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Jabulani getting hauled - what's up?
Philip
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
Ready for Haul out Tomorrow
Philip
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
Four Nights - Four Beds
Philip
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
Sharon
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
Off to Cape May Tomorrow
Sharon
11/27/2007, Atlantic City

This is the weather information for the next day from NOAA:

THIS AFTERNOON
NW WINDS AROUND 20 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 KT. SEAS
4 TO 6 FT.

TONIGHT
NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 KT. SEAS 3 TO
5 FT.

WED
NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NE AROUND 10 KT IN THE
AFTERNOON. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.

WED NIGHT
SE WINDS AROUND 10 KT...BECOMING S 10 TO 15 KT WITH
GUSTS UP TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.

THU
SW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING W 15 TO 20 KT IN THE
AFTERNOON. GUSTS UP TO 25 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

We have stayed in Atlantic City during these very heavy winds. There is a Coast Guard station right next to the marina we are in and have seen the teams leave on occassion during the last two days to do some sea rescues. We have been cosy and warm down below and are keeping up with school, laundry and making great friends on the dock.

Our plans are to leave here by around 10 am tomorrow morning as the winds and seas are settling down a little. We will be in Cape May Harbor before sunset which is around 4:30 pm at this time of year. We will be on our way again by Thursday morning, before the winds pick up too much. We should be up the Maurice River, at Boatbuilder Bill's place by the end of the day.

Our Zimbabwean friend Eric is planning on coming down on Saturday, Dec 1 to bring us a car. Philip will probably go back to North Jersey with him on Saturday to attend an important meeting on Sunday. He will then come back down to where the kids and I will be and we'll get our boat settled down there and do some leg work regarding the schooner.

Will keep you posted as things progress.

Cruising Phase
A Week to Remember
Sharon
11/26/2007, Trump Marina, Atlantic City, NJ

A week ago today we were all packed up and ready to leave aboard Jabulani, but due to a cold front (which produced snow in other parts of New Jersey) we delayed our departure until Wednesday, Nov 20th. Wednesday we cast off from the Fuel Dock at Liberty Harbor Marina with Pastor Eric Simons throwing off our docking lines and we were off, headed South (not as far South as originally planned - but more on that another day). That first day we motored most of the way to Sandy Hook and found a dock in the Atlantic Highlands on the southern part of the Sandy Hook Bay, because we knew that another cold front was about to come through. The kids enjoyed stretching their legs at a local park before the rain started (see pic). We spent two days there during the worst of the weather, doing school on-board and baking delicious choc-chip cookies - these seemed to come out better in my boat galley that I could ever produce them on land. As soon as we felt the weather was going to give us a break we headed out and made a run for Manasquan Inlet, we ended up doing so well that day that we pushed on and spent the night in Barnagate Bay which would give us a shorter sail the next day. Yesterday we planned on leaving the dockside and getting off to another good day of sailing at around 7:30 am to arrive in Atlantic City by around lunch time.
Philip said that I should not even bother coming out, rather to keep warm and dry inside and he would cast us off and motor us out of the Inlet himself. A few minutes later while starting to prepare us some coffee down below I felt the boat lurch forward and knew that we had run aground!! Oh my!! Our biggest learning after spending valuable time and effort and almost losing the dinghy (retrieved by the state police) while trying to kedge off with an anchor, was that no matter how simple the task seems, two pairs of eyes are always better that one. Also, that channel markers are not just a suggestion. We finally were under way again by just before 10 am and made it into Atlantic City by 4:30 pm, which is where we are right now. Enjoying Donald Trump's wifi connection in his Trump Marina. We will need to hole up here for another few days due to another cold front, but should be on our way again by Wednesday and easily make it into Cape May on the same day. We are enjoying our time on board. Here are some links to video footage from our trip on YouTube:


Cruising Phase

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Jabulani
Port: Cape Town, South Africa
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