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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
Chamorro Village
Randy
03/11/2009, Hagatna

The Chamorro culture is alive and well in Guam. The Chamorro folks on the island are proud of their heritage. The Chamorro culture is an interesting blend. The Spanish ran things for 333 years prior to the fricas in Cuba. This has given the island some of the flavor found in the western Caribbean. The American influence is obvious but considered modern and not part of the traditional culture.

The Chamorro village is in the capital, Hagatna, and fires up every Wednesday for a big party. You can find traditional arts and crafts, lots of food and music, clothes and other traditional and not so traditional items. One guy is very traditional, he is a black smith and he makes all manner of traditional objects including Chamorrro swords.

Guam
Masa San & Nuk
Randy
03/10/2009, MYC

We are getting ready to depart Guam. We came with hope of finding a little more in the way of support infrastructure for sailboats. Having been here for a couple weeks now we have found Guam to be great and flush with the normal US style hardware stores and the like. You can get most anything for a power boat as well. Sailboat specific stuff and services in particular are a little more organic.

If you are a do it yourselfer and don't need to haul out you can probably get anything done here. The crane rates have been getting expensive for haul outs and some of the local boaters have indicated that it may not be reasonable to expect to get a crane haul out arranged unless you have a lot of time.

On the up side you can get anything from the states fast and with cheap US post shipping and no customs or duty of course. We have taken the opportunity to do services on all of the diesels, the battery bank, and a bunch of other things. As always we want to enjoy the place we're at, not just work on the boat there, so we are looking at another week before we're really ready to head on.

One of the great attractions of the place is the Marianas Yacht Club and all of the great people it attracts. One of them is Masa San on the sailboat Nuk. Nuk is a Yamaha cruiser, I didn't even know they made cruising yachts. Masa has sailed Nuk all over the South Pacific. Masa San runs a Japanese weather net on the HF radio and tells us that two more Japanese yachts are due this week.

Guam
Recompression
Randy
03/09/2009, Navy Base Guam

After a very fun Bubble Maker class with 5 wonderful kids I discovered that one of the Dads was a Navy doctor running the base recompression chamber! After only a little pleading Dr. Rob agreed to take me on base for a visit.

We met Dr. Rob outside the base near the Navy's museum around noon. Hideko has not received her new Green Card yet and they would not let her in on the expired one (getting her finger prints done was a major reason to come to Guam). Miki, Hideko's cousin, has a US passport so they let the two of us in. We sadly left Hideko at the museum.

The chamber on the base is a RCF6500, one of seven in the Navy, and the most busy of them. The Master Diver was in his office when we arrived and he added a lot to the tour. For a mere recreational dive instructor, it was a great experience, being able to spend an hour with a diver who has 28 years of experience and a MD focusing on dive medicine.

I was particularly interested to find that the Navy is now using pure O2 for decompression at 30 feet. They have a surface supply setup that they use. This means that the divers are dealing with O2 partial pressures of almost 2.0! They have had zero problems. the new Navy tables have some interesting updates as well. The dive industry is still learning, I certainly learned a lot today.

The chamber is pretty big and has room for a patient or two and several attendants. There's a small pass through in the front of the chamber for passing food and what not in and out and there's an auxiliary chamber on the left to bring attendants up and down without surfacing the main chamber.

Guam
Miki Arrives
Randy
03/08/2009, Tumon Bay

Our cousin Miki arrived today. Emi, Miki's twin, crewed for us last year in the Caribbean. It was nice to have family visiting. We are still kind of broken up over Roq but Miki is a great comfort. We are getting some sight seeing in now that Miki is here. Eric, his new crew Julie, and the three of us circumnavigated Guam today. Jeff's Pirate cove was a nice spot for lunch on the windward side of the island. We also watched a reenactment of the Magellan discovery of Guam, today was the anniversary of the event.

Guam
Bubble Makers
Randy
03/07/2009, Tumon Bay

Hideko and I ran a Bubble Maker intro to Scuba experience for kids from the yacht club today. The kids were awesome and everyone had a lot of fun.

Guam
Roq
Randy
03/02/2009, MYC

We are still pretty broken up about losing Roq and have decided to shut down the blog for a while.

Guam
In loving memory of Roq
Randy
03/01/2009, Marianas Yacht Club

The saddest day.

Guam
03/04/2009 | Frank Taylor
Sorry to hear of your loss! Especially so soon after your post about your pleasures in traveling with him...
03/04/2009 | Clifford
Very saddened by your loss of a loyal friend. We offer you our deepest sympathy. We all take solace in the fact he was well loved and cared for.
03/04/2009 | Kim Green
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Please know that if he could tell you, he would say that his life was an adventure and that he was so blessed to have you humans as pets too!
03/04/2009 | Irene Thomas
Roq was always one of my favorite reasons to come to work everyday. I like to think he made me take the leap into adopting my two puppies. I can't imagine life without them, so I can only imagine what a sad day this is for you. My deepest sympathies to you both.
03/04/2009 | mark
Randy, we have been looking at the St Francis 50. We are concerned with the bridgedeck clearance. Have you had problems with pounding/slapping?
03/06/2009 | Richard Soehn
To R & H Of all the different lives Roq could have lived, I am sure he enjoyed the best one of all with you. A 21 gun salute for Roq and for you.
03/07/2009 | Nathalie, s/v ovive
Were so sorry to hear you lost Rocq, he was certainly very loved, we could see it all along wwhen we met you cruising in Tahiti, and there is no better life than to be with the ones you love....
03/09/2009 | Randy Abernethy
Thank you all for the wonderful comments and support. It has been a hard time for us and encouragement from friends old, new, met and, as of yet, unmet has been very helpful. We will miss Roq for a very long time.
03/10/2009 | Dave Oppermann
I am really sorry to hear of Roq's passing. He lived the life we all dream of ......
03/11/2009 | Margaret
I'm so sorry to read the my nephew is gone! I know that there will be a hole in your hearts, and an empty spot under the table for a long time. Hopefully you take comfort in knowing that you passed over a pure-bred to give an abandoned litttle puppy a family and a wonderful life!
03/14/2009 | NOBU
Sorry to hear of Roq passing.
Randy, Hideko-san, Roq had special happy life because of yours. He is smiling and keeping his eyes on yours and swinging on a star, I think.

For me, it was really shocked too. Actually I took care Roq pee and feed food every day in crossing South Pacific. Roq is one of the memory of swinging on a star's life.

In deepest sympathy,
03/16/2009 | Mark Doenges
Oh man ~ Randy and Hideko,

That's just crushing. I came up here to check in after a couple of weeks away and was floored to see this. Well I guess he was up there in dog years and at least he was with you and you had those experiences together in his last years.

I tip my hat to the most loyal, loved and loving dog to ever set sail.

May he have all the best fun in Dog Heaven.

Markus
03/31/2009 | Pablo
I just got the news this being 3/31/09... It breaks my heart. I'm truly sorry for the loss. He was a fascinating pup! I'll always remember him fondly. He was the best of best friends!
03/31/2009 | Pab'n'Lou
Randy And Hediko, I just gave Louise and the news about Roquefort and it was a few days ago that she asked about you guys and Roki. She is truly sadden by the news and sends her condolences. As she puts it, She'll have "wonderful and happy thoughts no matter where he is on doggie heaven!" You two take care.
Love,
Ramos family
04/02/2009 | Kevin
I just heard from Pablo. I am so sorry for you both. But when we see each other I wil tell grat staories that were part of my life and Roki checkin in on me.
07/17/2009 | Dennis Paulsen
Guys I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear about Roq. I haven't checked you blog in a while and I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dear friend. One of my fondest memories is of my boxer (Buster) and Roq running through the office like crazy dogs during the middle of the business day, causing all kinds of commotion. I tell that story all the time and it never loses a beat.

Again, I am sorry for your loss, my wife sends her best as well.

Dennis Paulsen

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