Friday, April 3, 2015

Hot Damn!

Okay my blogs are very few and far between but when there's something worth writing about I will write!

Have you ever just been somewhere in life (literally or emotionally) where everything feels right? Where everything you are usually worried about kind of just slips away for a little while?

Well as soon as we pulled up into Dominica this feeling just struck me. We tied off to a mooring ball outside of the town of Roseau and I sat in awe. The island seems straight out of an adventure catalogue. It seems as if you could be lost in the jungle in 5 minutes if you just walked off the beaten track which is pretty true.

We decided that we needed to adventure so the next day we headed off in the dingy to the big city (actually a fairly small town). We were soon greeted by friendly locals just being friendly. This is new for us because on other islands the locals are often looking for a way to take your money. It was like the land of miracles. We looked around the town for a bit, cleared in and then headed back to the boat where we planned to just spend the day relaxing.

Well relaxing we did, but once we all got bored we decided to go for a snorkel at this place called Champagne Reef. It's called that because of the way the water bubbles up through the coral because of volcanic activity. The reef was beautiful and fairly untouched which is always a sight for sore eyes after seeing some of the reefs on the opposite end of the spectrum.

We all started to swim back to the dinghy when we heard these weird high pitched squeals under the water. Immediately we thought DOLPHINS and lifted our heads from the water just in time to see their fins streaming through the water. With our adrenaline pumping and excitement building we jumped in the dinghy to go find them. A little ways off shore they were surrounding us and Alex had the bright idea of jumping in too swim with them. Me being nervous of swimming in the middle of nowhere thought, "Well screw it. When am I going to be able to swim with dolphins in the wild ever again?" So I hopped in right after him and hot damn...They swam underneath us and around us making their friendly little noises. They are such happy creatures. It was one of those moments where you can't believe your eyes.

Once they had moved on I just couldn't stop thinking about it and thinking of how different and tainted that experience would have been if we had swam with them in captivity. It really puts into perspective how ludicrous it is to capture dolphins, put them into a tank and exploit their natural beauty for our pleasure.

The boat life has its ups and downs and lately I've been feeling like I want to be home but this just made it all seem worth it. Being away from my friends, my boyfriend and my family seems crazy sometimes but being at home it's hard to have experiences like this. At this moment I am happy I'm here :).

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Good and the Bad

There are many things you have to get used to when living on a boat and over the past week they have all come back to me. All of the little tricks of opening and closing cupboards or saying goodbye to left and right and welcoming port and starboard. It also came back to me the concept of the "high highs" and the"low lows". Throughout my life of sailing I have come to realize that things can either be really wonderful or really awful. Now this can be said for any lifestyle at a given time and god knows I feel like this sometimes in Toronto but it is a constant with the sailing lifestyle. It's either really good or really bad.

The Good:
Life in St. Martin was amazing. We all slowly fell into our familiar daily boat routine. Wake up, eat breakfast, work on something (for me it would be school work for others it would be boat work), go out for happy hour, eat dinner and then do some family activity. After not living in the same house as each other for 3 months, everyone was craving this sense of synchronicity. I love having my own room again and having the freedom the Caribbean allowed. I also love having my brother around. In St. Martin we quickly realized that no one really cared what your age was and you could pretty much buy or do whatever you wanted which was definitely a welcomed treat. After spending a week in St. Maarten we decided it was time to take to the seas and move to the next island.

The next island was St. Barts. None of us had been there before so we really had no idea what to expect as we pulled up into this completely shocking anchorage. It wasn't shocking in a bad way but just in a unique way. After being in lush St. Maarten it was a surprising to pull up into an anchorage that was surrounded by rocky hills and cactuses. It was gorgeous. Crystal clear waters and cliffs all around. Alex and I soon decided we needed to go explore and after a bit of liquid courage we were ready. After deploying the kayaks we made our way to the main beach. Once on the beach we found 2 hippies having a hard time getting their dinghy ashore. We gave them a hand and had soon made some friends to go exploring with. These 2 were great. They both had hair past their shoulders and were just a couple of buds looking to have a good time. We picked the highest cliff we could find and scaled it. And then another. And then another. As the sun started to go down, it was time to get back to the boat. The night consisted of swimming, cooking and a little performance to top it off. At the end of the night all four of us gathered on the front deck. Alex with his guitar and I with my ukulele. A family jam session under the stars. That is what I call a high high.

The Bad:
Yet the next day we decided the weather was good enough to sail on to St. Kitts. HAH. What a load of horse s***. We pulled anchor and were on our way, and that is when our high high turned into a low low at the drop of a hat. With high winds right on the nose, we spent hour after hour bashing right into the waves and swinging back and fourth. Making it an extremely uncomfortable sail. The constant salt spray anywhere you sat, so that you could never REALLY get comfortable, was just the cherry on top. Oh and also the fact that we couldn't even use the auto pilot because of the direction of waves meant that Captain Dad had to hand steer making him even crankier than usual.   When we arrived, we found that the anchorage we had chosen to stop at in Nevis was abnormally rolly. Resulting in everyones bad nights sleep. And that my friends, is what I call a low low.

The price you pay to have the high highs!

Stay posted for more teenage complaining ;)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Well the goodbyes have been said and the bags have been packed. As I’m writing this I am on the plane from Toronto to St. Maarten where my brother, dad and lovely floating home are waiting. Yesterday as I got home from saying goodbye to all of the beautiful people in my life I was quite upset so I called my best friend Mira. She told me that she was proud of me because saying goodbye is the hardest part. All I could think was that she was so right. I’ve been doing this whole leaving thing my whole life and yet I never really realized that saying goodbye really is the hardest part. Once you are gone everything is much easier and much happier, it is just so hard to realize all of that when you are leaving the ones you love. Ever since my last trip, so much has happened in my life. I started high school at Forest Hill and got insanely into the music department, joining choir, musical and vocal such things. That is where I met so many fabulous people including my two best friends Mira and Julia and my wonderful boyfriend Lukas. These past years have been such a wild ride and I am so glad I got to spend them with the people I have, yet I do know that I need to get out of the city for a while. I can never really sit still for that long. So here I am on this plane too St. Maarten just waiting for the adventures ahead. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed and have my own room again! Packing your entire life into a 50-pound duffle bag never really gets old ;).

I will be posting less emotionally charged blogs regularly so make sure to check in and read my moms blog for another perspective!

Missing everyone, Amelia

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bloody Cockpit

Well we finally caught a fish 20 days may be sensing I'm not happy about this but I don't think you would be if you were me.

I was in the cockpit with Dad listening to music when suddenly Dad said, "FISH!" Everyone rushed upstairs and I grabbed my camera as everyone gathered around Alex to watched the fish thrash through the water trying to escape its inevitable death. It was going to die, there was no question about it.

Dad attached the gaf to a rope and lowered it down to the water to seize the green and yellow mahi mahi, so full of life. You just knew it wouldn't go out without a fight. With that note the fish suddenly sprang free of the gaf and landed with a smack at moms feet. With a scream mom yanked her feet up while Alex tried to gain control of the fish with the fish hook still in its mouth. Then it wasn't in its mouth and with every wave the fish flopped from one side of the cockpit to the next. Then Alex screamed over my laughter, "just get a winch handle and smack it!!!!!" So mom passed dad the winch handle and with five brutal smacks to the head and blood all over the cockpit the tool was passed back to me...well bloody.

The bright florescent green and yellow fish turned to blue and black and that was the end of him. We all starred in silence until Dad said, "Well I can't wait for some mahi bites!" And so we were left with a dead fish and a kind of sick to the stomach feeling but you know at least we will have many bites.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fantastic day

Ok ok I know. It's been to long since I've written a blog but really there was nothing to report till the last couple days. Last night at about 7:00 we were hit by a big storm apparently....well all I know was that I was told to put the electronics in the oven and sit down for the bumpy ride. For some reason they thought it was was actually quite calm downstairs and Alex and I were watching Family Guy and doing school all night while every five minutes we would see the hatch open and mom or dad yell downstairs "BE CAREFUL BE VERY CAREFUL WE MIGHT GET KNOCKED DOWN." To be honest I would have thought it was nice out there if it wasn't for that.

I was woken this morning at seven to Alex telling me it was time for my shift since mom and dad were up all night. I was expecting torrential rain and lightning after the yelling that occurred throughout the night but when I poked my head up the hatch it was gorgeous outside, so glad I was up for the sunrise. After my shift till 10:00 I went downstairs and made some pan cakies for the family with this really odd pancake mix. The pancakes ended up tasting like ice cream but I'm not complaining.

Throughout the day buns were made and naps were had. We noticed two boats around us and even had a friendly chat with one of them on the radio. As we sat in the boiling heat going 0.1 knot while dad turned off the engine to fill up with fuel we thought why the hell aren't we swimming?? So with that we all got our bathing suits on and took turns swinging on the ladder while the water rushed by us. Fourteen and I've already will have crossed two oceans and had a mid ocean swim in each!

Alex and I went up on deck and laid in the tropical sun while dad had his naked shower without telling us. Believe me I'm pretty sure Alex and I will never look back there when dad is having a shower again! The odd part was that mom was scrubbing his back...yikes. For dinner we had bean burritos and cinnamon buns and I think tonight it will be an in cockpit movie night involving m and m's and popcorn!! All and all a fantastic day.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Phantom Ship

Well we did it!! We left the Canary Islands and started our journey across the Atlantic Ocean! WOOT WOOT! It's our fourth day out here, out of about a total of 20 days...hopefully. The weather has been pretty awesome with barely any waves but just enough wind. Before we left we made a ton of meals and froze them so we've had enchiladas, stew, spaghetti and tonight we are going to make fresh stir-fry. Yay!

Last night we had a bit of an interesting experience. Mom, Alex and I were watching Law and Order in the cockpit when all of a sudden our AIS started to make this god awful alarm. Sound that believe me scared the hell out of all of us. The AIS said that we were approaching Seismic Bella. Mom started freaking out and going into panic because that meant that we were approaching a boat and the only other boats out here were cargo boats so ya, you could say we were scared. I think at that point mom started going a bit delusional and started screaming Seismic Bella and then mumbling it under her breath.

At some point I called dad to come up and he took one look and all of us freaking out and said what the (I'll save you the swearing) is going on out here! With mom just mumbling Seismic Bella and starring at our AIS it took him a bit to fully recognize the situation. At that point Alex and I were scanning the horizon for any ships in the vicinity. When we heard dad say that it was probably just the AIS making a mistake.

We all basically collapsed and tried to stop our hearts from racing. We declared it the phantom ship and went back to watching Law and Order. It was the one where this guy kills this other guy for taking his taxi. Anyways that's about the most exciting it's got out here.

Till next time