Thanks be to God
25 November 2009 | On the way to Palau
Clint and Janet with Abbey
Nov. 26, 4:30 Palau time...we are finally on a direct heading to Palau. 455 miles to go. Hopefully should be in 5 days or maybe 6. Clear skies and beautiful sailing with 15 knots of wind. The seas have gone down and Kairos has a great motion in the ocean. Happy thanksgiving to all of you and remember it is good to give thanks to the Lord. I ponder how the pilgrims endured their sail over from England trying to escape taxation and the church of England. Hmmmm. We miss you all and hope to see many of you in a few weeks. Shalom, Clint
Nov. 25, 2009
Supply Perseverance! Tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance proven character; and proven character; hope
This has been the longest, hardest passage of my life! The grace of God to cope with it has been amazing considering the ordeal we have all persevered. The scriptures about Paul the Apostle on a ship violently storm-tossed in a tempest and abandoning hope of being saved are now personal revelation to me. The first two days out from PNG were very enjoyable. We played with dolphins, were accompanied by pilot whales, and hung out on deck in the shade of the sails while the bright sun smiled upon us through creamy blue skies. New World sailed close alongside and tossed us a baggie of fresh baked cookies. We crossed back over the equator into the Northern Hemisphere. So sad, who knows when we will ever get back to the South Pacific? Clint, Abbey, and I jumped overboard for a celebratory swim at zero degrees then reminisced and gave thanks for all our wonderful blue Pacific sailing adventure. Day 3 began with a sober watchfulness as we sighted a large waterspout form right off our port side, grow thick with hunger, gobble up and carry along a spinning wall of sea at least 50 ft. high and head directly for us. I think we made the fastest tack in history, started the engine and put the hammer down as we ran like crazy. I mean, where are we going to go, Toto? No storm cellars in the Pacific, only Davey Jones locker. That event started a constant release of adrenalin and tachycardia rhythm. Next, that storm system ushered us into 60 hours of near gale conditions with such poor visibility that we found ourselves with a 500 ft. long cargo vessel crossing our track just a mile ahead. Meanwhile, it rained, rather came down Chicken Little style for 3 days non-stop. We had to hand steer through the intensified squalls. The waves were so big and ferocious; they were like a demonic hoard of froth-spewing Orks marching upon us in ceaseless array. The very discouraging aspect was that we had a 2 knt east flowing equatorial current against us the whole time dragging us the wrong way and with the wind and waves right on our bow, we barely made 2 nm to the good. We used a lot of fuel motor-sailing to try to compensate our route. Clint wouldn't sleep, couldn't eat, and was so sick to his stomach from the constant adrenalin and stress. I injected him with promethazine, which took away the nausea and knocked him out for at least 3 hours of good sleep. Abbey did amazingly well. She wasn't nauseous at all for a change! We were pulling down grib files and weather faxes every 8-12 hrs to try to get a handle on what we were up against. Clint called me over to look at the screen and gestured Shhh! with his finger to his lips so as not to alarm Abbey. We stared in disbelief at a well-formed tropical cyclone just east and North of our rhumb line. That's all we needed! The winds were still coming out of the West, which was the direction we needed to go. We could barely hold a NW tack and still had the easterly current dragging us. This news increased our fuel consumption and a series of tacks NNW and SSW trying to put a couple hundred miles between the cyclone and us. Oh yea, this was the time when Sailmail determined that we exceeded our usage and shut us down. I got the Sat phone out and called them immediately explaining that our lives were at stake. They were very good and restored unlimited service within 10 minutes. Okay, so the cyclone tracked WNW and we sailed south. Another low was starting to develop right over Palau. That's when we hired Bob McDavitt to route us. He got back to us within 6 hrs. with a detailed series of waypoints to follow for a 6 day passage to Palau. That sounded too good to be true! And, it was! We couldn't make it to any of his waypoints! We fought for every mile against current, wind, wave, and squall. It was exhausting. We tacked back and forth across a nasty trough three times! We lost ground and made negative miles! I couldn't take it anymore! By day 9 with 650 miles still to go, I lost it! I cried out, "Get me off this ocean! I want to go home!" Clint quickly oriented me to the fact that Kairos is our home. Great! I just wanted off this endless ride! We hardly slept. We were exhausted from the stress and constant labor of hanging on as the boat lurched and bucked against the seas on a tight beam reach. After noticing our GPS course calculation indicating 2450 hours to our destination as we were making a Southern tack, Abbey and I started singing choruses of "A Hundred Days to Palau." We are doing much better today. We have slept a little more, eaten some healthy meals, we made over 100 miles progress finally and are out of danger from the cyclone and other severe weather. We have just under 500 miles to go and have finally lined up with McDavitts plan. We won't have a turkey dinner, but we are celebrating the near end of this journey. Have a great Thanksgiving with all your family and friends! And, here's a little song to remember us:
Whenever You Sit Down At Your Thanks-giv-ing Ta-ble Say A Little Prayer For Us We're Out On the Ocean In Con-stant Motion So, Say A Little Prayer For Us Forever And Ever We're On This Passage Forever And Ever Striving To Get There Be-Fore The End Of Time!