Saturday, August 27, 2011

Over 1/2 way to Abemama

We are 390 miles from Abemama. 4 days. Maybe 3, if we continue kicking butt
at this pace. And in the last few minutes we crossed into the Eastern

The sailing continues to be good. Our overall average is still 5.8 knots.
We're very happy with that speed. The broken whisker pole means that we
can't go directly downwind on our course, and we've had to sail slightly off
the wind and gybe back and forth, adding more miles. At least the sails stay
full, and we don't have to endure as much slapping and banging.

All is well aboard Renova. Our stash of muffins that I baked is now gone, as
is the chicken curry John made. So now, we're cooking again. Well....not
sure if you can really call K.D.* cooking. But we did have steak and mashed
potatoes last night. Pretty deluxe. The Kiribati patrol boat provided the
locals with lots of chicken and beef, and they included us when the divided
it up into portions. It had been a while since we'd eaten meat that didn't
come from a can...what a treat!!

We're checking our email anxiously these days...eager to hear news of a new
baby for our good friends, G&D. It is times like this when we miss being

Current Position at noon local time on August 28 is:
00° 50 S, 179° 59 E

A note to our family...sorry about the lack of 'spot' messages....we can't
find the spot gadget at the moment. But, we haven't looked very hard. We'll
continue to post our position online every two or three days.

*K.D. = Kraft Dinner, of course. Macaroni and Cheese.

Aug 28
Labels: Kiribati, passage

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kanton to Abemama - Day 3

We're having a wonderful sail. 15 knots of wind, pushing us along at 5.5
knots towards our next coral atoll, Abemama. There is a huge swell that is
coming from the south east, so we get a good roll once in a while, but
otherwise, the ride is very comfortable, and neither of us is feeling ill.
In fact, we both cracked open new books on day one. Super unusual for me to
be reading on the first day!

We're spending our days napping and reading. I'm already on book #2
(Wicked). Porpoises have just stopped by to check us out, but we must not
have been too interesting, as they didn't stick around.

Last night was another fabulous night watch. John woke me at 1:30 am for my
turn in the cockpit and I spent the next 6 hours gazing at the stars,
watching the horizon for boats (none seen), and giggling out loud while I
listened to Stuart McLean on my iPod. Oh yeah...and snacked on Pringles. It
is times like this that I think everyone should do a trip like this.

The night before was not one of those times. First, the whisker pole broke.
Then a block snapped off the traveller. Then a lifeline. And each one seemed
to occur right in the middle of a rain squall. Requiring us to both be on
deck, soaking wet, until we were fixed and underway again.

We look forward to the next few days. On this passage we'll be passing over
the equator back into the Northern Hemisphere. We'll also be passing into
the Eastern Hemisphere, over that important 180 degrees, where our longitude
will start to get smaller as we go west, instead of bigger, as it has until
now. This is usually the international date line, but we've been a day ahead
of home for the past few weeks, and the entire country of Kiribati has moved
the date line to ensure the whole country is on the same date as Australia.

Our position at Aug 26, 1:30 pm local time: 02°02 S, 175°45 W

Aug 26
Labels: passage, Kiribati, gear

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mass Amounts of Mass

Tiim's new house - and the location of Sunday Mass
After Sunday, us 'yachties' enjoyed a small glimmer of satisfaction, knowing we'd just attended our last mass! Church is a big part of the community here, and although important, it is a bit difficult to sit cross legged for
an hour or two, while listening to a foreign language! So, we weren't too upset when we thought we'd enjoyed our last mass.

As it turns out, the Catholic Priest for the outer islands showed up on the Teanoai (patrol boat) yesterday. So, we've been blessed with extra mass. One yesterday evening, after their arrival. Another service tonight. And yet another tomorrow morning, before we leave. Wow.

We're massed out.

But the cool part about tonight's mass is that we were able to witness the confirmation of Temwaniti and Enoki. The two eldest children in the village. Very cool to be part of something so special.

Thank You Kanton

Wow...After five weeks, we'll finally be moving on. Without a doubt, Kanton
has been the warmest place that we've been privileged to visit on this
voyage. The people have welcomed us into their homes and hearts. We've never
been without an interpreter, fish for dinner, some rusty relic to explore,
or a companion for tea. What an amazing place.

Tomorrow, we'll head to the beach one last time, to say goodbye to our new
friends. It won't be easy.
Takarei and her family
And most difficult of all...we'll also be saying goodbye to Eric, whom we've
been travelling with, on and off, for 5 months. In a few days he will also
weigh anchor, but his destination is south to Tonga. After spending every
day with him here, we're sad at the thought of parting ways.
We're already scheming about ways to return here in the future. Maybe our
next cruise? Maybe by air? There is talk of re-opening the massive runway.
A few of the vases we received
Next stop...Abemama. 900 miles to the north west - a downwind run. We expect
the passage to take 8-10 days. The island atoll is in the Gilberts - a group
of islands that also belong to the Republic of Kiribati. We hear that there
are two MP's on the island, therefore, it must have at least 1000 people. We
have an older cruising guide that says over 2000! Hurray. Do you know what
that means?? A STORE! We'll be able to re-stock on supplies. We've been
eating fish everyday, so most of our supplies are fine, but we are in
desperate need of eggs, flour and pringles.


Coming soon to Kanton Island is the arrival of the Matangara...the big cargo
ship! It visits two times per year. And they are hoping it might arrive next
week. In addition to bringing heaps of food, an outboard motor, and other
various goodies, the ship will also bring a few more residents. Four
children will return here to be with their families during the school break.
Also, Davis' wife will be coming on the ship, after taking their small son
to Fiji to live with his grandfather (it is very typical for grandparents to
raise the small children).

We were hoping to be here for the arrival of the ship. But it has already
been delayed a few times. We don't know when it will leave Tarawa (the
capital), so we've decided to move on.

Labels: Kanton, Kiribati

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Teanoai Anticipation

The whole community is anxious for the arrival of the Teanoai this morning.
The Kiribati patrol boat is scheduled to arrive today, on its return trip
from Christmas Island. They usually stay for a few days, in order to catch a
few fish to take home to their families. We're also excited. They have a

This morning, I'm doing heaps of laundry, in hopes that they will be able
and willing to help us by refilling our tanks! It hasn't rained all week,
and things are starting to get a bit smelly around here.