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Greetings Everyone,

After a rough start, the seas and wind settled down and we did our fastest trip ever back to Townsville — 4.5 days averaging 5.5 knots.

When we arrived we had a very pleasant surprise. The marina people came down to us at the quarantine wharf and asked,”Do you know a man called Guy?” “Yes, Guy Wood.” “Well he’s paid a weeks marina fees so you can have a good rest.”

It was the best gift he could have given us and just what I needed. I am enjoying the still bed, sleeping in, endless hot showers and of course every mouthful of fresh salad, fruit and veges. Phil has been able to get medical treatment for his ulcerated toe before it dropped off. We have been able to catch up with friends. Sunday night we shared our experiences with a small local church run by our friends Patrick and Bernadette Russel who head up Christian Friends of Israel in Australia.

From here we will make our way slowly south as the weather permits. We might stop off somewhere as Phil wants to get to a Narcotics Bureau investigator’s reunion in Sydney in early November.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We are anchored in the Burnett River at Bundaberg awaiting some supplies — HF radios, solar panels and regulators, etc and the weather. We had ideal conditions sailing up the coast from Iluka with 10-15 knot south west winds. We left Iluka Wednesday afternoon and managed to keep ahead of the bad weather and arrived at Wide Bay Bar at mid tide enabling us to cross the bar and take the tide all the way up the Great Sandy Straits, under a full moon, to Kingfisher where we anchored for a night’s rest then on to Bundaberg the next morning, arriving there at 9 pm Saturday night.

It has been great to catch up with old friends here. One couple have loaned us a car which makes provisioning so much easier.

We hope to leave Bundaberg sometime next week. Please pray for the right timing and an eight day weather window to get us safely to the Louisiades.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Things are falling into place. We had a false start on the antifouling as the slipways had a backlog due to the previous rain. They put us off for a week and we just scraped onto the cradle with the lower tides. Coming back down we had to sit on the cradle and wait for the higher tide at midnight to float off. Still, the antifouling is done and that’s the beast part of antifouling.

We have some YWAM fellows taking over our house while we are away — a blessing to us and to them. The YWAM base is affiliated with our church at Byron Bay. Young people come from all over the world to train for short term missions. It’s refreshing to partner with them.

The only hold up we have is waiting for a new masthead wind transducer. A bird has bitten off a part of it — a $700 snack!!

We are moving down to Iluka after the weekend and leaving as soon as the weather permits. Please pray for fair winds as we make our way up to Bundaberg where we have to pick up more equipment to take over with us.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

This is just a short note to let you know we are back on the air. We are getting ready to leave for what may be our last trip to the Louisiades, hopefully in early June until early November. we are slipping the boat at Iluka on the 24-25th May and are at present embroiled in provisioning and packing.

Please pray for a suitable tenant to care for our house while we are away and for our visas to be processed quickly.

We will let you know when we are about to get under way — we will need some good weather to get our jobs done beforehand.

We need to leave soon as it is getting way too cold for us here!!

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Maranatha is safely moored back in Iluka .. well at least most of it is safe. Not the hard dinghy. We were anchored in the river at Bundaberg .. a fatal place for us .. and at 3.30 in the morning someone crept up and untied our hard dinghy (and motor) from the back of the boat and roared off towing it up the river. Phil woke up in time to see them torch it and release it in a ball of flames to drift past us and into the bank. He contacted the police the next morning and while filling out a report with them they told us the same people stole two other dinghies and attempted to take one from inside the marina. Ours was the only one burnt .. a charred mass and a blackened outboard with only our name visible on the stern. So if anyone knows of a seven foot hard dinghy with outboard going cheap …

We will be going to Sydney in November as Phil has to have a check-up on his eye and will visit family and friends on the way.

Keep praying for us .. we obviously need it.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We are back in Oz but …. this would have to rank as one of our worst trips home. During the first night out the halyard holding up the roller furler on the big headsail broke and left us sailing underpowered and unbalanced (well maybe the admiral was unbalanced but the skipper is quite balanced, typist) with main and staysail. The winds were light and we limped along averaging 2-3 knots. When a southerly change was forecast we decided to change course for Mackay and go through Hydrographers Passage. The change came in earlier than forecast hitting us with driving rain and 25 knot winds on the nose as we navigated that strong tide passage. The wind against tide kicked up huge short steep waves and we motored flat out to do fifteen miles in twelve hours!! It’s now on my list of passages NOT TO DO.

When we exited and could have used the wind it died completely and we motored all the way to Mackay finally clearing customs nine days after leaving PNG, almost double our usual time.

Today Phil and our friend Bruce spent the morning replacing the halyard … not his favourite job as he had a couple of trips up the mast.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are heading for Bundaberg for a couple of days and then making for Iluka when the weather permits.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

I always say that dramas make the best e-mails. They are also best looking back on rather than being in the middle of.

We decided not to go through the Hydrographers Passage because it was king tides which the Australian Pilot Book proclaims can run up to six knots sideways and the winds were fickle from variable to 25 to 30 knots, We chickened out and decided to head for Flinders Passage just north of Bowen. It’s an unlit passage but we have been through it before.

After all the delays and fickle winds we were running short of interesting food and lower on fuel than we liked and so headed up the Whitsunday Passage Friday night to go to Airlie Beach markets Saturday morning. We had a good sail under jib only with strong winds behind us but fairly smooth seas UNTIL we came to turn at North Molle Island to head for Airlie.

“Pull the jib in a bit before we turn”, I said to Phil (the wind was 27 knots). Nothing happened. “Pull harder”. Nothing. The roller furler had a riding turn inside the drum (which is almost fully enclosed) and nothing was going to happen. We FLEW across the channel sideways to the swells almost dipping the sail and spray flying everywhere. Phil, dripping wet was trying to loosen the turn with no luck. Finally we came behind the lee of the land and found a wind shadow. I held the boat there with the motor and the intrepid skipper loosened the riding turn and downed the sail. Phew!! I had visions of us ploughing right through Airlie Beach or going eternally around the bay in circles until the wind dropped.

Now, stocked up with lovely fresh fruit and veges we are anchored behind Cape Upstart and planning to finally leave Monday night for PNG.

Please pray for no more dramas in the high seas.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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