Month: July 2015

Hospice

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This morning I woke at 6:45am, hoping to see my Dad before he left for work – but I was too late. He is such a hard working individual and takes great pride in giving 200%. His employees and employers have always loved him.

I drove my Mom into town for a dental appointment and while she was there I ran over to Target for a few things we need on the boat. As I walked around looking at the overflowing shelves, I couldn’t help but notice the crazy amount of unnecessary junk that we fill our lives with. I used to walk into a place like that and fill my cart just like everyone else, and now my thoughts are only on absolute necessities.  Part of it is because living on a boat there’s less room, but part of it is realizing the we just don’t need all the things we think we do. It clutters our lives and leaves us feeling overwhelmed and frustrated…so we buy more to make us feel better, which in turn makes us feel worse.

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I was looking at these photos I took from the airplane yesterday, and kept thinking of how I love the simplicity of the ocean, as well as the sky.  It’s easy to see why Danny became a pilot and I became a scuba instructor.  It’s beautiful up there (and under there.)  So, we have built our lives in the middle. On a boat where the sky meets the ocean, and our passions can merge as one.

Hospice came and met with us today.  I worked as a hospice volunteer for 5 years and have great respect and love for the program. The staff that met with us were so down to earth, personable and kind. The nurse went over my Dad’s recent lab results and doctors notes and told us that my Dad’s cancer is in his liver and lungs too now. His CA-19 tumor markers which were 46000 a week ago, are at 102000 today.  Such a rapidly growing crop of cancer is just flooding his body. His liver is so full of it that the nurse said that at this point he is more likely to pass away from liver cancer than his original pancreatic cancer. I know every cloud has a silver lining, but gosh I just want these clouds to go away.

I went for a walk out in the yard with my camera to try capture something beautiful to focus on.

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There is always something there, ready to pull me in and comfort me.

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I am so grateful for such an incredibly beautiful world.

The creatures in Panama are doing beautifully.  Today they built a fort in the boat.

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And then they made a delicious dinner to share.

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I had to call them with bad news last night. Their grandparents on my ex husbands side were killed in an automobile accident yesterday afternoon.  We have all been in shock and very sad. I felt so bad that I wasn’t there to comfort my babies, but they have comforted each other and chosen to try focus on the beautiful memories that have with their Nana and Papa.

Another day has past now and I am so very tired.  I lay with my Mom and Dad again tonight.  I love our time together as we talk and feel close. I’ve slept 3 hours in the last 48 hours, so I am going to snuggle down now and think of my sweet husband whom I miss so much. I need the rest, because tomorrow is sure to bring another beautiful day to embrace.

Musical gates

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I had a sleepless night last night.  I think when I get to my parents house I’m going to blow up an air mattress and float it in the canal next to their house and sleep on it.

All went well on the flight from Panama city to Houston, and just before I left Danny texted me and told me about the computer issues United was having.  It didn’t make any difference in Panama City.

BUT….It was obvious when I reached Houston than the airport was really backed up.

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Huge crowds were trying to make their way through immigration and people were camped out all over the place. I noticed a frantic mother who was trying to carry her baby, drag her large bag and hold her little boys hand, while running through the airport.  I told her that I am a mom who has traveled a lot with her kids and I’d love it if she’d let me help.  I figured she’d hesitate just a bit, not knowing if she could trust me, but the next thing I knew, she shifted her baby into my arms and off we went.  We got her to her gate in time.

I have been playing musical gates all afternoon.  My gate has changed 8 times now and my flight time has changes 3 times.  I’m not complaining though because I’ve been quite entertained by listening to these beautiful ladies.

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7 little ladies and one little man have been sitting chatting in thick Texas accents – which I understand as well as Panamanian.  They are so animated and excited about their trip to Mexico together.  I can tell who the ring leader is because when ever one of the ladies stands up she’ll tell them that they need to sit down.  If they leave for the bathroom, she tells them that she will watch their spot and hit anyone who comes near with her purse.  They are so cute!

I spoke with my Sweetheart for a while.  It was wonderful to hear his voice.  He is still in Dubai and also trying hard to adjust to a hotel room with no movement or lapping water.  he’s had so many hits on the youtube video he made from drone footage he shot of our sailing in Panama. The drone company even used his video.  He’s all famous and stuff:)

The creatures and I have texted too, and they all went to the beach today.  Jude cooked up plantains last night and they all loved them.  She said that at one point Mycah was standing in the main salon and out of no where a tiny lizard jumped down onto her. She panicked and the lizard freaked out and continued to jump all over her, trying to find a safe place to land.  The pictures she sent were hilarious but I’ve had to swear to not post them on the blog lol.  The look of horror on her face is priceless.

I’m excited to see my sweet sister in Boise when she picks me up…whatever time it is that I finally get there.

Life is good, and I am grateful for modern transportation.

Last minute projects

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Last night it rained harder than it has since we’ve been here. The thunder was so loud that the boat literally vibrated, and beautiful bright streaks of lightning lit up the sky.  Jude and I lay talking for a while and she fell asleep in my bed, and boy is she a snuggler! At one point I dreamed that I still had my python and that it had wrapped around my neck and was squeezing me to death.  I awoke to find Jude’s arms tight around my neck.  Other times she’d just scoop me up like I was her child, and hold me tight.

This morning when I finally pried her hands, arms and legs off of me, I walked outside into the continuing rain and thought that perhaps we’d drifted to the Great Green Greasy Limpopo River in the night.

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Lots of muddy runoff from all the rain filled the marina.

I spent my morning working on two new tiny leaks on the boat, and I also checked on my patch projects on the dinghy.

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They seemed to have held up well, so I slipped the dinghy back into the water, Jonathan helped me reattach the outboard and and went to hook up the fuel lines to the outboard to find that one of the ends had rotted out and broken.  I cut a fresh end, rethread the fuel line onto the connector and Bob’s your uncle, the dinghy started right up. I took it for a spin and it’s holding air splendidly.

Our neighbor left his dinghy on the dock and in the night it collected 8 1/2 inches of rain.

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I wish I could ship it to California because we have plenty to spare.

The creatures and I divided up the ceiling panels in the main salon and all scrubbed away with a vinegar/water solution.  It kills all mold and leaves things smelling pickled and shining brightly.

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After all that we decided that some beach time was in order…

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Mycah walked along playing the uke and singing, ‘I’m leaving on a jet plane…’, which is appropriate for me for today.  We walked till we found our favorite spot on Red Frog Beach, and while the creatures got settled I went for a walk to take pictures and explore. Due to the storm last night, all sorts of things like coconuts, noni and other pods of all kinds were lying all over the beach.

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There were areas where streams were flowing into the ocean from land, and had broken down beautiful little meandering channels, making the sand look like melting chocolate frosty ice creams.

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The most beautiful Portuguese man or war was washed up on the beach. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen, at about 4″ across.

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It reminded me of when I was little and played on the beaches in South Africa, and my brother and sister and I would run along the beach where many of these were washed up, and we’d stomp on them to hear the bubble pop, then quickly rub our feet on the sand to avoid the wicked sting that follows. I left this one in peace in case you’re wondering.

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The waves and scenery was beautiful as usual.  I will never tire of life on the water.

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At one point I walked farther in to where some beautiful green ground cover blanketed the earth. I was bare foot as usual and it felt so good under my feet.

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When I returned to the creatures, the had begun digging and building.

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Mycah was still playing and singing.

We all played in the waves for quite some time, and then Jonathan, Aidan, Mycah and Jude got into a sandball fight.  Kinda like a snowball fight but not.

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Good times.  Emma and I stayed out of it somehow.  She had her nose in a book and I was recording it all with the camera.

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After a while it was time to head back and get cleaned up.

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Everywhere I look I see beautiful things!

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Before long it was time to kiss my babies goodbye and jump on the water taxi into Bocas. Gustavo, the water taxi driver, had a lot to say.  I told him that my Dad has cancer and that I’m going to see him.  He told me that it wasn’t until we went to the moon, that cancer became such a wide spread and terrible thing.  He believes that it was brought back from the moon.  He also told me that he can see much happiness in my future, and alot of love.

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I’m going to miss those creatures so much but am grateful for this opportunity to see Kjira and Hunter and my sweet parents and siblings.  It was interesting walking through Bocas to the airport. It all feels like home now. I recognize people and we wave, the smells and sights are comforting to me, and I smile as I walk past places where Danny and I have walked or sat together. It made me miss him terribly.

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All went well at the airport and when we took off I could look down and see Bocas, and the beautiful islands we have now  come to know.  Just a second before disappearing into the clouds, I could also see our marina, with Tanda Malaika sitting proudly with my Angels on board.

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I am in Panama City for the night and will fly out to the mainland in the morning. It has been weird to be back in traffic and in a city.

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My cab driver’s name was Paulo, and he hooted the hooter so much. Every time he past a vehicle, he’d hoot! He said he was doing it because he’s very excited to watch the Panama football game tonight, and was letting everybody know.

So here I am, all tucked in to my big queen bed in my hotel room which Danny was so sweet to book for me. I feel no movement from the boat and I hear no water lapping up against my hull. My family is farther than 47ft away from me so I can’t hear any of their movement, and I hear the sounds of city outside my window. This room seems ridiculously large and there’s enough room for all of us to camp out in the head…or bathroom…or whatever it is.  I guess I feel like a fish out of water.

I am so grateful for a wonderful day with my creatures, for the beauty that is displayed everywhere for us to enjoy, and for the sounds of nature.

Odds and Ends

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This afternoon while the creatures were at the beach, I worked on a variety of things.

There was one more small leak in the dinghy, so before Jonathan left he helped me take the outboard off and I pulled the rib up onto the dock. I flipped it over and put soapy water in the general area of where we had thought the hole might be, and Bob’s your uncle! It bubbled. I dried it off and patched it up and had a tarp waiting close by to cover it up if it rained.  The sun was shining, so I continued to stow a few things away on the boat, then went down into my berth to gather laundry.  Just as I sat down, not even two minutes later, it began to pour like only Panama can. I ran up the stairs and out the door, hurdled the stern steps and landed on the dock in style, and threw the tarp over the dinghy. No harm done.

We have some favorite things on our boat.

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Nothing cleans like Simple Green, Vinegar, Bar Keepers Friend, and Joy dish soap. Out on the deck, Bar Keepers friend removes stains so beautifully, Vinegar mixed with water in a spray bottle destroys mildew, and Simple Green and Joy are kind to the environment and work well when scrubbing decks.

My berth is all shiny and clean again.  I did laundry so I have clean sheets on my bed for when I return from Idaho, I scrubbed out the fridge and freezer, and washed down all the walls in the Port hull, and we filled the water tanks.

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I also made the 2 big salads – one a coleslaw and the other a potato salad, so the kids could add them to their meals in the first couple days that I’m gone.

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This evening all the creatures came and sat on my bed so we could have prayer and scripture study, and then Jude played the guitar while Mycah sang.

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I am so grateful for children who love each other so much. They are always playing games together, reading, exploring, singing and teasing. They treat each other with such love, and it fills me to overflowing.

I’m so tired now, and feel good about all we have accomplished today.

Provisioning and preparing

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I fixed a slow leak in the dinghy.

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After taking sand paper to both dinghy and the underside of the patch, spreading goop over both areas, and then pressing it down after it had dried a little on the patch, my hands were driving me crazy. I had dried but sticky goop on them and it would not come off. Finally after hours of rubbing them together, it peeled off. After that thorough treatment of derm abrasion, my hands are so soft! (I think I’m on to something!)

I awoke at 5 this morning and lay in bed, thinking for a while. I have so much to be grateful for, and those early morning hours are a wonderful time to lie and listen to water lapping up against the hulls, and meditate about those important things.

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be leaving to travel to Idaho to be with my parents.  My sweet Daddy is in so much pain and is incredibly weak. My beautiful Mom is so sweet, brave and loving, and I just want to lay between them both with my arms around them.

Today the creatures and I have needed to provision and prepare for my leaving.  This marina is monitored 24/7 by security guards and is completely safe.  The many families and couples that live in the marina have become one big family, and they love our creatures and have all told me that they would be there if they need help at all.  More importantly, I have raised these awesome kids to be independent.  They know how to cook, clean, do laundry, do their chores and take care of each other, and I have no worries at all about leaving them. I will miss them though!

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We set out for Bocas at 9:45am on the complimentary marina water taxi.  Our driver is so friendly and loves to throw back the throttle and fly across the water.

In Bocas we went to our ‘Walmart’. Toto’s is a great store with pretty much everything in it. After that we walked the back streets to get to the bank and produce stores.

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Aidan was so excited because we found a couple of dry streets for him to board down.  It was his first time in a month and he loved it!

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At the bank I need to get a roll of quarters and didn’t know how to say quarters is Spanish. I held up a $10 bill and said ‘bente cinco?’ The lady smiled and said, ‘quarters?’  So funny.

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While walking to the grocery store, we found Mana from Heaven….grapes!!! We hadn’t seen grapes in a month, and a shipment came in from Chile.

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Everyone in town was carrying bags of grapes.  They were selling them for $1.25/lb, so we bought a big bag of them.  It’s difficult for me to describe just how delicious a grape can be after not eating any for so long! Don’t ever take your grapes for granted!!! 😉

Our final stop at the grocery store was fast and painless.  I ripped the grocery list up into 6 and handed the creatures each a section.  They are good little shoppers and know how to look for good price and quality, and before we knew it, the cart was full and we checked out.

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Mycah was SO excited because she has been wanting to color and we haven’t had coloring books on board and hadn’t seen any anywhere.  We found some today and she is a happy camper.

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I have a feeling we’ll all be sitting around the table coloring pictures tonight.

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We loaded all our booty onto the 1pm water taxi and zoomed back to the marina.

Our neighbors found a rescue dog when they were sailing through Mexico.  They adopted her, named her Libby and treat her like a baby.

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She is so sweet and loving and fell asleep on my lap while waiting for the taxi to arrive.

All groceries are stowed away, Mycah continues to practice the uke, and life is good.

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Now my jobs for the afternoon are to scrub down my and Danny’s berth, do laundry and organize some things for tomorrows trip.  The creatures have gone to the beach, and the boat is quiet.

Life is good.

Slothful Sunday

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The creatures and I didn’t make it to Almirante for church today due to dinghy issues, (and that’s our car ride in) so we have spent our day together waltzing through the rain forest in search of sloths, monkeys, red frogs and anything else that we could find. Not even 5 minutes into our adventure, we found 5 different sloths. Most of them were filling their bellies with Cecropia leaves. Some sloths have been known to eat bugs and lizards too, but after seeing the slow pace that these guys move, in my opinion, the bugs would have to climb on them and curl up and die in order for the sloth to catch them.

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I love spending time with the creatures.  They make me laugh, and I feel like a better person when I am with them. Our conversations as we explore are always filled with interesting topics…one of today’s was, if you could have anything to eat or drink from the mainland, what would it be.  At that point I was dripping with sweat, and my first thought was one of those freshly squeezed lemonade slushies, and Jude agreed, Emma said a Krispy Kreme donut, Aidan said a gyro, Jonathan wanted a big juicy hamburger, and Mycah couldn’t quite narrow it down.

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We reached our lookout point and soaked in the beautiful scene, then turned and made our way deep into the jungle.

Many small ant hills covered the ground today.

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They looked like someone had neatly arranged Milo powder (a drink in South Africa) into square mounds, then made a hole in the middle.  I almost wanted to taste the dirt it looked so delicious…but, I didn’t.

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The rainforest is always wet, with decomposing leaves covering the path and new growth in colors of bright green and yellow scattered throughout the foliage.  The warm air is thick with humidity leaving every part of your body covered in sweat, and a wonderful rich earthy smell fills your nostrils.

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Looking up, huge trees tower above, with thick vines draping themselves down their trunks and branches like hanging tapestries. The leaves high above form a rich green canopy while branches below are decorated with plants that need no soil and produce beautiful flowers in every shade and color imaginable – though red seemed to be the color of choice today.

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Just when you think you’ve seen all the flowers in the area, something unusual jumps out at you.

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Sometimes Mother Natures creates delicate petals, and sometimes she forms flowers that look like bumpy caterpillars oozing from a Playdough machine – like this one that hung proudly, about 3 inches thick and 12 inches long.

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I think I’ve overcome my fear of frogs.  Toads are another story.  But these little guys are so bright and beautiful.  They are a poison dart frog, who reach their level of toxicity by eating ants, centipedes and mites. Alkaloids fill glands in their skin and depending on their diet, they can be quite toxic. When tadpoles hatch, the mothers will often lay unfertilized eggs in the water for the babies to eat, and these eggs are high in alkaloids as well – causing the babies to become toxic.  Scientists have extracted some of this poison from their skin and made painkillers. Maybe next time I have a bad headache I’ll pop one of those babies in my mouth;)    (just kidding Mom)

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I also spotted this little guy.  He could easily fit on a dime and sat so quietly for me to take his picture.

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The jungle was bursting with life as usual, and then we found evidence that trolls live in these parts.  A giant 3 inch booger from one of them dripped from a broken stem.

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We took a different route to come back to the marina and didn’t get lost this time, but we did see more beautiful things.

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Many banana trees stood tall in the pouring rain, some of which have almost ripe bananas on them.

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I kept the camera hidden under an extra t shirt for the duration of the hike back, and we were all refreshed and washed clean by buckets and buckets that got dumped on us from thick grey clouds.  It was wonderful!!!

About 5 minutes before reaching the marina, the sky cleared and the sun attempted to dry things off again.

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I love imperfections in nature – like partly eaten leaves for instance.  It reminds me that my imperfections are ok too, though I will always try to correct them in myself.

These pods grow close to the marina. Once they dry out they crack open and spill their seeds, allowing new trees to grow and continue on.

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As I walked through the marina entrance to come back to the boat, I noticed these tube worms down in the water.  A school of tiny fish were exploring to the side of them.

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What a beautiful Sunday morning.

Farewell to Danny

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A little after 5am we motored Tanda Malaika out of the marina and over to Bocas where the airport is, and dropped anchor.  Danny and I loaded his bags into the dinghy and as soon as the outboard started, I pushed off from the boat…which was right about when the outboard quit. So, there we were, drifting, away from where we needed to go and away from Tanda Malaika. I immediately grabbed an oar and started rowing us to shore while Danny worked on the outboard. I’m sure we were quite the sight! After a few minutes Danny’s super ninja mechanic skills paid off again and we putted into where we could tie off to a dock.

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Danny walked towing his luggage and I ran behind at ironman speed to keep up, carrying his 800 pound backpack, as we walked to the airport. We got him off on time and he is now headed overseas for about a 30 day trip. It’s always hard to see him go , but I know he’s dying to get behind the controls again and fly.

I was able to use the same technique Danny used, and got the dinghy going to get back to the boat.  It kept acting like it was about to die any second, so my job today is to drain all the gas out of the tank and separate out any water that’s in the gas. I’m also going to patch a small leak in the dinghy.

When I got back to the boat it was just about to start raining, but before it did, a beautiful rainbow arched across Bocas.

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The creatures and I raised the anchor and motored Tanda Malaika back to the Marina.  This was my first time docking without Danny on the boat, and all went really well.  She’s all snug up against the dock again.

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The veggie boat came at about noon, and Jude, Aidan and I were there to meet it. The produce was especially beautiful and fresh.  I love the people on the boat – the old man, George, is the only one that can speak English, the little girl, Isabelle, is eager to help and weighs the produce, and the little lady, quietly works the calculator then turns it to show the grand total – which is always so little.

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This afternoon I checked the oil in both engines, and in the generator, and drained the yucky stuff from both the racors.

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It rained all afternoon so I wasn’t able to fix the leak on the dinghy or work on dinghy gas – that’ll be another day’s project.

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The girls did some hula hooping in the stern salon, with a hula thats filled with water.  It looked like it was quite the workout.  This evening was so beautiful.  The water was calm, allowing the rainforest and sailboats to cast perfect reflections for all to admire.

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As for me, I was admiring the wallpaper on my cell phone…..

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I miss my Danny.  When we lived on land, life was so busy and when he went on trips I missed him so much, but I was so busy. Some days when he was home, we’d be in and out running errands and finally at the end of the day we could sit and have a conversation.  Now, we are with each other every day.  We talk, walk, explore, relax, comment on the surrounding beauty, discuss projects we need to work on and places we want to see.  Our lives are so tightly intertwined and we rely on each other as partners.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that he hasn’t even been gone for 24 hours yet and I miss him like crazy!  This is going to be a long month!

Walking/Snorkeling the beaches

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After another great bowl of oatmeal this morning, we all decided to explore some coastline that we hadn’t ventured to yet. Following the coast past Red Frog Beach, is Turtle Beach, and this is the farthest we’d gone thus far.  On the way Danny and I told the creatures that whom ever see’s the first sloth gets a dollar.  Emma won, with Jonathan about 5 seconds behind her.

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The little brownish red guy on the bottom looked so comfy, all snuggled up and fast asleep in the tree.  The grey one up top had a nasty itch he just couldn’t seem to get on top of.  His fur was tinted green – a common sight in sloths, because they move so slowly that algae grows on them. They only descend once a week from their eating and sleeping places, and it’s to go to the loo – the rest of the time they move at a…well, a sloths pace, like each movement is very well thought out, then reconsidered, then thought out again…very…slowly.

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I love textures, patterns and colors…

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Mangrove roots hang 20ft down from high branches, searching for a place to anchor in the sand. I wanted to crouch down and run through them.

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We walked across Turtle Beach to Polo Beach, and snorkeled for a while, then ventured on to the next beach and snorkeled there too.  The creatures found so many beautiful shells, including some huge conch shells.  At one point I was snorkeling and was focused on a coral head off to my right, then turned my head to the left, and there, about a foot from my face looked like a huge gaping mouth was coming at me.  My first instinct was to punch and I did – with all my might into what looked like the creatures nose, and it ended up that is was a tree trunk resembling a big fat open mouth.  I surfaced shaking the sting out of my hand and the creatures looked at me with puzzled faces.  I showed them what I saw and they agreed that it did look like a mouth, but that their first instinct would probably not have been to punch.

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We came across this in the sand and felt like we were in a horror movie for just a second :0

Eventually on our way back to the marina, we stopped at ‘Nachyo Mama’s’ for fresh fish tacos.  They were SO delicious.

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It felt so good to sit back in an Adirondack chair, feet in the sand and sip on a cold drink.

We figured we’d head down a path we hadn’t been on to get back to the marina, and ended up in who knows where!! It was a dock with a panga traffic jam, and we were too tired to back track, so we payed a gentleman $7 to drive us all back to Tanda Malaika in the panga.

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I loved our day exploring, I love our island and I love my family.  At one point today Emma brought tears to my eyes.  She was sitting quietly on the beach with the waves lapping up against her and she said, ‘Mama, do you know what I love most about life?’ I said what’s that my love.  She replied, ‘You Mom, you’re what I love most.’  What an honor it is for me to me be a mother.  I may not be the best at it, but I love my 11 children so much, and absolutely LOVE being their mom and I love having Danny as my Sweetheart.

Farewell to Ashley

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Since yesterday was Ashley’s last day with us, we decided to spend the day snorkeling a beautiful reef, and cruising around seeing more of our breathtaking surroundings.
We left the dock after breakfast and made our way through ‘The Gap’ to where the landscape is scattered with many rich green mangrove islands. It’s amazing being able to take a boat this large through areas of only 5 feet of water because of our 4.5ft keels. The creatures sat at the bow and looked down at the reef as we passed over it.

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Sometimes while we are underway, wild things happen aboard – Aidan (and whom ever else) will break into dance that reminds me of some of the scenes from Mama Mia, where he’ll run from stern to bow, twirling and jumping and Jude and Mycah continue with exercise routines. They do wall sits, lunges, and Ashley has coached us in some awesome stretching exercises.

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We reached the area where we wanted to be, dropped anchor and snorkeled around for a couple of hours.

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The water had a green tint to it because of all the recent rains, but it was still clear and filled with so many parrot fish, angelfish, damsel fish, wrasse, needle nose, barracuda, sergeant majors, gobi’s, and so much more. Aidan and Emma got stung by a female jellyfish, and after dousing it with vinegar, some of the sting left, but they felt an ache in the affected areas for a while. By evening they have small welts but are much better. What cool battle wounds…not everyone can say they were stung by a jellyfish in Panama;)
Last night we anchored right by Bocas, so that this morning we would be just a short walk away from the airport for Ashley. We took the dinghy into town and all walked around for a bit, then saw a hole in the wall Mexican food restaurant called ‘Gringos’, and thought we’d try it out. The food was really quite good. The owner is a guy named Gary, who is from Santa Monica, CA, and has bee here for 16 years. He seemed to enjoy sitting and talking with us while the food was being prepared. He got a kick out of Mycah’s mischievous personality and the two of them agreed that they are now BFF’s.

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After hitting the ice cream store and when were all back on the boat, we played a rambunctious game of spoons, and then headed to bed.

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This morning Danny and I took Ashley to the Bocas airport and said our goodbyes. We were sad to see her go and have had so much fun having her visit.

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We noticed this across the street from the airport and hoped Ashley’s airplane had better luck.  It did.

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I was texting my sister yesterday and she asked me what I love most about our lifestyle – living on a boat. I thought of so many things, but two of them that I’ve continued to think about through this evening, are 1) the simplicity of our lives and 2) this irreplaceable time we are spending as a family.
I love not having a calendar filled with appointments, meetings and deadlines, and I think a big part of why life seems more simple, is because our schedule greatly revolves around mother natures schedule. It feels more peaceful this way.
I love living everyday with Danny and our children around us. We do everything together and love exploring and laughing and loving together. We work together and play together. Every meal is eaten together. I know we will never regret this time.
I’m so grateful for this opportunity.

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Rainy Day

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This morning when we awoke, it was pouring with rain.  I dressed in my exercise clothes, hoping to be able to go for a brisk walk when the rain calmed down. We all sat in the main salon, when one of the kids yelled, ‘dolphins!!!’ I immediately grabbed the GoPro and ran out to the stern where a couple of the creatures had already gathered, and I slipped into the water clothes and all in search of the dolphins.  I saw nothing.  I asked the creatures if they were sure it was a dolphin fin and not a shark fin, and they responded saying ‘yeah, we’re pretty sure…’  I continued to swim out to try see a fin, and finally a bottle nose dolphin surfaced and then dove down again.  The closest I got was within 20 feet of one of them, and then they were off again.

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It continued to rain the entire day.  The water became really muddied from the mangroves, and mother nature washed Tanda Malaika off really well.

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The creatures stretched themselves around the main salon and watched Jurassic Park on Netfix, and I decided it was a good opportunity to do some baking.  I made pizza crusts to make into pizzas for dinner tonight, and french breads and peach cobbler.

For about 45 minutes this afternoon it stopped raining, and I strongly encouraged the creatures to go out and enjoy the fresh air while the clouds was not dumping on us.  The all loaded into the dinghy and went for a ride.

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Danny and I worked on an issue we’ve been so frustrated with.  One of the lines that run inside the boom had broken weeks ago, and was still inside the boom.  We hadn’t been able to fish it out.  Today Danny had an epiphany (which I still can’t wrap my head around), and we were able to get it out!! He is so smart at figuring out the impossible.

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He also made a video from some of the footage he has shot with his drone, and it turned out so well.  Here’s a link to it on Youtube:   https://youtu.be/BzyE1E0FMwk

All in all it’s been a productive rainy day in Paradise.

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My Mom sent me a picture of a plaque that was presented to my Dad last night by the Idaho HOG association.  I’m so grateful to these people who have shown him such love and support.

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