June 29, 2008

Another decision point

Graham arrived on Friday night. He brought with him some bad news. Unfortunately, the extent of the dry rot inside the boat was worse than we thought. The wood beam directly below the mast, inside the cabin has quite a large crack. From an initial inspection it seems that the dry rot on the coach roof around the mast continues on down below. The wood worker at St. Davids had a look but wanted the tanks taken out and the bathroom disassembled so that he could get a good look at the mast step before he gave us an estimate.

While we were in Grenada it rained and rained, we found all of the leaks and they were extensive. We ended up having to lay a tarp across the coach roof at night, to avoid running about with bowls and towels. We realized that we had to have the entire roof redone and of course we knew early on that the cockpit had to be completely redone (remember Graham put his finger through part of the cockpit on day 2).

So Graham asked for estimates on these things:
  • Coach roof: Strip, replace rotted plywood, replace hatches, fiberglass and trim in teak to tie into the decks, move main traveller forward on coach roof, out of the way of the companionway and also to allow for a Bimini to be made to keep us shaded during sailing
  • Mast partner components and mast step if necessary: Reinforce and replace rotted or worn wood
  • Cockpit: Replace all sides
  • Bimini: Graham and the sail maker designed a shade cover that we could have up while we are sailing to keep us all shaded. Absolute necessity
  • Missen Sail: Our missen sail won't unfurl since it is to old and misshaped

The yard manager threw out end of December as a estimated completion time!!! Yup, here sets in the major disappointment. Graham came home totally defeated. He felt terrible. You can imagine that if the time for completion estimate is December, the money for the reno's is BIG. So now we are left with another decision point. The good news is we always have options. We are never stuck. It is just time to revise the plan and maybe we will come up with an even better plan than original. Love to hear you thoughts on the options....or maybe there is even an option that we hadn't thought of.....let us know.....if anyone is still reading.

  • OPTION ONE: Fly to Grenada in September and visit boat yard regularly and supervise work. Pros: we are close by Cons: It will be brutally hot, yard is way out of the way, with no beaches, grocery stores, etc, we would need to rent apartment, costs go up, taxis back and forth
  • OPTION TWO: Buy a new boat and continue the work on the old boat and sell once complete: Pros: we might have a new good boat Cons: seems everyone we talk to says that they had renos when they bought their boats, to make their boat passage ready, we would also need to carry the costs of two boats, until the old boat sold, we like our boat (aside from the rot)
  • OPTION THREE: Stay in Canada til the end of January, put the kids back in school and find work: Pros: we could make some more money to pay for reno's Cons: we don't have a place to live or any furniture, we would need to find short term work, we would be disrupting the school year again, I am ready for life changing ADVENTURE not 9-5, I want to be back for Alex to start grade 10, so three years starts now, regardless what is thrown at us.
  • OPTION FOUR: Sail on Dad and Cheryl's boat while ours is being fixed: Pros: we still gain the sailing experience to allow for our March departure across the Pacific, we get to see some amazing places and spend time with Grampa Griff and Nana Cheryl Cons: we won't be making any money to pay for the boat reno's so we will need to carry those costs for the duration of the trip, it may be difficult to sail together(?), the boat might we a little tight
  • OPTION FIVE: Move to the family farm in Tantallion and homeschool the kids: Pros: Graham has always wanted to live on the farm and no one is living there right now, it would be life changing, it wouldn't cost much to live Cons: still no income, unless Graham or I get a job at the nearby mine(?), a bit isolate (ain't no Toronto)

Ok, folks.....what do you think....lets here it.

June 19, 2008

and here we sit in Trinidad

The kids and I are sitting in an airport in Trinidad, waiting for our flight home to Canada. We are all over the top excited. Amelia asked if we were going to blog over the summer on our trip across Canada. I think we might just take a hiatus and pick up again when we get back to our around the world sailing trip. We will be back to Grenada in September and sailing again by October.

I think it was a really good thing to be able to come down and get a taste of the sailing life before leaving for three years. It is definitely nothing like any of us imagined. It is strange to have a dream, a goal, a plan and then to move into the execution part and have it be different than you had visualized. Graham and I finally had a few minutes early yesterday morning to have a really good talk about the boat, the journey, the next three years. I will be honest the talk had highs and lows. Graham brought me back to the dream though. The dream was to spend time with our kids while they are still young and to experience new things. Doesn't matter if the boat leaks when it rains or our flooring isn't the prettiest, or if mizzen mast won't unfurl, we are and have achieved this dream.

We are going to have our challenges. We realize, very clearly now, that this life is definitely a working holiday. It seems you are constantly moving and doing. To go from sitting in a cubicle all day in front of a computer, to grabbing lines, scrubbing decks, navigating, sailing, it was just so totally strange. We also all realized that the missing of friends and family was more intense than we had imagined it would be. We have tried to overcome this by making fast friends along the way. Good people everywhere. On day 1, we met the nicest sailing people, Kerry and Hillary. They are from Calgary and their daughter is on the Canadian bobsled team. We all took to them right away (especially Amelia) and we enjoyed seeing them. We also met a fellow named Chris from Whistler, sailing solo. Super nice fellow, that we all had a good time getting to know. It was so nice to see him pull into a port and we felt like a long time friend had just arrived. The blog also helped us feel like you guys were all along with us. It felt good to log on and see your comments and emails. We all enjoyed reading them as a family.

I guess the long and short of it is....we are excited about coming home to Canada but we are also excited about picking up where we left off in September and having many more sailing adventures together as a family...and of course sharing them with you.

See you all soon


June 18, 2008

Leather Back Turtles - Amelia and Alex

Yesterday night was so fun! We took a two hour taxi drive with six people, not including Grampa Griff and Nana Cheryl, to go and see the leather back turtles, the largest reptile on earth lay their eggs.

When we got there we stood right next to this huge turtle and watched it smooth out the sand to get to the moist sand and dig its hole. As soon as it was about to lay its eggs, it left since there were to many people around and it didn't feel comfortable.

We moved along the beach and we found some baby turtle hatchlings making the long trek to the ocean and we thought they were the only three but we followed their trail and we watched 16 more crawl out of the sand. We helped the ones that actually survived to the sea by making a smooth path in the sand with our hands for them to crawl on. We were able to pet the tiny turtles as they crawled. Four of them had got dehydrated and died.

We moved on to a mama turtle. She had accidently dug her nest in clay so while we were watching the researchers had to catch the eggs and put them in a bucket and move them to a safer nest that was in sand so that in two months they could come out. After she finished having her eggs, we got to touch her back. She felt just like leather. At the end we went in the car two hours back and then in the dinghy to the boat.

Quick Facts by Alex
  • The Leather back turtles are the largest reptile in the world
  • They can also grow up to 12 feet.
  • They can way up to 2000 pounds.
  • They are known for their eggs.
  • They lay up to 120.
  • There is yoked eggs which turn in to turtles and the others don’t.
  • They baby hatchlings swim for 72 hours once they reach the ocean.
  • They can dive down 3900 feet.
  • Every two years they come back to the same beach to lay their eggs.
  • They lay eggs six times a year.

June 17, 2008

Self Reliance

Wow, where to begin....so much occurred yesterday, so many stories to tell, so much adrenalin, so much emotion. I am not a writer and I hope that I can do it justice.

Yesterday we made the journey from the Grenadines of Grenada to our final destination of Prickly Bay, Grenada, to join my Dad and Cheryl. We left at about 6am and arrived at about 3pm. The first 7 hours were great. We slept, had lunch, watch Reba, played games, hung our feet over the side of the boat...pretty much perfect. We sailed down the west side of the island, starting from the North and heading South. We needed to reach the very bottom of the island and then turn up the east side a little bit. Now the thing to keep in mind is that we sailed down the west side, so the wind was blocked by the island. When we would round the southern tip, we would be getting the wind head on, without the blockage of the island and then we would need to beat against it to get to our little bay, only a few miles up. So we knew the last hour would be a bit of a tough slog.

As we came to the end of the island, we told Amelia to come back into the cockpit. We tethered the kids and we talked about our plan. We had been sailing with only our head sail, so we decided we should furl that in and then put out only main sail so we could sail close into the wind, pretty much head into it. Well the plan was good but just as we rounded the island and started to execute the plan, Graham says "We are going to get a squall". I look up and the kind of skies you never want to see coming at us. Well the wind picks up asap. Amelia says she is going down below. Alex is excited and stays on deck. I am unfortunately at the HELM. Graham decides we are just going to have to run with it, since the winds were STRONG and the waves were HUGE, seriously they were so big and the rain was blinding. Well, we got hit with two squalls. The only nice thing is that behind these squalls in the distance you can see blue sky, so you know if you can just endure the pain for a while longer it will end. I kept yelling at Amelia down below, "Are you ok?". She would yell back that she was or I would yell "Hold ON", as we could see the GIGANTIC waves coming at us. I guess she was shot across her room but only injury was a bump on her foot. As the rain is pelting me and I am saying to Graham you should take the helm and he is saying no you are doing good, Alex asks me if I want him to take the helm. He always knows exactly what to say. He saw I was scared and he wanted to make it better for me. Again I sucked it up and dug in and held the helm as close to that damn wind as I could get it.

So once this ended we were all the way hell and gone in the opposite direction from where we were going. We had to now beat into the wind for even longer. We were going only about 2.5 to 3 knots, it felt like forever. During this time we were all taking deep breaths, talking about the size of the waves and talking about what we learned and what we would do differently for next time. Amelia even came back upstairs.

We made it to the point where we were in sight of the bay and anxiety was still high, since we weren't making hardly any speed and we were being pushed by current into a rocky island. Finally we are past the tiny rock island enough to breath and then the worst happened.

Graham had the helm and he turns to me and the look on his face turned my world upside down. He says we got nothing, nothing, NO STEERAGE and as he is doing this he is just swinging around the wheel and nothing is happening. You cannot imagine what it feels like to see your 'Rock' scared. He doesn't get scared ever. He jumped into game mode immediately and said he was going to find the emergency tiller. Amelia jumped below and was crying. Alex stayed on deck with me and we talked about impending dangers. We had only our main sail up and the boat was holding us into wind and we were making time towards land and this was not good. All I could think was we gotta get this boat stopped. I knew we had to get the main sail down. As Graham came tearing up the cockpit with all the heavy pieces of the emergency tiller I said we have to get the main down. He tries to and ...IT IS JAMMED for the first time ever! So he continues with the tiller and then Alex says to me...maybe the auto pilot still works......I press the button and we wait to see if it is working, I press the button to head us up 30 degrees and hallelujah it works. You cannot imagine what that felt like. I yell at Graham, enough with the tiller, I see some boats anchored not too far ahead and we are going to anchor this puppy NOW. So he comes up on deck and I say I don't care how but that main sail is coming down now. He grabs a spare line and he is going to just loosen the outhaul and then just tie it to the mast, since it won't furl in. Now that we have the auto pilot I yell, let's give it one more try first and as I take us into wind, it finally furls in.

So with auto pilot we try and anchor. Unfortunately when you drop below a certain speed auto pilot kicks out and when you anchor you have to come basically to a stop. I am sure an old seasoned pro could have done this no problem but you have to remember our blooding was pumping and our hearts were thumping. We were having a hard time getting it to set, it kept dragging back into the channel. In the meantime I am also trying to get ahold of my dad on the vhf. Finally on the radio I hear 'Artemo, Artemo, Artemo this is Mystic Journey, Mystic Journey, Mystic Journey'. Even though we were already the safe, the realization that Dad was close and was coming to help, caused me to cry. It was just a release of emotion.

They arrived on their dinghy, fast and furious. The kids were SO HAPPY. Only time for a brief hug and then Graham and Dad got to work on the steering components. They found the problem and got to work fixing it. All the time the boat is drifting a bit and we are watching and waiting for steerage.

They managed to fix it, which is also amazing to me. We then pulled up the dragging anchor and motored in to a more protected spot and tied up to a mooring ball.


.....Grampa Griff and Cheryl kept the kids for the night and as Graham and I dinghyied back to our boat I said to him, have we taken on more than we are capable of and he says....look around at all these boats, do you think any one out here is any more special than us?

June 15, 2008

Amelia gives a tour of our new home - ARTEMO

We made it to Carriacou, Grenada. Great sail today. Felt like a piece of my life had just snapped into place, like a piece of a puzzle. Thank god for inspiration or we wouldn't be here.

Happy Father's Day, DAD!


June 14, 2008

Bequia, St. Vincent

Hi All,

We are in Bequia, St. Vincent. We are heading to Hillsborough, Carriacou in the Grenadines tomorrow. We are going to get up at the crack of dawn and head out.

Today was a great day. We set up our sunshade at the beach just off our anchorage and snorkeled and played in the sand all day. The water was just like you see in postcards. Crystal clear and there were so many awesome shells just at the shoreline that Amelia and I had a hayday collecting them. We did the typical...bury Alex in the sand, play frisbee, and snorkel.

Our laundry was picked up and delivered to the boat...AWESOME. I cleaned everything up on the boat and we are fully recovered from the rain. Fingers crossed for NO MORE RAIN.

We made another new friend, Chris from Whistler. He is out here sailing around. The kids love meeting new people. I told them it was their new TV.

We are hoping to get to Grenada on Tuesday and then fly back to Canada on Thursday night. We would then be on track for the cottage on Friday and Alex's grad on Tuesday! soooo fingers crossed everything goes well.

Hope to see you soon.


June 12, 2008

Hey everyone

I'm going to tell about how living on our boat is fun and sometimes it's not. So here it goes...

Sleeping on the boat is strange because you are always moving around side to side. I usually wake up with sea sickness. After a day's voyage and you just step on land it feels like the earth is spinning. While we were sailing to the end of St.Vincent we were not having good weather.... TRENCHAL DOWNPOURS!!!!!

The dry rot on our boat is going too eventually get fixed but not in till we reach Grenada, the place that we are leaving to Canada. Today we found a dead flying fish on our boat. That was a mini one but the ones that I saw while we were sailing were huge

At night when we are sleeping we almost always have the windows and hatches open but when it rains we have to close all the hatches. That takes a long time.

Well there's my blog

Miss you all Alexander Miles Perry

June 11, 2008

Our first overnight sail is complete

Well we just pulled into Wallilabou bay in St Vincent. We were on the water for 33 hours.
It was so cool to sail overnight. None of us had ever sailed after dark, so this was pretty big leap for us all. We left Les Saintes, Guadeloupe at about 6am on Tuesday morning and at about 4pm we were at the tail end of Dominica. I knew that as we passed it, our point of no return was ending. It is really dangerous to enter an anchorage at night, so I knew that we were for sure doing the overnight sail. I kept my poker face on and just gave Graham one quick glance and he knew what I was thinking!

We got just about everything in our 33 hours. Light wind, non existant wind, nice wind and heavy wind. We filled our time with yahtzee, connect four, ninetendo ds, REBA, braiding each others hair, making silly movies, listening to music, making dinner, sleeping, reading, coloring and telling stories. As the night fell we all watched The Emporers New Groove on the laptop. After the movie finished the kids went to bed.

Graham and I took turns keeping our eyes open and then the other got to nap. We did about 7 knots during the night. We were heeled over pretty good. I kept worrying Alex was going to get shot across his room but he stayed in place.

By morning I was ready to be at anchor but we had 7 more hours to go. I could see land but it seemed to take forever to get to it. We finally arrived, safe and sound and GUESS WHAT?????????????

The anchorage bay is where they filmed alot of Pirates of the Caribean! Way cool. The rock were the pirates were hung is at the entrance and the fake set where they almost hung Johnny Depp is here to. We are going to do some looking around and we will take pictures.

We were greeted by numerous, Boat Boys, as we came into anchor. They help you moor and tie to a cocunut tree and then you tip them. Normally in our younger days we would of probably refused and struggled on our own but now, I figured why the hell not and we accepted Alexs (boat boys) help and we were glad we did. Amelia was beyond happy when she woke up and step up on deck and all of these boat boys had bags of goods to sell her. She started shopping!

June 10, 2008

You out there?

Hellllooooooo? Anyone home? Remember me??

Hey all...we did not put this post up. We were hacked. We know that you all are reading, from the many nice emails, etc.

Hopefully nothing else crazy goes up...hard to decipher our crazy posts from these :-)


June 09, 2008

A few photos and a video of our adventures so far

Here is a slide show of getting our sails on and spending time in Jolly Harbour, Antigua

Here is a video of Graham moments before we took Artemo off the dock and Castoff. We were more than a little nervous!

Here is a slide show of our sailing so far and our adventures in English Harbour, Antigua and Des Haies, Guadeloupe and Les Saintes, Guadeloupe.

Tomorrow morning we are going to head out early and we are contemplating doing 35 hours and our first overnight sail. Figured we better keep the learning curve going and challenge ourselves some more!!! We are targeting St. Vincent. I will keep you posted but you may not hear from us until Wednesday night.

The Les Saintes islands awesome sea animals!!!! by Amelia

The last few days have been full of sea creatures!!!!From jellyfish to manti....sea ertions ,puffer, fish,jellyfish babys.+an octopus ,cool fish and a eel!!!!!!!!! The octopus was really cool it was the first time I ever saw one!!!and the first time I saw an eel!!! It was so big. This last time I went snorkeling was the best time I ever had. The fish there were so cool, all pinks, blues and browns and every other color. The water was beautiful. So clear and so nice. It was like bathtub water. The Saintes is probably going to be one of my favorite places. The town is so nice and the people here are friendly. We still have to speak French but it is good practice for us. Someone asked what Where is is in French and I said Oues't. I like having to learn French. When we were parking our dinghy at the dinghy dock, I looked over and said Mom what are all those black things and I looked and there were millions and millions of sea ertions. They are black and some are white. The black ones were hooked on to rocks and were more poisonous than the white ones. The white ones can hook onto sand and grass and they aren't as poisonous. It is so nice in the Les Saintes but we are leaving tomorrow. I really want to see dolphins and a whale maybe to. I have already seen two turtles but we saw lots of those in Hawaii.

Sail Girl - Amelia

Are we there yet?

By car, by plane, by boat, doesn't matter, if you have kids you still here the dreaded..."Are we there yet?". I probably heard this 15 times yesterday.

Guadeloupe is a few islands there is one big island and then a few smaller islands. We were anchored at the northwest tip of the big island in Deshaies, so yesterday we sailed all the way down to the smaller islands in the south called Les Saintes and to a place called Gendarmerie.

The sail was about 8 hours and totally different than the crossing the day before. The water w as so calm, almost no wind at all. I always thought I would like light winds but once you realize that you can go faster when you sail than when you motor, you want the wind. We put the music on and got out the pads for the seats. The kids had decided that they wanted to stay sleeping for this trip, so they were in bed and we just enjoyed the early morning.

Since we were along the coast, we were able to take in Guadeloupe and it was beautiful. Seriously, I wish we had more time. It has beautiful rolling hills, lush green and looks so clean. Most of the houses are red tin top and look so pretty perched in the hills. Made us want to break out the hiking boats and explore.

The kids finally got up and they were thrilled that they got walk around the boat and hang their feet over the edge and stand at the front. They have been begging me, but of course when the waves are 2 meters, there is NO WAY.

We did get some sailing in and hit some wind as we rounded the south end of the big island and it felt great. I have been enjoying "Mr Auto" as I call him. He is our auto pilot and when we are just going for hour on hour in the same direction, you just click the button and Mr. Auto has the helm but as we came from calm to the wind line (and you could see it), I actually felt excited to sail. I clicked the stand by button and took the wheel and it was GREAT. We were close hauled and I just tried to revel in the heel. I could hear Ricks words in my head, "She loves to lean, that is when she gets in her groove" and I just went for it.

This time anchoring was a bit tricky. The bottom is quite sandy in spots. I love the headsets we have. Makes it alot easier but man I feel the pressure at the helm. He is giving the orders and if I don't follow exactly, I hear about it! "Take the boat down to 1.6 knots. Whats your depth? Turn more to port. Stop the boat. Give it a kick of reverse. Stop. Go forward a bit. Wait for the wind to take us and for us to straighten out. Put her in neutral. Is she in neutral?"

Well we are taking a day to explore today. The kids snorkelled after we got in yesterday and saw their first octopus. As they were falling asleep I could hear them talking about it and it made me feel good. We sleep directly under an open hatch, so you can see the stars and the breeze is on your face. For the first time in a while, I felt really good.

June 07, 2008

We have arrived in FRANCE!

We did it, we did it, we did it! Wow, what a rush. We have just finished our journey from Antigua to Guadeloupe. Unbelievable. I am so proud of myself, of Graham, of the kids! I asked the kids what they would like to see go differently from our last sail and they both in unison said, "We want you to be less scared because when you are scared we are scared."

It was just what I needed to hear to "Suck it up"!

So, I did just that and yesterday we did the customs/immigration thing in Antigua and checked out. We received our exit stamps in our passports, that read "by sea"....way cool and here was nothing left but the leaving.

We got up at 4:30 and I made pancakes and we had some yogurt and We closed the hatches, got our long sleeves and long pants on (we all burn way to easily) and we were ready! This time we all had our life jackets and we had teather lines that ran the length of the boat and we had harnesses for the kids that latched in, in the cockpit.

Everything felt right. I had made up a bin of snacks and P&Js and water and lemondade. Everything was on deck, so we didn't need to go below if we felt sick. WE WERE READY!

Everything went 100% perfect. We had a beautiful beams reach the whole way (wind across the middle of the boat, basically the fastest point of sail). We averaged about 7 to 7.5 knots the whole way. We set sail at 6:20am and set anchor at 1:45. It was great! All of us except for Amelia, dealt with a bit of a woozie stomach but no vomitting! So count our blessings. Sea sickness seem to come and go. Some of the ocean swells were HUGE. SEriously HUGE and I kept my poker face, like no other :-)! Kids didn't see fear on my face. Alex, Amelia and Graham all had a snooze on deck. We saw lots of flying fish. That are really neat. Looks like the have wings? I will have to look them up on the internet.

So France, I love saying that, is really pretty. The little town we are anchored in front of is beautiful. There is a nice little church directly in front of us with a cute steeple. We will be heading in with the dinghy to check into Guadeloupe, France.

Oh, on a side note as we were sailing Alex and I sang 'O Canada' loud and clear, as our Canada flag flapped in the background. We are a little piece of Canada sailing around the world! I think I am going to ride this high for a few more hours.

June 05, 2008

Exciting first sail alone as a family on Artemo!!

Here is what Amelia wrote today, as we were sailing through a squall:

A family of four had set off on a life changing event. A three year voyage around the world. Two kids and two adults. Amelia was a 9 year old little girl and she had a big sense of fashion. Alex was 11 and big on the computer games. On their second week living on the boat they set off to English Harbour, Antigua.

From there they would anchor for the night and go to Grenada in a couple of days. While they were going to English Harbour they hit a squall.

'Graham ease the main, we are healing to much' said Julie. Right then they sent the kids below and then the rain started. 'Daddy please close the hatch door, I am getting wet' said Amelia. 'Sure but pass me the wood slates so I can put them in place' said Dad.

'Alex are you scared' said Amelia. 'NO!' said Alex. 'I am' said Amelia.

Meanwhile in the cockpit, Graham was stearing and Julie was sitting there looking scared but after a while she got use to it.

Finally the rain stopped and the kids joined them on deck.

June 04, 2008

We thought of everything except for sailing....

Our heads have been so full the last month with moving, packing, getting the boat ready, dealing with problems, etc, etc, that we had not given much thought to sailing. I reminded myself as we pulled into anchor last night and my stomach was filled with doubt that, we had just learned how to sail two years ago and we had not actually sailed since last year.

So our two hour shakedown cruise on Wednesday was a good trial run and having Rick on board brought me some comfort but during this cruise it became very clear that we had better hurry up and start thinking about sailing. Artemo is fast. Right out of the gates we were doing 8.3 knots! I am going to be brutally honest. As the boat heeled, it scared the hell out of me. All of sudden, sailing was coming back to me fast and furious. I realized then that I didn't even have lifejackets on the kids. (ok, calm down mom...I put them on quickly). I also grab my own lifejacket. It was exciting but Graham could read my queues and decided to reduce the amount of sail we had up or reef. Our new friend Rick on board was a long time sailor/racer and I am pretty sure reducing sail was the last thing he wanted to do but he was a good sport. The funny thing was that even after we reduced sail, the boat was still going over 7knots. We decided to do some tacks and gibs (pardon the spelling). Didn't take me long to figure out that the helm was the place for me. Graham and Rick got the jobs of pulling on the sheets (ropes attached to the jib), etc. Alex stayed on deck the whole time. Amelia was up and down. So far (knock on wood) she has no indication of seasickness.

Now as Artemo cut through the water, going so fast, I could not help but think about all the dry rot we found and my faith in the boat was a little shaky. I worried that she wouldn't hold together or that we would be taking on water. Ok, if you got inside my head at that point, you would have had me committed.

We decided to anchor that night at Jolly Harbour, rather than dock, so we would be ready to start out the next morning. Since we hadn't got off the dock until 2pm, we didn't have time to make it back to clear customs for Guadeloupe. We decided that we would go on to English Harbour, Antigua, instead of leaving the country the next day and check out there and to be honest, we realized we needed a bit more practice before taking on the 9 hour sail across. Anchoring went pretty smoothly. Dad gave us these headsets/walkie talkies so that when Graham is up front at the anchor, I can hear him load and clear and vice versa. Now he can yell at me in stereo. Once anchored, we got out the beer, had a cheers with Rick and then dinghied him into land. Graham made it back and there we sat, the four of us on our boat in the ocean at anchor.

Graham has always said, we will learn on the first day and the second day and the third day, etc, etc. Well he was right. Alot of learning happened today. When you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, if feels strange, unsettling, like a flip floppy feeling in your stomach. I had this feeling multiplied by 10. What had I been thinking, agreeing to sail around the world? I had a lot to digest but my favourite saying came into my head at that moment, Bite off more than you can chew and then chew it!

On a side note, the insides of Artemo were good. She didn't take on any water. Things were looking up....until we found that neither of the toilets worked!

Just about to Cast Off!!!

Ok, only time for a quick but exciting note. We got the sails on yesterday. They all look great. Graham and I got the Dodger on and we rigged up a temporary bimini. So......we are just about to leave the dock. Ok, in about an hour.

We have all our groceries or provisions if you prefer. Tons of vegetarian meals so Amelia will be happy and loads of water. Oh, and lots of booze! ha.

Graham is just doing some last minute caulking and the kids are beggin to go. Have to say, I am more than a little nervous! AHHHHHHH. just getting off the dock at this point seems like a feat and then docking at the fuel station and then sailing!!!!!

We are going to anchor tonight out in the bay and then we will head out early, early, early tomorrow morning for Guadeloupe!

Ok, can you tell I am excited. I am hoping that Graham gets ahold of a friend named Rick, to see if he wants to come out with us today...but as of yet no word. It might be best for us just to do this one on our own and get over my fear.

Well, can't wait to tell you all how it went.


June 03, 2008

The Lazy day - Alex

Wll, yesterday I did not do much, but i will give you the basic recap. We had these guys cuming over too put new lines(ropes for our sails) on our boat, so they did that and at the same time my dad had a guy for the engine and a guy for the leaks over.

The past few days I've been reading loads of books I've read 5 books. Two of them were under 24 hours. Also we went to the pool because of all the comotion. When we looked back at our boat a guy was climbing up the mast. It looked pretty amazing.

So finally once most of the people had left, my mom and I have been cleaning the teak decks on our boat it looked great.

A little later my dad and I went over too the bar too watch the hockey game, Pittsburgh Penguins won!!!!!!!
Thats all
miss you guys

June 02, 2008

Frizzy hair

We are all settled in and the interior of Artemo is organized! It is really HOT, constant sweaty faces and frizzy hair. We haven't been doing a lot of actual cooking but last night we had a nice meal together at our table. Corn, soup, pita's and salad! Yum.

So we found another surprise on deck. We started caulking some of the leaking seams and as we dug out the old caulking on one seam from the mast we found.......you guessed it...more dry rot. Soooo Graham is heading to the wood working guys today and having a doubler made. We just do not have the time to undertake a project like redoing the entire deck and coach roof, so we will make it work, damn it!

The kids have been right in there helping and scraping. Yesterday we all got the hose out and found all of the leaks. Today we will continue caulking and clean the teak. Who knew it could get so pretty with a little cleaner and elbow grease.
We made our first trip to a nice little secluded beach in our dinghy. Fun. The kids have also been practicing in the pool for their snorkelling trips. Enjoy the day.