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Chrysalis Adventures
How plans change
Cold as hell
11/14/2014, Skagit County Wa. State

As cruisers we always herd that cruisers plans are made in the sand at low tide, very subject to change. Being retired we don't mind change. We have had some family issues come up that require that we stay until after Christmas. Family comes first so no problemo we stay, although we are not acclimated to the cold!!! It's November 14th and currently 28 degrees outside! Ice in the fields has not melted in a couple of days. This is our first winter since 2010/11 so the cold is a bit of a shock. The warm sunny (HOT) days in Mexico and Central America seem a distant memory. Did we really just spend three years and 4,000 miles on a very small boat? I find myself longingly looking at sailboat adds these days. But my wife and love of my life has had enough of ocean sailing so I am content to just window shop. We are looking forward to getting back down south; only six weeks away. I'm sure it's going to go very fast with the holidays. We have our back packs ready to go and short of this 20 foot trailer and an old buick everything thing we own will fit in two back packs! It's rather freeing to own so little and we are content to keep it that way. It free's us up to travel where we please. When we get to Ecuador we will again rent a small place to use as a base so we can explore. We will be keeping up our blog if only so that we can look back at our adventures, but we really enjoy sharing the experience. So if you stop by the blog please leave a message so we know you were here. Greeting and salutations, happy Thanks giving and Christmass. Dave and Leiann

Summer in Washington State, USA
Finally warm
07/29/2014, On the banks of the Skagit River

Summer in Washington State
I can't believe we have been back two months now. We have been quite busy with family and friends. When we first got home, well having no home, we rented a hotel for a few days so the grandsons could come over and swim and hang out with Grampa and Grama. Then we headed over to Eastern Wa to Leiann's sisters farm for a few days. We took the boys (age 3 and 4) with as they were stoked to go hang out at a real farm. We also got to take the boys to a train museum as they both are "Thomas the Train" freaks. The kids nearly drove Roy and Alisa (and us nuts), but they did get to: feed the chickens, hang with the cows and horses, throw the ball for the dogs and in general have a great time. We headed back to Western Wa (with the car that Roy and lisa had picked up for off Craigs list, only $900, deal, got another hotel for a couple days until Roy and Lisa could pull their 20" trailer over for us to live in while we are here. We now have more room than we did on the boat, television, internet and a nice shower "Living it Up". The coolest thing about living in a 20 ft travel trailer is it's parked on the banks of the Skagit River, where we take long walks on the dike with Eagle and falcons to watch. We (Leiann) have been visiting old friends non-stop, me only two friends so not so much. Had a birthday for our youngest grandson, went golfing with one of my two friends, helping my other friend build a hot rod, visited my family on the Olympic Peninsula, had a couple forth of July parties with fire works, house sat a home for a friend for two weeks, had a big birthday party for Leiann's 59th, with lot's of crab!, did I mention, going crabbing several times so as to have enough crab for Leiann's party, buying a couple nice REI back packs off E-Bay -CHEAP!,did I mention visiting a lot of friends? People ask me "do you miss the boat" definitely. But we are looking forward to our next adventure and spending more time with those grandsons before it is time to go again. We have been training with our packs taking longer and longer hikes and adding more and weight. I have been spending a lot of time researching our travel route through Columbia, Ecuador and onto Peru, hostels we will stay at, things to see and renting a place in Quenca Ecuador to use as a home base for further exploration. We may be able to do a little side trip into the Amazon rain forest and do some volunteer work with the indigenous peoples of Ecuador. So we have another two months here that I am sure will be action packed (with some down time thrown in). Stay tuned for our departure to South America in mid October!

10/04/2014 | Vicky
It was nice to see you two today! I will be looking up these areas on the map and looking forward to reading more!
Good bye Central America, Hello USA

Good bye Central America, hello USA!
When last updated our blog we were one month off the boat. It has been a big adjustment, some sad and some excitement for our new adventures. We moved into another place in Boquete for the remainder of our stay; it was only $375, just remodeled and again fully furnished! We had great landlords Dennis and Rona, who became our friends. We had a very moving goodbye dinner put on by the handicapped foundation and our patients. There Lots of laughs, tears and good bye hugs. We felt we were able to make a difference in several of their lives and again made us very grateful for the blessings we enjoy.
Now being back in the USA, our time on the boat and our life in Mexico and Central America seems a long time ago. We are already missing our life down south.
But seeing our family especially our grand children has been awesome. Eight months makes a big difference in children under the age of four. We spent our first couple days in a motel with a pool so we could have the grandkids come swim, spend the night, jump on beds and get reacquainted with us.
We next took them over to Leiann's sisters farm (Aunt Lisa and uncle Roy) for three days , where they were able to chase chickens, pet cows, throw the stick for the dogs and see what a farm was.
We then have moved into Lisa and Roys twenty foot trailer which is small, but has more room then the boat we just spent nearly three years on. We have it parked next to the Skagit River in Wa. State, with a little park for the kids.
We spent a couple days exploring Panama City ( a stark contrast to the rest of the country) the Panama Canal, historic district and already have our return tickets to Panama City, we will be flying back on Oct. 15th, then proceed to Columbia from there. We plan to spend some more time in the Panama City before taking a train along the Panama Canal. Once on the other side we will do some exploring before boarding a large schooner that will take us to Catahania via the San Blas Islands. Stay tuned for more adventures as we Back Pack It to Ecuador and Muchu Pichu, Puru.

PS: We have uploaded lot's of new pictured in our photo Gallery

10/04/2014 | Vicky
Aha! There it is, the boat you are going to get back on! See what happened when I don't check your blog.
Land Lubbers
high 70's to low 80's rain in the afternoon
05/09/2014, Boquete, Panama

We have now been off the boat and living ashore for just a little over a month. We sold the boat to a fellow who was very happy to have her and plans many more adventures for her. We were glad to pass her onto someone who could not afford a more expensive boat and was excited to plan her next trip. Not long after being here we (found) or more like it,it found us; a volunteer opportunity working with handicapped indigenous Panamanians. Lieann is helping with physical therapy stuff and she started a job working at a treatment center doing counseling. I think this is why we ended up here. We are working with some extremely poor folks who also happen to have a handicapped child and with three paraplegics one of which has nine children! So surfice it to say we have been staying very busy. It is very satisfying to do this work and we believe it is what God wants us to do. It hasn't all been work though; we have taken several nice drives up in the mountains that are full of coffee plantations and beautiful flowers. Many of the poorest indigenous still pick the coffee beans just like their fathers fathers going back to the 1800's. When you read "Fair Trade" on coffee it refers to trying to pay a fair wage to these very poor folks who work all day for a dollar and hour or less; I 'm happy to pay a little more for my coffee. Life here is nice and Leiann loves the cool weather. Rainy season has now hit in full force with downpours nearly every afternoon. We have many restaurants and hang outs we enjoy along with many friends we have made here. This is a place that will be high on the list to retire to once we tire of travel. There are many ex-pats living here so we have folks to talk to and many stores that supply products you normally won't find in the third world. We just got back from a trip to the Caribbean side of Panama. We went to an island called Bocas Del Toro. I (Dave) got to try some surfing (not good) and some scuba (very good) while Lieann kicked back at the bar (reading and facebooking). We had a great mini vacation from our work here spending three nights there. So we now have less then 3 weeks before we head back to the states for the summer. Lieann is going to teach a class at the university and I am going to learn to Para-Glide. We have bought our return tickets so will return to Panama City in October to continue south via back pack. We will keep up the blog even though we no longer have a boat; the adventure continues. Stay tuned

03/31/2014, Boca Chic, Panama

We have been here in Panama for a few weeks now. For the last couple of weeks we wake up to the sound of monkeys (mono's in spanish). We have done some jungle exploring and meeting new people. We have now moved off the boat into a rental house up in Boquete, Panama. Boquete is up in the mountains and is much cooler so Leiann is happy no air conditioning required. It has been an emotional time for us and especially for me. After owning Chrysalis for seven years, three years of refitting for the voyage and then have her protect us from many stormy sea's and take us on an adventure of a lifetime. It's difficult to express the love that develops between a sailor and his boat. I told my wife I loved her more than the boat (although it was close) and that we could sell the boat and continue our adventure on land. As many of you know Leiann has fought sea sickness for the last two and half years. Add to that the heat, usually 85-95, for a gal in her fifties is difficult at best, she has been quite a trooper. Add to that she is becoming increasing anxious about heavy sea's especially at night. And our next crossing would be 600 miles, 6-8 days. Well I think you can see why she feels as she does. Not to mention my memory is getting worse. For those of you who don't know I have a progressive memory problem associated with a brain injury in the past (I know that's explains a lot). One time recently I forgot to put the oil cap back on the engine and ran it nearly out of oil, ugh. There have other memory lapses that could have been real problems had in not been for Leiann remembering to ask me if I remembered to do this or that. So we will stay here in North West Panama for two months exploring and maybe do some volunteering. We generally don't believe we end up somewhere unplanned, with out, there being a reason we were brought there. So we are looking around as why God brought us here, I think we are supposed to do something here. I have found a great AA meeting here maybe I'm supposed to talk to someone here about getting sober, it's a great adventure. We will then head back to the states for the summer and then return to Panama City in October. From there we plan to back pack it into Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Muchu Pichu. We have rented a car and have just started to look about. I am showing the boat today to a fellow from Costa Rica. Stay tuned

04/15/2014 | Jim Barlow
Hi David and Leiann, great meeting you at the Pizza place in Alto Boquete this evening. Veronika and I will be reading your blog to share in your continuing adventure. You are really doing it! Bye for now,

Jim and Veronika
Our Trip from Northern Costa Rica to Panama
Dave/Still Sunny
03/21/2014, Boca Chic, Panama

We set off from Playa Del Coco in the morning of February 20th. We fully expected to have some north wind at our back but alas the sailors curse; wind on the nose out of the south. However, sometime that evening we finally got big wind from the NE. We were trying at that point to get around Punta (point) Velas so we needed to head south east. We had the mainsail double reefed and a small headsail up and we were still heavily heeled and bouncing along. Leiann at this point had retired to the v-berth and was not doing well when our forehatch (which we forgot to secure) flew off! Now we had a potential issue. It's not good to have a "hole" in your boat that water can come in whether it is on the bottom or top. We had four to six foot breaking waves hitting our gunnels (side rail) with some making it up on deck. With Leiann still in the v-berth worrying about a breaking wave joining her I doused the jib and grabbed a cushion from down below. I threw it over the hole (hatchway) then took a piece of plywood and lashed that over the cushion. Then I took a sail bag (with a sail in it) and lashed that over everything and voila problem solved, at least for this trip. We continued the next day under much nicer conditions. While talking in the cockpit Leiann let me know that she really did not want to make the 6-8 day trip to Ecuador. I told her I loved her more than sailing (although it was close) and that we could just sell the boat and continue on land down through Panama, Columbia and onto Ecuador and Machu Picchu in Peru. Having that resolved we continued to our scheduled pit stop at Carrillo, having made about 50 miles in 18 hours. We ran into one of our friends there on the sailboat "Tug Tub" (long story on that name). We chatted them up and then slept getting up at 3:30 to get an early start on our next leg, hoping to make the next 50 miles in 14 hours so that we could make it in to our next port in the daylight. Making it in just in time our other friends on Kiviet (another long story) had dinner ready for us as they knew we were coming. We have spent time with Dave and Marjie on Kiviet at other anchorages over our journey. So we had a great dinner and the crew from Tug Tub joined in so we partied into the night (well at least to 9 anyway, (we're all getting old). We spent the next day snorkeling and just relaxing, then had dinner (and drinks, pop for me) on Tug Tub. We parted ways the next day not expecting to ever see these folks again, but we have said that many times only to run into someone unexpectedly, this is the way it is cruising. The rest of the way we were able to day trip it making Leiann happy, no more night storms. We stopped at a park "Manuel Antonio" to see more monkeys , sloths and other jungle creatures. Our next port of call would be the famed Osa Peninsula and Golfito areas. While the rest of Central America is dry this time of the year, these areas stay wet. We were greeted by thunder and lightning as soon as we got there. One morning Leiann looks out the port hole and says "honey there's a hurricane thingy out there". I looked and sure enough the biggest water spout I have ever seen (on tv) was 5 miles from us! We did not get any wind from it but it was eerie to watch as it was so big and so close and continued for 20 minutes. I think most folks will never see (probably happily) one of these freaks of nature, but I felt very special to see one up and personal. We spent a few wet but enjoyable days around Gofito (including another cruisers party get together at Tim's "Land and Sea" cruisers marina hangout. Alas we were out of time on our Visa for Costa Rica and had to finally clear out. We crossed into Panama waters on the 10th of March and then found some other of our friends at a little island with a white sand beach. Jeff and Harmony on Serenity (another long story) like our other friends from other anchorages. We hung out at the island for a couple days roasting lobster (that we bought off a local fisherman) on the beach and snorkeling (me Leiann not so much). The next day we came into Boca Chica, Panama and got checked in. A whole day and $700 later we are now legal to stay in Panama basically for as long as we want. We are looking for a little place to rent and working on selling the boat. So we are now planning to go back to visit family this summer before coming back to continue onto Ecuador! Stay tuned!!!!

03/31/2014 | Vicky
Wow! You sure have had some VERY scary adventures! And it sounds like the adventures ARE going to continue, just hopefully a little safer! Love you two!

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