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Jabulani getting hauled - what's up?
12/06/2007, Woodbine, NJ

Some of you have been wondering why it is that we are having our boat hauled out for the winter. We have been a little vague on that subject because until recently there have been some negotiations on future opportunities that were not finalized yet. The time has come, though, to reveal to you what the next few months will hold for us.

Before we give you a snapshop of our future let us take a few steps back in time and remind you that from early 1995 we have felt that our great dream as a family would be to operate a large sailing vessel with the main purpose of taking groups of people on board to do leadership development programs and team building excursions, with the aim of taking teams to destinations where they can participate in outreach initiatives and missions activities. As a matter of fact, when we arrived in America our first year here, 2000, was spent predominantly interviewing boat builders to prospectively build us an 80 - 100 ft schooner.

Toward the end of that first year we felt that God was reworking our strategy and calling us to be faithful with what we had right then in terms of our financial resources and our experience level and so we purchased Jabulani, which was what we could afford at the time without getting into debt. We assumed that once we returned from some long distance sailing, we would be in a better position to raise money to build a larger boat.

Various opportunities started to become available to us from October this year that involve us purchasing a large schooner for next season. We never expected these opportunities to present themselves to us prior to us doing some long distance sailing, but they have and we would be remiss if we did not spend the time following them to their conclusion.

Having this opportunity present itself at this particular point in time has presented some challenges to us in that Philip has already resigned from his job and has been working full time on this opportunity since November 16. We always expected and planned to live off various investments in predominantly 3rd world environments, which is not going to be the case if our offer on the schooner is accepted. We will not be earning any income from the large boat initially and living in the NJ area could make the next 6 - 12 months or so financially constrained for us with regard to living expenses.

Our highest aim has always been to follow as God leads us on the journey of life. We appreciate your prayers for us during the next few weeks of decision making. Due to us leaving our apartment and living with friends for the next month or two - we have no fixed contact numbers but our e-mail is still the same. We would love to hear from you. We appreciate all those who have been following our blog and will keep you all updated as things progress.

Cruising Phase
Snow Day
12/05/2007, Woodbine, NJ

While Philip and Bill were down at Jabulani getting the mast pulled this morning, Luke and Ruth did school. It is great to have a bit of routine in their school hours again.

Luke spent some time before lunch practicing his tractor driving skills and apparently did some off-road excursions into the woods bumping into trees many times. Bill and Luke came back looking none the worse for ware - not sure about the tractor though.

This afternoon we took a really nice walk in the first real snow of the season down here. We took a slow 2 mile walk down to the close-by pond, meeting one of Bill's neighbors and stopping to visit with the cows on the way back. We wandered a short way through the woods, but didn't want to get too far off the beaten track as it is still deer hunting season.

Life Ashore
Ready for Haul out Tomorrow
12/05/2007, Woodbine, NJ

Jabulani looking a little forlorn with her mast out. Tomorrow she will go over to the travel lift, and get hoisted straight on to the truck.

Cruising Phase
Mast comes Out
12/05/2007, Woodbine, NJ

We had scheduled the crane to lift out Jabulani's mast on Monday, but we had 40-50 mph winds, which required we wait until the storm system passed. Today, snow showers are forecast, but Bill and I were up early, and over at the boat yard, removing the shrouds, and preparing the mast for the crane.

Construction Phase
Four Nights - Four Beds
12/03/2007, The Noe Castle

We are so much enjoying our stay with Bill and Debb. Their friendship and hospitality is so much appreciated.

We arrived on Thursday after a exciting crossing of the Delaware Bay. The wind was blowing 25+ knots, and the chop was quite big at times. Fortunately, our planning paid off, and we had wind and tide from behind, and so the conditions were far milder than they could have been, and if fact became quite nasty after the direction of the tide changed 6 hours later. We heard, a local fisherman died, when wind and waves caused his boat to turn over, and he was trapped inside.

Friday night I caught the Amtrak to NYC, and spent a great evening catching up with our dear friend Eric. We talked of his plans for the big Africa forum, the meeting he had at the Un with Seton Hall, and many other things. Ashley's name came up in conversation many times : -)

Saturday after have the car cleaned and the oil changed, I drove to Randolph and did some work in the church office, followed by a great evening with Pastor Eric.

Four Nights - Four Beds...

Wednesday night - Jabulani in Cape May.
Thursday night - with Bill and Debb,
Friday Night - with Eric in Jersey City, and
Saturday night - with Pastor Eric and Marianne.

All in all a great little adventure.

The picture above is of Ruthie and her best friend mizzen. The two of them are inseparable. Mizzen is enjoying the attention, and Ruth is thrilled to have her "own dog", even if it is for a short time.

Cruising Phase
Safe and Warm
11/30/2007, Woodbine, NJ

We made it!!
We woke up real early yesterday morning to be out of Cape May harbor by first light and with the tide. We did really good time out of the Cape May Canal and into Delaware Bay. The bay was rather gusty with winds blowing up to 25 knots and gusting much higher than that, but we made it up north all the way to the entrance to the Maurice River.

We followed the curvy Maurice River all the way to Leesburg, where we tied our boat up to an old contact of ours from Jabulani's construction days, Allen Steel. Our friend Bill met us there and we gathered a few things and headed back to his place. We are warm and dry next to Bill's log fire, catching up on laundry and school.

Philip is catching a train up to Jersey City to attend a couple of important meetings and then pick up a car to bring down for us on Sunday afternoon. We will probably spend about another week here and then head back to Jersey City.

Cruising Phase

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