From: Ed DeBee
Subject: Radio Update #1
Date: Apr. 26, 1997

Greetings. I know many of you have been waiting for an update from the crew of Rainbow Chaser. I have good news.

Tonight I received a phone call from an Amateur Radio Operator, Martin - KM5CT. He was talking with Gene, Nellie and Zach, while I was on the phone with him. I could hear all the words of the RC crew and it was mighty good to hear them aboard the boat and doing well.

At the time I relayed my comments to the crew, they were just offshore at Salina Point. Nellie said they were surrounded by beautiful beaches and that the sailing had been windy and wet. Winds were around 25 knots during Saturday's sail from Crooked Island to Point Salina. As far as the land, it was fairly uninhabited. You can click on the Salina Point link if you want to look at a chart from Rum Cay to Salina Point.

Gene said they have really been catching the fish. While at Crooked Island (just north of Salina Point) he caught two Dorados. One was 22 pounds, and the other 25. He cleaned the fish and they have been using fish as a main part of their diet. In fact they arrived at the north end of Crooked Island in the dark, and when they woke up, Rainbow Chaser was only 100 yds. from shore.

Gene said they will stay at Point Salina or Castle Island until Monday. From there Rainbow Chaser will make for Great Anagua Island. The crew must check out of the Bahamas with authorities at that point. Arrival at Great Anagua is scheduled for Tuesday, April 29th. From Great Inagua Ranbow Chaser will sail through The Windward Passage to Port Antonio in Jamaica. Arrival at Port Antonio is planned for this coming weekend.

Zach got on the radio and told me he was catching Grouper. It made my mouth water, and I wanted to pack my fishing gear and get on down there. He said he's been getting A's and B's in school and when I asked him how he liked the teacher, he said, "she's not bad." Now I know he wouldn't tell a story about that!!

Nellie commented on the food. She said things were very expensive and gave examples. A can of peas is $2.00, a can of corn is $1.40 and bread is $1.50 to $2.00 a loaf. I asked about the bread maker and Gene relayed that there were too many problems with the inverter which converts the 12V DC to AC. Nellie also said they were able to get pork chops, so they were mixing the fish with the chops to add a variety to the meat diet. Cabbage was also plentiful. Hey, I'm ready for some fish, slaw and hush puppies.

On a technical note, I asked Gene about the systems. The water maker is running perfect. He is still having trouble with the transmission on the diesel. Of his 3 GPS instruments the cheap one is working 100%, the other two have connector or power cord problems and one has some LCD display portions missing. Their kerosene stove is acting up and they plan on fixing it as well as the diesel tranny when they get back to Texas in 4 to 6 weeks.

I've made arrangements with Martin to get more updates via email when he talks to Gene on the radio and will give you the best I can from those reports. Meantime, I expect to see a download of email from the crew when they reach Jamaica. I'm also hoping we will get some pictures that I can scan and get up to the Rainbow Chaser Picture Library on the RC page.

That about wraps up this update. Sure was good to hear all the voices from RC and from me to them - fair winds and following seas.

Ed DeBee
Aboard the 486/120

P.S. - Ninja the cat is alive and well. She must be enjoying all the fish!