Number 7

1 January - 10 January 2004

Dear Friends and Supporters,


Happy New Year to all. We made to the Bahamas, all safe and sound.

The Gulf Stream crossing was a little rougher than we had hoped, but was not *bad*. The weatherman promised that the wind would slack off to 5 to 10 knots --- ah, fickle wind. Naturally the wind increased to 15-20 knots and blew -- you guessed it -- right on the nose the whole way across.

Jonathan does not like the roller-coaster ride style of sailing, Arden prefers it not, and I don't mind it other than I get tired of holding on to things to keep from falling down. All the uncertain footing plays havoc with my newly bum knee (bummed last spring through foolishly thinking that 55 was not too old to learn to snow ski).

Like most adversity the Lord sends our way, this challenge was followed by a great reward. Bimini was beautiful. Water so clear we could see the bottom in the moonlight. We stayed two days waiting for the wind to shift, fruitlessly, once again.

[Weather Class 101: The long term weather patterns here predict that the wind will eventually shift from the Trade Winds pattern (consistently 20 degrees either way of east) around to the south then south-west) following a cold front appearing over northern Florida. Despite the front appearing, the wind so far has failed to shift. We figure that following our personal weather pattern, the wind will wait to shift to the south until we want to sail in that direction, thus appearing magically -- you guessed it -- right on our nose.]

Jonathan and I have had a great time arguing like two old men on a park bench about just about everything -- how to anchor, how to judge the depth of the water, which direction to steer the dinghy, where the wind is blowing now or where it will blow tomorrow. He takes great pride in the times he is right and I am wrong.

Jonathan did prove his worth as Bosun's Mate. We had to take the outboard off the dinghy before sailing, which requires lifting the engine while standing in the bottom of the rocking dinghy. Jonathan tied a safety line to the top of the engine (which I have always insisted on and he thought silly), but this time, he did it on his own, I would have skipped it as we were in a hurry. Sure enough, as Jon got the engine up, a freak swell came out of nowhere and tipped Jon and engine into the sea. Because of Jon's foresight, I had the safety line in hand and caught the engine just as it would have disappeared below the waves.

Arden mentions the stone we found. On a sand covered coral island, I spotted, half buried in the sand, a well-rounded boulder about twice the size of a large loaf of bread, and pretty much the same shape and color, kind of a sandy yellow brown. Well rounded boulders do NOT belong in such a place. I ran over and picked it up, knowing already what I would find. I picked it up and threw it to Jonathan. Can you guess what it was? (Arden tells below)

We will spend the night and maybe a day in Nassau, the last "big town" before we get to Santo Domingo (which is still a couple of weeks away), getting the few things we find we need to carry on: lacquer thinner, acetone, salt water soap, and a few other things. Would be nice to get a rebuild kits for the carburetor and fuel pump on the Tohatsu outboard, which has been acting up occasionally, usually at the worst moments.

All is well and going smoothly and we hope to make landfall in Haiti in two weeks.

Just as we were about to go ashore to send this, we had a rain-storm. Jonathan and I ran out on deck to setup the rain catcher and get some of that nice rain water into the water tanks. They sell fresh water here, at 35 to 45 cents a gallon, so we conserve and hope to catch water from every rain. Our first rain since leaving Florida.

God bless you all, heading ashore in Nassau to mail this to you as soon as the rain stops.

PS: Today be prepare to leave Nassau for the Exumas, headed for a first stop in Allen's Cay and then Highborne Cay. Before we go, we must buy expensive diesel fuel and expensive water.

Note for the interested: It is an oddity, that though New Providence Island (home to the city of Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas) is fairly large, the only body of water on it is brackish, and the island imports its water in tanker boats from the nearby island of Andros. Imported water is expensive, but not as expensive as water manufactured on some of the outlying islands, such as Chub Cay, where the water is produced by reverse osmosis which requires burning fossil fuels to power the R/O plant.


Wow, for once Kip didn't tell all the good stuff. First of all you have to imagine how utterly beautiful it is here in the near tropics. The water is really like they say - clear to the bottom with varying shades from coke bottle green to turquoise to unreal shades of blues. The white sand on the bottom gives these awesome hues. Sunglasses add their effect too.

The air is warm and sweet, inviting lazy days on the beach gathering sea treasure or snorkeling.We only allowed ourselves one such day at an uninhabited island where we found a huge volcanic pumice stone and many lovely shells. Unfortunately the best of them had dead things therein and the stink was unbelievable. The bitter and sweet continue to go hand in hand. I spent an hour admiring the Creator's handiwork in his underwater garden. Its a garden I can really love - requires no cultivation, only appreciation.

On Chub Cay, an island inhabited only by people working for the American yacht club there, we discovered they had a church service Sunday night. God makes a way for us to keep the Sabbath day holy! We discovered the preacher is off the island and Kip was invited to stand in. So I on the keyboard and Kip in his Sunday best proceeded to lead these dear Bahamians in a service which included everyone bearing a testimony at the end [I called it a special born-again/pentacostal/Catholic/Baptist/Mormon service -- Kip]. It was very strengthening although I missed the sacrament. One of the Bahamian treasures was Stephanie who engineered the meeting, told us long stories about her travels to US, her desire to build a house with her husband some day and live in it (they both have to work on another island from home and they send their children to yet another island for school for months at a time). She taught me how to skin and fillet fish the next day and gave us a wa-hoo and mahai-mahai fillet. So though I have not caught any fish in my trolling, we are provided for in wonderful ways.

My brilliant idea of washing all the clothes in salt water was disappointing - they are still damp no matter how long they hang in the sun and wind. Water can be expensive in the islands. Most have reverse osmosis desalination plants , like the small version we have on the boat. Real showers are few and far between so we swim alot. For a treat we use the plastic shower bag that hangs in the sun to warm up .

I am reading Beowulf to Jon and though he hates to admit it, he actually is enjoying it. Its my constant battle to usurp the Simpson's place in his heart with more noble fare.

We are no longer "leaving" but starting to arrive as Hispaniola looks closer and closer. Just a few island hopping skips and jumps and we'll be there - as long as the languor of the islands doesn't get to us.


I got mom and dad to paint my dinghy today, but in return i had to type a blurb for the report thing. Its not like they don't owe me I mean it was Kip's idea to buy and paint on some kind of primer paint. this turn out to be a huge disaster cause it didn't set up right and wouldn't sand and didn't stick, all through no fault of my own. Then I had to spend 3 days and 14 dollars for a 1 quart can of paint remover to get off and then I still had to paint the dinghy. but I finally painted it and now they are putting on the second coat. In exchange I have to fix the grill which isn't that bad because it means we might actually get some good food! I actually can't complain (mom and dad say so) because the food has been improving. This will be the third night that we are going to get real food. I'm going to call it the 3 nights of strange fish (you understand, when i think of fish i think tuna or salmon) the night before last we had hog snapper and brown rice. We bought the snapper from two fisherman who catch them on the other side of the island. then last night we got some fish from a friend on the island. mom fried the "whaa who"(apparently a very good tasting fish) and made a package of "good rice". Tonight we are going to have grilled dolphin (not sea world dolphin but mahhi mahhi (dolphin is just what they call it down here)) hooray for non crappy food!!! anywho, yesterday we were on a big island that no 1 lived on and spent the day walking on the beach, swimming flying the kite, and napping in that order. we also had some of the leftover snapper and rice.

Now that the parents are almost done painting the dinghy I have to start planning on what to do next.I know, first I have to rebuild most of the center boat trunk. and i have to make the two new seats and fix the two old seats and put them all in and then paint the inside of the boat (yeah more painting). then i have to make the centerboard and or a center plug to keep water from coming in when I motor. After that I have to build the rudder mount and paint it (once again yeah) then the boat will at least be usable w/ an outboard. then I have to build the rudder and tiller and varnish them (yippie for varnish) after that i will get to start working on the rigging and there won't be much more painting (can you tell i don't like painting) and I'll be almost dun!

Our best wishes to you all, Let us hear from you,

The Hansens

Kip, Arden, and Jonathan Hansen


The Family-to-Family Project c/o Kip and Arden Hansen 153 Malden Tpke Saugerties, NY 12477

(845) 246 0131 (home - messages)

We no longer have USA cell phone service. All communication to us must be:
1) BEST = via e-mail at (we will hopefully be able to get e-mail at every landfall - please text messages only [not HTML messages], no attachments or images)
2) via phone message left on our Saugerties, NY phone (845 246 0131 - these should reach us within one week - please state clearly if the matter is urgent and our sons, Brett and Ben, will make every effort to contact us at the first opportunity)
3) via the "Contact Us" page on our web site at (the comment section is limited to just 256 characters -- we will have access to the Internet less often than simple e-mail.)
4) via postal mail sent to our Saugerties address -- Kip, Arden and Jon Hansen, The Family-to-Family Project, 153 Malden Tpke, Saugerties, NY 12477.   Mail is forwarded to us periodically. Any mail sent after this e-mail will not be forwarded to us until we have arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This may be a month or so.


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