyrs and a DVD of Joseph Prince called “Law Demands and Grace Supplies”. They were riveted and asked for more but it was already after 9pm and we had a 1 1/2 hour trip back in the dark dodging the bommies. We told them “next year”.

The next day Phil and I did a tag team preaching at the Bible College, dinghied back to the boat and sailed overnight back to Misima. We had a dream run with the wind and current with us and also caught a large dolphin fish on the way.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

The strong wind I mentioned in the last update was officially listed as a cyclone. The trip through the narrow passage went OK even if a rain squall and 27 knot winds hit us just at the narrow part. The locals on board directed us through. The locals sometimes put “beacons” (a piece of stick jammed in the coral) to show the way and at the narrowest part it is possible to touch the beacons on either side with the boat hook (about six feet long) and at high tide we had only 300 mm under us at that point.

We have been staying in the village at the new Bible College on the south coast of Rossel for about a week and it is very pleasant in spite of constant rain and showers. They have made an impressive complex with four dormitories for the students and staff and visitors, a mess and of course a radio room. The final construction is still in progress and Phil has been helping out. He also has installed five fluro lights in the church/ lecture room and 12 volt LED lights in the four dormitories and set up the solar panel and battery to run them.

I’ve been teaching. I did flannelgraph on the Tabernacle again — it really opens their understanding of the Old Testament — a course on counselling with the students and English language learning with six other students; some could read a little and one who had no schooling at all.

Mary, one of the girls at the Bible College cut her leg with a machete while working in the garden. They had to paddle her quite a way in a dug-out canoe to the Aid Post and she got three stitches and was told to come back in two days to have them out. They paddles her all the way back and the nurse said, “There not ready yet, come back later.” I gave her some Panadol for the pain.

We are waiting on a fine day to go further east to a new outreach to show DVD’s and then west to Sudest Island to visit another new outreach If no fine days (we’ve only had two since we arrived at Rossel Island nearly two months ago) then we will go straight back to Misima for Phil to fly home to go to his high school reunion.

Pray for a break in the weather before we grow webbed feet!!

Got bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Fred and Rebecca,

The passage from Cairns to the Louisiades is pretty straight forward although the wind can get a bit fine on if the NW setting current is strong as you get closer to PNG. We find the best time to leave Australia is just as the front of the high is leaving the Australian coast as this gives more southerly in the wind. The further off the coast the high goes the more east the wind goes which can be a problem for tha last 100 miles or so. Make as much easting as possible when you leave Cairns just in case the current is strong (it varies).

At the moment the only place to clear customs is a Samarai or Alotau. You may be able to clear at Misima when the rally is there. However, the quarantine officer at Misima was telling me he was going to try to clear the rally at Pana Pom Pom. At the moment anything could happen!!

Re going back to Australia: If you want to go direct to Brisbane it will be difficult due to the angle. The best we have done is Rossel Island to Bundaberg. We needed six days of ESE-E winds and got 5 1/2 days of it. The best time to leave is just before the middle of the high leaves Australia as this gives more east in the wind. Misima to Townsville is an easy trip with the wind usually just forward of the beam for us. However this can sometimes mean you run out of wind on the last day.

Going south along the Queensland coast at that time of the year (October November) can be lousy due to the prevailing SE winds. Northerlies are rare. That is the reason we don’t go any further south than Bundaberg. Even the passage from Townsville to Bundaberg has taken us anything from four days to three weeks — usually closer to the latter!!

Trust his is of some help to you. We might see you over here.

God bless,

Phil

From the Administrator: This was addressed to the crew of “Tonga Moon” when enquiring about sailing to and from Australia. I’ve added this reply because it contains comments that my help others planning the same trip. 

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Greetings Everyone,

Just a short e-mail to let you know we are going no where fast. A low of 998 Hectopascals has settled on top of us producing tank loads of water (not bucket loads) and gale force winds over 41 knots. We are SO glad we are not on the south coast. The anchor is holding well but the wind flipped the dinghy over at one stage. Phil has been bailing it out constantly — even at night. For those of you who are nautically minded, the 18mm nylon anchor snubber (a nylon rope that attaches to the anchor chain and is tied to the boat to give some spring in the anchor line) is stretching from four meters to five metres under the force of the winds.

Ashore, two of the houses lost their ridge cappings in the wind. We haven’t felt comfortable to leave the boat and go and see how they are coping — maybe later today if the wind settles. The weather is holding up the elections — it was supposed to be finished on this island yesterday but will go into next week now.

Please pray for the right weather for us and for wisdom to know when it is right.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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