We have cleaned the boat from top to bottom to reorganize and see what we had and what we were in need of. Most of our food, beverages, cleaning products and paper goods are stored underneath our “sofa” in the main salon and beneath all our beds. The boat is very spacious, but it is not easy to go under the bed to look for something every single time you need it, so we are continuously transferring things from big containers to smaller ones for easy daily access. It’s a constant process….
Sebastian has been installing a new VHF radio system that has an incorporated boat detector. This way, while sailing at night, you can see other boats pop up on the VHF screen and if they are registered, you can even see the type and name of the vessel. We got new Sunbrella window coverings and screens made here too…. Pretty snazzy!
We also have done a lot of paperwork and phone calls. Kate Mattson back home has done the saintly duty of taking care of our mail. We all thought this would be an “easy” task, but it has been a little more complicated than we thought. We certainly could not have done this trip without her so I want to take this moment to publicly thank her for all she is doing for us! Still, with all her great organizational skills, some of the payments and paperwork have fallen through the cracks and it has been a good time here to catch up. I spoke to Kate by phone yesterday and we think we are caught up for now.
I also want to thank my brother, Max, for taking care of some things in California for us, and want to thank my Dad who has sent us updated and timely weather information when we needed it most. Love you guys!
A kindly couple Glen and Gail, retired TBIRDS, at the marina aboard “Encore” invited us to their boat the night before departing for a week-long sail with some friends. They are Americans living in Puerto Rico and ended up lending us their car for the week… very, very sweet of them. So, we went to Costco to reprovision and almost killed one another trying to get there… have you ever been in a situation where you can actually see your target, but you cannot understand how to get there?! We circled and we circled Costco with the traffic getting thicker and more annoying, and we just could not see how to get in. On top of that we were starving and it was hot… needless to say we were thrilled to arrive to Costco and eat their famous pizza… I guess we’re not used to driving in traffic anymore! We ended up buying tons of things preparing for Enrique and Pablos’ visits with their respective families… as well as the Atlantic crossing. Lots and lots of peanut butter, cheese and crackers!
The kids have behaved amazingly well… it is difficult for them to stay on the boat parked in a marina, but they have managed to keep themselves busy, even finding little friends to play with along the way. It is also difficult for them to be dragged along to Costco and the landromat and West marine and all the other places we went. We have been treating them - and oursleves - to lots of ice cream.
On a positive note, our friend Bill Butler came to visit us. He is a sailing legend whom Sebastian met years ago when Bill sailed around Cape Horn and landed in Puerto Madryn, Argentina. About 8 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill for the first time when Sebastian and I came to Puerto Rico on vacation and spent a memorable Christmas Eve with him and his wife, Lirio. Bill is “famous” among sailors because of his incredible story of survival. The summary of his story can be found on the cover of his book “Our Last Chance” and goes like this: Bill and Simone Butler set out to circumnavigate the world. Instead they ended up adrift in a six- foot plastic life-raft when whales battered and sank their 38-foot sailboat “Siboney.” In the following sixty-six days the Butlers fought for their lives against storm, predator, hunger and frustration. Along the way, each found God and His amazing grace. Bill has an incredible spirit and is wonderful to be around.
Nadya Sustache and her son Stefan came to visit us on the boat. They are friends who used to live in Evanston and now have moved to Colorado. Nadya is originally from Puerto Rico and is here visiting her family. We spent the morning snacking on the boat and then went to a natural reserve surrounding te lighthouse on the most northeastern point of the island. What a beautiful country… the sea, the mountains, rainforest, mangroves – very impressive. It was great to get off the boat and sight-see but mostly to catch up with Nadya and meet her brother and sister-in-law. Boy… I think we both miss Evanston!
NEXT STOP: still Culebra, another island off the east coast of Puerto Rico, considered one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. Leaving tomorrow morning and should arrive in the early afternoon.
|The two captains reunite.|
|Our dear friend Bill visiting Begonia|
|Our new friend Zarymar...|
|Nonstop action between the three...|
|Finally discovered the hose after running back and forth between boats all day in the sun.|
|Automatic best friends|
|Nadya and family visit|
|A mutiny of kids on the Begonia |
Notice the nice new blue window coverings? Keeps the sun out and the salon much coller inside
|The Fearsome Foursome|
|View from lighthouse|
|Evanston buddies meet in PR|
|Lighthouse Cabeza de San Juan|
|Monkeys in the mangroves|
|Precious Costo cargo...|
|... so precious... MacGyver is willing to dive into the marina water to...|
|... to retrieve the half-pound of goat cheese that fell into the water!!!! Thank goodness it was vacuum-packed!|
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FOUNTAINE PAJOT ATHENA 38 CATAMARAN FOR SALE – After our wonderful experience, BEGONIA is ready for its next sailing family – with or without children! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.