August 29, 2010

Bag Pipes

Well we had explored the island, swam at the beach, enjoyed amazing sunsets and underwater adventures.....all that was left to do was......HAVE A TOGA PARTY! We met up again with our friends Louis and Julie on Simpatica and at the same anchorage we had new friends on Mojo and Ceol Mor. Louis got in party mode and decided it was time to have a big potluck party on Simpatica. Of course parties are even more fun when there is a costume required, so he made it "Toga Required"!

In the morning all the ladies got together for tea to discuss the details but in actuality we just totally enjoyed each others company with no men and no kids.....a morning tea turned into hours of laughing, crying and talking.

Once back at each of our boats we all prepared our dishes to bring. The kids all got together and made the deserts for the evening. I pulled out old material and made up toga's for the boys. Amelia had a few wraps that both her and I were able to use. I even popped in my contacts and brushed my hair for the occasion. Felt good to feel pretty again.

The party was so much fun. The food was awesome. Julie and Louis ooze fun, so they had the samba music going and got out their big drum and shakers. They put themselves out there and aren't embarrassed about it. I love it. They were dancing all around putting all of us rigid cruisers to shame.

The party moved to the front deck where the girls serenaded us with a little Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Amelia then told everyone that she had a song she had written and there in the moonlight she stood on the front of the deck and beautifully sang her sailing song....."Anchors up were ready to go now. Sails are up, we off on our own now. Nothings left but you and me and the sea....eee....eeee...." It was so wonderful. I was a proud mama.

The boys tumbled around on the big trampoline at the front of the boat. Jim the dad on Ceol Mor brought over his bag pipes...Yup...bag pipes and played us all a few incredible! Here we are in Bora Bora listening to a live bag pipe show. Way cool. Alex went and grabbed his guitar and got in on the musical fun.

The kids love evenings like these. They love being included in the fun and even having the spotlight on them. Julie's kids are grown but she got in on the proud mama fun and showed us all a video of her 2 son's graffiti art. The music video shows them constructing this huge paneled wall of graffiti. The video is basically sped up pictures of their progress. The final product was so amazing. She said that the museum in Sydney put the art on display and had a showing of it. At the end of the showing....the boys came in and took a can of white paint and white washed the art to make a point. I got goose bumps as she told the story. Anyone who would of watched them paint over this beautiful piece of art would of got the point. She then put on her other sons music cd and we enjoyed listening to his band. Needless to say she wore her pride on her sleeve.

None of us wanted the evening to end but all good things must come to an end. I can't wait for you all to see the pictures. Can any of you imagine Graham in a Toga??? ha Might be a while before we get internet though. Today we have left Bora Bora with ZERO wind and we are headed to the next teeny tiny French Poly island named Maupiti only 27 nms away. We will explore this island until we have some wind to sail for Palmerston. Simpatica left today from a different anchorage and with any luck we will meet up with them again at Maupiti later today!

August 26, 2010

Only for experienced climbers!

Today we set out for the summit of Mount Pahia, 727 meters of steep and muddy climbing. We headed out at about 7:00 am. Mojo and Ceol Mor (2 other cruising families) left ten minutes before us because we had a bigger engine then them. It turned out to be a race in which Dad kicked it into high gear to beat Mojo to the dock. We tied up just as it started to rain.

A couple of locals gave us some advice saying that the climb would be extremely muddy with even a little bit of rain. We didn't take their advice since this was our day to climb the mountain. Well I can tell you now that we should have took it. With a couple of turns and even using the guide book as a map we got lost and went back and found the entrance to Mount Pahia.

We were a large group made up of 3 families each with two kids with me being the oldest at 13 (turning 14 in a week:-)) and William being the youngest at the age of 8. We started the climb and once we reached the first steep part Ceol Mor turned back because of the crazy slope. This was a good decision on their part. The Perry family and the Mojos continued on through the muddy but fun to climb areas.

We began talking about how ropes would be nice for these steep areas. Well we rounded the corner and got our first rope:-), up the side of a small rock face. Half of us went up the rope....I went first. The others went around it using a small bushwack kind of trail. About a quarter of the way up we stopped for drinks because we were all thirsty. We then continued on into places where it was extremely tough and there was almost always a rope to do it. We stopped here and there and stopped off at a trickle of water falling down the mountain to splash our faces.

As we got higher we were more and more muddy and before yah knew it we saw our first amazing view of Bora Bora. The outer reef surrounding the isle was like a perfect square and the clear water showed the drop offs from shallow to deep water. I've got to say it was awesome! As we were going up we were wondering how we would get down and the risk factor of somebody getting hurt increased as we climbed higher and higher.

We finally reached a blue rope and this rope looked like it would take us to the top. We were right. I went up first to take a look and it turned out that that the blue rope ended and led on to a large grey rope that then went up the last bit to the top.

This top part was a 5 meter high rock face. I made an attempt but didn't feel comfortable. I looked down and I felt afraid. It was scary because if I let go I would break an arm or roll off a cliff. It wasn't a good feeling. Ondene, the mom on Mojo came up next. She fit the profile of an experienced climber and went up to the top. Mom then followed up to the gray bit of rope to spot me up to the top. Although she tried I never made it up to the top of the mountain because I just couldn't do it. After this I went down followed by mom.

Sven the Dad on Mojo went up to the top with Ondene and they had the kids wait below as they took in the view. My dad stayed down and we started the decent now without the Mojos. We reached a comfortable spot and had lunch soon and were soon accompanied by the Mojo's again. We enjoyed P&J baguette and homemade hummus and crackers.

Our way down was tough and we advanced to a whole new level of dirtiness. We had to slide down most of the mountain on our butts. We also had to repel down the ropes. At this point our butts were filthy, basically every inch below the waist had mud on it and our arms were barely distinguishable. Our toes were beginning to curl from all the weight that was being pushed on to them from the downward climbing. We stopped off at that trickle of water and used a leaf as a funnel and drank the water (avatar style). It was delicious water. We new it was clean because we were the only ones up there today. We finally .....after a long time made it to the bottom. If you asked me right now was it worth it I would say yes. This hike although high wasn't exhausting like the Pitons were. It was more about choosing the right foot step and Mom says I've got a knack for that. The hike was beautiful and I loved it.

By: Alex Perry

Ps....from I stood on the tiny ledge staring up the 5 meter high rock face and looking back as Alex descended I was faced with a decision.....would I climb to the top without the rest of my family or descend to join them. My competitive nature was beggin me to continue...the end was right there in front of me and I felt I could do it since my legs and arms were longer than Alex's....but all of a sudden it occurred to wasn't about the was about the journey and I grabbed hold of the rope and climbed back down to the Perry clan full of pride and happiness in what we had accomplished.

August 25, 2010

Mister Monkey

It is 4 am in the morning and here I lay in the dark unable to sleep. We have had two of the best days and tomorrow promises to be another. I lay here re-living and processing different moments.

We went off for our intro hike up a small hill the other day. We thought we should stretch our legs and try and iron out any kinks before we hit Mount Pahia. We drove our lil' Salty Ginger dinghy....the family car....around the corner to a bay and hoisted her up on shore and locked her to a coconut tree. We then walked the island of Bora Bora. We found a hill that had a new dirt road up the side of it and it looked perfect for a great view of the bay. When we got to the top we had a fabulous view of this amazing place we are in. Bora Bora is the most beautiful from way up. You can make out all the variations of color in the water. As we were taking in the view Amelia spotted some dangling Mangoes in a tree on the steep side of the brush covered hill. She pointed them out to Graham and then.....there was no stopping him.

It is moments like these that the kids won't soon forget. For them the view was nice but it was just another bay....but hey...Dad and them trying to figure a way to get all those mangoes way up in the tree this IS FUN. First thing they did was go off and find a huge long bamboo shoot. Once Graham had this in hand they bush whacked down the side of the hill into the dirt beneath the tree on the side of the hill. Grahams shoes came off and he climbed the tree just like a monkey. I was a bit in shock....afterwards I said to Alex, 'Can you believe how high Dad got in that tree?' and he says, "I once saw him climb a huge tree in Bennington Heights, so I knew he had it in him!" ha.

Once Graham was up the tree with Bamboo shoot in hand and Alex was positioned down below where he would try to catch the mangoes before they roll all the way down the steep embankment....Graham began to beat at the hanging bunches. As it begins to rain mangoes I can't help but feel a bit sorry for Alex down below.....try to catch but also trying not to be hit! They were both so excited though by all the gold they were getting. You might ask where I was for all of the fun......safely back at the top of the hill watching the antics and taking pictures. It is moments like these that I am so happy to have Graham for a partner...for the kids to have a Dad who will get dirty and take on a something a little unexpected. Eventually Amelia couldn't resist the fun and the promise of yummy mangoes. She plowed off through the brush with a big bag and began to collect the bounty.

Finally as I looked up and watched Graham getting higher and higher in the tree, up to the small little branches and his feet are balanced between 'Y' joints and both hands are on the bamboo shoot to get more leverage as he knocked at the mangoes....I yelled over to him, "I think you are high enough and we have more mangoes than we can eat...time to come down."

I had to laugh as we emerged from the bush and hiked back down to the lookout and we see some beautiful honeymooners on a paid tour with their guide taking pictures. They all turn around to watch as the Perry Clan emerges from above all covered in dirt and sweat and the guide says in shock...."Where did you guys come from?" since there wasn't any other trails up there....We said that we had just went for a little walk and carried our overflowing bag of mangoes behind us. :-)

The remainder of the day we spent on what is said to be the nicest beach on Bora Bora. Another family joined us and we all enjoyed cheese, baguette and fun in the sun.

We have revised our schedule since we just can't seem to tear ourselves away from this island and now weather permitting we will be leaving on Saturday. Yesterday we climbed Mount Pahia....but I think this story deserves a blog all its own....crazy crazy day....I will get writing.

Missing you guys in Bora Bora


August 22, 2010

Somebody Pinch Me

We arrived in Bora Bora a couple days ago after a beautiful overnight downwind sail from Moorea. The island is surrounded by an underwater reef and has one opening that you enter through. We came in through the pass and headed to a gorgeous anchorage in between two smaller islands. The water is everything I have ever dreamed of. The view is like those screen savers you see back home......clear clear clear blue water leading off to the breakwaters at the reef surrounding the island. Last night we had a spectacular sunset. It was so much like a painting that cruisers were calling out on the vhf letting everyone know to get up on deck and see. The sky was red and wispy and I just couldn't believe how beautiful. My stew was cooking down below so I headed back down to check on it. When I looked back up out the window our boat had swung so I was looking directly at the show. I screamed out, "Somebody pinch me!!! Can you believe the view from our window??". Sometimes it just shocks me where we are. I took a few pictures but they just don't do it justice.

We have all been really winding down. This pace of life suits me real well :-)! We spend our days visiting with friends, swimming, enjoying the beach, snorkeling, reading (can you believe it!), cooking and playing games. There is a boat anchored right next to us named Mojo and they have 2 girls on board. Amelia is happy since she has been missing the Gromits. She has had two nights of sleep overs and is loving life. Alex seems happy to have our full attention. He took Graham and I down yesterday in a rowdy game of RISK. He told us a story of being at his Uncle Robs for a sleep over and how Uncle Rob and Uncle Jason and a bunch of friends were playing Risk and it seemed pretty serious. I had to laugh...I love these stories from home. I can just imagine Jay and Rob not talking for weeks after. Man I miss you guys.

I made chocolate gooeys yesterday. They are a family tradition. It is moments like these that seem so strange out here. Here we are in Bora Bora but we can still have our Canadian moments right here on board. Annie the kids said that they were almost as good as yours. You would of been proud! Again though it made me miss you and wish that I could share this adventure first hand with all of you. Next time we cross the South Pacific you all HAVE to visit!! Graham and I will have to figure airfare for every family member into our cruising budget!

Ok, back to Bora Bora. The island has a really cool mountain on it that is begging us to climb it. We heard that you can do it in a day so tomorrow this is our plan. We are going to get up early and get a birds eye view of this island. The other thing we want to do is bike around the entire island. I guess it is 32 k around, so it is totally doable.

This morning we changed anchorages and I know it will be hard to believe but it seems even more beautiful than the last one. It is going to be hard not to get stuck here. The original plan was to push onto the Cook Islands (Palmerston) on the 23rd but I just don't think that is going to happen :-).

ps....Everyone has been asking...."Where are the Gromits?"....They are still enjoying Papeete and having a ton of really cool adventures that we can't wait to hear about. We hope to have a joyful reunion with them here in Bora Bora before we head out to the Cooks...fingers crossed...We miss them!

August 17, 2010

Artemo Admirer


This morning we had a fellow row up to Artemo and tell us how much he was admiring her. We had a nice chat and as he was leaving he said..."Don't forget these are the good ol' days". He rowed back to his boat without even realizing how much his one sentence had affected me. There I stood yet again with tears in my eyes, realizing how right he was. Before I know it Amelia and Alex will have families of their own and Graham and I will be talking about the good ol' days. I am going to squeeze as much as I can out of these years with them.

Today will be a day we speak of for years to come. After our chat with the Artemo admirer we headed off for a hike up the mountain to a look out point where the guide book promised a view of the two bays. Of course we did the day up Perry style and spent a grand total of zero dollars. We hiked in the hot sun up the mountain. At about the half way mark we found a beautiful trail that was sheltered from the sun and ran up alongside a creek. It was beautiful. We were all pretty hot and tired but finally the trail opened up to the amazing lookout.

Once we had taken our panoramic shots we got out our apples and just soaked in the view. At this point a man and woman join us at the look out and we began to chat with them. They were interested in our adventures thus far. As we were talking I realized that the woman was ....Sarah Jessica Parker! At about this time up walks Anderson Cooper. Alex recognizes Anderson and asks him straight away...."Are you the fellow from CNN?"....He answers yes and introduces himself to all of us and shakes our hands. Meanwhile Amelia is chatting away to Sarah and asking her where she is from and what her name is and telling her that she looks familiar! Too funny. They were really nice to us and I think we played it fairly cool. We didn't take any pictures and didn't even think to ask for an autograph. We were totally star struck though. We met a couple other ladies on the hill top who were super nice. They ended up giving us a drive back down. Turns out they are from New Zealand and live near the bay we will be staying at. We exchanged emails and contact info.

Once we were back at Artemo we had our lunch and then got ready for our afternoon excursion. We had heard that there was a place just around the bay where you could snorkel with rays and black tip reef sharks. We took our dinghy out and around and off in the distance we could see a couple of boats tied to mooring balls. Amelia was saying the whole way there...."Wouldn't it be cool to see Sarah again?"....Well sure enough we drive up and there they are all in the water, including Mathew Broedrick!!! So strange that just last night we watched Ferris Buellers day off! Anyway...there we swam and stood in crystal clear water with Anderson and Mathew....petting rays and watching sharks swim around our legs.....WAY COOL!!! Sarah stayed in the dinghy but she was really nice and said hello again to all of us. Amelia was dying to invite them all over for happy hour.

Tonight the kids went for a night time swim. The water is so clear that the light from the stars and moon is enough for us to see clear to the bottom. As I was watching them yell at each other in the moon lit water I thought to myself......these ARE the good ol' days.

Summer Days

You know those summer days where the sky is clear blue and the air smells fresh. The sun heats your skin til it is warm to the touch but there is enough of a light breeze to keep you from getting sweaty. I am talking pure perfection for a day. That was today for us.

At about 9am this morning we called Tahiti Port Control and got the go ahead to depart the island and away we sailed. It has only been three weeks but it feels like so long since we have sailed. It felt so good to raise the main and shake out the Genoa and finally cut the engine. Beautiful, peaceful, wonderful sailing. Artemo was leaned over just enough to cut through the French Polynesian waters like she was dancing. I kept wishing my family (the 4 present excluded :-)) could be here to experience the moments like these with me. I miss them. Every perfect day requires dolphins and this day delivered.

We all watched as Tahiti got smaller behind us and the island of Moorea became clearer. I love that we all still get really excited about a new place. We all were up on deck pointing and ooohing and awwwwing as the most beautiful island unfolded before us.

As we came in the pass for the island a boat that we had met in Panama radio'd us and gave us the skinny on the anchorage. They let us know that there was enough room for us in the beautiful crystal clear anchorage to our port side. They said it was shallow but that the sun was just perfect that we would be able to avoid any reef as we came in.

Each day is a new experience and truth be told we tend to avoid anything shallow in Artemo or anything not considered "easy" when anchoring. Well I am so happy that we just went with his advice on this one. We came in and I watched as our depth indicator went from 15 all the way to 1.3 meters....We have never been quite sure if it was below the keel or from the surface of the water...well now we know it is below the keel. Graham is able to stand on the ocean floor below our boat and the keel of our boat starts at his shoulders! Of course being Graham his first thoughts are that he is going to be able to clean the hull really well. ha.

The water is sooooo clear it is insane. Once we were anchored Alex dove the anchored and assured me we weren't sitting on the ocean floor and then it was time for a family swim. Once we were all dried off and enjoying the view I checked for wifi and since it is the perfect internet! Totally crazy. It is gone now but it was good while it lasted.

.....and now as the sun has set and the happy hour drinks have been drunk might ask what we are doing onboard our little Canadian home.....watching Ferris Buellers Day off of course!

August 13, 2010

Pull Me Up

Yesterday Alex and I went into the marina with the dinghy to do the check-out for Tahiti. When we arrived at the dinghy dock I climbed forward and had to climb into another dinghy and then onto the dock to tie us off. As I am leaned over tying off I see out of the corner of my eye.....Alex's shoe fly over my head and across the dock and into the water on the other side.

Well, here I must pause and tell you that shoes are like gold in Tahiti. Everything here is so expensive. It is really unbelieveable. So with this in mind I realize that I must rescue the shoe.....

On the other side of the dock is a big power boat. I put one arm on the boat and one arm on the dock and try and just lower myself down and hook the croc with my foot. Bad plan.....I can't hold my body weight up (I had hurt my arm the week before) and I sink into the yucky marina water up to my waste and manage to hold myself there. I look over at this point and Alex is still sitting in the dinghy with his mouth wide open in shock. I ask him....ok I yell at him, to get the heck over here and help me out of the water.

The dock is covered in coral and urchins and I really don't want to have to swim out around the power boat and back over to the dinghy. Yuck. He finally gets over to me and I manage to hook his shoe enough to move it closer to the dock for him to grab with his foot and then I tell him he has to pull me up with my one good arm. I struck the fear of god in him and told him that if he let me go....there would be heck to pay. He managed to pull me up. Amazing what a little fear of mother can do.

I asked him as I stood sopping wet and angry, what the heck he was thinking flinging his shoe? Didn't he consider the consequence? That it might fly over the other side....His reply was, "It entered my head for a second but then it was gone".

At this point all that was left to do was to......LAUGH. OMG...we laughed. It was pretty funny. We put on quite a show for everyone. I am now waiting for the absolute perfect moment to toss him day will come and it is going to be soooooo sweet.

ps....We are checked out of Tahiti and hope to leave on Saturday (weather permitting). We just had the perfect evening onboard Artemo with our friends from AKKA and Quest. Home made carmel corn, brandy nut brie, baquette, hummus, meats, olives, cheese, banana muffins.....rum I love happy hour/evening....

August 08, 2010

Running Man

Simpatica's Blog with Photos of the Day

Hello Casting Off readers, it is Alex here writing a special one of a kind blog……

Today we spent our whole day on Simpatica. We met Simpatica about a half a year ago on our first landfall from Cartagena to San Blas. We had been beat up and tossed around by a giant storm. We were all stressed and needed a little fun. In enters Simpatica!

They drove over to us in their dinghy and invited us to sundowners. We went over to the 47 foot Katana catamaran and had a blast. The boat has a washer and drier, microwave, hot running water, air conditioning, ice maker, freezer and a whole bunch of awesome toys. Julie and Louis (not Julie Perry) are awesome chefs and we ate like kings. We met up in different places as our trips progressed, like in Panama or in the middle of the ocean on our way to Galapagos. Finally we met in Papette, Tahiti which is where we are now.
Last night we had Louis over for drinks. Julie wasn’t there because she went back home to Australia. He said he was having a party… a boat washing party. He invited Amelia and I and the Gromit kids to a day of swimming, fun and fresh water cleaning.

The next day we made our way over to Simpatica. It was me, Melia and Mia from Gromit to begin with. The two other Gromits were finishing school. We started off by raising a giant tarp to cover the front of the catamaran and cleaned the window covers. Then we started to wash the deck and continued along for awhile. We also were spraying each other because a fresh water shower is something very rare around Artemo. We also were jumping off the sides of the boat.

Just as we started cleaning the cockpit ZoĆ« from Gromit stopped by and she continued with the fun. Liam couldn’t come yet because he still had some chores to do. We finished cleaning the cockpit and we went out and dropped the kayaks into the water. We took the paddles apart so they were in two and paddled it like a canoe. We paddled under the middle of the catamaran. We then made a fruit smoothie which is something we can’t make on Artemo…no ice, no frozen fruit and it was AWESOME. We then made lunch which was fried ground beef with Cajon sause on rice and kidney beans it was great.

After that the apples on Simpatica sparked an interest for me since I know a recipe called Social Apple Betty. It’s really quick and really good and it’s only four ingredients total. Zoe and I then drove back to Artemo in the giant Simpatica dinghy with a 25 horse power engine. We went FAST! We got the recipe and made it back driving responsibly.

Break Break….. have tried to get Alex to finish the blog to no avail, so I will pick up the story from here. Unfortunately though all I can give you is our point of view.....

Later in the afternoon we got a radio call from the kids asking if they could stay the night. I wouldn’t give them a "yes" on the radio since I just couldn’t believe that Louis really would want 5 kids for the night after having them all day. We all met up at Gromits for burgers and sure enough Louis was in good spirits and said he wanted to give us all a night off and was happy to have the kids over. He said that he had a great time with the kids all day and that the "boat washing" party was a success. The kids let out hoots and hollers when they finally had the "YES" they had been waiting for. Graham and I were hooting and hollering to ourselves to!

We dropped the kids off with their mats, sheets and pillows and on the front of this big beautiful catamaran where there is a trampoline like area they all made their beds. Louis then got out the flat screen tv and positioned it outside for them all. He put on “Avatar” and made them a big batch of popcorn and they were all in heaven. I guess they all were asleep before the movie had even ended. The next morning they made crepes and the fun continued til lunch.

The kids all had what they say is, 'The best day ever!' I wish you all could meet Louis. He is fun, boisterous and kind with just the right amount of crazy thrown in to make him interesting. When we did the crossing from Panama to Galapagos we were in SSB contact with Louis daily and we would track each other’s coordinates. About 8 days out he finds us and does a drive by in the middle of the ocean in big seas and wind. As he passes us he goes to the front of the cat and does the running man! Totally classic.

We all feel really lucky to include Louis and Julie in our cruising circle of friends and we can’t wait to meet up with them again down the road.

August 05, 2010

Piece of Metal

From Tahiti Fun

Being the voyagers we are we have gone….NOWHERE! ha. We woke up the next morning and it was blowing a bit and we thought ……let’s stay awhile longer. We have decided for the moment to wait for our boat parts and then head off to Moorea and then on to Bora Bora.

Another deciding factor was that the kids friends arrived in the morning at the anchorage and the hope of a play with them was enticing the kids to stay. They arranged to get together with Robin (Alex’s friend) and Julie (Amelia’s friend). I gave them a little freedom and they all went off to grab ice creams together from….McDONALDS!

I found it funny that once they were back at the boat the first thing Robin asked to do was to see Alex’s book selection. Once he had a series to borrow decided on it was time to jump in the water to cool off and then they read their books together in the cockpit. A bit different than backpacks strewn all over the floor in Toronto and Alex and his buddy’s playing Calling of Duty upon my arrival home from work. Don’t worry though…Alex is still dreaming of his Uncle’s X-box.

They all ended the visit by flying around the boat on the halyards. I only heard a few smacks and crashes. I brought them into the marina to find their parents and as we were walking towards the dinghy bar we could see a man off in the distance walking towards us with a piece of metal in his hand. Alex says, “Hey I think that is Dad and he has the piece of metal he was looking for”. Robin says, “It might be my Dad. He was looking for a piece of metal today to”. This totally hit my funny bone. To funny that the world we now live in has two friends who’s Dads could be coming home with a piece of metal!

Once we had dropped off Robin and Julie we headed over to our friends boat Salamander for sundowners. We enjoyed sparkling white wine (in a bottle!!!....we have only had boxed wine since Panama) and a beautiful assortment of French cheeses and baguette. Happy hour is my favorite time of day J.

All in all I am pretty happy we haven’t headed out yet. Yesterday Graham and I even spent the day together having our own adventure. We hopped on a local bus and found some beautiful caves. It was really nice to spend the day together without either of us having to compete for our attention. Absolutely perfect and it turns out I still really like the guy and vice versa I think.

We are back to doing chores today such as ….taxes, banking, home school registration, and the never-ending boat maintenance. Alex’s flu has hit us all except for Graham, so everyone cross your fingers the Captain doesn’t get sick cause you know what that means…

Ps…..The Captain is now sick….wish us luck J

August 02, 2010


We are voyagers. I love being voyagers. I am so totally hooked on the feeling of....."Where should we go today?" It is really, really cool to just be able to pick up and go and your home goes with you. I enjoy our stops but we are on a journey and we need to keep moving, to keep looking forward. It is so exciting.

Tahiti has been a cool stop on this journey. It has been our first taste of real civilization since we left Panama City. It was a shock to walk into the huge air conditioned grocery store but it felt sooooo good. Unfortunately the prices are SKY HIGH! Thank goodness I bought enough groceries to get us to New Zealand. I feel so proud each time Graham runs out of something and I can produce another bottle, jar or bag of it and he is so happy with my shop job. You know I love the kudos. The only things we need to stock up on are fruit, veggies, cheese and meat. We spent about $200. I think we are doing pretty good with our budget. We decided that the fruit and veggies were to expensive in the grocery store though and we had heard there was a farmers market at 6am on Sunday mornings where they were much cheaper. This means that for the past 2 Sundays we have woke up at 5am and taken the dinghy in the dark all the way into town (about 3 miles). We carefully find our way via the red and green buoys. One wrong turn and you end up on the jagged reef. We had a couple hairy carry moments of Amelia yelling...."Dad REEF"!! Regardless we saved some money and had an adventure! Gotta love that.

We also managed to squeeze in a Tahiti tour Perry style. We took our dinghy into town and saved the taxi fare. We took the kids to the food vendors in the open market and bought baguette sandwiches for our lunch. ($2 each) We jumped on the number 1 bus to the end of the line. ($4) We hiked from the end of the line up a mountain into the lush Tahiti landscape to a waterfall. Pretty neat to do given the fact that practically no one speaks English.

We did have a few bumps in the plan though. The first one was a HUGE centipede revealing itself to me from under a leaf on the trail as Amelia and I hiked. Scared the crap out of me and I heard these things are extremely poisonous. Second bump was the fact that when we were almost there Alex started feeling sick and weak with his cold. It was decided that we would turn around and Graham and Amelia would continue on and meet us back at the park in Papette. I didn't realize he was feeling that sick. I felt terrible for pushing him that far. Luckily as soon as we turned around and hiked back to the road a truck came along and offered us a drive to the bus stop! The third bump was the fact that I forgot to leave Graham and Amelia with the instructions for getting to the base of the waterfall.....ooops. They hiked up, up, up and finally they looked across and they were above the stunning waterfall. They said it was really gorgeous but they were so looking forward to a swim. Ha. Well we chalk these Perry Style Tours up to character builders and the good news is that the whole day only cost us.....$16.

Tomorrow we are off voyaging again! We are heading to the island of Moorea which is only 20 miles away. The guide book says that it is one of the most photographic islands in the world? Wish I had google to see what it has to say. We met a guy on the bus to the falls who lives on the island and gave us his number. He said we should call once we are there and he will show us around. I am looking forward to meeting his family and hearing his story.

Excited for tomorrow and really grateful for today......