The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
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but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!
25 August 2018 | Halifax, NS
28 November 2017 | Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean
20 November 2017 | Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean
22 October 2017
20 October 2017
11 September 2017
02 September 2017 | Winkler, MB
20 June 2017 | Aa
13 June 2017
22 March 2017 | Eleuthera, Bahamas
14 March 2017 | Great Guana Cay and Oven Rock Cave, Exumas, Bahamas
07 March 2017 | Sampson Cay,

Side Effects to Season 6: ZoomZoom

25 August 2018 | Halifax, NS
Stinkin’ HOT !
Once upon a time there was a lovely couple.

A lovely couple (right?) who sold their boat and bought a new (to us) one. A boat they could sail the seas on. An adventurous couple who chose to pretty much sell everything they owned, downsizing to minimalistic proportions. A boat they named Banyan, "Great Times, Great Friends, Great Food", what a lifestyle!

A couple who then sailed their boat Southwards, stopping often along the way, until, almost a year later, they reached Grenada just in time for H-Season, haulout and storage! And then flew home for the summer.

A few years later, this lovely couple decided to change things up for H-Season (aka Summer), so they sailed their boat back to the United States, and bought an RV, sight unseen to spend their summers in, and tour about exploring the roads in the great wide area that is North America. And so they could live in it while simultaneously renovating and reseasoning their boat. They called it their MoHo. And of course, they went home for the summer. OnOn!

And thus, every H-Season (aka summer/fall), when we're home in Halifax, we take a bit of a hiatus from social media. It's a time for some R&R. It's a time that we LOVE to spend reconnecting with family and friends. And it's the perfect time for me to write my Side Effects Blog.

What started as a simple recap one summer: Side Effects to Season One: Untitled! has turned into a much anticipated (I think?) Side Effects blog.

If you're new to us, or we're new to you, why not catch up?

Season Two: Out of Control
Season Three: Ho-Hum
Season Four: Jus' From
Season Five: OnOn!

And that brings us up to date and up to today and now. Side Effects to Season Six! What a year we've had!! Feels like every year we've done something simply amazing and gigantically grand and this year was no exception. In fact, I think the last 12 months. The last 52 weeks. The last 365 days have quite topped all sorts of WOW factors and personal records.

The Countries, and the Provinces and the States and the Islands that we've visited have all been Beyond Incredible. The people we've crossed paths with have been fun, interesting and inspirational. The times with friends we've been able to reconnect with along the way have been So.Much.Fun. We are truly Blessed. So blessed that the iPhoto library requires extra iCloud storage space, and the monthly cost is starting to add up. And the Log Books I keep? Are exploding to needing new ones. I had to flip quite a few pages to revisit our Journey of the last 12 months. And don't even talk to us about our Budget. Was that in US dollars, or Canadian?

Reader Beware however. This might be a long blog. And it surely isn't a Lovey-Dovey type of blog. This is a true story, of what happened this year to this lovely couple. This is a story that I was not ever going to write about. Not ever going to share. Because, well... how "dare we complain...", how "could we not be having a good time..." when? Right? But it's happened to us, and this blog has always been about sharing the reality of our life with all y'all.

So let's see, for just a few of the highlights, we went (in a GrossoModo type of Highway ZigZag) from: Halifax, Quebec, Ontario, Sarnia, Upper Peninsula (Michigan), The Porkies, Winkler (LTV Rally), Yellowstone,

Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde,

Bryce, Zion, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas...

Las Vegas!! Where, my honey and faithful loving partner in Adventuring started my 50th birthday celebrations. Where we stored the RV and flew home,

and enjoyed more birthday celebrations: my children and family ALL in attendance. All in one place, at the same time. Just how I like it. Family is my Everything.

Something has shifted in my Self. Something not quite yet describable. Seems like it's been happening as I turn the corner on every decade. In my 30's, I endured and survived incredible and traumatic changes and losses. In my 40's I rebounded, met the love of my life and reframed my journey. And now I'm entering my 5th decade. Who knows what these next years will hold. It feels like I'm on the cusp of another shift.

From Halifax we flew to, and explored: Ireland (Kissed the Blarney Stone and Guinness!! Right?). Another flight to London (the Queen was in!! Red Double Decker buses!).

Another flight to Barcelona (Si Si!). And the last flight to the Canary Islands where we met up with friends Paul and Sheryl, of Distant Shores TV , onboard SY Zao, a luxurious 50 foot Catamaran, and became part of a boat delivery crew.

Where I crossed a few bucket list items off my list that I didn't even realize were on my list. But the biggest and most awesome accomplishment? Crossing the Atlantic Ocean!! The entire Atlantic Ocean. All of it. Every single drop of it. In fact, 21 days of it!

You can read all about that here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three And I'm not sure I even finished that series properly, Part 4 was in the making and somehow it never got wrote, as there might've been a bit of bitching going on. And then we appeared here, Cruising World Magazine.

We arrived in Saint Lucia

well fed and in need of exercise (21 days, right?) to the sounds of trumpets and balloon and champagne type of festivities, a great welcome from great friends on SV Grand Cru. The first priority was to clean the boat and return her to her owners, before moving onboard SV Grand Cru for a week of R&R, which included sailing to Martinique. And once there, we caught the next cheapest flight back to Las Vegas.

And recommissioned the RV. Zoom-zoom...

Where we went Westwards: Joshua Tree, Red Rock, California, Huntington Beach, San Diego. There were Armadillos and RoadRunners and Cactii that jumped! There were mountain ranges and skies and vistas so spectacular that our eyes couldn't even grasp the immensity of what we were seeing.

Arizona, where we stood on the corner...

and explored one of the most incredible experiments that really happened: The Biosphere. Where I paid an extraordinary amount of money for a book written by one of the original Biospherians, a book that I've wanted for a couple of decades and a book that is impossible to find. A book that I've now owned for almost a year and haven't yet read. Because? No Time!

Is it possible to have a foot (or in this case, our six wheels?) in four states at the same time? Yup!

Tombstone. The Western Frontier. Dallas, Texas, The Alamo, Louisiana, New Orleans. And back to Florida and our boat. Where we both (me especially) immediately got unbelievably sick with whatever nasty strain of flu was going around. A flu that knocked me off my feet for five days straight. I will forever remain eternally grateful to our friends who took care of us while we were part of the Living Dead.

We drove to the Keys for a very special surprise birthday, and when we got back, we needed to make up all that time and spent many hours, from sunup to sundown, working on the boat

and so gratefully living and sleeping in our clean, dust-free, air-conditioned RV.

Then Splish-Splash, it was time to store the RV, provision the boat for our Bahamian Getaway, and sail away. You figure out what you're going to need and eat for the next two months, and buy it, all at once. In US dollars! We motored down the ICW. Just a little frustrated when the Coast Guard stopped us, and issued us a warning, indicating that although we had all the stuff needed to contain an oil spill, and upon quizzing us knew what we had to do in case of an oil spill, we actually didn't have an Oil Spill Placard! And as a result we missed the bridge opening. And now have 6 months to get ourselves a proper Oil Spill Placard.

The Gulf Stream crossing to the Berry Islands was an easy motor-sail (was that because we'd recently done 21 days?). Cleared customs and paid them lots of dollars so we could enjoy their country. Then sailed perfectly and beautifully to the Exumas. Where we spent two wonderful months in gin-clear waters and white sand beaches.

Where we celebrated Dave's birthday in true beach and bar fashion, and excitedly shared our house and home and the unique-ness that is the Bahamas with two sets of friends from back home who came to visit. Best.Times.Ever.

And oh the tales we could tell of the little things that went wrong. The gremlins on our boat were playing peek-a-boo with us. Little problems appeared (and disappeared) that we just couldn't solve. Then we ran out of wine. And noticed the MailBoat (aka food) hadn't come in that week either. And we had guests coming. And even the usual quiet anchorages were unusually loud and noisy and crowded with sea-doo's and speed boats.

But time waits for no one when you're having fun and when the weather window called, we sailed to Eleuthera, and broke a 6 year drought... Hello there Fishy-Fishy!

Then Abacos, crossed the Gulf Stream back to Florida, and made it back to our boatyard just in time. Got the boat ready for haulout (didn't we just do this)? Recommissioned the RV (didn't we just do this)?? And back on the road again. Zoom-zoom.

This time we drove straight home for some urgent appointments, stopping very briefly for quick and fun reunions (can we say our friends have some of the best driveways we've ever slept in!). We had another commitment with friends in Ontario, mutual friends were flying in from Australia. And in between and En Route, "just for some US time", we decided that there were two Peninsulas we wanted to visit:

The Gaspé Peninsula (QC)

and The Bruce Peninsula, (ON).

Friends in Ottawa beckoned. Family in Québec beckoned. Friends in PEI beckoned. What incredible fun. Then it was a direct route back home. Zoom-Zoom.

"So what's next" Dave would routinely ask me.
"Hmm..." I would reply, preferring to gaze out the window at the sights as we drove by.

"Shall we do the Bahamas again this winter?" Dave would question?
"Hmm...' I would answer, weighing all the work on the boat that still needed doing before we even went that-a-way.

"Perhaps we could cross the Atlantic. Explore the Med..." he would dream.
"Hmm...." I would answer. Another 21 days at sea?

"We could do the Western Carrribean..." he would speculate.
"Hmmm..." I would reply.

"Or cross the other ocean. You know... the Pacific? " he would taunt.
"Hmm... " I would pretend not to hear that one!

And "hmm..." became the typical non-responsive response.

And in between all those "hmm's...", I felt myself feeling sort of blah. I felt rather depressed. I mean all this incredibleness that we'd witnessed, hiked, explored, drove, sailed. Photographed. This beautiful world? All this travel? What was going on?

I was Living The Dream. Yet it felt like I was Swimming in Mud. Nothing felt clear. I felt confused. A constant state of Brain Fog enveloped me.

"You haven't blogged in a while" he'd say.
"Hmm..." I'd say, checking the date of my lost entry, and Gasping with the realization that it was... last year!

Blogging on my own personal space took a back seat while I honoured the commitment to write articles for Leisure Travel Vans because, well, they pay better! (Should I become a YouTube Vlogger? Or maybe do Patreon and get a return for my words? Should I set up a "buy us a drink/pizza" button?) Blogging took a back seat because I was forever conscious of not using up too much data sharing a photo with all y'all, never mind a full length article with (perhaps) too many photos. Never mind that the webhost I'm using is driving me insane. I want my own URL, my own domain name, my own website! (Anyone out there want to do that for me?) Blogging took a back seat because I was so overwhelmed with all the places I wanted to write about, all the photos I wanted to share? And wait, we're at our next stop, grab the camera, let's go!

The words needed to tell our story were accumulating into a ginormous jagged mountain larger than the Tetons that we viewed while standing on the shores of the lake, and yet, I coulnd't find one word, not one that would allow me to start.

And for a creative, intuitive empath like me? The inability to create and share was akin to some form of torture that I've just begun to recognize in myself.

I also noticed that we were more often than not frustrated. Impatient. Quick to irritate. Intolerant. With each respective mode of transport we were in. With society while watching the news. With impatience while witnessing road rage. With another cold front forcing us to seek shelter in the Bahamian Island Chain where there's not too many places to provide shelter. Back in the land of plenty, we found the stores were too stocked. Too packed. Too crowded. Imagine? Too much choices, we have too much stuff people!!

And always another laundromat to have to deal with, and no exact change in your purse! (At least this one's clean and, empty!)

Even in remote places, where there was no Cell Service, WiFi or TV, we were frustrated because... there was no Cell Service, WiFi or TV! (We don't even like TV!)

And how could we possibly get frustrated with these beautiful creatures that were just trying to get a drink of water from the campground water spigot, and had commandeered the whole area to themselves, just as we got there.

With all the time in the world on our hands, we were frustrated that the Elk drank up a couple of hours out of our day. I mean, honestly... how do you tell anyone you're not really having a good day, or a good time, when you're faced with adventures such as this? When you're Living the Dream?

Dave would ask me where I wanted to go, and all I could think of was... nowhere. I felt like I was constantly exhausted. To-the-core tired. And it wasn't because I wasn't getting a good night's sleep (although hormonally the hot flashes weren't helping). And while I wasn't sleeping, I wondered just what alien has taken over my body and my moods. Talk about memory problems! I was confused and having trouble remembering where we'd been, who we'd seen, and in what order it all happened.

Not having a plan is usually how we roll, drive and sail. Not having a rigid schedule the best part of it all, we usually self impose our own deadlines and then stress about it because we forget how flexible they can be. I love my life. I love that I am out here living life, exploring and adventuring.

Sometimes it's as simple as going for a walk in a new to us neighbourhood, and other times a new area with its own food, people, and culture. But the last thing I thought that would happen to me would be that I would not feel the urge to go anywhere.

The butterflies that flitted about in my tummy when Dave would talk about going here or there, or anywhere? Wasn't because I was excited. It was because I wasn't.

I knew something was wrong when one day one of us asked the other:
"Do you want to go for a walk and watch the sunset down by the beach?"
"Meh... " was the response. "Seen one sunset, seem 'em all!"

Here we were, both of us feeling apathetic. Pathetic, what?

I'm really pleased that I got to fulfill another one of my personal goals these last couple of years. I've been able to grow my passion of words by reading and copyediting. I became a Beta-Reader for a few great novels in the making.

In a recent memoir I beta-read, the author described certain situations/feelings that she was experiencing, that sounded eerily and somewhat similarly to what we were living. Feeling. Experiencing. And she had a name for it: "Travel Burnout".

Travel Burnout?

So with Fast and Furious (and unlimited) WiFi at my fingertips here at home, I Googled myself some Research. And found way too many articles on something I didn't even know was "a thing."

Articles that list the "8 signs of travel burnout" (travel blogging to travel bitching is one of them), to "15 signs you may have travel burnout" (if you can't enjoy a sunset is one of them), to "You may notice you're in a funk", no Shit Sherlock. In fact, the biggest tell-tale symptom of travel burnout? Is to... travel even faster! {{ insert head slapping - D'UH! }} Innaresting. Is travel burnout the sign we're doing something wrong? Can travel experts like us {{ wink, wink }} really burn-out?

While in San Diego we met up with friends and avid travellers Mark and Lisbet, and over a most excellent Christmas Dinner (the apple pie? OhEmGee!) we shared our stories. You can read a bit more about them and what they do here. They were a wealth of knowledge and really piqued our interest in house-sitting. And then just as Facebook is prone to feeding you advertisements, because, you know, cameras are watching you from the keyboard all the time, a "subscribe for free" opportunity popped up in my newsfeed.

So that's how Dave and I became house-sitters A fantastic program where all that we ask in exchange for taking care of your house, plants lawn (et al), and/or pets? Is a guest bedroom and some Fast & Fruious WiFi. While you leave for work, pleasure or whatever reason that necessitates an empty house, you can do so resting easy knowing we're responsibly taking care of your home, and pets, as if it were ours.

We've successfully completed a few housesits, some of them have been gracious friends offering up their house and home to us while they go on vacation. All this in an effort to build our references and resume so that when we do find an exotic house sit opportunity, say in Europe. Or Bali. Or Greece? We'll be "experienced professionals", ha. Because Europe. And Bali!! And Greece! From the comfort of someone's home. But not now. Not yet. Later. (And because building a proven resume, reputation and a list of references takes time... right?)

Funny thing is? While in a very comfortable home with all sorts of amenities, the lifestyle of the past 6 years has caught up to me. I still hesitate throwing toilet paper in the toilet. I still turn the water off when I'm lathering up with soap and shampoo in the shower. I still have trouble with what date, day or time it is. And for the girl who has seen way too much plastic on beaches and oceans, and wants to live in a world where everyone recycles, and no one gets plastic bags at the grocery store? Has discovered that living in a house with many bins and sorting rules, that recycling has become the bane of my existence. And when I'm paying for my groceries? I have, yet again, forgotten my reusable bags. Still Frustrated: Check!

I smile as I happily take my iPad into the living room and thanks to Fast and Furious WiFi, enjoy some live streams of guided Yoga Sessions. Or later, a guided meditation while I take an Epsom Salts bath. I am practicing my Reiki, Energy Balancing and Grounding. We watch Netflix. To our hearts content, and not to the length of life remaining in the battery on our laptop. I bask in a room where electricity is constant and not measured. Where I can leave the hallway light on for an extra few moments without someone grumbling. Where I can charge BOTH my camera and my iPad! At the same time! Where my automatic coffee percolator comes on by itself in the early hours of the morning, and as I'm waking up I get to pour myself a cup without having to turn the engine on in order to have my first cuppa. I get to sit on the deck and listen to the sounds of silence (until the neighbour starts his lawnmower!). Best of all? I don't have to go anywhere.

Except maybe a walk. Or a bike ride. In surroundings that are familiar and comfortable and we expect... the expected. And sometimes we turn left, instead of right, and explore a new street. A new neighbourhood. And come home and take a shower. And remember, with a smile, that we can keep the water on as there's unlimited water facilities.

And on the horizon?

I am beginning to see the faint glimmer of words floating towards me. I'm beginning to feel the slight flutter of butterfly wings stirring in my tummy about perhaps... doing something. Going somewhere. Perhaps, even... an Adventure?

Not today though. Not yet. And not Tomorrow. But soon...

Thank you for reading, my friends. It's been a pleasure sharing my words with you. And I, as always, look forward to your comments.

TransAtlantic Crossing Part Three. Playing and Participating on Passage

28 November 2017 | Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean
Have you ever wondered exactly what might happen when you're on a Passage of Epic Proportions?

When Dave and I first received the invite to help Paul and Sheryl with a boat delivery, we immediately said Yes. Then we thought about the reality of it, and, incredulously enough, still said Yes! A lot goes into planning a passage, any passage, but especially a passage of Epic Proportions. And a passage across an Ocean is, in my books, a passage of Epic Proportions.

In case you're just coming onboard, David and I are delivering SY Zao, a 50 foot (luxurious) Catamaran to Saint Lucia. We departed Las Palmas on November 12th, and we're currently somewhere on the Big Blue, En Route, playing and participating, while on passage.

You can read all about how our Adventure, that wasn't even part of a planned Adventure, began, HERE. Our Passage is being chronicled in a Three Part Series of Blogs: Link to Part One: A Personal Passaging Perspective, and Link to Part Two : Planning and Provisioning.

This is Part Three: Playing and Participating on Passage. And may we suggest you grab your Drink of Choice, for it might be an Epic Read, with many photos to whisk you away on the Salty Sea Air Breezes.


It's been a Passage of Watches: the minutes ticking into hours tocking into days, and time has moved us ahead, slowly, mile by nautical mile.

Our bodies have acclimated to the Motion of the Ocean, and settled into a rhythm of With a crew of six onboard, it really was an easy watch system: four hours ON, 8 hours OFF, and four hours back On.

Although 8 hours off sounds like a lot of time, on some days, it really wasn't.

"Have you had time to watch any of the movies you preloaded?" asked Sheryl one day?
"Nope" I replied with a laugh, "And I haven't been doing much reading either. Truth be told? As strange as it sounds? I haven't had the time!"
"Me either" she said, in total agreement.

So what have we been up to, while on Watch, or Off Watch, as we play and participate on a Passage of Epic Proportions?

The other night Dave and I were sitting at the helm. It was somewhere between 8 p.m. and midnight, when a sleepeyed Dan emerged from his cabin. He was walking like a zombie as he entered the red-lighted salon, his arms extended, holding something in his hands.

"Look what I found in our bathroom" he said, and we quite curiously, flashed our our mini pocket lights towards his hands. What we saw there, in his hands, surprised us, honestly shocked us. And then made us laugh.

For in his hands, was a large, slimy, scaly, Flying Fish.

Somehow, during the course of our passage this fish had furiously jumped out of his watery home, perhaps in a daring effort to esacpe a predator, and in a flying twist of fate, had flown straight up and across and down into the tiny square that was the SY Zao's starboard side head hatch. It flipped and flopped around on the floor, loud enough to wake up the occupants of the bedroom. Isn't this the stuff nightmarish movies are made of?

We laughingly exchanged Fishy stories for a while after that. Not to mention quite a portion of many watches participating in the constant clean up of the chaotic littering of dead flying fish on our decks.

It's not without just reason that Dave often gets nicknamed "Safety Dave". His training with the Navy has provided him with a lifetime of "could's, would's and should's" and it's not without reason, be it on a Catamaran or Monohull, that he likes to keep things clean and tidy. From lines to living space, everything should be "ready, aye, ready" and as Ship Shape as possible.

Somehow this Neat and Tidy trickled onto the Chartplotter. One evening during our watch, he saw a few errant waypoints as he zoomed out, and promptly deleted them. Next night, more waypoints, more deleting. He couldn't figure it out.

So one day, during supper, he wondered out loud about this new very sensitive Chartplotter. How easy it was to leave a WayPoint by simply very lightly touching the screen. The other crew members agreed that it was indeed a very sensitive screen, as they'd experienced the same thing.

Except for Sheryl, who noted she was actually having trouble with the WayPoint function.
"Oh really" said Dave, "What kind of problems?"
"Well, I keep inputting waypoints..." she said with a sigh, "the positions of the other boats around us? And I must be doing something wrong, because they keep disappearing!" she said.

We laughingly exchanged many WayPoint stories after that!

"Holy Sugar Pops" yelled Paul one night during his watch. This immediately woke woke Dave up from a deep slumber, and he looked out our cabin window. Since he didn't jump into action stations with any appropriate swear words, I quickly fell back asleep. It wasn't until the next morning, over breakfast, that I learned what Holy Sugar Pops was all about!

Paul had been at the helm and thought he saw a Shooting Star. It was a Shooting Star of Epic Size and Epic Con-Trails. We debated the event up, down, and shooting star sideways and eventually reasoned that it could've been some space junk of significant size, (perhaps even the Chinese Space Station?) that disintegrated as it entered our atmosphere. Recent Google Research shows it can be quite a common occurrence!

I teasingly scolded Dave: telling him he was to use some serious swear words if that were ever to happen again. And then I teasingly scolded Paul that he needed something more than Holy Cereal words for an event as exciting as that! Because I never ever wanted to sleep through something as exciting as that!

Sadly no photos were taken during this exciting event. And of course, Holy Sugar Pops were attributed to every exciting event after that.

SY Zao is a brand new boat with a brand new engine, and as per John's instructions, we were to run the engines at a 2300 rpm. So the first few days of passage, we did exactly that. On the first week of night passage, when there was *perhaps* sufficient wind to sail, but we didn't want to stress the chute, or have an incident in the dark of night, we ran the engines. At the specified 2300 rpm.

"Paul?" asked Dave one morning, "Have you noticed our fuel levels?"
"Hmmm...." said Paul. "Something's not quite right!"

SY Zao has the capacity to hold enough fuel stores to *almost* motor across the Atlantic. But at our high RPM's, the engines were guzzling the fuel, and since our tanks weren't full to begin with? Well, it didn't take long to deplete what was there. Paul and David, along with John's email input, figured out how to siphon one tank completely dry, thus emptying what reserves that were in there into one of the other tanks, so that the little red gage indicator was just slightly above the empty line on the remaining two tanks. We were now totally reliant on wind. And that's when the last little bit of wind we have, died into almost nothing, and we entered The Doldrums.

Ah, The Doldrums! Defined as an area "affected by a low-pressure where the prevailing winds are calm".

Those calm winds showed up quite clearly as big blobs of blue on the daily downloading of GRIB files. And our course had us heading straight for them. Which is why we ventured a full two days further South than we had to.

Dave and I have a drone, a DJI MavicPro, but we opted not to bring it on this voyage. So we were rather excited to find out that Craig had brought his. And the one good thing about The Doldrums? Craig brought it out so we could play!

He captured some amazing footage of us, but then trying to land it, on a slow moving platform, proved to be quite exciting, especially with Craig running out of power on his IPhone controls. All that excitement earned Dan, who caught it in mid-air, held on to it, while Paul tried to power it down, the nickname "The Hulk".

You can check out Craig's You Tube Vlogsto watch all that excitement.

One day Eddie the Egret joined us. He arrived out of nowhere, landed on our boat, and very curiously tried to enter the salon from the forward open hatch.

We played with him for a while and then I had to solemnly promise Paul that I wouldn't feed him.

Because with food, comes poop. And we were busy enough with dead flying fish clean up every morning.

One morning over Egg McBimbo's, David asks: "So, Paul, what's the PPFT?"
"Huh?" exclaimed Paul?
"PPFT? Given all the little jobs you like to do, I thought I'd give you an Official Acronym, Navy Style!" laughed Dave, and continued on to explain: "PPFT is Paul's Project For Today!".
"I don't know" said Paul as he handed us The Torch, and headed off to bed "I'll let you know when I wake up".

Some of the PPFT's that were tackled? The wing on wing formation caused the bottom of the jib to chafe a bit. The PPFT that day was to put some sail tape on to prevent further chafing. During regular engine room checks, a water leak was discovered. Several times the PPFT was to check for water ingress, and see if the problem could be solved. A constant banging noise near the auto helm revealed some slack in the chain of the rudder system.

With the spinnaker flying constantly, an incessant and frustrating creaking sound developed. The PPFT that day was to send Paul up the mast, armed with some tools and good ole grease.

Unfortunately nothing he could do to help reduce the squeak. But his climb up the mast allowed us to surmise that the culprit was a sheave at the top of the mast.

With the more boisterous seas the first week we noticed the Escape Hatches had developed a considerable leak. PPFT? Ensure that the water was sponged up on an hourly basis, with the water being measured to ensure we weren't taking on increasingly more. Thankfully, once the seas had abated when we reached The Doldrums, this task was reduced to once a day. And of course, everything was recorded by the different Watches in SY Zao's Log Book

So while Dave and Paul were busy tending to PPFT's, and with Dan up on watch, Sheryl and I coordinated forces to Managing the Galley.

We would check each item in the fridge and freezer, see if anything was spoiling, get rid of leftovers if any and with the results, determine the next few meals, making sure we were on the same... menu (pardon the pun)! The many oranges, lemons and limes that we'd individually pre-wrapped in tin foil to prevent mold spoilage from transferring, needed to be checked, and usually we lost a couple a day. We were glad we'd spent the time preparing them in advance. Shelves got restocked, and garbage tidied up, and regular housekeeping chores were a daily occurrence.

Of all my time living aboard and cruising, I have rarely done my own laundry. SY Zao had a working watermaker, and came with a washer and dryer, but we were hesitant to use it out here without a stable platform: this was not our boat after all. It was time to get the bucket out, and attack the stinky piles!

One morning Sheryl received an email. The ARC had issued a distressing and sad update, one that no one wants to read. A man overboard: a boat somewhere ahead of us had an issue with downing their spinnaker, and someone had gone overboard. All vessels were being asked to keep a watch.

"So this means that we have a drifting vessel we need to keep our eye on" I surmised. We all kept a keen but grim eye on the horizon after that. And realized how quickly stuff can happen, and how imperative it is to be on watch, at all times. A terrible and sad day for all.

And then there was the time that Dan jumped off the Capt'Ns seat, excitedly running towards the fishing pole dancing madly in its holder. Sheryl and I quickly ran out of the galley, Sheryl taking the helm, and I towards the fishing pole. It was, sadly, just some Sargassum

But the next day? He caught a Tuna! Our first fish of the Passage, and my first fish, ever. What ensued was a few tears during my first killing of said Fish, I'm such a wimp.

The end result though? Experience, Knowledge and Awesome Sushi. The next day Dan was at it again, and he reeled us in a a beautiful Mahi Mahi. This one was made into fillets and fish bites.

On the third day, I was ready to go solo. I put the line in the water and a while later, I saw the familiar tug. I tried to reel it in, but couldn't for the life of me, make any headway. I called Dave in for some extra muscle.

For over half an hour, both man and fish fought bravely. Man won, and Dave reeled in a beautiful silver Wahoo, which I declared all mine. Thankfully it was already dead, so I just had to clean it. Phew.

Dan and Sheryl's watch over, the PPFT chores done, the galley set up for supper preps later, it was time for Paul and Craig to go on watch.

"Does anyone know how to play Wizard?" I asked?

No one had heard of the game (it's a Canadian game, eh?) so we brought out the brand new deck of Wizard cards we'd brought with us. We quickly taught everyone the rules, distributed the tokens, and had a go at it. It turned out to be a great game to play, and for everyone who is familiar with the game, much swearing (either Navy Style or Cereal Style) and name calling comes with the Dealing of the Hands and with the ScoreKeeping.

And if the sun was setting as we were halfway through a game? We would take a break and assemble on the trampoline, in great anticipation of a green flash.

There was that time when we were all bored. And Paul told us how he was the reigning champ of One Handed Bowline Tying. So we all had to learn.

Holy Bowline Moments! Because, we all know, every second counts when doing a bowline.

There was no distress involved when I sent out our Message in a Bottle.

Although we hated throwing a bottle overboard, we do hope that someone somewhere finds our message, and our respective social media tags, and lets us know. How fun would that be?

"What time is it?" Asked Paul, quite innocently, one day, as he came up from his siesta. Dave, at the helm, checked and responded that it was close to noon. Our TransAtlantic Passage involves crossing Four Time Zones, and it was at that point that we realized we should start dealing with them before we run out of time (pardon the pun!). Since there's no time like the present, Dave and I volunteered to stay on watch for an extra hour. However, for the next three times, we divided up that extra hour: Dave and I pulling an extra half hour on our shift, and Sheryl and Dan covered the other extra half hour.

And then one day, somewhere in the middle of the ocean with absolutely no wind, we brought down the Spinnaker, and with Sheryl at the helm, the rest of us jumped in for a swim.

And that's how I not only added, but crossed off, one HELLUVA Bucket List item. One I didn't even know I had. Swimming, after weeks of not much exercise, felt wonderful. Swimming with nothing but 3 miles of water below us was pretty darn cool. Swimming in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, while on passage of Epic Proportions? Priceless.

We were extremely grateful to Dan, for having brought and shared his Iridum Account with us. There was nothing like logging in to hear the familiar incoming email notifications, allowing us to exchange emails with friends and family back home. And we still owe you a deck of Wizard cards, eh?

All passages, whether they be short or long, can quickly become a Passage of Epic Proportions. All passages, short or long, are about communication, helpfulness and teamwork. Passages can be sleepless, at times, when there's strange loud noises that won't go away, or when Holy Cereal Words are involved. Passages can be funny, at times (and usually after the fact), when nightmarish things happen. Passages can be aggravating, at times, when it feels like the same routine chores are never-ending and repetitive (and sometimes feel like you're the only one having at it!). But one thing's for sure, in between the waves and squalls, there are countless Perfect Moments! Many Moments of Perfection that will forever remain Priceless Memories.

In the end, the Passage becomes part of Your Story.

This is ours. We sure hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Vessel Name: Banyan
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: David & Alexandra
Welcome Aboard. I'm Alexandra, and if I'm not out Adventuring with Camera in Hand, or cheffing up a storm in my galley, I'm looking to pirate some WiFi to upload our latest tales (with way too many photos) about our most recent adventures. [...]
Extra: CHART YOUR COURSE: Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
Banyan's Photos - Main
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1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 11 August 2009
Photos from the first ever sailing Regatta to raise money for Breast Cancer research
12 Photos
Created 12 July 2009
Photos from our cruise on Mahone Bay.
13 Photos
Created 9 July 2009
Our baby
7 Photos
Created 3 July 2009

The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!