Saturday, April 11, 2015

Day 5 -

Well,,,,, the toilet on one side of the boat has been clogged for a week, and finally I had free time on a boat that was not really rocking.  After many inappropriate comments the toilet was unclogged, put back together and working again!!

A long swim was had by all, with Valiant taking the honors as the last one to leave the water, and the only one having to cry because we had to start sailing again!

It sure is nice having the spinnaker sock. We just pull it down, go swimming, then pop the sock back up, and we are off at our record setting 2 knots again!!

We are having one of our best trips ever!  We are even thinking of breaking out some of our secret stash of ice cream!!!!


Drifting Along -

We did drift swimming since we were going so slow. Even Vitality jumps in at the bow, drifts under the wingdeck, and grabs the rope at the transom!

The reason we have so little wind is due to Tropical Cyclone Solo sucking it all away.  Unfortunately Solo is looking like it might be hitting the islands we are headed out to help, so they may be really needing it, if we ever get there!!

Very pleasant days though, with minimal wind and swells that are more lulling that pounding!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Heading Out -

So far, so good. We started out a little rough and I think Kim and I spent the first 2-3 days recumbent! But we are up and moving again. The wind is VERY light, but the seas are still stirring a little.
We are LOVING our fresh fruit from American Samoa. I know we are going to miss this!! We have cuties, apples, pears, and grapes. We haven't had those for soooo long! And now that I have some appetite back, it's great!

Yesterday we opted to fly the spinnaker since the wind was light. As Courage wrote, we used our spinnaker sock for only the second time and it went up smooth and easy. Then within minutes I saw it laying beside the boat dragging along. This is not ideal, this is how people lose sails! We managed to pull it all in, untangle it all, and get it back up. But in this wind it's flopping along at the bow in very light wind.

So today, we pulled the sock down it and everyone jumped in for a swim/bath! Very refreshing. You could jump in at the bow and come up, still at the bow. Our usual swims underway you pop up somewhere mid-ship and need to get looking for the rope to grab onto. BUT, it was sloppy out there, so there were big waves bobbing us and the boat all over the place. If you washed up and grabbed onto the ladder up front, it would pull you up out of the water. If you don't go right up, it'll then dunk you right back under. Vitality was jumping off of the front bow tube also, getting braver every day! We soaped up and had fresh fruits and veggies for lunch (and our homemade chocolate chip cookies from yesterday).

Our two other disaster relief vessels left Fiji yesterday. Because of a low forming out near Tanna (our destination), they turned back to Fiji. We are still about 1-2 days from Fiji, depending on the wind. So now we may be arriving as more of a fleet. Aneityum is our first island. It's far south and doesn't have a customs check in, so it's very hard to get aid to them. Sea Mercy has worked out a great deal for us to have customs meet us at that island, so we can go and give much of the aid we have onboard to a population hit hard and difficult to reach. We also plan to run a clinic there when we get there. Excited to see what it's like there!

Overall, doing well, drifting along, clean and fed.


No Wind -

I think the term is wallowing. And last night with 5 knots of wind we wallowed all night long.  It was not a bad night, but not even the spinnaker could stay full.  So there was minimal sleep for the night watch crew.

We are having beautiful days though, with white puffy clouds happily dancing across the sky, and the sun shining giving plenty of solar power.


Day 3 of Sailing -

The wind has dropped to a level that the sails just flap. So out comes the spinnaker.  Hooking the spinnaker up went without any problems, though the halyard snap did not seem to work right. I asked for WD-40 to fix it, but it never arrived. So up went the spinnaker, and the wind filled it perfectly!  Then "POP" the whole spinnaker disconnected from the top of the mast and just laid out on the water next to the boat. Mama, Cassidy and I were able to pull it up without damaging it. Cassidy volunteered to go up the mast and retrieve the halyard, I got the WD-40, and within 10 minutes we were flying the spinnaker.

Shannon just finished some chocolate chip cookies, so until tomorrow!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Good Weather Ahead -

As predicted, the wind has died down(10knts) and spun around behind us (ESE). We hoisted the spinnaker, preceded to drop it in the water, then decided we prefer it flying. A little WD40 on the shackle and our problems were fixed. We are now gently bouncing along at 3-4knts with a 1.5m swell and a beautiful, sunny sky.

Cassidy and LEX Crew

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 2 of Sailing -

Sunshine and blue skies reign supreme here!  Every once in a while we get some pretty big waves, but for the most part we are in the 6 foot range.

We are hearing rumors of a low forming around Vanuatu, so we may be pulling into Fiji if the weather doesn't look perfect. There is not much anchorage protection in the first islands that we will be visiting in Vanuatu.

Life is great out here.


Sea Mercy Itinerary -

As far as we know, our Sea mercy fleet will start in Aneityum, hand out food and work medical. Then we'll head north to Tanna (they have their own supply so we will focus on medical). Aniwa is next (food and medical) and Erromango (food and medical). By the time we get to Port Vila, our time with Sea Mercy will be up and I will fly out to spend some time in the U.S.

Lil' Explorers and the rest of the crew will still be exploring in Vanuatu and helping out wherever they can. We have a handful of machetes, hammers, and nails, but Sea mercy has us doing mainly medical work. Of course, we don't quite know what to expect at this point so things may change.


Sailing Again

We are having great sailing with our fully functioning mailsail. The waves are in the 6 to 8 foot range, but spread out enough to make the ride pleasant, and the wind bounces from 10 to 20 knots.  Today we had light blue skies with those puffy cotton ball clouds, and a deep blue sea. It is nice to be back out here.

We are currently on our way to Vanuatu, with a potential stop in Fiji if the weather is not perfect. Everyone is doing well, and with the extra wind power, there is no shortage of power.  We are down to a second reef in the mailsail, and are still doing good in the speed department.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Shopping and Loading Supplies for Sea Mercy Disaster Relief -

That's a lot of Rice!!
Waiting for the truck.

First load to the boat

Rice and Supplies for Vanuatu,
Sea Mercy Disaster Relief