Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Okay, so today is the two-days-before-arrival-to-New Zealand mark! I can't believe that we are so close...I guess that after knowing that this is where we wanted to get eventually for my entire life, it's a little exciting, overwhelming, but still sad. It's exciting because we're finally gonna get there and NZ is supposed to be amazing. Also, it is the first first-world country that Cole, Daddy or I have been to for 8 months. It's overwhelming because, as I said, I've known, for my whole life, that our family dream was to sail here..and now we're here. I don’t really know how to explain it. Last, it's sad because it is the end point of our sailing life in the Pacific. Anyways, when we get to NZ (in 2 days!!!), we'll move into an apartment in the middle of Whangarei so that the boat can be hauled out of the water, painted and have some other jobs done (such as re-doing the interior cushions, and moving fuel and water tanks around). After settling in, Cole and I hope to find a karate dojo and ballet studio where we can take classes for the two months that we will be in NZ. I've found a studio already, but I don't know much about it. Well, right now we are going about 7.5-8 knots with a full jib and a reefed main (reefed means that we haven't put up the whole sail because there is strong winds...don't worry, we often reef and conditions right now are good). The waves are a bit big...8-10 feet, but since we have been on passage for about 4 days, we are used to them now. Lately, I've been learning a lot about meteorology (the study of weather and its patterns) because of the unusual weather between NZ, Tonga and Australia. It can sometimes be tricky to find a nice, long 'weather window' (or period of time when there is good weather to make a passage), and you could get stuck in high winds. Lucky for us, we are in the correct month for good weather, are a fast cruising boat and have a good meteorologist on board (Daddy). We found a good weather window that suits our speeds and carries us to the exact place we need to go. Also, we communicate with Commanders Weather, which is a company in the States that predicts weather for cruising boats like us. They are very helpful and have pointed us in the right direction many times. Another thing that we had hoped for and gotten, was to have a few other boats sailing with us. Right now we have about 5 other boats on our same path with whom we talk with on the radio every day to check in and see how everyone is doing. Well, other than that, now that we are going south to where winter is still going on, the climate has gotten colder. It's about 69 degrees inside the boat now, but outside it's a bit colder because of the wind. At least we will be more prepared for the New England winter that we will throw ourselves into this upcoming Christmas!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
First, there was the Vava'u Regatta. Vava'u is the name of the group of
islands we are in right now. Anyways, during the regatta we participated in
all sorts of activities that were held (kids day, corn hole tournaments, and
a race). It was really fun! Then at the end of the week, Ami and Rick on the
boat Tara Vana came to stay on Zen for a few days. We met them in Cartegena,
and since they were back in the States for a little while, they had some
free time to come and visit us in Tonga. They aren't really sure whether or
not they want to sail across the Pacific themselves, so apart from visiting
us, they were able to understand what the Pacific is like. We had lots of
fun, and Daddy, Ami, Rick and I went on some awesome dives together. On one
of the dives, we got to go into a really cool little air bubble about 50
feet below the surface. It was just a little cave underwater, but if you
went up to the top of it, there was a little spot where you could take out
your regulator and breath regular air! It was so cool and the water in that
one spot was really warm. At the end of the 10 days that Ami and Rick were
with us, they went back to town and stayed at a hotel for a little while to
experience land life in Tonga as well. When they were in town, we explored
many of the 'outer anchorages' where there are no people. All of the
anchorages are really amazing. Right now we are in a little bay called
Manamita with our friends on Dosia and one other boat that I don't know.
It's just a little, protected lagoon surrounded by a reef. Today, while the
adults went snorkeling and Cole and I did school, we all saw a couple of
huge humpback whales breaching right outside the reef! I've never seen
anything like it...the whales came diving out of the water and, as if in
slow motion, fell back into it sideways. It's so cool to watch the whales
play. Also, even though you would think that something so big would make a
really low sound, their 'songs' are actually really high pitched. Sometimes,
while we are swimming, you can hear them. Anyways, I'm just so amazed at how
fast the trip has gone! We will be in New Zealand within the next three
weeks depending on the weather. A few days after we get there, we will move
into an apartment so that Zen can get hauled out of the water to get some
work done (we're repainting the hulls and redoing some of the interior
stuff). Well, Dosia is here so I've gotta go, bye!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
meet up with Bravado, but last night we had an Asian feast on Zen with Brick
House, Flashback and Dosia. There was delicious food; rice noodles with
vegetables, chicken and a sauce on top...traditional Indian dhall and
rotis...3 fish curry and a pineapple, banana and Nutella spring roles. But
anyways, I'll start from the beginning: When everyone first arrived, and was
just settling down, Jeff on Flashback looked out the window and said 'oh
shoot'! Margie on Dosia also looked out and said 'Hey Julie! Your boat's
floating away!'. We all ran out onto the back deck, and sure enough,
Flashback, the big boat, was floating away. It's anchor must have broken
free from the sand, dropping off the ledge that the boats were anchored on.
So the guys went out to save Flashback while we started setting up dinner.
Luckily they got the boat back and safely anchored. We all had a really
delicious dinner, and everyone lived happily ever after. The End.
mixture of the two words coconut and pawpaw (papaya), and is the name I gave
to an island that Mommy, Daddy and I just explored. It was pretty small, but
had lots of cool trails to explore. So Mommy, Daddy and I (Cole was doing
school) went ashore to the little, uninhabited island and started to
explore. When we first arrived, we walked into the center of the island
where there were a few trees and bushes, but looked as though it had been
burned from a bonfire. We saw a bunch of coconuts on the ground and so Daddy
went to try and break one open so that we could eat and drink the meat and
water in the center. Because coconuts are really hard, and have an extremely
strong outer coating, we were unable to break it open without a knife, but
settled with taking a bunch and putting them in the dinghy for later. The
next thing we discovered (much to Mommy's delight, and not much to mine) was
a pawpaw tree. It was a smallish tree, but still had multiple pawpaws that
were easy for us to grab. We also took about 6 of those and put them in the
dinghy for us and our friends. Not seeing any other treasures around us, we
decided to try and circumnavigate the island. We started on the beach,
walking along the sand and broken bits of coral, completely dry and happy.
But the road started to get a little rough and we eventually found ourselves
in mid-thigh deep water, walking on the slippery coral beneath us. We were
still having fun..everything around here is an adventure. On our left side
was a wall, about 10 feet tall, of coral/rock that had been beaten away at
by the waves. We soon came to an opening that you could climb up through and
get to the land part of the island. Daddy climbed up first and surveyed the
area. I couldn't see him from below, but he said it looked like there was a
trail that we could follow. So Mommy and I climbed up as well and followed
him. There was a goat trail (there was goats on the island so it really was
a trail made by goats) and we followed it to the other side of the island
stopping every once and a while to look out to sea and try to spot
whales..we didn't see any sadly (there was a whale watch going on and we
wanted to participate..we had spotted one whale earlier that day, but were
hoping to see another). Soon we came to a small, but slanted hill that went
down to the beach..where we had hoped to get to eventually. So we slid down
the hill, trying not to get covered in the soil that would easily stain our
clothes. Back on the beach, walking to the dinghy, Daddy saw a goat. It was
a big goat with big horns. "Well this guy is worth taking a picture of"
Daddy said. Whistling a little bit, Daddy coaxed the goat toward us so that
he could take a picture. As we started to walk away, Mommy came up behind us
and also started whistling at the goat. Well, he came right onto the beach
and started to come at us slowly. When we started to walk back to the
dinghy, he followed. Okay, so when you are being followed by a goat who's
back is at your waist and has 2 foot horns with pointy points, you tend to
look behind you a lot when you are walking. Daddy realized that the goat
would't come near the water. Well, I ran for the water. Upon reaching the
dinghy, the goat started to rub his head against it. "He's going to pop the
dinghy!" Daddy said as he grabbed an oar to whack the goat with. Anyways,
Mommy got the dinghy in the water while Daddy fought off the goat with an
oar. It was scary at the time, but hysterical when I think about it now.
Well, we just arrived back into the main harbor and the sails are coming
down..gotta go, bye!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Hi everybody! So August has been a crazy month so far, full of birthdays and parties (happy birthday Lolly!!!!!), and we haven't had dinner on Zen since we have arrived in Neifu, Tonga. Also, there being lots of adult birthdays, Cole, Jet and I have been babysitting for the two boys on Love Song. It's really fun, and the kids are really funny. Anyways, yesterday was Allen on Love Song's birthday and they planned a cart tour around the island. The carts were little, open go-carts that fit two people each. Daddy and I rode in one (the one that turned off every 20 feet) and Mommy and Cole rode in another (the newest, shiny yellow one with no problems). Dosia, Wayward Wind, and Flashback also came with us. The majority of the tour was on back paths that cars wouldn't drive on. We stopped at 4 different places, each with it's own unique scenery. The first stop was on top of a huge cliff overlooking the ocean; the second was a beach; the third was another cliff where we saw tons of huge bats; and the fourth was a little cliff that overlooked the ocean and waves crashing into a really amazing reef like structure. The roads we drove on also had all different scenery. One road was paved; another was dirt surrounded with plantations; another was also dirt surrounded by tall, green trees and jungle; and the last was still dirt road surrounded with pine trees and small bushes. It was so cool! On the way back from the last stop, the guide said that Cole and I were allowed to drive. So we both climbed into the drivers seats and took off. At first I was hesitant, but at the end, I felt much more comfortable and was having tons of fun. When we got to the main road, we had to go back to the passenger seats, but the two little kids on Love Song got to sit in their parent's laps and drive with them. We got lots of pictures and had a great time. So today we are going to head off to another anchorage and lunch is coming up soon. Gotta go, bye!
Friday, August 21, 2009
been busy. So we left Western Samoa yesterday, but I'll back up and tell you
about the tour that we went on.
So we woke up at around 7:30 and were down the dock, ready with bathing
suits and snorkel gear at around 9:00. Daddy had found a tour guide that had
a van and was willing to take Flashback, Karma, Qayak and Zen on a tour of
the island. He also agreed to take us to lunch at one of the hotels and to a
few places where there would be some cool activities for us to do
(snorkeling in a trench, swimming at the base of a waterfall, sliding down a
rock slide, etc.). The tour started as a drive around the town explaining
the history of Samoa and going by a few historical or interesting places.
Some of it was interesting, but after 3 hours of it, Cole and I were bored.
Before heading to lunch, we stopped at a view point where you could see half
of the huge island below you. It was amazing..it was like a big green
pattern of farmland and rainforest. Then we piled back in the van/bus and
started driving (in the now pouring rain) to a hotel on the beach for lunch.
Lunch was chicken curry with rice...mmmm. Because it was kind of cold, warm
food tasted good. Our next stop was the 'trench'. When we arrived it was
still drizzling, but it was warmer so we all got out and headed to the
little stand where you payed an entrance fee. The trench is a big hole in
the ground that goes down maybe 60 feet. So we climbed down the ladder and
jumped into the surprisingly warm water. Daddy had brought his mask in with
him and started snorkeling around looking for anything cool. He soon found a
place that you could swim through. After going through once, he informed us
that you just had to swim for about 10 seconds underwater before you popped
up in a cave. Once in that cave, there was another ledge, about 2 feet wide
that you could go over or under and lead you to the ocean. It was really
cool and after Cole went I also went through. After going through another 2
or 3 times, Mommy told us that everyone was waiting in the bus...oops! So we
scrambled back up the ladder and back into the bus. Sadly, we didn't get to
go to the spot we had been looking forward to most (sliding rock), but it
was still fun.
We just arrived in Nuitoputapu..an island off of Tonga. It was a short
passage from Apia, Samoa, but both Mommy and Cole were seasick. Also on this
passage we passed over the International Date Line!! That means that August
10th turned into August 11th! There is also a time difference, but only an
hour and I'm not sure if that's backwards or forwards yet. Well, Mommy is
cooking a big lunch since we are always hungry after a passage (normally, we
don't eat much on passages since it makes us sick so we are always really
hungry once we arrive...most cruisers call passages diets..haha) and we are
going to start the audio book 'The Secret Man'. Gotta go! bye!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
islands in Tonga. When we pulled into the anchorage we were amazed at the
number of boats. It was almost like one of the anchorages in Panama! There
is almost constant traffic on the radio and there are currently two boats
pulling in and one leaving. We were told that there are about 22 common
restaurants and probably more. But most importantly, almost everyone we have
met in the Pacific is in this anchorage. Yesterday, starting about an hour
after we arrived, Cole and I swam, or dighied over to our friends' boats and
caught up with each other for the rest of the afternoon. I was so happy when
I saw Jet on Bravado! I haven't been with a girl my age for a month or two
now and we spent a lot of time swimming, laughing and talking. It reminded
me of the times when Kak and I catch up with each other! It was her 12th
birthday on the 19th, but since we missed it, she is having her party later
today. It's going to be just girls...I'm excited! Yesterday was Kathy's (on
Love Song) birthday, so a bunch of the adults in the anchorage (including my
parents and Jet's parents) went ashore to celebrate her birthday with her at
one of the restaurants. Since she has two little sons, she asked if Jet and
I wouldn't mind babysitting. Of course, we said yes. Morgan is 5 and Wyat is
3, so we watched 'Milo and Otis' before they went to bed. Once they were
asleep Jet and I talked for a while. It was fun. Also last night, Cole slept
over on 'Monkey Feet', a boat that we met in Panama and haven't seen since.
He had a great time too. Well, Mommy and Daddy are ashore right now taking
care of some boat stuff and Cole and I are on the boat finishing up our day
of school. Gotta go! Bye!
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Thursday, July 23, 2009
Anyways, we were saying goodbye to the couple on Karma around dinnertime and
just happened to be on their top deck. Everyone forgot that there would be a
solar eclipse, but we were just then watching the sunset. All of a sudden,
the sun started to split into two pieces..what was happening? Then Daddy
said: 'The solar eclipse is going on right now!'. It was so cool to watch
the sun slowly disappear beneath the horizon in two different pieces. Then,
right as the last of the sun went below the horizon, a green flash happened!
A green flash is when you see a tiny bit of lime green flash out from where
the sun had just set. It was especially awesome because, since there were
two suns, there were two green flashes. Anyways, when we woke up this
morning, there was no wind and we didn't end up leaving. Instead we took the
whole anchorage to another island here called 7 Islands, for the day. It was
a beautiful spot with amazing snorkeling and a sandy bottom. We all played
on the two kayaks that we had for a while before going to shore to see the
whale bones. So the bones were really big and you could sit in one of them
like it was a chair! In one spot there was a whole chain of bones put
together like pieces of a puzzle (on my way to the bones, I ran into a
tree). Finally, after a delicious pizza lunch made by an Italian couple that
came with us, we headed back to the main anchorage. Because the sun was in
our face, and the visibility of the water wasn't so great, I got to hang out
on the spreaders and look for shallow spots. We are now on a mooring and
prepared for the 2 night trip that starts tomorrow at the crack of dawn.
Well, I'm gonna go read..bye!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Paul Gaugin approaching Suwarrow. This was expected, since the cruise was
planned last summer and the family ashore warned us that they would be
coming. Even so, the cruise ship was so big compared to our small boats and
so tall compared to the palm tree height island, it just didn't seem
possible that it could be here. Luckily, the draft of the cruise ship was
too deep and it couldn't come into the lagoon, but the ships' 300 passengers
would be. Their plan was to bring all of the people ashore via a smaller
boat, and then spend the day here. The family ashore were still quite
confused on what they were supposed to do..are they supposed to give them
lunch and tours..are they supposed to act like Indians and go flying around
in the trees with paint on their faces? Well, we were hoping that they were
going to host a big dinner on the ship and invite all the cruisers (we would
of course say yes, but the chances of that happening were small). Anyways,
when the first tender was spotted we all scrambled to the binoculars. It
turned out that the ship was only bringing some supplies to the family, and
telling them (much to the family's relief) that: 'Because of the big waves,
we are not going to be coming ashore..instead we are going to be leaving the
island in the next hour'. Well, after days of cleaning and preparing the
island, they just left supplies and went..that's not so bad! So, soon the
cruise ship was no longer in sight.
Anyways, the boys on Whisper are over on the boat now and are playing Legos
with Cole, the couple on Qayak just left (they brought us M&Ms'!!) and
Mommy is making what smells like a delicious lunch. I think that I'm going
to go and make a bracelet..bye!
Friday, July 17, 2009
island called Aitutaki. It's a small island surrounded by a beautiful blue
lagoon with very shallow waters and few boats. A few years ago the TV series
'Survivor' was filmed here. Anyways, we left Bora Bora on the 30th of June,
and after a bit of a bumpy passage (3 days with 12 to 25 knots of wind and
15 to 20 foot seas), we arrived in the pass of Aitutaki on July 2nd. Because
we arrived at around 6:30 pm, we had to drop the anchor in the most
convenient spot for the night before the sun went totally down. Dosia was
already here, and helped us put down our stern anchor before coming over for
a delicious chili dinner cooked by Mommy. The next day we went ashore to
check in and explore a little. Once we were cleared, Margie and Drew on
Dosia took us to the scooter rental place where we got two mopeds to explore
the island on. Margie and Drew already had a scooter and had explored the
island a little before us, so they gave us the tour of the small island
ending with a yummy dinner at one of the local restaurants. On the fourth of
July we had Dosia, and another boat, Big Air over to Zen for dinner. It was
really fun..we watched some funny parts of a movie that Dosia brought, and
JP, a single hander on Big Air brought over some amazing home-made garlic
bread. The next day (my birthday!) we stayed on the boat the whole day and I
practiced playing my flute that I had gotten as one of my presents. On the
6th, we took a tour around the lagoon with a few other couples from hotels.
The lagoon was so beautiful and there were areas where you could walk in
waist deep water for a really long time. My favorite spot was a big sand bar
in the middle of the lagoon surrounded with deeper water, where we jumped
into off the top of our tour boat. After relaxing on the sand bar for a
little while we went snorkeling in the place where huge oyster shells were
grown..they really were huge. Finally, we went to One Toe..I mean One Foot
Island where we had a delicious lunch of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish.
Finally, we got back on the boat after 3 hours on the island and headed back
to Zen. A few days later, we went to one of the resorts to see the coolest
fire and dance show that I have ever seen. There was a really yummy buffet
with all sorts of traditional foods, and then a crazy fire show with about
10 people swinging around fire on batons. It was amazing. Before the fire,
there was a short dance show and Cole and I were invited to dance.
This was written on July 17th-So after a few more days in Aitutaki, we left
on a 2 night passage to Suwarrow. Suwarrow is an atoll that has not been
touched by man, and is a Cook Island national park. A family of 6 (the
parents have 4 boys ages 8 to 13) are the park rangers of this atoll and
help to preserve the wildlife in Aitutaki. They are really friendly and had
every boat in the anchorage come to their open air home for a potluck dinner
last night. It was really fun, and Cole and I played soccer with the 4 boys
ashore and the 2 boys on the boat Whisper. There are many sharks here, but
there are only black-tips in the anchorage and you don't really have to
worry too much about them. But on the other side of Anchorage Island, the
main motu, the boys feed black-tips, white-tips and grays. It's been raining
all night, but it looks like there is sun now! Being closer to the Equater
than Aitutaki, we are getting 82 degree weather again, which feels really
warm compared to the 75 degrees that we were in only a week ago. Well, I'm
going to go read..bye!
Suwarrow. Suwarrow is an atoll that has not been touched by man, and is a
Cook Island national park. A family of 6 (the parents have 4 boys ages 8 to
13) are the park rangers of this atoll and help to preserve the wildlife in
Aitutaki. They are really friendly and had every boat in the anchorage come
to their open air home for a potluck dinner last night. It was really fun,
and Cole and I played soccer with the 4 boys ashore and the 2 boys on the
boat Whisper. There are many sharks here, but there are only black-tips in
the anchorage and you don't really have to worry too much about them. On the
other side of Anchorage Island, the main motu, the boys feed black-tips,
white-tips and grays. It's been raining all night, but it looks like there
is sun now! Being closer to the Equator than Aitutaki, we are getting 82
degree weather again, which feels really warm compared to the 75 degrees
that we were in only a week ago. Well, I have a bit of a fever today, so I'm
gonna go read..bye!
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
hotels having at least 20 of them. When we first arrived we were amazed at
the beautiful hotels with their over the water bungalows (yes, they are over
the water) and crystal blue waters. By now we have seen many of them, but
are still marveling at the Four Seasons which we all (the four boats in the
anchorage) went to dinner at a few nights ago. It was amazing and we had
really good Pad Thai which we hadn't had in a long time. Anyways, we first
arrived in Bora Bora a week and a half ago at the Bloody Mary's restaurant.
Apparently this is a famous restaurant that many famous people have gone to!
I did know this until I saw the two walls full of famous names. After
spending two or three nights there we moved to the Bora Bora yacht club and
stayed there for a week where we enjoyed wonderful live music at the yacht
club and dancing and yoga classes at the nearby Pearl Hotel (a sister hotel
to the hotel that we stayed at in Taha'a), where we met the spa manager.
After ordering a needed spare part from the States, we moved to the opposite
side of the island to wait. Here we met up with a few of the other cruising
boats that we had been trying to find for a while. We are now anchored
in-between two hotels: the Four Seasons Resort and the Saint Regis Hotel,
with the boats Flashback and Karma. A few nights ago (when the boat Dosia
was still with us) Mommy invited over the other three boats for a really fun
potluck where we had a really yummy dip for chips and bread, vegetable and
chicken spring roles, some cheesy popcorn, delicious risotto, chocolate cake
with vanilla frosting/sauce, and some really delicious apple cinnamon roles.
We had a great time! Well, Daddy is over on Karma helping to clean the
bottom of their boat (it's a big bottom to clean!), Cole is finishing
school, Mommy is doing laundry and I'm going to go play my piano. Bye!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
on the plane on her way back to Tahiti, she met a girl and her mom. The
girls' name is Grace and she is two weeks older than me, and her mom's name
is Maelisa. They are really nice and live in California. They have been to
French Polynesia 20 times and have gone to the Hibiscus Hotel in Moorea
every time. Grace and her mom are now friends with the owners and took us to
the hotel restaurant for free. Grace is really nice (Sylvie-she's a lot like
you!). Anyways, when we met up with Grace and Maelisa, they told us that we
should really dinghy over to this place on the reef where we could feed
stingrays. We thought that that sounded awesome, so we all piled into the
dinghy and took along some tuna to feed the rays. When we arrived there were
tons of rays swimming around the dinghy. Grace just jumped in and started
swimming around. It took me a few minutes, but then I jumped in too. After
we all got used to the fact that we were swimming with, petting and
sometimes kissing stingrays, Daddy started to dish out the fish. As soon as
the tuna hit the water, the rays went crazy and started smashing into each
other to get the food. When they discovered that it was gone, they went to
every person and bumped into them as if to say 'do you have any food?'. It
was so cool. Soon the rays found out that Daddy was the one with the food.
They would bump into Daddy and push their open mouths in his face. Then
Daddy could just drop a piece of tuna in their mouths! It was so much fun.
We could just stand in one place and the rays would come up to us and allow
us to pet them and play with them! Soon we got cold and had to go back to
Zen. That night we went out to dinner with Maelisa and Grace at the hotel
restaurant. It was delicious! Well, gotta go, bye!
Friday, May 22, 2009
So a few days ago we went on a really cool tour around Tahiti. We got up at around 7:00 and went ashore to play soccer for a little while with Liam (12 years old) on the boat Flashback. Liam and his dad are visiting for a week, so normally there aren't any kids on Flashback. After playing a really fun soccer game for about an hour, we walked to the gas station to wait for our tour guide to come and pick us up. Soon we saw our truck coming. The truck was a pick-up truck with seats and a pull back roof on the flat back. When we got on the bus we met our tour guide Allen and three other people on a boat called Song of the Sea. Anyways, the tour started out kind of slow and we were just driving down a paved road, but when we turned onto a dirt road with tons of potholes, I knew that it was going to be fun. The first stop was a view point where we could take pictures of the amazing views of a huge waterfall and beautiful green mountains. After that Allen drove us to a river where you could swim and jump from rocks. The water was really refreshing and cool. It was really fun trying to swim up the current in the river and touch the rocks at the opposite end. After everyone was back in the truck, we got back on the road and headed for a waterfall. While on our way to the waterfall we went through rivers, over rusty, old bridges and past lots of cool flowers and animals. When we arrived at the waterfall, we all put our suits back on and hiked for about 5 minutes to the river. Once at the river, Allen told us that there were some natural slides that we could go down. At first I didn't want to go, thinking that the slides were going to be super tall and freaky, but after some encouragement I followed Daddy and Cole. The first pair of slides were small but fast. The slides were just like water slides at a water-park, but made of rock. The first slide you go down shoots you down from one pool to the next and flips your feet above your head when you meet the next pool. It was really fun! The next slide was a bit longer and shot you into a shallower pool (Daddy liked this slide because if you sat in the small pool right below the slide, you get a shoulder massage). Finally, we got to the biggest slide. 'Yikes!' I thought, 'this slide is straight down and bigger than the other ones!'. After watching a few people go down, it was my turn. I sat at the beginning of the slide looking down and telling myself to let go. All of a sudden, I accidentally slipped and went shooting down the slide...it was so much fun!! I climbed back up with Cole and went again. When I got back down we had to leave, so we all climbed out of the river and got back in the truck. The next place we went to was a hotel in the middle of a inactive volcano called Tahiti-Iti. The view was amazing. It was really cool to be sitting in the middle of a once active volcano while eating steak-frite (steak and french fries). It was a great meal followed with coffee ice cream. So after lunch, we made our final stop at an archaeological site like the one in the Marquises. The difference though, was that at this site, people had recreated what it would have looked like years ago. It was really cool and we got to see the ancient carvings. When we finally got back to the boat it was 11:00. The tour ended at around 5:15, but since we went to a restaurant, we arrived much later. The tour was so much fun!!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't written in a while, but we have been busy! So we are now in Tahiti and are getting used to full on civilization again. There is a really nice marina, a big anchorage and mooring field packed with boats, a busy airport with big planes, a huge grocery store called Carrefour, Internet, laundry, hotels, and tons of restaurants. Crazy huh?! A few days after we arrived, the wind picked up and, since we didn't have a great anchoring spot, had to go to the marina for a few days. It was nice and we were next to Carl Linne. Then, after finding out that you could sail down to another anchorage in Tahiti and watch a Billabong surf competition, we left the dock and headed down to that anchorage. When we left the anchorage, there was close to no wind and we had to motor sail. Then the wind picked up and we could sail with no motors. All of a sudden, like a wall hit us in the face, we had 40 knots of wind on the nose with seas and had to turn around and go back to the first anchorage. Not wanting to go back to the dock, we anchored in a shallow area of the anchorage right behind a hotel. Mommy left a few days ago for Florida because of Nanna. After falling and breaking her hip, Nanna is in the hospital and has taken a turn for the worst. Well, other than that, everything is going well. Our friends on the boat Love Song are here and we might go by their boat today or tomorrow to hang out with the two little boys (3 and 5 years old) and their two dogs. The day before yesterday (the 14th..Mommy left that night) was Cole's birthday and we celebrated with homemade chocolate cake and a huge breakfast. Also, on Mothers' Day, we went out to one of the restaurants at the marina and had some really tasty pizza. Yesterday we went sailing on Carl Linne when they tested out their new spinnaker. It was tons of fun. We got to sit up on the nets on the bow of the boat that are attached to the bow sprit. I think that there are some pictures on my parents blog of us on the nets. For the next week or two Cole and I are doing testing in homeschooling. Thankfully, this is the last group of tests for me for 6th grade. Daddy is ashore getting fuel for the dinghy, and Cole is playing with his new local friends on the dock..I'm the only one on the boat. Well, it looks like it's going to rain so I've got to shut the hatches..bye!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
went to the north to prepare for the passage to Tahiti. (We had fun weaving
our way through the uncharted buoys after going through the amazingly
charted pass.) Once there we met up with a boat called Wayward Wind who we
took pictures of while passing them in the Marquises. After a delicious
dinner of quiche and French fries (I know..they really go together), which
was a treat since we haven't had French fries for a really long time, Daddy
pulled up the weather and realized that this anchorage was about to get
really choppy. So, we changed our plans and decided to leave for Tahiti the
next day. If we didn't, we'd be stuck in Fakarava for another week, which
would not be good because we have a reservation to haul out in Raitea.
Anyways, we left yesterday morning and started praying for wind. During the
beginning of the passage we had no wind, well unless you call 0.2 knots wind
that is. Then last night we were able to put up our sails and cruise along
at around 8 knots before the wind died right before I went to bed. Finally,
when I woke up this morning we were able to turn off the engines and sail at
9 knots using the wind of a squall behind us. Soon we were able to see
Tahiti, a big mountainous island that is a lot like Grenada in terms of
population and commercialism. But unlike Grenada, Tahiti is just a newer
version of the Tuamotus. It has a small reef around it and the mountains, in
millions of years to come, will eventually sink into the ocean, forming an
atoll. So the Marquises are just mountains, the Tuamotus are just reef and
Tahiti, Moorea and Raitea are a mixture of both! Well, right now our plan is
to go and anchor right off a hotel like we did in Antigua and stay there for
a few days to chill, and provision before heading off to meet our friends on
Blue Dawn in some other anchorage. We should be going through the pass
around 5 tonight (1 hour from now) and then anchor down at around 5:30,
6:00. Well, I'm on watch so I've gotta go, bye!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
and last night Yet slept over! It was really fun. The day before, all the
kids went to the beach for an hour or so and then everyone went over to
Bravado for dinner. While on Bravado we played a really fun guessing game
with Yet and her brothers (Hein is 9, Eltjo is 6) until their mom served a
really yummy risotto with chicken. Finally, just as we were about to leave,
Yet and I asked if Yet could sleep over that night, and everyone said yes!
When we got back to the boat it was almost 10, so we went to bed after
laughing while having a pillow fight. The next morning we were all up at 6
and talked about books while Mommy made pancakes for breakfast. After
breakfast everyone had to do school, so Daddy brought Yet back to her boat.
Around 11:30, everyone said that they wanted to snorkel the pass, so we
postponed school for a little while and went over to Bravado to pick up the
kids (the kids, Mommy and Daddy went in our dinghy since it was more
powerful and would carry more people easier than there's) and their parents
followed soon after us. Once at the pass we all put on snorkel gear and
jumped in the water. The first thing I saw was three sharks, one grey and
two black tips circling below me. It was really freaky, but so cool. Soon we
had counted over 10 sharks and there was still more in front of us. When the
sharks became too curious we decided to go back to the boats for lunch. As
we left the current picked up and started to go out so it was a fast and
furious ride back to the boats...lots of fun. Well, we are now just chillin'
on the boat. Cole and Daddy are watching videos that we took on the video
camera and Daddy offered to take us scurfing later...sounds good to me! I'm
going to go watch the videos too..bye!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Tuamotus a few days ago, making our passage 2 days long. The first Tuamotu
that we went to was called Makemo. It was one of the bigger atolls, with a
width of 40 miles. Oh, so if you are wondering, an atoll is basically a reef
that surrounds a big lagoon. A long time ago, there was a big, mountainous
island where the lagoon is now, but slowly, the island sank into the water.
Anyways, we stayed there for a while and met some new people on a boat named
Migration. They were a really nice couple, and the guy, Bruce Balan, is the
writer of one of my favorite books, Buoy! It was so cool to be able to talk
with a children's book writer! Well, they have been in the Tuamotus for a
few seasons now and were heading backwards to the Marquises. A day after
they left, our friends on the boat Tigre, who we met in Grenada, arrived
from the Galapagos. We hung out with the girls for a few days before leaving
yesterday. Now we are motoring to the main atoll called Fakarava. I'm not
sure how big it is, but I know that it is the main port for ships and other
big cargo boats to go. Fakarava is also known for its amazing diving, so
Daddy and I plan to dive there in a few days. Anyways, we left the main
anchorage in Makemo yesterday and motored up the lagoon to an anchorage
closer to the pass. While sailing through the lagoon, though, you have to be
very careful. There are little reefs that will pop up out of nowhere if you
aren't careful. So I got the idea of going up the mast to look for the
'coral heads'. It was really fun. I got out the bosons chair and Daddy
lifted me up just below the spreaders (spreaders are poles that come out of
the mast). Cole wanted to come up too, so he got out the air chair and Daddy
pulled him up right next to me. We had lots of fun looking for coral heads
and swinging around the mast. It felt like flying. So soon we arrived in the
anchorage and decided to stay the night there and then leave the next day at
2 PM. So today at 2 we picked up anchor and headed for the pass. This time I
went up the mast again, but using the air chair which is more comfortable.
Since the sun was directly in our face it was hard to see the coral heads,
but luckily we made it to open water without hitting anything. When we got
to the pass the water was at high slack, meaning it was just hitting the
highest of high tides and there wasn't much of a current. Although there
wasn't big waves, I was moving around more than I was comfortable with up so
high and was glad when Daddy brought me down. The pass was very easy and
followed what the charts said to the inch. What a relief! Well, I'm going to
go to bed so that I can be up early tomorrow morning. Bye!
PS. I heard that it was 90 degrees in RI....that's an easy 10 degrees hotter
than it is here!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
the Marquises and all of them are atolls. We just passed the first atolls
and will be arriving to Makemo tomorrow if we keep up speed (we are going
7-8 knots regularly, but in the beginning of the trip we were going 12-15).
This is our second day sailing and it's pretty calm.
Anyways, since the weather wasn't so great when we planned to leave, we
ended up staying in Fatu Hiva for an extra week, making our stay in the
Marquises exactly one month. While in Fatu Hiva, we did another waterfall
hike with Hipnautical and Mommy and I did a hike up to 'the cross' with a
bunch of other boats in the bay. The waterfall hike was much steeper than
the first one we did, but shorter and most of the path was paved. After
about 20 minutes on a trail where we did lots of climbing and crawling under
things we arrived at the waterfall. Since it had rained the past 3 days the
waterfall was rushing and would send a cool spray all the way to where we
were sitting. We soon jumped in the water and enjoyed the freezing cold but
refreshing water. It was so beautiful and the boys had fun jumping off a
little cliff like thing that you could climb to. After a lunch of Mommy's
homemade mini-pretzels and mustard we headed back to the boats. It was a lot
of fun. The hike to 'the cross' was a much longer hike that Mommy and I did
the day before we left. The hike went up a paved road on a really steep
angle for about 2 hours. Then it flattened out and we could see amazing
views of the bay and village from a little shack type thing with lots of
construction tools around it. We hiked with 3 other boats in the harbor. The
boys (Cole, Robin and Daddy) stayed on the boats to finish school and work
on the boat. Since we had to leave at 5 AM the next day Mommy and I arrived
back on the boat at around 2-ish to have lunch and swim. Finally around 5 PM
we shut down the boat and tried to sleep.
Well, the wind is picking up again, so we just pulled out the jib to get
more speed. We have a bailout island to go to if we go too slow, but want to
get to Makemo since Tigre will be there and we are all excited to see each
other again. Cole and I are doing day watches all by ourselves now and it's
my watch so I gotta go, bye!
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Thursday, April 16, 2009
regular day, have breakfast, start school etc. Anyways, Mommy and Daddy had
to go ashore to do something and so they left Cole and I on the boat to do
school, something we do often. While they were ashore some new boats came
into the harbor. We heard them chatting over the radio, and figured that
they would just come in, anchor, and be fine...it was about the opposite.
When the new boat came in, they anchored right in front of the catamaran
next to us. Soon they realized that they had picked up someone else's anchor
and announced it on the radio. A split second later I looked out the window
to see the cat next to us coming straight at us, with no people on board. I
quickly called Daddy (who had a handheld VHF radio) and told Cole to go get
the fenders, which he was already doing. I told Daddy what was going on and
then ran outside to help Cole. Next, our neighbors came over and helped us
out by jumping on the other boat and helping us tie the two boats together
so that they didn't smash into each other. It became obvious that the new
boat had picked up the other cat's anchor. Once we were tied together and
not bouncing together like bumper boats, Daddy, Mommy and Roger on
Hipnautical came over in the dinghy. After our neighbors (the boat's name is
Obsession) told Daddy what happened, what we were doing and what we should
do, everyone started shouting from boat to boat planning what to do. It was
decided that Daddy would, using Hipnauticals' diving gear, dive on the cat's
anchor and try to unhook them from the new boat. Once underwater, Daddy
found the anchor quickly and was above water soon. He then said that the
boats were clear to go and that the new boat should take up their anchor and
wait until we were settled before they anchor again. By now the owners to
the other cat were here and we de-rafted while they brought up their anchor.
Everyone is now in 3 different corners of the anchorage..we are in the back
right, the new boat is in the back left, and the cat we were rafted to is in
the front and center. It was quite exciting! Well, we might go on waterfall
hike tomorrow if the rain stops. It's been raining on and off for a few days
now, and we are anxious for sun. Oh well, the islands are so beautiful and I
think we'll get over it (hahahah). Mommy is making something in the kitchen
and it smells so good! Gotta go, bye!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
lots of sailing, school and lots of other things! First, we are now
surrounded by lots of boats. The "Puddle Jumpers" group has arrived and
brought lots of boats with it! Luckily, with the big group came lots of kid
boats (Bravado..11 year old girl and 2 young boys, Hipnautical..10 year old
boy, Whisper..10 year old boy and 7 year old boy)! Cole actually has Robin
on Hipnautical on Zen now for a sleepover. Nice kids. Well, we are now on
the island Fatu Hiva and it is raaaainy! Mommy, Daddy, me, and Robins'
parents just went to a really cool, local dance rehearsal. The dancing was
really unique and a little bit like what we saw in the first island we went
to with all the other people. Okay, I'm getting a bit off track...anyways,
we met up with our friends on Brickhouse for a while and hung out with them
in Ua Huka. After leaving them we went to the island Tahuata. We only went
to one small bay where we met all the kid boats and did a really fun
bonfire. The beach was so beautiful and we didn't get attacked by the
annoying, tiny mosquitoes called "no no's". For Easter Mommy made a really
good alfredo pasta dinner accompanied by some chocolate, nut bars and thin
ginger cookies. After a quick dinner we invited everyone (all the boats in
the harbor) to come over to Zen for coffee and dessert. Everyone agreed and
brought some type of dessert (mostly brownies). After a really fun party
that lasted until 11:00, everyone went back to their own boat to sleep. The
next day was the bonfire. It was set up by the kid boat Bravado, who had
arrived that morning. It was planned to start after dinner at around 6:00
PM. It was so much fun and Mommy brought the bread to roast on a stick like
we did in the San Blas. After playing in the water for a long time with
Robin and Yet (the girl on Bravado) we got back in the dinghy and went to
sleep. Today we sailed to the island Fatu Hiva, it was a 6 hour long sail
right upwind and was pretty bouncy. I read most of the time, but once I
finished my book I went up to the cockpit. Once we arrived we had lunch and
invited some people on the boat next to us to come over (I don't know why,
but Mommy and Daddy just shouted to them across the decks to dinghy on over
if they felt like it). Once Hipnautical arrived (we had sailed here
together) us kids played for a while on their boat. Then, we went to the
dance. It was really fun and I met some local girls. Once it started to rain
(again) we went back to the boat. As we were dinghying back, we picked up
the boys who had been on Hipnautical while we were ashore since Robin is
sleeping over. Well, Mommy's making dinner so I've gotta go, 'night!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
It rained for almost two days straight! I know that in Newport that can be
very common sometimes, but this is the longest period of rain we have had on
the boat for basically 8 months! We filled our water tanks all the way just
from the rain! It was awesome! Also the past two nights we played Monopoli
(one game yesterday, one game tonight). Our Monopoli board is a New England
Patriots board so it's really cool.
Well, other than all this rain, we swam under the 3rd largest waterfall in
the world and met another kid boat! First I'll tell you about the kids.
There is a family of four onboard the sailboat named Chtimagine. There is a
13 year old girl, Naeva (yippee!) and an 11 year old boy, Nicola. They are
from France, have lived on their boat for 7 years and have never been to a
real school. The family is so nice and will be traveling with us on more or
less the same schedule all the way to New Zealand! They have friends on
board right now who are also really nice (another family of four with a 4
year old girl and 7 year old boy).
So about the waterfall. We were going to hike there with Chtimagine, but
since Cole and I had to do school, they left a few hours before us. After
beaching the dinghy we hiked along a small river for about two hours. Soon
we came out of the woods and arrived in a large, open meadow filled with
small, yellow flowers. The grass came up to our knees and it was surrounded
by tall, flat, rocky mountains. It was beautiful. Daddy said "when I look up
I feel like I'm in New York City made of rock and flowers." Finally we
rounded a coner and saw everyone on Chtimagine swimming in a small pool next
to the waterfall. The waterfall had just a small streem of water flowing
down from the top of the mountain due to no rain, but we still couldn't see
the top. As soon as we arrived at the waterfall I pulled off my sweaty
clothes (we had to wear long sleeves and pants because of the bugs), grabbed
my sandwich and waded knee-deep into the cold, but refreshing water. It was
wonderful. After finishing my sandwich I followed Mommy, Cole, and Daddy
through the pool and over a boulder type thing. Next we were in another pool
covered by the mountain. This was where the waterfall deposited. We all went
and swam under the waterfall, feeling the water pound on our shoulders.
After some pictures we decided to go back. This time we all went back
together. The 4 of us older kids ran ahead and did the two hour walk in just
over an hour. When we got back to the dinghies, we decided to swim in the
ocean while we waited for the parents. It was so much fun!
We are now in a bay called Controller Bay and just finished a game of
Monopoli. We moved here yesterday and since we didn't move again today due
to the bad weather I finally finished my group of tests that I have been
studying and taking for the past couple of weeks (YES!). Well, Daddy is
reading Star Wars to Cole and Mommy is reading a sailing magazine. Good
Saturday, March 28, 2009
1. The day before yesterday we moved to a bay called Anaho and planned to
stay there for a while. It was a beautiful bay that was really calm since it
was so protected. While Cole and I were doing school (still studying for a
bunch of tests) Daddy jumped in the water to clean the boat and check the
anchor. Soon he told us to forget about school and "come see all these cool
fish that are swimming around me". So since Cole and I will do anything to
avoid studying (and it was hot) we pulled on our suits and jumped in the
water. We ended up being anchored over and little bit of a reef and had lots
of fun snorkeling with all sorts of cool, Pacific fish that we had never
2. We had to move back to this bay since Don had to catch a plane back to
Denver. So yesterday we picked up the hook and came back here. Don left this
3. At the same time that Don went to the airport, Mommy and I went to a
local's house to get some fruits. The family we went with was really
friendly and the grandmother gave me hot chocolate and a baguette! It was so
delicious. After we had all had our snack, Mommy and I followed a woman
named Bernadette and her 5 year old daughter. When we arrived at their house
they gave us tons of fruit picked right out of their backyard. The family
was so friendly.
4. After we get a package we are waiting for we might go to another island
nearby called Ua Pua. It is one of the smaller islands, but is supposed to
be beautiful and have really good boulangeries (bakeries in French). \
5. Lately I have been playing my piano a lot and are now working on a song
called Prelude. I'm almost finished learning it and it's a really cool song.
Also, Cole has started learning how to play his guitar and once he learns
the notes I have a book of songs that we can play together!
Well that's about it on Zen. We are really taking a relaxing day today
(Daddy is snoring behind me, Mommy is lying out on the tramp and Cole is
probably playing something electronic). We are all going to church tomorrow
to hear the singing that will be performed by the locals for Palm Sunday. I
can't believe that it's almost Easter!! Well, I've gotta go, bye!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
that would be happening for the cruise ship that came in this morning. After
asking a few locals how to get there we started up the dirt trail that lead
to the old archeological area where they would be performing. As we were
walking up, a pick-up truck came up behind us filled with the performers.
They asked us if we were walking up to the show and when we said yes they
offered to give us a ride! We said yes and jumped in the truck. When we
arrived we walked around the site while waiting for the performance to
start. After walking across a short bridge made of logs and sticks we found
ourselves wandering around a big open courtyard with different layers of
rocks. The courtyard happened to be the home of an ancient tribe that died
off in the early 1800's. There was three different columns and on each
column there was two to four layers of rock. Depending on your importance,
you were told to live in a certain spot. In ancient times there were houses
on top of the rock layers where the people lived. There was a small statue
on the highest rock layer accompanied by smaller still carvings on two
pieces of wood. We assumed that this was where the priest or leader lived (I
learned about the houses and stuff when we followed a tour group after the
dances for a little while). After exploring a little bit more we walked back
across the bridge and back to the place where the dancers would be
performing. The backdrop by the way, was a huge tree that is over a 1
hundred years old. It has so many thick roots that it looks like multiple
trees put together! Anyways, when we got back to the 'stage' there were tons
of tourists. Much more than we expected to come on a boat. We never saw
their boat, but we are guessing that they came on a cruise ship and not a
little boat like in the Galapagos. Once everyone found a rock to sit on the
dancing began. There were three four men and one woman. They were all
dressed in grass skirts and headdresses and had lots of palm fronds. They
performed the traditional pig dance and war dance. The dancing was
accompanied by the men who were saying/singing chants in a low grunting
voice. It was really cool. When the dancing ended we followed an English
speaking tour for a little while before heading back to the boat. Since it
was about noon, we decided to stop at a little tent with people serving all
sorts of food on the side of the road for lunch. We ended up getting chow
mien and it was really good. Finally, we got back in the dinghy and headed
back to the boat. Since we hadn't seen any sharks in this bay, we all went
swimming before school started again. Once our swim was over we all took
turns showering off the back off the back of the boat. I ended up slipping
down the steps and cutting my back. It didn't hurt and I didn't know that it
was bleeding until Mommy looked at it and said "Okay! Your fine, just rinse
off, your fine, your fine". After having a slight panic attack because there
were a few wasps I managed to get inside. It was really pretty funny. Well,
we are just leaving the bay now and are going to a bay about 30 minutes away
called Anaho. It is known for being a beautiful bay so we are excited to get
there and check it out. Cole is negotiating to watch a movie...looks like
he's watching Nemo. Well I want to watch too, so I gotta go, bye!
After a really nice pizza dinner in the first bay we and went to (Taiohae
Bay) another bay called Hatiheu Bay. It was only a 3 hour motor and we soon
arrived. As soon as we put the anchor down though we were visited by wasps.
Since I just love bugs (not really) I ran inside and immediately locked
myself in by putting down all the screens and closing any windows that
didn't have screens. When I was done I realized that everyone else had
slowly moved inside to avoid the wasps too. Once anchored and settled in
Mommy sat down and said "everyone get your school books!". Before we knew
it, it was 5:00 and time to go over to Carl Linne for drinks and snacks.
After about an hour on Carl Linne we all went ashore to our already-reserved
traditional Marquisan dinner. When we got up to the dock we knew that it was
going to take some effort to get everyone ashore. The dock was cement and
very high and slippery. Also we had to deal with major surge and rocks.
Using the two dinghies we managed to get everyone except the two captains on
the dock. After some planning Daddy and Greg managed to get the dinghies
onto a mooring and then through a line to shore so that they could pull
themselves back ashore. Once everyone was ready we started our walk to the
restaurant. It was a short walk along some dirt roads lined with beautiful
flowers and palm trees overlooking the beach. At the restaurant we learned
that they were already cooking a pig (which they took us to see and it was a
full pig..like head, skin, eyes, everything) and that the dinner would be
ready soon. After a first course of all different kinds of delicious fried
fishes the pork arrived. It was served in handmade palm frond baskets and
really yummy sweet potato. There was so much amazing food! After arriving
back on the boat we fell right to sleep.
It was such an amazing experience and we had a great time. Bye!
Monday, March 23, 2009
One thing we discovered was that all of the girls wear white flowers in
their hair. The flowers are really beautiful and you can just walk up the
street and pick one off the tree! There are pink, red, white and yellow
flowers all over the place. If you put your flower on the right of your
head, that means you are married, and the left means that you aren't. This
morning Mommy and I picked our own flowers today.
Also, our friends on Carl Linne (who are also here) brought us to a really
nice hotel restaurant. There is even an infinity pool on the porch of the
restaurant overlooking the harbor. We went there last night and had some
really good deserts. We had chocolate lava cake with ice cream and lots of
whip cream! It was delicious!
Oh! I forgot! When we first arrived a nice Australian couple came by to
welcome us to the harbor. They are on their motor boat and have been here
four times already. They were very friendly and gave us some good
information, one of them was 'do not swim off the back of the boat'. They
told us that we couldn't swim here because of all the hammer head sharks
circling the harbor! Isn't that freaky?! Daddy even saw a shark swimming
around the boat this morning.
Well I just finished learning as much French as I can shove in my head and
studying for a grammar test (adjective and adverb fraises are really hard!).
We just restarted school after a two week vacation. Dinner is at the pizza
place tonight! Gotta go, bye!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
we could see Fatu Hiva and it is beautiful! It is extremely mountainous and
very green. The whole island is made of mountains and there isn't one low
spot. The coastal area right in front of the town is lined with palm trees
and a rocky beach. There are tall green trees mixed with the palm trees that
weave through the colorful shops and houses. The green mountains rise up
really fast right after the town and are sharp peaks at the top. Above the
island lots of fluffy clouds are hanging there dripping little showers of
rain. At the entrance to the bay there are towers of rock protecting the
bay. As you enter the turquoise/blue water becomes really flat and calm.
Right now we are pulling into the anchorage while experiencing a short sun
shower. It is not as populated as I thought it was going to be, but the
houses are all spread out on the hills and it's really cool. Since the
anchorage is surrounded by mountains the wind funnels in and there is a nice
breeze to keep us cool. This morning was spent cleaning the interior of the
boat and we now all smell like Pine Sol. Mommy is taking all sorts of
picture and video so you will probably see lots of pictures soon. Well we
are just about to put the anchor down so I gotta go, bye!
changed a bit we ended up changing our destination to make it a calmer ride.
We are now going to an island called Nuku Hiva (you say it like nookoo
heeva). It is a little farther away than where we were supposed to be going
to, but we will arrive in about 15 hours, 30 minutes and 17 seconds (we
would have already been there if we went to Fatu Hiva). We are glad that the
wind changed though because Nuku Hiva is the main island and is where you
check in. We are also waiting for a package to arrive there. The anchorage
that we are going to has the 3rd largest waterfall in the world! We can
anchor right next to it! I'm so excited. It is supposed to be really
beautiful. For a little bit of background, the Marquises Islands are owned
by the French and part of French Polynesia. They are supposed to be really
tall and mountainous and our populated on almost all the islands. We are so
excited to go ashore and buy fresh baguettes and croissants.
Cole, Daddy and I just finished a game of monkey in the middle with Cole's
hacky sack. It was really fun (other than the part when Daddy whacked me in
the eye with the ball and even that was funny).
We think that it is almost 11:30 at night in RI, but it is only 7:30 here
and we just finished dinner. Mommy made an attempt to make fish tacos with
chips instead of tacos, but it was nothing like what she had hoped to
make....it was so good!! I have been wanting tacos for a while and Mommy
said she'd try to make fish tacos with the tuna we caught this afternoon.
Like I said they didn't turn out to be anything like tacos..more like
marinated fish in a Mexican sauce with cheese and chips. Sounds good right?
For desert we had mini chocolate bars (mini Snickers, Twix, and Milky Way).
It was delicious.
Well, we've got 100.573 miles to go! Bye!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
destination in the Marquises called Fatu Hiva (you say it like fatoo heeva).
We did a contest today and everyone guessed how many miles we would cover in
24 hours. The winner would be able to pick the movie we all watch tonight. I
won! We were especially surprised though that I guessed the exact number of
miles we traveled, 200! I chose the movie Center Stage. Mommy will probably
watch with me and Don too since he's never seen it before. I know that Cole
doesn't want to watch but I have a feeling that he will. I don't know about
Daddy. We are playing the game again and I kept my same guess since the
weather should stay the same. Who knows what will happen though. Since
there's been lots of wind we have been averaging a speed of about 9 knots or
more (that's really fast for a monohull and a little bit over regular for a
catamaran). We even hit 24 knots when surfing on a wave! Oh, and I'm not
sure exactly, but in the past two weeks I have read 9 or 10 books. All hale
the ebook. I don't know what I would do without my ebook. We are taking a
little break from school, but are starting back up again when we get to
land. Mommy has been making bread the past 3 days and it is so good! We were
sitting at lunch today waiting for the bread to finish and it was torture
since you could smell it from the table. It was so yummy! Well, it's been
really hot here..it's currently 4:30 and 85 degrees. It doesn't really make
sense to take a shower because 10 minutes after you finish you're sweaty
again. I tried taking a shower today and with the boat moving around so much
I slipped and fell 3 times! It was really funny. It's my watch now so I
gotta go, bye!
PS. We are 4,563.656 miles away from Newport if you were to travel in a
straight line from us to there.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
them to the blog. Here is one of them...I'll put the rest of them up with
each blog I send. Pictures are too big to send over the sat. email and so I
can only send one at a time.
I tricked Cole into writing a blog! It's a miracle! Check out his blog, it's
Anyways, Cole and started shifts! Mine is from 3 to 6PM and Coles' is from 7
to 10AM. Daddy gave us a lesson on what to check when on watch. I started
two days ago and it's really fun. Cole and I are now official crew! During
our watch we need to log some information in the ships' log and then put our
position down on the chart on Daddy's computer. I also get to do the net
during my watch. We will be doing watches so that Mommy and Daddy will be
able to sleep more when Don is gone. The spinnaker is up now since the wind
came up a bit (we were excited to see 1.5 knots of wind). Well Cole, Mommy
and I just finished watching Spider Man 3. It was a cool movie even though
I've seen it multiple times before. It's almost 5:30 here (there's a 3 hour
difference from the middle of nowhere, aka us, and Newport , aka you) and so
Mommy is making dinner. Rice, lentils and curry...mmmmm. Smells good. Gotta
PS. We went swimming 1500 miles away from anything!!
Monday, March 9, 2009
10 to 14 days (hopefully 10). There isn't much going on, but here are some
interesting things that have happened so far:
1.My new job is to do the nets. When you do the nets you give your report on
where you are and stuff on the Single Sideband Radio (SSB). Every morning
and night a bunch of cruisers get together over the radio for safety and
communication. One person controls the net and calls to the other cruisers
saying "any vessels underway, come now." and other things that he or she may
want. Then, if I am underway, I would say "Zen" into the radio and wait for
net control to tell me to give my check-in. Once the given the okay to give
my report I say our lat and long, wind speed and direction, course and
speed. We give reports on the net so that other people know what the weather
is where we are and if we are in trouble they can take an educated guess on
where we might be. Also on the net I can write down the positions and
weather of our friends to know how they are doing.
2.A new thing that we have been using is life tags. Life tags are little
orange things that you strap onto your arm or wrist and will set an alarm
off on the boat if you fall overboard. Cole and I are wearing them all the
time except when we sleep and everybody else wears them when they are on
watch. They're pretty cool.
3.I have been studying French a lot lately. I have a game that teaches me on
my DS and a program on my computer called Rosetta Stone that teaches me too.
It's really fun and I enjoy learning the language. We are going to have to
speak French for the rest of our trip until New Zealand so I figured that I
should start now.
4.Something funny that has been happening lately is watching the flying fish
fly over the boat. Yes, flying fish have been landing in the cockpit and all
over the deck! I feel bad for the little fishies so we always try to through
them back into the water before they die. Another thing landing on the deck
are little, tiny squids. When they land they make little black ink spots on
the boat and they seem to like the tramps. They're really gross looking
5.My sleeping pattern has changed. I tend to wake up at about 7:30 in the
morning and stay awake until about 3 in the afternoon. At 3 I fall back
asleep until around 5 PM. After dinner Cole and I normally stay up during
Mommy's watch, which goes from 7-11. Cole normally falls asleep around 10,
but I can't fall asleep until 10:30, 10:45. It's really strange, but the
motion of the boat makes me tired.
Okay, that's about it. I can't wait to get there!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
the longest passage of any of our lives, 15-20 days long. So far the seas
are down and there is exactly 2.4 knots of wind at the highest. We are just
burning fuel now until we get farther south and find the trade winds
Anyways, before we left the Galapagos we did some cool tours. One of them
was a day tour to the island Isabela. It was pretty cool. We woke up at
around 5 AM and then took a two hour boat ride with some friends on the boat
Carl Linne to Isabela. While there we did a nature walk, snorkeling, and
some sightseeing. There was a cute little town with dirt roads and few
people. Finally, after lunch, we got back on our boat and headed back to
Santa Cruz. While on the ride back Cole and I took naps and the folks on
Carl Linne invited us to come over to their boat for drinks. We all wanted
to see the boat and so we agreed. After an nice evening on Carl Linne we
finally got back to Zen and fell immediately asleep. It had been a great but
The other trip that I did was a diving excursion. Only Daddy and I went
diving. For multiple different reasons the others didn't want to go and so
they planned a snorkel trip. Anyways, at about 6 AM Daddy and I woke up and
got ready for our dive. About an hour later the boat came by Zen to pick us
up. After quickly shoving some pancakes in our mouths we jumped on the boat
and were off. On the boat we met the people we would be diving with. A girl
from New Hampshire who was on vacation to see her friend was coming to get
certified and another guy from somewhere in Europe who had done 150 dives
around the world already and hadn't yet been to the Galapagos. We would also
be diving with a guide and another girl from the dive place who was also
from New Hampshire and was taking a year off of college to live and work in
the Galapagos. After a 45 minute ride to an island off of Santa Cruz we
suited up and dove in. Since we had already been fitted for our gear it was
just a matter of pulling on wet suits (which if they happen to be two piece,
long suits, that is not very easy). Once we jumped in the water the first
thing I thought was "is it possible to get hypothermia in the Galapagos?".
The water was the coldest water I have been in since last spring. I was
freezing. Although we were all really cold, the first dive was pretty cool.
I saw three different sharks and a few rays. There wasn't any coral but
there were some colorful, little fish. Once our hour was up we all got back
in the boat and motored into another little cove where we would wait another
hour before diving again. After having a little sandwich one of the guys
jumped back in the water and swam around for a bit taking pictures of some
animals. When I noticed that he found a couple baby sea lions I jumped in
the water and swam over. The water on the surface was really warm and since
I still had my wet suit on I barely knew I was in the water. Once I got to
the seals I noticed that there were three babies and their mother was on the
rocks a little while away. They were so cute! They posed for a while and let
us take pictures while their mom played with us underwater. It was so cool!
Soon we had to go back and go to our next dive. On this dive I put on a wet
suit hat and gloves to be warmer. This was much better and I enjoyed the
second dive much more. On this dive we saw sea turtles, rays and tons of
little fish and starfish. I had a great time. Back on the boat again we had
lunch and then headed back to Santa Cruz. It was so much fun!
Well, we are still cruising a long, waiting for the wind. We are now trying
to figure out how to charge Cole's Ipod. Gotta go, bye!
Friday, February 27, 2009
starting to plan some tours. We didn't plan tours earlier because we thought
that our agent would help us get an autographo, something that would allow
us to sail around to islands legally. Even though it would cost some money,
we decided that it would be the best choice. Now there are some rules on
getting an autographo and we did everything they needed.
Anyways, our agent lied to us telling us that we could get an autographo and
then came back with nothing done. One thing led to another and we got a
Now that we are checked in we have signed up for a day trip to Isabella and
to go diving. We are all going to the island Isabella this Sunday on a
little tour boat to do some cool stuff there. On that tour we will be with
another motor yacht we met called, Carl Lind. They are really cool people
even though we only met the crew and there boat is really cool too.
In Isabella we are supposed to have breakfast and then go do some snorkeling
and shark spotting. After lunch we will take a walk to see some penguins and
flamingos. Then at six PM we get back on the boat to come back to Santa Cruz
for dinner. We are really excited and are told that Isabella is one of the
most visited islands in the Galapagos because of its penguins and volcanoes.
Next we planned a diving tour for Daddy and I. We decided to go next
Wednesday to a spot known for its sharks, manta rays and other big sea life.
I'm really freaked out to see a shark but also so excited.
We just turned on the engines and Mommy and Cole are both trying to tune
Cole's new guitar. Dinner is coming out soon and a movie is planned for
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009
been here 3 days, but Daddy informed me that now we are fully checked in.
First of all our trip was basically 4 days and 5 nights long. If you wanted
to be exact you could argue less but that's the basic idea.
Anyways, when we saw the first island in the Galapagos we were amazed at how
big and green the mountains were. From miles away we could see the island
clearly. As we got closer we started to see other islands and some cool sea
life like puffer fish. Soon we had breakfast and had the anchor out and
ready. Mommy pulled out the video camera and started talking to herself
about the Galapagos. As we were about to round the point and head into the
anchorage we started to see what looked like tires floating in the water.
When one of the tires stuck his head out of the water we realized that they
were really sea turtles! All of a sudden we were surrounded by huge sea
turtles poking their heads out of the water to check us out. Seeing the big
white hull scared them away but some didn't care and we got to see them up
close. Next seals joined the sea turtles and started to jump all around the
boat. Seeing some fins out in front of us and wanting to see a seal, Cole
and I went and sat on the bow with our feet over the edge. As they got
closer we realized that they weren't really seals. At first they looked like
a bunch of little fish. We wanted to see the fish closer up so we leaned
over a bit. As they got closer though we realized that they weren't fish at
all. They were huge manta rays. There was three of them and they must have
been at least 10 feet across. Screaming in surprise, Cole and I pulled our
feet up and started to do our panic dance on the tramp. Soon we calmed down
a bit and pulled ourselves together enough to look over the side and watch
the rays fly through the water. Oh, by the way, the whole time Cole and I
were freaking out Mommy, Daddy and Don were asking us 'what's going on?! Are
you okay?!' and also freaking out. Once we told them everyone frantically
dashed around the boat looking for them. It was quite the sight but it was
so cool to see them.
Anyways, we are now anchored, with two anchors so that we don't hit other
boats in the anchorage. The town is much bigger than we thought with
internet, supermarkets, restaurants, resorts, and ice cream places. We have
already downloaded our Rosetta Stone French lessons onto my computer and
have started French in preparation for French Polynesia.
Yesterday we went to a beach that had really fine sand and huge waves. We
were so happy to find the waves since we haven't seen waves like that for
months. To get there we had to walk about 2 miles from the dock. There was a
really nice little path that lead to the beach. There was basically nobody
there except for a few surfers. It was really nice. Before the beach we had
taken a cab to something called 'the lava tubes'. The lava tubes were made
when lava rolled down the mountains and froze on the outside sooner than the
inside. When walking through the tubes you look up to a really high ceiling,
and walking over big rocks. The tunnel must have been at least a 15 minute
walk through and needed a flashlight. It was so much fun! For lunch we went
to a little place on the street where all the locals go. It was really small
but the food was amazing and cheap. I had rice, chicken and beans. From
lunch we went to a soft ice cream place and then to the beach. For dinner we
decided to go to a place on the water that everyone said was really good.
After waiting a really long time for the water taxi to come we arrived at
the restaurant. Soon we ordered and were just waiting for our food to come.
All of a sudden the head chef came out to tell me that he wouldn't be able
to cook my curry for me but he could do some type of curry instead.
Surprisingly he spoke English and was from Canada. He was really nice and
explained that he was sorry but didn't have the supplies to make Indian
curry that night. Of course, I had only gotten the curry because it sounded
good with the rice, so anything else sounded fine to me. Anyways, a few
minutes later I decided to go to the bathroom to wash the bug spray off my
hands and found a place where I could sit and watch everyone in the kitchen.
After quickly washing my hands I went back to the table to tell everyone
what I had found. Mommy, Cole and I then went to sit and watch them cook.
David, the head cook, didn't mind us watching and even gave us a taste of
the tuna tartar. It was so good! I was so excited for my food to come. Soon
we watched our food be made and then followed our waiter back to the table.
The food was amazing. The curry was really spicy but it was so good! For
desert I had a little piece of all the cakes and a scoop of maracuya
(passion fruit) ice cream. At around 11 at night we were finished and very
content that we had had a wonderful meal. Before we left David came by to
ask us if we like it. Of course we all said yes. Next he asked us if we
wanted to do a special package thing for tomorrow. He told us that the meal
would last 3 hours and we would have 6 courses. We wouldn't have to order,
he would chose what we ate making sure that we got to taste a bunch of
different flavors. Of course, we all said yes.
Tonight we are going back to the restaurant to enjoy a dinner decided by the
cook. I am so excited! We are also going to the Darwin museum to see all
sorts of animals that are only in the Galapagos. We've got to reset the
anchor, bye! Oh wait, I have just been informed that in the past 2 hours we
have picked up the bow anchor, set the bow anchor, set the stern anchor,
picked up the stern anchor, and set the stern anchor. Now we are going to
pick up both anchors and set the bow. Oh yeah, and it's 10:00 in the
morning! Oh wait it gets better....Mommy is going to wash clothes while we
set the anchor! Okay, Bye!