Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Savage Birthday Cake

I (Allison) had a great birthday complete with savage birthday cake.  We've been talking about savage cake since before Mother's Day.  Today was the day!  We got a big chocolate cake and took it to the beach and ate it with no utensils - only our faces and hands!  I was the first to bite into it - and I think it is the first time in MANY years that I have had chocolate cake up my nose!  It was such a blast!  The kids were totally laughing at me.  Then they dug in too!  We even fed Chilko some.  We had to swim in the ocean to get all the cake off ... 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Merle is Back!

Well, Merle is home now, safe and sound from his northern adventure. He returned a few days ago now, but we've been having so much fun with him that I forgot to let you all know he is safe!
He had a great adventure, loved seeing those of you he managed to see in his 'work from dawn till dusk' schedule! And we are still very grateful for the love that poured out of you, both online in the form
of help offered and also in person with places to stay and big hugs.  And many times, over the course of his adventure, the universe helped him out in ways we could never have imagined, as is often the case.

So this is a Big Fat Thank You - all the way up and down the coast, as far north as Williams Lake, BC, Canada! - to those who helped Merle on his journey. Thanks to Richard for packing the big heavy dinghy for us, and doing the crazy re-route that made Merle's northbound journey so much easier! Thank you for the delicious food, Haru (and the books!), and Alice, thanks for being so cool about Merle taking over
your V-berth, and for babysitting little Grenadine! And of course Tona for the car insurance, and Javier and Tara for a place to sleep and good company. And thanks Manny and Lola for the crazy gum; always
something to keep us laughing! And Fito and Hilda for being so kind to us, whether our boat is there or not! Thanks Victor and Andre for just being you! And thanks Dan for offering connections, even tho you
are so far away! And Wildflower for the sweet offer of a berth. And Merle says thanks for the hugs all around; in delivering hugs, he was almost overwhelmed on the other end - receiving them! I am sure I
have forgotten some thank you; I know that the universe has it's own way of saying thank you, and I am sure it will!

Thank you thank you thank you.  Muchicimas gracias!

Well, it is the beginning of summer here in La Cruz, Mexico. It is hot here early in the morning, and lasts till late at night. In fact, Chilko stays on the boat in the shade (we have half of our boat covered, and what a blessing it is!!) unless she has to get off, because the dock is almost too hot to walk on! We are going to try
frying an egg and see if it really frys! The boys did an experiment the other day with some pieces of wax. They hung a wick in a glass jar, and tossed in some old pieces of wax around it to see if it would get hot enough to melt it into a candle. It did! I could hardly believe it! Anyway, people say it doesn't get hot here until August, so this tropical summer will be a good experiement for us.

We are grateful to have a car now. Grenadine made it down the road a-okay after Merle replaced the seals on the tranny (a one-day job in Nogales for about 1/10 the price it would have cost in the US!) and a
few other small things that make a big difference, like windshield wipers and an oil change. What a sweet car, she is! Thanks again, Michael for pointing us in her direction! We still marvel at her ability to take a lickin and keep on tickin!

Last night (it is cool enough after 7pm to go out and play), we played a game of baseball. Our field was the gravel parking lot - which made the whole sliding thing a bit hard on the knees! But there was not one sob despite many slides into home plate! The boys are stoked to have discovered the game. And Merle and I like it too, so it is a family event.

Well, it is the full moon tonight! I wonder what kind of fun that will bring? Maybe some drumming. We keep a pretty close eye on her.

Luna llena (pronounced Luna Yayna). Nice!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Merry Mother's Day

I've just gotta tell you about my Mother's Day. For Mother's day, the boys served me chocolate fondue with fruit for breakfast. Delish!! Made with everything raw and yummy. Then we walked to a berry tree and picked berries and read stories and drew with chalk on the sidewalk in between trips to the ice cream store. And after that, we came back to the marina, all gor dressed up in our glad rags and went to a little restaurant here that has GREAT chocolate cake. So we had that with tortilla soup, chips and salsa and shrimp quesadillas. It was an awesome day!

I did everything I wanted to do!! There was a lot of discussion leading up to mother's day about chocolate cake. We couldn't decide if we wanted to dress up fancy and each eat a piece of cake at a restaurant, or if we wanted to buy a whole big cake and take it to the beach and eat it like savages. The boys chose the dress-up option - imagine?! - so the savage chocolate cake will be for my birthday. I can't wait!!

For some moms, it's a day to be without kids - read a book or get a manicure - but for me it's a celebration of being a mom, and how better than to play with my kids?  And play we did.  It was so fun!  We laughed a lot and every time I said maybe we could do something - the boys agreed wholeheartedly!  What a great day!
Thank you God for making me a mom!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

News Time!

Well it's News Time!!

Merle says:

We are becoming 'Mexicans'!! The weather vane is pointing to Banderas Bay for our family this summer and coming winter. After much angle viewing spreadsheet comparing and soul searching we have decided to remain in the tropical zone for a season and further complete Kenta Anae in preparation for even grander sails abroad. We have been toying with a circumnavigation and this is a partial step in that direction. How to mix the "balance" of Mountain Ripppers and Ocean Trippers?? Well hell if I know but for now it's going to be Hot and wet. Bad if your in the jungle, ha, we are on the sea.

We are field testing that the energetics of our world can bring all that we need and more to extend the storyline on or current adventure. We are living simply and happily while the ocean rocks our floating yacht into the nights.

Allison says:

Yup - we are going to experience a tropical summer this year. It is true; and it was not an easy decision, but we are doing our best lately to listen to our hearts as much as possible, instead of our wallets. So we are putting our trust in the universe. Should be interesting...

So far, so good. The sun is hot during the day, but it is still cool and breezy at night so sleep comes easily. No mosquitoes, no bugs at all actually. Living on the sea definately has its perks! On the land, they burn coconut husks to keep the black flies at bay. The boys are going for a tour of a local school this week. I hope that they will learn a bit more Spanish one way or another! They sold palm frond art that they made (grasshoppers, bracelets, fish, and centipedes) at our local market this past Sunday. It was really sweet to see them running their little booth. The only kids at the market.  It was Shandro's idea, so we helped him get there and he did the rest.  Next week, I get to join them doing face painting. I can't wait!

No other news at the moment, but lots of things up in the air waiting for decisions to be made, so there will be some more news soon!

Meanwhile, love to you all. Sending you many blessings and as much sunshine as we can muster. The boys say hi to all of their friends and relatives. And so do we. We are always so grateful for news from home, so thanks for all the news - especially the baby news (congratulations new Moms and Dads and Grandmas and Granddads to be)!!  Love that! No baby news on this end ...

Also a funny note - we almost sent this on April Fools Day, and then thought better of it ...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Just a quick note to let you know that we are safe and happy here in Bandaras Bay again, anchored in La Cruz and enjoying the sunshine. We have been waving goodbye to some friends as they head off west to do the Pacific Puddle Jump - 24 days at sea to the Marquaises in the South Pacific. Amazing!

Tsunami sucked a few docks apart in La Cruz, and we rounded the cape of cabo Corrientes with light winds and manageable seas. A beautiful day and night at sea, with some crazy swordfish or marlin chasing us part of the way! Also saw turtles galore, rays, one million jellyfish, and a humpback whale breached just off the starboard side of Kenta Anae.

Anyway, another email in a while. Love you all! Happy Saint Patty's Day! Have a guiness for us!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Decisions in Paradise

Just a little note to let you know whats going on in our heads at the

moment. We will just keep this amongst ourselves until a decision is

reached ...

We are going to sail towards Bandaras Bay (Puerto Vallarta and La Cruz

area) late today or early tomorrow. Should be there Tuesday sometime.

Merle says:  *OK so IMPORTANTE Decision Time *

I have a applic in ar the Capital POwer gas plant in WL, inside line,

porbably have to promise to do a instrument apprenticeship too. $$35 per

hour two weeks holidays 100k per year MTB, enduro, backcountry with the

bros, kids learn to rip the mountains, etc


I do marine elect in Puerto vallarta unkown revenue 50 to 100 per hour and

Allison does yacht tending during the summers here for 130 per monthe each

yacht (approx) live in La Cruz kids go to spanish school and we sweat out

a 35 deg summer on the beach sail lasers and soccer and such

The more I think about it the harder it gets ...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gold Coast or Bust!

Kenta Anae is on the move again, but more slowly and leisurely this time. We are heading south from Bandaras Bay (home of Puerto Vallarta) to see more of the Gold coast. We hope to head south to see Chamaela, Bahia Navidad and maybe as far as Manzanillo as well as a few charming places in between. We hope to leave today or tomorrow (Wednesday or Thursday), and we will be gone for a couple of weeks or so.

It has been very fun here, with visits from Lilka and Erica in the beginning of February, and Crystal and Tony yesterday. Great to see the Cariboo crew again, and feel some of that magical vibe that transcends earth and sea!! Love you all. We have had amazing weather here - full sunshine every day, and the heat to go with it. And with the sun comes the great thermodynamics in the bay here, so sailing has also been wonderful.

We have taste-tested some of the taco stands here in La Cruz, and are continuing to eat hoards of fresh tropical fruit and vegetables. Whenever the boys get their way, we head into the ice cream shop to have paletas - essentially frozen fruit smoothy on a stick. There are heaps of different kinds of fruit, and I have a different kind every time. Delish! For the more discerning tastes, there are also creams (made with real heavy cream), and for a refreshing change, we often have a water instead. The waters are flavoured, including jamaica and horchada, and then more familiar tastes such as fraisa (strawberry), (limon) lemonade, (limonada) limeade, alfalfa (the same!), pina colada (pineapple and coconut), barley (and cinnamon), and naranja (orange). Very nice and refreshing on a hot day.

The boys have been doing their home school in the mornings so they can play in the afternoons. We made some friends, Kathy and Mark, who are building a home near here. And out their front door is a huge maintained but deserted freshwater pool, so we go and play there once in a while. Feels like we are at a spa, but we are the only people there!! That has been nice.

Chilko is doing well. She has adapted easily to this life, and enjoys lying on the deck of the boat oscillating between the sun and the shade. She loves swimming and goes in unprompted. And she sticks so close to us that we don't even need a leash anymore. She is such a great dog, and we all love her to bits. She was in heaven while Lilka (her Godmother) was here. Just soaked up all the snuggles and wagged her tail all of the time. She eats any and all fish, which has been nice for her coat. And she still loves to chase cats, and now iguanas, and she goes crazy to watch dolphins and flying fish. All in all, a very happy dog!

As we sail this time round, Merle and I are going to ponder keeping the boat here in the Bandaras Bay this summer. There are a few options we need to explore before we head back north. Next summer (2012) we think we will spend in the Sea of Cortez, for a change, so we are planning for that.

Anyway, that's all for now. Hope that all is well in your homes and boats. We are sending you as much heat and sunshine as we can muster! Love and light to all ...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Trying to Go South ...

Well, we did try to depart today, but the world would not have it.  With everything aboard, and almost everything stowed, we headed over to the fuel dock only to find that there was no fuel!  And that they were expecting the fuel truck, but they had been expecting him all day.  So ...

... we turned around before low tide made that impossible, and headed back to our slip for a nice dinner, and then up to the top for one last soak in the jacuzzie and one last cold dip in the outside pool.  The universe is very determined that we need to take our sweet time!  No rushing.  This is very Mexico!  Now to sleep, perchance to dream of unseen shores and the magical adventure ahead of us.

We are heading straight to Cabo offshore the whole way, where we will touch base with family before heading farther east to Puerto Vallarta.  We hope to be there by Dixie's birthday on January 27th.  We'll see if we make it by then!  It depends on the wind, and also if we decide to hang out in Los Frailles fishing before continuing east.

We have a friend named Alice who is joining us for this leg of our adventure.  We are excited to have her along, and I think she is just as excited to join us!  She is very musical, so hopefully we get to do some music as we sail along.

Hasta pasta, as Rick would say.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm loving the eating raw. I am not disciplined enough to eat raw all the time, and I do cook for my family. But when I eat raw, it feels really good. And Even just eating alive food, I notice such a huge difference in energy when comparing it to a box of something. Unless it is homemade something. The bought stuff is very low energy in almost every case. We've almost completely abandoned the big grocery stores and gone to markets. It's just better. My kids say they can actually taste the difference. Merle too. I am lucky to be part of such an aware family.

Speaking of that, we ALL just went through some sort of transition between Christmas and New Years. Everyone was sick with a flu - mostly sleeping - during this time. We didn't even want to eat. Not sure exactly what it was, but there is some interesting shifting going on. We have NEVER all been sick at the same time. I hardly ever get sick. We are preparing for something. Merle says it is a large-scale shift that we are experiencing. Affected both Merle and I in balance, which is interesting considering we live on a boat and are in constant motion, balancing every second ... Hopefully now we are fresh and new and ready for whatever enters into our lives ...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Well, today is Mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope that she’s doing okay. This is her second birthday in the nursing home. Dad was going to see her today. I'm glad. What a crazy life it must be, to have no recollection of some things. Or perhaps the memories are there, but there is no way to access them in any recognizeable way, or to express them. I hope that we have more pain about that than she does. I pray for her to have happiness, and be free of frustration.

And here, we had a bonfire in her honor. Complete with singing even. And drumming. And a little release ceremony. She’d have loved that. It was the dark of the moon tonight – first time we’ve done a drumming night with no moon! It was nice. And I’m glad we started early because it began to rain on us by 8pm, so we retreated out of respect for the instruments, and were back here and in bed by 9pm. That’s better than last night!

One more thing. A sweet lady here on the dock, Kristen on sv Bristol Blue, gave me the fertility goddess in the form of a necklace - almost identical to the one I gave Rea when she talked about being a mom. Interesting that this should have returned to me at this time. I know you get what you give, but to this accuracy? Amazing. And do I need this right now? I guess so ...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

January 1st, 2011.

First New Year’s Eve I’ve slept through since I was about 10 years old!! It was nice to do it differently this year, and just wake up to the new year already humming along without any help from us!

We did learn about some great New Year’s Eve customs this year, that are worth putting down here. Buy new yellow and red underwear and wear them through New Year’s Eve. The yellow symbolizes wealth, and the red brings love. Green clothes attract a year of good health, and dressing in white invites good vibrations and assures a good year spiritually. Just before midnight, some people walk around their houses with brooms and they sweep out the old cobwebs and clean up, ready for a fresh start. New Year’s Eve dinner is a very late feast, that often includes tamales and grapes, 12 grapes each to be exact. As the clock bongs the 12 bongs at midnight, we gulp down the 12 grapes, one at a time, to assure luck in each of the upcoming months. (I like this tradition best. I think it’s a grape idea.) Another interesting tradition is to pick up an empty suitcase and walk around the house with it, so we will get to travel in the upcoming year. And of course, there is always kissing and hugging anyone close, to pass on wishes of health, happiness and prosperity. The tradition that landed closest to (and farthest from) home, I read in a Mexican newspaper. It talked about the most important Canadian New Year’s tradition (which I have sadly never even heard of until now, never mind experienced) of running a hot bath and have a soak in the tub as the clock strikes 12 !?? I think it was the same guy who wrote that the Polar Swim was a farce ...

So, we did the Polar Swim today, from the Jacuzzie to the cold pool for us Canadians, and back again. It feels good to be a Canadian, even if our traditions do get a bit twisted in translation!

This evening, my family and I decided to focus on spiritual awareness this year. It was a late-breaking, spontaneous decision, but it seems like the right thing to do. I feel pretty good about it. I also feel surprisingly laid back about it, like it’s not a huge task, but a daily ritual instead. We shall see how it plays out in the long run!!