2018 Life Logs, Day 111—All Work with a Little Play
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Cool; High Temp 52, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
I am tired tonight. Heather met me at the cottage at 9:30 this morning and we cleaned until 12:30. We took a little break to go see Sam’s soccer game and then at 2 pm we returned to continue the work . . . scrubbing floors, climbing to clean windows. Heather had three extra kids are her house this afternoon and they were all staying for dinner and two were spending the night. So late afternoon, she had to leave to go get dinner for the crew. But I stayed into the evening and continued the cleaning. Then I put away the dishes and pots and pans we packed up on Thursday night. Was that really just two nights ago? Seems like many days ago. Anyway, I am exhausted and must get to bed. Early tomorrow morning I travel to the Boston area. Heather’s bees arrive tomorrow morning in Peabody (just north of Boston), so I am going to go pick them up and then drive back to Westford for the birthday brunch for my sister-in-law and niece. I’m hoping to find a parking spot in the shade so the bees won’t be too hot sitting in the car while I attend the brunch. But I can go out and check on them and will head home immediately after we eat and visit for a bit. Then tomorrow evening my good friend Detta Porat arrives. She is coming down from New Hampshire to help get the cottage ready for the move. Can’t wait to see her.
2018 Life Logs, Day 69—Arrival in Mayaguez, PR
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 88, Low 72 degrees F
Location: AT Anchor Off Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
What a great ride across the Mona Passage. It was a little rough at times, mostly motor sailing, some sailing, and some just motoring. The most peaceful part was my last hour and half of watch motoring from Rincon to Mayaguez. Clear night, a crescent moon for light, and peaceful seas. I woke Sam up when we were half a mile from the anchoring destination, and we anchored with no hitches. When we awoke this morning, the sun was shining brightly and we headed to shore with Piper. We are anchored where I thought we would be, but it looks different than it did when Mark and I were here in 2015 and took photos of a possible anchorage in Mayaguez. There was a big red round building to the north of the anchorage and it is no longer here. As we assumed, it was taken down by Hurricane Maria. But just next to the pilings on which that building stood, we met Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco this morning. I was so excited to see them on the dock. But by the time they arrived the winds had kicked up a bit and there was no way Coco was going to get into a dinghy and come out to visit on Windbird. But Ziggy wanted to, so Justin and Ziggy came with us in the dinghy and Coco, Jo, and Jo’s adorable new puppy, Maya Moon, headed to a skate park on the water where we could come visit with them later. Ziggy loved being on Windbird again. We visited for a short time and then headed back to shore to visit with Jo and Coco. Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco rode on their skate boards, sometimes with Maya Moon. Justin and family had plans to head further south to have a late lunch with a friend, but Ziggy convinced them he needed to stay on Windbird for the afternoon. So, he returned to the boat with us and we enjoyed a relaxed afternoon of reading and playing games. At 5 pm, we headed back to shore with Ziggy to play in the park and after sunset, Justin and Jo picked him up. In the meantime, we sat on the beach together to watch the sun go down. So beautiful. Justin and crew plan to return tomorrow morning at 7:30 am for a sail from here to Boqueron, about 10 miles south.
Our first day in Puerto Rico was fabulous. Hot, sunny, and lovely time with family. Many thanks to Sam and Dawn for making all of this possible. I would love to post photos, but can only use enough data to post the log and one very special photo from today. At some point, I will get to a source of internet that will allow me to post photos.
2018 Life Logs, Day 67—Leaving Puerto Bahia in the DR
Date: Thursday, March 8, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 82, Low 72 degrees F
Location: Leaving Puerto Bahia, DR for Mayaguez, PR
The plan was to leave here today for a slow 36-hour sail to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The weather report this morning was okay, but when Sam went to tell the Commandante that we were leaving today, he said no one was allowed to check out because of the excessive northerly swell. He said he would be talking to his superior at 9 o’clock and he would have the final say. At 9:45 the Commandante came to the boat. He and Sam talked and we were given the go ahead to leave. Whew! Because the next opportunity would not be until next Thursday. If nothing changes in the next four hours, we will be leaving the Dominican Republic for Puerto Rico tonight. The north swell and any sea breeze should be calmed considerably by 8 pm, so we will leave the marina at 4 pm after checking out with the Commandant. Then we will anchor off a nearby island waiting for the calmer nighttime conditions. Leaving that late in the day will require sailing overnight tonight, all day tomorrow, and slowing down overnight tomorrow night to time our arrival in Mayaguez at first light. So, unless there is another hitch this afternoon, we will be on our way. The marina here is really first class, so if we are stuck here, at least we will be comfortable. The hotel is quite fancy and we use all the facilities. There is a small pool outside one of the bars in the hotel and another larger pool out by the Samana Bay. There is a small convenience store and at least three bars and three restaurants associated with the hotel. And there is a large, friendly staff attending to almost no one. There are condominiums all around with armed guards, but no one in them. And locals are not allowed to drive in here to go the restaurants. So a very few cruisers have the whole place to themselves. Very nice, but strange indeed.
As I said in yesterday’s log, you won’t hear from me again until Saturday when we reach Puerto Rico. Here’s hoping for a smooth Mona Passage crossing.
2018 Life Logs, Day 44—Update from Puerto Rico
Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Cold; High 32, Low 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
I emailed Justin yesterday asking him about how things are going in their part of Puerto Rico. They were still without power the end of December when the solar was installed, but I hadn’t really heard any details since then. But this morning I got a long response to my questions from yesterday. Basically, due to their amazing resilience and the support given to them by family and friends, they are doing great. They had electricity restored for a few days in early December, but then it went away. About a week and half ago at their house, it returned again. So, they can now use electricity from the grid to supplement the solar. But the grid continues to go down, so they are very thankful that they have the solar. They have had running water since November, but it comes and goes as well. They hope to install a rain water catchment and solar hot water system on the roof when they can afford it. They still do not have internet and have no idea when it will return, so they are hoping to have satellite installed soon. Justin continues to be able to work, either by driving to and from Mayaguez every day, which takes at least 45 minutes each way, or working in local cafes where it is harder for him to focus on this work but he doesn’t have to face the commute. One way or another, he is able to work. After Maria, Ziggy and Coco never returned to school and Jo has been homeschooling them. For now, the kids don’t want to go back to school and Justin says Jo finally has a good rhythm with them. They just got official non-profit status and they have put up a website where you can read about what they are doing. Just go to http://fincamaravilla.com to check it out. When you go to that site there are pictures at the top. If you keep clicking on ‘Load More’ you will go through all of the photos highlighting life since Maria. Absolutely amazing.
My day was consumed with more technical issues. I went to Tai Ji this morning and to the gym late this afternoon, but in between, I dealt with continued computer issues, and now cell phone problems. I called Comcast tonight and had my internet upgraded to the fastest they have. If that doesn’t solve my issues, which I don’t think it will, I’ll have to go to plan B. Not at all sure what that is, but I’ll figure it out. In between dealing with technical issues, I shop for food, cook, and watch the Olympics. Life is good.
2017 Life Logs, Day 360: Food Shopping on Boxing Day
Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny and Chilly; High 30’s, Low 20’s F
Location: At Home with Patsy and Joe in Mt. Juliet, TN
Today was Boxing Day, a shopping day in this country, and my sister Patsy, my niece Janet, and I spent our day food shopping. We did a massive Costco buy and then went on to Whole Foods to fill in the blanks. It was a successful trip and we spent the rest of the day eating and enjoying cooking!
2017 Life Logs, Day 294: Catch-Up Day
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Weather: Still Warm and Sunny; High 70, Low 53 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
Today was a nice chance of pace. I couldn’t make phone calls to inquire about things for Justin and Jo, so I took the opportunity to catch-up on my own affairs. I went to Zumba this morning and then to the post office to mail another package to Puerto Rico. Just as I was turning into the drive-way, my phone rang. I took a quick look and saw it was Justin, so I answered immediately. He called to let me know that all is well and that they were driving north today to try and buy a milk goat. They heard that someone north of Aguadilla still has goats, and while they were near Aguadilla they were going to Maximo Solar to check out solar systems. I have researched Maximo’s mini off-grid set-up, but the website doesn’t go into detail about the type of batteries that come with the system. Before I could tell Justin to get specific information on the batteries, the call dropped. Justin did explain that “they” (I assume he means FEMA workers, army personnel, or volunteers from the states) are now starting the clean-up of fallen telephone and electrical lines. The people that live in the area cleared the roads of fallen trees and poles the poles after the storm, but they didn’t touch the lines. When he said that they have just been driving over them, I tried not to gasp too loudly! But the clean-up “they” are doing seems to be causing people who have had internet connectivity of sorts to now have none at all. He also said that packages are coming more slowly than they were. The post office in Rincon has told them that there are at least a half million packages in San Juan and not enough personnel to process them even though they are working 24-hours a day. I know things always have to get worse before they get better, but I sure hope things get better quick. The call was short, but it was wonderful to hear that all is well. I next turned my attention to playing the catch-up game. My monthly bills go out automatically through on-line banking, but those bills that are a different amount each month like the electricity bill need to be updated by a human—me. I have paid absolutely no attention to this since the hurricane hit five weeks ago, so I was too late for some things, but that’s no big deal. I finished that job and started the process of checking on things that have been sent to Justin and Jo. I set up a spreadsheet listing donations and how that money has been or will be spent. I thought I would get that done on Monday when I first returned from New Hampshire, so I’m only six days behind on that job. And somehow, when I looked at the clock it was 5:30 pm. I jumped in the car to go to Heather’s to get jars and the pressure canner so I could can the chicken mineral broth I made on Thursday. I have spent my evening doing that and now it is time to get off this computer and read myself to sleep. Another day in the life.