December 30, 2004

It’s the end of the year and we are still in Pohnpei waiting for our new mainsail to arrive. It was shipped later then we expected due to a mix-up with the credit card expiration date. It should be here in about 4 or 5 days more.

We have been listening to the BBC almost continuously the last 4 days since the earthquake and tsunamis hit the shores of the Indian Ocean. We sent an email to a friend on a sailboat we thought was in Thailand and got a reply today. They were in Phuket at the time of the big waves and suffered no damage. Amazingly, she reported that none of the boats (the fleet of cruising sailboats) in Phuket were sunk or destroyed. Only a few were damaged and that was caused by boats anchored close together banging into each other.

The whole thing is incredible and sad. As of the time I write this, estimates of the death toll are around 80,000 and still rising. We are hopeful that aid from the rest of the world will make a difference and that the people of these countries will be able to rebuild and move forward.

Meanwhile, nothing good has been happening here. More stuff is breaking all the time so we are anxious to get moving (the sooner we reach our next goal the fewer things will break before then). Weird logic, I know. Now our generator is once again causing concern. Huge clouds of white smoke are coming out of the exhaust and I know that is not good. We have stopped using it until I can get down there and inspect it. We are holding off on that because it requires completely unpacking the Starboard (right side) cockpit locker and we have to do that anyway to replace the water maker pump which is being shipped in from California (should be here today we think). So it makes sense to do both jobs at the same time. Though I don’t know if there is anything I can do with regards to the generator. Possible causes include a blown head gasket (not so bad) or a worn out cylinder lining (very bad). One friend suggested it could be as simple as loose head bolts.

I guess that’s it. We are starting school in a few minutes (it is 9am as I write this). Jonah has been doing great at school. His writing is improving every week. We are doing beginning geometry in math, learning about line segments, angles, points and solid shapes. Jonah seems interested and engaged so it is easy to teach. In science we have been learning about different forms of energy like heat, light, sound and about heat conductors, transparent and opaque materials (Jonah insisted “Opaque” was not a real word until I got Kate to confirm it is which seemed to convince him).