Zen - family cruising catamaran

Family of 4 sailing from New England to Auckland, New Zealand '08-'10

26 August 2010 | Portsmouth, Rhode Island
27 April 2010 | Rhode Island
05 April 2010 | Fort Lauderdale, FL
24 March 2010 | Portsmouth, RI
19 February 2010 | middle of Pacific Ocean
12 February 2010 | Waiheke Island, NZ
08 February 2010 | Auckland, New Zealand
30 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
26 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
22 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
20 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
17 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
14 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
08 January 2010 | Los Angeles, CA
07 January 2010 | Newark International Airport
27 December 2009 | Rhode Island, USA
10 December 2009 | New Delhi, India
02 December 2009 | South Island, NZ
13 November 2009 | Whangarei, New Zealand
10 November 2009 | Opua and Kerikeri, New Zealand

Cruising Cartagena and Rosarios

08 December 2008 | Cartagena, Columbia
Cole suddenly grabbed Ami's shoulders, held them firmly in each hand, looking at her in the eyes, and said sternly, "You are with the Burgess family. It's all about food. Repeat after me. IT'S ALL ABOUT FOOD." That about sums up Cartagena. When cruising, if there's good restaurants, offering all kinds of cuisine, at prices sometimes cheaper than what it costs to buy it fresh from the grocery store, you'll find Zen there, saving water, propane and human energy. But most importantly, while in Cartagena, meals were shared with other friends. Putting memories in the scrapbooks. Folks on "Albatres" took us to the Casa de Espana in Old Town for authentic Spanish paella and a verbal tour of their homeland, the Canary Islands. Eating Italian, in a central piazza with Tara Vana, while being serenaded by live saxophonist playing the Godfather theme song was classic Columbia. You can quickly gather why, other than Grenada, this has been our longest stay in one single place. At first glance, I wondered if this city, with such a lure to cruisers, would weave its spell on us. We couldn't swim off the boat, ferry and fishing boats are zooming by, and anchoring is so tight it's like parallel parking in Back Bay Boston. But...after a few days and trips to the Old Town, the lure was real and we were hooked. Having a couple of pre-teen kids onboard, our "field trips" to Old Town were usually history based with ice cream as a bonus for all involved. Touring Castille de San Fillipe (a castle/fort) was a half day event, covering hundreds of years of battles, pirates and secret tunnels. It was so enjoyable with a private tour guide, fee was only $40,000 pesos (about $20) for 4 families and over 90 minutes of cool stories. The Museo of Modern Art had a beautiful exhibition on show and the Phototekka Museo gave a photographic history of the city. To wrap up our final night in the city, we took a horse and buggy ride from Old Town to the marina, about 20 minutes. El Gato, the horse, broke into a canter and we laughed and sang the whole way home. Departing Cartagena, we left with 2 other friends, "Albatres" and "Tara Vana", bound for the Rosarios, a little group of islands just 20 miles south of Cartagena. Tara Vana, our local visiting professors, have taught our kids to play the steel drums and now, spent an hour teaching them to water ski. They have a tried and true kid-proof method for teaching water skiing, and it worked like a charm. We had a bit of an early Christmas on Zen. A surfboard and a pair of waterskis, both used, are our gifts to the kids. Islas Rosarios was all about watersports...kayaking, skurfing, waterskiing, snorkeling and swimming, but not just plain swimming, swimming with dolphins! It was a last minute discussion that Ami had with the woman who ran the local aquarium. "Sure!" she said, $50 per person, private swimming with the dolphins. It was a life experience we couldn't pass up. Cammi and Cole got to do it together for about 30 minutes, playing, petting, kissing and riding on the two dolphins with the trainer's guidance. Cammi wrote in detail about the event on her blog. Our final life experience at the Rosarios was given to us by a local artisan, Jose. He invited us and Rick and Ami on Tara Vana to visit his local pueblo. At 9 am he was smiling and ready to meet us at the dingy dock. The roads were dirt paths, heavily trodden and swept clean. There were no vehicles, maybe a bicycle or two, and the roads are bordered by large trees that act as a shade canopy. We toured the local school. It houses 12 teachers, 5 grades and 300 children up to the age of 12. After that, the lucky kids are relocated to the mainland for secondary schooling, the rest go to work in the fishing or artisan industry or take a job at a tourist hotel. The huts that lined the roads consisted of dirt floors, tin or thatched roofs and many happy smiling locals. After meeting Jose's lovely wife and 3 children, we learned the villagers are very pleased to see Americans and Spaniards. Why? There was an American man who wired many of the homes and small shops with solar panels for electricity. A group of Spaniards got together recently and provided about 20 desktop computers for the local school. Jose also explained that in November, they held a mock election in his pueblo. Obama beat McCain 349 to 1. They too have high hopes for the next US leader. We wrapped up the tour by purchasing a couple of handmade necklaces for our kids and giving Jose's children some candy. In return, Jose gave Tom a necklace made of local stone, pearl and coral. You may see it in a photo or two. As we move on to the San Blas Islands, away from our close friends, Ami and Rick, we carry very special memories of the Columbian city and her beautiful surrounding islands. This morning, as we anchored in the pristine San Blas Islands, home to the Kuna Indians and their traditional culture, we noticed our neighbors are a "kid boat" too! New islands, new friends, and we'll meet up w/Albatres in 2 days...a new chapter in our lives is about to begin.
Vessel Name: Zen
Vessel Make/Model: Atlantic 48' catamaran
Hailing Port: Newport, RI
Crew: Tom, Monique and Kids
Tom, Monique, Cammi, and Cole. Tom is the CEO/Founder for a high-tech advertising firm, which he just sold to a large US media company, giving us the ability to set sail. [...]
Eight years ago, we sold our advertising company, and left terra firma on our monohull, "Uliad", for a family cruise. As soon as we returned to land, immediately we started planning our 2nd cruise. Here's the continuation of our journey, except this time the kids are active crew members, [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/zen/
Zen's Photos - s/v Zen - family cruising catamaran (Main)
New Zealand, Dockwise, and Florida
82 Photos
Created 14 January 2010
Bangkok, New Delhi, Rhode Island holidays and New Zealand
118 Photos
Created 27 December 2009
Australia & New Zealand
117 Photos
Created 3 November 2009
Tonga and New Zealand
102 Photos
Created 3 September 2009
Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga
86 Photos
Created 9 August 2009
French Polynesia and Cook Islands
113 Photos
Created 28 July 2009
French Polynesia
49 Photos
Created 31 May 2009
Pacific Ocean Passage and French Polynesia
120 Photos
Created 19 May 2009
Panama City to Galapagos
81 Photos
Created 28 February 2009
Panama Canal, Costa Rica and Las Perlas
118 Photos
Created 28 January 2009
Cartagena, Panama, Puerto Rico/US, and Costa Rica
111 Photos
Created 30 December 2008
Autumn sailing
124 Photos
Created 13 September 2008
Where we are sailing in 2008/2009
1 Photo
Created 13 July 2008
Summertime '08
108 Photos
Created 1 July 2008
8 Photos
Created 31 May 2008
Delivery from Maine to Newport summer 2007
15 Photos
Created 27 April 2008
November 2007 - Tom, John and Scott
11 Photos
Created 27 April 2008
American Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands in 2007
358 Photos
Created 27 April 2008