2021 Life Logs, Day 63: Same, Same

2021 Life Logs, Day 63: Same, Same
Date: Thursday, March 4, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny, Getting Colder Again; High 42, Low, 21 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I really don’t have much to report today. First thing this morning a plumber came to assess the water heater situation in the basement. He will prepare an estimate for installing a new water heater that will meet the requirements of the National Grid, the natural gas company that will then do insulation work to tighten up the cottage. Then, I wrote all morning and early afternoon. Same as yesterday. I went to pick Ollie up after school and then I took Jonah to the skatepark for an hour or so. After that, I came home and wrote until about 8 pm. Same as yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make my goal. I had hoped to get to the Galapagos today, but I am still on passage. I will probably get there by noon tomorrow, so maybe I’ll get to write about my first impressions of our arrival there tomorrow afternoon. It was such an exciting time for me. I had read all about Darwin’s arrival there in 1835 aboard the HMS Beagle and was so anxious to see the wildlife he observed. We spent almost six weeks there and I enjoyed every day of it. I am really hoping to get to write about a little of that experience on my birthday tomorrow. That will be my gift to myself.

2021 Life Logs, Day 62: More Writing on a Slightly Warmer Day

2021 Life Logs, Day 62: More Writing on a Slightly Warmer Day
Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny and a Little Warmer; High 43, Low, 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yes, it was warmer today and the sun was shining through partly cloudy skies, but when I went for my morning walk with Shadow, it still felt a little icy. The sun shining on my face felt warm, but the air I was breathing is what felt icy. It is going to be an entire week before the north and east winds turn to come from the south and the daytime high temperature will be in the upper 40’s. I am really hoping that will feel warmer.

In the meantime, I will continue to write. I did get out of mainland Panama today and am currently writing about our few days in Islas de las Perlas, commonly referred to as Las Perlas. These are islands in the Gulf of Panama. Sometimes these islands are referred to as The Pearls. They were named for the large, black-lipped pearl oysters that were once abundant there. I expect tomorrow that I will write about leaving those islands and heading into the Pacific to cross the equator and arrive in the Galapagos. I wrote an email to a friend today saying I was “going” to the Galapagos on Friday as a birthday gift to myself. I think she thought I was literally going there. It was then that I realized that I am truly living in two worlds right now. But at least I now know that I need to be more explicit in saying that I am writing “about” going places, not literally going there! Thinking about going to the Galapagos made me ask myself the question, “Where would I go right now if I could go anywhere in the world?” I think I would take Heather and Justin and their families and go to Palau to do some serious snorkeling. Palau is an archipelago of over 500 islands located about 600 miles directly east of the Philippines in Micronesia. Where would you go? I would love to hear from you with your answer to that question.

2021 Life Logs, Day 61: Wind Chill

2021 Life Logs, Day 61: Wind Chill
Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High 31, Low, 24 degrees F (as low as 2 F with wind chill)
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

After I sent my log last night, the north wind started howling. It was so loud that Shadow was barking at the wind. I think ‘barking at the wind’ would make a great book title! And the wind continued through the night and for most of today. But at least it was a bright and sunny day. Unfortunately, that didn’t make it feel any warmer. I could only make it for a half mile walk with Shadow before my ears and fingers were freezing. And, yes, I had on a hat and gloves. Even though the wind has calmed down tonight, the temperature outside right now is 26 degrees F, but it is 15 degrees with the wind chill. Tomorrow and Thursday are going to be a little warmer and then the temp drops again. I will surely be ready for spring when it comes.

At noon, I picked Ollie up from school and went to get Jonah to come here for an early release movie afternoon. Ollie had spent part of his morning at an orthopedic doctor’s office and I heard all about that visit. Heather had already let me know, but Ollie wanted to tell someone about his experience. He said the doctor numbed his knee with an injection that really hurt and then the doctor put in a needle to withdraw the fluid on his left knee. This child complains about little, but he said it hurt so much it made him cry. Afterwards, however, he said his knee felt fine and he went on to school. The fluid was to be tested and later this afternoon the confirmation came that Ollie’s Lyme test was positive. No one knows when the bite happened, and until now, Ollie has had no symptoms. Evidently when there is a delay in treatment, the bacteria from a tick’s saliva that is injected when you are bitten can settle in the joints. For Ollie that joint was his left knee. He will start a month of doxycycline tonight to fight the infection. The doctor told him to ice his knee, so this afternoon as we watched Spider-man: Homecoming, he had that knee propped up with an ice pack much of the time. I enjoyed watching Tom Holland, the young actor (24 years old) that plays Spider-man. I love that he does most of his own stunts—a bit of trivia Jonah passed along to me. Afterwards, we watched part of a documentary called My Octopus Teacher. I have been trying to interest the boys in watching this since I saw it sometime before Christmas. They really enjoyed it. My Octopus Teacher is available on Netflix.

I returned home and wrote for a couple of hours, but I am still in Panama. I will definitely begin the passage to the Galapagos tomorrow. When we left the mainland of Panama, we went to the nearby Las Perlas Islands for a few days. We arrived in the Las Perlas on March 1st of 2006 and anchored off the island of Contadora until March 4th. So, tomorrow when I am writing about that experience, it will have been exactly fifteen years. Thankfully, I have my logs as my memory.

2021 Life Logs, Day 60: Like a Lion

2021 Life Logs, Day 60: Like a Lion
Date: Monday, March 1, 2021
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High 47, Low, 16 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

March has arrived like a lion here on Cape Cod. Supposedly the high temperature today was 47 degrees F, but it surely didn’t feel like it. Right now it is 35 degrees outside but Weather Underground says it feels like 24. It felt like that to me all day. I cut my first walk with Shadow short because it started pouring rain, but I did go back out in the late afternoon when the rain had gone away and finished our walk. The high tomorrow is forecast to be 32 degrees F, but there is going to be a strong northeast wind making it feel much colder. Hopefully when this little stint of cold weather is gone, things will moderate a bit. I’ll look forward to seeing March go out like a lamb.

So, the weather was not good news today. Another ‘not good’ news event was that Ollie had to spend his morning in the pediatrician’s office and then at the hospital getting blood tests and x-rays of his knee. At bedtime last night, Heather discovered that his left knee was quite swollen. He has no pain, the knee is not hot or red, and he says he feels fine. Tomorrow morning, he will meet with a joint specialist, hopefully to go over the results of today’s testing and try to figure out what is happening. Lyme disease and arthritis have been mentioned. He handled the morning like a trooper and was just anxious to get to school. When I picked him up this afternoon, he was upbeat and seemingly untouched by the hospital experience. They gave him a little beanie baby tiger after taking blood and he was very proud of that. I’m anxious to hear what the ortho appointment reveals in the morning. I will pick Ollie up from school at noon tomorrow because it is a district-wide early release day. I think Sam, Robert, Jonah, and Ollie will be coming here for a movie afternoon. We had thought about going to the skatepark, but the 25 mile an hour cold winds makes that sound very uncomfortable.

I did not get out of Panama in my writing today. And realistically, I will not get much writing done tomorrow. So maybe Wednesday I’ll write my way out of Panama and arrive in the Galapagos on Thursday. Then on my birthday on Friday, I will give myself the gift of revisiting one of my favorite places on earth. I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday.

2021 Life Logs, Day 59: A Day of Rest

2021 Life Logs, Day 59: A Day of Rest
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2021
Weather: Overcast; High 43, Low, 37 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was such a day of rest that I even forgot to comb my hair! When I got up and took Shadow out for a walk this morning, I twisted my braid into its customary bun, put a rubber band and scrunchy around it, and then forgot about my hair for the rest of the day. Probably no one noticed, but this is just a little too relaxed.

Other than walking Shadow and canning my chicken mineral broth, the only other thing I accomplished today was going to the supermarket to get steak for Shadow. Yes, my little guy has organic grass fed steak for dinner most nights. I buy the flat iron steak which I think is too tough for human consumption, but he loves it. And while I was in the store, I saw the most beautiful artichokes, so I just had to buy those. I bought six so that I could invite Heather, Jed, and boys over for dinner. I stopped by the Goldstones to invite them, but Heather and Jonah were not at home. I got to see the wooden map of the world they have been assembling on the dining room wall and I absolutely I love it. And when I drove into the driveway, Jed was talking to a neighbor about me. Evidently my timing was perfect. The neighbor is a young woman who is really interested in learning to sail and Jed had told her about my sail around the world. I had a great conversation with the young woman and will help her make a few local contacts for sailing opportunities.
When I went inside and was admiring the wooden map, Jed called Heather and they accepted the dinner invitation. Unfortunately, however, I had spoiled their plan for a birthday dinner for me on Friday. They were going to have artichokes. Hopefully, we’ll just have them two times this week. For dinner tonight, I also made matzo ball soup as a second course and everyone enjoyed that. I’ll get back to writing tomorrow, but it was nice to take a day off.

Just before Heather and family arrived, Justin called via Skype and I got to talk briefly to him and to Ziggy and Coco. Z and C are back in school for the first time since last March when the coronavirus took over all of our lives and they are really enjoying being back with friends. It was great to talk with them and to then have dinner with the Goldstones. When they got home tonight, they sent a photo showing me where they want to go in the world. From what I could tell from the photo, Ollie wants to go to Hawaii, Jonah to Paris, and Sam to Finland. I can’t wait to ask them why they made those choices.

2021 Life Logs, Day 58: Editing Day

2021 Life Logs, Day 58: Editing Day
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2021
Weather: Overcast with Rain All Day; High 48, Low, 34 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

How could it take an entire day to edit two chapters of a book? The answer is easy. Editing is no quick and easy job. I have completed seven chapters of The Voyage of Windbird and am almost finished with Chapter 8. But instead of finishing Chapter 8 today, I wanted to go back and edit Chapters 6 and 7. This was prompted by my conversation with Heather and Jed last night about their Christmas in the Caribbean aboard Windbird. That walk down memory lane brought up some details I wanted to add. Going back to do that led to additional editing and changes. And all of a sudden, it was dark outside. I did complete editing Chapters 6 and 7. I am sure I will be going back to edit over and over, but for now I am ready to finish up our time in Panama and move on to getting to the Galapagos. That will be Chapter 9.

Something Sam asked last night is why I say k?-RIB-ee-?n with the stress on the second syllable instead of ker-i-BEE-uhn with the stress on the third syllable. Good question. These are the two most prevalent pronunciations of “Caribbean” outside the region, but evidently most islanders side with Sam and say ker-i-BEE-uhn. I seem to go back and forth between the two, depending on how I am using the word, but use k?-RIB-ee-?n most of the time. Sam’s choice is also the choice of most dictionaries. I love kids that question everything. It can be frustrating, but they keep us on our toes. I caved tonight and watch the 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I truly enjoyed finally seeing the set we explored in the St. Vincent anchorage of Wallilabou. Most of the ‘Port Royal’ scenes in the movie that were shot on the Wallilabou set were seen in the beginning of the movie. Much of the rest of the movie took place on two different ships, in a cave, plus in the small town set which was filmed north of Wallilabou at Chateaubelair. That set was disassembled after the shooting of the movie was completed, but the Wallilabou set was left in place.

During editing today, I checked in with Alan Kanegsberg a couple of times to get his opinion on some things I had written. And I contacted Dave Laux who installed our new engine in the Chesapeake at the beginning of the trip on something I had written about a battery issue we had in the Caribbean. He and his wife Donna got back to me immediately and it was so good to hear from them. They still read my blog every day, so they know what I am up to. So Donna sent some details about their lives that I enjoyed reading. She updated me on what their son and daughter and their families are doing. She also said that they still keep their sailboat on the northern shore of Lake Huron in Canada as they have for years. Unfortunately, that meant they could not go sailing last summer due to travel restrictions and they aren’t sure about this summer. And in typical style, Dave had a recommendation about my water heater issue. Thanks to Dave. And thanks to Alan for his technical editing support.

While doing all of the above, I have been burbling a batch of my magic chicken mineral broth. It is time to strain the broth and put it on the back porch for the night. I’ll have to go to Heather and Jed’s to get enough jars to can it tomorrow.