May 31, 2008

Alex and Amelia's Second Video Blog

and so there was a robbery!! (ps...sorry the kids are getting a little werid with the video :-))

May 30, 2008

The Journey is not always SUNNY!

Ok, so I really envisioned our blog to be all sunny skies and clear sailing....I had actually debated how much to share of our adventure so far that was anywhere near negative....I decided after reading Chris's comment that if you want to come along for the journey I better share the lows as well as the highs. So here it goes.

Yesterday was a day of disappointments. We had a fellow we know come over and we asked him to do the 1-2-3 on how to repair leaks on deck. Well as we started down the deck, Ian noticed a few problems. We found that the caulking on board in between each strip of teak, needed to be redone. We also found that the deck has been plained or sanded so much that there isn't a lot of wood left so the staples are starting to show that were used to nail the teak down. As we headed for the back of the boat things got a bit worse. We found some dry rot and then as Graham was taping at the wall of the raise back cabin, his finger went through.

Now finding these problems, couple with the fact that we had finally just finished fixing the starter problem on the engine (bad wiring to the start button) and we were troubleshooting the fact that the alternator was running beyond the 12 volts that it should and we were having dinghy engine troubles, suffice to say we had a hard time not being a little discouraged.

So, aside from all of this, we did manage to move on board and everything is unpack and we had loads of room, even empty cabinets! Our first night on board went well. Amelia woke up and said that was the best sleep I have ever had and then decided to go back to sleep. Graham is just making coffee, eggs and bacon. We are going to sit down and talk about options. We are making a list of the things that need doing and what could wait til we get to Grenada and what can't wait. We are also going to email Dad in Grenada and find out about the skilled labour in those parts. We have so many connections here that it seems to be easy to find help and resources and people that friends vouch for. So we have lots to think about.

I will keep you posted. Don't worry about us. Everything always happens for a reason. Graham actually has already started with his...."All we need to do is...."! He uses this intro for almost anything that I find way overwhelming and he basically breaks it down into the steps for completion. Everything is just doing one thing and then the next thing.

Oh and we did manage to get to our friends (Tanner and Sherry) last night for a big b-bque and we all had a great time. We are so happy to have Tanner and Sherry here, to bounce things off of. Big help. And we have already made some new friends here on other boats. So lots of positives. Gotta run, time to talk business. Take care everyone. WE miss you tons.

May 26, 2008

Boat Cleaning Continues - Amelia (Monday, May 26th)

Today is Monday, May 26th, errrrrrrr. Dad woke us up at 5:30 am, not PM, AM!! At least I should get to nap in today. First we came down to our boat. We worked our butts off til my mom said sure I will go to the pool. It was so refreshing. When we got back.....I basically worked, stopped, worked, and then took a nap. After the nap I got to take a dead dried up gecko and feed it to the fish. After that my Dads friend Tanner (that was here before) dropped off his golf cart, so we saved allot of money. Then we went swimming.

ps. the bathroom stinks!

I wonder what my friends are doing today. I bet at least one of them cried.  It must have been weird not to have me there. I remember when someone in my class left. It was weird the next day.

A little overwhelming - Julie (Sunday, May 25th)

Well, I would be lying if I said it didn't cause me a bit of panic to see our new home in such disarray. I guess a little part of me, was expecting a glorious moment, of stepping onto our boat "Artemo" and dancing around in celebration. Ok, it was a big part of me that was expecting this. Pretty much the opposite happened. We finally got to it and as to be expected, after sitting for a year, it needed to be aired out and put together. We all pretty much looked around in silence. We were also hot and tired.

The Perry family doesn't give up easily though. We all arrived bright and early on Sunday morning, prepared with loads of "Elbow Grease". We worked away. The kids and I emptied cupboard after cupboard, of man stuff. I am sure Grampa Earl would have thought each item I pulled out was a treasure, but to me, it seemed like a whole lot of dirty junk! Regardless, we cleaned and organized and Graham worked on getting new batteries, checking the engine, checking the fuel tank, installing the wind display, list goes on and on. We hope to get the new batteries installed tomorrow and hopefully fire up the engine. Fingers crossed. We want to move it over to the dock at the Villa we are staying, so we can easily transfer our stuff on board.

We ended the day by driving to a secluded beach and the four of us swam in the ocean. It seemed so perfect. In fact, Alex, being Alex, says..."We are living the dream"!!! I killed myself laughing, we all laughed. He had his arms crossed over his chest as he said it. You can picture him I am sure. Dream is a little bit different than I imagined but it sure is cool.

Seeing our boat - Alex (Saturday, May 24th)

I am writing to tell you about the first time we saw our boat, our emotions and what we did. So I am starting off by telling you about the long line of immigration to a new country. It was heck. A long line with over a hundred people! We had to get our registration filled out, so while Dad was doing that we got our bags. Finally, we got out of the airport and onto a taxi van. We took up all of it with our 8 bags. A 20 minute drive felt like an hour with the mountains and humidity. We finally made our way to Jolly Harbour. It was an amazing feeling knowing that our boat was so close. We were surprised by the VILLA, it was HUGE. Two stories and guess what...cable TV. We relaxed for a bit. From there we went to our boat. There was a bit of confusion, so I will do my best to explain it. Here we go. We thought we saw our boat on the hard, so we drove over to, to find out that our boat was IN the water. Finally we got to our boat. It was a bit of a shock, cause it was really disorganized and dirty but we knew we could handle it. We worked a bit on the boat and then went for dinner and then back to the villa to bed. So there is my story for today and hope you are wanting more. Miss you guys.  Sincerely Alex Perry

May 24, 2008

Going Home - Alex (Saturday, May 24, 2008)

Hi everyone it's me Alex. It's been a long trip like 6 hours or something. If you noticed the title says going home. It means that our new home isn't in some large city it is a boat. When we flew too Antigua I knew that we were going to have to go through customs. BORING!

I can't say a ton because I am writing to you from the plane but here is our basic summary.

We woke too sound of an alarm clock... highly annoying by the way. I eventually got out of bed and from there got dressed and left Uncle Robs apartment. I drove in Jennifer's car that smelled of sour milk. I think we had a bit of confusion at the terminals... we could not find delta airlines. So mom went out and searched and came back with my dad and uncle who were driving in his BMW.  It was hard to say good bye to them, but we did. From there we did the usually air port routine luggage, security and find the door to leave on your plane. We were off. We had too make a short pit stop in Atlanta. Which we had breakfast in. so we took flight and here I am now writing to you.

Sincerely Alex Perry

Time to Cry - Amelia (Friday, May 23, 2008)

Wow yesterday was hard. First my cheersquad didn't get to go to their game .then...(this part was good), I GOT TO BE A GRADE 5er!!!!! but the best part is they were having gym !!! Then recess passed and it was time for our class gym. Not everyone played. People were sitting out crying. It broke my heart to leave these people. Ally and Cara made a beautiful booklet for me with their pictures. For the rest of the night we had people calling and everyone was sad.  I felt everything at the same time. Well that was my day.

Warm Fuzzies - Julie (Thursday, May 22, 2008)

The universe is taking good care of us. We just had one of the best days ever. When Graham and I began our stay here in Toronto and we began purchasing the furnishings for our apartment, we always kept in mind the fact that we would be leaving in 3 years and at that time connecting with a family that was in need of some furniture. It is so gratifying to plan for something, imagine something, speak to something and then to experience it. Tanya and Heather arrived at 5:30 as planned! Two amazing ladies from the YWCA womens shelter, who have huge hearts and together we all got to work loading the uhaul truck. Given that our move out schedule had been bumped up by a month and a half, I still had a fair bit of packing left to do but again, ask and you shall receive, in pops Sam and Rebecca and they offer their help, so together the six of us pack and load in a record hour and a half!!! Then we were off. We delivered the furniture to 5 different families and we had the opportunity to meet some great people and contribute to their lives. It felt SOOOOOOO good. Making people happy, tops all other experiences in life.

The day was long and we were physically exhausted and we were feeling so many different things. It is hard to deny it is happening when you are standing in the middle of your empty apartment. Even though I was sad about ending this chapter of my life, and scared about starting the next, I have to say that the overriding emotion at that moment was happiness.

May 14, 2008

We are Casting Off!!!

So it is official!! We are leaving Toronto on May 24th and flying to Antigua!! Ok, so I know this plan is totally confusing. So I broke it down below for you:
  • May 24th - arrive in Antigua
  • Sail to Grenada - "OMG"
  • June 19th - Return to Toronto
  • June 20th - Head to the cottage
  • June 24th - Alex and Julie come back for the day from Cottage for Alex's grad
  • June 30th - Leave Toronto for good bye trip across Canada
  • August 1st - Back in Toronto for one more month of work
  • August 30th - Fly to Grenada to begin our 3 year adventure!

It seems crazy that we decided on Monday, May 12th to do this and that we fly out on Saturday, May 24th!!!! There is so much to do, but strangely enough everything is falling into place. We were having some trouble finding a family in need that we could give all of our furniture to but today we were contacted by a terrific lady at the YWCA Women's shelter and she knew the perfect families for us. She took the bull by horns and helped organize the move and everything is a done deal for next Thursday! Thank you Tanya!!!!

Our wonderful landlords/friends/neighbors, Sam and Rebecca have organized a block party going away bbque for us! It will be nice to have a chance to say thank you to all the neighbors for being so terrific. They all made living on this street really great. if this wasn't enough the parents from Amelia's school have organized a drop in at the local pub, to have a chance to say good bye to a few of the parents and kids we have connected with during the last couple of years. Thank you Dawn!!!!

Soooo, we have a fun filled 9 days remaining. Man, we realized we have been here 3 years on June 1st. This city has been so good to us. We have been blessed with a great neighborhood and neighbors, a wonderful home, a great school, unbelievably committed teachers, interesting work, wonderful colleagues, great clients, good friends, good times, new experiences, the list goes on and on! I am grateful and we have enjoyed and savoured every minute.

Stay tuned.....

May 10, 2008

Need Opinions on New Idea

First of all, as you may know, the arrangement we had with a fellow in Antigua to move our boat fell through. So Graham and I decided to leave the boat in Antigua and when we go down in August to leave the boat out of the water (since it will be hurricane season in Antigua) and we would rent a Villa for three months at the marina. As we started thinking about this plan we realize there were many cons and some pros. So Graham came home last night with a new idea.

Can you guys give us you non bias opinions on this plan? We aren't sold on it but want to play it out and see what you think. Let say we leave Toronto in two weeks and fly to Antigua and ready the boat for passage and sail to Grenada and then store the boat, at the same marina as Dad and Cheryls, and return back to Toronto (hopefully around June 20th). Still make the cottage and Alex's grad. We still drive across Canada in July and do our visits but when we return to Toronto on August 1st we work for one more month and finish the time on our contracts? We then return to Grenada in early September.

What do you think? We are struggling with this one.

  • We would see Dad and Cheryl in June for a few days
  • We could begin our trip in the water, instead of on the hard
  • We would have an opportunity to start, come home and get things we need to continue the trip
  • Save $4800 in Rent in Antigua
  • Get the boat out of hurricane belt or at least on the edge
  • We would of already sailed the caribbean islands and will be more willing to just begin sailing towards our destination of the Panama Canal.
  • The kids miss a month of school, fall behind possibly
  • Less time to organize our pack and move and sale of the car
  • It isn't a slow and easy start, we need to jump right in, since we have a deadline.
  • Costs $4000 return airfare
  • Changes the plan from original

May 03, 2008

Welcome to the NEW Blog

Welcome to the "New" blog! We thought it would be a good idea to hook up blogger, since we can easily send updates from our SSB (from the middle of the ocean) and we can post pics and videos (not from the middle of the ocean)!

We have been busy since our last update. Hard to believe that was 43 days ago. As much as that seems like yesterday, time seems to be passing slowly. Alex and I are now certified First aiders, Standard Level A. We took our two day course and did great. We learned a ton and Alex really impressed me with his ability to keep up with all the adults. We receive our certificates and cards in the mail last week, very exciting.

We received our dinghy in the mail too and of course the first thing we had to do was set it our LIVINGROOM! To funny. It is realy cool.

Graham has been working like crazy to set up our SSB. He wanted to put it all together and get it working here, so we would have one less thing to learn when we get to Trinidad. It was tricky. Graham rigged up an antenna in the tree out back and hooked up all the bits and pieces and after many hours and trials and tribulations, SUCCESS! He was not only able to speak to someone in North Carolina, he was also able to send and receive text email and upload weather faxes! It couldn't be any better.

To put it in plain language, as to why this is so great....we will be in the middle of the ocean with no internet..and we will want to receive news from home and also send email to let you all know how things are.....we will be able to use the SSB radio to do this! Very cool.

Our first aid kit is coming together. Our friend/offshore sailing instructor "Wanita" has helped us pull together some items, that would not have been accessible to us. We have inventoried all the pieces and we have also given a list of common aliments to our travel doctor and he is writing prescriptions for us. Once we have our whole list we will post it on the site. We will also try over the course of our trip, to note the items we actually use. This might be helpful for all of you, who are in the planning stages of a trip like this.

We are in discussion with our contact in Antigua "Iain", to get our boat moved to Trinidad. The planned departure date is currently May 12th. We are still working out the details/costs. If worst comes to worst, we will leave the boat in Antigua and start there. The only downside is that we would be chancing hurricane season again and hoping a big one doesn't hit. The other downside would be that things seem to cost more in Antigua. There are loads of pluses though for starting there, so how ever this plays out we will be happy.

These next 57 days, I am sure will seem to take forever but on the other hand, as I look at our list...I am already exhausted. On a side note, some of the things I have been worrying about lately:

  • getting along on the boat
  • keeping everyone busy and happy
  • kids doing things beyond my comfort level (ex. scuba diving, driving dinghy on their own)
  • sea sickness...what if we do get sick? so far so good but who knows what is going happen
  • how are we going to handle the HOT!!! I hate being sticky hot
  • what if it isn't what I am expecting
  • what if I miss home so bad it hurts

There ya have have all been asking..."aren't you worried" .....SURPRISE....I am.....but ....and here is the big BUT that I live my life by....."Life is for Living".....

and the other fail safe behind that motto......"If it doesn't feel good, don't do it!!!!"