Maiden voyage as a family

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I just realized that this blog didn’t post, so here it is – out of order.  It should have poster before “finally home at Red Frog Beach”

Our Maiden Voyage as a family was everything we hoped it would be, and then some! As we left Shelter Bay Marina in Colon, all the creatures stood excitedly on the bow, watching the huge container ships wait their turn at the mouth of Panama Canal. Slowly, the sight of land became more and more distant off the stern and to port, until it disappeared completely. Heaven. Nothing but rolling swells in following seas and beautiful skies.

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Just like in any other magical tale of the sea, dolphins escorted us on our way. First, bottle nose dolphins and then later in the sail, a playful pod of spinners came to bow ride. Each time this happened, everyone would sit along the bow and watch as they swam along, spread from the port side hull, all across the bow and either side of the starboard hull. The only sound other than water movement against the boat, was the occasional dolphin exhale of breath.

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Birds became more and more sparse, until the only variety of color and movement were large patches of golden seaweed floating together like a large community on the surface of the water.
The creatures settled into a routine of lounging in the beautiful warmth, playing cards and singing at the bow. Ashley sat perched like the little mermaid and sang Disney songs at the top of her lungs, and then the rest of the creatures joined in, all playing the guessing game of ‘guess which movie this song is from…’

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At one point Mycah came to me, filled with all sorts of emotion, and said, ‘Mom, Tanda Malaika is such a mother.  I  love her.  She keeps us safe and carries us to where we want to be.’
Emma has taken it upon herself to be in charge of ringing the big brass dinner bell every time it’s meal time, and then we spread ourselves comfortably around the stern dining area and enjoy our meals and talk of all sorts of things.

After 16 hours of sailing yesterday, the boat (and our bodies) had become a giant salty mess. Everyone took showers and snuggled down for the night and Danny, Hannah and Emma sat talking at the helm for the last stretch to the Island. Danny said that Emma was doing her usual talking talking talking and then Hannah asked her if she’d like to lie with her head on her lap, which Emma immediately did, and before her head even hit Hannah’s lap, she was in a deep sleep.
Danny, Hannah and I set the anchor and finally went to bed. In the night a massive thunderstorm began.  Lightening lit up everywhere as far as I could see and rain poured down heavily on Tanda Malaika, washing off all the salt from the voyage.

At about 3am I woke to Danny saying, Darling, we have a leak, our bed is all wet. We hadn’t latched our aft hatch in our room and rain was running in. Also, water was dripping from our top hatch. We quickly fixed the problem and put dry sheets on our bed and secured the awning outside at the stern to divert the rain runoff, and just as I was about to change into dry clothes, I heard Danny calling saying we were drifting and were in 300ft of water.  I quickly woke Jude so she could help and in a flash she had her rain gear on and was outside, when Danny realized it was a false alarm, he read the chart plotter wrong.  Lightening struck again and we could clearly see that we were still anchored in the same spot.

We then fell into a deep sleep, the storm rocking us like babies.


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