June 1

At least we are finally in paradise. If it wasn't for that we would both be in tears and ready to give up. As it is, there is no better place to be then where we are. If you read the Ship's Log from yesterday, you know we didn't get far from Suva before trouble once again found us. Although yesterday we thought it was the transmission again - since we had just had it worked on it seemed logical to assume it was not done properly - today we are convinced it is not the transmission.

The grinding noise appears to be emanating from the aft part of the shaft and a great vibration can be felt in the feet when standing behind the helm. From these observations I am considering either the stuffing box (shaft seal) or the cutlass bearing. Since the shaft seal is oil filled and is fed from a reservoir, which is full, it seems unlikely a shaft seal has ruptured. There are two seals in this unit, one aft and one forward, if both were to fail seawater would enter the boat. If one failed the oil would drain out of the seal and the reservoir too, either into the boat (fwd seal) or into the sea (aft seal). My guess is it is the cutlass bearing.

This morning we went swimming before 9am, it was so hot. Now, at 1pm, it is so hot going outside in the sun is painful. Our tan is only beginning to form and we have lost our resistance we gained last season after a year and a half in the tropics. Now, after 6 months in NZ we are pale by comparison and commensurably more ascetical to the sun's rays.

Now that the rain has stopped the water clarity should improve - the water is already much more clear then yesterday. Paul (from "Boreal") and I want to dive but instead of using a dinghy we will get one of the dive boats here to ferry us to the reef. They all come here for lunch break between tanks on a 2 tank dive. A liveaboard dive boat also spent the night here at anchor with us and Paul spoke to them. Last year Kate and I had a near disaster at this same spot when we came up from a dive down-current of the dinghy and could barely swim back to it. So going with a dive boat is appealing since they will move the boat to you if you come up down-current.

After swimming this morning we all went kneeboarding from Paul's dinghy. Jonah, Quinten and Gabriel all had turns. I had to get in the water with Jonah to help get on the board and in the right position. Then I had to hold him straight till the boat got going and made sure he had a good grip on the handle. Then I took a turn but the dinghy's 15hp motor was no match for my massive girth. Paul went next with me driving and he did a bit better but couldn't manage to get up on his knees (he started on his belly) without falling over to one side. Lots of fun.