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Main Menu -> SALTS -> Pacific Odyessy - 2007 Offshore -> Pacific Odyssey - Leg 5

Pacific Odyssey - Leg 5

Log of Pacific Grace

December 31st 2007 @ 20:30
5°12'36.00 S 145°48'0.00 E

Ship's Log:
leg 5 has begun and everyone is here safe.  there were introductions today by skipper and jordan the bosun.  thank you to everyone who sent items, both personal (i.e.letters and dried fruit) and practical (i.e. pump parts).  like christmas all over.  we are celebrating new year´s together on the ship tonight, safe within the gates of the 24 hr secured compound.  the gate keepers know us very well and take great care of us.  there will be games, singing, food and staying up until midnight for those that can (jetlag may take over for some).  everyone seems very happy to be here and we are looking forward to leaving january 2 around mid-day, after katie and gillian, the cooks, do their final shop (stores closed tomorrow).  i will write a more detailed log soon, this is travelling via emersat, our system for quick, short emails. good night, bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, cloudy in the afternoon
January 3rd 2008 @ 23:55
4°45'11.99 S 146°34'30.00 E

Heading 48°
Speed 6.2

Ship's Log:
We´ve finally left Madang! About 1500hrs we waved good-bye to our shipping agents Duncan and Raymond and all the security guards; they didn´t want us to leave and followed the ship as she moved around the point. We felt relief, disbelief, anxiousness and excitement. Within one hour people were sick, throwing up and horizontal. Twisting motion, quite uncomfortable, even crew on since Victoria felt it.  Few ate supper, everyone to bed early.
Good attitudes; James said he loves looking at the phosphorescence in the water which he did quite a bit of as he hung over the side. It is warm below decks but everyone doing their best to help those who are not well.  Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
partially overcast with sun later in the day
January 4th 2008 @ 21:00
3°23'12.01 S 148°23'24.00 E

Heading 55°
Speed 6.6

Ship's Log:
We continue to motor sail with trysail, foresail and jumbo up.  People slept mediocre last night; hatches were closed so it was hot below decks.
Some people are beginning to eat and spirits are good. For a few days life slows down to a crawl while everyone just manages the simple things of day-to-day life, i.e. keeping water bottle filled, putting on sunscreen, using the head. Life will resume in a few days. Sara R. wishes her sister Becky an incredibly wonderful 19th birthday. Nice rain squall at lunch; some of us showered and everyone cooled down. Karen is enjoying her role as volunteer watch officer and is a huge help to sick trainees. Gillian did a great job in galley yesterday in rough weather; it´s a big adjustment after being tied to the dock and having most of previous leg flat calm. A good afternoon and evening, lots of sitting together, talking and laughing. We lost 2 large lures and some line to a marlin that took everything in one go.
Karen told the story "Steel Magnolia" on the after deck; she´s a wonderful storyteller, lots of detail and expression. Until tomorrow, good night,
Bonice.


Observations:
started out sunny, clouds moved in, rain squall mid-day
January 5th 2008 @ 21:00
1°51'47.99 S 150°35'31.20 E

Heading 65°
Speed 5.3

Ship's Log:
Life is returning to the Grace; nearly everyone is feeling well. Wind changed to westerly overnight, then northwesterly during the day; we are running under both courses (square sails on foremast) and trysail (big sail on mainmast) and the engine is off. The night is clear, it is beautifully quiet, only the sounds of voices, rigging and water rushing underneath us as the waves lift up the Grace´s stern and move forward to the bow underneath her, lifting her and placing her gently down again. Huge rain squall at 1000hrs with strong winds and pelting rain. At mealtimes we´ve begun hearing each other´s life stories and having the chance to ask questions to learn more; James and Amanda today. This evening Drew read out loud from "Skippyjon Jones," a children´s story that belongs to Simon. It´s been a great day; the motion was extreme for awhile this morning but is now a gently rolling from side-to-side, nice for sleeping. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, cloudy, windy and rainy, ending in a clear night
January 6th 2008 @ 21:30
0°12'3.60 S 152°8'31.20 E

Heading 1°
Speed 7.2

Ship's Log:
Clouds brought slightly cooler weather today. Lessons have begun with watch officers taking their watches on pin and line tours and Drew giving a knot and junior terminology class. Deck hose showers this morning for early risers. We saw lots of sea life today:  dolphins, large jumping tuna, flying fish, seabirds (one has landed on our deck) and a marlin. The marlin bit the hook and gave Jordan, Chase, Scott and Skipper a good workout before swimming 1 1Ž2 times around the ship and snapping the line on the bobstays. As he swam around the ship he gave us a great show, leaping and jumping out of the water. Chase asks his dad if he could please look into lures that would be good around the Guam area (we have lost 4 lures in the past 4 days)!
Service at 1400 hrs; Skipper told the history of SALTS and briefly explained the organizations´ and crews´ statement of faith i.e. why we´re here. Mug-Up tonight ended after an hour with rain/wind squall; we felt a sudden cold gust of air as it caught up to us. Nice night, moving fast under engine power (calm all day), motion has been very rock´n roll all day with the Grace scooping water through her scuppers and over the decks regularly on both sides. There is an excellent feeling amongst crew and trainees; most are over seasickness. Plan to cross equator in 2 hours. Good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy and calm
January 8th 2008 @ 21:15
4°55'5.99 N 152°44'34.80 E

Heading 5°
Speed 6.5

Ship's Log:
We woke up to a clear sky and hot temperatures which continued until 1600 hrs. Temperature was 37 degrees Celsius on deck. We put up a tarp for shade. There were lessons for both junior and senior level trainees, taught by Drew, Jordan and Sarah B. Jacob and Arwen made rock candy for everyone to try. We had a ´man overboard´ drill followed by a swim stop. Swim stop is one of the nicest parts of calm days motoring. We stop the ship and each watch swims for 15 minutes while the other 2 watches stand ´shark watch.´
The colour blue of the ocean is superlative; there is no word for it. It is a translucent, yet rich light royal blue that goes on forever; visibility was incredible and there were no stinging jellyfish. I always tell trainees to swim with a mask so they can see the amazing beauty of the water. We all felt rejuvenated. Rain started around 1600 and continued until 2000hrs, all of Sarah B´s watch. Many of us showered in the fresh water rain, cooling off at the same time; the air temperature went down to 28 degrees. The ship is very warm below deck; the engine room registered 55 degrees Celsius, poor Jordan. We have quite a group of knitters on board; we may start a hat contest this leg. All trainees are feeling well and looking forward to arriving at the island of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia tomorrow evening. It has turned into a warm and beautifully clear night; the stargazers are out. Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
started sunny and hot, ended wet but warm
January 9th 2008 @ 21:15
7°21'6.01 N 152°4'4.80 E

Heading 352°
Speed 7.2

Ship's Log:
We are falling into a wonderful routine of life at sea; it¹s almost a shame we arrive in port tonight. We sighted land at 1700 hrs and by 2230 hrs tonight we hope to go through the pass into the lagoon where the 4 Federated States of Micronesia lie. The State of Chuuk has 192 small islands spread over nearly 1000 square miles of ocean, many of them uninhabited. In Chuuk Lagoon an entire Japanese fleet was trapped and sunk by a surprise US air attack in 1944 and this is now Chuuk¹s main visitor attraction. We hope to experience some great snorkeling before we continue on to Guam. The water temperature during yesterday¹s swim stop was 34 degrees Celsius as recorded on Zach¹s watch. Air temperature today got as high as 42 degrees. We raised foresail, jumbo and jib early this morning, and moved the trysail over on to the port side as the wind switched to northwest. Winds are still light and we are motor sailing. We had many near catches on the fishing lines. Juniors and Arwen wrote their exam today and everyone passed. The day was spent reading, writing, listening to music, standing watch, eating meals together and asking questions of Joel, Graham and Susan about various aspects of their life. Caley had her hair cut today and Port watch¹s 2000hrs ŒParty in the Stern¹ had to be cancelled due to rain. We all got to enjoy the mint hot chocolate that Sarah B. made for the occasion though. Port watch members Joel, Brailey, Rachael, Sarah B., Elske, James, and Zach held an impromptu paper airplane contest. Elske¹s model flew the longest. It¹s been a great day; we look forward to tomorrow. Good night, Bonice


Observations:
hot and sunny
January 10th 2008 @ 20:00
7°26'42.00 N 151°50'24.00 E

Ship's Log:
We´ve heard from Andrew that the logs have not been getting through since December 31st although we´ve sent one every night. Tonight Skipper will be sending them via an internet service ashore so you´ll be able to catch up on our first 10 days together.  We arrived in the early morning on Weno in the Chuuk Islands.  The charts indicated lights to mark the passage, but there were no lights; thanks to radar, a great Skipper and crew we came through just fine.  We anchored quite far from the beach and woke up to a wonderful northwest trade wind; our passage to Guam should be nice.  We were looking smart in our uniforms and white shoes when we tied to the dock and the custom and immigration officials arrived at the boat.  After some paper work trainees and crew were set free to explore the village.  The village is quite small and basic, with dirt roads and many used cars sitting in yards at the side of the road.  The people are very friendly and interested in our presence here.  Boats like the Grace do not visit here very often (an understatement) and then to have 35 enthusiastic and friendly young people enter their village . . . it´s highly entertaining for them, they can´t help but smile widely.  We´ve found that in every place people have been friendly; if you look them in the eye and smile and/or say hello, you will have made a friend and often they are eager to make your visit in their village a good one.  Physically they are a beautiful people; they are a mixture of Filipino, Indonesian, Polynesian and Oriental.  Some of them have smoother hair than what we´ve seen so far, perhaps a characteristic coming from Southeast Asia.  They have rounder faces and gorgeous bright big eyes. We found what we called, 2 well-stocked grocery/general stores.  In North America they would not be considered so, but after the places we´ve been for the past 6 months, we were somewhat overwhelmed with the increase in our options.  There were some US items as Guam is nearby and Guam is heavily supplied by the United States.  We enjoyed Minute Maid real orange juice, good ice cream and root beer. We have been joking over the past few weeks about Guam being the ´land of promise.´  Everyone is looking forward to getting what he/she needs in Guam; I´m not quite sure how this came about. The bosun is counting on parts for anything needing fixing, the cooks are counting on more North American groceries, some things that they haven´t had since Hawaii perhaps, the trainees are hoping for the most amazing stash possible i.e. Planters peanuts, real juice, sour candies, good crackers and cheese etc. and the nurses Karen and Sarah are counting on cooler weather and water to make all the flesh wounds go away.  It´s quite amusing really. We met a fellow named Richard who works at the dive shop and he has offered us an incredible price for scuba diving.  He seems very happy to make any diving opportunity work for us; perhaps he´s just glad to go out with a great group of young people. In Chuuk Lagoon alone I read today that there are 200 Japanese aircraft and 90 Japanese warships sitting on the bottom.
We saw 2 people snorkeling off the beach looking at a partially submerged wreck.  At least 6 trainees are diving 2 wrecks each tomorrow, with more interested for the following day.  Kara, Susan, Raven and Ilya went on an incredible hike; they said it offered an amazing viewpoint of the entire island. They walked for 4 1/2 hours in the heat but said it was 100 % worth it.  Trainees found internet and a few were thrilled to find news awaiting them.  We also found do-it-yourself laundry for $1 per wash and dry, a huge bargain after having to pay others to do our laundry since French Polynesia in July.  Joel had his hair cut today by the resident barber. We will be here until Sunday mid-day and are looking forward to experiencing some more of Micronesia, a place quite different again from Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and Polynesia. Enjoy all the logs, good night, Bonice.



Observations:
hot and sunny, nice breeze
January 11th 2008 @ 21:00
7°26'42.00 N 151°50'24.00 E

Ship's Log:
It already feels as if we´ve been here longer than just 2 days. By now we have made so many villages our ´home,´ that it doesn´t take long to feel comfortable.  The village here is small and we stand out; people know we are from the big ship and from Canada and continue to smile and wave and try to touch Noah, Simon and Jacob as they walk by.  One small group of children that we see and wave to regularly in front of their home, even snapped a photo on their cell phone as we walked by, one of the kids giving the signal to the ´photographer´ that we were returning by their house again and making the ´hang loose̵´ sign as he hung in the background of the photo; I think they like Tony´s beard . . . We all laughed, us and them.  We feel very safe. The owner of the ´Truk Stop´ hotel welcomed us again to his hotel.  He told us to enjoy the patio, the restaurant, the internet and free wireless, the private dock for snorkeling and swimming off of, and also allowed us use of the fresh water shower that the Dive Organization uses to rinse gear.  Another fellow, Mason, from the Tourism Bureau told us to come to him for anything, he´d help us in anyway he could; yes, we are definitely being blessed, I hope we too offer something in return.  The wind has picked up today and is blowing quite strong off the dock.  A tanker is needing our spot tomorrow morning and we decided to move the boat this evening after supper. We used whoever was on the ship to make a difficult move around the corner of where we were.  As well as crew and trainees on lines and fenders, Noah threw the stern heaving line to Joel on the dock, Jacob was on the wheel, and Arwen was on the depth sounder.  The day started early with 9 people going diving:  Scott, Chase, Sara R., Sean, Jose, Antony, Skipper, Arwen and Drew left at 0700hrs with their dive gear to the hotel to join 2 other divers from Britain for 2 wreck dives.
Truuk is world renowned for it´s wreck dives.  The dives were fantastic, very interesting . . . big ships filled with an overwhelming assortment of military and personal gear, bullets, helmets, guns, aircraft, plates, shoes, crates of SAKI etc.  Jose said it was possibly the most interesting wreck dive so far.  There is another group of 8 trainees heading off tomorrow morning.  There was a variety of activities undertaken today.  Laundry was high on everyone´s list and those who were successful waited for hours in the laundromat waiting for one of the 3 machines. Once they were done and holding their clean laundry, they said it was worth it.  It was a chance to hang out with a good friend, a book, and a cold drink.  Patience is something we´ve learned to have quite a bit of in the South Pacific; it makes most things easier.  Caley, Graham and Robyn went on a hike this afternoon.  They said it was beautiful and very windy at the top of the mountain.  Many trainees were able to connect via computer with friends and family at home.  Mail is ALWAYS wonderful and we all share in each other´s news . . . Please continue to write letters, either via email or on paper.  Addresses for the next few ports are available on the website or at the SALTS office, no excuse. Cold drinks probably top the ´treat´ list with 100% fruit juice or Arizona Green Tea being the most favored.  Jordan had a great =
visit with the fuel man.  He had a chance to chat with him and get to know him and hear about his family.  Often the most simple errand can provide a meaningful exchange with one of the local people, i.e. finding and doing laundry, buying groceries or bosun supplies for the ship, dealing with custom officials, standing in line for the bank etc.  Yesterday I spoke of the nice wind we awoke to and made a mistake calling it the northwest trades . . . that would be the northeast trades, sorry.  Crew on the ship today played a good game of SCRABBLE with Karen continuing to be the strongest player on board.  Kara and Ilya also played a game and are close on the heels of Karen in their SCRABBLE abilities.  Amanda met a wonderful woman named Helen who owns one of the general stores close by.  She was excited to see Amanda and they struck up a conversation that lasted quite a while and allowed them to share a good amount of information and establish a friendship.   Amanda learned about Chuuk and the people that make up some of the population.  The sun was very very hot today and the wind blew dust and sand over everything and everyone; the ship has a fine layer of dirt everywhere . . . this too shall pass, part of life along the dock.  It is a gorgeous night for sleeping on deck and there´s a cooler breeze blowing.  Skipper got word from the office that Scott Baker found what was preventing the logs from getting through to you and you should be receiving them again regularly.  Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
hot, sunny and windy
January 12th 2008 @ 21:00
7°26'42.00 N 151°50'24.00 E

Ship's Log:
It´s been a beautiful sunny and breezy day: tonight the temperature is comfortable as the breeze is quite strong, we should have a great sail tomorrow. 10 trainees and crew left early for scuba diving:  Jordan, Elske, Amanda, Rachael, Joel, Chase, Sara r., Sean, Scott, and Sarah b. the day was spent doing laundry with the island women, snorkeling off the dock, showering, reading, writing, hearing from home, and preparing for sea. it was a good day. Jose watched the boat with Karen, and re-leathered the jaws of the main throat. A gigantic fuel tanker came in with a crew of 19. We chatted with two of their Korean crew: they are very friendly and funny. They were playing soccer on the dock with their crew and the ball had to be retrieved several times from the ocean, about 12ft below them.  The deck is littered with bedding and several trainees have already fallen asleep.  Noah and Jacob found rain-proof sleeping spots in the furls of the main and fore sails. We have a beautifully clear night with just a sliver of a moon, but that doesn´t necessarily mean anything in terms of a night without rain: things can change quickly.  We are leaving at noon tomorrow for Guam, 6 degrees latitude north of us, about 530nm. We are looking forward to the passage and arriving in Guam, one of our final destinations in Micronesia. Guam is part of the Mariana Islands and we will be crossing over the Mariana trench, the deepest part of the ocean, on our way there. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny and windy
January 13th 2008 @ 22:30
8°3'36.00 N 151°33'25.20 E

Heading 320°
Speed 6

Ship's Log:
We left Chuuk at mid-day, the customs official waving at us from the dock. The wind blew strong and we had very big seas coming through the pass, with the bow of the grace reaching high over the on coming waves and crashing down as the wave moved underneath her. Once we got through the pass we raised the trysail, foresail and jumbo and bore off onto a starboard tack toward Guam. The engine is off and we are sailing along quite swiftly. There is a side to side motion while leaning over to the port side and water sprays over the rails regularly, soaking everything. During dishes, Sean and Graham were soaked with a wave that came right down into the galley. For most of this offshore trip we have sailed on a port tack and starboard side sleepers have had the advantage of not having to use their lee cloths to stay in their bunks: finally port side sleepers can snuggle into the hull side of their bunk. We saw a pod of about 50 small dolphins leaping out of the water towards the boat, we were spellbound: their entire body was out of the water and they moved so quickly and lithe. Rain and wind squalls visit us regularly though the air remains warm. Below decks is very warm. Most trainees are feeling well, just a few sick ones but everyone is definitely feeling better than on our passage from Madang. We were all relieved to turn off the motor and feel the grace move along under sail only, surging powerfully through the water. It should be a quiet, albeit warm sleep. Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
sun, rain, wind, clouds
January 14th 2008 @ 21:00
9°43'18.01 N 149°37'22.80 E

Heading 315°
Speed 6.2

Ship's Log:
It´s been a day full of strong winds, rain squalls and motion. People are doing well but everything takes more effort than usual and most of the day is spent sitting or lying in the stern, reading, chatting, or sleeping. Last night was not a good night for sleeping and it´s surprising how much energy it takes when you are always compensating for the forever motion of the ship. Yesterday we celebrated Kara and Raven´s birthday. We´re waiting for a calmer day to make the cake otherwise we end up with ´starboard tack´ cake, 1cm high on one end and 8cm high on the other. Yesterday we also caught a dorado and Chase and Scott made fish nuggets with it, delicious. A marlin bit the line but got away, taking the lure and some line with it. Today we had another bite but it also got away before we even had a look at it. We continue to sail under three lowers without the engine, averaging for most of yesterday and today at about 7-8 knots, faster during the squalls. Karen told stories to us today to pass some time while James kept a large group of trainees laughing so hard they had to ask him to stop, they couldn´t handle any more. Today another pod of dolphins joined the ship, leaping clear out of the water and playing with the grace´s bow, always a beautiful sight. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy and rainy, gusty winds
January 15th 2008 @ 20:30
11°18'42.12 N 147°28'48.00 E

Heading 310°
Speed 8.1

Ship's Log:
We are starting to fall comfortably into our offshore routine and again=
,
it´s a shame that we arrive at our destination in two days, although we are
all excited for Guam.  I think the general feeling is that Guam will be a
reprieve, it will provide us with a few luxuries we have done without for
awhile, especially for those of us who have been on the ship for several
months.  After a couple of days of Guam I´m pretty certain we will be ready
to return to the sea, to the small villages, to the simplicity of life we
have experienced on board and amongst the people we´ve visited.  We are not
quite ready for our own North American culture yet, just a few of its
material advantages, mostly food.  At 0200 hrs last night our speed
decreased to 3.4kts; the engine was turned on and the sails sheeted in
tight.  At 1000 hrs we lowered the jumbo and the jib and raised the two
courses.  By noon the wind had picked up sufficiently to continue at 7-8kts
without the engine . . . aaaaahhh, and the quiet continues still. At times
we have made speeds of up to 9.5kts.  We are heeled over on a starboard tac=
k
and there´s a gentle rocking side-to-side; it is more comfortable than
yesterday plus we are getting used to it.  We cannot forget to consider our
movements or placement of personal objects on the deck, one deep roll still
regularly dislodges a trainee from the after house or causes journals, cups=
,
books etc. to be thrown to the other side of the ship.  Regularly, huge
waves hit the starboard side of the Grace and spray water over whoever is
seated along the rail and on the house.  There are not many dry spots,
though the stern is usually the safest place to plant oneself down with a
book and pillow.  The decks are often awash as water comes in through the
scuppers when the ship rolls from side-to-side.  My favorite spot to sit is
on the leeward side, on the seat lockers in the stern, feeling myself being
pushed into the lifelines as the boat heels and surges through the water.
The sounds of water being moved and sails pulling the ship along are amazin=
g
and I never tire of it.  Tonight a half-moon is casting its light over the
water and the phosphorescence glows bright.  People are seated in clusters
on the after cabin or on the seat lockers, talking, laughing, listening to
music etc.  Elske, Chase, and Tiana are lying way back in the stern,
enjoying their ipods and the lulling of the ship.  It has been a good day.
Both water and air temperatures are slightly cooler.  Sarah B. and Elske
took deck bucket showers and commented on how refreshing the water felt.
Towards evening we were pulling on sweatshirts and windbreakers, finding th=
e
air a bit chilly.  Greg read the temperature at 31 degrees Celsius!  There
were mostly clouds today with a sun shining softly behind them.  Jose taugh=
t
a chart work lesson to Seniors and Karen taught chart work to the
Intermediates. Arwen baked and iced chocolate cupcakes to celebrate Raven
and Kara´s birthdays.  We sang =8CHappy Birthday´ again and enjoyed the treat=
.
Soon after, the rod started whirring and we were nearly =8Cspooled´ again.
Jordan hauled in a very large Wahoo, a delicious eating fish.  Jordan and
Chase will bake the fish steaks tomorrow.  Noah watched while Jordan gutted
and cleaned the fish and together they found the heart.  Noah was quite
thrilled to see it continue to pump and brought it around the ship showing
everyone; not everyone was as thrilled as he was to have a close-up look.
Karen and Sarah B. found a moment to lie together on the after deck
listening to Karen´s ipod, moving to the beat and singing, usually on key,
to the tunes, quite amusing for us and very enjoyable for them.  Caley and
Graham started up their knitting today with Caley knitting an ipod cover an=
d
new headband (one went overboard yesterday), and Graham knitting a hat for
someone at home.  Jacob replaced the SALTS burgee and the British Columbia
flags today, lashing a new one each onto its bamboo pole.  The Lonely Plane=
t
Guide for the South Pacific and Micronesia was making the rounds today;
everyone is beginning to think of how to spend the week or so we will be
there.  It sounds like there will be good snorkeling and diving within a
close distance to the ship.  Many good books are being read and I thought i=
t
might be interesting to mention some of the titles:  Guns, Germs and Steel;
Endurance; Shake Hands with the Devil; The Alchemist; Red China Blues; Bel
Canto; Les Miserables; Sweetness in the Belly; The Bourne series; Into Thin
Air; Pride and Prejudice; and The Count of Monte Cristo. Tonight before
supper a fantastic big wave came over the starboard rail and landed
perfectly on Simon as he was conversing with a group of trainees.  He was
very surprised but quickly followed his surprise with his good-natured =8Coh
well.´ We were all laughing and he was a great sport about it.  He can hold
his own pretty well amongst all these young adults.  It is time for me to
get some air, until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, good winds, comfortable temperature
January 16th 2008 @ 20:30
11°18'42.12 N 147°28'48.00 E

Heading 310°
Speed 8.1

Ship's Log:
Llife is beginning to feel normal again: it´s a shame we´re almost in Guam, although we are looking forward to a few luxuries there. After several days I´m quite certain we will be ready to return to our life at sea, to smaller villages, to our experiences with the people we have spent so much time amongst. We had several sail changes, enjoying the two courses for several hours without the engine on, and then lowering them to raise the jumbo and foresail again. We continue to make 7-9.5 kts under these and the trysail. The sailing is tremendous: we are heeled to port and the ship is rolling gently side-to-side, dipping deep and scooping water up on both sides through the scuppers. There are not many dry spots on the deck, though the stern seems to be the safest to bring a book and pillow. Regularly huge waves hit the hull and splash water over anyone sitting along the rails and by the wheel. Simon was hit by a monstrous wave and was a terrific sport about it, with everyone laughing with him. We caught a Wahoo today, a delicious eating fish. Arwen baked and iced chocolate cupcakes to celebrate Kara and Raven´s birthdays, very delicious. The water and air temperature is getting slightly cooler: Elske and Sarah b. showered with a deck bucket and called the water ´refreshing.´ we pulled on sweatshirts towards the end of the day: the temperature was 31 degrees celsius. We´re hoping to send detailed logs soon, until tomorrow, Bonice.


Observations:
clouds, wind, rain
January 16th 2008 @ 21:00
13°0'47.88 N 145°7'48.00 E

Heading 310°
Speed 6.2

Ship's Log:
It´s been a windy, wet, and rock´n roll day, but a good day.  The sky was cloudy with some sun coming through early in the afternoon.  Rain and wind squalls peppered the day and are continuing into the night.  Water regularly sprays over the starboard rail, soaking everyone.  Becca seemed to be in the wrong spot 3 times today starting early in the morning and ending just 20 minutes ago, she´s very wet and salty but handles it all with a great attitude and her infamous laugh (can you hear it t.h.?).  Last night was a difficult night for sleeping; the motion increased quite drastically and even Amanda, who sleeps on the preferable port side, was heard to complain of being rolled too close to the hull.  The trick on the starboard
side is to brace oneself with a foot or arm, or to wedge a foot, hand or arm under the side of the mattress, which helps prevent one´s body from rolling. Another trick is to make one´s sleeping space smaller by lining the perimeter with blankets, soft knapsacks, extra clothes etc. thus allowing no space to roll . . . yes, it´s a skill.  We caught another fish this morning, a dorado, also called mahi mahi or dolphin fish.  It has a beautiful aqua blue and yellow color but quickly loses its brilliance once it is out of the water.  It is a vertically flat fish with a large square head and very tasty.  Chase and Scott marinated the Wahoo steaks along with the Dorado and served them as a mid-day treat. Everyone tidied their bunks this morning and we wiped down the entire interior of the ship.  There was salt water spray over many of the wooden surfaces.  There are still trainees and crew struggling with open wounds that seem to be taking their time to heal.  A PNG doctor called some of them ´school sores,´ something quite common in new environments and situations such as we have on the boat with large groups of people.  We were hoping the ´healing waters of Guam´ would improve their situation, and for some, things have improved.  After lunch we gathered in the stern and Skipper went over our route for Leg 5, outlining our passages on an enlarged chart he had drawn out.  He then passed out rivets to everyone and explained an exercise called ´The Forgiveness Rock´ which we do regularly.  Because we forgot to collect rocks on Chuuk, we are using rivets.  Skipper spoke on ´forgiveness´ and how it allows us to take control over a hurt inflicted upon us, and offers a freedom to move on without
necessarily having the hurting party reconciled as well.  Throwing away a rock, or rivet, is a symbol for beginning a process of letting go of a hurt, either self-inflicted or inflicted by another, that is controlling or inhibiting you.  He read a wonderful passage out of ´Becoming Human´ by Jean Vanier and then everyone had some time to reflect on what had been said and
the part forgiveness can play in their own relationships.  We were crossing the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, and Skipper figured it would take roughly 3 hours for the rivets to settle on the bottom.  Jordan was filming some of the event and lost his favorite hat to the Mariana Trench because his hands were full of the film camera.  In the afternoon
there was reading, writing, sleeping, knitting, and school for the Anderson boys.  A wonderful ´cave´ has been created in the mast end of the main sail and all 3 boys were having a great time playing and rough housing in it together.  It is also a wonderful place to sleep.  Graham and Greg were two of Katie´s galley help and she had them peeling potatoes over the side;
there are always a few that get away, potatoes that is, not trainees.  Zach was also galley help and he was in the galley with Katie making delicious calzones for supper.  Jordan had port watch do work watch today between 1300 and 1500 hrs.  All 7 stood in a line along a double strand of marlin and made baggywrinkle.  Baggywrinkle is 6inch pieces of hemp knotted double
around the marlin and then bunched tightly together to form long 60ft stretches.  These are hauled up the mast and wrapped around the shrouds and stays to prevent chafage on the sails when they rub up against the cable. I enjoy making baggywrinkle; it´s usually a great way to chat with others and keep your hands mindlessly busy at the same time, and it helps Jordan out a
lot.  We should be reaching the southern end of Guam within a few hours. The motion will settle somewhat as we will be in the lee of the island.  We will still have several hours along the western coast before we reach Apra Harbor.  

At 0700 hrs tomorrow we hope to get a pilot to take us in to the dock; which is mandatory in Guam.  Chase would like to wish an early Happy Birthday to his sister Wendy for January 17th.  She will be flying in a few days with all but one of the family to visit Chase and the boat in Guam; we are looking forward to seeing them.  Happy Birthday Wendy from Chase (and
Elske, Bec, Bo, and Arwen).  

Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, some sun, some rain, windy
January 17th 2008 @ 22:00
13°27'42.12 N 144°39'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
Early this morning we arrived outside of Guam and jogged with the engin=
e
on low until our pilot arrived just before 0700hrs.  He approached in big
seas in a small power boat and upon seeing the Grace decided that we were s=
o
beautiful he didn´t want to scratch our hull while lying his boat alongside
in a sea.  He radioed those =8Chigher´ than him and received permission to
just lead us closer in until seas settled and he could come alongside
easier.  He was very friendly and thrilled to bring in such a different boa=
t
than what he was used to, usually Japanese fish boats.  His English sounded
like ours! It was somewhat strange to have someone so like us in physical
characteristics leading us in, talking to us as if we had more in common
with him than with those we´ve been with the past 7 months, which is not
true . . . it´s difficult to describe.  Our shipping agent Bill Thayer is
away until Saturday, but he has a fellow named Mike working for him who was
on the dock with Customs officials, to welcome us.  So far he has been
incredibly willing to help us out in any way, a wonderful welcome.  We know
Bill way back from our first offshore when he was shipping agent for us in
Honolulu, and up until last offshore, we still dealt with him every time we
were in Honolulu.  It will be good to see him.  The Customs officials looke=
d
very smart and =8Cofficial´ in their uniforms, holsters, radios etc . . . als=
o
something we´re not used to.  They were wary of stepping the 2 feet from th=
e
dock to the ship and called for a ramp, which in the end nobody used.  I ha=
d
to remember Palmerston, where the little boats bobbed frenetically up and
down in the swell as it was tied alongside and Jock, the woman who was in
charge of Customs, climbed about 9 ft up onto the Grace in a dress and a
terrific sea . . . I stayed with her in her home and she was a wonderful
woman . . . the memory was enjoyable to ponder.  After Customs and
Immigration everyone was free to explore the island.  Everyone who deals
with Skipper and the ship, very quickly falls under the spell and becomes
friendly, interested and willing to make our visit as good as it can be.  2
fellows from the US Coast Guard came by to have a look and there´s word tha=
t
they want the entire group to come to their place on the beach for a
barbecue; we´ll see what happens.  Last night as we were coming in closer t=
o
the island, we were surprised at the number of lights visible from the
shore; since Palmerston power has often been minimal at night, if present a=
t
all.  My feelings are we will miss the pitch black nights and the quiet of
those places, the chance those societies give for everything to come to a
standstill and rest.  Mail was delivered and Susan and Caley are very happy
with their parcels. Actually, we were all very happy with Susan´s parcels;
her parents sent her dried fruit and roasted nuts from Purdy´s and Susan
shared a box around for everyone to have a taste.  We realized then what we
have been missing; everyone exclaimed how full of taste each almond, each
piece of dried fruit was . . . kind of like one of the final scenes in
=B3Babbette´s Feast=B2 where a large group of people are eating a meal that is
so wonderful it affects all their senses and all they can do is eat in
stillness and enjoy, be awakened. Thank you to Susan´s parents for their
gift.  I´ve mentioned before that Guam was to fulfill many =8Cpromises;´ bosu=
n
Jordan was to find any part for the ship he hasn´t been able to find since
Hawaii, cooks Gillian and Katie similarly were to find food items they have
been unable to get since Leg 1, wounds were to heal because of cooler air
and water temperatures, etc. Several trainees were even hoping STARBUCKS
would be waiting.  Jose bet Bo and Sarah B. he would find one in Guam, and
they would owe him a coffee.  Skipper asked soon after we arrived and the
answer was =8Cno, no STARBUCKS´ and so Sarah and Bo were looking forward to
their STARBUCKS cup of coffee in Shanghai  (By the way, Jose´s offer to mak=
e
supper because of a bet he lost with Katie, happens January 20, more later)=
.
However . . . later that same day, Jose returned to the Grace, all smiles,
and proudly opened his laptop and showed us footage of him, Drew, and Anton=
y
sipping away on extra-huge Frappa-somethings. Apparently there is a small
caf=E9 in the Sheraton Hotel which serves Starbucks coffees.  Sarah and I pla=
n
to visit the site itself and see if his claim carries any validity; again,
we´ll keep you posted.  Groups of trainees left the boat and returned late
in the evening, all with fantastic reports of their days and the people the=
y
met.  The Guamanians (yes!) are incredibly friendly and we were thrilled
with how helpful and interested they are.  The boat is tied up about 12
miles from town and so this means a very long walk in the heat or hitching =
a
ride, or a combination of both.   Skipper and I began walking with the kids
and within a short time were offered a ride in the back of a pick-up; it´s
nice, in this city that reminds us of Waikiki and Honolulu, we are still
able to do this.  We were driven 3 separate times by locals that were so
hospitable.  Even in the shops people would strike up a conversation and
within moments we had a friend.  One couple, Vince and Herda, picked all 8
of us up in the back of their pick-up and dropped us off on the dock right
in front of the Grace, through 2 guarded and checked security gates!  Later
that evening, they returned from their shopping and dropped off 5 cases of
pop. 50 bottles of water, juice, fruit and mini chip bags . . . for no othe=
r
reason than to help us out . . . it´s really something, we need to remember
this when we return home and have a chance to reciprocate in a like manner.
They are coming by sometime with their 12 year old daughter for a tour.
Skipper and I had a great chat with them when they dropped off the food.
Trainees all have stories like ours.  Many trainees have rented cars for
periods of up to 4 days and are planning to tour the island, go diving and
snorkeling, do their laundry or shop in some of the very high end shops in
the tourist and large hotel part of Guam.   Our family wandered in a smalle=
r
part of town but still with plenty of amenities, roads, and buildings we
have not seen the like of since Honolulu 7 months ago. In the food store we
were like kids in a candy shop; the options were incredible, plus there wer=
e
items we hadn´t seen or enjoyed in a long time.  We settled with Triscuits,
cold cheese, cream cheese, a cold drink and yogourt.  You must be telling
yourself =8Cyes okay we get it, just get on with the log´ but for most of us
it was a real eye-opener, especially if it was the first time to experience
this return into a culture somewhat more like ours.  It´s a bit
disconcerting, the superabundance of everything and the expectations we hav=
e
because of so many choices.  Enough said, though I must be honest and admit
that we enjoyed the food, the treats, and especially the opportunity to
choose from so much that is good.  The streets are very wide and we found
that the cars whizzed by incredibly fast; after single lane traffic moving
slowly with people walking everywhere on the sides of the road, this was a
definite change.  I think we were the only ones walking portions of the
distance to town, everyone else had cars, beautiful cars.  There was a smal=
l
group that returned to the ship for a delicious supper of seafood rice and =
a
greek/spinach salad.  Those who went out for supper also said their food wa=
s
good.  James, Rachael, Susan and Tiana shared several dishes at a Japanese
restaurant where they sat together in a little room, on mats on the floor.
James and Rachael also went on a ride called the =8CSlingshot.´  It´s exactly
that, a huge slingshot and they were the =8Crock.´  I heard that Rachael gave
the loudest scream James has ever heard, though he admitted, he screamed
too.  They loved it.  There is so much to explore on this island; we´re
looking forward to the next few days.  This is enough for one night, more
tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, breezy, hot
January 17th 2008 @ 22:00
13°27'42.12 N 144°39'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
Early this morning we arrived outside of Guam and hove to till our pilo=
t arrived just before 0700hrs.  He approached in big seas in a small power =
boat and upon seeing us decided that we were so beautiful he didn=92t want =
to scratch our hull while lying his boat alongside in a sea.  He radioed th=
ose =91higher=92 than him and received permission to just lead us closer in=
 until seas settled and he could come alongside easier.  He was very friend=
ly and thrilled to bring in such a different boat than what he was used to,=
 usually Japanese fish boats.   His English sounded like ours!  It was some=
what strange to have someone so like us in physical characteristics leading=
 us in, talking like we had more in common than what we=92ve been experienc=
ing for 7 months . . . it=92s difficult to describe.  Our shipping agent Bi=
ll Thayer is away until Saturday, but he has a fellow named Mike working fo=
r him who was on the dock with Customs officials, to welcome us.  So far he=
 has been incredibly willing to help us out in any way, a wonderful welcome=
.  We know Bill way back from our first offshore when he was shipping agent=
 for us in Honolulu, and up until last offshore, we still dealt with him ev=
ery time we were in Honolulu.  It will be good to see him.  The Customs off=
icials looked very smart and =91official=92 in their uniforms, holsters, ra=
dios etc . . . also something we=92re not used to.  They were wary of stepp=
ing the 2 feet from the dock to the ship and called for a ramp, which in th=
e end nobody used.  I had to remember Palmerston, where the little boats bo=
bbed frenetically up and down in the swell as it was tied alongside and Joc=
k, the woman who was in charge of Customs, climbed about 9 ft up onto the G=
race in a dress and a terrific sea . . . I stayed with her in her home and =
she was a wonderful woman . . . the memory was enjoyable to ponder.   After=
 Customs and Immigration everyone was free to explore the island.  Everyone=
 who deals with Skipper and the ship, very quickly falls under the spell an=
d becomes friendly, interested and willing to make our visit as good as it =
can be.  2 fellows from the US Coast Guard came by to have a look and there=
=92s word that they want the entire group to come to their place on the bea=
ch for a barbecue; we=92ll see what happens.  Last night as we were coming =
in closer to the island, we were surprised at the number of lights visible =
from the shore; since Palmerston power has often been minimal at night, if =
present at all.  My feelings are we will miss the pitch black nights and th=
e quiet of those places.


Observations:
sunny, breezy, hot
January 18th 2008 @ 22:00
13°27'29.88 N 144°39'46.80 E

Ship's Log:
We are having trouble getting the detailed logs sent through; every tim=
e
we hook up on internet at the Java Caf=E9, it shuts down; frustrating for
Skipper but comforting in the sense that it´s a reminder we´re still in the
South Pacific where not everything is predictable.  The day started early
with morning clean-up and hose showers on the dock. It isn´t the nicest doc=
k
and there are lots of flies but it is secure and it is private.  Again, the
security guards are very friendly and there´s a small but well-stocked
convenience store on site which is handy for a cold drink when one is left
on the ship.  We have another group of trainees taking their dive course at
the Micronesian Dive Centre, a great Scuba Shop with good diving practices
and a wonderful staff.  Graham, Raven, Sarah L, and Jacob are taking the
intense 4 day course. Jacob has been wanting to scuba dive as long as I can
remember and when we heard that the PADI Open Water Course was offered in
Guam for a price less than any course we´ve come across yet (due to the hig=
h
number of men and women at the naval base and tourists wanting to dive), we
jumped at the chance.  Courses started yesterday, 3 1=8E2 hours of classroom
academics.  Tomorrow they start their =8Cpool´ sessions in the ocean and thei=
r
4 deep water dives.  Jacob´s sisters Elske and Bec are accompanying him on
the dives so he feels more comfortable amongst the adults; he´s very excite=
d
and his little brother Noah is somewhat jealous.  Trainees left the boat in
groups of 4 and 5, most of them in rented cars and ready to spend the entir=
e
day away from the boat.  I´m not entirely sure what they do but I think it´=
s
a combination of touring the south coast, visiting the beautiful beaches,
shopping, eating good food, doing errands i.e. laundry, post office,
internet, stash shop etc. They return to the ship by 0100 hrs happy and
tired, ready for their sleep on the deck.  We´ve noticed that the cow means
something more here than just milk and beef, though we´re not yet sure what=
.
There are statues and pictures of bulls all over town, similar to the orca
and bear statues in Victoria set up as fund raisers. Chase´s parents come
tomorrow, he´s excited.  Enjoy all the detailed logs; we´ll try again
tomorrow to send them through.  The crew would like to wish Margaret Clark =
a
tremendous birthday on January 20th; Happy Birthday Marg from all of us.
Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
hot and sunny, nice breeze
January 19th 2008 @ 22:00
13°27'42.12 N 144°39'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
It is very quiet on the ship; only Karen and Antony, myself and the 4 y=
oungest kids are here.  The rest have all gone either dancing or to a film.=
  Having several rental cars has made a big difference to how many trainees=
 stay around the ship.  I must admit though that where we are tied up is no=
t a particularly inviting   place to hang out and definitely doesn=92t lend=
 itself to =91coziness.=92  And this morning it got even worse.  We were as=
ked last night to move for a 200 foot fishing boat that was entering the ha=
rbour in the morning.  We did and Skipper wasn=92t too pleased about the bo=
llard and mooring line situation, they were badly situated.  The fish boat =
however didn=92t think he had enough room and in the end asked us to move a=
way from the dock until he had tied up and then we could come in behind him=
.  Once he was along the dock, he admitted there wasn=92t really room for t=
he two of us but we could tie alongside.  So now we are on the outside of a=
 huge ugly steel fish boat.  The worst of it is that it leaves its generato=
rs running all day and all night.  It is incredibly loud and we can=92t hea=
r each other talk when we=92re on deck.  Skipper has been in touch with the=
 shipping agent and they are trying to work things out.  Today was a day mu=
ch like yesterday with the trainees traveling around the island doing vario=
us things and the Grace quite empty.  Brailey spent some time reorganizing =
her bunk; something we all have to do regularly, especially when we are tie=
d up or at anchor and sleeping on deck.  Our bunks very quickly become a du=
mping ground.  Everyone is enjoying their time here, we all love the chance=
 to get together again at breakfast or late in the night to exchange storie=
s of our day.  Several trainees have been enjoying a night or two, or three=
 in a hotel . . . clean sheets and towels, big beds, showers, swimming pool=
s, room service etc.   Jacob, Graham, Raven and Sarah L finished the first =
two dives of their course today.  The wind was strong and there was quite a=
 bit of current, but Brian, the instructor said they did well.  Tomorrow th=
ey will do 2 more dives that will take them deeper and where they=92ll be a=
ble to see more interesting sea life.  Yesterday Sara R., Sean, Scott and C=
hase dove through a hole 120 feet below the surface.  They said it was amaz=
ing and that the visibility was the best so far; they could see 150 ft in a=
ll directions.  Late in the afternoon we had several rainsqualls; there was=
 a beautiful and complete rainbow.  I went with Skipper to try to send the =
logs from one of the posh hotels where we were told the internet should be =
good.  It was excellent.  These grand hotels are amazing, a totally differe=
nt league from how we travel and move about.  It was astounding to see and =
especially, to be inside, quite overwhelming . . . again, something that ma=
kes one think.  I swam in the pool with Noah and Simon while Skipper worked=
.  I think it was probably the most beautiful pool I have ever swam in; the=
 tiles were dark blue and the water was so clear that I could see easily wi=
thout a mask.  The bottom shone and it almost felt as if it was really some=
one=92s front hall floor and the water had somehow filled the house.  It hu=
ng on the edge of a hill and from eye level in the pool, the edge of the po=
ol melded into the ocean further away.   It was very windy and so not many =
people were swimming.  We are used to swimming in all kinds of water and we=
re thrilled with the opportunity to swim in such a beautiful place.  It is =
late, until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, some sun, still hot, rain in afternoon
January 20th 2008 @ 22:30
13°27'42.12 N 144°39'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
We woke up to a hot day and an amazing breakfast of cold yogourt, fruit
salad, oranges, cereal, and granola.  We were also told that we could move
the Grace alongside 3 barges that were rafted together further up the dock.
Although we would be the fourth vessel from the dock, we would not have to
be alongside the 24hr generator of the fishing boat.  It is more pleasant
here and there are ramps and steps up to and over each barge to the dock.
We have lost our fresh water hose but Skipper will look into it again.
We´ve had a good day. We celebrated my birthday; I had a great day full of
beautiful surprises . . . people are generous and kind. Our dive class set
off early for their final full day with 2 dives and 4 hours of classroom
time and a final exam. It was a long day with some sun burns but they are
now all certified divers.  Jacob was beaming from ear to ear; he got 98% on
his final exam. Trainees continued filling their days with enjoying the
material luxuries of Guam.   Many of us are ready to leave and return to th=
e
simplicity of our life at sea and the smaller villages and islands.  Our
visit in Guam though has been a good one and we have enjoyed those material
extras.  Tonight Jose made supper with the help of Greg.  He made his
signature spinach salad with cashews, pine nuts, peppers, mushrooms and
dressing, along with roasted vegetables and chicken kabobs with peanut sauc=
e
and rice.  It was fantastic; many trainees and crew returned to the ship fo=
r
the meal. As for Starbucks, Jose did lose that bet; we checked and Starbuck=
s
coffee is =8Cproudly served,´ not good enough.  After dishes we held a Sunday
service with lots of instruments, singing and some favorite readings.
Afterwards, Elske moved off the ship to play her violin alone and the sound
wafted beautifully across the dock.  Yesterday Becca and Arwen got a ride
back to the ship with a local woman who was a traditional dancer for the
hotels.  She left the girls at the Police Check point and they started to
walk the remaining 15 minutes.  A policeman named Joze, who was working
there, offered to drive them in the police cruiser to the Grace.  He was
good natured, suave and funny, and told them =B3don´t worry about the
seatbelts, I´m the cop after all.=B2    People continue to be very friendly
but we do miss the closer contact with the local people when the villages
are small.  This is it, we´ve heard that Chase´s family made it safely to
Guam and we´re looking forward to seeing them.  Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
hot and sunny and breezy
January 21st 2008 @ 23:30
13°27'42.12 N 144°39'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
It=92s been another full day for most of us.  Sarah B. traveled around =
the south end of the island again with Sara R. and they discovered a beauti=
ful bay at the end of a hike where they would=92ve liked to stay all day.  =
Zach, James, Tiana, Sean and Caley enjoyed the pool and the waterslide at t=
he Sheraton Hotel while several of the crew was able to do internet in the =
lounge there.  Chase=92s family came down to the ship this evening and we h=
ad a wonderful visit, making plans for tomorrow to spend more time with the=
m.  Chase=92s sister Wendy sailed on two of the four legs of the last offsh=
ore trip and all but one (who is still 12) of Chase=92s siblings have saile=
d on coastal trips in the summer.  This morning Jordan awoke Sara R. at 040=
0hrs to attend an early morning yoga class Sara had heard about.  Unfortuna=
tely Jordan had not used his alarm clock since before the last two time cha=
nges and neither of the two checked their watch.  They drove through the da=
rk streets only to find they had arrived at their yoga class 2 hours early!=
  After a 1 1/2 hours sleep in the car they found the class and read a sign=
 on the door saying, =93welcome to our new location.=94  This was bad news =
as by now they were running out of time; fortunately a woman came up and as=
ked if they were waiting for the Tae-Bo class and Sara and Jordan hesitantl=
y answered =93uuuh, yes.=94  They joined in the class and made it through t=
he entire session.  It was not a yoga class though but another type of mart=
ial art, more aggressive, active and tiring.  Despite everything they enjoy=
ed their morning together and laughed through the entire telling of their s=
tory.  All this happened to them before 0810 hrs.  We are still the minorit=
y here in skin color.  I went to the pool with my 6 kids today and every fe=
w seconds I would glance up and make sure I could see 3 little white boys a=
mongst about 25 darker-skinned kids.  My 3 boys were laughing, screaming, a=
nd smiling along with all the other boys sliding together on a mat or close=
 behind each other down the very large water slide.   I=92m not sure how ma=
ny nationalities were represented in that kids pool; I would have liked to =
ask everyone where they were from.  My guess is they were from Guam, from I=
ndonesia, from China, from Japan, from Malaysia, from the Phillipines . . .=
 all the kids were beautiful and having so much fun together.  Tomorrow Ski=
pper begins the process of clearing out, visiting with customs etc. and the=
n we will leave hopefully by mid-day on Wednesday.  I would like to wish a =
belated (very sorry) Happy Birthday to my nephew Silas who turned 8 on Janu=
ary 15th.  Happy Birthday Silas from all of us; we hope you had an amazing =
day and careful with those wands!  Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.=


Observations:
mostly cloudy, some hot sun, some rain/wind squalls
January 23rd 2008 @ 20:30
14°0'6.12 N 143°57'10.80 E

Heading 326°
Speed 6.2

Ship's Log:
We left Guam at noon with strong winds and big seas within 20 minutes of departure. We raised the trysail, foresail and jumbo but soon lowered trysail and raised a double-reefed main and the jib. The wind is just forward the beam: there is lots of sideways and fore and aft motion and lots of spray over the rails but we are sailing along at 8.2 kts. This continued until this evening: the winds seem to be slackening. The main and the jib are down for the night, and the trysail is up again. It´s good to do so much sail handling, everyone learns faster and we have many eager trainees waiting to be a part of it. A fisherman unloading his fish gave Elske 4 huge yellow-fin tunas this morning. Chase, Scott, Jordan and Elske cut them up and Scott and Chase made fish nuggets for lunch and fish burgers for supper. There will be more for tomorrow´s lunch, it´s excellent. The Farrens family came to the ship to say their good-byes and trainees and crew bought final cold drinks and ice cream. Tonight the sky is clear and several trainees were starting to pick out constellations with Jose.  The moon is full and sheds its light over the sails and the sea, very beautiful.It is exciting to think that in 8 days we will land in Japan: it has always been the destination at the furthest extremity of this offshore voyage.  It is difficult to imagine and we discuss this in the stern as we try to stay dry, holding on to something as the ship heaves back and forth, making its way through the ocean. Until tomorrow, good night, bonice.


Observations:
hot and sunny, strong winds
January 24th 2008 @ 20:30
15°40'5.88 N 141°59'49.20 E

Heading 324°
Speed 6.9

Ship's Log:
It´s been a great day: several of us commented on how the sun no longer feels as intense, although temperatures are still in the mid-thirties. The air and the water are becoming cooler and remind us of weather closer to that of the Hawaiian Islands.  Skipper heard that the temperature in Shanghai is -2 degrees Celsius.  Soon the ´sauna´ the Anderson boys have been sleeping and sweating in for the past 7 months will be the cabin of choice and Katie and Gillian will have 24 hour company in the galley. Last night our cabin registered 31 degrees Celsius: it looks like we will be experiencing a drastic temperature change in the next two weeks. We nearly caught a fish but it got away. Chase purchased a new reel, one that is good for heavier fish and we are excited to catch something on it. Anthony taught an intermediates lesson today while Jordan and chase took sights and practiced their celestial navigation. Crew and trainees are finding they are getting used to the motion quicker third time around, although there are still a few visiting the rail. We are sailing nicely under trysail, foresail, jumbo and jib. The sea is quite lumpy and water continues to spray over the starboard rail and get scooped up through the scuppers. Motion is somewhat mixed up: corkscrew-like, with the ship moving side-to-side as well as fore and aft. Bec, Caley, Graham, Robyn, Katie and Gillian braved the motion to have a bucket shower. Caley lost her conditioner and soap through the scupper and yesterday Karen lost her balance, fell on top of Brailey who was resting on a deck box, and lost her hat over the rail. The night is clear and the moon is shining brilliantly: the temperature for us feels cool and we have put on our sweat shirts, though it´s probably still 25 degrees Celsius. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, some clouds, nice breeze
January 25th 2008 @ 18:30
17°10'5.88 N 140°7'22.80 E

Heading 310°
Speed 5.8

Ship's Log:
We are now at the latitude of hilo on the big island of hawaii: the air is remarkably cooler at night and watch officers are wearing pants and jackets at night to keep warm. during the day the sun is still hot, but the air feels cooler. we caught 2 skipjack tuna simultaneously but let them go: they´re not our favorite fish for eating. we´ve been sailing steadily with slight sail changes. the wind has switched and is now heading us: we are lowering the double-reefed main to raise the trysail. we will sheet the sails tight and turn on the engine and head into it for awhile. the decks are still quite wet from spray and so we continue to huddle in the stern with our books and ipods. starboard watch spent a few hours making baggywrinkle. baggywrinkle is made by tying hundreds of 15cm strands of hemp around a 60ft double line of marlin. the strands of knotted rope get pushed tight
together to form a long section of bristly rope. this gets hauled up the shrouds and wrapped around the cables to prevent the sail from chafing when it lies against these cables. it´s therapeutic work: one just stands in a line, tying knots and chatting, i don´t mind it. jose, elske and antony are being interrogated in their watches today. we´ve spent 4 weeks together and have grown very comfortable with each other: trainees are no longer afraid to ask personal and hilarious questions of each other. they keep reminding each other, ´you´re only loved as well as you´re known,´ a quote they picked up during one of our sunday services. trainees worked together well this evening lowering the mainsail and raising the trysail: it was very windy and there was a lot of motion, they seem eager to learn. the crew would like to wish zachary eggert an amazing 7th birthday january 25th. happy birthday zach, from all of the crew.  also, rachael would like to wish her sister veronica a wonderful 19th birthday for today, january 25th. happy birthday veronica. until tomorrow, good night, bonice.



Observations:
mostly sunny, some clouds, windy
January 26th 2008 @ 21:00
19°5'53.88 N 138°1'55.20 E

Heading 319°
Speed 7.1

Ship's Log:
This passage will be remembered for its drastic change in temperature. Jose wore pants all day, a first in seven months. Although he was the only one, the rest of us wore long sleeved t-shirts or sweatshirts for part of the day and definitely warmer clothes for the night. Sarah b. is on watch from 2000-2400hrs and she is wearing her foul weather gear over her clothes and a hat. Below decks the cabins are still 31 degrees Celsius but they are definitely becoming more comfortable. For the first time in 3 months, I threw a thin sarong over myself for a portion of the night: the fan still goes all night. The temperature on deck at 1800hrs was a very cold 26 degrees Celsius . . . no wonder we were all shivering and talking of digging out our jeans. Zach, Sarah b., Sara r., and Drew took bucket showers today and said the water is getting cooler. We find the daytime weather quite perfect right now, about 35 degrees with a comfortable breeze. We are still motor sailing with the wind heading us. The motion has been somewhat rocky, forward and aft. Gillian and Katie are doing a remarkable job cooking in a space where everything moves and nothing stays in its place. ingredients are stowed under trainee bunks and one often sees the bottom half of either Katie or Gillian on a top bunk digging under a trainees personal gear, then the bedding, then the mattress, and finally the slats to get cans, sugar, flour, beans, chocolate chips, almonds etc. it´s a big job. Amanda scored the highest so far in one turn in the game of scrabble: 118 points for one word in the first round. she scored 50 for using all her letters, scored 2 double word scores, and added an s to ´weasel´ with the word ´convoys´ to receive points for both words. Greg and Jose have found a wrestling partner in each other and are at it intensely several times a day: great entertainment. Jose taught a senior chart work lesson on deck while Jordan and chase set up a taff rail log which will provide them with a dead reckoning position for their celestial navigation. Skipper and Jacob put a new skin on the Marquesian drum, thanks to Dave Eggert and the Farrens who bought and brought the skin to the ship in Guam: it will be good to use it again. This is it, until tomorrow, we are about halfway to Japan: we can see it on the chart. Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mixture of cloud and sun, air cooler, sun becoming more comfortable
January 27th 2008 @ 21:30
20°52'23.88 N 135°46'55.20 E

Heading 322°
Speed 8.3

Ship's Log:
we woke up to a cool morning, about 27degrees Celsius. Throughout the day we found that we were looking for a warm spot to sit in, out of the wind. The change from too hot, to pleasant, to cool has happened quickly. Every one is finding sleeping a lot easier. Scott had a water balloon fight with the 4 youngest Anderson kids: they were all soaked except Simon. Bec got wet by being in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Jose´s watch got fed up waiting for him at lunch and hid in the foc´sle head (bathroom) while he searched the ship for his watch: it was very funny. Chris is nursing some wounds on his ankle: some minor cuts turned nasty but are now finally starting to scab. He´s also trying to find a way to jury-rig his new thermarest chair whose support rods broke. We had a great Sunday service today with many people participating in a discussion on why god would want to come to earth and what type of a man we´d expect him to be. Skipper gave an update on our route and weather and Karen introduced the information package on Japan she pulled together. Kara and Ilia climbed the mast but the motion was quite severe and they didn´t feel that well. We are planning on starting an offshore club. This group will learn how skipper goes about planning an offshore route and will be given all the resources needed to plan a plausible route. Jordan has started a camera club: they´ll learn how to make the best use of their camera and how to make a good picture even better, what makes a good picture, how to ´look,´ etc. quite a few attended the first meeting yesterday. The sky is cloudy and the air is cool: we are all well and happy and getting closer to Okinawa. Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, cool temperatures
January 28th 2008 @ 21:30
22°44'17.88 N 133°16'40.80 E

Heading 320°
Speed 6.5

Ship's Log:
we had another great day and are settling in to life at sea again. the weather and noting its changes has played a big part of our day and night. many trainees commented on how comfortable it was to sleep in the hold and the foc´sle and also how the daytime temperature reminded them of a late spring or an early fall day, absolutely perfect. today was warmer than yesterday, more sun, light clouds and less wind: 31 degrees celsius. seas were quite small and there is a gentle rolling motion, nice for sleeping. many of us took bucket showers as the water is refreshing, yet not too cool. we lowered all the sails except for the trysail as the wind has died, thus the motor is now all that is propelling us forward. the night is soft and cool, with a beautifully clear sky. chase has started a ´stargazing´ club, pointing out different constellations with his laser and using an amazing computer program that shows the position of the stars, descriptions of the constellations, their stories etc. jordan taught joel and sarah l. celestial navigation today. they each took 2 sites and will plot their information tomorrow. several of the female crew i.e. elske, sara r., began their stretching, yoga, exercises etc., now that the seas are smaller and the motion less. gillian welcomed anyone to join her in organizing a trip to beijing. gillian has been to china before and has some good thoughts on what to spend our valuable time on. we held mug-up tonight with drew and sarah b. playing guitar and susan playing ukulele, which she has taught herself this offshore. Our first stop in japan will be the city of naha, the capital of okinawa, which was flattened in wwii. we hope to get there early thursday morning. Until tomorrow, good night, bonice.


Observations:
sunny day, light breeze, warm temperatures
January 29th 2008 @ 21:40
24°22'54.12 N 130°55'12.00 E

Heading 315°
Speed 6.2

Ship's Log:
Today was a cooler and cloudier day. Early in the morning the wind switched to NW though it wasn´t noted anywhere on the weather fax or weather updates. Starboard sleepers were hoping for a good night sleep on this tack but it switched back to NE at 2000hrs: we´ll have to use those lee cloths after all. We caught a small Dorado, Noah pulled it in, but we let it go. Scott started building supports on the rail for the fishing rods. Simon climbed to the top of the mainmast in his bare feet, with his brothers. Jordan began teaching some basic Japanese and gave some hints as to what to do and what not to do when in Japan. Gillian had a large group huddled around a detailed map of Beijing, planning their time there and discussing the various places to visit and stay. Jacob hoisted the Japanese courtesy flag this afternoon: it feels strange and exciting to think we will be in Japan in 1 k days.  The temperature was a cool 27 degrees Celsius with the sun peeking through occasionally: we wore our sweaters. In the evening we had a rain squall and the air stayed cool: Antony´s watch is wearing their raingear. We saw schools of flying fish today: they make a whooshing noise as they fly close above the surface of the ocean together, very neat. This is it, we are all happy and well and full of anticipation for our visits to Japan and China. Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy and cold
January 30th 2008 @ 21:00
25°32'6.00 N 128°34'30.00 E

Heading 322°
Speed 6.2

Ship's Log:
This morning we woke up to a turning point in the weather: the morning temperature on deck was 22degrees Celsius. The 3 Anderson boys appeared in long pants, sweat shirts, windbreakers and wool socks, the first time since leg 1. We were wearing clothes no one had seen us wear before. Many of us pulled out sleeping bags during the night to keep warm: yes, we have crossed a line and we are surprised at how cold we feel, though the temperature reads 22 degrees, a nice summer day in Victoria. Skipper went through the steps and materials on planning an offshore route: many trainees were interested and there is a core group that is keen on creating a possible route for the next offshore voyage. Drew and Karen led a discussion on ´pain´ in our world, our response to it and thoughts on how we deal with it. It went well and people felt comfortable contributing their ideas. It rained hard and cold for a portion of the day and we immediately noticed how we spend more time below, staying warm and making warm drinks. Everyone cleaned their bunk and helped wipe down all the wooden surfaces around the cushions. Robyn and Amanda baked peanut butter brownies for dessert. Trainees and crew are very excited about arriving tomorrow and are talking about how they will fill their days, both in Okinawa, Japan, and in shanghai, China. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy with some rain, cold
January 31st 2008 @ 21:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'37.20 E

Ship's Log:
You no longer need to envy us our warm weather: today could have been any cold, wet rainy day in a Victoria winter. We awoke to 15 degrees Celsius which felt absolutely freezing to us. We wore hats, scarves, mittens, and layered clothing under fleece and down, and covered it over with our rain gear. The wind picked up strength during the night and the seas increased. It was an unsettled night for most of us. There was a lot of shipping traffic and skipper was up for much of the night with the watch officers. By 1000hrs we were tied to the dock in Naha. About 10 Japanese officials and our shipping agent were waiting for us. They all boarded and joined skipper in the after cabin. There were several men with white gloves inspecting the ship but they seemed more interested in just having a good look and admiring the grace: they were all very friendly. Jordan was able to communicate with them, though the shipping agent speaks English. It took until 1700 hrs before we were allowed to go ashore. Rachael and Amanda helped Gillian make pizza for supper and then nearly everyone went into town for their first look at Japan. Skipper and I walked with the boys into a food market nearby and were fascinated with everything, especially the fish section. We saw squid, octopus, bags of tiny dried minnow-like fish, fine strings of white dried fish, small 3cm diameter dotted eggs beside the chicken eggs, exquisitely displayed and sliced fish in packages for sushi, whole fish sliced thinly but still in it´s shape etc . . . so much to look at and 90% of what we saw, we weren´t quite sure what it was, plus we couldn´t read the labels, it was fun. The crew spent a wet and cold afternoon tightening the rig: this job will continue for a few days. Trainees spent the afternoon below decks, sleeping, playing cards, writing and reading. There are big plans for tomorrow, Naha is a big city. Until then, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
rainy, cold, cloudy
February 1st 2008 @ 21:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'37.20 E

Ship's Log:
Today was our first full day ashore. Trainees are still away from the boat enjoying Naha. The walk into town takes about an hour and passes by commercial and residential buildings and along busy roads. But because it is so different from what we´re used to, it is an interesting walk and there is so much to look at. Everywhere we see small narrow lanes and doorways leading into a back alley or up steep stairs to a home or work area.
Balconies are often covered in lines with drying laundry. The main shopping street has so many small and very brightly lit stores full of things one doesn´t need but are fun to look at, and everything is packaged, everything. Most of the packaging is beautifully done and I think the Japanese take pride in it and see it as an art. The labels are in Japanese and covered in pictures; we cannot tell if the package contains soap, tea, fish, candy or cigars . . . it´s very amusing, a huge guessing game. I´ve never been in a country where I can neither read nor speak the language; it´s a skill to try to get one´s meaning across through pictures, charades, pointing, smiling, bowing, etc. There is not a lot of English spoken here. We are trying to learn some basic Japanese but I´m finding it difficult and one time said ´hello very much´ rather than ´thank you very much!´ Off the main street we wandered down 2 long and narrow alleys (no cars allowed) which are crisscrossed with more minor alleys each lined with hundreds of small stalls like a large bazaar, a maze of shops selling absolutely everything and all in Japanese . . . it´s stunning, fantastic, one is truly far from home. Within this maze there is another public market where fish, meat and other unknown-to-us foods are sold. It is an enclosed area with glass doors leading on all 4 sides to this other larger bazaar market. Everything is neat and tidy and there is no garbage or flies etc. on any of the meat. We saw pig feet, pig faces, pig snouts, lobsters, shellfish, parrot fish . . .oh so much; a lot of seafood we recognized but there was much, much more that we didn´t recognize and were afraid to ask about as they would offer us a sample! People were incredibly friendly and enjoyed watching us wander through and peer at everything curiously, full of questions amongst ourselves. It´s all so fascinating. We´ve noticed that life is efficient here; things run smoothly and everywhere is kept clean, tidy, and working. Recycling is well established in the city with separate bins for plastics, paper, tin, etc.  We have been very impressed. Jose and Jordan tried out a public ´bath house´ this evening. For about $10 one can clean, rinse and sit in a communal hot bath, naked. Men and women are in separate areas but the women running the houses ask clients to follow the rule to not wear bathing suits. Trainees have found internet, laundry, gardens, a Pottery Museum, shops, etc. There are also several world heritage sights worth seeing nearby. The temperature seemed slightly warmer today but it is still cool. In 2 days we have completely switched over to winter wear. Anything to do with our life of a week ago has disappeared, bathing suits, shorts, sunhats, sunscreen, living on deck, rinsing in the ocean, sleeping on deck, sweating etc. It´s quite something. Last night we were cozy in the after cabin playing SCRABBLE with the stove on and enjoying a hot drink! I heard that 4 trainees slept on deck, but most of us are under quilts in our bunks, such a difference from sleeping in very little and with no covers. I´m already missing the heat and our ´tropical life on deck´ and counting the days until mid-April when the Hawaiian sun will hopefully meet us halfway across the north Pacific. Skipper, the Anderson kids and I would like to wish Karen Anderson, Skipper´s sister, a wonderful day on her birthday, February 1st. Happy Birthday Karen from all of us. Sarah B. would like to wish her mom a very Happy 51st birthday for January 31. Happy Birthday mom, from Sarah.Trainees and crew are all well, very happy, and fully enjoying our stay in
Japan. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.



Observations:
cloudy skies, dry, cool
February 2nd 2008 @ 21:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'37.20 E

Ship's Log:
The evening has been cold, wet and windy, although the earlier part of the day was quite nice, no sun but not as cold as the two previous days. A low pressure area went over top of us and brought with it very strong winds. During supper the wind became incredibly strong and gusty and the rain poured down; within 10 minutes the wind had changed direction as the system blew itself out. All day the wind has blown the Grace onto the dock and the crew has had to monitor the fenders to protect the hull from scraping against the pilings; when we checked the decks during the storm, the wind had switched and was blowing the ship away from the dock and the Grace was about 10ft from it. It´s nice not to be out at sea right now. At breakfast this morning there were about 7 trainees sporting new hair styles; they had gone together to the hair dresser to make a change. Elske, James, Sarah L., Rachael, Greg, Bec, and Robyn all had great looking and smelling hair.
Several crew and trainees went to the public bath house and all said it was absolutely amazing. Tiana, Drew, Jose, Gillian, and Antony have encouraged everyone to give it a try. There are personal stalls and each are outfitted with a tap, soap, shampoo, seat, bucket, wand for rinsing, mirror, temperature control on the water and an unlimited amount of water. After a wash down and rinse (Simon scrubbed down for half an hour, he loved it so much) there was a choice of 5 different pools, a dry sauna, a steam room, a wet sauna, and an exfoliating room which is like a sauna with a bucket of soft, icing sugar textured salt to rub over oneself before rinsing, to soak or sit in. There were dippers and buckets for rinsing and pouring by every pool or sitting area. It apparently was heavenly and everyone says they feel so clean and have lost about 10 layers. Skipper took Noah and Simon and the boys were thrilled and have asked to go again and to stay longer. Skipper said it is wonderfully and efficiently set up, yet it is beautiful, with the entire area tiled. The rest of the day was filled with visiting the castle, communicating on the internet, laundry, grocery shopping, electronic shopping, visiting the downtown area, eating interesting foods etc. Trainees have all stayed away for the day with only a small group of us returning to the ship for supper and boat keeping. Yesterday fore watch went out for sushi as a watch. Tonight port watch is eating out together. Skipper, the boys and I wandered through the fish markets and the alleyways again, this time with our camera. It was delightful and we saw so many more interesting things. The manner in which the Japanese cut, prepare and present all the different kinds of fish is astounding and I can wander through the fish aisles for a long time admiring the shapes, colors, textures, preparation, presentation etc. The boys too are fascinated with all the strange kinds of food we see. Yesterday we saw some long black coils and some long black snake-like shapes. We discussed them and decided they were seed pods, like the very large ones we saw in the Marquesas. Today we realized they are dried snakes and they use them in soups! We´ve also seen huge snakes pickled in large jars. Apparently the liquid forms a delicious liquor they enjoy here. It is all very interesting and we wish we could ask the vendors questions. Walking down the street today we were stopped by a group of young Japanese students wearing school uniforms. They were attracted by Skippers massive red beard and our very blond-haired boys. They asked if it was okay to touch the beard, so intrigued were they with it. They then asked if they could take their pictures with Skipper and the boys; it was very amusing. We spent some time tonight going over some of our photos from the previous legs; we have visited some amazing places. We realized how much we already miss playing in the water and being so intimately involved with the local people. Japan is a fascinating place but the sense of play and getting to know the community and feeling a part of it, just isn´t available to us as it was in the South Pacific amongst the islands and the smaller communities. It´s difficult to admit that that portion of our voyage is perhaps over, and to be open-minded for the differences that are awaiting us. Trainees are beginning to return to the Grace, I will stop here. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.



Observations:
cloudy, slightly milder temperature, strong winds, rain squalls at
night
February 2nd 2008 @ 22:00
26°13'59.88 N 127°4'1.20 E

Ship's Log:
thanks to a calmer sea, everyone had a good sleep last night.  skipper =
finally caught up after 2 busy nights with only a total of 5hrs sleep.  ton=
ight again, sleep should come easy: we are at anchor waiting for slack tide=
 into the inland sea.  today was a cloudy day with lightning, thunder and r=
ain in the evening just as the anchor was being lowered.  we had one sittin=
g for supper, all of us squeezed together and cozy in the hold.  today rave=
n and ilya braved the cold and took a bucket shower: i came up on deck in m=
y down coat and woolen scarf, shocked to see raven standing in his shorts o=
nly, wet and soaping down . . . either very brave, or very dirty.  karen ta=
ught a splicing lesson this afternoon to anyone who was interested.  robyn =
and ilya baked brownies.  noah helped by adding the chocolate chips and sim=
on helped by licking out the bowl.  we enjoyed the brownies after sunday se=
rvice this evening.  amanda is a consistent and enormous help in the galley=
: today she made the scones to go with the soup at lunch.  tiana continues =
to knit leg warmers with the beautiful new wool her mom sent her in shangha=
i.  bo is slowly making progress on a hat for skipper: a hat pattern graham=
 brought along from home.  the anderson boys made kites in the after cabin,=
 carving and shaping the doweling from yellow cedar strips and laying very =
thin paper over the finished wood skeleton.  in the hold trainees and crew =
played cards and crib, read books, wrote, listened to music, or slept.  on =
deck there is usually a small group of well-clad supporters of the helmsper=
son and watch officer on watch, and pleasant chit chat and laughter wafts d=
own into the after cabin.  jacob was able to get the after cabin stove to w=
ork this evening: we are happy . . . and warm.  hot tea is the favored beve=
rage these days.  so many of us participated in tea ceremonies in shanghai =
and beijing and came away with at least one new type of tea.  tonight at mi=
dnight we change our clocks: we move forward an hour: from here on our days=
 will become shorter as the time lapse between the ship and canada decrease=
s.  after sunday service this evening we held a wonderful mug-up: trainees =
called out many ´camp favorites,´ and everyone sang while jose and gillian =
played guitar, and antony played mandolin.  the rain sounds nice on the dec=
k when one is down below: we are happy with our ´home.´  until tomorrow, go=
od-night, bonice.


Observations:
cloudy skies, rain, thunder and lightning toward evening
February 3rd 2008 @ 20:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'1.20 E

Ship's Log:
Today has been a very windy day; Skipper continues to monitor the weather, waiting for a window of favorable winds to get us across the East China Sea to Shanghai.  The ship was quiet today with Karen and Skipper ship keeping and most of the trainees exploring town.  The bathhouse seems to be the highlight of our Japanese experiences so far and crew and trainees have returned repeatedly.  Sara R. enjoyed traveling on the monorail that covers the central part of the city. Jordan and Sarah B. took a combination of buses and taxis to visit the Aquarium about l 1/2 hrs. from Naha.  They said it was fantastic; they saw pigmy killer whales, whale sharks, manta rays, sea horses etc. all enclosed in a huge tank.  Noah, Simon and Jacob learned how to knit today and have big plans to knit scarves; Noah has stuck with it the longest so far and is still sitting in his bunk listening to music and knitting.  Crew and a few trainees held a small Sunday service tonight. Today was Drew´s 35th birthday and we finally made a cheesecake for Noah, Bonice, and Drew to celebrate their birthdays.  Tomorrow at 0900hrs a bus is coming to take about 20 trainees to the Aquarium for the day.  The crew is hoping to paint the hull in preparation for our visit to Shanghai, but the weather will have to be better than it was today for that to happen.  This is it for tonight, until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold, windy, wet
February 4th 2008 @ 23:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'37.20 E

Ship's Log:
We woke up to a nicer morning, the skies were light blue and there was slight warmth to the sun, like an early spring day when one looks forward to the end of the cold.  At 0900 the bus came to take 20 trainees and Katie to the Oceanic Culture Museum that boasts a 10,000 ton aquarium.  Everyone returned to the ship at 1600hrs with good reports of their day.  The drive took them along a spectacular coast, through a steady stream of communities, industrial areas etc.  The highlight was the whale shark.  Antony, Jose, Karen and Sarah B. spent most of their day alongside the Grace in the zodiac sanding and painting the port side of the hull, getting the ship ready for public viewing in China.   The weather cooperated wonderfully.  When they were done they were covered in a fine black dust and so we sent them all to the baths for a thorough clean.  Skipper and I took our entire family to the bathhouse today.  The girls were nervous initially but after 10 minutes, they were enjoying themselves and taking advantage of copious amounts of water at any temperature and a variety of pools with jets or bubbles or just calm, and dry and wet saunas and even a sauna with salt for exfoliating...wonderful.   Arwen and I went into the salt sauna and immediately one of the Japanese women started rubbing salt on my back and then began massaging my upper back, neck, shoulder, arm etc . . . heavenly.  She then gave Arwen the same treatment.  I wanted to offer her a back massage, but she left the sauna and all we could do was thank her over and over again (“domo arigato, domo arigato”).  Our culture is not one that is comfortable with being in the nude amongst each other, even separately as men and women.   We felt fortunate to have this experience amongst a culture that is so comfortable with their bodies in this situation; there´s something to learn from them in this realm.  Quite a few of the trainees also went to the baths again today, enjoying a final clean before we head off hopefully tomorrow.   Crew commented repeatedly on how clean they felt, as if they had reached the softest and cleanest they´ve been in a while, possibly since they were born! I forgot to mention the vending machines.  We noticed it the first night we went for a walk. Vending machines selling both hot and cold drinks are everywhere along the sides of the street, even in areas where we would be concerned about vandalism.  We have seen up to 7 of them lined up in a row and the Japanese use them regularly to get pop, juice, tea, coffee etc.  The same machine puts out hot and cold drinks.  My kids love them and run from machine to machine, at least one set every block, checking for loose change. Caley, Graham and Zach had their haircut professionally; we´re becoming a pretty smart looking crew.   On our long walk home tonight, about 2230hrs, we were discussing leaving for sea again, with our kids.  Simon was very tired but piped up, “Where are we going tomorrow?´´  We all laughed when we answered, “Tomorrow we´re going to China.”   How often will we get the chance to say that to each other? It has been a good day; there´s always so much to see and figure out.  Trainees are truly making the best of their time here, enjoying as many cultural experiences as they can.  Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny skies in the morning, cool temperatures, no rain
February 5th 2008 @ 22:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'37.20 E

Ship's Log:
We were hoping to leave for Shanghai mid-day today but when skipper checked the weather he saw that a low pressure system lasting about 18 hrs was moving through our sailing area.  The wind picked up in the afternoon and the rain hasn´t stopped all day. We´ve decided to wait until tomorrow morning to depart, after another final weather check.  Many of us spent most of the day on the ship ´hanging out´ together.  It felt like a rainy weekend day in Victoria: a good day for cups of tea, scrabble, playing cards, cribbage, reading, chatting, writing, sleeping etc.  Arwen and Tiana baked brownies and iced them: we enjoyed them for dessert.  Amanda and Katie made banana pancakes with bacon to celebrate shrove Tuesday, the day before ash Wednesday, the beginning of lent.  Our shipping agent Isshi, sent along an engineer friend of his to help us with some odd jobs and items.  His name is Haruji and he´s been an incredible help, finding things we need and bringing them to the ship.  He´s been an engineer for a long time and is very knowledgeable.  He´s also very friendly and fell in love our 6 kids saying to skipper, ´you are a very rich man.´  This evening he visited with us for the final time: gifts were exchanged as well as best wishes and good ideas for the next time we come to Okinawa.  Amanda would like to wish her little brother John Michael a wonderful birthday on February 5th.  Happy birthday and I love you, from Amanda.  Sarah l. would also like to wish her cousins Shama, Kade, Chace, and Chantelle very happy birthdays.  This is it for tonight, until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
rainy and cold
February 6th 2008 @ 21:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'37.20 E

Ship's Log:
We are enjoying another day in Okinawa as the seas outside the harbor are measuring 30feet; we may be here tomorrow as well.  There is swell at the dock, far from the open sea.   Naha is becoming quite familiar and we continue to find interesting things to fill our days.   Many of us are fitting in another trip to the bathhouse, a great way to spend a few hours on a cold and wet day.  The internet cafe is another favorite place to go and it offers free drinks, ice cream etc.  There is a Starbucks here and it is beginning to feel like home as well as it has a big and comfortable sitting area where we can write letters, journal, or read.  Okinawa is known for its glass and pottery and several crew and trainees have been shopping around and are considering bringing some home.  I was with my 3 girls today at Starbucks, reading, and we met a wonderful young Japanese woman who was very interested in what we were doing and where we had been.  She was also keen to share information about Okinawa and left for 15 minutes to go to the market to get some Okinawan cane sugar candy and donuts for us to try.  We exchanged email addresses and I hope to stay in touch with her.  She is learning English, it´s quite good, but we also had paper and pen to help us communicate.  Yesterday I met a French couple and their 2 small children visiting from Shanghai.  They both work there, for 5 years already, and gave us some information on what to do, what to look out for etc.  She gave me her phone number if ever we should need anything when we´re there.  In the bathhouse today I received another back rub and this time the woman allowed me to rub her back as well.   It has been interesting trying to do what needs doing without knowing the language, i.e. laundry, making change, finding the bank, figuring out the telephone, ordering food, asking for directions, buying anything (we can´t read the labels on anything), etc.  We take communicating by mouth for granted, though it´s been amusing trying to be understood via other means . . . rather humbling.  The cooks bought yogurt for breakfast to eat with the granola.  They chose several different colors of containers, hoping to offer several different flavors.  It turned out they were all plain yogurt!  Perhaps the different colour lids had something to do with the fat content, we still don´t know.  This type of thing happens constantly and it makes for some hilarious stories.   Aruji took Jordan, Skipper, Jacob, Noah, and Simon to a Japanese restaurant for ´soki soba,´ fresh noodles in a broth with 2 pork rib sections placed on top.  The meat is incredibly tender; my kids love it. As soon as they had entered and had seated themselves on tatami mats on the floor around a low table, they were served cold jasmine tea.  After the meal, hot jasmine tea was served.  Aruji then took them all to the port where he works and showed the boys some very large ships and some beautiful models he has in his office. We are becoming quite proficient in the use of chopsticks and some of us are using them regularly at mealtime. I am enjoying the ´sing song´ voices of the Japanese women every time we enter or leave a store, bank, building etc.  It is a greeting that is accompanied by a nod and slight bow of the head.   We´ve learned very quickly to return the greeting or salutation; the Japanese are very friendly people.  We have commented on how safe we feel here; probably the safest we´ve felt during the entire offshore voyage.  We are all happy and healthy, and still enjoying Naha. Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, some rain, wind
February 9th 2008 @ 21:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'37.20 E

Ship's Log:
We are still in Okinawa and it´s a good thing.  The wind is blowing 40 knots in the harbor and there is a 4ft. chop.  Water is splashing up the hull on the lee side of the ship.  The wind is blowing off the dock and there is a 10ft. gap between it and the Grace.  Every time someone needs to get on or off the ship we either start up the engine to move the ship in closer, or they swing across ´tarzan style´ on the outhaul.  Aruji thought it was hilarious the way we swing ourselves back and forth off the ship. The wind is howling and whistling through the rigging.  The ship is heeled over to port and moves as if we were at sea; some of the cupboard doors are flapping open and shut . . . it´s amazing.  We are incredibly thankful to be tied to the dock and not at sea. It has also been raining all day. We walked twice the 45 minutes to and from town with our boys.  No whining, just steady walking with a promise of noodle soup when we returned to the boat. There is an entire aisle of cup-a-soup-style soups to choose from in the soup section of the grocery store, and the portions are more bowl-size than cup-size.  They come in all combinations with additions such as bacon, kelp, green onion, sesame seeds, miso, chicken, shrimp, beef, corn, egg, tofu, potato etc.  They are quite delicious and make an inexpensive snack or meal. Anybody who walked anywhere today returned to the ship wet.  We are very grateful to have the engine room to use as a drying area and a warm hold to come ´home´ to, with people ready to ask us how our day was.  We met my Japanese friend again in town this morning. I didn´t get to talk with her (I was still on my way there with the 3 boys) but she recognized the girls and they introduced Skipper to her.  She moved her things near to him and they chatted.  She then ran off and returned with a bag full of fresh soba noodles (like our fresh pasta; still soft) with a variety of sauces and instructions in English on how to prepare it.  She left it all with the girls and told them to enjoy the meal. She then went to attend a lesson on the Japanese Tea Ceremony.  The day was spent relaxing on the boat and walking into town in the rain. There was a large group on the ship for a lasagna and salad supper made by Katie, delicious.  After supper Elske and Arwen baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and everyone snuggled down together in the hold to watch a DVD entitled ´The Ocean,´ one of the films in the BBC Planet Earth series.  We are quite sure that we will still be here for tomorrow and many of us have planned a final visit to the bathhouse.  This experience seems to be one that we never tire of and suits this weather perfectly. Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
very windy and rainy, cold
February 10th 2008 @ 21:30
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'40.80 E

Ship's Log:
This morning the cruise ship =B3Rhapsody of the Sea=B2 tied up perpendicular to us.  She carries 2200 passengers and a crew of 800; it is huge and looks like a city floating on water, especially at night with all the lights shining.  It looks quite new with a large climbing wall in the stern on the uppermost deck.  In yesterdays storm waves were breaking at the fifth level, the floor even with the foredeck.  The Captain said he has been sailing into Naha for 11 years and yesterday was the windiest weather he has experienced. It was reassuring to hear this as it confirmed all the weather reports
Skipper has been keeping up with and made us happy we have remained tied to the dock.  Tomorrow is National Foundation Day, a holiday for the Japanese. Immigration will not be open so the earliest we can leave is Tuesday, if the weather looks better, a lot better.  Today the main street was closed down to car traffic and there were street performers juggling, singing, dancing etc. as well as stations set up for kids where they could blow bubbles and draw with chalk on the street.  There were many families walking the street; it was quite festive.  Japanese television was recording and filming the events and the people taking part or watching. We´ve noticed since we arrived here that there are people that choose to wear a dusk mask over their mouth and nose.  It seems random who wears it, we´ve seen older people, men dressed in suits, women looking smart in their work clothes, and small children.  I´m not sure whether these people are more prone to allergic reactions . . . I can´t ask them!  The kids and I are trying to learn how to write several Japanese words; the Japanese writing is so beautiful.  We have chosen the words ´water´ and ´boat´ to begin with.  The cars we see everywhere are very different to most of the cars at home.  They are all small, even the work trucks i.e. the delivery trucks, the cement trucks.  They park in the smallest places and most of them look in very good condition.  They look like toy cars; it´s hard to take them seriously. We learned that Okinawa is the home of karate.  In 1609 the Shimazu from Satsuma invaded Okinawa.  A law had been passed in the fifteenth century which banned the carrying of weapons in the Ryukyu kingdom, and so the well-armed adversary conquered easily.  The Shimazu exploited the Ryukyus greedily and enforced the no-weapon law for the next 250 years. “It was during this time that the ´te´ or unarmed fighting techniques of the native Ryukyuans, began to be developed and refined in secrecy.  As the Shimazu kept up trade with China under the front of the Ryukyu kingdom, many traders and sailors from China settled in Naha, including many Chinese martial artists.  Local ´te´ practitioners had the chance to practice with and learn from these people.  Later, Okinawans headed to China to study the Chinese fighting arts. What we now know as the martial art of karate is a mixture of traditional Okinawan ´te´ and techniques introduced from China . . .  In the years before WWII karate gained increasing popularity on mainland Japan. After the war, occupying troops took the martial art home to America with them.  Hollywood became involved and karate´s popularity spread around the globe (from the ´Lonely Planet:  Japan´).”  Everyday we learn something interesting or find something intriguing to look and wonder at.  It isn´t really that difficult to keep spending another day here, especially with the kids; there´s so much to look at and try.  Susan wishes her mom a tremendous 61st birthday, February 10th. Happy Birthday mom, from Susan. Arwen wishes her best friend Jocelyn an awesome 15th birthday, February 10th as well. Happy Birthday Bob, have a great day, from Arwen.   This is it for today, until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.



Observations:
cold, windy, no rain
February 12th 2008 @ 13:00
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'40.80 E

Ship's Log:
I am writing for yesterday and today as we are still waiting in Okinawa.
We had a beautiful spring day yesterday, a true gift after all the wind and rain.  I was in the park with the boys and the warmth of the sun was such that we could have worn shorts and a T-shirt.  I felt encouraged to make the following crossing.  Many of us are anxious about what the crossing to Shanghai will be like, it has been so cold and windy, so different from any weather we´ve had in a long time.  There were kids in the park to play with; the little girls enjoy practicing their English with us and the little boys tag my boys to initiate a game of chase, no conversation needed.  I had a chance to sit, be warm, and read my book and play catch with Simon, a perfect moment.  Today the weather has switched to its former ugly self and we have gale force winds again.  The weather forecast predicted one day of calm before a renewal of the winds.  Shanghai is having good weather right now so hopefully we will leave tomorrow if the storm warnings are over. Trainees and crew are continuing to fill their days hanging out on the ship and walking the streets of Naha.  We had a wonderful and long walk along the canal with the boys yesterday; there are so many small and narrow streets to explore.  Everything here is small and narrow, the roads, the sidewalks, the buildings, the stairwells, the alleys, the entrances . . . all intriguing. The Japanese people are also interesting to watch.  There is a big interest in fashion and how one looks, much more so than at home. We feel quite under-dressed here and ´gypsy-like´ in our appearance, even when we put on our best, non-wrinkled clothes.   The women wear several layers on their upper body, most of them made of thin fabrics and often quite delicate and fine, sometimes lacey.  The younger women like to wear tight, short skirts, shorts, or knee length shorts with tights or snug-fitting leggings underneath.  On top of this they wear a thigh-length coat, sometimes with fur around the collar or down the front.  They look quite stunning; I don´t think the fashion is the same at home, but it is not something I´m usually on top of and we´ve been away for sometime.  The men look smart in black suit jackets and black tighter fitting pants with a white shirt underneath. The younger men keep the shirt un-tucked, with the collar standing up and the jacket open, while the older men wear the suit more traditionally. Hair is often styled with both the men and the women.  Both sexes like layered hair and both wear it long.  Bangs are popular and there are some Japanese who dye their hair auburn.  There are some fantastic ´beehive´ hairdos from the 60´s being worn as well. The children look very cute and look smart in their ´trendy´ kids clothes . . . layered dresses, tunics, shirts and leggings for the girls and longer shorts and t-shirts for the boys, also with often a longer duffle-type coat over top. I have seen many very fun, fashionable and impractical shoes.  Like I´ve said over and over, there is always something to look at and notice; it is enjoyable and a good way to pass the time.  Drew, our volunteer watch officer, left us today to begin his job as mate on the Pacific Swift. His flight takes him to Shanghai where he will spend a day before flying home to Victoria.  It has been fun to have Drew aboard for the past 5 weeks and we´re thankful for all his help and input into the program.  There are several trainees struggling with sore throats and runny noses.  This extra time has given them a chance to rest and hopefully get over the worst of their cold.  Last night quite a few crew and trainees ate at a Sushi restaurant that had a moving train displaying the different food offered.  All the tables were in close proximity to the train and you took off the train what you wanted.  Each item was on a different colored plate that represented a different price.  At the end of the meal, the plates were counted up and the total amount presented.  There was a hot water tap and an endless supply of green tea.  We tried raw squid, raw octopus, raw salmon, fish eggs, California sushi rolls with cucumber, deep fried prawns, and deep fried oyster. It was quite delicious. There were so many to choose from; some looked very slimy, they nearly walked off the plate.  It was a wonderful experience.   This will be it for today; we are happy and mostly healthy, ready to leave Okinawa soon.  Good night, Bonice.



Observations:
beautiful yesterday, stormy today
February 13th 2008 @ 21:15
26°14'12.12 N 127°40'40.80 E
no log entry

Observations:
It has been another cold and windy day.  This evening the rain has
started.  We celebrated Chris´ 20th birthday today with breakfast, lunch an=
d
supper chosen by him and Valentine cookies baked by Amanda and Kara for
dessert.  Tonight everyone went bowling after supper.  There are just a
handful of us left on the ship.  Skipper has gone into town to check the
weather sites. We keep the stoves in the after cabin and in the galley on
all day and it is quite cozy below.  We find it hard to imagine that just 2
weeks ago we were so hot.  Joel lies comfortably in his sleeping bag in the
bunk nearest the galley with the stove on! Just two weeks ago we would wait
until the last minute to file down the companionway to grab a plate of food=
;
now, we climb down and squeeze into the warmth of the hold as soon as we
can. Yesterday Skipper shaved off his beard; it is getting very bushy and
provides interesting comments and looks from the Japanese.  We were in the
park with the kids when the school bell went and immediately 7 or 8 young
Japanese boys ran over to us holding their chins, saying ´ah, ah, ah,´ and
staring intently at Skipper.  They were wondering what happened to Santa.
We imitated cutting and shaving and they laughed, exclaiming in their
language, over and over.  At the bathhouse, both the women working at the
front desk and in the bathhouse itself were surprised to see Skipper withou=
t
his beard.  One of them raised her eyebrows and said, ´look handsome!´
Another older man whistled from behind us in the parking lot near the
grocery store to get our attention and then opened and closed his hands by
his chin, pointed to Skipper and gave the thumbs up sign.  We didn´t know
who he was but he must have recognized us from another day when Skipper had
his beard.  And part of Skipper´s reason to get rid of it was to be less
noticeable . . . good luck.
Many of us have had another chance to return to the bathhouse; it´s just th=
e
nicest thing to do on these cold, windy and rainy days.  Here there is the
chance to get completely clean and warm and with the different jet pools yo=
u
can get a pretty good massage on all parts of your body.  It is a chance to
be quiet and to reflect, to try and read all the Japanese signs
unsuccessfully. Sometimes there is an attempt to be social, to try to
exchange small bits of information, and an offer to have your back rubbed
with salt or the gift of a massage.  It really is one of the most wonderful
experiences here in Okinawa.  We as a family have also loved our daily
visits to the school playground. The kids have come to know us and enjoy
being close to us, nodding respectfully their ´hello, how are you´ and any
other bit of English they know.  They know much more English than I know
Japanese; it´s frustrating, all these wonderful kids to chat with and I
can´t.  We have communicated via pictures; they seem to enjoy that. They
understand now that we live on a boat and have sailed to Okinawa from
Canada; they were quite excited about that.  The Japanese kids are great in
that they continue to come to us and say hello or wave, they try to tell us
things, and best of all, they play with my kids without the need of a
complicated and common vocabulary, they create their own.  I look forward t=
o
these afternoons.  One little girl came up to me on her own, I was reading,
and shyly nodded her head in greeting to me, then said ´hello´ and ´how are
you´ and then nodded respectfully again and said ´good-bye.´  It was
priceless; perhaps I was a chance to practice her English, but she was very
beautiful about it and I will remember her.  This is it for today; hopefull=
y
tomorrow night I will be sending the log from out at sea. Gillian would lik=
e
to wish her Uncle Gord a Happy Birthday for February 13th.  Happy Birthday
Uncle Gord, from Gillian.  Good night, Bonice.(EL)
February 14th 2008 @ 20:00
26°37'59.88 N 127°14'16.80 E

Heading 330°
Speed 5.2

Ship's Log:
Well, we´ve done it, we´ve untied our lines and now we´re bouncing and rolling around on the ocean once again, though this time it is very, very cold.  Haruji and Iishi were at the dock to see us off. Haruji has been an amazing friend and very helpful.  I think he enjoyed coming by the ship, visiting with Jordan and skipper and seeing Noah, Jacob, and Simon playing, climbing and swinging so comfortably on the deck and in the rigging.  Haruji is 72 years old and still working as boss engineer with 3 shops running well with a good number of men working for him.  We left Naha at 1300hrs under a partially cloudy sky.  There were a few times this morning when the warmth of the sun made it through and it was very pleasant to sit on deck.  Robyn baked ginger molasses cookies as soon as we were out at sea: they were delicious.  We celebrated Valentine´s Day today with some being more into it than others.  Greg called it ´lonely bachelorhood day´ but admitted he didn´t mind the chocolates people put in his ´mailbox.´  Arwen and Sarah B. made mail envelopes for everyone on board and taped them by their bunk.  Who ever wanted could put some valentine wishes or goodies into them.  We were wonderfully surprised how good and inexpensive the chocolate in Japan is.  We are glad to be on our way, quietly getting used to being at sea again and doing our best to stay warm.  Life aboard ship has moved to below decks: a big change from the past 8 months.  We are now happy for the extra heat put out by the engine and wishing it would again give us running hot water in the crew head.  On Antony´s watch we raised the trysail, the foresail and the jumbo.  The wind is blowing fine on our starboard bow and so we have left the engine going to help keep us on our course to Shanghai.  It is only 2030hrs but the foc´sle and the hold are quiet, nearly everyone is asleep or reading quietly in their bunk with a headlamp.  The motion is quite intense and after 2 weeks on the beach, it takes awhile for everyone to get used to it again. The watch officer on watch and the helmsman are bundled up against the cold and keeping each other company.  Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, light winds, cold temperatures
February 15th 2008 @ 21:30
27°37'59.16 N 125°14'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
It has been a difficult day: it´s not very fun to be out here now.  The temperature is very cold, the wind is blowing hard from ahead and the entire foredeck is regularly soaked. We are wearing everything we have when we have to be on deck.  If we are not on watch, we stay below.  The sun tried to come out several times but it does not provide much heat.  We stay below around the hold or after cabin tables or in our bunks, where it is warmer. Gillian gave us a lesson in survival mandarin, the official language in china.  She has written out close to 50 phrases we may need, and taught us how to pronounce them.  She made copies for each of us.  The stove has been giving us trouble as it refuses to stay lit and the galley, hold and foc´sle are then filled with stove fumes.  After several unsuccessful tries at lighting the stove and changing the orientation of the stove pipe, we decided to move on deck in order to air out the hold and foc´sle, they were too smoky.  Jordan and Ilia spent a good part of the late afternoon and evening setting things right and finally at about 2030hrs everyone was fed and content.  The wind has switched several times, slowing us down when it goes more northerly.  Right now we are doing reasonably well at 5.8kts: hopefully we can keep up this speed and be there in 3 days.  The detailed log for February 13th, written on our final night in Okinawa hasn´t been sent.  We will continue with shorter logs while we are at sea and will send the detailed log when we arrive in shanghai.  We celebrated Chris´ 20th birthday on the 13th: you will read of the details in the log when we arrive in China.  

This is it for now, pray for a good passage, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold, windy, lumpy
February 16th 2008 @ 21:30
29°45'54.00 N 123°42'46.80 E

Heading 336°
Speed 7.1

Ship's Log:
sometime during the night the seas decreased in size and the motion of =
the ship became more comfortable.  we are making good speed with the trysai=
l and jumbo.  just after breakfast this morning the piece of ironwork that =
holds the jib stay to the foremast broke. the jib stay was dragging alongsi=
de in the water. we slowed down the engines, lowered the trysail, and crew =
and trainees immediately set to jury-rigging the situation until we can get=
 new parts.  we hauled in the stay and lay it on deck.  elske, jose and gra=
ham were up the mainmast securing the ends of two thick lines to the mainma=
st, that were set up as running forestays from the warping head on the winc=
h, to take the weight of the main off the foremast.  chase, antony and jord=
an spent several cold hours up the foremast lashing the eye of the top of t=
he jib stay on to the mast with wire cable, so there is still some forward =
support for the foremast.  we feel fortunate that the piece, called the bai=
l, broke when it did.  the seas are calmer and it could´ve been much more d=
angerous if it had broken yesterday or in higher seas and stronger winds.  =
the stove is working well with the jury-rigged stove pipe thanks to ilia an=
d jordan.  at 2200hrs last night trainees and crew were still enjoying fres=
hly baked bacon from the stove: it took the longest to cook once the oven s=
tayed lit.  the sky was clear today and many of us took the opportunity to =
sit on deck and get some fresh air, although temperatures are very cold.  s=
kipper said that this crossing is colder than the crossing in may from hawa=
ii to victoria.  the air has a feeling and smell of winter about it.  the t=
emperature mid-day was 7 degrees celsius.  the temperature in the hold was =
16 degrees celsius with the stove on.  there is always a pot of hot chocola=
te on the stove for people to help themselves to, and plenty of cups of tea=
 are being consumed.   sarah gave a lesson to intermediates.  scott and tia=
na were galley help today, peeling potatoes for gillian. galley help has be=
come a welcome task as it allows one to stay warm with the cooks.  trainees=
 are getting used to the motion and there was less sleeping today and more =
reading.  we are making good time and should be at the mouth of the river b=
y evening tomorrow.  there we will take on a pilot and sail the 10 hours up=
 the yangtze and then the huangpu rivers, to shanghai.  jacob has put brand=
 new flags on our flagstaffs and the quarantine and china flag are also fly=
ing. sarah b. wishes her sister diana a wonderful 19th birthday february 16=
th, and zach also wishes his mom an amazing birthday today, february 16th. =
 good night, bonice


Observations:
clear skies, calmer seas, cold temperatures
February 17th 2008 @ 21:00
30°57'42.12 N 122°33'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
As we approached within 80-100 nm of the mouth of the Yangtze River, we were suddenly surrounded by the lights of many fishing boats.  As far as the eye could see and for the entire night, there were these pin pricks of light, sometimes up to 60 at a time.  On the radar there were another 50 ´targets (boats in the vicinity but not visible to the naked eye)´ somewhere ´out there.´  It was quite something: it meant for constant vigil and monitoring, especially as some of the fish boats had a total disregard for ´normal´ rules of the road and would cut in front of us within close range.  This morning there were still boats all around us, both fish boats and very large freighters.  The day dawned clear and cold with a beautifully calm and glassy sea.  All day there has been a haze over the water: we thought initially it was fog but then realized it is probably pollution in the air.  There was a beautiful orange sunset tonight, again with a film of something around it.  We changed our clocks back an hour today to match Shanghai time.  The sun was warm enough to enjoy an hour or so on deck mid-day.  After an early lunch everyone worked together to spruce up the ship for tomorrow´s entry into Shanghai.  The grace looks wonderful: all the stove pipes were polished, all the ironwork was wire brushed and painted black, the funnels were painted, the covering board along the edge of the deck planking was given a coat of stain, all the houses were scrubbed clean and some of the deck box lids were sanded and oiled, as were the cap rails.  Below deck the galley stove, the pipe and the stainless steel walls were polished: even the metal tea kettle was scrubbed till it shone.  We are ready to show our beautiful ship to the people of china.  We had one sitting for supper, everyone squeezing below as it is too cold now to eat on deck.  Tiana, Amanda and Chris helped with supper.  After dishes we held a Sunday service in the hold where everyone had a chance to describe themselves, their gifts and how they see themselves changing.  Others were able to add comments as to the gifts they see in these people.  It was an excellent exchange and opportunity to build each other up: both learning to give and receive confirmation.  We will be raising anchor at 0200hrs tomorrow and traveling the few miles to where the pilot will board at 0500hrs.  We are fortunate that our trip down the river is in daylight: there should be lots to look at.  Gillian has been posting slips of paper with Chinese phrases all over the ship i.e. in the heads are the words ´toilet´ and ´where is the toilet?,´  all around the ship you can hear people practicing their phrases.  Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny and clear, cold
February 18th 2008 @ 21:30
31°15'0.00 N 121°30'0.00 E

Ship's Log:
It has been a day full of new experiences.  We arrived safely in Shanghai by mid-day, making a very fast passage up the river because of the helping river current.  Our pilot, Eric, was very friendly and him and Skipper shared information about themselves.  For Eric it was the first time he had piloted a boat such as the Grace up the river; otherwise he brings in big freighters, nice and warm with the officers in the bridge, but I think he enjoyed it.  Today was a cold day, 2 degrees and everyone who wasn´t wearing socks and long pants yet, pulled them out today.  Skipper, Jose and Antony started to raise anchor at 0130hrs but ran into problems when a hydraulic oil line broke on the winch, which caused oil to spray all over the foredeck in under 6 seconds. All trainees were woken up to manually raise the anchor and help adjust the temporary fore stays. There were a few trainees and crew covered in thick grease, and a few freezing fingers by the time the jobs were completed. It was a great show of people working together in a difficult situation.  Despite the initial delay the Grace met the pilot just 15 minutes before the scheduled time.  The trip down the river was fantastic with most of the banks covered in industry.
Like the day before, there were at least 60 visible targets with another 50 being monitored electronically.  There was a parade of freighters behind and in front of us, all going either up or down the river, it was quite something.  We passed 2 very large shipyards where freighters were being built.  The banks were covered with monster cranes, sometimes 7 to 10 in a row.  As we left the Yangtze River and entered the Huangpu River we began to see the incredible skyscrapers of Shanghai.  The skyline is fantastic with huge buildings, hundreds of stories high and layers deep; I myself have never been in such a large city.  Custom and Immigration was waiting at the dock; all 20 of them, including some photographers and writers from the local paper. They came below and didn´t want to leave.  There were 30 papers for Skipper to fill out; when he was done the officials asked for a tour of the Grace and took lots of photos.  The photographers ordered all of us to pose in certain parts of the boat and they took many pictures, laughing and enjoying themselves.  It was quite funny, with both sides not being able to communicate well.  The shipping agent, Tong, is a great fellow and brought 2 batches of mail.  Thank you to everyone who sent mail; this is an incredibly important part of offshore and we all share in each others good news, sad news, articles, photos, treats etc.  Thank you.  The next address to send mail is in Osaka; please call the SALTS office for the address. By 1500hrs everyone was free to begin exploring China!  Jose, Jordan, Antony, and Skipper, with their cameras and video camera, followed groups of trainees around, trying to capture on film, trainees´ first impressions.  It is very different here than Okinawa.  Small and dusty, ancient alleyways and shops are situated amongst modern, glass skyscrapers. On major streets we saw clothes lines hanging in upper windows with underwear, long johns, t shirts etc. suspended on lines held out on bamboo poles.  They were pegged with specially made pegs or stretched over a coat hanger.  Sometimes it was just one or two underwear hanging randomly above a store front.  In 2 instances there were pieces of meat tied individually on a line beside the laundry.  I´m not sure how long some of the laundry has been hanging out to dry as it is so cold here and some of the pieces looked quite dusty and neglected.  We wandered down some of the very narrow streets where small, dusty shops and old alleyways, looking very ancient and almost inviting, were wedged side-by-side.  Many of the buildings had scaffolding against the walls and the scaffolding was all made of 10 cm. bamboo poles lashed together with wire or twine.  It looked quite beautiful, and permanent.  There is construction happening all over Shanghai, both in the older and newer areas, and this may be where a lot of the dust comes from. The streets were full of people, bicycles, cars and scooters.  There was no center line, even on the larger streets, and everyone seemed to be focused on getting themselves, with the help of their horn, to wherever it was they were going.  We walked as far as the beginning of the ´Bund,´ a strip of older colonial buildings dating from the time when there was more of a French and British presence in Shanghai.  It is here that a lot of the more beautiful architecture and historical buildings are found, as well as the glamorous shops and eating spots. Tomorrow we will continue our exploring, until then, good night, Bonice.



Observations:
clear and cold
February 19th 2008 @ 22:00
31°15'0.00 N 121°30'0.00 E

Ship's Log:
We´ve had another absolutely interesting day; this city is so big and so varied and there is so much to notice.  Nearly everyone left the boat at some time today to explore.  After supper tonight a group of about 16 trainees and crew left for Beijing by train.  They will take a 14hr train ride and then spend 2 or 3 days visiting The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City before returning again by a night train.  I am looking forward to hearing of their adventures; they were very excited.  The 3 boys and I left the boat in the morning and spent the entire day in downtown Shanghai, walking and looking; we had a fantastic day and made it back just in time for supper. The weather is absolutely beautiful, clear blue skies and cold temperatures.  Mid-day the sun even had some warmth.  I walked in my sandals as I have a sore toe and all day the Chinese pointed to my feet, stared, and tried to sell me some shoes. People in the streets approach us constantly, trying to sell us something; unfortunately one becomes good at answering ´no thank you´ or ´bu jaie´ and then just ignoring them and walking on.  We were warned against this; if you give them the slightest indication of interest they´ll stick like glue and hassle you incessantly.  It´s a bit sad, such a difference from Japan where they go out of their way in their respect for us and for each other.  The Chinese seem quite different in that regard.  To us they almost seem rude; focused more on their own needs.  Whereas the Japanese were interested in us and wanted to look at us, but didn´t, the Chinese stare at us for long periods of time and don´t smile or say hello as easily to bridge the awkwardness; I don´t think they feel it or think about it in the same way.  There are so many people everywhere and in every direction you look, you see very tall buildings; many are apartments of 50-80 floors where people live. There are narrow streets everywhere and they all seem full of bikes, scooters and pedestrians, all in a hurry to get somewhere.  I tried walking down one with the boys but after a block we turned around, it seemed too risky with all the bike traffic!  At intersections, even if there are lights and it´s red, commuters continue through anyways . . . it´s amazing.  The bikes are well used.  Many of them look quite old and most are incredibly dirty.  We saw many bikes loaded with bundles sticking 1metre out on each side and at least 1 metre high.  People were cycling with bundles of plastic, sticks, cardboard, garbage . . . all packed on the back and fronts of their bikes. One fellow carried about 15 sticks of sugar cane each 6 ft high and he would stop on the side of the road and peel them with his big Chinese knife, and then chop them into 30 cm chunks and bag them for a customer.  Another fellow had nine 5 gallon jugs of water strapped to his bike . . . it´s fascinating to see.  We walked back to the boat during rush hour and the bikes and scooters were a solid pack on the roads.  The buses honked their way down the street, while the bikes rang their bells and the scooters honked their horns.  We met several women in a small corner store close to the boat that we´ve now frequented a few times.  They enjoy the boys and came to try to chat.  People ask regularly if all the boys are mine; this is a country that tries to enforce a one-child per family policy, and for them to see me with my kids takes them by surprise.  They ask my age and where I´m from; this much we are able to communicate. It´s probably a good thing I don´t have the ability to tell them I also have 3 girls!  We have a wonderful spot on the river.  All day traffic is moving cargo from one spot to the other via the river.  Many of the vessels look like barges with a house on the stern.  There is very little freeboard; the boats sit very low in the water.  We enjoy watching all the different boats; it is a well-used river.  We can see the entire city of Shanghai from where we are tied up.
At night we see the hundreds of skyscrapers lit up, just like the pictures one sees in the travel posters for Shanghai, quite beautiful.  This is it, thank you again for all the mail and the parcels.  We are well and happy. Good night, Bonice.



Observations:
clear, sunny, cold . . . beautiful weather
February 21st 2008 @ 22:30
31°15'0.00 N 121°30'0.00 E

Ship's Log:
It has been a beautifully mild and sunny day today; everyone enjoyed the warmer temperatures.  Today we celebrated Ilias 22nd birthday.  He chose crepes with fruit for breakfast and calzones for supper, all very good. Shanghai is so big one can drive for 35 minutes without ever seeing the end of it.  Today we took a taxi to the silk market and had a wonderful time perusing all the various stalls, three floors of them.  Every type of cloth is sold and there are tailors ready to take your measurements and sew up a garment for you.  There were beautiful Chinese dresses in several different styles; we were all tempted to have one made for us.  There was so much beautiful silk . . . it just went on and on.  It took awhile to figure out how best to find what one wanted.  We all ended up with something we are very happy with.  I ordered three pairs of corduroy pants for Simon, giving them the one very worn pair of Osh Kosh he always wears as a pattern. We´ll see what happens.  It cost   me about $13 per pair.  Elske ordered 2 silk blouses.  We also all bought silk/cashmere scarves.  Outside the market there are people selling jewelry and other trinkets.  They were dressed in colorful jackets with fur on the inside and similar patterned and colorful hats with fur flaps hanging down over their ears and backs of their heads. Their language sounded different than Chinese and their appearance is slightly different.  We asked one of them where he was from and he acted out the Dalai Lama and so we guessed ´Tibet´ and he smiled.  The narrow streets around the market were my favorite part of the day; they are teeming with life and busy-ness.  Stalls and tiny shops selling absolutely everything, very inexpensively, is found there and people seem happy enough to put up with us looking and questioning.  I find it fascinating, it is so human in all its disorder and clutter. I saw a woman stirring a huge pot of rice into a larger pot, out on the corner of the street beside a small cooking/washing area, as if it was the most normal thing, which I think it is for them.  I could go on and on about all the interesting things we see, but tonight we received an email from Gillian in Beijing.  I had asked her if she was willing to send impressions of their time in Beijing via computer for me to add to the log. So, here she is, it sounds like things are going well.

    After some confusion as to which Shanghai Railway station we were to be at last night (lacking as we do the critical skill of reading Chinese) and following entertaining metro and taxi rides, Sarah B, Sarah L, Susan, Greg, and I arrived at our train with about 5 min to spare.  Sarah, Sarah, Susan, and I were sharing a 6-bed cabin with Antony and Jose, who were already quite comfortable on the lower bunks when we arrived.  We chose to travel by "hard sleeper" which means that the train cars have a long, narrow corridor down one side with small "cabins" (with no doors) off of it.  Each cabin has 6 bunks - 3 on each side.  I ended up on a top bunk that was just above the top of my head when standing on the floor (about 6 ft up!).  The bottom bunks are the only ones with enough headroom to sit up on, meaning that headspace in the middle and top bunks is practically non-existent.  In fact, if I removed my head, the height probably would have been perfect.  Climbing up to a top bunk is also a tricky prospect that is best done with lots of caution.  Fortunately, we are sailors and have a lot of experience in navigating sticky situations while moving in all possible directions.  At the end of each train car is a hot water tap for instant noodles (with the warning "Be careful to scald" in unfortunate Chinglish written above the tap) as well as two toilets of the squatting variety.  Jose learned the hard way that one should always wear shoes when using the head on a train. Toilets in China are all BYO TP, trains included . . . which means we are all carrying around packages of Kleenex in our pockets.  After breakfast of "jidan chaomien" - egg fried noodles - which I got from one of the carts roaming up and down the aisle, we packed our bags for our arrival of 9:40am.  Saying goodbye to Antony and Jose, the four girls headed out to the hostel we had booked; it was just minutes away from the Forbidden City.  Our walk to the hostel took us down a shopping street I remembered from last time I was here a year and a half ago; it is fun to see things and remember where I am.  Our hostel is situated in one of Beijing´s ´hutong´, neighborhoods of narrow stone alleyways and low stone/wood houses (which are typically little more than one room with a dirt floor).  Sarah B and I both agree that it is one of the nicest hostels we have ever stayed at, and its location makes it even more quaint.  After checking in, we walked over to the Forbidden City, where the emperors used to live in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1300´s-early 1900´s).  It is called "forbidden" because no one except people the emperor allowed to enter, could.  The Forbidden City is one of the largest palace complexes in the world and it is stunningly gorgeous.  The buildings are vivid red with golden roofs and intricately carved woodwork painted with gold and brilliant shades of blue and green. It is a series of sections inside of each other getting progressively smaller, until you end up in the Imperial Garden where the Emperor and Empress lived in a palace. From the Forbidden City, we walked down to Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world.  It was crazy to think of the history of that square and to realize we were standing in it.  People were flying kites and others were trying to sell us random souvenirs we didn´t want or need.  Many were looking around and taking pictures like we were.  A square like that is such an anomaly in China where everything is packed in on top of everything else.  It was like a breath of air in the middle of the city, but not because it of the history. We ran into Chase, Raven, Chris, and Sean on our way back to the hostel and their group did much the same thing as us today, they are having lots of fun.  On our way back to the hostel, we stopped at the night market for dinner.  The night market is where food vendors line up along the street with food and cook it in front of you.  We saw everything from sea urchins, squid, and starfish on skewers, candied fruit, dumplings and steamed buns, noodles . . . we opted mostly for the tamer items for dinner.  Our evening entertainment tonight brought us to the Peking Opera, known more for its martial arts, acrobatics, and colorful costumes than its acting or singing...  It was very entertaining and lots of fun.  There were two short story lines playing tonight; one about a "white snake" guard assigned to protect an important general and the other about a sneaky soldier who steals silver for the poor from a corrupt official. It was lots of fun.  Now we are all back at the hostel, taking turns through the shower, our first since Okinawa, and I think it is my turn...! What a wonderful log; I look forward to visiting Beijing and seeing it all myself.  I would like to wish my friend Louise MacDonald a wonderful birthday on February 22.  Happy Birthday Louise.  Also I am sending a very belated birthday wish to another good friend, Anslie, whose birthday was back in January.  Happy belated Birthday Ainslie.  This is it for tonight.Good night, Bonice.



Observations:
clear and sunny with warmer temperatures
February 22nd 2008 @ 22:00
31°15'0.00 N 121°30'0.00 E

Ship's Log:
Today the 4 crew members who visited Beijing returned to the Grace. The=
y
all have wonderful stories to tell.  Jose and Antony flew home this
afternoon in order to give them time to be in Beijing for the Lantern
Festival last night, whereas Gillian and Sarah B. took the night train
again, returning this morning so they could spend some time at the Silk
Market and interesting side streets around the market, here in Shanghai.
Tomorrow there is another group of crew and trainees leaving for Beijing on
the night train.  Tomorrow there will be an Open House on the boat for
Timber Companies from Canada showcasing B.C. timber to the Chinese.  They
are catering a meal for everyone who visits as well as all the crew and
trainees who facilitate the Open House.  Crew is required to be here; it
should be interesting.  Sara R. spent a very interesting day exploring
Shanghai on her own.  She visited a bazaar full of tables covered in
Cultural Revolution memorabilia.  She also found the ´Cricket Market´ where
turtles, birds, crickets etc. were in small cages and boxes and were being
sold.  She said that no one bothered her there to purchase an animal,
instead she received queer looks from merchants wondering why a young,
red-headed woman was in a ´Cricket Market.´  Elske, Bec, Arwen, Karen and I
had a funny experience yesterday getting rides in taxis with the 5 of us.
Cab drivers want only 4 people per taxi, perhaps it is law, we´re not sure
and we didn´t ask, but we were with the 5 of us going to 3 different places
and it´s complicated enough to make ourselves understood, let along explain
that we need two taxis to follow each other


Observations:
partially cloudy, warm temperatures
February 26th 2008 @ 18:42
31°15'0.00 N 121°30'0.00 E

Ship's Log:
This is Loren Hagerty (SALTS Executive Director) chiming in with an update on Pacific Grace since I see we have no logs posted yet this week. On Saturday the ship hosted a reception for Canada Wood Group, an organization that promotes BC timber in Asia. About 40 guests came to see what beautiful things can be made out of Douglas Fir and Yellow Cedar from BC! The reception went very well by all accounts, and we´ve offered to host a similar event in Osaka, Japan.

The trainees and crew-members have been taking turns travelling to Beijing. Bosun Jordan Campbell wrote me this morning: "Our time in Beijing was a whirlwind and a mixed bag for me as I was deathly ill with the flu but saw some of the world´s wonders at the same time." The travel schedule has been busy and crew-members are weary but are having a great time in Asia. That´s it for my brief update. If you haven´t seen our latest Saltings newsletter, I invite you to click on "A Fresh Vision for SALTS" from our home page to learn about some incredible things we are planning at the Society--including drawings of our next tallship. You can also join us at 7:30 pm Thursday, Feb 28 at the University Club at UVIC for the SALTS AGM, which will include a slideshow of offshore photos.
Good night, Loren



February 27th 2008 @ 12:00
31°15'0.00 N 121°30'0.00 E

Ship's Log:
We returned from Beijing yesterday and spent a few more hours with the 6 kids in downtown Shanghai visiting the Silk Market, wandering through the older streets tasting various Chinese food, and finishing up some final errands.  It has been an incredible 3 days and nights, very intense and full, but so interesting and educational and an amazing thing to do as a family.  We are thankful.  I will try to recapture some of the highlights of the past few days for those in Beijing and those trainees and crew in Shanghai.  Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and there is no end to the things we can do to fill our days here.  The temperature has gone down again and it hovers around the 0 C mark.  Today the sky is blue and we have some warmth from the sun, very nice.  The river is full of traffic; it never seems to stop. On the train between the 2 big cities, we saw no countryside; Shanghai and Beijing continue for at least an hour and then it is all industrial buildings.   Our second day in Beijing took us to the Great Wall. Jordan joined our family; we drove an hour to the wall and then climbed to the highest point, about a 2 1/2 hour climb up stairs!  Elske´s quote as we all puffed and sweated our way up was “this is what you get when you sit on a boat for 9 months.”  We had been so cold the day before that we were dressed in everything we had, including raincoats over top.  Jenny had even bought some long underwear for our boys to wear. We were carrying our coats on the way up, though on the way down we were wearing them as the wind and the air temperature was still at about -2C.  The wall and especially the watchtowers, beacons and pavilions along it, are stunningly beautiful.  The roofs are sloped and curved, and the buildings have the typical Chinese architecture we saw in the Forbidden City.  The trim and woodwork around doors and windows are deep reds, blues and yellows and the buildings are built of bricks.  The combination of building materials used for the wall and buildings, and the architecture of the structures make the Great Wall very beautiful to look at.  The history of the Wall is incredible; our guide Jenny told us when the Wall was started, why, and how it came to be what it is today.  Many people died in the building of the Wall and some call it the ´longest graveyard in the world,´ similar to our own country´s history of the building of the Canadian Railroad.   It is astounding to imagine the building of the Wall without the use of our modern machines.  It is an incredible feat.  It is on average 7metres wide and 8metres high and was all done by hand.  The countryside is mountainous and temperatures are cold in the winter; living conditions could not have been easy.  After the Great Wall we visited the Jade Factory and learned the process of carving and polishing jade and saw the most beautiful pieces of jade I have ever seen. We learned about the different grades and qualities of jade as well as how to tell fake from real. Jade comes not only in different shades of green, but beautiful warm shades of orange and red as well. ´Soft´ jade, which is the jade found in Beijing, is white and is used for carvings.  ´Hard´ jade is used for the jewelry.  Some of the pieces we saw could cover a small wall, enormous, and very intricately carved . . . absolutely astounding . . . very expensive.  From the Jade Factory we went to one of the older, original neighborhoods and wandered through the small, narrow alleyways where life goes on as usual for the Chinese people who live and work there. Again, I found it fascinating.  We ate some delicious food that was made on the street, in very small stores, just ´holes in the wall´ really.  Our favorite was a pancake/egg type sandwich where a thin pancake batter was spread on a griddle, topped with an egg, then some sweet sauce, then some spicy dabs, then a sheet of crunchy rice cracker, then folded several times and handed over . . . absolutely delicious, all for 3yuan, about 45 cents. Cars, bikes, scooters, and rickshaws continue to honk and make their way through the tiny streets as we wandered and gawked at everything, peering as far as we could down the even narrower alleyways off the public alleys, where people lived.  We really enjoyed it.  We returned on the night train, taking up 2 cabins with 4 beds in each and having a good sleep; the kids loved the train experience. In Shanghai when we wandered through the older neighborhoods around the Silk Market, we saw a small ´hole in the wall,´ very dirty and wet, selling live chickens.  We watched while 2 female customers went over several of the live ones with the shop owner, feeling them, poking them, looking them over to see which one was fatter (my guess). When they had chosen, the shop keeper, a pretty woman wearing a bloody apron, slit its neck, drained the blood and put it in a big pot of boiling water.  Then she took another just freshly boiled smaller bird out and started plucking the feathers.   Then she slit its belly and took out its innards and neatly put it in a plastic bag, ready for her customer to take home!  I guess you can´t get it any fresher, but it all looked a bit gruesome.  The kids were fascinated.  The next stall sold fresh fish still alive and swimming in plastic wash buckets, as well as bullfrogs, all alive and together in a net bag . . . one amazing thing after another. We just walked and gawked, while around us the Chinese gawked at the 8 of us, wandering through their narrow, dirty, ancient streets where they work and live, fascinated by what we see. On the ship there were only a handful of crew and trainees. Everyone was either in Beijing or staying in a hotel ashore.  Susan and Sarah L. returned safely from Xi´an, visiting the Terracotta Soldiers. They had a slightly more adventurous trip from Beijing than they had anticipated or hoped for, but all has turned out well, and although the site was not quite as ´amazing´ as they had thought it would be, they enjoyed it and also had the opportunity to meet a couple of fellow travelers from England and Ohio whose company they enjoyed. In Shanghai many of the crew and trainees have had jackets, suits, shirts, dresses and coats made for them.  Some have had them made through the many, many tailors at the Silk Market, but some have had them made by Tony the Tailor, a contact made via Jordan´s brother Jean-Marc.  Jordan was the first one interested in having a suit made while he was here and his brother researched on the internet to find a good tailor.  He sent 2 possibilities and after checking on both of them, we had the wonderful experience of meeting Tony and all the ensued from this one visit.  Jordan, Skipper and Elske were the first to custom order some very smart and classy looking clothes.  Tony the tailor enjoyed getting to know Skipper and Jordan and they built quite a good relationship.  Once the word was out, others followed . . . Joel, Rachael, Scott, Chase, Antony, Caley, Becca . . .business was good.  Last night everyone met at 1900hrs at Tony´s to pick up their suits and jackets and they all went out for a beer and visited with Tony for a few hours, sharing stories etc.  I think he enjoyed the group from the boat; it was his suggestion they all meet for a final pick-up and trip to the cafe.  Everywhere we go, we find interesting people and are able to build good relationships with at least a few of the locals.  These relationships are truly what make a visit worthwhile. Katie and Karen had a memorable time in Beijing; they spent their 3 days together, visiting sights, enjoying some shopping, some great eating and some time alone in a very quant little hotel in an older part of the city. They saw a Kung Fu show and were very impressed by the feats they saw.  My feeling is that everyone has enjoyed our stay in Shanghai and has taken advantage of an amazing plethora of experiences.   Our plan is to finish off some final repairs on the ship today, clear customs tomorrow morning and then leave for Hiroshima, Japan.   As I´ve been away from the computer for a few days I am behind in wishing Kara´s dad a very Happy Birthday for
February 24th.  Happy Birthday dad, from Kara.  Until tomorrow, Bonice.



Observations:
clear blue sky, cold temperature
February 28th 2008 @ 19:00
31°8'48.12 N 121°52'40.80 E

Heading 145°
Speed 7

Ship's Log:
We are nearing the mouth of the Yangtze River: we are amazed at how broad this river is and at the amount of industrialization along its banks.  It is overwhelming.  We woke up to an absolutely beautiful day: we enjoyed sitting in its warmth for a good part of our trip downriver.  Once the sun started to go down though, the air became chilly and now it is very cold: we are bundled in all our layers again.  Last night Jordan, Joel, Elske and Bec went shoe and belt shopping with Tony the tailor to the ´knock-out market.´ there are hundreds of stalls selling anything you can imagine, all products claiming to be ´top name brands´ i.e. calvin klein, gucci, armani, diesel etc. but in actual fact, they are all fake.  the Chinese seem to have no reservation in putting any label onto their products in order to sell them.  Tony the tailor bargained hard and intensely with the shop owners, getting beautiful leather belts and shoes for Jordan at bargain prices.  In fact, Jordan got twice the amount of leather he bargained for, an even better deal, because when he returned to the ship and was showing off his new purchases, he realized that he had not thought to check the diameter of the belts he was interested in, and thus ended up buying 2 belts with waist size 52inches.  We all had a good laugh together in the after cabin that night, jordan included.  Everyone returned to the ship by 0900hrs this morning.  It feels good to have everyone back: for those who have spent most of their time in shanghai in a hotel, it is a bit of an adjustment moving back into their bunk.  We spent the morning using up our final ´yuan,´ arranging our bunks, finding places for our purchases and generally just getting ready to go out to sea again.  The pilot boarded at 1200hrs and we have had a wonderful meander down the river, making pretty good time thanks to the out-going tide.  There is no wind thus the engine is keeping us warm and moving: we hope to reach the ocean in an hour.  Katie made delicious lasagna for supper.  We are all in very high spirits.  Shanghai has been a wonderful visit: everyone is very satisfied with their time there.  We made some very good friends.  We are all looking forward to returning to Japan, to the friendly people, the sing-song voices, the cleanliness and of course, the bathhouses.  Caley would like to wish her sister Erin a wonderful day on her birthday, February 28th.  Happy birthday Erin, from Caley.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
clear blue skies, warmer temperatures during day
February 29th 2008 @ 20:00
32°0'47.88 N 125°8'16.80 E

Heading 102°
Speed 8.3

Ship's Log:
We woke up to another clear day.  Again, during the middle of the day it was slightly warmer and pleasant to be on deck, albeit in jackets and scarves.  We´ve had some wonderful motor sailing today with a following wind. The 2 courses were set at 1000hrs and we have been sailing an average 8.3kts all day.  At this speed we could be entering the inland sea within a few days.  The sea is a fuzzy green-grey color: the waves surge under the stern of the ship, lifting us up and then continuing their course under us and forward towards the bow.  The motion is side-to-side with the ship taking on water through the scuppers regularly.  We feel as if we are now officially heading home as we have gone the furthest west we will be going on this offshore, so far west, it´s called east.   Karen read ´Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes´ this morning to a large group of crew and trainees.  it is the true story of a young girl affected by the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and how she dealt with her sickness.  Karen taught us how to make the ´peace crane,´ a symbol of hope for Sadako and now also for many people around the world.  at the peace memorial in Hiroshima there is a statue of Sadako and her golden crane: we hope to visit it when we´re there.  Noah has been folding cranes all day: it is quite a complicated piece of origami.  by supper time he was able to do it without the help of anyone.  he´s very proud and on his way to making 1000 cranes.  we still have trainees and crew who are suffering with colds.  They are taking the time to sleep during this passage.  the stove in the galley and after cabin stay on 24hrs a day and the boat is quite cozy below: we are surprised though how quickly the air cools off and how cold it is on deck in the evening and night.  After 1530hrs most people stay below unless they are needed for watch: we keep reminding each other that from here on, it should only get warmer.  until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
clear blue sky, light wind
March 1st 2008 @ 20:00
33°4'41.88 N 127°57'28.80 E

Heading 78°
Speed 7.3

Ship's Log:
Those on watch last night had a very eventful night.  The wind changed direction to the NW and increased in strength.  The sea was very choppy with high waves close together, similar to those we experienced in the Irish sea of the 1992-3 offshore.  Water was hitting the port side and spraying over the ship.  Water also came through the scuppers and over the rails, rushing knee-height towards the stern to dampen the helmsperson.  The dories started coming loose and leaning precariously toward the leeward rail: Jose, Karen, Sean and Chase did an amazing job securing them, getting wet in the process.  In the bow, the jumbo sheet was loose and Karen and chase again got wet to the waist, holding onto the jackstays while they tightened and re-coiled the sheet.  They said it was exhilarating: it was a good reminder of what we should all be prepared for, especially in our leg from Japan to Hawaii.  The wind is very light, the sea is dark green, and we are motor-sailing with the trysail, foresail and jumbo up.   In the after cabin origami took over.  On our Japan ´to do´ list is:  buying origami paper, lots of it.  Simon has mastered the origami boat and now has an entire fleet taking over the after cabin table.  At lunch today, Jose hosted a traditional tea ceremony for forward watch.  We tasted oolong and lychee: both good teas.  At 1300hrs we were at our closest to Korea, about 30nm.  The entrance to the inland sea is very narrow, only 2000ft: it is called the Kanmon Kaikyo ( kanmon strait).  We hope to go through on Monday at about 1100hrs and then continue the 90nm to Hiroshima.  We have a beautifully clear night: it is very cold but the sea has become calmer.  The hatches are closed and the galley stove continues to warm up the hold: the after cabin stove is no longer working.  Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.


Observations:
clear skies, cold temperatures, light wind
March 4th 2008 @ 23:00
34°21'11.88 N 132°27'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
I have written the date as March 4th, but today is March 5th.  I made a
mistake in yesterday´s date, but the computer does not like 2 entries with
the same date, thus the ´4th.´   Trainees and crew spent the day touring
around Hiroshima.  Like usual, we walk a lot, but the trolley is easy to us=
e
and inexpensive.   After a day of walking outside exploring Hiroshima Castl=
e
and the Shukkeien Gardens the trolley was warm and comfortable, part of a
good experience. The castle was established by Mori Terumoto in 1589 and wa=
s
used successively by different lords.  It was destroyed by the atomic bomb
blast in 1945 but the 5-floor tower, the most prominent part of the castle,
was restored in 1958 and is open to the public.  It is now a museum that
teaches the history of the castle and the area from the 15th century onward=
.
The castle stands in one corner of a huge piece of land that is beautifully
looked after and is encircled by a wide moat.  The foundations of some of
the other buildings are still visible.  The gorgeously composed and crafted
wall and entrance gate are also reconstructed.  The building style is
typical Japanese timber frame joinery; Skipper took quite a few detail
pictures. From there we went to the gardens and spent a wonderful 2 hours
wandering the grounds, appreciating all the miniature landscapes we found
there.    The name ´Shukkeien´ means =B3shrink-scenery garden=B2 and expresses
the idea of collecting and miniaturizing many scenic views. The narrow path=
s
curve in, out, and around many types of trees, all labeled, and bushes, wit=
h
small shrines, resting places, bamboo fences or railings, small wooden
boats, and stone bridges etc. interspersed throughout.  We are appreciating
the Japanese´ attention to detail and the pride they seem to take in doing =
a
perfect job.  We visited the bathhouse tonight; it is amazing; for our
family it is probably the best thing about Japan, perhaps for the rest of
the crew and trainees as well.  It is definitely something we would love to
bring into our Canadian culture. The bathhouse is quite new and meticulousl=
y
kept and run.  As soon as we entered, a very friendly woman chatted away at
us in Japanese, explaining what the process was; we obviously looked like w=
e
needed instruction. After a few minutes of smiling, nodding, and ´charades,=
´
we understood and proceeded to the baths.  We easily spent 2 hours washing
in the personal wash stations and soaking in the 6 or 7 various pools,
saunas.  This bathhouse has an outdoor area where we could sit in
teacup-shaped pots built for two, and look up at the stars, head leaning on
one side, legs hanging over the other . . . wonderful.  There was a marble
slab (the entire place was built of marble and stone tile) with about 1cm o=
f
hot water over it; we lied on it, again, looking up at the stars and feelin=
g
warm (and very free . . . we´re naked remember!)   There were 2 outdoor sal=
t
water pools made entirely out of stone, and a tiled pool with rose-colored
water that smelled of cherry blossoms and was surrounded by single branches
of fresh blossoms fed by small bags of water. There were 2 individually
sized wooden saunas where you stepped inside, closed the door and were then
completely enclosed in a wooden box with your head sticking out in the fres=
h
air. Inside the bathhouse was a huge sauna with soft, thick towels to lie o=
r
sit on and 2 large stoves containing hot stones creating steam . . . it
really is all quite heavenly.  We plan to return Thursday night before
leaving Hiroshima the following day.  Jordan visited with a friend from 6
years ago and had a wonderful evening. In the hold Elske, Joel, Greg, James=
,
and Tiana did wild and fantastic hairdos on each other with Zach making sur=
e
it was all on film.  They had fun; it´s one of those experiences we can
laugh at and enjoy because everyone is like family, and large families
sometimes do simple but strange and inexpensive activities to entertain
themselves.   Here is an interesting fact about Hiroshima: Hiroshima has th=
e
longest assembly line in the world, the Mazda plant with 7 km.  This is it
for now, tomorrow we have another big day; everyone is visiting the
Hiroshima Atomic Bomb site together.  Until then, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
clear skies, very cold
March 5th 2008 @ 22:00
34°21'11.88 N 132°27'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
Today was another amazing day; I say that regularly but it´s true, we have so much to be thankful for.  Life aboard is not always easy, there are many things we put up with in order to sail offshore in a group, but it is an experience I would never give up.  What we gain in being together in community, working through our issues, making this community work and on top of all that, being able to visit the places we visit and meet the extraordinary people we meet, is irreplaceable and worth more than we can ever imagine.  This morning we savored one of our final breakfasts together with our watch. Watch time is always a good time; especially after 3 months living so intimately with each other, crew and trainees know each other well and the conversation; the jokes and the laughter flow abundantly.  The Inland Sea was wonderfully calm, like sailing in the Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the Mainland of British Columbia.  Everyone slept well.
There was heavy traffic throughout the day and night which meant constant vigilance and checking of the chart, radar and electronics for Skipper and the watch officer on watch.  We saw only very big, deep-sea ships, no pleasure crafts and definitely no other sailboats.  I think we´ve seen only one other sailing vessel since Madang.  The Inland Sea is huge and at times one cannot see land. We arrived in Hiroshima at 1330hrs.  The sky was grey, it was raining, and it was very cold, almost icy; it was similar weather to when we arrived in Okinawa.  The harbor is enclosed by a set of hills on each side, a nice change from all the cement that has encircled us since Chuuk in Micronesia. We noticed a dusting of snow on the peaks on some of the hills!  Our shipping agent Kohno welcomed us.  He was very friendly, welcoming, helpful and kind.  He has a wonderful smile that takes over his entire face when Skipper and he shared a joke or when he suddenly understood something Skipper was trying to ask or explain.  He brought mail; several large packages and many letters were delivered to very expectant crew and trainees.  Thank you, thank you, and thank you.  We loved them and, once again, we all shared in each other´s pleasure and news.  I would personally like to thank Jen, Kelsey and Adam, trainees from former legs, who sent an awesome package to the crew . . . we were thrilled and laughed and enjoyed all of it.  Also, thank you to Tavish, another former trainee and volunteer bosun for leg 4, and his family for their wonderful parcel full of amazing literature, letters, music, photos, and food.  Jordan is excited about the Chess maneuvers, even though he´ll need me as a translator to understand them!  Thank you again to everyone who sent mail; it means a lot to each of us. Kohno provided us with maps and information on the places we were interested in i.e. things to see, laundry, bath house, sushi trains, banks, ATM, internet, supermarkets etc.  Following Kohno, we were visited by 7 or 8 Customs and Immigration Officials, all neatly dressed and very interested in the ship.  It is such a treat to be back in Japan, surrounded by these very friendly people and their attention to detail, efficiency, beauty and cleanliness. Hiroshima is a large city. As we are here for only a few days, trainees and crew made good use of their day.  Many were able to do their laundry, get clean and connect with family and friends via Internet.  The bathhouse apparently is amazing, better even than the one we visited in Okinawa.  Some of the pools are outside and the entire building is made of marble.  I haven´t been there myself, but this is what I hear. After so many days trying to keep clean in the very small heads and in cold circumstances, it is one of the nicest feelings to be surrounded in unlimited hot water, without one´s clothes, and getting cleaner, truly clean.  Our family wandered through the fish section of the supermarket, something we love to do.  We watched while the fish was sliced ever so thinly with incredibly sharp knives, was placed on aesthetically pleasing colored serving trays, decorated with greens, very thin rice noodles and anything else that would make the presentation of the food beautiful.  It was amazing and the women behind the glass, the ´artists´ I call them, noticed us, and waved and smiled.  We wandered through the aisles trying to figure out what things were; there is practically no English to be read anywhere, a good thing. People smile at us in a kind way, as we pick up strange packages, bring them to our face, and question each other and wonder out loud, what we think the item might be.  It´s fascinating and keeps me and the boys occupied inexpensively for hours.  We saw sets of 6 cookies, beautifully colored and decorated, arranged in sets in gorgeous diaphanous paper and placed in a box, also beautifully made.  It truly is an expression of them, this whole ´packaging´ side of the Japanese culture.  It is a wonderful example for us and a great maxim to live by; to take every chance we can to create a thing of beauty.  Gillian made an amazing stir-fry for supper; she had the chance to go produce shopping and we all reap the benefits of it.  The evening saw an empty boat with most trainees and crew taking advantage of the chance to get errands done.  Those of us, who remained, either got read to and put to bed, or played SCRABBLE and read mail.  This is it for tonight, until tomorrow, Good-night, Bonice.



Observations:
cloudy and rainy, very cold
March 6th 2008 @ 21:30
34°21'11.88 N 132°27'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
Today was a momentous day; nearly everyone went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Peace Memorial Park.  The Museum was built in 1955 “to preserve and convey to future generations the facts about the unprecedented tragedy.”   The Museum presents objective, well-written and interesting exhibits that describe Hiroshima before and after the bombing. It displays belongings left by the victims, photos, and other materials that convey the horror of the event. There are exhibits that explain the history of the bomb and the current status of the nuclear age.  I found it incredibly sad, interesting, maddening, educational, emotional, and passion invoking . . . a melee of feelings passed through me.  I found myself thinking that everyone needs to walk through the museum, visit the memorials, and learn in this manner, about the devastation of nuclear war; everyone needs to understand why there are people who spend their lives trying to convince the world that nuclear weapons need to be eliminated.  After a moving experience such as today, I understand better the passion of these people and am convinced that anyone learning of Hiroshima will also be consumed by the desire to strive and work toward a nuclear-free world. We left at 1000hrs and boarded a trolley for the Atomic bomb Dome.  The Peace Memorial Park covers acres of land between two large rivers and the memorials are contained within its boundaries.  In 1945 the area was filled with wooden housing that children were mobilized to destroy, in order to make fire exits during the war.  When the bomb went off, the children were already out in the street working and this is one reason why so many people were immediately killed; they were in such close proximity to where the bomb was dropped.  There were signboards explaining the different buildings and memorials; they were well written, everything an English teacher likes: clear, concise and complete.   We visited the Memorial for Mobilized Children, the Children´s Peace Monument (for Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes), the Peace Cairn, the Peace Bell, the Flame of Peace, the Pond of Peace, the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and finally the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, both East and West wings.  It was a thought provoking 4 hours.  The site and the size of this beautiful park are a wonderful memorial to the tragedy; it is very peaceful and beautifully laid out. The park is in the middle of the busy city but yet there is no sense of hurry or busy-ness.  It was the nicest memorial park I have visited; it truly allowed one the time and space to learn and reflect.  Here are some words I copied from the signboards:
     “At 8:15 am August 6th 1945 an American 9 bomber dropped an atomic bomb, the first atomic bombing in human history.  The bomb exploded approximately 600m above and 160m southeast of the Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall [the Dome]. The building was crushed and gutted by fire.  Everyone in the building died immediately.  However, because the blast came from almost directly above, some of the walls of the building remained standing leaving enough of the building and iron structure at the top to be recognizable as a dome.  After the war, the badly damaged [H.P.I.P.H. ADthe Dome] came to be known as the A-bomb Dome . . . In December 1996, the A-bomb Dome was formally registered on the World Heritage List as an historic witness to the tragedy of human history´s first use of a nuclear weapon and as a universal peace monument, appealing for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of world peace.”
At 1500hrs we met outside and sat together, being quiet and having some lunch.  It will take some time to process all that we´ve experienced today. From here everyone went her separate way.  Trainees continue to spend time shopping, corresponding to friends and family, visiting the bathhouse, and seeing the historical sites.  Hiroshima has so far been an excellent visit with very interesting things to do and friendly people to meet. Everyday there are people who come alongside the boat, interested in the ship, trying to communicate with us.  We smile, show them around, and offer them a brochure, and they return with oranges, chocolates, statues of Buddha, and rice cakes . . . it´s all good. Men are fishing off the dock by the boat and they call our little boys over to have a look, intuitively knowing they are interested.  This is it for tonight, until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.



Observations:
clear and sunny, slightly warmer
March 7th 2008 @ 21:00
34°21'11.88 N 132°27'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
We´ve decided as a group to spend another day in Hiroshima; we have a good spot close to the city and there are still many things to enjoy and take in.  Sarah B. and Karen, who watched the boat yesterday, just returned from a day visiting the Hiroshima Memorial Park, the Hiroshima Castle, and the Shukkeien Gardens.  A group of trainees remained on the ship tonight, enjoying each other´s company and eating popcorn.  Skipper, Jordan and some of our kids, went out for supper to try hiroshima-yaki, a local version of okonomiyaki (egg-based savory pancakes) made with soba (thin buckwheat noodles) and fried egg. With this they add any mixture of oysters, squid, fish, intestines, and vegetables.  We read that this dish started when the bomb was dropped; people cooked a mixture of whatever they had on hand, using manhole covers as griddles.  It is now know nationwide and is very popular.   Many trainees and crew are visiting the bathhouse today; it´s a blissful way to spend a few hours.  We will go again with the kids tomorrow; one last clean before our passage to Osaka.  Today we visited the Electronics Store.  We had heard that the toilets were heated and doubled as a ´bidet.´ We checked it out and sure enough, we were welcomed by a heated seat and options of warm water rinses at different angles and strengths and a warm fan to dry everything off when one was finished; it was quite the experience.  We had also heard that there was an area in the store where one could try out massage chairs and electric saddles.  We spent an hour trying everything out and laughing hard.  Partway through Joel joined us as he was searching the store for headphones.  There were several Japanese also enjoying the chairs and saddles.  2 young, smart-looking male students in their school uniform tried out the “Slimshaper,” a vibrating slimming belt. The first fellow didn´t know what to expect and once it started vibrating, started exclaiming and laughing loudly to his friend to turn it off; it was hilarious. When we left, they had both fallen asleep in the massage chairs. The chairs were fantastic; I stayed 20 minutes in one having hard rollers massage my back while the boys and Arwen swiveled on electric saddles which tilted and swerved the hip portion of one´s body.  We tried out feet massagers, feet warmers, and standing body vibrators, all of it intensely fun and funny; it was better than playing in a play park.  On our walk today we passed a school where a group of small girls, about 8 years, and their coach were practicing baseball.  We stopped to watch and they all started jumping up and down waving and calling to us.  The coach waved too, we waved back.  We passed a woman and four small children who were very excited to call out ´bye, bye, bye´ after we had passed them and had said ´ka-nie-chi-wa.´ I find that even a simple walk provides many opportunities to learn about Japan and meet the people. It has been a good day. Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
partially cloudy, cold
March 9th 2008 @ 17:00
34°0'54.00 N 132°32'52.80 E

Heading 110°
Speed 7.5

Ship's Log:
Most of the day has been sunny and cold.  The rain started about an hour ago, in the middle of a group discussion on deck about our visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.   Everyone had a chance to talk about initial expectations, impressions, what they learned, and thoughts they had on how the experience changed them and how that might look.   We talked about the objectivity of the Japanese people in their explanations and descriptions of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima.  There is no blaming, finger pointing, or antagonism.  We decided that this is how they have decided to move forward and change a natural course of action, which may have involved retaliation.  They made a conscious decision to not repeat what happened to them, to ´turn their cheek,´ and to make a step toward a peaceful change.  It is very admirable and gives us guidance in how to move on with what we´ve learned.  . . . Tony talk . . .  Jose read John 15: 9-13 and Jordan read Matthew 5: 38-48 out of Eugene Peterson´s “The Message:  The New Testament in Contemporary Language.”   Bonice read the quote of the week:  “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I´ll meet you there.  When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ´each other´ doesn´t make any sense.”  I think all of us will continue to process our experience over the next while; there is no way it cannot affect you. Kohno, our shipping agent, came to the boat at 0730hrs this morning to clear out with Skipper.  They had a wonderful final visit.  We untied lines at 0830hrs, motoring on a glassy sea towards Miyajima. Miyajima is a small island that is well known and well visited, and has on it the 3rd most photographed spot in Japan, a shrine that is surrounded by water at higher tides. Jordan and Skipper have entertained ideas about filming the Grace in full sail behind the shrine for at least a year.  Weather conditions were perfect and Jordan and Antony were sent with their cameras and the video camera, to the island in the zodiac.   There were many people visiting the many temples and shrines, and as well, there was a traditional wedding going on.  Jose, Karen, Sarah B, and Skipper lead and helped the trainees raise all the sails; even the fisherman sail went up, perhaps for the first time this offshore.  It was fun to have everyone on deck, raising and lowering sail together for a final time; it was energizing.  Antony and Jordan took some great photos and video footage. Yesterday Joel, Chase, Amanda, Sean, Chris Ilya, Kara, and Robyn took the fast boat to Miyajima and visited the shrines and temples and hiked 2 hours up several valleys to a summit that overlooked the area. The weather was gorgeous, possibly the warmest and clearest so far in Japan.  Gillian went to Miyajima the day before and encouraged trainees to go.  The architecture is extremely intricate and traditional.  In one Buddhist temple, hundreds of little Buddha´s lined the stairways and terraces.  Raven visited the
Prefectural Museum of Japan while Ilya, Sean Chase, Chris, Scott and Raven (on another day) visited the Mazda Museum and had a tour of their factory. They said the tour was very interesting; they saw the last part of the assembly line where the car is put together.  Nearly everyone returned to the bathhouse last night for a final clean and soak. Wonderful.  In the grocery store, our family was trying to ask for sushi, a California roll with only cucumber and wasabi.  We pointed to the cucumber pieces in the mixed sushi tray and tried to convey that we wanted an entire tray of just cucumber.  I think she understood after a few minutes, but she kept trying to repeat our wish in English, ensuring she understood.  It was quite amusing and we were all laughing.   After 6 or 7 minutes she told us to return in 10 minutes and she would have one ready, freshly made . . . it was delicious. Osaka is our last place where we experience a different culture, language, currency, lifestyle etc. We will miss these interactions with the local people; they are simple, yet they bring people together.  We have 150nm to travel until Osaka; we will enjoy our final night run together. Until tomorrow, good-bye, Bonice.(EL)



March 10th 2008 @ 17:30
34°33'42.12 N 134°51'7.20 E

Heading 80°
Speed 8.3

Ship's Log:
Our passage has taken longer than usual and we are all thankful.  It has been an incredible day: the sky was clear and blue and temperatures were warmer during the middle of the day.  People were taking advantage of being on deck around the wheel, feeling the warmth of the sun and being able to shed some layers of clothing.  This is our final time together and we are savoring every moment.  We anchored last night for 5 hours to wait for slack tide at a narrow passage called Kurushima Kaikyo, East of Hiroshima.  The tide runs through at a terrific speed and within minutes of slack it was working against us at 5 knots and we were just making 1.5kts against it.  Today the traffic of freighters and fish boats has been heavy and steady and watch officers and Skipper are monitoring ships constantly.  Trainees and crew spent the day standing watch, reading, knitting, sleeping, writing, listening to music and playing games, either up on deck or below in the hold. Ilya scraped, sanded and oiled our oldest deck box, an original one from the Robertson II.  It looks good. Fore watch cleaned and painted the winch for work watch.  It is good to have a few more chances to sit around the table in our watches: in Hiroshima fore watch and port watch went out for a final supper together.  At 1930hrs we sailed under the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge, the largest suspension bridge in the world.  It is the largest in terms of distance between supports. It´s 2 kilometers long and covered in lights: it is beautiful.  In Osaka there are several family members and friends who will be visiting the ship: we are very excited and counting off the days.  Antony´s parents and former trainee Tristan and his dad will be in Osaka for several days.  Tristan is returning as volunteer bosun´s mate and sailing with us to Victoria.  Our e.t.a. is 2100hrs tonight: we will anchor for the night and tie up tomorrow at first light at the Universal Studios dock.  Until then, good night, Bnice.


Observations:
clear blue sky, calm seas, a beautiful day
March 11th 2008 @ 18:00
34°39'54.00 N 135°26'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
We weighed anchor at 0730hrs and made our way into Osaka, a gigantic
city, somewhat overwhelming.  On our entry we counted 7 bridges, all
suspension. The city looks new and efficient and clean.  By 1000hrs we were
tied up to an immaculate dock covered in green artificial turf, alongside
the Universal Studios Hotel; on initial investigation, it looks like an
ideal spot and we feel very fortunate.  People have been very friendly and
very helpful everywhere we go.  It took our shipping agent Nanjo and Skipper
3 hours to clear in with Customs and Immigration and for Skipper to find out
all he needs to know i.e. get information for our stay here, lining up
sources for ship supplies and places for the cooks to buy 5 weeks worth of
food, figuring out the process for trainees that are leaving the boat,
sights to see etc.  It was a beautiful sunny day and no one minded having to
remain on the ship; we sat on deck, chatted, played Scrabble, read, wrote
etc.  By 1500hrs trainees and crew were free to explore Osaka.  Just as
Gillian knew some Chinese and was able to help some of us out, Jordan knows
some Japanese. He has been a big help translating for Skipper and it has
allowed us to get to know more Japanese people than we would have otherwise;
it has been a door into knowing Japan better. Where we are docked is next
door to Universal Studios and its influence is seen not far away.  We can
see the roller coaster ride from the ship and can hear the screaming.
Otherwise the area is very quiet and peaceful and offers lots of
opportunities for good walks.  Most of the trainees returned to the ship for
supper and the feeling is that they are excited about the things there are
to do here.  We are sending 2 logs tonight; this one and a detailed log that
covers our final day in Hiroshima and our first day at sea. We save the
detailed logs for when we are in port as they are very expensive to send via
the Imarsat. The detailed log comes before the one sent yesterday.  Enjoy
them both.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
a gorgeous day; blue skies, warm temperatures
March 12th 2008 @ 22:30
34°39'54.00 N 135°26'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
Our first full day in Osaka; the boat was quiet with most of the trainees visiting Universal Studios.  I´ve heard from Caley and Robyn that they had a lot of fun.  The wait for rides was long, about 60-85 minutes and the price of food was double what it is outside.  Being there in a group was what made it worth it I think, otherwise the feeling was that it was not worth it.  Trainees who know the Universal Studios in California said it was busier here on a weekday than it is on the busiest days in California. Karen and Sarah B. took the train to downtown.  They saw a plethora of department stores; "Osaka is a great place to sample Japanese city life in all its mind-boggling intensity . . . and [its] excellent transport connections (Lonely Planet Japan)."  They went up the Umeda Tower: a
175 meter tower with a glass elevator that offers an amazing view from the top.  Katie and Gillian scouted out grocery stores; there is an excellent tourist information office nearby, they´ve been helpful with finding supermarkets we are familiar with.  Graham and Sarah L. wrote their Seniors exam today under the supervision of Jose; I´m not sure how they did yet. Jose and Antony have taken Karen out for the evening as a farewell gift. Karen has been with us since the beginning of this trip as watch officer and nurse.  She leaves at the end of this leg to travel with her brother Jeff through Southeast Asia.  We will miss her indeed; she is an integral part of our ´family.´  She has had a great trip and although she will miss the community on board, she is excited for what comes next.  Yesterday I spoke of family members coming to meet the ship in Osaka.  I forgot to mention that Karen and Katie´s brother Jeff is coming, as well as Sarah Brizan´s 2 sisters, who are joining the ship for leg 6 as trainees.  Like I´ve said before, we are all excited for any family member or friend that comes to visit the ship.  As we are all like family, we share in the excitement and anticipation of seeing someone from home i.e. Canada.  The weather today has been beautiful, sunny and warm; we were able to spend most of it sitting on deck.  The dock is very big and very private; my boys and Arwen were able to play ball without losing the ball into the water.  In my March 9th log I wrote about the discussion we had as a group about the Peace Memorial Museum visit.  Part-way through I inserted . . . Tony talk . . .  I meant to add here what Tony spoke of during our discussion but needed to go to him to be reminded exactly what his words were.  He was saying that the problem is bigger than the bomb.  The problem is how we deal with people we don´t like and/or cannot get along with.  This we can all relate with and it is here that we can make a start and an impact. Tomorrow and the next day are work days for everyone on board.  This is when we get the ship ready for the next leg.  Trainees are divided into three groups.  A galley group will clean food areas, buy groceries and stow them. A rigging crew will tighten and adjust the rig, while the hull and bright work crew will scrape, wire brush, sand and oil or paint all the wood and the metalwork.  They will also sand and paint the hull, a big and dirty job. Jordan found a bath house tonight; we are all pretty excited about it. Usually with workdays we are in a warm climate with a hose at our disposal to wash with after a full day of dirty work.  The temperature is too cold for a hose, which we don´t have anyways, so the bathhouse is sure to have some pretty dirty guests tomorrow night and the night after.  James wishes his dad a wonderful day March 12th, his birthday.  Happy Birthday dad, from James. Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.



March 14th 2008 @ 18:00
34°39'54.00 N 135°26'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
It has been a busy 2 days; they have been good despite the rain.  All
the jobs that needed doing were completed by 1700hrs today and the attitude=
s
of everyone was top-notch.  The boat looks good and Jordan the bosun says
the rigging feels tight and ready for the long crossing.  Rain started
falling steady last night and has pretty well continued all day.  All 3
tarps were put up and work continued as much as it could underneath them.
Yesterday Robyn and Kara greased the masts.  They sat in bosun chairs
against the mast and with their hands rubbed the grease around the mast fro=
m
top to bottom; it is a big job, they both loved it and worked hard.  Sarah
B. operated the lines for the chairs, sending the girls up and down the 2
masts as needed.    The galley crew cleaned every corner of all the bunks
and areas where food is stowed.  They took inventory of what food was left
and stowed all the new food, also a huge job.  It is important when they
load to make sure the weight distribution is equal between the port and
starboard sides and the bow and stern areas.   Gillian and Katie will do on=
e
more big produce shop prior to our departure.  The hull crew cleaned up the
hull and did some needed painting.  Sara R., Elske, Becca, and Caley moved
around the ship in the zodiac sanding, filling and painting; they look quit=
e
something when they are through with fine black dust in every orifice and o=
n
every surface of their body.  Elske and Bec volunteer for this job every le=
g
end; they have become the ´experts.´  Another group sanded and oiled the
rails while yet another group, the rigging group, adjusted the rig,
tightening the stays and shrouds and positioning the masts. Everyone enjoye=
d
delicious ordered-in pizza for lunch both days.   There was some mail
brought to the ship by our shipping agent; Arwen received 2 letters and we
were all very happy for her; they were long awaited. Sean celebrated his
21st birthday yesterday, March 13th.  He chose eggs benedict for breakfast,
delicious, Katie did a nice job. In the evening fore watch went out for a
birthday/2nd watch supper.  Anyone else also wanting to celebrate Sean´s
birthday joined in. Some of the trainees have been spending a night in one
of the nearby Universal Studios hotels; it´s a treat to spend a night in a
big bed, with clean sheets, a big bathroom with a shower and bath etc.  It
doesn´t take much to feel ´spoiled.´  I visited the Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium
with Arwen and the 3 boys this afternoon.   It was splendid; we thoroughly
enjoyed the 2 1=8E2 hrs we spent there. All of us were affected by seeing aga=
in
the sea life we had spent so much time amongst and it stirred up a longing
within all of us to return to the warm water, the snorkeling, the scuba
diving . . . I think Hawaii will come just in time.  In our walks up and
down the narrow streets of Osaka I have been impressed with the numbers of
bicycles.  Everyone uses them and there are parking lots full of them.
People are on bikes going to work, dressed in very fancy work clothes with
high-heeled shoes for the women and good leather shoes for the men.   For
the Japanese people, cycling is just a means of transportation and it works=
,
it´s no big deal that one bikes to work here.  Several times I have seen a
woman with a child behind her and a child in front of her in a kid´s seat
attached to her bike.  Today in the rain I saw a mother with her 2 little
girls all on the same bike and all 3 were holding an umbrella over their
head; it was beautiful, I wished I had a camera.  The train systems in Japa=
n
are superb.  I tried the train for the first time today with the boys and I
was very impressed.  Instructions for buying tickets was in Japanese of
course and I just asked someone for help; but after that it was very easy,
efficient and ran like clockwork.   We visited the bathhouse last night,
wonderful.   Gillian would like to wish Colleen a very happy birthday,
tomorrow March 15.  Happy Birthday Colleen, love Gillian.  Until tomorrow,
good night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy yesterday, rainy today
March 15th 2008 @ 23:30
34°39'54.00 N 135°26'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
The boat was quiet today except for at breakfast and at supper when we
celebrated Karen´s 26th and Scott´s 24th birthdays.  Scott chose scrambled
eggs, bacon and hash browns for breakfast, while Karen chose spaghetti with
meat sauce (no tomato chunks) and salad for supper. Arwen made a delicious
chocolate birthday cake and Katie and her made cream cheese icing to go wit=
h
it.  The cake was well lit with enough candles that they could not all be
blown out.  Elske, Sara R., and Becca created a poem for Scott entitled =B3Th=
e
Adventures of Scotty the Hotty=B2 which they read out loud on deck just befor=
e
breakfast; it was very funny.  Gillian, Katie, and Sarah B. wrote new words
for the ´Farewell´ song from the musical =B3The Sound of Music,=B2 and made the=
m
correspond with Karen´s time aboard and our farewell wish for her.  The cre=
w
sang the new rendition at breakfast with their very early morning voices.
Karen loved it and everyone laughed.  Nearly all of the trainees left the
ship for the day, enjoying some final activities together in Osaka.  Jordan
and Jose started their days off this morning.  All crew members have 2 days
off between legs; a chance to rest up and be away from ship and watch
responsibility.  A few of the crew went to the bathhouse tonight, there was
SCRABBLE with Karen in the after cabin, journal writing and cards in the
hold, and a late trip to the ice cream store, plus a whole lot of other
things I don´t know about yet, as trainees are still out.  The weather toda=
y
was spectacular; one of the clearest days so far.  The sun shone and the sk=
y
was blue, although the air temperature was quite cool. Mid-day we had a few
hours to sit on deck and enjoy the warmth of the sun.  Antony and Sarah B.
spent a few hours finishing odd jobs on the ship, while Skipper tried to
arrange a trip to Morioka, Victoria´s sister city in Japan.  Gillian and
Katie spent most of the day storing a delivery of canned goods that came
today. They were ordered from a ship chandlery and the fellow doing the
delivering and arranging has been very friendly and helpful.  He delivered =
a
bagful of fanny pouches today for the crew and yesterday he sent along 2
flats of free soft drinks for everyone.  Greg stayed on the boat today and
was a big help to anyone needing help. He helped sort garbage with Karen,
flattened and tied up all the cardboard boxes that the food came in, and
helped Simon with a broken pop machine.  He also spent a few hours playing
with the 3 Anderson boys on the dock and joined Tony, Bo, and the boys for
an hour walk just before supper, chatting intensely with Simon and Noah.  M=
y
boys loved it.  I am always thankful for trainees that enjoy the boys
company and remember what it was like to be small themselves and thus have =
a
better understanding of where they´re coming from.  Tomorrow should be
another quiet day; we are slowly preparing for our final dinner March 18th.
Until tomorrow, good night, Bonice.(EL


Observations:
a beautiful day; clear, blue skies, air cool
March 17th 2008 @ 21:00
34°39'54.00 N 135°26'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
Skipper left early for Morioka, returning at 2030hrs tonight.  He had an
amazing visit.  He met with the mayor and a group of 10 other important
people; press and camera people, a translator who stayed with Skipper all
day, the person with whom Skipper has been communicating about the visit,
the ´Sister City´ representative etc.  They were very interested in the
SALTS program and some had researched the website previous to Skippers
arrival.  After the meeting and an exchanging of gifts, Skipper was treated
to a loosely organized afternoon of the most important sights of Morioka,
plus some time to fit in some of Skippers interests which he had gained by
reading the Morioka website the day before.  They were impressed with the
fact that he knew something about their city, also that he knew Mayor Cross
and that Mayor Cross had previously seen a SALTS vessel off on an offshore.
Skipper was shown the totem pole given to Morioka as a gift.  All in all it
was a fantastic visit and a wonderful exchange between sister cities.  I
spent the day with my 6 kids wandering through the Osaka Castle Gardens,
beautiful. The blossoms were in full bloom and the smell was heavenly.
Several groups of young Japanese girls wanted to take pictures of all the
kids, it was interesting.  A group of trainees went to Himeija to visit the
biggest castle in Japan.  It is still the original castle and one can go
inside.  Trainees said it was incredible.  They were able to obtain bikes
and cycle around the property.  The weather was the warmest it has been so
far.  Mornings and evenings are very cold, but by mid-day today we were
stripping down to T-shirts and Jacob was looking for a spot in the shade.
Jose returned from a good trip to Beijing via Korea and Jordan will return
tomorrow morning.  We had Sean´s birthday supper today on the ship, his
choice, Nachos with all the fixings. Caley and Robyn made iced brownies for
desert.  Sarah B. and her watch and anyone else who wanted, went out for
desert and an evening of fun.  There was a street entertainer from San
Francisco who spoke Japanese; he was very funny and had an excellent rapport
with his audience and ´played´ them artfully, they loved him.  Trainees are
slowly beginning to organize their things, getting ready to leave the ship.
It is a very big deal; we have all been a very close family for 79 days, it
is hard to leave that.  The group that is departing is quite big, only 5
trainees are continuing on with us. We are also saying good-bye to Karen who
has been the female watch officer and nurse since Victoria.  It is difficult
to see her go; we will miss her.  Karen and Sarah B. spent the day preparing
for tomorrows final dinner.  Sarah B. and Antony are putting together a
slide show that will also be shown tomorrow evening; it is always a
highlight.  I will write all about it in tomorrows log.  Until then,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny and clear, warmest day so far
March 19th 2008 @ 12:00
34°39'54.00 N 135°26'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
Our final morning together and the weather has soured; it is windy and rainy, memories of Okinawa.  It was a difficult morning seeing trainees pack up their final things, haul their over-full bags and boxes on deck and saying good-bye. I always prefer to believe that I will see them again at some point; it makes the separation easier.  Many of them are traveling in groups for a few weeks before they will truly be on their own, away from fellow trainees; this also will make the transition from the ship and our community easier. We wish all of them well and will continue to pray for them. We had a great final day yesterday.  After dishes we held our final Sunday service on a Tuesday because there was a better chance that everyone could be there.  We celebrated Palm Sunday and gave a bit of the history surrounding the origin of this day.  Karen, Sarah B., Katie, Antony, and
Gillian all read from various sources.  Everyone was asked to dress up as a bible character; there was a good display of bed sheet ingenuity, as well as some sheep, fishermen and their fish, and even a live palm or two. After service everyone began seriously packing up their things; the ship looked like one massive flea market with remaining trainees and crew being offered clothing and bathroom supplies they could possibly use on the remainder of the voyage.  I never envy departing trainees and their job to make everything fit into their packs again.  I know that I personally have definitely picked up too many things along the way to ever be able to fit it into a backpack.  Crew spent the day preparing for the final dinner. Karen and Sarah were in charge of decorating and turned the foc´sle into the “Fox Hole Lounge,” and the hold into the “Hold-Me-Close Discotheque.”   Clean bed sheets and sarongs hid the upper bunks, and lower bunks were available for ´lounging.´  Lanterns made by gluing red tissue paper around a wooden popsicle stick box, were suspended from the beams and the port lights were covered in red tissue paper creating a very ´loungey´ feeling.  The soundtrack of Amelie played in the foc´sle while Rock´n Roll played in the hold.  Supper started around 1730hrs.  Dress was anywhere from casual- but-clean, to ´Joel,´ who was incredibly smart-looking in a brand-new 3 piece suit with tie and dress shirt.  The menu was as following:  1st course was cold cuts and cheese with roasted tortilla wedges, veggie plate and dip, and foccacia bread (made by Skipper).   2nd course was stuffed mushrooms (made by Sarah B.), mini-quiche (pastry and filling made by Gillian), and sausage rolls (also by Gillian).  3rd course was a wonderfully large amount of assorted types of sushi, and 4th course was dessert with a fruit plate and chocolate cupcakes with whipped cream (baked by Arwen).  There were fancy coffees to end the evening.  Katie did a final big shop mid-afternoon to buy the final food for the evening.  She also chopped all the fruit and vegetables for the fruit and veggie plate with the assistance of Jacob, Noah, and Simon; they were enormously helpful, there was a lot of chopping. Graham, Tiana, Joel and myself worked as dish crew, keeping counters clear and washing all the dirty dishes.  It was a good time.  Jordan and Elske prepared an Award Ceremony with everyone receiving an award that pertained to their personality and what we´ve gotten to know about them during the past 79 days.  The awards were great, very funny.  Trainees and crew know each other well and have lived through many very funny experiences; many of these were relived during the ceremony.   After the awards and dessert Sarah B. presented the slide show.  It was wonderful; it was full of wonderful memories that we have all been a part of.  We sat mesmerized, watching, reliving our time together, laughing, exclaiming, remembering etc.   Yes, it has been another amazing leg, a leg of contrasts.  From 52 degrees Celsius in Madang, to -2 degrees Celsius in Beijing, and from the basic living and infrastructure of Papua New Guinea to the fast moving, concrete cities of Shanghai and Beijing . . . My wish is that as everyone goes their separate ways, we will hold on to what was important to us when we lived in community, and it, in turn will make our lives and those affected by our lives, better.  Yesterday Antony´s parents and Tristan arrived in Osaka.  It is wonderful to see them.  Karen and Katie´s brother Jeff arrived early this morning to the boat; his sisters were overjoyed.   Jeff helped the crew with the cleaning of the ship this morning and is looking forward to visiting the Aquarium this afternoon with Katie and Karen.  The boat will be quiet tonight with just a few crew members sleeping here. Sarah B., Gillian, Katie, Antony, and Skipper all have the next 2 days off.  There are plans to visit Kyoto, Nara, and Himeija, as well as a chance to relax and be without ship-related responsibilities.  I am taking a few days off with Skipper and our 6 children.  There will be no log for the 20th and the 21st; I will resume again on the evening of the 22nd.   For those of you who will soon see your kids, enjoy them and their stories; we sure did.  Until the 22nd, good-bye, Bonice.



Observations:
rainy and windy

wooden boats
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