Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Christmas Weeks 24 & 25 No emails lately

We have not received an email from Daniel in 3 weeks. However, we did receive two pictures from a kind, local woman who added me on Facebook. She told us that Elder Pettingill and Elder Buhler were getting on the boat to go to Fanning Island the next day. Daniel and his companion, Elder Whitehead, were eating lunch at her house as she messaged with me. I found a few more pictures on her Facebook page. What a tender mercy, especially since we would go at least two more weeks with no email when she contacted me. Here are the pictures she sent and also some that we found:

Also, in my sleuthing ways, I found this entry in the online log for the sailing vessel Kwai. They left today and will arrive back to Christmas Island about noon tomorrow, if all goes well. Then maybe we will hear from Daniel again before he is transferred. Elder Whitehead's mother told us that Elder Whitehead is going to train a new missionary and Elder Pettingill is being transferred. Here is the log entry from a member of the crew of the Kwai about their time on Fanning Island the last couple of days:

Ben's Blog September 8, 2015

6 hours ago by April Fountain

Fanning island

I see the blueness of the lagoon reflected in the clouds as we depart from Fanning island. The weather has been very nice while we were working cargo here. Every part of the operation went so smoothly, it's hard to remember better times. After the arduous work in Washington we actually could do with a break like this.

It started off when we came into the lagoon yesterday at the peak of dead tide so mooring only took us three minutes (I counted). With all hands on deck we had the cargo gear set up in ten more minutes (I might be exaggerating now). Within the hour all the passengers and their luggage were put on shore and the crew and local stevedores started to work copra, filling the space that was still available in the hold after we loaded copra in Washington. By nightfall we called it a day and closed the hold. The captain asked me to bring out some beers to reward the men for their never ending dedication to the work.

At night I decided to go ashore and share a bowl of kava in Tyrone's Bar. I have visited quite some kava bars before but i never experienced something like this. The dusky bar was comfortably lit (without the obligatory flashing Christmas decorations) and the only sound you'd hear was the sound of pool balls clashing into each other. As kava has a numbing effect on the human spirit there were no lively conversations going on. So what was so shocking? The music. It was missing. You could hear a pin drop. "The stereo broke down", the owner explained. Typical example of island logic. But the problem was solved in the same matter-of-fact-like fashion: one of the guests brought out a ukulele and a choir raised its voices. Tyrone told me later that this was the last evening with kava available on the island. With no more kava or even beer I wonder what he is gonna sell in the bar. I'm sure our friend will come up with something. The matter of the broken stereo was solved because I sold him the stereo from our galley.

The next morning we set up the boom tent for the passengers and before noon the mooring line was slipped. Our destination is Christmas Island where we hope to arrive just after noon tomorrow.


Here is the link, in case you are interested in reading more log entries.

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