Month: May 2016
It’s been another wonderful day in Spanish Wells. We got the water maker busy making fresh water for us, and while it was doing its thing, Jude, Mycah and I set dove off the boat to begin our morning exercise. We swam for a solid hour, doing freestyle, breast stroke and back stroke, which according to an exercise app, burns 832 calories!When we came back on board, Emma told me that she had never bobbed for apples – so we figured that there’s no time like the present, and she bobbed a couple out of a bucket. (it’s the little things…)
We went to the hardware store to find that our bridle was beautifully repaired, and followed it with some quality beach time. Connor, from Hi 5, has become good friends with Aidan. It’s been fun watching them interact and play together.
Our friends, Kerry, Julie, Connor and Dylan from Hi 5.
We decided that since our friends would be leaving soon to sail back to Canada, we’d grab a bite to eat together for dinner, and walked over to Budda’s Snack Shack. On the way we met a group of people from the US who are visiting the island and are so sweet. They invited us for a bon fire on the beach after dinner.
When I went to pay for our meal, they told me they don’t accept debt cards, so I had to walk several blocks to the ATM for cash. After walking about half way there, the snack shack owner pulled up in her golf cart offering to give us a ride. She was a crazy driver! When we turned a corner she’d lean clear out of the car to turn and corner like it was on rails, then drove SO fast down the roads. Emma and I were laughing and white knuckling it in the back seat. When we reached our final destination I felt like I should jump out and kiss the ground.
The bon fire with our new friends was wonderful. We sat and chatted until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer, and then they were sweet enough to take us back to our dinghy on their golf carts. Their driving was far more relaxing.
I spoke with my Darling today, and it was wonderful to hear his voice. He slept for 10 hours once he reached his hotel after two days of flying. He is in Genoa, Italy, where Christopher Columbus was born. He said that him and the other pilots went to Frank Sinatra’s favorite restaurant. Intact, Frank loves the ravioli there so much that he’d send his private jet there just to pick up ravioli for him. Danny had to try it, and said it was absolutely delicious. He sent these lovely pictures from his walk to the restaurant. We can’t wait till he returns to us.
Talk of the town
Last nights storm was incredible! Rain came in horizontal sheets all night long, cleaning every bit of salt off Tanda Malaika so beautifully. The expected 30 knot winds turned into 50 knot winds and for much of the night until about 6 o clock this morning, the waves were so huge and rains so heavy that we couldn’t see land or lights on land just 150ft away from us. Several times in the night i was woken because it seemed like a strobe light was on in my berth, but in reality it was constant lightening. Thunder boomed and lightening struck so close several times that Emma and I (who were the only ones awake), felt tingly on our skin, and huge waves crashed over the bow and up the sides or the hulls. What an absolutely spectacular show by Mother Nature. We were so grateful that our anchor held and that we didn’t get struck by lightening – being the only boat out at anchorage. Our bridle broke, but the anchor held.
Mycah and I removed all we could of the broken bridle, then radioed our friend from ‘Hi 5’, asking him to help us loosen a couple extremely tight screws. He was sweet enough to dinghy over and got them undone for us, then showed us where to go in town to have the bridle repaired. The line we’ve had on it is a multi stranded braided line, but the storm was intense enough that it just shredded it! A bridle is used to take the strain off the anchor chain. It reduces wear from the chain on the boat by acting as a shock absorber and silences the chain.
A gentleman at the hardware store told us that he would replace all the line on our bridle for us, and that we should return tomorrow to pick it up. I told him that Jude has been trying to learn to splice, and he said that he would teach her. She’s so excited. After the hardware store we stopped by the fuel dock to fill the dinghies gas cans, and were met by 3 men who proceeded to tell us that we are the talk of the town. When I inquired why, a friendly guy by the name of A1 told me that many people in the town could see our anchor light in the storm, and they just new that in 50 knot winds, we were going to end up on the rocks, and were watching to come rescue us when we did. It’s comforting to know that we are watched over by so many. Spanish Wells ended up with one of their big lobster boats on the rocks. A1 noticed that I was not wearing shoes and started flirting, saying he really loves a barefoot gal. What a cute old man.
One of the other men was repairing fishing nets. He is the last of the fishing net repairers in the area, and is always busy because people come from miles around seeking his services. I watched him work and found it fascinating. Each little square has a tiny knot in each corner…
The creatures and I went into town for ice cream this evening, meeting our friends there for the tasty treat.
When we returned, my sweet skipper creatures helped me rig up a temporary bridle in case the wind starts to pick up again tonight. They are such great sailors and are always so eager to help and learn.
Danny texted me a short while ago and had just landed in Finland to refuel, and then took off for another 3 hour flight to Italy. He is doing well, but said Finland was really cold at 60 degrees. We are missing him a ton but are glad he’s having a good time flying.
This morning the creatures worked on their school work and chores for a while, and I radioed our friends on their catamaran named ‘Hi 5’ to arrange a time to take supplies over to the Haitian Village. We decided on noon, so until then we dejunked and gathered up clothing and books. By twelve o clock, the dinghy was loaded with bags, backpacks and people, and we set off to find a place who’s location we only had a general idea on. We motored the dinghy over to the Island of Eleuthera and tied up at the government dock where I asked an older gentleman for directions to the village. He pointed to some white garages and told us that behind them was a path into the tress, and to just follow it. Our friend Julie, and her son Connor, had gathered all sorts of supplies as well, so we collected it all and set out on our adventure.
The second path we found seemed like the correct one, so we followed it through trees and bushes for about a quarter of a mile. Garbage was littered throughout and the air was hot and dry.
Once we reached the village, I approached some people hoping they spoke english, and asked if there was someone in charge that I could talk with. They pointed farther up the road, so we continued on – the heat of the day sending trails of sweat down our backs.
We met a beautiful sweet lady named Michelin, who helped us further, and after resting in a shaded make shift pavilion while watching a woman chase a pack of dogs who were chasing her goats, we finally found our way to the right place. A young man there showed us where to leave the things we brought, and I asked him if we could help in any way with a building project, or anything else at all. He called a British missionary on the phone and handed it to me, and a very humble, grateful man came on, saying that they had just barely completed the last project for now, but were very grateful for the supplies. On our hike out, among the dry ground and rocks I noticed a beautiful flower growing. It made me smile as I saw the symbolism there and how it paralleled the place we had just seen. People are trying to make something beautiful out of rough circumstances.
We hoped we could do more to help, but know that opportunity to give aid and show love and concern is all around us everyday, and as long as we keep watching for it, we’ll find it.
When we dropped Julie and Connor off, Aidan decided to stay with Connor to play, so just us four girls headed back home. As we were leaving, Julie’s husband mentioned that three cold fronts were coming in, and a storm is expected tonight with 30 knot winds. So, once us girls were done diving off the boat and swimming around to cool off, we let more scope out on the anchor chain and secured everything around Tanda Malaika. As we did, the wind started to pick up and the sky turned grey.
This evening Danny texted me, saying he had landed safely in Taiwan. When he reached his hotel room he wrote, ‘Wow, this suite is bigger than 5 Tanda Malaika’s! I don’t need all this space!’ It’s so interesting when you’ve been living on a boat for a while, because you realize you don’t need all the space and ‘stuff’. We joked with Danny before he left, telling him he’s so lucky because he was going to be able to flush toilet paper and take long showers.
Tonight as I write, I am filled with so much gratitude for so much. I am thankful for my sweet Danny, and my beautiful children. I am grateful for our home and that we have been blessed with more than we need so we can share with others. Right now I am especially grateful for a good anchor which holds us securely in this crazy wind. The current is keeping our bow to the south, while the waves are hitting our beam from the east, causing Tanda Malaika to roll softly back and forth. We will be rocked to sleep all night long.
Tanda Malaika will be missing her Captain for a week or so, but not as much as her crew will! Danny received a phone call last night asking him if he’d be willing to fly some clients from Taiwan to Genoa, Italy. This morning we got him packed and early afternoon took the dinghy over to the ferry so he could be taken to the Eluthera airport. We already miss him!!
He’s had a long day, with several flights that will eventually end him in Taiwan. After a few hours there he’ll fly the jet to Italy with a fuel stop in Finland. We are excited to see photos from his travels in that beautiful part of the world.
We spoke with the haul out owner today, and it looks like Tanda Malaika will most likely be hauled out either on Saturday or Monday. All necessary parts have arrived and we are ready to roll.
Aidan showed me an amazing bruise on his thigh this morning. He attempted to jump from the dinghy to the sugar scoop, and slipped. This beauty is his badge of honor.
After dropping Danny off we motored over to the beach. The water was so incredibly warm. We immersed ourselves in it for almost four hours, chatting with friends and meeting new people. An older gentleman and his cute little dog joined us, and he chatted with Jude about sailing. He lives on a 26ft boat.
The pickle and some of the creatures jumped off the bridge and Emma jumped from the dinghy to the rope swing as we motored past it.
We were told about a Haitian refugee camp on a close by island that needs humanitarian aid, and tomorrow we will try to find it to see where we can help.
DINGHY BUTT: The term we use to describe ones wet buttocks which sometimes happens after a ride in the dinghy.
You can always tell which sailors have their boats out at anchor or on a mooring ball, verses those that are docked because the docked folks don’t have dinghy butt when walking around town or walking into church! Dinghy butt is especially pronounced when the water is rough in the anchorage. We used to make comment and laugh at each other when we walked around with a wet behind, but at this point we don’t even notice anymore – on ourselves or each other. On good days, we don’t experience dinghy butt at all.
Yesterday the creatures took some time to scrub decks out on the stern, and did a wonderful job. Emma was rocking her newly braided and beaded hair, which Jude and I did last night. She looks so cute.
After chores were completed, and laundry was washed and hanging to dry, the creatures and I went to the beach for a bit while Danny relaxed and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Aidan, as always, brought his Penny board along, and found a bunch of boards and built a ramp of sorts to skate down and off of.
He did really well, and only went flying a couple times. No trips to the ER were needed and he now has more great photos to post on his Penny board Instagram.
While we were at the beach, a golf cart full of boys drove past, and looked down from the bridge at the girls on the beach. Before long, 3 golf carts full of boys had pulled up, turned their music up really loud and were playing football on the beach and ‘accidentally’ throwing the ball so that it landed right where they were laying. It cracked me up. The guys were so obnoxious and did everything they could to get the girls attention, but Jude, Mycah and Emma were so busy enjoying their beach time that they paid no attention to them. After a while they gave up and went swimming.
Around dinner time we set off for Tanda Malaika, so I could cook supper and take the laundry down.
I cooked the Tuna that Mycah caught and made a big salad to go with it. We love eating dinner out in the stern salon, as the sun lowers in the sky and a cool breeze blows from across the water.
Since today was Sunday, after church we enjoyed a lazy day on the boat…reading, spending time together and relaxing. Who knows what adventures this week will bring, but what we do know, is that we will be ready for them.
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