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February 23rd 2020 - 18:16

Main Menu -> SALTS -> Pacific Odyessy - 2007 Offshore -> Pacific Odyssey - Leg 6

Pacific Odyssey - Leg 6

Log of Pacific Grace

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21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
It is very late; Skipper and I just returned from watching the film
"Juno" with a group of trainees at the $1.00 movie theatre nearby.  It was a
fun film; lots of laughs, we all enjoyed it.  For some it was the second
viewing.  We´ve had a good day; crew is shopping and preparing for tomorrow´s
work day, while trainees are taking advantage of all the fun things there
are to do here; people seem happy, there is always lots going on.  Jordan
and Raven made an extraordinary dinner tonight, several courses, coffee,
dessert etc. the whole deal; it was delicious and they had fun making it.
Jocelyn, Arwen´s friend, and her mom Kerry, and Barry from Midway were our
guests.  I have taken notes on our day and will continue the log tomorrow
morning.  We are moving the ship at 0500 hrs to a dock further out of town.
It´s too bad as this spot is quite ideal; we should be able to return here
in a few days, after several visiting cruise ships have left.  Until
tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, strong winds
March 24th 2008 @ 02:13
34°39'15.12 N 135°25'58.80 E

Ship's Log:
We are still tied to the dock in Osaka; the weather is unsettled and
strong winds started moving in last night.  We had a busy day dealing with
Customs and Immigration, filling up with fuel and water, getting rid of
garbage, and fixing the stove.   The stove stopped working this morning at
0500hrs when Katie was trying to make crepes for breakfast; Jordan´s day
started early.  Water was collecting in the fuel pot because a leak had
sprung in the hot water coils which circulate through the stove to provide
hot water.  It turned out to be a bigger job than initially anticipated.
Gillian helped out by making a quick trip to the local ´JUSCO (the main big
supermarket in Japan)´ to buy sandwich bread, meats, cheese etc. for lunch.
By 1530 the stove was up and running again thanks to Tristan and Jordan.
The wind is blowing strong and cold today and we are quite happy to enjoy
the warmth of the galley and after cabin stoves, coffee and hot chocolate
from Starbucks, and heated toilet seats at the Universal Port Hotel, for one
more day.  There is a game of Scrabble happening in the after cabin,
knitting, reading, cards and journal writing in the hold, and chatting in
the foc´sle; there is already a good feeling on the boat, it is becoming a
home.  I forgot to mention in yesterday´s log that we started the day with
an Easter Sunrise Service.  The sun was scheduled to rise at 0559hrs and
thus we were on deck by 0555hrs; it was an early morning but everyone was
there and it was a good way to start Easter Sunday.  Later in the day
everyone received a bag of Cadbury ´Eggies´ from Diana and Emma Brizan; we
all enjoyed and were thankful for this brief visit from the ´Easter bunnies.´
Last night a large group of new trainees went to the bathhouse for the first
time.  There was definitely some anxiety and trepidation about going, but at
the same time there was the desire to experience something truly Japanese
and to listen to the high recommendation the Japanese baths had from every
crew and trainee who had previously been there.  Despite some initial
awkwardness the trip was a success and we are now all sold on the bathhouse
experience . . . definitely a ´bonding experience´ for the beginning of a
leg and a good time for ´getting to know each other.´  Skipper will check
the weather sites tonight for wind and wave forecasts and again in the
morning; the hope is to leave early tomorrow morning.  The first 40 nautical
miles will be in the Inland Sea where seas should still be pretty calm, a
nice beginning for the new trainees.  We are ready to go, ready for the next
chapter of this offshore voyage.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
windy, partially cloudy, cold
March 25th 2008 @ 17:53
34°39'54.00 N 135°26'16.80 E

Ship's Log:
Our port agent in Osaka, Japan, advised us that the Pacific Grace left port at 0700 hours on Tuesday, March 25 (Osaka time), bound for Honolulu. We did receive some new photos just prior to her departure and have uploaded those. We hope you´ve also had time to view the latest videos posted, including some incredible footage of highlights from the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea.

I want to commend Captain Tony, "First Lady" Bonice, First Mate Jose, Second Mate Antony, Bosun Jordan, Watch Office Sarah, and Cooks Katie and Gillian for their leadership, endurance, and love for the young trainees under their care. Three quarters of their voyage (in terms of time) is behind them, and now they begin the longest offshore passage of the entire journey--finally heading towards home! We are busy preparing for the Welcome Home festivities--mark your calendar to join us at Ship Point Wharf in the inner harbour at 3 pm on Saturday, June 14 to welcome Pacific Grace home!

Loren Hagerty, Executive Director, SALTS


March 25th 2008 @ 21:30
33°34'0.12 N 135°9'0.00 E

Heading 156°
Speed 6.8

Ship's Log:
We left Osaka at 0700hrs with a clear blue sky and very light winds.
Nanjo came by at 0630 to say good-bye; he gave us 3 boxes of Japanese
sweets.  We sampled them in Kyoto; they are small triangles of soft rice
pastry (the texture of fresh pasta) filled with a filling made of bean curd
and fruit or sesame paste, they´re not bad but probably an acquired taste!
They look beautiful and are typical of this part of Japan.  We sailed all
day in the Inland Sea, leaving it via the southeastern opening at about
2000hrs.  The sea has been calm for most of the day, like a gorgeous day in
Georgia Strait.  There were blue-colored mountains in the distance, sun
playing on the water, and just a few bigger ships and fishing boats . . .
beautiful.  Late afternoon a bit of a swell started moving the ship from
side-to-side gently and this motion has steadily increased, though it´s
still quite comfortable.  It will take all of us some getting used to again;
we have been in very still waters and tied to a dock for a long time.   We
had a fire drill this afternoon; everything went pretty well.  Molly was the
first one to yell ´man overboard,´ when she saw the soccer ball fall over
the side.  Many people stayed on deck all day; it was quite warm and
pleasant during the middle of the day.  Today was the first time for us to
sit around a table in our watches and begin the wonderful process of getting
to know each other.  Jose and Sarah B. will be reading to their watches in
the morning, Jose from "The Dun Cow" by Walter Wangerin Jr. and Sarah B.
from "The Robe" by Lloyd C. Douglas.  It is always wonderful to be read to
and these are two very good books.  Katie made lasagna for supper, it was
delicious.  At 1900hrs we raised the trysail, the foresail, and the jumbo.
Chris and Sean lashed the trysail lanyards with a bowline on to the main
mast; it can be a challenging task, they did well.  Trainees were eager to
help raise sail and most of them were involved in the sail handling.  The
Anderson boys and Arwen began their lessons again, and many trainees pulled
out their books and began to read.  We are looking forward to a long stint
together; it should take about 5 days to get into the routine of our ´life
at sea´ and for new trainees to get their ´sea legs.´  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
beautiful day, clear skies, warmer temperatures
March 26th 2008 @ 21:00
31°36'29.88 N 137°28'55.20 E

Heading 150°
Speed 6.9

Ship's Log:
The general mood today was low-key.  Most trainees are dealing pretty
well with sea sickness, only a handful actually threw up, and they are
taking it in stride.  Life has slowed down and many slept the day away; it
takes a few days to get used to the motion, everything requires a huge
effort i.e. using the head, getting below to put on warmer clothes, filling
a water bottle etc.  The wind is on the beam and we have been making good
speed all day, averaging 7 knots and even making up to 8 or 9 knots
regularly.  We are sailing under the trysail, foresail and jumbo with the
engine off . . . aaah, heavenly.  Last night the ship started rolling
side-to-side and the motion has continued throughout the day; it was
difficult to sleep.  James fell out of his bunk twice when a big wave caused
the ship to roll deeply.  Gabriel fell out once; we will have to remind them
to use their lee cloths which help keep them in their bunks.  In the foc´sle,
Sara R. was counting on a port tack and partway through the night was
surprised when her ´shelves´ of stuff emptied themselves on top of her (her
´shelf´ is the shelf clamp beam that runs fore and aft on the hull inside
the frames).  The water comes in through the scuppers and over the rail,
soaking the deck and occasionally, an unsuspecting trainee or crew who is
making their way carefully from the foc´sle hatch to the stern on a moving
deck.   Regularly, a huge wave hits the starboard hull with a hard ´thunk´
and water sprays over the ship, again surprising a trainee and even dousing
the helmsperson and people sitting along the bosuns´ seats in the stern.
Sean offered graciously to bring the garbage to the bow and was soaked doing
this good deed.  Sophia and Chris were a great help to Gillian in the galley
today, chopping and slicing vegetables when Gillian was feeling ill.  The
watches were pretty scarce at lunch time and the dish crew was small, but by
supper, nearly everyone was eating a delicious stew with rolls, and able to
help with dishes.   Raven is being interrogated by Jose´s watch; there is a
lot of laughing and honesty happening.  Noah and Simon played chess with
each other and with James.  Origami is still going strong in the after
cabin, with new designs being taught and attempted by Leighsa and Arwen.
Yesterday Sarah B. made a chart entitled the ´Landfall Lottery.´ Everyone
has a chance to guess the date of our arrival in Hawaii, and to submit their
entry.  There will be a prize for the winner.  So far the earliest arrival
is Sean at April 17th, and the latest arrival Sara R. at April 24th.   The
motion has steadied out somewhat and everyone is hoping for a better sleep.
The temperature on deck is cold but not the biting cold of our crossings
near and around Shanghai and Japan.  We are thankful.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy and windy
March 27th 2008 @ 19:02
30°7'23.88 N 138°48'54.00 E

Ship's Log:
Captain Tony called me just now (Thursday, 5 pm Victoria time) on his satellite phone. The ship has been out of sight of land for about three days, and is now about 500 miles off the coast. He was calling to report that he and several trainees had just spoken to a reporter at the Oak Bay News who is writing a story about the offshore voyage--I had set that up and he wanted to make sure I knew he was able to make the connection. The Nanaimo Daily News will also be running a story on the offshore voyage soon, and A-Channel TV interviewed me about it last week. The Pacific Swift´s voyage with 24 childhood cancer survivors this week is also getting lots of TV and newspaper coverage (page 3 of the Times Colonist yesterday, and on three TV stations this week). It is great to have such public interest in our sailing voyages.

Tony reported that the trainees were busy making bets for items from their personal food stashes regarding what date they think the ship will tie up in Hawaii. I updated Tony on what is happening here at the home office...
Lots of meetings related to our lease situation and vision to build another tallship and renovate our building; and David Eggert and I leave next Friday for a two-week visit to seaports and shipyards in Baltimore, Boston, Connecticut (the famous Mystic Seaport) and Maine, thanks to a generous grant from a private foundation in Ontario that is excited about our vision! Our purpose of travel is to inform our thinking about our proposed renovation, ship-building, fundraising, and Shoreside program expansion.

I updated Tony on those things, we talked about the June 14 Welcome Home Ceremony for the Pacific Grace, and--both feeling like this was a rather lengthy satellite phone call because of the cost, even though it was only about seven minutes--we bid each other farewell. And then, as often happens, people flood me with questions about how the crew and trainees are doing, but having been so consumed by the logistical/business conversation we had and how pressed for time we felt given the expense of our communication, all I can say is "they are all doing fine!" Journals have been less frequent lately--there may be a problem with our email link to the ship, and we are investigating that. Assume no news is good news! The ship carries the technology to automatically inform the Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria--and through them, SALTS, and through SALTS, trainee parents--within hours of any serious safety incident, so rest easy and know that your kids (or friends) are in good hands with Captain Tony Anderson and our good Lord! "Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!" Psalm 93

Good Night,
Loren Hagerty, Executive Director



March 27th 2008 @ 21:00
30°7'23.88 N 138°48'54.00 E

Heading 140°
Speed 6.5

Ship's Log:
It has been a glorious day; the sky was blue, we had a following wind,
and the temperatures were so warm we nearly took off our long underwear.
The sunscreen made it out for the first time.  Around 1630 hrs, the air
becomes very cold again, and we begin to bundle up for the night, but the
daytime was lovely and everyone was enjoying being on deck.  There was lots
of sail handling today with sails being raised and lowered several times.
The courses were raised in the morning, then lowered later in the day when
the main was raised due to an alteration in our course.  All trainees were
eager to help and we had a record number of people helping to stow the
trysail and the course sails which is always nice.  The trysail fit
beautifully into its box first time!  Usually it takes several tries when
trainees are new, to fold the trysail so that it slips nicely into the deck
box.  It is fun when there is lots of sail handling; many people are busy
with sails and lines, there is lots of teaching and learning happening and
everyone begins to get an idea of how large ship sailing works.  After the
sails are up, or down, it takes about 20 minutes to straighten out the
decks, coiling ropes, trimming sails, hanging up sail ties etc. We sailed
along quietly for most of the day, the boat rocking gently from side to side
(with the occasional deep roll that sent everything and everyone sprawling),
people sitting comfortably wedged in on deck against the roll, reading,
writing, standing watch etc. . . . it was a great afternoon for everyone.
Watch officers went with their watch around the deck teaching pins and
lines.  In a few days each trainee will be required to know the name and
whereabouts of every line and belaying pin.  This makes sailing easier,
especially in an emergency or if winds are strong and speed is of a
necessity.  Susan, Elske, and Leighsa were interrogated in their watches
today; often interesting and thought-provoking information comes out of
these sessions, which can lead to more conversations later in the trip.
Jordan did work watch with Antony´s watch today; they are sanding and oiling
the port cap rails.  Sophia, Molly, Sarah B., and I are beginning a knitting
project, most likely hats, something we can finish within the time we have
at sea.  Last night during watch I woke up to hear Susan and Becca laughing
hysterically and the rain pelting down on them.  They had stayed dry for
their entire 1hr40min.of watch and were waiting to be relieved by a
helmsperson from Antony´s watch.  For the 30 minutes that it took to awaken
Molly, have her stay awake, and come on deck, the rain poured down on them;
it stopped by the time Molly made it up to take the wheel.  Fortunately Bec
and Susan turned their wet ordeal into a laugh, and by morning, it was just
a very funny story with Molly unaware of being woken up several times.  The
wind has calmed down and we have lowered the main and turned on the engine.
We are now waking up to the sun rising ahead of us and setting behind us,
the opposite of our passage through the South Pacific.  We are looking
forward to a good nights´ sleep and another wonderful and full day tomorrow.
Good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
clear skies, warmer daytime temperatures, light winds
March 28th 2008 @ 21:00
29°25'23.88 N 142°40'1.20 E

Heading 115°
Speed 7.7

Ship's Log:
It has been a beautiful day and I feel we are starting to fall into the
routine that makes a longer passage so wonderful.  Everyone is feeling well
and is involved in all aspects of normal ship routine i.e. standing watch,
doing dishes, eating meals below, participating in lessons etc.  It is all
very good.  We were happy to see Gabriel vertical again and eating with us
below decks; he even volunteered this morning to be interviewed by a
Victoria news reporter via satellite.   A woman by the name of Vivian
contacted the Pacific Grace this morning and interviewed Skipper and several
trainees, looking for initial impressions of this voyage.  Sara R., Raven,
Sophie, and Gabriel all had a chance to say something.  Tristan and Gillian
braved the cold sea water and showered with the bucket this morning, a full
shower, hair wash and all . . . brrrrr.  They both said it was cold but very
refreshing and they felt better after having cleaned.  The rest of us
continue to clean in the heads with rubbing alcohol, baby wipes, soap and
water, or . . . not at all.  As we approach Hawaii, we are hoping the water
will become warmer and showering will be less traumatic.  Trainees continued
studying their pins today, standing by lines, shaking them, staring up and
up, trying to see to which sail the end is attached, and remembering the
name for that particular line.  Sara R. started knitting her second sock and
Molly is on her way to building a hat.  Jose shared his mongolian Yak
cheese, a gift from Jenny, a good friend in Beijing, and told stories of his
time there.  Wil and Kaitlyn, two new trainees, traveled to Beijing and
Shanghai before joining the ship in Osaka and it was fun to swap stories.
Emma, Wil, and Steve were interrogated in their watches today.  Katie made
pizzas for supper with help from Kira, Leighsa, Wil, Maddie, Susan, and
James.  Pizza is a big job and a big treat; we appreciate it.  The sailing
today has been fabulous, exactly the kind one dreams of.  The wind has
picked up again and is blowing onto the starboard beam.  We sailed all day
under the four lowers, trysail, foresail, jumbo, and jib, making a
consistent 7.5- 8.5 knots, lovely.  The seas are more regular, there is a
gentle side-to-side motion with big seas coming from the stern, lifting up
the ship and moving forward under her, then being expelled at the bow.  This
continues over and over and over again . . . it is perfect, like trade wind
sailing, I wish you could experience it; it continues in this way for hours,
we aren´t even aware of it after awhile; our little community goes on with
its various duties and activities while the ship keeps on its steady course.
The sound is mesmerizing; the water repeatedly makes big swooshing noises as
the ship surges forward with the sea underneath her, and the wind is heard
blowing through the rigging and along the belly of the sails . . . one can
sit and watch the water and listen to the sounds for hours  . . . this is a
part of offshore I want to remember once I´m home.   Today we saw an
albatross.  We also saw a flock of flying fish skimming over the sea before
re-entering the water; it´s beautiful to see the sea birds and the flying
fish.  For me flying fish indicate that we are moving south to warmer waters
and the albatross reminds us we are far out to sea; both are comforting
thoughts.  It is a nice night, there are stars and though it is colder, it
is not icy cold like the nights near China.  Last night the stargazing book
made it on deck and trainees were looking for constellations.  There is no
moon which means stars are easier to pick out.  Jose, Gillian and Molly
played guitar for Mug-Up tonight in the hold; this group sings well and we
had a fun evening.  Katie made a big pot of steamed vanilla milk to go with
the singing.  Yes, it has been a good day.  Until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
clear and sunny, good winds, warmer temperature
March 29th 2008 @ 19:20
28°50'48.12 N 145°42'28.80 E

Heading 141°
Speed 6.9

Ship's Log:
The weather today was cloudy and cooler, though we were still able to
enjoy being together on deck.  There have been many sail changes since
midnight; the wind has changed direction three times.  Trainees are always
keen to help out with raising, lowering and stowing sails.  The courses, the
foresail, the jumbo and the jib have gone up and down several times.  Sarah
B., her watch and Tristan handled sail in the middle of the night when the
wind switched about 70 degrees.  We have sailed beautifully all day without
the engine.  Just before supper the engine was turned on and our course was
altered to avoid contrary weather.  There is a low pressure system north of
us so our course is taking us further south for a bit.  The motion is a
steady rolling side-to-side; not many of us slept that well last night
though we are getting used to the rolling.  This morning Molly decided it
was time for a shower and cleaned on deck with the bucket.  Elske, Bec, and
Leanne weren´t quite so brave and just washed their hair on deck with the
cold salt water.  Sean, Tristan, Jordan, and Elske are taking sights with
the sextant, keeping up their Celestial Navigation Skills learned on earlier
legs.  Sarah B. taught a juniors chart work lesson.  Diane, Leanne, and
Maddie were interrogated in their watches.  It´s quite impressive how
personal we have become in our questions and answers in only a week.
Everyone is free to answer only what they feel comfortable with, but all in
all, trainees and crew seem ready to answer any question their watch asks
them; groups are small and our days are spent mostly with our watch, this
makes getting to know each other easier and quicker.   Jacob and Noah sorted
through all the fishing gear that was left by Scott and Chase from the last
leg.  They set up 2 lines and we caught 2 small Skipjack tuna.  Skipjack is
not our favorite fish and they were small, so we let them go.  It was still
exciting to catch something; it has been quite awhile since we caught fish.
Last night I noticed 2 girls doing stomach exercises in the galley in the
dark, and there have been sightings of other trainees doing stretching,
yoga, and exercises on the foredeck.  On the ship we sit a lot; it takes a
few days before one becomes creative at finding ways to feel like one is
staying in some kind of shape i.e. Susan has devised a way to do squats
while she pumps the head 30 times.  Sophie made a chocolate cake for
everyone tonight while Katie and Kira made the cream cheese icing.  Ship
life is becoming more normal and trainees and crew are beginning to start
projects, read books, write in journals, and set up their personal daily
routines; it´s a good feeling.  We try to live in the moment as each day
provides us with plenty to contemplate, enjoy and experience; sometimes the
thought of how much water we still have to cross, and how many days of
sailing there still are, is overwhelming.  This experience is something many
of us will never relive and it is better to be in the ´now´ and take full
advantage of it.  Although the day was cloudy, the night is clear and we
have a beautiful starry night.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy and cold
March 30th 2008 @ 19:30
26°55'54.12 N 147°52'55.20 E

Heading 152°
Speed 7.9

Ship's Log:
Today was the warmest day so far; some trainees even went so far as to
try out their shorts and tank tops, although they quickly covered up in a
sweater, it isn´t quite that warm yet.  I was seriously contemplating taking
off my woolen underwear, but didn´t.  The water is turning a deeper royal
blue, very beautiful.  Yesterday 2 swallows spent most of the day swooping
and swerving around the ship; it seemed a long way to be from land for such
a small bird.  Early this morning, in Jose´s 0400-0800 watch, the swallows
landed on the deck and were either incredibly tame or incredibly tired; they
allowed trainees to come close, they landed on their shoulders and stayed,
and they let us touch them.  We think that one of them was exhausted as he
seemed to die in his sleep, curled up in a fluffy ball.  Antony had a burial
at sea for him.   Sarah B. and Kaitlyn showered today for the first time and
Ian and Emma washed their hair.  Very slowly the water is getting warmer.
The wind has been light for most of the day and so we have continued under
power.  The seas are coming from the stern and the motion continues
side-to-side with regular deep rolls to remind us to put away our things and
be ready to hold onto something.  People slept better last night and we
noticed that today feels like a turning point in this passage; trainees are
comfortable on the ship, they are laughing, they are more vocal, they are
opening up, and life feels generally more settled.  At 1400hrs we had a
Sunday service. Many trainees took their pin tests today and have started on
their oral exams in the SALTS logbooks.  Our knitters, Gillian, Molly,
Sophie and Sarah B. continue to knit, while others like Adam, are reading
some excellent books (I´ll mention some of the titles in another log).
Maddy and  Steven have started a ´Dutch Bliss´ tournament; nearly every
evening they play, along with some others, Gillian, Noah, Kaitlyn etc. They
are totaling their scores between Osaka and Victoria and the winner will be
treated to a night out.  Gillian made a delicious roast beef dinner tonight.
Jacob mashed the potatoes and scored ´10´ in taste and consistency.   We are
continuing south because of bad weather north of us; it keeps Skipper very
preoccupied, taking and reading weather faxes, interpreting them, reading
weather journals, checking pilot charts etc. . . .  he´s trying to make the
best decision in terms of our course, expected wind patterns and local
forecasts.    Life on board is very good; everyone seems very happy to be
here.  Tristan wishes his dad a very happy birthday; Happy Birthday Dad from
Tristan, have a great day.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, warmer during the middle of the day
March 31st 2008 @ 18:30
26°37'55.92 N 149°23'56.40 E

Ship's Log:
If anyone is envying our passage across the Pacific Ocean, today was a
day you need not envy us, although the stormy seas are magnificent to
behold.  During the night the wind picked up strength and started blowing
from ahead of us.  By morning we were making only 3 knots and the wind
continued to build.  The motion changed from strictly side-to-side, to a bow
down, corkscrew motion, not very comfortable.  Some trainees felt a little
queasy and needed some time to get used to the new motion; just as everyone
was getting used to life on the ship, life has slowed right down again.
Around mid-day Skipper decided to heave to.  It would be easier on the ship
and the rigging, and our progress had slowed down considerably and the wind
was still growing stronger.  We are now hove to in 50 knots of wind and 4
meter high seas.  The foresail is double-reefed and the wheel is hard to
starboard; it feels completely safe.  Skipper is at peace with how the ship
is riding the waves and feels this is the safest decision, to wait out the
storm; another 24 hours should bring us to better weather.  Trainees and
crew have been wearing their harnesses and are clipped in when they are on
deck, all through the day.  Only the watch officer on watch and trainees on
watch are gathered together in rain gear around the wheel, everyone else is
´hanging out´ below decks reading, sleeping, or playing cards.  Right now
Sarah B. and port watch are singing in the rain and Jose´s fore watch are in
the hold, laughing and listening to Blake´s life story, and anticipating an
exciting time of washing dishes.  It is pretty wild on deck, it is pouring
rain and the wind is blowing hard, but despite this, it is beautiful,
awesome, powerful, and magnificent to be a part of.  The power of the ocean
and the wind is truly something to see.  The wind is blowing the tops off
the waves and spray is spewing far and hard over the water; colours are
different shades of grey and white.  The boat rolls with the swells, with
water coming over the rails regularly; the Grace takes the swells
gracefully, moving slowly up and down each one.  It is not cold and although
I spent 3 hours standing in the stern with fore watch, I was warm inside my
rain gear just very wet . . . no raingear can withstand this weather.  No
one took showers today, needless to say.  School also was cancelled . . .
storm day . . .  lots of origami, listening to music, lego, playmobile,
reading etc.   Sara R. and I have joined the knitters and we are knitting up
a storm, excuse the pun.  Gillian did a great job in the galley; it is not
easy cooking in these conditions, we appreciate what she does for us,
breakfast, lunch, and supper were delicious.  Skipper says it is good that
we made such good speed the past few days; it allowed us to get south and
out of the worst part of the storm.  We are praying for a good sleep tonight
and calmer seas when we wake up.  We are all safe and happy and enjoying the
experience of being out at sea. Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
grey, stormy, wet
April 1st 2008 @ 19:30
27°3'18.00 N 151°42'54.00 E

Heading 70°
Speed 7

Ship's Log:
I think last night was SALTS worst night in rock´n roll history; it was so ridiculous trying to sleep in all the motion, that it was funny, sad,
tragic etc.  Nobody except for Susan slept.   The rolling was deep and hard
with all of us taking hard hits on the wooden side of our bunks; even our heads felt like they were being tossed around, it was quite something.
Before midnight there was a sense that the wind was abating although the seas remained big and the swells and the motion stayed intense.  The wind switched abaft the beam and we were able to lower the reefed foresail, raise the 2 courses and continue our passage at 6 knots.  Handling sail happened at night during Jose´s 0000-0400hr watch with everyone who was awake . . .
which was all of us.  It was very intense trying to lower the fore gaff in such a strong wind with such a big ocean swell.  Water came up over the stern and at times, the water over the rails came up to one´s knees.
Everyone remained clipped in.  Sophie and Steve were on the fore vang which controls the after end of the gaff and did a great job for the first time.
Unfortunately Steve lost his fingernail in the process, not noticing it when it happened, just seeing the damage after the sail was down; Elske found his fingernail on the deck.  Steve says the pain is minimal, it is bandaged, and Sarah is cleaning it regularly.  Steve says to tell his mom ´he is fine.´
Jordan and Liam were up to April Fools´ Day pranks, rearranging all the dishes in the galley and replacing many of them with books.  When Katie woke early to make breakfast, she found everything in a different spot; she´s a great sport and laughed at it all.  Port watch, who were on dishes ended up putting everything back in its proper place.  In the foc´sle last night we heard rumours of a tremendous pillow fight, also instigated by Jordan, but supported by many others.  Today we celebrated Liam´s 18th birthday.  We had eggs, bacon and fresh bread for breakfast, tuna pasta for lunch, and hamburgers on fresh whole wheat buns for supper . . . all choices of Liam and very good.  There is birthday cake later tonight, made by Kaitlyn, Katie, Noah, and Arwen.  When we woke up this morning we were grateful to find somewhat calmer seas and definitely calmer winds.  The temperature was warmer and we were all able to spend the most part of the day on deck, enjoying the sun and the ocean.  We all commented on the difference in temperament of the sea between yesterday and today; the sea has so many faces and there is beauty in all of them.  The ship continues to roll from side-to-side with regular deeper dips, but . . . all things are relative and conditions are more comfortable today than they were yesterday, and we´re hoping for a better night.  We are all pretty tired; I´m sure that will help.  Sarah B. taught a junior lesson on points of sail, and many trainees were studying for orals -their knots, stowage lists and terminology.  Emma is making a Turks head bracelet around her wrist.  Adam, Raven, Gabriel, and Blake made a start on their suntans, lying on the after cabin house in their shorts, and flipping over from front to back every 16 minutes.  Despite being careful, Adam still managed to sunburn.  In the afternoon we altered course and changed sail; the courses came down and the foresail, jumbo, and jib sail joined the trysail.  Later on, when the wind picked up, Sara R.
went out on the bowsprit to help lower and stow the jib sail.  Before supper Sarah B. noticed porpoises heading for our ship.  They come from far off in small groups, diving and splashing their way towards the bow; they´re beautiful, and the first mammals we´ve seen in a while.  It has been a wonderful day and our community is becoming very close; it´s a great feeling.  Sean would like to wish his mom a Happy 29th Birthday for March 31st and Susan wishes her mom a fantastic day on her birthday, also March 31st.  Happy Birthday Mom from Sean and from Susan.  This is it until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy with some sun, calmer seas
April 2nd 2008 @ 21:00
27°49'12.00 N 154°29'16.80 E

Heading 77°
Speed 4.8

Ship's Log:
We had a great day of steady sailing although the swell left over from the storm is still with us and the seas are big; we continue to roll deeply from side-to-side with loose paraphernalia and people flying across the ship regularly.  We´ve actually become pretty relaxed when dishes, books, mugs, etc. slide across a surface and fall to the floor.  During breakfast dishes the cutlery drawer came out of its housing and landed with a crash onto the sole, just nicking Sophie´s foot, who was washing ´uglies (the big pots and
pans)´ at the sink.   Jordan and Tristan have had several issues to deal
with lately; they´ve been kept busy maintaining the many systems on the ship.  Tristan has been an incredible help and is able and willing to do any job assigned to him; he´s happy to be back on the ship again.  We have been under sail all day, making a consistent 7 knots.  The trysail and 2 courses are up.  The decks remain wet, with water either coming through the scuppers or over the rail; we need to watch where we set ourselves down, we are regularly surprised by a random big wave that makes it down a hatch or douses the helmsperson.  Today while Elske was steering (in her new, warm down jacket), Jordan was adjusting the wedges around the main mast when a huge wave washed over the deck and caught Jordan with his ´skirt´ up.  The ´skirt´ is also called the mast boot; it is the waterproof fabric that wraps around the foot of the mast above deck and attaches to the deck to prevent water from coming down the mast hole.  Water gushed down into the galley, wetting the floor which had just been mopped by Antony and Leighsa.  The ´skirt´ was up so that Jordan could get at the wedges which hold the mast in place and help center it.  Liam, Raven, and Adam helped Jordan on work watch, adjusting the wedges.  Later in the day Liam and Blake helped Jordan
reorganize bosun supplies in the lazerette.   Leighsa and Molly took some
time to hand wash a few pieces of clothing in a deck bucket and dry them on the safety lines.  Jose taught Maddie, Leanne, Emma, and Sara R. how to knot a Star knot, a knot described in ´The Marlinspike Sailor.´  Will helped with supper prep tonight, mixing up a vegetarian spaghetti sauce to go with noodles.  I made yogourt to serve with granola for Susan´s birthday breakfast tomorrow morning.  We spotted porpoises again today, always beautiful to watch. Tonight after supper dishes, I went into the hold to gather up my boys for bed and I found nearly every trainee and several crew playing cards and Catan around the hold table; it was a wonderful sight.
People were squeezed tight beside each other with cards in their hand, laughing, talking, playing . . . having a good time.  Around the perimeter were other trainees chatting and looking on.  Emma and Arwen were baking mint double chocolate chip cookies and Noah was putting together steamed vanilla milk for everyone.  Simon was in amongst everyone with some cards in his hand.  He came willingly with everyone saying they would play again and cookies would be set aside for him for the morning; it really felt like one huge family supporting and enjoying each other.  This is it for today, until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
nice day, sunny afternoon, cool temperatures
April 3rd 2008 @ 21:45
28°29'30.12 N 157°2'49.20 E

Heading 84°
Speed 5.9

Ship's Log:
Today we celebrated Susan´s 19th birthday.  Arwen woke up at 0530 and
surprised her with a shower of boat-made confetti; she loved it and it
started her morning watch off well.  There was granola and yogourt for
breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and calzones for supper, all Susan´s
choices; she´s had a good day.  Maddie and Chris helped make the calzones.
Yesterday we moved our clocks an hour forward; we change time every 15
degrees of longitude.  In a few days we will reach the date line where we
will get the chance to relive a day of our life.  It was a beautiful day;
the sky was blue and the air was cold.  The swell remaining after the storm
is still with us but Skipper said that within 24 hours it should become
less; the swells are already beginning to level out somewhat.  The swells
are big enough and the rocking severe enough that a few days ago Skipper and
I pulled out the berth control board that divides our bunk into two.  It is
the first time during this offshore we have used it.  Our sleeping space
becomes quite narrow (the Skippers bunk is equal to a twin size bed) but
that´s what one needs when the ship is really moving; we are both sleeping
better, wedged into our own personal spaces.  Most trainees and crew are
using their lee cloths to stay in their bunks.  Lee cloths are rectangular
shaped pieces of canvas secured under the inboard edge of the bunks and
stretched toward the deck head (the ´ceiling´ of below decks) with the help
of a lanyard hooked into an eye in the surrounding wood somewhere.  With the
lee cloth up, trainees and crew have another edge to lean into without
falling out of their bunks, depending on which tack we are on.  We have
light headwinds at the moment and the engine is moving us along.  Juniors
wrote their exams today and did well; they now become Intermediates and
lessons will begin all over again.  Jose taught several trainees how to make
a ´monkey´s fist´ today during his 1200-1600hr watch.  Work watch sanded and
oiled the cap rails and the foc´sle doors.  Katie taught Noah and Simon how
to play ´Sailors Crib.´  Several trainees felt like they had reached a
´plateau´ i.e. life at sea has become normal and routine has set in, and the
nights of not enough sleep are catching up to them.  This is quite normal,
there is so much that is new initially; after 2 weeks a different type of
trip sets in.  The benefits of working and living together in community for
a longer period of time now have a chance to take hold . . . this is what
our life together looks like for the next 2 weeks, we have a chance to grow
from it.  The days are passing quickly, in several days we will be halfway
through our passage and in another few days, we will be on the same side of
the date line as you.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, cold, light winds
April 4th 2008 @ 21:30
29°49'59.88 N 159°22'48.00 E

Heading 90°
Speed 6.7

Ship's Log:
The swell has come down in the night and the motion is now quite
comfortable, a gentle rolling over long even ocean swells.  The wind has
been light yet we have been able to sail for most of the day.  After
breakfast the ´all hands on deck´ call was given by Antony and an eager
group of trainees came up to help lower the trysail and raise the mainsail
and the jib.  Maddie unlashed the line holding down the jib onto the
bowsprit.  This means putting on a harness, having it checked by a watch
officer, and then clipping  onto a jack line under the bowsprit before
climbing over the rail and into the whiskers; it´s an exciting place to be
and it is fun to be involved in sail handling in this way.  Once the 4 lower
sails were up, Liam and Elske climbed the mainmast to unlash the main
topsail and then it too was set.  The topsail is used in lighter winds and
it makes quite a difference in a light wind; we moved along nicely for the
better part of the day at about 7 knots.   It was actually a lovely day to
be on deck; there was some warmth but the woolen underwear is still on, as
are the down jackets, fleece coats and wind breaker/rain coats.  The Pacific
Grace moved over the water so gracefully, slightly heeled to port, with a
gentle up-and-down motion over the swells; one of the days we want to
remember.  Molly and Susan were up in the bow doing push-ups and yoga,
Gabriel washed his hair with the bucket.  We are heading north again after
the storm and the water feels colder, as does the air.  Just before supper
the wind slackened and we lowered the main.  Everyone did a fantastic job
furling it.  Sarah B. and port watch were on watch to lower the main and
were ably helped by Diane and Raven and several other trainees from fore and
starboard watch.  We raised the trysail with Maddie, Blake, and Adam
climbing onto the main gaff to lace the sail onto the main mast.  Again,
this is a fun and exciting way to be involved with the sail handling.  The
crew is thrilled with how eager the trainees are to learn and how willing
they are to help and come when help is called for.  The engine has just been
turned on and it is raining.  Mid-afternoon the crew got together to meet
and chat.  They opened up the ´care package´ given to them by Heidi and John
Hedley and enjoyed the toffee, chocolate and tea.  Thank you very much, it
all tasted so good.  Antony read to us from Malcolm Muggeridge´s book
´Something Beautiful for God,´ a fantastic book about Muggeridge´s personal
visit with Mother Teresa.   Some of the other books that are being read on
deck are:  The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John
Irving, The Einstein Reader, several Patrick O´Brien books, Oryx and Crake
by Margaret Atwood, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, The Long Walk by
Slavomir Rawicz, A Passage to India by E.M. Forster, The Alchemist by . . .
, Grey Seas Under by Farley Mowat, and Atonement by Ian McEwan.  There are
many, many more; these are just a few I can remember seeing as I sit here
making my log notes.  Tonight after dishes we enjoyed Susan´s birthday
cookies baked by Becca and Arwen.  Yesterday was a busy day in the galley
for Gillian so the birthday baking was put off until today.  They were
delicious and just what Susan requested.  The past few evenings the hold has
been an amazing place to be.  There are several card games going on as well
as Catan and some other games; there is a great feeling of camaraderie and
fun.  The trainees on watch at night have had wonderful hours of chatting
around the wheel, laughing, singing etc.  The Grace is a good place to be.
Gillian would like to wish her sister Jennifer lots of love on her birthday
April 4th.  Happy Birthday Jennifer from Gillian.  Jordan would like to wish
his brother Jean Marc an amazing day on his birthday, also April 4th.  Happy
Birthday Jean Marc from Jordan.   Will would like to wish his sister Ellan
good luck in the Olympic Trials which are happening soon.  Good luck to
Ellan from all of us.  This is it for now, until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, light winds
April 5th 2008 @ 20:00
30°38'24.00 N 162°23'49.20 E

Heading 103°
Speed 6.8

Ship's Log:
We awoke to a glorious day.  The wool underwear made it off and the
first serious sunburn has happened.  At least half of the trainees (mostly
new ones, take note) took a complete bucket shower; in their bathing suits
they shampooed their hair, scrubbed their body, and shaved, using buckets of
salt water for the cleaning and the rinsing.   The water is not warm but the
sun had warmth and felt good on the skin.  Many people dug out their board
shorts and put on sunscreen.  James unfortunately forgot the latter and his
torso is now red and rubbed down in aloe vera; he´s still smiling broadly
though.   In the morning everyone was on deck to raise sail.  The wind had
picked up somewhat, though still gentle, and we raised every fore and aft
sail the Grace carries; it was wonderful.  The main, the fore, the jumbo,
the jib, the main topsail and the fisherman, they were all up.  We sailed
along beautifully for several hours; the motion was very gentle, it was
quiet, the wind was light but all the sails were drawing . . . completely
satisfying . . . another one of those moments we want to remember once we´re
home.   Soon after lunch the clouds started moving in and the sweaters and
long pants were put on again over sunscreened bodies.  The fog moved in and
the air was very damp; you could see it in people´s hair, it either looked
very curly or like it needed to be cleaned.  You can also feel it on your
skin, everything feels quite sticky and clammy, not the nicest feeling when
you are not used to it.  A quick wipe down with fresh water makes you feel
clean again (being clean at sea is often a ´mental´ condition, not so much a
physical one, though one does get somewhat cleaner in salt water).   Sean,
Raven, and Liam helped with unfurling the main topsail and the jib.  Just
before supper the main topsail and the main were lowered and the trysail
went up.  Sean, Gabriel and Liam stowed the topsail.  The topsail is the
highest sail on the ship and unfurling or furling involves putting on a
harness and climbing to the top of the mainmast where the sail is lashed
onto the main topmast.  From here it gets unlashed or stowed.  It gets set
from the deck.  It is very satisfying to do a good furl on the main topsail,
though it takes some practice.  Sara R. and Maddie laced on the trysail and
Susan has taken it upon herself to understand and be able to accomplish the
set up of the trysail sheets and blocks.  She has succeeded.  Every time the
trysail goes up or down, the sheets and two huge blocks need to be taken out
of their box forward of the deck house and dragged to the stern where they
are set up to be used with the trysail.   Right now the engine is on as the
wind has died.  Several knitters have joined the team; James, Leighsa and
Susan were taught to cast on and knit yesterday and are well into their
scarves.  James has cast on his 20 stitches at least four times and is now
very proficient at it.  Gabriel, Keira, and Adam were interrogated in their
watch today; there was a lot of laughing as hilarious details of their lives
were revealed.  Today there have been many very interesting conversations on
board; we are nearly 2 weeks into our crossing, routine has set in, and we
know each other relatively well.  It is easy to find someone to talk to or
to play a round of cards with; this group is very much interested in being
together.  The foc´sle and the hold are wonderful places to be in the
evening; everyone not on watch is there, around a table, playing and
talking, drinking hot drinks and sharing their personal stash (snack food we
provide ourselves).  It is time to put my boys to bed, Simon wanted time to
play just one more round of Sailors Crib with Molly; I will go and get him
now.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny in the morning, cloudy and foggy in the afternoon
April 6th 2008 @ 20:00
30°33'0.00 N 165°24'10.80 E

Heading 110°
Speed 7.1

Ship's Log:
Today we celebrated Blake´s 19th birthday.  There were blueberry
pancakes for breakfast and we are looking forward to the chocolate cupcakes
with 19 candles for desert.  Arwen and Maddie are baking in the galley with
fore watch while fore watch cleans up; there are lots of dishes after a huge
and delicious roast beef dinner.  The boat is a busy place; people have a
lot of excited energy tonight.  In the after cabin we have Tristan playing
chess with Simon, Bec writing a letter beside him, Katie having her hair
braided by Leighsa and being watched by Sarah B. who is trying to get some
sleep; Jose is playing his guitar and singing, Jacob is watching the chess
game, Skipper is tickling Noah in the cabin, Antony is on watch and plotting
a course on the chart in the navigation station, and I am recording it all
in the log . . . yes, it´s a bit crazy.  We have been motoring all day, the
wind is very light.  Skipper has been studying the weather faxes from
previous days and the pilot charts.  We are in the belt between 30 and 35
degrees latitude where the winds are variable; we could get wind from any
direction.  Skipper brought the charts up on deck and explained our position
in relation to wind possibilities, hi and low pressure systems and where we
want to be if they come.  The wind is unpredictable and we cannot know
exactly when we will arrive and where we will arrive in the Hawaiian Islands
until we are about 500 miles close to them.  At 1400hrs we held a service on
deck around the wheel; we turned the engine off and drifted quietly for a
few hours at 2 knots.  Several crew members spoke personally of experiences
where they intentionally allowed themselves to be known and how that
experience opened them to a deeper relationship with someone.  We are
discussing the idea that ´one can only be loved as well as one is known.´
Skipper read from "Becoming Human" by Jean Vanier; it is an excellent book,
part of the CBC Massey Lectures.  Sean, Ian, and Steve have made a 9 hole,
Par 3 golf course on deck.  It is made up of funnels, hatches, the scuttle
hatch, and the sky lights.  They are now in the process of organizing a
´Pacific Grace Open Cup Tournament.´  The 3 of them played a first round,
using a turks head as the golf ball and throwing the ´ball´ rather than
swinging a club.  I will relay more details when I hear of them.   I have a
wonderfully funny story to relate about Keira; hopefully tomorrow I will get
the chance.  Her watch loves her and she keeps them laughing; she has many
very funny stories. If you have been with SALTS for a long time you may know
of Christina Clark, Martyn and Marg Clarks 3rd daughter.  Christina studied
in England and Keira´s mom was one of her professors.  Christina shared
SALTS with Keira´s mom and that is how Keira has traveled all the way from
England to Japan to join us on the Grace to Hawaii.  It´s a wonderful
connection.   This is it for tonight, until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy and rainy, no wind
April 7th 2008 @ 21:00
30°13'48.00 N 168°9'43.20 E

Heading 94°
Speed 4.5

Ship's Log:
It has been a cold and wet day; most people spent the day below unless
they were on watch.  We have not been using the after cabin stove for awhile
but today the thought went through our heads to light it.  Just after the
log was sent yesterday the wind picked up blowing just forward of the port
beam.  We lowered the square sails and raised the jumbo to join the foresail
and trysail which were already up.  Jose was on watch and his watch worked
alongside him handling sail in the rain and the dark.  We turned on the deck
lights so people could see easier.  There is no moon at the moment; it is
very dark on deck.  We turned the engine off and made good speed, moving
along at 8.2 knots.  Jordan and Skipper are keeping close track of how much
fuel is being used.  Skipper likes to leave 4 days of fuel as reserve for
coming into the harbor, and for the stove and the generator.  At 0500 hrs
our speed slowed down to 3 knots and the engine was started.  About 1000 hrs
the wind picked up and we´ve been sailing ever since, though our speed has
slowed down to 4.4 kts.  We are on a port tack, starboard side sleepers are
happy.  Last night Sara R., Kaitlyn, Leanne, and Emma put on harnesses and
went out on the whisker shrouds to lower the jib.  Jacob is reading "One Man´s
Wilderness" by Sam Keith from journals and photos of Richard Proenneke.
Blake came on board with it, read it and passed it on to Jacob who loves it.
Leighsa was playing cards in the foc´sle last night and knitting at the same
time.  After half an hour she counted her stitches as she found her stitches
kept falling off the needle, as if there were too many.  She had 43 stitches
and she had started with 24!  Jose taught splicing to his watch during their
0800-1200 watch. A few days ago Keira was going through her things
when she found some blue cheese she had been saving as stash.  It was soft
and black water was collecting in the bottom of the bag.  She was under the
impression blue cheese would not go bad when un-refrigerated.  Not thinking
things through, she put it in her pocket.  Later the same day she smelled
something offensive and thinking that her feet must be the culprit, bent
over to have a look.  She found blue cheese juice running down her leg.
When she realized what had happened, she clapped her hand on her pocket and
found a huge, stinky wet spot of squished blue cheese.  She ran into the
hold yelling, "My blue cheese just exploded in my trousers!"  Steve
responded with "Get up on deck, quick, quick, and take your pants off and
throw them overboard, with the cheese."  On deck she got rid of the cheese,
threw the pants by the dories and had Elske pass some clean pants up to her.
There was lots of laughing and retelling of the story; I think she´s quite
proud of it.  We have been at sea now for 2 weeks and Skipper says we have
made good progress, he is happy.  We are praying for good winds and some
warmer weather for tomorrow.  Until then, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
rainy and cold
April 8th 2008 @ 21:00
29°46'30.00 N 169°32'31.20 E

Heading 90°
Speed 1.8

Ship's Log:
It has been a trying day, though the trainees are keeping themselves
busy and their attitudes towards the waiting and slow progress is good.  The
winds are contrary and the seas are lumpy.  On deck it is cold and rainy.
The ship has been crawling along laboriously all day between 1 and 2 knots.
Because the wind is dead ahead, it doesn´t make sense to turn on the engine.
The motion would intensify, the wear on the ship would be great, our speed
would only increase by perhaps 2 knots, and we would be using up our
precious fuel.  Skipper has decided to just wait for the conditions to
change; hopefully the wind will change direction.  Antony is on the
2000-2400 watch and has just lowered the trysail and the jumbo as we are
being pushed south where we don´t want to go.  Skipper and he have decided
to heave to with the foresail up and the wheel hard over.  The motion has
become more intense, with the ship dipping hard to starboard, but we are
remaining pretty well in the same spot.  Oh well, what can one do but try to
live in the moment and hang out with each other; that is what makes the time
pass in an enjoyable way.   Trainees spent most of the day when they were
off watch below decks, sleeping, playing cards, writing, reading, and
playing Scrabble.  Jose read "Skippy Jon Jones" to his watch; they nearly
have it memorized.  The 1200-1600 watch did work watch with Tristan.  Some
trainees continued with inventory while others worked on deck in the rain
sewing leather onto the foresail preventer, also known as the gybing tackle.
Sophie, Becca, Maddie and Tristan worked together huddled on the portside,
in their rain gear, with their palms and leather needles, stitching a
leather patch around a 1 inch parceled and wormed cable.  It was admirable.
James made several pots of hot chocolate to keep his port watch warm.  Sarah
B. started a manuscript study with several trainees, on the first book of
John.  They enjoyed seeing the text in a different light and discussing the
vocabulary, repetition of ideas and words, symbols etc.  Again, we are
praying for good winds and warmer weather.  Until tomorrow, good-night,
enjoy your still beds, Bonice.


Observations:
windy, wet, cold
April 10th 2008 @ 21:30
30°13'23.88 N 169°19'37.20 E

Heading 25°
Speed 3.9

Ship's Log:
Well . . . we have started moving forward again, north.  At 0600hrs this
morning the wind slackened and changed direction somewhat so that we could
raise the trysail and jumbo and head north, making about 6-8 knots until
1630hrs, when the wind became too strong and the amount of water coming onto
the boat too much.  We lowered the trysail and the jumbo and are continuing
at 3.5 knots.  The wind is supposed to be lessening and also veering slowly
south; our plan is to follow it around, hopefully starting tomorrow morning
sometime.  We are on a steep starboard tack, lee cloths and bunk boards are
in full use.  The boat moves fore and aft, with a steep slope down to port,
and still the forever deep rolls side-to-side, it is quite something.  We
are learning to negotiate the deck; trying to stay upright and dry while
moving from the forward hatch to the after deck.  Big seas slap the side of
the ship and spray everywhere, soaking everyone.  Both Jose and Skipper were
doused and needed to change clothes.  Leighsa got ´sat on by a wave´ this
morning as a birthday present, just after she had taken a ´shower´ and put
on clean clothes.  Tristan was leathering a piece of cable and a wave came
over the rail and caught him by surprise, sending water right up his pant
legs.  It has become so normal and expected we just laugh and change our
clothes.  It felt very good to sail again and move forward.  Early this
morning several very brave girls, including Diana, showered on deck.  Molly
intended to just wash her hair, but a wave decided that she should clean all
of her.  Elske may have fractured her right hand working too close to the
dory this morning and now she´s been struggling to write letters with her
left hand; she gave more credit to Simon as he is learning to print.  Elske
writes more letters than anyone on the ship (except for Katie) so this could
become quite a hindrance (t.c. take note).  There are rumors from the foc´sle
that cabin fever is setting in, and that the hot chocolate supply is
dangerously low.  Hot drinks have become a highlight of our days . . .
Today we celebrated Leighsa´s 28th birthday.  Leighsa is the volunteer for
this leg and brings a lot of fun and laughs to our crew.  Sarah B. was up at
0400 decorating the entire length of her bunk with balloons.  Leighsa chose
granola and yogurt for breakfast, hummus and focaccia for lunch, and crepes
for supper; Katie did an amazing job.  Making crepes for supper involves a
lot of standing by the stove and frying, plus there is so much motion in the
ship that batter, pans etc. never stay where you carefully put them.  Noah
and Jacob spent the last few hours helping her make the crepes and cleaning
up the spills.  Katie said that if it wasn´t for the boys, there were
moments she could have cried, but they loved helping her and kept her going.
We were supposed to have a birthday mug-up and dessert, but the evening got
too late; we are postponing it until tomorrow.  Jose and Liam made leather
palms during their 0800-1200 watch; fore watch always seems to be learning
and making something, it´s great.  Ian would like to wish Kristi, his
girlfriend, a happy last day of University classes.  Congratulations Kristi,
love Ian.  We feel very much in the middle of a huge ocean; we pray again
for calmer seas, warmer skies, and friendlier winds.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
very windy, cloudy
April 11th 2008 @ 21:00
31°41'35.88 N 171°10'12.00 E

Heading 80°
Speed 6.9

Ship's Log:
It´s been another trying day; a day of big waves, wetness, lots of wind
and feeling very far from our destination.  We continued north for most of
the day.  An hour ago we went through a rain squall and immediately
afterwards, the wind switched more southerly and we were finally able to
head more easterly; we are now nearly on our desired course, moving east
along the 31st parallel.  It is good for everyone to feel this change to the
good.  Today we celebrated Emma´s 21st birthday.  She chose muffins for
breakfast and chicken pot pie for supper.  Tonight we will have Mug-Up for
both Leighsa and Emma´s birthday with chocolate cupcakes baked by Gillian
and Arwen.  There will be an appearance by Jackson and Sally, two of Jose´s
well-loved puppets, brought to life by Jose and Sarah B.  Katie spent the
morning with Jacob, Noah, Simon, and Arwen in the after cabin playing
TWISTER on the rocking and rolling after cabin floor, it was very funny.
Kaitlyn joined the knitting team, while James took up his needles again
after a few days of neglect.  Noah and Simon wanted to knit and I re-taught
them this afternoon.  The two of them sitting on the floor, concentrating on
their knitting, brought to mind Stuart McLeans Vinyl Café story about Sam
and his Christmas knitting project for his sister; a story worth listening
to if you haven´t heard it before.  This afternoon 4 albatross were
following our fishing lures, hovering on the water by the lure with their
legs running on the surface checking for possible food.  We were afraid we
might catch one; it happened last offshore.  Leighsa taught Tides and
Currents to the Intermediates and trainees are still working and studying to
get their oral exams signed off.  Liam is learning to make a turks head rope
mat to finish off some of his seniors rope work; it is complicated but looks
really good once you have it.  This is it for tonight, until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
wet, windy, and lumpy
April 12th 2008 @ 21:00
31°44'48.12 N 174°0'0.00 E

Heading 95°
Speed 6.5

Ship's Log:
We have had a good day; spirits have been lifted.  The wind switched
direction twice during Antony´s 0400-0800 watch giving his trainees a lot of
sail handling; they raised the courses and lowered the foresail and the
jumbo.  At 0900 the wind died altogether and all sails but the trysail were
lowered and the engine was turned on.  The sun has come out, our movement
forward provides the only feeling of wind, and the waves are soft-topped,
they no longer have wild, sharp, windy edges to them.  There are no waves
slapping the hull and sending gallons of water over the ship.  There remains
a large ocean swell causing the ship to roll side-to-side, but relative to
the motion of the past few days, we´ll take it.  Emma is on the wheel and
just commented on how she thought she felt no motion until she looked up and
saw the masts moving in wide arcs across the moon in a dark sky.   This
morning Skipper pulled out a chart of our passage and explained how our
progress looks so far and how weather systems have made it what it was.  He
also showed what has been forecasted and how he sees us moving through it to
Hawaii.  He is very hesitant about saying how many days it may take us . . .
10, 14 . . . ?  He praised trainees and crew on their continued willingness
to help out with sail handling and being there when needed, acknowledging
that it hasn´t been easy physically or emotionally the past few days for
anyone.  He encouraged everyone to try to live in the moment, to make the
most of our remaining days, and to help each other.  The weather looks good
for the next 4 or 5 days, but things can change so quickly, as we know.   It
was good to hear Skipper talk; everyone´s mood has been lifted.   Jose
pulled out canvas and several trainees have begun sewing ditty bags by hand;
Blake, Sophie, Sara R., Liam, Raven, Leanne, Emma, and Jose. In sewing a
ditty bag, you learn a good number of sail makers techniques; it´s a great
project and useful when it´s finished.   Susan finished her scarf, it
measures just over 6ft; she is wearing it proudly.  Molly finished her hat
and it too looks good.   It was a morning for deck showers; James, Molly,
Sophie, Sarah B., Emma, Sara R., Adam, Blake, Katie, Kaitlyn, Will, Susan  .
. . they all braved the cold water to get clean.  It makes an incredible
difference on one´s outlook.   James and Leanne took their bed sheets up on
deck to air them and several trainees did laundry; it was hanging all over
makeshift lines in the bow.  Chris took a chance and did his jeans, hoping
the heat of the sun would dry them in time.  Sara R. called anyone
interested in yoga to join her in the bow.   Everyone was very industrious;
there is a positive feeling on the ship again.  It was so wonderful for
everyone to spend the entire day on deck in the warmth of the sun reading,
writing, talking, standing watch, sewing, peeling potatoes, knitting etc.
We watched a beautiful sunset, one of the first, and felt a deep dampness in
the evening air, reminiscent of our evenings in the tropics, just colder.
There were some stars initially, they may return later tonight.  I would
like to wish my mom and dad a wonderful time together, celebrating the day
they got married 48 years ago; I´m so glad they did.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, calm winds, gently rolling seas
April 13th 2008 @ 21:30
31°45'6.12 N 176°55'55.20 E

Heading 80°
Speed 7.5

Ship's Log:
Day 19 . . . and we´re fine.  The winds change regularly but none of
them bring a lot of wind and none of our sail changes last long before we
have to douse a flogging sail.  Skipper is up and down all night; whenever
there is a wind change or increase in wind, he´s seeing if we can take
advantage of it, save some fuel, and squeeze out a few more knots per hour.
This entire passage he has slept in his down coat; he is ready to come on
deck in a seconds notice.  Our bunk is right beside the after cabin hatch
and the navigation station; he can hear and feel any slight change and can
be called on in an instant.  Skipper thought this morning that we would
perhaps be able to have a ´swim-stop´ mid-day, but the weather changed and
so the pool remained closed.  Early this afternoon the rain started and some
beautiful fog moved in until suppertime.  The cloud cover was quite thin and
periodically, when the sky became brighter, the fog looked translucent; it
was lovely.  The swells are long and very steep but the tops of them are
soft.  The fog on the long hilly-looking swells looked like fine snow,
again, very beautiful.  We have been motoring all day making good speed at
6.5 - 7.5kts.  If we keep up this speed we should cross the dateline
tomorrow night on Sarah´s 2000-2400 watch, and we will relive April 14th.
The ditty bag crew sewed on their bags today, and the knitting needles
continue to click away.  Molly and Keira hung out together on the bowsprit;
Molly laughing and Keira shrieking when the water came up underneath them;
they loved it.  We had Sunday service today with several group interaction
games to encourage a guided discussion on what these 3 weeks have taught us
and what we´ve learned about ourselves so far.   Jordan and Tristan took
deck showers; they said it was cold.  Arwen, Simon, Keira, and Katie baked
chocolate mint cookies tonight, always an appreciated treat, especially as
many of us have run out of stash (personal snack food).  The air is not very
cold, just very, very damp; our hair is damp and our clothes feel wet when
we´ve been on deck for any length of time.  We are still wearing pants,
jackets and rain gear, but many of us have returned to bare feet.  Chess has
started up again, alongside the popular card games and Catan.  Sarah B. and
I also started teaching and playing ´Slap Scrabble´ from the previous
offshore.  We are eagerly anticipating the warm weather and a return to the
tropical feel on the ship, which many of us lived for so many months.  Katie
and Arwen have taken to stretching in the after cabin late at night, when
they think no one is paying attention, often laughing more than anything
else.  There is still a lot of motion to deal with but in general spirits
are continuing to rise, projects are being started and I think we are
beginning to live in the moment again, at least some of the time.  Until
tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
calm, cloudy, rainy, foggy
April 14th 2008 @ 22:39
32°31'18.12 N 179°59'52.80 E

Heading 65°
Speed 5.9

Ship's Log:
Tonight we cross the date line, 180 degrees longitude; we will fall back
24 hours and relive April 14th.   For those who embarked before the New
Year, the year 2008 will possibly be their longest year, one extra day at the date line and another for February 29, leap year.  We will celebrate tomorrow with ´backwards day,´ and in the evening will have a dance party on deck where everyone will dance to the tunes of their own ipod.  It will be hilarious and very, very fun.  We are motoring with the trysail, foresail and jumbo up; they provide a bit of stability and speed, though our speed has decreased today.  The seas have picked up in lumpiness and the wave tops are white and sharper than yesterday.  The wind is forward of the starboard beam.  Yesterday morning during the 0400-0800 watch, Sarah B., Gabriel, and Susan found a flying fish on deck.  It was about 20 cm. long and still alive.  Susan and Sarah tried unsuccessfully to get it overboard and back into the ocean; Gabriel was finally able to grab the slippery fish and deliver it to its home.  They are a beautiful fish to look at, and to watch
soar over the ocean.  This leg has been a great one for games.   All day a
variety of games are being played; there are always trainees, crew and little Anderson boys seated around the hold table playing cards or board games.  Last night the Trivia Pursuit game was pulled out and 10 people enjoyed a full game.  Dutch Blitz is still in full strength with Maddie taking over Steve´s longtime lead.  The game ´Settlers of Catan´ is now one of the more popular games being played and we have 2 sets going regularly.
Kaitlin was teaching Simon and Noah how to play this afternoon and they enjoy it.  It´s great when trainees treat children like anyone else, expecting the best, and believing that children are incredibly teachable and can understand and do pretty well anything they set their mind to; it is very encouraging for me to watch.  This is just one way my kids truly
benefit from their relationships with the trainees.   Tonight a new card
game was introduced called ´Spoons.´  Eight trainees took awhile trying to figure out and agree on the rules, and then played some wild rounds of the
game, grabbing for spoons to gain points for their team.   Sean was up to
some tricks last night.  He found the alarm from the game ´Scategories´ and taped the alarm so it continued to make an awful sound. He lowered it on a string into the foc´sle via the forward hatch.  Emma swung at the noise and Leanne grabbed it, and then tried to take off all the layers of tape Sean had wrapped it in.  In her frustration she threw it across the foc´sle and
hit Elske, who got the tape off and thus the silence was restored.   The
night is clear and the moon is half full and shining a bright path of light onto the water behind us.  We can see stars.  It´s nice to be able to come on deck and see each other; up to now it´s been difficult to see anything initially, you just know others are there and you wait for your eyes to get
used to the dark.   The wind is light; we have slowed down and are hoping
that a more northerly wind will come up as predicted.  Tomorrow I will relate what happened on the second April 14th; I know you missed this first one yesterday, but the computer will not accept the same date twice, so I had to pick which day we´d send a log.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice

"10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 . . . we´ve crossed the dateline, welcome to yesterday!"  This was Becca and Sophie calling down the hold and foc´sle hatches last night.  We are now on the western side of the dateline with you.  An interesting fact we discovered crossing the date line is that the GPS will not read 180 degrees longitude, east or west.  It went from
179E59.9 to 179W59.9.  This morning at 0930 the engine was turned off until we arrive in Honolulu.  We raised the mainsail and the jibsail to join the foresail and jumbo which were already up.  We are now dependent on the winds to get us to our destination.  We have altered course to 175T, heading south, but waiting for the wind to go around to the north.  The sailing is lovely, though very slow, about 3knots.  We are on a port tack and leaning comfortable to starboard.  The motion is gentle.  Today is ´backwards day.´
Jose, James, Elske, Susan are some of the trainees wearing their pants backwards.  Katie and Sarah B. are wearing 2 braids over their ears with a bandana tied backwards on their forehead.  Many trainees are wearing their t-shirts and sunglasses back to front and Kaitlin has her underwear over top of her clothes.  Emma and Gillian are wearing their bikini tops and tank tops back to front as well.  Gillian cooked supper for breakfast (quiche), lunch for lunch (pea soup and scones), and breakfast for supper (pancakes).
Jose taught a lesson on the bouyage system to the Intermediates this morning.  Everyone is enjoying the sun; most of us are on deck.  Some trainees are in shorts but the breeze is still cool and the majority of us are in pants and jackets still.  I will send this early, on this second
April 14th, so you will not have to wait 2 days for news from us.   We are
all well and enjoying the sailing and praying for stronger winds in the right direction.  Please pray with us.  Take care, Bonice.



Observations:
mostly cloudy, light winds
April 15th 2008 @ 21:30
30°45'54.00 N 178°20'6.00 W

Heading 135°
Speed 3.1

Ship's Log:
The wind increased today and is very slowly moving to the north; our
course is heading more easterly, which is what we want.  Skipper is still
hoping for the wind to go more northerly so we can travel on a course due
east until about 165 longitude, when we would head south towards Hawaii.
The seas have increased and there is some pitching and wear on the ship and
its rigging.  Watch officers spent their watches constantly monitoring the
jib and the seas that were coming over the sides, judging when and if the
jib should come down.  The jib was lowered during Sarah´s 0800-1200 watch
with Sophie, James, and Will out on the whisker shrouds furling it onto the
bowsprit.  The bowsprit dipped low into the water several times, getting the
furlers wet to their armpits.  They did a good job and were exhilarated by
it.  During Antony´s 1200-1600 watch the jib was raised, and then again,
just before dark in Jose´s 1600-2000 watch it was lowered again when the
bowsprit was going under too often.  This time Jose asked, "Okay, who wants
to get wet?" and quickly 3 hands went up; Elske, Liam and Blake put on rain
gear, took off down coats, donned harnesses (both night harnesses and
climbing harnesses), and climbed out onto the whisker shrouds and furled the
jib.  We have a great crew.   At the moment we have a reefed main, a
foresail and a jumbo up and we are pointing as high into the wind as we can.
Progress is slow, about 3 knots.  Jose´s watch has started ´Show and Tell,´
with every watch member presenting an issue, topic, story, poem etc.   This
happens at lunch and at supper; so far the discussions have been on climate
change and the legalization of certain drugs, both very interesting and
challenging.  Yesterday we hauled in a piece of decomposing plastic on our
fishing line; it brought two small crabs onto our deck, pets for Jacob,
Noah, and Simon.  There were 6 albatross swaying back and forth across the
stern of the ship today, very beautiful.  Jacob has been doing some
leatherwork and finished making himself a sheath for his knife today.  James
has made a beautiful start on a sailor´s palm, also out of leather.  Arwen
gave Skipper the final installment of a cache of chocolate bars Stephen Duff
sent her in Guam.   She has been portioning them out slowly and deliberately
at opportune times or when needed.  For the wrapping on the chocolate bar,
she did a beautiful sketch of a branch with blossoms, giving color only to
the blossoms and keeping the rest in black ink.   After dishes tonight Arwen
served ´eatmores´ she had made yesterday and put to stiffen in the freezer
overnight; they´re made of cocoa, honey, peanut butter, and a mixture of
almonds, coconut and peanuts . . . delicious.   For supper tonight Raven,
Gillian and I made chapattis.  Gillian made the dough, Raven rolled it into
chapattis (Gillian rolled some too), and I fried them on the stove top.  It
was fun doing it together in the galley, and everyone enjoyed them with rice
and a pork stew Gillian had made.  Our daily life on this ship continues as
normal; our little community has found its routine and we try not to think
of where we are going or when we will get there.  The sky is clear and the
moon is getting fuller.  It is quite beautiful to be on deck.  Sophie wishes
her dad a great birthday today, April 15th.  Happy Birthday dad, love Soph.
Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny skies, cool temperatures, windy, big seas
April 16th 2008 @ 21:30
29°18'0.00 N 177°18'54.00 W

Heading 163°
Speed 6.3

Ship's Log:
You will never guess what we found . . . a gas station in the middle of
the north Pacific.  The decision was made this morning to stop in at Midway
Island for  refueling and re-provisioning.  The island is a restricted U.S.
Nature Reserve and special permission is required to stop there.  When
Skipper made contact they were very helpful and excited about our visit.
The wind has not gone around to the north as much as Skipper wanted, and the
weather forecasted is for a week of contrary and light winds.  We are being
pushed further and further south onto the chain of islands that runs up from
the main group of Hawaiian Islands.  Skipper has spent some very stressful
days looking for options and praying for a change in the wind.  Last night
he started entertaining the idea of stopping in at Midway.  When the news
was shared with the trainees, most of them were quite excited.  This is an
opportunity to learn about Midway Island, another experience to add to
offshore, and one that fits in nicely with the history of the Pacific during
World War II, that those of us who have been on longer have already learned
so much about.  With fuel, we are hoping to get to Honolulu in 8-10 days
once we leave Midway Island.  We will arrive at Midway at dawn tomorrow; it
is an atoll which means we will pass through an opening in the coral.  We
are motor sailing with the trysail, foresail and jumbo.  The winds are
heading us and the seas are big; the decks have again been wet all day.
Jose is on the 0400-0800 watch and for the past few mornings, after the
decks are clean, has set up the deck hose as a shower for anyone who wants a
good rinse in salt water.  It feels wonderful, unfortunately I am usually
still in bed and have missed it all 3 times.  The sun has shone all day and
we´ve enjoyed sitting in the stern together, though temperatures are still
cold.  This afternoon everyone did a bunk flip and bunk tidy in preparation
for tomorrow.  The day was spent as usual, playing cards, reading, sleeping,
writing, standing watch, sewing, knitting, doing galley help, school,
studying etc.  I´ve heard that the Intermediates are writing their exam on
Friday.   Simon taught Molly how to make an origami boat and Molly helped
Noah with his math.  Tonight Ian was making cookies.  He read 1 cup instead
of 1 tablespoon for the salt but realized something had gone seriously wrong
when he tasted the dough.  Arwen then joined in and helped rescue him and
the cookies; the cookies have turned out well.
Gillian has come up with a brilliant idea where I log in a typical day for
each of the ´positions´ we have on board i.e. trainee, cook, bosun, watch
officer, and Skipper.  Gillian has taken notes on what her day yesterday
looked like, and so I will begin with her.  Tuesday April 15, 2008
    -alarm went off at 0530, staggered out (uphill on this tack) of my
cabin, mumbling good morning to the fore watcher cleaning the head who just
got off the wheel.
    -it wasn´t too rough last night so there were no bags to trip over.
    -light the stove so that it is warm by the time I need to put breakfast
in it; aim to have it in by 0600.
    -I love this time of day, especially when we´re sailing because it is
quiet, everyone is asleep and it feels like I´ve got the boat to myself.
    -generator went on between 0630 and 0700, shattering the silence.  I
turn on the freezer.
    -the first coffee drinkers start to trickle into the galley by 0700 and
the kettle will be constantly on for the next hour.
    -port watch begins to find the hold table for first sitting breakfast;
it´s buried beneath the hold-sleepers bags.
    -we´ve made yogurt yesterday so it´s fresh yogurt with breakfast this
morning, a favorite.
    -short nap during dishes . . . almost forgot to get meat for dinner out
of the freezer to thaw.
    -0930 start making lunch; I have to go under 4 bunks and a seat locker
to find everything I need, two varieties of pasta, regular and dairy free
[getting the ingredients is a big part of the cooks job  as most everything
is stowed under bunks.  Gillian or Katie have to climb to the uppermost
bunks, move the heavy bags and loose junk of whomever the bunk belongs too,
lift the mattress, lift the slats, balance it all on their head and with a
flashlight find what it is they need; it´s a feat; we often see them heads
down, bums up, and digging . . . appreciate your cupboards].
    -people are playing cards in the hold and as I cook, we converse back
and forth.
    -need to cook 5.5kg of pasta, we have some big eaters.
    -casserole is in the oven by 1045, time to marinate the pork for dinner.
    -first sitting at 1120, we run out of ketchup so it´s under another
bunk.
    -another short nap during dishes then up at 1330 to get Kaitlin, my
starboard watch galley help set up; we need to clean the onion seat locker;
they´re starting to go a bit, but have lasted quite well.
    -I grind wheat for the chapattis for dinner while Kaitlin is cleaning.
    -need to clean the stove top from the huge salt spray the other day, so
I can cook the chapattis on the stove top.  Out comes the sandpaper and
grill bricks; that and a bit of oil shines it up.
    -Raven comes down at 1600 as galley help to roll out the 80 chapattis.
Bonice fries them and I run around making the rice and pork, and the sauce.
    -dinner takes a bit longer to cook tonight because we´re on a port tack
and the stove doesn´t get as hot on a port tack.
    -port watch comes in at 1720 for first sitting and as soon as they´ve
been served, fore watch comes below to get their food.  They´re on the
1600-2000 watch so they eat on deck while they steer.
    -starboard eats at 1800 and fore watch comes down for seconds.  Fore
watch is the biggest eating watch at the moment; they probably eat twice
what port watch eats.
    -I hang out in the galley a bit before retreating to my cabin during
dishes to talk to Katie.  I realize I never made it up on deck today.
    -cards in the hold tonight; the ´eatmore´ bars Bonice and Arwen made
yesterday and put in the freezer to harden overnight come out to rave
reviews.
    -I´m not cooking tomorrow so I can stay up a little later for games!  A
Dutch Blitz Marathon is planned.
    -I turn the stove off before I go to bed, good-night.
The cooks work hard; this gives you some idea of how their days look.  It is
a beautiful night; Sarah B. is on watch, Sophie is on the wheel, Will is
with them awaiting his wheel watch.  Everyone else is in the hold or the foc´sle,
most of them playing cards.  Noah just returned from the Dutch Blitz
Tournament that is continuing to the end of the leg; he just loves to play
cards with the trainees.  Gillian has joined Maddie and Steve in keeping
points during the entire tournament.  We are looking forward to tomorrow; it
will be a nice change.  Good night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny and windy, big seas, cool temperatures
April 17th 2008 @ 23:45
28°12'54.00 N 177°21'46.80 W

Ship's Log:
Well . . . this has been an incredibly superlative day.  How can I begin
to describe this amazing island, our experience on it and its wonderful
inhabitants; it overwhelms me.  It is late and we just returned from the
´All Hands Club´ where we had a huge Mug- Up with the islanders.  We brought
all our instruments, sang some boat songs and enjoyed the pool tables,
shuffleboards, ping pong tables, giant shuffleboard and karaoke.
At 0815 this morning Barry met us outside the reef´s entrance.  Midway is an
atoll which means it lies within a coral reef.  The coral reef encircles the
atoll and in places forms small islets or motus; a lagoon is formed within.
The bottom of the lagoon is fine white sand and the water is many different
hues of brilliant light turquoise to intense deep aquamarine blue-green,
absolutely stunning.  It is incredible, one cannot stop taking photos.  The
beach we can go on (the others are for the monk seals and the green sea
turtle) is wide, desolate, sandy, and has incredible water . . . everyone´s
image of paradise . . . with the albatross flying overhead.  If a turtle or
seal comes on the beach, they have priority and we are required to leave or
give them at least 150ft clearance.  At one beach the boys and I saw 9 sea
turtles basking in the sun, quite big ones, probably with shells 50-90 cm.
diameter. After we were tied up, a naturalist named Matt introduced us to
the island, showing a map of where we could go, and explaining the important
rules of the island vis-a-vis the wildlife.   The 3 rules we had to know
where:
1.      This island belongs to the wild life, we and the islanders are the
visitors.  There are 2,000,000 albatross here and many, many, many . . .
chicks, brown balls of downy fluff the size of basketballs, all over the
road, all over the fields, all over the yards, all over the airstrip etc.
We pick our way around them because they won´t move; the adult birds will,
but definitely not the chicks.  Wherever you look you see big birds. Midway
atoll is home to the largest population of Laysan albatross.  There are 19
species of birds here and the island is only 1.2 by 1.8 miles (we´re in the
U.S.).   There are also the endangered green sea turtles, the monk seals,
petrels, canaries (brought by the first settlers as pets), terns, tropic
birds, black-footed albatross and more.  The albatross are big birds with a
possible wing span of 2 meters.  They soar over us all day long, hundreds of
them, and you always hear them; it´s a nice sound; they make at least 15
different sounds and motions, they´re fascinating to watch.  The smell isn´t
bad; I think we´re already used to it.
2.      The island is a memorial to the Battle of Midway
3.      The island is an emergency landing spot for planes and an emergency
harbor for ships needing a place to stop (like us).
Everyone was free to explore the island.  There´s an incredible feeling of
´newness´ when you come off the boat after a long passage.  All the senses
are sharper.  To have that initial experience in a place such as Midway is
truly a gift and we are thankful.  There are so many senses being awakened;
there are so many details of the birds´ behavior to notice.  We had lunch
with the islanders at their communal dining room, the ´Clipper.´  It was
smorgasbord style; we ate and ate, there were so many choices and food we
hadn´t enjoyed for awhile:  cold juice, apples, pecan pie, cheesecake, ribs,
mixed cooked greens, hot dogs etc.  The cook and his staff were thrilled to
have us, they were especially happy to see the small boys; they repeatedly
came up to them introducing foods they though they might enjoy i.e. the
hotdogs and the cookies, and asking them questions and touching their heads.
It continued throughout the day.  One of the islanders said it´s been 2
years since there was a child as small as Simon on the island.  It was fun
to meet and chat with the islanders, to relax around a table on a porch with
them . . . just to stop.    All of us went on a 2 hour walking tour of the
island with Murray, a naturalist on the island.  He shared so many
interesting details of the island, its history, its changes over the years,
the refuge work being done, and information on the wildlife of the island,
especially that of the birds.   Trainees played beach volleyball in the
afternoon and there´s word that the islanders want to compete against the
Grace tomorrow evening.  After supper the islanders came to visit the Grace.
Skipper gave an introduction to SALTS, the Grace, its programs and purposes.
They were able to tour through the entire ship, talking to trainees and crew
along the way; they were overwhelmed at how beautiful the ship is and they
marveled at all the wood.  We were able to share with a lot of them what
goes on when we sail together and live in community; they wanted to know
what it was like to live on the ship for such a long time with so many
people.  It was good for us to be reminded again of the uniqueness of this
program and the benefits it affords all of us.  At dusk the petrels return
to their burrows in the sand.  They descend quite quickly and in large
groups.  As we walked the 20 minutes to the Mug-Up we had to keep alert for
low-flying petrels and albatross chicks in the middle of the path; it truly
is an amazing place.  I´ve been told that Pete, a naturalist/photographer
who has come to work on the island for a year, has incredible photos on his
personal blog.  If you google pete@midway you will be able to see the how
unique and wonderful this island is.  Until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, windy
April 18th 2008 @ 23:59
28°12'54.00 N 177°21'46.80 W

Ship's Log:
We have just returned from another late evening out with the islanders.
Jose put a slide show together for anyone who was interested and we played a
2 hour game of beach volleyball under a full moon.   The petrels are
attracted to the light over the playing area and sometimes fly into them,
stunning themselves.  If this happens, the game is cancelled.  Also, if an
albatross crosses the court, the game ceases until he/she is off the court,
it´s great.  We have had another incredible day; I will tell you all about
it tomorrow.   I have just finished yesterday´s log; our days have been so
full.  Sorry the log is late.  We are leaving at 0800 tomorrow; the weather
looks good.  Jordan and Antony would like to wish Caroline a magnificent
birthday on April 19th.   Happy Birthday Caroline from Antony and Jordan.
Good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, light winds
April 19th 2008 @ 20:00
28°36'18.00 N 176°15'7.20 W

Heading 80°
Speed 5.7

Ship's Log:
We are on our way to Hawaii; our visit to Midway has done so much good.
We had an excellent visit with the islanders; it was so interesting and a
change from the routine of the 25 days at sea.  Moods and attitudes are
good; we are looking forward to this passage and intending to make the best
of our last 8-10 days together at sea.  We had a wonderful send off this
morning from 0715 onward, when islanders we´ve made friendships with,
started coming to the dock to see us off.  At 0800 we untied lines and waved
our long good-byes.  I sincerely hope we can make Midway Atoll a part of
another offshore voyage; it is definitely worth the trip.  Barry, Matt and
one other islander accompanied us out to sea for about 45 minutes; these
people have been very kind and generous. We have made connections with quite
a few of them; it´s been a lot of fun.   Right now we have the trysail, the
foresail, and the jumbo up though there is not very much wind.  We are
heading east-northeast towards the 30th parallel of latitude.  The sun is
shining; it is quite pleasant to be on deck.  Many of the trainees and crew
are tired from 2 late night evenings on the island and are finding some time
today to sleep.  We are all clean and most of us have some clean laundry . .
. small luxuries.  Yesterday was a day for everyone to fill as they chose.
A group went snorkeling under the dock, many for the first time.  There was
a good selection of fish; schools of huge trevally, a sea turtle, a
white-tipped reef shark, some Moorish idols, parrot fish, plus a host of
other fish.  The sea was calm and there was no surge; everyone enjoyed it.
The water is quite cold; after 30 minutes, most were ready to come out.
Jose was able to do some underwater filming of the snorkelers and the fish.
The islanders gave the Grace crew a golf cart to use as transportation for
errands; it´s what they use, as well as bikes.  I was using the cart in the
morning and before I left had to gently encourage 4 albatross chicks to move
away from under it.  This is normal for the island.   I drove very slowly,
zig-zagging across the road and picking my way around the chicks . . . it´s
wonderful how this island is set up around the wildlife and once you´re here
you quickly get used to it being that way, it´s right and feels normal. . .
natural.   After laundry, internet, and showers, many crew and trainees
spent some time at the beautiful North Beach.  Monk seals were quite close
so we beach combed in the opposite direction.  Elske found a glass float and
others found intact shells and albatross head and bill skeletons, tall thin
leg and wing bones, interestingly shaped coral etc.  The sun shone, we used
our sunscreen, put on bathing suits, and swam in the ocean . . . idyllic . .
. what we´ve been waiting for.  My 3 boys played and ran in the sand for
hours; it´s probably some of the nicest sand I´ve seen and there´s so much
of it.  In the evening we had the slideshow and volleyball game which was a
lot of fun and gave all of us the chance to sit and talk with more of the
islanders; it was a great evening and lasted until close to midnight.
Tristan, Chris, Noah, Jacob, and Simon played tag on the beach, running in
the loose sand till muscles hurt.  The moon was nearly full and the sky was
full of birds and everywhere was full of their cries . . . an evening to
remember.  In the National Geographic Magazine, April 1999 edition there is
an article entitled "Return to the Battle of Midway;" it´s the cover article
and something I definitely want to look up when I return home.  This morning
there were complaints of sore muscles, sore after being forced to work after
such a long time.  Trainees resumed work on their ditty bags during Jose´s
1600-2000 watch.  Sophie learned how to make grommets.  Gillian made
delicious lasagna for supper with Caesar salad.  She and Katie were able to
buy some fresh produce and meat from the island to help us through the next
week or so of meals.  Antony has been growing his beard since Papua New
Guinea, but today he had enough of it and shaved it all off.  It had grown
wonderfully big and bushy; I think he could hold 11forks in it
simultaneously.  Trainees say that he looks 10 years younger and they find
him quite different looking; we see them stealing longer peaks at him as
they now notice his chin, his lips . . . the rest of his face.  Tonight will
be an early night for everyone, we are tired.  There is a full moon and the
night is clear, beautiful.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, light winds, blue skies
April 20th 2008 @ 20:00
29°34'48.00 N 173°54'46.80 W

Heading 84°
Speed 6.5

Ship's Log:
Today we started sailing due east, heading for a ´target´ point of 165
degrees longitude, where we will head south across the trades towards
Hawaii.  If winds stay light, we may be able to turn down sooner and cut
some mileage off our passage.  It has been a good day and we are all
enjoying being out at sea again, knowing that our days together in this
tight-knit community, without the attractions of a city to pull us apart,
are few.  The weather during the day is getting warmer and the skies are
mostly sunny; the air is still quite cool, like early spring.  The mood on
the boat is good; ditty bags are nearly finished, Molly has started a second
hat, Leighsa, Gillian, and Kaitlin are well into their scarves, and I´m well
into a hat I´ve started 3 times and pulled completely apart once.  The
Intermediates have their final exam tomorrow, Monday, and have been studying
lights and signals, the bouyage system, chart work, terms etc.   Jose gave a
review on all the key points, pulling out charts, triangles, dividers, and
questions for them to practice.  Leighsa finished all her Intermediate level
requirements today; she feels pretty good about it.   Card games are still
going strong in the hold during the evenings; Noah looks forward to them all
day.  Arwen and James are baking brownies right now for everyone to enjoy
later on tonight.   When we were on Midway we all received a publication put
out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  I finally read the entire
pamphlet yesterday; it was well-written and very informative.  I may have
given some incorrect information regarding albatross numbers etc.  If I did,
I apologize to the Midway islanders.  If you look up midway.fws.gov on your
computers you may be able to find the same information.  Today Simon and I
were on lunch dishes with port watch, dumping the slop over the leeward
side.  Simon asked me, "Mom, do the albatross eat this slop too?"  He
remembered that their food comes from the ocean.  His question made me
realize that we are seeing the albatross differently now that we have been
on Midway; it has affected us and the albatross has become a more personal
part of our world.  We still see them soaring around the ship, just a few at
a time, and we now know that they are looking for food for those fluffy,
basketball-sized chicks of theirs.  Albatross couples take turns flying at
least 300 miles offshore looking for food.  They regurgitate the food for
the chicks.  The slop we dump over the side is something the albatross can
use as food for themselves or their babies; it´s kind of nice to be a part
of their food supply.  Today we caught the first fish big enough to keep, a
Dorado, or mahi mahi, or dolphin fish, different names for the same fish.
Jacob set up the rod in the morning and Sophie and Maddie took turns reeling
in the fish when we heard the line spinning out.  The Dorado is a beautiful
fish; when they are alive and in the water they are bright yellow and
turquoise blue.  As soon as they leave the ocean though, their brilliant
colors fade quickly.  They have a big head and taper quite drastically to a
narrow tail.  Their meat is white and very good tasting.  Skipper had a
large group of trainees around him while he demonstrated gutting and
filleting a fish.  Molly filleted the second half of the fish with Jacob´s
help.   Gillian cut the fish in small squares, covered them in flour, crumbs
and spices, and then pan fried them . . . ´fish nuggets´ we call them, after
the legendary fish frying escapades of Scott and Chase from the previous
legs.   The fish nuggets were delicious; Gillian did an excellent job.  We
had Sunday service this afternoon; we discussed ´Boundaries´ and the freedom
afforded by them.  Skipper read a chapter from "Fearfully and Wonderfully
Made" by Phillip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand.  After the service Skipper gave
an update on our passage so far and how he sees the remainder of it
unfolding, if the weather goes as predicted.   He also offered a ´lecture
series´ including sessions on Basic Weather, Building the Pacific Grace, and
Planning an Offshore Voyage.  A sign-up list was posted to see what the
interest level was and nearly every trainee put his or her name down for all
three topics.  It should be an interesting week.  We had a beautiful sunset
this evening; our daylight lasts later into the evening than it has the
entire offshore.  After supper we can still be on deck without our
headlamps; very nice.  I think we are now 4 hours behind Victoria, B.C.
daylight savings time.  Tonight Sophie, Leighsa, Gillian, and I played ´Slap
Scrabble´ on deck in the stern while Jose´s watch discussed Marriage and ate
their supper of Chicken Caesar Pitas.  Katie made pitas for the first time
and they worked out incredibly well.  Adam was the master pita dough roller
tonight; he too did well, it´s a long job.  We are still enjoying fresh
fruit and vegetables from Midway; it seems a small thing, but we notice it
and appreciate it.  This morning each watch had real orange juice for
breakfast, thanks to a gift from Barry on Midway.  We are motoring with only
the foresail up, the wind is too light to keep the trysail up; it just flaps
around which is wearing on the sail and the rigging.  There is still a
swell, but we hardly notice it anymore.  Our night is beautifully clear and
the moon is still very full; it´s nice to be on deck . . . another thing to
remember once we´re home.  Thank you to everyone for your good wishes for a
safe passage via emails and phone calls from trainees on Midway; we do feel
you following us closely.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, cool, light winds, calm seas
April 21st 2008 @ 21:30
29°38'35.88 N 171°8'31.20 W

Heading 95°
Speed 6.9

Ship's Log:
At 0800 this morning, the ´bite´ was out of the air; it felt softer and
slightly warmer.  The sun shone for most of the day and the seas are flat
calm.  The foresail came down about 1200 hrs so we are now just motoring;
none of our sails are up.  There is still a swell rolling the ship
side-to-side, but we´re not complaining; life seems pretty easy.  Adam has
organized a Chess Tournament with 21 players, ranging in age from Skipper
(44yrs) to Simon (6yrs).  Games have started as we have only a week left at
sea. After that our life will be quite different, less together.  Sean has
dedicated his wooden 40x40 cm elephant, Chad, as the trophy; he found Chad
floating in the harbor in Osaka just when we were leaving.  Sean, Steve, and
Chris have not forgotten the Golf Course; they were waiting for some calmer
seas in order to test out the course.  Within the first 10 minutes though,
they lost the ball overboard, which quickly ended everything.   We caught
another fish this morning, a small tuna; we let him go.  Jordan did work
watch with fore watch today, sanding and oiling the cap rails around the
edge of the ship.   Upkeep on a wooden ship is constant, especially when it
is as well-used as the Grace is.  Skipper started celestial navigation with
Maddie and Steve today.  He gave them a quick lesson on the theory behind
using celestial bodies to navigate, and then instructed them on the use of
the sextant.  They took two sights, a morning and an afternoon sight.  Once
they had both their sights, he showed them how to plot their information on
a special chart and how to use this information to find their position.  It
is a fascinating process.  More trainees have signed up for a session;
Skipper and Jordan are taking turns teaching. As long as there is sun, they
will continue the lessons.  At 1600 hrs the engine was turned off and we let
the ship drift to a stop.  It rocked back and forth, side-to-side in the
swell, but stayed relatively stationary.  Antony explained how a ´swim stop´
works at sea.  We swim in our watch groups, each watch getting 15 minutes of
´pool´ time; the watches on deck are on shark watch.  The heads (boat
toilets) are not to be used while the ´pool´ is open.   Swimming in this
huge ocean out of sight of land is an exhilarating experience, one we never
get tired of; nearly everyone took advantage of the opportunity.  Everyone
was very excited; there were rumors all day that we may be having a swim
stop some time today.  The water was quite cold, but no one shortened their
allotted 15 minutes of water time.   The color of the water is incredible,
an intense royal blue that seems brilliant and solid simultaneously; the
clarity is like nothing else, it is amazing to look around you under the
water, watching the bubbles, the hull, people´s legs etc. through a mask;
it´s beautiful.  We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset tonight, very orange and
spread out.  We are enjoying our extended daylight; it´s a treat to sit on
deck after supper without our headlamps.  Leighsa, James, Diana, Sarah B.,
Susan, and myself enjoyed several rounds of SCRABBLE again tonight on the
after deck, playing while the sun went down.  Arwen and Maddie baked
chocolate chip cookies tonight . . . we are well fed.  The night is
beautifully clear; Gillian has pulled out the northern hemisphere star chart
we picked up at Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii in July.  She has been
able to find several of the constellations she learned on Leg 1 and 2 and is
teaching them to the new trainees.  There is always something to learn,
something new to pick up.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, clear skies, calm seas
April 22nd 2008 @ 22:00
28°44'12.12 N 168°15'18.00 W

Heading 120°
Speed 7

Ship's Log:
Last night it was so calm the water looked oily under the light of the
moon.  We are still motoring though the wind is very slowly picking up from
the west.  If it strengthens we will be able to put up the course sails and
sail down wind.  We caught a fish early this morning, one we haven´t caught
before; Arwen ran below to grab the fish identification book (in true
´Tavish´ style) and discovered it to be a ´Yellow tail,´ a fish in the
Amberjack family.  It was at least 20 lbs. and a beautiful fish, fins and
tail edges lined in brilliant yellow, on a body of silver.   Antony reeled
it in and filleted it.  For a mid-day snack, Sarah B. and Noah baked the
fish, half of it done in salt, pepper, lemon and oil, and the other half
done in a teriyaki marinade.  It was delicious.  Today was probably the
warmest day so far; the girls were in tank tops and the guys were
bare-chested.   Intermediates wrote their final exam today; this morning 15
of them were spread all over the ship´s deck and houses, some below at the
tables, with chart, dividers, triangles etc. seeing how much they knew.
Jose was busy marking the exams this afternoon and going over them with the
trainees.  Work watch continued with fore watch sanding and oiling the cap
rails.  Antony is refinishing the wheel box while he is on watch.  Gillian,
Elske, and Katie are preparing a song for Sarah´s birthday, honoring Karen
Neale in the process; Karen started the pattern for personalizing songs for
people´s birthdays.  Simon, Noah, and Jacob had a massive water fight on
deck with empty soft squeeze bottles Jacob has been collecting for months
(ketchup bottles).  They were in their shorts, hats and t-shirts, and were
soaked, cool and very happy.  After work watch Elske and Arwen started
massaging each other´s backs with the palm sander.  Soon everyone was lined
up at the ´massage parlor´ waiting for a back massage, foot massage, etc.
It apparently feels wonderful and works well; even Skipper had a go with
Elske trying to ease out a kink in his neck.   After dishes Skipper
presented the first in his ´mini-series,´ a talk on the building of the
Pacific Grace.  Nearly everyone attended; they are excited about being a
part of the design and building of a new boat.  It is a beautiful night to
be on watch; the sky is clear and full of stars.  Gillian, Jose, Sarah,
Leighsa and I were trying to find familiar constellations, some we haven´t
seen since we were in Hawaii 11 months ago.   Leighsa finished her scarf in
the dark tonight; it is 7 feet long and beautiful; it looks good on her and
she began and ended with 24 stitches on her needles.  Sara R. and Emma have
nearly finished their ditty bags.  They sewed in the hand-made grommets they
made with the buttonhole stitch, and then spliced lanyards into the
grommets.  The lanyards meet in a star knot and there will be some kind of
knot to cinch the lines together so the top of the bag closes.  The bags
look great; there are a lot of skills used to create them.  Tristan would
like to wish his sister Caitlin a very happy birthday April 23rd and Maddie
also wishes her mom a wonderful 50th birthday April 23rd.
Sarah B. has written a wonderful piece on what a typical day as a watch
officer looks like.  I will add it to the end of this log.  Enjoy.
A hand touches my shoulder and I wake up from a sleep that feels too short
already. I look at the time.0347. It´s time to get up for watch. I reach
instinctively for the shirt that I wore yesterday (and probably the day
before as well) and put it on, fumbling in the dark so as not to ruin my
night vision with the intensity of a light. This is the 27th night run in 30
days and my eyes, feeling heavy, are telling me to go back to sleep, but up
I get, knowing that a beautiful starlit sky awaits me on deck.
As I finish putting on my harness Jose updates me on navigational
information and I take a quick look at the radar before heading up on deck
where I am greeted by Gabe at the wheel and Will walking his way towards us
with a plate of last nights brownies, the perfect 4am sugar jolt to kick
start us all.
The next hour and twenty minutes passes quickly with quiet stories and
laughs about the previous day and as the watch changes and two new trainees
are woken up Will mentions how much he is looking forward to going back to
his bunk again.0530 and my eyes are finally staying open on their own as I
head down to get the Brasso rags from the engine room. The next watch is
responsible for shining all the brass onboard and wiping yesterday´s salt
and grime from the windows. I am glad for these simple tasks which help pass
the time so quickly as we watch the sun rise slowly over the horizon ahead
of us. By 0640 another new pair of trainees is on deck and I need my
sunglasses on to cut the glare off the water. Maybe wearing my sunglasses
from 0630 to 1930 is why I have such a fantastic raccoon tan? Next job . . .
it´s time for the decks to be hosed down, so as Susan sets up the hose for
me, I head back down to the engine room to fire up the generator which will
power the pump and the freezer this morning. As I head back on deck I´m
thankful that we are over a month into our voyage and my watch is well
trained in the art of deck scrubbing; it goes quickly and efficiently and by
7am I can turn the hose off again. I pass through the galley this time and
say good morning to Katie, savor the smell of banana pancakes, and check to
make sure the freezer is turned on. Heading back on deck via the after
cabin, to wipe down all finished surfaces with fresh water, I nudge Antony,
whose watch is eating first sitting for breakfast, so he can start his watch
at 0800. At 0800 I whistle for second sitting and pass of the nav.
information to him. Breakfast is usually a relaxed time. I´ve been reading a
book called "The Robe" during this passage and we are nearing the end, but I
have to cut it short this morning; we are responsible for doing the
breakfast dishes.  I run to the after cabin to get some speakers as my watch
sets things up. Music always livens up dishes a bit and by 0920 we are done
and I can take a break with a cup of coffee and a book, interrupted briefly
to have a look at somebody´s blister and put sunscreen on another. We have a
talent show coming up so I need to work on that this morning too. All of a
sudden it´s noon and we´re eating again.
The weather has been so nice lately we are able to eat on deck and enjoy the
cool breeze with our picnic rather than eat down below in the foc´sle where
the table doesn´t quite fit all of us and our plates. Lunch is eventful,
even with the limited motion, we still end up knocking over a juice jug and
a quick reflex saves Bec from sitting in a pool of juice. Instead, she just
needs to dodge a stream that follows one of the deck seams down toward the
scuppers.
The afternoon is filled with reading, napping, sun-tanning, and chatting,
before Antony calls the crew together for devotions at 1445.  At 1500 we
take a break for a swim stop! I´m excited! I love the feeling of swimming in
the middle of the ocean; to know you are 15,000 ft. above the ocean bottom
and thousands of miles from land is exhilarating. The water is so
refreshing.  15 minutes is my watches allotted time and then we are on shark
watch for the others´ swim.  Time seems to shoot by so fast and after a
quick first aid call, all of a sudden it´s 1600 and I´m back on watch.
I send my watch leader to gather everyone together while I get the latest
navigational information and I´m back on watch again. The 1600-2000 watch is
responsible for clearing the decks for the night and it´s always an
adventure to root out what belongs to who and get things cleared up. We are
also able to eat on deck (which, when it´s raining isn´t as pleasant, but
this week it´s gorgeous). 1730 we sing grace for dinner and file down to get
our food. Someone brings an extra plate for the helmsman and me so we don´t
need to leave the deck.
At 1845 the sun is setting and it´s time to get the safety lines set, call
for harnesses to be on, and turn on the running lights and radar. My watch
checks to make sure all our safety lights are working and they find one that
needs to be re-lashed.  I quickly set to doing that while there is still
light enough to see. We spend the rest of our watch playing word games and
laughing after a joke that Will made. "What´s the same about last time we
were on this watch and at this time?" We couldn´t figure it out because the
last time was so radically different; it was pouring, squalling and there
was constant spray soaking us as we sat on deck hove to. "We still don´t
have to steer!" was his answer, which brought a chuckle. The steering is
easier in the calmer weather which is less stressful for me, knowing that it
won´t be a problem for everyone to stay on course.
At 2000 Antony takes over again and we pass off the necessary information.
It´s such a beautiful night I want to spend some time stargazing.  For the
next hour I am able to enjoy some time up in the foc´sle chatting with the
girls.  Arwen made cookies today, so I steal a hot cookie on my way through
the galley. By 2130 I need to be in bed so I can get about 6 hours sleep
before I´m on deck again. It´s time to put out the light, say good night and
plug into some music to put me to sleep over the ´white noise´ lull of the
engines.
Good-night, Sarah.
Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, warm weather, no wind
April 23rd 2008 @ 21:30
27°11'12.12 N 165°24'18.00 W

Heading 102°
Speed 7.3

Ship's Log:
Today is our 31st day of the passage . . . wow; we´ve been out here a
long time, an entire 31-day month.  The weather changed drastically from
yesterday; periods of drizzle and rain permeated the entire day, with port
watch getting most of the rain.  The wind switched last night and is now
blowing out of the north.  The trysail, foresail and jumbo are up and we are
making good speed.  The motion is still relatively comfortable.  Today was a
pretty quiet, somewhat quiet and uneventful day.  We all deal with bouts of
boredom at different points in the day.  In a long crossing such as this, it
is almost inevitable.  You find yourself tired of all the things you usually
do to fill your day; tired of reading, writing, knitting, chatting, etc. and
tired of sitting in the same general area of the ship.  Usually all it
requires is mustering up the energy to start something anyway, or to find
someone to sit with and to start a conversation, or to join in an already
ongoing conversation.  There is lots to do out here, but we´ve been keeping
ourselves occupied a long time; small changes in our routine are a welcome
diversion i.e. catching and eating a fish, mug-up, a birthday, a swim stop,
discussion etc.  Chess is the big game right now with everyone trying to
play their tournament games on one of our 2 chessboards.  Jordan and Jose
started a game this morning and are still at it, one slow move at a time.
Several times they´ve had to take a photograph of their game and leave it
until the two of them are free to resume play.  Maddie and Kaitlin baked
cookies this afternoon for a mid-afternoon treat.  As everyone is running
low or is out of ´stash,´ cookies are very welcome and appreciated.  About
1930 this evening there was a wonderful feeling on the ship with everyone
being busy at something, somewhere.  I took note of what was happening in
each part of the ship and thought I´d write it down, sort of like a snapshot
of the moment.  For us it is now so normal to continue each day in this
moving community; it really is a wonderful thing.  Tonight I was able to
remind myself just how special it is and how involved everyone is in this
community and how comfortable we are here; this truly feels like home for
all of us.
On deck port watch, Sarah´s watch was laughing and chatting away, playing
games and keeping each other company from 1600-2000.  They ate their supper
on deck in the rain and it didn´t take away from their enjoyment of each
other.  Port watch seems to get the most rain, Jose from fore watch agreed.
Fore watch was in the galley doing the supper dishes to music from one of
their ipods.  Usually dishes in Jose´s watch ends with a good round of towel
snapping.   In the foc´sle Ian had just played chess with Simon and was
playing another round with Noah, while Simon and Steve watched.  Steve just
lost a wrestling match with Simon and was nursing a bleeding lip and a
slightly bruised ego (Simon is 6).  Jose and Jordan were continuing their
chess game.  Katie, Molly, and Keira were having some ´girl time´ in Katie´s
cabin, with frequent loud laughing and shrieking emanating from the cabin.
At the hold table Elske, Sara R., Liam, and a few others were letter writing
or writing in journals.  Some trainees were already asleep, preparing for
watch tonight.  In the after cabin, Tristan, Antony and Jacob were deep into
a conversation on bosun and mechanical related subjects.  Skipper was in his
cabin playing his mandolin while I was knitting and listening to some music,
enjoying a bit of time before putting boys to bed.  It is a full boat with
lots of things happening in every part of the ship, kind of neat to notice
it all at once.
Sara R. wrote in her journal of a normal day in the life of a trainee.  I
will insert it here; enjoy.
"I feel a shoulder shake and hear someone hoarsely whispering my name.
Drowsily I wave them away after asking what it´s like outside. Then I close
my eyes for that extra five minutes in my bunk.  Sooner than I´d like to, I
unhook my lee cloth, hop over Susan, use the head, and step into my foulies
(raingear) and harness.  I climb on deck to be greeted by a moon so bright I
can almost read by it.  My watch partner has beaten me to the wheel.  I
steer for forty minutes and then stand at the wheel for another forty
minutes while my partner steers.  We either chat or remain quiet, together
with Jose, our watch officer.  One hour and twenty minutes later, we both
return to bed.  Jose stays up with the next pair.  Too soon, the whistle
blows for breakfast.  It´s time to haul my 2 heavy duffle bags off of the
table and onto my bed.  We are eating in the foc´sle, which means that juice
jugs have to be held between people´s laps and bowls of canned fruit and
random utensils may fly across the table and onto the sole.  We read and
talk during breakfast.  After breakfast I take my 2 bags off of my bunk and
put them back on the table, now cleared by the watch doing breakfast dishes.
I nap, read a bit, write a bit . . . the morning passes quickly.  I am
eating early for lunch, 1120, as our watch is on 1200-4000.  After lunch our
watch sets the table for the following watch and then I grab my sunglasses,
sunscreen and a book and go on deck for watch.  The entire watch will stay
on deck together for the 4 hours, even if we are not steering.  If sails
need raising or lowering, our watch will do it.  There will also be work
watch for our watch; between 1300-1500 hrs, those who are not steering help
Jordan sand and oil the rails.  I realize I am chilly and need another layer
from my bunk.  Once I´m back on deck, I realize I´ve forgotten my knitting.
I return below once more only to find that second sitting has started and I
cannot access my bunk.  I forget about the knitting and decide to work on my
ditty bag, a turks head bracelet etc. to help pass the time.  After our
watch everyone waits expectantly for supper.  Groups are chatting, the days´
activity continues.  Our watch is on second sitting at 1800 hrs and the
smell of food pushes everyone towards impatience.  Finally the whistle blows
and we crowd around the hold table.  After a noisy, singing grace with much
clanging of cutlery, everyone passes down plates, and then the salt, pepper,
sweet chili sauce etc.  Conversation is lost whilst people devour their
first helpings.  By the time seconds roll round, we are talking about
politics, religion, relationships . . .  and then all of the boys in our
watch tackle Jose.  We do dishes to the tunes of Bon Jovi or Disney.  I scam
my favorite job, sweeping, and then the boys launch into a giant
towel-whipping festival before tackling Jose again.  The motion gets a bit
rocky after dinner and it´s a gamble as to whether or not the toilet seat
will fly off the girls head while you use it.  Everyone sits around the hold
table playing cards, eating Arwen´s baking or waiting until the galley is
dark enough to perform some secret sit-ups and push-ups.  Getting ready for
bed is a battle of waiting for the head to be available, pushing people out
of my way to get to my bunk, waiting with a mouthful of toothpaste needing
to spit, and again, taking my bags off of my bunk and onto the table for the
last time.  I snuggle up against my lee cloth, my knees wedged up by my
chest to stay as still as possible despite the rocking of the boat.  I plug
into my ipod to tune out the sounds of laughter and cries of card victory,
and fall asleep before my next night watch, when the day will begin all over
again.  Good-night, Sara R."
This is it for tonight, we have about 4 days before Hawaii; we are excited,
but also trying to live in the moment.  Good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
rainy and cold, light winds
April 24th 2008 @ 21:00
25°50'53.88 N 162°47'6.00 W

Heading 120°
Speed 6.6

Ship's Log:
Today we celebrated Sarah Brizan´s 23rd birthday; we never thought in
Osaka that her birthday would be celebrated at sea, she was sure she would
be having a day at the beach with her sisters, going out for supper and a
movie etc.  This way though, she has all of us, her ´family´ around her on
her special day and she can still spend a day with her sisters ´out on the
town´ in Honolulu when we arrive in a few days . . . the best of both
worlds.  She chose the meals today; yogurt with bananas, grapefruit, and
lemon squares for breakfast, chapattis, 5-layer dip, and humous for lunch,
and penne noodles with spaghetti sauce for supper.  Molly, Skipper, Diana,
Keira, and Simon rolled the chapattis; they were delicious.  Arwen has made
a vegan chocolate cake with mocha icing, which we will enjoy later in the
evening after the ´Talent Show.´  Her sister Emma made her a beautiful ditty
bag, embroidering it with Sarah´s initials and filling it with chocolate.
Emma did a beautiful job on the sewing of the bag; Sarah is thrilled with
it.  Sarah´s other sister, Diana, made her a card and gave her all the rest
of her ´stashed´ chocolate; this may sound funny (and it is a bit) but at
the end of a passage such as this, when most of us ran out of personal snack
food awhile ago, half a chocolate bar is worth more than you can imagine, it
was probably worth the most out of anything she could have given; again,
Sarah was happy and . . . she shared it with Diana.  Trainees and crew gave
her cards and she proudly wore her ´birthday girl´ button all day.  On her
1600-2000 evening watch, when she was hauling in one of the fishing lines,
she suddenly called out, "I´ve got a fish, I really have a fish!"  We
thought she was just kidding, the lines come in every evening and go out
every morning; she was doing her job.  But we soon realized by the sound of
her voice that she really did have something on the line.  It turned out to
be a gorgeous brilliant yellow and blue Dorado, about 15 lbs.  Sarah hauled
it in and filleted it; her first time.  Jacob and Noah taught her how to do
it and stayed with her until the end.  At the ´Talent Show´ this evening,
Elske, Gabriel, Tristan, Bec, Jordan, Gillian, and Katie sang the song they
had written for Sarah; it summarized her life on the ship since her arrival
in Fiji, to the tune of ´A Whole New World.´  Sarah loved it and I just
overheard her say this was probably the best birthday she´s ever had.  The
wind is blowing light from the northeast; the trysail, foresail and jumbo
are up, but the engine is also pushing us along.  The air was cooler today;
we wore our pants and coats again.  This morning Skipper sighted a Japanese
glass float and was able to retrieve it; it will decorate his house; a
beautiful reminder of this passage.  Jordan taught a seniors tide lesson and
gave an introduction to the theory behind celestial navigation to trainees
interested in the sextant.  The sun has not shone the past few days and so
no one has been able to take any sun sights.  As soon as there is sun,
Skipper and Jordan will teach the physical aspects of taking a sight and
plotting a position.  Antony taught a seniors chart work lesson.   Antony
and Jacob spent the early part of the evening creating fishing lures; the
plan is to make some prototypes and then allow interested trainees to make
one too; he has all the materials aboard to make them.  Will made a leather
sheath for the Japanese carving knife he bought in Japan; it looks good.
Gillian completed her scarf, it´s as tall as her.  Sara R. finished her
ditty bag today and feels good about it.  There are so many projects under
way; it is fun watching them come to completion.  It is a gift to have
unlimited time to start and finish something we would not undertake or have
the chance to learn ashore.  Skipper gave an introduction on ´How to Plan an
Offshore Voyage.´   Last offshore, a club was formed from this presentation
and the present offshore is in part the result of that effort and interest.
At the moment we are 370 nautical miles from Honolulu; our E.T.A. is for
Sunday morning.  It has been a very full day; we have been at sea for 32
days yet there are always things we still want to do before we arrive in
Hawaii.  That is a good thing; a sign that we´re doing well.  Until
tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy, light winds, cold
April 25th 2008 @ 20:30
24°12'54.00 N 160°22'19.20 W

Heading 135°
Speed 6.5

Ship's Log:
We are just over a day from our destination, Honolulu.  Feelings are
mixed; we are all very excited to see land and to move around on it, and of
course there are also all the favorite foods we look forward to tasting
again.   At the same time we are hesitant; it´s been a long time since some
of us have been in North American culture; and even for those joining us in
Osaka, there has been a lot of sea between then and now.  I think we may
feel somewhat out of our element initially; life will seem to be moving a
little too swiftly around us.  At lunch our watch discussed what was going
through each of our minds as we approach the end of the passage and a time
that for many will be irretrievable and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Most of us find it somewhat unbelievable that land is so close; as far as we
can see, it looks just as it has for the past 33 days, all water.  Most of
us are trying to live in the moment and enjoy the final days of this life,
usually aware though that arriving at our destination is going to feel
wonderful.   For many of the trainees, now that they are close to Hawaii,
the 33 days have gone quickly.  Gabriel remembers some really slow moving
times though, yet all in all, he agrees and he´s surprised only 10 days of
this leg remain.  It´s sad in many ways; we have experienced and grown, and
come through a lot together this past month.  When we tie to the dock, life
will be moving incredibly fast and efficient around us and those looking at
our ship and at us from the dock will have no idea what we´ve just
experienced, just how much wear this ship has taken, just how much movement
in so many ways we have lived with, and how much we´ve grown because of it .
. . it´s indescribable really . . . one needs to have been with us to fully
understand and appreciate it.  I don´t think any one of us would have wanted
to miss any of it.  Because it was what it was we have grown and been
offered an experience that we can only learn from and feel good about.  I´m
pretty sure that thoughts and impressions from this passage will continue to
come to our minds regularly over the next while; you may hear many of them
when your trainees get home or when they email and phone you.  Enjoy the
stories.   The crew is looking forward to some restorative time; a chance to
rest, have a change . . . a break that will ´feed´ them physically,
emotionally, and spiritually so that we can be wonderfully ´full´ and
prepared for our final leg; we want to offer our best to the leg 7 trainees
and make it another amazing experience.  We are looking forward also to
family and friends that are coming to visit crew and trainees on the ship.
Jordan´s parents and his sister are coming from Vancouver, Jose´s mom and
his brother are coming from Winnipeg, Arwen´s best friend Jocelyn and her
mom are coming from Victoria, Leighsa´s mom and dad are coming from
Edmonton, plus there are parents coming to meet some of the trainees.  The
10 days in Honolulu will be busy; there is alot to do to prepare the ship
for the last leg.  We continue to talk about Midway Atoll; it had a huge
impression on all of us and we believe we were very fortunate to have the
chance to stop there.  Skipper and I are reading a book about the albatross.
The book was given to the ship by J.R., a wonderful man we got to know on
the island.  The book is titled "Eye of the Albatross" by Carl Safina.  It´s
an excellent book and we have already learned so much more about these
amazing birds and have gained a deeper respect and an incredible sense of
awe for them.  The sun came out for a short time today and Skipper was able
to teach 8 trainees to take a sight.  Hopefully tomorrow they will be able
to take their second sight and learn how to plot the information to get
their position.  Kaitlin stitched a pouch for a deck of cards, in leather;
it turned out well and has motivated Jacob to make one next leg.  We caught
another Dorado today; Raven, Liam and Blake filleted it and Gillian will
turn it into ´fish nuggets´ tomorrow.  We enjoyed yesterday evening´s Dorado
baked today at lunch . . . delicious.  I have a few funny stories to relate:
Gillian woke up to cook one morning and found her food hammocks all undone
from their hooks.  It turns out that Liam dreamed he was caught up in the
lines and to free himself, pulled the hammock down.  Another night, Will
appeared on deck (it was not his watch) without his harness.  The watch
officer on watch approached him and asked him where his harness was, to
which he replied, "down below, where it´s supposed to be."   He was brought
back down below because he wasn´t quite awake and was somewhat confused; he
was sleep-walking and cannot completely recall what happened.   Leanne woke
up spluttering and angry one night when a cup of water slid down the table,
hit the rim and toppled onto her face, pillow and blankets.  She was not
impressed; in the morning she discovered that the cup was her own.  There
are hundreds of hilarious stories like these of our lives together; you will
hear of them shortly when trainees start returning home.  Leanne would like
to wish her dad a belated Happy Birthday for April 24th.  Yesterday was such
a busy day, going late into the night with the ´Talent Show.´  She came
running into the after cabin minutes after Skipper had sent the log.  Sorry.
Happy Birthday dad, I hope you had a great day, love Leanne.  It is very
dark outside; the clouds are hiding the moon and the stars.  The wind has
shifted and is now heading us, though we have been making great speeds of up
to 8.5kts all day.  We´ve slowed down somewhat but are still doing well.
The winds are light so we are motor-sailing.  It will be nice to turn off
the engine again.  We are well and looking forward to tomorrow; hopefully it
will be sunny and warm.  Until then, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy, cool, rain in the evening
April 26th 2008 @ 22:30
22°5'53.88 N 158°39'7.20 W

Heading 170°
Speed 6.7

Ship's Log:
We are just 58 nautical miles from Honolulu.  Our final day of this epic
passage has been a good one.  The sun shone and was warm all day; there are
a few sunburns and the aloe vera is being passed around.  Jose is playing
guitar and Antony is playing the kazoo for an impromptu Mug-Up on deck
around the helmsman.  Trainees and crew have their headlamps and harnesses
on and are singing, laughing . . . enjoying one more night of being together
out at sea; it sounds like a lot of fun.  We had a one-sitting supper on
deck so that we could have a Sunday service tonight before we come into port
tomorrow.  Skipper read from the end of C.S. Lewis´ "The Silver Chair" where
Prince Rillian is finally freed from his enchantment.  We discussed
recognizing deception in our world; it was a good example.  Everyone seems
to enjoy being read to, especially under a star-filled sky, with a soft
breeze blowing, and the ship drifting noiselessly on a wide ocean (we turned
off the engine).  Because the sun was out today Skipper and Jordan were able
to teach 10 or so trainees how to take sights, plot and find a position via
the sextant.  This afternoon we had a swim stop . . . it was incredible . .
. we were all child-like in our enthusiasm.  The water was warmer and bluer
. . . delicious.  People jumped from the bowsprit, swam, hung from the
bobstays, washed and shampooed, dove off the rails etc.  We had to lower the
sails in order to slow down the ship and raise them again afterwards, but it
was well worth the effort.  Our moods were already high but a swim stop only
improves any situation.  We are now clean for our entry into the harbor.
Spirits are definitely up and expectant; at the same time we are hesitant
and unsure.  A landfall after a long passage is often bittersweet.  Adam and
I were chatting and realized that we both feel we could easily continue for
another 2 or 3 days, now that we know land is attainable.  It´s as if we
needed to be this close to acknowledge to ourselves that we can last this
length of time, that ´getting there´ isn´t important anymore.  Some of us
sighted Kauai this morning.  Today Sarah finished reading "The Robe" to her
watch; it´s an excellent book.  Fore watch spent some time sharing with each
other what they´ve learned and what they appreciate about each other.  Even
though we know that tomorrow our lives will change, we subconsciously feel
our lives on the ship will go on somehow; it has been our pattern and
routine for over a month, it´s hard to imagine anything different, it´s how
we all got to know each other.   We are looking forward to Honolulu and all
that that entails; we just hope that what we´ve had the past 35 days stays
with us.  Yesterday I said that Leighsa´s mom and dad will be joining us in
Hawaii.  I made a mistake and only her mom is coming; her dad will be in
Victoria when we arrive there.  Jordan has written up a typical day as a
bosun.  He started a wonderful narrative, full of interesting details, and
was enjoying the process of writing.  He needs more time to complete it and
so we´ve decided to give a brief outline of his day today.  Enjoy.
And here begins a point form of the day in the life of a bosun.
  1.. The day really should begin with the end of the previous day for it
was a night that seemed to carry through sleep and into the next day; a
series of events that never seemed to stop, save for a moment of fitful
sleep.  We check the batteries at night (we check them twice a day because
they are, as we say in the trade ´on the fritz´) and find that they are
unusually hot.  Trainees are notified that all lights will be going out for
a few moments and told to grab a headlamp.  A change in mood on the boat
happens and questions fly through the air.  People know that something
serious, but not too serious is up; it feels almost exciting.  Tristan and I
disconnect 1/3 of our main bank to exclude the hot batteries.
  2.. Next morning I awake early to the sound of air and no water running
through the galley sinks.  Hmmm, that´s not good.  I tear bunks and bilge
apart because of a suspicion we may have a leak.  I spend the morning in and
out of bunks and with my head in the bilge, checking everything that could
be the problem until my mind rests clear.
  3.. Tristan takes the rig walk; he is awesome and a constant support.  The
rig walk involves walking up the masts and checking all the working pieces,
making sure everything is holding up.  Up in the rig is where we spend a lot
of our time; it allows us to see the boat differently.  Sometimes it is
peaceful and we can slowly and meticulously go over the rig, other days its
terribly rocky and we are being tossed around.
  4.. I tackle the bright work and refinish a sky light.
  5.. Tristan and I break for lunch.  I´ve joined fore watch and Tristan has
joined starboard watch.  It gives us the chance to get to know a small group
of trainees well.
  6.. I ´hit the ground running´ at 1300 hrs and take advantage of a rare
moment to do bright work.  The sun is shining and water is not splashing
over the rails.  Fore watch is a power house and gets a lot done; we have
fun and they are fun to work with.  Everyone puts a lot of energy and care
into their work.
  7.. I teach a seniors lesson on tide interpolation.  Teaching is a welcome
break in the day of a bosun.
  8.. I work on the fire caps to the vents and ensure that they will fit.
Tristan is making a new cap out of a French franc (coin) for the trysail
block.
  9.. At 1700 hrs I run all the systems, the water and the freezer.
  10.. I eat with fore watch.  Gillian has been invited to our watch.  She
reads something out of "Eye of the Albatross" and a one-hour discussion
ensues.
  11.. I continue with a game of chess for the tournament; phew, I´m still
in.
  12.. I have a moment by myself in my bunk before I go to bed.  Susan, a
veteran trainee, suddenly approaches, somewhat apprehensively, knowing that
I´m in bed.  I can tell she needs help with something; she´s been on long
enough to know when something is a problem.  She says that the head is
spewing forth brown water and her smell seems to confirm her words.  "Okay,
I´m coming."  I take a deep breath as I get out of my bunk and get my tools.
Good-night, Jordan
This is it until tomorrow.  Good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, warm, light winds
April 27th 2008 @ 22:10
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
We are tied up at Pier 11 under the Aloha Tower in Honolulu.  Everyone
was on deck as we sailed the last few hours into the harbor.  People were
quiet, expectant, excited, tired, a whole range of emotions and thoughts
going through each of us.  Even now I find it difficult expressing what I
feel.  Perhaps I need another day.  We are all happy . . . happy to be here,
but not necessarily happy that our passage together is over.  I know that we
all feel very fortunate to have experienced the crossing together as we did.
We also all feel incredibly blessed to have been able to stop at Midway and
we also all know that we are incredibly fortunate to have sailed on the
Pacific Grace.  What do we feel?  Yes, there is a sense of relief,
especially for the crew who are very tired from standing continual watch for
34 days.  There is hesitation; we want some of what ´land´ has to offer, but
we also want what we´ve had the past 34 days.  How can we meld the two; how
can we hold onto all that we learned?  These questions are just a few of the
many that travel across our minds and color how we feel about being here.
We are definitely enjoying the chance to walk, to cycle, to eat some
favorite foods, to just wander through the grocery store and marvel, to find
some quiet time alone, to connect with family and friends. . .  We´ve all
had a chance to walk into town and see some of Honolulu.  As it is Sunday,
we saw many local Hawaiians on the beach with their families, friends and
barbecues.  It had a very Polynesian feel when we stopped to swim at a beach
nearby, not frequented as much by tourists; for Skipper and I it was a
wonderful reminder of where we´ve been; it was a familiar sight, lovely
large Polynesian men and women with their children and babies just ´hanging
out´ with each other under a tarp with blankets, coolers, lots of food, and
playing in the water.  The water was wonderful, a perfect temperature.  My
boys played with Tristan; they just never get tired of it or of him.  The
air temperature is very hot, it will take a bit of getting used to but we´re
not complaining, we love it; it´s what we´ve been waiting for.  As soon as
we were tied up we pulled out the 3 tarps and set them up for shade.  It´s
been awhile since we´ve had to use them for the sun.  There is a nice breeze
that with a swim, makes being on the beach wonderful.  Our shipping agent,
Troy, came with a large amount of mail soon after we tied up; we were
thrilled.  Mail is like Christmas; we all hover around hoping there is
something for us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you so much to everyone who
sent mail, it means a lot.  Thank you to Diane and Wes, Susan´s parents, for
their incredibly generous gifts, and the wonderful and very personal mail
that made so many of us very happy.   Over and over I heard exclamations of
"how did they know . . . they knew that I . . . "   You have definitely been
keeping up with the log; thanks again.  And to everyone who connected via
letters, news clippings, gifts, photos, notes of appreciation and thanks . .
. you are a big support in this way.  It is appreciated.  Jocelyn and Kerry
Chalmers, Arwen´s friend and her mom, my friend, welcomed us on the dock; it
was great to see them.  I think it´s always nice to see someone you
recognize when you arrive in a new place i.e. airport, train station, ferry
terminal, port etc.  Arwen and I have a years catching up to do; it´s been
fun.  At supper Molly told me she had spent an incredible day with Raven,
Chris, James, and Steve.  The guys had taken her to their favorite shops
i.e. the bike shop, the surf shop etc. and all she asked was that they let
her try on a few dresses at ´Roxy´s."  So the 5 of them all piled into the
store and the 4 guys helped Molly find a summer dress.  She would model and
they would comment.  In the end they all agreed on a really sweet yellow
dress.  How many women know of 4 men they would take dress shopping and
actually find something they all agreed on?  I thought it was quite
something; that´s what spending 34 days such as we did, can do!  Barry from
Midway dropped by for a quick visit tonight.  He is here for a few days
preparing a cargo ship for Midway in May.  It was good to see him again.  It
is late and I am very tired.  It´s been a wonderful and very full day.
Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny and hot
April 28th 2008 @ 22:30
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
It´s nearly the end of another good day.  Trainees and crew are mostly
still out enjoying some city life.  Jose´s watch went for a final dinner
together.  They met at the boat at 1800hrs looking clean and pretty smart in
clothes we never saw during the passage.  Antony´s watch had dinner at a
restaurant in Waikiki last night; I heard that the burgers were good.   Many
trainees have gone to watch a film at the $1 movie theatre just a 10 minute
walk from here.  We have enjoyed this theatre every time we are in Honolulu.
There is a choice of about 7 films, each offered 3 or 4 times a day; it´s a
great deal and a fun and inexpensive thing to do as a group in the evening.
Yesterday when we received mail it was interesting to watch people eagerly
take their letters to a quiet part of the ship and sit alone, hungrily
reading their news from home, ´visiting´ with people they miss and love.
Last night we were able to sleep on deck.  Trainees and crew from previous
tropical legs have their favorite spots, and early in the evening put
mattress, sleeping bag and pillow on the deck or on the houses to ´reserve´
their spot.  If you need to use the head during the night it´s an obstacle
course to get around all the sleeping bodies, breathing so close together.
You move gingerly from hatch to house to hatch and then down the
companionway.  It is wonderful to be able to sleep under the starry sky.  It
is warm below but on deck quite perfect.  My boys love it; we do our entire
bed routine up on deck; brushing teeth, sitting together and reading Arthur
Ransome´s "Secret Water´ with our headlamp, and then singing, rubbing backs
etc.  I´ve missed it; it feels so wonderfully familiar to do it again, the
majority of our nights during legs 3, 4, and 5 were spent in this way.  I´m
glad these trainees have a chance to experience it.  We are tied up in a
very private place; on the quietest side of a complex made up of a nice
selection of shops, restaurants, and café´s.  It is primarily here for the
cruise ships but no ships are here, it´s very peaceful.  The ship has been
here many times before; it feels like home for those of us who have sailed
from Victoria, or who have sailed on previous offshore voyages.  About half
the trainees sign up for supper on the boat and Gillian and Katie have been
making fantastic meals; they are able to stock up on food, both fresh and
staples, that they haven´t had for awhile and we all benefit from it.  Other
trainees and crew choose to eat ashore which is enjoyable too.  I rather
like returning to the boat in the early evening, sitting on deck with
everyone, and finding out what they did that day; what they saw, what they
learned, what they bought, where they went etc.  We all ´show and tell´ of
our day; it feels good, it´s what a ´family´ does, and gives us ideas for
our next day.    There is lots to do in Honolulu and we did a bit of
everything i.e. swimming at the beach, visiting Waikiki, shopping, internet,
Sophie and Ian went surfing, Raven and Blake rented bikes, some found quiet
places to write postcards or read, eating out etc.  Chris had his hair cut
today; the very blond tips are gone.  Noah and Simon had their hair cut just
a few days ago, tropical cuts.  Arwen is enjoying spending her days with
Jocelyn and Kerry; they come by the ship regularly and we have wonderfully
long talks about absolutely everything.  Last night they joined us for
supper and stayed afterwards, sitting around the hold table, talking till
late into the night.   It is a treat to have a change in the routine though
I´ve heard several times already how trainees are glad to be able to return
to the boat; to have the ship as their base.  Trainees are sticking
together, doing things in groups; we have developed into a close group.
There are still feelings of being overwhelmed by the city; it helps to have
the Grace and each other to return to.  I think most of us are working on
reconciling our life at sea with our very different existence in Honolulu.
We are all very happy.  Skipper and Antony were able to do a lot of the boat
shopping today for bosun-related materials.  Jordan replaced some of the
batteries in the battery bank; he feels better about it now.  Jose started
sanding the hull in preparation for our 3 workdays Wednesday, Thursday, and
Friday, when the hull will be repainted.  The sun shone today though there
were long periods of clouds.  The wind has picked up and is blowing quite
strongly; Skipper says we are fortunate we are tied to the dock as the winds
would be heading us if we were still at sea.  Yes, we feel very blessed.
Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, very windy
April 30th 2008 @ 21:30
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
Today is the first of 3 workdays.  The purpose of these days is to
prepare the ship for the following leg.  It happens at the end of every leg.
Trainees work alongside the crew choosing one of 3 groups; the rigging crew
tightens the rig and wire brushes and paints the iron work, the deck crew
sands and repaints the hull, and sands and oils or varnishes the woodwork on
deck, the galley crew goes under all the bunks, except fuel and water tank
bunks, emptying them of ´stuff,´ and then wiping and vaccuuming them out.
Gillian and Katie have started buying the next leg´s food and their crew
helps stow it all.  A lot of work was done today.  The ship is beginning to
look good.  The day started out cloudy but early in the afternoon became
very hot and the sun came out; there are quite a few sunburns despite
frequent application of sunscreen.  After a wonderful dock shower most crew
and trainees went into town to enjoy a movie, some food, a walk on the
beach, or just a change in scenery.  Skipper and Jacob made a shower
yesterday with a stand-up pole and shower head; it works well.  They are
hoping to get some PVC piping to make a curtain for private showering . . .
possibly even without bathing suits on!   Last night Jordan and Raven headed
up the team that created an incredible meal for everyone.  Many trainees
helped out along the way doing dishes, serving, dealing with ´slop,´
carrying bags from SAFEWAY etc.  Molly, Sophie, Ian, Blake, Keira, Liam,
Elske and more were part of the team.  Blake wore his ditty bag upside down
on his head as a chef´s hat, serving all of us diligently and proudly; we
called it his ´ditty hat.´  There were several courses; brushetta with a
tomato, fresh herb, and melted cheese topping, mixed green salad with pine
nuts and an amazing dressing, meat cannelloni´s with cheese, fresh spinach,
cottage cheese, meat, and fresh herbs, Turkish coffee and chocolate, and
finally a rolled flakey pastry with almonds and walnuts rolled up inside . .
. it was all amazingly tasty.  Jocelyn and Kerry, our friends, and Barry
from Midway were our honored guests.  The meal lasted several hours.  At
1945 hrs I started pulling clean pillow slips, t-shirts etc. out of my
laundry bag to begin getting the boys ready for bed while we waited for the
dessert, when Blake came below to the after cabin with a Turkish coffee and
some chocolate for me, very thoughtful.  Everyone who was involved with the
meal had a fun time.  Jordan and Raven were even starting to envisage
opening up a restaurant, partnerships . . .  Tomorrow we move into day 2 of
the workdays.  Our shipping agent is trying to return us to our previous
dock; that would be nice.  We are now at Pier 31, a commercial dock for
very, very large freighters unloading and loading their cargo i.e. hundreds
of new cars were unloaded this morning next to us and 2 other freighters,
loaded with containers, are waiting for their turn.  There are massive
cranes that drive up and down the dock to help in the unloading; the
magnitude of what happens here boggles our minds; where does all this stuff
go . . . ?  More family and friends are starting to arrive tonight.  Sara R.
is expecting her dad and there are some surprise visits happening as well
(can´t say anything yet).   It will be wonderful, we are all excited; anyone´s
family is automatically all of our family.  Good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy skies turning to sun
May 2nd 2008 @ 22:30
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
It has been a very busy week; I can hardly get around to doing the log.
Today was the final day of the 3 workdays.  Trainees and crew tackled more
jobs than we ever have during the workdays; the ship looks really good.
There are still several jobs needing completion i.e. gaffs oiled, sails
laced on, cabin houses painted, bosun materials stowed etc. and crew and
volunteer trainees will slowly finish them off during the next few days.
The weather has been very hot; there have been significant changes in skin
color, from pink to red to red-brown to brown to very freckled.   Attitudes
were great during the 3 days; everyone has worked hard and it´s not always
easy when the sun is so hot; crew and trainees are looking forward to some
time off the ship to explore Honolulu again before either flying home or
continuing on to Victoria.   Sara Ross´s dad arrived 2 nights ago; I haven´t
met him yet but Sara has been able to visit with him several times.  Last
night Matt, Katie´s boyfriend, surprised her with a visit from Vancouver;
she was elated and very, very happy.  Her final leg looks very different
from what it did 3 days ago; Matt is now her fiancé and they will have had
some days to re-connect without all the extra details of returning home.
This afternoon Leanne´s parents arrived, as did Jordan´s parents and
Caroline, their daughter, Jordan´s sister, and Antony´s girlfriend.  Caley
from legs 4 and 5 arrived today from Japan and will sail home with us to
Victoria.  Tomorrow Jose´s mom and his brother will arrive . . . a big
family gathering in many ways.  We consider ourselves ´family´ on the ship
and so everyone takes an interest in ´extended´ family that comes to visit
any one of us.  We love it.  I myself have had a wonderful and busy week
with my girlfriend Kerry and her daughter Jocelyn, Arwen´s friend.  The
Anderson boys have enjoyed boogie boarding on the closer beaches and being
thrown around in the wild surf of Waimea Bay on the north coast of Oahu; we
have done a lot of walking, about 3 hours a day, getting to the various
places we need to be; it´s been good.  Thanks again to everyone for the
continuing mail; we love it.  Thank you Corinne and Dave Eggert for your
parcel for the crew; it´s still unopened as we´ve been too busy and ´all
over the place´ to get everyone together.  The boat is quiet, Steve is
playing the guitar on deck; the music sounds nice.  Most everyone else is in
town in groups and we´ll see each other again in the morning at breakfast.
Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.(EL


Observations:
a mixture of sun and clouds, some light rain, very hot
May 3rd 2008 @ 21:30
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
It´s been a good day.  Trainees and crew have had the opportunity to
leave the boat and enjoy a day on the beach, catching up on quiet time and
rest; some have finally been able to make contact with home for the first
time.  The sun shone beautifully; we are all enjoying the heat; the cooler
weather will return soon enough.  Tonight we returned to Pier 11 by the
Aloha Tower; it´s great to be back.  Pier 11 is a complex with 3 levels of
nice shops, cafes and reception room for cruise line passengers.  We really
don´t look anything like cruise line passengers, but we enjoy the facility.
There are tables to sit by in an outdoor but covered courtyard, nice cafes,
internet at some of them, good restaurants, and shops full of beautiful
things you don´t really need but fun to wander through and look at.
Yesterday Leighsa offered to make supper so Katie and Matt could have an
evening together. She made nachos and placed the 3 big cookies sheets side
by side on the counter layering them all up with chips, salsa, cheese,
peppers, onions etc.   When she went to lift up the middle tray to slide it
into the oven she realized there was no cookie sheet under the beautiful
mound of nachos; it was all sitting on bare counter top.  She had
unthinkingly layered and put the middle tray in the oven first on its own
and then continued filling the other two plus the space in between the two.
The edges of the 2 outside trays looked like the edges of the middle tray
and so she didn´t notice there was no tray in the middle.  It was very
funny.  We have been given a garbage skiff and Ian very nearly got dropped
into it. Ian had been on the outhaul, removing tape from the narrow stripes
of new paint on the hull.  Whoever was on the hauling end of the line eithe=
r
had trouble bringing him in or was up for a joke; it was good for a laugh
and a story.  Skipper and Antony worked on the bright work today, trying to
finish off jobs started during the workdays.  The weather is perfect for it=
.
Jordan spent the day with his family; those of us at the ship had a
wonderful moment to chat with his family when they came to pick him up.
Sarah B. and Jose have left for their 2 days off.  Sarah B. is with her 2
sisters and Jose is spending some time with his mom and brother who flew in
today from Winnipeg.  Molly and Keira got tattoos today, black anchors;
don´t worry, they´re supposed to come off in a week.  We are all doing well
and are very happy. There are things to enjoy here and we have the ship to
return to at night or mid-day if we want; it can´t get much better.  We
intend to make the best of our final few days together.  On Monday night we
will have our end of leg dinner, where the crew serve the trainees.  A tabl=
e
is created out of the after house and everyone sits together around
tablecloths and candles, being served, and eating a fantastic meal together=
.
There is usually some form of an ´Awards Night,´ where everyone is
recognized for some funny, heroic, interesting, admirable etc. trait we hav=
e
all grown to know and love in our time together on the ship.  Someone will
hopefully put together a slide show of the leg that allows all of us to
´travel´ together one last time.  It´s always fun.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.(


Observations:
hot and sunny
May 4th 2008 @ 22:30
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
It has been a good day; the weather is great.  The regular and very
light showers are just enough to mist us, helping us stay cooler.  Gillian,
Steve, James, and Elske left by 0900 to make the Anglican service; they were
welcomed by the congregation and invited to an ´aloha lunch´ afterwards.
When people discovered the story of the Grace and its travels they were
fascinated and asked many questions.  A group of 10 trainees caught the bus
and visited the North Shore of Oahu.  It is a wide expanse of beach, usually
with strong winds and big surf.  The past few days though it has been very
calm and one sees no surfers.  It is still beautiful though, and very
peaceful, especially in comparison to Honolulu and Waikiki.  Leanne, Sophie,
Keira, Molly, Ian, Blake, Adam, Liam, Raven, and Sean spent a great day
together seeing famous surf spots, the home of Jack Johnson etc.  While they
were on the beach they met Jose, his mom Terry, and brother Daniel who were
touring the island, and stopping at Shark Cove to do some snorkeling.  Near
suppertime Jose and his family dropped by the boat to say hello; it was good
to see them again.  Jordan joined his family on a walk through an interior
rain forest to a waterfall; they said it was stunning and a refreshing
change from the busy and very tourist-oriented city.  Caley from legs 4 and
5 came by the Grace to say hello; it was wonderful to see her again.  She
joins us again for leg 7.  James made supper for anyone who signed up.  It
was delicious; we had Polynesian chicken with fresh, gingered green beans
and real iced tea (with ice cubes!).  He did a fantastic job and hopes to
treat all of us again during the next leg.  I went to the beach with some of
my kids; it´s so great to be able to go there and just swim off a few hours,
the water is perfect.  On Sunday many Hawaiian families go to the ´A la
Moana´ beach to be together, bringing along barbecues and big coolers.  We
are trying to savor our remaining days in a tropical country.  We are
beginning to feel our proximity to ´home,´ to Victoria, and this ultimately
means the end of our voyage and our experiences together on the ship.  We
want to enjoy and remember fully so many details about this life and this
community, something so irreplaceable once we are home.  Some of these
small, seemingly insignificant details are; the water temperature and the
ability to play in it and use it for so many water activities i.e.
snorkeling, boogie boarding, scuba diving, swimming etc., the air
temperature in the evening and during the night . . . perfect for walking
and wandering the beach, the warmth of the sun, the lack of need for towels,
sweaters etc., a life lived mostly outside, our simple yet incredibly full
and satisfying lifestyle on the Grace, the opportunity to be with people one
knows well any time one wants . . . there are so many more.  I find that the
more I involve myself in the lives of others, the more interesting my life
is because of these people, and the more valid my life seems because others
have come into mine.  I feel fortunate.  Tomorrow is our final day and the
leg end dinner; we´re all looking forward to it.  Today Skipper and I
celebrated our 23rd anniversary; at breakfast the crew presented us with a
card that perfectly rendered the comfort we have with each other, and added
some money so we could have an evening out.  They told us they were all on
´stand by´ to watch the kids whenever the evening looked good.  We are well
looked after.  It is late, most crew and trainees are asleep on deck; I will
grab my toothbrush, paste, and water bottle and enjoy a few quiet moments on
deck amongst the breathing and sleeping bodies before I too will go to
sleep.  It´s one of those times I will miss at home; the night is beautiful
and the stars are out.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, some clouds and misty showers
May 6th 2008 @ 22:30
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
The past day and a half have been incredibly full and wonderful . . . and sad.  It´s always difficult to say good-bye and let some of our ´family´ go.  I like to think I will see them all again at some time during our lives.  Most of us spent our final day together on the beach, climbing Diamond Head, shopping, etc.  The packing was left mostly until this morning; there were more important things to do.  By 1730 hrs everyone was back on the boat clean and beautifully dressed; summer dresses and skirts on the women, and dress shirts, ties (a few), and nice pants on the men.  Will looked especially smart with his trim beard, tidied up just before the dinner.   Will and Kaitlin have another 10 days on the island once the ship leaves.  This will be a fun place for them to hang out for awhile and process some of the many experiences of the past 2 months. Gillian and Katie made an amazing meal. Crew sets up the table, serves the trainees and do the clean up before, during, and after the dinner.  It´s always a lot of fun, serving and being served.  The after cabin  house becomes our table, one we can all be seated around and which is decorated with table cloths, candles, flowers, ribbons, etc.  It looks beautiful.  The dugout canoe turned upside down becomes a bench for sitting on along one side, and four 5 gallon oil buckets supporting two 6 foot fender boards become benches along the other side.  In the dusk, with the candles burning, it looks very cozy.  We started the evening with hors´d´oeuvres; cucumber slices with goat cheese and cream cheese, with finely grated carrot on top, baked garlic, shrimp with dip, and a selection of fresh fruit with a vanilla yogurt dip, delicious.  Trainees wandered around the deck, chatting and visiting, and taking lots of photos, while nicely dressed crew served.  Crew then escorted trainees to the table where a green salad with strawberries and walnuts was served along with a very tasty punch.  Noah and Jacob made the punch and made sure everyone´s cups stayed full.  Main course was very generous portions of chicken cordon bleu (or pork cordon bleu), brown rice and steamed broccoli.  Dessert was ice cream sundaes, as much as you could eat. Between the main course and dessert Jordan presented awards to everyone. The awards all pertain to some characteristic we have all come to know, love, and appreciate about the particular person the award is for; some of them remind us of funny details, some of them are more serious, all of them are wonderful reminders of how we have grown together.  After dessert we watched a slide show set to music; it allowed us to relive this leg, there are so many experiences we have gone through as a community and it was wonderful to go through it again with each other.  We laughed, we ´aahed,´ we remembered . . . nothing needed saying as we had all been there, it´s something we all have in common and always will.  We woke up this morning at 0800 to another gorgeous day; departing trainees enjoyed their final sleep on deck, I overheard Keira say she would miss sleeping under the stars on a very hard deck and I sensed she was serious.  It´s quite special to sleep as a group, on deck, out under the open starry sky.   Port watch was up early for a final cup of coffee together at Starbucks.  They took the time to tell each other what they appreciated and learned from each other.  It´s a very uplifting and encouraging group activity; one we often do at the end of a leg.  Antony and Jose did the same activity with their watches earlier on in the week.  Katie served bagels and cream cheese, with an assortment of fresh fruit for breakfast.  Skipper, Steve, Chris, Ian, Tristan, and Jordan played a final round of Par 3 golf together, using the funnels as the holes, with a cereal bowl placed in it to prevent the turks head ball going down irretrievably far.  It was an exciting game; I´m not sure who won.  The final word on the Chess Tournament is that Liam won by default, as Jordan and Steve did not play their final game.  The winner was to play against Liam, so, congratulations to Liam, his name will go on the elephant trophy named ´Chad.´  I mentioned at the beginning of the leg that we held a ´Landfall Lottery, with everyone guessing what day we would reach land. Leanne won by ´Price Is Right´ rules; she was the last to guess without going over.  She guessed April 25th, and we arrived on the 26th.  Will and Kaitlin won if Midway was considered our first landfall, which it was, but the lottery was set up for our arrival in Hawaii.  Trainees packed up their things and good-byes were started.  It was sad; it is difficult to leave the ship.  We as a crew will miss them; our family of 37 is tight and it is not easy to let go.  For those of you looking forward to seeing your kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc., I wish you a wonderful coming together; enjoy their photos, enjoy their stories, enjoy them; we sure did.  The next few days are days off.  Skipper, Antony, Gillian, Leighsa, Tristan, and Katie will have 2 days of rest.  Some of the trainees continuing on have rented a condominium on the North shore, while others will enjoy some quiet on a quiet ship.  We will all come together again on the night of the 8th, ready to invite new trainees the following day.  This will be the final log for this leg; I will take 2 days off and resume again on May 9th.  Thank you for all the encouragement we have received via letters, emails, etc. from both crew and trainees.  Until Friday, Bonice.


Observations:
hot and sunny

sailing
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