Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30 - Happy early birthday, Dayton!

Friday, May 30th. Happy early birthday, Dayton! Hope that you have a great day tomorrow!!

Today we pulled down our genoa (the front sail) and dumped our holding tanks. (Sails have to come down in case there is a storm with high winds while we are away. The sails are the first things to unravel and rip apart in high winds.) As we left the marina and headed out to sea again, Merle and I looked at each other, and he said to me, ‘I love it out here!!’ ‘Me too!!’ Imagine how much we will love it in November, when we haven’t been on the sea for so long! It’s been less than 3 weeks!! Then I went to the dentist for my final appointment. He did an excellent job, at a fraction of the Canadian cost. I am very happy with my tooth!! The only thing that could make it better in the future would be if I could grow a whole new permanent tooth myself, which I believe is possible. I just haven’t figured out how to do that yet. Perhaps some part of me doesn’t believe it’s possible yet. I’m working on it.

I have been inhaling Ensenada the last few days. I am going to miss this place! I love the people here, where we are. We attract great teachers. Lucky for us, the lessons are relatively gentle – mostly internal. Victor and Andre (moored here) are the sweetest ever, and they are a few steps ahead of me in the higher consciousness department, so I get to enjoy some of the reading materials they have that helped them get where they are now. Mark (also moored here) is a very humerous and delightful British fellow who is hungry for new information to help him advance. ‘Give me the juice’ he says. David Hawkins is a very interesting author, who has written many books on this subject. He experienced ‘enlightenment’ many years ago, but stayed on earth to teach about it. His writing is extremely interesting. I am ready and indeed eager to hear some of it. But some of it makes me itchy because he challenges my current beliefs – which are holding me here in this mindset – and in order to release these beliefs and shed some baggage requires some stretching, to say the least. Excellent!! Might as well stretch. What else are we here to do, besides enjoying this big old earth and all of her beings great and small? Like the movie ‘One’ says: The meaning of life is to live!

Walking up to the hotel and back today with Shandro and Matero was a joy. Matero rides his bike wearing his own helmet, and using Shandro’s helmet for a ‘baby carrier’ for his monkey. Shandro is very patient with his little brother. My children are here to teach me, and I hope I am open to all of their lessons. I hope I can be a good mom and ‘get it’. We did play at the playground this afternoon for a while. Shandro said, ‘You’re going to play with us, Mom?? Really?? You’re finally getting it!!’ The ‘bum bumper’ slide was the worst – as the bumps are in all the wrong places. But we had to do each thing once, so we did it, follow the leader style. The curly tube slide was the best. At the end, Matero pushed Monkey on the swing for a while and Shandro ran around in the sand chasing a football and helped a little slightly unstable toddler slide down the little slide. On the way back, Shandro and Matero both picked flowers and tucked them into the baby carrier with Monkey. By the time they finished, you could hardly see Monkey in there! Then they decided that it made Monkey super happy, not because of the flowers themselves (the ‘stuff’ as Shandro calls it), but because of all the love that accompanied each little flower gift. That was pretty amazing, for a 4 and 6 year old. Kids are really very astute. They ‘get it’ right away. If it wasn’t for us adults teaching them to ignore all that they already intuitively know, they would grow up to be loving and wise and happy spirits. I have to work on that.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28th

Wednesday, May 28th. Today, Merle went to San Diego with Shona to do some of the errands we needed to have done. And I did an Ortho-Bionomy session for her husband Mark. Hope he feels better soon! Merle's back is feeling better he says.

Monday, May 25, 2009

D(entist) Day

May 25th. Today was dentist day, and there will be at least one more. I have had a crown loose for about a year, and have tried to heal my tooth under it metaphysically, but no go (although the dentist seemed amazed that it was in such good condition given the circumstances, so maybe all the positive thinking was not lost). All I can say is that I’m glad I enjoyed last night’s dinner so much!! Over and out.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 24th - Happy Birthday to me!

May 24th, 2009. Happy birthday to me! Shandro drew me a picture of a birthday cake – chocolate with purple flowers on it. It was perfect! The boys and I made a cake in the afternoon while Merle was away helping Dennis, and we ate it for dinner around 6pm because I didn’t feel like cooking and nobody else did either! What a great excuse to eat cake! Then we met Greg and Wendy on sv Jalapeno and they asked us to join them for a late dinner. And the universe helped us make it so, as Mark on sv Horizon came over and sat with the boys (who were asleep) while Merle and I went for dinner with them. A spontaneous and delightful gift! I felt so very lucky!! We ate at the restaurant up here at Hotel Coral. It was really good – and a treat to eat something nice in the peaceful surroundings there with good ‘grown-up’ conversation. We shared some wine with our new friends, and the food was excellent. Merle had steamed mussels in broth to start, then bacon-wrapped shrimp. I had a chicken chick pea soup that came with a side of minced avocado, cilantro, lime and onion, and then a plate of steak and shrimp with julienned zucchini and carrots. And it turned out to be their treat! That was a great surprise for my birthday! And after our meal and conversation, Merle and I returned to our boat and chatted with Mark until 4am, continuing the David Hawkins ‘higher consciousness’ conversation we had going from our potluck. It was absolutely the perfect birthday!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23th - Hawkins Ho!

May 23rd. Tonight we celebrated my birthday (which is tomorrow). Victor and Andre and Mark joined us (and we missed you, Bill!). It was awesome! Mark brought beautiful Mediterranean bread with a flavored oil for dipping which we ate with some crackers and roasted garlic from our kitchen. Victor and Andre brought a divine red rice salad. And I roasted beef and potatoes and made gravy. It was a full fat dinner. For dessert, because Bill didn’t join us, we had the beautiful watermelon sorbet and strawberry ice cream that the boys made yesterday. That was an excellent way to top off dinner! Then while Shandro and Matero watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that Victor and Andre brought for them, the hot topic of discussion was about enlightenment or increasing our vibration, or expanding our conscious awareness, and how to apply some of the great tools we have to lead us closer to that goal. It was a good conversation, and I will synthesize what was said in a later entry. The books accompanying the conversation were written by David Hawkins, an enlightened man who has created a consciousness scale from 0 to 1000. The content herein is very thought provoking but also very settling in a way, and has been the topic of many conversations since our arrival here in Ensenada over a week ago.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15th - Happy Birthday Anaka!

May 15th, 2009. Happy Birthday Anaka!! Your first birthday!! Hope that you had a great day today. So sorry that we missed it, but we will see your cute little self very soon. Today the boys found three million baby oysters at an oyster farm. It is at the end of the dock here. The fellow who cares for them showed them to us. Each baby oyster is about as big as the eraser on the end of a pencil. He rinses them and checks them every day. He also showed us the net containers that make up the farm. Each of the 8 containers are about 3 feet long, wide and deep – and have about 4 inches of these babies in the bottom. Once they get to a certain stage, they move them from here to a big oyster farm, and they are sold from there. Shandro wanted one for a pet! But in the end, we thought that he would be happier with all his cousins in the marine environment than alone in a little jar of saltwater on our counter, so we left him there. Pretty cool – never saw an oyster farm before!

We have just settled into the marina here and have begun the boat cleaning. Once that is on the way, we will drag our belongings out of the lockers and look at them and decide ‘should it stay or should it go now …’ That will be a job worth doing, because then we will have quite a bit more locker space, I suspect. Yippee!! But one step at a time, for now. The days include working out, hot showers, and some fun kid time – playground or pool or biking or some combination thereof. Haven’t tried the pool tables yet. Still have a few things to squeeze in before we head north. And we are still eating the groceries meant for our journey north, so that’s been good on the wallet.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wed, May 13 - We've Finally Arrived

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009. Long lost friends ho!! We snuck up on Andre and Victor this morning on Easy Breeze to say hello. That was a great hello – for all of us! If we had heard the net, we would have checked in, but we didn’t hear it. And we also saw Frank and Cynthia (s.v. Makani) before they head north in their now completed boat! There are lots of other people to see, and we will get there, one by one.

And there’s more! Apparently Merle has been manifesting for staying at Marina Coral for several weeks now, but I had no druthers about where to keep our boat until this morning. We did our sleuthing for prices and facilities, and ended up here at Marina Coral. It’s fabulous here! Not only can we leave the boat here for several months, plugged in and guarded, but while we are here, we get full use of the facility which includes three swimming pools, hot tub, Jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms, a gym, games room with pool, foosball, and ping pong, playground, internet, fuel discounts, electricity, running drinkable water, keyed gated entry and security round the clock, free parking, restaurant and bar, hot showers with luxurious towels, and complete spa. And there is a hotel for any guests who’d like to join us here. It’s a great spot. After we moored our boat, we went up to the hotel and as the kids swam and we lounged by the pool this evening, we cautiously made sure they were safe, and we said (again - the other time being at the beautiful Bahia San Fransisco in November, just before Matero fell down the companionway and bumped his head) to ourselves – we have finally arrived! Now, we finally feel like we are on a holiday. That’s funny. Even with all this ‘stuff’, the best parts are the playing with our kids, and that we have good friends right across the dock from us. How are we going to leave this? Might be home later than we thought!

So here we are, safe and sound in Ensenada, with the Baja ‘Bash’ behind us. Amazing. It’s still crazy to think we are here. I am thrilled beyond expression that the trip went so well. It is truly a miracle to me – to us – that we should have experienced that journey in the way we did. I am sure there are other people who have had those conditions coming up the coast. We just never hooked up with anyone who told us a story like that. If we had, maybe we wouldn’t have believed them! Maybe we had to experience it for ourselves to know it could be true. Merle was talking to a delivery captain today who has done more than 30 trips up the coast. He said that he has never strung together a week of good weather like that before, and he doesn’t think it’s that common. Maybe it’s more of a miracle that even I know.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday, May 11th - We can see Ensenada!

Monday, May 11th, 2009. Wow!! We are here!! What an amazing trip! The Baha Bash is over and we are in Bahia Todos Santos, about 5 miles from Ensenada which is just across the bay. We came straight here after anchoring overnight in Colnett. And Behan, your voice was like music on the SSB today. You couldn’t hear us, but we could hear you, and it was the wonderful sound of ‘welcome home’. Man we miss you guys!

Well, our journey was amazing weather-wise. After the first day of oh-my-gosh-winds that turned us back, it has been extremely easy. Winds have been very light to dead calm, except for a few hours near Bahia Asuncion. That’s a miracle right there! And the water has been rolly or flat calm – so calm it is glassy. A second miracle. There has been very little other weather except a bit of fog. Amazing actually. We have had great plans to stop along the way to rest – anchor here or there for a few days and play with the boys while we waited for weather. But it seems like every time we got anchored, the weather looked promising, so we’d depart again early the next morning, and rather than heading to the next port down the line, we just stayed at sea heading north. When Merle asked me if we should anchor or sail, I seemed to be saying sail. And when I asked him, he said the same thing. It has helped us get this far this fast. We left last Monday, so it took us only 8 days to get here. From our research, we figured 10 days to 3 weeks, depending on the weather. We both feel like motoring is cheating, but in retrospect, our goal was to get to Ensenada, so we needed to employ whatever it took to get here, and it seems like motoring has been the best way. When the only choices are wind on the nose or no wind, the second option is far more conducive to a quick trip. So, thank goodness for diesel fuel! And many, many times every day, I have been saying thanks to God, and to Perkins our engine, Pete our autopilot and Kenta Anae of course, and to the sky and the water, and to Merle who has been not only very patient with me in my tired hours, but kind and sweet in lots of ways. We often looked across the dodger at each other and marveled, either out loud or silently, at our incredibly good luck with the weather window we chose. Thank you, and a thousand thank yous.

I am just so grateful things went so well. It’s unbelievable. If we just came and didn’t hear all the stories, we’d never know it could be so horrible! Now we are going to anchor here for tonight and tomorrow night to rest (that sounds funny, but it is true!) and clean up a bit, and do some of that playing with the boys that we promised ourselves during this journey. Tomorrow is a lego day! It is only a short distance now to Ensenada – about 1 hour. We can all taste it, and it tastes good. We have been talking about what we will do when we get there, and it’s really simple things like have a long hot shower, play in a playground, hug some good friends we left behind, and send out a ‘we’re great’ message. When your life is simple, it’s the simple things that become the most important.

Merle says:
The equipment on this voyage has been good and solid – that makes things infinitely easier. She’s a strong boat and good for us – she sails well. (Tatwari is playing in the background. Merle is standing in front of me on the deck. The sky and the water are the same color of grey. It’s very slightly different where they meet. The sky is overcast, and the water is flat without waves. It is reflecting the sky. Occasionally we see the odd bit of bull kelp – big fat floating kelp that is tough enough to stop a prop or hang up a rudder. Or a pelican. Merle is never still very long. He likes to tweak and adjust and fix. He is tightening the lifelines right now as we motor along, talking to me as I type.) Biggest lessons? Paradise is where you make it. It doesn’t have to be in the tropics, hot. It can be wherever you are. But it’s way easier when you are wearing surf shorts all the time! * It’s also not only about what we sought but about what (who) found us. * It’s been a big adventure getting competent with the boat and sailing. It has been a big step. Being able to sail allows you to travel now. New Zealand is not out of the question any more. I’d never fly my family there, but I’d sail there tomorrow. Funny, hey? * We take ourselves with us wherever we go. That’s one of the biggest lessons. That’s good and bad. * Only once you get used to your cart – if you get your cart down slow enough, can you work on other things in your life. But if the cart is too heavy, you have to focus on hauling the cart around. * If you want something, you just have to do whatever it takes to get there. You just have to start, put one foot in front of the other. It’s not rocket science. * Is sailing our style? * It’s true that it’s better to be scared to death than bored to death. Sometimes it’s hard to see though. * We are only now getting to be able to sleep in the anchorage. It takes a bit of getting used to this floating life. * Really what I want is to understand that I am in control of my life. Paying taxes and voting in elections doesn’t seem free enough to me. I can’t just watch the news and vote – it drives me nuts. We just get programmed to do what everyone else is doing. If you get to the point where you are coffin dodging with a big pile of money somewhere, what was the point? Bankruptcy of the purse or bankruptcy of the soul. That’s really a poignantly true statement. * For someone who has been to the sea and seen all of the serendipity that arises on the ocean, it’s incredible. You just can’t make it up. There is no way that I could have guessed at the luck and the things we have enjoyed, when we began this trip. There are lots of messages about how to live that manifesting sort of life, but we just don’t listen. If we ignore the rules and make our own by listening, there is serendipity out there to be had. Somehow we manifested this calm water and no wind and amazing journey north this far. It has been fast and easy, with very little weather to deal with except in a progressive moving-forward way. * When your life is on the line, quality breakage is perfectly acceptable. Cost of fuel is inconsequential. * Simple rules like ‘just go’. You don’t need all the things they say in the books. You need simple and manageable, then just go – and you’re going! And the universe truly will help you along the way. It’s interesting to think that the whole government-moderated-society is still going on out there. Hearing the Coast Guard on the radio today asking about a radio transmission was proof of that other-world. I still like the mountains back home though; I definitely didn’t fall out of love with them. To get this many days of reasonable weather on the Baja is a miracle – definitely special circumstances. This is not regular spring weather here. Regular weather is Baja bashing with 20 to 25 knot winds on the nose, and swell that goes with it. Not flat calm and 0 to 5 knots. At least not for a week plus. This is excellent timing. Amazing. Maybe it’s a sign that we are getting better at listening. We made some good decisions. I am actually looking forward to going back to Puerto Vallarta and helping Tom there. He has a pacemaker you know. He is relying on an electronic device to make his heart pump, while he works on electricity. Now THAT’s a high risk job!! I’m looking forward to Canadian beer. Tall timber Ale – that’ll be so sweet!! And I want to go to teapot!! In Ensenada – sleep for a day. Have a shower. Maybe we should have 1 o’clock lunch, then when lunch is over, play. Celebrate every day a little bit. Have a party for a week!!

Shandro says:
I like sailing. I like fishing. In Ensenada, I am looking forward to buying the things on my list and seeing Laur (from Elan) again. I want a big shower. I want to go to the park, get spray string and bubble pop and party snaps. (That’s a pretty manageable list there Shandro.) And I’m looking forward to getting a boy game (game boy) when we get to Canada. Anaka will be funny. I want fish tacos when we get back. I’m looking forward to more lego and my racetrack. I want to go skating on real ice!!

Matero says:
I like sailing too. I like saying ‘land ho’. Catching fish is fun and eating them is good, but I don’t like the killing part. Anchoring is good. I’m looking forward to a hamburgesa con queso in Ensenada. I want to play with my little town. And see my friends. And play in the snow. And make snow angels!! And I am going to give Chilko the biggest hug in the world. And Auntie Amy. Maybe Morgan and Wyatt could meet us in Ensenada?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day - 100 miles to Ensenada

Sunday, May 10th, 2009. This is Mother’s Day. Breakfast in bed was very cool - on a sailboat, especially coconut cream pie with a big fat heart on top. And some great drawings from my boys. Matero drew this cool spiral with our sailboat driving into it. We sailed in there to be safe and happy, he said. Matero loves spirals – they pour out of him in his drawings and it always surprises me because I work with spirals but don’t talk about them. Then they just show up in his art. And Shandro drew a beautiful cupid heart with an arrow through it, and he also gave me a word search that he made up himself. Very clever for a 6 year old! Excellent! We are still at sea, somewhere south of San Quintin. Merle has been sailing since this morning at 7am, because I did the night watch until we passed Sacramento reef. The sea was glassy when I went to bed around 8am, and there was no wind. It was beautiful. But when I woke up to this lovely breakfast (aka lunch) in bed, Kenta Anae was healed over a little, and Merle had her up to about 7 knots using the wind and Perkins. I see the log book actually says, ‘Ahhhh, Perkins!!’ and later, ‘Overcast, seas flat, no wind, PERFECT!’ Merle says we have only about 100 miles to go, so we will anchor in Colnett tonight, and do two short legs over the next two days. Yesterday, while we floated on the calm water, still, Shandro put on his swim goggles and Merle held him over the side to check the prop for bull kelp and any other yuckyness. He did a great job – and was so brave!! A baby sea lion showed up just after that and played at the stern for about an hour while we cheered.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Turtle Bay - 289 Miles to Ensenada

Friday, May 8th, 2009. Thank goodness for the log book (where we keep hourly details of our journey) or I wouldn’t know what day it is! Apparently we have already traveled 397 miles – Turtle Bay is half way!! Now we have only 289 miles to go. That’s amazing already! And thank goodness Merle did the night watch last night, because now we are anchored in Turtle Bay, and it’s only noon!! We came through some fog in the last 3 days, we had lunch with whales off the starboard rail (literally 20 feet from the boat) yesterday, and Merle steered us through some wind and swell last night just off Asconcion. (Usually I do the night watch, but Merle did it last night.) Our only goal here is to buy fuel for the next leg. In one of our guidebooks, it says that fueling here is precarious business, as you have to pull up to the dock stern first, throw out a bow anchor, and hope that it is set well enough and holds you away from the dock far enough that the swell doesn’t cause your stern to smash against the dock during the refueling process. Yikes!! You can imagine Merle’s sheer delight when Annabel Fuel came by to sell us fuel from his portable fuel troller while we are at anchor out in the bay. Now, Kenta Anae is being refueled right here, without moving anywhere near a dock. Merle is absolutely beaming with joy, that getting fuel here should be so easy!!

And I am grateful for another night’s rest. It’s not that sailing is really tiring. In fact, especially at night, it is incredibly beautiful when it is as calm as it has been. It’s just something about the watches. For 2 people to share the watches, it means a few shifts. We have chosen 2 six-hour shifts each, so Merle drives from 4am to 10am or so, and theoretically I take over and drive till 4pm, and then he watches till 10pm and I do the graveyard shift. But in reality, we share the driving between 10am and 10pm, as I cook during my theoretical shift, but drive for part of his so he can sleep a bit. Anyway, with a 3rd person, the watch responsibilities are far less taxing, and we each get more sleep, making such a system more sustainable. So I am very grateful for anchoring here, just so we can each have a really restful sleep.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bahia Santa Maria - 514 Miles to Ensenada

Tuesday, May 5th. We motored over flat calm seas and out of the fog today, arriving safe and sound in Bahia Santa Maria. We’ve gone 172 miles already! Now we all get to sleep all night!! No-one has to be on watch for the next few hours! We celebrated success for the first leg of our journey tonight with a big fat cheers. And the kids got a little treat for the 24th parallel crossing, which they loved. Sleep is going to taste so delicious, I can’t write anymore, even tho it is only 4 in the afternoon!! Goodnight!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday, May 4th - 686 Miles to Ensenada

Monday, May 4th, 2009. Well, we left this morning. We have 686 miles to go, like the crow flies. There was no wind coming around the point today, so we carried on. We just passed our first parallel – 23 degrees latitude. We celebrated with presents for everybody. (We have to cross 9 latitude lines, so I got treats for each crossing. Hopefully it will keep the kids interested in our progress, and help Shandro learn to map our latitude and longitude on a little chart I made for him.)

We are heading north, whatever may come to pass. I didn’t want to write this before we left so no one would worry about us, but the sail to Ensenada sounds difficult for the crew, and hard on the boat. Some people say it can age the boat terribly with the wear and tear it will take beating up the coast. Way offshore, the winds are unpredictable this time of year, with possible gales and spring storms. But staying close to shore is a dangerous business too, as the rocks and shelves can creep up pretty fast on a lee shore (wind coming onto the shore from the sea) if something happens to disable the boat in any way; the wind pushes boats ashore and the consequences of that are never good. And it’s always a lee shore except at night if you’re lucky. Either way, the waves (both wind waves and swell) are coming from the north-west at this time of year, so we could be smashing into them the whole way, and that is what is so hard on the boat – hull, rigging, mast, and any parts that will be rubbed or shaken with the vibration of the boat. And the people often fair far worse than the boat – poor decisions made lacking sleep or sanity with disasterous outcomes. I have been interviewing people to see what it is like. Some say ‘don’t do it, we’ve heard it’s bad’ or ‘I’ve done it and I’ll never do it again’ or ‘Do it in late June or early July but definitely not now.’ One person said ‘ya you can do it, just take your time’, but he has never sailed it either. We were at a concert the other night and Pat Henry (famous author of a book about her circumnavigation) said that she has never done the Baha Bash, but friends of hers had a terrible time about halfway up, at Cedros Island. And many people know someone who has wrecked a boat there – sunk or otherwise disabled. Lots of fear stories. Merle says we should only talk to people with over 100,000 nautical miles under their belts. Seems like they are few and far between. The baha is pretty remote, often with only anchorages - no food, no groceries, no fuel, no water, few people. And the 'bash' is rough sailing into the weather and into the swell, and hopefully not into the rocks. Most people dread it. Some people buy boats in California and Mexico just so they don't have to do the bash north. Some people sell their boats down here so they don't have to sail them north. We are somewhere between brave and crazy to sail north!

We did talk to Ishi of course, and they have done this trip 9 times, offshore each time. That’s what got us hooked on the offshore route. And then we both decided to go up the coast after our False start at Cabo Falso (aptly named) Saturday. I guess we will see what will come of it. Merle mentioned his thoughts about that wind, which turned out to be my thoughts too: maybe that high wind was just for us? Maybe we needed to be told in no uncertain terms to go inshore rather than the offshore clipper route? Anyway, we both changed our minds as a result of that day, and hopefully it is for the best. It could be stressful, although we have been manifesting for a safe and joyful journey. I don’t know if it can be joyful, but if anything is possible, we might as well ask for joy! Hope the manifesting works…

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy (early?) Mother's Day

Sunday, May 3rd. Is today Mother's Day? Or am I a week early? We are still in Cabo San Lucas anchored here. I don’t know when we are leaving - maybe tomorrow. But of course I said that yesterday! The water here is clear and beautiful and the days are hot. The beaches are packed with people during the day, and at night the music from the bars floats out over the water. Last night, there was a lady singing some jazz, and she had an amazing voice. It’s like having front row seats! There are tons of things to do here if you need – seadoo rentals, parasailing, kayaking, swimming, banana rides (a blow-up banana thing that’s pulled by a boat), horseback riding, submarine rides, glass bottomed boats, snorkeling, ferry rides and floating bars, and of course the town stuff. It’s all tourists and business is booming.

Matero makes us laugh. We were talking about our favorite parts of dinner a few days ago, and we had sun dried tomatoes on our pizza that he loved. He said that he loved the ‘sun tanned tomatoes.’ We don’t know if he said it by accident or on purpose, but it made us all laugh. And Merle has this ring on his phone that is a song. It goes ‘wasted away again in Margaritaville’ but Matero sings ‘racing a whale again to Margarita’s grill’. He’s a pretty funny kid. I love being a mom.

And Shandro is so grateful about lots of things, and loves and feels so much. He is a tender and fragile soul - he understands so much by intuition and feelings in the air. He loves to make things for us that we like. What amazing children I have. Being a mom is like giving yourself a gift.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

God said not today!

Saturday, May 2nd. Wow – What an interesting morning! We got up just before 4am and did the last few things before pulling the anchor and heading out in the dark at 4:30. Once we got beyond the bay, the wind picked up. I mean it really picked up. We were running with only a reefed main, and of that only one small corner of it was catching wind, and the wind was so strong we were steering almost directly into it and going over 7 knots. The waves were between 4 and 6 feet so not very big, but there were whitecaps and cresting waves because of the wind. The wind was stronger than either Merle or I had ever experienced. It blew water at us like horizontal rain, and over our boat like a little submarine. Thank goodness Kenta Anae sheds water so well! Both Merle and I were drenched after only about ½ hour of sailing, and we were in full weather gear, thank goodness! The wind was 35 knots gusting to ? So using good judgment, we turned back. On the way back into the bay, the wind was chasing us, and we were averaging 8.5 knots and up to 8.9 knots with only part of the reefed main catching the wind. That’s fast. Unbelievable with only such a small bit of cloth catching the wind! I was pretty excited but Merle becalmed me by saying that I can steer a spinnaker so I can do this. It’s really different, but at the time it made me feel in control and able to deal with the weather, which was exactly what I needed. It took us 3.5 hours to do the round trip, arriving back at anchor after 8am, totally frapped but excited at the same time. I don’t know if I could do that for 6 hours. Especially by myself, while Merle slept. It was pretty intense – I was very completely present and living in the moment! I am sure God’s angels were looking after us out there.

And boy did we enjoy breakfast in a calm anchorage!! It was so peaceful, and I was so grateful to be there instead of in the windy tempest from which we came!

When we looked at the weather information for the area we had just sailed, it said 5 to 8 knots of wind, seas 2 to 3 feet. We couldn’t believe what we were reading. And more than one weather source said the same things! We did not find a single weather source that depicted what we experienced. Perhaps it was just typical cape weather. But how 5 knots becomes a raging 35 is beyond me!

I am about to check the weather again to see what I can see. We may try again tomorrow morning, or we may wait until Monday. Looks like high winds till Thursday on the north end of the Baja, so waiting one more day would be fine on this end, since we will probably have to wait somewhere. Might as well be an amazing beach where the kids can play.

One thing the small tour today did for us was to remind us that resting is important. We both came back full of adrenalin but exhausted. And since we don’t have an extra crew member, we may go the shore route so we can anchor and rest every few days, instead of the offshore route where we have to be on call all the time. (If the wind is normal 10 to 15 knots, offshore would be easy as sailing in that wind is easy, even restful. But if we had to sail through a gale, resting becomes paramount.) There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but resting seemed pretty important this morning. The shore route means motoring likely rather than sailing, as the direction is upwind all the way. Anyway, we will still check in daily on the Amigo net so that someone is keeping track of us.

If you don’t hear from me again, it means we departed Sunday morning. If you do, we didn’t! Gotta love those plans written in the sand at low tide … But thank goodness we have the patience and guts to tell our determined egos to stand aside while we go with the flow of the weather. It is good for us, to remember to listen. This is one of the lessons we are here to remember! Thanks, God, for the lessons and being able to tell about them after the lesson part is over!

Love you all!!

Allison and the crew

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ensenada bound!!

Well, we are provisioned up, fuelled up, oil is changed, cabin is stowed, canvas is off and kids are asleep. All we have to do is start the engine (or not, depending on the wind), and pull up the anchor to depart. We are leaving tomorrow morning - Saturday, May 2nd - around 4am on our journey. That should get us around Cabo Falso while the wind is still relatively calm there. We shall put up the sails on a starboard tack (wind coming over the starboard side) and sail out and away from the land. We will check in with our location, weather, vitals on the amigo net (upper side band, at 8122 kHz or 8116 kHz, at 14:00 zulu time which is 8:00am Cabo San Lucas time) every day we are at sea. This journey could be as short as 10 days or as long as 3 weeks. It will depend on the wind and on how far out we go. Three hundred miles out will make a shorter trip than 600 miles if the wind is in our favor. Our shifts will be 6 hour shifts and we will see how that goes. We have enough fuel to motor for about 72 hours or so, if we have to. We did not take on crew so it is our tight little family, Kenta Anae and God on this voyage.

Free Range Chicken and Sea Lise departed this morning so they are ahead of us by a few hours.

Bless you all and keep you safe until we get there. If you think of us between now and the middle of May, just send us a pinch of love. That will see us through! We are praying for good weather and great fishing!

We love you.

Love Merle, Allison, Shandro and Matero on sv Kenta Anae