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November 1, 2001 ~ November 30, 2002

November 30, 2001

We slept in until 7am after we head the weather forecast at 5:30am over the VHF radio for more rain, winds to 30 knots and 2 meter seas, actually the weather has gotten worse and worse every day that we have been here! A day for reading! Eric spent the entire day trying to fix the computer....Ron even passed Eric a cd (wrapped tightly in plastic bags!) on a boat hook between our two boats, after he let out more anchor chain and we pulled in some!!!!

November 29, 2001

We were up at 5am and all ready to head to Tauranga at 6am, when Ron called saying that they were going into Auckland or Great Mercury Island, where we were, since they had been out all night and couldn't make any headway in this winds....they were now forecasting 25 knot winds from the southeast....the direction to Tauranga!!!

So, we decided to stay put and wait for *Lazy Jack* to arrive and leave tomorrow when the winds were down and from a better direction after the front went through!!! Eric spent the day working on the computer, while I finished reading "Caribbean" by Michener, which I started months ago. I definitely enjoyed it and found that it explained many of the attitudes which we experienced while we were in the Caribbean. I highly recommend it, especially if you have been there also.I made brownies and lunches for tomorrow, expecting that we would be heading off.

It was such a pretty bay with a beautiful white sand beach and rolling hills with sheep...but no dinghy to go explore...but then again it was very windy and rainy! A good day to be curled up with a cup of white (with honey and cream) tea (we have been spending too much time with our British friends!) and a good book!!!!

November 28, 2001

We were up at 5am, left at 6am, motored all the way (wind on the nose!) and were anchored off White Beach and Mercury Cover (unfortunately, too shallow for us to tuck into for complete shelter in any wind!) at Great Mercury Island at 7pm. During our passage we saw dolphins and had one fish, but he got away! Another beautiful island and we were quite protected from the winds, all except for those from the west!

We were very tired and a little upset about taking so very long to accomplish only 200 miles between Opua and Tauranga! It was also cold (water is now 65 degrees) and remember, no real heater aboard ....we do have hot water when we run the engine all day, but then we cannot run the generator for heat, since the batteries do not need to be charged, since they have been charged by the engine. The other big major major problem was the computer break down of yesterday....Eric usually can fix it, but no luck so far!!!:( No emails, no weather faxes, no website updating....our umbilical cord to the real (?) world is not working!

November 27, 2001

We didn't get up until 6am and left the anchorage about 7am with the wind from the East.....right on the nose!!! Almost impossible to sail and we had a really rough trip around Cape Brett with the currents and wind and tides!!! It was an incredible sight with thousands of birds in the water and flying above....must have been many many fish there!

We gave up our plan of sailing directly to Tauranga (although *Scoffold* did and got very very wet!!!) and were anchored in Urquhart Bay around Home Point just inside Whangerei Harbour at about 3:30pm with *High Drama* and *Maritime Express.* Another very beautiful anchorage but our weather was deteriorating and it was becoming overcast. We had considered staying in Whangerei (Wh is pronounced F....don't ask me how that works????!!!Really should be spelled Fongarey), but no shore power for us. Everyone who stayed there really enjoyed this nice little town!

We talked with *Lazy Jack* on the SSB and they were planning to head out later tomorrow in an overnight to Tauranga, since Richard and his family haved returned home.

November 26, 2001

We checked out of the marina, left about 9:30am, and were anchored in Oke Bay, near Cape Brett, after transiting the Albert Channel (a short cut through many islands out to Cape Brett, but it does have its hazards with rocks and shoals, so should be navigated only is relatively calm weather) about 12:30pm just in time for lunch. We were anchored with *Scoffold* (Annett, Ian, and kids), *High Drama* (Jeff and Anne), *Maritime Express* (Henry and Gail) and one other boat, whom we did not know. *Someday is Here* (Ken, Wendy, and Barrett) had left for Tutukaka about an hour before we arrived.

The weather had cleared off and it was a beautiful day and the sail/motor had been really beautiful! Many different islands and white sandy beaches with lots of green vegetation! Such beautiful countryside! Unfortunately, we did not have our dinghy in the water, since we were planning to leave at first light (6:30am) to do an overniter to Tauranga since it is only 200 miles! With no dinghy we could not explore ashore...all we could do was look, take pictures, and enjoy the spectacular view! Really tough duty!

We made the boat ready, while I made lunches and Jason worked out....went to bed early since 5:30am comes much too quickly!

November 25, 2001

We had planned a visit with Ron, Anna, Richard, Claire and Elizabeth to Waitangi where the famous treaty was signed between a representative of Queen Victoria's government and the Maoris on February 6, 1840 but it was raining...again ...when we awoke!!! This is supposed to be their May, almost the beginning of June and summer...you could have fooled us!!! Actually, yesterday was a beautiful day and we were in short sleeved shirts as we toured Paihia! Paihia is the main town in this area and has become quite the tourist location with all the souvenir shops, tours centers, ice cream shops (the above not all bad!) and higher prices! This town was settled by Europeans as a mission station in 1823 when the first raupo (bullrush) hut was built for Reverend Henry Williams. Waitangi adjoins Paihia to the north. The Treaty of Waitangi is the momentous document which granted the Maori citizenship and land rights because the Maori tribes accepted British governorship. We were disappointed not to be able to explore more of this area except for this pretty but somewhat touristy town!

Richard and Ron stopped over to visit in the morning and at 4:30pm everyone came aboard (Richard, Claire, Elizabeth, Ron and Anna) to visit and share some kava (and other drinks!!!). We finished up another passage meal with some ice cream (from the little store!) and then enjoyed *Fantasia 2000* which Julie and Chris gave us for Christmas, after they all left to go out to dinner again.

November 24, 2001

Happy happy Birthday, Manu! I can't believe that our first baby parrot is now TEN years old!!! We know that it was special since Julie and Chris are taking really good care of you in Boulder!

We took a taxi ($10NZ for the entire van each way, so we like to share!) into the nearest town of Paihia (pronounced almost the same as Paia on Maui!!!), where we watched a wood splitting contest which was happening in the square when we arrived. These guys are pretty amazing....split through a big log with an ax in about 1 minute!!! We went to the bookstore, had a chicken/avo burger in a little cafe (this is a tourist town), bought some delicious bread at the bakery, and went shopping at the little grocery store in town, which to us was cultural shock after Tonga.

Ron's (*Lazy Jack*) brother, Richard Toovey, and his wife, Claire, and their 6 month old baby, Elizabeth, had flown up to Opua from their home in Wellington, to welcome Ron and Anna to New Zealand. They very nicely included us in their dinner plans for the evening and picked us up at 5pm to visit their nice condo where they were staying in Paihia. We walked to the Ex-Serviceman's Club from there and had an excellent dinner of scallops, salad bar and pavlova for dessert! It was such fun to see a little baby again, especially one whom we had been hearing so much about since her birth! She has the prettiest smile!

November 23, 2001

I spent the entire morning in the laundry room! I washed all the sheets, towels, blankets and spreads....and then of course, I had to make up the beds afterward...an all day affair!!!

November 22, 2001

Happy Happy Birthday, Kathy in Connecticut!!!! We hope that you had a special day!

We must admit that the weather was not a very warm welcome: it was raining, blowing 35 knots and a cold 60 degrees! We went to the marina office, signed up for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Opua Sailing Club, and went to the little Opua General Store to pick up a few items and to see what was available there. We managed to get the boat back into anchor/marina condition...we don't do much housekeeping while underway...while Eric changed the oil and worked on the transmission in the engine. We went over to dinner at the Sailing Club and enjoyed an amazing turkey dinner with 120-150 other cruisers from around the world! We paid for the turkey, gravy, and stuffing made by the club (I don't know how many turkeys they cooked!!!) and everyone brought special side dishes. I simply brought some of my special bread and olives, since I didn't have much aboard any more and the pickings were very slim at the store!!! But the other cruisers brought enough to feed everyone!!! What an experience!!! We are so very thankful!

November 21, 2001

We awoke to a very cloudy day with fairly light winds...it was rather comical during the past several days we passed several boats two and three times since our speed was so erratic!! We put up our spinnaker early and were making good time. We contacted Des on Russell Radio on VHF and he contacted Customs for all of us, so that they could meet us when we arrived.

About noon time, we noticed a freighter north of us, sailing south along the coast, so we had a quite scramble to take down the spinnaker (which, thankfully, went very smoothly and quickly), so that we could motor out of his path (even though technically, we had the right-of-way!!! We think it is more prudent to get out of their way!!!). Then we heard *Argonauta, SD* being contacted by New Zealand Coast Guard in an airplane as they entered the long channel as they approached Opua. We also heard them loose control for a moment when they crashed into a basking shark at the surface. They actually had quite a bit of damage to their rudder from this collision!!! , but they could sail with no problems into Opua and later to Auckland, where they plan to repair it when they are hauled out in the spring!

We had to contact Des at 3:45pm as we were entering the channel (we were patiently waiting a call from the airplane, but they never called...nor did they call any other boat as we were entering). We were welcomed by TWO huge pods of very large dolphins, escorting us into Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand! One cannot understand the excitement of being welcomed in such a manner after 5 days at sea on this very difficult passage!

We were along the breakwater customs dock at Opua Marina, Bay of Islands, New Zealand,behind *Argonauta, SD*, and before *Lazy Jack* (not that we were racing or anything!!!!!:) at about 6pm just as it was starting to blow about 25 knots and rain!!!!

Customs and Quarantine went very smoothly! I had filled out all the forms (4 pages + with arrival cards, etc) and knew exactly what I had to give to him: 4 pkgs of frozen ground turkey, butter, canned cream, cheese....we had eaten all the popcorn, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables. I told him about my mats, kava bowls, carvings, tapa cloth, etc, but he didn't even bother with those. (I am really glad that I didn't bother shipping them back to Julie from Tonga!) We were asked about firearms, but, we do not carry any. Then he asked about pepper spray, and we had purchased two "Avenger" pepper sprays (mace) at the Police Store in Ft. Lauderdale for about $20/each...so he did take those and we will retrieve them when we leave Opua next April for Fiji. Apparently, they are illegal here! We were in our slip at the Marina about 8pm (Thanks to *Argonauta, NY*!!! Sally and Julius has booked us in with the marina and then helped us with ropes!!) We had our showers, helped Lazy Jack into their slip (It was blowing pretty hard by now...so we had to be very secure and have chafe gear installed), and enjoyed a passage pasta meal at about 9pm for dinner.

I can't express how thankful we were to be safely tucked into our marina slip as the wind and rain increased over night....our main concern was our fellow cruisers who had not made it in in time!!! We slept well that night. THANKFUL and GRATEFUL for a safe and uneventful passage and arrival into New Zealand!

November 20, 2001

Another beautiful sailing day...but sailing much too slowly for this passage!!! *Lazy Jack* and *Argonauta, San Diego* were egging David on...and I was saying that we needed to put on the motor (Iron Jenny!) and go faster to beat the low!!! We did try to put up the spinnaker early in the morning, but it was all twisted...so that was the big job of the day...get it untwisted so that we could use it!!!

November 19, 2001

ABSOLUTELY beautiful watch with incredible meteor showers....I had my own private fireworks display!!! Unfortunately, nobody else was awake to enjoy it with me! Then I saw the famous green flash....... for the sunrise!!! AMAZING!!!

Our wind seems to be holding and we were making good time. The water temperature was 71 degrees then 69 degrees!!! which makes the boat much colder. We also do NOT have a heater on board, except when the generator is on! We were wearing our woolies!

November 18, 2001

We were sailing well at 8-9 knots. Ocean temperature was down to 72 degrees. Eric and David still have colds. David hurt his eye, so we dug out the medicine from under the seat. Normal watch schedule!

November 17, 2001

Slightly rolly with very cool nights. David and Eric were complaining of having colds.

November 16, 2001

Happy Birthday, MaryAnne on Maui! Special day for a special person!

We weathered a front with 25 knots winds, poured over weather faxes again, plus information from the internet from Susan's (*Argonauta, SD*) brother in New Zealand and everyone decided to leave just after lunch. We left about 2pm (NEVER have left at that hour before!!) along with *Lazy Jack*, *Ubi Bene*, *Capistrano,* *Capt d'Or,* *Endeavour* (they said on the radio that they were leaving because they did NOT want to pull a P&A.... when asked what that was? They indicated that they did not want to stay at Minerva Reef for two weeks!!! Actually, we loved it there and will plan to go back there on trip north to Fiji in the spring!) .....about 9 boats left!!!

So back on watch and eating passage dinners! Five days or so to Opua!!!

November 15, 2001

We looked at weather faxes....again....prepared to leave....again!!! We spoke with Gerhart and Huta on *Ubi Bene II* who were anchored next to us. They had traveled back and forth about 15 times between Tonga and New Zealand, so we were very interested to learn when he might be heading out. He also loaned us a copy of a shark attack on a cruiser a few months ago (last May) here in Minerva. Chris Eckoff had speared a grouper at about 60 feet and was immediately attacked by a gray reef shark. They managed to bring him aboard his boat and, thankfully for him, there was a Tongan Coast Guard Vessel who took him immediately back to Nuku'aloafa for medical care. He lived because of that and because there is no pollution in Minerva so the shark's teeth were clean and infection did not set in. The very important lesson gained from this experience is that the shark attacked HIM and not the fish that he had speared (it was actually still on the spear gun, when it was retrieved.) ....gray reef sharks are territorial and he was in the shark's territory....All snorkelers, divers, and spearfisherman should pay very careful note to this one!!!

We went snorkeling after lunch and said goodbye to *Batrachian* (Stephen and Katherine), *Skive* (Ian, Ericka, and Hannah), *Destiny* (Joanne and Mike), *Silent Sound* and *Zadako* (Stefan and Sandra...the Germans who gave us the fish!) were heading out....meanwhile, *Argonauta, San Diego* (Susan and Howard), *Green Ghost*, and *Endeavor* (Glenn and Paul) just arrived! Not the right time for us to leave...yet...as we continued to look at weather faxes.

November 14, 2001

Happy Birthday, Luke Wilson!! We know that your grandma helped to celebrate a very special day for a special little boy!

Another morning of pouring over more weather faxes and weather routers recommendations, while I made a cake...needing to use up bananas and other items which they will take from us when we enter New Zealand. We went hunting for lobsters at low tide, walking along the reef....not much luck except for a HUGE parrot fish which Eric shot in a large hole in the reef. David and I did locate five lobsters under the reef when we were snorkeling later, but we did not have a spear or a lobster catcher...they must have known that! Another evening spent over weather faxes with Ron and Anna....WHEN do we leave?????

November 13, 2001

We compiled all our weather faxes, weather routers recommendations and talked with many of the 23 boats now anchored here in Minerva Reef and made the boat ready to travel by having Eric and David clean off the bottom again! We went snorkeling again when we saw an octopus and three very large puffer fish. Eric speared a lobster and several squirrel fish for dinner. We spent the evening pouring over more weather faxes with Ron and Anna.

November 12, 2001

We went for another great snorkel and then stopped to visit with *Skive* (Ian, Erica and daughter Hannah), *Batrachian* (Stephen and Katherine), and *Destiny* (Mike and Joanne)....we had heard each other on the radio for months, but had never met...it was fun to meet in person!

I made bread and yogurt after lunch and then we were on the VHF with everyone's weather faxes, plus weather router information trying to make some sense of this weather and deciding just WHEN to go. We also heard on the radio that *Blue Yonder* had been motoring alot and were now having engine problems just as they were nearing New Zealand and a big low with BIG winds on their nose (right when they need their engine THE most!!) !

November 11, 2001

Happy Happy 3rd Birthday, Rachel Marie!!! You surely do have a busy week of birthdays in your family, with Grandma Shirley's, Aunt Heidi's and yours! We hear that you had a very special party! We hope it was fun!

We went snorkeling in a squall and didn't get any fish, but caught several fish off the back of the boat, so we ate a Pink one spotted Pig Fish for dinner...absolutely delicious! Many other boats arrived in the anchorage, and thankfully a German boat next to us gave us a big chunk of mahimahi which they had just caught...no room in their freezer or no freezer! Thank you very much.

November 10, 2001

We had another spectacular snorkel in the pass and said goodbye to all as *Argonauta, NY* and *Aldebaran, Milwaukee* left for New Zealand and *Maritime Express* (Gail and Henry) and *Stella* (Ariel and Terry) left for South Minerva Reef. *Wandering Dream* (Ed and Jen) arrived while we were snorkeling! We checked the spear gun tip and still there....so after lunch we returned and they retrieved the spear gun (but broke the lobster catcher:) by tying a rope to the spear gun and attaching to the dinghy and gunning the motor...and it came out! Eric was a very very HAPPY camper tonight!

We had a deliciious Job fish for dinner. It tastes alot like lobster! Amazing. After dinner, Ron and Anna came over for tea and cake and watch " A Scent of a Woman"...another excellent film!

November 9, 2001

I did another load of wash before we went out to snorkel the pass again; we saw turtles, sharks, groupers, sweet lips and many different species that we had never seen before. This is such a pristine location! No ciguatera so we can eat anything!

That afternoon the Tongan Navy Vessel arrived, pumped the fishing boat, now named *Wai Nui* up with diesel, and then took Captain Ken for a ride all around Minerva Reef in the navy vessel. We went snorkeling again, this time in search of the elusive lobsters...all the other cruisers were catching and eating several a day...and I think we had one and Lazy Jack had one!!! Eric sighted two large ones under a huge coral patch. He tried multiple times to get it in the lobster catcher, while I held his spear gun at the surface. Meanwhile Ron and David are looking elsewhere. Eric finally surfaced for the last time and asked for his spear gun! He went down and blasted the lobster....got the lobster but his spear gun tip was stuck hard into the coral rock!!! So, he retrieved his lobster and the spear gun, but no one was able to get his spear point out. We remembered the location and went back to the boat since we were so tired and very cold.

We had been invited aboard *Argonauta, NY* for a "BonVoyage Party" for Captain Ken and his crew since they were setting out for Tongan at 6pm following the Tonga Nevy vessel (we don't know how they will ever keep up!) and most of us thought that we were leaving the following day. (*Aldebaran, Ireland* and *Satori* - Doug and Valerie, our CNN weather lady, had left that morning.) Eric was so "bummed" about losing his spear gun that he did not even go to the party!

November 8, 2001

Happy Birthday, Heidi!! We hope that you had a beautiful celebration in Colorado today!

We woke up to find that *Blue Yonder* had left immediately after the lightning stopped last night, when Bob McDavitt said people should leave! Many others left during the morning....we discussed and discussed and decided that we did not like the odds of getting into Opua before a that low came across. So six of us stayed at North Minerva Reef! (It turns out that if we had gone, we could have motored and made it with no problem....but then again, we wouldn't have had all the terrific experiences and met many more cruisers on Minerva Reef!)

Ron, Eric and I went snorkeling and Eric got two fish for dinner, while Jason worked out and David was healing his back. We caught two fish off the back of the boat, and *Stella* (Ariel and Terry) brought us their "show and tell" of the day...a huge Green Job fish which she had caught off the back of their boat!!! Ron and Anna came over for a visit before our dinner of a longfaced Emperor fish.

November 7, 2001

A crazy day at North Minerva Reef! It was raining very hard all day with gusts to 32 knots! The "lost" Tongan fisherman were safely lead within the reef by *Tigger*. Captain Ken had purchased this boat(?) in Fiji and had hired Moses and Mervin as crew to bring his new fishing boat back to Tonga. They had no GPS, no food, no water and no diesel!!! He was told to just go "that way" and he would arrive in Tonga! Captain Ken knew the Prime Minister of Tonga, so they finally sent P209, Tongan Navy vessel to rescue them! (We heard that his wife in New Zealand agreed to pay $5000 for the diesel and for the Navy vessel to come to his rescue in North Minerva Reef!) Meanwhile, everyone went through their cabinets and lockers and donated bags and bags of food, bottles of water to these men. One sailboat donated a used GPS and installed it for them (He said that he had a great deal of difficulty finding a dry spot to place it). Most of us could not believe that these guys were for real? The Tongan Coast Guard couldn't believe it either....he asked if this guy was crazy????

I made four loaves of bread for our passage to New Zealand, expected to take 5 + days. I also made brownies. David hurt his back....we had problems with the stove, and we spent hours trying to figure out the weather....and the BIG question....should we go????

November 6, 2001

Busy day! I did a load of white clothes and hung them inside, it was chilly and cloudy. We went snorkeling when Eric speared a parrot fish and Ron got a lobster. We went out and snorkeled the pass after lunch when the tide was right. What gorgeous coral and we saw a Napolean fish, then we had a squall and snorkeled inside where it was not as clear, but calmer.

*Lazy Jack* and *Blue Yonder* came over before dinner to visit. What a nice time we had with them! The weather seemed to be deteriorating after being cloudy all day with rain most of the night. We were now up to 24 boats in North Minerva Reef, plus the "lost" Tongan fishermen from Fiji! More about them tomorrow...as the plot thickens!

November 5, 2001

Happy Happy Birthday, Shirley!!!! We do hope that you had a beautiful day with your family in Evergreen, Colorado!!!

We arrived in Minerva Reef at sunrise! What a spectacular sight!!! Because there is no land exposed at North Minerva Reef, as you approach, all you see are sail boats anchored ....in what appears to be The Pacific Ocean!!!! It feels like your eyes are playing tricks on you....you KNOW that boats are not usually anchored in the middle of the ocean!!! Before GPS, sailing vessels went as far away as possible from these two reefs (North and South Minerva Reef), because many boats were lost on the reef. It is absolutely amazing that our Seamap charts on the computer are absolutely spot-on as we arrived and went through the pass to join the other 13 boats already at anchor inside.

While we were putting the boat in order, *Whiskers* and *Argonauta* arrived into the anchorage and *Atlas* (Jim and Jo) left for New Zealand. They are a Nordic Trawler...power boat, and go much faster than we do, so their weather router told them it was a go for weather for them.

I made banana cake and bread and then Ron and Anna came over for tea and cookies. Needless to say, we ate an early dinner and were in bed early after two nights on passage, even though they were fairly comfortable!

November 4, 2001

We were so disappointed because the winds slowed down with a cloudy/overcast day and we had been making such absolutely fantastic mileage, but we realized that we would not be able to make Minerva Reef...another very quiet, nice sailing day so I answered and wrote many emails. We spoke to Des at 4:00pm, got weather faxes from 4:15-5:00pm and then Eric sent and received emails at 5pm. We had sphagetti and bread for dinner!

November 3, 2001

We were up early, listening to the weather and to the nets (8104) and left Nuku'aloafa, Kingdom of Tonga at 8:30am and were having a terrific sail going 9-10 knots!!! I put on my scopalamine patch last night, so I had a nice day reading and sleeping, getting ready for my watches at 6-10pm and 4-6am!!! We checked in with Des on Russell Radio in New Zealand at 4pm for weather and to give him our position in the event of an emergency and then with Lazy Jack at 6:30. We had a pasta meal for dinner!

We also heard on the morning net that *High Drama,* (Jeff and Anne), *Project Mayhem* (Brett and Mike), *Aldebaran, Milwaukee* (Fred, Renee and John from Tonga), *Kanaloa* (David and Valerie), *Tranquility* (Rick and Mary), *Argonauta, NY* (Julius and Sally), and *Karelbi* were ALL on their way to Minerva Reef or straight to New Zealand, if the weather was ok. Even though the weather guru, Bob McDavitt, had told *Kanaloa* not to leave Minerva Reef until after November 8!

November 2, 2001

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIC!!!! The BIG 26!!! What a special place to celebrate a special day for a special guy!!

*Lazy Jack* and *Blue Yonder* left for Minerva Reef this morning, after they stopped by to wish Eric, a Very Happy Birthday! *Lazy Jack* gave him a tiger shark tooth necklace and *Blue Yonder* brought him a WHITE (almost looks painted and fake, since it is so white!) cowrie shell, because we refuse to purchase them or to kill live ones! (Eric had been looking at them at shops when we were on the tour together the other day!)

We had a very busy morning in town where we checked out of Tonga through the Port Captain, Customs and Immigration. We were rather bent out of shape when we had to pay quite a large fee to be anchored over at Pangimotu ....the same as a boat in a harbour slip! We then spent the rest of the morning (a couple of hours) waiting in line for our one year multiple entry visas for New Zealand. At the time, we were wondering WHY we were doing this, but turned out to be a real time saver when we arrived in New Zealand. So, it was really a smart thing to do...even though it was not exactly a fun way to spend the morning of Eric's Birthday!

We had lunch at Akiko's Japanese Restaurant in the basement of the Catholic Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua Church on Taufa'ahau Road. The lunch special was cheap...and the guys enjoyed it, but not my type of lunch food. We went to John's to have the biggest and best ice cream in town....according to all the school kids! We stopped at the market and the bread store for some last minute items. We stowed the dinghy, stowed everything else and I made a chocolate chip birthday cake for Eric. We had mahimahi in coconut milk and delicious cake for his Birthday Party that evening, but nobody around to party with!!

November 1, 2001

As I was looking for sheets and blankets for our passage (to make bunks with lee cloths in the main cabin for Ellen and David), I discovered THREE large bottles of honey which I had purchased in Pago Pago!!!! I gave two of them to *Argonauta, NY*, *Lazy Jack* and *Blue Yonder*....since I knew that they would take them away when we arrived in New Zealand. I made oatmeal raisin cookies and will use the honey to make bread. The ladies on the other boats were busy cooking cakes etc, etc.

The guys got out the SuperSnorkel so that they could work on the bottom, while I cleaned teak and washed the floors. At the same time, we continued to have major major problems with the batteries...we just need to get to New Zealand ASAP so that we can use shore power and replace them.