Paddling through the Milky Way

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Last night, after a long tiring day of working on installing the water maker, Danny and I finally crawled into bed after showers and it felt so good to lie down! I had just snuggled up next to him with my head on his chest when Jude and Mycah knocked on our berth door. They were both in their swimsuits and were so excited. They told us of the exploring they had been doing on the paddle boards and so badly wanted us to see the beauty that they had seen. Given their enthusiasm, I couldn’t not go. I slipped out of bed, told Danny I’d be back soon, and went outside to be with them. We knelt on the paddle boards and started to paddle toward the dark area of water behind the mangroves. As we paddled they told me that Jude wanted to capture a picture of the stars on her camera, and discovered the most beautiful thing they’d ever seen. Each time our paddles moved through the water, thousands of brightly lit bioluminescence sparkled all around us, and the wake that our boards made as we moved through the water glowed too. We ran our fingers through the water, feeling like the fairy god mother in Cinderella when she waved her wand and it sparkled all around her. Looking down in the water the jellyfish glowed and so did movement from fish and other creatures swimming. It was the most magical, exquisite thing I had ever seen, and I wanted everyone to see it. We paddled back to Tanda Malaika and told everyone that they just had to come see it, and they did. The creatures climbed on the paddle boards and Danny and I took the dinghy, and there we were, all of us in the dark, playing in the water. Danny leaned over the side of the dinghy and moved his fingers around, saying that he was shooting sparks out of them. Everyone sat in awe, and spoke of the gratitude that they were feeling for having the opportunity to experience such intense beauty. As we slowly returned, moving through the water, the sparkles glowed brightly ahead of us and it felt like we were meeting up with the Milky Way and paddling through the stars.

This morning our alarm clock was the sharp screeching sound of the bilge alarm. I ran up and held my hand over where the sound was coming out to muffle it slightly, and I flipped the switches to drain the bilges. Danny climbed down into the starboard engine room and found that they bilge pump in it had died, and that is what set the alarm off.

He replaced the pump today and all is well once again.

We started working on the water maker once more as the creatures emerged from their quarters, and I broke away for a little while to make biscuits for everyone to enjoy with butter and guava jam. Baking on a boat is a little discouraging. Our little propane oven doesn’t brown the tops of my baked goods, and things just don’t rise as well and takes at least twice as long to cook. But, nobody complains as they devour it all.

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Danny discovered that he needed a couple parts that we didn’t have for the installation, so we took Tanda Malaika over to Bocas. It’s pretty amazing to conveniently move your entire home with you where ever you go. We are like a giant snail that lives in its shell. While in Bocas, Jude, Mycah and I grabbed some groceries. The produce stand had just received a fresh shipment, and everything looked so beautiful.

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We stocked up on all sorts of fruits and vegetables, and Danny bought the parts he needed. Some locals pulled their canoe up next to our boat asking if we wanted to buy some lobster and a crab from them. There were 7 lobsters and a big beautiful crab, and I paid $20 for them all. We had to keep Mycah away from them because she wanted to set them free.

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While Jude took a long, peaceful nap, Danny worked on the water maker again and used Aidan’s small frame to reach clear back into an opening that runs  inside the boat, to fish some wires out that he needed.

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We pulled up the anchor to return to the marina just as the sun was setting, and it was spectacular! I took far too many photos but it just kept getting prettier by the minute. It started out yellow then changed to orange, and pink…

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As soon as we docked we boiled some water and cooked up our bugs.

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Skyler tried a small bite but stuck to the couscous and salads, and the rest of us devoured them all. What a delicious meal. Tonight we all go to sleep with full bellies and will dream of dancing together in the Milky Way.

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