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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Getting back into the swing of school!
09/08/2011, Papeete, Tahiti

It's been a while, so we thought we'd better crack on with school whilst we're settled here for a couple of weeks. Having seen all the photos of friends' children on FB in their new school uniforms I did feel quite glad that Pegasus uniform is the kids in their undies, though I did have to buy a new pair of flip flops for Lochy today! School is nothing too strenous - maths, diary, history, science. Lochy is still writing his animal book which is NOT school work, mum. And all the art, music, design and technology comes out of school time. So, we basically do a couple of hours a day. I don't know how we have fallen into the habit of Lochy complaining so much about school, but yesterday was a good day. I can definitely count the good days more easily than the bad as they fit on one hand. Mia seems to take after her mother with the maths, so I think we'll squeeze some extra in whilst we're here. At least when we go to NZ, school term doesn't start until January, so this term can just be spent consolidating!
It is really expensive here. About £6 for some grapes, £4 for a loaf of bread. I've even cut down on my chocolate consumption as it's about £3 for a crunchie! We've taken to baking our own treats with the stocks we have on the boat already. So, when we get to NZ we'll be down to our last bag of flour and sugar as we're not over-provisioning here!

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A trip to A and E (not for us!)
09/06/2011, Papeete, Tahiti

Yesterday, we decided to put aside the whole day for customs, immigration and port authorities - and we pretty much needed it. A bus ride into downtown. Everything is really cloes together but the police weren't in their office until 3pm. However we can tick that one off the list now. We checked at the post office for any parcels but unfortunately they haven't arrived yet.
Today, Mark went back into town, borrowing Goody's fast outboard and dinghy and going by sea as he couldn't really take the gas bottles on the bus. In the meantime, I took the kids over to Goody after schoolwork and had a lovely time there. That is until Dirk, who celebrated his 2nd birthday on Sunday, fell through the saloon hatch 6 foot below and split his head on the corner of the couch. Suffice to say, there was an awful lot of blood, a big deep cut (down to his scalp) and a trip to the hospital. Luckily, Mark was back by then, so he took the 3 remaining kids whilst Jacolette and I got a lift in with her mechanic to the hospital. 6 stitches later and we've just seen Goody back to their boat for the night after feeding them. It cost about £30 for the hospital consultation and £100 for the prescription which consisted of bandages and some paracetamol. Not such a nice outing but Dirk is fine and can look forward to be woken up 2 or 3 times tonight just to check he hasn't got concussion. Jacolette is under strict instructions to VHS us tonight if we need to go back to hospital but considering what he's been through, Dirk was in quite good spirits.

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09/08/2011 | Mary af Rvarhamn
Oh, my good. Poor little Dirk. Give them all our love.
Busy Tahiti
09/04/2011, Papeete, Tahiti

4 September 2011
So, on the afternoon of the 3rd, we made our way into the anchorage to meet Goody. It was quite hairy coming round the coast of Tahiti, after not seeing another boat for quite a while. We had to negotiate a fast-moving passenger ferry here, a stubborn fishing boat there. Tahiti has a fringe of reef, so on the outside it looks choppy with wind, then there is a surf over the reef that you can't see and then it is beautifully calm with turquoise waters and many many yachts at anchor. When we came through the pass, we didn't just have to navigate through the channel markers but also jetskis, mini speedboats and wakeboarders, most who liked to fall off just in front of us! We were pleased to eventually find Goody, but it was so busy near them and most of the yachts were on buoys. Eventually we found a buoy, tied up and spent a lovely evening catching up with Jacolette, the kids playing nicely together.
We were woken at about 6am the next morning by the owner of a floating bar who wanted us off his buoy - oops! He did us a favour really though as we could moor up to the marina and fill our water tanks - bliss, get rid of our rubbish and make an early start on the laundry. It really is Piccadily Circus here, so finding a spot to anchor was difficult, but we are now squeezed in probably closer to other boats than our liking in deeper water than we would normally choose. It's fine for now. A trip to the shops for a little provisioning set us back £100 - yikes- and then another play with Goody. I think we'll be seeing a lot of them over the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow will be Customs and Immigration day and then school can begin properly. Current location: 17.34S 149.37W

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Can we just be there

3rd September 2011
The winds eventually slackened enough for us to whack an engine on as we don't want to arrive in the dark, but if we keep up the pace we are going we should be tucked up in the anchorage by sunset this evening (Saturday.) I hope the shops are open on Sunday, but I'm not holding my breath! We are all missing having snacky type food, but I have been trying to use up all the popcorn as it needs to be used before NZ or it will be confiscated. Also, all our dried beans, rice, honey etc etc need to be used. I'm not sure how many dried beans I am going to be able to use up, but I'm trying my hardest. Lentil soup for lunch again, guys! I made what was supposed to be a lasagne using soya chunks which looked like winalot dog biscuits and once soaked tasted like pedigree chum. Only Mark could eat his dinner last night and for once I didn't make the kids eat it! Mark fixed the autopilot so I didn't have to helm by hand anymore. Goody our friends are still in Tahiti so we are looking forward to seeing them again, after a month or so. Joop the dad has flown back to SA for a couple of weeks for a work contract, but Mark and I think that that coincides suspiciously with the rugby world cup! I did ask Mark if he wanted us to bypass Tahiti and aim straight for NZ, but even he passed on the offer. I'm sure they'll show the games on TV here somewhere!

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Looking forward to Tahiti

2 Sept 2011
Well, the GRIB files said 5-6 knots of wind and we know from experience that Pegasus doesn't really move in such light winds, so we had fully anticipated motoring most of the way to Tahiti, but once again what we are experiencing doesn't really seem to match what was predicted and we've not had to have the engines on at all yet. We appear to have added another thing to mend when we get to Tahiti as the autopilot is not playing ball at the moment. Mark will have to have a look at it on his next watch. As I've said before, I'll be glad to get to Tahiti to fill up the water tanks which are now empty. We have plenty drinking water and brackish water for washing, but let's just say my hair has known better days! It's just as well we've not had to wear much the past few weeks, as the laundry pile is growing and our fresh pants stock diminishing! Ever since we designed some rain catchers it hasn't rained a drop! Also, we are onto our last gas bottle and you never can predict when it will run out. Yes, we'll be pleased to do a spot of topping up in Tahiti. We may even splash out and have a couple of nights in a marina just to make things easier - we haven't done that since Lanzarote - now where are the mooring lines?

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Another beautiful day

1 September 2011

Well, yesterday saw more of the same - sharks moseying on by for breakfast scraps, a dinghy ride to the South pass for another amazing snorkel, and paddling in the most awesome clear water - this place is just phenominal! The dive school had kindly arranged for our bikes to be transported down from the Northern pass, but when they hadn't arrived by 4pm, the kids needed food and we were hot and tired so we headed back to the boat. Just as we arrived back, we saw the boat arrive, so we resigned ourselves to leaving today instead. Mark picked the bikes up and found out that slack tide was at 11.30, the best time to go through the pass. Lifting the anchor was nerve-wracking as we had anchored in coral. Indeed, we got the chain caught on a coral head, but the visibility was so good, we could easily see how to unravel it from the rocks and after then, it came up fine. We negotiated the corl heads our of the pass and are now sailing towards Tahiti, albeit slowly as the wind is slight. Oh to be flying a massive spinnekar out the front of the boat! Current posn: 16.38S 145.34W

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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