Around The World Voyage : Commentary

January 12, 2002 (local)

Hi Everybody,

We're on our way, we left Yap yesterday and our next landfall is Cebu in the Philippines. This leg is going to be around 840nm. This may change as we get further along depending on what the weather is doing. At the moment we have a Tropical Depression (number 01) that is 350nm in front of us, however it is moving away from us at the moment.

Our Nordhavn is doing great. The weather has been nice although we had some rain and lighting last night. The wind has stayed under 15knts so the seas have been comfortable. Brad has been working on the air conditioning and there's a good chance we may have air conditioning tonight. We had the fishing lines out yesterday with no luck and today I put the line out a couple of hours ago with a medium blue feather with no luck. I just changed the feather and put on our "Nuclear Warhead" lure - a gift from one of our newly made friends on Majuro atoll. He promised that we would get a 100-l.b Yellow Fin. I'll keep you posted.

As promised in my last report, I wanted to talk about Yap. I'm not going to say that I haven't seen prettier places, but when you add to the island's beauty with the cleanliness, the customs and the people who are very proud and very industrious, you understand why it is so awesome.The people strive to maintain their traditions that have been passed down thru the ages. I know I've said this before but I would highly recommend coming here, even if one flew in. Dave, Tom and I were very fortunate to have received a personal tour. On our second to last day there, we rented a car and after talking to one of the local islanders, she agreed to show us her island. It was breathtaking.

As beautiful as it is, Yap is also rich in interesting history. There are 11 villages on Yap today and each one has a chief. The chiefs wield a lot of power and pretty much decide who runs for election and actually who wins in general elections. The Yapese people can vote for whomever they want, but they still generally follow the advice and leadership of their chiefs.

One unusual - and remarkable - thing about Yap is their stone money. I'm not talking about a couple of stones you see on the side of the road and put in your pocket. The original stone money was made on the island of Palau about 250 miles away. The stone is actually a hard crystalline limestone that the Yapese quarried into huge flat discs of all different sizes, large and small. In the middle of each stone, holes were to allow for logs to be slipped into and then picked up and carried down to the beach. They were then put on long narrow barges built out of trees and bamboo, and towed by a canoe. The value placed on each stone was not determined by their size but by the cost of human lives that were lost while transporting the stone back to Yap. Stone money can range up to 12 feet in diameter and weigh as much as 5 tons. The Japanese government counted 13,281 stone coins in 1929. The stones remain in use today for some traditional exchanges, but the US dollar settles most transactions.

Tomorrow I will continue the monologue on Yap island. There's so much to tell.

Our voyage facts are below.

The date is 01/12/2002 and the day is Saturday. The time is 12:00pm local time and 0200uct (time zone is +10). Our position is N 09*37.959' / E 135*27.628'. Our next landfall (Cebu) is 744nm. Our boat speed is 7.5knts @1700rpm. Our course is 272 degrees Magnetic. The barometer is at 1009mb and holding steady. The wind is off our starboard aft quarter at 15knts. the air temp. is 87.1 degrees F. Clear skies with clouds on the horizon and the waves are 5-6 feet.


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