May 30, 2010


Enroute to Galapagos


I am not HOT!!!! Can you believe it? It is perfect here! The average temperature is....are you ready for this.....22 degrees!!! This IS the promise land.

Ok, so do you remember me saying that I couldn't imagine life getting any better? Well it has. We arrived in Galapagos early Friday morning. Amelia won the coin toss and got to hail GROMIT on the vhf. It was so surreal to hear them respond and know we were so close. The last 3 miles seem to take forever. Finally they were in sight.

We brought Artemo right up beside them. They had a huge banner strung up that read, "We love you Artemo!". It was so heartwarming. We were all smiling and yelling back and forth. I tell you it is wonderful to arrive in such a beautiful place but it is even better to arrive in a beautiful place and have friends to greet you. Gromit had their friends Don and Dennis on board too. Don is an independent film maker. We looked over and there was this high tech camera filming our reunion! Just what I wanted after 12 days at sea with only 1 sponge bath....a camera on me! Ha. I am hoping the high def didn't pick up the Amazon like underarms.....etc!!! It will be really cool to see what he puts together.

Once we had the anchor down the Gromits all hopped into their dinghy and over they came for hugs, banana bread, coffee and croissants. You can imagine that there were a few tears shed. It was just so unbelievable to all be together again. Happy, happy, happy. We had a huge reunion dinner on Gromit that night. They invited another really great couple from Canada. All together there were 13 of us on board their 47 foot boat but you never would have known it. Cornelia and Mike made a fantastic meal. Graham and I cracked a good bottle of wine and I kept thinking to myself that I didn't want the day to ever end.

We have jammed packed our days full with seeing the sites. Galapagos is soooooo my kinda place. There are so many trails all over the island. There are lots of great park facilities to hike around and read about the history of the Galapagos and the best part is that everything is free?? So nice. Eating out is really cheap to. You can go for a huge lunch for $2.50!!!

There are so many cool animals around that we are constantly in awe. There are sea lions and seals everywhere. The morning we arrived as we were all having coffee in the cockpit the cutest seal jumped up into the Gromits dinghy. He looked so cute with his flipper pushing himself up to look at us all. Again I was just hoping I didn't wake up from this really fantastic dream.

Yesterday the kids swam and snorkeled with the seals. Alex and Amelia played for quite awhile with this young pup. He was jumping up and twirling all around them. He would swim right up to their faces and zoom away. We got such a great underwater video. We all hiked to another beach to meet up with Gromit and the kids went for another snorkel. As Cornelia and I were chatting on the stone dock we look over and there is a blue footed boobie bird!! I so wanted to see one of these birds. The Galapagos are known for them. They are so strange with their very blue feet. We let out a hoot and holler and clapped our hands!! I am thinking of getting Graham one of the t-shirt that reads..."I love boobies"! ha

We have seen tortoises and turtles and lizards. We have also visited the volcano and hiked around it. I seriously love it here. The girls are in town right now on their own. Amelia has $12 and is so excited to be poking through all the shops and finding treasures. The town is so pretty and clean. The people here are very kind and respectful. There is a fantastic little bakery and great little juice smoothly places and all so affordable. We haven't had to spend any time trying to figure out where anything is. The Gromits have been fantastic tour guides. Oh I forgot to mention one of the best can just drop your laundry off (bags and bags of it) and then come back later that day and it is all clean, fresh and folded!! LOVE IT.

We are going to be looking to head off across the South Pacific next weekend. We have a few jobs to finish before that.....our removable inner forestay broke underway, our steering needs a permanent fix, the engine needs some maintenance and our front hatch is still taking in way to much water. Even in paradise there is still much work to do! Cornelia and I are going to restock up with fruits, veggies, meat and drinks. We have to organize propane, diesel and water to. Oh such fun! None of this seems like work though because of the GLORIOUS TEMPERATURE!!!!

ps....I am grateful for the GROMITS!

May 27, 2010

South Pacific Adventure has begun

Here we are only a few hours away from our arrival at Galapagos. We did it, we did it, we did it. I keep thinking about how scared I use to feel about taking off to sea for an extended period of time and now we have overcome this fear! It is such a rush to feel this sense of pride and accomplishment together as a family. Today at various moments we all just kept saying, "Wow, I can't believe we did it!".

We have learned alot on this trip about sailing, about Artemo, about routing, about the weather, about ourselves and about each other. Learning comes fast and furious when it is hands on! This trip has given us all something to chew on and improve on for our next voyage.

I know things are going to be a mixed bag out here. I get that so clearly now. I am getting better with this. I have always been the gal who buys the surprise bag of stuff at the cash register without knowing what is inside. Always willing to roll the die and hope for somethin amazing. Unfortunately, also always the gal to complain when I don't get exactly what I wanted. LOL.

Well, I hope you guys have enjoyed this voyage across the sea with us. Our South Pacific Adventure has begun......

ps...Gromit has emailed and said that they are sleeping with their VHF radio and to call no matter what time we get in. We will all be fighting over who gets the radio to say......"GROMIT GROMIT GROMIT THIS IS ARTEMO ARTEMO ARTEMO"!

May 26, 2010

Equator Crossing

We are about 35 minutes away from crossing the Equator. It is May 26th, 8pm Panama Time. We are about to officially become Shellbacks!! Amelia has just finished assigning noise makers and we are just writing our notes to offer the gods. We will toss in a bottle out to sea. Our apple pie is ready, the champagne is chilled, the music playlist is ready and.......Here we go!


I am trying to think how I can describe what I am feeling. It is similar to when I had the kids. I felt so proud of myself for not only enduring childbirth but embracing it and then finally after all the hard work I got to hold this beautiful perfect baby in my arms. I realize that no other moments in my life will ever equal those but this morning sure came close.

Early this morning Graham and I made some tea and watched as the sun slowly rose over the beautiful ocean. The ocean has calmed way down and now all we are left with is this really really beautiful slow rising pacific swell. The sun glistens and sparkles across the water. The sky has scattered fluffy clouds and is really blue. It reminds me a bit of the "Simpson's" sky. There are a few birds that are traveling with us and this morning on the front of our boat at the bow sat a very large Albatross.

As we were chatting I looked behind Graham and there was a large migration of whales. I was awestruck. We watch as they started to pop up all over. Just bits and pieces of them. Once they had moved close enough I realized it was time to break the silence and wake up the kids. They came running up on deck with looks on their faces similar to Christmas morning. We all had huge smiles as we watched them move by and then as we were thinking it was over, in moves a huge pod of dolphins! Somebody pinch me. I wish I could attribute my emotions to being out here for so long but you know me better than that. I am just plain ol sappy. I stood with tears coming down my face just basking in sheer happiness. This is so much better than I ever imagined. I feel like we have broken through some huge initiation and now are reaping the rewards. I want this feeling to last forever.

Artemo is going so fast. We are riding a wonderful current and since the seas are calm we are cutting through the water at an alarming rate. We are all so excited by each new thing we see or find. Alex found a squid on deck yesterday and we all closely examined it. Looks very similar to his lures. Alex even tried putting one of the flying fish from the deck on his hook but all he caught was a bird.

I can't imagine that it could get any better than this but we will see what the rest of the trip brings.

ps...We got some great pictures and I can't wait to share them with you
pss..Thanks for all the blog comments. My sister has been forwarding them to our SSB and once a day we read through the well wishes and comments together. Really means a lot to us to know you guys are watching our progress.

May 25, 2010

Hola Senior

So many things to tell you all. I have been waiting a moment where the boat isn't heeled way over and smashing through waves to write you. Unfortunately this moment hasn't happened yet but remarkably what has happened is that we all seem to be adjusting to this uncomfortable point of sail. (took a couple of days though)

Every movement you take you have to think about. Where you place your foot, what you grab ahold of, if Artemo is at the crest of a wave and about to drop down or just building up. My body is sore from clenching up and using all my muscles. We all are living on the starboard side of the boat (the low side). The stove is on the low side so we had to rig up a rope about a foot in front of it that we could lean against to make our meals. We have a couple of attachment points so we can move it to lean against it to do the dishes. We have taken to wiping all the dishes down with paper towel in the cockpit to minimize the time we need to spend in the kitchen. Remarkably Graham still manages to make amazing meals. He has only the sinks to use to put stuff in so it doesn't fly as he prepares the meals. He props himself against the ropes and tries to move in rhythm with Artemo. He made us all Salisbury steak, mash potatoes, beets and gravy last night. We were all so craving comfort food.

Here are a few interesting things that have happened the last few days:

The other day we thought we noticed another rigging issue. Graham decided he should go up the mast. The wind was about 18 knots but the swell was huge. I hoisted him up. It felt so strange to have him up there as the boat lurched back and forth. Murphy's law though was ruling that day and as soon as I had him up there Alex starts yelling at me, "Mom, mom the mizzen sheet has come undone!". This means that the mizzen boom at the rear of the boat is swinging wildly back and forth. I couldn't let Alex go back there and risk getting hit trying to catch it and hold it in place, so I locked the rope I was holding Graham up with and I headed back. I managed to get ahold of the sheet and hold it steady. Alex took over lowering Graham and luckily there weren't any serious issues he could see. Then Graham came back to the mizzen and reattached the sheet (permanently this time!).

Yesterday I was in the back room having a nap and Graham was up on deck. All of a sudden I hear, "Hola Senior"! I was in shocked. You could hear that Graham was in shocked. We all ran up on deck and there right beside us is a open boat with a huge outboard and three fishermen. Can you imagine Grahams surprise as he looked up from his book and there are three guys beside him! Anyway, all was ok. They just wanted us to alter course a bit to avoid their fishing lines. We got all this from their sign language. We did back some letting them know that the motor wasn't on and our boat was round on bottom and wouldn't get caught on the lines. Not sure if they got all that through the four of us making motions like holding wheel and like no and rounding motions. I am sure they got a kick out of it though and we veered off and watched as their line went under us with no issues.

We were a little scared when we heard the boat because a couple of days before this the kids and I had been sitting at night in the cockpit and staring off the port side at the glow in the distance from the Columbian coast and then all of a sudden right in front of us this spot light goes on (it was very close). We could see so clearly the faces of these two guys. The guy in the front was wearing a bandanna on his head. They saw the kids and I and then they turned back off there light and left??? We were so freaked out. We had been in contact daily on the SSB with other boats who are also making this passage and one of them had warned us about pirate attacks off the coast of Columbia. This added to the fear we felt. Graham was sleeping at the time. Looking back it was kind of funny. Alex equates it to the "Office" episode where Ryan starts a fire and Michael flees the building leaving everyone behind. Alex shot down the stairs below before Amelia and I could even scream for Graham. He forgot to unattach his teether so there he hung down below as Graham came running from the back. Amelia and I were scrambling over each other to get down below to. Poor Graham he was in such a daze and we were all really worked up. Our hearts were beating so fast. Graham saw the tail end of the boat as he went off into darkness. It took us all quite a while to come down from this. We were all pretty shaky. It was just so freaky to have been looking directly where the light came on and then men's faces so clear.

Last night on watch Graham got hit in the arm by a flying fish. Thank god it was him and not me. He managed to grab it and toss it back in the water. The nights are really cold. It is so strange to be cold. We have been wearing socks and fleeces. We have a strawberry shortcake fleece blanket on deck that Amelia got for her 8 birthday from her best friend Amy, that we all use. It is so funny to see Graham all wrapped up in pink when I come to trade off shifts with him.

We are finally on our track and hopefully not needing to do to many more tacks. Looks like if the weather holds we can stay pretty true to our rum line. We did 6.5 to 7 knots for many hours last night. I was incorrect in the last blog the distances etc. Our route is about 1465 nautical miles. We have about 370 nm left. Our ETA right now on the chart plotter is showing that we will arrive Friday morning some time. I so hope our winds hold and this is true. We have been out at sea for 9 days so far!

We are planning to cross the Equator very close to the Galapagos, since we are riding a nice current right now. For sailors I guess it is a huge deal to cross the equator; momentous. You are suppose to have a huge party and celebrate. I think they have a couple names for sailors who haven't crossed and those who have.....shellbacks and pollywags?? I can't remember...maybe someone could look it up. I bought a bottle of champagne (non alcohol) for us all to pop and enjoy. Amelia has made party hats and we have our new years eve noise makers. We are looking forward to this!

May 21, 2010

Glorious Glorious Doldrums

It is sooooo nice to have a bit of calm and peaceful for awhile. It is feels so good. We are all so happy. We have caught up on our sleep, cleaned the boat, had a bath, hung our wet laundry, fixed the steering, fixed the water maker and made some great meals. The seas are so calm that we are able to motor very easily with little rpm and we are still making almost 5 knots. This is fantastic since we are trying to ration our diesel.

Today we had the most beautiful dolphins up at the bow of the boat. It was right before the winds died down to much to sail, so we had all three sails up and the seas were calm. We were at the bow of the boat hanging over and watching them. I got a few great pictures. They looked really different than other dolphins we have seen. Very large. I will have to look them up once we are in Galapagos.

Being the novice sailor I now am, I decided that since it was calm it would be a good time to check over all the rigging for stress points, etc. To my surprise I actually found a huge impending problem. The main boom has a joint that connects it to the mast and it is a swivel point this is held onto the mast with a huge pin. The pin had popped out of the top and was coming close to falling out the bottom. If this had happened the boom would of come down on deck(I think). Regardless it would of been nasty. I went and got Graham, all proud like and showed him what I had found. He got out his tools and fixed it up. He was really happy that this catastrophe had been diverted. Gotta love kudos.

I helped him today (ok it was more like watched him today) as he fixed the manual steering issue. He is all crouched over and leaning into the hot engine room and the boat is rolling in the gentle pacific swell as we laid adrift. He didn't complain once. He just kept at it until he beat it and had the problem solved. Once he was finished he cleaned up and then started making lunch. I don't know where he gets his work ethic from but it is unmatched. It is very hard not to look lazy in comparison. LOL. I asked him again last night to write a blog and give his perspective and he laughed and said, "I think it is funny how I am portrayed in way that is dependant on your mood!" Right now he is fairing pretty well.

Alex still hasn't caught any fish. He is trying different lures and bringing in and out his lines. It doesn't help that another boat we have been communicating with on SSB is catching fish to beat the band. His time will come.

Well I am going to go back to watching Graham work.

May 20, 2010

Mothers in a mood

Yesterday mother (being the ocean....I love Tomek's analogy) was in a mood. It is funny how quickly I had forgotten how bad it can be. It all came rushing back to me as Graham and I struggled against the wind, rain, thunder and lightening in the dark. Our radar is really great and we did manage to out maneuver a few squalls but eventually the sky was overtaken with black and there was no place to hide. When I looked on the radar screen our little boat was smack dab in the middle of the big huge blotch of a mess. We tried sailing to port. We tried to starboard. We tried to run. We tried to motor. We were just stuck with it and we decided that we were using too much diesel and losing too much ground, it was time to heave to (this is stop at sea basically).

Why does as hell need to break loose when you are exhausted? It is hard to think straight and move quickly. It is painful. You need to find that extra bit we all have inside us and use up your reserve. We got back out the storm tactics book by Lin and Larry Pardy and read back over the maneuver. We knew it would be a bit harder this time in the dark and without Cornelia on the horn telling us what to do but finally we managed to get her stopped. Oh sweet relief! We tied off the wheel and turned on the AIS and set the alarm for an hour and off to sleep we went while the squall continued to rage up top.

Now I forgot to mention that Alex picked up a cold before we left Panama (he catches everything eh?), so he has been taking it easy and enjoying his bed rest. Unfortunately he past his cold to me though and it is a wicked one. My head felt like it was going to burst, watery eyes, runny nose, sore throat. Really really yucky. All I wanted was a big comfy bed, a down duvet and a cup of neo citrin. Not gonna happen on this night though.

At about 5:30 once the sun began to rise Graham decided it was time to get Artemo sailing again. He was still exhausted and in a bit of a daze. He went up on deck and let me continue sleeping. Now this is the part of the story that Graham would probably rather I didn't tell but let me just say the moral is that everyone is human....even the Captain. I was awoken with the sound of Graham's voice and he had that tone in his voice when something very bad has happened. I jumped out of bed and ran up on deck. Graham looked so defeated when I got up there. He says to me that we have no manual steerage. He says that in his haste to get Artemo sailing again he had forgotten we had tied off the wheel. He was pulling out the sails and clicking on the auto pilot and then snap the cable for the steerage went due to the pressure.

Know I have known Graham for 21 years and in this time I have done alot of dumb things. I mean ALOT. Often times I will even tell myself, "now be careful you don't do this" and then I do. The wiring for the fan is a great example of that. Anyway my point is that it is VERY rare that Graham makes these same dumb mistakes. He makes them so infrequently that there isn't anyway I would say anything like, "What were you thinking?" or "Weren't you using your head?". These catch phrases are better suited to the third or forth time I have repeated the same mistake. I could tell that he was already beating himself up. All I said was well I have no doubt you will fix it.

Graham assessed the damages and found a way to rig up a fix. Did anyone have any doubt? Not I! The weather was still to crazy to install the fix though since we would have to basically lie adrift in the huge seas for the hour or so while he makes the fix. So for now we continue on with our auto pilot. We also have our emergency tiller (and we know where it is and how to use it now :-)) and our hydrovane if all else failed, so no need to worry.

The rest of the day was dark and stormy. We were really feeling like maybe it was just us but then we caught the SSB radio net and heard other cruisers who were behind us talking and saying how they were getting the s%$& kicked out them and all the problems they had from broken rigging due to the winds, to problems with batteries. I actually let out a whoop when I heard this and I said to Graham, "See we are normal"! It was just what I needed to hear to keep kicking!

Amelia said, "It is just so strange how it can go from so calm and beautiful to this"! She is hoping for the return of some calmer seas. She would like to clean up the boat and she said I am in serious need of a bath. LOL. She is amazing though. I was so sick with my cold and Alex had a bit of sea sickness due to the chaos and Graham was exhausted. Amelia took care of us. Brought us drink. Got us left overs. Cut up cheese, salami, pickles and crackers and took it around to the various parts of the boats to offer it up. All of this while holding so she wasn't launched across the boat. She has been reading me to sleep with "New Moon". She waits til I am out and then stops. Last night she said, "Thanks for taking me on this adventure. Even when it is crazy like this I am still happy we are here." As I am typing this I am realizing what a grouch I have been with this cold. I got great kids and a great hubby. I am going to get up now and tell them that!
ARTEMO LOG - Thursday, May 20th at 12pm.- 100 hours at sea, 350nm behind us and about 650 left to go. If you do the math we have only averaged about 3.5nm an we have about 186 hours to go! That would make our arrival on Thursday, May 27th. Now I am still banking on sooner. Right now we are doing 6knots and have been for awhile. We have about 19knots of wind at about 60 degrees off our bow. We are heeled way over and as much as I would like the Captain to ease the sheets I know we will lose a bit of speed. I know the worst of the weather is behind us and fair sailing is coming our way.

Power Point

Tuesday, May 18th - 51 hours at sea now. We are making decent time. Our radar is fantastic. We have avoided a few squalls with it. You can see your position on the screen and the blotches of the squalls and the direction they are moving. My birthday has been fantastic. Amelia was up at 5:30 waiting for me to wake up so that she could make my day special. As soon as I woke up she became my faithful servant for the day. She keeps asking if I would like anything and brings me stuff. She made me this bag full of tickets that has all these nice things on them that she will do for me. There are streamers strung everywhere. I chuckle every time Graham has to duck to get up on deck. He isn't quite as amused by Amelia's antics as I am. I equate him to "Snuffleuffagus" today and Amelia to the energizer bunny. They don't mix to well.

Graham made me a beautiful breakfast of pancakes and blueberry sryup and for lunch home made soup, so good. I finally got to eat those yummy shortbread. I opened all my presents. The best present was a power point presentation (you know how I love power point) that Amelia and Alex did all on their own. It was amazing. They taped singing and speaking on various slides and added some music to one of them. They put in an assortment of pictures and the show told the story of the time we spend together. It is really great. I keep re watching it.

The day has been overcast which is really nice. It isn't to hot, it is just right. Graham and I tend to catch up on our sleep during the day. The kids read, watch shows, sit up on deck and talk and of course fish. I might have to start cracking the whip on home schooling soon. I think we are almost over the "lounge around and do nothing" days.

Last night we were all eating dinner at the table down below and watching MASH and Amelia says, "I almost forgot we were sailing"! It is strange what you can get use to.

May 17, 2010


I finally have hopped over that hurdle from self proclaimed non sailor to novice sailor! I guess this is due to the fact that I have this new found trust in sailing? Took long enough eh? So strange. I am not sure where it came from but for some reason I now realize that the earth will not stop turning if the sails flog a little (or a lot) as I struggle to bring out a sail or bring one in. I am thinking about the extra bit of speed we might get if we trim the sails a bit better and I am actually doing something about it? strange. While Graham slept early this morning I brought out the genoa on my own (first time) and even the missen. I even furled back in the missen on my own once I realized it wasn't helping.

We are on our 32nd hour out a sea and already so many of the things I am grateful for have happened. Perfect sailing, calm seas, absolutely beautiful sunsets, sea life, star filled skies and it just keeps getting better and better, I am so grateful!

We have had only one brief downpour so far and down below stayed pretty dry. I rigged up tarps inside over each of our beds just in case. As I was rigging up the one over Grahams bed I accidentally cut the wire to his fan. He really loves it when I make more work for him. He doesn't get mad at all :-)

Last night as I was on watch the most unexpected thing happened. I was in the cockpit and all of a sudden this terrible buzzing. You know the sound when massive bugs are around you flitting their wings. A huge migration of dragonflies was moving passed us and saw our lights and decided to come investigate. I went ballistic. Swatting at my head and screaming and swatting. I ran down below and everyone was asking what was wrong but it didn't take long for them to realize because they followed me down below. We know had 1 hysterical mom and 1 hysterical daughter running around! Looking back it really was funny. Graham had to find them and kill them all and I didn't want him turning any lights on since they were attracted to the light. He would turn on his head lamp and look around for them and they would fly at him. If he looked at me and put the light on me I would scream, "don't look at me, don't look at me"! Boy that guy has patience.

We all have adjusted to life at sea really quickly this time. We are eating well and resting lots. Amelia has wanted me to read Twilight for a while now, so we have been reading it out loud together and guess is really good! She has read it a couple times before so she is so happy when we come to a part she knows I will love. I am really liking it and I can't help but read ahead when she is sleeping. Now you know....I like survivor and I am reading Twilight.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I am going to be 39. Amelia told me not to worry. She said, "Aunty Ann-Marie is over 40 and still looks really good!" HA. Sorry Annie, I laughed so hard, I had to share that. Amelia has been making decorations to beat the band. She talks non stop about my birthday. I feel very honored to be the focus of all this attention. She made shortbread cookies as my cake and today she also made blueberry icing for them. It will be really hard not to sneak one tonight while I am on watch. I remember last year on my birthday we were on our 4 day passage to Cartagena. I see a pattern here.

Today we had a few hours of doldrums. The sea was flat calm and the sky was clear. We could see something in the water a ways off and then finally it made its way to us. It was a very large turtle. It was so cool. He came right up to the boat. The kids laid down at the back and reached out and tried to touch it. They were so close. He kept putting his head up to look at us. It was like he knew us. It was really strange. Just wait til you see the pictures. Alex is so witty though. I have been really plugging this grateful thing and everyone has been reluctantly playing along. I am making everyone say all the things they are grateful for and visualize all the things they would like. So as he is standing at the back of the boat he says out of the blue...., "I am grateful for this turtle"! LOL. He kills me.

Enjoy May 18th! My favorite day of the year.

May 16, 2010

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

Hi Everyone. Today is our day. We are off again to Galapagos. Option 4 was decided on and we are all excited about what lays ahead. (Especially the part where we hug the Gromits.)

We have spent the last couple of weeks working together to fix all of Artemo's issues. We have gone back to the fruit and veg market, picked up our frozen meat, bought more dairy, bought more spare parts (can never have enough of these), visited the dentist, loaded up on diesel and water and checked out of Panama!!

I believe in the power of visualization (thanks to my guru sister Annie) and we have a list on the wall in red felt marker that lists all the things we are grateful for, such as the ocean, fair wind, calm seas, Artemo, each other, a great captain and the list goes on but you get the picture. We are talking about how great the sail is going to be. We can see, we can feel it, we already feel grateful.

Amelia and I stopped by Tomek's boat yesterday and thanked him again for the pep talk. We told him that we had decided to go tomorrow. He said that we already had everything decided when we met him and that we actualy knew where we were going. Man, he is such a nice guy.

Now thanks to Chris, I have posted below the Dr. Seuss poem, "Oh! The Places You'll Go!". He pointed me to it in his comments on the last blog and we all really love it. It is inspiring and I think it is the perfect poem for our departure day.

ps.....It would be cool to know who is reading along on our voyage. Please feel free to drop a quick hello in the comments on this blog. We would all get a kicked out of seeing who else is along for the ride as we are out at sea. I heard yesterday that Graham's grandmother is reading along and this made us really happy.
pss....One more cool fact. Tomek just stopped by to look at the weather files with us and he showed me this tattoo he has on the inside of his wrist. It is white and really no one would ever notice it. It reads "I am" in polish. He said this is because "I am" is a powerful statement. It implies that you aren't hoping or wishing....YOU ARE. I of course loved this. He is one of a kind.
Oh! The Places You'll Go!

by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look'em over with care. About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there." With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you'll want to go down. In that case, of course, you'll head straight out of town. It's opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed. You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you'll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't. Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you'll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you'll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

May 08, 2010


Thought it was time for another update. I haven't felt much like writing. It is so strange to have a blog and have my emotional roller coaster out there for all. I am pretty sure I am coming off as crazy. I can just hear you now…."have you heard what those crazy Perry's are doing now?"…..Well hope you are sitting down because the story is getting crazier!

The day we arrived back in Panama City we went to the Panama Canal authority to fill out the paperwork to transit the canal! The admeasurer came out to our boat on Sunday and the paper work continued. On Monday morning we had an appointment booked to go and pay our $800 to transit the canal and………we cancelled.

We started thinking that maybe we were calling it too quickly. Maybe we could fix all the recent problems ourselves. Maybe we didn't have to do big enchilada fix. Maybe we could do little enchilada fix? Maybe there was still time to head back out to the South Pacific? Maybe we could order the parts we need and continue on?

So now we sit in Panama City with 4 options written in big block letters on our wall. Each day we continue working on the fixing. Today we finished re-caulking all the leaks on the deck of the boat. My hands and feet are black with the caulking. Tomorrow we will start re-bedding and caulking all the windows. Graham has ordered all the parts we need and is working on a super duper fix for the attaching the windlass to the deck. The parts should arrive within a week and then it is final decision time!!!!

Funny how now that I would love a good rain to see if our caulking made any difference, it only threatens to rain but not one drop falls. I have to tell you though….when it does rain, if it is still leaking inside I may have a break down! LOL.

The other day I met a fellow named Tomek. He was sitting at the next table over from me and I could tell that he wanted to strike up a conversation. Finally he asks me where we are headed. I replied that I wasn't sure. He said how can you come this far and not know where you are going next? I told him a small snippet of our story because I am so sick of telling it and hearing it and even from this bit of info Tomek replied, "The only option is to fix your problems the best you can and keep on going"! It was a bit shocking that this fellow who knew so little about us or the boat felt that we had only 1 option. He said, "I can imagine that you have been thinking of crossing the South Pacific for a very long time. People who are here have usually been planning to be here for many years. Now is your time. Do what you need to do to keep on moving forward."

Tomek was all about doing what needed to be done to keep us moving. He had a calming presence and he made everything seem not as bad as we might think. Now I have been doing this long enough to know that I will probably meet another cruiser tomorrow who will tell me we are crazy to continue on and that we should…..yada, yada, yada….but you know what…..Tomek said what I wanted to hear.

He showed up the next morning at our boat as Graham and I were having coffee. He took a look at our problems and gave us some sound advice. He said that he knows boats and we have a fantastic boat with a few minor issues that shouldn't hold us back. He said that he believed in the law of attraction and that we attract what we want. If we picture a beautiful sail, fair wind, happy times and no problems then this is what we will have. He said that we had to visualize and focus exactly on what we wanted. It was so strange to hear this sailor spouting "The Secret" philosophy! I was all over it and so needed this reminder. I wanted to hug him. We all sat in the cockpit soaking it up.

As he spoke I noticed a tattoo on his right arm. It was the world with a sailboat on top of it and written on the bottom was, "Solo around the world non-stop". I was obviously impressed and I asked when he had done this. I was expecting that it had happened in his youth but he replied two years ago. I asked if he was ever afraid and he said that he would share his secret for dealing with his fears. He said that he imagined the ocean was his mother. He said he loves his mother. He respects his mother. He said that like all women his mother was moody sometimes and it was best not to poke at her at these times. He said if you wait calmly her mood will pass and all will be well again.

The day before I had asked the universe for a sign. I asked that if we were to continue that I would see a purple elephant. That night we were at our friends boat having a drink and I said that the tires and ropes on our boat (for transiting the canal) were a constant reminder of the decision we had to make. Gary says at this point that they are like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. I was flabbergasted. There it was. It wasn't purple but it was talk of an elephant in the same day I asked for a sign! Coincidence? I think not. J

Now calm down mom….we aren't going to base our decision to head back out on an elephant but we are seriously thinking that option #4 "head back out to Galapagos", is the option for us.

We will see what tomorrow brings, for now we are enjoying the ride!

Ps… is tomorrow now and today Alex and I removed the elephants from the boat……..