Saturday, May 28, 2011


Ane had Eloise in her arms within 60 seconds of my arrival at seat 26F. Seated in 26D, a Tongan living in New Zealand, Ane was on her way to Tonga to visit her husband for a week. She played peek-a-boo with Eloise in her lap, she let her play with her necklace, dug in her purse to pull out a wad of keys for Eloise, and offered her lollies.
Half way to Tonga, Ane told me that if there was room in the car when her husband picked her up, they would give me a ride to the wharf where I was hoping to see Nomad moored.

Eloise was fascinated by the busy ants crawling around the base of the gear shift on Henry's car. She also was fascinated by the trees and houses and people flying past the open window as she sat in my lap en route into Nuku Alofa. After visiting the 4 different customs and immigration and port authority offices to determine if Nomad had arrived and cleared customs, I thought we should try to located a VHF radio to attempt a call to see if they were close to port. By this time, Eloise was in the back seat with Ane and Ofa who were tickling her and playing with her. It was a great adventure and she was still smiling and squeaking and playing peak a boo despite having been awakened at 3:30am that morning with only an hour nap on the plane.

I spotted a sailboat tied up right next to the main road and had them pull over. I approached the boat and told the crew my situation and asked if they could hail Nomad on the radio for me. They had to dinghy to another cruiser's boat to do so because their VHF was not functioning properly. Meanwhile, Ane had pulled out two boxes of cold KFC chicken she'd brought from New Zealand. The fuel shop guy next to where we were had pulled out a card table and two plastic chairs and put them under a shady awning for us, and then brought out a quarter of a watermelon for us to share.

When Greg returned 10 minutes later, he had good news. Nomad was within a mile of the wharf. I should see them coming any minute!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Position Report from Nomad

Here's a link to see where in the Pacific Brian, Tracy, Nomad and Uli are. We talked this afternoon on the Single Side Band radio (SSB). It was a poor connection but still wonderful to hear Brian's voice saying, "All's well" and to give us tidbits of news.

Friday, May 20, 2011

They're off

Nomad is currently carrying Brian and Tracy Hollister on a heading of NNE en route to Tonga. Eloise and I will fly up next week, hopefully my arrival date and theirs are close.
The last month has been busy. Eloise is busy climbing, crawling, laughing, waving, crowing, clapping, teething, pushing, and exploring. At the same time, Brian spearheaded many upgrades aboard Nomad. Cooling system flushed, wind generator repaired, stanchions rebedded, combings painted, dinghy repaired, brand new anchor chain purchased and installed, hawse pipes fabricated and installed, cutlass bearing replaced, whisker pole repaired and retrofitted, mainsail repaired, and many more things that I might not even know about. My main job has been to purchase food and keep Eloise out of the way of tools and small boat parts. Our good friends, John and Annette have helped us in countless ways, painting, driving us to Auckland, feeding us innumerable meals, doing laundry, and providing us always a spare bed for when the boat was full of fumes or too noisy for Eloise to nap.

Here are some recent photos of our cheerful child and our cheerful helper, John.