Our blog that is. Over to a blogger page. I'm working on some other blogs and I've realized it's just easier to have everything in one place. I hope you all continue to read our blog and give us comments and suggestions.
For those of you who have been awaiting the official announcement...
Our little boy has arrived. He was born Jan 19 at 7:46 AM - 8 lbs 22 inches long. We will remain in the states a few more months and then will be introducing him to life at sea back in Australia. Hopefully we can get a good routine going that will be boat friendly. I have been doing my best to only buy boat friendly items that I'll be able to get back to the boat but it has been hard. Why are things so cute in miniature?
Well it's been a while since I put up a post since I'm home in the US and Mark is in Australia. He has safely (finally!) made it and is enjoying Brisbane. While chatting with my mom the other day we were discussing some of the things that I do before closing up the boat that Mark will have to do this time around. When I told her three of the home remedies I have come across that, as far as we know, have worked wonderfully she asked why I hadn't ever told her about them so I thought maybe they would make for a good blog post. So my three things that I do to ensure we don't end up with bugs or mold while we are gone...
1. Cinnamon: I boil cinnamon sticks on the stove and then wipe down all the counters and especially around all the cabinets that have food in them. Ants supposedly won't cross a line of cinnamon and so far we haven't had an ant infiltration so I think I'll keep doing this one. Besides if it doesn't work it sure does make the boat smell good. I learned this from a woman in Puerto Rico while I stood in front of the spices in the Walmart mulling over which Bay Leaves I should buy - which brings me to #2.
2. Bay Leaves: As I've mentioned before I put them in everything that I repackage. I don't care what it is. I make sure they end up in all my pasta, rice, flour, pancake mix, etc. I vacuum seal them right in. I've never had a problem with anything taking on a funny taste but figure I'd rather have that than bugs. We haven't had many bug issues on the boat but the bugs we have gotten have only gotten into one bag of food on the boat and it was a bag of pasta that I had not repackaged or put bay leaves in. Most of the time I'll also throw a bay leave or two in my cabinets somewhere as well but definitely do it before we shut down the boat - even with our canned goods.
3. Bleach: The first time I did this I didn't really put enough. I came back to crystalized bleach in the cups I left in our sinks. Since then I have used our larger glasses and filled them a little over half full of bleach and left them in our three sinks. The purpose is for mold. The bleach attracts the mold so it goes to the bleach instead of to your walls or upholstery. I think this has worked for the most part. I did find that a couple of pairs of Mark's pants had gotten a little moldy in the closet but they washed right out and we haven't had issues with the walls or cushions.
Hopefully some of this will help even those of you who are living on land.
We found out a few days ago and are really excited about our new crew. It was good to have my mom at the ultrasound with me but sad that Mark couldn't be there. I'm really glad that we had a few in Fiji before I left and will probably do another one when Mark gets home just so that he can see the baby moving around in there. I can definitely feel him moving on a regular basis - mostly at night. He has also figured out that if he kicks me in the kidney I'll eat something so I have to make sure I don't go to long between meals. I'm totally overwhelmed with all the baby stuff out there. I went to BuyBuyBaby and Babies R Us just to take a look and see what they have. I have no idea what we need. There are so many options for everything. I mean seriously - how many different types of pacifiers can there be? Plus, I have to think about what we can transport to the boat and is boat friendly. They don't exactly make a line of baby boat products. We will be home for a few months and my mom will be setting up a permanent grand-baby area (my sister is pregnant too) in her house so there are some things that won't be good on a boat but will be good to have the first few months and not go to waist after we leave. I'm open to suggestions regarding anything baby.
I've also been keeping busy helping out my mom. She closed on a new house last week and we have been busy getting it together all weekend. I have to be careful what I work on but we purchased all natural cleaning products so that I can help with the cleaning and I am wearing a mask in the house so I don't breath in any dust. My mom's husband (Andy) will be putting in new flooring so I pulled all the floorboards off in preparation for that. My mom and Andy have been busy painting the house. I stopped by to drop off dinner earlier and it looks so great - amazing what a nice fresh (and decent color) paint can do to a house!
Mark and Roberta are still in Vanuatu doing boat projects and will hopefully get to head out within the next few days. I wish he would get moving so that he can get home!
08/20/2011, Port Vila, Vanuatu & USA
We left Fiji on August 3rd for New Caledonia and ended up in Vanuatu. No matter how hard we tried the wind would not let us go as south as we wanted to and we had a lot of wind. It was a really hard sail, terribly uncomfortable and I was horribly seasick - by far the worst I've ever been. I became incredibly dehydrated and couldn't keep anything down. After about three days we decided that it was best to continue on the course we were and pull into Vanuatu. Had it just been Mark and I we probably would have continued to push toward New Cal but worrying about the baby we decided that it would be best to get to land as soon as possible. We also decided that it was probably time for me to return to the US for the remainder of the pregnancy. I had planned on returning in October after we got to Australia but after three hard crossings in a row it no longer seemed like the best plan. After pulling into Port Vila on Sunday (two days later) we booked a flight home for me for Tuesday. Vanuatu seemed like it would be a cool place to explore and I wish I could have seen it with Mark but we were skipping it for a very good reason. The country has Malaria and while it is said that Port Vila (the main city) is Malaria free the statistics for Malaria and pregnancy aren't good and we didn't want to take a chance. Pregnant women are 50% more likely to get Malaria and 80% of all Malaria deaths are pregnant women. It was difficult to make a decision, get a ticket, and fly out within a week knowing that we would be separated for awhile but it didn't really seem that there was another choice. So for now I am back in the US taking care of the baby and Mark is in Vanuatu taking care of the boat. Our friend Roberta joined him today. I'm glad he has some company and some help.
07/29/2011, Port Denarau, Fiji
Well Mark and I are still awaiting a weather window to get the heck out of Fiji. We have heard people say it'll be as late as next Saturday but we've also heard as early as Monday. All I know is we are ready to go. Well not really. I've pulled a bunch of stuff out and need to get it stowed away but I'd have this boat together in an hour if I thought we could go anywhere. This is probably one of the most annoying things about cruising. The weather dictates when and where you can go and doesn't really care what you want to do. I want to get to New Caledonia so that we have a little time to see it before we have to hurry off to Australia so that I can get home in time for the third trimester. Lord please push this coming high in another direction!