1 January: Editor’ Notes: Carl and the family are spending their remaining time repairing and upgrading their boat for the next cruising season. Carl has removed the mast, had all of the corrosion removed, welded the holes shut (the yard would not let him play with their tools) and he repainted it and reattached all of the hardware. They have replaced much of the standing rigging and did another bottom job. There is a long list of repairs but Karen is anxious to start cruising again so some of them will have to wait until after the cruising season. In the meantime, school continues for Rebecca with Carl now in charge of Math and Science and Karen still in charge of everything else. When they are not in school or working on the boat, Becca has joined a junior bowling league which lets Carl cruise the internet for a few hours…
9 February At the library typing as quickly as I can! Internet is still only available at the library so you’ll hear from us fairly infrequently – especially as we move into the boat yard.
25 February Our radio email doesn’t work at all in the marina and we’ve been enjoying the big city life too much to look for a decent internet connection. I’m currently emailing from a terminal in the back of a local bowling alley. Things are going well and I can’t believe we’ll be leaving the country in a couple of months. On the other hand I miss swimming, spearfishing, fresh coconuts and seeing blue! Karen and Rebecca are getting impatient and I’m running out of time on my account so I’ll go. I check back with you soon.
9 March Regarding Boyle – I just finished an interesting book called something like “The Terrible Hours”. It was about one of the first successful rescue of crew from a sunken sub. The sub was in just over 200 feet of water of the NE coast. Mumsen (sp?) had just started the Navy’s research on mixed gases. The rescue dives were done on air with some seriously narc’ed divers. By the time they started salvaging the sub they had switched to mixed gas managing to solve several problems in the process. It’s a fairly recent paperback and well worth the read.
29 April Just a quick note to let you know our mast is back up and we’re in the email business again. There’s still a long list of projects left to do before we leave here in a few short weeks. Thankfully most of them are one and two day affairs and don’t require making a complete mess of the boat.
4 June Okay, I’m starting to get the message. My mother is also bugging me about sending her “journal” updates.
Seems she has a few friends who started read your web site. Who am I to disappoint my fans who seem to number in the 3’s or 4’s? I’ll try to get back in the diary habit again.
Oceanic Ventures 100 eh? Sounds like an opportunity to be one of the first to achieve an internationally recognized goal. One of the problems of diving solo in this part of the world is finding a place to leave the dinghy. The walls outside the lagoon are fairly steep. The dinghy anchor rode is 100 feet long but the sea has to be fairly settled to anchor the dinghy outside the reef. Not to mention the excitement of bashing my way through the strong current of a lagoon entrance if there are waves. An easy dive day has low seas with the time of slack tide during a period of good overhead sun for light. It also needs to follow a day of successful fishing so we have leftovers and I’m not hunting. Still, it’s hard to complain when I can dive at the spur of the moment — no vacation schedule, airline trips, lost luggage, etc.
We’re ready to leave during the next weather window. All we need is for a cold front to pass through to give us winds from the SW and an easy trip to Tonga. The weather information available from the Ham email net lets us look at an animated weather map over a six day forecast period. With a bit of patience we can have a nice downwind trip all of the way. It’s interesting to hear reports from boats who were determined to leave on a set schedule. Just as the weather files show, they are invariably motoring in light airs or fighting their way upwind. So we fiddle with boat projects, visit book stores and cook lamb roasts and stews to warm our tummies on these chilly Autumn nights.