Friday, December 31, 2010

It's a Dog's Life... All About Martha

Fort Lauderdale - HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!

Yep!  We're still in Ft. Lauderdale!  For Sebastian it's been almost three weeks living on the boat here in FL... and for the rest of us, two.... waiting for Miss Martha, our terrier-beagle-dalmatian (?) mix breed dog to arrive.  She finally arrived two days ago in Ft. Lauderdale thanks to Rolando who had kept her at home for the last week and drove her down from Chicago to Orlando where he was going to Disneyworld with his family.  For those of you who missed the story, the woman Martha was suppposed to stay with for the year in Chicago was not able to take care of her after all... and we only found out about this two days before Karla leaving to FL.  Unfortunately Southwest Airlines does not allow dogs as cargo, so we had to kind of scramble to find an alternative for her.

Anyway, Sebastian drove up to Orlando to pick her up and Martha has been on Begonia for the last two days.  At first quite tentative getting on/off the boat and dinghy... she now is a little sailor, an integral part of the crew and feels more and more confident every day in this new surrounding. 

I really wish we can take her with us on the trip, but with each country having a different regulations for "importing live animals," it would prove quite challenging.  In what I have researched, one needs to provide a health certificate -  provided by an internationally certified vet - that is no more than 10 days old at each port.  Vaccinations cannot be more than 30 days old, or your dog can be quaratined... some other countries quaratine the dogs right off the bat.  Too complicated.

We have enjoyed having Martha here these days though... just chumming around with us like she normally would, just under closer quarters and sunnier conditions.  Today, the 31st, she flew off to Argentina with our friend Eduardo who will be taking care of her while we are away.  I sure hope she doesn't lose all her English!  Instead of "bow-wow" she will be saying "guau-guau!!"

Just to get her to Argentina, we were required to get a health certificate in the States which then had to be taken to the US Dept. of Agriculture in Miami for an official stamp.  As my father says, "you must REALLY love that dog!"

It has been quite an odyssey for her/us, but she will now officially be a world-travelling canine polyglot!

OK... enough about the dog.... onto our trip... it looks like the weather will be favorable for us to leave on the 2nd or 3rd of January.  First stop:  Bimini, Bahamas!  We have been provisioning (fancy nautical word to mean "stocking up on food!") little by little every day, fitting cans and things underneath the settee in the main galley, and underneath all our beds.... we realized we have so much more space than we thought we would to store food, which made us doubt if we've bought enough food... so our plan is to go out once more and buy more stuff.  Mainly: crackers, cereal, rice, pasta, canned goods, etc. I am hoping that we can really catch some good fish on our trip so we don't have to rely on canned goods all the time. Other sailors who've done similar voyages say to make sure to provision in ports where you can; in other words, take advantage, because it can be complicated to provision in other places.  Apparently food on the islands can be quite expensive since generally canned goods are imported and there is not a large selection of vegetables locally grown.  We have experienced this in Bahamas where we've been a large sum for a very sorry looking tomato.

Today we had some other visitors on board:  Alejandro Sanchis, a friend of Sebastian's from Puerto Madryn, Argentina and Chicago, came with his son Luca who's 5 and got along spectacularly with Sofia and Benj.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!  We will blog again in the new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Fort Lauderdale, FL - Happy holidays to all!  During this time we are remembering those who are no longer with us, but also feel incredibly blessed to have our family and friends.  The support for us and our plans for this trip has been huge and for that we are very grateful.  Hope you all were surrounded by loved ones...

It was nice talking Dad in AZ, Max and family in CA, Andy and family in IL, Gaby, Renzo in IL and skyping with Dani and Pablo in Ireland.  Makes us feel a little less far away and gives us hope that we won't lose touch during this trip.

We were delighted to celebrate on the Begonia here in FL last night.  It still felt like Christmas.... we held onto our traditions by having a nice dinner (BBQ!), a nice holiday toast (mucho vino!) and a visit by the bearded man himself!  We also had the additional celebration of our friend Eduardo's birthday.  We spent the day at the park and baking Christmas cookies.  We had to modify the process a little since the cookie sheets I brought do not fit in Begonia's oven! Thanks to Isabelle for the oven mitt she made as a gift and stitched with a sailboat on it... really came in handy for the baking.  Prior to yesterday, I had envisioned baking my own bread throughout the trip on the boat... but now wonder if I am going to have to modify that plan too!  We will see...

Karla and the kids have been on the boat all of 5 days already, but we really feel like we're getting settled in and the Begonia is feeling like HOME.  We had a great visit by Ellen and Laib, our dear friends from IL.  It was very nice to have a slice of Evanston right here in the Begonia.  We are glad the kids had a friend on board to proudly show their new home.  Sebastian took the three kids on a dinghy ride and Benjie learned his first lesson on life vest and dinghy safety... Apparently he was leaning way over the side and despite Sebastian's warnings that he would fall in the water - he fell in!  After his initial shock of falling in... he recovered and Sebastian was able to pull him back in.  It emphasized our rule of wearing the life vest always... but also, to listen to Papa when he says not to lean over the side of the dinghy!!!  Lesson learned.

Benjie has really been practicing his rowing skills and proves to be a fantastic helper and Sofia has been practicing her dancing skills, listening to Hannah Montana's new CD and "Dave's Fav's" (shout out to the Victorsons and the great Carlos Vives CD we were given by David!).

We plan on staying in FL until the first of the year since we are still waiting for our little pup Martha to make it down to FL, and will fly to Argentina on the 31st with Eduardo. 

Hola todos!! Feliz Navidad!!

     Aca estamos, dia 25 de Diciembre, preparandonos para ir en un pic-nic con la familia. Pasamos una Noche Buena muy linda y diferente en nuestro nuevo hogar, hicimos un rico asado, brindamos sin sidra ya que nos olvidamos, y recibimos los regalos de Papa Noel que dejo los regalos en el cockpit, una version nautica de esta nueva vida.
     Festejamos el cumpleanios de nuestro amigo Eduardo como podran ver en las fotos. Muy lindo dia navidenio!!
     Seguimos en FLL esperando a nuestra perra Marta que llega el 28 a Orlando, donde iremos con Eduardo para buscarla. Por fin terminamos todos los tramites para que ella pueda irse a Argentina con Eduardo. Hubiese sido mucho mas facil que se quedara en Evanston, eso seguro!!
     Recibimos la visita de Laib y Ellen, un companiero de Sofia de escuela, que estan visitando parientes aca en Florida.
     Benjamin aprendio su primera leccion de hombre al agua desde el dinghy, despues de varias advertencias de Papa. Creo que de ahora en mas va a tener mas cuidado.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Fort Lauderdale, FL - Well, Karla and kids finally made it down to FL to meet Sebastian where he has been for the last 10 days working on the boat.  We have officially moved to the Begonia!  Needless to say, packing up the house and closing up shop back in Evanston was stressful to say the least.  Last minute change of plans:  Martha, our dog, is now on her way down to FL to be with us for a few days before she takes off with our friend Eduardo to Argentina for the year.... instead of staying back in the States as we originally planned.  We can't believe the journey is officially starting... today we spent organizing the boat and getting everything in its place as it makes all the difference in the world to have things organized.  I think we'll still have a few more days of organizing... The highlight of the day was seeing a pair of manatees come up to our boat to welcome us!  We will most likely stay in Ft. Lauderdale for Christmas until we can provision and wait for the dog to arrive.  Thanks to Rolando for driving Martha down from Chicago to Orlando where Sebastian will go and pick her up.  Yesterday we received a delivery of 20 boxws full of books from an organization called "Seven Seas" which donates books to primary schools in Bahamas.  We will make our delivery to Georgetown in the Exumas (Bahamas) ... it feels good to "give back."  I promised Sofia that tomorrow we will go get a small Chrsitmas tree and decorations.  She had a very serious talk with Santa when we saw him a week ago and wanted to make sure he would find us on the Begonia.  She said, "Now, are you sure?  The boat does not have a chimney..."  He replied, "yes, but I have a GPS and I know where you'll be... don't you worry!"

Fort Lauderdale. Por fin Karla  y los chicos llegaron a Florida despues de una maraton para cerrar nuestras ultimas cosas en casa despues de 10 dias que Sebastian, Eduardo e Ivan pasaron trabajando en el barco en el Lauderdale Marine Center.
Cambio de planes de ultimo momento, nuestra perra Marta no se va a quedar en Evanston. la persona que la iba a cuidar cambio de idea dos dias antes del vuelo de Karla hacia Florida. Despues de mucho traspirar conseguimos que Rolando (un amigazo) la traiga a Florida manejando donde se quedara con nosotros hasta que sea tiempo de irse a Argentina con Eduardo.
Hoy fue un lindo dia, trabajamos bastante en el barco nuevamente. Cambiamos las luces de navegacion a LED, con lo cual ahorraremos bastante energia.
Maniana iremos en busca de un arbolito de navidad y algunas luces para decorar al Begonia. Nos quedaremos en Florida hasta el fin de anio cuando empezaremos nuestro viaje oficialmente.
Ayer por maniana nos trajeron 20 cajas de libros para escuelas de Bahamas de la organizacion "Seven Seas" al cual ofrecimos nuestra ayuda de transportar hasta la ciudad de Georgetown en Exumas.
La nueva adquisicion del dinghy es todo un exito y lo disfrutamos mucho hoy con los chicos visitando los canales aca en Fort Lauderdale. Hoy tuvimos la visita de una pareja de manatees que se quedaron alrededor del barco por un largo rato, que animal tan distinto y curioso!
Los mantendremos informados. Hasta la proxima!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting the Boat Ready

Evanston, IL - The 11th of December we are driving our old and rusty Ford Econoline with my really good friend Eduardo, all the way down to Ft. Lauderdale. We will stop in Ocala, Florida to pick up our new/used dinghy that we bought there. On Monday we are hauling out the boat at the Lauderdale Marine Center, where we are servicing the sail drives, painting the bottom and doing a litle bit of fiber glass on the keels.
I also have my friend Ivan flying that day to help with all the new electronics installations such as SSB, Pactor modem, antena, wind generator, etc.
It will be a very busy week doing also other jobs like adding new book shelves, rack for jerry cans, inspecting rigg, and a very long list jobs before sailing for a year and a half .
I'm very fortunate to have such good friends like Mitch who is also coming on Tuesday the 14th to help with all the improvements.
We are hoping to be done with everything by the 20th which is when Karla and the kids arrive in Florida.
After that we are going to start with provisioning the boat and I'm sure countless trips to Costco, Home Depot and West Marine.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Evanston, IL - Welcome to the Begonia Blog! Here we are in Evanston getting ready for our trip. Our home has been packed up and we are living with the bare minimum awaiting Sebastian's departure date of December 4 when he will be driving to Fort Lauderdale with all our belongings for the next year aboard the Begonia. He will take advantage of his time alone to fix up the boat: add storage shelves, install the wind generator and take the boat out of the water to repaint the bottom with anti-fouling. The kids and I will join him on December 20 when our tenants move into our home on land and we move into our home on the sea! T-one month! We can't believe this is really happening.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Sailing Family... Our Life Aboard "Begonia"

How a family of four left their life behind to sail the ocean blue and pursue a healthier mind, body and soul.

Call it a "mid-life crisis," call it a "search for a deeper meaning in life," or call it "crazy," we finally made the decision to take a year off from our daily routine to sail the seas and live aboard the sailboat "Begonia" - our catamaran, a Fountaine Pajot, Athena 38. 

With two young children - Sofia, 7 and Benjamin, 4 - the adventure proves to be quite a challenge. But what better way of seeing things from a different perspective and embracing what the world has to offer, than as a family. This is the best gift we could give to ourselves and to our children. 

We hope you enjoy the voyage along with us... 

The Koziuras hail from Evanston, IL. In December 2010 they embarked on a yearlong adventure that will take them sailing the Caribbean and all the way to the Med and back. 

SEBASTIAN has sailed all his life in his native Argentina: from the coast of Patagonia all the way to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He is now ready to conquer other parts of the world. Taking a year off to live on a sailboat has been his life's dream. 

KARLA has been a "reluctant sailor" with only one or two daysails under her belt before meeting Sebastian. She enjoys the cruising lifestyle, being able to visit various countries through the "back door" so-to-speak. Now Karla is ready to be the first mate aboard "Begonia," a Foutaine Pajot Athena 38. 

SOFIA is a spunky first-grader who loves to dance and is very creative when it comes to Scotch tape! She will miss her friends this year but is excited to meet new people and see new places. 

BENJAMIN is almost five and will start Kindergarten on the Begonia Homeschool- or as the kids say, "Boatschool." Benjie is always eager to learn and to help -- whether sailing or cooking. He can also row a dinghy like the best of them!

Proposed Itinerary for BEGONIA - Fountaine Pajot Athena 38

·                     DEC '10: Ft. Lauderdale, boat improvements.
·                     JAN '11: Bahamas, Turks and Caicos,
·                     MAR '11: Puerto Rico, Spanish VI, USVI, BVI
·                     APR '10: St. Martin, Saba, St. Kitts and Nevis
·                     FEB '11: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.
·                     MAY '11: St. Martin (Karla and kids), Sebastian crosses Atlantic
·                     JUN-JUL '11: Azores, Begonia arrives in NW Spain, Portugal
·                     AUG-SEP '11: Spain and Balearics
·                     OCT '11: Morocco
·                     NOV '11: Canary Islands
·                     DEC '11: Senegal,Gambia, Cape Verde
·                     JAN '12: Koziura Family crosses Atlantic en route to America
·                     FEB '12: Tobago, Grenada, Marie Galante, Guadeloupe
·                     MAR '12 St. Croix, Saba, Puerto Rico
·                     APR '12: Bahamas
·                     MAY'12: Bahamas
·                     JUNE'12: Back to Florida, prepare the boat, drive to Chicago