08 November 2009 | underway
Janet & Clint
We are just passing the Shortland Islands, the last island in the Solomon and then it is New Guinea. We are underway to Palau but having to motor. We had a night of squalls but no lightning and some wind so we were able to sail on and off. Sail change after sail change and motor on motor off but we are making ok time even though we are burning the fossil fuel which we don't like to do because of noise and expense. Hey, we just got a mahi. Yea, lunch. happy trails to all, Clint
Nov. 8, 2009
We're slowly making our way north. There's still no wind, at least nothing above 5 knots. We motored for a couple of hours from Ghizo to Liapari Island just south of Vella Lavella. We heard about the anchorage from an article in Seven Seas Cruising Association and another cruiser we met in Ghizo told us about it as well. What a place! Amazing! It is an enclosed lagoon with a small pass through the reef between the two islands. There is a boat works with haul out facility up to 200 ton using a slipway. There are about 4 sailboats tied up that are being watched and taken care of while the owners are away for months. No cyclones. Noel and his wife Rose have lived here for 25 years. Noel is originally from New Zealand and is an engineer. He is building a 120ft. motor yacht and rebuilding a 190-ton barge. He has salvaged 3 tuna boats and is using them to rebuild one. His shop is incredible. He has everything you would ever need to build or rebuild anything. Who would ever think that in a remote place like this one would find such a resource. Clint wanted to come here to check it out and also to see if we could get the stainless rod that broke on our wind generator fixed. Sure enough, Noel had some stainless welding rod and worked wonders for us. That is so excellent because with both our wind generators going we can pretty much keep our batteries charged while at anchor. If there is wind of course. The charge was some DVD's and we got some fresh eggs out of the deal too. While sitting at anchor we traded a few t-shirts and fishhooks with some of the villagers who came up to us in their canoes for some fresh mushrooms, papaya, bananas, and pineapple. That's the way it is in these islands; they love to trade. Hey, Kevin, Slapdash, the other Gemini Cat like yours was in here. They were in Honiara on a mooring and went in town one day when some strong winds came through and the line broke and put them up on the reef. They took some damage to the hulls, cracked one, leaking slowly. They came here and Noel fixed it all up for them, good to go. The Gemini survives the world cruising route! I screwed up on our way in. A little diagram of the entrance showed a channel marker on the right with none on the left. I mistook that for one I was looking at and told Clint to go port of it. Well, I didn't see another marker to the starboard and suddenly we were in 6 ft of water. I screamed to him to go hard to starboard, but we ended up scraping the bottom before we were out there. The sound made me sick. That's the first time we have ever hit bottom with Kairos. Clint told Noel that we needed to dive our hull to check out the damage. Only snag was that there is a 12ft. male salt-water croc in the lagoon. The villagers killed the 8ft. female last week because it attacked one of their kids. He said that it shouldn't be a problem. Just watch for a piece of drift wood-like thing coming across the water. Yea, right. Didn't faze Clint. In he went and Abbey too. No damage fortunately, only little scrapes through the paint on the bottom in about 4 spots. Clint stayed in the water for over an hour cleaning the bottom of the boat then swam over to New World and cleaned their bottom as well. Crikey! We've been talking each night on the SSB to Pam and Glen on Red Thread. We met them in Savusavu. They have two little girls, Linzy and Mei-Ling, both adopted from China, and they are going to Hong Kong also. They're making their passage to Palau right now. The trip usually takes 8 days, but they have been out for 12 and still have 400 miles to go. There has been no wind for over two weeks and they are low on fuel. One day they drifted backward 25 miles! Hopefully, the breeze will fill in before we get between PNG and Palau. We're out of here today. Next stop, New Britain and New Ireland in PNG. Love to all, the Glennys.