Month: June 2016

Poor Stinky Pickle…

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I left my Angels to catch their flight and I caught mine. Fort Lauderdale to South Carolina to Phoenix to Salt lake City!

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I was standing in line in Phoenix, waiting to board my flight, and a guy in about his mid twenties was talking loudly on the phone behind me. It was obvious he spent a lot of time at the gym and even more time in front of the mirror. He was speaking in a showing off kind of tone, about how the boss had picked him to fly out on another trip and how he was at the top of his game etc etc. When he got off the the phone I heard him say, “No, no..” and turned to see him reading a text on his phone. He quickly dialed a number and here’s what I heard, “What’s wrong with Stinky Pickle? What? Are you serious?….put him on…..Stinky Pickle,  stay with me now, stay with me, listen to my voice you hear, listen to me Stinky Pickle, I’m right here….” After that someone must have come on the phone because next he said, “Are you sure…he’s dead?  He’s really dead? He died? No, no, no not Stinky pickle….” at which point he started to cry and hung up. I turned around and asked if he was okay, and he said, “yes it’s just so unfair. So hard when you lose a loved one.” I gently told him I’m really sorry, and asked, who Stinky Pickle is, to which he tearfully replied, “He’s my pet hamster man, I just can’t believe it!” I was surprised and bit my cheek as I told him again, that I’m so, so sorry, and it’ll get get easier as time goes by.

Wow! True story. You just can’t make stuff like that up!

I texted the Creatures in between flights to check on them and Mycah informed me that Jude and Aidan had gotten into trouble with the wheelchair police. When I asked Jude what for, she told me that all they were trying to do was make her drift in the wheelchair! Goofy kids. When the cat’s away the mice will play…actually in reality the cat REALLY likes to play too!

It was wonderful to give Bernadine and my Mom hugs when they picked me up. I love my family so much. To be honest I wasn’t sure how I’d react to seeing just them and not my sweet brother and father that passed away recently. But I did okay.

The drive to Idaho was beautiful. I never tire of the scenery here.




It’s a little bit of Heaven.


Tomorrow morning my Mom and I will leave bright and early to drive to California, so for now, it’s time to lay this body down and get some rest.


Leaving Home

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Yesterday seemed like an endless whirlwind of business. We took Jude to the doctor because she is still so sore and swollen from her fall down the hatch on Tanda Malaika. After the doc gave her a thorough look over he said her swelling is rock hard because there is a good sized blood clot that will take some time to dissolve and all will be well in about 4 – 6 weeks.  He suggested she use a wheel chair in the airports today and try rest as much as possible, and prescribed some meds for pain. She has switched to heat rather than ice packs and is finding great relief from that. All evening long her and Aidan were coming up with bright ideas on the fun they’d have in the airports with a wheel chair.

I went to the dentist, taking my crown with me for him to reinstall, and once he heard that I’m not from Fort Lauderdale and wouldn’t be a returning patient, he said he couldn’t help me and charged me $95 for his 3 minutes of time. What a nice guy!

We had the privilege of using washers and dryers yesterday. It is such an amazing thing to put clothes in a machine and half an hour later have clean clothing, then not too terribly long after that, have dry clothing! What a treat. All our bedding is so nice and fresh smelling now. We continued to scrub Tanda Malaika clean and at this point she is in ship shape inside and out. Saying good bye to her this morning was sad for all of us, but we have great confidence in the capable hands we’ve left her in.


This morning she will be hauled out on the big lifts right across from her, so they can repair the keels and sail drive seals.


The creatures and I are at the airport waiting for our flights. They will be in LA later tonight and I will be in Salt Lake City this evening where my sister, Bernadine, and my sweet Mama will pick me up.

I miss my handsome husband, and hope time continues to pass quickly so we can all be back together again. I’m so grateful for phones for calls and texting.

Becoming Grandparents!

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Today we found out that we are Grandparents and didn’t even know it! In previous posts I mentioned a gecko that boarded our boat in Panama, who showed up while we were in Bahamas a few weeks back, and today we came across its baby! The Creatures have named him Gerard and we are so proud.


It was a busy day for us on Tanda Malaika. At 8am I walked over to the ‘Just Catamarans’ main office to chat with them about what all needs to be looked at on the boat. The secretary called a French gentleman named Laurent, who will be overseeing all the work done on our girl. He and I spent time together on Tanda Malaika going through everything, and discussed different possibilities. As soon as he left the creatures and I got busy scrubbing.

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I climbed down into the engine rooms and worked hard to get them cleaned up.

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During the course of the day, rigging specialists came and inspected the integrity of the standing rigging and running rigging. All standing rigging is in top notch shape, and as we already knew, a couple lines in the running rigging need to be replaced.

After that the diesel mechanic came and looked at the engines and generator. He said that he’s pretty sure the starter needs to be replaced on port (aside from sail drive seal), and the alternator and I think heat exchanger needs to be replaced on starboard. As far as the generator goes…I’m afraid that it’s time for a new one. The generator is such an important part of the boat, and this one has lasted beyond the expected hours by far. We may be able to get some money for it since it still runs, but as far as being reliable for us in the middle of no where with the demands we place on it – it’s just time for a replacement.

It appears that we will be hauled out on Wednesday, and at that point we will be homeless for about 10 days. Since Danny will be home from his trip about then, the Creatures and I will leave here on Wednesday morning and fly out west to empty our California storage unit and get some things done in Idaho. Aside from some organizing, we really need to sell our 2008 Road King Classic,


and our 2002 diesel Excursion. So if you know of anyone who would be interested…..


and of course, more importantly we are SO excited to see our family and friends, and it looks like one of our besties from St George will be joining us on the return.

Perhaps the most incredible part of our day (aside from being able to talk to my Sweetheart) was that for the first time in 7 months, we were able to attach our hose to a faucet on the dock and fill our water tanks with it. Do you realize how significant that is? Fresh, drinkable water is not to be taken for granted. So many don’t have it, and it truly is a most precious gift. We are so grateful.

Land germs

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Allergies have hit the Tanda Malaika crew in full force. Sneezes, sniffles, coughs and red eyes are what everyone is dealing with, and it makes me want to head out about 15 miles off shore to make it stop. I think part of the problem is that here in the marina there is so much work being done on so many boats, and the dust and dirt from that is in the air, as well as airplanes taking off right over us from the airport a stones throw away – mix that up with the every day pollution that comes with being in a big city and you’ve got yourself a glorious allergy cocktail.

This morning we went to church and were so grateful and humbled to rub shoulders with the sweet people there. So many inspiring individuals with big hearts and simple, powerful testimony’s of what is truly important to them, and they share it so willingly and openly. I love learning from others. Outside the church were the most beautiful hibiscus flowers…


We checked in with customs yesterday, which was a painless and rapid event. Jude was quite distraught as we left the customs office because inside were signs concerning the Zika virus, yet outside was landscaped with plants that mosquitoes love to breed in. She talked about it for some time, and did more reading up on it, informing us that the exact kind of mosquito that carries the virus, is found right here in Florida. They love the abundant warmth, sweat and humidity.

Danny left this afternoon for his work trip, and we all miss him already!


Hopefully while he’s away time will pass quickly. In the morning I will meet with the haul out company, ‘Just Catamarans’, and discuss our boats issues and figure out a plan of attack. Danny and I made a list and hope they can haul us out soon to begin. Tomorrow the creatures and I will also be giving Tanda Malaika a darn good scrub, inside and out. There will be no swimming along side her though, as the water here in the marina is an interesting shade of dark green…quite a contrast to the perfectly clear turquoise we’ve been surrounded by for the past 3 months. It’s all part of the adventure though, and as everyone knows, we are always up for one of those!


Bahamas to Florida

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DAY 1:

We pulled up anchor in George Town nice and early to get a good start on our journey from Exuma’s to Fort Lauderdale. Danny got both engines working and the generator seems to be doing fine when he tested it. We decided that we’d make the 58 mile crossing to Staniel Cay, and possibly spend the night there then continue on – depending on weather. Once we’d motored through the meandering shallows of the cut, it felt so good to be in the open ocean of the Atlantic, where depths were 2-3000ft, rather than 6-8ft. A gentle wind teased our sails and left us making slower progress than cold molasses on a cold winter morning. We finally pulled in to Staniel Cay around 6pm, and found a nice sandy spot to drop anchor, and as Danny had Tanda Malaika in perfect position, Emma went to drop, the anchor remained stuck in it’s holding place. After looking at it a second time we realized that the anchor was totally bent and Danny had to use his bounteous Basque strength to release it. Due to the way it was bent, it wouldn’t set in the sand, but instead it cut through the sand creating a fine trench for planting seeds! We quickly concluded that anchoring was out of the question, and we’d need to make a direct shot to a marina in Florida, where we will tie up at a dock. We are so puzzled with the bent anchor – having no idea how the hard steel mass got bent out of shape. (Maybe it was that darn barracuda!)
We sailed on, on the Caribbean side, and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset over the starboard side.

There’s just nothing like a sunset at sea. For dinner I made a couple of loaves of french bread and a big pot of Jambalaya.

We decided on our night watch schedule, and set our course through the shipping channel past Andros Island. Once we are past Andros, we’ll pass the Berry Islands and Bimini and on to Fort Lauderdale.

DAY 2:

There was hardly any wind last night so progress was slow. By midday today we’d made 135 miles since leaving George Town, leaving about 160 to go. My night watch shirt began at 2am, and at that point I was so wide awake, so when Aidan and Jude came on a couple hours later i sent them back to bed and stayed on till 8am. I love night watch. It’s so peaceful and it’s during those times of silence and blackness that one really comes to know oneself. I find myself honestly assessing who I am as a wife, mother, daughter and individual, setting new goals and being prayerful.

At 8am i woke Aidan to take my place at the helm and went to sleep till 10am, waking to find the beautiful big spinnaker raised. I never tire or the sight. When airs are light and we are on a run, we raise the spinnaker – a giant splash of color and power. It took our speed from 2 knots to 6. The twins were at the helm and could be heard exclaiming in excitement each time they adjusted lines and picked up another half knot of speed. We are so proud of our little sailors. They have already learned so much and are so capable.

Through the morning everyone settled into their routines. Emma stayed at the helm and worked on her school work.

When Aidan was done, he got busy on chores which included cleaning his berth, and when he appeared with a sheet over his head I dared him to try make it around the entire deck with the sheet over his head without falling overboard. He accepted the challenge and did quite splendidly! Oh the goofy things we do on a crossing…

Jude relaxed reading her Sherlock Holmes book and Mycah attacked her berth with cleaners while Danny and I sat in each others arms out on the bow and breathed in the fresh air while enjoying each others company.
When we made our way back to the stern he decided to check one of the fishing lines, thinking we’d snagged some seaweed, and pulled a barracuda.

Our fishing friends from Freeport told us that sometimes they use barracuda as bait, so we decided to use this one for it. No sooner had we set the starboard line with the bait, had the rod bent over with another catch. He reeled in yet another barracuda, and this one we let go.

Just before I started making dinner, Danny reeled in a huge Mahi Mahi (Dorado). Before he was even done filleting the second side, I had a huge slab of it seasoned and on the grill.

DAY 3:

Our third day was a really hot day on the water. We were all tempted at different times to jump overboard for a refreshing swim, but stayed firmly on deck. By noon we had already caught 5 barracuda and released them back into the big blue. The craziest part of the day was when I heard the whiz of the fishing line, and went to grab the pole from the rod holder but couldn’t because it was so bent over. I called for Danny and he was able to wrestle it out and reeled in a beautiful young, feisty shark.

He was really mad, but Danny was able to get the hook from its jaw and set him free. He was so cute!
For dinner I served pasta salad, BBQ chicken and green beans. I also made macaroons for dessert. The crew really seemed to enjoy those.
After being at sea for about 300 nautical miles, we spotted Fort Lauderdale’s skyline. Large buildings stretched far across the horizon, which was a rather strange sight to behold after being on so many islands where no other soul was in sight, for 3 months. As we came closer to land and saw more details of the lights, concrete, and fast paced life, we felt even more grateful for the opportunity we’ve had thus far.

Danny did an amazing job maneuvering the boat through a maze of water ways, past many fancy vessels and backed us into our slip with catamarans on either side of us. His skills never cease to amaze us. Tonight we are tied to a dock, and have the AC going in the hulls, and are all ready for a good solid night of sleep with no interruptions for night watch.