Monday, December 18, 2023

I am so confused

Not having a fixed work schedule it is often hard to keep track of the days of the week. That has now been exasperated by crossing the dateline. Most of my contacts are still on the other side of the dateline so I have to keep track of what day it is in North America as well as what day it is here. What days are business days? When are the weekends? My family has a weekly zoom call on Fridays, but now I have to remember to join in on Saturday mornings, Fiji time.

Friday, December 8, 2023

A Visionary Trip to Tonga, Giving the Gift of Sight

 "Malo, Malo 'Aupito!" he said with a smile, adjusting his new glasses and looking around, taking in the details of things he had previously been missing.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Seven years!

 We interrupt your not-so-regularly scheduled blog post to take a few moments to reflect as we celebrate our 7 year splashiversary (the day Rhapsody was splashed into the water as our home). We bought Rhapsody in 2014, but officially moved aboard in November of 2016. As I look back over my pictures to try to decide what to include it is very daunting to try to cull it down to a reasonable number. So much has happened in 7 years, so many adventures, so many friends, so many changes. 

November 2016 Nanny Cay, BVI

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Rhapsody meets Cyclone Mal

 "When are you leaving the boatyard?"

This was the question the marina management asked us when we came into the office. "There is bad weather coming"

We were well aware of this as we had been watching the reports for days, watching the growing system and realizing that it was headed in our direction.

The problem is, we are "on the hard" meaning that Rhapsody has been hauled out of the water to have some repairs made and some necessary maintenance done. We currently have no prop shaft and the rudder is laying on a pallet under the boat, making it impossible for us to maneuver in the water if we had to be launched, if we even had someplace safe to go to.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Tonga, a study in contrasts

Five weeks in Tonga and the answer to the question "What is Tonga like?" is not an easy question to answer. For us Tonga was a series of contrasting events.  Let's start with the weather. Tonga was either cloudy and grey, with high wind warnings, or calm and absolutely beautiful.  When the sun was out the contrast between the green hills, the blue skies and the turquoise waters was stunning. 
A watercolor I did of our anchorage at Port Maurelle, one of the many anchorages in the Vava'u group of Tonga. Many of the islands have undercut limestone cliffs and caves.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Greetings from the future

 We did it! We crossed the International dateline and traveled into tomorrow. While I can't give you tomorrow's winning lottery ticket number, I can tell you the answers to tomorrow's Wordle or tomorrow's New York Times Crossword puzzle. I am reading tomorrow's news while you are still in yesterday.

We crossed the dateline out at sea somewhere between American Samoa and Tonga. We were sailing along, enjoying our Tuesday when, out of the blue, it was suddenly  Wednesday. I looked for the dotted red line in the water marking the change, but I didn't see anything, I just don't understand. We did, however, see a complete double rainbow just after we crossed the line.

Friday, September 15, 2023

A Welcome Port in a Storm

As we last left our intrepid sailors they had just arrived safely in Pago Pago, American Samoa. 12 hours of big seas and high winds and they were exhausted.  There is only one port/anchorage on the island and it has quite a reputation. It is a long thin bay that acts as a wind tunnel, accelerating the winds off the sea and adding the catabatic winds off the mountains. Other bonuses of this anchorage include very poor holding for the anchor and strong smells from the Starkist Tuna Cannery right next to the spot designated for small boat (as opposed to tankers) anchoring. Ahh, tropical paradise! 

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Where to Next?

 During our 15-month stay in French Polynesia, we thoroughly explored the captivating atolls and islands. However, as all good things must come to an end, the time arrived for us to chart our next course.

Goodbye French Polynesia

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Help us to bring better vision to Tonga and Fiji

As we continue on our journey around the world on our sailboat, we have become more aware just how fortunate we are to be able to do this, and we have been looking for a way to make a more meaningful impact in some of the smaller communities we visit. Unfortunately, due to our wandering, unscheduled nature, volunteering opportunities can be limited. We are never in one place very long, and cannot commit to recurring volunteer opportunities. However, we have discovered a solution that will enable us to make a difference: Global Vision 2020 is a company that provides glasses to people in remote areas without access to optometrists. With your support, we aim to purchase one of their kits, allowing us to give glasses to 250 individuals and provide 300 pairs of reading glasses. Join us in bringing the gift of better vision to those in need as we sail to Tonga and Fiji!

Our GoFundMe page

Monday, June 5, 2023

Hype or Reality? Exploring Bora Bora

Bora Bora, a name that evokes images of pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and luxurious resorts. It's a place often associated with dream honeymoons and celebrity getaways. . My son, Rivers, and his wife, Laura have a Screensaver on their TV that flashes up a scene from Bora Bora.

I wasn't able to exactly replicate it for several reasons. 1) The peak of Otemanu is almost always at least partially covered by clouds. 2) This picture was taken from one of the resorts, across a reflecting pool with the overwater bungalows between the camera and the mountain 3) I did not see the "No Signal" sign floating in the air.

Sunday, May 21, 2023


Sharks are fearsome, sharp-toothed predators that can smell blood from miles away, and they have been known to attack and kill humans with their powerful jaws and razor-sharp teeth. This is the picture that many people have of sharks and the thought of diving with them can be rather daunting. 

Oceanic Black tipped reef shark

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Blue Passage

Embarking on an overnight sailing passage is not my favorite part of sailing, especially if it's only for one or two nights. It is just enough to time disrupt my sleep and definitely not long enough to get into a good watch and sleep rhythm. Our latest passage was two nights, leaving in the late afternoon from Tahiti,  and arriving two days later in Fakarava, approximately 250 nautical miles. We had been watching the weather carefully in the days preceding our passage as there were some potentially scary winds that we wanted to avoid.

We made our preparations, shopped for groceries for a potential 6 weeks stay in the remote atoll, filled up our fuel tanks and headed off from the Society Islands to the Tuamotus. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Guest preparations, a long list gets longer!

 We love to have guests come visit us, to share our experiences and to enjoy the wonderful countries we are visiting. However preparing for guests to visit on a boat is never easy, even in the best case scenarios. There's a lot to consider, from deep cleaning the boat and ensuring there's enough space for everyone to sleep to making sure everything is in working order. Beginning with changing our pantry/ storage area to a guest berth,

from this:

Monday, January 2, 2023

Coconut bread on the beach

What a fun way to spend Christmas day, beginning with gathering coconuts and ending with warm coconut bread, fresh off the grill.

The coconuts were lying all around so we had our pick. We looked for brown coconuts, not green. The green ones have more liquid, which is good for drinking, but not enough flesh which is what we needed for the coconut bread.  

On the beach was an iron rod filed to a point to facilitate peeling the husk off the coconut.