Sunday, October 14, 2012

Our Other Website

Hey everyone! We just want to tell you that we now have a FaceBook page! Hopefully and probably we will post more stories and more pictures because it is much easier and more user friendly.

Just so you all know; you DO NOT need a Facebook account to view our pictures and stories. It is not required. However, if you want to write something to us or comment on a picture or video, you will need an account. You will also receive updates if you have an account.

Our new site is:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Mexican Teachers By Karina

       Since we are going to this school for two months here in Mexico, I thought I should get to know everyone. I already told you about the students so now I will describe the teachers.

        First I will name all of them. Then I will describe them. There are eleven teachers in all.

        There is the biology teacher, Pablo. The English teacher, Zairy. The geography and orientation teacher, Isaias. The Spanish teacher, Claudia. The Mathematics teacher, Adriana. The art teacher, Adrian. The Acclimate Education teacher, Jose. The P.E.teacher, Angel. The technology teacher, Victor. The Human Formation teacher, Randy. The State Allocation teacher and Principal, Blanca.

        The English teacher speaks English well but pronounces lots of words wrong. The math teacher is also very good at speaking English and she is very pretty, and my favorite teacher. The P.E. teacher is very nice and has a very cute little boy that he brings in to class every once in a while. 

         The art teacher is very passionate, doesn't pay as much attention to us kids but always makes sure that there is classical music playing. The Spanish teacher is very nice and pretty, yet strict sometimes.

         The Principal and State Allocation teacher is pretty and very strict but smiles and laughs with the class when there is a funny moment in the room. The Human Formation teacher is very handsome and kind. The technology teacher, well I think he is fun like Cam from modern family.. 

         The geography and orientation teacher kind of reminds me of a cute nice manatee. And last but not least the Acclimate Education teacher, uh, I don’t quite remember what he looks like and I don't really remember him because we only have class with him once at the end of the day for fifty minutes on Friday.

         I'm glad I met all of these teachers, because they have certainly helped me somewhat in life. I thank them for all the help they have given us in the past two weeks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Me -by Karina

 I don't have anything specific to write about now that Zoe says we are not gonna sing anymore, so I thought that I would just write all about me.

      First off, you should know what my hobbies are; I love to sing, I love to draw, I love to act and I love to cook specific foods.

      Second, when I grow up I wish to be a singer, an artist, a famous actress, or a supermodel.

      Next, you should know my favorites.
  • My favorite colors are white like snowflakes and hot pink.
  • My favorite foods are coconut rice, risotto, and egg drop soup.
  • My favorite candies are toffee, salt water taffy, musketeers, meringues, marshmallows and Twix.
  • My favorite place on earth is San Carlos, CA
  • My favorite animal is a Pomeranian puppy.
One important thing you should know about me is that I miss my home and old friends dearly, but I am willing to try new things that my parents suggest for me. And so far trying this new thing has been more than I ever imagined and I am thankful that my parents could make this happen even when I was pushing away this wonderful chance. 

Thanks mom and papa! : )

Un Buen Amigo by Karina

Un Buen Amigo
By: Karina Bauhaus

          Un buen amigo es amable. Él o ella nunca te mentiría. Un buen amigo es siempre allí para usted cuando algo va mal. 

           Un buen amigo nunca haría daño a sus sentimientos. Ellos te dicen la verdad. Ellos pasar el rato con ustedes, porque ellos quería, no porque ellos que obtendrían dinero por por ser su amigo. 

          Hay normal amigos y hay los mejores amigos. Los mejores amigos nunca va lejos de ti, hasta que sea absolutamente necesario. Una normal amigo es solo una persona que te gusta. 

          Los dos si te gusta de alguna manera. Más amigos realmente buenos deben, compartir, ser amable, como tú, ser sincero con usted, divertirse con usted, ayudarle, le mantiene en contacto. 

Eso quiere decir que soy un buen amigo. ¿No?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Erick's Birthday by Karina

       First we got to school, did P.E., English class, then math. Thirty minutes until break time and our class was already excused. Except we were not out for recess. We were excused because there was a cake to be eaten.

        It was Erick's birthday! When we got downstairs everyone was talking very loudly again and then someone suggested a picture. That's when the other class came down, and got in the picture too. After the pictures, the teacher got one picture of Erick pretending to take a bite of the cake. 

        The fun started when a random kid pushed his head in to the cake. Then his face covered with cake and some of the students took the cake off of his face and wiped it off on other kids' faces. I did not participate in this cakey act.  

         After everyone had their "cake fight" we lined up for breakfast. Breakfast was tacos with beans and pork. And cake, if we wanted to have any, after all that.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Mexican Classmates By: Karina Bauhaus

        Here at this Mexican school there are not very many kids in each class, but they sure do make a lot more noise than all of my classmates back home make all together. 

        Anyways, that's not what matters. What matters is that I know all of my classmates. So I will name and partly describe them.

        Starting with the boys: Marco-highly annoying and loud, Fabian-annoying, weird, and painful, Enrique-helpful and smart, Vladimir-quiet at times and smart, Jose-also quiet at times and seems smart. As you can tell most of the boys are obnoxious.

        Now for the girls: Patty-loud yet quiet in class, Ambar-helpful and nice, Maria-nice and tall, Pamela-friendly and quiet, Gabby-smart, helpful, and loud, Sinai-helpful and friendly, Alejandra-friendly, loud, nice, funny, pretty, and smart.

        Lots of them are loud or annoying, in fact they are screaming and playing around right now. Okay now they're walking out the door. Now they are downstairs doing who knows what. Anyway I'm glad I know my twelve classmates now, at least I'm not in a school where there are only five kids in each class. Including Annika we are fourteen in the seventh grade.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to school....Mexican style

What that means is waking at 5:45, leaving the boat on a dinghy to school by 6:30, and even wearing a uniform!  And we thought getting to school on time at 8:20 was hard. Hah!  The kids are seemingly getting much more interested in speaking Spanish, asking every evening about what this or that means. It's fun to hear their stories about how strict or funny their teachers are.  It's also good to hear the complaints...about how hard the chairs are, how loud the fan is or how there is not a real lunch hour.  Makes me hopeful that they will be more respectful and grateful for school in back home in California.

We are still loving Isla Mujeres.  It is a peaceful, safe, beautiful island with whale sharks, octopus, gelato, clear shallow water, great restaurants, insanely interesting expats, other boat families, perfect sand beaches, internet, fresh guava, hibiscus and coconut juice and the kids can ride bikes anywhere or walk to a friend's place in 10 minutes.  We are so close (20 minute ferry) to Cancun where if we must we can see movies in the nicest (by far) movie theater, at the nicest malls I've seen or even shop at Costco.  Speaking of Costco, I'm off mass consumption and Costco shopping.   Now-a-days I would rather go without than stuff my cabinets with jumbo sized cardboard packaging of everything we never needed.  Crackers, chips, cookies, juice, and peanut butter for the year, or enough grapes to feed 5 families for a week.  I never would've noticed whether we really needed or used all that if I didn't have to live in, on, under and with it...literally packed into every nook of our little house (boat).  Nope, no more Costco, just fish from the fishermen next door, mangos from the market and daily tortillas, and just at the very moment, or on the very day we feel like it........mmmm I think we'll have fish tacos tonight now that I think of it..................!

Friday, August 17, 2012


We plan to stay and wait out the hurricane season for 2 more months until October 30 in Isla Mujeras.  Not an easy decision because our habit is to take the risk and move along.  However our professional boat captain neighbors here at the marina have recommended we stay put here where we have the best chance for serious protection.  It's still hard though because Hurricane Ernesto passed just 80 miles south of us last week and was "a breeze" so to speak.  There are no hurricane "holes" in Belize and it's a slow trip up wind and current, so looks like we're locked-in.  Not a bad place to be mind you.......just not what we we're planning.
Mikai is ALWAYS ready to be First Mate 

     So with this shift comes new possibilities.  The kids will start school here in Mexico on Monday for a bit of language and culture-- if all the paperwork comes through.  That's neat.  However school starts here at 7:00am.  That's not so neat.  It's all good.  Change is good.....and sometimes it takes a breakdown or a hurricane to make us try something new.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chicken Pizza- by Nikolas

     I've been in Isla Mujeres for about a month now and  it's pretty dang boring. Obviously and especially it had to boring with my fun but pushy moms friend visiting. Anyway about four days ago me and my family went to a place called Chicken Pizza (Chichen Itza) and it was hot and miserable because it was all looking not touching. There was a Mayan pyramid that you used to be able to climb up but now can't.             

A big day of stories at Chichen Itza about sacrificing the most beautiful 15 year old virgins in March, the winning ball game captains in June, and the discovery of chocolate by the Mayans.   It was a hard, hot and interesting day.
     As a souvenir I bought an onyx and quarts chess set. This was my happy and miserable meter, 1% happy, 99% miserable. When we got back it was 10 o'clock at night and when we left it was 6:30am. It was maybe 40% fun 60% not fun. 

The Trip

By: Karina Bauhaus

        So far this trip is going well. Well at least it's not worse than I expected. It seems like everyone else is enjoying it here. My dad doesn't get to say whether he likes living here or not because he hasn't stayed here for the whole six months that us kids have.😒😠😡👿

          I say it's not fair because my mom and dad have gone back home and to New York while we were here, and they got to have higher quality, fancier stuff than we have. Plus, going to New York is like a dream come true for me.😍😰😖😁

         I am grateful that we are able to come here, to a beautiful place and have the experience of a lifetime of living in the Caribbean. I am so grateful that we could come here with our dog, stuff from home, Internet, and a way to do school so that we can go back into the right grade. 😌

        What I am not grateful for is the mosquitos, humidity, heat, size of the boat and that none of our friends can visit us. 😁😰

Karina "hanging out" coping with the heat in Chitchen Itza.  She wasn't impressed.
        Now the most important things to me...the stuff I miss and hope to see when I get back are holidays, my friends, school, school days, making crepes with the crepe maker and eating the crepes and berries and cantaloupe with prosciutto and listening to Renaissance music on Saturdays and Sundays at home, snow, Truckee, sports at home(theatre), and electricity, drinkable water from the faucet, gas for the stove, warm water, two awesome cars, quiet air conditioners (the air conditioners in the boat are as loud as a car driving around!), and a cozy bed all the time. 

The Trip- by Annika

The Trip

                      Right now I'm at El Milagro Marina, in Isla Mujeres, Cancun. 

       Here there is a movie theater where Mikai sets up movies and the Olympics. There is also a kitchen here that everyone can use. Down at the little beach that they have here there is water sports, like kayaks and paddle boards.    
     One day I went paddle boarding and I brought my dog on it with me. Now I do that all the time and he is a great balancer which helps me a lot. Right now there is a lot of construction here and it's quite loud during the day. 
     Occasionally Nikolas and I fish. We only catch little fish here and they are all only under the dock. The dogs are always running around and trying to catch fish at the beach. 
     I don't like writing about what I'm doing.  I'd much rather be doing it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life or Bait by Karina

Life or Bait
By: Karina Bauhaus
          There we were strolling along the huge waves with our fishing lines out. They are known as the deep sea fishing poles. Then all of a sudden...What's that? Nikolas caught a fish?! We all run to the back of the boat while Mikai slows way down.
            Wow, he's a big one. After Nikolas pulls him in, I realize that we should not eat that fish. Why? Hm, I don't know actually??? Maybe he would be really tasty, except for the fact that it has razor sharp teeth, is really ugly, more than five pounds, AND HE'S REALLY THIN!!!
           First my dad tries to yank the hook out of the barracudas' mouth. Nothing. Then he tries again. Now he's furious. He yanks and yanks trying hard to be careful but also get the hook out. My dad is brave. I totally would have given up by now. 
            Uh, papa? How are we gonna put him back in the water if the hook is in his mouth AND HIS MOUTH IS JUST A GIANT HOLE OF DEATHLY SHARP TEETH!?!?! 
            He yanks one last, hard time. PLOP! PLOP! PLOP! SPLASSSHHH! HURRAY, THE BEAST IS GONE!!! He floats at the top for a while. Hardly twitching. We thought he was dead at first. But then my mom assured us it was just shock. Then he squirmed away knowing what to choose next time.
Life or bait
        Once again we put out our fishing lines and not once but five more times we caught another nasty barracuda. They were not so wise, because they obviously chose the wrong thing. Bait instead of life. And I'm sure they'll know what to choose next time.

Life or bait.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Living with Siblings 7/31

I just have to say, living out here is not the greatest lifestyle... Living as the role-model and oldest of the 4 of us in a crammed and small boat, takes extra extra extra effort. Anyone who has ever had 2 twin sisters and a little brother know what I mean. Working with and working around these people is like working around air, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.

When the time comes, I get to escape to my place on the boat. The place I am best known for. The helm is my place on our boat. I will never know why, but when I am at the helm I am never bothered by anyone.

But then there is school... I am STILL doing school. I started in April because I was doing so much on the boat. I have a bit of catching up to do...

Living out here is NOT the greatest lifestyle. Living out here IS the greatest lifestyle. Everyday is different, and everyday brings new surprises.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where have you been?

Far far away in a place with no trash........

singing all day without internet..............

A place we wont name................

in case the authorities complain...............

but let it is special, and WAY nice, for a very low price.

Nikolas exploring shells and giant sea turtle carcases on the Cays showing out of the blue water  in the middle of no where!

Depth matters and we can count on Mikai to take the lead.

"You've got to be kidding"  we said very often in these crystal waters.

Annika in her element all day at the turtle sanctuary.

Even tech Kai was delighted to touch the smooth rubbery shells.

We were always left with a gorgeous sunset and lightning shows as Mikai played his guitar.  Then we would count the stars.

Our new home base in Isla Mujeras Mexico.  We love it here.

Valeria visits for lunch.

Annika and the other kids could practice their Spanish with confidence with such great little kids to play with and help take care of.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Next door to Paradise... 5/21

Today we discovered and explored Las Terranas! A lively Dominican town on the North East edge of DR. After being in a bay muddied by the rivers by the daily storms, it is so nice to see the turquoise-blue water once again.

In contrast with the high-end marinas, it is great to be among the Dominicans and Dominican culture again. Tomorrow the kids go to a local school to experience education in the third world—and learn a bit of spanish too!

More later..

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ever heard of Samana? 5/19

Neither had we, until now... Apparently this is a place is the birthing grounds for whales! I am typing what my parents are telling me to write as they bicker about what to write, so I am writing for them.

We are in Puerto Bahia (Bay Port) dodging a storm among many others. We went to Cayo Levantado today with Grandma and we anchored off the point. We went for a swim at the beach and got there just before the storm. On the way back, we got to use our fine, full, new sail which carried us fast as the wind (3 BIG knots).

Now we are back in the fantastic new Marina-Resort!

Who knew that Dominican Republic is so nice!

Presidential Elections tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Feature!

We added some music. It is me (Mikai) playing my guitar with some other software intruments. Click here or listen on the blog (the music will start playing automagically) to hear the song I wrote.

From Shawna:

We've been enjoying the Dominican Republic for almost two weeks now.  To say we are enjoying it isn't quite the right word.  Extreme luxury is what we are finding in the marina's here including movie theaters,  private beaches, the best customer service I've ever had and of course swimming pools. We have to make real effort to get out into the wilder side of the country.  It isn't what we were expecting, nor what we came for, but we are adjusting well to the pools, restaurants and buffet breakfasts.  We did take a 2 hour drive into Santo Domingo one rainy afternoon.  It was ok, but it was too far a drive, and the city too unorganized to really appreciate it.  We visited the oldest church dating back to the early 1500's but he kids liked the torrential downpour, the pigions and the hot chocolate break the most.
Tomorrow we'll visit Manati park for a swim with the dolphins for the girls 12th birthday.  Pictures to follow.  For now enjoy the music Mikai's written!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Update 4/26 (Written 4/20)

New Photos in "Photos" section, and "Our Route" has been updated.

Puerto Rico is a gorgeous island covered in Palms and long deserted beaches.  We have found easy to hike jungles, friendly, intense people, clear water, 5 star marinas, Costco, Walmart, freeways, 700 year old forts, cobblestone pedestrian zones populated with shops cafes and tapas bars, and giant malls.  It’s been a delightful and unique combination of both old and new worlds.  I would like to return here to vacation because it’s so beautiful, easy and comfortable.  In fact it’s so comfortable that it feels like we’re home, back in the USA, making it harder to remember to capture our memories and appreciate the adventure.  We just spent 3 days at Costco and Walmart provisioning hard in anticipation for entry into the third world and Cuba.

Right now we are motoring East, passing lush green hillsides and beaches,  towards an old picturesque town called Ponce.  I’m feeling slightly queezy as usual so I think I’ll lay down for a rest. We plan to arrive on the East coast for our 18 hour crossing to the Dominican Republic in a few days.  We have about 80 miles to go.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Long Crossing

Off to Dominican Republic we go! 11-15 hour, ~75 miles, waking up at 3am. More when we get there.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

LATE Update 4/3

Written 4/2 Posted 4/3

Finally I am again on the bow of the boat reflecting on our grand adventure thus far while listening to waves crashing nearby on the beach of Saint Martin in the dark.  It’s been sort of sad and strange to adapt to the wonder and beauty of this dream so fully that it seems almost ordinary now.  We wake after 7:00, Dan usually first to motor the dog to shore for a walk on the beach.  Meanwhile the kids and I wake, me groggy and usually uncomfortably hot, and the boys ready for a hearty egg and bacon breakfast.  The girls are rarely awake in time to intercept the boy’s egg plans with their famous chocolate chip pancakes. All I want or need is a good ICED Peet’s soy latte with an extra shot of decaf.

We’re finally grooving with daily breakfast chores begun by 9:00 and impatient parents off limits to the galley so the kids (crew) can crank the chore music and move at their own tediously Caribbean-ya-mon-slow pace.  Today for example Dan and I found ourselves exploring coffee and baguettes on both the French and Dutch sides of Saint Martin.  A few hours later when we return to the boat, the galley is spic and span and at least most everyone has completed their 3 hours of schoolwork.  Yes siree.  Trapped in the boat rocking in the harbor, my once study resistant children are productively generating 400 word stories, completing and hour of math and reading fervently and with real interest.
My favorite part of our routine is Mikai swabs the decks every morning because he wants to, and has taken serious pride of the usability and cleanliness of our equipment.  Annika is really a natural at organizing our minimal spaces, Karina has become much braver, often swimming 150 yards from the beach to the boat.  Nikolas has become a much appreciated grilled cheese chef and he’s always the first to jump in unknown waters regardless of the depth for a snorkle.
My least favorite part of our new lifestyle has been how tired we are by 8:00.  We are in the sun and wind and newness so much that we are usually completely spent shortly after the sun sets and just at an ideal hour for blog writing. This is especially true 5 days a week after hiking or swimming or sailing all afternoon.  

My favorite and least favorite part at the same time is how intimately close we are living together.  It’s been great because it forces us to practice presence, regard for each other, patience, listening, and being intentional about preserving our own space.  On the other hand it really makes clear our humanity and where we aren’t willing to accept that reality.  The “should” program we generally live by at home, as we escape each other into work and school, doesn’t work here.  We are learning to work together, accept each other’s weaknesses, lean on each other’s strengths, and to laugh or at least breathe when plans don’t go as they “should”.
One of my favorite quotes and lessons until now was from a dock manager during a very stressful moment as he prevented a million dollar yacht from running into a multi million dollar one and declared with more sweat on his forehead than I’ve ever seen, “It’s all part of it mon.” It wasn’t my concern, but as an on-looker it was an intense moment and I was impressed by his calm. I can’t help but think of life in general and all the potential breakdowns and run-ins.  It would be so much better if I could gently comment “It’s all part of it mon”  whenever things don’t work out as they “should”.  I’m going to try that next time the anchor slips or no one likes what Ive cooked for dinner, or when I wake up sticky hot with 4 hungry kids because they didn’t eat enough the night before.  But I’d still like that Peet’s soy lattte, 120 degrees, um, and an extra shot of decaf.  Chocolate drizzle.......please.............
Tomorrow we sail/motor 12 hours to BVI from Saint Martin in 1 knot of wind.  That’s “all part of it” too, I know, I know.........

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Mosts/Leasts so Far by Dan 3/27

Favorite Place:  Iles Des Saintes, just south of Guadeloupe.  Had the best vibe, happiest people, relaxed place.  We even asked them why they are so happy, and one gal said she went to live in Paris and even then stayed happy for a long time.
Favorite Outting with the kids:  Mud slinging at the volcano in Soufriere St Lucia.  Little did they know we were simply providing skin conditioning.  White mud, black mud, oozy goozy.  Oops we wore white.
Best Baguette: Iles Des Saintes (maybe why they are so happy?)
Least Favorite:  Dominica.  Sights were good, but more than a normal number of people were harsh.
Least happy anchorage:  Deshaies Martinique (pronounced Day High), we kept spinning 360's all night.  Hard on the GPS anchor alarm.  But nice town and nice walk up creek.
Best anchorage:  Off beach in Rodney Bay, St Lucia.  Cool long sand beaches, lots to do,  breezy all the time, good sea floor surface for anchor.
Coolest Natural Wonder:  Titou Gorge, Dominica.  Like those tall narrow deep gorges in Bryce or Zion, but with water flowing thru it and a jump rock at the end.  Bunch of dingbat tourists from the cruise ship though.  We tried to dodge them.
Weirdest Anchorage: St Pierre, Martinique.  Goes from 20-30-40 feet deep to 300 feet deep a few feet further out.  Maybe has to do with the volcano blowing up in 1902 and toasting 30,000 people and the town except for two souls.
Hardest Sail:  47 miles from Guadeloupe to Antigua.  Was just a real long time, and the wind kept changing direction and velocity.
Happiest Time:  Arrival after 4+ hour passages.  Everyone comes alive (because they were asleep the whole time!).
Most Interesting Thing I Learned:  That the French gave up all of Canada to keep Martinique and Guadeloupe.  Because of their sweet tooth.
Most Fashionable:  Karina first day at Rodney Bay Marina, had access to some new clothes, and must have changed 4 or 5 times.
Most Surprising:  My top speed *with* fins will match a dog's dog paddle.  They haul.
Funniest:  Nikolas's stories, like visiting the "mechanical gardens" (Botanical Gardens).
Luckiest Moment:  Annika spaced and left her school backpack in the Dominica Botanical Gardens.  It was still there 4 hours later.
Unluckiest Moment:  Losing a key block (pulley), as we start to set sail from Martinique to St Lucia.  We motored the whole way.
Best Help on the Cat:  Mikai, who is a crack driver in just about any situation.  Great during anchoring.  Great for mooring balls.  He can even back into a slip, with wind blowing.  He even knows when "the engine doesn't sound right", except it wouldn't make the same sound twice.
Vertigo-est:  65 feet up at the top of the mast doing repairs.  Nice view, but not recommended to look down.  Frayed lines are also not a welcome sight.
Funnest Time:  Blowing up floaties, hanging out ski ropes to swing on, bringing out squirt guns, running off of deck holding on to halyard and letting go over the water.
Fastest Boat Speed:  10.5 miles per hour.
Best Thing About Traveling with Kids:  They meet all the kids right away, which connects adults to adults very quickly.
Worst Thing About Traveling with Kids:  When they go haywire.  Even a 43 foot catamaran can be a small place.
Most Wind:  32 knots.  Triple reefed (meaning sail is the size of a postage stamp) and doing top boat speed.
Biggest Waves:  15-20 feet at north end of St Vincent.  25 knots wind too.
Sharpest Eye:  Annika, who will spot any animal, insect, or sea creature within 100 yards.
Biggest Wow:  Seeing the super bright blue of the sun on the water and skin as a whale dives in and out.  It was almost like a bright blue light shining out of the water.
Dog Moment:  Watching a nose pushed into a hole in the ground, moments later the dog jumping high into the air as a crab goes for the pinch.
Frenchiest French:  Marin, Martinique.  Can you say attitude?  Can't imagine how it would have been if I spoke no French.
Foodiest:  Home cooked meal by "Her Highness" (Shawna's Radio Handle) after a long day.  How did she do that in that tiny kitchen?  One hint:  With*out* any one else in the kitchen.  Sometimes we put up yellow CAUTION tape across the kitchen.
Scariest:  When the dog jumped on the boat from the dock, as the boat moved back and forth, and slipped half on half off.  I think the dog still has a hand shaped clench on its back to this day.
Strangest:  Sitting at anchor at night no moon, and seeing eerie phosphorescence or jelly fish or both float by in the water.  First thought was ALIENS.
Deliciousest Moments: Sunset when the green thing happens for a few seconds, when it rains for 20 minutes on a hot day, sunsets, just before wake up time when all is still, night time beach walks, chilling on the trampoline, floating around a beach with the kids.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Updates to Website! 3/25

Site Updates:
  • New Photos in "Photos" section
  • "Stories by Annika" added in "Stories" section
  • "Stories by Nikolas" added in "Stories" section
  • New stories in "Stories by Karina"
  • In the "Our Route" section, we have added each bay/marina/harbor that we are going to and have been to.
  • In the "Our Route" section, we now change the pin points to Anchors. The Anchors symbolize places we have been to.

Things you may not have noticed:
  • There is LOTS of stuff at the bottom of the Home Page:
    • Post Archive
    • Message in the Sand
    • Sign-up for email updates
    • Follow this blog (also gets you email updates)
    • Pageviews count

Coming Soon:

  • Calendar of Events

If you find any problems with ANYTHING at all on this website, please email me (Mikai) at 


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Antigua 3/18 (Written by Mikai)

HEy Hey HEY hey!! Here we are in Antigua after a long long LONG crossing from Guadeloupe. Only 8 hours... Which is really 8 days if you don't get breakfast or lunch... Can't eat food during a crossing or you get sick! But I sucked it up and when we landed in Antigua I had myself my very own pizza!

On the way over here we saw TONS of dolphins and whales!!!! One whale even jumped out of the water (head out first and head back in first) not 20 YARDS in front of our boat!! And the dolphins swam next to the hulls for quite a while. Unfortunately we were unable to catch very many pictures as Abby (our dog) was leaning over the edge preparing to eat the giant fish! Or so she thought, and then we pulled her away back into the cockpit. Our best and only picture is to the right.

We are docked here at the temporary guest dock in the English harbor, just until tomorrow. Tomorrow we will move to the "Registered" boat area for the 10 days while Papa is gone back to California. He is getting more parts for the boat (such as an engine starter switch which is needed for starting the engine). We also have Grandma Barbara here! She is here for another week or two and then it's back to just our family.

Photos section has also been updated.

More later,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Time and Patience 3/13 (Late)

Written by Mikai:

Hey everyone! Sorry we haven't posted lately. It will be like this fairly often because here in the Third World, there is no internet that works! Most of the restaurants and hotels that say "We have high-speed internet" really mean "We have Dial-Up that doesn't work!". But occasionally we find a Wi-Fi that works, and when we do, new photos go up ("See "Photos" section above), and more posts go up on our blog. Sorry for the long wait and thanks for your patience. One more thing: on the "Our Route" section, we are now updating our location! You will notice 3 anchors instead of pin markers. These anchors represent where we have already been. Also, you can see where this post (and all other ones) was written by going to the bottom of this post (NOT the bottom of the page, just the bottom of this post) and you will see "Location: XXXXXX". And there is a whole NEW sections up top, it's called "Stories" you will find many of the stories that some of us have written about this trip. Enjoy it all!!

(Read on for the actual update)

Written by Shawna:

I actually thought we’d have nice leisurely days full of journal writing, reading and playing games.  I think I was right in thinking that we’d be more relaxed overall, but such a lifestyle couldn’t be further from the truth!  Here’s a typical day after our first month of adjusting to boat life:
6:30-7:30 We wake up to either walk the dogs or start breakfast (usually eggs or pancakes).  By 8:00 the crew, crew leader and crew lead mentor swab decks, mop floors, wash dishes and windows, make beds and wipe down bathrooms.  Yes, everyday we aren’t sailing. Then we invariably have a predetermined adventure, like waterfall climbing or gorge discovering, that we enjoy all morning if we aren’t sailing to our next destination. Destinations are anywhere from 2-5 hours away.  After returning to the boat sweaty, sometimes hungry, and usually ready for a rest for sure, the kids have schoolwork for 2-3  hours while Dan works online.  At 5:00 I start dinner ideally, we eat, wash up, review pictures and fall into bed exhausted (at about 8:00) from the sun, fresh ocean air, and all we’ve adjusted to and practiced being patient for during the day.  It’s tedious most of the time, everything takes much longer.  It takes us 5 hours to sail 30 miles for example.   
We are learning slowing down takes more patience than we’ve had the opportunity to practice back home.  We are slowly learning not to blame when things don’t go as expected, we are learning teamwork and to stop saying “that’s not my job”.  It’s been extremely difficult sometimes and extremely blissful others.  Yes this is what we came for.......we can have it easy when life isn’t as available to us as it is right now.  But this kind of life sure does make us think...............autopilot isn’t an option.

Martinique is a French island with croissants, nice shops, a selection of cheese to get excited about and French attitudes.  We visited Saint Anne for the last wacky parade day of Carnival, Marin for Club Med and croissants, Fort de France to say we did and Saint Pierre to depart from for Dominica.  We meandered a bit and climbed Mount Pelee, visited a Rum Distillery (pictured left), picked sugar cane and visited a volcano museum all in 2 days.  Check out our photos from 3/13 that Mikai has loaded to see more!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Finding what you look for 3/3

Not just an ordinary day, or was it?  I swear everyday something happens here that reminds us it really is "a small world after all".  Either that or the Universe really does align with our thoughts... or something like that.  Here's what I mean:
I wasn't successful trying to talk with, or email a family like ours: ( "The Three Little Birds" I discovered on the internet) setting out 6 months prior to us.  "The Three Little Birds are on the wifi list here!" Mikai declared as we motored to our slip in Rodney Bay. ---- What are the chances?  The kids played everyday after "school" and Mandi and I made great neighbors, sharing Mommy stories and ideas.

Then the other day our dog got what looked like an aggressive flesh eating disorder, so I asked on the "morning VHF radio talk" here in the marina if anyone could recommend a local vet.  Vet Tom came on and we dinghyed Jack out to see the Dr. and his wife in the bay.  After a shot of cortisone, a bottle of antibiotics, $20 and some dog talk, we found out that our advisors have lived this way a long time and had much more to share than information about Solar Eczema. They came by today to check!  A $20 house call.  Now that's something you don't get on an ordinary day.

Then today a boater and his wife yell, "hey Double Down".  I step out into the bright midday light to a chipper couple asking all about our boat.  Turns out they know Double Down well, having raced against her several years ago.  They ALSO have the exact model Cat, equipment, engines etc.  This means we get an expert briefing, and many new questions answered.  Does she hold 75 or is it 150 gallons of Water afterall?  Oh and we should tighten the trampoline?  Right!

Then the crazy thing is we aren't certain where to stay in the north, Nevis? St Kitts? Antigua?  (Chances are we'll need another safe harbor when Dan flies again back to CA for work. ) So guess who just happens to live in Antigua with info about everywhere and everything around?  Yep Ty and Judith, the couple on the boat that stopped by.
And one last thing.  Ty was born and raised in San Carlos of course, just down the street.

Gosh I guess all that talk and angst about safety, strange diseases, pirates, big storms, needs for sailing certifications and big sun hats was just that.  Talk and angst.  Instead we have found what we were looking for: Great, helpful, present, interested, helpful, inspiring, and generous people wanting to share their love of whatever they love.  Looks like it's really true that what you look for is what you find.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Value of Rig Checks - Also Known As "Where in the Heck Did That Nut Come From?"

Stooping down to examine a nut lying on the deck, I muttered, "Huh, wonder where this nut came from?"  We were at the beginning of one of our first 4+ hour crossings as a family, and I was getting ready to set the mainsail.  Or so I thought.  The seas out from the island we departed from were 8-10', and winds were a steady 25 knots.  That 29 mph for you landlubbers.  So it was going to be a fast diesel-less day to the next island.  Or so I thought.

So I hoist the mainsail.  That thing looks funny.  "Huh, one sail batten is no longer attached to the slider in the mast".  Let the sail down, instruct Mikai to hover lest we get into shallows, run to get a bolt and LOCK NUT, oops got one too big, ok back to get the right one, hoist away again.  All's great, we're still dead into the wind for sail-hoisting thanks to Ninja Driver Mikai, and I move into place to adjust the mainsheet and traveler.

It's at this point I stoop down and grasp for the nut lying on the deck.  Butterfingers, and it flies into the drink.  I guess that was a sign of what was to happen next.  No one really saw it, but about ten seconds later, a black shadow shot into the drink too.  Then the main was magically loose or at least looser (not sure I wanted that yet).  "WHAT WAS THAT?"  At first nothing seemed wrong, the boat was fine, I was fine, the crew was fine, nothing was falling, nothing broken.  Or was it?  The mainsheet, the line (NOT ROPE you LANDLUBBER) that holds thousands of pounds of wind on the mainsail had only one block (pulley in landlubberese) holding it.  Now if you remember your physics or anything about levers, you'll know that losing that one block changes it from 4:1 to 2:1.  One lonely block left to hold all that weight.  I guess we could have sailed on one, but if that one fell off, we'd have a boom BOOMING all over the places as nothing else holds the sail and boom except the mainsheet.

So, about two nanoseconds later (nanosecond one was considering jumping in after the block), down came the mainsail, and motoring it was to the next island.

That's the kind of stuff that happens on a typical day.  It's not the boat really--this happens to new and well-worn boats, although a LOCK NUT might have helped.  Anything that does happen is my fault.  Yeah it really is.  Did I do a rig check?  No, not that day.  Would I have caught it if I had?  Maybe.  I'm always keeping a keen eye for anything amiss.  The nut on the deck (no I'm not referring to me or any of the family) was a sign, a 10-second sign til the damage was done.

So we motor off to the next island, and I think, well, I'll just go to the chandlery (hardware store for boats) and pick up a new one.  Except no one has that particular block.  Four local stores later, then 10 in California, no one has that block.  So I call the block maker.  They ask to send a picture, sounds like a custom block.  So at 9pm in the middle of pouring rain (not my choice or directive), a few shots are taken, and I get them the next day, and find out there are 14 left in existence, and have it shipped overnight.

I didn't realize this would be 24X7 adventure, on and off the boat.

I also am happily reminded since nothing truly bad happened, that a 5 minute gaze at everything topside on the boat is paramount.  And I'm sure something unexpected will happen next time, stay tuned here for more.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just a quick note

Hey everyone who follows our blog!! Sorry we have not been updating... There is SOOOO much to do for preparing our boat for this year. Dan is back in California getting a few quick things. Grandma Barbara (Shawna's Mom) is coming back with Dan on Monday (3/5). We will try to make another longer post tonight.

Also, the "Photos" section is the most regularly updated part of this blog. We try to post pictures at least every day if not every other day. Again, not very many interesting things have been happening other than swabbing the deck daily, so there are not very many recent pictures. Tonight we will post more pictures and write another post.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Post by Annika

This is Annika, it's been rainy and hot down here a lot. In fact as I write this, I'm in my bikini, sweating. Anyways, it's been fun hanging out in Rodney Bay Marina. This is where we were introduced to The Three Little Birds (Griffin, Luke and Jake). They became good friends to us. I've been having some fun times here, like playing and swimming. But there have also been bad times. Like when I was washing windows, and I closed it on my toe ( it was badly cut). But luckily, now it much better. Hope this trip passes by quick, because I'm starting to miss school with my friends.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Hey Everyone, we have not been with any WI-Fi networks for over a week until now!! We are using a painfully slow but steady Wi-Fi to post this and some pictures of the last 3/4 days. See the "Photos" section above for more of the the latest photos!!

Shawna writing:

Seemed like a long, long time.  Up, down, side to side, ugh! @(#(@*#)(Q!(@!!   Did they just throw up!  Oh yuk!  5 hours to Martinique.  I didn’t realize it would be so “rough”.  Best thing is to doze away the time......but all I have to say is thank GOD for Dan!  I don’t know what genes he got but his stomach or ears or brain or everything is different because he’s never been sick!

After arriving on the last day of Mardi Gras, we had time to shop for beach dresses and paint faces before joining the organized chaos in the crookedy streets of Saint Anne.  On Wednesday we motored around the corner to Marin for “too much French” for our taste.  Thursday we took the dinghy a mile to Club Med for a titch of ease and play.  Coming home it was good to see my girls toughen up against the setting sun as we cut into the current and splashes of chilling waves. Adventure.

Now we’ve arrived back “home” in Rodney Bay for a week of rest before pushing northward.  Until now it’s just been a warm-up!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First days 2/15

Sorry it’s taken so long to update! We have been having SOOOO much fun, while enjoying no intentional organization what-so-ever, that we haven’t realized the days passing so quickly! Well the girls have been just a little tired too actually.

The latest news is that while the boys traveled the rough 18 foot tall waves with up to 30 knot winds with only a double reefed sail from the Grenadines to Saint Lucia, the girls dozed through their flight. After we were all reunited we motored to Soufrière where we are sitting out a very big rain storm (for this time of year) until tomorrow when we’ll make our attempt to trek a bit in the rainforest before setting off to Castries (the capitol) and Rodney Bay.

Sure are lots of banana trees and schools of fish here.  And as for temps: it’s a pleasant 75 or so.....not too hot at all.

Today Mom took a swim shower with the dog before everyone woke, Annika and Nikolas played on the beach in the down pouring rain and Shawna, Mikai and Karina went to town and bought groceries and ice.  Right now Mikai is insisting that we update our blog but I think the carrots may be getting mushy.

Tonight for dinner we’re having fresh Tuna, carrots and egg drop soup....In case anyone was wondering.  And no, we haven’t met any pirates, gotten heat rash, seen a shark or been sun burned yet!  Oh.... but the lucky few who were awake saw a very big turtle.  It’s been wonderful as we expected so far.  The hardest part has been organizing our insanely extensive quantities of stuff.  Each of us brought 1.5 medium suitcases for the year and it’s still way to much!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Arrived! 2/9

Well here we are!! Finally after 24 hours of traveling we are here:

After 24 hours of this:

...we have arrived! We landed in St Lucia, where we took a put-put plane to St. Vincent. We are now on Double Down in St Vincent. Steve is here, showing us how to handle his boat for a year. Maintenance, cleaning, and all that good stuff. It is something like 80ºF here with roughly 150% humidity. There is not one minute of the day that I am not sweating. Yesterday I drank 1.5 liters of water during lunch because it was just THAT HOT. Other than that, all is well. We are all happy now that we have had a a chance to sleep. The only thing that's missing is the other half of the family (Karina, Annika, and Shawna). We will see you all back in St Lucia on Monday!