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April 21 2006

Idlewild Log Entries

August 12, 2006
August 8, 2006
July 30, 2006
July 17, 2006
July 8, 2006
June 25, 2006
June 21, 2006
June 11, 2006
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April 21 2006
March 28, 2006
March 12, 2006
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January 30, 2006
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December 27, 2005
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November 29, 2005
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September 27 2005
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August 26 2005
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March 2005
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April 21, 2006

Here's the URL for April for those who wish to check Passagemaking List for Idlewild updates:

http://lists.samurai.com/pipermail/passagemaking-under-power/2006-April/date.html#end

or

http://tinyurl.com/ojboe

--Georgs

 

Hot and humid in Darwin, but they said the rain quit 3 days after we left.

But it is a great small city with everything a person could want and we loved it. Customs, Immigration, Fisheries and Quarantine must have a bigger budget than the US Navy but we got it all sorted out.

Once in, you meet lovely people, interesting, helpful and friendly. In the fisheries dock first, where you need high tide to get in and they have a double lock so no tide up and down. Fishermen and fisherladies are always nice to be around. They are our kind of people, younger here than most places and very interesting. Some were diving 5 or 6 meters for Sea Cucumbers among other things. They have a very big fishing industry as well as pearl farmers.

George LaSette with a boatyard next door saw our boat come in with a Canadian flag and came to visit. He is from Queen Charlotte Islands and we had a great visit. He said come over Saturday and he would haul us and blast the bottom. Very nice. On close observation he recommended the bottom should be painted and he would do it free if we bought the paint.

Hey, very, very nice. Doug Chapman a friend of Brad's had come from Irian Jaya with his wife Grace to do some fishing and beer drinking with us so George put us back in and we went fishing for the weekend. George hauled us again Monday and masked and painted the bottom with antifouling, then put us back in again for zip. George and his lovely wife Penny also introduced us to some great people at a party they took us to for launching the 'Simply the Breast' Yacht Race, a cancer charity. Thanks, George & Penny.

Jim Farrell joined us in Darwin for the trip to Palau. We left Darwin April

5 and on April 8 we stopped at Pulau Hatta one of the Banda Islands which were some of the original Spice Islands (nutmeg). There were no spices on the small Island of Hatta itself, but reported to be the best place in Indonesia for snorkeling. The crew set out to explore in Sidekick while I held Idlewild clear of the reefs. We could find no good place to anchor in our short time.

Very friendly local fishermen made our brief stay a fantasy come true. Such incredibly beautiful beaches and hillsides with perfectly clear warm water teaming with those slimy things people like to ogle at.

Next a little excitement. A few hours from Hatta we saw an eighty or ninety foot wooden fishing boat on radar at 12 miles. It was obviously drifting but when we were almost abeam of it, and about 1 mile away, it started black smoke from the exhaust and quickly swung around and made a direct line to cut us off. We put on full power and were doing 10 kts, but they were able to gain on us. This was a very aggressive and confrontational move on their part, but we held our course and Kevin got the gun out and loaded it so we could be prepared for what they may chose. They crossed our bow at 100 yards but didn't stop. Who knows, it is anybody's guess. We felt they had definite intentions to bully us at the least and board us at the worst but when they saw we were challenging them and also, many people have commented that our boat has a distinct military look, they decided to continue their course.

We don't want to make too much of this incident, but we need to be prepared

always. Indonesians are generally very friendly and respectful. Later

that night we saw 2 ships, close together on radar but with no lights, approaching on a conflicting course with us. When radar showed them at 2 miles and still coming we changed our course 30 degrees to Starboard and they went by with plenty of room. We suspect they had no radar, but a watch on their bow and would have taken corrective action when they got closer to us if we hadn't. The next night we were in a busier area so we reduced speed and kept one person on the bow as a lookout all night. Their smaller wooden boats don't show on radar. The morning of Apr 10 we came out past the last Indonesian Islands and started to feel the long gentle swells of the Pacific Ocean. Long time no see.

30 miles at sea and 15 miles from the nearest land in 2800 meters of water, Jim driving and wide awake didn't notice a raft with a small shack on it (picture to follow) dead ahead. Kevin was looking about and saw it before anything serious. It was heading toward land but very doubtful the original owner would be found. It probably broke loose and came out on the tide.

We arrived in Palau April 13, cleared customs and immigration, moved over to anchor near Sam's Tours. This is a very beautiful place. Jim Farrell left for Kandahar, Iraq on Apr 15, the same day as Kim arrived from Grande Prairie. Kim will stay until Apr 30 at Guam

I snorkel for 30 seconds before I decided it wasn't for me. The rest of the crew snorkel and scuba dive for days and never stopped marveling at it. We like the people and the place. We rented a car 1 day for an Island tour.

Many times on the ranch we wished for the rain we get here. It is a warm lovely fresh rain.

Sam told me there is a mechanic up the street from Alberta so I looked him up. Daryl Lund formerly from Peace River, we had an excellent visit. His mother had sent a News Paper clipping of us going through Peace River and he had thought "well that would be neat if they came through Palau but its way

out of no where, they would never come here". Daryl married a local lady

and has 3 lovely kids to show for 20 years of production in paradise.

Leaving Palau for Guam Apr 21. As nice as it is I'm itching to get to sea.