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Archive for January, 2015

Greetings Everyone,

I have been reading “Caribbean”, an historical novel by the master of that genre, James Michener and it has brought home to me the incredible bloodshed and racial tensions that have troubled these islands and to some extent still does. Most of them changed hands back and forth from Spanish to Dutch to French to English numerous times and each island has its cannons and old fortifications with a story to tell. The scenery is beautiful with some magnificient natural harbours that can hold a fleet — just as well as the anchorages here are nearly as crowded as the Med.

At present we are in one of the Grenadine Islands, Bequia — pronounced Beck-wee. It has a magnificient harbour and I stopped counting boats at 100 yesterday — with impressive views from the encircling clifts, crystal clear water and sandy beaches. We had a fine sail down from St Lucia with 15-18 knots on the beam most of the way. It has low grade tourism and friendly people, fruit markets with pink grapefruit, soursop, papayas and much more.

We had one of those very special encounters on Sunday which I am not going to be able to do justice in a short e-mail. We attended the 26th anniversary of the Bequia Pentecostal Church with virtually every church on the island represented and every part of the three hour programme first class. We were the only whites there in well over 100 people. The music was done by two island boys about ten years old, one on the keyboard and the other on drums — up-coming stars!!

Yesterday was a special Australia Day BBQ on the beach with eight or so Aussies and a few ring-in would-be Aussies. We entertained everyone singing Waltzing Matilda and the National Anthem. We are enjoying these few weeks break before tackling the next long leg across the top of South America.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

The Admiral is back on deck!! I am so glad I missed the Atlantic crossing. It seems Phil and Bruce rolled from gunnel to gunnel all the way across the ocean with long confused seas pounding from all directions. One of their moments was when the main halyard broke at the top of the mast. Fortunately it happened not during wild weather but when they were almost becalmed. Fortunately, also, there was a spare halyard attached to te top of the mast or it would have been virtually impossible to repair at sea and would have left them with only the headsails to continue with. Just as well God is in control.

Bruce’s cooking under these trying conditions exceeded all expectations even to the extent Phil told me, “Some of his flavours are better than yours” which considering he really likes my cooking is a real compliment.

I had a 38 hour flight from Australia to Antigua via Los Angeles and New York. I had a ten hour stop-over at night in New York at minus 10 degrees and FROZE. A cleaning lady took pity on me and came along with an American Airlines pilow and blanket for me — so I survived.

We spent a week in Antigua getting some repairs done to the mainsail that had chafed on the rigging during the pounding. We were anchored in English Harbour where Nelson’s Dockyard, built in 1784 and restored to its original splendor was very interesting to explore.

After seeing Bruce off with great appreciation for his supreme services we did a two day sail down to St Lucia — 28 knots plus wind and large seas in the passages between the islands and motor sailing with little wind and seas as we came behind the islands along the way. My English cousin, Richard, has a luxurious holiday apartment in Rodney Bay and came out in a small sailing skiff to welcome us and he and his wife Nancy have been spoiling us ever since.

Thanks to all who pray for us and our safety. I’ll leave off now and save the Caribbean until next time.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Well, we arrived at English Harbour, Antigua at 1340 hrs today (Monday) after what can only be described as a lousy trip.  After Christmas Day the wind came in at 28-33 knots gusting to 35+ for twenty hours.  This sent the seas into 6 metre swells with a VERY confused sea on top.  Also, the wind was not in the direction we wanted to go.  After that it settled down to 20-25 knots with squalls for most of the rest of the trip.  The boat rolled from gunnel to gunnel and yawed and cork-screwed all the way to Antigua.  We can not get over the fact that the Atlantic can get so confused seas.  With the wind blowing in the one direction for days on end you would expect the swells to be nearly the same direction.  No, it wasn’t unusual to get swells from four different direction and when they co-coincide a huge wave resulted.

The up side of the strong wind was the fact that we did many days with over 140 nautical miles noon to noon, and a number over 150 nm.  The best we did was 169.4 nm an average of 7.1 knots.  This is very good for a heavy steel cruising yacht.

We have a number of repairs to do here while we are waiting for Pam to arrive on the 9th.  Bruce flies back to Australia on the 12th.  His cooking under the circumstances was terrific.

At Gibraltar, the Canaries and already here we have had a number of opportunities to give people Bibles and to challenge them about Jesus.  God is GOOD.

I guess the next update will be from the Admiral and probably more interesting.

God bless,

Phil and Bruce

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