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Sailing Gromit
Toronto International Boat Show

Michael contacted the boat show organizers and asked if they would be interested in having us speak. They said they would and here we are.
Exciting and nerve racking at the same time!

It was hard to decide what to talk about as we had only 45 each of us about 8 minutes. What story to share from 7 years of adventure? We narrowed it down by brainstorming 4 or 5 of our most memorable moments and then tried to keep them under 8 minutes. What a challenge!

We did it and had fun sharing our stories!

17//01/2016 | Jim & Connie Weidman
I'm sure the crowd loved it! Would like to have been there to see & hear it. So, when will "the book" be coming out? If it does, it will be our shelf for sure!!!
Good luck & GREAT memories,
Jim Weidman
Nervous....Who Us???

We are moments away from giving our first ever talk about our circumnavigation.

The Transition and 'Then It Happened'

The Transition

I thought I'd just end the blog upon returning home....sort of write a good-bye and move along with land life. When I mentioned this to a friend, she said no way. She said she wanted to hear updates about our transition to land life.

So, in September, I began to put together a blog post with pictures telling and showing how things were going. And things were going well, and fast! We were so busy that we, sadly, didn't think a lot about Gromit. Unfortunately, those pictures cannot ever be posted and the emotion of those first days and months are now too far back for me to express them the way I had them written at the time. So much has happened.
So in a nut shell, as best as I can remember.......

August was really busy with unpacking and reorganizing and going through many, many boxes of stuff we had stored away in the house before we left. The girls were studying hard to get ready to write their exams. Liam was enjoying his last days of 'freedom'. Michael started work with his former company and I had an interview scheduled for September to get on the supply teacher list of my former school board. Things were moving in a good direction with the expected ups and downs.

September had us feeling more settled in our house, but there was then the adjustment of going to school. It was a time of tiredness and overwhelm, but as the weeks progressed, things began to settle. I was preparing for my job interview and feeling very stressed. The interview went well and I was offered a job as a supply teacher. Yeah! My orientation for starting work was until early October, which gave me more time to get us more settled in. It felt like everything was falling into place and we hadn't really had much time to think too much about Gromit and missing him or our former life. We were all just too busy and tired to think about anything but our day to day.

And then it happened......

......our house caught on fire.

Fortunately, we are all safe and well. Fortunately, our house was insured. There is so much, too much going on now for me to be able to, even in a nutshell, write about it. Lucky for us, we have had practice with crisis and do fairly well in high stress situations. Zoe made a beautiful comment one day, that we were a tight group already, but now we've become even closer. We've had to.

We lived with our wonderful friends two doors over for the first couple of weeks and are now renting a house. The day we moved into our rental, I was picking up a few things so that we could make pasta for dinner, when the enormity of it all hit me. It wasn't just noodles and tomato sauce that I needed to buy, it was everything. We have to replace everything. I just stood there paralyzed and befuddled.

So, needless to say, we have had to go on 'shopping marathons'
to get clothes, shoes, mattresses, kitchen stuff and on and on and on. Many of our family, friends and neighbours have offered help to get us re- established. Thank you so very much everyone for your love and support!

29//11/2015 | Jim & Connie Weidman
So sorry to hear about the fire. Luckily, you are all OK! You still have lots of the last years photos on this site, right? Our thoughts & prayers are with your family. Jim & Connie W.
30//11/2015 | Susan Ferguson
OMG, what a crisis to come back from!!! Just when you think you dont have to do anchor watch because you are secure on shore this happens.If in any way we can be of help please let us know.
Sue & Gord
02//12/2015 | Dave, Shirley and Chris
What a tough challenge you've been met with. We've been following you and thought we'd get in touch soon. But now this! We live nearby and can offer help in what ever way we can.
The crew of Tiffany Rose
04//01/2016 | Jude crowe
That's so sad what happened to your home (Ella)
How did the fire start? (Tim)
It's a beautiful spot-how long before your home can be rebuilt? Can we pray for you? (Samuel)
What an unexpected right hand turn for you all! An indelible score in all your life histories. Wish hard we could scribe your thoughts, make cups of tea, shop through your lists, offer meals, rub sore shoulders, listen for all we're worth! (Jude)
08//01/2016 | Ecki und Sibylle Tomm
Hallo Ihr Lieben, wir wünschen euch für das Neue Jahr ( 2016) alles erdenklich Gute, vorallem das eure großen Sorgen und Nöte um das Haus kleiner werden und ihr einen "Neuanfang" starten könnt. Dazu ganz viel Kraft, Durchhaltevermögen und GESUNDHEIT und trotzdem Freude , Spaß und festen Zusammenhalt als Familie. Habt ihr auch noch eine e-Mail Adresse über die wir mit euch kommunizieren könnten...?
Seid ganz lieb gegrüßt
08//01/2016 | sibylle Tomm
... bitte seid auch lieb gegrüßt von Sigrid uind Wolfgang (Johne)...leider hat das skypen am vergangenen 28.12.2015 mit Astrid nicht funktioniert ... sorry und Nachrichten an eure alte e-Mail Adresse kommen zurück oder gehen garnicht erst raus ...
And Then It Happened

View from the west.
The north end of the house got the worst of it. This is where our bedrooms and office were.
Almost all of the kids' journals and items from around the world were in their bedrooms. They lost 98% of everything. They are heartbroken.
All our hard drives are gone. Luckily, all but the last year of our pictures had been backed up and saved off site. So, from Madagascar on, we have no pictures. We are very sad about this.

At Home At Last
18//08/2015, Home

The plan was.........
As I've often said, plans change!

We got the cube van (Wednesday) the day before planning to drive home so that we could pack it and be ready to leave Gromit relatively early in the morning (Thursday). That was the plan......the fact was that we didn't get away until around 4 pm and were too tired to drive all the way home - about 10 hours with breaks.

The crew agreed that this was the perfect time for a little luxury, so we booked a hotel with Michael's Hilton Honour Points!(Thursday night). Oh, la la!!! It was fantastic....just what we needed.

We arrived at Casey and Glenn's place (our neighbours - 2 doors over) at 1:30 in the morning (Friday night/Saturday morning), and after a quick hello, we fell into bed. We had to get up early to unload the van so that Michael could return it - it was a one-way rental from Maryland to Niagara Falls, NY and he had to have it back by 1 pm.

It felt amazing and odd to be back in our empty house. Boxes everywhere, voices echoing off the emptiness, excitement running through us. It was the beginning of a new chapter and it was feeling pretty good!

18//08/2015 | Ajay
Well Come home Gromiteers.
18//08/2015 | Stephen Bratsberg
Welcome home.. now on to the next adventure..Thank you for sharing your travels
20//08/2015 | Susan Ferguson
Welcome home.If you need a sailing fix we are in Lagoon City on Lake Simcoe.Where will home be now in case we need to make a road trip in the sports car.
31//08/2015 | jude crowe
whooooot! Congratulations on realizing the whole dream. Please, please please can we visit you in Cananda one day? We're sailing In Fiji, then NZ for cyclone season. Don't know what the future holds after that! Keep in touch xx
05//10/2015 | Chris and Lorraine
Good to hear you are home safe and well! We are at the same stage, having just moved back ashore in the UK and Gryphon ll up for sale. Don't like it much!
All This Was On Gromit?
18//08/2015, Home

We couldn't believe how much stuff we had aboard Gromit!

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