Friday, November 28, 2008

Merle says: We are back in La Paz after a few day island excursion to the north for same playa isolote anchorages. We coaxed the Wind through the sails of Kenta Anae for some motor free sailing and anchoring for three days and ended up at a bitchin' anchorage with the teal blue sea and white sandy beaches and terra cotta rojo volcanic rock rimming the beautiful beach. Protection from the wind on three sides – can’t ask for better. And everyone in the anchorage left by the lunch hour leaving only us. We hiked the hills, hurled rocks of the cliffs with the kids, and gathered firewood for a beach fire in the evening. Once back at the boat we swam off the side including Matero solo. Just about the time I spewed the words, ‘we have "arrived"’ as I was air drying on the bow deck beside Allison, there was a loud thump and wail as Matero slipped post-swim on the companionway stairs and plummeted to a cranium landing on the sole below. Well, with blood oozing out of his ear and mouth and the I am really hurting cry on medium (which means its serious) we scrambled back to La Paz for a visit to the emergency room. The kicker was that it was a six hour sail back to town; that is a l-o-n-g Golden Hour window for any head trauma. Dan at the helm, me on the radio. So, maybe due to genetics he stabilized after 30 min and with Allison pouring energy into him sat quietly and watched a couple of movies while we hauled ass to town (for a sail boat). We managed to get a sat phone message relay to town (one of many miracles today) and a rescue boat met us an hour from the first landing in the bay (another miracle). Matero got his first ambulance ride (ambulance waiting for us at the dock - another miracle) to the x-ray machine. Turns out he is quite tough and resilient and with skull intact he is recovering nicely with a little quiet time and extra naps. He is otherwise his infectious humorous self and we are all very thankful. So pefection is liquid, Dan says. Don’t try to squeeze it too tight or it will drip out of your hands. Just relax in it and let it be. It was a nice reminder that we have a lot of good things going as we seek our latest balance. That’s the news lately. I am sure Allison will send a hello too. Shandro adds one more miracle: after his impromptu sleepover at Love Song, Kathy fed them pancakes with strawberries and cream for breakfast while we were at the hospital.
Allison adds: Now we are safe and sound on our boat. We had an excellent dinner of ribs and new potatoes and grilled zucchini, and now I am going to sleep. And I will sleep well, knowing that my family is all here and healthy and happy. Thanksgiving has never felt as good as it feels today. I am so grateful for all that has been done for us. Thank you, universe. Please send out blessings to everyone who helped us, and please help their love return to them ten-fold. Amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday, Nov 20th, 2008 – Revolution Day in Mexico. We are in La Paz, and the boys went to Spanish school with Morgan this morning to try it out. There was a play first thing in the morning to celebrate revolution day – the day when the unfair government of 20 years was finally overrun by a democratic Robin Hood type fellow and the people were finally freed. The children were all dressed up in costumes and we watched. It was all in Spanish, (roughly translated by the gentleman standing behind me) and was awesome! Then Morgan took Shandro’s hand and off they went to his classroom. I went with Matero to a different classroom where we learned some English words during their English lesson. Then they had an augua break and when Matero got up, there were several children who offered him their water, speaking only Spanish. Matero gratefully took a glass and drank and smiled. Love does not need words. He was okay when I left; I hope he will maintain his happiness until I return at 2 o’clock.
Well, when we got there to pick the boys up, they both wanted to return to school tomorrow! That’s so great! They really loved it. Matero joined Shandro and Morgan in their classroom in the afternoon for company. I’m glad they liked it.
Merle worked on the boat today while we were gone. He did some mast work, and he got our SSB working on low power. Very cool. Tomorrow is an SSB check with Pete, Allen’s friend, who is an SSB expert. Long range communication will be excellent after this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

… Monday, Nov 17th. DAY 9. La Paz ho!! We arrived in the straight around 7:00am and we all decided that we wanted to arrive in La Paz clean and fresh, so we took down the sails, stopped the boat and let it drift, stripped down and jumped into the WARM water. We all swam and washed and it was amazing! And Merle set up a fresh water shower for us, so we were really squeaky clean when we were done. Fresh clothes, combed hair, and we looked like a family out of some sailing magazine! Then we resumed our course, and headed into Bahia La Paz. We immediately found Love Song anchored, and anchored fairly close by. We had not been anchored more than 10 minutes when Love Song – Allen, Kathy, Morgan and Wyatt – roared up in their dingy and said ‘Hello!! You are here!! How long have you been here? You all have haircuts already!!’ We laughed, because it did look like we had been here for a while! I don’t think they believed us when we said we just dropped the anchor 10 minutes ago! Anyway, it was great to see them again, and we promptly went to their boat for a pot luck lunch and a visit, and ended up staying late for a delicious dinner too. Actually, a funny thing happened when Merle took me back to our boat in the dark to put together some food to contribute for dinner; we had our own adventure! I was down below and Merle went up to get into the dingy that I had securely tied up – but the dingy was gone!! We looked around and found it some distance off, so I jumped in and swam to it and brought it back. When we got back to Love Song, Kathy asked me why my hair was wet, so the secret was out; some of my knots still need work! The boys had the luxury of a bath with Morgan and Wyatt – their first bath in many moons! It was an awesome evening, and great to be with such sweet people, who were worried sick about us as we were unable to get any messages to them, despite many attempts.

Part of an email I sent out …

Hello hello! We are here safe and sound!

Our sail here (we are in La Paz - arrived Monday morning the 18th after 7 day sail, almost to the minute!) was awesome! The boat and her crew are all fine. We had big winds the first 2 days - 30 to 35 knots of wind and about 15 foot seas. I was as seasick as a dog, and Merle and Shandro had light seasickness. Matero and Dan are immune as it turned out! We had good speed and once the weather calmed down so we weren't completely focused on that, it became a very magical journey. It was such a blessing having Dan on board with us. We each did 3 hour shifts around the clock, which worked out beautifully because we each got a six hour break. And his optimistic and happy attitude and his sense of humor created a very light, delightful energy on our boat. We saw dolphins who came and played at our bow, looking up at us with their great big eyes, and one feisty dolphin even splashed us on purpose a couple of times - better than sea world!! At one point, before we caught our first fish, we were reading a story by Dr. Seuss called One Fish Two Fish, and we were at the page where we met Ish and his fish wish dish, and we paused at that moment to borrow the fish wish dish from ish to wish for fish, and Matero and Shandro and I all focused on that wish for about 1 minute, saying 'we wish for fish' over and over again. Within 5 minutes, we had caught our first fish, and our fishlines were busy after that! It was pretty cool! After that, we fished with great success - catching Tuna, Bonito, Sierra, and Mahi Mahi (Durado). They were all delicious - truly we ate like kings once I got over 2 days of seasickness and I could be in the galley again. In the calmer winds, much to Merle's delight and with Dan's optimistic help, we raised the beautiful blue and white spinnaker - a great big kite on the front of the boat. In even calmer winds, Shandro played on the halyards, balancing on the boom against the beautiful white sail. And Matero and Shandro both donned their harnesses and, one at a time, hooked into the tow line behind the boat. Then they barefoot water skied! And they loved it!! They learned to twist and turn and ski on one foot - soaking wet and laughing the whole time! One day, squid jumped onto our boat. Dan recognized that they were gifts from the universe, so he prepared them for us and we ate them up with great relish. And although Shandro was very sure that he would never eat squid, now he wishes for calamari regularly. We saw a puffer fish, and we saw a shark who was eating one of the fish we caught!

In short, all is well. I will do my best to update our website while we are here in La Paz, and that will provide pictures and a few amazing details that I have left out here. (I have to go pick up my kids - they are at a Spanish school today with their friend Morgan from the boat Love Song, who came south with us.) I will try to send an email once the website is updated, but it should be done by Sunday.