Showing posts with label Las Palmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Las Palmas. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Talk to Me

I just got off the phone with Martin and unfortunately the trip was postponed until Thursday.  The swells are too high and they want to wait it out before they attempt to cross the Atlantic.  Better to be safe.  Of course, I would have liked to have seen Martin sooner rather than later.  It will be almost 9 weeks by the time we see each other again.  Way too long.

Even though Martin and his crew weren't able to shove off today, it was nice to have a long, relaxed conversation with him tonight.  A lot of the times that we talk, it's late into the night for Martin and he is on his cell—which isn't cheap.  As much as he wants to talk, he's exhausted and in the back of our minds, we know the bill is quickly racking up charges.  Today, Martin went to an internet cafe and we were able to do some much needed Skyping on our computers.  Lily especially enjoyed seeing her dad on the computer screen.
When traveling, if you see something that says, "Zona Wi-fi"  you stop and pull out all your gadgets and start downloading.  Martin and Garry couldn't look happier to get in contact with the outside world.
Because of Lily's disability, she doesn't talk.  She does most of her communicating through her eyes.  When Lily meets someone she usually takes a good 15 seconds and looks deep into their soul with her eyes.  It's disarming and so tender.  During our Skype time with Martin, Lily nuzzled up to the computer screen and looked deep into her daddy's eyes, as if telling him that she loved her daddy.  It really was so special to see her responding to her dad and wanting as much as she could to communicate with him.  I am so grateful that she could have some much needed daddy-daughter time with him.
Projects.  Constant projects.  
It seems that every time Martin and I talk, he is hard at work on the boat and elbow deep into a project.  Martin said that they worked almost 14 hours on the boat just fixing things today.  I asked him if this was going to be a "constant" and all he could say was, "I sure hope not."  Luckily we will always have crew there to help us.  However, the ongoing joke with cruisers is that projects never end and lists just get longer.  Hopefully those lists will lessen by the time we reach the Panama Canal and we will have most of the kinks worked out and be able to just enjoy one another AND Amara.  Maybe we'll even be able to enjoy all those sunsets that I keep reading about.
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While Amara has been tied to the dock, Martin said that he has seen some beautiful boats.  This one for example.  This is one gorgeous BIG sailboat!  What a beaut!

He has also seen a family carrying on with their daily life... just on a boat.

What Martin has come to understand is that regardless of the things that we see as impressive when it comes to boats is that a man's boat is HIS boat... or HERS.  Everyone loves their home, because that is truly where their heart is.  The size, the luxury and the sails—it doesn't matter.  A love for one's boat is truly a labor of love.  Take for instance, José and his boat...
The entire time that Martin, Patrice and Garry have been busily fixing and maintaining Amara these past 5 days, José has been working just as hard on his.
I love that José has the same pride for his boat that Martin and I have for Amara... perhaps he even has a little more.  I'm always impressed when I see someone living out their dreams.  I would hope that everyone we know doesn't let circumstances hold them back and that they can shoot for the stars and live out their dreams.  That means YOU!
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Now for a tour...

While in Las Palmas, Martin and Garry have had a chance to take in the sights of the city.  Here are some great photos that capture the essence of the Gran Canarias.

More updates tomorrow.  As always, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday Best

Martin at the top of the Mast.  I really love this photo of Martin.
Sunday proved to be a fruitful day.  Martin and Garry started out the day looking for a place to go to church.

Luckily, there was a local LDS branch (congregation) in the Canaries.  Unfortunately, Martin forgot to pack a white shirt (No worries. I got that covered).
Martin at the local Mormon church in the Canaries.
While Martin and Garry were there, they met a wonderful missionary couple from Colorado, Elder and Sister Buhler.  The Buhler's are serving an 18-month mission for the Mormon church in the Canaries.

Of course, once Martin met the Buhler's, he invited them over for dinner on Monday night.  This would be Amara's first hosting event and the crew cooked up a fabulous meal of fresh tuna, potatoes, and a green salad.  Martin said that Patrice seared the tuna just right and as I type this, it's making my mouth water. Tuna happens to be one of my very favorite meals!
Elder and Sister Buhler
Martin really enjoyed his time that he spent with the Buhler's.  He was especially glad that they were the first ones of many more fast friends to help break in Amara.  One of the reasons we are going on this adventure is to meet lots of people from all over, and all walks of life, to help us enjoy Amara and all the lovely sunsets we foresee her bringing.

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Today, along with preparing dinner for our first guests, Martin and his crew did some more provisioning. This time they had to make sure that they would have enough food to last them for the next 17 days.  I can't even imaging shopping for 3 hungry men.  Martin admitted to me today that Lily's allotted bedroom on Amara is now a storage and provisioning room stacked with spare parts and food.  (I was afraid that was going to happen.)
After provisioning the boat, Martin and Garry took off and went on a tour of the city and visited Christopher Columbus' home and saw the route that he took on his first voyage in 1492 to the New World. It goes without saying that I would have loved to have seen the Canaries.   I served a LDS (Mormon) mission to Madrid, Spain 24 years ago, and it was always my desire to get the Canaries.  Bummer that I'm not there and couldn't take advantage of seeing the sites.
It looks like the team will be taking off in the morning.  Patrice thinks there will be a break in the weather, but it's still not set in stone.  I hope it happens because that means that Lily and I are a few days closer to seeing Martin.  Finger's crossed!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Gran Canaria

Amara at the harbor in Gran Tarajel, Canaries
Amara arrived in Gran Tarajel, Canaries early yesterday.  The journey was smooth and the wind pushed Amara along the water making it an ideal trip.

Garry was even able to catch a tuna for another night's dinner.
Our friend and third mate, Garry, showing off his first catch!
And they got to experience beautiful sunsets...
When they finally pulled into the harbor in Gran Tarajel, the weather was a warm 70° Farenheit (21° Celsius).  This made a huge difference in Martin, Patrice and Garry's spirits.  Warm weather can do this to anyone after months of cold.

Because the weather was so lovely, the crew was able to spend 4 hours washing down the inside and outside of the boat in their shorts and bare feet.  The sun made everything so much more enjoyable—even scrubbing down a boat.  Those of us in Utah right now can only imagine what that must be like, since we have had a particularly cold and grueling February.  After hearing this news, I wanted to leave it all behind and join Martin in the Canaries.  Unfortunately, duty and responsibility call and I continue to get all our ducks in a row here in Utah before I take off for the sun.

More pictures to follow in the next few days...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Journey Continues

Martin captured this picture yesterday from the top of the mast.

I had a great call with Martin today.  He was calling me during his 10pm-2am shift.  It was so much fun killing time with him and knowing he was sailing in the middle of the ocean so far away.  

Martin and his crew are over halfway to the Canary Islands with around 225 miles to go.  The 30 knot winds have been pushing them along with just a reefed genoa.  He sounded to be in great spirits and said that they are still having a wonderful time.  All of this was great news for me to hear!  

During this passage, Martin told me that they have seen sea turtles floating on the surface of the water and have had Pilot whales swim up beside the boat.  They even had a pod of dolphins, and their babies, play in front of the bow for a good 30 minutes.  Now I'm getting jealous.

News Flash:  It looks like those huge fishing rods that Martin lugged to France (and paid a hefty price to get onto the plane) have finally earned their keep.  They got their first catch!  It was a Bonito, which they promptly gutted, cleaned and ate for dinner.

Amara is set to arrive in the Canaries (Las Palmas) on Friday.  Once Martin and his crew arrive, it looks as if the weather will still be working against them.  So, they'll probably have to sit in the Canaries for a few days and wait out the storm... again.  

Meanwhile, I am home and still packing.  A typical scenario for me is that I pack up all the boxes, sit on them for an evening, then wake up in the morning and say to myself, "We don't need that.  Now which box is such-and-such in?"  Then I proceed to unpack all the boxes until I finally find the item.  Another typical scenario is that I'll think of something that, "I forgot to pack", then I'll get up, grab the item, take it downstairs to the boxes and throw it inside of one of them.  Tuesday night I stayed up late into the night and finally itemized each box.  First, because I'll need to do it for customs forms anyway, but mainly because I can't play this game of "go fish" another day.  Luckily, the boxes leave next week so I can stop playing this "song and dance" every day.  It's all so exhausting.  

Honestly, I don't think that I'll be able to relax until I am finally at the dock in St. Maarten and have Martin in my line of vision.  It's all just too much not having him here in Utah with me.  Last night, I had a dream that Martin was in bed next to me.  I even remember taking my foot and reaching out to touch his leg. This is something that I do so often and obviously take for granted.  When I woke up, I reached over to his side of the bed and realized that no one was there.  It took me a good 30 seconds before my brain could catch up and realize that he is still so far from Lily and me.  

We really miss him.