May 24, 2012

Sailing nightmare in Marshall Islands: Report of the illegal behavior of the Mili Police and of the Mili Major

This is email I received a week ago from my italian friend Paolo, who is  sailing around the World the same like we do. He asked me to publish it in our blog. I thought story like that happend just with russian girls, but seems not.... 
so here is his story: 


I gently ask Cary Evarts to make an official report to Chief of the Police of the Marshall Islands Republic and to the President of Marshall Islands Republic.
I also ask to all the sailors in BCC to spread the following events in the sailing community.

A great thanks to Ms Liz Rodick for her initial help and especially to Mr Cary Evarts, without his involvement this nightmare would probably be still on his way.
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In the last four years and half I sailed in many countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Cabo Verde Islands, Caribbean, Trinidad, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue, Kingdom of Tonga, New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Kiribati.
Despite some things I heard about some of these countries I have never had any kind of problems in any of them, with officials or with normal local people.
Mili (Marshall Islands) is the only place where I had a so dangerous, frustrating, paroxysmal, kafkiana situation. I had the worst feeling in all of my sailing trips so far.
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After clearing out we left Majuro, 3 people on board, to sail to Fiji. After 1 day one person (Sonja Schmelter, German) started to get a lot of pain from a health problem, in fact she had a shoulder operation 12 weeks ago and during the way, with the strong movement of the boat, she realized that it was dangerous for her sail to Fiji.
At the moment we were few miles from Mili Atoll so we decided to stop and ask for help there.
As we entered in Mili Atolls throught the Tokawa Passage we anchored in front of Tokawa Island and we went immediatly on shore to report the fact.
Onshore we met the police man of Tokawa Village and the oldest men of the family that owns the island of Tokawa. The police man doesn't speak english but the owner of the island (very nice and helpfull person) does so he translated to the police what we were reporting.
At the time I also gave to the police 50 USD (entry fee) since we needed to stop in Mili water to get Ms Schmelter back to Marshall as soon as possible.
But when I asked for the receipt he told me that he is not able to make the receipt and if we want the receipt we should go to see the Major of Mili Atoll on his island and pay there. So he gave me back the 50 USD and when I asked how I could contact the Major to advise we were going to visit him and pay to him he told me that he was going to call by radio the Major to say that we arrived and wanted to pay for entering the lagoon.
We also asked which was the best way for Ms Schmelter to go back to Majuro and they suggested a motor boat that was coming in the following days to collect the Copra.
So the day after we went by Dinghy to the island that the police man pointed out to us to see and pay for the major. When we arrived there was no one on the island. 
So we went back and we met again the policeman and the owner of the island telling that we couldn't find anybody in Burrh-island that we understood to be the Major's island. They said that this was the wrong island so they came on the boat and they showed us on the map of the Gps the right island (Jobenor) that is about 5 miles upwind from Tokawa. So we decided to go there by boat and not by dinghy. But the policeman told us to go onshore in Tokawa Island to wait for the Major who was already on his way to meet us there.
So about 8.30 am we went on shore waiting for the Major.
Since about 12.30 he had not arrived we went back to the boat to have lunch and wait for the Major.
Around 13.30 a boat arrived with 3 policeman, without the Major. All the policeman came on board without asking any permission and without explaining anything.
Once on board the chief of Mili police (he lives in Enajet -islands) told me that we had to pay 10.000 USD because we came inside the Mili Lagoon without reporting it and without permission.
I tryed to explain the health problem that Ms Schmelter had and that as we arrived we went immidiatelly onshore to report it to the policeman and that the police man told us he was calling by radio the Major to advise him and report our arrival and our problem.
The chief of the police said that nobody called the Major and that if I was not going to pay 10.000 USD we had to wait the boat police from Majuro coming the day after to take me to the jail.
The behaviour of the chief of the police was really unpolite and he was not even listening what I was trying to explain.

When I said for the ten times that we came inside Mili lagoon for health reason he answered that it was not his problem and that we had not to enter anyway and that I had to pay 10.000 USD fine or go to the jail. It didn't matter if someone is in pain ore even dying on the boat.
He told me that untill I pay or untill the police boat from Majuro arrives, the 2 crew members have to go onshore and sleep in the village and not on board. 
I tried to explain that all this was against international law but he said that he doesn't care, only thing whats important was what the Major and he tells us to do.

Luckily I've got a satellite phone on board so I called a person I met in Majuro, Liz Rodick, General Manager of EZ Price. She had lived there form many years and very gently was able to contact the Mili Major (that at the moment was in Majuro and not in Mili Atoll how the Tokowa policeman told to us) explaining what happened. Finally, thanks to her, I could speak by satellite with the Major that asked me to pay 75 USD (25 USD per person) to be in the Mili water and asked also Ms Shmelter to be visited from a doctor in Mili since he wanted a medical report for the health problem of hers.
So I payed the 75 USd to the chief of the police (that didn't give me any recipt but the 2 crew members were witness of this payment) and Ms Shmelter went ashore to meet the doctor that made a report confirming that she has to go back to Majuro and back to Germany for her health problem.

Medical report from Mili Doctor
Finally at 19.30 we finished.
The day after Ms Schmelter went on the boat that arrived for the Copra and me and the other crew member we sailed from Tokowa to the North East Passage inside Mili Lagoon. In fact at the end of the discussion with the police I asked them if it was safe to use the North East passage to go out from Mili Atoll, since for going to Fiji it's better because is more east and the wind is South East.

When we arrived close the the pass we found that the waves were quite big to go out (the passage is faced to the wind) so we anchored 0,5 miles just South of the Passage in front of the reef and we checked the weather forecast again that reported less waves in the following days.
Since I didn't want to risk, for safety reason I decided to wait one day for smaller waves to go out from the pass.

The day after at 7 am suddenly I heard someone jumping on the deck of the boat.
I was really scared and I went out to see what was happening. There I found 3 policemen already on the deck who started yelling to me us still staying on the atolls.
One of the 3 policemen was the chief of the police who I payed the 75 USD according to the Major.
I could not understand what was happening so I asked them what was the problem.
The chief of Mili Police told me that I was there illegally because I didn't have to stop in the lagoon.
I tryed to explain that we came to the NE passage (like he knew because we talked about that the first time we met) and we stopped just before to go out because the waves were too big and that we were trying that morning to go out of the pass since the waves looked smaller. 
He said that we could not go out because we were illegal and we had to pay 10.000 usd fine.
At that time I was really concerned and surpised, so I tried to explain to him that we had already the same discussion, that we payed 75 USD and that we stopped just South of the NE Passage because the waves were too big and for safety reason I could not risk to take the boat out day before. Dangerous for the crew and for the boat.
He answered that I had not to stop and that it didn't matter if it was not safe to go out of the passage, I had to go out anyway.

I tryed to tell him that I cannot risk the life of the other crew member and mine but he answered in a very unpolite way that it was not his problem.

So he told again that I had to pay 10.000 usd to leave. So I tried to call again the major (witch took over 2 hours and about 50$ worth off satellite phone time!) and he told me he wanted to meet me on my boat in Enajet, so I agreed with him that I meet him later on the same afternoon in Enajet-island (his island) as he was supposed to arrive from Majuro by his motorboat.
But I tried to explain that Enajet is not safe for anchoring because is open to the wind and has big waves and its not charted properly. So I could have gone with the police boat and with my dinghy.
He answered that it is safe for the boat and the police will take care of the boat.

So, just to try to make everything easier I decided, even risking to sail in uncharted part of the Atoll, to move the boat to Enajet since finally at 5 pm we were going to meet with the Major and talk and solve the problem.
When we tried to take up the anchor the windlass stopped working. So I told to the chief of the police that it was better to go by dinghy and by police boat. He told me that they could take up the anchor by hand (3 policeman).
I told him that 100 meters of chain and 35 kg of anchor are really heavy and it can be dangerous for the people. 
He told me that he decides so they started to take up the anchor manually with 20 knots of wind.
After 1 hour of working one police man hurt himself on the leg with a small cut.
So the chief of the police decided to go toghether to Enajet by dinghy and by the police boat to bring the guy to the doctor and meet the Major at 5 pm.

At that point thechief of the police asked me in a rude way 300USD for the fuel of the police boat.
I asked why and he told me that it is like this because he says that and that I have to pay to him 300SD immidiatly for the fuel and other 300USD for the doctor.
I told to him that we are going to meet the Major and we will talk about that with him because this doesn't sound fair.

We left the boat at 1.30 and finally we arrived in Enajet about 3.30 pm waiting for the Major.
I left the boat in the anchorage close to the passage, in front of the reef (big waves with high water) with the second crew member on board, Ms Maija Kujala from Finland.
She was worrying to be alone on the boat since she is new on boats and she doesn't know how to manage a boat. I told her not to worry because I was coming back before dark since at 5 pm I was meeting the Major so I was going to be back before 7 pm.
It has to be noticed that Ms Kujala has Epilepsy that can produce an attack if under stress.

At 5 pm the chief of the police told me to call the Major by Satellite so I did and the Major told me that he was not coming today and that he will have come the day after. So I told to the Major that I was going back to the boat by Dinghy and I was coming back the day after again to finally meet him. He told me that I had to stay in the island, sleep in the village and wait for him.
I tryed to explain that I could not leave the boat with a person on board that is not able to manage the boat and especially I told him that Ms Kujala suffers of Epilepsy and that from the island there also was no way to be in contact with her and talk. I told him that like captain of the boat I am responsable of the boat and of the crew member.
He told me that Ms Kujala will be fine alone and that I had to stay on the island and wait for him for the day after.
I prayed him and tried to explain that we cannot leave Ms Kujala alone on the boat for the night and that I am responsable for the boat and for Ms Kujala and I told to him that if he wanted one policeman could have come with me to the boat and sleep on the boat and come back the day after to meet him.
He told me that it was ok if two policeman would have come with me to sleep on the boat.
Since I was really worrying about the boat and Ms Kujala I told him that it was ok. So he told me that the chief of the police and Mr Wildt (Minister of Justice) were coming with me to the boat before dark.
So the chief of the police told me that we were leaving with my dinghy to go to the boat about 6 pm.
In the while I called Mr Cary Evarts from the Sailing Yacht of Majuro that is always very helpful with all the sailors.
I tried to explain the situation. Mr Evarts called by phone the Major and the Major told him that we had a problem since we sailed out of the atoll and we went back again. I told to Mr Evarts that this was not true and that the police has even never told me that, since it is very easy to disprove since we have the effective route on the GPS and it is clear that we moved the boat from Tokowa to NE Passage INSIDE the lagoon.

the route we did inside the Mili Lagoon from the Tokowa anchorage to the north east passe
Mr Evart told me that the day after everythihng would have been clarified and just go to the boat with the policeman.

But in the while the chief of the police disappeared.
It started to become dark so I started to worry.
Mr Wildt took me around the village to look for the chief of the police (the village is 100 people) and we could not find him.
At his home the son told us he was not there. And we could not find him in the whole village. Of course everybody was speaking Marshallese so I could not really understand what Mr Wildton was asking to the villagers.
I told to Mr Wildt please to find him or to ask another police man to come with us.
We arrived at this stage about 9pm, so 3 hours after the time we were supposed to leave with the chief of the police.
But Mr Wildton told me that we had to wait for the chief of the police to come with us.
So I told to Mr Wildt that I was going to the boat by dinghy because I was very worryed for Ms Kujala on her own on board and not beeing able to contact me as the portable radio VHF didnt have enough power to reach the boat.
I told him that he was welcome to come with me alone or with a police man but that I had to go.
So I went to the dinghy but suddenly 5 people stopped me moving the dinghy and they tried to damage the pipe of the fuel to prevent to use the motor. Two of them tried also to stop me by holding me back.
I told them that they could not do anything of what they were doing and they didnt have to touch me or the dinghy.
I told them that the Major told me that I could go back to my boat and to Ms Kujala with 2 people of the village.
But they sayed that the Major had changed his idea and now he wanted me sleep on the island and it does not matter what is going to happen to Ms Kujala and to the boat. So at that time I figour out that the chief of the police was in his house sleeping from long time.
I started to ask them why nobody told me anything and nobody was answering. They were just laughing of me when I was telling that I was worry about Ms Kujala and please to come with me. Two of them sit down on the dinghy to prevent to me to move it.

So I called back Mr Evart explaiing the absurd and illegal situation.

After a while I called him back and he told me he had another phone call with the Major and that finally everything was sort out I was finally allowed to go away and leave.
So I called the Major and he asked me to talk with one of the policeman. After that they finally let me go.
So I went back to the boat by dinghy in the night (10 PM) for 15 miles in the lagoon upwind (20knots of wind) with big waves.
The waves were very big and I had an injury to my face against the steering wheel of the dinghy since in the night you cannot see the waves coming.

my face after I arrived on the boat
Luckily I got to the boat (I cannot think if the outboard motor has stopped working). It was 11.30 pm
I found Ms Kujala worryed. She was very stressed because she didn't have any news from 10 hours and she knew I was supposed to come back to the boat before dark. Also the waves were big since it was high water and strong wind so she was worry about what to do do if the anchor was going not to hold.

After all that I decided not to spend even one minute more in Mili Atol so I worked to fix the windlass and I left the Atoll as soon as possible before the Major changed idea again and sent the police to the boat to stuck it again.

We did the NE Passage in the night, risking the boat and our safety. Luckily the boat is strong and safe so after one hour we were out of the pass.

The behaviour of the police and of the Major is not only unbeliveble but also illegal for at least the following reasons:
- Money extortion
- Kidnapping
- Putting in danger the life and the safety of the people
- Putting in danger the boat
- Not respecting international laws for boats for safety and medical reason
- Not respecting the foreign territory that is represented from the boat with a foreign flag.

Besides I cannot believe that even the Major didn't respect his words two times and he didn't care that a sick person was risking to have problem.
Besides all the people in the village laughing about my desperation about Ms Kujala alone on the boat in the night without any news and without knowoledge about the boat.

They are proud to consider themselfs Christians.

I do not need to talk about the cost of all the satellite phone calls of the 2 days (around 350 USD) and that the policemen took 2 sunglasses from the boat and that I had to give to one of them some dollars for the cigarettes.

But the worst thing was the feeling that they could do to your person and to your boat what they wanted without you can do nothing to prevent it, it doesnt matter if they do something illegal or if they put you and the boat in danger.

Even you cannot believe that they are enjoying the situation and they are laughing at you. 


May 9, 2012

Two days on Nuie

We are sailing for Tonga after a short break on Nuie with following winds and seas. Downtime feels like a baby cradle compared to out last trip rolling along downwind at 6 to 7 knots.
We spent two days in Nuie a 100 square mile pinnacle of land that rises up out of the depths of the ocean. It is amazing that just 1/2 mile off shore it is over a mile deep!
We had just a few things to repair on Downtime and on Sunday Steve paddled the kayak to church while Daria and I relaxed in the calm anchorage. On Monday I went for a dive with Nuie Divers and they took me to two really cool cave dives along he shore, The first part of the dive was like swimming over the moon since all the corrals were scrubbed clean during the cyclone of 2004 a storm that battered the island with huge waves that even destroyed many home and building sitting 60 feet above sea level!
Most the island is made of limestone and where water seeps through over the ages dissolves the rock forming these spectacular caves. They both had entrances about 20 feet below the surface and a 200 foot winding tunnels to get into them. We had flashlights to find our way in and saw schools of fish hiding in all the nooks and crannies along the walls. It was breeding season for sea snakes and there were heaps of them swimming with us! These snakes are 2 to 5 feet long and are poisonous! The good thing is that they are non aggressive and have a mouth that is too small to bite a human. They are just curious and come swim right up to you until shoo them away. They are making their way into the caves to lay their eggs, since they can not lay eggs in the water. They go into the cave and climb up on the jagged walls and after laying their eggs they simply plop back into the water.
These are the darkest caves i ever dove in and when you shut off your light it was pitch black! Hmmm take a minute in your mind and go for a swim in a pitch black cave with sea snakes all around you....a little creepy!
On our way between dive sites we encountered the local talent, a school of spinner dolphins and I jumped in with them holding onto the boat and they swam along side me as we motored slowly forward.
While I was diving Daria and Steve went on an island tour with one of the locals Steve met at church. Nuie is a beautiful island that at one time sustained over 5000 people but now there are barely 1500 living here. There have been attempts to teach the natives to farm and ranch but no sign of any of these activities were going on. In my mind growing at least fresh fruits and vegetables in this tropical paradise would be a no-brainer. Nuie is owned by mother NZ and appears to give most of this nation government jobs and plenty of subsidies. While we were there the supply ship was unloading and at least 40 men were involved with this two day process. Customs and immigration had a few full time staff to clear the 30 to 50 visitors a week(the only plane comes in on Friday)
But all bureaucracy aside we found the people here genuinely caring and friendly and enjoyed every minute of our short stay here.
I am sure Daria has lots of pictures to post when we find internet in Tonga, until then please be
patient.
Sailing along to Tonga, Downtime and her crew

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May 7, 2012

Land Ho!!!! and another fish story...

Nuie!!
On our last post we were 48 miles out and still being tossed around like a cork in a 55 gallon drum!
When we were 26 miles out we hooked a submarine or a REALLY huge fish!! the 2000 feet of line never slowed down as it screamed off the Shimano 60 TLR!! We finally turned the boat around and started chasing this monster that had my favorite bait in his mouth. The line went slack for a second and then SNAP!!! The beast broke the 200 Lb. leader! It had to be one huge marlin!!



An hour later we had another "Fish On" but luckily this one was much smaller in the 200 pound range. Thankfully we were able to let this beautiful fish go and fight another day because I REALLY did not want to eat marlin for the next three months!





Niue
                                                                              We were tied to a mooring ball by noon and were able to clear in with little hassle. We used a couple hundred gallons of fresh water to put the pounds of salt we had been collecting on our way here and by 5 steaks were smokin on the grill. The trip will not soon be forgotten and we are happy to finally be somewhere warm with clear blue water under our keels.
Pedro is paddle kayak to clear in



We will spend a few days here in Niue diving and then it will be off to Tonga
Downtime and her crew

May 6, 2012

Day 8

Hello from Downtime day 8
We are down to 48 bottles of beer on the wall just 48 bottles of beer! The winds have finally calmed and are down to just 20 knots with 3 to 5 foot seas and we are just 48 miles from our destination!!
We are still flying a triple reefed main but have the jib all the way out pulling us along at 8 to 9 knots on a beam reach. We will have covered a little over 1450 miles in under 8 days, some kind of record for this sailor! This is the 2nd longest leg I have sailed on Downtime and lets face it 8 days is still too long to not see land!
We had continuing rain squalls all day yesterday with crazy seas. We would be sailing along and then it was like the chaos cycle was pushed and things got really rough and then 15 minutes later it would moderate. Squalls came through like clockwork all day and the cockpit was no place to be unless you needed another set of soaked salty clothes.
The way I see it is that if you can make a passage like this and not hit shore and run like mad away from anything floating then you are a sailor! It was just another one of those passages like back when I sailed to Bermuda and lost two crew when we tied up. They both swore that if they got back on the boat they were going to DIE!! It will be interesting to see if Steve still wants to go home and buy a boat and sail the Pacific? And to all you wives out there...if Hubby wants to buy a boat send him this way for a week and we will make sure he "REALLY" does!
Day 8 was a good day for Downtime with only minor breakage, the only thing was a batten (20 foot fiberglass rod) started sliding out of the sail cover I just had repaired in NZ.
We should be tied to a mooring ball and cleared in by noon and I am sure wont take long finding our way to land and do what sailors do best, find a bar and tell lies! ARG!!!!
Watch out Niue here we come!
Peace!! Downtime and her crew

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May 5, 2012

Downitme day 7

Hello again,

Day 7 will be one that will never be forgotten. The relentless seas only grew bigger and rougher during the day and by 4 pm the waves were 20 feet high with winds gusting to 35 knots! We had the third reef in the main and the jib rolled up to the size of a handkerchief and were still doing 7 knots and rolling down waves at over 9 knts. at times in pouring rain squalls.





It was all good until huge west bound waves developed and started broad siding us and washing over the helm station! Free saltwater massage in the cockpit everyone! Not fun!! a few of these we turned west to smooth out the ride, which put the wind on out stern sailing 160 degrees off wind.

The highlight of the day was getting soaked at least 3 times and then finding out all the fresh water went down the drain out a deck valve that was somehow opened with the jib sheet on the foredeck! I turned on the trusty water maker to find a Low Pressure pump fault! I had just tested the system and put new primary filters in so I was baffled at what could be causing the trouble?





 An hour later I finally traced it to a broken sending unit wire that decided to part on wave 12432? or 33 I am not sure which, but A simple wire splice solved the problem and hot showers we ordered for all. Daria cooked up a tasty mahi diner with a fresh salad and we ate recounting the days events.







By now we are all more than ready to get to land and take a few days off. We have spent 4 of the 7 days in rough seas and covered 1200 miles.
 To our dismay we received an e-mail from the Comadore of the Niue Yacht Club telling us the only landing dock on the island will be blocked for several days as the supply ship starts unloading on Saturday. What luck! Our friends on Braveheart diverted to Vavau, Tonga due prior commitments but my opinion is like when the settlers first saw the Indians, "I didn't come all this way to turn and run with the first signs of trouble" So, we will be in Niue in 24 hours waiting on the supply ship to move.

Our position at 4 am as I write this is 23.20 S 172.10 W and we are on a heading of 003 N doing 7 to 8 knots under triple reefed main and jib in moderate seas (calmer than yesterday) 234 miles from Niue.

For those of you just joining our adventure you can read it from the beginning at:downtimecat.blogspot.com and track our journey at yotreps.com with user ID WDF2560

Out living the dream (sometimes a scary one) on Downtime,
Capt. Pete, Daria and Steve
Peace!!!

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May 4, 2012

Day 6 on Downtime

Hello from bouncy Downtime!


We were smooth sailing covering an amazing 209 miles in 24 hours and I guess mother ocean wanted us to slow down some. In our path she thew the wickedest waves I have seen in a while. The ocean looked like the pool at a Jenny Craig belly flop competition! Waves literally coming from every direction encouraged us to put another reef in (shorten Sail) and bring our boat speed down to a manageable 6 to 7 knots. All the time I swear Downtime was singing Chumbawumba's (I get knocked down but I get up again)
We have been bashing along ever since and it looks like the last 350 miles to Niue will more of the same. As I am writing this the winds have kicked up over 30 knots and we have shortened sail again. So much for fishing....I doubt it would be any fun cleaning them while waves wash over the transom!

It looks like we will arrive at first light on Saturday (with full diesel tanks Bob)

The highlights for the day started with a small electrical fire in my cabin in a light dimmer switch that was somehow was taking a saltwater shower without my permission? The old saying is there are boats that leak and boats that are going to leak! Luckily it was a small fire and we got it put out immediately...hmmm? small fire on a boat 500 miles from land? never good! Other than the small leak that started the trouble Downtime has been holding her own and doing a great job keeping us safe on this crazy passage!
This area of ocean is noted for having crazy weather and rough seas and I believe it now that we experienced it first hand, but I would have been just as content watching the discover channel version and having a smooth sail across.
Our position at 8 am was 24.51 S 172.18 W with 380 miles to destination.

Peace, Downtimes Crew, Pete, Daria,and Steve

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May 3, 2012

Downtime day 5 Fish On!!!

Hello from Downtime!

ловись рыбка большая и ооочень большая!!!
We will start with the highlights of the day! At about noon a nice sized Mahi-Mahi took hold of one of our yellow and green squid baits and we had "Fish On!". We gave Super Steve the pole for his first ever Mahi experience. The fish was striping line off the Shamano 60 TLR with ease so we knew it was good size! Daria and I slowed the boat the best we could and Steve started working the fish. 30 minutes later we had a nice 30 pound Mahi on the deck taking his first and last shot of whiskey to put him down. (the fish not Steve). Steve was saying "Thank goodness it wasn't a marlin!"

that's nice! :)


Later we had a nice baked Mahi lunch about the same time we crossed the half way point of our journey with 720 miles under our keels.
At 5 am during the end of Steve's watch the winds started shifting to the south which was a welcome site and by 8 am we had the boat pointed north again. It was still bumpy but at least we were heading the right direction. By noon the seas had calmed and the winds were moving us northward at 7 to 8 knots, and apparently at the perfect fishing speed.
We have been sailing due north for almost 24 hours now with a 20 to 30 knot wind blowing us along at speeds up to 12 knots! (HAULLIN ASS!) Our position at 4 am this morning is 173.43 W 28.20 S and we have just under 600 miles to go until we reach Nuie.



next morning :)

Steve was not the only one to catch a fish today, At 11 pm Daria was hit in the neck with a nice sized may I add, flying Fish! You should have heard all that commotion!









Pedro is having fun with my fish )))

The last 12 hours have been a sleigh ride and we have averaged 10+ knots surfing down waves and making amazing miles. When the boat is moving this fast you hear the roar of the sea going by and waves gurgling under the belly as you pass over them while rooster tails are being kicked up behind.
The only bummer is that we will arrive on Saturday afternoon and have to wait until monday for customs...so why hurry? Because we CAN!

We hope you enjoy the adventure, until next time, Peace!
Downtimes crew: Capt. Pedro, Daria, Super Steve
You land based friends can track us at yotreps.com used id wdf2560

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May 2, 2012

Downtime day 4

Hello from Downtime!

Day 4 found us arriving early for our weather window...sometime going fast is not a good thing at sea. Day three we traveled 194 miles in 24 hrs. and Downtime has done this many mile only a few time since I owned her. The southerly winds had not built yet and we sailed into 12 hours of north winds which promptly turned our course due east.

For those of you just joining us here is a recap of the last few days.

We left NZ Sat the 28th Friday your time just before noon and set sail for places unknown.(to us anyways) The first few days were awesome sailing and then it turned into well...not so awesome... the wind was in our face out of the north and we turned east since we had to go north ...go figure. at one point the wind could have changed any direction and it would be better than what it was!
The north wind was not as bad as what it created...south bound waves!! It has been like driving over VW's for the last 18 hours! 1000's of them! At 2 am on the 4th day the wind finally changed back from south but forgot to tell the waves!! they are still heading the wrong way!
I guess the highlight of the day was that nobody puked! We have had the main and jib double reefed trying to keep the boat under 8 knots n 20 to 28 knot winds. (not easy) The fishing lines were out all day bouncing on top of the water but we had no luck landing a fish.

We will keep you posted, until then, Peace!
Downtimes crew, Capt. Pedro, Daria, Super Steve
You land based friends can track us at yotreps.com used id wdf2560

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May 1, 2012

Downtime day 3

Hello from Downtime!
sunrise, 6am

We are on day three of our adventure and moving east again with a north wind that developed at 1:00 am this morning. We had a nice west wind pushing us along a course of 040N for 24 hours strait and we covered just under 200 miles in 24 hrs. We would have hit that 200 mile day if the winds did not let up around 4 to 6 in the afternoon. We took that opportunity to rig the poles and give the lour's swimming lessons for a few hours in the crystal clear blue water.



sunrise, 7am
It is slowly warming up and we are 900 miles SSW from Nuie at 32.26 S 177.50 W and feeling confident we can made our destination with this much easting under our belt. We hope to be in the trade winds by this evening and continuing a more northerly course . As I write this we are cruising along at 8 to 10 knots on a NE course flying a single reefed main and a full jib sailing a beam reach in amazingly calm seas! The engines have been off for two days and we are having a clear warm weather.
The only highlight is that it is Steve's birthday again today! and we hope to be catching fresh fish for dinner!


We will keep you posted, until then, Peace!
Downtimes crew, Capt. Pedro, Daria, Super Steve
You land based friends can track us at yotreps.com used id wdf2560

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radio email processed by SailMail
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