September 1 – Our little sailing adventure started one year ago officially when we pulled out of Elliott Bay headed for warm water, fair winds and a change of lifestyle. The Puget Sound carefully deposited us from its gentle and safe embrace into the big, blue ocean on a picture-perfect day. In all the years we crossed the Straits of San Juan de Fuca could we remember but one day like the one we had as we exited the Straits: smooth, calm and warmer than usual. Out we went along with another sailing vessel named Manna who we made fast friends with and is anchored less than 100 yards from us now, a cruise ship lit up like a Christmas tree with disco music blaring and a stealthy aircraft carrier so dark I could hardly make out the bow and stern.
In this year we’ve traveled many a nautical mile, visited more places than we ever imagined, shared memories between each other like no other, scrutinized every little thing we each do given our close quarters, made friends we hope will last a lifetime even as tides take us to different places, marveled in the immense sea life beneath our floating home, bathed in the beauty of the warm tropical waters of the South Pacific, met local people who still live simple, ate unique foods we’d never heard or tried before, gained historical knowledge of countries outside the U.S., discovered alternative methods of communication as we didn’t speak the local language perfectly, confirmed that mother nature is strong and must be obeyed, not tamed or competed with, and learned that our planet is one, big connected home that we all must play a role in preserving.
We are ever thankful and grateful to so many friends and family members who have helped us make this trip possible. We appreciate your love and support. You are the primary reason we cannot stay so long – we miss you all and cannot wait to reconnect soon.
We are anchored in a serene anchorage in Tonga. We snorkeled out at Swallows cave, along with a trek up into the dark part of the cave with enough bats and their guano for a while. On the way back, we snorkeled a little reef nearby. The sun was bright, so we could see really well. Later as the sun set, I went beach combing with Julie from Manna on shore. We found a ton of good shells. I keep telling myself to stop gathering so many but each time there are new ones that I fall in love with that I must keep them for my collection.
For dinner I whipped up a delicious lentil and carrot soup that the kids loved, Dave not so much because it made him too hot. Oh well, his cell phone got a taste of it when I accidentally grabbed something nearby and it plopped into the bowl. Oops! Thank goodness it still works.
We will be here for about another six weeks, before Anila must turn south bound towards New Zealand to avoid cyclone season. While all us girls will hop a plane, Dave will stay in Tonga along with a crew to help him make the passage.
Tonight, I sign off with a huge virtual hug from us to you!