Tuesday, November 27, 2012

4th Turkey Day on Mehari

Well, because we just pulled in to Wilmington, we still don't know anyone........at least not well enough to have any invitations for all 8 of us to come over for Thanksgiving dinner :) we're celebrating on Mehari!

Thanksgiving is a family favorite holiday for all of us, one: because of the awesome meal, which Rachel manages to create out of our little kitchen with a two burner stove, and two: the inevitable movie/nap to follow! We all really love the time of year, it's starting to get crisp outside, leaves are gorgeous, and it's just a great time to relax as a family, not that we've been lacking family time these past few years. 

We spent the day cooking, we ate rotisserie chickens (that's all we can fit in our little oven) stuffing, potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberries, and this year, Emma dazzled us with two sweet potato pies she made with crusty marshmallow top! They were fantastic!

We also thought over the past 5 years, and where we ended up celebrating Thanksgiving each year..........

2008: We had just moved to Costa Rica earlier in the year and ended up celebrating with a group of "gringos" at a country club and did an impromptu potluck. It was loads of fun, there was a pool table there, and it ended up being a big party with almost 50 people! 

2009: We had moved onto Mehari only 5 months earlier, and had sailed a few Greek islands, and had made our way over to Turkey and had spent 2 1/2 months enjoying empty bays, new cities and the amazing hospitality of the Turkish people! I don't know if we've put it other posts over the years, but Turkey was easily one of our family's favorite places. We also found a rotisserie chicken there, made cous-cous, lots of fresh veggies and a Mediterranean salad. I don't remember dessert, but I'm sure honey, yogurt and some kind of chocolate were involved. 

2010: This year we were in Israel, living in Jerusalem. Miles was only 2 months old, and we spent the day in our apartment, eating hummus and pitas, I believe also we had Chicken (Turkey's are a pretty uniquely American thing) and Israeli salad, similar to Mediterranean, but lighter on the goat cheese and feta :(

2011: This year, we were making tracks toward crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It was right before we left the Canary islands, off of Morocco (although they are technically Spain) and we had a great day playing in the sand, hanging out at the beach and of course, playing football with some friends we met along the way. "Imagine," a boat with a family, us and a couple from Switzerland and Italy all made a potluck on the beach and Maggie even made a pumpkin pie and an apple pie! It was a epic day and the following day, our friends left to cross the Atlantic and we left to sail to Senegal, West Africa. Pretty unbelievable sitting here thinking back on it now:)

2012: This year finds us, having returned from an incredible summer in Alaska, fishing salmon, and travelling a LOT of miles there and back (20,000!!), visiting loads of friends and family along the way and looking forward to our new life in Wilmington. This town seems like a good fit for us, and we have really enjoyed exploring and learning some hidden gems. Our family is getting into thrift store shopping and there are tons of neat little shops here that we've been digging through. 

So, thank you to everyone who has supported us these past few years, we'd love to keep in touch with you and tell you about some exciting news happening over the next few months! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Arriving in Wilmington

Here's a photo from the chart plotter, showing us pulling into Wilmington, we're the little triangle in the middle.
We had a good 3 day motor up the ICW, seeing about 60 dolphins on the trip which was really cool, but it was cold and windy, which was not so cool. Rachel also had a good trip 'sailing' over land in the car and meeting up with us each night.
It feels really good having all of our 'stuff' and boat and people in the same place and tucked into a marina, even though we're far from settled. Now that we're in Wilmington, we're all anxious to see what chapter is next!

Thanks everyone for all your prayers and support. We'll keep you posted on the start over process. With what little we've seen of Wilmington, it seems like a very cool, old town with lots to do for families, good for homeschooling, and a good fit for us!

Waiting for the bridge

Sometimes on the ICW, you don't arrive at the bridges exactly when they open, so you end up sitting in the channel, waiting for a while until their next scheduled opening.
There are workers sitting in the control towers (in the middle in this picture) and we communicate with them using the radio, being sure to address them as: 'Bascule Bridge Master, we are requesting an opening!'
It feels like we're asking permission from the trolls under the bridge to pass in a children's fairy tale, but that's how it is. Kinda funny!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ready for Launch (or......as ready as we'll ever be!)

It's been a drizzly couple of weeks, first with the hurricane (although compared to the devastation in New York and New Jersey we don't have anything to complain about!) and then the residual storm this week pushing rain and COLD down here, we haven't exactly finished our list of things to  do on the boat before we can put it back in the water.
Although we did manage to pick up a bigger propane heater for the inside of the boat, because with lows in the upper 30's, and NO insulation to speak of on a fiberglass boat......it's been.......brisk! And there seems to be only so many layers you can wear to bed. 

"ICW" in North Carolina
We were scheduled to go back in this Friday afternoon, but it looks like Monday at the soonest, maybe Tuesday. Something that is super critical for us going back into the water is making sure we coordinate with the tides.
We have to make sure we go in at "slack high tide" which means the water is as high as it's going to get and shifting to the low tide for the day. Of course, the tide changes everyday, so it's all in the scheduling. We are on a small river, called Core Creek, off of the main part of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) And the tides RUSH through this section and trying to motor our boat out into it with the water either rushing one way or the other is not a fun prospect. 

The ICW, if you're not familiar, is a 3000 mile canal system, most of it natural inlets, salt water rivers and bays, along most of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. It is possible to travel the coasts of several states without the hazards of traveling on the 'open sea'. Although you have to pay a lot more attention in the ICW than on the open sea because there is a lot of traffic from barges, other sport boats, sail boats, fishermen, and bridges! Not exactly the set-the-autopilot-and-read-a-book kind of watch. On the other hand, it's usually pretty flat water, so no one is feeling  crummy.

So, we're scrambling to finish all the chores, while Mehari is sitting on blocks. Projects like: a new toilet! some fiberglass repairs to the rudders and back deck, painting the entire hull with anti-fouling paint, and what seems like a thousand other miscellaneous projects. All while doing laundry, shopping, and shifting stuff off and on the boat.......oh yeah, and living! 
I think we'll all be glad to get back in the water, and back to a 'normal' routine.....which I'm not sure we know what that looks like, but are willing to learn ;)

From the ICW in North Carolina.......