Voyage of Traveler / Blog

July 3, 2007

Los Angeles/Honolulu Transpac to French Polynesia - July 2007 to June 2008

Use this blog to read the most up-to-date communications from Michael & Barbara and/or post your own messages and comments. Click to view Comments and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the most recent postings.


  1. Hi Michael, Hi Barbara
    Congratulations on making this all happen!
    Here are a couple links that visitors will find useful for Transpac
    Transpac 2007 website
    The link to follow the race across the Pacific is at

    Comment by Jim Palmer — July 4, 2007 @ 7:43 pm

  2. Wow! Wish I could be there for all the send-off parties, but I’ll make up for lost party-time when we meet up at the Transpac finish line later this month. Aloha, bon voyage, and lots of love to you both!

    Comment by Dana Stewart — July 7, 2007 @ 3:12 am

  3. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for all your hard work on and off Traveler! Looking forward to a great race and great company!

    Comment by Barbara — July 7, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  4. Michael, Barbara & crew,

    Thanks for the opportunity to work on your boat. Have a great trip around the world and hope to see you when you get back.


    Comment by Don Volden — July 10, 2007 @ 9:26 am

  5. Go Traveler! Glad you got off and running…. I’ll be watching you…

    Comment by Susan — July 11, 2007 @ 8:07 am

  6. Way to go Traveler!
    See you soon at the dock in Ala Wai…

    Comment by Reed Bernhard — July 11, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  7. Hey Barb!! Sorry I missed your call, glad you’ve set sail …. thinking of you and sure glad Suz and I were with you on Sunday. How was the salmon … left you a vm. The recipe is salmon, pour on soy, grate the ginger - about a tablespoon or 2, then top with a can of pineapply, juice and all. Wrap in foil and put on the grill for about 15-20 minutes. Hope you figured that out. Sorry I wasn’t here to get your message - I was still in LA.



    Comment by Diane Petras — July 11, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

  8. Got some great pictures of the launch day, how can I download to the web site? Barb, you were stunning with the roses in your teeth and champagne bottle in your hand!

    Comment by Cat — July 11, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  9. Sorry we missed your send off Barb - glad you are underway…hope you can sit and relax a bit!
    Shave the bush once in awhile!

    Comment by Donna and Paul — July 11, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

  10. Go, Barb, go! Seems Uncontrollable Urge had a bit of engine trouble yesterday and started an hour late… but it looks like they are moving now. Things going well with you all?
    See you in Honolulu!


    Comment by Lorna V — July 13, 2007 @ 12:15 pm

  11. Wishing you fair wind and calm seas! Best of luck in the race and make sure David behaves himself!


    Comment by Captain Ray (Balboa Ferry) — July 14, 2007 @ 7:12 am

  12. B, and what a send of it was! I will remember the roses in your teeth and the bottle of tequila in your hand at the starting line (6 hours after the start). Remember to keep the jib up!!!


    Comment by Gary — July 14, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

  13. Hi Friends of Traveler!!! We are rooting for all the wonderful crew of Traveler and Schubies healing!! Here’s my question why can’t we the tracking of Traveler’s voyage on Oceanas official site? The other Aloha class boats all show up but we want TRAVELER!!! Does anyone know how to track them??
    Thanks! Hula Mel ( Michael’s Sister)

    Comment by Melissa McLeod — July 14, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

  14. Hula Mel–
    I agree…Where is Traveler in the FIS tracking map? I emailed FIS with that question, and heard nothing. Any know how to get FIS’s attention?


    Comment by Lorna V — July 16, 2007 @ 6:39 am

  15. Lorna and friends… here is my thinking on it… if you notice all the top class competetitors have their tracking blocked out as they value their secret game plan… hard to believe that Michael would say no to ANY publicity however I guess he really doesn’t want any Aloha boats on his tail… by the way you can track Traveler on the daily tracking charts lat and long and as of today, They have advanced to First place in their class!!! Way to haul hull gang!!!! this is exciting!!!
    Aloha, Hula Mel

    Comment by melissa mcleod — July 16, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  16. Hey Friends of Traveler,

    It now looks like we can track their progress after all. But am I reading the daily tracking chart correctly, that they’re now expected to arrive in Honolulu on July 31?? I’m flying all the way there (from NYS) to meet them when they arrive, but will be leaving Oahu on Saturday, July 29th! YIKES!

    Danada (Michael’s other sister!)

    Comment by Dana Stewart — July 18, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

  17. Danada,
    It looks like their ETA is getting a little closer each day as they near Honolulu. They are in the tradewinds and going faster now. The Daily Standings report from July 21 had them arriving late on the 29th. However, I’d guess they will improve on that and you’ll get to see them briefly.
    I just noticed that Pyewacket had radioed in that they were 100 miles from finish in Honolulu as of 6 am today with an ETA of 11 am.
    Are you in Honolulu yet? I arrived yesterday. Want to meet for a drink or lunch?


    Comment by Lorna — July 22, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  18. Hey Michael, Pockets and Crew! Where are you? The Transpac site has shown you in both 2nd and 3rd place so I guess the race is on!!! What day do you think you’ll arrive? Go Traveler! - Susz

    Comment by Susan — July 23, 2007 @ 10:08 am

  19. Just wishing you guys well and wondering how you are doing. Had a great time at the Bon Voyage in Newport, thanks again. Take care.

    Comment by Jon Muir — July 23, 2007 @ 11:05 am

  20. While it is alot of fun to log on and track you guys then decide which restaurant to go to , have a hot shower… watch the Red Sox, go body surfing then sleep in a comfy bed… et all you know I would trade places with any of the intrepid crew in a heart beat!!!! especially now… that you are only 4 days (or so) out!!!! hang tough! It looks from the charts like you can see alot of the other contenders is that right?I am sure it has all been worth it and I thank you for the arm chair entertaiment!!!
    Hula Mel

    Comment by melissa mcleod — July 23, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  21. Hi all, Barbara here. What a great race and great crew!! M. is currently at a protest meeting (this is Monday ,12:00 ) and . . . he just radiod me and we were awarded 2ND PLACE!!!!! Yahoo for Traveler!!! 1st in Newport Ensenada and now 2nd in T-Pac! How cool!! And FYI to you all, we are celebrating our 2 year anniversary tomorrow . . . we met right here on the dock where Traveler is now . . . how cool is that!! Now, two years later . . . instead of waterfalls and swimming with the turtles, it is laundry time at the fuel dock in 100 degree heat and 100 degree humidity . . . scrubbing the toilet and shower, bleaching the fridge and buying ice for the cooler . . .hmmmm . . . Aloha to all, and thanks for all your great comments and support. Thanks, more later after the anniversary celebration. bb

    Comment by Barbara Burdick — July 30, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

  22. Aloha Mike & Barb,

    Hope all is well. Hope to hear from you.


    Comment by Marc us G. Marcos — August 4, 2007 @ 11:01 am

  23. Marcus, Thanks so much for the night at your place. The kava juice was fabulous and the music even better. Da Cove is da place!! Thanks again!

    Comment by Barbara — August 4, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

  24. Hi there! Much love to all aboard Traveler … ship board life is notorious for costly surprises and delays I am sure you would like to pick up anchor and head out but please take your time to make certain that you are SAFE and Prepared for anymore tribulations like those that occured on the way over to Hawaii!!! We love you too much and are worried about you!!! Take your time and maybe postpone… be wise!!!
    Live to tell!!! melis

    Comment by melissa mcleod — August 10, 2007 @ 10:36 am

  25. David and Kathi sittin’ here at my house on Balboa Island lookin’ at the pics and laughing at some of the great stories and times we had!
    Hey Barb and Mike: are you leaving Hawaii this decade? Next?
    Beek & Kathi

    Comment by david beek — September 7, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  26. Aloha Michael & Barbara,

    Did you guys catch anything on those lures from my shop? Hope all is well and that we’ll see you soon. Till then, …
    A hui hou, malama pono
    :Until we meet again, take good care.”


    Comment by Marcus G. Marcos — September 12, 2007 @ 9:39 am

  27. Hello Friends,
    Michael is in CA finishing wrapping up the loose ends and Brian and I are here at the 800 dock of the Ala Wai, finishing up loose ends with rigging and what not. Brian starts tomorrow at the Ala Wai Yacht Haulout working around the boats. Today, we watched the practice of the planes(?) as they practiced their manuevers for Saturday’s Aloha Parade. We had front row seats on Traveler as these amazing planes did their turns, rolls, stalls and formations right down the coast line from us. WOW!!! I have never seen an air show before!! Brian surfs daily, works on the boat and watches movies. We cook together and he made a fabulous BBQ’d scallops wrapped in bacon dish last night. Not a bad life . . . I enjoy each and every day, breeze, rainbow and sunset! Thank you all for all the kind birthday wishes. I received incredible amounts of See’s candy from Micahel’s sister . . . Brian and I had to arm wrestle over the milk chocolate ones . . . Do I feel any older ? Yes. Wiser? Hmmmmm . . . always more to learn! Aloha,

    Comment by Barbara — September 13, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  28. Happy Birthday Cuz!! (A day late and a dollar short!) and very belated happy birthday wishes to Barbara as well!

    Hope all is well - stay safe and enjoy!
    Love - Deb & Michael

    Comment by Deb & Michael — September 25, 2007 @ 7:22 am

  29. October 11, 2007
    Ali Moana Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

    Everything, almost, is stowed. We are off to Molokai, Lanai, Maui and finally the big island to pick up our new crew. More later. It is 4 am and time to fire up the iron jenny and cast off. Yahoo!!
    Barbara (posted by JP0

    Comment by Barbara — November 3, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

  30. October 29, 2007
    The skinny here on Traveler: we left Honokahou at sunset . . . we have a crew of 5 and my childhood friend Dan has been so helpful and I haven’t laughed so hard in so long . . . but then the oil alert buzzer sounded when I lowered the throttle. High RPMS and the engine is ok. Checked the oil level-all ok. Called our favorite mechanic in Oahu (Beek was busy partying in costume, need I say more?) and our mechanic said GO. So we are GOing. We had to wave to Capt. Cook’s burial place which I know M. wanted to see for so long but it is just great to be going. Larry is super
    also. Great to have such fine help BUT DAVE–I don’t want to be the “Techie.”
    Wishing you both were here . . . hugs,

    2 days later:

    We are tired of 20-30 kts on the beam, large seas. Wet boat. . . spirits good. .
    . time for weaqther fax. More later,

    Comment by Barbara — November 3, 2007 @ 9:31 pm

  31. October 30, 2007
    We are currently with, and have been, 3X reefed main and staysail. Good combo when wind is at 30kts on beam with big seas. After 3 days of this, it is lightening up but now not a good combo of sails for speed. Right when we get together to put up more sail, the wind picks back up to 20-25 kts. and pow, we don’t do it. Watches going well, crew’s spirits are good, it is just not what was in the brochure. Larry has a birthday today but since the stove won’t stay lit, I guess we will figure out a cookie with a candle for his birthday!

    Aloha, Barbara
    14′N, 154′W Heading for Rangiroa, an atoll in the Tuamotos, Day 3

    Comment by Barbara — November 3, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  32. November 3, 2007
    Lots of excitement here, between a leak somewhere where we have it now under control, to Brian hooked up a marlin just now that got loose, and we still somehow manage to have fun in this hot sauna of a boat. We are now used to 20-25 kts. forward of the beam, and during the night up to 30-31 kts. Larry is a master sailor, Dan is a master talker, I am the master of the housekeeping and Michael is mastering the boat, day by day. Brian fills in here and there and is becoming a good driver. We had ice cubes in our drinks last night, a real novelty. Yes, I was holding out on the crew that I had been freezing two trays . . . More housekeeping to do, got to go, never an empty moment. (But boy, will we be glad to get there!!)

    Comment by Barbara — November 3, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  33. November 8, 2007
    Aloha from the South Pacific.
    We crossed the Equator two days ago, so Brian and Dan joined Barbara, Larry and me as “Shellbacks”. We are now about 560 miles N of our destination of Rangiroa, an atoll in the Tuamotos, part of French Polynesia, on a heading of 165 true, averaging 6.5 knots. After a night or two in Rangiroa, we then plan on sailing the remaining 190 miles SW to Tahiti. The wind has lightened to about 15 knots out of the E. We hope to arrive on Nov. 13, although the winds are forecast to lighten even more, so it may be on the 14th. We have about 30 gals. of diesel left, so we could motor sail through some of the remaining miles if the wind becomes that light.
    The first eight days were mostly beating into 20 to 25 knots of wind with a triple reefed main with the bow getting buried under some big waves. Our storm staysail, a very heavy duty sail designed for winds of 20 to 40 knots, was damaged by a wave and cannot be used again until we can make repairs to it at a sail loft in Papeete.
    For a few days we had much cooler temperatures than we expected. I was not expecting to have to wear foul weather gear - my warm foulies - at the Equator. On day two, with the aft hatch slightly open for air, we took a wave that washed all the way back past the center cockpit and managed to find its way down that hatch to our master stateroom bed. We have been trying to dry things out ever since and the mattress is still a little damp.
    The wind angle is now a tight reach, which is some improvement, but we still have not yet been able to sail downwind with the spinnaker. We are running the Honda 2000 portable generator to re-charge the batteries and we are making water, about 12 gals. per hour.
    We have not seen another boat since we left Kona or any signs of human life for that matter, except for three or four distant passing airplanes at night. As for animal life, we have seen a few dolphins, dozens of birds, and thousands of flying fish.
    What is this big wave that everyone has hinted about? Tropical wave, or wave from a Tsunami? Our weather gribs never showed it, but I assume that is what caused our 8 days of bad weather.
    This is the longest leg that Barbara and I expect to make in the three year voyage, about a hundred miles longer than Transpac, and, we hope, will be the roughest leg in terms of sailing for consecutive days close to the wind, with most of the other passages short and more downwind.
    As for the fish report, we had only our second hook up this morning, a big mahi mahi, but it shook the lure after Brian fought it to within a boat length. It would be great to have fresh fish for dinner. Maybe tomorrow. So for dinner tonight it will be a canned tuna casserole.
    Kellie, have fun at your Semester in Spain, and Scott have fun at Cal; I miss you guys. Happy 18th birthday to my nephew, Ryan, and congratulations to my niece, Katie, on the NHHS volleyball.
    If I understand this right, USC could still go to the Rose Bowl IF it wins out
    the rest of its games, and Oregon does too, then Oregon would go to the BCS Championship Game and USC would finish in a tie for 2nd place in the Pac Ten but would represent the conference in the Rose Bowl. Right? All we have to do is beat Cal, UCLA and Arizona State. Fight on.
    Gotta go, I’m on watch in a few minutes. Livin’ the dream, Michael and Barbara, Brian, Larry and Dan

    BB here: thanks for all the input everyone. Chris/Maga, we need your email address. It somehow got filed away somewhere. Cheers!

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 8, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

  34. November 9, 2007
    BB here,
    Day whatever. Winds are lightening. We are using our Honda Generator to tune up batteries, where we may have a bad cell as we don’t hold a charge for long- this uses up our fuel and we have just refueled from our reserve jerry jugs. All is well. We are airing out the boat and spirits are up. A big fish ate our lure so we still have not landed dinner. Tuna casserole only looks good for so long . . . SPAM is even starting to look good. We did the egg test this morning, only no one can remember . . . if they float, they are bad and if they sink but go butt up then they are good. (Hopefully.) So we will keep cracking eggs individually over a separate bowl before adding to the large bowl for scrambled eggs. Here I am, typical boatie, talking about the fuel consumption, batteries, weather and food. But what else is there? (-’ Thank you all for the emails. Keep them coming. We look forward to the “Mailbox” everyday.
    Frank and Kathy: How is CDS/HSD Lab doing?
    Cat and Warren: Can Mammoth really open with so little snow?
    Go Trojans . . .
    Stockmarket/housing market going south—–and so are we!!! BTW: we are at 9S, 149W and closing. Rangaroa, here we come!
    Leslie/Mom: Did Mom get the coconut I sent in the mail from Kona? What a kick. I had so much fun sending it . . .
    Claire: Keep up the good work in school. I somehow deleted your sister’s address. Can I have it again? When do you visit me?

    Hi from Larry,

    Landfall at Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Islands ETA Monday 11/12/07. Our current position is 9S, 149W. We have had great sailing the last 3 days-7 knots with good wind. We plan on a day/night stay at Rangiroa to dive and swim with the sharks!! This is supposed to be a swim to remember! Next stop, Papeete, Tahiti. It is a 200 mile sail to Papeete from Rangiroa. A couple days in Tahiti with a day trip planned to the Island of Mo’orea. That should allow me a day in Tahiti to fall in love
    with a beautiful Tahitian girl and get all my Christmas shopping done! My flight home is the night of the 17th.

    Water maker is now working! SHOWERS!


    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 9, 2007 @ 8:41 pm

  35. November 10, 2007
    BB here,
    Just when we think the worst is over, the boat drying out nicely, saying how that bad weather that lasted 8 days is just a distant bad memory (read that “nightmare”) at 2-4 this morning we entered squall alley and have had rain/wind squalls several
    times today and got soaked all over again! Still no fish. We are placing bets on arrival times: Monday am between 3 am to 4 pm. Updates: Brian is turning into an ace driver and dish washer; Larry is figuring out typing skills and sail mail; Dan,
    we realize now, will always talk with his mouth full and wide open-and still makes us laugh; Michael will forever be the optimist, and USC football affecianado (sp) bless him for that; and me, well, I am just a hot flash away from creating the endless
    summer for everyone. I enter a room and the tempature goes up 10 degrees, go figure! And still no fish.

    Keith Lumpy: Michael is requesting the scores for the Pac-10 teams and the standings for the top 10 teams. Bets are flying all over the boat.
    Biz, same goes for you. Don’t hit reply. Congrats on the 4 years of marriage and new family. ????Deposit?
    Sherie Stonsifer: I am removing you from the list as your address always bounces. Sorry.
    Hope you are all well. Hugs to everyone,

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 10, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

  36. November 12, 2007
    BB here.
    Housekeeping business . . . lots of friends wrote in that they had not heard from us and were worried that we had hit a reef or . . . as we were nearing landfall.
    Well, we are fine, but the logistics of sending email sometime don’t match the propagation, channels are busy, batteries are low. So right as we were landing Rangaroa, for two days I could not get a sailmail out. And everyone who wrote, thanks for
    the news and updates. More to discuss on our watches. If anyone wants to send the gossip, B. Spears, Paris Hilton, that is even welcome. And of course, how everyone is fairing after the fires.

    Paramount people: How are you all and please write! Short notes are best . . .

    Tahiti landfall tomorrow morning, we hope, as a night approach through the reefs can be tricky but it seems well lit. And boy, if I see anymore lightening, atmospheric or otherwise . . . hmmm, I may have to fly home and punish myself with USC football.
    Oh yea, they beat CAL!
    No fish yet.
    Mom, how is your arm? Let me know!
    Bruce, you in a tux everynight? Wow!
    Diane, plan a visit soon! First week in Dec? M. may be gone. Grab Sue.
    Les/Linda: how about you guys? And Melissa? Anyone want to come down? First to second
    week of Dec. Morea, Club Bali Hai, boat won’t move as M. will be gone . . .I
    need a drinking buddy . . . or else I will end up working on the boat the whole
    time! HA!
    Hugs to all,

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 12, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

  37. November 13, 2007
    BB here,
    We are on approach and have bets going. . . unfortunately we have had 24 hours of crummy weather and if the seas increase as they have been doing, we will be forced to pass Rangiroa and head straight for Tahiti. . . the pass into the atoll is not
    possible in rough weather. We had a great (read that intense) lightening storm last night. . . we unplugged and turned off everything possible. And then the rain came—torrential. We had the engine on . . . tried out the lower steering station which is possible but you must switch drivers every 15 minutes or so. I stayed outside under the dodger to monitor any changes in gear, conditions etc. “This too shall pass.” And it did. BTW, you know how we all count between strikes to see how far away the bolt of lightening is? Well, reading the bibles of seamanship, Chapman’s, this a.m., they say to count and then to divide by 5 and that is how close the strikes are. Also, the 30/30 rule, if your number is within 30, you are in danger of getting hit, and wait 30 minutes after the last strike to resume. . . also, a strike can affect an area 60′ from where it lands . . . enough!
    Here we are:
    13′33S 148′10W
    Caught a bonito/a just now. We have had so many get away . . . this is a start!
    Got to go on watch. We go 4 on, 6 off. 5 crew with someone rotating in every two hours.
    Update, we have arrived!! AFter more lightening and 35 knots of wind, for 1/2 an hour, a glorious sunrise was a gift. We then entranced at slack tide at 6 am. Dan did a float dive/shark dive and we will do it tomorrow. Dan then flies out and we take off for Tahiti.
    BB here: M. and I dove the outer reef. WOW!! Dolphin, schools of Barracuda, one shark, schools of everything, amazing colors!! Leaving Rangiroa for Tahiti so Brian can get to Tschopoo (sp) before leaving next week. He did not want to dive, as it
    turns out, he has a shark phobia . . .amazing he surfs!! Fuel, can be bought here, but everything shuts down here so now must exit the pass right before sunset. Very nerve wracking to hang out in 25 kts of wind, motoring in circles, waitng for fuel
    station to open. . .

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 13, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

  38. November 14, 2007
    Hi everyone,
    Rangiroa was an interesting stop on the way to Tahiti. It is the second largest atoll in the world, with a circumference of 100 miles. It is 40 miles long and 17 miles wide at its widest, and very low, so you cannot see to the far side of the lagoon. The highest point is only a few feet above sea level and heavily wooded with coconut palms. The water is gorgeous and teeming with millions of tropical fish. It is one of the best dive spots in the world. Great coral, 200+ feet of visibility, and the water temp. is about 78 to 80. Barbara and I went with a small dive tour to see the outside reef and to drift dive through part of the pass with the incoming tide (current reaches about 6 knots). We saw and swam with a pod of dolphins, a sea turtle, about 200 barracuda which circled our group, and Barbara saw a six foot reef shark, but it swam away quickly. Rangiroa is the most populated (but only 2,100 people, with no traffic lights, and not even any stop signs) of the Tuamotos, an archipelago of 78 islands, all but two of which are coral atolls.
    The twin villages of Avatoru and Tiputa are very sleepy, and have two nice resorts. We pulled up our anchor yesterday and set sail for Tahiti, which is about 190 miles to the SW. As I write this email we are at sea and have only 65 more miles to go
    to Papeete. I expect we will get a Med-style mooring at the Tahiti Yacht Club for the week or so while we are on the island of Tahiti. We need to make a few repairs and re-provision the boat. Brian wants to surf at Teahupoo. We may cruise around
    the island of Tahiti before cruising over to the nearby island of Moorea and anchor in Cook’s Bay in front of the Club Bali Hai for a few weeks. Dan Bornholdt left the boat two days early in Rangiroa because he needed to get back to work.
    Larry Sharpless flies home on Nov. 17 and my son, Brian, flies home on Nov. 19. Our crew was great and made the long, rough and wet 15.5 day passage from Kona to Rangiroa possible and enjoyable. Larry and Dan had lots of advice for Brian, especially
    on the long, late-night watches, on what to do, college-wise, work-wise, etc.
    We are going to miss our Transpac crew and our Tahiti delivery crew very much. Wow, pretty soon Barbara and I will have Traveler all to ourselves, at least until we have friends come to visit, which we are very much looking forward to.
    Dick Higbie: please send me Jay Carlisle’s email address and phone number, and let him know we will be there in a week or so.
    Keith: Thanks for the USC football updates. Go Trojans.
    Scott: Sorry about the Bear’s loss to USC. (Not.)
    Buddy: Good to hear the new mast for Amante is almost ready. Good luck on the upcoming races and say hi to all the rest of the crew.
    BB here: Buddy, tell John Redfield thanks for the box of sunglasses. Wow! Have they come in handy what with guests coming, our own glasses getting stepped on, etc. And please give him our sailmail so that he can give us his email address. Thanks.
    Well, it is our last crew meal together, and I need to start thinking of something special. The big winner has been chicken and cheese enchiladas, which I have learned to make stove-top. Yummy!
    Livin’ the dream,
    Michael and Barbara

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 14, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

  39. November 16, 2007
    BB here,Wow, now I remember what the boating life and living the dream is like! The open air market in Papeete, the Crogue Monsiers, a marvelous Paella last night just 100 feet from our boat. Sunset on the beach followed by the Tahitian Dancers, in which Michael was in full form: he did his signature move when they had the audience come up and dance. . . there he was, dancing on his hands! I don’t know how he does it! He stole the show. Amante crew, don’t fret. M. is still in fine form! No getting soft on this trip!And then the fire dancers were exceptional! M. insisted on going to talk to them after the show; we found them and they were pleased but quickly ignored us as M. kept going on and on about how great they were . . . until I said to M., “Remember, they don’t speak English and don’t have a clue what your saying . . .”
    We have the sails in for repair already, a big wave ripped across the deck and we had only furled the staysail to the deck. It bent two hank-ons, and tore about 10 inches. The main, which apparently is typical of this system, has a defect in the design of the battens to the batten pocket. The batten pushes against the luff tape in the track, slowly shredding it. The sail loft here is owned by a man from NY and is an excellent loft. He sees this repair a lot . . . fortunately/ unfortunately for us.
    Brian hopes to CLEAR!!! Amazing.We meet Julie tonight. A teacher here in Papeete. I spent the day with Liz, who sails on a Cal 40 called Swell. Many of you who read Latitude 38 may remember her letters. She is solo sailing for the last two years, and writes for Surfer Magazine. She will also have a story in Sailing Mag. soon. Very exceptional young lady. Very sweet. She said when she was 9 she got the bug to sail around the world and has had that goal be her focus in all her collage years etc.
    Got to go,Bb

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 16, 2007 @ 3:08 pm

  40. November 20, 2007

    BB here:
    Well, since I have the date right, you can tell I am more rested and living a more normal life rather than 4 hours on - 6 off. And of course, after Dan left from Rangeroa,it was 4 on/4 off, for 2 nights to get to Tahiti. I have found that our icebox actually makes ice pretty quickly and so am enjoying an occasional cube in my drink. (Yes,read that one cube, MAYBE 2 if I want to splurge. This is per hour. IT IS HOT HERE.It is hard work on the batteries and we aren’t managing our amps very well. It is hard to do with an electric fridge. And of course, sailmail draws a lot of amps when tx/rx. (Short for transmittting and receiving for all you non-yachties out there.)

    Sunday all came together. We rented a car ($135 +) for the day, (gas $8 gallon), and toured the island. The Gauguin Museum was interesting. What a tortured soul! We saw a rough of a piece of the menu that Michael has aboard the boat. Yes, he has a real Gauguin to go with the Waterford china (we are now just unearthing out of the bowels of the boat.)
    We made it to Teahopoo, (Chopoo is the pronunciation,)the famed surfing spot. M. and Brian actually went out and boogie boarded the reef. We rented a guide/boat to take us out. I sat and took pictures. You all need to Google it to get the feel of this reef. Luckily, it had been flat the previous days and was just starting to build so it was not too large a swell. It breaks straighton a reef with very little water over it. It is also curved in a horseshoe shape so waves come from every angle . . . truly amazing and very enjoyable to sit and watch. Brian packed Sunday night and left Monday a.m. He is a different person now from the kid he was 3 months ago. He and I survived what I call “The Jerry Springer” era of the trip, meaning in Oahu when he wanted to sleep til 12 and get up to watch Jerry. He now knows how to stand a good watch, maintain the generator and bikes, tie knots, install grommets, snaps and fasteners, sand and varnish, and low and behold, wash dishes!! (No comment on the water usage . . . thank goodness for water makers, ha!) So he is home now and probably in shock but glad to see Coco, friends and be able to brag that he surfed Teahopoo.

    M. and I are now into tearing every inch of the boat apart and seeing what’s what. We start the mornings at
    5 am (go figure, but it is the coolest part of the day,) and crash by 9. M. and I have found a new use for the ice coolers . . . laundry!! At $12 a load for a small washer, and they recommend splitting the one load into 2 for the dryer . . . it is about $22 for a few sheets and towels. So we have the washing cooler, the fabric softener cooler, and final rinse cooler. The laundry is strung out on lines to the shrouds going forward and everything dries quickly. My little old-fashioned wash boards I bought in Oahu are paying off. Everything gets a good scrubbing!! No wham bamm thank you Mamm here!! I now have arms of steel due to steering in 35 kts of wind and doing laundry! If only I could transfer that to my lower half . . . I decided
    to throw image to the wind and have been running around in the smallest of bikinis . . . if the French can let it all hang out, then heck, I can too. But since I am
    50 now, SHOULD I????
    Got to go gather the laundry, tear apart a few more hiding places (and dry them

    Sue/Diane: Thank you again for the earliest provisioning . . . we are still enjoying some of it. (Just not the baked beans, they are still staring at us. Ha!!!)
    Cat, are you using your wash board? I love mine . . . used it all the time during the sailing part of the trip. And please forward ro me Geni and Linda’s address.
    I would love to hear from them. And BTW: the ticket is mandatory that anyone who arrives must have a way to leave, even by boat. No worries!
    Dan, are you adjusted yet? (But then, will you ever be? Let Lynn answer please!)
    Kellie, hope you are having a great time in Spain! Please send us Brian’s email address. He did not leave it and I am not sure he memorized the WDD address . . .

    Mom, how is the arm?
    Paula, I am so Sorry! I thought you were on the automatic list and I just realized you weren’t. You are now. So sorry . . .
    Hozhoni: When are you coming down? No one has made reservations yet, first come first serve!
    Hugs to all,

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 20, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  41. November 22, 2007
    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
    We have just returned from the big shop to get our turkey dinner fixings, but found, due to not knowing if we had an oven or not to cook the turkey, that all the turkeys are frozen, and so we will be stuffing a fresh chicken . . . but even better, I found wonderful caviar, have hardboiled eggs already, capers, cream cheese, and diced onion!! Plus a wonderful bottle of champagne I have been saving since Oahu! Yumm, yumm!!
    Tomorrow, we will be having Soupe de poisson, with the croutons and oil/mayo/garlic sauce. . . I am in heaven… hope your turkey doesn’t gobble. In fact, you all are just finishing your dinner. We will toast to all of you…

    BTW: Many people have been dropped from the email list, not b/c your address was dropped but b/c we overloaded the CC: part with too many addresses. . . so, we now have a mailman, Jim, (if he accepts the position) and he is also our website coordinator. Do not blame him for lack of photos on the website, we have not gotten on yet to the internet to send to him the photos. Can you believe, at Kona, there wasn’t any WIFI or internet capabilities at the harbor!?!
    Check the web site: photos will be coming in the next day or two.
    BB and Michael

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 22, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

  42. Friday, November 23, on board Traveler
    Dockside at Marina Taina, just outside of Papeete, Tahiti

    I hope your Thanksgiving was as good as ours was on board Traveler down here in French Polynesia. In spite of the stormy weather, in the early afternoon Barbara and I rode our bikes in a light drizzle about a half mile to the market, then back to the boat with all of the groceries stuffed in our backpacks. The dinner table was beautifully set with Waterford crystal, fine China and tablecloth, with a centerpiece of plumeria flowers and, appropriately, Paul Gauguin’s “Tahitian Menu” painting as a backdrop. While cooking, we had a Red Bull and Absolute, so we had a fun time working together in the galley. We started our Thanksgiving feast with an hors d’oeuvre of caviar on Ritz crackers with chopped egg white and cream cheese and polished off a bottle of Moet & Chandon White Star. Cheers! I gave Barbara a necklace with a single plumeria-shaped flower with the petals made out of polished mother-of-pearl. (She likes it.) Then we took a half hour stroll along the docks to see the other boats and a gorgeous tropical sunset and visit with some other Americans from Sausalito docked nearby, giving each other Thanksgiving greetings and best wishes. For the main course, by candlelight, we had roasted chicken with stuffing, green beans a dente, mashed potatoes with peppercorn gravy, and a bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. For dessert, we had fresh pumpkin pie (still warm from the oven) with a sweet cream topping. We have much to be thankful for, and life is good.

    Did USC beat ASU? The French and Tahitians are not exactly big American college football fans, so it’s a little hard to get the scores from any of the locals.

    The folks at SailMail recommend that, rather than have a large cc: group list which ended up some of you being dropped, we send emails to a single person (the “postman”)
    who then forwards it to our group, so from now on we will do it that way. Please expect our group emails to be forwarded to you from Jim Palmer, our postman, ( instead of directly from us. Please continue to drop us a line or two. Hula-Mel,
    you get top rating for most emails. Keep them coming. We love to hear how each of you are doing. Oh, one more housekeeping tidbit: for those of you who have emailed
    us from your work email, although you send us a single line of hello, the standard, lengthy postscript and disclaimers (especially from banks) takes a whole page and overloads the SailMail system. To remedy this, please send your emails from your personal email address or, if you can, delete the lengthy disclaimer and standard message at the bottom of your emails. Thanks.

    Livin’ the dream,

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 23, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

  43. November 24, 2007
    Nothing new here except housekeeping issues. Those crew who have been with us recently, Dan and Larry, will be happy for us that not only did M. get the oven going, he got the broiler working also! Boy, M. impresses me more and more very day . . . his stubbornness, although it drives me crazy at times when he disagrees with me, gives him the fortitude to sit down and tackle something he has never seen before, much less fixed. . .

    On the >-: side of affairs, the double Racor fuel filter, with one not working, has turned out to be plugged with black sludge AGAIN!! This, after Brian and I hung on the boom and rocked the boat for about an hour, while the fuel was being “Polished.” Somewhere along the line, that when I had the fuel cleaned in Oahu, it was “Polished” and when M. had the fuel cleaned in Kona, apparently it was polished instead of CLEANED, that is, totally pumped out into 55 gallon cans, not just recirculated. And as much as the sludge is a problem, we still have water. . .how and why is still a mystery.
    As for the main sail, Forespar has admitted a design defect with the luff tape and is sending a new material to be sewn on. We added some awning poles into the shipment and the price is $500 for materials and $495 for shipping. We hope to cancel the poles and have someone bring them down when we pick up our next crew. . . the o rings on the faucet were the cause of the drips, we are having a check valve installed on the forward bilge . . . mast winch is being worked on so the fitting doesn’t come out . . . well, time to check the fuel filters . . .seem clear so far . . .a
    Festival of the Marguesas is in Papeete this weekend so hope to get in for for some fun . . .
    Hugs to all,

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — November 25, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

  44. December 18, 2007

    Merry Christmas to all our Traveler Friends out there. May this email find you all healthy, safe and happy.

    Several of you have written that you have not heard from “us” lately and this is true. The “us” has us spread between Moorea and Newport Beach as Michael (M.) is there now, taking care of business and seeing his kids and family.
    He returns on the 23rd and in typical island fashion, when I called Air Moorea yesterday to book a reservation for the puddle jumper to get him from Tahiti to here, (as they won’t fly if there aren’t enough people,) they double checked Air France’s arrival and said that there is no flight that arrives when M. says it does. So hopefully we get this straightened out before he flies.

    I just had a refresher dive yesterday with a dive master who is here on vacation and is diving everyday. Wow, what a great experience, so much has changed, and of course there are things I had forgotten . . . during my refresher, I thought I heard an engine going over my head. I peeked up and saw it was the rain! I did not know you could hear rain from under the water. We saw several amazing fish, coral etc.
    We were not on the outer part of the reef so did not see sharks (yet.)I saw my first large anenome with a Nemo clown fish in it just like in the movie!! I will dive with the sharks later this week when I get the tanks filled with air. The dive shop wants me to dive with them first before they fill my air. I am happy to do this as I want to do a shark dive with the pros before I do one with Michael on our own.

    Cook’s Bay is a delightful place to be and the Bali Hai Boys watch over me.
    I am almost the Bali Hai Girl to go with them. Jay had to get all my particulars
    and also about the boat as all the guests each week ask questions and then say,
    “Oh my, that poor girl is all alone.” Ha! When it was pouring rain and everyone was cooped up, I would still go out to the reef and snorkel, ride my bike, watch movies, and roam from room to room in my 3 bedroom, 2 bath mansion, with 2 TV’s and DVD players. I have my sewing machine up which is working great now (knock on teak) and have made some covers for various things around the boat. The quests sit in their one room and look out . . .I have so much and make full use of it!

    Day before yesterday some quests were moaning about the cost of everything here.
    I told them I would take them out to the reef for free but they would have to work it off . . . I put four brushes in the dinghy and when we were done snorkeling the reef, we all scrubbed the bottom of the dinghy. The long hair grows fast here. . . They were so happy and enjoyed doing it that they have offered to do Traveler. Hmmmm, I wonder if they sand and varnish . . .

    And what is a typical day for me without M? Today was a normal day . . first, I sanded and varnished the combing around the cock-pit area. Next, I drilled out some pop rivets at the hatch, as the closure had broken off. I then got some more stainless steel screws, cut them down to fit, then rebedded them back into the hatch with a bedding compound. Another honey do to do without my honey was I got out my electric sander and sanded my wood cutting board to make it a better fit in the galley. I rode my bike to the market for a few things, read and then napped by the pool. Finally, I cleaned the BBQ for some friends coming over tonight. I am working also on cleaning a large, beautiful shell I got snorkeling. I drilled into his back, cut the muscle, and then he slides right out. No muss no fuss. Just a little left over goo to get out . . .

    Time to go put another coat of varnish on before M. gets back. I must have the boat looking ship-shape!
    Hugs to all of you,
    bb and M.

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — December 18, 2007 @ 10:25 pm

  45. December 2007
    From Michael Lawler, in Newport Beach
    Adding on to Barbara’s Christmas email:

    Wow! I’m constantly in awe and impressed with my girlfriend, Barbara. From her email, it sounds like more projects are getting done onboard Traveler without me. When I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she said a suction cup with a handle on it so she can hang onto something while cleaning the bottom of the boat. It’s just a guess, but I bet that she is the only woman in the world who asked for that for Christmas. I went to three different hardware stores and couldn’t find exactly what she described. Then in the plumbing section I saw an old-fashioned toilet plunger, figured that would work well enough, and bought it for her.Nothing says “I love you” for Christmas as much as getting a brand new toilet plunger in your stocking, don’t you think? Don’t worry, of course, I am getting her some other nice things for Christmas, and not just things for the boat.

    So now Barbara wants to scuba dive with sharks…hummm. After so many years of doing adventurous things on my own because there was no one who could keep up with me, now I find myself struggling to keep up with my amazing girlfriend. Life is good.

    If any of you are interested in what my kids are doing: Scott is a freshman at Cal Berkeley, and loving it. He pledged the Zeta Psi fraternity, working as an assistant equipment manager for the football team, and mentoring a high school kid, on top of taking a full load of classes. Kellie just returned from a fall Semester In Spain, this after going on the Semester At Sea over the summer, and returns in a couple of weeks to her junior year at the Univ. of Oregon, so she is having quite the college experience. Brian was with us on Traveler for three and a half months and made the passage from Hawaii to Tahiti (a different kind of Semester At Sea), and he is now enrolled at Orange Coast College. So all three kids are in college and doing well.

    I have Christmas cars to send out to each of you, but do not have all of your mailing addresses, so please (if you think I do not have your mailing address) send to me by reply email your address. Thanks.

    BTW, my return flight on Dec. 23 is on Air Tahiti Nui (that’s why B. could not find it with the Air France agent). It’s good to be back in Newport Beach for a couple of weeks to see my kids and family and to get some work done (unfinished law practice stuff). I still need to sell my home, if you know of anyone that may be looking for a 5 bedroom, 4 bath in NB.

    As many of you know, for the past two years I was the Santa Claus in the Christmas Boat Parade and gave it a lot of energy, dancing around in my Santa suit and giving personalized shout-outs to those on shore and in other boats as we passed by, and getting big cheers back. But had to give up that gig this year because, I thought at the time, I would not be here. When it turned out that I was back in NB during the parade, I called my friend from the Commodores Club who had taken my spot and told him I was available to do it one or two nights, as it is very demanding to be Santa Claus for five nights in a row. He told me he wanted to do it all five nights. I was bummed. BTW, my friend may an awful Santa Claus. No music so no dancing, and he just stood there, flat footed, meekly waving to the crowd and saying,”Merry Christmas” over and over again. Boring. (Do I sound bitter?)
    Oh, well.

    It will be very good to get back to the boat and have Christmas with Barbara onboard Traveler in Cook’s Bay, Moorea, which is one of the most gorgeous places on this planet.

    Merry Christmas to each of you, and Happy New Year.

    Soon enough, I once again will be,
    Livin’ The Dream,

    Comment by Michael (via JP) — December 23, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  46. Barb - hope you hve a great Christmas and a good New Years. Please do not get eaten by a shrk or fall overboard!
    Donna and Pauly

    Comment by donna kahl and pauly — December 24, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  47. December 24, 2007
    Hello and Merry Christmas,This is not the newsletter, just a brief note to let you know how my Christmas Eve is going . . . so far, breakfast on the boat with a dive master friend, then, being bored as this is about the 25th day of rain since I got here, we watched a movie. We then rode bikes to lunch but since everywhere we went was closed, we ended up eating here at the Bali Hai. He then went to pack as he was flying out, we said our goodbyes, and as I was walking back through the restaurant to get to the boat, a gust of wind hits, HARD! Even the waitresses were calling ‘Barbara, Barbara, your boat!’ The boat was spinning and then broad side to the wind and it seemed to just lay down on its side. I jumped into the dinghy, and as I motored to Traveler, I could see and here the chain popping out of the windlass. I don’t, even now, know how much went out. I had just taken the snubber off the day before to change the rope but had not put a new one on. Man, I could hardly get on to Traveler as the wind was so strong and I have a bad arm. . . makes things difficult to say the least. Without looking any farther, I just jumped below to turn on the engine. I spent the next hour and 15 minutes motoring into gusts, praying that I wasn’t catching the third anchor in the prop. I have two out at a 45 and one off the bow but dead astern. The problem is that I unwrap the anchors everyday but there isa problem with the two off the bow. They are wrapped on each other and no matter how I wrap or unwrap, they looked hooked on each other. This diminishes the holding power. Anyway, when the gusts lightened enough, I went below to turn on the wind instruments. They said 30 kts. and this is with the wind died down. I (and you) can only imagine what the other gusts were up to. The rain stung my eyes like marbles being thrown into a pond. I have never seen gusts pick up water like this: creating small waves, spray, almost ghost like figures walking on water. Families watched from the porches of their over-the-water-bungalows, and someone came to the edge,but let me remind you, there isn’t a way for anyone to get to the boat to help.And with the big power boat gone on charter, I am the only boat here. Not much support system. What I failed to mention is that I am anchored on the edge of a huge bay,in a little alcove where we managed to find 55′ of water (shallow compared to the rest)and when I swing, I go to 41′, and then a coral reef about 3 boat lengths behind me, then land. I don’t have any dragging room, which is why I immediately motored. At any rate, the engine ran well, I got a hot shower out of it, there is a snubber on the chain now, I have collected oodles of rain water and batteries are up. The squall has passed and I still have time for Happy Hour with Muk. And don’t any of you be upset with Michael for not being here, we all have to do what we have to do. He’ll be back soon enough and on we go . . . as soon as he finds where I’ve hidden the boat. (Ha, ha.)Merry Christmas to all. If it clears at all, I will dive with the sharks again tomorrow. The sharks are fine, it was the 4′ barracuda who kept following me that I didn’t like.Hugs,Bb

    Comment by Barbara (via JP) — December 25, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

  48. December 24, 2007
    I just read Barbara’s Christmas Eve email and feel terrible that I was in NB while she was in Moorea, all alone, rescuing Traveler and dealing with the anchors in that huge squall. Wow. Sounds like she was “livin’ the nightmare,” at least today. She is the most amazing person I’ve ever met.
    And she wants to spend her Christmas Day by going diving with sharks, again (but this time without the dive master?) Truly amazing. I so thankful, and feel incredibly lucky, to have found Barbara and to be sailing around the world with her.

    I’ve been in NB for two weeks and was fully expecting to be back with Barbara in Cook’s Bay in time to spend Christmas together, but found I had to stay in NB another ten days to take care of some important business. I now return to Moorea on January 2.

    Merry Christmas to all our family and friends,
    It’s gonna be great, in 2008.

    Comment by Michael (via JP) — December 25, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

  49. Great to catch up on all the daily entrys… this trip has been very challenging so far… I am hoping that when i join Michael and Barbara on Huahine Jan 13th that we will have3 a respite and lovely weather, catch our own fresh fish ,not see any sharks just gorgeous sunsets… it will be exciting whatever happens! I am so proud of you both for hanging it out…. God Bless!! Hula Mel

    Comment by melissa mcleod — December 27, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

  50. Happy New Year, Michael and Barbara!

    We hope this year ahead is filled with smooth sailing and many happy days. We think of you often and love the email updates. I wish I could join Melissa and Dana for their trip to Tahiti — you all will have such fun!!!

    Michael — the updated web site looks fabulous!! I’ve made color copies of everything to send to Daddy-o….please say hello to Jay Carlisle!! Keep applying that sunscreen!!!



    Comment by Allyson & Matthew — January 5, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  51. January 30, 2008
    Family and Friends, here is an update on Traveler.
    Yesterday we made the 20 mile passage from Huahine to Raiatea. It was very much like a sail home from Catalina: fair winds, following seas, sunny and warm, only took about four hours, no pirates and nothing broke. I look forward to many more passages just like that one. We had a good time with my sisters Melissa and Dana, who joined us for a week in Moorea and Huahine. Melissa, Dana and Dana’s boyfriend, Bob, wrote and recorded a song about us called “Livin’ The Dream” and gave us the song’s world premier. Look for the lyrics on our website. Very cute.
    The passage between Moorea and Huahine was rough. Because it is 80 miles and takes about 14 hours, you want to leave Moorea at about 10pm so you arrive the middle of the next day in daylight.
    It was windy (mostly 18 to 20, with some squalls and gusts to 30, on my watch) with big waves. (BB here: my watch was steady 22-26 with gusts to 34. I want Michael’s watch next time!) It felt good to drop anchor in the protected lagoon of Huahine and go ashore to see the small town of Fare.
    We brought the bikes ashore and rode around, then at the end of the day, rather than bring the bikes back to the boat, I locked them in what I thought would be a safe place overnight because we wanted to ride them again the next day. Well, the next morning we found the bikes had been stripped of the front and rear wheels and seats. The frames were still locked together around a sign where I had left them. Bike parts are expensive down here, but bikes are fairly cheap, so we just bought two new bikes. This was the second theft of the trip for us. (We had a rental car broken into in Waikiki.)
    Other than that, we had a good time in Huahine, mostly spent anchored off the Te Tiare Beach Resort, a four star hotel with over-the-water bungalows and where the guests and employees must arrive by boat (water taxi every hour). We made friends with hotel guests Bruce and Denise from Susanville, CA. We snorkeled together and had them onboard Traveler for dinner one night. They let us use their $1,000 per night over-the-water bungalow to do our laundry in their Jacuzzi tub, and Melissa gave Barbara a hair color and cut on their balcony overlooking the reef. After Melissa and Dana flew back to the US, Barbara and I moved Traveler six miles south down the lagoon to another hotel, the Relais Mahana, to join up with some friends, Jeff and Teresa and their son Giovanni, whom we met in Tahiti. They sailed from Sausalito on their Beneteau 50, and we took turns hosting dinner and snorkeling together.

    BB here: Just some random thoughts on what it is like to live and cruise aboard a boat . . . a pair of sailing gloves make great hot pads for the stove . . . cutting the same ol’ veggies (read that cucumbers) in different shapes each day does trick the mind into thinking you have something new on your plate . . .put more than one clothes pin on anything you value . . .Brian’s favorite peanut butter, Reeses, does have a superior flavor to others . . . there is never a bad day or bad time to snorkel here–it is all so beautiful and always a new fish or something to see. . . when you make an octopus mad, he turns a beautiful red wine color . . . as much as electronic charts takes the mystery, edge, and excitement away from entering an unknown bay (anyone still remember the old days of paper charts and dead reckoning with an occasional description of an entrance from a cruising guide?) when push comes to shove, or possible keel to the coral, I LOVE MY GPS and CHART
    PLOTTER!!. . . strategically place your clothes pins on your clothes to hid the possible rust stains from the pins . . .Brian’s “deli-sandwiches” are still the best around (he made me one once and I got to look at the others, ha!) my rainy days outnumber CA’s rainy days, but the temperature here is a heck of a lot better. . .Michael is a sun-worshiper no matter how many skin cancers he has had . . . the SSB is still a mystery to me no matter how many times I read the manual . . .help, Dave!! . . .now when Michael says, “She’s hot!” he means as in –flash–. . .I love living on a boat . . still can’t count my amp usage. Time to go . . .
    Hugs to all, and remember, “To the Land-based Holiday Maker, It’s Captivating!” bb

    Comment by Michael & Barbara (via JP) — January 30, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

  52. Hey Michael and Barbara:
    We made it on the rest of our vacation just fine. Had a fabulous time on Moorea and Rangiroa. We hated to come home to reality but, alas, the dream vacation came to an end. The time we spent with you guys on Huahine, and especially the evening on the boat, definitely were highlights of our trip. We will always remember all the fun we had during the short time that we were there — the “hair salon”, “laundry mat”, our snorkel trip to the reef, dinner on Traveler, and the ending to that evening at the hotel pool bar. What fun!!! We envy you very much for your next years of traveling. We got home safely and had to jump back into work immediately for that murder trial. It ended last Wednesday with a guilty verdict!!! Yahooooo. We’ve not had a chance to get any of our vacation photos printed yet but when we do we will get some of all of us together and send them to you somehow. Any suggestions on how? I think we may have gotten Michael’s CA address from you but in the travels it must have gotten lost. Please advise. All is well with us and we are back into the typical grind of very-day life. We hope your journeys will find you safe, well and happy. Take care. We miss you guys a lot!!! Bruce and Denise

    Comment by Bruce and Denise Stelzer — February 26, 2008 @ 9:25 am

  53. March 16, 2007
    Raiatea, French Polynesia
    On board “Traveler”

    Hi, everyone,
    Barbara and I are still here at the beautiful Island of Raiatea in the Society Islands. We are on a mooring off a boatyard called Raiatea Carenage (I think “carenage” is French for “boatyard”), along with several other cruising sailboats. We’re all waiting for the end of the cyclone season, which runs from late November to mid-April, to continue westerly (downwind) across the South Pacific. Many of us are also waiting for repairs to be made or parts to arrive. Picture dozens of boats “on the hard”—many in really bad shape, with several stray dogs either barking at each other or sleeping in the hot sun, and all the not-so-wonderful sights and smells of a not-so-nice third world boatyard in the tropics. In all, we have been in French Polynesia for four months and here in Raiatea for two months. Later today, as we do each Sunday, a group of 10 to 15 yachties, mostly Americans, a couple of Aussies and a couple of French, get together for a potluck barbecue and a couple of Hinanos, sort of like a tailgate party but without the football game. We all have been here so long we are jokingly referring to ourselves as the “Carenage Yacht Club.”

    The big news for us, on Traveler, is that we are “going green.” Not because of St. Patrick’s Day, but so we can use the sun and wind to generate amps for our batteries instead of having to use the alternator off our Volvo diesel or our gas-powered Honda generator. Fuel is about $8/gal. We just installed three 85-watt solar panels, in addition to our existing 65-watt solar panel, on a new stainless steel arch over the stern. The panels can tilt aft, so, if the stern is facing west we can tilt the panels toward the sun to catch more of the afternoon rays, greatly extending the peak time for charging from the panels. We are also waiting for our Kiss Wind Generator to arrive in the mail from the US so it too can be installed on the same arch as the solar panels. With the wind generator, we can make power night or day, whenever the wind blows more than 10 knots. Hopefully, between these two new alternative sources of power, we will be able to keep our batteries fully charged without running our engine. Unfortunately, after six months of faithful service, the frequency on the Honda generator somehow changed from 60 hertz to 50 hertz, so it no longer works to charge our batteries and cannot be easily fixed. It needs a new voltage regulator and a stator, and they would cost about $600 to install, parts and labor, so it would not be worth it to repair the Honda. But the parts needed are unavailable here in French Polynesia anyway (everything here is 220 volts, not 110.)

    We have had lots of good times here. The nearby Island of Tahaa is just four miles away and in the same reef-protected lagoon, so we go there often and usually take
    a mooring off the Taravana Yacht Club (Google it) on the island’s south point. The TYC has a great Polynesian Dance and Fire Show each Tuesday night, and has fabulous food and great drinks. Another favorite of ours is the Coral Garden next to the nicest hotel around, the Tahaa Private Island Resort and Spa (Google it) on the west side of Tahaa, which is one of the best snorkeling spots in all of French Polynesia. It is in a shallow (only 1 to 3 ft. deep), narrow pass about 20 yards wide by 200 yards long, between two palm-covered motus (Tahitian for small island on a barrier reef), where you drift along in the constantly ebbing current of 2 to 3 knots over an absolutely gorgeous, wall-to-wall, variety of coral and millions of beautiful tropical fish.

    Barbara’s sister-in-law Leslie and her daughter Claire from Santa Barbara will be visiting here for a week and staying on Traveler touring Raiatea and Tahaa.

    Other tidbits:
    • The weather has been gradually improving as we near the end of the rainy season,but we still get a shower or two a day with an occasional squall, with lots of rain and wind. On the bright side (?), the cloud cover helps keep the temperatures down to about 75 to 80 during the summer season.
    *I brought a sprouted coconut back to the boat and named it Wilson (after Tom Hank’s volleyball in Castaway). It is growing nicely. At some point, we will need to plant it on another island.
    *Our itinerary, once we get going again: Bora-Bora, Maupiti, Mopelia (all three are part of the Society Islands); Rarotonga and Palmerston (both part of the Cook
    Islands); Vava’u Island in Tonga; Fiji; Port-Vila in Vanuatu; then Mackay, Australia
    (near the Whitsunday Islands), from which we will work our way counter-clockwise, first northerly along the Great Barrier Reef, then westerly across the Northern Territory (Aborigine lands), around to Darwin, Australia.
    • I left my kilt in NB, so I’ll be wearing a green pareu for St. Patty’s Day.
    • If you want to call us our cell phone number from the US is 011 689 20 83 83.
    • If you have Skype, you can Skype us for free (search: s-y-traveler). Send us an email when you want to call so we are sure to be on the Internet then (remember, we are three hours earlier here.)
    • We would love to hear from you either by phone or email. Remember, if you send an email, please do not hit the Reply button, but instead create a new message.
    This works best for us on SailMail (our email server) because it comes over the Single Side Band radio.
    That’s all for now. Happy St. Patty’s Day,
    Livin’ the Dream,
    Michael and Barbara

    bb here: please look into Skype . . . we have had some great phone calls over the last 2 weeks and I would love to hear from you all. Remember, we don’t have internet running 24/7 as you do in the US. We buy time and log in and out of the internet, so we need to be online to get your call. Also, in searching in the “Contacts”, please don’t give up. I have looked in the search directory 25-30 times over a week for one person before it popped up. Even knowing that person’s email and contact Skype name did not make it appear quicker, so, why it works and when it doesn’t . . . who knows. Moving ahead, those who tease me about moaning about the price of laundry in other previous ports, it is now 1500 CPFs, which is just under $20 a load, one load—-AND NO DRYER!! Before, it was wash and dry for $20+.
    Hand washing never looked so good. . .the only good deal is avocados, unfortunately they aren’t Haas . . . The Tar Limo— Michael and I picture all the fun we had in it on St. Patty’s Day, driving from bar to bar, jumping out and beating the drum, dancing the jig, our bagpiper playing all the great tunes-we hit 19 bars last St. Patty’s and created our own parade, marching across the Balboa Island
    Bridge, dancing our way way downtown, on down to the VI . . . what will the Tar-Limo be doing this weekend and this St. Patty’s Day?? Inquiring minds want to know
    . . . Have a green one for me! Hugs to all, bb

    Comment by Michael & Barbara (via JP) — March 18, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

  54. Just saw all your wonderful photos and read about all your travel. You really are living MY dream. It is amazing that you are in Newport for Easter, and you spend the day on a boat. You really are living the dream. Can’t wait to read on… as you travel. Keep safe! John and Pam

    Comment by Pam Duley — March 23, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

  55. bb-What fun! Great photos! Great story about saving the boat. So what leg do you need help with? We are off to Italy/Germany for 6 weeks this summer and hope to get some Med sail time in. I will be in Isreal in January 2009. Larry

    Comment by Larry Wilson — April 4, 2008 @ 4:53 am

  56. Hey Michael & Barbara,
    What a great adventure you’re having. Loving all the pictures and stories!

    With a crew of 9 including Buddy, Tim, Go-go, Rod, Gordon, Chuck, Jim, Dave & John; Amante won the JACK BAILEE trophy in this year’s Newport to Ensenada race and trophied 5th in PHRF Class B out of 22 boats and 24th overall out of 315 boats that finished. Average wind conditions this year, the first boat finished in 16:52:20 a far cry from a course record. Here are the results.

    1 FRENCH BRED 23:37:11 22:53:26 CORYC
    2 XL 23:21:31 23:09:01 RORC
    3 FAR NIENTE 23:36:09 23:11:09 CYC
    4 TEMPTRESS 24:03:12 23:38:12 LBYC
    5 AMANTE 25:11:13 23:56:13 LIYC

    Keep having fun!

    Comment by John Redfield — April 28, 2008 @ 9:01 am

  57. what is your email address and skype number?

    Comment by Bill Kelley — May 7, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  58. As I like to say, “It’s all good, except the bad parts.”
    The good news is that I am in paradise, island hopping between Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora, which are some of the most gorgeous islands on the planet, and in the best time of the year, weather-wise. The bad news is I am here alone and miss Barbara very much. She decided to fly back home to Southern California for a few weeks to “re-charge the batteries” and to see family and friends and take care of a little business. Plus she is off the boat for a much deserved break, as she has been on board Traveler since we left Newport Beach in early July, working hard on boat projects most every day. The other bad news is that I blew the engine and I am awaiting for a new Yanmar 110hp to be shipped from LA, which should take about a month to get here and then another week to install. The head gasket on my 23-year old Volvo blew out, allowing water to get into the cylinder, which then cracked the cylinder head. It did not make sense to put a lot of money into fixing up the old engine, so I ordered a new one.

    My friend David LaMontagne was with Barbara and me at the time, as we were cruising from Raiatea to Rarotonga, with a stop in Bora Bora, but we had to return to Raiatea to have the boat worked on. Dave was with us for about two weeks and we had some good times, in spite of the engine problems.

    While I am stuck here in paradise, just to pass the time and to have a little fun, I decided to get on another boat for the Tahiti Pearl Regatta, which is a series of four races over four days around Raiatea, Tahaa and over to Bora Bora. I joined the crew of Wizard, a 57 ft race boat from South Africa, and we were the second boat to cross the finish line each of the four races behind a 72-footer named Far Out from England with a Danish owner and professional crew. We had a luau each night at a different location with a Tahitian Dance Show. Many of the boats that raced in the regatta are part of the ARC World Cruise, and I met many people from all over the world with lots of good stories and shared experiences. Just before we left for the first race one of the crew on Wizard asked if I had a pirate costume I could bring. “But of course. I carry eight pirate costumes onboard Traveler.” So we were fully decked out, with a couple of great pirate flags, too. On the first day of the regatta we had five local Tahitian kids, ages 9 to 12, join us for the race, and we had them all dressed up in pirate costumes, too. A photo of us made the local newspaper. “Arrrrrg.”

    After the regatta, on the way back to Raiatea from Bora Bora and still and onboard
    Wizard, we decided to stop and anchor for the night at a motu (small island) off Tahaa where there is a great place for snorkeling called the Coral Garden. The Coral Garden is wall-to-wall gorgeous coral in shallow water, ranging from just one to three feet deep, in a small pass between two motus that averages 100 yards wide and is about 500 yards long, with a constant flow of incoming current at about 2 to 3 knots, with thousands of tropical fish. Truly amazing. We also spent one night at the Taravana Yacht Club on the southern tip of Tahaa, where we got to see yet another fabulous Tahitian Dance Show.

    More good news: After several weeks of battery problems earlier this year, the four additional solar panels (each at 85 watts) and the KISS wind generator are keeping the batteries fully charged without having to run the engine (which is a good thing since I have none now) or the Honda generator (which is also good because since January it is putting out only 50 hertz and my battery charger only accepts 110 volt AC at 60 hertz.) Although the Honda Generator can no longer be used to charge the batteries, we use it to run the blender to make yummy Banana Daiquiris.

    I just wish that Barbara returns soon so we can enjoy this paradise together, and that the new engine arrives quickly so we can be on our way again.

    Comment by Michael (via JP) — May 16, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

  59. June 25, 2008
    Hi, everyone,

    The latest on our new engine is that it is still stuck in customs in Papeete, where it has been now for a very frustrating 22 days! But now that the bond to cover the amount of the duty has been issued by the Bank of Tahiti (finally-that took an incredible five days just to issue a bond), the engine should be cleared from customs today or tomorrow, and then shipped here to Raiatea on the next ship, arriving hopefully on this Friday or Saturday. Once here, it should take about a week or so to install it and to do a sea trial. Then we sail west to Rarotonga, departing I guess around July 7th or 8th, with possible stops along the way in Bora Bora, Maupiti and Mopelia, weather permitting. Once we check into the Cook Islands at
    Rarotonga, which I’m guessing will be on July 16 or 17, and fax the customs declaration from that country back to our customs broker in Papeete, the FP customs will release the bond with their stamp of approval, the customs broker will then take the bond back to the issuing bank in Papeete, and finally that bank will then wire transfer the $5,000 in cash I put up for the bond (less certain fees and exchange rate commissions) back to my bank in NB, after a month or so to process all the paper work.

    We’ve had our visas extended three times and have been here in French Polynesia so long I think we are now eligible to vote.

    We’ve made several nice friends here over the past seven months. For example, when Barbara was returning from California a couple of weeks ago, while boarding
    the flight from Papeete to Raiatea she met a young Tahitian man who helped her with her bags. Barbara invited him to Traveler for dinner, but instead his cousin came
    a few days later and she offered to show us around the island. She is a very large and strong Tahitian, 23 years old, who is the current national champion for women’s boxing and the current world champion for paddling a one-person outrigger canoe and on the world champion five-women paddling team, along with her younger sister!
    On our tour of the island she brought along a friend who is bilingual (French-English) so we could communicate. We went to their home (waterfront, great view, but very modest) and then went for a paddle in their canoes out to a motu (small island) about a mile out for a picnic, swim and a few Hinanos. Later, we paddled back to their home and had a large late-afternoon Tahitian-style Sunday meal together. Their home is filed with trophies, medals and news clippings of photos.

    While on the motu, by coincidence, we saw Liz Clark, age 28, from Santa Barbara, who is solo-circumnavigating on her Cal 40 “Swell.” We first met Liz back in November while at the Marina Taina near Papeete. We had her onboard Traveler
    for a farewell dinner because she was departing the next morning for the Tuamotus, and Larry Sharpless, (part of our crew for the leg from Kona, Hawaii to Tahiti,) was flying back to CA that night after dinner. Liz has nine surfboards with her and is surfing her way around the South Pacific, and later around the world, writing articles for several magazines along the way.

    Last week we met up with some old friends and made some new ones while OCC’s Alaska Eagle was here. One of the couples was indirectly responsible for Barbara and I meeting in Waikiki three years ago following Transpac 2005. Through a mutual friend, Skip Allen, Barbara was planning on staying at their home on the north shore of Oahu but there wasn’t room, so Barbara ended up staying on a boat next to the one I was on, and that’s where we met. Amazing how things work out.

    That’s it for now,
    Still livin’ the dream,
    Michael and Barbara

    Comment by Michael (via JP) — July 6, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  60. June 29, 2008

    Hi, everyone,

    Yesterday was a biggie. The inter-island ship Taporo delivered our new engine to the main dock here in Raiatea at a very early 6am, and we had a crane lower it slowly (it was a very tight fit) through the companionway by 9:30am. Yeah, we got our new Yanmar 110hp engine onto Traveler! It has been two months now since the old Volvo blew up. Most of the delay in getting the new engine here was with the French Polynesian Customs in Papeete, where it sat on the dock for 24 days waiting to clear. And we hired Tahiti Transit, the largest customs broker and freight forwarder, before the engine left Long Beach to help speed things up on this end, and it still took that long.

    Today we move the engine from the bottom of the steps to the engine compartment, not an easy task because it weighs about 750 lbs. Then we adjust the engine mounts, make all the connections, install new instrument panel, etc. It should be ready for a sea trial in four days, then we sail to Rarotonga.

    The wind is blowing 20 knots out of the east, partly cloudy, no rain. And all smiles onboard Traveler!

    Michael and Barbara

    Comment by Michael (via JP) — July 6, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

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