November 25, 2008

Time to call it.....

December is quickly approaching and Artemo will not be finished in time to make the 3 day sail to Curasco prior to Christmas. Graham has been putting in 12 hour days trying his damn-dest to make this happen but it was time to call it. We can't keep going at this pace, feeling like we are running a race.

Flexibility is the name of the game with our lives and always has been. We never do, just to do. It has to feel "right" or we don't do it. The things we are always checking against are being #1 Safe, #2 Happy,and #3 Together!

Once Graham and I had the time to sit down with a calendar and take a look at the timeline we quickly realized that Panama and the Pacific crossing wasn't in the cards for 2009. Number of big reasons this isn't right:
  1. Once our major boat "Reno" is complete it doesn't make sense to sail to far away from Grenada, just in case any adjustments need to be made.
  2. The "Reno" sucked a ton of our savings up and the kitty needs to be refurbished before we head out for extended sailing
  3. If we don't start actually sailing until January this wouldn't give us much time to get our sailing skills up to snuff for the crossing.

As you can see, pretty convincing points! Graham and I evaluated our options and here is what we decided. We are flying to Curasco for Christmas and spending the week, relaxing and enjoying the holidays with Grandpa Griff and Nana Cheryl and hopefully my brother Rob. We are then coming back to Artemo and putting her in the water (fyi she is looking Spectacular!!!). We are then going to sail up to Antigua and meet my Dad and Cheryl there. They are going to sail North from Curasco to the Virgin Islands and then sail down to Antigua and meet us there. We will all then sail leisurely from Feb to April back down to Grenada. Taking our time and enjoying the islands we skipped over on our first trip. Smelling the flowers!

At the end of April we will haul our boat out at the yard here in Grenada and we will head back to Toronto for 6 months to add to the trip kitty. We will then be back in Grenada Nov 1st, 2009 to start up again and make the trek to the Panama and beyond!

We are all feeling pretty good about the plan. It took quite awhile to come around to it but it makes so much sense that it is hard to argue with it. The kids weren't totally sold on it but they have come around. They like the adventure and as the boat nears completion and we can begin to see it's potential we are getting more excited about actually sailing her again! They didn't want to come back until we had accomplished what we had planned. Good lesson though about always carefully weighing pros and cons, at each step in your life.

Ok, you got the long story (sorry Brian). The short story is that you are going to be seeing us sooner than you thought! The good news is that we already have the good bye parties out of the way. The bad news is that I shouldn't of cut my hair so short and got rid of all our work clothes.

"Whatever is flexible and living will tend to grow; whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die." - Lao Tzu

November 15, 2008


"...a women whose prime occupation is to care for their family and/or home"

Yup, that's me! I have a new job and any job worth doing is worth doing well.

I am nowhere near being in the running for housewife of the year, heck I don't even think the other housewife's would talk to me but I am really trying to embrace it.

I take pride in the fact that the kids are excelling at school. They are learning a ton and so am I. Their quality of work has improved and we all get interested in what we are learning. I am also researching healthy vegetarian recipes on the Internet and try to find all the freshest ingredients. We do up a weekly menu plan and do the grocery shopping (via bus). The kids and I are trying to make things as easy as possible for Graham once he comes home. We do all the prep work, cutting, peeling, rehydrating beans, etc. We also do all the dishes. I can't help but feel proud when the recipe is a success and everyone is happy with a new tasty treat.

I have a system now for washing and hanging the laundry. I wash the sheets once a week and shake them out daily. There are these tiny little bugs (not bed bugs) that I get rid of. I wash the floors on Mondays, and scrub the bathroom and shower on Tuesday. I find myself getting mad when the kids get crumbs all over and smear their hands all over the fridge. I never use to notice a dirty fridge door?

Taking care of the house, the schooling, the kids well being, the grocery shopping and the errands Graham needs done is definitely a full time job. It is different when you work out of the home. When you do a good job you see the benefits fairly quickly and you get recognized for a job well done. You feel pumped and it makes you work harder. Here at home the positive feedback doesn't come as often and the product isn't often something you can hold but you can see it in their faces.

So what's the conclusion here ........well, I do miss the "office" and the fast pace, BUT how lucky am I to be able to put my career on the shelf for awhile and focus on the most important people in my life!
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

November 11, 2008

Ever wonder about the boat????

The boat, the boat, the boat...... Boat discussions are pretty much constant around here. It is difficult not to get discouraged given the state of the boat. Things are happening but it is at that stage that you wonder if it will ever be finished. I am getting worried. December is quickly approaching. The boat manager "Nicholas" promised me five more weeks about four weeks ago. He hasn't said anything about not being on schedule, but once I put all the items left to get done into a schedule....I am starting to wonder when it will actually be done. Below is the email I sent to Nicholas on Friday and the photo is the schedule I made and attached. We haven't seen Nicholas since and no reply as of yet. I am hoping to see him today or tomorrow at the boat yard and hear the news. He has been pretty straight forward and good with us so far. I will keep you posted.
Hi Nicholas,

As December quickly approaches I want to make sure that we are on schedule for an early December departure from Grenada Marine. We have family arriving in Curasco on December 19th and obviously the kids and I all have our hopes way up to be joining them.

I was hoping you could take a look at the schedule attached and let me know if you see anything I have missed or if you feel that we are in any way not on schedule. The blue rows pertain to Grenada Marine work items and the yellow rows are the items Graham is working on.

I want to make sure that we have the date booked for our boat launch and we also want to let Martin know when the rigging will be on, so that he can take the measurements for the new bimini and dodger.

I want you to know that I can just imagine the thankless job you must have. Everyone wants their work completed yesterday. Graham and my style is not to jump up and down and yell and huff and puff, we appreciate that you are trying your best to complete our work, on time and on budget. We speak highly of you and the work to date. We look forward to the successful conclusion.

Hoping to hear from you soon. I will also look for you at the boat yard.

Julie Perry
S/V Artemo

November 05, 2008

Double digits....

Today was Amelia's 10th birthday. I can't believe a decade has past. Amelia is everything I hope for in a daughter. I love her imagination, her emotions, and her big laugh. As much as some days I am ready to lock her in the room for talking back to me, I love that she questions authority and never settles. She fights with all her might for what she believes in. She sees below the surface. She notices body language and nuances and she is empathetic. The past 10 years have seriously flown by and I am looking forward to the next 10. I didn't think it was possible but we are growing even closer than we were on this trip!

I decided to make her birthday extra special this year and have a day of 10 surprises. Below are each of the surprises.
Number 1 - Alex and I woke her up with bubbles

Number 2 - Alex gave Amelia a beautiful necklace

Number 3 - Alex and I drew a huge colored chalk Happy Birthday sign

Number 4 - I bought those mini boxes of sugar cereal

Number 5 - We took Amelia to a craft market and she spent the money Nanny Donna gave her for her birthday. She was a great bargainer! She managed to get a hat, shorts, a shirt and still had $20 EC left for treats!

Number 6 - Graham and I paid to get Amelia's hair beaded

Number 7 - We gave Amelia a new tube for swimming with

Number 8 - Veggie Chow Mein!!! Her favorite

Number 9 - Passion Fruit and Mango smoothie

Number 10 - Fabric Paint

Amelia made a cake the night before and we had the neighbor kids and our new friends Wei, Ross and Ishbel over to celebrate!

November 03, 2008

Perfect Sunday

Yesterday we got invited to a friends boat in a marina that isn't to far from our house. They even offered to come and pick us up. We were all excited because Sunday's feel so long, since the buses don't run and we feel stuck!

Our new friends are Ross and Wei and their 18 month old baby daughter Ishbel. When we arrived at the marina, it was as if we had entered a different world. It felt so posh. The resort/marina is run by a Swiss couple and is very well maintained. There is an old boat that sits at dock, that they have restored into a museum, movie viewing area, bar, showers/bathrooms. It was really cool and just added to the cool vibe at the marina.

Ross prepared the most amazing meal. I was almost embarrassed at how much we all ate. Luckily they totally understood, as they also have a love of food! We had Pollock fish marinated in garlic, ginger and curry, bean salad, rosemary potatoes, coleslaw and buns.

After lunch we headed out in the dinghy to go snorkeling. The kids loved it. The freedom of being on the water is huge. Everything just feels better and the heat is bearable. After the snorkel we went for a dip in the pool and then back to the boat for carrot cake (compliments of Amelia).

It was a fantastic day and we loved being around Ishbel. We are soooo craving the cruising life, it is crazy. We are "x'ing" off the days on our calendar. We have another 4 and 1/2 weeks, if everything keeps on track, like it has been! Definitely will make the weeks fly by if we keeping meeting new friends!

November 01, 2008

I live with a "Holiday" junkie.....

Yesterday was Halloween and unfortunately they do not celebrate this holiday here in Grenada. Amelia was so sad. She lives for the holidays, she is a holiday JUNKIE. Luckily we brought along a large ziploc bag full of Halloween decorations, so our apartment looked great. We have been trying to get rid of spiders since we have arrived here and now we were laying them around our apartment....go figure!

I bought them each of them a bag of candy, so the moment they woke up they began eating. Amelia also got busy putting together her costume. She decided to dress up like the wood elf fairy from Lord of the Rings. She has just started watching those movies this week. She looked beautiful. She has a real knack for putting stuff together.

It still was nowhere near as good as home. We laid down together with the fan on us and talked about all the Halloweens we have had and what she dressed up as. We talked about what she would be doing if she was at home in Toronto and what her friends would be doing. We talked about the parade they would be having through the neighbor at school. A few tears but we came up with a plan. We decided to ask Aunty Ann-Marie if she would do the webcam during the trick or treaters and put the computer at the door, so we could wish each person Happy Halloween from Grenada and also watch her cousins getting ready to go out.

It was a HUGE success. The webcam was up for 4 hours and we saw everything. The trick or treaters played along for the most part and said hello to us. The kids yelled funny things at them. We even got to watch the Sparks (cousins) dump out their candy and sort through it (our favorite part).

You know technology is great and I am so glad that the kids got to have a touch of Halloween here in Grenada but MAN it made my heart ache to see them all and not be able to reach out and hug them!

Thanks Annie for making it possible, you are "THE BEST"!