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Greetings Everyone,

A friend recently mentioned that the Admiral’s Updates have been very thin on the ground and he thought it was because I didn’t think you would be interested in what I am growing in my little strip of garden. True. I HAVE enjoyed being in a house again after sixteen years afloat, pottering in the garden, swimming and walking on the beach and being established in the local church.

We had planned to leave earlier for the Louisiades but had the usual round of delays and breakdowns. I went for a routine dental check and ended up with root canal treatment. Then the toaster, vacuum cleaner and DVD player broke down and the car engine developed an intermittant leak, the house sitter who was moving in for the five months we’ll be away couldn’t come. Finally, Phil went for a colonoscopy and they found something and wanted further checks with another fortnight’s wait for the specialist. It sounds like the normal course of life but does it ALL have to happen in the week we plan to leave?

Anyway, Phil has fixed everything broken, we have a new house sitter and Phil’s last medical appointment is an operatin on the 27th and then it look like all being OK.

SO, we plan to leave as soon after that as the wind blows. Please pray for strong westerlies or a not too strong south-easterly and a safe trip.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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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 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,

Phils eye has been given the all clear.  We are more than impressed with the calibre of the Turkish medical system, both the quality of treatment and the efficiency of time management.  He is very grateful to have come out of this so easily.

A few days ago we were able to catch up with another yachtie couple that we had met in the Sandy Straits in Australia in 2000.  The wife had injured her hand and we were able to take her to the medical at Tin Can Bay while her husband looked after their yacht.  They are from America and England and we have kept in touch over the years with an annual e-mail.  They just happened to have their boat at Marmaris so caught the mini-bus to visit us at Bozburun.

Yesterday we had another of those delightful encounters with Turkish hospitality.  We anchored in a little fishing/tourist bay called Turku Buku and wandered along the shoreline.  Jan and Warren stopped to photograph a beautiful garden with roses, daisies, and incredibly bright deep red geraniums.  The owners invited us in to see some more of the garden then supplied us with tea, coffee and Turkish delight.  So we spent an hour or more enjoying fellowship in this beautiful surroundings of garden and seashore.  She spoke very good English but her husband virtually none.  We left her with a small Gideon testament wich was gratefully received.  We have done this a number of times with English speaking Turks and found a ready acceptance of our gift.

We are now heading for Kusadasi and should be there  within the week.  Our plan is to leave the boat in the marina and do some touring to Ephesus and other places.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Our friends, Warren and Jan Jolly joined us in Bodrum and we have been back-tracking a little showing them our favourite places. They are RAPT!! A few days ago we were rambling through Ohraniye, a little farming village and came across a family — Mum, Dad, daughter and grandparents sitting in the sun. None of them spoke English but we stayed “chatting” and the grandmother gave us some oranges then the Mum signalled for us to follow her home for a cup of Turkish coffee. After the coffee she came out with a lineament rub for knees and some foul tasting medicine for tummy upsets which she spooned into our mouths to try. YUK!!. Warren took a photo of us all and they wanted a copy but we had no printer. It was quite an experience.

On a more serious note, Phil has developed the same trouble in his right eye that he had in his left eye just before we left Australia — a torn retina. Yesterday he and I went by mini-bus to Marmaris hospital and they gave us an interpreter who guided us through the formalities and got us at the head of the queue. The doctor there said he would need to go to the retina specialists at Mugla, about 50 kilometers away. The interpreter then rang through and arranged an appointment for the afternoon so we walked about three kilometers to the bus terminal and caught a mini-bus to Mugla.

The staff there were excellent and did all the same tests that the Sydney specialists had done on his left eye and then they gave him laser treatment to repair the tear. We then returned by bus to where the boat is at Ohraniye. He has to go back next Friday for a check-up. We were absolutely amazed that he was able go get everything done in the one day. The timing getting bus connections, the interpreter (who only works a couple of days a week), the appointment at both the hospitals and the availability of all the necessary specialists on a Friday had to be God’s provisioning. We were expecting to have to wait several days to get everything done and possibly having to travel to Ismere or Istanbul for the specialists.

At the moment we are waiting on a severe weather change due tonight and tomorrow with winds up to 42 knotts. We hope the anchor holds.

We’ve had a number of opportunities to give out small New Testaments to people who have helped us.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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