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Main Menu -> SALTS -> Pacific Odyessy - 2007 Offshore -> Pacific Odyssey - Leg 7

Pacific Odyssey - Leg 7

Log of Pacific Grace

May 9th 2008 @ 22:00
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
Trainees arrived this morning, excited and expectant, ready for the
final leg of this amazing Pacific Odyssey.  The weather has been wonderful;
a nice mixture of clouds, sun and the occasional light shower, which cools
things off nicely.  The crew have had two relaxing days, resting, playing o=
n
the beach, taking a break from some of their responsibilities; we are ready
again to make this leg the best it can be and to build a strong community.
By 1300 hrs most of the trainees had boarded and were enjoying a delicious
lunch on deck prepared by Katie.   The new trainees are relieved to finally
come on board, deposit their huge bags and begin to create a ´home´ out of
their bunk.  All the things they´ve been collecting and buying for this tri=
p
can finally be unpacked and used; it´s quite exciting, but also daunting as
their personal space is not very big.  The first night or so of the leg is
quite intense with trainees learning how living in tight quarters works;
they are still getting to know each other and very polite, but yet they nee=
d
to crawl over each other to get to their bunks, and into their bags.  They
learn quickly how to change in a crowded space, how to avoid line-ups for
the head, how to sleep with people breathing, sleeping, and getting up for
watch around them etc.  Life on the ship is intense though, and it takes
only a few days until routine begins to set in and things feel more normal.
After 2 weeks it´s like we never knew anything else, wonderful; I always
look forward to watching this process, this change from not knowing, to
knowing so well, and feeling like family.  The afternoon was spent with
introductions and information from several members of the crew.  Jose led a
game between the sessions that encouraged trainees to work together.  Katie
made delicious lasagna for supper.  After dishes we held our first Mug-Up
with Jose and Sarah playing the guitar, Susan the ukulele, and Antony the
mandolin.  We have a great group of singers; it could be a musical leg.
Arwen made rice krispie squares as a birthday treat for Adriane, who
celebrated her birthday yesterday.  After Mug-Up, former trainees took new
trainees to enjoy a film at the $1 a show Movie Theater down the street; on=
e
of the best deals in town.   It has been a very full day for everyone; we
are very excited and looking forward to what lies ahead.  We will spend one
more day in Honolulu before sailing to Kauai early Sunday morning.  Welcome
home to all leg 6 trainees; enjoy telling your stories, going through
photos, and staying connected with each other.  We are thinking of you.
Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy and sunny, rainy spells
May 10th 2008 @ 20:30
21°18'29.88 N 157°51'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
It is still warm out, there´s a gentle little breeze blowing, and the
sun is just setting; this is one of my favorite times of the day in the
tropics, and because we know there are so few remaining, everyone is
savoring each moment.   We have had another intense but good day of
introductions from crew. Trainees are instructed in health and medical
procedures, safety and emergency procedures, dory handling and rowing, bosu=
n
related procedures, galley procedures, lesson schedules, watch routines, an=
d
they have a tour of below and above decks in their watches, with their watc=
h
officers pointing out to them where everything is.  There is a lot to
remember, but in a few days much of the knowledge will have come into play
and will become a part of their shipboard life.   At 1430 hrs trainees were
free to explore Honolulu, visit the beach, and do last minute errands.  The
sun shone gloriously today; it was very hot.  We have a few sunburns and
cases of heat rash; the aloe vera is making its rounds.  We are fortunate t=
o
have both a registered nurse (Leighsa) and watch officer trained in
Wilderness First Aid (Sarah B) on board; we are well looked after.
Christina had her hair cut professionally; it looks great and will be easy
to look after on the passage.  The nearby surf-clothing store ´Honolua´ is
having an amazing 50% off sale and many of the crew and trainees are
checking to see if there´s anything there they may need. After dishes a
group is going for ice cream and to see a film at the $1 Movie Theater, a
great deal, but I´ve heard some of the movies are not that good.   We are
leaving Honolulu at 0230 hrs tomorrow morning   It should be a nice sail
over and take about 12 hours.  We are looking forward to leaving the city
and being on the water. I am looking forward to getting to know the new
trainees and to building our community.  We will be working in our watches
tomorrow, standing 4 hours at a time.  Tomorrow I will introduce the watche=
s
and the trainees in each watch, a wonderful idea from Adam´s mom.  Thank
you.  I would like to wish my little nephew Salal a terrifically fun day on
his 6th birthday today, May 10th.   Happy Birthday Salal, so much love from
Simon, Noah, Jacob, Arwen, Becca, Elsa, Auntie Bonice, and Uncle Tony; we
will see you soon.  Tomorrow is Mother´s Day and we would like to wish all
mothers, grandmothers, and stepmothers an incredible day with their childre=
n
and family. Here are some personal wishes from trainees and crew.
-      Happy Mother´s Day, see you in a few weeks, love from Antony.
-      Happy Mother´s Day, thank you for everything! From Tristan.
-      Have a good day, get dad to take you somewhere, Blake.
-      Hope you have a wonderful Mother´s Day, love Chris Epps.
-      Hi mom . . . I can´t think of anything else to say . . . love Steve.
-      Greetings from Honolulu!  Have fun with Baby Brother! Chris P.
-      Mom, thanks for loving me so much! Love Jordan T.
-      Hi mom, thanks for always supporting me and know that you are loved
and appreciated for all that you do, love Raven.
-      Happy Mother/Oma´s day.  It was good to talk to you both, love Adam.
-      Best wishes for a wonderful Mother´s Day; I look forward to seeing
you soon and trading stories with you and the family.  God bless and love t=
o
you mom, Emily.
-      Thanks for everything you are and do.  The trip was wonderful! Miss
you, love you, Happy Mother´s Day, love Caley.
-      Mum, here is a bunch of love from the middle of the Pacific; you are
amazing, love Adrienne.
-      Mom, you´re the best; I miss you lots, love Maddie.
-      Thank you for everything mum (and dad)!  I wouldn´t be here if it
wasn´t for you =ADall my love and God bless, Rona.
-      Happy Mother´s Day Colleen, I´m looking forward to sharing
experiences; not long now, love Gillian.
-      Happy Mother´s Day; have a wonderful day with all the family, love
you so much, Katie.
-      Happy Mother´s Day! Thank you for bringing me into the world and
never taking me out, no matter what I did, love James.
-      Aloha mom, have a great day; I hope it´s sunny for you today, Mark.
-      Mom, you rock my socks, love Selena Rose!
-      Hey mom, have a great Mother´s Day and send my best to grandma, love
the good twin.
-      Hi mom, Happy Mother´s Day from your favorite son Sean.
-      Hi mom, Happy Mother´s Day.  It´s not long now, love you, Tony.
-      Have a great day mom, love lola.  I have a massive heat rash, not so
great, ha ha, Keith.
-      Happy Mother´s Day! Have a fantastic day, love Sarah B.
-      Mama, ik wens je een fantastische dag met Monique, Bob, Silas, en
Salal; wij zijn bijna weer thuis, sterkte. Thank you for all the love,
support and encouragement you have given all of us during this entire
voyage; what a day we´ll soon have!  Love Bonice.
-      Happy Mother´s Day; I can´t wait to see you, love Christina.
-      Thank you for your support and encouragement.  I have treasured the
time we had together in Hawaii, love Leighsa.
-      Hi mom! I can´t wait to see you in Victoria.  Thank you for your
love, support and for being such a wonderful mom! Sara R.
-      Hey mother dearest! It´s amazing, only 5 weeks left before I get to
see you again.  Thanks for your endless support and love.  You´re the best!=
!
Susan.
-      Mom, so good to see you again; love you lots, Jordan C.
I think we actually got everyone except for Jose, whose mother is still her=
e
in Hawaii with him.  He will be able to hug her in person.  Happy Mother´s
Day to all of you; we wish you a perfect day.  Until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, very hot
May 11th 2008 @ 22:00
21°57'18.00 N 159°21'18.00 W

Ship's Log:
We are tied up in Nawiliwili Bay on the east southeast end of the island
of Kauai.  The closest town is Lihue which is close to the airport.  We have
been on this dock several times during the past offshore voyages; we like
being here.  It´s a 10 minute walk to some small shops and a beautiful
beach.  There is a resort at the far end of the beach but it doesn´t
necessarily set the tone for the area, the area feels sleepy and quiet after
Honolulu, something we´re all ready for.   We left Honolulu at 0230 this
morning and arrived just before supper at 1730.  For the main part of the
day we sailed along beautifully in 15-20 knot winds, beam to broad reaching.
We made speeds up to 9 knots; it was great.  A handful of the trainees were
feeling seasick as a rocking motion started quite soon after we left.  I was
surprised though how many people were able to eat below and help out with
sail handling.  We raised a double-reefed main, the foresail, the jumbo and
the jib while the winds were strong.  The mainsail is at the back of the
ship and is the biggest; from there I mention the sails moving forward to
the bow; thus, the jib was the most forward and smallest sail we had up
today.  ´Reefed´ means that we take some of the canvas at the bottom of the
sail and tie it to the boom with lines called ´reef nettles,´ so that not
all the sail goes up i.e. the sail area is less.  This happens in winds that
seem too strong for the entire mainsail to be up.  Mid-afternoon the wind
died and after trying several different sets of sails, Skipper decided to
lower everything and turn on the engine.  When winds are light, the sails
flap, the booms bounce hard, and the rigging takes a beating as everything
gets jolted and crashed against itself.  There were a couple of rain squalls
in the afternoon otherwise the weather was sunny and quite hot.  Towards
evening we started pulling out our sweaters; is it getting colder or are we
just getting acclimatized to the tropical weather again?  It was great to
see new and former trainees working together raising sail, coiling lines,
lowering sail etc.  It takes awhile to get one´s sea legs and stay balanced;
it´s easy to feel awkward and clumsy trying to walk and work at the same
time on a rolling deck.  Trainees did well; they seem eager to learn and to
help, there were always enough trainees to do the job.  We had a chance to
eat in our watches today for breakfast and lunch.  This is a time when we
really get to know each other; I look forward to it.  Fore watch is led by
Jose and contains James, Steve, Mark, Chris E., Becca, Maddie, Rona, Caley,
Tristan, Bonice, and Simon.  Port watch is led by Sarah B. and contains
Adrienne, Selina, Elske, Lisa M., Adam, Raven, Sean, Jordan T., Arwen, and
Jordan C.  Starboard watch is led by Antony and contains Keith, Blake, Chris
P., Susan, Leighsa S., Emily, Sara R., Christina, Noah, and Jacob.  With
Katie, Gillian, and Skipper we have 37 people on board; a very big family.
Tonight after dishes we had our first Sunday service; an introduction to the
next 5 Sundays, some singing with Jose on the drums and Gillian on the
guitar, a personal story by Jordan of something lost and found,  and a look
at the parables of the lost coin and the lost sheep.  After service many of
us took a short walk to the beach, bought a cold drink and enjoyed a first
taste of Kauai.  For Skipper and I, Kauai is so wonderfully familiar.  We
were remembering being here 11 months ago, imagining the year ahead of us;
now here we are with that year behind us, it feels as if it went too
quickly.  We remembered our mothers today; we hope you had a wonderful day.
I received numerous hugs and messages from my immediate and ´extended
family;´ I was thrilled and honored.  Tomorrow trainees will have the
opportunity to explore Kauai; it is a beautiful island, very lush, green,
mountainous, and not quite as touristy as Maui or Oahu, though there is
definitely an infrastructure set up so it can be seen by outsiders.  We are
looking forward to a few days here before we set out on our crossing of the
Pacific to Canadian shores.  Everyone is well and very happy.  Until
tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny with cloudy periods, windy
May 12th 2008 @ 22:30
21°57'18.00 N 159°21'25.20 W

Ship's Log:
It feels wonderful to be here; Kauai is a more relaxed island than Oahu for us.  The dock is big, quiet, private, but yet close to a beach and ice cream/drink store.  The security guards remind us of the many friendly guards we´ve had throughout this voyage . . . Fiji, Madang, Chuuk, Guam, China.  We have made many good friends with these people who watched over us, I think we added a bit of sunshine to their day; they were always happy to see us and exchange a word or two.  Here we´ve met Robert and Primrose, two very beautiful people who have befriended the Grace and her crew; it feels great.  Trainees and crew have taken advantage of their first day here with most of them leaving the boat and renting cars, scooters, or going by foot to the beach; many are still out.  Gillian, Rona, Emily, Jose, and Antony rented a car and drove around the eastern coast to the top end of the island, snorkeling in Ke´e Bay near Hanalei and seeing a sea turtle.  They visited Hanalei, a smaller and older town with interesting shops and cafes. Steve rented a car with Chris E., Chris P., Lisa M., Selena, and James and drove in the opposite direction, west, to Waimea Canyon and Koke´e State Park.  This is an incredibly stunning drive inland to lush vegetation and red-copper dirt cliffs.  They did some walking to a waterfall and then returned towards Lihue where they found another waterfall that they could swim in.  They said they had a fantastic day.  The remaining trainees are still out; I´ll find out tomorrow at breakfast how they spent their day. Jordan T. brought a skateboard on board and is sharing it generously with the 3 Anderson boys; they are taking turns on the dock, and enjoying it immensely.  The security guards smile when they see the boys out practicing their basic skills or new tricks.  There was a smaller group at supper tonight.  At breakfast a sheet gets put out by Katie or Gillian, the cooks, and those eating supper on the ship, put their name on the list.  This helps them know how many people to cook for. I enjoy returning to the ship for supper and listening to everyone´s stories of their day.  A smaller group can be cozier, we all sit around together on deck eating and chatting. Afterwards, anyone who ate does dishes, usually accompanied by music off someone´s ipod and via Chris´ speakers.  The weather was beautiful; some of us went to the nearby beach, playing in the surf, making sand castles, and boogie boarding. We had a chance to have a quick, but lovely swim in the Merriot Pool . . . how luxurious.  Tonight a group of trainees went for ice cream and shower, taking Noah and Jacob. Simon was invited by Adam, Raven, and Elske for an evening out, and treated to ice cream, traveling in Adam´s rent-a-wreck vehicle, and listening to Disney tunes. It took a bit of convincing to get him to leave ´mama,´ but in the end he went, and loved it. The deck is littered with bedding; crew and trainees have either fallen asleep or are reserving their sleeping spots.  It is a beautiful night; we are appreciating and enjoying every day. Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
sunny, hot, windy
May 13th 2008 @ 23:30
21°57'18.00 N 159°21'25.20 W

Ship's Log:
It has been an incredible day; people are taking advantage of our time here and all the beautiful places to visit and things to do.  First thing this morning, at 0500, nearly everyone woke up to go surfing with our island surfer friend Ambrose. Skipper and I met Ambrose 4 years ago when we were looking for second hand surfboards.  He´s nearly 60 and has lived on the island for a long time.  He has surfed with and built boards for many of the great surfers and still loves to get people hooked on surfing; he´s passionate about it.  It´s fun and interesting to chat with him and get to know him a bit. Last offshore was the first time he took a bunch of large boards and a group of trainees and taught them how to surf.  On leg 1, he taught another group, and today, the third group.  He begins by giving everyone a board, teaching some basic techniques, and then sends them all off into the water, moving amongst them, encouraging, joking, correcting etc. in his unique personal style; it´s quite funny, the trainees enjoy him. The session lasted till about 1100 hrs with Ambrose in the water the entire time, making sure everyone got as close to riding a wave and getting up as they could.  His energy is catching and trainees, once they began to get the hang of surfing, caught the ´bug´ and were thrilled with themselves and the sensation of riding a wave. Today´s group was the largest he´s ever taught and it took a bit of organizing to get everyone going; Skipper heard Ambrose shout out, “Oh, yeah, cool, it´s like puppies in a box man!” commenting on all the beginners scrambling about on boards in the same section of ocean. He´s quite someone and we´ve enjoyed every encounter we´ve had with him. He gave us a few boards on leg 1 to take with us around the South Pacific, and we were able to use them in several of the islands.  Skipper and Jordan took the video camera and the underwater housing and got some good footage of everyone learning how to surf, and Ambrose moving amongst them. After surfing most trainees left in groups in vehicles to explore. Steve, Elske, Becca, Tristan, Jordan, and Adrienne hiked 2 hours on the Nepali coast to an incredible waterfall. They said it was stunning; the entire Nepali coast is supposed to be superlative and spectacular.  It´s something I always want to do when I´m here.  Sarah B. had a car full and they went to Waimea Canyon and had a picnic supper at one of the spectacular lookouts.  Raven and Adam plus some others went to Ke´e Bay in the north and snorkeled. They built a campfire and roasted hot dogs and made ´smores.´  Skipper and I took our 4 younger kids and visited Tipu Falls, a beautiful waterfall near to the boat down a beautiful country road away from the town, through fields and along the base of the mountains.  We jumped from a cliff into delicious fresh water, wonderful. We visited Waimea Canyon and looked out over a deep gouge through the island with a multitude of steep peaks angling in all directions with valleys and river bottoms running between them. The two distinct colors are the green of the vegetation and the orange-brown of the dirt; it is very spectacular.  From there we went the furthest one can go west on the island, down a sandy, washboard road to a place called Barking Sands.  Here there is a most amazing beach with dunes, flanked by cliffs, the other end of the Nepali Coast.  The sandy beach is very wide and goes on for miles, perfect for walking. The water is a wonderful temperature, there is nice surf, and best of all . . . there is hardly anyone there. We saw a few tents up, but that was it . . . it pays to go a bit off the beaten track.  We stayed and played until the sun had set, then swam and rinsed in the ocean; it was incredible.  It is very late and everyone seems tired, returning late to the ship and dropping to sleep quickly on the deck somewhere.  We are looking forward to tomorrow; there are so many great things to do.  Good-night,
Bonice.



Observations:
mostly cloudy with sunny periods
May 15th 2008 @ 23:00
21°57'18.00 N 159°21'25.20 W

Ship's Log:
Today was our last day in Kauai and it sounds like trainees made the best of it, continuing to visit the various beautiful places in their rental cars.  Raven, Adam, Steve, Jordan T., and Tristan and Jordan C. were able to make it to Barking Sands and agreed that it was spectacular, a place not to be missed.  The surf was huge and we spent hours playing in it, body surfing, letting the force of the water push and pull us.  We brought 2 boogie boards and several pairs of fins and rotated them through the group; they had incredible rides. Steve made an amazing sand castle with Simon and they watched it slowly disintegrate as the tide came crashing in.  On the beach there were ´candle nuts,´ little black walnut shell-like nuts that have a high oil content.  I was introduced to them years ago when we were on Pitcairn.  The island people told me that before fuel, kerosene etc.,´candle nuts´ were used as a type of light to see by.  I think on the beach they are used as fuel in the many beach fires we see the remnants of.  We have done our best to find eating and drinking coconuts both on the island of Oahu and Kauai; we haven´t found any that we could bring back to the ship.  I enjoy the older eating nuts and like to give the trainees a chance to see how the coconut is husked, cracked in half and how the meat is taken out.  It tastes delicious and it´s nice if they can have a chance to try it. We also were hoping to see more fresh local fruit stands; the few stands we saw were outrageously expensive, especially after all the delicious and cheap fruit we enjoyed in the South Pacific, we have become spoiled.   The flowering trees on the islands are beautiful; I will miss them. A favorite flower is the ´plumeria´ or ´frangiapani.´  The smell of this flower is strong but lovely; it comes in various colors from white to white/yellow, to lighter and darker shades of pink.  The white ones smell the strongest; many women wear them behind their ear, this too is something we will miss. Returning to the Grace today we noticed that everything on either side of the road was covered in a fine red dust.  The wind blows the dry dirt from the fields over everything; the buildings, shops, houses, telephone poles, street markers, road signs, everything . . . anything that remains stationary.   A large group returned to the ship for supper tonight, Caesar Salad Pitas, delicious.  It was good to see everyone; we´ve been quite separated, seeing the island in different vehicles.  I´m looking forward to everyone being together on the ship, finding our routine at sea and getting to know each other; it´s always rewarding and so much fun.  We celebrated Rona´s 18th birthday today; she had a great day in a van of mostly women (James was the lucky male), cruising around, and visiting several southisland beaches. At 2130 hrs everyone gathered on deck and Rona held a ´caley,´ a dance in Scottish.  She taught us 6 dances; line dances, partner dances, group dances, all very fun; there was a lot of laughing and a lot of bumping into each other as 35 people tried to dance in a small space. Afterwards we had iced brownies made by Blake, Adam, and Arwen.  We sang ´Happy Birthday for the 3rd time and Rona blew the candles.  It was a very fun evening.  Gillian, Katie, and Christina did a final food shop today. The ship is beginning to feel close to being ready to leave.  Today several of us commented that we now feel we are actually going home. Leaving Hawaii is a real indication that leg 7, the passage from the Hawaiian Islands to British Columbia, is underway.  We are ready to start. Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mixture of sun and cloud
May 16th 2008 @ 21:45
23°10'36.12 N 159°2'52.80 W

Heading 346°
Speed 6.3

Ship's Log:
At 0900hrs we untied our lines and left Kauai.  As Noah stated so
perfectly, "now it feels like we are going home."  We have had a good day.
There were very light following winds this morning and for about 2 hours we
had the course sails up along with the engine.  The course sails are the
square sails that hang down on the yard arm hanging on the foremast; they
are big, safe sails for any kind of down wind and broad reach sailing.  Fore
watch lowered the sails and learned how to stow them; sail handling has
begun and the new trainees seem eager to learn and the former trainees are
eager to teach and ´show off´ what they´ve learned from all the excellent
sail handling we did last leg.  It´s a good combination.  We are motor
sailing on a calm sea.  There is some swell but no one is feeling ill and I
think most everyone was able to eat meals with their watch and help out with
dishes below.  It is nice to be able to spend time in our watch groups; this
is when we really get to know each other.  Several watches started
´interrogation´ today.  One person tells his or her life story and this is
followed by questions from the watch.  Some questions are just fun, others
are more serious.  I found that when I first started being a part of this
process, we were asking and answering questions about details I often hadn´t
even asked my best friends at home; I realized there were so many things I
didn´t know about people close to me, life stories I had never asked about.
Interrogation allows us to see where we are each coming from, what is
important to us, and where we hope to be heading.  Everyone is at different
point in their life but this just makes it more interesting.  Several times
today we thought we had a fish but each time it got away.  Elske and Sara R.
saw a marlin jumping in the distance.  Christina started a ´writing club.´
She began by having us write freely for several minutes on whatever came to
mind.  We then discussed various aspects of this process, rereading what we´d
wrote, taking note of interesting phrases, patterns etc.  She then gave us a
writing exercise where we combined thoughts of seemingly unrelated objects;
some interesting ´poetry-type´ writing came from it.  The plan is to meet 2
or 3 times a week throughout the passage.   Steve, Emily, Rona, Skipper,
Jose, Sara R., Jordan T., Christina and I were present.  The sun was very
hot today; memories of the tropics and trying to stay cool came up and the
fans are whirring in the cabins tonight.  Trainees put up a tarp amidships
to provide some shade and buckets of salt water were poured over bodies to
try to cool down.  We are enjoying the warmth in the evening though; we know
that soon enough we will be bundled in clothing, fondly remembering how hot
we were.  The evening is soft and we can sit on deck in a t-shirt.  The moon
is more than half full and sheds quite a bit of light, enough so we can see
each other, beautiful.  Adam, Adrienne, Susan, Raven, and Elske found a
quiet spot on the deck in the semi-dark and did some stretches, push-ups,
and strengthening exercises. Clusters of crew and trainees are seated around
the deck chatting, watching the stars from a horizontal position listening
to Jose playing guitar, etc., all wearing harnesses and clipped into the
safety line. It is very hot below and we are putting off going to sleep in
this heat.  On deck there are several little spots of light where trainees
are reading with the aid of a headlamp, very cozy.  Crew and trainees spent
the day standing watch, steering, sleeping, chatting, reading, and getting
used to being at sea again.  It always takes a few days for this life to
feel normal; in two weeks it will be difficult to imagine anything else.  It
feels good to be underway; for the new trainees it is nice that the motion
is so gentle, it allows them to enjoy the first few days at sea more.  Sarah
B. has drawn up a ´Landfall Lottery´ on which everyone will have the
opportunity to guess what day we will arrive on Canadian soil.  Last leg we
did a similar thing, though it was complicated by our slow progress and
unexpected and fortunate stop at Midway.  This leg should be straight
forward.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mixture of sun and light clouds, very hot
May 17th 2008 @ 21:30
25°33'11.88 N 158°45'54.00 W

Heading 350°
Speed 6.4

Ship's Log:
Day 2 of the passage and we continue to motor under a very hot sun.
Along with the tarp set up yesterday amidships, we put up a smaller tarp
over the helmsperson and afterdeck area; it makes a big difference.  We
thought at one time this morning that the air temperature was slightly
cooler, but we were mistaken, the day continued hot.  I overheard several
trainees discussing how they were trying to attain a deep and dark enough
tan, so that after the possibly 4 weeks of cold weather at the Canadian end
of this leg, they still have something to show friends and family of the
´tropical´ side of this leg.  Everyone is definitely changing color; some
pink, some red, some brown, some both.  Sunscreen is still being applied
liberally as the sun is intense and it takes sometimes only 10-20 minutes to
feel that one has had too much sun.  We are enjoying the chance to spend our
days and nights on deck; this is one aspect of offshore that is so memorable
for crew and trainees.  It is a unique experience to sit on deck all day and
into the evening, and then to stand watch at night, sailing (or motoring)
under a starry sky and a perfect temperature, with just a t-shirt or light
sweater on.  Below decks it is very warm.  The crew head and the little boys´
cabin are quite hot as it backs onto the engine room.  In the crew head we
are now enjoying running hot water out of the tap!  The Anderson boys sleep
as close to naked as they can with a fan whirring over them and they still
sweat.   This evening, 10 red-footed boobies have chosen to alight and rest
on the yard arm, the end of the main boom, and the bowsprit.  The yardarm is
the horizontal spar high on the forward mast from which the square sails
hang.  The bowsprit is the spar that sticks out of the front of the ship,
and the main boom is the largest horizontal spar that hangs off the mainmast
and has the foot of the mainsail attached to it.  It hangs out over the back
of the ship.  There are 2 boobies just behind the tarp that covers the
helmsperson; they are beautiful with their bright red legs and feet, blue
beaks and blue by the eye, and black stripe along their lower wings.  They
have been soaring around us for the past 2 days; we enjoy watching them,
especially after our visit in Midway.  Chris P. and Sean had haircuts today;
Jose lent them his shaver and they both received ´tropical´ cuts (short, not
bald), much easier out at sea; they look good.  This afternoon we had a
´swim stop.´  We turn off the engine and drift slowly to a halt and then
watches take turns jumping off the ship and enjoying the deep blue sea for
15 minutes each.  It is an incredible and unforgettable experience.  There
is no land anywhere, the sky is blue, and the color of the ocean is intense;
a deep, radiant royal blue that seems concentrated yet luminous . . .
spectacular.   In the water at eye level with the horizon, we watch as the
Grace rolls from side-to-side and shows us what is below her water line.
From in the water the swells look like moving mountains and we rise up and
down with them . . . it´s stunning.  This evening trainees spent as much
time on deck talking and laughing as they could before the watch officer
sent them below decks; it´s a fabulous evening and the moon is nearly full
so there´s light to see by.  We hope to enjoy a few more of these nights
before the weather cools down too much.  I thought I would introduce the
crew and family aboard so you have a better idea of whom I´m talking about
in the log.  Skipper is Tony Anderson, mates and watch officers are Jose and
Antony, 3rd watch officer is Sarah B., cooks are Gillian and Katie, and
bosun is Jordan C.  These are the professional crew on board.  Volunteers
for this trip are Tristan who is bosun´s mate and former trainee on legs 2,
3, and 4, and Christina who is watch leader, helping with the teaching and
leading of the 3 watches.  The family besides Skipper, consists of myself,
Elske and Bec, who are part of a watch, and Arwen, Jacob, Noah, and Simon
who are being home schooled.  This and 21 more trainees make us a family of
37.  It is late and Jacob is not feeling well, heat stroke we think.  Until
tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, very hot, light clouds, no wind
May 18th 2008 @ 21:30
28°1'54.12 N 157°56'13.20 W

Heading 13°
Speed 6.3

Ship's Log:
We were given a hint of how quickly the seas and weather can change.  We
woke to another hot day, exactly the kind we want.  Tarps were up, sunscreen
applied, shady spots found to read, write or sleep, etc.  Mid-afternoon the
clouds started moving in and within an hour or two the weather was quite
different.  Initially we felt just splatters of rain, but this was soon
followed by a dark grey cloud covering a large area with vertical lines of
rain hitting hard onto the sea and coming toward us.  We counted to 10 and
it was upon us.  Trainees not on watch scrambled below to stay dry while
those on watch had gone below earlier to gather their rain gear.  Tristan
and I donned swimsuits and tried to shower in the fresh water, a habit we
acquired in the tropics.  The half hour rain squall cooled the air
considerably and crew and trainees changed into warmer clothes.  Later in
the afternoon, fortunately, the sun returned and at the moment the sky is
clear with stars and a full moon; hopefully the good weather will continue
for a bit longer.  The wind has picked up slightly and we have raised the
foresail and the jumbo, 2 of the forward sails.  Having the sails up
steadies the rolling motion of the ship and helps increase the speed
somewhat.  Several of the fellows have started a competition to see who is
the ´toughest.´  The winner is the one who lasts the longest on the passage
keeping his shirt off, his chest bared; this includes during night watch.
The guys have set the rules themselves and so far only Adam, Chris E.,
Raven, and Keith are in the running.  Christina taught a juniors chart work
lesson.  The second meeting of the Writers Guild met this morning and
Christina led about 6 of us through some writing exercises.  Antony, Jacob,
Sean, Blake, Noah, and Tristan started making lures, creating a personalized
decorative interior piece that will be put into a clear canister and filled
with resin.  Leighsa has begun knitting a second project with wool she
purchased in Oahu.  Lisa M. is knitting a lace scarf, something she can
hopefully teach the rest of us.  Sara R. is working on the second sock,
hoping to complete it soon as she has another ball of wool for a third set
of socks; they are very colorful and beautiful; Elske received the first
pair at Christmas.  Steve allowed himself to be tied up by Simon, Jose, and
Blake, and then was left to free himself on his own.  He succeeded
eventually but Simon knows his junior knots and did a pretty good job!
Everyone ate together at 1700 hrs, spaghetti and salad, so that we could
hold a Sunday service on deck while it was still light.  The sun sets at
about 1930, the latest so far this offshore; it was beautiful tonight.  We
are discussing how God speaks to us and tonight´s focus was how he speaks to
us through Creation and our responsibility to the environment.  Thank you to
Stephen Duff who helped with finding the chords for a Bruce Cockburn song,
´Lord of the Starfields.´  Christina and Sarah B. practiced the song
together, wrote the words on a white board, and then taught the song to
everyone during the service.  It has been a good day.  Gillian is studying
the stars with Adrienne, Rona, and Emily, and although the moon is full and
this makes stargazing difficult, they were still able to pick out several
constellations; it is exciting to notice the night sky and slowly start to
orientate oneself to a few familiar star patterns.  Katie would like to wish
her mom and Tim a happy birthday.  "Happy Birthday mom, I love you!  Enjoy
the Rodeo. Love, your baby, Katie" and "Happy 31st Birthday Tim, from
 Katie."    This is it for now; we are all well and happy.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mixture of sun, cloud and rain
May 19th 2008 @ 21:30
30°18'54.00 N 157°4'40.80 W

Heading 10°
Speed 7

Ship's Log:
The sunset and moon rise tonight were glorious; Maddie said it was the
most beautiful sunset she´s witnessed.  We were lined up along the port rail
with our cameras, quietly watching the final stunning 20 minutes before the
sun kissed the horizon.  The sky is perfectly clear and the ocean is glassy
calm, the water and sky nearly meld into each other, incredibly beautiful.
The sunset reflected shades of yellows, oranges, pinks, purples, and reds on
the smooth surface of the ocean.  Soon after the sun set, the moon rose on
the starboard side; big and full and yellow, on a dark royal blue background
of sky . . . phenomenal.  It rose quickly and now sheds a bright shaft of
light onto the water, allowing us to see each other clearly in the night.
Gillian is on deck with her group of stargazers learning the night sky and
becoming familiar with some of the constellations.  We´ve had a good and
full day.  Last night was cooler than the previous nights and most of us
found ourselves pulling a blanket over us for the first time this passage.
Keith said it felt good to sleep under a sheet again.  We woke to a clear,
blue sky; we feel very fortunate.  The air temperature is cooler which makes
it more comfortable, but the sun is still intense and sunburns, sunscreen
and aloe vera continue; for some, the suntans are coming along nicely.
Susan, Emily and Christina started their morning with some stretching and
yoga; a good way to start.  Raven pulled out his K-mart Special deck chair
and lounged, offering it generously to others also wanting to lounge for a
bit.  Elske started designing her lure while Blake and Jacob poured the
resin for theirs.  This morning Jose spotted whales and we slowed down the
ship to watch them, losing them after half an hour or so.  There were at
least 3 and they seemed quite large; it doesn´t matter how often one sees
whales, they are always majestic and amazing to watch.  We hope to see them
again.  While we were watching the whales, a Dorado skipped out of the water
several times, as if being chased.  We dragged our fishing lines by him a
few times but he didn´t take.  First thing this morning we had a beautiful
and big Wahoo on the line, but it unfortunately got off the hook just as we
were about to bring it in.  Jordan and Tristan led work watch with Starboard
watch from 1300-1500.  This is when the watch on duty puts in a few hours of
maintenance-type work on the ship, helping Jordan out and also allowing for
a sense of ownership for the ship and its appearance.  Today´s job was
sanding and oiling the port side cap rails.  Cap rails are the top piece of
wood on the ships outside rails.  On the Grace they are made of Purple
Heart, an incredibly hard wood.  Once sand paper, oil, paint brushes etc.
had been stowed away, we turned off the engine, drifted to a stop and held
another swim stop.  The water was somewhat cooler than 2 days ago but just
as wonderful, just as refreshing.  Nearly everyone took advantage of a
chance to cool off, get clean, and experience swimming in translucent royal
blue water 5300m deep.  Simon (6 years old) jumped in from the rail twice,
he loves the water.  Keith has been writing messages in small glass bottles
and sending them out to sea.  He has included his home address, hoping
someone will find them and make contact.  Christina made Chicken Stroganof
for supper to give Katie a break; it was delicious.  Mark and Steve played a
rowdy and very fun game of chase around the deck houses with the 3 Anderson
boys, Simon, Noah, and Jacob before the sun set and harnesses were required.
After the sun set tonight Jose took out his guitar and Antony joined him on
the kazoo for some informal singing; those who were seated in the stern
joined in.  The evening is cooler and those on deck are dressed in pants and
jackets.  We are enjoying this passage so far; we feel the weather is a
total gift and we are able to continue spending time together on deck longer
than if the weather was colder.  Skipper says there may be wind in a day or
two, from astern.  It will be nice to turn off the engine, but in the
meantime, we will enjoy our days as they come.  Until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
sunny and clear, no wind
May 20th 2008 @ 21:30
32°42'29.88 N 156°32'49.20 W

Heading 343°
Speed 2.9

Ship's Log:
It´s been another incredible day; we are now 5 days into the passage and
everyone is settling nicely into the routine of life at sea, it´s a
wonderful feeling, it´s felt within the entire community.  We understand how
things work, we are used to the motion, we´re beginning to feel like the
ship is ´home.´  Within just 5 days many projects have been started and many
´clubs´ have begun; we have a very self-motivated group, it´s exciting to
see.  The sun shone brilliantly for us again though the air is steadily
getting cooler.  I think the combination is perfect, similar to late Spring
or early Fall weather; the heat of the sun is still comforting during the
day and the evenings are comfortably cool.  The air is quite humid and one
feels quite ´damp´ when the temperature drops.  We are wearing our pants and
down coats, hats etc.  The sunset was beautiful and Skipper, Becca, and
Leighsa saw the ´green flash´ just after the sun set; Leighsa was ecstatic,
shrieking her excitement.  The stars are out and Gillian and I spent a few
minutes looking for constellations; Gillian has gotten to know quite a few
and has been teaching anyone interested.  Once the sun was down, trainees
and crew hung around on deck in groups chatting.  Steve brought out Jose´s
guitar and sang.  Arwen baked mint chocolate chip cookies and Katie made
vanilla steamed milk, a delicious treat.  This morning the wind picked up
and sail was raised.  The mainsail, the foresail, the jumbo, the jib, the
main topsail, and the fisherman staysail went up . . . wonderful.  We were
heeled slightly to port, with a gentle forward and aft rocking motion, very
lulling.  We sailed the entire day at a good speed of 6-8 knots, it was
idyllic, perfect; some of the best sailing we´ve done in awhile.  There was
another meeting of the Writer´s Guild.  We practiced writing Haiku and
started a short story.  Rona led a drawing lesson in the foc´sle this
evening.  James did a great job on some of the exercises Rona set out, using
a toothbrush as the subject.  Jacob finished his lure and had it trailing on
the line for the day; his is the first home-made lure we´ve fished with.
Blake´s lure is nearly finished; it´s titled the ´porksicle´ lure.  He
sealed a pig surfing on a surfboard in the interior of his lure.  Antony
made a lure mold today out of a rubbery material, something new.  Skipper
shared with a large group of trainees the process of planning an offshore
route.  Afterwards Sarah B. continued with those who were interest in
planning a possible route for the next offshore voyage.  Caley and Sean were
busy this afternoon, on the foredeck with pilot charts, cruising manuals
etc. starting to look at places the Grace could visit and when.  Before
supper everyone listened to the voices of Steve, Noah, Mark, Tristan, Jacob,
and Simon repeatedly calling "Marco" followed by answering voices "Polo."
This is a ´catch me´ game played by kids on the school ground where one
person with eyes closed tries to tag the others using their voices as clues
to where they are.  Catcher calls out "Marco" and those being caught answer
"Polo;" it was fun to watch and fun to play; my boys are very fortunate with
the relationships trainees form with them.  For supper we had Calzones;
Chris E. helped roll the dough and fill them, a lot of work; they were
delicious.  At 1900 we lowered every sail except the foresail.  This is
always a lot of work and can take up to an hour; everyone helped out with
the sail handling, it was great, it´s a lot of fun when everyone does it
together.  We lowered sail to decrease our speed because there is some
stormy weather ahead and Skipper is hoping to let it pass before we get
there.  Hopefully we will catch the end of it and have some good sailing.
We´ll see.  Sara R. finished knitting her second pair of incredibly
beautiful and colorful socks today.  She told me she was giving them to her
mom, but tonight she presented them to me!  I was thrilled and completely
surprised; a very generous gift.  Sara R. has a third ball of sock wool with
which she will knit her mom a pair of socks, starting in a few days. On
deck, Jose is now playing guitar while Caley sings, it sounds beautiful;
they have sung together before, on legs 4 and 5.  Selena wishes her parents
a Happy Anniversary:  "Mom and Dad, Happy Anniversary!  Be sure to take some
alone time, love Selena."  We are looking forward to another day of sun and
light winds, until then, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
clear skies, light winds, warm temperatures
May 21st 2008 @ 22:00
34°34'5.88 N 155°50'60.00 W

Heading 8°
Speed 6.3

Ship's Log:
It feels as if we have passed into a more northern frontier.  We awoke
to sun, but soon the clouds moved in, and the air was much cooler.  Instead
of the usual shorts, tank tops, and swimsuits, we´ve switched quickly over
to pants, sweaters and jackets; hats and the wind-proof SALTS jackets also
made it out of duffle bags.  Mid-afternoon the rain started and we have
officially pulled out the rain gear and the gum boots as well, the biggest
parcel in most of our bags.  From now on, they will fill and haunt the areas
behind and around the companionway when they are not being used; there is
never enough room for everyone´s rain gear, especially when it is wet, it´s
one of those things we learn to live with.  Today we celebrated Emily´s
birthday.  The hold was decorated with balloons and streamers saying ´Happy
Birthday to you,´ and she was presented with a 20cm diameter button to wear
proclaiming her to be the ´Birthday Girl.´  Many versions of ´Happy Birthday´
were sung and tonight we gathered in the stern of the ship and held a Mug-Up
with Jose leading on the guitar and everyone else singing and requesting
songs; very fun.  Arwen, Caley, and Becca baked chocolate cupcakes this
afternoon and Arwen iced them this evening.  They were decorated with
candles and offered with another round of "Happy Birthday´ and enjoyed by
everyone after the singing.  We usually make cupcakes instead of cake
because the ship is heeled over i.e. leaning heavily over to one side.  If a
cake is made with the ship in this position, one end of the cake usually
comes out thin and dry, the other tall and sometimes under baked.  Arwen´s
cupcakes turn out perfect.   The Offshore Club met this morning and is
decided on a general area for the route.  2 groups have been created to
study what times are best to be in which areas of the world.  Intermediate
lessons have started; juniors wrote their exam yesterday.  Skipper taught a
seniors chart work lesson and Jordan has begun teaching Celestial
Navigation.  I noticed Raven taking a quick sight when the sun peeked
through the clouds.  We sailed all night until noon today under just the
foresail, making 2.9- 6 knots.  The wind is steadily picking up strength.
At 1200 hrs the trysail and the jumbo were added to the foresail.  Maddie
tied the lacing lines of the trysail to the mast, while Port watch raised
the sails.  The engine remains off and we have made excellent speed all day,
averaging 6-7 knots.  The motion has increased and the decks are covered in
water.  Water comes up between the scuppers when we heel over.  The scuppers
are the holes in the rail of the ship at deck level which are made for water
to escape the deck.  The waves have increased in size and some of them slap
the hull and water sprays over the deck, soaking anyone with the bad luck to
be in the wrong spot.  Several splashes made their way below through an open
hatch, surprising trainees below.  The Grace usually rides nicely over the
swells; they are coming onto the starboard side, which means the starboard
side lifts up as the wave moves under, then the starboard drops down again
as the port side gets lifted.  This creates the intense rocking and rolling
motion of the ship.  A few of the trainees are feeling the effect of the
motion and are back on seasick medication.  There were several times when
things flew off the counters or the deck houses; it takes us all awhile to
get used to it, to constantly check our footing, where we put our things,
compensating for the angle when we use the head, wash our face etc.  The
water coming out of the tap hangs at an angle away from the spout and swings
from side to side with the ship over the sink.  Today we caught our first
fish on a homemade lure.  Blake´s ´porksicle´ lure caught a spectacularly
colored Dorado; it was especially beautiful and everyone was pretty excited
about it.  Tonight during Mug-Up a flying fish flew over the rail and
smacked into Blake.  Jose pulled it off him, showed it to everyone and then
threw the fish back into the ocean.  Our ´fishermen´ were disappointed as
they would have liked to use the flying fish as bait for tomorrow.   During
Jose´s watch today there was a great discussion on music and film.  Jordan
T. led it and was introducing new tunes to Jose and Christina on his ipod,
each one having one earphone.  A group gathered around them listening and
commenting, adding their thoughts and ideas to the discussion; it´s great to
have the chance to spend hours in this way.  Work watch started sanding some
of the bright work today; as the weather gets cooler and damper, the chances
to finish the bright work get less.  The sailing is beautiful; it is
incredible to feel the power of the wind on the sails, to feel the Grace
surge forward.  With the engine off, the sounds are just those of the ship,
the water, and us who are aboard, wonderful.  Katie would like to wish Matt
well on his exam:  "I hope you feel good about your exam today Matt.  I´m
thinking of you and praying for you, love Katie."  The sky has cleared up,
there are lots of stars; it is cold and damp (humid) on deck but incredibly
beautiful.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, some sun and rain, cooler temperatures
May 22nd 2008 @ 21:00
36°43'41.88 N 153°50'34.80 W

Heading 15°
Speed 6.2

Ship's Log:
Today was a great day for sail handling and enjoying each others company
on deck.   Last night was a difficult night for sleeping; the ship was quite
rolly.  It takes a bit to get used to how to wedge oneself in one´s bunk to
prevent rolling from side-to-side.  The trick is to make one´s bunk as
narrow as possible, to line the lee cloth or the hull side with blankets,
towels, back pack etc.  There was some napping today to catch up.  We sailed
through the night under trysail, foresail and jumbo, lovely and quiet,
though with quite a bit of sideways motion.  This morning we dropped the
trysail and raised a single-reefed main.  Reefing the main makes the sail
smaller, thus safer in a strong wind.  The trysail is smaller than the
mainsail but goes up in the same place.  The trysail often goes up during
the night; it is easier to handle quickly if the wind increases.  Folding up
and stowing the trysail is usually quite a task, especially the first time,
but today fore watch and some extra volunteers did an amazing job at fitting
the sail into its deck box.  Sail handling also went very smoothly; we have
a great crew, Skipper was impressed.  It´s a satisfying feeling when
everyone works together to handle sail.  Writer´s Guild met again this
morning.  We each brought a picture from a magazine and passed them around.
Christina had us write a synopsis for a story about each one, a very fun and
interesting exercise.  The purpose is to help with writing ideas.  Soon
after lunch, the rain started and it has been raining off and on ever since.
When a watch is on, the entire watch stays on deck for the 4 hour period.
In the rain, the watch clusters around the helmsperson and they pass the
time chatting, laughing, listening to music (not the helmsperson), playing
games etc.  It´s a fun, albeit wet, time.  During Sarah B.´s 1200-1600 watch
the wind did a 180 degrees switch and very quickly Skipper was orchestrating
the lowering of the mainsail.  Trainees did well again, working together
efficiently.  The trysail was raised, the foresail and jumbo remained up,
but the wind lessened and so we are now motor-sailing.   Sarah led a seniors
chart work lesson this afternoon.  Antony´s starboard watch, during their
1600-2000hr watch, saw a large pod of dolphins come towards the ship.  The
dolphins spent about half an hour playing with the bow of the ship, diving
in the water and arching out again, side-to-side.  It´s beautiful to watch.
Antony figured that they were ´short-beaked Common dolphins.´ They could be
heard vocalizing; it was raining so it was quite quiet on deck with only the
7 members of starboard watch present, it was a memorable experience.  The 3
Anderson boys and Arwen continue doing their lessons each day we are at sea.
Simon´s reading is going well; I´m excited for him, he´s suddenly able to
put together so many more sounds and I hear him trying to sound out the
words of script he finds all over the ship.  Noah has finished most of his
math for grade 4 and Jacob has only percent, integers and some beginning
algebra to finish and they all spend at least 30 minutes each day reading a
book they enjoy.  The entire crew would like to wish Miray and Luke an
incredibly amazing wedding day tomorrow May 23rd.  We sure would love to be
with you; we are thinking of you.  Congratulations and we look forward to
seeing you in Victoria, love from all the crew and Anderson kids.  There are
only 3 people on deck; this is usually what happens once the weather turns
cold and wet.  The watch officer and 2 watch members will rotate throughout
the night, taking turns on the wheel and keeping each others spirits up.
Everyone else is below, chatting, reading, writing, playing chess, cards,
etc.  Some crew and trainees are already asleep, anticipating their nightly
stint at the wheel.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold, windy, wet
May 23rd 2008 @ 22:00
38°57'18.00 N 151°41'6.00 W

Heading 40°
Speed 7.1

Ship's Log:
Skipper mentioned yesterday that an arctic front may be brushing by us
and we´re pretty sure it did; today the air was chilly.  Most of the day was
dry but this morning, on Antony´s 0400-0800hrs watch, he had only 15 minutes
of dry weather.  The rest of the time it rained and for 2 of the hours it
rained hard and steady.  Antony has good raingear, from Arcteryx, and after
his watch his clothes underneath were still dry.  But, while he was on watch
he could feel the pockets of his jacket filling up with water and he emptied
them regularly!  His trainees were completely wet, not all of them come with
as good raingear as his.  During the night (from between about 2200hrs -
0600 hrs) there is only the watch officer and two watch members on deck
around the wheel.  The trainees take turns at the wheel, each steering for
40 minutes, but both remaining on deck till they have both steered, i.e.
1hr. 20 min.  They then wake up the next pair of trainees who repeat the
rotation.  The watch officer, however, remains on deck for the entire 4
hours; it is a gift at times to have animated and talkative trainees to help
keep the time moving.  Jose´s fore watch came on at 0800 hrs and the rain
had stopped, and it stayed that way.  Several times the sun tried to peek
through, and it made a difference when one sat on deck, but for the most
part we were bundled in fleece, long underwear, jackets and rain gear.  Yes,
the tropics are just a wonderful memory.  We´ve heard though that Victoria
finally had a day of hot weather, 24 degrees Celsius; wonderful, we´re on
our way.  Below decks the temperature is now cool, except in the galley,
where many more of us hover, making tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, or just
trying to warm up.  Katie and Gillian are having a few more offers of help
as the galley is a really nice place to be right now.  Skipper and Jacob
exchanged an old bit of interior stove pipe for new pipe in the after cabin
stove, allowing us to turn it on for the first time since Osaka, Japan.  The
stove is small, but the heat it emits is enough to at least take the
dampness out of the after cabin, a luxury.  In the foc´sle the heater we
purchased in China will be plugged in again to provide some heat.   The
change from very hot to very cold is incredibly quick when we travel this
way, straight north over the water.  Jordan taught a senior lesson today and
Sarah B. held another meeting of the Offshore Club.  Simon and Jose spent
about 30 minutes wrestling back and forth playfully; it was fun to watch,
Simon loved it.  Susan finished embroidering on her ditty bag; it looks
good.  Leighsa has taken up the knitting needles again and is well into her
second scarf.  Lisa is also making progress with her lace- patterned scarf.
Elske poured the resin for her lure and Antony is doing some detail on his.
This group of trainees is not as much in to playing card games as was the
last group, but this afternoon we pulled out the SCRABBLE board and found
that many people are interested.  Before supper Adam, Christina, Jose and I
played an excellent and very fun game.  Raven, Jordan T., and Selena were
the spectators.  In the ´how long can you stay shirtless´ competition, Raven
and Chris remain in the running.  On watch they are both dressed in as much
as they can, except that their torso´s are still bared . . . brrrrr.  Last
night Adam decided being so cold wasn´t worth it anymore.  Halfway through
his 0000-0400hr watch, after he´d had his turn on the wheel, he went below,
put on multiple layers of long underwear, fleece, a coat, hat etc. and came
on deck again stating to Sarah B., his watch officer, "if there was a
human-sized microwave down there, I´d be tempted to dive in."  I will keep
you updated; I´m hoping they´ll both give in soon, there are enough things
to get used to living on the ship, being cold is one I can do without.
Jordan and Tristan continue to organize work watch with the 1200-1600hrs
watch Monday to Friday, rain or shine.  Yesterday port watch was working on
the deck and today the safety lines were given another coat of black paint.
Over the past few days, several trainees on work watch have been painting
different sections of the engine room; it is looking really smart.  The wind
is very light and the sea is quite calm; we are still motor sailing.
Skipper says we will continue on this course until 40 degrees latitude
before we will start heading more towards Canada; at this point, the weather
forecast predicts northerly winds at that latitude which means we will have
headwinds for a few days.  Usually the Westerly winds would help us on our
way and we would enjoy some good sailing; we´re still counting on them.
Everyone seems happy, life stories and interrogation within the watch groups
around mealtimes is going strong.  We have learned many interesting and
funny details about each other.  Living so close to one another, we get to
know each other well and thus we are able to share personally much easier
than we do back home.  Adrienne would like to wish her dad a very Happy
Birthday, today May 23rd.  Happy Birthday dad, love Adrienne.  Until
tomorrow night, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mostly cloudy, cold
May 24th 2008 @ 22:00
40°32'17.88 N 149°7'22.80 W

Heading 43°
Speed 6.6

Ship's Log:
The wind switched slightly overnight and strengthened; we are now
heading into it.  The motion has increased; there is still a list to
starboard, with a deeper roll in that direction every now and then, plus a
forward plunging as the ship plows her bow into the wind and waves coming
from ahead of us.  A few of the trainees are back on seasickness medication
but in general, they are doing well; we have been pretty fortunate with the
weather and the motion.  As I sit here typing the log I am wearing my down
coat, a MEC fleece jacket, a sweater and a t-shirt; Skipper beside me is
also wearing his down coat.  The air has turned extremely cold and everyone
is layering up; the long underwear is out.  We have sealed up the ship, all
the washboards are in (the horizontal boards that close up the forward part
of the hatch), and the hatch covers have been pulled over to meet them.  For
the watch on duty, it is cold; for the watch officer it is even colder as he
or she stays on deck for 4 hours.  There are endless pots of tea, hot
chocolate, and coffee being made and brought on deck to keep crew and
trainees warm.  Spirits are up and we keep each other good company; passing
the time chatting and laughing.  One thing I miss about the warmer weather
is the life that happens on deck; when it´s warm we are all together, when
it´s cold, we tend to stay in our areas below, not mingling quite as much.
The after cabin stove is on strike, due to our port tack; the tank is
situated so that fuel flow to the tank is more difficult and thus keeping
the stove lit is finicky.  We are over halfway distance-wise; I feel that in
a few days we will begin to feel the days passing too quickly.  The next 2
or 3 days may be somewhat bumpy and uncomfortable as we have strong
headwinds, but hopefully after that we will have some good sailing.  Our
speed has slowed down and water is coming over the bow regularly as the ship
plunges down into the waves.  Moving from the foredeck to the stern is a
risk one takes; if one´s timing is bad, or luck is against you, you may get
sprayed with water.  Except for a small area in the stern, the decks are
wet, but despite the cold and the motion the mood on the ship is positive
and the days pass quickly; we always have enough to do.  The Writer´s Guild
met again this morning; we looked at similes and metaphors, trying to create
some clever ones.  The ´no shirt contest´ has come to a close with Raven the
winner.  This morning after an hour of watch, Chris E. decided he´d had
enough of the cold.  When he was asked ´how it felt´ he responded ´warm´ and
put his shirt on backwards, unaccustomed to wearing one.  There was a small
ceremony on deck congratulating Raven and allowing him a few words to the
public.  It ended with him and Chris shaking hands.  Interviewers and film
crew were on hand to record the event i.e. Jose and Christina.  Elske, Noah,
Antony and Jacob continue to work on their lures, but so far the finished
ones haven´t brought in fish.  Adrienne has begun cutting the leather and
preparing the stitching holes for a pair of moccasins.  Sarah B. taught a
seniors lesson this afternoon.  Arwen made chocolate chip cookies for
tonight, delicious.  We heard from Chris E. in fore watch today that when he
was in elementary school he was chosen to be photographed for the front
cover of a children´s book.  I happened to have the book on board and we
passed it around; a celebrity on the Grace.  It is late and I´m feeling
somewhat queasy, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
very cold, windy
May 25th 2008 @ 21:45
41°10'30.00 N 146°46'12.00 W

Heading 43°
Speed 2.3

Ship's Log:
I sit here in a very quiet after cabin; my boys are asleep, Skipper is
setting up the berth control board in our bunk, and Jose and Antony are in
their bunk reading and listening to music.  In the hold and foc´sle trainees
are sleeping already or sitting around the tables chatting, writing,
reading, playing cards, drinking tea and staying warm.  While I´m listening
to music on my ipod, the Verve´s ´Sonnet,´ dressed in my layers of fleece,
down, woolen underwear and rain pants, Sarah, Elske, and Sean, members of
port watch, are bundled in even more layers on deck.  I can´t hear their
talk and laughter because the hatch is pulled tightly closed to prevent any
of the cold air from entering below.  All the ship´s hatches are closed,
they have been all day.  On starboard´s 1600-1800 dogwatch (a mini-watch set
up on Sundays so that the watch times rotate back, creating a new watch
schedule for the following week) Sara R. came on deck looking, and feeling,
like a ´Michelin´ man and wearing 4 hoods over top of each other.  Yes, it
is cold, but it is not affecting the good time we are having.  Of course
some sun and some warmth would be welcomed, but life continues pretty well
like usual, with a lot of interaction (especially within our watches at
mealtimes and on watch, and around the hold table between meals), projects
(knitting, leatherwork, sewing, knot tying), reading, journal writing,
helping in the galley etc.  The last 3 days have flown by; every morning I
set a few goals but usually I complete only 1 or 2 if I am lucky.  I think
others feel likewise.  Last night we jumped forwards an hour; we took the
hour off of the 0000-0400 watch, to give Sarah B. one less cold hour to
stand watch.  We continued under sail and engine until 1600 hrs today.  We
have been making steadily less knots per hour since last night, with the
wind and the waves increasing.  Skipper decided to turn off the engine and
wait out the headwinds, thus saving on fuel; the silence is stunning,
wonderful, and makes up for the slow speed we are making, 2 kts . . . for
now.  We held Sunday service this afternoon in the hold; Skipper steered for
a few hours and dolphins entertained him the entire time he was on the
wheel.  Just before supper Jose´s watch spied a small seal/otter-looking
creature following us, peering curiously at the ship, lifting itself out of
the water to have a better look.  It came quite close, within 10ft, and soon
everyone was coming up from below, braving the cold to have a look.  Antony,
who I feel knows most on this ship about sea mammals, thought it was a young
California Sea Lion far from its normal habitat.   It was very small and
very cute.  Christina wanted to put it in the dory, saying we would catch
fish for it to eat.  Sarah B. smiled and responded facetiously, ´yes, and we´re
good at that.´  Elske finished her lure, dressing it up with a homemade
´skirt´ (the rubbery threads of colour hanging off the end of the resin lure
and hiding the hook).  We tried it out yesterday.  Skipper says that we
probably have about 24 more hours of strong headwinds before the wind dies
down and we may then have to deal with no wind.  Where are those predictable
north westerlies?  Weather seems to be less and less predictable in
comparison to offshore trips I remember 10 and 12 years ago.   The waves are
big and beautiful; I can watch them for a long time.  They are green-blue in
colour with streaks of lighter turquoise blue where air mixes in close to
the surface.  The waves are slamming into the hull slightly forward of
amidships on the port side, rolling the ship steeply from side-to-side and
causing havoc down below.  At supper tonight 2 jugs of liquid; one filled
with water and one with juice, were swept off the foc´sle table onto Chris P´s
lap.  Usually if the watch is eating in the foc´sle, someone holds onto the
jugs; the motion is not forgiving, reminding us regularly of this fact.
There was a resumption of the ´towel flicking wars,´ popular during leg 6,
in the galley.  This time Elske and Blake came dressed up to compete against
Adam and Raven; I heard it was quite a battle, but I´m not sure who won.
There have been many great conversations taking place, both of a serious and
non-serious nature; many are personal, others revolve around a certain
issue, and the rest are just fun and silly.  Katie would like to wish her
sister Amy a wonderful birthday May 25th.  Happy 31st birthday Amy, love
Katie.  This is it for tonight.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold, windy, cloudy
May 26th 2008 @ 22:00
41°26'30.12 N 145°1'12.00 W

Heading 45°
Speed 2.4

Ship's Log:
Today was probably the most boisterous day weather-wise so far this leg.
The ship continues to move violently up and down, the bow plunging into the
waves with water soaking the bowsprit and foredeck.  Sometimes a wave
crashes onto the port side of the Grace spraying water as far back as the
after cabin skylight.  A trip from the half open foc´sle scuttle hatch,
across the deck to the after deck is taking a very good chance of getting
doused by a wave.   Today I needed to go from the after cabin to the galley
to get a drink for Simon.  It was no small errand; I left the after cabin,
climbing on deck over the closed wash boards (see previous log), down the
deck of a very moving ship in a strong wind, through an opening left as
small as possible in the foc´sle hatch, down the companionway and into the
hold of the ship.  I then had to navigate my way through trainees and crew
filling the hold, playing games, sitting around the table, standing around
the table, hanging in bunks chatting, making tea etc. and get Simon´s mug
off a hook and fill it with juice from a rocking gimbaled table over the
heads of people sitting.  Then, with a full cup of liquid, I retraced my
steps back to the after cabin, hoping I was not tempting fate by trying the
´deck traverse´ twice within 5 minutes, hoping to stay dry.  Small,
seemingly minor tasks take at least twice as much work as normal, probably
more.  Christina felt proud she had taken a sink rinse in the head; it´s
quite a feat, cleaning oneself in a moving small room.  Watch officers and
trainees on watch try not to have to use the head during watch; it takes a
lot of effort to go below and remove all one´s layers and then put them back
on again to return on deck.  No one sees any of this as abnormal; we´ve
become used to it.  Tristan and Sean spent a few very wet moments out on the
bowsprit fixing the whisker shrouds.  Mark wanted a good photo of the wild
water coming over the bow of the ship and unthinkingly positioned himself by
the fore shrouds (port and starboard cables that support the foremast).  The
rest of fore watch watched from the wheel, anticipating something worth
watching . . . which came in the form of the huge wave he was wanting!  The
day was mostly grey but there were several moments when the sun tried to
come through and we could feel a slight warmth through our raingear.  Right
now, from the deck I hear the reassuring sound of Becca laughing, keeping
her watch happy and entertained.  I think James is also performing his whale
poem with sound effects, it´s excellent and consistently makes us howl with
laughter.  Spirits are good; a few trainees are still getting used to the
motion and the rhythm of not knowing quite when we will ´get there.´  For
most of us, life is here on the ship without too many thoughts of the land
ahead.  Every so often it creeps into our consciousness, some more than
others, but for the most part, we are trying to live in the moment.  We made
our lowest mileage for a 24 hour period today, 55 nm.  At about 1000hrs
Skipper and Jordan started the engines and we made close to 6 knots for
several hours, until 2000 hrs.  We are down to 2 knots but again, the
silence is heavenly.  The engine room door was opened for an hour to allow
some heat into the after cabin as the stove refuses to work on this tack.
Watches continue to enjoy themselves despite the cold on deck, though more
and more layers are being added when we go on deck.  Chris E. had only his
eyes visible as he covered his forehead with his gore-tex hood and wrapped
himself in a scarf and closed his raincoat closures to above his nose; yes,
it´s cold but we´re managing just fine.  Tea, coffee, and hot chocolate
continue to flow.  Dolphins swam with the ship again today during Antony´s
1200-1600 hr watch, always wonderful to watch.  The Offshore Planning
Committee met today; they are getting closer to figuring out our next route,
there are so many wonderful places to visit, but winds, hurricane season
etc. dictate so much of when and where the Grace can go.  The club members
are finding that out; it´s an excellent exercise.  Our California Sea Lion
was newly identified as a Northern Fur Seal; it is difficult to see details
close enough to distinguish one from the other.  Our ´Words of the Day´
today were ´zoilism´ (noun) - nagging criticism, ´zneesy´ (adj) - freezing,
and ´zumbooruk´ (noun) - a small cannon fired from the back of a camel.  We
have had many words presented as ´Words of the Day´ throughout this
offshore, thanks to a good friend, Stephen Duff, who collected them and gave
them to me.  Steve would like to wish his brother Ben a great day today May
26th.  Happy Birthday Ben, from Steve.  Until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
cold, windy, cloudy
May 27th 2008 @ 21:45
41°38'35.88 N 143°26'31.20 W

Heading 95°
Speed 5

Ship's Log:
The days are starting to roll into each other, each one feeling in
general quite similar to the previous day. This is a good thing; shipboard
life has entrenched itself and I find myself forgetting that we are trying
to get anywhere; perhaps it is just a ´leftover´ of our passage to Midway.
The days pass quickly and all are full and satisfying.  We continue to motor
into headwinds; we are looking forward to sailing again, to handling sail.
Sail handling as a group and individually is invigorating and we were
discussing on deck this morning how much we miss it.  The wind and the seas
have ever so slightly, hardly noticeably, started to become less.  The waves
break less violently, the crests are not as white and foamy.  The waves are
still very large and the bow of the ship continues to be lifted up, up, up .
. . pause on the crest . . .  then down, down, down into the trough, all the
while rocking from side-to-side because of the side hit of the water on the
hull.  Big waves seem to come in a series of 3 or 4, followed by smaller
waves confusing the pattern, creating deeper dips to port and starboard.
The deck stayed somewhat drier with water coming only as far as the break
(the big beam that runs port to starboard amidships).  I still enjoy
watching the water, it´s always different.  No dolphin show today but
Leighsa noticed a large fin sticking out of the water.  Those of us on deck
thought at first it was a shark fin; it didn´t move, it just floated high
out of the sea.  We saw a big form under the water but are still not sure
whether it was a shark or a sunfish.  Sunfish get very big and have a fin
too; we´ll never know.  When something like this fin, the seal, etc. comes
along we so badly want to ´see´ more, we can never get close enough or watch
it long enough to satisfy our curiosity and desire to have a thorough look
and figure out what it is.  We continue to bundle up on deck while below
deck the hold is busy.  Tonight there are 2 card games being played and a
group of 3 or 4 trainees have packed themselves into one bunk laughing and
talking.  In the galley Katie is doing some prep work for Gillian´s birthday
tomorrow; breakfast is huge, almost a brunch.  Christina taught an
intermediate chart work lesson this afternoon.  Caley enjoyed a cup of
coffee and the ´New Yorker´ this morning at the hold table; there was a
quiet 20 minutes after breakfast when many trainees returned to their bunks
to catch up on sleep, and the dishes were done, and Katie had not started
lunch yet.  Yogurt was made for tomorrow´s breakfast.  Jordan T, James,
Blake and Chris E. have been supplementing our ´Quotes of the Day´ with some
great ones of their own finding.  Jordan and Tristan led work watch with
starboard watch this afternoon.  Tristan did a ´rig walk;´ the bosuns
regularly take turns walking up and down both masts checking all the running
and standing rigging.  Tristan checked and cleaned filters and started
preparing another area of the engine room for painting.  The bosuns are
always busy; there is a lot of upkeep on a ship like this.  Skipper beat Bo
at a game of SCRABBLE this morning (Karen, I´m making more use of  my
unlimited Scrabble gift certificate from Skipper at Christmas and Skipper is
improving because of it!).  The sun is going down close to 2000hrs now; this
is so much later than what we´ve had all offshore, it´s too bad it´s so cold
and no one really wants to be on deck.  Tomorrow we celebrate Gillian´s 26th
birthday.  Until then, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold, windy, cloudy
May 28th 2008 @ 22:00
42°22'48.00 N 141°14'34.80 W

Heading 58°
Speed 5.3

Ship's Log:
We have had an amazing day, but then, all our days are good.  Today we
celebrated Gillian´s 26th birthday.  Sarah B. organized a game of ´Assassin´
that started at breakfast and ended at 1830 hrs with a winner.  Everyone
starts with a name on a slip of paper and sets out to assassin this person
by coming up to them stealthily, without anyone else noticing and pointing a
finger in their side, back etc. and saying quietly "Bang, you´re dead."  If
no one else has witnessed the murder, the victim is out of the game and
gives his/her slip to the assassin and the assassin then goes on to tackle
the next target.  If someone witnesses a murder, the murder doesn´t count,
the game continues.  It took until suppertime to find a winner; in the end,
Skipper tricked Adam into the little boys´ cabin and got him.  Adam was
suspicious but fell into the trap nonetheless.  It was a very fun game;
everyone was on pins and needles for most of the day, trying to stay ´alive.´
Simon lay in wait for Sara R. as she came out of the head and got her.
Jacob approached Katie and asked if she´d killed anyone yet; she answered
´no´ then moved in behind him and got him . . . ´are you kidding?´ he asked
her.  Leighsa had made Gillian a beautiful birthday card along with a
chocolate bar and as Gillian hugged Leighsa to thank her, Gillian also added
a ´bang, you´re dead.´  There are many very funny examples of people laying
in wait for the perfect moment; the boat is a good place to play, we are all
confined to an area just large enough.  Katie made an amazing birthday
breakfast:  eggs, toast, hash browns, sausages, yogurt, granola, fruit . . .
many of Gillian´s favorite breakfasts all rolled into one.  The sea and the
wind have calmed down somewhat.  The ship still rolls from side-to-side but
that is inevitable with a constant offshore swell.  The plunging of the bow
and the slapping of water on the hull is gone, the decks remain dry, it´s
nice, it´s easier.  The scuttle hatch doors were both opened today and the
washboards came out of the after cabin hatch.  They are closed for the
night, but it was nice not to have to deal with the cold wind and the
boisterous motion and feel some fresh air below.    Since the ship is not
heeled as far over, Skipper was able to light the after cabin stove and the
dampness and cold have been lifted . . . aaaah, nice.  The air on deck is
still very cold and one still needs to wear many layers, but the sun did try
to make an appearance several times.  At 1600 hrs the hold was very busy, a
´fun busy´ with chapattis being rolled by several people, a few of them
assassins still left in the game, who were trying to kill and stay alive.
They figured if they helped out and stayed where the witnesses were, they
could possibly last longer.  Christina led another great Writers Guild class
this morning; we worked on creating poetry together.  Leighsa is knitting
faster than we´re moving; she´s at least halfway through a very long scarf.
Sara R. has made a good start on another pair of socks; they´re beautifully
bright with reds, purples, blues and more.  Maddie and Adrienne have
designed the canvas shoe part of their moccasin and have started sewing it
on to the leather sole; they look good.  On the 1600-2000hr watch Steve
noticed the spout of a whale.  We watched for awhile longer seeing only 3
more spouts, still exciting.  Work watch has sanded and painted the funnels
as well as scraped, sanded and oiled the flagpole.  It all looks nice, ready
for our return into the harbor in a few weeks.  Even though this voyage is
finished in a few weeks, we feel very far from that life.  We continue
moving through this vast ocean on our ´island,´ the Grace; an island of our
own making, not attached to anything, physically or mentally.  We feel as if
we belong here and nowhere else, this life feels sufficient.  It is a
strange feeling and like usual, as one nears the end of something precious,
everything is perceived as more concentrated, the senses are heightened, and
the loss seems greater.  I wish you could move with us through our day and
see us, so familiar with this life.  After supper Tristan, Steve, and Mark
played a massive game of tag with Simon, Noah, and Jacob.  They were
sweating, removing jackets and moving at great speeds, completely into their
game, all 6 of them.  In the end, Steve pinned down all 3 Anderson boys
twice, and then the little boys tackled him and forced him to his knees.  He
agreed it was a great wrestling match.  Christina and Elske have been
putting lyrics together for a song for and about Gillian to the tune of ´I
Hate Winnipeg´ which was changed to ´We Love Gillian.´  Jose played the tune
on the guitar while Sarah B., Christina, and I sang the personal rendition
to her and the trainees; she loved it.  At 2000hrs we held a Mug Up in the
hold with Jose playing guitar and Noah playing the big marquesian drum.
Arwen and Lisa M. made oatmeal cookies, Gillian´s choice.  It´s been a full
day, very fun from beginning to end.  Raven would like to wish his dad Paul
and Uncle Ian a very Happy Birthday.  "May you both have a wonderful and
great day, love from Raven."  Leighsa wishes her dad an amazing birthday
today, May 28th, Happy Birthday dad, love Leighsa.  Adrienne wishes her
sister Lauren a great day on her 20th birthday tomorrow, May 29th.  Happy
Birthday Lauren, love Adrienne.  Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold, cloudy, light wind
May 29th 2008 @ 22:30
43°21'54.00 N 138°42'54.00 W

Heading 66°
Speed 5.7

Ship's Log:
Jacob slipped into my cabin this morning when I was just in the
transition between sleep and waking and whispered, "Mom, the sea is glassy
calm, it´s beautiful, you should see it."  What a nice way to wake up . . .
and yes, it is beautiful, incredibly peaceful and so different from what we
woke up to a few days ago.  We desperately want to sail and we ask Skipper
regularly about possible weather predictions bringing wind.  At the moment
there is a storm brewing north of Vancouver Island that we may get the end
of as we get closer.  The foresail is the only sail left up and it flaps
sadly, it will probably come down soon.  We don´t even need it for stability
as the motion consists only of a gentle roll over the swells, nice for
sleeping.  The chart shows us about 5 or 6 days from the entrance to Juan de
Fuca Strait; it´s quite strange to see Vancouver Island so close on a chart
after so long.  We´ve had another very fun day.  A funny thing I heard
yesterday and forgot to mention was when Lisa was ´shot´ by Skipper during
our game of ´Assassin.´  When he came up to her in the galley and whispered
"bang, you´re dead," Lisa exclaimed, "Oh Skipper, I never thought you would
kill me!"  Tag has turned into a major event.  Yesterday Chris P. played tag
with Simon, running after him all over the ship.  I thought Simon had
thought of a nickname for him when I heard, "Crispy, Crispy, come and get
me," when in fact he was just using his last initial to distinguish him from
Chris E.  This morning Adrienne, Chris P, and the 3 boys chased each other
furiously, and this evening, what started as the ritual evening tag between
Tristan, Steve, Mark and my 3 boys, turned into a massive game with 14
people playing, all guys except for Arwen.   Jordan C, Raven, Blake, Adam,
Mark, James, Steve, Tristan, Noah, Simon, Jacob, Chris P, Jordan T, and
Arwen were hot and tired after an hour of running hard and trying to stay
away from each other.  The game ended just before the sun set and harnesses
were needed; Jacob made a gallon of ´stiff´ orange tang for the thirsty
players and they sat, drank and shared like any team in a locker room after
the game.  It was great.  Chris E. and Steve spent about an hour playing
Lego with Simon, Noah, and Jacob in the very small, boys´ cabin.  Jordan
taught a seniors chart work lesson this afternoon, while Rona led an art
session in the foc´sle.  Skipper pulled out pastels, water colors, charcoal,
and various pencils for crew and trainees to use.  Caley and Maddie, along
with some other trainees have been working hard on pinning down ´ports of
call´ for the Offshore Committee; they will be meeting soon.  In the Writer´s
Guild, Rona shared one of her poems for the first time, a big step.  She did
an incredible drawing of a ship and light on the water in pastels on black
paper.  It´s posted in the foc´sle.  Adam, Raven, and Chris P. took bucket
showers today!  I couldn´t believe it; the water is freezing, as is the air.
What do the rest of us do when we feel we need a shower?  Usually we mix
some warm water, rubbing alcohol and cold tap water in the sink in the head,
and just scrub down with a wash rag.  To rinse we fill a water jug with some
more warm water mixed with cold and pour it over our body onto the floor.
Once we´re done, we scoop up the water with a bailer or sponge it up.  It
takes a bit of getting used to but it works until we get to something
better.  Interrogations and life stories continue at lunch; I think we´ve
heard from nearly everyone now.  Skipper was invited as a special guest by
fore watch.  He gave his life story and let us interrogate him; he shared
interesting insights and experiences as well as some very funny stories.
The evening was beautiful; many crew and trainees brought out cameras and
were taking pictures, some experimental.  Sarah B. is doing a study on
hands; in one day she has filmed about 10 activities involving hands close
up.  Once the sun was down, about 2000hrs, many trainees went below.  There
was a game of ´Catan´ and a card game of ´Dutch Blitz´ happening around the
hold table.  Others were grouped on bunks chatting, discussing music and
other various topics, reading, sleeping, knitting, writing, making tea or
hot chocolate etc.  I think we will miss these evenings where we are all
together, dependent on each other´s company.  It´s nice to have a time with
fewer options of places to go and to be forced to amuse ourselves without
transportation, movies, TV, face book etc.  All these activities will always
be with us; it´s good to be without for a bit and realize what we miss
because of them, no matter how good and fun they can be.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
glassy calm, light clouds, cold
May 30th 2008 @ 21:30
44°26'17.88 N 135°56'13.20 W

Heading 56°
Speed 5.7

Ship's Log:
Today was great in so many ways but what stands out is that we were able
to raise sail this morning and turn off the engine for about 3 hours.  It
was idyllic; the silence was stunning.  We drifted along slowly at about 3-4
kts and that was fine with us, we were sailing and we had handled sail
again.  All fore and aft sails were raised; a full main, the foresail, the
jumbo, the jib, the fisherman, and the main topsail . . . beautiful.  By
1130hrs, the wind had disappeared and one of the two engines was started up.
We have been motor sailing since, making between 5 and 7kts. When we woke up
the sea was different again from the previous day; instead of the glassy
calm there were small ripples on the surface and the swells had flattened
out considerably.   The temperature has been very cold today; we stay
layered up and keep the tea and coffee coming.  The sun looked like it was
trying to break through, the clouds were lighter; cottony and layered, like
the sand ridges on a beach.  Right now the sky is nearly clear and the ocean´s
surface is glassy again.  The stars are reflected in the water, it´s
stunning.  Gillian is in the stern with Sarah B, Adrienne, and Raven,
finding stars and constellations.  Everyone else is in the hold or the foc´sle
´hanging out;´ there´s a good feeling there.  Christina is making books with
the Writer´s group; they are put together without glue and look smart; we´ll
start filling them up at the next get-together.  Today Sara R. taught the
Writer´s Guild how to write sonnets and they had some time to practice
writing one.  Steve and Emily wrote beautiful sonnets and read them out
loud.  Fore watch laughed through morning dishes listening to Brian Regan, a
comedian, on Jose´s ipod.  Everyone enjoyed homemade granola and yogurt this
morning; Gillian makes delicious granola and Adam has decided to call the
yogurt ´bogurt´ as Bo is the one that makes it.   On the ship there is time
for practical jokes and one of the better ones so far happened last night.
Adam has been plaguing Elske with his garbage candy wrappers; she
consistently finds them in her jacket pockets and under her pillow.  She
tried stuffing them in the fingers of his gloves but he discovered them and
returned them to her.  So, yesterday, Elske unpicked a few inches of the
casing stitching of his pillow (which is a hand-me-down from several legs
ago and ready to be thrown out).   She found his alarm clock and buried it
in the foam filling of the pillow, trying to keep the hard corners soft.
She set the alarm for 0345, and told his bunkmates on either side of her
joke; they were totally ´game.´  Adam, unfortunately for us, was so tired
that he slept through the alarm, though his bunkmates heard it.  Tonight as
Adam was resting he felt something hard in his pillow and was dumbfounded as
to how the alarm clock got in his pillow.  I´m not sure whether he has put
everything together yet, but I´m sure this story will continue.  Jordan T,
Maddie, Selena, and Jose have started a photo club.  They are taking photos
of interesting and different objects i.e. the bosun´s whistle, the brass
inclinometer etc. and comparing them, looking at them from an artistic point
of view.  Work watch today sanded and oiled the after cabin hatch, started
sanding the stern seat lockers, and sanded and oiled the stern bitts.  We
had a beautiful evening tonight, the clouds were light and the ocean was
calm.  The horizon was barely visible with the blues of the sky and sea so
similar, yet with so many variations in hue.  Just before the sun went down
and harnesses were needed, Jordan, Tristan, Elske, Bec, and Arwen had a
massive wrestling match on the foredeck.  It was a great spectator event;
Selena exclaimed, "This is better than TV!"   The main topsail was lowered
after supper with Steve, James, and Mark climbing the mainmast to stow and
furl the sail.  They were up the mast about half an hour; it takes awhile to
get the sail stowed so it looks good, especially if it is a first time.  The
view from up the mast is incredible and I noticed that at least Steve had
his camera with him.  Our days continue to feel full.  I know that some of
the trainees are looking forward to land and having the chance to visit
restaurants, do some shopping, see something new.  Some trainees are
starting to think of home and feel ready for that part of their lives, and
are looking forward to it.  Everyone on the ship has a different view about
the end of the leg, or the end of the voyage.  For myself there are
definitely things I am looking forward to about home, but also, I know there
is much about our life aboard this ship that I will relinquish reluctantly.
I am quite content to stay out here for another 2 weeks and squeeze out all
that I can; I think the majority of crew and trainees feel this way.  Katie
would like to wish Matt a Happy Birthday for May 29th.  "Happy Birthday
Matt, I love you!  Love Katie"  There are 2 weeks remaining of this offshore
voyage and I would like to spend a bit of time in the evenings being with
the crew and trainees in the hold, or up on deck viewing the stars,
chatting, playing games etc.  If I don´t write for an evening here and
there, this will be why; I will have taken the opportunity to be amongst the
trainees and crew after my boys are in bed.  Thank you.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
calm, very cold, clouds, beautiful
May 31st 2008 @ 22:30
45°39'47.88 N 132°48'10.80 W

Heading 56°
Speed 6.4

Ship's Log:
Today was spectacular in that we sailed all day and continue to do so.
Skipper says we may be able to sail all the way to the mouth of Juan de Fuca
Strait.  The winds are light but with the Grace´s rig we were able to make
between 7 and 8 knots all day.  The swell is minimal and the heel is slight;
we are gently leaning to port with a very, very gentle rocking motion . . .
wonderful . . . just what we were wanting.  The air seems to be getting
colder and colder and has a real icy feeling to it.  The clouds were light
and the sun regularly peeked through; we could feel some of its faint warmth
on our eager and upturned faces (bundled in hats and raingear hoods).   This
morning we reset the main topsail and the fisherman staysail which came down
yesterday evening.  These two sails are light weather sails and in today´s
breeze, did most of the drawing.  If we could have a few more days like
today, I´m pretty sure that the amount of motoring we have done would fade
from our memory.  Sailing like we are now is what everyone who dreams of
making a passage on a sail boat longs for; nice seas, steady wind,
comfortable sailing, a bit of sun, quiet, sounds of water rushing by the
hull, sounds of rigging being gently worked, people talking . . . quite
idyllic and relaxing.  Other than the sailing, which filled our day and our
souls, nothing out of the ordinary happened.  The daily games of tag, the
gorgeous sunset, the comfortable chats, meals together around a table, etc.
Right now most people are below enjoying each others´ company.   From the
stern I will walk you through the ship and give you a glimpse of our life.
On deck Sarah B. is standing a very cold watch with Sean and Elske and they
are laughing boisterously about something.  The sky is beautiful, as is the
ocean.  In the after cabin, which is cozy because of the stove, Antony, Jose
and the 3 Anderson boys are asleep in their bunks.  Skipper is checking
weather and looking through books, preparing for tomorrow´s Sunday service.
We go through the engine room, where the generator is running and water is
being made, to the galley, where Blake, Steve, and Mark are leaning up
against the counters talking, while Katie is finishing off a huge batch of
buns for tomorrow´s birthday breakfast, and where trainees and crew
continually come to plug in the kettle to make a hot drink.  In the hold
there are 14 people around the table playing 2 different card games.  Keith
is sleeping in his bunk and several others are sitting in bunks ´hanging
out,´ chatting, and starting to think about getting ready for bed.  In the
foc´sle Lisa is brushing her teeth, waiting to spit while someone else is
using the toilet.  Leighsa and Sara R. are making Japanese-style bound
books; they are beautiful.  Caley is reading, or trying to read; there are
so many things to get distracted by.  Jordan and Christina are playing chess
while Sean watches; all three are plugged into an ipod, taking turns picking
music.  Some of the girls are in their bunks, attempting to catch some sleep
before their watches tonight.  Yes, it´s a busy boat and there´s an
incredibly wonderful feeling permeating it as I walk through.  Everyone
feels the ship is their home, and it is.   A big Happy Birthday to Tavish
and Farlyn tomorrow June 1st, from the crew and all of the Anderson family.
We look forward to seeing you on the dock.  We are looking forward to this
night, the engine is off and the sailing couldn´t be better.  Until
tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.(EL


Observations:
light clouds, light winds, some sun
June 1st 2008 @ 21:30
47°1'12.00 N 130°3'46.80 W

Heading 64°
Speed 7.6

Ship's Log:
I wrote that yesterday was a perfect day; well today was even more so as
today was like yesterday but with blue skies and some warmth from the sun.
We woke up to blue skies, a calm sea, a gentle motion, a perfect 15 knot
wind coming from the beam (hitting the starboard side of the Grace), and all
our sails drawing.  It was absolutely memorable; possibly one of the best
´passage days´ of this leg.  Last night at about 0300 hrs Antony called
Skipper out of his bunk saying that there was a Sei whale just 30 ft from
the ship.  Apparently it was amazing, stunning . . . Keith said it was so
close they could see its´ 12 cm blowhole!  It was about 15 m long and dove
under the ship, following the Grace for about half an hour.  Today we
celebrated Selena´s 21st birthday.  We enjoyed ´eggs benedict´ for
breakfast, pizza pretzels for lunch, and delicious spaghetti with meat sauce
and vegetarian lasagna for supper; all Selena´s choice.  Katie, our cook,
did a spectacular job, starting late last night with the food preparation.
The hold was decorated with balloons and birthday banners and Selena proudly
wore her 20 cm diameter birthday button pinned to her shorts.  Writer´s
Guild held their final meeting this morning in the hold.  Steve shared some
of his ´stash (personal snack food) while others shared favorite pieces of
poetry i.e. by e.e. cummings and T.S. Elliot.  Christina wrote a beautiful
sonnet, as did Steve, and they read them out loud to us.  (Will, ask
Christina to read it to you).  We created stories together, writing a
sentence or two then sending the paper to the right and continuing with the
story that was passed to you from your left; it resulted with some very
funny and entertaining stories, which we also read out loud.  Maddie and
Rona decided to wash their hair on deck with salt water; the water is very
cold, they were very brave.  After lunch we had a beautiful 3 hours where
nearly everyone was on deck enjoying the sun and the sailing.  The wind was
coming from dead astern and we brought the foresail to the starboard side
and sailed ´wing-on-wing´ or what is also called, ´reading both pages.´
This is when we have the mainsail let out on one side of the ship and the
foresail on the other; it´s magnificent, something special, we don´t get the
chance to do it very often.  We´ve been making good speed all day.  The sun
had some warmth in the middle hours of the day and a few of our layers were
shed; the sun was glorious and we thoroughly enjoyed it and took advantage
of it.  By 1600 hrs the ´bite´ in the air had returned but the sky was still
clear.  Skipper taught a theory lesson on Celestial Navigation to 12
trainees.  Afterwards, Skipper and Jordan helped the trainees use the
sextants and take a sight.  Elske was below, using the sightings to help
gather the information needed to begin plotting a course.  Arwen served
´eatmores´ at about 1500hrs.  ´Eatmores´ are an absolutely delicious
chocolatey treat we make when there is room in the freezer, usually near the
end of a leg or a passage.  They are similar to the ´eatmore´ chocolate
bars: a mixture of cocoa, peanut butter, honey, and all the almonds,
peanuts, raisins, coconut, seeds, etc. you can stir into the batter.  They
are pressed into a cookie sheet and put to cool in the freezer for 24 hours.
They definitely hit the spot for everyone.  At 1530 hrs we lowered all sail
and spent a half hour jigging for fish in a shallow patch of ocean.  Within
10 minutes Simon (6 years old) caught the first fish, a spotted sand bass,
and the biggest out of the 4 fish we brought in.  He was a proud little boy
and everyone else was proud of him too.  Blake caught a bass on his
´porksicle´ lure, while Adrienne, Selena, and Sara R. also caught fish.  We
return the small ones to the sea.  It was quite exciting.  Chris P. and
Raven filleted most of the fish and we´ll eat them tomorrow as Katie had
started supper already.  By 1700 hrs we had raised all the sails again and
were majestically sailing and on our way.  Soon after we brought in the
jigging lures and set sail, our line caught a salmon.  For us this was a
true welcome home to west coast waters.  The salmon was beautiful; it truly
is an outstanding fish.  The sea is very calm; Skipper says he has never
seen it so calm in this portion of the Pacific Ocean.  It felt wonderful to
handle sail together.  Trainees are eager to help and come when called; it´s
wonderful, a huge help to the crew.  The trainees are getting proficient at
raising and lowering the fisherman staysail and the main topsail; these
sails go up in the morning and are lowered at night.  Tonight sail handling
is happening in the dark under the deck lights; the main is being lowered
and the trysail is replacing it. The forecast is predicting a front coming
through at around 0300 hrs which should bring stronger winds from a
different direction.  We had supper early, one sitting at 1730 and our final
Sunday service at sea right after dishes.   We spoke on ´grace´ with several
of the crew sharing personal stories, some singing, a group activity
defining the word ´grace,´ and a reading out of Yancey´s "What´s So Amazing
About Grace?"  Hot chocolate and ´Chewy Puffed Wheat´ squares were served
afterwards in the hold.  It is a clear night; the sky is full of stars, and
people are enjoying themselves.  We are very aware that tonight is one of
the last nights at sea, and that by Tuesday morning we may be in Juan de
Fuca Strait.  It´s a bittersweet feeling to be so close.  Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
clear blue skies, perfect breeze, very cold
June 2nd 2008 @ 22:00
48°8'53.88 N 126°48'7.20 W

Heading 72°
Speed 4.4

Ship's Log:
Today was possibly the most difficult day weather-wise this passage and
such a contrast to our glorious weather and sail yesterday.  The wind picked
up during the night and with it came larger seas.  By this morning we were
sailing along wonderfully and swiftly at 8+ knots; we had visions of
entering the Strait early Tuesday morning.  It is awesome how quickly the
weather can change; from a flat sea to big swells, our ship was moving quite
intensely today.  We are on a starboard tack, heeled to port, with a
side-to-side and forward dipping motion.  Several trainees were quite sick
today, throwing up and nauseous.  Seas coming over the side kept the decks
wet and some good-sized waves hit the hull and sprayed the entire watch
standing in the stern of the ship.  The temperature was very, very cold and
trainees were bundled up more than ever.  As well as the wind and cold, we
have driving rain.  Wet rain gear and rubber boots abound below decks.  With
the motion, many things were thrown into disarray; the galley, our bunks,
table tops etc. things get dislodged easily.  The watches were wonderful at
keeping each other´s spirits up on deck; it isn´t always easy to stand in
the cold wind and rain for 4 hours at a stretch, I admire the watch officers
and their crew.  Those who were not on watch were below, sleeping, drying
off, warming up, reading, writing etc. It was a quiet day.  Because we were
hoping to come into the Strait tomorrow morning, today was the final day of
my boys´ ´organized´ school work days.  We spent a long day in the after
cabin finishing things off; it feels great and the boys are thrilled, they´ve
done well.  Jordan celebrated with a ´beef jerky´ party for all 4 of them in
the boys´ tiny cabin.  Tonight we made contact with Tofino traffic, the
regulatory body for ship movements on the coast.  It was a welcome sound.
It was also good to hear Environment Canada´s weather report on the VHF,
voices we haven´t heard for such a long time but that ring so familiarly.
Mid-afternoon the wind shifted and subsided somewhat and we are now heading
into it.  Our speed has gone down to 4.4 knots but we´re still sailing . . .
wonderful.  We are sailing under trysail, foresail and jumbo.  Skipper is
expecting a change in weather tonight, the wind is supposed to switch to a
light westerly which would provide us with a great wind to sail into Juan de
Fuca Strait with.   For Antony, Skipper, Jose, Gillian, Katie, Jordan, our 6
kids and I, today was the 1 year anniversary of the day we started this
offshore voyage, with trainees for Leg 1 boarding and all of us moving
aboard, June 2, 2007.  We were remembering that day together; it is still
very clear in our memory.   We are hoping for nicer weather tomorrow, though
the seas are remarkable and I don´t tire easily of watching them  . . . it
would be nice if it was just a little warmer.  Until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
windy, cold, wet, lumpy
June 3rd 2008 @ 21:30
48°13'18.12 N 123°55'30.00 W

Heading 99°
Speed 3.9

Ship's Log:
Last night the wind started to die down soon after the log was sent.  In
the middle of the night Jordan started the engine and we motored until
morning.  The westerly wind came as expected and was blowing nicely.  We
raised the square sails and lowered the jumbo; the wind has been coming from
astern all day and continues to do so . . . it´s wonderful.  The trysail and
foresail are down; we´ve probably stowed the infamous and amazingly
well-used trysail for the final time this offshore voyage.   Once we entered
the Strait the sea leveled out and we were stunned by the stillness and lack
of sound; we had to make an effort to hear the swishing of the water going
by the hull.  Below decks it felt as if we were tied to the dock, or
anchored.  It´s interesting how you notice something more keenly once it is
no longer with you.  The sky is very grey and the air is cold.  Stronger
winds are predicted for tonight.  It was fun to peer into the cloudy skies
ahead of us, looking for the American promontory known as Cape Flattery and
the long length of our coastline.  Arwen mentioned how different it was to
see pine trees, something we´ve seen so rarely this past year.   The mood
was good; trainees are excited to see land and are anticipating going
ashore; they are looking forward to experiencing things we´ve done without
for 3 weeks.  Selena, Rona, and Maddie are baking ginger snaps to eat with
´chai´spiced hot milk after a Mug-Up.  At the moment a game is being played
in the hold, ´4 on a couch,´ and this will probably be followed by singing.
Tonight we move our clock forward one final hour and we will then be on
Victoria time.  We are sailing along slowly under our 2 course sails; the
motion is incredibly gentle, but if you stand on the foredeck you can hear
the light rush of water as it moves by the hull . . . a comforting sound.
There will be no need for lee cloths or berth control boards tonight, our
bunks are quite level.  We hope to be tied up or at anchor tomorrow during
the day, until then, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cloudy, cold, light winds
June 4th 2008 @ 22:30
48°6'54.00 N 122°45'0.00 W

Ship's Log:
In yesterday´s log I confidently stated we no longer needed our lee
cloths and berth control boards; I was mistaken.  During Antony´s very cold
2000-2400hr watch the westerly winds picked up and the Grace picked up
speed, making up to 9+ knots.  The magnificent sailing lasted well into
Jose´s 0000-0400hr watch. We sailed under courses to within miles of our
destination of Port Townsend, USA.  When the wind picked up, the motion on
the boat became intense for one final time.  Water was coming through the
scuppers as the Grace rolled from side-to-side.  Skipper stayed on deck wit=
h
the watch officers as we sailed by Port Angeles and the many buoys marking
the Strait.  As we neared Port Townsend, the current strengthened, slowing
the ship to 3 knots.  At 0520 Jordan started the engine and by 0700 we were
tied up to a great dock, the same one we tied to 4 years ago.  Sugar and
Leslie, ´boat friends´ of SALTS and Skipper for many years, and who own and
sail one of the most beautiful schooners on the coast, the ´Alcyone,´ were
on the dock in the rain, to welcome us.  Skipper and Sugar enjoyed each
other´s company, ´shooting the breeze´ about details of offshore trips both
have made.  Sugar and Leslie have sailed extensively with their 2 girls
Alice and Darby, sailing to many of the same places the Grace has. There ar=
e
lots of stories to share and laugh about.  They left the Grace their Volvo
to use for the day so Gillian and Katie were able to buy groceries, and
Jordan and Antony were able to shop for boat supplies . . . what a gift.  W=
e
have been warmly welcomed by the community; they seem excited to have us an=
d
are interested in the ship and its program.  Port Townsend is a small, olde=
r
town with a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.  It has one main street with
wonderfully motivating shops selling many beautiful, interesting, if not
completely useful items.  There is an amazing second-hand bookstore and man=
y
great caf=E9´s. The buildings are beautifully old and are made of brick or
wood, somewhat like the buildings in Market Square, a nicely restored
shopping area in downtown Victoria.  Many here have also been restored and
are architecturally very interesting, remnants of the late 1800´s.  The
community is very maritime-oriented, it is a wooden boat centre for the
Pacific Northwest; the Grace fits in well here.  It has been a very cold
day; it doesn´t feel like June.  The stoves continue through the night and
we continue to wear all our layers, even in town. We put up 2 tarps against
the rain; the forecast for the next few days is dismal, it´s nice to be tie=
d
up. Everyone has had a great day. We have been offered wonderful laundry an=
d
showering facilities along with the opportunity to meander through some
interesting shops and great cafes.  Even SAFEWAY offers a new experience fo=
r
those of us who have been away from North American culture a long time.  Th=
e
kids and I picked wild flowers we recognized from home and the boys
commented on the familiar trees and smells.  Nearly everyone returned to th=
e
ship for supper, taco salad.  For desert we enjoyed 2 gallons of chocolate
and orange ice cream; it was delicious.  It was free from the local
=B3Elevated Ice Cream Store=B2 up the road.  They make their own ice cream and
for some reason turned this batch green. Seeing the ship, they offered it t=
o
Adrienne, as a gift, as they couldn´t sell it in their shop. =B3Elevated Ice
Cream=B2 has been here since we first came to Port Townsend with the ´Spirit
of Chemainus´ 22 years ago; it´s a local landmark that makes amazing ice
cream.  After supper a group of trainees went to the theatre to watch
=B3Prince Caspian,=B2 while Sara R., Jose, Katie, and Noah went to the Port
Townsend Community Centre to join the weekly ´drumming circle´ where anyone
is welcome to jam along on the drum, drums provided.  A few trainees, Caley=
,
Sean, Raven, Selena, and Jordan C, found a place they could watch the
Stanley Cup final.   Trainees are just starting to filter back to the ship;
it´s been a good day. We look forward to tomorrow. Until then, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
cold, cloudy
June 5th 2008 @ 23:30
48°6'54.00 N 122°45'0.00 W

Ship's Log:
Port Townsend continues to treat us well, though the weather is not very
nice.  Last night was a fun night for crew and trainees; the film ´Prince
Caspian,´ the drumming, some basketball with a group of handicapped young
women and men while waiting for drummers at the Community Centre, an
open-mike performance by Jose and Antony at a local restaurant, masses
amounts of green chocolate chip/orange ice cream from ´Elevated Ice Cream,
hot showers, clean laundry, hockey game viewing . . . So much to do. This
morning the entire crew visited Carol Hasse´s Sail Loft and had an
incredible tour of the work space and a passionate and excellent explanation
of sail making.  Carol and her fellow sail makers were very willing to share
their knowledge and we were ready to ask questions and listen . . . A
wonderful opportunity.  Jordan and Skipper returned later to buy some sail
making tools and Carol mentioned how much she enjoyed the trainees.  Antony
has arranged a tour with Brion Toss, a well-known Rigger in Port Townsend,
for tomorrow.  Trainees and crew are enjoying spending their days roaming
around the town, looking through the interesting shops, picking up
´Carhartt´s´ cotton pants from the local department store, reading and
buying books from the well-stocked second-hand book store in town, drinking
coffee at some of the many great cafes, picking up more knitting wool, etc.
Tonight Steve spent an evening with the 3 Anderson boys, taking them to the
park, teaching them the proper way to fence, putting them to bed, and
reading to them from ´A Wrinkle in Time.´  They adore him.  We have one more
day here before we head north to find a place where we can prepare the ship
for our re-entry into Victoria.  We are living in the moment, trying to make
the most of our last 8 days. Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
very cold and windy, wet
June 6th 2008 @ 23:00
48°6'54.00 N 122°45'0.00 W

Ship's Log:
It is very late and most trainees and crew have retired to bed or
squeezing in last minute showers.  We have enjoyed another full day.  Brian
Toss, a well-known Port Townsend rigger gave an excellent tour and
presentation of his rigging loft.  Brian is a colorful character and crew
and trainees enjoyed the visit.  Later in the day the rigging crew came by
the boat for a tour. Carol Hasse from the Sail Loft also came by for a tour
and was thrilled by what she saw.  She gave the Grace a book entitled =B3The
Arts of the Sailor=B2 by Hervey Garrett Smith, one of her favorite books on
sail repair. Tony, the kids, Tristan and I spent an amazing evening with
Sugar and Leslie and Helen and Bill, sailing friends of years ago, and both
their families, at Sugar and Leslie´s new home. There were 18 of us and we
played volleyball, shot some arrows, played chase the flying fox, ate
delicious barbecued hamburgers and banana floats, and had wonderful
conversation, catching up on the past few years.  The day was very cold but
just after mid-day the sky began to brighten and by 1500hrs the sun made it
through.  It was nice to feel the sun again.  Several of us, Steve, Rona,
Jacob, Noah, Simon and I enjoyed playing in the park along the beach.
Starboard watch went to the ´Salal Caf=E9´ for breakfast and port and fore
watches went for supper tonight.  I heard it was fun.  Many of us spent the
day perusing the shops once last time; it´s a fun place to spend a few days=
,
we´d love to have a few more of them.  We are leaving tomorrow at 0800hrs,
heading towards Bedwell Harbour where we will clear into Canadian Customs.
We are hoping the winds will be light and the sky blue. Until tomorrow,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold, some sun in the afternoon
June 7th 2008 @ 22:30
48°44'48.12 N 123°13'48.00 W

Ship's Log:
We have arrived in Canada.  We cleared customs at Bedwell Harbor and
were able to enjoy the pool belonging to the ´Poet´s Cove Resort´ after
supper.  The coastal program anchors in this bay regularly, it´s a beautifu=
l
spot; I never tire of it.  Seeing this coast through eyes that have been
away for a year, I am reminded that we truly live in one of the most
spectacular places in the world.  We have seen so many islands, so many
beautiful countries, yet these waters and these islands are the best to com=
e
home to.  We left Port Townsend at 0800hrs with strong winds and a very
messy sea.  The motion was intense as we made our way through some fast
moving current and tide rips.  We raised a double-reefed main, foresail and
jumbo and sailed along beautifully up the west coast of San Juan Island.
The morning started out very cold even though the sky was beginning to
clear. Anthony´s 0800-1200 watch was bundled up in their jackets and rain
gear, hunkered down on the deck out of the wind.  By 1400hrs the sun had
become warm and everyone was quickly removing all their layers.  By supper
we were tied up and looking smart in our uniforms.   We had a beautiful
evening.  Raven and Adrienne made supper tonight; it was absolutely
delicious.  The menu consisted of pork loin chops, stuffed Portobello
stuffed mushrooms, baked sweet potato, rice, an amazing salad, homemade
apple sauce, and brownies with raspberries and whipping cream for dessert.
They enjoyed making it; we sure enjoyed eating it.  On a sailboat nearby,
board member Ryan Smith is sailing with a few of his friends.  He was
wonderfully surprised to see us.  Skipper did an amazing job docking the
Grace at the fuel dock; it was a shoehorn fit and it impressed a few boat
owners watching from the dock.   We are all doing well, enjoying these fina=
l
days; we are home, yet not quite home . . . a nice place to be for now.
Until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
initially cloudy and cold, sun in afternoon and evening, still cool
June 8th 2008 @ 23:30
48°45'0.00 N 123°13'55.20 W

Ship's Log:
Today was a tremendous day.  We moved breakfast to 1000hrs, allowing
everyone to sleep in an extra few hours.  It was wonderful; a few of us had
plans to wake up early and wander the beautiful grounds of the marina, but
found ourselves waking at 0940hrs, just in time for breakfast.  We must have
needed the sleep.  Katie made a great breakfast of bagels, cream cheese,
fruit salad and yogurt, delicious.  The sun was up but the air was still
very cold.  After breakfast people had a bit of time to wander the docks,
enjoying a coffee from the marina coffee shop, checking out the nice
buildings or just using the amazing washrooms on site.  At 1200hrs we untied
lines and moved to the anchorage nearby.  It was the first time we´ve used
the anchor since we waited the night to come into Osaka in the morning.  We
lowered the dories and prepared to go on a hike up Mt. Norman.  The last
time we used the dories for getting ashore was at Tsoi Island in Papua New
Guinea!  They look wonderful as we repainted and varnished them on the
workdays at the end of that leg.  The first dory ride of any leg is often
quite the experience and today´s proved no different.  The dories seem
unstable and trainees climbing into them from the Grace often feel like the
dory is going to tip.  The secret to the dories, which we continually remind
trainees, is that the heavier they are, the more stable they are.
Nonetheless, not everyone enjoyed the dory ride to the beach.  Rowing them
for the first time takes patience with oneself and each other.  Tristan was
sitting furthest forward in the dory, not in a rowing position.  Rona was
new to the oars and on every stroke her oar would skim the water and spray
Tristan; it was pretty funny, lots of laughs and a damp Tristan.  Most of
the crew and trainees hiked the 1 hr. climb to the top of Mt Norman.
Maddie, Susan, James and Chris P. took a dory down to the end of the bay and
explored by Sharks Cove, the head of Port Browning.  They had an eventful
expedition, meeting another ship in the narrow pass and breaking an oar.
The hike up Mt. Norman was beautiful; the smells, the new green foliage
growing at the end of the plants, the familiarity of the plants and trees .
. . the beauty of the Gulf Islands.  For us who have had minimal exercise
for a year it was a good workout and a reminder of our ´work´ ahead to get
back in shape.  We were hot and sweaty when we arrived at the top, but the
hike was the perfect length, long enough to push ourselves but not long
enough to not enjoy it.  The view from the summit was absolutely
spectacular; we could see all the islands towards Victoria.  The sun was
shining and there were very gentle and even ripples, stretched across the
bay, all of them moving in even formation into the harbor.  We find the
ocean very calm, so even.  Elske made a pretty crown of dandelions and a
small purple flower and gave me the honors of wearing it down the mountain.
Lisa had the greatest bout of sneezes we´ve heard in awhile; we all laughed,
including Lisa.  Adam climbed a huge pine tree and with a stick batted
pinecones thrown to him by other trainees.  Everyone seemed very happy and
content; the feeling on the ship is wonderful.  People want to be with each
other and activities happen in large groups.  We had a late lunch of
sandwiches, bagels, cream cheese, cheese, tuna, crackers, cucumbers,
lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, trail mix, and apples.  At 1700 hrs we held our
final Sunday service on deck in the sun, though it was beginning to get cold
again.  We wrapped up in our layers and blankets before the service began,
knowing how cold these Sunday services can be.  It was a great service with
involvement from both trainees and crew.  Afterwards Jose continued playing
songs we all know and love i.e. ´One´ by U2, on his guitar, with whoever
wanted, joining in the singing.  The mood was one of total contentment and
relaxation.  Antony then remembered he still had his ´Air Hog´ with him, a
birthday present from Leighsa Smith.  The ´Air Hog´ is an air-pressure
propelled toy plane.  By pumping 90 times into a plastic plane, then
spinning the propeller and letting the plane go, it will fly a distance of
200 feet.  Sarah B. and Arwen stood by in the zodiac to retrieve the plane,
nearly running over it several times as it swerved back towards them before
landing; it was a lot of fun.  Jose then set up the Rope Swing on the end of
the yardarm.  We do this regularly in the tropics and it´s very fun,
especially as the water is so warm.  I was surprised how many trainees
(note: ´trainees,´ not one crew member tried it) wanted to swing off the
outhaul line into the freezing cold water, some even 3 or 4 times!  Those of
us on the deck, in our warm jackets, watched the surprised faces of those
emerging from the cold water. Those who jumped were; Sean, Tristan, Chris P,
Raven, James, Adrienne, Caley, Adam, Mark, and Keith.  Keith received the
sportsmanship award as he really wasn´t sure he wanted to jump, but did so
anyway to the encouragement of all those watching.  At 2000hrs we had
supper, delicious burritos.  After the dishes we scheduled a few zodiac runs
to take people in to the marina where there is a nice-looking
restaurant/pub.  We all sat together, chatting and enjoying each other´s
company.  We leave tomorrow for Saturna.  Breakfast has been moved to
0900hrs, life is good.  At one point today Skipper said, "let´s forget about
our watches for a bit" which is truly the way our day felt today.  It was a
great day and we look forward to another one tomorrow.  Until then,
good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold but sunny
June 9th 2008 @ 22:30
49°0'42.12 N 123°41'42.00 W

Ship's Log:
We are tied to the dock in North Cove on Thetis Island. Chris Wickam, a
former bosun on the Swift, now the Managing Director of Pioneer Pacific
Camp, invited the Grace to tie up at the camp dock in order to do rigging
and bright-work before our entry into Victoria Inner Harbor.  Both the
´Pacific Swift´ and the ´Pacific Grace´ visit the camp regularly during the
spring and fall season with school groups.  The camp is situated on a
beautiful piece of property right on the water at the north end of Thetis
Island; there is a large field for playing wide games on.  We feel fortunat=
e
to be here; now we need the weather to warm up so we can do some painting
and oiling.   We will have our leg end dinner here as well as our talent
show. Chris has allowed us to use the small boats as well as the shower
facilities; we are being well looked after.  Today has been a good day; the
hours seem to fly by.  We had breakfast an hour later, 0900 hrs.  I
overheard Skipper and Jordan discussing that they find they sleep easier an=
d
deeper now that the huge sense of responsibility is mostly over.   We left
just before noon heading out of Bedwell Harbor, towards the southeast corne=
r
of Saturna Island.  The weather has been cold and wet today and this evenin=
g
the wind picked up. We have put up the tarps over the hold hatch and the
wheel box trying to keep some of the damp away from down below.  =B3Where is
the warm weather?=B2 we keep asking each other.  We went ashore on Saturna,
enjoying the lushness and greenness of the vegetation, and the familiar
smells of the Gulf Islands.  Further north we stopped near to where the
´Robertson II´ rests. We lowered the zodiac and took groups to her to have =
a
close look.  It isn´t very nice to look at.  Skipper and I were married on
the Robertson and spent the first year of our married life living on her.
The ´Robbie´ is where we were both watch officers together, running the
coastal program.   Seeing her stirred up many good memories.  Skipper peere=
d
down the hatches, looking for anything worth retrieving, but everything
worth anything seems to have been removed.  I´m surprised how derelict she
looks; I´m amazed that 10 months ago she could sail, or at least move from
point A to point B. We left the wreck site at about 1530hrs and motored for
the rest of the day to Thetis.   Only those on watch were on deck, everyone
else was below, playing cards, reading, sleeping, studying, chatting etc.
In the after cabin Jose, Sarah B, and I started a game of Scrabble while th=
e
Anderson boys played Yahtzee.  I also finally finished the hat I´ve been
working on this leg.  Katie made a tremendous supper of baked chicken
breasts, brown rice, salad, and broccoli with cheese sauce.  Maddie made
oatmeal cookies, passing them around after dishes.  Several Intermediates
had a re-test after supper.   Chris and a friend of his were on the dock to
welcome us.  Skipper and the crew enjoyed chatting with him and catching up
on some news; we will see Chris and his family again tomorrow.  The crew
gathered to prepare for tomorrow´s workday, while trainees hung out in the
hold for a bit.  Many retired to their bed.   Tomorrow night Caley´s mom ha=
s
invited the entire boat crew of 37 to her cabin on the island, for a
barbecue.  We are looking forward to it; it is a very generous invitation.
Pray for sunshine, I´m sure you want it just as much as we do.  Until
tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
cold and wet
June 11th 2008 @ 23:45
49°0'42.12 N 123°41'42.00 W

Ship's Log:
It is late at night; trainees and crew are still singing around a
wonderful campfire on a point of land overlooking the ocean.  I´ve just put
my 3 boys to bed.  We have had 2 amazing and very full days.  Tonight was
the leg end dinner where we have the chance to dress up, sit around a table
together as a group of 37 and enjoy a wonderful meal.   Crew has the chance
to serve the trainees and give them a break from dishes, preparation and
clean up; it´s a lot of fun.  We cover the after cabin with a table cloth,
set up place settings for everyone, decorate with candles and gorgeous
flowers (thanks to Andrea Wickam, Chris´s wife), and Katie and Gillian make
a delicious supper that the crew serve with style.  Benches are made with
either fenders on their side, the dugout canoe turned upside down, or from
two 5 gallon buckets supporting either ends of the fender board.  Altogethe=
r
it creates an elegant enough setting, especially when it gets darker and th=
e
candles and the sunset glows.  Elske, Sarah B, Christina, and Jordan
prepared special awards for everyone.  These awards are presented humoresly
by Jordan; he does a great job and enjoys doing it.  The awards celebrate
something we have all gotten to either know, love, or put up with about eac=
h
individual; they are memorable, funny, admirable . . . they made us laugh.
The past 2 days have been workdays for everyone.  Trainees were divided int=
o
groups led by a watch officer; each group was in charge of oiling, sanding,
wire brushing etc. a certain part of the ship i.e. hull, iron work, boom,
covering boards, rails, etc.  A small group worked below cleaning out every
bunk, moving around supplies in preparation for the summer program, and
doing inventory on the remaining food items and cleaning supplies.  The shi=
p
looks wonderful both below and above decks, as well as from the dock.
Everyone worked hard and attitudes were fantastic.  A strong sense of
ownership develops when everyone looks after the ship together.  Last night
Caley´s parents, Wendy and Dave, invited the entire ship´s complement to
their house on Thetis Island, for a barbecue.  It was a wonderful evening,
with great food, a hot tub, great conversation, and for some, hot showers.
The rest of us showered at the camp, which has generously opened shower
facilities for us.   The camp also allowed us to use the small boats;
lasers, canoes, kayaks and a rowboat. My boys are up first thing in the
morning and play on the water in the boats all day, hardly returning to the
big ship for food.  Trainees have had the chance at lunch or after work to
play with the boats; its relaxing and fun and the cove is a beautiful place
to paddle or sail around in, very protected.  Tonight someone mentioned we
have just ´3 sleeps´ left; we agreed that it doesn´t feel that way, it
doesn´t feel as if our time together will end, our experience continues
every minute and is full to the brim.  It´s a great feeling actually, livin=
g
in the moment.  Steve said perhaps it will hit us when we walk off the ship
. . . who knows, I´m sure we will all try to make it last as long as we can=
.
I would like to wish my mom an absolutely wonderful day tomorrow; it is her
70th birthday on June 12th.  Several of her sisters from Holland have come
over to celebrate the day with her; we will celebrate with her on Sunday.  =
A
very Happy Birthday mom, we sure love you, from Bonice, Tony, Elske, Becca,
Arwen, Jacob, Noah, and Simon. There is still a bit of work to do on the
ship; we hope to leave Thetis Island around noon tomorrow, heading south
towards Victoria.  Until then, good-night, Bonice.(


Observations:
mostly cloudy, no rain, some sun in evening
June 12th 2008 @ 23:30
48°51'29.88 N 123°15'18.00 W

Ship's Log:
We are anchored in Campbell Bay on the east side of Mayne Island just south of Active Pass.  We arrived under power from Thetis Island just before supper, a one-sitter of roast beef, roast pork, squash, vegetables, coleslaw salad, and some roast chicken from last night.  We awoke to a sunny day, though the air remained cool; it was the nicest day we´ve had so far on this coast and the forecast predicts improving weather.  We spent the morning adding another coat of oil to the main boom, finishing up the painting of the iron work, painting the port side of the boot top (the white line just above the waterline), cleaning the showering facilities, re-rigging the lazy jacks (the lines set up on either side of the main that support the sail if its lowered quickly), cleaning the dock and the small boats, putting a final coat of paint on the houses and putting the boat back together again.  We were able to take all the deck box lids and the two bosuns´ seat lockers off the ship to a shed where we could sand and oil them under cover.  All the dories were on mooring buoys in the bay and so everything that is usually stowed in them had to be taken out i.e. tanks, life jackets, etc. and placed on the dock.  The boat looks fantastic.  The Anderson boys enjoyed a few more hours of rowing in the bay; Andrea and Chris´ 7 year old boy Jamieson enjoyed having some extra playmates around while his siblings were in school (he is home schooled).   During our stay Tristan, Antony, Jose, Jacob, and Skipper sailed the lasers while Blake, Chris P, Chris E, and Jordan T. tried out the kayaks.  After work day yesterday trainees put together 2 teams and played soccer on the field.  Our stay at Thetis was absolutely perfect; we can´t think of a better place to have ´holed´ up for a few days.  We are incredibly thankful to Chris, Andrea, Jordan, and Margaret for allowing us to stay there; we could easily have stayed a few more days.  At about 1300 hrs we left the dock, raised the dories and said our good-byes.  The wind was blowing cold from the southeast, though not enough to raise sail. Trainees spent the afternoon being together in the hold, on watch around the wheel, and practicing for tonight´s ´Talent Show.´  Leighsa finished knitting her scarf, a beautiful multi-colored long scarf for some fortunate person.  Christina took everyone´s orders for hot drinks and put together a schedule of acts for tonight.  Keith allowed Elske to shave his ´neard (term for neck beard),´ in preparation for re-entry into Victoria Harbor.  Sean, Jordan T, and Jose have also undergone some shaving, readying themselves for the public.  Wrestling seems to be a favorite pastime for this leg. Regularly ´fights´ break out with thumps, laughter, cheering, and more thumps carrying on, usually on deck, for periods up to 20 minutes.  Arwen is a regular instigator of them, tickling, prodding, and surprising all of us. During one of the wrestling matches between Sarah B. and Jose, Sarah took Jose down on one of his own moves; she was proud and Jose was rightly humbled; it provides plenty of fun and laughs.  Over the past few days we´ve tried to describe to each other, how we are feeling about returning.  It seems we know that we are preparing for a homecoming and we go through the motions and activities to put everything in place for the event, but, without intentionally trying not to think about this leg and trip ending, we don´t think about it as if it will end.  It´s as if we don´t think it will happen; we have prepared the boat for a following leg before, the trip has always continued on.   We are very much living in the moment and enjoying where we are, living as if life as we now know it will never end and as if we cannot imagine living any other way.  Like I said, we are not trying to ignore the fact that we are nearly home, it just doesn´t feel like this could possibly end.  How can something so good, so full, so right, just end? After dishes everyone mustered on deck in sleeping bags, down jackets, hats etc.  We are anchored in a beautiful bay, quiet and calm; the evening was beautiful, but cold.  For an hour and a half we listened, watched, laughed, and clapped while many of us performed songs, skits, and poetry readings,
both serious and funny.  At intermission hot drinks were passed out to everyone and after the entire evening, Arwen served iced cupcakes which Katie, Adrienne and Arwen had spent the evening baking and decorating.  We really appreciate it when someone takes the time to bake something for everyone.  Since we are at anchor, 2 watch members at a time will be awake for an hour or so, throughout the night to keep an eye on the wind and the movement of the anchor.   Being up at night with one other person can be
wonderful, if you´re dressed for it.  It is so quiet and dark . . . a perfect time for reflection, quiet conversing etc.  It´s been another late but wonderful day,

until tomorrow, good-night, Bonice.


Observations:
mixture of sun and cloud
June 13th 2008 @ 22:30
48°27'18.00 N 123°17'24.00 W

Ship's Log:
For the first time this offshore we sailed in hard to the harbor and anchored under sail; it was exhilarating and everyone was working together
top-notch.  It was incredible and we all knew it.  The wind picked up south of Pender Island; when we got to Kelp Reef we called ´all hands´ and raised the mainsail, the foresail, the jumbo, and the jib.  Initially we ghosted at a few knots but within an hour we were roaring along at 7.5 knots . . .
wonderful . . .

It was special, some of the best sailing this leg.  When we neared Baynes Channel the wind picked up considerably and the sea was choppy and waves were big.  We lowered the jib; Raven and Emily with Susan lowered and furled the jib for the first time, they did a great job.  Everyone else was lowering the main and setting a double reef in the mainsail.  It´s fun when everyone has been on the ship long enough and understands how sail handling works.  All sailing procedures went quickly and smoothly with everyone wanting to help out, knowing it would possibly be the last chance to sail and be a part of it. Once the main was reefed and the jib furled we headed back into the wind and tacked our way through Baynes Channel and into Cordova Bay, where we anchored under sail . . . superlative . . . an amazing ending to the day and to the leg.   We were heeled hard over, making up to 8 knots, water was coming up through the scupper and wetting the decks, and we were having to place cups, bowls, dishes etc. carefully again to prevent spills.   It felt great to feel the ship sailing the way she is intended to, something we miss already.   A gale is forecasted for tonight and it may be windy tomorrow; another great sail looks possible, we are excited.  Our plan was to anchor at Chatham Island but because of weather we´ve ended up here. We left Campbell Bay this morning after breakfast.  Some trainees started thinking about packing, often an ominous undertaking.  James had stuff spread all over the hold table, organizing it and getting rid of as much as he could.  Jordan worked with Adam, Raven, James and Skipper bending the mainsail back onto the boom.  Elske climbed out onto the furthest end of the main boom to finish painting the black on some ironwork.   Work watch gave another coat of oil to the cabin house rails and the cap rails.  There is an increased sense of ownership as everyone knows now where all boat supplies are kept and can recognize what still needs doing.  Jacob started making a leather pouch for the marlin spike he bought himself in Port Townsend.  Lisa unraveled her wool and is knitting steadily on her scarf; it looks nice. Tristan, Bec, and Jacob checked over all the signal flags and the systems for raising them. Skipper had ´heaving line´ throwing practice for those trainees managing mooring lines when we come to the dock tomorrow.  Trainees are squeezing in a few more climbs up the rigging, viewing their life from a different angle.  During lunch, watches enjoyed their final meal together around the table.  In both Jose and Antony´s watch, trainees shared with their watches what they appreciate and have learned from each other.  It´s a great exercise that builds everyone´s sense of self and part in a community.

Tonight we will see a slide show of this leg put together by Jose; it´s always wonderful.  We sit spellbound, reliving our 37 days together. There´s no need to say anything, we know it all, we were all there together . . . lots of laughing and remembering.   Christina, Arwen, and Adrienne made donuts as a final mug-up, delicious. Tomorrow we enter Victoria Harbour.

We have very mixed feelings; we are both excited and hesitant.  It will be a wonderful but overwhelming day.  We are looking forward to seeing family and friends; be patient with us.  We have hundreds of stories and they´ll come out as the time passes.  Small things will remind us of something that happened at sea or in a village . . . and the story will be told.  Some of us may need some time to be quiet, to reflect, to ´transition´ from our time on the ship to a completely different life, away from the community we have come to know so well and depend on so wholly.  On the other hand, there are others who are waiting to spill out everything they have experienced and need only ears that are eager to listen and hear of amazing adventures and changes made.  Thank you for all your support and encouragement; I have enjoyed communicating the details of our amazing offshore voyage.  Tomorrow will be my final log.  Many of you will have met your kids and will begin to hear their stories. Enjoy your kids, we sure did, and we will miss them. I´m sure many of them will keep in touch with each other; many wonderful friendships have been created along with all the memorable times.  This adventure isn´t really over at all . . .

until tomorrow, good-night,
Bonice.


Observations:
mostly sunny, cold, windy
June 15th 2008 @ 23:25
48°25'36.12 N 123°22'4.80 W

Ship's Log:
It is the end of another very busy but incredible day.  I was hoping to write the final log of this offshore voyage yesterday, but when we finally arrived home last night, without the computer, and so many other things on our minds, I realized today would hopefully provide a better window in which to do it.   The ´Pacific Grace´ crew met this morning with the office staff and the crew of the Pacific Swift for an ´end of offshore´ brunch, a time to be together, recognize the work we do together, and our appreciation and dependence on each other.  Afterwards Jose, Jordan and our family moved all
our things off the boat; what a lot of stuff we dug up from everywhere!

Jose and his dad Robert were helpful in transporting a load of our things to our house.  It was fun to see some of the very interesting purchases we made from the different islands; primitive carvings, tea ceremony cups and teapot, Japanese and Chinese teas, ceramics, books, shells from all over the Pacific, ´Reuben,´ our totem pole from Vanuatu, spears, sushi ingredients and accessories, wool, coconut oil, posters from Midway, collection of albatross bones etc.  Tonight I want to describe our return into Victoria Harbor from yesterday.  It was an absolutely overwhelming and wonderful day; we totally enjoyed it and were swept up by it.  The number of trainees that returned to see the Grace come home was the highest we´ve ever experienced; it was wonderful.  It felt so good to see them all so happy on the dock, and especially, to give them a hug, look them in the eye, and just share a moment.  I loved it; it was truly like a family where all the children and
members of the family had returned to be together; the bond was strong, the memories deep.  Thank you so much to everyone who came to welcome us in; it meant a lot and I find myself still thinking of all of you, of all the people I had a chance to see, hug, and chat with.   The weather cooperated; it was warm and there was a very light wind.  We weighed anchor at 1100hrs with spirits high, full of anticipation.  Gillian made a delicious lunch of cheeses, meats, crackers, fruit, vegetables, humous and red pepper dip. We were able to eat on deck and watch the smaller boats coming to welcome us.
We raised all our fore and aft sails; we looked beautiful. Sam Witt had a friend with a sailboat who took Sam, Tavish, and Mary, all trainees, out to visit.  We were ecstatic to see them. Soon after, we saw the ´Swift´s´ sails being raised as she was exiting the harbor; that initial sighting was wonderful.  Everyone watched expectantly as the 2 ships approached each other.  Once we were close enough to recognize faces, people on both ships were lined along the rail, staring intently, drinking in deeply the sight of each other again, as if quenching a thirst after a draught.  It is a special moment, that first glimpse of friends and family after so long a time.  We were still out of the busy-ness of the inner harbor; the time was still ours, things still moved slowly to our pace of offshore, we were still intact as a community, but able to enjoy the initial tastes of returning home.  At the breakwater both ships lowered sail and the Pacific Grace was lead in by the harbor ferries, and accompanied by a fireboat, private sailing boats, the tugboat =B3Viking Monarch=B2 owned by Ilya´s father (Ilya was a trainee on leg 5), and the Pacific Swift . . . it was quite something.

One of the private sailboats had about 15 trainees from leg 2 and 3, and came up beside us, a wonderful surprise.  I can´t express how good it was to see the trainees again, to have them all together in the same place because of the Grace and the life we shared on her. We had a team of trainees standing aloft on the yardarms and the spreaders by the 2 masts; Elske, Becca, Adrienne, Chris E, Susan, and Arwen had practiced the previous day and were standing proud in their uniforms with possibly the best view of all of us. The signal flags went up the fore ward and after stays, and the country flags of all the countries we visited were hoisted on the starboard side.  The dock was full of people and again people looked  intensely for each other, screaming out when they recognized someone close.  It was amazing; what a welcome.  We wandered up the dock to applause and congratulations. Loren, SALTS executive director, thanked everyone for coming and welcomed the Grace and her crew home.   Two trainees gave moving accounts of what their time on the Grace meant for them; Steve Barber and Sara R. had been asked by Skipper if they were interested in sharing some of their story.  They both did an amazing job.  Skipper then introduced the crew and spoke briefly on the different ´neighbors´ we met along our route. He had made enlargements of some of these encounters and passed them around as he discussed the story behind the photo.  It was an attempt at bringing a very small portion of our trip home for you to see; a chance to see some of the people that made it so worthwhile and from whom we learned so much.  

I was presented with a most generous, precious, and thoughtful gift; the log all typed out and bound into a finished book!  I was overwhelmed; it was a perfect gift.  I have not kept a personal journal and had been hoping I could print off all the logs and create an account of our trip to put with an album for the kids.  The book is beautifully made and opens with a dedication, and a photo from Huahine, and closes with the words ´until then . . . good-night, Bonice.´ Thank you Scott Baker, SALTS office staff, Stephen Duff, and Skipper, for initially asking SALTS if my logs were still available for printing after the trip.   Then Bob Cross from the Victoria Tall Ships Society welcomed us, followed by a prayer of thanks from Loren. Trainees and family and friends were then able to be with each other and hugs, tears, and words of welcome and thanks flowed for several hours. Trainees slowly moved off the ship and returned home or wherever they were to spend their first night off the ship.  It was sad for me to return to an empty ship, but the day was wonderful and we were truly  wonderfully welcomed home.  Thank you to everyone.  This is the final log of this offshore.  I have enjoyed communicating to everyone and I know I will miss it.  Please continue communicating to and with each other; we all have amazing stories
and lives to share. I have invited trainees to stay in touch, drop by our home etc.  I cannot imagine I won´t see them again at some point.  Our home is always welcome.  Thank you to everyone who made this year an incredible one; one that we will not forget.  

There is no next time, so I will say,

until we meet again, good-night, Bonice


Observations:
sunny and getting warmer

tall ships
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