US Land Logs 10, Year 4: Justin, Jo, & Ziggy, Second Visit

US Land Logs 10, Year 4: Justin, Jo, & Ziggy, Second Visit
Date: Sunday, August 24, 2009
Weather: HOT
Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts

We have just ended a whirlwind of a week. Justin, Jo, and Ziggy arrived in Boston last Monday along with the hottest weather we have had all summer. So we spent time at the beach trying to cool down and just generally enjoyed being together.

On Friday, Justin, Jo, Ziggy, Mark, and I took off for western Massachusetts to visit my niece Lynn and then on to Double Edge Theatre where Justin worked and lived until he and Jo met. They met there in the summer of 2006, so DET is a very special place for them. We went to see everyone and see the summer performance which was fabulous. Mark and I stayed at a new B & B across the street from Elmer’s Country Store. It was a great weekend. We stopped for a look at the Boston Harbor on our way to take Justin and Jo to their hotel near the airport. It was so hard to leave them as we won’t see them for at least another year, but it was so special to have the time with them.

090821 Cape Cod–Justin, Jo, & Ziggy Second Visit
090824 Cape Cod–Visit to Ashfield with Justin, Jo & Ziggy

US Land Logs 9, Year 4: Notes from a Granny Nanny

US Land Logs 9, Year 4: Notes from a Granny Nanny
Date: Sunday, August 16, 2009
Weather: Finally Summer on Cape Cod
Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts

The weather here has not been typical for a Cape Cod summer. We have had rain, rain, and more rain, and very cool temperatures. We had one reprieve over the 4th of July weekend, but not until this week has it really felt like summer. Of course, it is now very hot and VERY humid. But at least it is good beach weather for a change.

I’ve spent the last three months here on Cape Cod doing the greatest job on earth, being a Granny Nanny. Before Jonah’s birth, I spent a great deal of my time playing with Sam. After Jonah’s birth, the time had to be divided and I now spend half my time playing with Sam and the other half cuddling with Jonah. It’s a great life, but certainly nothing like the cruising life. Laundry here is done in a washing machine and dryer instead of in a five gallon bucket with clothes drying on the life lines of the boat. Here the ingredients for dinner are largely picked from the garden instead of being bought at a local market or pulled from the stores onboard the boat. Just the fact that we do have a garden is so vastly different from the cruising life. Since I have known Mark, we had always had a huge garden and stored food for the winter until we started cruising. When we decided to sail around the world, the one thing I was sure I would long for the most, other than family, was gardening. But actually, that has not been the case. I certainly long for family, but I never give gardening a thought. I am enjoying immensely the chance to garden here this summer, but I’ll be ready to get back to Windbird and buy food at the local markets when we return to Malaysia.

Today while cuddling with Jonah during one of his nap periods, I was also reading an old Cruising World magazine. I first read an article by Tom Neale’s daughter which was interesting but a little confusing to read. Then I read an article by Webb Chiles. When we were in Opua, New Zealand, we were anchored just behind Webb’s Hawke of Tuonela. Webb has circumnavigated five times and is obviously a veteran sailor. I really enjoyed his article about sailing from Opua, New Zealand to Cairns, Australia, but as I read it I thought of many details that I might have included. Then I read an article written by Fatty Goodlander in Thailand and I found myself amused by the difference between our experience in the Phangnga Bay and Fatty’s. But at least we both agree on one thing. The Phangnga Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world to sail. Reading the articles made me realize how much I would like to have the time to write and publish about our voyage and our destinations. I know people will have the same differences with my writing that I have with theirs, but I would just like to give it a go. Being a Granny Nanny doesn’t allow for such luxuries, but once we return to Windbird, my hope is to make a concerted effort to do more writing. For now, I’ll just have to be content with dreaming of the stories that I have to tell.

Tomorrow Justin, Jo, and Ziggy return from England and visit with us here on the Cape for a few days. They were here for one day in July on their way to England, so we just can’t wait to have them here for a longer stay. Along with garden photos, I’m posting the photos from the one-day Justin-Jo-Ziggy visit with this log.

090816 Granny Nanny Summer on Cape Cod

US Land Logs 8, Year 4: Ode to Silvie

US Land Logs 8, Year 4: Ode to Silvie
Date: Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Weather: Not Important
Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts

As you sail around the world, the cruisers you meet become like family.   Some you meet are like distant cousins that you would rather not see too often, but others become like sisters and brothers. Silvie was in the  ‘sister’ category for me. She was from Windcastle and I from Windbird. Our paths crossed many times during the first year of our circumnavigation. We met in Balboa, Panama, just after coming through the Panama Canal.  Silvie was a number of years younger than I, but we immediately bonded. She was from Mexico City sailing around the world with Doug from San Juan Capistrano, California. Last night we received an email from Doug telling us that Silvie died last Saturday evening in Lamen Bay, Epi Island, Vanuatu.  She died just hours after taking MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution), a product she purchased from a fellow cruiser. Words cannot convey the sadness we feel in our hearts. Silvie brought joy and love to everyone’s she met and it just doesn’t seem possible that life was taken from her so quickly and
needlessly. Our hearts are broken and we so wish we were closer so we could help Doug deal with this tragedy.

We met Doug and Silvie in Balboa at a meeting of cruisers headed across the Pacific. Afterwards we had dinner at a two-for-one pizza restaurant and sat at a table with Silvie and Doug and Patrick and Margaret of Aqua Magic. Silvie gave Mark Spanish lessons while we ate and that was the beginning of our friendship. Silvie, Margaret of Aqua Magic, and I shopped ’til we dropped in Panama City as we provisioned for the trip from Panama to the Galapagos. There are the memories of Silvie dancing in the streets of Panama City during Carnival, sharing my 59th birthday while anchored off Espiritu Santo in the Las Perlas Islands, trying to row our dinghies up the Rio Cacique, and just generally enjoying life from anchorage to anchorage.  Once we reached the Galapagos, we walked to the top of Mount Crocker, the highest point on Santa Cruz Island together. It was a long, hot climb, but at the top Silvie made us all smile as she opened her arms to the heavens.   Riding horses to the top of Sierra Negra on Isabella and exploring the  volcanic rim together with Doug and Silvie and our daughter Heather and her husband Jed was just a wonderful, unforgettable day. Silvie picked some of the wild flowers growing along the rim to make herself a bouquet and then flung herself down volcanic cinders just to celebrate life. And after sailing the 3,000 miles from the Galapagos to the Marqueses, the first boat we saw in the Bay of Virgins in Fatu Hiva was Windcastle. Months later, we sat together in a little church in Tonga to hear the new King address the people for the first time since his brother’s dealth and then we made the crossing to New Zealand together. The last time we saw Doug and Silvie was in Opua, New Zealand. Our paths have not crossed since then, but we have always stayed in contact via email. We were so looking forward to meeting them in Thailand this next January and crossing the Indian Ocean together. We are certainly going to miss them, and we can’t even imagine what Doug must be going through at this point. Our thoughts are  certainly with him.

Silvie’s death is a very abrupt reminder of just how quickly life can slip
away and a rude reminder of just how important it is to live each moment to the fullest. That is what Silvie would want each and every one of us to do. She would want us all to live, love, laugh, and be happy.

Silvie, we love you and will miss you so very much. The world was a happier place with you here, but we can each try to bring joy to the world in your absence.

090811 Silvie

US Land Logs 6, Year 4: It’s Another Boy!

US Land Logs 6, Year 4: It’s Another Boy!
Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Weather: Overcast and Raining . . . Again
Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts

I have written and rewritten this log at least five times and am just now getting it posted. Life with a two-year-old and newborn can be quite busy, so apologies for not getting this wonderful announcement posted sooner.

On Friday, June 26, at 4:26 am, we became grandparents once again. Our daughter Heather gave birth to her second child, Jonah Biggs Goldstone. Biggs is my mother’s maiden name and we know how proud she would be that Jonah carries her name forward. Jonah has been called ‘Bubba’ by his big brother Sam for the last few months, so it is going to take some time for all of us to adjust to the new name. Jonah weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and is gaining daily. He’s a very calm and peaceful little guy, sleeping and eating his way through day and night. We now have three grandchildren, all beautiful little boys. Photos of Jonah’s first three days are posted with this email.

Mark is now in his fourth week as a West Marine employee and he is enjoying the job. He gets paid to talk about boats all day. Now what more can he ask for? Today is his 67th birthday and he is still going strong. I continue to keep myself busy cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, gardening, playing with Sam, and holding Jonah every chance I get. Being a full-time grandma suits me well. The weather is another story. It has continued to be cool and dreary throughout the month of June, although we had a beautiful 4th of July weekend. Here on Cape Cod, we have seen the sun less this June than anytime on record since 1903. But over the weekend we were reminded that summer really might happen this year. We were truly beginning to doubt that.

The weekend before Jonah’s birth, we enjoyed a wonderful Father’s Day weekend with Jed’s parents. They were driving north from their home in Washington, DC, to Maine which is the location of their summer home and stopped by here for the weekend. Heather and I made Father’s Day aprons for dad, granddads, and for Sam. Unfortunately, Sam got sick again at the start of the weekend and was not quite up to par, but the four doting grandparents still had a wonderful time. And leading up to Father’s Day, Jed’s brother Ben visited on his way north to Maine. Sam definitely has a love affair with Uncle Ben and watching Sam try to play the violin along with Ben was truly precious.

Tomorrow Jed’s brother Toby comes to visit. He lives in Oregon but has been in Maine visiting his parents for the past week. And then next week, our son Justin and his wife Jo and Ziggy are stopping by for a one night visit on their way to London. They are flying from Albuquerque to Boston on one day and then from Boston to London the next, spending the night in-between with us. We are so looking forward to seeing a three-month old Ziggy.

There are so many other things I have to share, but if I don’t stop here this might not ever get sent. So more later . . .

090628 Cape Cod–Jonah's First Three Days
090522 Cape Cod–Father's Day Weekend

US Land Logs 5, Year 4: Life on Cape Cod

US Land Logs 5, Year 4: Life on Cape Cod
Date: Friday, June 12, 2009
Weather: Temps in the 60’s, Overcast and Rainy
Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts

I simply can’t believe it has been a month since we arrived here. We left sunny Santa Fe on May 12 and have spent the past month here on Cape Cod in what appears to be long-lingering spring weather. We have had days here and there that give a hint that summer is coming, but temps in the 50’s and 60’s and overcast days sprinkled with rain have prevailed. Despite the weather, a whole month has flown by and I have not even had a second to write a log. I guess time flies when you are living in a household with a two-year-old. And soon we will have a newborn. Our daughter Heather is due with her second in just 11 days so the excitement is building. We had what may or may not be a false alarm today. From 3 to 8 pm she was having light contractions every 10 minutes, and sometimes every 5 minutes. But it is now 9:30 pm and all is quiet. It could be an interesting night.

Sam, our two-year-old grandson, came down with a terrible cold just a couple of days after we arrived. The next day our daughter got the cold, and the day after that, I got it. All three of us have been sick for the entire month. Sam was finally diagnosed with walking pneumonia and a hint of bronchial asthma. Heather and I have probably had the same, but have been treated for sinus infections. So all of us have been on antibiotics and slowly, every so slowly, we are all getting a bit better. But whatever hit us was a mighty strong bug. Heather’s husband, Jed, was in France for ten days just after we arrived and he has avoided this monster cold. Miraculously, Mark did not get hit with the same intensity as Heather, Sam, and I. This bug seemed to like women and children.

Despite the weather and the illnesses, we have done a fair bit of yard work, finished planting a rather ambitious backyard garden, and have worked on readying the house for the arrival of “Bubba” (Sam’s name for the forthcoming brother or sister). Mark spends a great deal of his time looking for employment, but the opportunities are few and far between. But yesterday he got a call from the local West Marine store and after a short interview, he was hired full-time for the busy season. He will start work on Saturday, so at least we will have some income.

We get messages from time to time from cruising friends and marina staff back in Malaysia giving us updates on Windbird. We got a couple of photos from the Rebak Marina manager yesterday showing us how Windbird if faring and she seems to be weathering the rainy season just fine so far. Life is so busy here that we rarely even think of our cruising life, but when we get messages about Windbird, or when we visit marinas here and see all the boats, we get very homesick for the sea. But rest assured, a two-year-old and newborn will keep us busy enough that thoughts of sailing will be put on the back burner for now.

Justin, Jo, and Ziggy are doing great back in Santa Fe. Ziggy now weighs over 11 pounds and is a real cutie. He has started to giggle and smile which delights his parents. Justin, Jo, and Ziggy will be flying to England in mid-July so that Ziggy can meet family there. Justin and Jo have been invited to play at the Glade Electronic Music Festival debuting Silvermouse in the UK. Silvermouse is the name of their husband and wife musical duo. Justin plays various instruments with world music flair and Jo provides interesting beats electronically. An article in a Santa Fe paper wrote, “Silvermouse is much more than a run-of-the-mill electronic group. The instrumentals take it to a new height of creativity and fun. A+.” So in addition to being busy first time parents, Justin and Jo are working hard to make a go of their music.

I’ll be sure to post another log as soon as the newest addition to our family arrives. I have posted the photos of our first month here on Cape Cod with this log and they show just how busy we have been. Sam has certainly kept us entertained!

090610 Cape Cod–Busy First Month
090531 Cape Cod–Touch-a-Truck Day
090530 Cape Cod–The Turtle Affair