Again, another blog here as it has been for the past five years…
I do believe we left off in Nuka Hiva or something so after that we went to a lovely-little-place-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-in-particular-as-things-will-be-for-a-while-now, by the name of Raroia , our first tuamotu. There, we met Charlie and Zoe off Velindra whom we had many a night of partying with. This was also the first place we went to with amazing snorkeling, seriously some of the fish, coral, and sponges were neon, and it looked like everything was radioactive. The thing I like about snorkeling in these places is the coral heads, every one of them have their own little fish city on it. There is just so much! Life, colour, and beauty, it really is lovely. As lovely as they might be, these coral heads can prove to be fairly dangerous, and a bit annoying. As you could imagine getting your boat stuck on one of these isn’t the best, our friends Viking got themselves stuck on one o and we had to help ‘em off. It was a bit of a palaver. We also reunited with Vlad and Gallina off Wave Dancer, whom we met in Mexico.
This place was really cool, purely because it is a little town, again in the middle of nowhere, with a school, bakery and a bunch of other stuff ON AN ATOLL! By the way, I should probably say that if you don’t know what and atoll is, I SHALL TELL YOU… once upon a time a very long time ago there were a whole bunch of happy little underwater volcanoes spewing magma like every good volcano should. With all of this magma spewing and bubbling going on, there was lots of magma buildup, and after a very long while the magma reached the surface of the water, when it did the magma thought…well…I don’t know what it thought because its magma, and it never tells me what’s goin’ on. Anyways, more and more magma started coming up to the surface and keeping their thoughts to themselves. Finally after all prehistoric life had died out along with body glitter and shoulder pads, there was enough surfaced magma for coral to start forming around its edges. Because of the movements of tectonic plates these magma-islands were drifting westward, as they were doing this, they were also sinking under their own weight, one too many trips to McDonald’s. As islands were sinking, they were leaving behind their crowns of coral and abdicating from their island-life, until finally all that was left was the crown with a big lagoon in the middle, and if you were wondering if volcanoes still spew the silly little magma-lands are still indecisive weather they want to be islands, or antisocial mama spews that never share their thoughts because they are antisocial, the answer is yes, its all just very slow.
Back to Makemo…on the other side of Makemo there was a nice beach where we had a bonfire night with Velindra, Pesto and Enough. There was hermit crab racing, potluckish foods, fire and fun! The only thing that was complete rubbish about that night was that these horrid sand flies or something bit us, the itch was crazy and when you scratched them, your skin came up in blisters. Dad actually got one on his foot infected. It wasn’t pretty.
Tahanea is another lovely place with much to offer, such as a wonderful snorkel through the pass where we saw a good-sized Wahoo, around these areas there are a lot of pearl farms, there is also a beach, but it is a very sad beach because it is practically made of plastic. The outer edge of this atoll is littered with the most plastic I have ever seen on a place that is supposed to be untouched by humans. When you pick a handful of sand, its not just sand, little bits of disintegrating plastic fill the sand with colours of red and blue, these little bits of plastic are in the ocean too, and fish eat it and are poisoned. Plastics kill approx 1.5 million marine animals each year worldwide. On this beach you will find rubbish from all over the world like Japan, there are mooring buoys, bottles, lighters, shoes, caps, ropes and so much else. The scariest things we found were a massive marker buoy or cruise ship fender about 15 feet long, (when you touched it your hand came off with black all over it) and large rusty gas canister from Japan. I wish quite deeply that this madness will change one day. While mum and dad snorkeled I went scavenging along the plastic beach to see if I would find anything cool, when it was time to go, mum came to find me so we could go home, she insisted on going through the mosquito ridden forestry instead of taking the easy way by cutting across what was still beach. Apparently going through mosquito-ridden forestry was quicker. On the way, we had picked up a Tube TV and a small buoy, not only did mum get her and I lost, but she heaved the TV and buoy 90% of the way. We had to bushwhack through tropical vegetation, and we were all scratched up. It was horrible. Amongst all the rubbish, my dear mother found a glass buoy perfectly intact, how that is so we shall never know, given the fact it had to roll over coral/plastic reef to get up on shore, and even then it was in the shrubbery way up on land. Maybe a bed of Styrofoam carried it over the coral, but getting in the shrubbery…the Great Houdini Bauble. Mum found this bauble a day before her birthday, the date of my grandfather’s passing, so we know he gave it to mum and we thank him.
Fakarava was actually a much-anticipated anchorage because it would mean that dad would finally stop saying “FAKARAVA!” You see, my father can be, or is a very annoying man, as fathers generally tend to be. My father decided that he really liked saying “FAKARAVA!” so for a very long and painful period of time every 2 seconds was “FAKARAVA!” this and “FAKARAVA!” that. This has happened before, with Effingham Bay, Euculet Bay, Agua Verde, and it will happen again no doubt, anyway the only way to shut him up is to either piss him off (only then “FAKARAVA!” is replaced by other words) or to actually go to the place, so that is why we were anticipating “FAKARAVA!” with great eagerness. “FAKARAVA!” was actually somewhat eventful, we swam with sharks, dad went on a dive (it was very very bumpy on the way back from our excursion), and we had Enough over for an “art day”. Other that that, nothing else really happened in “FAKARAVA!” Or as dad would say “FAKARAVA ALL!”
“FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!” “FAKARAVA!”
Total usage of “FAKARAVA!”: 27
We stayed in Hirifa one night but it was quite pleasant, with sandy beaches filled with treasures and a few old houses, it was nice and quiet.
We arrived in Tahiti after a 5 day passage from Hirifa, we were welcomed by many a friend waving from the docks, our first taste of proper civilization since Mexico. Given the fact that it was the middle of the night and we were tired mum was NOT cooking ANYTHING so, we went to “the food trucks”. A ten-minute walk away, the best Asian food I have had since London (save mums chicken black bean). The fried rice was on point; the only downer was that it was quite expensive as everything generally is in French Polynesia
On the docks we were squished between Enough and a very nice, fast-looking boat whose name has slipped my mind because I don’t really care, given the fact that no one was on it…TOTALLY OFF TRACK! Not too far away we also had Viking, Aros Mear, and AAAAAAAANNNND… (drum roll) RED THREAD! Whom we haven’t seen since…the first time we went to La Cruz last year! But more about them later, a lot more actually, we be buddy boatin’ now, AGAIN, OFF TRACK!
There is this thing called a Hiva, which is basically a huge culture celebration with native dancing and singing, its quite cool, only very long (4 hrs), or at least the one we went to was. We went to this Hiva with my lovely cousin and aunt who randomly came to visit us, with them; we went on a mad pearl buying rampage (we meaning father sat at home fixing while we were out). The highlight of Tahiti? Fro-yo.
With Gabs and Auntie, we went off to “little Tahiti” Morea, which looks like a bat, there we swam with sharks AND stingrays, it was the coolest. The rays came right up to you and see if you have anything to eat, we did bring tinned tuna to feed the rays with, which the loved. Later on we learned that all the tourists feeding the rays is FAKARAVA-ING up their dietary needs and probably giving them “chemicalized-human-stomach-syndrome” (CHSS). We also went on a nice walk up the mountain; we got to cloud level nearly, even if cloud level was really low J. There were a few old ruins on the way too. On the way back we came across a massive zip line adventure park thing being built, it will be wicked no doubt.
We spent a while here, having a bit o’ fun with me kin, not long enough though because we would have to head back to Papeete to send them home after only 5 days. We had a final meal with them at the food trucks. After that we restocked our foodstuffs required for general life and healthiness and set off to further adventures.
After Tahiti, there were a few islands where nothing really happened so I shall list them below.
Raiataea (we ate pizza, used WIFI, checked out of the country, listened to oldies sing native in the market and dad and Neil off Red Thread went on a dive. OH, AND OUR MOORING BUOY WAS BASHING AGAINST THE HULL ALL NIGHT…RIGHT WHERE I SLEEP. So that was fun.)
Since we had checked out of the country but were still in it, we were using the false boat name “single malt”. Mum and I hated it because it only references dad and Neil’s frequent scotch nights.
We spent a while going around Bora-Bora and did a lot of fun stuff like swimming with sharks and manta rays. On the way to the place of manta rays we got caught on a sandbar, but it was only minor, there was still a lot of swearing. The water around Bora-Bora and the other islands are like “raspberry cordial” –My Cousin Gabriella.
Bora-Bora also had a yacht club with great food where we celebrated Jessie’s birthday on the 12th. On the 18th of July, my birthday we went to dinner at “Bloody Mary’s” with Enough and Red Thread. It was quite enjoyable.
Before we got to Suwarrow we actually went to Maupiti, but nothing really happened there so yeah.
When we arrived to Suwarrow, we were greeted by two friendly park rangers (Suwarrow is a national park) wanting to clear customs so we could legally be in the Cook Islands. There was a lot of rules and paperwork.
The next day we had a potluck on the beach where we saw coconut crabs and listened to beautiful local music the rangers Harry and Pae played for us. It was a lovely night. Another time dad and Neil went lobster hunting and got back two lobsters, one regular size, and the other a monster. The armor was beautiful, Yesterday Red Thread and my parents went on a dive, mum says it is the best she has done. Today we had breakfast on the beach with all the cruisers in the bay, and later Pi taught Red Thread and ourselves women’s self-defense, dad was on the ground a few times on my accord. That is all that has happened so far…to be continued…
A final request; which do you believe to be the superior? Cake pie or neither? Comment below.
Another blog here, PRESS THE RECAP BUTTON AND HERE WE GO!
So while we were in Copper Canyon our boat was on the hard. We were taken out of the water to get a quick paint job, which turned into a month of waiting for parts because our rudder was broken. When we returned, we were UN-welcomed by a life of MISERY and DOOM like a dark shadow hanging over us waiting for the opportune moment to eat our souls. So it wasn’t that bad, but it was still pretty bad. We couldn’t excrete our bodily fluids or wash our hands, to do that we had to go down a wobbly ladder and walk ALL THE WAY TO THE MARINA. I started spending my days in the community lounge doing school and art until it got dark (5:30-6:00 pm). I would lug two bags full of school art and computer supplies to the common room. Two big heavy bags UP and DOWN the ladder. I always forgot something, so back I would go with all my stuff, it was like a never-ending exercise marathon, and we were feeling the burn. One day I decided that I was going to do a SFX makeup of the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland. It took me all day and I got a lot of strange looks, around three days after that we dyed my hair blue and violet with semi-permanent hair colour, much to father’s distaste. It looked like the universe I LOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVE IIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Somewhere between the days I did the bunny makeup and when I dyed my hair was the thanksgiving potluck, everyone brought a little food and we met a bunch of new people, we also chatted with the people we already know like Eric and Megan with their lovely dog Nikka, then there was Graciella and Hugh, two lovely people who took us around town showing us all the arty places, And another lovely couple Kersti Patrick and their baby Pearl (aka the community baby; everyone usually had a turn taking care of her) there were many wonderful people in Mazatlan but mentioning them ALL would take all day so we will stick to two couples.
A few weeks later…
Once again, WE WERE OUT WE WERE READY GIVE US WAVES AND CRAZY STUFF, WE WANTED IT ALL! We got a moderately wavy night passage to Isla Isabella we were greeted by the familiar sight of Friggit birds and a mini ninja kayaker named Taj or wave rider. A two½ year old boy who was happy kayaking all by himself going by all the boats to say hello, soon after his visit more and more people started popping up by our boat. Nina, Ellamae, Christian, Joise Taj and Emma. This is the family off Shawnigan. This was one of the boats in the bay and also the first kid boat this trip. WHOOPIE! Two days passed of snorkeling and having fun when it was time for Shawnigan to leave to Punta de Mita for Nina’s birthday. We hoped to see her there, but for now we would stay bobbing in Isla Isabella.
We have traveled down to La Cruz where we were hoping to do the puddle jump but dad changed his mind so now we are going south but that is just the current plan, it will probably change. When we arrived to la Cruz I was so exited to see Kanta Anne (knowing that they haven’t moved an inch) that I called them right away! When I popped out head out of the window after we had anchored and done everything that was required I noticed that there was a boat very similar to-HEY ITS SHAWNIGAN! They had decided to spend Nina’s birthday in la cruz! Yay! We got on our loud speaker and sang happy birthday for the entire anchorage to hear. The next day we went into the marina and I introduced Nina and Ellamae to Shandro and Matero (possible brand name?) and everyone got along very well. The boys were starved for kids; little did they know that soon there would be a total of 9 kid boats (including themselves)! And as the usual story goes, we were running around causing disaster. Regular biz ya’ know?
There was a woman who sail meeting and a few sleepovers here and there with Ellamae begging for food every five minutes (LITERALLY) One day I had a fabulous idea for Christmas we could all go Lord Of The Rings themed, So I made elf ears for all the kids made out of latex just to end up making them out of masking tape (kudos to Shandro for the idea) because the end result looked like a dogs chew toy. I ended up doing the makeup on everyone and only having twenty minutes to do myself. I was the dragon and I had to glue a million scales made from gelatin and glycerol to my face…and paint it purple…and put on a costume…and horns…and clean up…IN TWENTY MINUTES. I am very bad at planning. We were doing all of this to go to a Christmas potluck, which started at 3:00, but I evidentially, was late. I ended shedding my scales an hour into the potluck and let me tell you, washing that of with no soap was not pleasant. Towards the end of the potluck all the kids piled into pesto and partied Nina and I had a sleepover with Raquel and watched Howls Moving Castle all night. Days of fun passed and then Shawinigan had to go L one less kid boat and more to come.
A few weeks later TERRAPIN arrive, a boat that we met in San Carlos as well as Sangvind, one of the louder kid boats in la cruz… and suddenly its new years! We all go to buy fireworks where we let them off on the helipads where we previously painted with calk. There will be scorch marks on the concrete for weeks to come. After new years things have gotten A LOT quieter. Kenta Anne is supposed to be leaving for Mazatlan today (January 5 2016) but they have been saying that for three days now. There is a cold going around and everyone but the kids are sick. WE ARE IMMUNE!
The Ariel Silks teacher Mary Joe had a baby called Chaplin, I usually find babies really ugly but this one is actually cute. Dad has gone to the states to help Steve take a staircase to Eulapa he and Steve are driving as I type! Dad is also coming back with a bunch of goodies from the states! HOOOORAAAAY!!! MOOOOOOORE LATEX AND BLOOOD!!! We are awaiting Dad’s arrival and Kenta Anne’s departure.
There have been bonfires and dock parties, the fun will never end…WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?
Copper Canyon Train Journey
Six rivers that drain the western side of the sierra Tarahumara formed Copper Canyon. The rivers join into the Rio Fuerte and empty in the Gulf of California. Copper Canyon is located in the southwestern state of Chihuahua in northwestern Mexico. In Spanish Copper Canyon is called Barranca del Cobre. There are six canyons; the largest was first explored in 1986. Copper Canyon is 5770 ft deep; that’s deeper than the Grand Canyon! Copper canyon is one of the least explored places in the world. The canyon is mainly composed of strata, a hard stone that takes a long time to erode, leaving the rivers littered with boulders. These boulders create small waterfalls or cascada in Spanish. There are three kinds of climates here, sub tropical, tropical, and alpine. Sub tropical is dry, humid, and hot, with few trees but many cactus and shrubs. Tropical is green with many trees. Locals grow bananas and mangoes to sell. There are no cactus. In the alpine region it is cold and dry. There are many trees varying from oak, pine and Mexican Douglass fur, which can reach the canyons highest point of 6000 feet. Strangely there are small cacti here.
THE PEOPLE OF COPPER CANYON
The people of copper canyon have lived there for centuries. These people are called the Tarahumara. The women and girls wear bright colourful handmade skirts and tops. They look like bright blossoming flowers. The Tarahumara people are known for their running, every so often they will hold a race called Rarajipari, It is played by kicking a wooden ball across the narrow paths of the canyon. Some of the men and women wear shoes made of old tire and leather straps. You see these economical shoes in almost any tourist shop there. Tourism is becoming a large part of the Tarahumara life and not all agree that it is good. Some of the main tourist attractions there are the three valleys of rock formations, valley of the frogs, valley of the mushrooms (?), and valley of fertillidad. Another popular one is a huge waterfall. It almost looks 2D because it is so amazing! In Divisedaro there is a good view of one of the canyons but better yet there is also women selling Gorditos (little fat ones in espanol) delish tortia pockets filled with any kind of stew you are offered. They are AMAZING! But the best attraction is the seven zip line + two bridges traverses. Next to that there is the worlds second longest zip line. In all the small towns there are women selling delicately woven baskets for as little as 30 pesos (for most of them).Theses baskets aren’t just made for tourists, the Tarahumara use them in their homes too. Some of the Tarahumara people live in caves during the winter. During the summer they live in log cabins. Around 2000 people still live in caves today. The population of the people in copper canyon is around 35000-70000. They are beautiful people that are so special. But o get to this beautiful place you will need to take a train.
The thought of a train to Copper Canyon was first conceived by Albert Kinsey Owen in 1872. Originally the train would run from Topolobambo to Kansas City. It has 36 bridges and 87 tunnels and is 655 km long. It was finally finished nearly a century later in 1961. The last segment of the track took 20 years to complete alone and was financed by the Mexican government itself. The train’s highest point is 8000 ft. it is the only connection between Los Mochis and Chihuahua City. There is a dining cart and two classes (first and second). Locals and tourists use the train. If you ever go on this train, make sure you look out the window because the views are incredible. You will pass through the three climates that I mentioned earlier. It is a ride of a lifetime.
Copper canyon was one of the best trips that I have done in a while, and I have done a lot of fun stuff. My highlight of the trip was the seven-zip line traverse. There was something about soaring over a beautiful scene that seemed so perfectly terrifying. All three of us did it. The bridges were a lot scarier than the zip lines. They were the rickety rope and wooden plank bridges that wobble round like mad.
We bought ten beautifully woven baskets and the most of them were dads. On our tour we met three crazy Spanish ladies who were constantly laughing and carrying on. They were like three cockatoos chirping away it was sooooooo funny. I met a little native girl called Maria and we gave her some sweets and a pen and paper. We also met an older native lady while seeing one of the cave homes called Katalina who played with your hair, hugged you and would give you a big kiss at the and of your visit. Her smile was like a warm sunny ray. The craziest thing though was the t he fact that in only 5 hours we went from really really hot to very very cold. Mum and I were bundled up all night huddling together for survival.
We all had a wonderful time there. I hope to go again someday. It was a truly majestic place.
Until next time,
Hola my peeps welcome back to another suddenly inhabited blog, where we will talk about what happened since we got our boat out of the water.
We put Sarita back where she belonged, in the water, grocery shopped, and got settled. Our good friends off Coastal Drifter had a house near by and more good friends off Pesto were in the same marina so we went out for a movie about a martian or something. The movie was good but in the middle of the really tense bit some lady was looking for the bathroom and opened up the emergency exit. Light flooded the entire cinema and everyone laughed except for me because I was that lady! somewhere towards the end of the movie I started to notice the sounds of thunder and a rather large leakage was forming from the ceiling of the cinema. When the movie ended and we left the room we were surprised by a crowd of people by the doors. We went over to have a look to find water flooding the street and palm trees being blown about by the wind. WE WERE TRAPPED! We ended up stuck in a cheap pizza restaurant that was out of pizza a few buildings down for something like a couple hours. In that little pizza restaurant Debra, Phil, Alex, Adriana ,and mom and dad chatted away while Raquel, Paulo, the new member of the Coastal Drifters, Ethan (the last kids went home to Canada) and I quietly chatted until the boys (typically) decided they wanted to go outside and slide around on the wet floor. After we went back to our hotel and did pretty much nothing.
A FEW DAYS LATER
We were out, we were ready, give us waves and barfing, we want it all! l we got the big blue, beautiful snorkeling, heat, midges loads if midges, and Ariel’s pet lobster singing “under the sea”.
Somewhere near La Paz we decided to stop off at a #1 rated snorkeling place, known mainly for its sea lions. OH MY HOLY AUNT SUZANA WAS THAT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!…….wow.
Dad had the Go pro the entire time so you can see footage of me being nuzzled by a baby sea lion. Ooooh yeah! it was great until some divers attracted all the social sea lions with a rubber snorkeling pipe. Scuba divers…they ruin everything. We are now in the city of la Paz fixing poor daddy up :( because the poor little bunyip damaged his toof eating crab a year ago. The poor little peachy-poo will have to go to a few dentist appointments. The crab ended up being a very expensive one.
After daddy-doo-da gets his teef fixed up we will head to Mazatlan to get the boat re-painted. While we wait we will be going inland to COPPER CANYON. GOOGLE IT
A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO MY AMERICAN GRANDPARENTS WHOM I LOVE DEARLY AND WILL BE VISITING IN THE BAY OF BANDERAS:
Hello Sandy (Mrs.Duren) and Steve (Barnacle Bill) I just wanted to say, thank you so much for being my ever so loving, fun, and fab-o, grandparents. The world would not be complete without you guys in it! If you hadn’t join us on any of those wonderful trips through Alaska and Canada we would all be anti social boaters with extreme cabin fever! Thank you universe for introducing me to these people, thank you sandy and Steve for being a part of our lives.
HELLLLOOOOOO MY PEEPLINGS! Welcome back to another much needed cake making tutorial…blog beginning now!
So I left off telling you about what happened before we ditched Mexico to get away from the heat. That was everything, nothing else interesting happened except for us flying into a sweaty pile of dust, BUT after that is where the interesting stuff starts happening like us hopping on a night bus from San Carlos (where we are now) to Phoenix ARID-zona. The bus was freezing! All three of us had socks and sweaters on.
When we arrived to ARID-zona we got to our hotel and didn’t come out. It was boiling outside and our room was air-conditioned, you would do the same! We spent two nights there's and met up with our friends from Ohanna. Then off we went to the next place because. We just can’t sit still. An airplane to Seattle, a bus to Anacortes and a ferry to Friday harbor WE ONLY STAYED 3 NIGHTS! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE GUY THAT PLANS EVERYTHING?! If you haven’t noticed I would have at least liked to spend 5 nights. We got to see our friend all though I missed out on two of mine. After that we picked up our car but some wasps had made it their home and stung mom. She now has a phobia of anything that can fly, is yellow and will sting you, its hilarious. With the car we drove to Denver. Dad had been talking about going back to Denver and living there for a while but seeing it after México, Alaska and everything else it just seems like Barbie’s dream world.
During our stay in Denver I caught the flu on my birthday, my throat ached and I felt like Satan had taken over me (so much so that mom heard me mumbling curses in my sleep) FOR ANYONE WHO IS OFFENDED BY SATAN I CAN PROMISE YOU THAT NO SATANIC EVENTS TOOK PLACE DURING OUR TRIP ALLTHOUGH SOMETIMES HE DOES VISIT DAD WHEN THE BOAT’S TOILETS NEED FIXING.
After sunny ole’ Denver we got a plane to dreary ole’ Manchester England…hooray hoorah…! I was actually quite exited as I haven’t been for a very long time and it would have been nice to see family and friends that we have been disconnected from for centuries. The first house we stayed in was my grandpas’ house. We re-painted his walls and went on a mad cleaning spree after staying there for a while we went to the next house! Ty Gwyn a lovely house on a hill somewhere in Wales that can’t pronounce or spell but sounds like “flying squirrel” llyn Gwirrl…? The trick is to be coughing up a lung oyster while pronouncing the names (hello Calem how are you). The house (Ty Gwyn) is owned by the Lees, Lawrence and Linda with their children Calum, Gareth, and Sam and their lovely dogs Ray and Earl. There Calum and I made a cake and everyone did tons of hiking We also did some painting there but that happened on out second visit to Ty Gwyn with Amber so I’ll tell you about that later. We went BACK to grandpas to finish painting stuff.
Somewhere in our trip we went to Sherborne where we visited more friends and mom was crying. They also had bees which freaked mom out a bit, and they showed us how to make honey! We visited the much-famed city of Bath and went to the actual roman baths! Then we also went to Cornwall, the home of the Cornish pasty, yum! When we headed back we visited Pipa; one of our friends, Mom was crying again, Amber arrived mom was crying when we visited Ty Gwyn mom was crying…WHAT A WUSS! After Amber arrived we went back to Ty Gwyn and Amber and I painted an octopus on their wall along with some hidden characters that you were supposed to find. We forgot to take a picture.
On from there we headed off to London, which I really loved. We got to see a bunch of fun museums and I also found a café for us to have coffee in what used to be a Victorian men’s bathroom, you sit in between the stalls. Trust me to find the weirdest place on the map. Somewhere in all the excitement we visited some of our cousins and had dinner with them, guess what? Mom cried! After London we headed back to Wales and did a bunch of things that we have been meaning to do for a while like tend to my grandma’s grave and put some of my aunts ashes with her. We put the rest of them into a river that she liked along with a dandelion crown that mom made. After that I got to visit the place where I was born, another cute town with a confusing name. Finally it was time to say bye bye to Amber as she needed to head back to university and we needed to get to France. We did that and that was FAB-O! The food was great (we put on a bit of weight) and the countryside was beautiful! When we got to Paris it was late and we had spent all day on some form of super fast train. We finally crashed in an airbnb that we found. I have to admit I liked London better than Paris but it was still fun! We went to the Louvre museum and I saw the Mona Lisa! It was almost impossible to see her though, the crowd was HUGE and I got elbowed in the gut a few times but I made it! We were getting up really early to do all the sights in Paris. I think I might like to do Paris when I’m old enough to go ALONE. Don’t worry I still appreciated the experience with my parents and grandpa. After France we headed back to grandpas’ and OH HOW THE TIME FLEW BY! When we arrived back we went to visit our old friends, Rob, Debbie, Pippa and Tallulah. I enjoyed seeing them all again. We stayed at grandpas until it was time to say goodbye. We were all teary eyes as we said ta ta.
We went straight from grandpa to the airport hopped on a plane, did a bit of moving around and then we were in Phoenix! Once again we barely exited our hotel room and when we did we shriveled up into a pile of dust. We said hello to Ohanna again and picked up some packages they were holding for us the off we went to the freezing bus to San Carlos…
To Be Continued…
Katya was asked to create some drawings of turtles for a local Turtle conservation project which would help people identify and report sightings in the sea of Cortez. These are the drawings..
Olive Ridley turtle
Hello my peeps and welcome back to Katya's (fossilised) corner!
With all the excitement of the past 10 months my blogging has been non-existent. So now I am here to tell you about 10 months that you have been kept in the dark for. Lets start with ... School So as you may know already we spent the winter of 2014 in a Harbour called Friday (Friday Harbour) where I went to school, made friends, learned to play basket ball, and obsessed over DOCTOR WHO (which I am still doing), an almost normal life. Aaaaaand then we decided "let's go to Alaska again" so we left Friday Harbour and did the Alaska trip all over again with my grandad and my cousin+best friend (its a two person deal, where one goes, the other comes along). That was great don't get me wrong, hot springs and haunted hotels are fun stuff to go to, I just really missed my friends. Anyway we went back to Friday Harbour to say good bye to all our friends... BECAUSE WE WERE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO. A major breakthrough for my mom and I, as we have never really done a trip that lasted longer than a day. Dad had already done this 5 day trip with friends from England and my American grandpa Steve. Experienced yet he still barfed once. Dad and mom got a friend to come over, with high spirits apples and pears T.C accompanied my parents and I down the Washington & Oregon coast, in the pacific ocean.
On our 3rd day I decided that it was time to explore new music, this was when I discovered Pink Floyd Dark side of the moon (with headphones). I was having a great moment of pure happiness, until mother ran into the bathroom next to me vomiting. All pure happiness was minimized to a zero. We reached San Fran. A great achievement, especially for me, as I won the madal of the only one who was not sick on that trip .You are probably wondering about the golden gate bridge, well, let me tell you it was a-mazing. Well I probably didn't think that it was amazing at the time because I just woke up, moral of the story: trust your second opinion when you just woke up. When we got into the marina we did much walking into town and went up to telegraph hill. Telegraph is known for its beautiful gardens and mischievous parrots. San Fran was so clean, sure the streets of the inner city reeked of pee and there were homeless people every bend but the houses were so beautiful and when it was not foggy, the skies were so clear. It seemed so nice there.
After that we met up with Sandy & Steve, my beloved American grandparents, to go out to a restaurant, where we had CLAM CHOWDER in a BREAD BOWL. Three words. I. Love. Chowder. The restaurant had a big piece of paper over the table so i doodles all over that then took the rest of the paper home. Later that night we received some awful news, one of dad's friends from school passed away. Paul has been missed greatly. And we hope he has been reborn into another great guy.
After San Fran we went to a little place called Saulsolito where we met two very good friends of ours Sarah and James. The tattoo artist and her crazy husband joined us for much of the way to Mexico. The next place we went to was half moon bay where we re-united with our friends on 'Ohanna. The family of four lived in half moon for a year on their boat, but now they have decided to move on down to Mexico. After half moon bay we went to a place called sea lions. Well, its actually called Monteray bay but there are soooo many sea lions that someone needs to change the name. The otters there are sooo cute too. But with all the seafood munching animals there, the place smells really bad. We met up with Friends of ours called Richard & Geri who we met in Friday Harbour. It was very nice to see them again.
We left Monteray Bay and went to a extremely touristic place called Santa Barbara where I got a very nice pair of pants. Lunch there was good too. After that we went to a a little place called Catalina island, it was very dusty and hot there but when we went ashore we saw a buffalo. Catalina is one of the only islands that have that type of buffalo (not sure what it is dad please check) in all of California. Moving on from Catalina to SAN DIEGO where we spent a month taking art classes exercising and fixing solar panels to the boat. I also learned to swim properly in the pool at the marina and had a friend over from Denver. Her and I won the marina's Halloween costume party as two old ladies. When Sarah and James arrived in San Diego they made french fries on the communal barbecue.
We left San Diego and went to a expensive marina in Ensenada...MEXICO ahhhhh the marina had a pool that was warm and town was just a bus ride away. The town had good tacos and margaritas where mom had one to many and then had water poisoning from the ice. Other than that Ensenada was boring.
Three weeks after arriving in Ensenada we decided to go to a little place called Tortuga bay. The place was boiling and dusty, we didn't stay there long. Walking around the barren town we found a little old lady selling candy and ice-cream. I had a banana ice cream and a few gummy worms which I ate by a church covered in ants. Next stop was a cute little inlet with a white sand beach called Bahia Santa Maria where I found a Huge shell and sand dollars. Dad also discovered a decomposing hammer head shark, so we collected its teeth. After that we went to a lovely place called Isla Isabella where we saw millions of frigate birds up close on a walk to the top of a mountain. At the top there were tons of nesting blue-footed boobies. The baby ones looked like piles of snow.
Next stop: San Blas. A little buggy place with beach shack restaurants and crocodiles. We met up with our friends from 'Ohanah and went on a panga ride through the estuaries, seeing sooo many beautiful animals and plants. Every night is a taco night when you party in Mexico...because that's one of the only things most of the restaurants sell here, so after a while of going out to eat it just gets boring. That is if you dont like tacos (me). One night out the owners hired a karaoke machine. Enough said.
In the day we took a taxi out into town to look around where we found a crumbling church, huichol art, and a food market with great smoothies. After exploring San Blas we left and went to Chacala, a beautiful place with golden beaches and good food. One night while the adults talked Katlyin, Hannah and I played with sand. Kate made a stage. Hannah made hills and I made a big scorpion sand sculpture. A creative bunch indeed. Another day mom and I inflated a blow up chair and the three of us swam to the beach from the boat. Pangas pulling banana boats would rock us with their waves nearly causing to fall of numerous times. We loved chacala but it was time to move on to...LA CRUZ!!! Let me tell you much has happened here in the lovely la Cruz but I can't tell you all at once so sit back, relax and get ready. So we got to la Cruz and we found out that there was a science experiment class out on dock 11 dissolving pennies and stuff, this is where I met the lovely Rose (never Rosie... Ever) and Shandro & Mattero, two smart creatures ( warning, Mattero likes blowing up stuff, wear a helmet around him.) Rose introduced Katlyn to family circus and I to the two Brazilian kids of of the steel boat Heavy Metal. Zyon (demon child complete with bright red hair) and Hunter the "nice one" proved to be great fun. Further on into the time spent here Katrina the lovely event organiser lady from the marina held a "kid camp out" where I met Kevin, Cindy, Eli, Rachel, and Galena whom I talked to ALL night. The 17 year old with a mind from another century is one of my greatest friends along with the lovely Rose, Justin, and Marina that I have met so far.
After many days and nights of "hanging 0ut" with the crew everyone started going, eventually leaving me with Rose. Everyday, after school Rose and I would go out to the VIP lounge to get some wifi, watch videos and talk. We had friends from England over and went on a road trip to the mountains, Rose came too (and attacked Callum and I in the back of the car) I would go to the bathroom, Rose came too. We had turnspit chicken complete with potatoes and all... Rose was there and in it. I would be making Callum paint the Welsh flag. When you hear a tinkling of a dogs collar and then a thump of a bag on the deck then all of a sudden Rose would be there painting to with her dog Teddy licking Callum's feet under the table. Moral of the story: Rose was always there even with all our friends over (TC and kelly, Lawrence Linda and Callum and Colin) but one day Rose broke the news to me that they were leaving. We waved them off amd then I was all alone again...but not for long, Family Circus had RETURNED! Just as all three of us had a cold, thank goodness they didnt catch it. Turns out their toilet broke so they had to go back a fix that, but while they were there Tristan, Lexy and I went to my new favorite thing in the world ariel silks.
A few days later a boat called Namaste arrived whom we know through Red Thread, turned up wtih a 13 year old girl called Journey, And after that The Vortex arrived with Mina and Henry. A new kid group had formed but soon after he other boats had arrived, Family Circus had to be on their way to the Marquesas Islands. We have been monitoring their progesss and other friends on the shortwave radio, a great excitement for everyone. Already three boats have made landfall. I cant wait to do it too!
Alright, I wrote it, you read it, now go and enjoy the rest of your lives, Katya standing by on channel 22.
September 30th 2013
A poem by Katya
I want to be a bird,
fly away from everyone,
the crowds the people everything,
Just myself alone at the top of the highest tree,
that’s where I’ll be me,
that’s where I will be free.
An eagle so high and proud,
no one can bring him down,
soaring up high past the clouds,
That’s where I want to be now.
So far up high I wouldn’t be afraid I’ll do it any day.
Just me and the sky the clouds rolling past,
I’d like that you can fly your own way;
I won’t mind I will never be behind.
Oh the joy of being a bird
I wish I had the chance on that i will prance,
But then again in the big blue at the top of the food chain,
There's no one to bother you just you and the fish,
Please have as many as you wish.
But maybe a land roamer is just fine,
and then I could stretch these legs of mine.
Although I love the sky and the big blue too…..oh what am I to do?
After several moments of thinking I came up with a plan.
I’ll be a turtle instead of man.
Sure turtles can’t fly but maybe I’ll have a friend eagle,
I’m sure he’ll give me a ride.
I am sure being a turtle will be just fine.
Hello my Eco Peeps and welcome back to Katya’s corner or in this case Katya’s Eco corner.…Be patient you will find out why Eco in one minute.
My eco panda painting
Living on a boat gives an open door to opportunity, opportunity to meet new people, go to new places and enjoy life more and more. We are always walking through that door and every time we walk through, it leads to a new adventure. Although soon I fear, that that door will be hard to find, for the forest grows smaller and smaller and the beautiful animals that some of us long to see are growing scarce. For example whales, elegant creatures, were harvested like corn for their blabber in the 1800 -1900 until in 1982 the killing of the whale was prohibited but their numbers decreased to near extinction. Even though killing of the whale has been prohibited a healthy future for the oceans marvels is still not a sure thing. As human population grows, so do the pressures we put on the oceans and the animals that live in them. We pollute the waters that the sea creatures live and breathe in with chemicals like oil that can kill thousands. We can catch dolphins and others in our fishing nets and sometimes hurt them with the propellers of our boats and so many people don’t care.
That’s why I want you to help me my dearest Eco Peeps to be eco friendly not just with the ocean or the forest but your neighborhood to. If you see trash, pick it up to prevent animals hurting themselves. Be less wasteful with paper, one thing leads to another. Trees make oxygen without them we would be joining the dinos to extinction as well as all other life on this planet. If you can I need you to answer this question: what needs changing in this world and the environment? And what can we do to help it?
Please provide a comment. The environment needs you. It is depending on our generation to make this world a better place.
Why did we need whale blubber?
Whale oil or blubber was used to fuel homes and industry and to make lipstick, soap, candles, margarine and many other products. Whale baleen mistakenly called whale bone was used to make ladies corsets and umbrellas.
Toodell peep my peeps.
Hello my Peeps and welcome back to Katya’s corner Zen mode, were I introduce to you Eucott Hot Springs.
Assume the Lotus position and allow me to describe to you what it was like entering the anchorage.
Having a hot soak in the remote Eucott Hot Springs
It was a 12hr very long trip to Eucott and we needed some encouragement to get there, but we made it. We were all on log patrol because there were a few landslides that pushed logs in to the water so we had to be very careful on where we were going, otherwise we would be swimming the rest of the way. Finally after hours of hard work/relaxing we made it to the most beautiful Zen garden on earth. It was like beauty on top of beauty and that is very beautiful!! Like reality that was fantasy…bears at out door step, eagles flying around our mast and fish jumping everywhere. It was all very amazing but the hot springs were better. Picture this, you are sitting in a natural hot tub in barely anything and there are snow –capped mountains around you and as soon as you get out you are freezing your toes off.
This Zen garden really unlocked my inner peace and I highly recommend going there if you need some Zen therapy.
Departure to Troop Narrows
Entering Troop Narrows was not an easy task, it was raining all the way and it was so foggy that mom had to go on deck to navigate for us. We anchored, had a nap and put the crab pot in, and boy we were glad we did because we caught two big boy crabs; mom said they were tasty but I wouldn’t know I don’t eat crab. We decided to put crab pot in again …even more crab to eat, not female.
Why you can’t eat female crab
Female crab produces babies and if we eat all the females there will be no more babies and no more baby’s means no more crab. End of story.
We also went fishing and caught a Sol and Rock Cod… yum!
I also recommend Troop Narrows as your favorite Seafood restaurant.
PS Katya,s tiddy message….I NEED COMENTS!
April 25th 2013
Hello my Peeps,
Welcome back to…Katya’s corner! Woo Whoo (crowd), Boo (Katya… writing gives me blisters).
Do you like Octopuses? Is your dream to see one? Do you eat grilled octopus? Then go to the Octopus Islands! So many great things to do: kayaking, fishing, crab potting and so much more!!!
If you think the Octopus islands are a big city, flashing lights, roller coasters, that is all Vegas style, you got another thing coming. In the Octopus Islands you are in the very hands of Mother Nature surrounded by flora and fauna. Bush-tailed bandits (raccoons) at the water edge cracking crabs shells on the rocks and stuffing them down their throats like they were in their favorite seafood restaurant. The Otters playing around with each other while the seals relax on the small islands. Seagulls caw in the sky which sounds like they are bragging about who got the biggest crab and who was the bravest with it. An abundant amount of starfish cling on to the rocks with all their might as other animals try to rip them off.
I love all of these things but my favorite bit is Sea Urchin Island, an island full of sea urchin remains dropped of by the seagulls….you will never see as many sea urchins as there are here.
Crab Island is a cute little island with only two trees on it but a perfect habitat for … guess what? Crabs! At low tide crabs scour around the beaches and are easy to catch for your dinner, and that is exactly what we did. I spotted the crabs dad caught the crabs and mom cooked the crabs, team effort! I enjoyed cracking the crab legs and mom found her new favorite bit in the crab, the thighs and thanks to that my favorite word is no longer moustache but thighs. Don’t ask about the moustache thing it’s a long story.
Treasure Hut Island is a nice little island but on the way to the Treasure Hut there were some remains of a deer, I took the vertebra and the jaw bone with me. We walked to the hut and were wowed just by the outside of the hut. Driftwood was all I could say… driftwood dream catchers, driftwood boats, signs painted on driftwood and so many other things made of driftwood. When I went inside the hut I was speechless, driftwood from A-Z was there, and even some one’s ashes were there! It was touching that so many people have left their” boaty spirit” there. We had some driftwood to spare, it looked like a boat with waves, we signed and painted it and hung it in the center of the room…it was beautiful.
We love the Octopus Islands but we just can’t figure out one thing …Where is the Octopus???? If you see him please tell us.
Thanks my peeps!!!!!
_______________________________________________________________________Greetings Star Shine! The earth says hello!
It’s been a while but I’m back – I will take autographs later - I better start off where that silly alien left off. Hummmm…
The Octopus Islands.
When we entered the Octopus Islands we were all like “Ooooh, Ahhhh” and “it’s so pretty”. The entrance to the islands is very tight and you could see down to the bottom of the ocean floor. You could see shells and fish but what we were Oooohing and Ahhharing about was the GIANT star fish.
We had now anchored and set out the crab trap and were doing schoolwork (boo!) and lounging about (boring). Then out of nowhere we heard music. We went outside and saw two guys playing mandolins on their boat. We listened for a while and then went back to work for a few hours. A few hours later their boat was leaving so we went outside and told them that they were awesome. One of the guys was wearing a wig for absolutely no reason!
A few more hours passed and we went to check the crab trap. We passed by a few boats on the way and the first one had a red hammock, the second one had a bunch of speed boats and jet skis (it was a motor boat almost as big as a ferry). When we got to the crab trap, which was a long way away, all that was there was a 21 legged star fish A.K.A. a Sunshine Sea Star and a tiny crab so we were really sad. On the way back to the boat we met some boaters and we invented a new word: Dingalyzing. It means socializing in a dinghy. We did that with the other boaters and the people with the red hammock joined in on the chat and ended by both of them leaving, one of them went back to their boat and the other went to walk their dog but before they did the people with the red hammock, Ed and Janice, asked if we would like some banana bread tomorrow in exchange for some of dads bread that we had offered. We replied yes! Dad makes white bread. The smell is heavenly. When we dropped off the bread we invited them for dinner, so at six o’clock we were jamming.
Next stop Rebecca spit
If you are wondering what a spit is, it is a long thin piece of land.
The first thing we did was have a walk along the beach. I enjoyed it because the beach was full of long logs. My favorite bit was the haulpak (very large truck) tire. The tire was so big I sat in it! Next day we went on another 3mile walk to the supermarket. We finally made it to the supermarket and found daddy there. We bought some things and then left for some grub at the restaurant which was a hotel. The food was better than I expected.
Next stop Roscoe Bay..
The whole time we were in Roscoe bay I felt like I was in a spa. The lake was the deep cleansing pool and the hike we went on was the fitness room with poisonous fire bellied newts, green and brown frogs and white slugs.
A few months back we met some people in Laura cove. The same people are now in Roscoe bay! So we invited them over for dinner and they invited us for dinner and tea. Their names were David and Stephanie.
Next quick stop: Friday harbor
We cleared customs and had fish and chips and then went to the great books store.
Next stop for now: Anacortes
We arrived in Anacortes when it was pitch black. We tied up and watched a movie and went to sleep. In the morning I did this blog.
Bye bye peeps
Some of my art...
Greetings Astropeeps and Astropeepets!
I have just landed here to tell you this is a new blog and that the BJ family have left Vancouver City and headed up to Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island. When we arrived we kayaked through some CRAZY rapids. The waves were so gargantuan that we got saturated in mucky water. When the rapids were over we were in a beautiful lagoon. We paddled over to an island in the lagoon and there we saw big starfish, little starfish, sea cucumbers and jellyfish. Then we got out of the kayaks and tied them up on a rock. We tested the water. It was warm enough to swim in so they dove in like it was their kismet. After swimming they paddled over to another island and found 5 dried starfish and 2 potatoes. We kept one starfish and threw the potatoes into the water. They made a big plonk! We decided that it was time to go home so we paddled over to the rapids and tried to get out but the current was too strong so we had to carry the kayaks across the rapids. We went to the lagoon many times after that. I cannot remember how many. On the last day in squirrel cove we persuaded mum to go to the lagoon and when she came back she said it was fun.
Squirrel cove did not just have a lagoon; it also had a laundry, showers, a convenience store and a take away with delicious french fries. Once mum heard about the laundry / showers off we had to go. I was not coming unless I could have some fries. Whilst doing the laundry we met a girl who was an experimental Punk Rocker and she lived on the island. She explained that Experimental Punk rock allows you to play whatever you like and if people don’t like the music then you can tell them it is experimental.
Hello my peeps! Welcome back to the BJ news…
I am Katya and for today’s news we will begin with the weather. Yesterday was a bit cloudy and rainy but for the next ten days it is supposed to be sunny, sunny, sunny. Over to you Mrs BJ. Thank you Katya.
Newsflash. The BJ family is still in Vancouver, and are having fun but we also want to go ZOOM, further north. There is always something fun, then boring then fun to do. Today’s boring thing to do was the dreaded supermarket. Dun dun dun dunnnn. So cross your fingers and hope that Katya was wrong about the whole sun, sun, sun extravaganza and it is pouring rain so we don’t have to go anywhere. Ma ha ha haaa!..... Um sorry about that, my evil senses ran loose. Back to reality. It was not raining so I guess the BJ family has to do some provisioning. Dun dun dun dunnnn. And then there was silence. I just hope we can get it over and done with as quickly as possible as I would rather go to the Museum today and shop tomorrow. Talking about the Museum we are going to go to the Museum of Vancouver tomorrow. If only you could fast forward time and skip to the museum and then I would be satisfied.
The BJs also went to see a play: The Taming of The Shrew by Shakespeare. It is about a girl called Kate and she has a bad temper and a man named Petruccio who marries her and makes her an obedient wife. My favorite character was Petruccio’s man servant. In one of the scenes he had a codpiece. He was by far the best actor. PS Taming of the Shrew is a comedy.
Hello again my Peeps!
Ladies and gentlemen be prepared for the upcoming blog: Tale of two trips, staring Richard as Dad, Jude as Mum and Katya as the little monster! That’s me.
The two trips. Dun dun dunnnn
Trip 1. Montague harbor to Nanaimo. Like I said before Romeo o Romeo where art thou. Oops wrong line. The right line is “sailing is not all its cracked up to be”. Unfortunately it was a long trip to Nanaimo. We left early and I was asleep for most of the way. When we finally arrived we went to the supermarket and bought groceries and on the bright side we bought some English candy and some Dragon fruit which we would not have got if a friend had not told me about it. The fruit looks like this: The dragon fruit originated in Mexico and south and central America and is a relative of the cactus. The skin is fuchsia colored and the inside is white with black seeds. The flavor is mildly sweet with a tangy after taste.
Trip 2. Nanaimo to Vancouver. It was an even longer trip than the first and I read, did some work and played a game on the ipad. When we got there we went to Granville market and looked in amazing art galleries and a fun kids store where they sold puppets, princess dresses, books and much more. We also went to the food market and China town which has a dark side. (dun dun dunna).
I did lots of schoolwork before we went to Gastown and Chinatown where we saw an old steam clock.
PS Vancouver has lots of Dragon boats. About 14 people paddling at the same time.
That’s all for now.
Hello my peeps
Welcome to Katya’s corner! I am Katya, well who else would I be? Roxane? (I will tell you about Roxane later)
THE DRIVE (Dun dun dun dunnnn!)
On the drive to the boat we had to go through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington, a total of 1,500 miles in two days and most of the time I was upside down surrounded by bags.
ON THE BOAT
When we arrived on the boat it was mayhem! You could barely take a step as the living room (salon), kitchen (galley) and bedrooms (berths) were filled with bags. It took a week to unpack and get settled in.
I could hardly wait until we got to Sucia Island, a fun island with lots of sun bleached logs that you can cross, build log huts by placing two logs on two other logs and covering them with a blanket, then we did “homeschooling” Dun Dun dunnn. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really, especially when it comes to fun bits in math like “find the answer to crack the code” or “find the answer to the right color” which by the way is fun but boring at the same time.
After Sucia Island we went back to the marina and tidied up. We did the laundry and cleaned the boat ready for our next sail.
Trust me, living on the boat is sometimes not all it is cracked up to be. Like when it is really rocky and all the doors are slamming and when you get there it is so relaxing that you just want to fall asleep.
Anyway the next place we went to is Galiano Island in Canada where you can take a free bus to the mini town which has an ice-cream store, a bakery and some souvenir and clothing stores. I got a cinnamon roll and mom and dad shared a samosa from the bakery. We met a very nice man who loved to read short stories and he read a story to us about bears. We also met an artist called Roxane who works at the bakery and she said that I could come to her art class next Friday where we could learn water color techniques. B.T.W. the man who read us the story was from Birmingham in England and the artist was from Turkey. Both were very nice people.
We have been crabbing and we got two crabs thanks to chicken and disgusting “smelly jelly” AKA bait for crabs.
Blog to you next time.