January 20, 2011

Glow Worms

(ooppss....found this one that Amelia wrote and I forgot to publish...enjoy!)

By: Amelia Perry

A few days ago my family, my three best friends, Enya, Mia and Uncle Rob, our family friend Brian and I went to see the glow worms. Glow worms are various different groups of insect larvae which glow through bio-luminescence. Enya and Mia had slept over the night before and we were all pretty tired but we made ourselves get out of bed early.

We ate breakfast and quickly got into the car. With no stops on the way we made it to the glow worms in record time. When I say glow worms I mean the beginning of the walk to get to the glow worm caves. We started our walk and for the next half an hour we walked and walked and walked; we had to avoid many cow plops.

When we got to our first cave my friends and I looked at the mud and decided to take off our shoes. The mud was so thick it was disgusting. The six of us went down into the cave while Un-Kee Bob (my new name for Uncle Rob) and Mom stayed out. It was pretty tricky getting down into the cave but we made it ok. When we got to the bottom of the cave it was really dark and we could only see 1 glow worm. It was pretty lame, until Dad found a crevasse with about 50 glow worms in it. It was so cool.

When we climbed out of the first cave we had to walk for another 10 minutes to get to the next one. It was much bigger than the previous one and much steeper. We scrambled our way down the rocks and finally made it to the end of the tunnel. OMG amazing! It was so cool. We all screamed out so loud. Mia, my best friend, was the loudest. The glow worms sprinkled the ceiling like stars sprinkling the sky.

Finally it was time to get back to the car. We quickly turned around and headed back to the car. Today was definitely a day to remember.

January 18, 2011

Trade Me

Anybody miss me?? The past couple months have gone by in a blur. I can't believe February is fast approaching. In the spirit of keeping it real, I must tell you that Graham has been driving me nuts. We decided on Christmas Eve to put the boat up for sale on the New Zealand "TradeMe" site which is basically the same as ebay in Canada. We thought that we might as well just throw it up for sale at a great price without a broker and see what happens.

Straight away we started getting inquiries and once the holidays were over we have begun to have showings. This has been a bit difficult because we are working on getting all the little nit picky things done like all the exterior varnishing and interior painting while having people come by.....basically a recipe for relationship disaster :0. Oh and throw in the fact that we have had company here for a majority of this time and we want to show them around and vacation with them and continue to work on the boat.....well, it has been a bit stressful.

You all have heard about "Mr Perfectionist" well imagine him now times ten. He is working to get everything 150% perfect for the next owner. Artemo has never looked so good. I took a bunch of new photos that you can check out on "TradeMe". We have stripped all the exterior wood down to bare and are now working to apply the 15 coats required when the weather permits. We hauled Artemo out last week and painted her bottom and let me tell you....you haven't seen a nicer bottom :-). We are back on the water now and yesterday we went for a little motor around and my heart ached just to keep going and find a nice secluded anchorage to kick back in and continue our adventure. For now though we continue the cosmetic fix ups at our cement island in Opua.

Moms visit was great. We can't thank her enough for coming and seeing us and Artemo and seeing first hand the life we have been living. It was so nice to share it with the woman who gave me my "YES I CAN" attitude. Mom was a gracious guest and overlooked our stressed out moments and relished in the good ones. Highlights for me were a girls day out doing winery tours and a stop at the chocolate factory and of course camping with mom and the kids. Mom seems to make friends where ever she goes and it didn't take her long to have us invited over to the most friendly NZ families campsite to make some new friends. The fellow Rob, even took Alex fishing early the next morning and much to Alex's excitement he caught 3 good size rainbow trout! We spent our last night together at a hotel and I watched as mom swam in the pool with the kids and she dove down and held her breath and played with them and as I watched I realized how lucky I am to have so many people in my life who love "me".....the whole miserable wonderful me. Miss you already mom!

I should mention that Rob and Brian's visit was also great. The house that Rob rented was AWESOME. Picture us unlocking the front door and the kids running throughout yelling "OMG"..man they were happy. In true Perry style though we did manage to have a dryer fire and had to call the local firemen. I have always wanted a house full of firemen and I got my Christmas wish....LOL. I had been doing laundry to beat the band since we hadn't had free access to a washer and dryer since forever. The dryer was a pretty cheap unit and must of overheated. We were watching TV late one night and the breaker blew and the fire alarm went off and then we smelt smoke. I ran straight to the kids room and with my well practiced...."We are all going to die" face I yelled at them to wake up and get outside. Once they were safe I saw that the dryer was on fire and I called Graham. He yelled at me to go to the neighbors and call 911. He managed to suffocate most of the fire by the time they had arrived. The firemen took the dryer off the wall and took it outside and disassembled. Regardless we couldn't expect to have a holiday without a story could we??

Our plans for now are to finish up the varnishing and then to head up to Auckland. Grahams folks and his Aunt Cathy arrive on February 3rd and we hope to tour the South island via car with them. If we haven't sold Artemo by the end of February then we will probably cruise for the month of March and then get ready to return to Canada in April. We are all still looking forward to doing a cross Canada road trip and visit all of you along the way. I promise not to destroy any ones dryers.

Everyone do some positive thinking to bring the right person our way to become the new owner of Artemo. It feels so strange to be selling her. She has kept us all safe and has been such a huge part of this journey, adventure and family. Artemo always knew what to do even when we didn't. I remember on day 1 Graham saying to me, "don't worry Artemo knows the way". I hope we can find someone who will love her as much as we have.

oh and Captain Graham is still my Mr Wonderful. As much as we both have wanted to strangle the other over the past few weeks, we both recognize what is just a symptom of the stress and sadness we feel...as this chapter of our life continues to close. They don't get much better than this guy....oh and I don't think there is anyone else out there who would put up with my craziness.

Ok, time for bed. Sorry it has been so long since I have written. As you can see we are digesting quite a bit. I miss you all and we all dream of our visits with you real soon.


January 09, 2011

The Whole Package

By: Amelia Perry

Today was New Years Eve and all the girls of Artemo and Mojo were on Mojo sailing over to a small town named Paihai where the fireworks would take place that evening. When we got to the anchorage mom quickly brought out some chocolate gooey's. Yummm! Mia handed out tea and we all decided to play Cranium before the boys arrived. As soon as we started to play the boys called and we had to go pick them up. Our day to this point had already been very full it was hard to believe that it could get better but we soon found out that this was only part of the Mojo New Years Eve package.

When we got back from fetching the boys we finished our game of Cranium and had our first round of food. We had pumpkin salsa with cheese flavored nachos. We then went down stairs and played the "Places" game. Nanny won and I came in second. Then we played charades and I think the opposing team won. Still this was just part of the Mojo package.

For the next part of the evening we ate and ate and ate. We ate tuna, egg salad, chicken strips, burgers and guacamole. We played games, the adults drank and the New Year came closer. We all were so excited. When there was only four more minutes to go until the New Year a voice came over the radio and said, "We are now in position, ready to fire the fireworks just off the shore of Paihai." We all looked around to see if we could see the boat that would give the show and then we saw it. It was the boat closest to us and we had front row seats!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 HAPPY NEW YEAR! Everyone screamed with joy as the New Year came. The fireworks went off and it was the most amazing thing ever! They all bounced forward at us and fell down through the sky like shooting stars. This was the WHOLE Mojo Package.

Thank you Ondene (the mom of Mojo) for making New Years Eve 2010 one I will never forget.

Nautical Nanny

By: Alex Perry

For the past week my Grandma has been a cruiser. Everything that comes her way she takes it in stride. One of the road blocks was the dinghy, a half deflated 9 foot boat that transports us to land, but she managed to crawl right in. I am really glad she could come.

Nanny Donna is also my roomie and I'm really thankful that she doesn't snore like Brian or Uncle Rob. At night we all play games and watch the TV show she brought down with her. During the day we do school then we tour New Zealand. Yesterday we went to the falls and then to a small point where we watched in envy at a cruise ship.

Our Nautical Nanny is going to go camping with us to the thermal area of New Zealand to see the hot springs and bubbling mud. That will be an experience and since we were there before with Brian and Uncle Rob we will be able to show it all to her.

My favorite part of having my family here is being able to share my life with them. It is really awesome having Nautical Nanny here. She has successfully integrated into the cruising lifestyle!