Friday, March 7, 2014

Palau Pleasures

 Anchored in incredible Swiftlet  Bay in the Rock Islands, we explored the beach around the corner and David had a Valentine snooze. Ah.....the life!!!!
 Chewing beetle nuts seems to be a favorite activity in Palau, so, we had to try it! Our two days on Sidewinder, with some of the kids who are here working at Sam's , was very fun and they loved watching us try this awful tasting pleasure.    Diving Palau, especially with the mantas, has also been amazing.
 Spending wonderful quality time with Katie, Jim, Jessie and Chari, before they left for the Philippines and Borneo.  We continue to enjoy making good friends on this journey and hope to see them again some time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Still in Palau Having a Great Time's about time!!!!!!Since my last post, David has been adding pictures to Facebook, letting everyone know where we have been and what we have been up to, so, check out David Sobolewski's facebook page and I will try to bring this blog up to date. It is now March and we have since explored the pristine Rock Islands three different times, each time, basking in the peace of being out among these beautiful islands all by ourselves, with dive boats zipping around from place to place twice a day, across the waters quite far from where we are securely anchored. We took five "kids" out to Rock Islands, on their first sailing  trip and they brought with them 24 tanks, scuba gear, 4 SUP's, and tons of food and drink. We have also gone on 8 dives with Sam's Tours, swimming with the mantas for an hour, hooking onto a reef at Blue Corner, watching the sharks swim by next to us, meandering along exotic walls of colorful soft and hard coral gardens where brilliantly colored  fish hang, watching us go by quietly observing, gliding next to beautiful Hawksbill Turtles who are lazily relaxing and just moving calmly with the current in a world very different from our own.  What a pleasure diving here has been!  We were able to be with friends, Jim and Katy on Tenaya and Chari and Jesse on Maaliwalas before they both took off for the Philippines and now we are on a mooring here with our friends, Rebecca and Patrick on Brickhouse, along with many other friends we have made who have been here for a long time; many who are finally leaving in the next week for the Philippines, as well.  Our plan is to stay here at least one more week, do a few more dives as well as explore the land north of here, and then we also will leave for our next destination, Davao, Philippines. Sidewinder will be hauled out and placed on the hard while we journey home for a few months and then we will return for a new season.  Pictures will follow this blog update, giving you a much better feel for the incredible beauty we have found here, as well as some of the people who make life so interesting.  Love to all our family and friends who still look for us here on the blog!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Anchored Here at the Royal Belau Yacht Club, Koror, Palau

 Anchored right near the channel, we have a great view of those boats moored off of the yacht club.
 It's an easy dinghy ride into the helpful yacht club, where beers and food are reasonable and fresh warm water showers are free. SamsTours are the dive shop located here and all the staff have been great!
 Whenever we get our permits, we will leave here for a few days to explore the Rock Islands which are supposed to be beautiful. We look forward to enjoying the abundant sealife and coral reefs. Life is good!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Pleasure in this Palau Paradise

We are truly enjoying this anchorage and the sense of stationary security, along with the perks of fresh warm water showers, yummy food, laundry facilities close by, several well stocked supermarkets in town, a good internet connection, and having the time to stop for a while. It has been wonderful rendesvousing with our friends, Katie and Jim, on s/v Tenaya, whom we had not seen since New Zealand, and we still are having a great time with Jesse and Chari on Maaliwalas. The Rock Islands are waiting for us to explore, perhaps next week and there is a lot of incredible diving to pursue here, as we also try to figure out where we are going next and what the seasons will allow us to do and when.  Sidewinder needs to be pulled out of the water and a new bottom paint applied, but we are not sure if that will happen in the Philippines or Borneo. We have a lot of decisions to make at this time and we will know more next week.  Meanwhile, I will compile pitures and journey notes to briefly tell the story of our last few months, flying way too fast through the incredible islands of Vanuatu, the Solomons, and PNG, warmly welcomed by all those wonderful human beings we encountered. What fond memories we have again, and how very lucky we are  to be here, where we can take a breath and reflect on how grateful we are for the freedom we have to be out here so far away. There have been many times we both have longed to be back home, with all of you, and we know that you, too, are  pursuing your lives with family and friends in the most meaningful way.  We miss you all and send lots of love~

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Getting a tow through the reef pass into Palau

      Our tow boat pulling us through the pass.You can't see the reefs in the photo but they are there about                                                                   100 ft. on each side.
                A part of the mooring field tucked into the small islands off the Royal Belau Yacht Club in Palau

A dramatic arrival into Palau

About 65 miles from Palau and in the middle of the night ( things like this always happen in the middle of the night ) the engine alarm went off. Suzi quickly shut it down and then woke me from a deep sleep after about an hour of sleep. Trying to wake up was hard enough but trying to figure out what was wrong was even harder. I soon found that we had lost all our engine fresh water/anti freeze coolant but I couldn't find the leak. After an hour of removing this and that and shining the flashlight here and there I found it. A broken riser coming out of the block that was part of the fresh water loop back to the heat exchanger. So now I need to fix this while the boat is rocking this way and that, I'd put a tool down and when I went to reach for it again it was on the other side of the boat. The hardest part was finding enough spare parts to make a repair, any repair at this point since we weren't that far from the pass. I was able to scrape together an ensemble of fittings and hoses and completed a true "Mickey Mouse" repair just as we were approaching the pass through the surrounding reef of Palau. We had been on the radio with other cruisers we knew in the anchorage and they had arranged a tow for us, so instead of testing my less than perfect repair we decided to take the tow. I think the repair would of worked but if it didn't we would of been up on the reef in a heart beat as the wind was blowing pretty good and not always in the right direction. It wasn't a cheap morning as the tow cost us $650 but in the end we both felt it was money well spent. I'll include a few photos we took during all this and will let you know how things are going in another post.

The Blog is alive, I hope ???

After months of frustations with this blog I think we have figured it out. Not without the help of my Nephew Jim who is holding my hand as we speak even though he is 10,000 miles away and on the other side of the world. Got to love these computers don't you ??? Wish I was born about 40 years later, I might have a better handle on all this.
Suzi and I are in Palau which is a small island group on the far western side of  The Federation of Micronesia. It's supported by America so uses the USA $$, measures in Feet and inches and uses gallons instead of liters for liquid. I will add more later but first I need to know if this post is going through. Like I said before, we haven't been able to do this for a while and I don't want to ramble on if it's not going to work. Talk more soon -