June 27 Honiara
Andy called the shipping office this morning to see if we can get an idea of when we might be leaving for the village. The guy he talked to said that the ship should arrive back in Honiara Thursday. Then, he said, they usually like to be in Honiara for two days, and then take another trip (a pattern we have also observed). So, he said, he thought that they would be leaving on Tuesday.
Hmm, says Andy, wouldn't two days be more like Saturday or Sunday? Wouldn't Tuesday be more like four or five days?
Yes, says the guy, but I think they will go on Tuesday.
So maybe we'll be ready to go on Saturday, just in case, but expect to go on Tuesday?
We'll keep calling to see if the story varies.
At least we think that they are taking the direct, 16-hour route to the village as opposed to the scenic 24-hour route.
Our friend Patteson from Tawatana explained the shipping company’s story to me. You see, he told me, the World Cup (soccer) finals are on TV on Sunday night. So the crew will want to be in town for that. They will probably have a somewhat convivial evening with their friends, meaning that they won’t be in any shape to sail a ship on Monday.
So Tuesday, as you can see, is a perfectly logical day.
On the way back to Tawatana
Personally I always think it's a bad sign when you go to the wharf and all the ships are gently bobbing, except for the one you're getting on, which is flopping around like a dying fish. The Kaona has a reputation as a roller, and roll she did.
17 hour trip this time. The sea was kinda roughish—the ship going up-up-up the side of each wave and zooming down the other side. Water was splashing in through the windows of the cabin, and up onto the roof on the ship, then dripping down on the bunks. We were well-drugged, so we all slept (off and on anyway) and nobody threw up until about 4 a.m. when the pills wore off.
I got up then to relieve myself over the rails. When I got outside, the canvas covers had been tied down over the sides of the ship (always a bad sign), so that there was only a small gap between two of the covers. The ship was rolling and tossing, and the deck was washing with sea water.
As I headed for the gap in the canvas, a towering wave leaped up, higher than my head. I turned my back and got totally drenched. Patteson was sitting on the ship’s railing, inside the canvas, smiling and chatting with the crew and apparently having the ride of his life. I couldn’t figure out how he was staying on the rail, the way the ship was tossing around. He shouted out to me to just vomit on the deck, because the sea would wash it away. He was right.
From then on, Andy sat on a bucket in the middle of the room, passing around the barf pail. When he needed to empty, he just opened the door and dumped the bucket out on the deck for immediate flushing action.
We welcomed a group of college students to the village, so they can see what Bible translation is all about. They were pretty pleased with me for producing macaroni and cheese for their first meal.
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