18 February 2018 | Majuro, Marshall Islands
Hello and Happy New Year! I believe I have not written since 2018 began and now we are nearly 2 months into it! Time , that most precious commodity next to health, is flying by at a rate that I would not have thought possible. As Chuck and I muse on life, our views on the importance of happiness, its recognition and fulfillment are subjects that we agree on. We are thankful for our many blessings and the choices we are able to make and proceed with.
We had the most wonderful and memorable Christmas with Kate joining us on the 20th of Dec. and she was able to stay until Jan.8th! We enjoyed Majuro atoll and went out to a couple of islands within the atoll. Kate and Chuck did some diving. We thought the 3 of us were going to be able to dive together but the gear we rented for Kate was faulty. Quick thinking on Kate's part made it a happy ending. The shut off valve on the BCD was stuck open and though it had been replaced by the shop earlier, and tested good when we did the checks, soon after her descent it stuck open. She was being squeezed and could not dump her air quickly enough. She surfaced while continuously dumping air. It would just free flow. All turned out well as luckily it happened very soon after descent so there was no nitrogen build-up. Kate continued with my gear for the rest of the time out and I got to relax and do my favorite things on the boat. The beauty of the time was that it was so relaxed that conversations had time to be resumed and finished. We got to hear details of life according to Kate and enjoy the many many blessings of family all in 46 x13.6 ft! The weather was mostly rainy but warm with periods and days of sun. All in all, it was the best weather we had since we have been here in the Marshall Islands.
Our mainsail arrived 2 days ago ( not sure if I said it shredded in a gale about 2 days out of Majuro). We are waiting for the wind and rain to settle down so we can put it up. So, with our "main engine" back in service, the adventure to other atolls can happen. There is no way, we would consider leaving the atoll without a Main. In the mean time, since Kate left, Chuck has been able to repair the watermaker which is beyond wonderful. Now we are able to use tank water for everything including showering and cleaning. That is such a huge addition to ease of life. There was a bit of panic as after he took it out of its wee hole, took it completely apart and cleaned every connection and piece resealed and put it together and back into its place, IT LEAKED. So, out it came again, took it all apart to access the two leaks and back together and in- successfully. 5 days of work and chaos as everything is apart and on the table and settee. In any case, all is well that ends well. I can not tell you the admiration I have for Chuck and his ability to never give up with these repairs that happen. As he says, "there is no choice". Self sufficiency is the name of the game. There are no repair people for this type of thing and the people that do not do it themselves, do without. First getting the parts, then the installation/ repair- it all takes so much time!
So as our 3 month window to be in the MArshall Islands was drawing to a close ( we arrived Dec.4), we decided to do some serious thinking about our plans and priorities. The very shortened version is that we applied for and received, much to the amazement of some cruisers a C-1 visa for a year that will take us to March 2019! This allows me to spend the extended period of time at home in Canada that I have been wanting since I left. As they say, the grass is always greener and I miss home and family and friends a lot out here. So I am heading home Friday the 23rd of Feb. for an undetermined amount of time but likely 3-4 months. I have it in my mind that Canada Day will be in Banff! Yeah and YAHOO! Chuck is relishing the thought of being on his own, to move at the pace of life he has been wishing was ours since we left and he retired. He has many projects that will now get a chance to get to the top of the list and that are not critical but will mean peace in many ways. He is also planning to spend some time with friends if they are able to join him out here for some R and R. We are both super excited about this next gift of life that we have chosen and with which we have been allowed to proceed. (Just redid that sentence to avoid the hanging participle- haha. So formal but looks so much nicer in print- would not even notice it in the spoken word. Well I would notice it but not feel I had to correct it). Rambling here but some things never change.
I am hoping to visit so many of you, surf your couches, drink your beer, wine and spirits, eat your food and hahaha, I am kidding. Well, not really. I am planning the visit and the rest will be up to you. I will bring food and water and a sleeping bag as we did when we were young. I can't wait and am so excited to tell my sea stories and hear all of yours, your adventures, your family stories, your hopes and dreams but most of all just to be, minute by minute, day by day living life and loving the many many gifts of life I am so blessed to receive.
Sending all of you big huge hugs and wishing you all the very best of whatever direction your dreams are heading in,