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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,

My father’s funeral was a celebration of his life and a tribute to him by the many friends and relatives who attended.  Unfortunately all the hectic travelling and the firebox to icebox temperatures took its toll on me and I succumbed to the nasty flu bug that as been devastating NSW this winter.  I have lost a stone (6 kilos) in weight and am only now starting to regain my strength a fortnight later.

So … Phil is going back to Tunisia with Bruce Bentley instead of me.  Bruce and his wife Dianne used to sail their yacht to the Louisiades to do similar work to us and we have a close relationship with them.  Please pray for fair winds and smooth seas and wisdom in passage planning as they head for Gibraltar and then down to the Caribbean where I will meet them sometime in December.  Phil is a bit dubious about facing the new challenges — learing to cook, planning the details of the passage and writing the Admiral’s Update.  Keep them in your prayers especially as time is getting away and the winter storms will be approaching in the Med before too long.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We returned to Australia and I had a month nursing my Dad at his home.  He made a remarkable recovery and seemed to be holding his own so we made plans to return to Tunisia.  We had the usual long tiring hours of flight and then a train trip down to Monastir.  On the way the train collided with a car at a level crossing.  We heard a loud bang and a cloud of dust was thrown up and the train stopped.  No-one made any announcements but after about an hour the train slowly made its way the short distance to the next town.  Again there were no announcements as to what was happening and after about another hour the rumour got around that the train wasn’t going any further.  We were all left to make our own way , dragging our luggage, for about a kilometer to the metro station where after another wait we caught the suburban train to Monastir arriving at 6pm after 42 hours travelling.

That night my Dad died peacefully in has bed just as he had always wanted to.  So now we are booked to go back home on Tuesday for the funeral — possibly on Monday 22nd and to see to Dad’s affairs.  I feel like a yo-yo being dropped into hot and cold water as we cross from 32 degrees in Tunisia to 10 degrees in Australia and back again.  Just as well God is controlling the string!!  We feel Him very much in control and thank Him for my Dad’s godly life and gentle death.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We are back in Australia with my Dad at Brunswick Heads. He is very frail and breathless but delighted to see me and determined not to go back to hospital no matter what. We booked the boat is into the marina at Monastir in Tunisia for a month and caught a train to the capital, Tunis, about 100 kilometres away. It took us 1 and 1/2 days to complete the paperwork to clear into the country.

We booked first class (only $1.50 dearer than second class) but it was decidedly minus five star with half the windows cracked with “bullet holes” (probably from rocks) and the other half literally too dirty to see out of. There weren’t enough first class seats so Phil sat in the second class carriage. The man next to him told him this was much better than the trains they had three years ago before the revolution. Phil spent the journey discussing the various end times prophecies in the Koran and the Bible and left him with a Bible which he accepted gratefully. The train arrived an hour late and we haggled with the taxi drivers to take us to the airport. They started at 40 dinar ($A30) but eventually settled on 12 dinar. We had been told that 10 dinar is the usual fare. So far our impressions of Tunis are “not impressed”.

We had a good flight home — only 22 hours in the air with only a two hour stop-over in Dubai. Poor Phil had picked up a urinary complaint and was highly embarrassed to have to climb over the other passengers to go to the toilet numerous times. He’s having treatment for it now.

Our plans are to stay put for a month and then asses the situation and see where we go from there. We may need to find someone else to help Phil sail the next leg of the Med. Thankyou for those of you who pray regularly for us. It is so much appreciated.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Please pray for wisdom for us at this time.  My 99 year old Dad is in hospital with heart and lung problems and not responding well to the treatment.  I asked the doctor to make an assessment as to whether he thinks he will recover.  At the moment it could be either way and we are making tentative plans to secure to boat and fly home if necessary.

We are in Malta, a tiny rocky island with about 400,000 population, wall to wall housing, the most efficient bus service imaginable and a strong British flavour.  It had two major sieges — by the Turks against the Knights of St John in the 16th century and in WW11 when the Maltese and British defence forces faced heavy bombing and starvation.  The Maltese were awarded, collectively as a nation, the George Cross for their gallantry.

We may catch up with some of you earlier than expected if anything happens to Dad.  I had two months or so of good quality time with my Dad before we left Australia and both of us know he is in God’s hands no matter what.

Thanks for your caring and support.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We have been privileged to be staying with our son Tim and his wife for the birth of their second daughter, Catherine Jane and to be able to spend time with this 7th grandchild before leaving Australia. She is very cute and will be a 2yr old toddler by the time we return.

Phil has had a second laser surgery to his retina to finish repairing the two tears in it. The specialists say it is fixed now but he will continue to have some of the dark “floaters” in his eye. These may dissolve over time.

We are now trying to pack four suitcase-fulls of gear into two (weight limit 30 kgs each person) — boat gear, winter clothes, food, books, etc. It is like trying to cart water up hill in a sieve.

We leave the Central Coast on Thursday for a couple of days in Sydney with Phil’s Aunt then fly out to Turkey on Saturday. The weather in Marmaris is 4 to 17 degrees at the moment — not impressed!!

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Phil is no longer totally one-eyed (was he ever? typist). He decide to get a second opinion on his eye from our own optometrist when we returned to the Central Coast. He sent him to an eye surgeon who subsequently sent him to a retina specialist. The final outcome was that he had two small tears in his retina which the specialist “welded up” with laser treatment.

Phil said it felt like a tiny electric shock on his eye but not painful. He has probably never been so thoroughly examined before and is pleased to have had this issue resolved. Much of the “dirty windscreen” effect has gone but the cob-web “floaters” remain and the specialist said these may slowly dissolve and the brain will gradually get used to them and ignore them. He goes back next Thursday for a check up.

We are still booked to fly to Turkey on the 1st March. Meanwhile we are grandparenting and waiting for Tim and Ang’s baby to arrive in February.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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