July 14 – 27, 2015 – by Anne – PASSAGE FROM BORA BORA TO NEIAFU, VAVA’U, KINGDOM OF TONGA – “LAND HO! TONGA HO!”

This 14 day passage from the exotic, almost unbelievably beautiful island of Bora Bora in the Society Islands of French Polynesia to another South Pacific island group of equal charm and beauty, called Vava’u in the Kingdom of Tonga, was pure delight! God blessed Joyful and all aboard once again with a safe passage featuring extraordinary sunsets, sea bird visitations, rollicking seas, and lots of fun times as we sailed the high seas to another enchanted landfall. Please read on and look at the photos! You may wish to also read the captions under the photos because they will explain lots more than does this text article. That is because pictures contain a thousand words and transcend languages!

A special note should be made regarding the hand drawn encouragement cards (PHOTO 13) the children at the Round Hill Elementary School in Virginia made for Jeff and me for us to open throughout the circumnavigation. The children thoughtfully said, “Please open one of our cards when you feel sad.” Well, we never feel sad! So we open them when we are happy, and we have a great time reaching into the envelope and pull out a new hand drawn card! Flat Mr. Davis is always with us as we read the card and look how beautiful it is! Thank you Round Hill Bears! We love you, our land based crew! The Round Hill Bears are the students and educators who chose to partner with Joyful in the Sail the Odyssey Educational Program.

INTERESTING WAVES: Once again, the trusty trade winds carried Joyful along on this beautiful passage, allowing us to experience winds from 6 knots to gusts up to 34 knots (PHOTO 10) and seas up to 5 meters. Those 16 foot (5 meter) waves were extra fascinating to observe because of their height. They had unique textures, foamy patches and other characteristics making the passage even more exciting than others so far on this circumnavigation. It was quite fun watching a wave approach Joyful, because as the crest of an approaching nearby wave reached its maximum height, we could feel Joyful being smoothly lifted by the wave, not pushed over, just lifted up as if she was experiencing a smooth short ride in an elevator (like “third floor – lingeries, perfumes, and cosmetics), and we could see the wave travel under her hull, and out the opposite side, continuing onward as it lowered itself into a valley only to be raised again, and lowered again, and on and on and on! Really amazing, fun, and fascinating! The sea is always mesmerizing, and if anyone tells you that ocean passages are boring, they are probably ignoring the water around them. The sea’s color, texture, density, wave length, wave height, and many more parameters are in constant flux, and it is a delight and a challenge to sail a boat through the water to obtain a desired speed, course, and motion. Just ask Flat Mr. Davis, who is now considered an “old salt” on Joyful (PHOTOS 5 & 6)!

SCIENCE

Observing Sea Birds
We are sending the pictures we take on Joyful and relevant data to Birding Aboard, an organization that “benefits seabird conservation by mobilizing the worldwide boating community to document ocean bird sightings, providing critical and otherwise seldom-recorded data on seabird abundance and distribution and on ocean migration routes”. Birding Aboard sends the observations to eBird, which is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. eBird has a large, fast growing biodiversity data collection (e.g. in May 2015, they reported collecting over 9.5 million bird observations), which it shares with international ornithology, conservation biology, education, and land management communities.

The scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society welcome photos of sea bird sightings even if the photo is out of focus and even if we cannot identify the bird. They can usually tell the type of bird from its silhouette! I’m impressed!

Sometimes on this passage, as during other passages, we witnessed individual seabirds or flocks of them flying near Joyful, sometimes for an hour at a time. We tried to take photos of these interesting citizens of the air, but sometimes it was impossible due to high waves, the motion of the boat, or other reasons. You will see in the small collection of photos for this passage, a really exotic seabird flying near Joyful (PHOTOS 18 & 19). We don’t know the name of the type of bird, but it reminded me of a “tropic” bird who followed me across the North Atlantic Ocean on a friend’s yacht during a transatlantic crossing. It, like the bird flying around Joyful on this passage to Tonga, was brilliant white, had long trailing tail feathers, orange beak, and was an excellent fisherman, or should I say, fisher bird! However, they differed insomuch as the North Atlantic bird had orange legs, whereas this South Pacific bird had black legs. If you look closely at the photo, and use your computer’s zoom feature, you can see the bird’s webbed feet. This bird totally liked Joyful, and made many attempts for a short field landing onto the top of Joyful’s Hydrovane (her wind steering device)! Whoever was on watch during the times birds flew around Joyful always wondered if a bird would succeed at this valiant attempt of aerodynamics. At lease one time a bird did succeed, as shown by the punctures on the top of the red cloth covering the aluminum frame of the Hydrovane wind vane! Later, the UV rays from the sun created more issues with the red cloth, so we had to repair the punctures and rips with special bimini repair tape and clear packing tape. This was a challenging endeavor to do while we were underway on the moving seas! Needless to say, as I was leaning out over the sea to repair the damaged cover, I wore my life jacket, safety harness, and its tether, securely affixed to a strong point in Joyful’s cockpit (PHOTO 14)!

Secchi Depth
During the Blue Planet Odyssey, we on Joyful attempt to contribute scientific data to the University of Plymouth in London, pertaining to their study on phytoplankton.
Because large numbers of phytoplankton make seawater cloudy, measuring the turbidity (cloudiness) of the water will provide data for scientists to better assess the impact of changing ocean temperatures.
Measuring the turbidity of the water is done with a Secchi disk. A Secchi disk is a 30 cm round white disk that is connected to a 50 meter tape measure. Measurements are taken by lowering it into the water until it is no longer visible. The depth at which the disk disappears from view is called the Secchi depth. The scientists at Plymouth University in England have developed an app that allows us to input the Secchi depth and send the data directly to Plymouth University.
Joyful’s Secchi disk is a very special one that was made by the 5th grade students at the Round Hill Elementary School, who are partnering with Joyful through the Sail the Odyssey Science and Sail the Odyssey Educational Programs.
One of the parameters for obtaining a useable Secchi Depth, which is the depth at which the human eye cannot see the Secchi disk anymore after it has been lowered into the sea between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on a sunny or partially sunny day, is that there cannot be more than a 2 knot current in the sea. During this passage, the sea conditions never allowed us to take a Secchi Depth reading. However, we kept the Secchi disk ready to use at the first opportunity; it was in Joyful’s fender locker located just aft of her anchor chain locker on the foredeck.

Red Tide (Algae Bloom)
Most of the time, the ocean is a beautiful field of various shades of blue. However, just as we saw on passage from Panama to Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia, we encountered another algae bloom between Bora Bora and Tonga (PHOTO 12). This “red tide” we saw on this passage was not near the intensity of red as that first encounter, but the water as far as we could see did have a violet tint caused by the presence of billions of phytoplankton. According to NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, “Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae—simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal.” Accordingly, we did not use our watermaker to make drinking water when were anywhere near harmful algal blooms.

Because NOAA monitors HABs in certain areas, we sent the information about the dates and locations of the red tides to NOAA for inclusion in their data bases.

For more information on phytoplankton and the Secchi disk program, please go to:
http://cornellsailing.com/ocean/science/citizen-science-and-phytoplankton-the-secchi-disk-project/

Observing Other Marine Wildlife

As for ocean life, sometimes on this passage we saw whales, sea birds, and from time to time fish. Most of the time we saw many birds swooping around Joyful in vast circles, diving, and climbing high near her and sometimes even flying through her rigging! They were fishing! Some birds fished in groups, others by themselves (PHOTO 17). They were fascinating and entertaining reminders that just below the surface was a vast world of life, populated by magnificent creatures of all types ranging from microscopic phytoplankton (possibly bioluminescent phytoplankton as possibly seen in PHOTO 11), to squid, to the graceful squadrons of flying fish, whose individual members glided above the sea’s surface by a close two inches, raising and falling with the shape of the waves, all to try to escape the jaws of hungry fish racing after them for a tasty meal! It is almost impossible to take a photo of a flying fish in flight due to the time lag of a digital camera. Sorry! I will keep trying!

We were ever so amazed to see Humpback whales greeting us as we approached the island of Vava’u in Tonga! It was calving season, and lots of whales were about! Boats are supposed to keep 500 meters from a whale, but when we set our course to make landfall in Vava’u, all of a sudden several whales began jumping into the air, spouting water, and otherwise presenting an awesome show! They were in front of us, to the sides, and to the rear of Joyful! There was nothing we could do but sail as slowly as possible. Also, it was extremely difficult to take a good photo of the whales because digital cameras are so sluggish. By the time we pushed the button to take the photo, the whale was finished putting on her airshow, and was already disappearing into the sea! So look closely at our two photos and you will see a whale tail in Joyful’s wake behind her (PHOTO 23), and some ripples of their backs in front of Joyful (PHOTO 22). By the way, hitting a whale at speed can sink boats and kill whales! Visa versa, too! Whales sink yachts every year! We thanked the good Lord for His hedge of protection, again!

Monitoring Radiation Levels

Dosimeter Radioactive Fallout Measurements

One of the scientific projects with which Joyful is involved is that of recording the radiation levels that we experience along our sailing route. Radiation is a form of energy that comes from various sources (e.g. x-rays, radon gas, nuclear power plants, etc.), which, if the levels are too high, could cause a health hazard. On Joyful, we use a GQ Electronics GMC-320 Geiger Counter to take radiation level readings. The data we record is sent to the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center (NETC), a world wide volunteer radiation reporting site. NETC posts radiation readings from numerous sources, including the US Environmental Protection Agency and volunteer reporting sites, into a data base; the summary is shown on http://www.netc.com. We take hourly readings when we are on passage.

The really good news is that we have experienced / recorded very low radiation levels on this passage in the South Pacific Ocean between Bora Bora and Tonga. We hope that we will experience the same low radiation levels for the remainder of the circumnavigation. The levels on this passage ranged from 6 to 21counts per minute.

Mission Joyful

Artistic Inspirations from the Lord About this Passage
When I sail on ocean passages I spend my watches working the boat, navigating, helming, adjusting the sails, monitoring the Hydrovane, radar, VHF, weather, and all sorts of instruments, watching for boats and aids to navigation, and a myriad of other duties required to sail safely. Even though those duties are time consuming and always to be taken seriously because the lives of all on board are in the hands of the sailor on watch, I do usually have some moments during peaceful times on watch to think of the Lord and pray. That is my favorite thing to do during those peaceful moments at sea.

As some of my faithful readers of this blog and all our Mission Joyful followers know, I am writing/illustrating a book regarding Joyful’s circumnavigation which will feature watercolor and illuminated/gilded paintings I will create. Each painting will reflect every passage and every landfall around the world which Joyful encounters. Within the design of every painting will be the Word of God, in other words, Bible verses which have been of significant importance to me during the days and nights of each passage or landfall. Within each painting I will utilize gilding in the form of 24 karat gold and silver in the same method as the medieval monks of Europe decorated their Bibles and Books of Hours.

I am always open to an inspiration from the Holy Spirit for what is becoming the essence of a particular passage or landfall experience for me. That will be the Bible verse I use, and will be the motivation for the image portrayed in my painting.

On this lovely passage from Bora Bora to Tonga, I was inspired to incorporate the Bible verse from John 8:12
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

And the image I will paint depicting this will be my interpretation of the most beautiful sunset I have observed from Joyful on this circumnavigation so far. That sunset is shown in photo number 8, which I took from Joyful’s cockpit during my night watch on the evening of July 21, 2015, while on passage from Bora Bora to Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga. Does it also remind you of the light of Christ?

1. Joyful leaving Bora Bora flying the MaiKai Yacht Club Pennant, Blue Planet Odyssey flag, French Polynesia courtesy flag, and the French courtesy flag from her spreader halyards1. Joyful leaving Bora Bora flying the MaiKai Yacht Club Pennant, Blue Planet Odyssey flag, French Polynesia courtesy flag, and the French courtesy flag from her spreader halyards.2. Wonderful friends waved a fond fairwell as we sailed off from Bora Bora to our next landfall of Tonga2. Wonderful friends waved a fond fairwell as we sailed off from Bora Bora to our next landfall of Tonga.3. When we sail away from a place we love like Bora Bora, we feel sad, but happy as well, as we know the ocean passage will be great, and the next landfall will be wonderful. Joyful is  bound for Vava'u, The Kingdom of Tonga3. When we sail away from a place we love like Bora Bora, we feel sad, but happy as well, as we know the ocean passage will be great, and the next landfall will be wonderful. Joyful is bound for Vava’u, The Kingdom of Tonga.

 

4. Flat Mr. Davis and Anne got ready to go on watch in rough seas.  On this passage, like most on the South Pacific so far, there were calm seas as well as rough seas.  All were amazing!4. Flat Mr. Davis and Anne got ready to go on watch in rough seas. On this passage, like most on the South Pacific so far, there were calm seas as well as rough seas. All were amazing!

5. Flat Mr. Davis and Jeff did computer work while underway from Bora Bora to Tonga.  We would close Joyful's curtains when necessary to keep the heat of the sun out of her saloon5. Flat Mr. Davis and Jeff did computer work while underway from Bora Bora to Tonga. We would close Joyful’s curtains when necessary to keep the heat of the sun out of her saloon.

6. During the hour before sunsets and sunrises it was always exciting to imagine what they actually would be like.  Once sunsets began, every second would bring change, enriching the scene even more, until the stars and the moon took over the heavens!6. During the hour before sunsets and sunrises it was always exciting to imagine what they actually would be like. Once sunsets began, every second would bring change, enriching the scene even more, until the stars and the moon took over the heavens!

 

7. I took this photo a few minutes after the previous photo about a minute after the sun dipped below the horizon, changing the sky's hue to vilot. Joyful was sailing westbound from Bora Bora to Vava'u, Tonga7. I took this photo a few minutes after the previous photo about a minute after the sun dipped below the horizon, changing the sky’s hue to vilot. Joyful was sailing westbound from Bora Bora to Vava’u, Tonga.

 

8. I wanted this sunset I saw from Joyful's cockpit to last forever!  It was on the evening of July 21, 2015, while on passage from Bora Bora to Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga8. I wanted this sunset I saw from Joyful’s cockpit to last forever! It was on the evening of July 21, 2015, while on passage from Bora Bora to Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga.

 

9. Joyful's white sails reflected the varied colors of the sunset.  We always looked forward to seeing sunsets from Joyful, whether at sea or on land.  They were always a delight to see9. Joyful’s white sails reflected the varied colors of the sunset. We always looked forward to seeing sunsets from Joyful, whether at sea or on land. They were always a delight to see.

 

10. Joyful's American ensign on a warm night passage from Bora Bora, bound for Tonga.  We could tell the wind direction and strength from how the ensign flew.  We have modern wind instruments on board, too, of course!10. Joyful’s American ensign on a warm night passage from Bora Bora, bound for Tonga. We could tell the wind direction and strength from how the ensign flew. We have modern wind instruments on board, too, of course!

11. Bioluminescense from sea critters in Joyful's wake occurred almost every night during Joyful's circumnavigation.  It looked like firework sparklers on and under the water!11. Bioluminescense from sea critters in Joyful’s wake occurred almost every night during Joyful’s circumnavigation. It looked like firework sparklers on and under the water!
12. On most days on passage from Bora Bora to Tonga, we noticed a pinkish tint to the water as we sailed westward.  It was possibly an algae bloom12. On most days on passage from Bora Bora to Tonga, we noticed a pinkish tint to the water as we sailed westward. It was possibly an algae bloom.

 

13. Anne and Flat Mr. Davis opened a custom made card made by a kind student from Round Hill Elementary School. The students made us a huge packet of cards to open at sea throughout the circumnavigation! Thank you!  We love you!13. Anne and Flat Mr. Davis opened a custom made card made by a kind student from Round Hill Elementary School. The students made us a huge packet of cards to open at sea throughout the circumnavigation! Thank you! We love you!

 

14. Anne was ready to go on watch during the day in rough seas wearing her light weight foul weather gear. She wore her ocean racing foul weather gear for extra rough seas and:or for cold days and nights at sea.  Most passages had moderate conditions14. Anne was ready to go on watch during the day in rough seas wearing her light weight foul weather gear. She wore her ocean racing foul weather gear for extra rough seas and/or for cold days and nights at sea. Most passages had moderate conditions.

 

15. During the infrequent days and some nights that we experienced cool air temperature and high seas, we wore our heavy duty ocean foul weather gear.  Bill liked to sit in this location while Joyful was on a port tack.15. During the infrequent days and some nights that we experienced cool air temperature and high seas, we wore our heavy duty ocean foul weather gear. Bill liked to sit in this location while Joyful was on a port tack.

 

16. We saw a white sea bird on the passage from Bora Bora to Tonga at 17° 03'.850 S, 156°  41'.867 W16. We saw a white sea bird on the passage from Bora Bora to Tonga at 17° 03′.850 S, 156° 41′.867 W.

17. A large seabird and his friends flew around Joyful on July 22, 2015 at 17 50'.395 S, 163 21'.394 W17. A large seabird and his friends flew around Joyful on July 22, 2015 at 17 50′.395 S, 163 21′.394W.

18. This white tropical sea bird, with magnificent long streaming tail feathers, seemed to really like Joyful.  All birds liked Joyful!  We think she stirs up fish and squid when she goes fast18. This white tropical sea bird, with magnificent long streaming tail feathers, seemed to really like Joyful. All birds liked Joyful! We think she stirs up fish and squid when she goes fast.

 

19. The fancy sea bird lowered his flaps and landling gear in an attempt to make a short field landing on Joyful's Hydrovane wind steering apparatus.19. The fancy sea bird lowered his flaps and landling gear in an attempt to make a short field landing on Joyful’s Hydrovane wind steering apparatus.

 

20.  Anne hoisted the Kingdom of Tonga courtesy flag and the yellow quarantine flag when Joyful entered Tongan waters20. Anne hoisted the Kingdom of Tonga courtesy flag and the yellow quarantine flag when Joyful entered Tongan waters.

21.  Land Ho!  Tonga Ho! Joyful's windy sunrise landfall of Vava'u, the Kingdom of Tonga21. Land Ho! Tonga Ho! Joyful’s windy sunrise landfall of Vava’u, the Kingdom of Tonga.

21.1. Jeff ate an energy bar while observing Joyful's new landfall of Vanuatu21.1. Jeff ate an energy bar while observing Joyful’s new landfall of Vanuatu.

22.  We were welcomed by several Humpback whales in the water in front and in back of Joyful as we approached Neiafu, Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga22. We were welcomed by several Humpback whales in the water in front and in back of Joyful as we approached Neiafu, Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga.

23.  A humpback whale's tail dissapeared into the water in back of Joyful as we sailed toward Joyful's anchorage in Tonga23. A humpback whale’s tail dissapeared into the water in back of Joyful as we sailed toward Joyful’s anchorage in Tonga.

 

 

 

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June 24 – July 14, 2015 (Total days in Bora Bora were from May 22 – July 14, 2015) – by Anne – BORA BORA, THE SOCIETY ARCHIPELAGO, FRENCH POLYNESIA – PART 2

Our days in Bora Bora, after Bora Bora Part 1, continued to be filled with the joy of nature, interactions with the friendly local Polynesian and French residents, and the ever present daily and nightly sound of traditional Polynesian drum beats and chanting! That’s because many residents formed dance and singing groups to compete in the annual cultural program called the Bora Bora Heiva. The goal of the Heiva is to try to keep certain ancient Polynesian traditions and activities alive, so they can be passed down through future generations. Every year, individuals and teams of locals practice their traditional art, music, or sport for months before the Heiva, a wonderful event that lasts over a month. The dancers and singers were everyday people from Bora Bora; the baker, the mom, the high school student, the nurse, the fireman, the cafe waitress, and hundreds more non professional dancers and singers are what Heiva is about! The most spectacular thing about Heiva was the way everyday participants and the audience wanted to keep their culture alive! Jeff, Bill, and I enjoyed attending as many of the Heiva dance and singing practices as we could, almost every evening for Bill, and perhaps twice a week for Jeff and me.

I invite you to please read the descriptions written below each photo as they will give you an impression as to what our life was like in this idyllic South Pacific island, Bora Bora! You may even feel you were there with us! We hope you will!

The photos will give you a glance at what a fantastic time we had in Bora Bora. Our encounter with a giant, flamboyantly colored coconut crab named C.T. will amaze you (God chose his colors, they were not painted on by a human)! You’ll see how the extraordinary participants of the Bora Bora Heiva excelled in their traditional dances, and how beautiful the men and women are on this tiny island. On the titles of the photos, the names Faanui, Tiipoto, and Nunue are names of the competing teams, and refer to the areas of Bora Bora that the teams represent.

Also, by looking at these photos, you will see how local Polynesian and French people demonstrated their faith in God, how we met some fellow sailing missionary families, and how another art ministry event developed. You’ll be amazed at our 4th of July celebration in a rainstorm with our American friends! You’ll also, I’m certain, be in total awe over the gorgeous natural wonders of Bora Bora, like the rainforest covered mountains, the skies filled with rainbows and ever changing cloud formations, and of course, the iconic sea!

But before you tour Bora Bora with us through our photos, please read about the Mission Joyful events in the following paragraphs, including the art ministry workshop I held. Maybe you will discover an art expression you may wish to try!

MISSION JOYFUL

Sailing Missionaries – Jeff and I were really blessed to have met several other sailing missionaries while we were in Bora Bora! One special day while Jeff and I were in Joyful’s cockpit at Teiva’s dock in the lagoon, a family of 4 motored up in their dinghy to say, “Hello”. They were intrigued in Joyful’s hailing port of Aspen, Colorado, which along with her name, was written on her transom. The family consisted of Ken and Beatrice, and their 16 year old son, Josh, and 14 year old daughter, Gabriella. They are sailing around the world on their sloop, Elin, and doing missionary work along the way. They have the fantastic gift of running across other Christians and putting them together to encourage one another in their work for the Lord. They introduced us to two other sailing missionary families, Phil and Pam and David and Karen. Phil and Pam annually sail their boat, “Maranatha”, from Australia to the Louisaides in Papua New Guinea, to do good works there which include teaching the locals about Jesus, teaching worship leaders to utilize guitar music with singing in their worship, and doing many other missionary and humanitarian endeavors. David and Karen on their catamaran, “Sea Angel” are going to be based in a small island group in Vanuatu, where they will meet with doctors from other countries and sail them to remote islands in Vanuatu, where they can help the locals with their medical needs. You can see all these wonderful people in the photographs. We named this group of fellow sailing missionaries and ourselves, “Sailors for Christ”.

Music Ministry
During the first half of our weeks in Bora Bora, I was able to praise the Lord with music ministry when Jeff and I stayed in a wonderful Frenchman’s villa on the mountainside overlooking the lagoon. You can see two photos of this memorable event in this section of the blog, as well as others in Bora Bora Part 1. Then, in the second half of our weeks in Bora Bora, I was blessed to have played my guitar twice at the MaiKai Restaurant and Yacht Club. They were perfect opportunities to obey Psalm 100: 1-2 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” The first time was when a Polynesian musician asked me to play some classical music on his guitar, and when I did, he began singing soft, dreamlike words in a Polynesian dialect! When I played Amazing Grace, he sang all the words in Polynesian, too. The combination of the guitar music and his voice was peaceful and melodic! Then, a few weeks later, the same musician was there playing for a wedding ceremony. Again, he asked if I would play his guitar, and I did. When I played Amazing Grace, he again sang the words, in his native Polynesian language, to this universally known and beloved hymn during the wedding celebration. It was amazing to hear his mellow voice sing those powerful words in a beautiful sounding language! That is something I will always remember with happiness! Music is a perfect way to reach people from all countries, all ages. Most people love music. It is truly a gift from the Lord!

Art Ministry
Once again I was blessed to have had the opportunity to use my God given gift of art to serve others here in Bora Bora. The Lord wants everyone to utilize the gifts He has given them to serve others, as seen in 1Peter 4:10-11 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” I held an art workshop for Beatrice and Gabriella, members of the sailing missionary family on s/v Elin, where I taught them how to incorporate Bible verses in their paintings and to use the traditional tools of Chinese brush painting artists. So, in a heavy rainstorm, in the shelter of the MaiKai Yacht Club’s veranda, we set up a studio where they learned how to make ink from a Chinese ink stick by grinding it on an ink stone, to use a Chinese brush, and to paint on transparently thin, fragile rice paper. Beatrice and Gabriella were motivated students who did an excellent job of learning. They loved learning to write Bible verses onto their artwork, so people could enjoy the Word of God as well as the beautiful art work. We had lots of fun together, and are looking forward to serving the Lord together through His gift of art! You can see photos of the art workshop in this section of the blog. Maybe you can try taking art lessons from someone someday, or teach yourself! You will make people very happy if you give them a painting or drawing made by you!

COMING UP NEXT (after the photos of Bora Bora Part 2)…JOYFUL’S PASSAGE FROM BORA BORA TO THE KINGDOM OF TONGA! Come join Joyful as we sail across more of the gorgeous South Pacific Ocean to another exotic landfall! You may wish to put your sunscreen on NOW! It will be FUN!

1. Even with rain pouring down, the Tiipoto dancers joyously performed their dances at the Bora Bora Heiva1. Even with rain pouring down, the Tiipoto dancers joyously performed their dances at the Bora Bora Heiva.

2. Tiipoto male dancers performed war and other traditional dances in the annual dance and cultural program called the Heiva Bora Bora.2. Tiipoto male dancers performed war and other traditional dances in the annual dance and cultural program called the Heiva Bora Bora.

3. This pretty young lady danced for the Nunue team in the Heiva dance final.  The troupe won the grand prize!  They made their traditional costumes with hibiscus fiber, sea shells, and coconut fibers3. This pretty young lady danced for the Nunue team in the Heiva dance final. The troupe won the grand prize! They made their traditional costumes with hibiscus fiber, sea shells, and coconut fibers.

4. All the dancers, like this colorful Tiipoto dancer, immensly enjoyed performing in the annual Heiva competition.  They are everyday people from Bora Bora, not professional dancers!4. All the dancers, like this colorful Tiipoto dancer, immensly enjoyed performing in the annual Heiva competition. They are everyday people from Bora Bora, not professional dancers!

5. A lovely Tiipoto dancer made her skirt from hibiscus fiber, banana tree bark, and green leaves. Every dancer must construct their own clothes from indigenous materials from Bora Bora5. A lovely Tiipoto dancer made her skirt from hibiscus fiber, banana tree bark, and green leaves. Every dancer must construct their own clothes from indigenous materials from Bora Bora.

6. Nunue dancers perform in the dance final. These white fibers came from the hibiscus tree.  All the materials came from Bora Bora, and the costumes were handmade by the dancers themselves! The troupe won the grand prize!6. Nunue dancers perform in the dance final. These white fibers came from the hibiscus tree. All the materials came from Bora Bora, and the costumes were handmade by the dancers themselves! The troupe won the grand prize!

7. The Tiipoto male and female dancers, wore traditional garments and decorations made of fresh green leaves7. The Tiipoto male and female dancers, wore traditional garments and decorations made of fresh green leaves.

8. Nunue female dancers held large mother of pearl oyster shells in their hands to symbolize raindrops reflecting light.  This was a dramatic and effective way to portray their theme of rain!8. Nunue female dancers held large mother of pearl oyster shells in their hands to symbolize raindrops reflecting light. This was a dramatic and effective way to portray their theme of rain!

9. Nunue's leader, Tietu, wore feathers, shells, and fibers from Bora Bora.  He was an excellent, powerful, effective, and dedicated leader of the Nunue dance troup.9. Nunue’s leader, Tietu, wore feathers, shells, and fibers from Bora Bora. He was an excellent, powerful, effective, and dedicated leader of the Nunue dance troupe.

10. Beautiful Tamatea wearing the Faanui dance costume her mother and grandmother lovingly made her by hand of plants, shells, and feathers from Bora Bora.10. Beautiful Tamatea wearing the Faanui dance costume her mother and grandmother lovingly made her by hand of plants, shells, and feathers from Bora Bora.

11. The pretty Faanui dancer poses with Jeff and Anne at the Bora Bora Heiva 201511. The pretty Faanui dancer poses with Jeff and Anne at the Bora Bora Heiva 2015.

12. The beautiful young Tamatea at the Faanui Chant (himene - singing) finals12. The beautiful young Tamatea at the Faanui Chant (himene – singing) finals.

13. The Faanui choir troup is singing during the Chant final at the Heiva. The judges are seated in the foreground near my camera13. The Faanui choir troup is singing during the Chant final at the Heiva. The judges are seated in the foreground near my camera.

14. The Faanui choir after the Chant (himene - singing) final competition.  They prayed together before and after each performance, as did all the dance and choir troups.  I took this photo after their group prayer14. The Faanui choir after the Chant (himene – singing) final competition. They prayed together before and after each performance, as did all the dance and choir troups. I took this photo after their group prayer.

15. Bill attended almost every Nunue dance practice for a month & took photos. They made friends with him and a few nights before the final competition 75 dancers and musicians put a lei around his neck to thank him for motivating them to excel15. Bill attended almost every Nunue dance practice for a month & took photos. They made friends with him and a few nights before the final competition 75 dancers and musicians put a lei around his neck to thank him for motivating them to excel.

16. The Nunue team presented Bill with a custom made Polynesian pareo, shirt and leis to honor him.  They also invited him to be their guest of honor at the Heiva final competition16. The Nunue team presented Bill with a custom made Polynesian pareo, shirt and leis to honor him. They also invited him to be their guest of honor at the Heiva final competition.

17. This is Anne's cartoon of Teiva & his family at Bora Bora Heiva 2015.  Their lovely daughter, Tamatea, danced in the Faanui finals.  As you can see, one of their dogs has only three legs, & the other loves to eat entire French bagettes of bread!17. This is Anne’s cartoon of Teiva & his family at Bora Bora Heiva 2015. Their lovely daughter, Tamatea, danced in the Faanui finals. As you can see, one of their dogs has only three legs, & the other loves to eat entire French bagettes of bread!

18. This is Anne's drawing of Fifi, Gerard's French Poodle at Heiva Bora Bora 2015.  Gerard kindly let Joyful use one of his mooring lines all month to keep her steady on Teiva's dock in the lagoon18. This is Anne’s drawing of Fifi, Gerard’s French Poodle at Heiva Bora Bora 2015. Gerard kindly let Joyful use one of his mooring lines all month to keep her steady on Teiva’s dock in the lagoon.

19. In a view from Joyful, a traditional outrigger canoe for 12 made its way to compete in the Heiva race in Bora Bora.  More competing outriggers were staged in the lagoon as seen on the right side of this photo19. In a view from Joyful, a traditional outrigger canoe for 12 made its way to compete in the Heiva race in Bora Bora. More competing outriggers were staged in the lagoon as seen on the right side of this photo.

20. Anne and Jeff ate lunch under coconut trees in Bora Bora with Joyful in the distance.20. Anne and Jeff ate lunch under coconut trees in Bora Bora with Joyful in the distance.

21. A rainbow near Joyful reminds us of God's promise!21. A rainbow near Joyful reminds us of God’s promise!

22. Bora Bora's Mt. Otemanu was shrouded in the afternoon rain clouds viewed from the north east22. Bora Bora’s Mt. Otemanu was shrouded in the afternoon rain clouds viewed from the north east.

23. Jagged volcanic formations were seen throughout the volcanic island of Bora Bora.23. Jagged volcanic formations were seen throughout the volcanic island of Bora Bora.

24. We walked on this serene beach on the northern part of Bora Bora's lagoon.  The roof was made of pandanus leaves from a nearby island24. We walked on this serene beach on the northern part of Bora Bora’s lagoon. The roof was made of pandanus leaves from a nearby island.

25. One day we had lunch at this traditional Polynesian style restaurant on the north shore of Bora Bora's lagoon25. One day we had lunch at this traditional Polynesian style restaurant on the north shore of Bora Bora’s lagoon.

26. Lush ponds with water lillies could be enjoyed here and there in Bora Bora.26. Lush ponds with water lillies could be enjoyed here and there in Bora Bora.

27. The water in Bora Bora's lagoon was quite clear and clean.  Tides swept through the reef every day.  As an artist, Anne was captivated by the ever changing designs in the water's surface around Joyful.27. The water in Bora Bora’s lagoon was quite clear and clean. Tides swept through the lagoon formed by the coral reef every day. As an artist, Anne was captivated by the ever changing designs in the water’s surface around Joyful. This water is just outside of Joyful’s aft head’s port light!

30. Anne is with C.T. the flambouyant 15 year old coconut crab.  C.T. is eating a coconut with his huge claws. Coconut crabs used to be everywhere in Bora Bora.  Now they bring them in from other islands in Polynesia to sell to the locals for food.28. Anne is with C.T. the flambouyant 15 year old coconut crab. C.T. is eating a coconut with his huge claws. Coconut crabs used to be everywhere in Bora Bora. Now they bring them in from other islands in Polynesia to sell to the locals for food.

31. Christoph, Anne, and C.T., the coconut crab are smiling at you!29. Christoph, Anne, and C.T., the coconut crab are smiling at you!

37. Christoph and his 15 year old coconut crab.  The crab kept Christoph on a strong leash30. Christoph and his 15 year old coconut crab. The crab kept Christoph on a strong leash.

28. The 15 year old pet coconut crab had his name written on his back, C.T. Bora Bora. They enjoy eating coconuts!31. The 15 year old pet coconut crab had his name written on his back, C.T. Bora Bora. They enjoy eating coconuts! If you get your finger near his pincers, it will be the last time that happens…for that finger!  But you will have 9 more chances, 19 if you include your toes!

29. This is a close up of C.T. the 15 year old coconut crab enjoying eating a coconut for elevenses!  Note how his owner, Christoph, is keeping his hands well away from C.T.'s giant powerful claws!32. This is a close up of C.T. the 15 year old coconut crab enjoying eating a coconut for elevenses! Note how his owner, Christoph, is keeping his hands well away from C.T.’s giant powerful claws!

32. We had the honor to attend many rites of holy baptism at a Bora Bora church33. We had the honor to attend many rites of holy baptism at a Bora Bora church.33. We went to a confirmation service in a church in Bora Bora34. We went to a confirmation service in a church in Bora Bora.

34. The church service was conducted in both French and Polynesian languages.35. The church service was conducted in both French and Polynesian languages.

35. A Polynesian Christian brought his traditional conch shell horn to church every Sunday in order to praise the Lord during certain hymns36. A Polynesian Christian brought his traditional conch shell horn to church every Sunday in order to praise the Lord during certain hymns.

36. A Polynesian worshiped Jesus by praising the Lord by blowing the traditional conch shell horn during certain hymns in the service37. A Polynesian worshiped Jesus by praising the Lord by blowing the traditional conch shell horn during certain hymns in the service.

38. Joyful was lashed to the lagoon's floor with heavy mooring lines, as well as dock lines to shore and to the floating dock.  We stored some fruit and vegetables in nets in Joyful's cockpit.38. Joyful was lashed to the lagoon’s floor with heavy mooring lines, as well as dock lines to shore and to the floating dock. We stored some fruit and vegetables in nets in Joyful’s cockpit.

39. Lunch on Joyful in Bora Bora - delicious French Polynesian grown fruit and vegetables39. Lunch on Joyful in Bora Bora – I cut this delicious French Polynesian grown individual sized cantaloupe into a little basket and filled it with other fruits grown in French Polynesia. The locals took pride in the fact that the French Polynesian Islands can be totally self sufficient from the rest of the world if need be.

40. Jeff and Anne dining at the MaiKai in Bora Bora.  Anne is proudly wearing a tee shirt from one of the three American schools that partnered with Joyful in the Blue Planet Odyssey40. Jeff and Anne dining at the MaiKai in Bora Bora. Anne is proudly wearing a tee shirt from one of the three American schools that partnered with Joyful in the Blue Planet Odyssey, the Good Shepherd Academy.

41. In Bora Bora, we enjoyed eating both traditional Polynesian foods as well as French dishes like this scrumptious salade Niçoise.41. In Bora Bora, we enjoyed eating both traditional Polynesian foods as well as French dishes like this scrumptious salade Niçoise.

42. Poisson Cru au Lait de Coco (Raw fish in coconut milk and lime juice) was one of the many delicious traditional Polynesian dishes.  They ate this for breakfast or at any time.42. Poisson Cru au Lait de Coco (Raw fish in coconut milk and lime juice) was one of the many delicious traditional Polynesian dishes. They ate this for breakfast or at any time.

43. Anne paintied Joyful's new Blue Planet Odyssey flag on the veranda of the MaiKai Restaurant and Yacht Club in Bora Bora.43. Anne paintied Joyful’s new Blue Planet Odyssey flag on the veranda of the MaiKai Restaurant and Yacht Club in Bora Bora.

44. Anne hoisted Joyful's new Blue Planet Odyssey flag she made to take the place of the original wind shreaded BPO flag.44. Anne hoisted Joyful’s new Blue Planet Odyssey flag she made to take the place of the original wind shreaded BPO flag.

45. Teiva honored Joyful by making her a member of the MaiKai Yacht Club.  Joyful proudly flies the pennant!45. Teiva honored Joyful by making her a member of the MaiKai Yacht Club. Joyful proudly flies the pennant!

46. Teiva, owner of the MaiKai Yacht Club in Bora Bora, proudly displayed the USA flag on the 4th of July46. Teiva, owner of the MaiKai Yacht Club in Bora Bora, proudly displayed the USA flag on the 4th of July.

47. During a rainstorm, Sailors for Christ members enjoyed a feast and a banana split together to celebrate the 4th of July on the porch of a Bora Bora bank.47. During a rainstorm, Sailors for Christ members enjoyed a feast and a banana split together to celebrate the 4th of July on the porch of a Bora Bora bank because it was the only shelter from the rain storm!  We had planned to have the picnic under the coconut trees by the lagoon.  But this was better!  Unforgettable!

48. To celebrate the 4th of July, Anne serves Sailors for Christ friends a banana split.  Because of a rain storm the picnic was enjoyed under the front porch of a Bora Bora bank.48. To celebrate the 4th of July, Anne serves Sailors for Christ friends a banana split. Because of a rain storm the picnic was enjoyed under the front porch of a Bora Bora bank.

49. We met many sailing missionaries in Bora Bora whom we named Sailors for Christ.  David took this photo of the group on his boat, Sea Angel.  From left to right- Phil, Karen, Jeff, Anne, Beatrice, Pam, Ken, Gabriella, Josh.49. We met many sailing missionaries in Bora Bora whom we named Sailors for Christ. David took this photo of the group on his boat, Sea Angel. From left to right- Phil, Karen, Jeff, Anne, Beatrice, Pam, Ken, Gabriella, Josh.

50. Sea Angel's David was the other member of Sailors for Christ who kindly took the group's photo.50. Sea Angel’s David was the other member of Sailors for Christ who kindly took the group’s photo.

 

51. Jeff and Anne at an extemporanious music ministry event at Garrick's lovely Mediterranean style villa in Bora Bora51. Jeff and Anne at an extemporanious music ministry event at Garrick’s lovely Mediterranean style villa in Bora Bora. The French born artist is famous in his native country, as well as in Bora Bora.

52. Anne loved playing her guitar for Garrick in his villa in Bora Bora.  He knew some of the classic Italian pieces she played for him.  In the morning birds seemed to chirp in time with the music on his veranda!52. Anne loved playing her guitar for Garrick in his villa in Bora Bora. He knew some of the classic Italian pieces she played for him. In the morning birds seemed to chirp in time with the music on his veranda!

53. Anne played a guitar and Henri sang Amazing Grace at the MaiKai Yacht Club..  Henri sang the words in Polynesian53. Anne played a guitar and Henri sang Amazing Grace at the MaiKai Yacht Club.. Henri sang the words in Polynesian.

54. Anne played Amazing Grace at a beautiful wedding at the MaiKai Restaurant and Yacht Club in Bora Bora54. Anne played Amazing Grace at a beautiful wedding at the MaiKai Restaurant and Yacht Club in Bora Bora.

55. Anne taught fellow sailing missionaries, Beatrice and Gabriella, Chinese brush painting in an art ministry workshop in Bora Bora.55. Anne taught fellow sailing missionaries, Beatrice and Gabriella, Chinese brush painting in an art ministry workshop in Bora Bora. In the art ministry class Gabriella made ink with a Chinese ink stick and stone. Both Gabriella and her mother, Beatrice learned well and enjoyed the new art form! They want to combine Bible verses with their paintings.

56. Anne demonstrated how to set up the painting area for Chinese brush painting.  The glue was only used as a brush rest56. Anne demonstrated how to set up the painting area for Chinese brush painting. The glue was only used as a brush rest.

57. Anne demonstrated how to hold a Chinese paint brush during the art ministry painting workshop57. Anne demonstrated how to hold a Chinese paint brush during the art ministry painting workshop.

58. Fellow sailing missionaries, Beatrice and Gabriella, learn Chinese brush painting from me in an art ministry workshop in at the MaiKai Restaurant and Yacht Club in Bora Bora58. Fellow sailing missionaries, Beatrice and Gabriella, learn Chinese brush painting from me in an art ministry workshop in at the MaiKai Restaurant and Yacht Club in Bora Bora.

 

60. Anne made this card during an art ministry workshop in Bora Bora to demonstrate how to integrate a Bible verse with a Chinese brush painting.59. Anne made this card during an art ministry workshop in Bora Bora to demonstrate how to integrate a Bible verse with a Chinese brush painting.

 

61. Joyful leaving Bora Bora flying the MaiKai Yacht Club Pennant, Blue Planet Odyssey flag, French Polynesia courtesy flag, and the French courtesy flag from her spreader halyards60. Joyful leaving Bora Bora flying the MaiKai Yacht Club Pennant, Blue Planet Odyssey flag, French Polynesia courtesy flag, and the French courtesy flag from her spreader halyards.

62. Bora Bora in the rear view mirror!  Tonga here we come!61. Bora Bora in the rear view mirror! Tonga here we come!

63. Fairwell Bora Bora!  We love you! We left Joyful's wake and good new friends behind62. Farewell Bora Bora! We love you! We left Joyful’s wake and good new friends behind.

64. Flat Mr. Davis is dressed for sea and ready for the passage from Bora Bora to the Kingdom of Tonga!  Ahoy, Round Hill Bears and everyone!  Prepare for fun and excitement with Joyful on the high seas!63. Flat Mr. Davis is dressed for sea and ready for the passage from Bora Bora to the Kingdom of Tonga! Ahoy, Round Hill Bears and everyone! Prepare for fun and excitement with Joyful on the high seas in the next episode of this blog!

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May 22 – June 23, 2015 – by Anne – BORA BORA, THE SOCIETY ARCHIPELAGO, FRENCH POLYNESIA – PART 1  

To date, June 23, Joyful is still enjoying Bora Bora, but I want to enter this Bora Bora Part 1 portion of the blog entry today, then post a Bora Bora Part 2 later before we sail away. We hope to sail away to Vava’u, Tonga, as soon as the weather at sea improves.

At the first call of “Land ho!” when we spotted the exotic atoll of Bora Bora, we have been charmed by the island’s natural beauty. Typical white voluminous cumulus clouds floated above this tiny island in the vast South Pacific Ocean, easily marking the location of such a mountainous island. Jeff, Bill, and I were quite excited to see this famous isle in French Polynesia, to experience its culture, meet its people, to accomplish the goals of the BPO, to do some music and art ministry, and to gather with the rest of the Blue Planet Odyssey fleet for the first time before the rally began.

Jeff had to have some medical checks by a local doctor while here at Bora Bora, who found Jeff has a bacterial infection causing us to stay a little longer in this tropical paradise in order to rest and heal. Bill had a cold, and, I’m in good health.

BPO BORA BORA RENDEZVOUS:

Within a few days of Joyful’s arrival in Bora Bora, several other boats in the Blue Planet Odyssey appeared from other islands in French Polynesia. For this planned rendezvous, Luc and Jackie (Jackie was not present at Bora Bora due to a prior overseas commitment), who are the excellent BPO coordinators for a large portion of the rally, arranged some spectacular events for the fleet, which included a welcome to Bora Bora lunch, a BPO route planning update session, a training session for a program in which we will be testing children’s eye health while on the BPO, a departure cocktail party, departure feast, and Polynesian dance show at the MaiKai Marina and Yacht Club. Teiva and Jessica, owners of the MaiKai Marina and Yacht Club, are extraordinary hosts, as they showed much kindness and consideration for everyone in the BPO. Luc continued to demonstrate his heartfelt commitment to the participants of the BPO, and to the BPO’s mission, by spending a lot of time, energy, and effort on every detail. Thank you so much, Luc, Jackie, Teiva and Jessica! Thank you and your family, Teiva, for letting Joyful stay at your dock, and for your gracious hospitality and help for Jeff, Bill, and me while we are here in Bora Bora.

Can you hear those drums? No, not Ringo Starr’s drums, but ancient Polynesian traditional drums made of tree trunks, branches, goat skins, shells, and banana fibers. I hear them almost every night as I sleep in Joyful’s cockpit under the Southern sky. The drums cry out rhythms and beats passed down through the generations and echo for miles against Bora Bora’s high volcanic rain forest covered mountain. The lagoon also carries soft voices singing sweet sounding Polynesian words for miles, punctuated by softer drum beats. Who is making those exotic, welcoming sounds? Local teens, young adults and older adults, five nights a week, starting at 6:30 and ending sometimes at midnight, who are practicing Polynesian drums and dances for an upcoming Polynesian competition called a Heiva. The singing is from local “elders” who sing and chant beautiful traditional songs, sometimes calling to the dancers. Jeff, Bill, and I have many times strolled through the main street of Vaitape to stand for hours, under tropical trees and the Southern Cross in the night sky, marveling at this enjoyable activity. We love the way the dance/drum competition encourages group solidarity within the community, as well as the capacity for cultural traditions to be kept alive.  I will post some photos of these extraordinary dancers and drummers in Bora Bora Part 2, “so stay tuned!”

SCIENCE:

Secchi Disk –

Yippee! All the Bears, the Eagles, and the Huns, who are the students at the three schools with whom Joyful is partnered in the USA, will be excited to hear that we took our first successful Secchi disk reading on this circumnavigation! After replacing the devices on the bottom of the Secchi disk with heavier weights, we lowered the scientific instrument Mr. Muldowney’s 5th grade science students from the Round Hill Elementary School graciously made for Joyful. On the floating dock next to Joyful, Jeff stood by with the still camera, while Luc, a wonderful man from Belgium who is the BPO rally coordinator for this part of the world, took a video of me operating the Secchi disk from Joyful’s deck. The Secchi Depth was 8 meters 20 centimeters, and the sea temperature was 32.3 degrees Celsius right around Joyful. We entered this data and more into the Secchi Disk App. The data will be used to study phytoplankton, which is a crucial part of the planet’s food chain. The health and status of the ocean can be reflected in phytoplankton, and therefore, these Secchi Depths can be a part of the puzzle requested by scientists throughout the world who are concerned with the earth and life on the earth.

Bird sightings –

We’ve seen a few beautiful birds in Bora Bora, one of my favorites is the one I call, “The Duke of Oxford”. He is the magnificent white beaked, blackish brown and white sea bird that flew around Joyful during her passage to Bora Bora and to Nuku Hiva. A brown juvenile one even sailed on Joyful for a while on top of her solar panels! These birds are known as brown boobies. It made me feel so happy to see the Duke of Oxford welcoming us to Bora Bora when he was sitting on top of the green starboard marker, which marked the coral reef in the pass separating the open sea from Bora Bora’s lagoon.

Quick! Call the police! Call the gendarmes! Its a red-vented bulbul bird! Why the need for the law? Here on Bora Bora and on other Pacific Islands, other birds, bees, fruits, and plants are severely threatened by this innocent looking land bird called a bulbul. The red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer, is on the list of the top 100 worst invasive alien species. We saw a large poster in town, a photo of which I am including in this blog, which stated in large print to call the police (gendarmes) if you see a bulbul. We asked an islander about the bulbuls and she became very serious and told us about how that bird is creating a real danger to the island. So we are keeping our eyes open for a bulbul, and oui, we will call the police tout de suite!

Dosimeter –

The daily dosimeter readings readings at the dock in Bora Bora were all between 8 and 15 counts per minute (CPM).

COMMUNITY SERVICE:

Eye Health Program for Youth –

In Bora Bora, a new community service was made available to the Blue Planet Odyssey (BPO) participants. The Hamburg Institute of Research, Training, and Therapy, gGmbH (HIT) has provided the BPO with two kits of eye measurement equipment to take to the remote areas along the route of the BPO. We will measure children, ages 7-14, for vision deficiencies, and HIT will make glasses for, and mail them to, the children who need them. Two of the BPO boats have already started using the kits to improve the lives of the children; Joyful will participate in this worthwhile program when we are in company with the boats that have the equipment.

COMMUNICATIONS:

We want to apologize for the difficult communications via phone and email so far during this circumnavigation. Our computers have had issues, allowing very few minutes of use, to no use at all, ever since we sailed away from Key West. Also, once we had our computers repaired here in Bora Bora, the WiFi access has been unreliable, uncooperative, and still intermittent! We hope the communication possibilities improve for the rest of the circumnavigation. In the mean time, we hope you will be patient, and if we can’t read your email messages quickly, or send you emails quickly, that you will understand. But we will try! Such is the life of cruising boaters in remote parts of the world. We hope you will enjoy Joyful’s blog as it stands at any given time, as well as reading articles about Joyful’s endeavors, and enjoy tracking Joyful’s position via http://www.blueplanetodyssey.com.

MISSION JOYFUL:

Art Ministry –

So far during our stay in Bora Bora, I have had the pleasure to hold two art ministry events in which I taught two watercolor classes to a few lovely local people and some wonderful fellow cruisers who are sailing around the world on their yacht as they do missionary work.  Like Joyful! The first lesson, consisted of students ranging from a sweet 7 year old girl, to a teenager and adults. In this Bora Bora Part 1 blog entry, I will tell you about the first art ministry event, then catch you up on the second event in Bora Bora Part 2.

As an inspiration for their subject for their artwork, I used the turtle painting I made for the Key West entry in the book I plan to publish, which incorporates the Bible verse from Genesis 1:21 “So God created the living creatures of the sea… and God saw that it was good.” I demonstrated how to use brushes, mix any color from three primary colors, use washes, splattering, and other techniques to create a work of art on watercolor paper. I also demonstrated how to use a flat brush to form words within their design, and explained how, if they wished, they could share the Word of God with others if they used Bible verses in their designs. While they painted the sea creatures of their choice, we had such a pleasant time listening to the young 7 year old girl extemporaneously explain how God wants people to keep the oceans and earth clean so the fish and animals can be healthy. She spoke about how God created the creatures of the sea, the ocean itself, and everything else. From the mouths of babes! Praise the Lord!

Music Ministry and Art Ministry Together!  Extraordinary and Unplanned! –

During these days in Bora Bora, I was able to share the gift of music with a wonderful French local man, at whose villa Jeff and I stayed for several days for Jeff to recover in an air conditioned environment per the doctor’s orders. In our desire to be obedient to the Lord, we try to follow 1 Peter 4:10 “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” So one fine morning, while our French gentleman host was enjoying his coffee near the bougainvillea blossoms on his veranda, I asked if I could play him a few Italian pieces on my classical guitar. He welcomed the invitation, and we each had great joy together, relaxing together with the great mountains of Bora Bora and the azure sea as our backdrop! Thank you, Lord, for giving us the gift of music to please one another!

The gentleman was able to reciprocate in sharing the gift the Lord gave him in the form of art. He is a respected artist from France and Bora Bora, and his extraordinarily colorful and vibrant oil paintings are positive and uplifting to observe. One of the most impressive of his paintings hung in our private portion of the villa, which was a life size painting of Jesus Christ. The artist was able to share in art ministry with me by explaining the only subjects he paints are those that are positive, upbeat, and reflect the good in people. This reminds me of what the Holy Bible says in Philippians 4:8-9 “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you.” I will recall with happiness those few days in that peaceful, idyllic environment with such a special individual.  His approach to art is akin to mine, so there, too, will be a valued memory, inspiration, and connection.  Merci!

Artistic Inspirations from the Lord About this Landfall –

The inspiration was clear for a painting reflecting this landfall of Bora Bora, for publication in the book I plan on illustrating showing how God lives throughout the world, whether at sea or on land. Joyful, here in Bora Bora, has been totally surrounded by four amazing sights every minute of the day and night; the coral reefs to her West and South, the verdant rainforest on the volcanic mountain to her North and East, the crystal clear waters of the lagoon beneath her keel, and the clean, magnificent sky above her decks. The Holy Bible says that the Lord created these natural phenomena as well as mankind, and wants humans to be caretakers of His creation. Therefore, for the painting representing Bora Bora, I wish to make a design which will incorporate the verse from the Holy Bible, Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

1. After motoring through the coral reef pass seen in the lower right hand part of this photo, Joyful docked in front of Teiva's house, on the lagoon in Vaitape, directly straight ahead of the pass.  Bora-Bora photo by amriholiday.blogspot.com.

1. After motoring through the coral reef pass seen in the lower right hand part of this photo, Joyful docked in front of Teiva’s house, on the lagoon in Vaitape, directly straight ahead of the pass. Bora-Bora photo by amriholiday.blogspot.com.

2. Anne &  Jeff were happy to get to know Bora Bora.

2. Anne & Jeff were happy to get to know Bora Bora.

3. Jeff, Anne and Bill posed at the MaiKai Marina and Yacht Club in Vaitape, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, where they and other sailors from yachts in the BPO gathered for a rendezvous.

3. Jeff, Anne and Bill posed at the MaiKai Marina and Yacht Club in Vaitape, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, where they and other sailors from yachts in the BPO gathered for a rendezvous.

4. Joyful, Anne, & Jeff, docked at Teiva's house in Bora Bora.  Thank you, Teiva and Jessica!

4. Joyful, Anne, & Jeff, docked at Teiva’s house in Bora Bora. Thank you, Teiva and Jessica!

5. Joyful's flags in Bora Bora.  The USA ensign flew from Joyful's backstay, the Blue Planet Odyssey flag few from her port spreader halyard, and the French and French Polynesia flags flew from her starboard spreader halyard.

5. Joyful’s flags in Bora Bora. The USA ensign flew from Joyful’s backstay, the Blue Planet Odyssey flag few from her port spreader halyard, and the French and French Polynesia flags flew from her starboard spreader halyard.

6. Joyful docked on the far side of a catamaran in Bora Bora.  You can see Joyful' hull, mast and two headsails just beyond the big catamaran's rigging. Mt. Pahia is in the distance, which sheltered Joyful from the prevailing Easterly winds.

6. Joyful docked on the far side of a catamaran in Bora Bora. You can see Joyful’ hull, mast and two headsails just beyond the big catamaran’s rigging. Mt. Pahia is in the distance, which sheltered Joyful from the prevailing Easterly winds.

7. Joyful docked in the lee of one of Bora Bora's lush mountains, Mt. Pahia. We felt so blessed to see this breathtakingly beautiful 661 meter high volcanic mountain so close from Joyful.

7. Joyful docked in the lee of one of Bora Bora’s lush mountains, Mt. Pahia. We felt so blessed to see this breathtakingly beautiful 661 meter high volcanic mountain so close from Joyful.

8. Joyful as seen from the balcony of the good Frenchman, Gerard, at Teiva's floating dock in Bora Bora's lagoon.

8. Joyful as seen from the balcony of the good Frenchman, Gerard, at Teiva’s floating dock in Bora Bora’s lagoon.

9. Joyful at Teiva's gorgeous traditional Polynesian house.

9. Joyful at Teiva’s gorgeous traditional Polynesian house.

10. Joyful at Teiva's dock as viewed from the back garden.  The amazing roof of the house is made from the leaves of a Polynesian tree, and lasts for about 7 years.

10. Joyful at Teiva’s dock as viewed from the back garden. The amazing roof of the house is made from the leaves of a Polynesian tree, and lasts for about 7 years.

11. Joyful at Teiva's dock was secured by strong mooring lines, double lines from the land in Teiva's garden, and from the floating dock.  The dock is secured with chains from the land, as well as from underwater.

11. Joyful at Teiva’s dock was secured by strong mooring lines, double lines from the land in Teiva’s garden, and from the floating dock. The dock is secured with chains from the land, as well as from underwater.

12. Joyful at Teiva's dock Bora Bora.  Anne slept in the cockpit at night, and each night witnessed fish feeding frenzies next to Joyful.  Sharks, rays, sea turtles and other creatures live in the lagoon.

12. Joyful at Teiva’s dock Bora Bora. Anne slept in the cockpit at night, and each night witnessed fish feeding frenzies next to Joyful. Sharks, rays, sea turtles and other creatures live in the lagoon.

14. Joyful docked with a red outrigger canoe and a yellow submarine in the background in Bora Bora.

14. Joyful docked with a red outrigger canoe and a yellow submarine in the background in Bora Bora.

15. From all directions Joyful had an awesome view.  This one shows her view toward the East, with a bright rainbow starting in the lagoon and ending on Mt. Pahia!  Bora Bora is surely the pot of gold!

15. From all directions Joyful had an awesome view. This one shows her view toward the East, with a bright rainbow starting in the lagoon and ending on Mt. Pahia! Bora Bora is surely the pot of gold!

16. Joyful's view of Mt. Pahia of Bora Bora to starboard. The prevailing winds came from the East, on the far side of this volcanic peak.  We could look at the color of the clouds as they blew over the crest, to determine if it would rain!

16. Joyful’s view of Mt. Pahia of Bora Bora to starboard. The prevailing winds came from the East, on the far side of this volcanic peak. We could look at the color of the clouds as they blew over the crest, to determine if it would rain!

17. Tropical yellow and black striped fish lived under Joyful in Bora Bora's lagoon.  The sea water was as clear as drinking water!

17. Tropical yellow and black striped fish lived under Joyful in Bora Bora’s lagoon. The sea water was as clear as drinking water!

18. We saw many outrigger canoes in the lagoon and in the gardens of houses near the lagoon in Bora Bora.  The canoes built for one person were so light a man could carry the canoe on his shoulder!  We saw this many times.

18. We saw many outrigger canoes in the lagoon and in the gardens of houses near the lagoon in Bora Bora. The canoes built for one person were so light a man could carry the canoe on his shoulder! We saw this many times.

19. Ocean waves crashing onto Bora Bora's coral reef and outrigger canoes gliding by in the lagoon were a common sight from Joyful.

19. Ocean waves crashing onto Bora Bora’s coral reef and outrigger canoes gliding by in the lagoon were a common sight from Joyful.

20. Bora Bora's sunset as viewed from Joyful's cockpit while at dock.

20. Bora Bora’s sunset as viewed from Joyful’s cockpit while at dock.

21. Flat Mr. Davis, seen right next to Anne and the orange meter reel, helped Anne as she lowered Joyful's Secchi disk into the lagoon at Bora Bora.  Fifth grade science students from Round Hill Elementary School kindly made the Secchi disk for Joyful.

21. Flat Mr. Davis, seen right next to Anne and the orange meter reel, helped Anne as she lowered Joyful’s Secchi disk into the lagoon at Bora Bora. Fifth grade science students from Round Hill Elementary School kindly made the Secchi disk for Joyful.

22. Joyful's Secchi disk submerged into Bora Bora's lagoon water next to Joyful's floating dock. The Secchi depth of 8 meters 20 centimeters was obtained. Scientists studying phytoplankton are interested in the readings.

22. Joyful’s Secchi disk submerged into Bora Bora’s lagoon water next to Joyful’s floating dock. The Secchi depth of 8 meters 20 centimeters was obtained. Scientists studying phytoplankton are interested in the readings.

23. Birds were a common sight in Bora Bora. Even if we could not identify a bird in a photo we took, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology were still interested in the photo.  They are studying migration patterns of birds.

23. Birds were a common sight in Bora Bora. Even if we could not identify a bird in a photo we took, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology were still interested in the photo. They are studying migration patterns of birds.

24. This is a photo from the internet of a adult brown booby.  Many flew over Joyful from Panama to Bora Bora, and they are a welcomed sight in Bora Bora, too.

24. This is a photo from the internet of a adult brown booby. Many flew over Joyful from Panama to Bora Bora, and they are a welcomed sight in Bora Bora, too.

25. A poster in Bora Bora warning about the invasive red-vented bulbul bird that is destroying plant and animal life in French Polynesia.  It says to call the police if you sight one.

25. A poster in Bora Bora warning about the invasive red-vented bulbul bird that is destroying plant and animal life in French Polynesia. It says to call the police if you sight one.

26. Joyful's view of Polynesian dancers in Teiva's garden.

26. Joyful’s view of Polynesian dancers in Teiva’s garden.

27. The beautiful Polynesian dancer, Tamatea, from the Faanui dance troup.  Banana leaves, feathers, and shells making up her clothes had to be from French Polynesia, and locally made as well. Her mother and grandmother made the traditional clothes.

27. The beautiful Polynesian dancer, Tamatea, from the Faanui dance troup. Banana leaves, feathers, and shells making up her clothes had to be from French Polynesia, and locally made as well. Her mother and grandmother made the traditional clothes.

28. Bora Bora locals from the dance troup, Faanui, practice Polynesian dances for a Heiva starting Friday, June 19.

28. Bora Bora locals from the dance troup, Faanui, practice Polynesian dances for a Heiva starting Friday, June 19.

29. Dancers, drummers and a choir from the group, Nunue, practiced almost every night in preparation for the Heiva, starting June 19 in Vaitape. Bill, Jeff, and I observed their practice sessions many times.

29. Dancers, drummers and a choir from the group, Nunue, practiced almost every night in preparation for the Heiva, starting June 19 in Vaitape. Bill, Jeff, and I observed their practice sessions many times.

30. Young women from the group, Nunue, practiced Polynesian dances almost every night.

30. Young women from the group, Nunue, practiced Polynesian dances almost every night.

31. Young men from the dance troup, Nunue, practiced Polynesian dances.

31. Young men from the dance troup, Nunue, practiced Polynesian dances.

32. Bora Bora locals from 13 years and up practiced their Polynesian dances.  This group was the Nunue dance troup from Vaitape, Bora Bora.

32. Bora Bora locals from 13 years and up practiced their Polynesian dances. This group was the Nunue dance troup from Vaitape, Bora Bora.

33. Anne posed with the nice local lady from Vaitape, Bora Bora, who made the flower couronne de tete (crown of flowers) from her garden in Bora Bora.  Men and women wear these crowns any time they wish, for every day use, or any occasion.

33. Anne posed with the nice local lady from Vaitape, Bora Bora, who made the flower couronne de tete (crown of flowers) from her garden in Bora Bora. Men and women wear these crowns any time they wish, for every day use, or any occasion.

34. Anne wore the popular couronne de tete (crown of flowers) made by a local woman living in Vaitape, Bora Bora, near Joyful.  The yellow flowers were in the church garden in Vaitape, where Anne and Jeff attend church while in Bora Bora.

34. Anne wore the popular couronne de tete (crown of flowers) made by a local woman living in Vaitape, Bora Bora, near Joyful. The yellow flowers were in the church garden in Vaitape, where Anne and Jeff attend church while in Bora Bora.

35. Jeff and Anne relaxing at the MaiKai Marina near Joyful in Bora Bora.

35. Jeff and Anne relaxing at the MaiKai Marina near Joyful in Bora Bora.

36. Jeff, Anne & Luc, the wonderful rally cooridinator for the Blue Planet Odyssey, greeted one another in Bora Bora. Luc brought Anne a present from Jimmy, which is the beautiful scarf made of high tech UV blocking fabric.  Thank you Jimmy and Luc!

36. Jeff, Anne & Luc, the wonderful rally cooridinator for the Blue Planet Odyssey, greeted one another in Bora Bora. Luc brought Anne a present from Jimmy, which is the beautiful scarf made of high tech UV blocking fabric. Thank you Jimmy and Luc!

37. There was one road circling the island of Bora Bora.  This view near Teiva's house, faced the town of Vaitape.  Mr. Pahia, a 661 meter high volcanic peak was in the distance, and Vaitape was at its base.

37. There was one road circling the island of Bora Bora. This view near Teiva’s house, faced the town of Vaitape. Mr. Pahia, a 661 meter high volcanic peak was in the distance, and Vaitape was at its base.

38. Freshly caught red tuna fish were for sail at US$10 per pound.  The fishermen sold their fish in front of their houses on the road to Vaitape.  All the red or white tuna fish we ate in Bora Bora and Nuku Hiva were scrumptious!  Raw or cooked!

38. Freshly caught red tuna fish were for sail at US$10 per pound. The fishermen sold their fish in front of their houses on the road to Vaitape. All the red or white tuna fish we ate in Bora Bora and Nuku Hiva were scrumptious! Raw or cooked!

39. One of the favorite foods of French Polynesia is what is called in French, Poisson Cru au Lait de Coco , which is raw fish in coconut milk and lime juice, served with slices of cucumber, carrots, and sometimes other local vegetables.

39. One of the favorite foods of French Polynesia is what is called in French, Poisson Cru au Lait de Coco , which is raw fish in coconut milk and lime juice, served with slices of cucumber, carrots, and sometimes other local vegetables.

40. Garrick's exordinary Mediterranean style villa in Bora Bora where Jeff &  Anne stayed a few nights.

40. The exordinary Mediterranean style villa in Bora Bora where Jeff & Anne stayed a few nights.

41. Garrick's Bora Bora villa had breathtakingly beautiful views of Bora Bora's mountains, lagoon and the South Pacific Ocean beyond the coral reef.  This view showed Mt. Otemanu and Mt. Pahia.

41. The Bora Bora villa had breathtakingly beautiful views of Bora Bora’s mountains, lagoon and the South Pacific Ocean beyond the coral reef. This view showed Mt. Otemanu and Mt. Pahia.

42. We enjoyed the views from our verranda at Garrick's villa in Bora Bora day or night.  Staying there was like a wonderful dream because of the ambiance of the architecture, natural beauty, Garrick's artwork, and his warm personality. Merci Garrick!

42. We enjoyed the views from our verandah at the villa in Bora Bora day or night. Staying there was like a wonderful dream because of the ambiance of the architecture, natural beauty, the owner’s artwork, and his warm personality. Merci!

43. Anne took her guitar to Garrick's villa in Bora Bora.

43. Anne took her guitar to the villa in Bora Bora.

44. Anne on her way to give an art ministry event in Bora Bora.  Anne is wearing a Bora Bora flower crown on her head.  Women and men wear them in French Polynesia any day, to church, and for special occations.

44. Anne on her way to give an art ministry event in Bora Bora. Anne is wearing a Bora Bora flower crown on her head. Women and men wear them in French Polynesia any day, to church, and for special occations.

45. Anne with some art ministry students in Bora Bora. They enjoyed painting for hours, even the young 7 year old girl who was not in this photo!

45. Anne with some art ministry students in Bora Bora. They enjoyed painting for hours, even the young 7 year old girl who was not in this photo!

46. For the first art ministry class in Bora Bora, Anne used her painting of the sea turtle from Key West to show how an artist can incorporate verses from the Bible into their designs.

46. For the first art ministry class in Bora Bora, Anne used her painting of the sea turtle she painted in Key West to show how an artist can incorporate verses from the Bible into their designs.

48. The Catholic Church in Vaitape, was always filled with worshipers.  The services were given in a mixture of French and Tahitian languages.  Locals welcomed Jeff and Anne, sometimes with the French greeting of a kiss on both sides of the face.

48. The Catholic Church in Vaitape, was always filled with worshipers. The services were given in a mixture of French and Tahitian languages. Locals welcomed Jeff and Anne, sometimes with the French greeting of a kiss on both sides of the face, or a hand shake, or a smile with Polynesian friendly words.

49. A Catholic church procession in Vaitape, Bora Bora.

49. A Catholic church procession in Vaitape, Bora Bora.

50. The Catholic church held a procession outside near the foot of Mt. Pahia.  A local man played the conch shell to praise the Lord during the procession, as he did at certain times during the church services in the sanctuary.

50. The Catholic church held a procession outside near the foot of Mt. Pahia. A local man played the conch shell to praise the Lord during the procession, as he did at certain times during the church services in the sanctuary.

51. While in Bora Bora, Jeff opened a super handmade card from Johnny, a student at the Round Hill Elementary School.  Johnny asked if we had seen a shark.  Not yet, Johnny, but we know they are out there watching Joyful!  Thank you for your awesome card!

51. While in Bora Bora, Jeff opened a super handmade card from Johnny, a student at the Round Hill Elementary School. Johnny asked if we had seen a shark. Not yet, Johnny, but we know they are out there watching Joyful! We will let you know when we do see a shark! Thank you for your awesome card!

 

 

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May 15 – May 22, 2015 – by Anne – JOYFUL’S PASSAGE FROM NUKU HIVA TO BORA BORA, THE SOCIETY ISLAND ARCHIPELAGO, FRENCH POLYNESIA – “BORA BORA HO!”

The eight day passage between Nuku Hiva and Bora Bora was another awesome time at sea – lots of sunshine, countless stars, several birds, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The winds were very mild, so mild that we had to sometimes sail, motor sail, or just motor in order to be in Bora Bora to meet the rest of the BPO fleet. This takes lots of thought because we never want to run out of diesel fuel for Joyful’s engine. Even though Joyful has powerful sails, sometimes conditions at sea or near a landfall are such that we would like to use her engine. That’s why, because even though we have the luxury of having an engine on board, we try not to use diesel in an unnecessary fashion.

Land Ho! Bora Bora Ho! On the eighth day at sea between the Marquises and the Society Islands, we sighted one of the most magnificent, breathtaking sights in the world… the volcanic peaks rising straight up out of the sea…Bora Bora! Joy abounded on Joyful! I was very happy and excited to steer Joyful, through the narrow passage in her coral reef, into Bora Bora’s peaceful lagoon. Now was the time to realize that dream! Bora Bora is a real volcanic island, surrounded by a coral atoll, the kind I’ve seen in magazines all my life! We already had our “game plan” for Joyful to approach the coral reef surrounding this tiny island in the South Pacific. We would enter the dangerous pass between the coral reefs by engine, Joyful’s 55 hp Volvo Penta diesel, but Joyful’s sails were ready to use immediately if the engine had trouble. Our anchor was ready if needed, Joyful’s fenders and dock lines were ready. The GoPro camera my sister kindly gave us was attached and turned on to record the approach to Bora Bora, the Pearl of the Pacific! Thank you so much, Cathleen! We love you!

As always, I prayed to the Holy Spirit to help me make good decisions and actions as I steered Joyful through the pass cut through the coral reef and into the crystal clear lagoon, and up to the floating dock of our destination. Jeff and Bill stood ready by the sail controls in case we needed to raise the sails as we approached the pass cut through the coral reef. We could see and hear large crashing waves all along the coral reef on both sides of the pass. I wanted to keep looking at that amazing sight, but I had to give total concentration to steering and controlling Joyful’s speed. Jeff and Bill helped locate and identify certain crucial aids to navigation called, port and starboard marks, which showed the entrance through the pass between the coral reef, isolated danger symbols called cardinal marks, and for the leading lights/day marks used as guide lines for navigators and helmsmen. Just as we approached the pass, I noticed extra turbulent water between the port and starboard ends of the pass, so I increased the RPM on the engine before we motored through that area. I needed to keep Joyful on course and not allow the turbulent water to force her onto the coral. Extraordinary blue water of all tropical, light shades entered into my field of view, but my concentration was still on controlling Joyful, and to identify navigational marks. Later, on the GoPro camera, I could see the entire scope of beautiful, remarkable Bora Bora!

Thank the Lord, all went exceeding well throughout all those challenges, and we continued to be blessed as we approached the floating dock in front of kind Teiva’s beautiful Polynesian house right on the shore of the lagoon, where we are staying in Joyful during our time in Bora Bora. Thank you Teiva and Jessica! Even as we arrive to this island of Bora Bora, the Pearl of the Pacific, we are meeting friendly Polynesian locals, as well as local Frenchmen, and are in awe of the natural beauty of Bora Bora’s volcanic mountain and crystal clear sea.

SCIENCE:

Bird sightings –

While on passage from Nuku Hiva to Bora Bora, we sighted many exotic birds flying around and past Joyful. Unfortunately, it was sometimes impossible to take a photograph of them because they didn’t tend to warn us of their aerial approach. Other times, the motion of the sea prevented us from holding a camera, but we tried! But, even if a photo has a very blurred image of a bird, scientists at the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, who are studying the migration patterns of birds and wish data and photos regarding any bird sighting from Joyful during her circumnavigation. They can usually identify birds by their silhouettes, even if it is out of focus!

The Duke of Oxford is what I named a fancy looking sea bird who flew around Joyful several times during this passage and the long passage from Panama to Nuku Hiva. It was the magnificent brown booby, Sula leucogaster, Order: Suliformes, Family: Sulidae. Its conservation status is “least concern”, indicating it is quite common. However, individuals and the entire population of brown boobies are always in danger of eating plastic that ends up in the sea, getting tangled in fishing line, getting soiled by oil spills, and other harmful threats caused by the actions of human beings. This strikingly beautiful sea bird had a white beak which had a pointed end but turned into an angular, squared off shape that ended beyond his eyes! He had shiny blackish brown feathers on his back and wings, a bright white chest and undersides, and an impressive display of aerodynamic maneuvers allowing him to fly up high above Joyful’s mast and swoop downward, right above the waves without getting one feather out of place! I called him the Duke of Oxford because he looks quite dignified, and his coloring reminds me of the brown and white (I also had a black and white pair) Oxford shoes my mother made me wear while in high school!

Dosimeter –

The daily dosimeter readings on the passage from Nuku Hiva to Bora Bora were between 6 and 15 counts per minute (CPM).

MISSION JOYFUL:

Artistic Inspirations from the Lord About this Passage –

I was inspired to paint another picture incorporating a Bible verse, relating to every passage or landfall during Joyful’s circumnavigation, for the book I plan on publishing. On this passage between Nuku Hiva and Bora Bora, as on other passages during Joyful’s Mission Joyful at sea, the stars of the Southern sky are mesmerizing to me on a night watch! They make me think of the Lord and remember this Bible verse, Psalm 136:5-9, 26 “…to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;…Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

1. As Joyful depared her anchorage in Nuku Hiva, bound for Bora Bora, whe sailed past a breathtaking yacht named, M5, which is the world's largest sloop (75 meters long), at anchor in the far distance.

1. As Joyful depared her anchorage in Nuku Hiva, bound for Bora Bora, whe sailed past a breathtaking yacht named, M5, which is the world’s largest sloop (75 meters long), at anchor in the far distance.

2. Jeff and Anne opened a colorful handmade card made for us by a thoughtful Round Hill Elementary School student.  We opened it to celebrate the start of Joyful's passage from Nuku Hiva to Bora Bora.  We liked it!  Thank you!

2. Jeff and Anne opened a colorful handmade card made for us by a thoughtful Round Hill Elementary School student. We opened it to celebrate the start of Joyful’s passage from Nuku Hiva to Bora Bora. We liked it! Thank you!

3. Flat Mr. Davis and Anne with Joyful's wind powered Hydrovane steering device.

3. Flat Mr. Davis and Anne with Joyful’s wind powered Hydrovane steering device.

4. We saw a lot of brown boobies enroute from Nuku Hiva to Bora Bora.  One even welcomed us as he sat on the top of a navigational buoy which marked the pass through the coral reef into the Bora Bora lagoon!

4. We saw a lot of brown boobies enroute from Nuku Hiva to Bora Bora. One even welcomed us as he sat on the top of a navigational buoy which marked the pass through the coral reef into the Bora Bora lagoon!  This photo is from the internet.

5. A remarkable fire hued sunset graced the Northwestern South Pacific sky with Conchita's pamplemousse suspended from Joyful's bimini.

5. A remarkable fire hued sunset graced the Northwestern South Pacific sky with Conchita’s pamplemousse suspended from Joyful’s bimini.  The black car tire is one of the tires the line handlers used in the Panama Canal to protect Joyful from harm.  We noticed it on the way to Nuku Hiva! It actually came in handy on the way.

6. Anne tended to Conchita's bananas she grew in her garden in Nuku Hiva.  The bananas weighed about 50 pounds, and had to be tied very carefully to Joyful's stainless steel bimini structure with several ropes.

6. Anne tended to the bananas Conchita grew in her garden in Nuku Hiva. The bananas weighed about 50 pounds, and had to be tied very carefully to Joyful’s stainless steel bimini structure with several ropes.

7. Land ho! Bora Bora!

7. Land ho! Bora Bora!

8. A photo of Bora Bora from Joyful's helm as we sailed to this gorgeous island known as, The Pearl of the Pacific.

8. A photo of Bora Bora from Joyful’s helm as we sailed to this gorgeous island known as, “The Pearl of the Pacific.”

9. Conchita's pamplemousse and Bora Bora were two sights that brough happiness!

9. Conchita’s pamplemousse and Bora Bora were two sights that brough happiness!

10. Anne was at Joyful's helm as Bora Bora called a warm Polynesian welcome to Joyful.

10. Anne was at Joyful’s helm as Bora Bora called a warm Polynesian welcome to Joyful.

11. Bora Bora as seen from the air.  The pass through the coral reef can be seen in the lower right hand side of the picture.  This photo is from Bora-Bora, amriholiday.blogspot.com.

11. Bora Bora as seen from the air. The pass through the coral reef can be seen in the lower right hand side of the picture. This photo is from Bora-Bora, amriholiday.blogspot.com.

12. Joyful was invited to stay at Teiva's floating dock by his beautiful Polynesian house.  Thank you, Teiva and Jessica!  Maoruru!

12. Joyful was invited to stay at Teiva’s floating dock by his beautiful Polynesian house. Thank you, Teiva and Jessica! Mauruuru!

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May 8-15, 2015 – by Anne – NUKU HIVA HO! – THE MARQUISES ARCHIPELAGO, FRENCH POLYNESIA

To ocean sailors, sighting land can be one of the most exciting, welcomed, comforting experiences of all. Land ho!, we yell when we first set sight of land, even if it isn’t our intended destination. And when we spotted our intended port of call after 40 days at sea, we yelled, “Nuku Hiva ho!” We saw it under tropical cumulus clouds, so typical of the aerial formation above high volcanic islands in the oceans of the world.

This exotic volcanic tropical island of Nuku Hiva is the home of some of the friendliest people we’ve ever met in the world! Immediately after anchoring Joyful in Taiohae Bay, formed from an ancient volcano, before we did anything else, we said a prayer to the Lord for giving us His hedge of protection all these 40 days days at sea from Panama, allowing us to arrive unharmed at Nuku Hiva. We marveled at the sight of land after sailing on the open South Pacific Ocean for over a month! We kept on saying, “Look over there at that tree! Look at those houses! Look! There are people” The myriad shades of greens from the mountains, the ever changing colors of blue from the sea around Joyful at anchor, and the amazing hues of pinks, oranges, and purples from the sky cast upon the island at sunset, to us, were mesmerizing.

That night, and every night since, while at anchor, I have slept in Joyful’s cockpit in order to enjoy the cool sea breeze, gaze upon the starry sky, hear the music, drum beats, and singing from the land, and to breathe in the fragrances from the tropical flowers, trees, and mountains! At day break I awoke by the sound of roosters‘ crowing, followed by the extraordinary sunrise over the land. I wish each of you could experience this way of being so close to nature. So if your schedule won’t permit you to go camping or to the beach, I recommend you try sleeping outside in your garden, balcony, or patio to experience similar delights!

The next day, we took Joyful’s dinghy (inflatable tender with a 6 hp engine) ashore. The first person we encountered was truly an angel from above in the form of a strong, friendly local Polynesian man, who reached out to hold the dinghy’s line and to offer me a hand to help me up the slick, rock steps leading to the land. People speak Marquisan and French here, and I was able to resurrect the amount of French I learned in school, you know, back in the Pleistocene Era.

During the next day, at the same location, another very kind local Polynesian man was on the dock near our dinghy, and offered assistance, while I spoke with his friendly wife. She didn’t speak much French, but primarily the Nuku Hivan dialect of Marquisan, and told me to meet her there the next morning so she could give us grapefruit from her trees! So I did, and she gave us about 17 perfect pamplemousse, the delicious Polynesian variety of grapefruit. I gave her a Swiss handkerchief with a hand embroidered heart of flowers on one corner, and some cards with verses from the Bible relating to loving your neighbor as yourself, as Jesus commanded, and a card with John 3:16 on one side.

Almost every day there in Nuku Hiva we spent some time with a wonderful man and new friend named Emmanuel, and another wonderful new friend, his sister, Conchita. When I saw a doctor to examine my big toe, which was recovering from surgery since the day before we entered the Panama Canal, he took me to the hospital to help translate. The kind hearts of these two Nuku Hivans we will always remember with fondness. Every once in a while I meet someone who influences my life in such a positive way, that I wish to incorporate certain aspects of their character into my own. Emmanuel is one of those people! Thank you, Emmanuel! Thank you, Conchita, for your kindheartedness in giving us delicious bananas, limes, and pamplemousse from your garden, and for your farewell present of gorgeous leis you made from flowers from your garden. We shall always remember you with fondness, too!

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM:

Emmanuel graciously organized two Skype sessions between two local schools and one of Joyful’s schools, the Round Hill Elementary School of Round Hill, Virginia. So, one fine morning, students from the C.E.D. St. Joseph school of agriculture, and the St. Joseph Primary and Elementary school, a private Catholic school, both in the village, met us for a Skype session. Students, the principal, and teachers from those schools connected over the internet via Skype, to students from Mr. Muldowney’s 5th grade science class at Round Hill Elementary School, as well as with Mr. Andrew Davis, the principal, and Mr. Muldowney. All these participants of the Skype sessions communicated in a combination of English, French, and Marquisan languages. The students discussed issues concerning the status and care of the oceans, recycling, ecology, culture, and other topics. Everyone had a worthwhile, memorable experience with these Skype sessions. This was the first time students from the St. Joseph Elementary School had experienced Skype sessions, and both of the schools from Nuku Hiva, and the Round Hill School, look forward to further communications, either by the mail or via Skype.

SCIENCE:

Secchi Disk –

Unfortunately, there was again too much rapid movement of water in the volcanic anchorage at Nuku Hiva for phytoplankton data gathering via the Secchi disk to take place.

Bird Sightings –

We took photos of a few birds while at Nuku Hiva for Cornell University’s Department of Ornithology’s study of the migrations of birds from all over the world. Most of the birds flew off before we could photograph them!

Dosimeter –

We continued our daily dosimeter readings while in Nuku Hiva. The readings were all between 8 and 15 counts per minute (CPM).

MISSION JOYFUL:

Jeff and I met with the Bishop of the church in the village where we gave a donation toward the translation and printing of the Holy Bible in the Marquisan language. Our cousins, Chip and Lois, also kindly made a donation toward this endeavor. I was able to share ideas on Art ministry with another artist and other people who were also cruising around the world on their boats. There are so many possibilities to share the Word everywhere one goes, and I thank the Lord for presenting opportunities to us!

Artistic Inspirations from the Lord About this Landfall –

By far, to me, the most remarkable aspect of this gorgeous landfall of Nuku Hiva was the genuine friendliness, good hearted nature, and compassionate attitude of the people. Throughout the days Joyful was in Nuku Hiva, the islanders demonstrated their obedience to Jesus’ most important commandment, as expressed in Matthew 22:37-40 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

DEPARTURE FROM NUKU HIVA:

Even though we did not want to leave the enchanted island of Nuku Hiva, or Emmanuel, Conchita, and the other friendly and gracious locals, Jeff, Bill, and I also wanted to catch up with the rest of the Blue Planet Odyssey fleet in Bora Bora in order to continue the circumnavigation together. So after clearing out of Nuku Hiva, we weighed Joyful’s anchor and sailed away bound for Bora Bora, stocked with presents from Emmanuel, Conchita, and other fine locals, the most important being their friendship.

1. Joyful's view as she approached Nuku Hiva, the Marquises Archipelago's largest island.  The white limestone cross is near the East entrance to the harbor.

1. Joyful’s view as she approached Nuku Hiva, the Marquises Archipelago’s largest island. The white limestone cross is near the East entrance to the harbor.

2. Joyful's French and French Polynesia courtesy flags and the Q flag, flew on Joyful's starboard spreader halyard. The Blue Planet Odyssey flag flew on her port spreader halyard, and Joyful's USA ensign flew on her backstay.

2. Joyful’s French and French Polynesia courtesy flags and the Q flag, flew on Joyful’s starboard spreader halyard. The Blue Planet Odyssey flag flew on her port spreader halyard, and Joyful’s USA ensign flew on her backstay.

3. Joyful anchored in Nuku Hiva, protected on three sides by volcanic mountains.

3. Joyful anchored in Nuku Hiva, protected on three sides by volcanic mountains.

4. Joyful anchored in a submerged volcanic crater in Nuku Hiva with beautiful, lush volcanic mountains in the background.

4. Joyful anchored in a submerged volcanic crater in Nuku Hiva with beautiful, lush volcanic mountains in the background.

5. Anne, on Joyful's deck in the Nuku Hiva anchorage, held the Mission Joyful blanket kindly given to Jeff and Anne by the Huntsville First United Methodist Chapel attendees.  Thank you and God bless you!

5. Anne, on Joyful’s deck in the Nuku Hiva anchorage, held the Mission Joyful blanket kindly given to Jeff and Anne by the Huntsville First United Methodist Chapel attendees. Thank you and God bless you!

6. Jeff relaxed after the 40 day non-stop passage from Panama.

6. Jeff relaxed after the 40 day non-stop passage from Panama.

7. Joyful, in Nuku Hiva, with 40 days of sea growth on her hull where the blue antifouling paint was not applied.  Anne easily removed the growth with a plastic scraper and a sponge.

7. Joyful, in Nuku Hiva, with 40 days of sea growth on her hull where the blue antifouling paint was not applied. Anne easily removed the growth with a plastic scraper and a sponge.

8. We lowered Joyful's swim platform in Nuku Hiva to enter and exit her inflatable dinghy, which is her going ashore boat that has oars and a 6 hp engiine.  You can see some of the sea growth on her transom caused by 40 days at sea.

8. We lowered Joyful’s swim platform in Nuku Hiva to enter and exit her inflatable dinghy, which is her going ashore boat that has oars and a 6 hp engiine. You can see some of the sea growth on her transom caused by 40 days at sea.

9. Anne easily cleaned 40 days worth of sea growth from Joyful's hull, which took her about an hour to finish.  Anne used a sponge, a plastic scraper, and sea water to remove the growth.

9. Anne easily cleaned 40 days worth of sea growth from Joyful’s hull, which took her about an hour to finish. Anne used a sponge, a plastic scraper, and sea water to remove the growth.

10. Anne relaxed in Nuku Hiva with sweet tiare and hibiscus flowers.

10. Anne relaxed in Nuku Hiva with sweet tiare and hibiscus flowers.

11. Bill relaxed under tropical trees near Joyful's anchorage in gorgeous Nuku Hiva.

11. Bill relaxed under tropical trees near Joyful’s anchorage in gorgeous Nuku Hiva.

12. Jeff relaxed in the popular Nuku Hivan seed lei both men and women wear. Emmanuel welcomed Joyful to his special island by giving us these leis, fruit, and delicious Nuku Hivan cookies his friend baked for us!  Emmanuel is an extraordinary person.

12. Jeff relaxed in the popular Nuku Hivan seed lei both men and women wear. Emmanuel welcomed Joyful to his special island by giving us these leis, fruit, and delicious Nuku Hivan cookies his friend baked for us! Emmanuel is an extraordinary person.

13. Joyful at anchor early in the morning.  Joyful is the sloop pictured right above her inflatable small dinghy, which is the small boat in the lower left corner of the photo.

13. Joyful at anchor early in the morning. Joyful is the sloop pictured right above her inflatable small dinghy, which is the small boat in the lower left corner of the photo.

14. Joyful's anchorage in Nuku Hiva with surf that crashed day and night.  It was a good thing, adding to the natural beauty of Nuku Hiva.

14. Joyful’s anchorage in Nuku Hiva with surf that crashed day and night. It was a good thing, adding to the natural beauty of Nuku Hiva.

15. Joyful is the fourth boat at anchor from the right edge of this photo.

15. Joyful is the fourth boat at anchor from the right edge of this photo.

16. Early in the mornings locals to Nuku Hiva cleaned the fish they caught near the anchorage.  Sharks loved that anchorage!

16. Early in the mornings locals to Nuku Hiva cleaned the fish they caught near the anchorage. Sharks loved that anchorage!

17. At an outdoor cafe near Joyful's anchorage, Anne enjoyed a typical Nuku Hivan breakfast of red tuna, brioch, and pinneaple juice.  Every day, Anne wore the lovely seed lei Emmanuel gave her as a welcome to Nuku Hiva.  Thank you, Emmanuel!

17. At an outdoor cafe near Joyful’s anchorage, Anne enjoyed a typical Nuku Hivan breakfast of red tuna, brioch, and pinneaple juice. Every day, Anne wore the lovely seed lei Emmanuel gave her as a welcome to Nuku Hiva. Thank you, Emmanuel!

18. This is a photo of Anne with a new friend from Nuku Hiva, un petite chien (a little dog), sharing the most popular food on Nuku Hiva, the delicious Poisson Cru au Lait de Coco (that's French for Raw fish with and coconut milk).  They also add fresh Nuku Hivan lime juice!

18. This is a photo of Anne with a new friend from Nuku Hiva, un petite chien (a little dog), sharing the most popular food on Nuku Hiva, the delicious Poisson Cru au Lait de Coco (that’s French for Raw fish with and coconut milk). They also add fresh Nuku Hivan lime juice!

19. Some Nuku HIvans use horses and mules for transportation, as well as for hunting.  The equine assist the hunters to traverse rough volcanic terrain, as well as to bring back their game.

19. Some Nuku HIvans use horses and mules for transportation, as well as for hunting. The equine assist the hunters to traverse rough volcanic terrain, as well as to bring back their game.

20. This was a common sight in Nuku Hiva.  Outrigger canoes, and horses were seen that were used for transportation and hunting purposes, protected by the shade of coconut trees.

20. This was a common sight in Nuku Hiva. Outrigger canoes, and horses were seen that were used for transportation and hunting purposes, protected by the shade of coconut trees.

21. One of many modern outrigger canoes of Nuku Hiva.  Some canoes were built for one person, others for multiple people.

21. One of many modern outrigger canoes of Nuku Hiva. Some canoes were built for one person, others for multiple people.

22. Modern roads for cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, horses and pedestrians provided access to much of the island.  Please note the man riding his horse in the street.

22. Modern roads for cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, horses and pedestrians provided access to much of the island. Please note the man riding his horse in the street.

23. Ancient ceremonial lava rocks like this one at the water's edge in Nuku Hiva were seen in various places on the island.

23. Ancient ceremonial lava rocks like this one at the water’s edge in Nuku Hiva were seen in various places on the island.

24. Flowers from this tropical tree in Nuku Hiva fell every day.  Joyful's anchorage is in the distance.

24. Flowers from this tropical tree in Nuku Hiva fell every day. Joyful’s anchorage is in the distance.

25. Friendly Nuku Hivan locals gave Anne sweet tiara flowers to wear in her hair and by her ear.  Anne posed with hibiscus flowers near the church for this photo in Nuku Hiva.

25. Friendly Nuku Hivan locals gave Anne sweet tiara flowers to wear in her hair and by her ear. Anne posed with hibiscus flowers near the church for this photo in Nuku Hiva.

26. Tiare, the Polynesian sweet fragrant flower, were seen growing in countless places.  Men and women wore flowers in their hair and over their ears.

26. Tiare, the Polynesian sweet fragrant flower, were seen growing in countless places. Men and women wore flowers in their hair and over their ears.

27. Proudly wearing the beautiful Nuku Hivan seed lei necklaces Emmanuel kindly gave them as a welcome present, Jeff and Anne enjoyed the sights and people of Nuku Hiva.

27. Proudly wearing the beautiful Nuku Hivan seed lei necklaces Emmanuel kindly gave them as a welcome present, Jeff and Anne enjoyed the sights and people of Nuku Hiva.

28. Nuku Hivan families played games together in the archeological park near the shore.

28. Nuku Hivan families played games together in the archeological park near the shore.

29. Hand carved lava objects such as this one from generations ago, were important to the Nuku HIvan society, and are still valued by many for various reasons.

29. Hand carved lava objects such as this one from generations ago, were important to the Nuku HIvan society, and are still valued by many for various reasons.

30. Tiki symbols are prevalent in Nuku Hiva, and one is included on their island's official flag.

30. Tiki symbols are prevalent in Nuku Hiva, and one is included on their island’s official flag.

31. Special stones carved by Nuku Hivans generations ago could be seen in various places on the island, as well as in this archeological park near the shore.

31. Special stones carved by Nuku Hivans generations ago could be seen in various places on the island, as well as in this archeological park near the shore.

32. This, and other hand carved anthropomorphised symbols are found many places in Nuku Hiva.  Many portray dieties from the Nuku Hivan pre-Christian religion.

32. This, and other hand carved anthropomorphised symbols are found many places in Nuku Hiva. Many portray dieties from the Nuku Hivan pre-Christian religion.

33. This is the view of the bay from the Catholic church. The land there was sacred, and still is to Nuku Hivans.  The land was given to the church by the last queen of Nuku Hiva, generations ago.  Emmanuel & Conchita are her great plus grandchildren.

33. This is the view of the bay from the Catholic church. The land there was sacred, and still is to Nuku Hivans. The land was given to the church by the last queen of Nuku Hiva, generations ago. Emmanuel & Conchita are her great plus grandchildren.

34. This is a photo of a popular style of French Polynesian fishing boat.

34. This is a photo of a popular style of French Polynesian fishing boat.

35. We saw various kinds of birds while in Nuku Hiva, and the small bird on the coconut leaf in this photo resembled a seed eating bird, not a sea bird.

35. We saw various kinds of birds while in Nuku Hiva, and the small bird on the coconut leaf in this photo resembled a seed eating bird, not a sea bird.

36. Emmanuel who is the Chief of the Office of Tourism in Nuku Hiva, Jeff, and Anne became friends while in Nuku Hiva.

36. Emmanuel who is the Chief of the Office of Tourism in Nuku Hiva, Jeff, and Anne became friends while in Nuku Hiva.

37. Emmanuel's father, one of the last surviving master wood carvers on Nuku Hiva, showed us the magnificent, detailed wooden crown he created.  He carved ancient Nuku Hivan symbols into the wood.  The wood came from a special tree on the island.

37. Emmanuel’s father, one of the last surviving master wood carvers on Nuku Hiva, showed us the magnificent, detailed wooden crown he created. He carved ancient Nuku Hivan symbols into the wood. The wood came from a special tree on the island.

38. Emmanuel's father, a master woodcarver from Nuku Hiva, used modern and traditional tools to create works of art from Nuku Hivan trees.

38. Emmanuel’s father, a master woodcarver from Nuku Hiva, used modern and traditional tools to create works of art from Nuku Hivan trees.

39. Emmanuel's brother, expertly carved traditional Nuku Hivan designs in bone & shell.  His father taught him the techniques and symbols passed on from generation to generation.

39. Emmanuel’s brother, expertly carved traditional Nuku Hivan designs in bone & shell. His father taught him the techniques and symbols passed on from generation to generation.

40. Emmanuel and Conchita celebrated their birthdays with us.  Happy birthday Emmanuel and Conchita!

40. Emmanuel and Conchita celebrated their birthdays with us. Happy birthday Emmanuel and Conchita!

41. Jeff, Anne, Emmanuel, and Conchita celebrating Conchita's, Emmanuel's, and Jeff's birthdays.

41. Jeff, Anne, Emmanuel, and Conchita celebrating Conchita’s, Emmanuel’s, and Jeff’s birthdays.

43. Anne admired the bananas, limes, and pamplemousse Conchita grew in her garden and kindly gave Jeff, Anne and Bill as a present.  Thank you Conchita!

43. Anne admired the bananas, limes, and pamplemousse Conchita grew in her garden and kindly gave Jeff, Anne and Bill as a present. Thank you Conchita!

44. Emmanuel loaded his truck with the bananas, pamplemousse, and limes Conchita graciously gave us.  Thank you both!

44. Emmanuel loaded his truck with the bananas, pamplemousse, and limes Conchita graciously gave us. Thank you both!

45. Anne sat in Joyful's cockpit next to Conchita's present of pamplemousse and bananas she grew.  Thank you Conchita!

45. Anne sat in Joyful’s cockpit next to Conchita’s present of pamplemousse and bananas she grew. Thank you Conchita!

46. Anne at sunrise after sleeping in Joyful's cockpit in Joyful's Nuku Hivan anchorage.  The bananas and pamplemousse Conchita kindly gave them ripen from Joyful's bimini structure.

46. Anne at sunrise after sleeping in Joyful’s cockpit in Joyful’s Nuku Hivan anchorage. The bananas and pamplemousse Conchita kindly gave them ripen from Joyful’s bimini structure.

47. Many mornings, Anne ate traditional Nuku Hivan breakfasts at an outdoor cafe next to Joyful's anchorage.  The owners invited customers to take bananas from the hanging stalks.  They were always delicious, sweet bananas.  Thank you!

47. Many mornings, Anne ate traditional Nuku Hivan breakfasts at an outdoor cafe next to Joyful’s anchorage. The owners invited customers to take bananas from the hanging stalks. They were always delicious, sweet bananas. Thank you!

48. Anne's breakfast of a Nuku Hivan crepe with endangered, rare Nuku Hivan honey, Nuku Hivan bananas, and mango juice.  All extraordinarily delicious!  One of the best things I've ever eaten!

48. Anne’s breakfast of a Nuku Hivan crepe with endangered, rare Nuku Hivan honey, Nuku Hivan bananas, and mango juice. All extraordinarily delicious! One of the best things I’ve ever eaten!

49. Anne with the Nuku Hiva bananas the kind stranger by the dock gave us just to be nice to us.  Thank you kind, unforgettable lady!

49. Anne with the Nuku Hiva bananas the kind stranger by the dock gave us just to be nice to us. Thank you kind, unforgettable lady!

50. Bill with pamplemousse (Nuku Hivan grapefruit) and bananas.  Conchita and a friendly local gave us 36 pamplemousse and two stalks of bananas as a gesture of friendship!  Thank you both!

50. Bill with pamplemousse (Nuku Hivan grapefruit) and bananas. Conchita and a friendly local gave us 36 pamplemousse and two stalks of bananas as a gesture of friendship! Thank you both!

51. C.E.D. St Joseph students with teacher Charline, Emmanuel who is Chief of Nuku Hiva Office of Tourism, and Jeff and Anne, in a Skype session with students from Round Hill Elementary School,  principal, Mr. Davis, and science teacher, Mr. Muldowney.

51. C.E.D. St Joseph students with teacher Charline, Emmanuel who is Chief of Nuku Hiva Office of Tourism, and Jeff and Anne, in a Skype session with students from Round Hill Elementary School, principal, Mr. Davis, and science teacher, Mr. Muldowney.

52. Frere Remy, principal of the C.E.D. St Joseph School in Nuku Hiva, Skyped with the students, principal and teachers from Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

52. Frere Remy, principal of the C.E.D. St Joseph School in Nuku Hiva, Skyped with the students, principal and teachers from Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

53. Students from C.E.D. St Joseph School in Nuku Hiva Skyped about the oceans, recycling, agriculture, and their school studies with students from Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

53. Students from C.E.D. St Joseph School in Nuku Hiva Skyped about the oceans, recycling, agriculture, and their school studies with students from Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

54. Students from C.E.D. St Joseph School Skyped with students from Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

54. Students from C.E.D. St Joseph School Skyped with students from Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

55. Round Hill Elementary School students Skyped with students from the Nuku Hiva school, C.E.D. St. Joseph.

55. Round Hill Elementary School students Skyped with students from the Nuku Hiva school, C.E.D. St. Joseph.

56. Darling students from the St Joseph Primary School in Nuku Hiva posed with Director Dr. Veronique Tamarii, Jeff, and Anne for this photo.

56. Darling students from the St Joseph Primary School in Nuku Hiva posed with Director Dr. Veronique Tamarii, Jeff, and Anne for this photo.

57. The St Joseph Elementary School of Nuku Hiva, minutes before the  Skype session with Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

57. The St Joseph Elementary School of Nuku Hiva, minutes before the Skype session with Round Hill Elementary School in Round Hill, Virginia.

58. St Joseph Elementary School students with Anne as they Skyped with others at the Round Hill Elementary School.

58. St Joseph Elementary School students with Anne as they Skyped with others at the Round Hill Elementary School.

59. St Joseph Elementary School students asked questions during the Skype session with the Round Hill Elementary School.

59. St Joseph Elementary School students asked questions during the Skype session with the Round Hill Elementary School.

60. St Joseph Elementary School students, teacher Mr. Taata, Jeff, and Anne, Skyped with Round Hill Elemtary School.

60. St Joseph Elementary School students, teacher Mr. Taata, Jeff, and Anne, Skyped with Round Hill Elemtary School.

61. St Joseph Elementary School students, teacher Mr. Taata, along with Jeff and Anne, participated in the Skype session with the Round Hill Elementary School Principal Mr. Davis, and science teacher, Mr. Muldowney.

61. St Joseph Elementary School students, teacher Mr. Taata, along with Jeff and Anne, participated in the Skype session with the Round Hill Elementary School Principal Mr. Davis, and science teacher, Mr. Muldowney.

62. Bill and Jeff stood next to boxes of water and other provisions for Joyful.  Jeff is wearing the magnificent flower lei Conchita just gave him as a gesture of friendship and for a bon voyage.

62. Bill and Jeff stood next to boxes of water and other provisions for Joyful. Jeff is wearing the magnificent flower lei Conchita just gave him as a gesture of friendship and for a bon voyage.

63. For this photo, Jeff and Anne in Nuku Hiva posed under a coconut tree with Joyful anchored in the distance.

63. For this photo, Jeff and Anne in Nuku Hiva posed under a coconut tree with Joyful anchored in the distance.

64. Jeff with Conchita.  Conchita kindly made these beautiful Nuku Hivan leis for us with flowers from her garden as a symbol of friendship and a fond fairwell present.

64. Jeff with Conchita. Conchita kindly made these beautiful Nuku Hivan leis for us with flowers from her garden as a symbol of friendship and a fond fairwell present.

64a. Kind Conchita made a beautiful Nuku Hivan lei for Anne to show friendship & a wish for a bon voyage .  Anne also wore the seed neclace Conchita's brother, Emmanuel gave her as a welcome present.  Thank you both so much!  You are new friends!

64a. Kind Conchita made a beautiful Nuku Hivan lei for Anne to show friendship & a wish for a bon voyage . Anne also wore the seed neclace Conchita’s brother, Emmanuel gave her as a welcome present. Thank you both so much! You are new friends!

65. Emmanuel, Conchita, Jeff, Bill, and Anne said %22adieu%22 before Anne, Jeff, and Bill sailed Joyful away to Bora Bora.

65. Emmanuel, Conchita, Jeff, Bill, and Anne said %22adieu%22 before Anne, Jeff, and Bill sailed Joyful away to Bora Bora.

66. This was the view of 'Ua Pou Island as Joyful weighed anchor from beautiful Nuku Hiva bound for Bora Bora, the Pearl of the Pacific.

66. This was the view of ‘Ua Pou Island as Joyful weighed anchor from beautiful Nuku Hiva bound for Bora Bora, the Pearl of the Pacific.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

March 30 – May 8, 2015 – by Anne – 40 DAY PASSAGE FROM PANAMA CANAL TO NUKU HIVA, MARQUISES ARCHIPELAGO, FRENCH POLYNESIA

After refueling, when we sailed away from the Isla Flamenco, just outside the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. Joyful, Jeff, Bill, and I were happy and prepared for a remarkable non-stop passage to the lovely island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquises Archipelago in French Polynesia! The passage would take us 40 days of non-stop sailing to travel the 4,000 nautical miles, which is known as the longest passage most yachts ever take in the world! That didn’t bother Joyful or us, because of these reasons:

1. We trust in the Lord

2. Joyful is a great blue water sailing yacht

3. We had food and supplies for three months at sea, and two water makers

4. We had a “Pass the Pigs” game on board

So, what else did we need? Nothing! We were very excited to sail a strong, seaworthy boat out into the vast Pacific Ocean, to see all the stars at night, experience dolphins leaping around Joyful’s bows, watch sea birds swooping around her rigging, and simply marvel at how we were making steady and sure progress every day and night toward our exotic destination! We had fun sailing Joyful, utilizing her various sails and other equipment, and starting an important watch system for three aboard.

This 3 person watch system ensured that a person would operate Joyful and watch for other boats/hazards at sea, etc, 24 hours a day. The watch system allowed each person to have lots of sleep, personal time off, communal breakfast, lunch, and dinner times together, navigation time, weather data gathering time, communication with the BPO rally control center time, as well as time for Joyful each day when we tended to her needs. We cleaned as needed inside and out, checked for chafing and damage, adjusted her stowage, etc. We also allocated time to carry out the goals of the rally, which involved scientific work, educational, and community service. I prepared some Mission Joyful activities by working on some of the Christian books I plan on publishing once we return to the USA. They all employ art, so most of the time because the motion of Joyful through the open ocean in sometimes large waves and swells made detailed painting and calligraphy difficult, I made notes and thumbnail sketches of some of the paintings and other works of art I plan on completing while on land, either along the circumnavigation, or back in the USA. I also practiced my classical guitar for music ministry events at sea and on land.

God blessed Joyful and the three of us on board every day on this passage, as always. Every morning at 4:00 am when I relieved Jeff from his early morning watch, he and I said a prayer thanking the Lord and asking for His hedge of protection for Joyful, all on board, our friends and loved ones back home, for the other participants of the Blue Planet Odyssey and the staff, as well as for all at sea. It was truly evident every day of the passage that God was protecting us, as the sea presented plenty of challenges. Joyful performed beautifully with whatever Mother Nature chose for that day’s and night’s conditions. Sometimes the waves built up to measure 2 1/2 meters high. A meter is just over a yard in length, about 39 inches.

This 40 day passage was a true delight. We had the wind off of our port quarter (not quite directly behind us) almost all of the way. There were a few squalls (rain storms), mostly at night. We avoided most of the squalls; and those which we could not avoid we enjoyed and thanked the Lord for giving Joyful a fresh water rinse!

CHANGE OF PLANS FOR AVENTURA:

On the first day of this passage from Isla Flamenco, we received a sailmail email from Jimmy, who was only a few hours distance from Joyful, not far from the mainland of Panama. He announced a change of plans for Aventura: Jimmy and Dunbar will attempt to sail Aventura through the Northwest Passage, rather than continue on the trade wind route around the world with the rest of the BPO fleet. Of course, Jimmy will continue to be the capable and extraordinary leader of the BPO, and will continue to stay in contact with the trade wind part of the fleet, and sometimes rejoining the fleet by flying to different ports of call on the rally. We ask for God’s blessings for Jimmy, Dunbar, and Aventura on their endeavors to negotiate the Northwest Passage. We thank you, Jimmy, for everything you do to make the BPO an enjoyable and worthwhile endeavor!

MEALS, SURPRISES, AND PASS THE PIGS:

Jeff and I believe it is quite important to always have delicious and nutritious foods on Joyful, especially at sea! Mealtime to us is a welcomed highlight of the day, where we can all visit with each other as we chow down on the day’s cuisine! While in Florida I provisioned Joyful to have a three months supply of food, including a month’s supply of emergency rations, made by a Norwegian company, that we purchased from the Viking life raft company. We stocked Joyful’s freezer with Alaskan salmon filets and top sirloin steaks, having enough to last us through half way across the South Pacific! I also bought fresh fruits and vegetables in Key West and Panama, which mostly only lasted for about 2 weeks. I bought countless cans of delicious varied fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, boxes of pasta and brown rice, cereals, nuts, dried figs and dates, Swedish dried breads, German whole grain packaged breads, powdered milk, and a huge supply of freeze dried fruits and vegetables. These include freeze dried strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, freeze dried kale, broccoli, carrots, peas, and other types of vegetables rich in vitamins. I bought lots of delicious surprises of candies which I share with Jeff and Bill every day at the 6:00 pm gathering in Joyful’s cockpit. We meet there to first prepare the boat for night sailing usually by diminishing sail area and adjusting other controls as necessary for the night. Then we set up the fold down table in Joyful’s cockpit where we play one game of the simple but hilarious game of “Pass the Pigs” and I disburse the surprise candy of the day. I have a huge container of treats I bought in the USA and Panama. I’ll replenish the candies everywhere we stop along the circumnavigation, so we will enjoy local sweets every day. Jeff and Bill really look forward to seeing what the treat is for the day, then we all enjoy the treat while we find out who the pigs will favor to be the victor of their game!

WEATHER:

The reason we are were sailing directly from the Panama Canal to Nuku Hiva is because we want to meet the rest of the Blue Planet Odyssey fleet in Bora Bora around May 24. And the reason we were sailing South, right past the Galapagos Islands without stopping is two fold: because we want to get to Bora Bora by May 24, and because in the month of May, if we sail to about 100 miles south of the Galapagos and turn right (westward) we will pick up the trade winds and favorable current to help us get to Nuku Hiva in the Marquises Archipelago.

We obtained the local weather report daily from the Single Side Band radio. This showed us the predicted wind direction and speed, and wave height in the waters in which we are currently as well as the ones we will be within the next three days. Then, we can plan Joyful’s path to go through preferred conditions, and sometimes to avoid less than favorable conditions. But we always have to “take it as it comes”. So, we just set Joyful up for the conditions and hold on! Sometimes it takes all our strength to hold on! I have very harsh callouses all over the insides of my hands from holding on to Joyful’s standing rigging. Then when I wash Joyful’s bathrooms and sole (floors), the inside of my hands swell up and turn white just as if they have been soaking in the bathtub for an hour!

NIGHT SAILING:

I wish you could see the night sky from Joyful! Unbelievable! It’s so much fun searching the Southern sky for stars, planets, and constellations not seen from the Northern hemisphere! Every night watch I have, which is between from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and from 4:00 am to 6:00 am, I try to identify a new star. That is really fun!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEFF!

This was one of Jeff’s most memorable birthdays ever, as he spent all day and night celebrating at sea on Joyful, in the stunningly beautiful and personable South Pacific Ocean on the way to Bora Bora! Festivities began at breakfast, when Jeff, Bill and I met in the cockpit, and presented Jeff with a special breakfast, then with a lunch of surf and turf, Alaskan salmon and sirloin steak, followed with two birthday cakes and presents! In the photo you can see one of birthday cakes is a very strange bean dip cake! Why? Tradition! Once upon a time Jeff and I celebrated his birthday in the ancient Pakistani city of Gilgit, near Pakistan’s border with China. I had hoped to buy a birthday cake for him in the village market, but instead, I had to give him an impromptu birthday cake of a can of emergency food I usually carried in my suitcase to certain parts of the world….canned bean dip! I put the candle I brought in the bean dip, sang “Happy Birthday” to him, and as he laughed, he blew out the candle. We had fun eating that humble birthday cake, looking up at the Karakoram Mountains, and counting our blessings! So, that tradition has been repeated every year since, and therefore, again on Joyful on the way to Bora Bora!

CROSSING THE EQUATOR, LINIE AQUAVIT, ROUND HILL BEARS:

Yes, we three sailors on Joyful are no longer “Pollywogs” (someone who has never crossed the equator on a boat or ship)! We are now “Shellbacks” (someone who has crossed the equator on a boat or ship)! This is because we sailed across the equator for the first time! There is an old nautical tradition which involves having a pollywog pay homage to the ancient Roman god, Neptune, when crossing the equator by sea for the first time. The pollywog is supposed to pour a precious beverage into the sea, as an offering to Neptune. Bill wished to follow this nautical tradition, so we brought out Joyful’s two bottles of Norwegian Linie Aquavit and Bill poured some into the water and sipped some, too! Jeff and I laughed and enjoyed it all, and payed homage to Jesus for being the one and only God…no more Neptune! So Joyful now has three Shellbacks sailing her, and is quite happy about that. On this circumnavigation, we will sail Joyful across the equator several more times in various seas. Of course we will celebrate each time and become a First Degree Shellback, Second Degree Shellback, etc.! We also celebrate countless other milestones on Joyful, like sailing over a very high submerged sea mountain, crossing a meridian of longitude, a parallel of latitude, sighting a landfall, etc! Each time we celebrate, I make a special desert or lunch someway reflecting what we’re celebrating. Also, we include all 50 of Mr. Mark Muldowney’s science students from Round Hill Elementary School. We open one of the many hand made greeting cards each student kindly made for us to be opened at various places as we sail around the world. They designed each hand made card with beautiful art work, and wrote encouraging words to us on the cards! Thank you so much, Round Hill Bears! You are precious to us and we value you very much! We always look forward to opening a new card from you, and we display the cards around Joyful to enjoy!

SCIENCE:

NOAA Drifter Buoy –

Shaun, chief of the Drifter Buoy Program at NOAA, asked Joyful to try, if conditions permitted, to deploy the drifter buoy number 114785 that NOAA gave us, between 094 and 095 Longitude These drifter buoys will follow ocean currents until they reach land. During the life span of their battery, usually around a little more than a year, the buoys will transmit important data relating to weather and sea states, and in doing so will aide in search and rescue missions, supply data for weather forecasts, and many other worthwhile endeavors. We had to wait until the heavy seas calmed down a bit before we deployed the buoy. So we managed to deploy the buoy at 1349 local time (1849 UTC) on April 14 at 05º 49’.31 South, 096º 18’.95 West. Before Jeff and I launched the buoy into the ocean, I painted some very special words on the portion of the buoy that floats:

I wrote these words on one side of the buoy using a brush and white acrylic paint:

S/V Joyful April 14, 2015

NOAA Drifter Buoy #114785

Lat. 096 degrees 16 minutes West , Long. 05 degrees 48 minutes South

Round Hill Elementary School

Good Shepherd Academy

The Hun School of Princeton

On the other side of the buoy I wrote a Bible verse:

Jesus Christ said, “He who followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

We were delighted to see Joyful’s NOAA drifter buoy float, knowing that it would immediately start transmitting all kinds of needed data via satellite to NOAA.  Also, we knew that all the young scientists at Joyful’s three schools, as well as possibly thousands of others, would become interested in the NOAA drifter buoy program through Joyful’s endeavors on the Blue Planet Odyssey.  We are proud of you, and thank you for your interest in the Sail the Odyssey Educational Program!  Thank you, Shaun and Jimmy, for offering the program to everyone interested.

Dosimeter –

On April 25, we started taking daily dosimeter readings at midnight (0000 hours) UTC. The readings on this passage were all between 8 and 15 counts per minute (CPM).

Bird Sightings –

During this lengthy passage at sea, Joyful encountered many birds, some of which we managed to photograph. We were very excited and thrilled to see a juvenile sea bird sitting on top of Joyful’s bimini! The young bird was not worried at all that Jeff was only about 4 feet away when he took the photos! Later in the passage we saw several adults, of the same variety. The young bird and the adults were brown boobies, Sula leucogaster, Order: Suliformes, Family: Sulidae. Their conservation status is “least concern”, indicating they are quite common. However, individuals and the entire population of brown boobies are always in danger by eating plastic that ends up in the sea, getting tangled in fishing line, getting soiled by oil spills, and other harmful threats caused by the actions of human beings.

Red Tide Sightings –

Fifteen miles south of the Panama Canal, as we were progressing on this passage to our far off port of call, Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia, Joyful sailed through vast streaks of what appeared to be an algae bloom commonly called, “red tide”. [According to NOAA, “Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae—simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal.”]

This could have been the same type of harmful red tide that I saw every summer in the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, where I grew up. It looked the same. There, in California, it would kill fish and other sea life, which washed up onto the beaches. However, some algal blooms are good for sea life because they are the major source of energy for sea creatures. So, this red tide here in this part of the Pacific Ocean near Panama, might have been one of the beneficial algae blooms.

This red tide all around Joyful as far as we could see in the distance, appeared quite reddish as we sailed through the water. The red tide was a concern for us on Joyful, because while we were sailing through the red tide, we could not make drinking water from ocean water with our reverse osmosis water maker. However, because we always keep a strict record of how much drinking water Joyful has on board, and always try to keep 3/4 of her store of water untouched, we were in no immediate danger. The concern was when would these repeated areas of algae blooms disappear so we could make water again so Joyful’s water tanks would not become depleted. We sailed through streaks of red tide for several days, and finally, we saw no more red tide. Praise the Lord! We could make water again! This encounter with red tide simply reinforced how important our conservative approach to water usage was for our wellbeing on Joyful. So after the red tide appeared to be gone, we started making water, refilling Joyful’s water supply from just below 75% to 100 %.

As NOAA monitors red tide, we reported our field observation from Joyful of red tide algae bloom to them. We hope that this will inspire all the young scientists at Joyful’s three schools, and anyone reading this blog, to be diligent in reporting their field observations of various concerning phenomenon on the earth to the appropriate scientific entities that can use the data.

MISSION JOYFUL:

Spreading the Gospel:

Radio stations, the internet, books, and people speaking to one another are all known, common vehicles to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to others. Well, there is another way! Just paint the words from John 8:12 on a drifter buoy, deploy the buoy in the sea, and it will eventually reach land! If you would like, please take a look at this blog’s photos, and you can see this in action.

Artistic Inspirations from the Lord About this Passage –

One of the things I like to do while on the lonely night watches I hold every night at sea, is to allow my mind to think about all my blessings. I think about how good God is, how powerful He is, and how loving He is. Every day on this passage, as always, whether on land or sea, I was aware of how trustworthy the Lord was, and how He protected us from harm as we faced the omnipresent dangers of going to see on a boat, especially for such a long non-stop, remote passage. I plan to express these sentiments for the book I am making during the circumnavigation through a painting incorporating Proverbs 3:5 from the Holy Bible, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight…”

1. British Admiralty Chart and Jimmy's notes for a course for Joyful.

1. British Admiralty Chart and Jimmy’s notes for a course for Joyful.

2. We saw a lot of Pelicans as we were leaving Isla Flamenco.

2. We saw a lot of Pelicans as we were leaving Isla Flamenco.

3. Joyful carefully made way under engine in the Southbound lane of the busy shipping channel leading in and out of the Panama Canal and Isla Flamenco area into the Pacific Ocean.  Anne wore the tee shirt from one of Joyful's schools, the Hun School.

3. Joyful carefully made way under engine in the Southbound lane of the busy shipping channel leading in and out of the Panama Canal and Isla Flamenco area into the Pacific Ocean. Anne wore the tee shirt from one of Joyful’s schools, the Hun School.

4. Bill examined a nautical chart.  Joyful has both electronic and traditional paper charts for navigation.  Joyful also has a sextant on board for celestial navigation.

4. Bill examined a nautical chart. Joyful has both electronic and traditional paper charts for navigation. Joyful also has a sextant on board for celestial navigation.

5. For a few days after leaving the Panama Canal, we encountered lots of red tide in vast streaks several hundred feet in width and maybe a half a mile long or longer.  Please compare this photo with the one showing the normal blue color of the sea.

5. For a few days after leaving the Panama Canal, we encountered lots of red tide in vast streaks several hundred feet in width and maybe a half a mile long or longer. Please compare this photo with the one showing the normal blue color of the sea.

6. This is a photo of the normal blue color of the ocean seen between the streaks of red tide.

6. This is a photo of the normal blue color of the ocean seen between the streaks of red tide.

7. This photo taken from Joyful's stern, shows the very red color of the red tide water in Joyful's wake.  Please compare this water to the normal blue color in the next photo

7. This photo taken from Joyful’s stern, shows the very red color of the red tide water in Joyful’s wake. Please compare this water to the normal blue color in the next photo

8. This photo shows the normal blue water in Joyful's wake.

8. This photo shows the normal blue water in Joyful’s wake.

9. Flat Mr. Davis saw the Isla Malpelo first, when he yelled, Land ho!  It was not far from Panama between Panama and the Galapagos Archipelago.  Bravo, Flat Mr. Davis!

9. Flat Mr. Davis saw the Isla Malpelo first, when he yelled, Land ho! It was not far from Panama between Panama and the Galapagos Archipelago. Bravo, Flat Mr. Davis!

10. Many magnificent birds of this variety and others flew near Joyful by Isla Malpelo.  Isla Malpelo is a bird sanctuary.

10. Many magnificent birds of this variety and others flew near Joyful by Isla Malpelo. Isla Malpelo is a bird sanctuary.

11. A white long legged bird with a yellow:orange beak flew near Joyful.

11. A white long legged bird with a yellow:orange beak flew near Joyful.

12. Jeff took this great photo while on his night watch. This is the third type of bird which rested on Joyful during this circumnavigation! You can see this bird's sharp beak and webbed feet as it rested on the Joyful's stern near the helmsman's seat.

12. Jeff took this great photo while on his night watch. This is the third type of bird which rested on Joyful during this circumnavigation! You can see this bird’s sharp beak and webbed feet as it rested on the Joyful’s stern near the helmsman’s seat.

13.  Jeff also took great photos of some juvenile brown booby birds.  This one approached Joyful's bimini in hopes of landing on Joyful for a rest.

13. Jeff also took great photos of some juvenile brown booby birds. This one approached Joyful’s bimini in hopes of landing on Joyful for a rest.

14. Birds really like Jeff!  This juvenile brown booby landed on Joyful's bimini so he could have his photo taken just for YOUR EYES ONLY!  Note the interesting beak.

14. Birds really like Jeff! This juvenile brown booby landed on Joyful’s bimini so he could have his photo taken just for YOUR EYES ONLY! Note the interesting beak.

15. A juvenile brown booby on Joyful's bimini wanted you to see his striking profile view of his face!

15. A juvenile brown booby on Joyful’s bimini wanted you to see his striking profile view of his face!

16. The juvenile brown booby sat on one of Joyful's solar panels, as he took a rest from fishing.

16. The juvenile brown booby sat on one of Joyful’s solar panels, as he took a rest from fishing.

17.  We saw more brown boobies flying around Joyful on this passage than any other kind of bird.

17. We saw more brown boobies flying around Joyful on this passage than any other kind of bird.

18. The juvenile brown boobies who perched on Joyful will grow up to look like this adult brown booby.  This photo is from the internet.

18. The juvenile brown boobies who perched on Joyful will grow up to look like this adult brown booby. This photo is from the internet.

19. Flat Mr. Davis posed with Joyful's chart plotter to show you the exact moment Joyful crossed the Equator with Jeff, Anne, and Bill also on board!.  Please see the latitude and longitude reading!

19. Flat Mr. Davis posed with Joyful’s chart plotter to show you the exact moment Joyful crossed the Equator with Jeff, Anne, and Bill also on board!. Please see the latitude and longitude reading!

20. Flat Mr. Davis crossed the Equator with the Round Hill Elementary School, the Good Shepherd Academy, and the Hun School of Princeton on Joyful with us in spirit!

20. Flat Mr. Davis crossed the Equator with the Round Hill Elementary School, the Good Shepherd Academy, and the Hun School of Princeton on Joyful with us in spirit!

21. We opened a beautiful card from Alivia, a student at Round Hill Elementary School, when we crossed the Equator.  Thank you, Alivia!

21. We opened a beautiful card from Alivia, a student at Round Hill Elementary School, when we crossed the Equator. Thank you, Alivia!

22. While Joyful crossed the Equator, Jeff and Anne displayed the blanket kindly given to them from the congregation of the Huntsville First United Methodist Chapel.  They were there in spirit with us!  Fun!

22. While Joyful crossed the Equator, Jeff and Anne displayed the blanket kindly given to them from the congregation of the Huntsville First United Methodist Chapel. They were there in spirit with us! Fun!

23. Bill threw some Linie Aquavit into the sea at the Equator

23. Bill threw some Linie Aquavit into the sea at the Equator

24. We celebrated crossing the Equator with a feast of salmon tacos and Panamanian rice.  Flat Mr. Davis celebrated with Jeff, Anne and Bill.

24. We celebrated crossing the Equator with a feast of salmon tacos and Panamanian rice. Flat Mr. Davis celebrated with Jeff, Anne and Bill.

25. Flat Mr. Davis with two squids dropped overnight by sea birds fishing around Joyful.

25. Flat Mr. Davis with two squids dropped overnight by sea birds fishing around Joyful.

26. Blue Planet Odyssey's flag in South Pacific.

26. Blue Planet Odyssey’s flag in South Pacific.

27. Joyful enjoyed wonderful sailing with three sails in use.

27. Joyful enjoyed wonderful sailing with three sails in use.

28. In the southern hemisphere, the sun transited the sky to the north durning the day and set in the west.

28. In the southern hemisphere, the sun transited the sky to the north durning the day and set in the west.

29. Joyful's mast head with jib, genoa, and mainsail.  The round disk on her mast is a radar transceiver.

29. Joyful’s mast head with jib, genoa, and mainsail. The round disk on her mast is a radar transceiver.

30. Joyful's United States of America ensign flying on her backstay, highlighted by the full moon.

30. Joyful’s United States of America ensign flying on her backstay, highlighted by the full moon.

31. Typical view of sunset at the beginning of Anne's night watch.

31. Typical view of sunset at the beginning of Anne’s night watch.

32. A thoughtful student from the Round Hill Elementary School made Anne and Jeff this great card to open during Joyful's circumnavigation. It is a Winnie the Pooh honey pot!  We like it very much!  Thank you!

32. A thoughtful student from the Round Hill Elementary School made Anne and Jeff this great card to open during Joyful’s circumnavigation. It is a Winnie the Pooh honey pot! We like it very much! Thank you!

33. Anne held a flying fish, and a bowl of oatmeal, while she soaked her wounded toe in Epsom salts.

33. Anne held a flying fish, and a bowl of oatmeal, while she soaked her wounded toe in Epsom salts.

34. Jeff, Anne, and Flat Mr. Davis with NOAA drifter buoy in Joyful's aft stateroom before its deployment in the South Pacific Ocean near the Galapagos Archipelago.

34. Jeff, Anne, and Flat Mr. Davis with NOAA drifter buoy in Joyful’s aft stateroom before its deployment in the South Pacific Ocean near the Galapagos Archipelago.

34a. Jeff and Bill brought Joyful's NOAA drifter buoy out into her cockpit.

34a. Jeff and Bill brought Joyful’s NOAA drifter buoy out into her cockpit.

35. Jeff and Bill removed the plastic wrap from the NOAA drifter buoy.

35. Jeff and Bill removed the plastic wrap from the NOAA drifter buoy.

36. Bill held the NOAA drifter buoy as Anne painted the date, Joyful's name, the longitude & latitude, the names of Joyful's three schools & a Bible verse on the NOAA drifter buoy before its deployment southwest of the Galapagos Islands.

36. Bill held the NOAA drifter buoy as Anne painted the date, Joyful’s name, the longitude & latitude, the names of Joyful’s three schools & a Bible verse on the NOAA drifter buoy before its deployment southwest of the Galapagos Islands.

37. Close up view of one section of Joyful's NOAA drifter buoy.

37. Close up view of one section of Joyful’s NOAA drifter buoy.

38. Before deploying the NOAA drifter buoy, Jeff and Anne posed with the buoy, with the Bible verse John 8-12 painted on the top surface, and the Mission Joyful blanket given to them by the congregation of the Huntsville First United Methodist Chapel.

38. Before deploying the NOAA drifter buoy, Jeff and Anne posed with the buoy, with the Bible verse John 8-12 painted on the top surface, and the Mission Joyful blanket given to them by the congregation of the Huntsville First United Methodist Chapel.

39. From Joyful's stern, Jeff and Anne prepared to deploy the NOAA drifter buoy into the South Pacific Ocean.

39. From Joyful’s stern, Jeff and Anne prepared to deploy the NOAA drifter buoy into the South Pacific Ocean.

40. A picture of the chartplotter as Joyful's NOAA drifter buoy was deployed southwest of the Galapagos Islands.  Please look at the red circle on the screen to see the exact longitude and latitude of Joyful as the drifter buoy was deployed.

40. A picture of the chartplotter as Joyful’s NOAA drifter buoy was deployed southwest of the Galapagos Islands. Please look at the red circle on the screen to see the exact longitude and latitude of Joyful as the drifter buoy was deployed.

41. Joyful continued to sail Westbound toward French Polynesia as the NOAA drifter buoy began to drift in the South Pacific Ocean.

41. Joyful continued to sail Westbound toward French Polynesia as the NOAA drifter buoy began to drift in the South Pacific Ocean.

42. A magnificent dolphin jumped near Joyful's bow.

42. A magnificent dolphin jumped near Joyful’s bow.

43. Lots of dolphins swam close to Joyful's bow, sometimes only inches away.

43. Lots of dolphins swam close to Joyful’s bow, sometimes only inches away.

44. Dolphins entertained Joyful's crew.

44. Dolphins entertained Joyful’s crew.

45. Dolphins jumped for joy!

45. Dolphins jumped for joy!

46.  Flat Mr. Davis and Anne assembled salmon for cooking, which they brought from Key West in Joyful's freezer.  They cooked it all at once in parchment paper and froze it for many lunches and dinners at sea on Joyful.  Yummy!

46. Flat Mr. Davis and Anne assembled salmon for cooking, which they brought from Key West in Joyful’s freezer. They cooked it all at once in parchment paper and froze it for many lunches and dinners at sea on Joyful. Yummy!

47. Jeff and Anne opened the great Winnie the Pooh handmade card from a considerate student at the Roung Hill Elementary School.  The students made us many cards to open throughout the circumnavigation!  Thank you!

47. Jeff and Anne opened the great Winnie the Pooh handmade card from a considerate student at the Roung Hill Elementary School. The students made us many cards to open throughout the circumnavigation! Thank you!

48. To relax together, Jeff, Bill, and Anne played one game of Pass the Pigs before nightfall almost every evening at sea.

48. To relax together, Jeff, Bill, and Anne played one game of Pass the Pigs before nightfall almost every evening at sea.

49. Joyful was awed by another beautiful sunset in the South Pacific.

49. Joyful was awed by another beautiful sunset in the South Pacific.

50. The sunset was almost over with Venus in view.

50. The sunset was almost over with Venus in view.

51. Anne at Joyful's helm.  Seas were building!

51. Anne at Joyful’s helm. Seas were building!

52. Eight to ten foot waves approached Joyful's stern quarter.  The Hydrovane steered Joyful lots of the time, which allowed the crew to rest.

52. Eight to ten foot waves approached Joyful’s stern quarter. The Hydrovane steered Joyful lots of the time, which allowed the crew to rest.

53. Joyful's bow wave in eight foot following seas.

53. Joyful’s bow wave in eight foot following seas.

54. One of countless extraordinary sunsets at sea.  Anne had the watch during sunset, which always was a delight to her.

54. One of countless extraordinary sunsets at sea. Anne had the watch during sunset, which always was a delight to her.

55. Jeff with his two birthday cakes.  The bean dip cake is the smaller of the two.

55. Jeff with his two birthday cakes. The bean dip cake is the smaller of the two.

56. To celebrate Jeff's birthday, Jeff and Anne opened a cheerful card made by Jojo, a student at the Round Hill Elementary School.  Thank you, Jojo!  We like your card!

56. To celebrate Jeff’s birthday, Jeff and Anne opened a cheerful card made by Jojo, a student at the Round Hill Elementary School. Thank you, Jojo! We like your card!

57. Anne used acrylic paint on thin white fabric to paint a French Polynesian courtesy flag for Joyful.  To show courtesy, foreign boats should fly the host nation's flag from the starboard spreader halyard.

57. Anne used acrylic paint on thin white fabric to paint a French Polynesian courtesy flag for Joyful. To show courtesy, foreign boats should fly the host nation’s flag from the starboard spreader halyard.

58. Anne finished sewing the edges of the French Polynesian courtesy flag she constructed for Joyful.

58. Anne finished sewing the edges of the French Polynesian courtesy flag she constructed for Joyful.

59. Land ho! From Joyful’s starboard bow, you can see Nuku Hiva on the horizon with clouds above the island.

60. Anne hoisted the French and French Polynesian courtesy flags & the Q flag. The yellow Q flag we flew to announce Joyful was a healthy boat and that we requested entry into their country. We flew the Q flag until we got permission to stay.

61. Nuku Hiva, the Marquises Archipelago's largest island.  If you look closely, you can see the large deposit of crystaline rock in the lava, which forms the %22Crystal Cross%22 loved by the Marquisan people and sailors approaching the island.

61. Nuku Hiva, the Marquises Archipelago’s largest island. If you look closely, you can see the large deposit of crystaline rock in the lava, which forms the Crystal Cross loved by the Marquisan people and sailors approaching the island.

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March 29-30, 2015 – by Anne – ISLA FLAMENCO, PANAMA

When we exited the Panama Canal, we needed to replenish Joyful’s diesel supply for the very long non-stop passage to Nuku Hiva, an island in the Marquises Archipelago in French Polynesia, 4,000 miles away from the Panama Canal. So we had to anchor Joyful near a tiny island, only a few minutes from the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, where we spent a restful night and motored Joyful in the morning to the entrance of the Isla Flamenco Marina to refuel. There we requested permission via VHF radio to enter the marina and to buy diesel. They gave us permission, but said that they were refueling a large motor yacht, and we would have to wait for three hours out side the entrance. As Joyful waited amongst other boats a few hundred yards outside the entrance, we could see the beautiful, modern skyline of Panama City, only a few minutes away, and many interesting ships and international yachts at anchor around us. We were quite happy and thankful that the marina hailed us on the VHF to say we could enter the marina and obtain diesel one hour early! While there, Jeff and I also purchased some food to replace the stock we had consumed from Key West to Isla Flamenco. The tiny store was stocked with lovely food from Europe and some tasty food from the USA. We could buy our favorite things from both continents, which was a real delight! I also selected several lures, hooks, and line, etc., for deep sea fishing, in case we wanted to fish from Joyful along the circumnavigation. Jimmy suggested a simple silver metal basic fish lure with two hooks attached, a heavy fishing line, a short gaff, and a big appetite! So that’s what I bought, but the artist in me also got caught up with those multicolored, squid looking lures. So I bought some of those, too! Watch out you Mahi-Mahi, you!

SCIENCE:

Secchi Depth:

There was too much current around Isla Flamenco to take a Secchi depth reading, unfortunately. But we looked forward to attempting to take phytoplankton data with the device during the passage to French Polynesia. We are so excited to use the Secchi disk that the Round Hill Elementary School Bears made for Joyful! Those young scientists in Mr. Muldowney’s fifth grade science class are AWESOME! Thank you soooooo much, Round Hill Bears!

Bird Sightings:

During this one day and night stay at the Isla Flamenco, we saw many interesting and magnificent birds. They were very fast flying birds. In fact, they flew so fast we couldn’t get a photo of most of them! They were all sea birds, some with snazzy angular swept back wings like a sophisticated stealth bomber, some that looked like a kind of sea gull, but we were not sure, and others we knew exactly what they were: Pelicans! Those pelicans are remarkable aviators. They flew high above the surface of the sea, scanning the water to find fish, and in the blink of an eye, they suddenly changed the angle of their feathers which allowed them to dive full speed into the water, someway not harming themselves in the process! Almost every time, when they surfaced seconds later, they raised their bills above water, and swallowed a fish or two that they had scooped up in their bills! Then, before they could even smack their lips, out flapped their strong huge wings, they kicked their big webbed feet, and pushed off the water’s surface as they flew up and up, up to scan the sea for more tasty critters!

Mission Joyful:

Artistic Inspirations from the Lord About this Landfall – As we spent the night in the Isla Flamenco anchorage, only about 1/2 mile away from one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes leading in and out of the Panama Canal, an inspiration came to me for the Bible verse I wish to incorporate into the design of a painting I will make. I plan on putting the painting with others I will create into a book, which I hope to publish after the conclusion of Joyful’s circumnavigation. I wanted to use a verse which is dear to me and might inspire others, that would reflect the concept of a strong anchor holding fast to the ground amongst certain known dangers around the anchorage; the shipping lane, the lee shore, the open sea, and other boats and ships. Therefore, the Bible verse I wish to use in the design is, Psalms 9:10-12 “And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

1. On this photo of Joyful's chart plotter, you can see the actual spot (look for the white boat shaped icon) where Joyful anchored at the Isla Flamenco anchorage on the west side of the island and the fuel dock in the marina on the north side.

1. On this photo of Joyful’s chart plotter, you can see the actual spot (look for the white boat shaped icon) where Joyful anchored at the Isla Flamenco anchorage on the west side of the island and the fuel dock in the marina on the north side.

2. Jeff prepared to anchor Joyful near Isla Flamenco.

2. Jeff prepared to anchor Joyful near Isla Flamenco.

3. Flat Mr. Davis checked to see if Joyful's anchor was holding at the Isla Flamenco anchorage.

3. Flat Mr. Davis checked to see if Joyful’s anchor was holding at the Isla Flamenco anchorage.

4. Joyful refueled at the Isla Flamenco fuel dock

4. Joyful refueled at the Isla Flamenco fuel dock

5. View of Panama City fom Isla Flamenco.

5. View of Panama City fom Isla Flamenco.

6. After Joyful refueled, she left Isla Flalmenco and Panama City and was bound for Nuku Hiva in the Marquises Archipelago in French Polynesia, 4,000 miles away.

6. After Joyful refueled, she left Isla Flalmenco and Panama City and was bound for Nuku Hiva in the Marquises Archipelago in French Polynesia, 4,000 miles away.

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