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Friday, February 24, 2012

Boat Work

I forgot how much of a drag boat work is. I mean it SUCKS. And this boat has been almost entirely neglected and rotting away in the tropics since the last time we were on it...five and a half years ago. In fact, I found a pair of Emerson's mini boxers in one of the berths; size 2-4. He's eleven. Almost twelve. Honestly. And the septic tanks were full. Probably with our own poop. Too bad we didn't dump those when we had the chance, 'cuase now the pumps are shot. And so are most of the bilges, the radar, the air conditioning, the inverter, fathometer, tachometer, animomiter, and just about every other 'ometer on the boat, including one of the engine-ometers. The props look like they've been snacked on by a school of hungry zinc eating piranhas, the jib (head sail) is black (used to be white), and a colony of fiercely territorial wasps has made their home in the main sail. Just about every hatch has been leaking for five years which means every cushion under every hatch is totally moldy and disintegrating. And since the bilge pumps were broken and the hatches were leaking, the used-to-be-beautiful-hardwood-floors were submerged in water for who knows how long and promptly became fungus food. They will have to be replaced with not-so-beautiful-plywood-floors. There was a gecko nest in the port V-berth. You know how I feel about geckos. Remember THIS story? We caught him and let him go in the furled main in hopes that he can get a handle on the wasp situation. May the sea gods be with him.

There is good news: the stereo is working. And after some coaxing Dave got one engine running (they're like kidneys - we have two). After some more coaxing, he convinced the alternator to charge the house batteries. So we have 12 volt electricity. Yeah. The fridge and freezer are working and two out of three burners on the stove are working. The water maker is working. And although the jib is black, it seems to be in pretty good condition. We'll see how it holds up to a big blow. And, eenyways, I think it's cool to fly a black sail. Who does that? Besides Johnny Depp.

The kids are somtimes helpful with the projects on the boat and sometimes not so much. You can imagine. They are holding up relatively well expect for some itchy bug bites and the fact that Evie just told me she hasn't pooped in four days. Wonderful.

And, of course, Dave is totally in his element working on the boat. With the stereo thumping and a little help from Buffet, he is happily check marking his way down a seriously long list of to-do's. I was happily check marking along side him until today (our fourth straight day up to our elbows in mold and poop) when suddenly I wasn't that happy about being up to my elbows in mold and poop and stuck on a 38' boat with four kids (who, btw, have absolutely NO WHERE TO GO being that we are moored off of a mangrove jungle in the middle of Nowheresville, PANAMA!! What the BEEP was I thinking?!) P.S. Did you know that Panama is 9 degrees north of the equator? This is important for two reasons. One: it's stinkin' hot. Two: if you're fair skinned, like most of us, you can be in the sun at this latitude for about...say...two minutes before you're totally scorched. So the kids, having been totally scorched yesterday, were sequestered inside the boat for the better part of today where I was up to my elbows in mold and poop. And totally out of patience for the whole thing. So I told Dave that come hell or high water (or, in this case, both) tomorrow, if I have to row there myself, I am heading for the nearest dock where I will promptly be getting off the boat and renting a bungalow with electricity, hot water, wi-fi, and mojitos. Mama's batteries need charging, too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Windward Bound

Oh my, oh my. We've been in Miami for the last five days visiting the Miami Grandparents and prepping (read: shopping) for our trip. And I'm pretty sure we've bought everything there is to buy for coastal cruising in the greater Miami area including but not limited to an Automated External Defibrillator (you just never know when you'll need one), a shiny new EPIRB (for if we're lost at sea - Don't worry, Mom. We won't need it.), goggles, snorkels, fins, flip-flops, sun shirts, sun hats, sun tea, sunscreen, & sundries. West Marine loves us. And I may need to use the AED on my husband as his heart is threatening afib with all the spending.

We leave tonight for Panama City. We'll visit the Panama Canal tomorrow (homeschool lesson number one), and then we take a puddle jumper tomorrow afternoon to Bocas del Toro, Panama. The boat is an hour and a half skiff ride from Bocas. Phew! Let the adventure begin!!

I also want to give a ginormous shout out to our dear friend Mark who is loaning his beautiful catamaran to house us during this adventure. There's a whole story that goes with that, but for now, Mark, you are the awesomest! We can never thank you enough for your eternal generosity and for encouraging us to get our salty crew sailing. We love you!!

Next stop...Panama!
We'll meet you there...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Hair Brained...And Five Years Ago Today

Three days 'til we embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

And am I ever hair brained!

Let me explain.

Being that my list is about 7 iPads long, time is currently one commodity that cannot be wasted. Gas, on the either hand, is not nearly in such short supply. So this morning I needed to run to school to snap a quick picture for yearbook (remember when I had all that "free time" for things like yearbook?). Anyway, I decided that I was far too busy to walk the two and a half blocks to school. Better to waste gas over time, I reasoned. So I drove. And parked right in front of the school. Before long "snapping a quick pic for yearbook" turned into "snapping a quick pic for yearbook, then sorting through a monster pile of lost and found (yes, found it), and then discussing the ins and outs of my homeschooling plan with the principal". By the time I left the school I was so short on time that I nearly ran all the way home. Only to find that my car had been stolen!

Honestly, if my brain weren't attached I may forget to pack it. But, at least the yearbook will be done.

On another note entirely, five years ago today we landed in soggy San Francisco.  After living in Guatemala for two months, we were finally bringing home our brand new baby girl. It was such a happy day. We love you, Sunshine. Check out that story here.