Rapa Nui Teaser ~
When NASA needed a Pacific Ocean tracking station for the Gemini space program, they shipped Orlando home to help build the Easter Island Airport so that NASA could establish a tracking station on his island. Now Orlando owns one of Rapa Nui’s finer hotels. Concluding his story, Orlando called over a young man. Tall with thick black hair, I meet Benjamin, one of his sons, a handsome lad, twenty-three-years old.
“Jack, you will have to move your ship,” Orlando said. “A storm is coming.”
Thinking of my day of worry, I smiled. “I plan to shift as soon as the supplies get on board.”
Silent for a moment, Orlando looked out to sea.
“Why don’t we trade sons for the night, my one for your two? Yours can come home with me, have a shower, and watch television. My son can experience a night at sea.”
How could I refuse such a kind man? I didn’t think the storm would be fierce.
I turned and asked, “Benjamin, do you get seasick?”
His reply, a shake of his jet-black curls, so I said, “Okay, let’s load up. I’ll bring Jason ashore.”
Half an hour later, the transfer complete, I’m swearing and cursing. Our anchor jammed in that confounded Easter Island rock kept Banyandah rolling violently, and Benjamin limp and spewing all over my boat.
When finally away, we streaked across La Perouse Bay with the Three Crosses atop Poike our landmark ahead. Once they were close aboard, we roared past that red wall of gigantic bricks, white surf flying high and the sea running freely across our decks. Quickly again at Tongoriki, the bay at the base of Rano Raraku, but this time much further out for the swell had built and broke in deadly white lines across the entrance to the shallow bay.
In gathering dusk, we anchored deep, letting fathoms of line out, and buoyed our anchor. With no-where else to hide, our existence became a screeching windblown night of worry. Each blast topped the last, sending clouds racing across the full moon, making the night alternate between Stygian blackness and ghoulish light giving glimpses of the dead land, a volcano above a madhouse of white danger. Waves tumbled, making the ocean glow as if drowning sailors danced upon windblown spume in a cacophony of their screeches. As the angry sea thundered past, our anchor rope protested like a creature torn between colossal forces making sleep impossible.
Instead, we worried if our line should break. Regaining land might take days, if ever. [MORE]
More on Benji [HERE]
Summer’s Coming ~
We’ll soon be sailing, so here are a few tips from the heaps found in Jude’s handy, Practical Boat Bits and Tips.
The Dinghy Painter ~
The dinghy painter should not be just any old rope. It’s imperative to use floating rope for many reasons. It’s easier to fish out the sea, and when going astern there will be no chance of it fouling a prop and stalling the engine, outboard or ship’s if trailing dinghy. Silver rope is perfect for the job. Splice a soft eye in the free end just big enough to drop over your bollard to make securing your dinghy fast and easy.
The Ships Log ~
We have always kept a log of our journeys on board Banyandah. When we first started, we used store-bought log books, but they’re rather expensive, so we designed our own page, photocopied it and put a bunch in a folder. We’re a little more clever today and use lined A4 hardback notebooks purchased from most newsagents for about $5. We rule the columns.
The left-hand page records the voyage’s cumulative and hour miles run, course steered, wind, sea conditions and barometer while the right-hand page is for engine use, sail changes, and comments. We do this for day runs too. Originally used for dead reckoning, our log books have proved a handy place to record fuel used, water and gas bottle change-over so we easily know Banyandah’s vitals.
Boat maintenance notes are recorded in the log. Sometimes we fill in every hour or sometimes an uneventful period goes unrecorded. At change of watch the ship’s position is recorded. Keeping a log book has never been a chore. On those long night watches, it fills idle time and now we have heaps of log books to reminisce and inspire the grandchildren.
For more photos and details, shout us a wine for your copy of Practical Boat Bits and Tips
Looking forward to a coo-ee and sharing an anchorage.
Happy safe sailing
Words Last Forever ~
Those sailing their own craft across the seas are fortunate to enjoy freedom little known on land.
From boredom to the greatest fear in a heartbeat surrounded by the wildest Nature on Earth is a sailor’s lot.
A perfect life of never to be forgotten moments with enough idle time to record them, which become even more important as we age.
I’m an expert on that. I’ve watched my feline strength wither like leafy spinach too long in the ground. My brain cells that could remember ten thousand items struggle to remember my first home in Bell Gardens.
It’s a good thing I started writing things down when young.
It’s odd, I never took a shine to English when a kid. Couldn’t see the point. It seemed too complicated, and there were plenty of girls and fast cars easier to understand.
That changed after I got married to a yes girl who would go anywhere. In rapid-fire, that life exposed us to the world’s greatest everything; wild beasts, strange lands, wide-open spaces, and Nature, heaps of it. Our life overflowed with events worth recording, and that’s when I started writing my ideas and stories in notebooks like the ones used in schools.
Our New Book ~
Around the World in Ever Increasing Circles has its roots in the stories I penned during the three-year journey. Recorded as we glided along to our next destination. I’d scribble the essences, capturing the action, important details and unique features of the players so important to good writing.
For much of 1987, I devoted my energy to polishing these stories into something publishable. It’s a big task writing a book. A great learning experience that ended in needing cash to go forward as we’d spent all our bickies on a block of land.
Five years further down the track, after completing the house, I had another go, but shelved the project to get our veteran Banyandah back in sailing condition. Poor baby needed a total refit and that took another ten years.
Good thing that. Like good wine, our writing style improved with age. In the interim, practise makes perfect, we learned a thing or two about the English language.
The published paperback will reach approximately five hundred pages with illustrations and photos.
Register you interested here
Taenga Atoll Tuamotus Teaser ~
A crowd of locals jabbered amongst themselves as we secured our floating home alongside their stick and plank jetty, sparking Benji’s curiosity. Calling out to them in the Rapa Nui language brought silence for a few seconds until one local addressed Benji in their language. Astonishing us, Benji answered back.
Somewhat startled, I asked Benjamin if he could communicate with them, and turning to me looking stunned, he said, “A little. Some of their words sound similar to Rapa Nui and mean the same as ours.”
Then leaving me a bemused bystander, he turned back and rattled off heaps more.
Jason and Jerome, their bums plonked on the dodger top and feet on the stainless steel railing silently absorbed the entire exotic scene.
“What d’you say,” they asked him, and like a proud explorer, he told them we’d come from Isle Pascal on this sailing ship taking twenty-three days and nights.
Back and forth, a stop-go conversation developed with repeated words, obviously passing information between puzzled faces. Until abruptly, they turned and noisily went way.
“What’s up?” The family gathered around Benji, quizzing him about why the sudden departure.
“They’ve gone for their ukuleles. We’re going to sing some of our island songs, ones that go way back… [MORE]