11/01/2008, Isla Margarita VZ
The initial light sunburns are fading into the dark tan we've all come to know and love. Diving off the back of the boat into the 86 degree water to 'cool off' and shower. Crammed into the bus/minivan with all the locals (and the next Mario Andretti at the wheel with the reggae cranked), while we go off in search of random boat parts and food stuffs is again a no-brainer. Yep, we must be cruising again!
We are settling into the rhythms of life on a boat in the tropics again, and it is a good thing. Our plan is to leave Grenada this weekend and sail through the out-Islands of Venezuela, specifically Los Testigos, Blanquilla, and Roques before we make our way to Bonaire and on. We have heard rave reviews of very sparsely populated islands, lots of white sand beaches and Bahama clear water. And we are told to expect great fishing along the way (read Mahi Mahi). However ready we all are to move onto new cultures and lands leaving Grenada will be hard to do. Not enough can be said about how kind and open the people of this great country are. They are rightfully proud of their Island and love to make sure you're enjoying it. The friendships we've made with cruisers as well as locals during our stay here will long be remembered. But onward we press!
School is in session again. 'Nuff said on that subject as the kids aren't too keen on it yet. Have I ever told every single person that reads this blog just how incredible my wife is? Watching her (and not helping her enough - must work on that) during our visit home while she worked her bum off putting together a curriculum for a high schooler, a sixth grader, and a first grader was humbling. Many of the courses have aspects that pertain to our adventure, and it all had to be carted half way around the world! I know I am truly blessed to married to such a dynamo, but once we settled back onto the boat her feats continued to amaze. Her patience and God's peace prevailed in getting the school year under way with 3 none too enthused students. Anyway, she'll be ticked at me if I toot her horn too much but what the heck! The Good Lord sure blessed this family with such an amazing Mom!
Next stop Venezuela!
10/18/2008, Clarke's Court Bay Marina
We made the journey north to Seattle for 7 weeks, survived and are now back home on the boat in Grenada! We all agree that we had a fabulous time visiting family and friends in Seattle and feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. However we are so very happy to be back on our boat and all agree it is home no matter where it is floating!
As many of you know the weather in Seattle was getting a might chilly as we left. Denny, Liam and Ethan, our cold weather lovers, were settling right into it. The women in the family, Michaela and I, were downright freezing! So as we landed in Grenada we were welcomed with an amazing blast of heat but also a nice breeze to keep it tolerable. We thought it was heavenly! We are all adjusting to the warmth once again and settling into our routine.
The flight was uneventful except for being a long one. We left Seattle Sunday at 9:25 PM PST and landed in Grenada at 9:30 PM AST on Monday, a very long 21 hours! American lost one of our 7 bags somewhere between Seattle and Trinidad leaving Michaela and Ethan without all their clothes except a few we carried on to the plane. One thing we didn't plan for on this cruise is our kids growing so much in a year! While we were home we had to replace almost every item of clothing they owned. Good thing it was the end of summer and all items we needed were on sale or we could get from good ol' Target! Thank goodness clothing is less in the states than here in the Caribbean. However this meant that Michaela and Ethan were wearing the same thing everyday until we could get our bag back! This was okay with Ethan who is 6 but not so good for a 14 year old girl! Michaela was extremely thankful when our bag was located and sent onto Grenada by Thursday. A record time of recovery from what others have told us! An awesome answer to prayer! One highlight of the trip back - We are usually the last to go through Customs and Immigration as we have 5 forms to fill out which can take awhile. Upon arriving in Grenada a nice immigration officer walked up to us and offered to help fill out all our forms. She expedited our trip through the process and it took half the time usual for our family! We LOVE Grenada! The people make the country what it is!!
Our plans are to get the boat in order, find another boat to sail with, and head to VZ. We hope to leave this coming week. Currently we are still at the dock and hope to get to the anchorage soon. Our starter motor on the boat was not working but Denny has fixed that now. However, now our dinghy engine is not working and rowing a hard bottom inflatable is almost impossible if you have to make any distance. So we are here until the engine is working again. Denny is hard at work on it as I type.
We had hoped to upload lots of photos while we were home but alas it didn't happen. All our family and friends kept us busy! Hopefully over time we can upload more but it does take quite a while to do. Again we will try to blog once a week to keep everyone posted but as many of you know... well again we will work on it! Please pray we do a better job!
Fair Winds to all and feel free to email us with all your updates as well!
WOW! What a difference a few thousand miles and all day on an airplane make! Judging by the photo and the location, you should be able to tell we aren't in Grenada (or Kansas) anymore. We decided to burn our air-miles and fly home for a visit with family and friends. Salt & Light is securely buttoned up at Clarkes Court Bay Marina under the watchful eye of Chris and Barb while we slum it up here in Seattle.
Through much answered prayer every one of our flights went off without a hitch AND landed 10-15 minutes early. Too long on an airplane but the reception from family and friends that came to the airport to greet us was invigorating enough to carry us through to Auntie Heidi's house and into bed.
Then the circus of bouncing back and forth from family to friends and back around again and again began. We are truly blessed to have such awesome family and friends, and it really is great fun to catch up with everyone. In the eyes of adults a year away is not very long at all. In kids eyes it seems a lot longer. All the adults don't seem to have changed much but we don't seem to recall authorizing anyone's kids to have grown so much! WOW have they all changed!
So what the heck have we been up to other than arranging sleep-overs for our kids? We have spent time at Rennie's parents beach house in southern Puget Sound (man is the water cold), spent time at my Mom's in town, spent time at Auntie Heidi's, visited with countless friends and family, went to the Puyallup fair where we all got sconed, spent a weekend with the Aird family on their boat while Michaela reconnected with the SYC race team and discovered she can race a Laser with no trouble at all. Getting on a boat again was great but having to put it away at the end of the weekend rather than just keep sailing left a lot to be desired. Especially after seeing the Bakers aboard their new boat Capaz (http://svcapaz.blogspot.com) and hear about their plans to sail away next summer to hopefully join the Giffords (http://sv-totem.blogspot.com) somewhere along the coast of Central America. It sure made us miss our boat! But in the meantime we continue to have a great time running to and fro. Tonight we plan to go to back to the Puyallup Fair for a concert by Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. Needless to say we pray for the rain/drizzle to stop as the concert is outdoors... Welcome to Seattle! We are looking forward to hooking up with High Five at the end of September and maybe even Solange.