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Casting Off!
Philip
11/18/2007, Jersey City

Dear Friends and Family

With a light snow falling here, we feel the rising excitement about our departure tomorrow.

If you would like to see us off, meet at the dock at 14h00.

Here are directions to find us:

Liberty Harbor Marina, 11 Marin Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07302,

It is easy to find, here are my directions, but they may differ from what you get with google, depending on your starting address:

1) Take I-78E towards the Holland tunnel.
2) Drive straight on as if you are going to take the tunnel into the city.
3) The very last exit before taking the tunnel, is the Jersey City Exit, take it. (it used to say 14C, but I believe it no longer does)
4) As you come off the off ramp take the first road to your left ( or any on the next few if you miss the first one), and duck back under the highway overpass (I-78).
5) Turn left again, (be careful not to get back on the on ramp of I-78 going the other way!) and proceed to the light at Grand Street.
6) Turn Left again into Grand street, and after a few blocks you will come to Marin.
7) Turn right at Marin into the marina, and we are on "A -dock".

Cruising Phase
Friends Galore
Philip
11/10/2007, Jersey City

Another great day aboard Jabulani! We arrived at Jabulani from our temporary home in Rockaway where we have been staying with our friends Norm, Rhorie, and Rachel.

Our first guests were friends from COLA, our home school group. Eric, Maria, and kids arrived after getting a bit lost in Jersey City. They are wonderful people, and we are so grateful they came out, braved the cold weather to visit us on Jabulani. God Bless you guys.

We had tea, enjoyed their company and shared the greatr things that is happening in our lives these days.

After they left, I fixed a small electrical problem, and installed a new LED cabin light. SHaron got to stow a lot of food and gear for next weeks departure.


Cruising Phase
More Friends Aboard
Philip
11/03/2007, Jersey City

Jabulani has had several guests lately. We got an unexpected call from two friends from our church in South Africa, wanting to visit us. They had been following our blog, and after having toured the whole world, were in our neck of the woods when we received their call. James and Megan regaled us with tales of their travels. After taking the last year off, they have traveled Australia, New Zealand, much of Asia, including India and the Philippines. Then onto the Middle East, and eventually looked us up after traveling across the US in a van from California. During their travels they have visited an Every Nation church (http://www.everynation.org) in many countries. God Bless you guys, stay in touch!

Cruising Phase
Over-Night Cruise Success
Philip, S wind, 5-10 kts
09/22/2007, Approaches to New York Harbor

We departed from our slip in Jersey City at 1830 on Friday evening with the intention of spending the night sailing off-shore, checking Jabulani's readiness for our Caribbean departure. The forecast called for glorious weather, south winds 5-10kts, seas 1-2 ft, with above average temperatures for late September. The weather was so nice, we decided to enlarge the crew at the last minute with Sharon and the kids. Originally the trip was planned without women and children aboard, so that we could rough it a bit. All told, we had Eric, Bill, Sharon, Luke, Ruth, and Philip aboard.

The south wind required us to motor south towards to open ocean, under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, before bearing off towards the East, parallel with the Southern shore of Long Island Sound under full sail. The sunset was awesome as we weaved between the boats in the busy harbor, and Sharon had prepared a great chicken dinner that was well received. About this time Eric showed some signs of sea sickness, so he was encouraged to get some sleep, while Bill and Philip talked about the awesome night, the great weather, and how well Jabulani sailed.

Around 2200 Philip turned in for 2 hours sleep, and at midnight found Bill all excited about Jabulani steering herself. Apparently, Bill had found that he could lash the tiller in place, and for the last hour had Jabulani steering a straight course of 110T on her own. Philip relieved Bill on watch as he went below to get some sleep, and was joined by Eric. The night sky was magnificent, and the occasional phosphorescence and the good company made for a truly wonderful experience.

Around 0200, we tacked over on a reciprocal course and headed back after having made our easting as far as 73 34' W, about 3 or 4 nautical miles south of Long Island. Bill joined us and we enjoyed great conversation as the three of us got to know each other better. This was Eric's first time off-shore on a boat, so it was interesting to get his perspective on his observations.

Just before dawn, some low cloud filled in and the wind died, reducing our speed from an average of 4.5 kts to 3-3.5 kts. In the grayness of the dawn we could see several fishing boats coming out for the day, and the kids started to rouse from their beds. Soon Sharon had breakfast for all of us, and we had to start the engine as the wind died down to a whisper.

We motor sailed up the Hudson, and tied up to our slip a few minutes before the rain came through. The voyage was a success, everything performed well, and we covered around 60-70 nm in total.

Cruising Phase
A Gusty Shakedown
Sharon
09/17/2007, New York Harbor

We left the boat last Saturday in a terrible state as Philip and Eric had only just started sorting out all the tools and spare parts on board. You know when you start to organise things it always looks worse before it starts looking better. So there were little piles of tools and things all over the main cabin. Added to this chaos Philip had been working almost every night last week on board getting various things fine-tuned, like the stuffing box and some other mechanical things. He and Luke had also installed our new compass in the cockpit, leaving an extraordinary amount of sawdust spread over the deck and down below in the galley. By the time we got onto Jabulani this Saturday morning it looked like 25 tornadoes had touched down in there. So we spent the morning finishing the sorting that had begun and packing things away while the guys worked on hanking on the sails and getting things above deck ready for a little afternoon sail. I haven't mentioned that the wind was about 25 knots and gusting to around 35 or 40 knots. Yes, a little more windy than we might have liked for our initial mini-shakedown in the harbor. But it was a great opportunity to really put the boat under a bit of strain as far as rigging and sails were concerned, so off we went and the boat did great. Even at quite a heel it was so comfortable to be on board and very exciting to get such good speed. We reach a high 7.2 knots speed at one stage and raced around the harbor all the way past the Statue of Liberty and back again. Coming back we were fighting against a very strong current so put the engine back on to make it back in time for our visitors to get back in time for another appointment they had in the evening. Anyway, we are now more confident than ever that our rigging is good and we are pretty much ready for an overnight sea trial.

Cruising Phase
What a lot we got!
Sharon
09/04/2007, Jersey City

We had a really great long weekend, Monday being Labor Day Holiday. Spent Saturday working on-board - you saw Philip's entry regarding all the hard work he and our friend, Eric did on the mast. Great job, guys! What you haven't heard yet is about Luke's fishing skills coming to the fore. Well, there were a bunch of guys fishing off of B-Dock (we are docked at A-Dock) and Luke was just dying to go over and see if they had caught anything, so I took him for a walk over there. We get there and start chatting to them and they show us their catch, about 8 blue snappers in a bucket. The one lady offers Luke to hold her pole and, blow me down if he doesn't catch a beautiful striped bass within the first 5 minutes. It was bigger than all their blue snappers but still not big enough to keep, so the men showed Luke the scales and how to hold it by it's mouth and then he threw it back in again. So Luke can't wait to get off-shore because he is hunting for the bass' grandpa, he says that will be big enough for us to keep and cook for dinner.
Sunday night we slept on-board for the first time since last year. It was so wonderful to be there again, feeling the slow movement of the boat under us. It still feels a little like camping because we haven't got the propane tanks filled yet, the water tanks aren't filled yet, some of our boat stuff is still at home and, most importantly, our new toilet hasn't arrived so we have no head at all right now. Yes, so you guessed it, every time anyone needs to go, we have to drop what we're doing, clamber out the boat and down the dock, through the gate, across the parking lot, down the road, use our access key to open the gate and into the communal ablution block that the marina and the Camping/RV Park share. Well, that gets old pretty fast. So I am looking forward to the day when we have everything we need self-contained on-board.
Monday, being the public holiday, we invited South African friends of ours and their two young children to spend the afternoon on the boat. We also had along for the fun Zimbabwean, Eric living with us, his friend Jesse from North Carolina (who is about to be relocated again to Chicago) and their two friends, Ashley and Erin from NYC who came on an engine trial run last weekend. I think that was the record of how many people we have managed to squeeze on our not too large sail boat. The wind was rather gusty but we had a constant 20 knot prediction from the Weather Channel, so we decided that with the very little kids we had on board and us being docked in a very tight slip in our marina we would not chance going out into the harbour, as originally planned, but just hung out on the boat, chatting, eating and generally having a good time. We enjoyed having all the friends there, spending time chatting about the ultimate dream of the big schooner.

Cruising Phase

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Jabulani
Port: Cape Town, South Africa
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