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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Pent up energy
Catherine
12/01/2011

1 December 2011

ooph! Today has been as windy as yesterday and it has only just calmed down, the sea is a bit mad still so we've pretty much been in the saloon all day. The kids are just about bouncing off the walls, having been deprived of their daily romp on the trampoline - it's just been too rough to go out of the cockpit today. At least it's getting calmer now and so tomorrow they will be able to get out into the fresh air. And then we should be getting in to Opua in the early hours of Saturday morning. We've been on a daily SSB net in the morning with other boats heading down and now we have been checking in with Russell Radio who let customs know our ETA - it's nice to have that extra bit of contact every day. We're busy making popcorn and flapjacks before we get it all confiscated. Tomorrow is definitely going to have to be a potato day. Current position: 32.23S 175.36 190 miles to go....

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Bumpity,bumpity,splash
Catherine
11/30/2011

30 November 2011

that pretty much sums up today. Winds picked up, three reefs in the main, waves in the cockpit. All well on board. Now, where are those advent calendars!!

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Computer glitch
Catherine
11/29/2011

30 November 2011

We had to do a little computer loving today. You know, the usual, hugging her, telling her we love her, asking her to keep going just a few more days so we can download e mails and look at our charts. But I think that the effort of going on to the SSB for e mails is taking its strain and she needs to rest for a while after each effort. I think we might just be in a pocket where she has to try extra hard to connect, so don't be surprised if blogs are shorter or non-existent for a while; we're just in a radio wave free zone. Now we've uninstalled and reinstalled some programmes, she's a bit happier, so let's see if she lasts long enough for us to get into Opua. Don't worry, we have paper back ups and with 450 miles to go she doesn't have long to go before she can have a well deserved rest! Winds have been light all day and we've been motoring, but at least that has given us hot water and so we all have had a shower and clean pants. Now I don't want you to think we haven't had clean pants since Minerva reef. No, I don't want you to think that! Current position: 28.37S 178.17E

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Crossing 180 degrees
Catherine
11/28/2011

28 November 2011

The wind has been 17-20 knots all day and we've been sailing at 6-7 knots. Just beautiful. We put in 150 miles yesterday which is a pretty good day for us and I don't think we'll get that again, but we are feeling like we're nearer and nearer to Opua - just 610 miles to go. There are other yachts around - within VHF radio range so it has been nice to chat and see another sail during the day. I forgot to mention that whilst we were in Minerva reef, Mia cut may hair again. Not such a good cut as the last time and Mark had to salvage it as best he could! I now have a cut just below the ears - my shortest for a while!! I might have to tie it back and grow it before I can go to the hairdressers for my first proper cut in a year. It's not that that there aren't hairdressers any where else in the world; I've just not cared much until now - before my job interview, I might have to visit the hairdressers!! Curr position: 26.12S 179.39E Oh yeah!! We have passed the 180 degree line and so we are now East! Two more degrees and we are exactly the other side of the world to Jersey.

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Leaving Minerva
Catherine
11/27/2011

28 November 2011

I'm excited. We are 700 miles away from Opua, the conditions are beautiful, we are putting good miles in. We have really noticed a difference in our boat speed now we have a clean hull and hardly any provisions left! We received an update from the weather man in NZ, who said leave at noon on Sunday and don't dilly dally. If possible leave earlier. So, we were all ready to leave at 10am, when another boat returned to the reef with autopilot problems. So we put the motor back on the dinghy and Mark went over to see if he could fix it for them. He found out the problem, but it wasn't a loose wire or a dodgy connection unfortunately. The motor was knackered and he couldn't do anything about that. Luckily, they have other means of steering so hopefully they got those sorted. We had to leave. Bob had said. Three hours later and we were off. We've caught up time nicely though, even passing another yacht (unheard of!!) And whilst I was waiting for Mark to get back, I cleaned the bilges, made some soup and some bread and the boat has never looked so tidy, so all was not in vain!

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Jobbie satisfaction
Catherine
11/25/2011

25 November 2011
It might be absolutely beautiful here and a paradise for our nature loving kids but the toilet still needs seeing to!
The kids and I spent the morning on school work whilst Mark cooked the fresh meat before it starts to go off. He's now made a few meals for our trip which will make it easier for us when we are underway.
At low tide we went back over to the reef, this time exploring the outer edge, where the ocean meets the reef. It feels incredible to be standing on the very edge of the reef (which took us about 30 minutes to walk across) with the waves crashing and then just stopping there in front of you. At the edge of the reef are deep crevices, a couple of metres wide with sea carved shapes cut into the rock. Mia finds a perfect ring - the Minerva toilet, and takes the opportunity to have a wee - timing her evacuation, so that the next wave in gives her a nice wash as it flushes through!
Then it's back to the inner reef for the kids to have a snorkel in the calm shallow, warm waters - even so, it's getting decidedly chillier, the further South we head - even Mia has taken to wearing clothes at times. Mia finds a perfect sea urchin skeleton and they both see a lion fish. Later Lochy tells me that he's glad it didn't bite him as it's highly venomous, according to his SAS survival guide. He's inspired enough to draw it in his school book and write a few lines about it.
There are now 6 boats in the lagoon - all the others are German speaking, which makes it much more difficult to eavesdrop on the radio chat about the weather! But amongst the chat comes 'nein vind' which I think means no wind so we'll probably wait until tomorrow afternoon or even Sunday before leaving.
And talking of toilets, Mark has finally found the cause of the mystery of the non-flushing toilet - and fixed it, giving him great jobbie satisfaction.

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