Category: PNG – here we come!
For the most recent updates…

Visit us on our Sailing4Him Facebook page!

After the Work – Begins the Other Work

Our trips to the Torres Strait Islands with the Kennedys brought us to Saibai where they assisted local islander people to get the New Testament into their language. This began around 1976 when I (Jim) was 10 years old.

The trouble with work is it never ends, does it? There is always more you can do. As for the island people here, the Old Testament translations are not finished. Why should one care about the Old Testament? 1) The history contained within point to the need for Christ Jesus. (Example in fact – Adam opened the door to sin in the world by letting Eve eat the fruit. 2) It confirms that God is always calling the underdogs (the least, the last) to His kingdom because their hearts are in the right place. This is true for both women and men. Check out the full story of David (especially who he was before he slayed the Giant) or stories of the women like Ruth or Esther. There is so much to learn from them.

So for here in the Torres Strait – please pray that the work will continue for both completion of the Old Testament translations and for church unity, for the body of Christ is divided into many denominations. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out the workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2

Meanwhile on the sailing vessel Sweet Dreams (named by Gina) the work-to-do continues. Here is a short list with some photos to show what fun (not!) we are having as we wait for favorable winds to take us back around 1,200 nautical miles PNG NE Islands Region, where there is plenty of work waiting for us:

1. Reinstalled (warranty replacement) wind anemometer the second time. It was water-logged.

2. Pulled, cleaned and re-ran all running rigging. Saibai Island soil was plastered all over the boat.

3. Washed down Saibai from walls, floors, upholstery, ceilings, books, etc. – all inside the boat.

4. Power washed Saibai off the all topside, seating cushions, solar panels, boom, etc.

5. Replaced ships potable fresh water pump again. Label says “marine tough”….not so much.

6. Trouble-shot engine tachometer failure and Colton rewired connections due to corrosion.

7. Wind generator blades needed refurbishment due to UV damage and stress cracks-oh my!

Coming up:

1. Clean Saibai dirt off the mast top to bottom.

2. Sew up canvas covers to prepare for rainy season….lotsa rain coming.

3. Full maintenance on ships generator.

4. Repair mainsail sun cover as the stitching was stressed out due to high wind loads.

5. Receive back from repair shop and reinstall mainsail.

6. Brush off grass growing from water line. This must wait due to Crocks in the area (not shoes).

Thanks for your support as we could not do all this without you, your support and prayers.

Please pray for favorable winds to take us up to PNG for there

Farewell Rod and Judy

Check our sailing4him facebook page for more updates!

Time flies when you’re having fun! WE can’t believe our time with Rod and Judy, traveling around visiting community and Church leaders, has come to a close. Yesterday we dropped them off at the wharf to catch the local bus to the airport.

It has been nearly 4 weeks since they came on board with their first night of joining us in celebration of Niki’s 14th birthday. Our family, with Bella the dog, was not sure if we could navigate the “process and procedures” pertaining to having a ‘dog’ on board in Australian waters. Of course, Bella does not know she is a dog – which complicated the matter. But it all worked out as we came to this mission by faith, not by sight; to assist them in their timely visit to the Islanders they have known and worked with over the decades.

For our goodbyes on Thursday – warm hugs and well wishes were shared along with a final group photo. It was truly a blessing to all involved that we were able to make it to the Torres Strait and assist them is getting around to their old stomping grounds. They are true saints.

The Torres Strait has a long history in maritime. The body of water incorporates the area between Australia and Papua New Guinea where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet. There are 113 islands, sandy cays, and rocky outcrops of which 38 are inhabited. The population from recent census indicates there are 7,489 full time residents. It is culturally unique as the area historically has been influenced by maritime activities for many centuries.
The islands visited over this past month include Saibai, Boigu, Dauan, Badu, Moa, Thursday, Horn, and the picturesque Yorkes (aka Massig). Our travels covered well over 400 nautical miles – traversing countless reefs and other islands, contending with the largest tidal flows we have ever seen, meeting with so many people our heads and hearts are full-up from quality time shared. Dozens of updated Yumplatok bibles were shared along with small group times spent discussing the word of God and its relevance to the Four Winds….representing the Island People of the Torres Strait.

Thursday Island Mayor Pedro shared how the formation of an Island begins, with one grain of sand put into position. Then the winds, tides and other natural events build that one grain into a small island – bit-by-bit, over time. Before long come the mangroves, coconut and other plants. Following comes along the birds and animals – just like in Genesis. You start with nothing then you have something. Just 400 meters from our anchorage near Thursday Island is such a place. An island is forming. Unity?

The “Coming of the Light” came to this area in early 1871, bringing compassion and significant reduction in conflict among the communities. Over recent decades the teachings “handed down from our ancestors, from our fathers, to us” has been diluted with the world and brought about many denominations who no longer live together in unity.

Being invited to come and help bring back this unity was one primary purpose for Rod and Judy. WE were so blessed to participate and see the fruits from the effort of all involved.

Please pray for blessings upon the Island People of Torres Straight and the struggling church to find unity in Christ Jesus.

Weather or not — To Go!

After a few days rest we were nearly blown off anchor from strong trades howling the night before last. Good work for the storm anchor and full chain rode deployed in a sandy bottom. Yesterday morning we weighed anchor with the goal of knocking another 40 miles off the trip ahead. This brought us across the channel and well inside the Tawa Tawa Mal reef with its extensive lagoon.

There is a charted anchoring spot near Moturina Island where former SIL Wycliffe members had, some time ago, finished the Misima language scripture translations for both New and Old testaments. We knew there is a small village nearby so we prayed to catch some nice fish to bring for a gift, in addition to having a safe transit. As so there you have it, God provided a handsome Mahi Mahi before we reached mid channel. It took Colton some time to reel this one in. It measured just over 50 inches. The crew is becoming adept at landing fish, in the sea chop and wind. All hands were safe, except the fresh fish that came on board…well, reluctantly.

Upon arrival Colton and Jim headed over to the shore where a gaggle of kids (pikininis) were swimming and waving. Being shy, they moved westward 30 meters as the Sweet Dreams shore boat (newly named Moonshine) came up in the surf and was landed on the beach about as quickly as Navy Seals might handle it. Colton is quite strong and with the help of Moonshine’s stern-mounted wheels he and the Captain were able to beat the waves.

It was good timing as a young mother had come to fetch the children back to the village. The sun was setting. We made good talk as she was quite fluent in English, having been taught by a best friend who became a school teacher and went to mainland PNG to teach 10th grade. It is good to have friends! She accepted the gift on behalf of the headman, who was on the neighboring island fetching water from a well. It has not rained here in 6 months and the local residents are suffering from a water shortage. That aside, the shore party walked the distance around the corner to the main village where other family members quickly appeared.

They are very nice people and have a very tidy village. Some good story time was shared and it was agreed they could bring us some fresh fruits the next day. We had run out about 3 days ago. Pictured here is a gift basket with some nice fruit, along with seashells for Niki.

It’s hard to go when to find such a nice place to stay. But, the next adventure beckons us. Tomorrow we’ll set sail heading further SW 20 mile before getting back into open water on the Coral Sea. It’s time to check the forecasts as it is 4 full days and nights travel to the Great Barrier Reef entrance.


Leg 1 of our journey to the Torres Strait was safely completed yesterday (9/5/15) at around 4:00am. For you mapping buffs, our exact lat/lon is: 10⁰52.865’S and 153⁰09.366’E or just east of Renard Island. Sailing along at a much faster pace than anticipated resulted in us reaching our anchoring waypoint in the dark. Having a safety policy to enter new anchorages in the daylight, we proceeded to hove to and wait for the sunrise. Once enough light filled the sky, we headed through the beautiful blue waters to our sandy, calm anchorage.

Immediately, we saw what appeared to be another sailboat. A quick view through the binoculars clarified the vessel was of a local, handmade Kon-Tiki type sailing outrigger. Three men aboard skillfully sailed over and came alongside once our anchor had settled in the sand. Having readied several fenders, they came along side and began to talk story. This was our first encounter with a local, handmade sailing rig. It appeared that these men were true salty dogs and very skilled at sailing and navigating. Impressive to think about every single thing on their boat was made with their own hands – well, except the sail which was made from a tarp. Having some sail remnants donated by a sail loft in Hawaii, we were able to contribute it to their future sail repairs.

Ahhhh, almost nothing feels better than to be safely anchored after a passage or as in this case, a partial passage. Since it was Saturday, it was time to begin cooking the Nie traditional chocolate chip pancakes. Luckily, our care package had arrived and there were chocolate chips on board – whew! Too bad, our small package of ‘real’ coffee is long gone…

Now, our time is spent resting and waiting for a weather window to make our way to the final destination of Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.

RocketTheme WordPress Templates