|Here are the kids earning their keep. Spa day for Pelagic.|
|More hard labor. These are the before pictures, I'll try to remember to take some after pictures.|
We always have a little culture shock when we spend time back in the states after an extended absence. Some of it is welcome; great groceries, restaurants, air conditioning, clean public bathrooms and most importantly close proximity and access to family and friends. Some of it is a little unsettling; we notice the over indulgence of Americans, including the number of overweight Americans, the rampant consumerism, we certainly come from a land of plenty and although our family reaps the benefits, it does give us pause and time to reflect on our lives a little. The most disturbing thing was the politics, and while we haven’t been immune to the U.S. debates, the constant news coverage of the national election and the nominees was exhausting. The persistent negativity and absurdity of the upcoming election is an insult to our country’s collective intelligence. It just makes me very sad and for the first time embarrassed to be an American. Who knows, depending on the presidential outcome, maybe we will stay cruising, lost in our own blissful ignorance.
On to more positive reporting. Our trip home was fragmented in that we split up and visited family separately since we literally have family in the far corners of the country. Mike and Porter headed to Maine to visit his family and our friends including a summer camp stint for Porter. Mike then flew to Florida and spent two weeks with his parents; helping them with some transitional events, but mostly enjoying their company, the single most important thing we miss out on while cruising. Ana, Zander and I flew to San Francisco to visit more family on the West coast, including a three day pet sitting gig with our crazy dog. I’ve got to say my aunt deserves sainthood for agreeing to take her on while we are gone. She is still wild, but we love her and it was great to remind her that we exist. We then traveled to Portland and did a marathon visit with friends and a quick check on the house. From Oregon we flew to Alaska and enjoyed time with my parents. We spent several days at their cabin, visited friends, Zander learned the art of chopping wood and the last few days of our trip included watching my 94 year old grandparents participate in the Alaska senior games. We had a really lovely visit and although we are excited to resume our adventure, as always it was sad to leave.
Three days ago we were all reunited in Trinidad and we are getting back acquainted with living in close quarters while we finish up the last few projects on the boat. Our newly upholstered cushions came back and we are happy with the results. The main sail and sail bags got a little TLC, the outboard was repaired, the waterline was raised and the boat got new antifouling bottom paint. There are a number of other smaller jobs that Mike is able to complete with a marine store next to the boatyard . In addition, every type of boating expertise is located in the yard or within walking distance. One thing missing from this list is having work done on our engine. Our engine had been acting up a little in that it runs perfect once it gets going, for days at a time even, but occasionally when you increase the RPM’s there is a delay from neutral to foward. Mike worried the engine was losing compression or the injectors needed to be replaced. Either way it sounded expensive. We had a mechanic come on board offer a few less invasive remedies to try first and amazingly it seemed to work. That never happens, a job that costs less than you expect! Time will tell if the suggested remedies work.
Tomorrow we expect to go back into the water, and finish the last few projects dockside. We haven’t yet looked at the weather, but as soon as it looks good to head north, we will once again set our sights on Grenada. Once there, we will hang out, hopefully see more of the island than we did the first time around and let the kids have some quality time with the other kid boats.