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Cruising the South (and North) Pacific
Parachute
Rob
04/07/2012, Solomons to Majuro

After escaping Delmore and Nauru, we had several nice calm flat days of motoring. Then the Raymarine autopilot computer crashed and John and I had to drive-yuk! I seldom drive. The Rose doesn't like anyone but 'AUTO' driving her. We were doing so well that our router, Bob Mcdavitt told u to slow down so we wouldn't arrive on Easter Sunday and have to pay a lo of after hour fees to customs and immigration. Leslie ( S/V Carina) came up with a plan to get around this problem. So , no sooner than that these completely unexpected trade winds appear out of the NE blowing 15 k with1.5 m seas. Not like we planned. Soon, we are behind schedule and realize we can't complete our plan. Boo Hiss..We pushed Rose really hard , but we just couldn't make good time crashing through waves and fighting headwinds with some gusts to 20k.Thank goodness we have plenty of fuel now. We arrived at the west end of Majuro and knew there was no way to make it in before dark, so we found a calm area @ 1nm from shore and deployed my neat little Sea anchor. Only problem, the blue bag that holds the main rode slid up to the parachute prohibiting it from deploying. John heroically swam out and together we were able to pull it in to the boat so John could free up the bag and get the chute out. Now we are 5nm from shore. Today, my green rubber gloves mysteriously filled up with water and were returned to the tool cabinet to the pile of rags that sets next to the ICOM 802 SSB radio. The water proceeded to run onto the top of the radio and into the connetor holes for the remote which immediately shut down leaving us without email. Stay tuned for the next exciting tale of Woes at sea.

Nauru- where not to go !
Rob
04/05/2012, Solomons to Majuro

Aloha all, after barely surviving the nasty conditions north of the Solomons, we decided to forge on despite the limitations of no Genoa and a missing lower shroud. The thought of turning back and retracing our steps just didn't get it. After filling our fuel tank with my 11 jerry cans, I figured we had 55 gals of fuel or enough to go about 550 nm. The problem was that Majuro is 690 more nm to go. With no genoa and light wind forecast, i decided to get fuel in Nauru before proceeding on to Majuro. We arrived at 0600 after sailing slowly at 2.5 k most of the night. To our surprise, a huge ship, the Nord Tokyo, was also cruising into Nauru to load up with phosphates for which this island is famous. You can imagine who got priority treatment. We were told to move off North out of its way. Only problem was there's no where to park and there are 4-5 ft swells right up to the surrounding reef. I explained our predicament and our urgent need for fuel. After multiple calls to Harbor control we were told that customs would be coming out to our boat. It was noon when he finally arrived. Delmore, the Customs officer. I supposed he wanted to prove how important he was by making us wait all day. I explained the situation,and that we weren't staying there ,we just needed fuel, and then would leave. He still insisted on taking my ten beautiful pages of clearance from Noro. He said he would come back with our clearance papers. He didn't stamp our passports even though there was also a quarantine officer with him. He was on the boat a total of 7 mins. They get around on these huge WWII vintage landing craft that second as tug boats. Johnboy takes the dinghy to shore and manages to get our jerry cans filled qiththe help of these awesome workers at the port . They actually drove him to the gas station towed him back to the Rose under continuing adverse conditions. They refused to take any money. John managed to find his way to the western union where they exchangd my $500. US for $450. australian- rip off! 3 hours later we are starting to panic because there is no sign of Delmore. John decides to defy the harbor master and take the dinghy back into this god forsaken harbor despite the fact we were now in a squall with rising wind and seas. Luckily, he was able to get the single page of clearance for us that must have taken Delmore 5 mins to complete. We finally escaped Nauru after 10 hours of waiting . Meanwhile , the Nord Tokyo has sprayed huge clouds of bat guano all over for hours ,and they left before we did. Cruisers should never go there unless unavoidable! Stay tuned, more fun stuff to follow, but I'm tired now.

much better now
Rob
04/01/2012, Solomons to Majuro

I was shaving at 0645 local time this morning when there was the loud squealing of the reels as both went off with great vigor at once. John began calling for help, so I ran up. To our great disappointment, the reels both went slack at once. WTF? we reeled the lines in and both our favorite most productive luers were gone. Yikes! After many tears and gnashing of teeth I replaced the end fittings and reloaded. I then baked this awesome bread. They call me Cpt Rob" baker Man "you know. John and I then cleaned and repaired the broken winch-just a jammed broken spring. We then caught this amazing 10 kg( 36 lb) blue fin and spent the rest of the day filleting and cleaning up the mess we made. Chef Prudome alias Johnboy then prepared the most amazing sashimi followed by massive delicious tuna steaks. Needless to say, we are feeling better and limping along making slow progress to Majuro.

Ace of Spades
Johnny
03/31/2012, Solomons to Majuro

As the sunset into the darkening horizon, clouds started swallowing up the last bit of sky Rob and I would see for the next three days and three nights. After dinner I went to brush my teeth and knocked over my deck of playing cards I keep next to my bed. All over the floor the cards fell. *&^%$ I cursed practicing my sailing swearing that Rob is trying to help me with. Looking at the cards I gasped as cold darkness penetrated the air. All the cards were face down except the ace of spades, the death card. At that moment a gust of 30 plus winds shook the boat and I heard *&^%$ from Rob who I knew wasn't practicing his sailor swears but was yelling them in full heart. The next three days and nights are only a series of nightmares I wish bury once we land. So much unreality that everything seems like a blur of hell. The black waves only illuminated by lighting to show their blackened soles seem to want to swallow us at every moment. Every second could be our last as I watched Rob brave his way to the front of the boat to try and save the Genoa sail. Not to any avail could we save it for the wind, rain, and fire held us at bay. *^&% Im going to die I thought constantly as we reached speeds of 9.4 knots while getting shook by four meter waves and 30 plus winds. Our Genoa sail eventually tore and played its dying song by flapping maddening into the chaos. The next day our port lower shroud also broke down crashing to the deck. A few hours later Rob stumbled into his room finding the stuffing box spurting out water. Hallelujah thank the baby Jesus and the Lamas were alive and made it through all that. Now we are finally waking up from the nightmare and recovering. All day has been great and we haven't seen a squall all today. We fixed the problem with the main sail by taking the good shroud on the starboard side and putting it on the port side. So everything is good and I'm super grateful to be alive and have nice weather again. Today ended with an awesome red sunset. And a crescent moon is out illuminating the sterling blue waves now with more of a happy dream feeling.

Breakdown
lulu
03/30/2012, En route from Solomons to Majuro

Well if you've been wondering why Rob hasn't blogged in a couple of days, he's probably been just a little busy trying to keep the boat together and headed in the right direction. The night before last the genoa partially unfurled itself and got "hopelessly jammed". In the process of trying to refurl it, it was ripped to shreds. Then the port lower shroud snapped yesterday, with a triple-reefed main and storm jib doing 6.5kts. The winds have been 25-30 knots with gusts to 38 (last I heard) due to a tropical low near the Solomons. As Rob would say, "Egad."

He thinks he has enough fuel to motor most of the way to the Marshall Islands.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuna Triple
rob
03/28/2012, Solomons to Majuro

We are on the way! Our SSB has been having trouble staying connected to the sailmail stations so we have been late getting info @ weather and routing etc. But so far, doing ok. This am I got up at 0545, shaved, put the first lure in the water, and within minutes before I could get the second lure out, we hooked a small Ahi ( yellow fin for you non HI types), 5 mins later got another one. @20 mins later, we got a nice little Aku ( blue fin). Now we are all set for the next few days. Its rockin an rollin here but at least the wind is out of the NW and not the NE.

03/29/2012 | ann barber
Hi Rob, I have enjoyed 18 wonderful days with LuLu on wonderful Maui. We had an awesome yoga retreat and had such fun getting caught up. I enjoyed spending time with John as well. We had a great dinner today together. Glad to hear you are safe and sound and catching alot of fish.

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