A day that started sort of bleak, ended in a spectacular, cosmic, aquatic experience! The boys are working on descriptive writing so I'm practicing what I preach.
Porter has been a little sad lately and homesick. The last month has been particularly hard. Yes, we've seen some cool things; monkeys, volcanoes, rain forests, etc, but in between we've had to cover a lot of miles and we haven't seen any kids. For our socialite, these have been hard days and he is voicing his dislike of the trip as a whole. Also, the kids have been really having a hard time getting along, and there has been a lot of teasing and tears. Again, we've been spending a great deal of time on the boat in close quarters and off the beach where they would normally play well together.
The day started as we left our anchorage at dawn so the kids could sleep through some of the 30 miles we wanted to cover. The passage was lovely from Isla Seco to Bahia Honda, we sailed most of the early morning and then got into some lush forested islands and had to turn on the motor to zig zap through the them and the low wind conditions. We anchored about noon in a completely still, large bay surrounded by jungle. Our new usual is being able to hear howler monkeys in the distance and this anchorage didn't fail. The boys immediately took to the kayaks and explored a small island near by. A little later some locals approached us in their boat to trade for some of their fruit. We gave them some clothes, fish hooks and boxed milk. They gave us two huge stalks of bananas and plantains, a pineapple, a bag of lemons, chilies, limes, cilantro and lemon grass. Mike later helped, our new friend, Domingo and his family get their generator working, so in turn they took us over to the nearest village on an island and gave us a tour. We toured the school, which was in really good condition; clean and spacious. One of the classes of secondary students was still there working on some math problems. Zander noticed right away that it was the same stuff he has been working on. No matter where you are in the world, you can't escape linear equations! The evening before another cruiser came by and gave us a huge red snapper and we still had it in the fridge. We cooked the fish up with lemongrass, Mike fried some plantains and we had a meal even the kids thought was decent. While much of the worlds population may subsist on plantains, I'm not usually a huge fan. Mike occasionally brings them home back from the market in Oregon and I suffer through them, but these were actually almost good!
So where is the bleakness? For most of us, it is all still good. Porter, dramatic as he is, sometimes broods over the things he is missing, which most of all is his friends. While we were meeting up with other kid boats, all was well in his world, but lately there have been few boats and zero with kids. It would be great if he could meet some locals, but again, we have been moving so fast, even that doesn't happen often. This won't be a shock to anyone that knows him, but his mood is pretty mercurial, and one moment he is on top of the world motoring around in the dinghy by himself with his dive knife strapped to his leg playing great explorer, or shadow boxing on the bow, body blowing an invisible opponent and the next we are the worst parents in the world for taking him on this trip. Dr. Porter and Mr. Bradford. You never know which one you will wake up with. Zander on the other hand was made for this life (it may help that he doesn't have an older brother criticizing his every move) and is loving our trip. He knew more about sailing than I did about 2 weeks into the trip, but he is really becoming an expert as we go along.
As we were getting ready for bed and Mike was putting the dinghy up on the davits, he noticed the phosphoresce was particularly bright. He called us all on deck for the show and the evening ended with a swim in the most amazing phosphorescence display ever. We could have been floating in space, the lights twinkling all around us. The boys dove down with their masks leaving a lighted trail in their wake. Ana loved it, she thought she was covered with diamonds. Add sparkles or anything glittery to her world and she is happy. We made phosphorescent angles and played for half an hour in the otherwise dark water. I'm not normally a big fan of night swims, but I took some comfort in the fact that if something was going to come up from the abyss to get me, at least I would see it coming!
Anyway, Mike and I (really all me) agonize over our decision to take the kids away, because they are certainly missing things, but while the day started with a lot of tears it ended with Porter saying it was the best night ever! My nerves and that kid....but that's a whole different blog post!
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron