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Archive for the ‘2015 Pacific’ Category

Greetings Everyone,

Instead of enjoying some peace and quiet and the beauty of Bundaberg we have been HECTICLY packing! We’ve managed to stow 47 cartons, numerous loose articles, a ute load of sails and ropes and the hard dinghy on an already full boat. We are into the sales and have sold an outboard motor, an MPS sail, 40 metres of rope and a number of jerry cans to another yachtie at the marina and quite surprisingly a number of nautical odds and ends at the local Tender Centre. More will go on e-bay and the overflow will be stored for eternity (do I hear some sarcasm, Phil) in the shed at Iluka.

Meanwhile, I have a brand new built in fridge that goes.

Phil’s eye seems to be going well. He has multi-focal glasses and is trying to adjust to them. He has to go back to the Eye Hospital in Sydney at the end of November for a check-up. I’m catching a lift down to the Central Coast for my 50 year school reunion on the 14th November so Max Gardiner, a keen-to-sail Gideon friend is sailing with Phil to Iluka.

The yacht is already full of gear to take to the Louisiades next year.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

From the Administrator – sorry for the delay, just got back from Fiji (second honeymoon and retirment celebration).

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Greetings Everyone,

Back in Bundaberg!!  We had a dramatic arrival at 7.30am on Monday.  As we approached the dredged channel into the Burnett River with 25 knots of wind and a tide with us and a scrap of jib flying, Phil went to start the engine and NOTHING!  All the way down the channel he tried different ways to activate it to no avail.  We needed to tie up at the quarantine wharf at the Port Marina.  Phil said, “Let’s try it under sail.”  I said, “No way!  We won’t be able to stop with this wind and tide.”  But the captain had his way and managed to luff and fill and finally furl the headsail as we came alongside with a handy yachtie on the dock helping to secure our lines.  All our friends who are sailing savvy are most IMPRESSED.

I was just grateful to be HOME, catching up with friends, eating fresh fruit and veges and with two feet on solid ground.  By the way, the engine problem was a faulty battery switch which is now fixed by the great FIX-IT-ALL CAPTAIN.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Maranatha and her hardy crew made landfall in Australia at 7.30am this morning, Thursday 8th October, 2015.

It should be noted that incredibly good seamanship was demonstrated by the crew to come alongside the customs wharf at Bundaberg. The engine failed to start (low battery and in need of a fuel bleed) and they sailed up the wharf. Sounds easy? Anyone who knows how to sail will appreciate what it means when the incoming tide is behind them and also a strong 20 to 25 knot wind is also behind them, and,  you can’t tack or gybe on the Burnett River. How they pulled 15 tonnes up on the jetty, with all that pushing them, is beyond me, but they did it without bending anything. Brilliant seamanship if you ask me.

Since leaving Turkey with the new Maranatha, they have sailed about 18 000 miles.

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Greetings Everyone,

The wander has returned — loaded up with enough chocolate to open a shop!  Obviously he has indoctrinated a few of our friends with the theory that chocolate cures EVERYTHING.  As for me, Vuda Point Marina was a pleasant place to wait.  I mad a lot of friends — Emily, a Fijian woman with a huge hunger to know more about God; Christopher, a young German man whose vision is to work for renewal in the Lutheran Churches in Germany; a young woman yachtie with marriage problems who came to me for counselling; a whole village of Fijians where I taught Sunday School and enjoyed delicious Sunday lunches and a whole lot of others.

But I was glad to have Phil back and not to have to struggle with the batteries and the fridge and the electrical cord and all the other electrical things that went wrong with the electrician away; with getting off and on the boat with two metre tides giving huge steps to the jetty — and yes — I just missed him!! (  That’s good to know, typist).

We are now on the hard anti-fouling and planning to leave for Vanuatu on Monday, all being well.  Please continue to pray for Phil’s eye.  The doctor said the next six weeks are the critical time when it could re-detach.  Also, we still have the on-going problems with the HF radio modem which means no weather reports or communications when we are away from land, although Phil is hoping to arrange an HF sched with a friend in Gaynder (Qld) who will be able to give a weather report if he can get the contact going.  Hopefully once we get closer to Vanuatu the propagation will be OK for it.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Skipper’s Update??  Yes I’ve jumped ship and left the Admiral on board in Fiji.

Actually I flew to Sydney two weeks ago and went straight to the Sydney Eye Hospital and they admitted me to have the retina reattached.  As it had been two weeks since it started it had detached down to the macular and I couldn’t even read the big E at the top of the eye chart.

It was an interesting operation — they put two 1/2 mm probes in the white of the eye and sucked out the vitreous and another behind the detached retina to get out the fluid that had seeped in there.  Then they pushed the retina back into place and spot welded it there with laser.  Then they filled the eye with gas and I had to lie on my right side for two hours then my stomach for two then on my left side 24/7 for seven days with a ten minute break per hour maximum.  Felt like Ezekiel!!  All done with a local anesthetic — fascinating.  At first they thought I might get back 80% of my sight but when I went for a check-up last Monday they were hopeful for nearly 100%. I can’t fly until all the gas has been absorbed by my body and the eye as filled with liquid which could take another couple of weeks.  At the moment it is half full and it is like looking through a face mask at water level in the swimming pool — being able to see above the water and below the water and when I shake my head the water wobbles.

Meanwhile, Pam is being “gainfully employed” in Fiji.  The small community church she went to the first week got her teaching Sunday School and want her to do that every week while she is there.  Walking back from the church she got talking to a woman who invited her to the Pentecostal Church in the evening.  This woman is really hungry to get to know God and has had Pam around a number of times to give her some Bible teaching.

The marina runs cooking classes each Wednesday and at the first one she was asked what she does and happened to mention the Relationship (husband/ wife, parent/ child) seminars she did in PNG and since then has had a number of people to see her seeking counseling re their relationships; some in tears she said.

When we cleared into Fiji the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine officers came on the boat and they ended up staying over 1 1/2 hrs while we challenged them to get serious with God — they said they went to church but that they didn’t really know God.  The result was they didn’t do any checking of the boat and forgot to change the month on their visa stamp and when I came to fly out I discovered we had already “overstayed” our visa by one month!!  More paper-work to sort it out.  Never a dull moment.

God bless you all,

Phil (and Pam)

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Greetings Everyone,

We are in Fiji.  Phil has seen the eye specialist here and is booked to fly to Australia for treatment at 9am on Tuesday.  He has fluid leaking into his eye and need surgery to drain it before the retina is lazered back on.  They don’t have the equipment in Fiji to do it.  I am staying at Vadu Point Marina until he returns.

We didn’t end up leaving Tonga until Sunday the 9th as the wind had died.  It enabled us to have a lovely taste of Tonga.  We enjoyed a musical evening on another yacht with a Tongan family singing amazing harmonies.  I taught some Scripture songs at the high school the next day and felt very inadequate.

We went to the Tongan annual agricultural show — similar to the Sydney Royal Easter Show in national importance (about 1/30 the size) but as well as vege displays there were displays of fish on ice, dried octopus, a prise for the fattest pig (huge!!) the heaviest yam (also huge) and the best displays of weaving, basketry, and jewelry.  We tasted vanilla popcorn and the food from the cooking completion –YUM!!.  Also, got a close look (about one metre away) at the king and queen of Tonga when they came around inspection all the exhibits.

On Sunday we went with friends to the Pentecostal Church and sang old Hillsong songs and heard an English translation of the sermon with an indescribably funny parody of boxing by the pastor to demonstrate the spiritual battle.

All in all we left Tonga with regret and memories.  Thanks for all the prayers.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We might leave for Fiji tomorrow (Thursday) if the weather is OK.  It is a four day trip if the weather holds.  Phil’s right eye is troubling him again and he thinks the retina may have torn again.  There is nowhere near us where he could get it looked at and Fiji seems the best place for a check-up.  However, if it need laser treatment again he may have to fly back to Australia.  We will wait and see.

We hope to slip the boat in Fiji and antifoul it while we are there.

Tonga has been a bit of a disappointment as it rained a lot and was cold!!  We are wearing jumpers and had two blankets on the bed at night.  The water temperature was only 21 degrees and the whales, we think, were in hibernation.

The Pactor modem is still playing up so our correspondence after we leave land may be spasmodic.  Keep praying for us; especially for Phil’s eye.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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