The Captain’s Log
The Banda Islands to Singapore
It seems like every time I write one of these I must begin with an apology for it’s being tardy. It is very tempting for me to make excuses or joke about it. After all Steam took over from sail simply because it was possible for steam ships to keep to a schedule.
We do try to get these newsletters out on time, but when you consider Meggi and I are doing just about everything from painting the boat to begging for medical supplies and fuel perhaps you will forgive us for our perpetual tardiness. So much happens so fast that it often seems we are caught up in a whirlwind of events beyond our control. Of coarse our ethos of always trying to do better, accomplish more with less, and in general push the limits further often creates even more work for us.
When our last newsletter ended we were safely anchored – more or less – about a half-mile off of the island of Nila a semi active volcano and one of the most isolated islands we assist. We had made our deliveries of educational and medical supplies and the island community had just given us a great farewell party as well as adopting all four of us into different village families. This newsletter takes up where that one left off.
Leaving the island of Nila was one of the hardest things we did last year. It is such a lovely place and the people are so friendly. If it were not for the anchorage with its bad holding ground, baumies, and reefs everywhere the place would be a paradise. Once we had cautiously edged our way out through the reefs and into open water again we all breathed a great sigh of relief.
One after another Vega’s red sails filled with a study South Easterly monsoon breeze. Perfect for sailing to the Banda islands. The only problem was that we had to run the engine in idle the whole time to provide power for the boats equipment and navigation gear. Lovely sailing weather seems to be rare for us so it was painful that when we did have it we had to put up with the noise and fumes from the engine.
Several days after leaving Nila we arrived at the Banda Islands a small archipelago of 6 islands . We have been gradually expanding our assistance to these islands and hope that by next year we will be able to assist all of them. I must admit the Banda Islands have always been among our favorites. Good food, friendly people, amazing history where ever you look, a very peaceful anchorage, and a vast scope for our work all combine to make them a stop we look forward to.
Vega Humanitarian Awards
For years we have searched for a way to thank the people who so generously make it possible for us to deliver the supplies and tools others need to improve their lives. We get to see directly the results of this assistance and wanted to recognize the people who make it possible.
This is what we came up with »
Meeting with our friends and reporting on last years successes
One highlight of our year is when we at last finish our deliveries and make it back to Jakarta. From there we have the pleasure of meeting with the people who provided the supplies we delivered, showing our collection of pictures, and telling our tales of that years mission. Many people forget that we only deliver supplies provided by others who believe as we do that just because a place is small and hard to reach does not mean those people should be condemned to lives of poor health, ignorance, and misery.
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