Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I woke up this morning cold, really cold. My cheery comfy summer quilt that makes me smile every morning just didn’t cut it. The wind is blustery and I’m dreading the cold floor on my feet as I tread down the stairs to get my coffee. The weatherman says its going to warm up later today, but the realisation is that the days are getting shorter and weather is getting cooler and that it is time to go. Not only that, the fact is that I keep finding Cruising Outpost sailing magazines in the outhouse, all conversations turn to West Marine, Defender or Hodges Marine.

Linda: Marc I would really like to go pick some fresh apples that are in season.
Marc: Apples in season, as in AIS, yes I was just checking out a new VHF with integrated AIS. Sure let’s go shopping. 

Linda: We really need to make sure the wood stove is in, so camp doesn’t get to cold.
Marc: Maybe we should set up Chris Parker so we can watch weather trends. Its never too early to start planning. 

Linda: Do you feel that wind? Holy jeez it almost feels like the camp is rocking and rolling. 
Marc: Thats a beam sea.
Linda: Screw off Marc. 

Marc is right though, it is time to start planning and preparing to leave and I feel wholly inadequate; where to start, what to do? It’s only been 17 months since we had to take a hiatus from our sailing adventure, but honestly it seems that its been an eternity. I have those first time jitters I experienced when we originally left our home port of Little Current in 2013. 

Our planned departure is the first week of November. It seems an eternity away, yet way to damm close.  Instead of my morning perusal of gardening posts on Pinterest I have started to scan Women Who Sail and my other favourite sailing blogs. 

My first attempt at getting my head back into leaving was posting a question on WWS my favourite information site bar none: “It is planning time again, so I have a quick question. When we leave Canada and go south most items in the US are cheaper so we provision there, except toiletries such as toilette paper, and hygiene products. Are there other cost effective items to buy here even with the exchange of our sad Canadian Dollar?”

As always, the members didn’t fail me. I was reminded of the value of Buckley's cough syrup that is equal in demand with Canadian maple syrup.  Available in Canada over the counter drugs such as Scopolamine patches, Neosporin drops, acetaminophen with codeine. But most importantly I am thankful for the reminder to pack Montreal Steak spice and Toppers pizza sauce. Life would have been completely lacking if I had forgotten the sauce. 

Thankfully, after much digging into the bowels of my trusty old computer, I found my provisioning lists from 2014, 2015. I squealed with delight and stopped to take a minute of gratitude from my whirling brain. Did we really pack 14 cases of beer?

The good news is, that I'm excited I get take my cheery comfy summer quilt with me. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

All Things Happen For A Reason

November 21
Im sitting in the bunkie this morning wondering how I want to write this post. Ironically, when I opened my pages program, there was still a copy of the last post I wrote. I had emphatically stated “First let me tell you nothing is wrong, no one is sick, and nothing is forcing us to take this route.” And, it was true, then, it’s not now.
Last year, my strong healthy husband had some indigestion and tightness in his chest, the result was that he had to have two stents to correct two 90% blockages in his heart. No high cholesterol, no high blood pressure, he’s not over weight and that crappy smoking habit he once had is long gone. It seemed the cardiac care team were surprised that this even happened. 
 After the surgery, we trotted off to the Bahamas, Marc built the bunkie, spent the summer working full time. Everything seemed good except there was still some tightness, come on this guy was carrying 5/8” sheets of press wood up ladders.
Thank goodness for persistent friends, and a cardiologist sailing friend, that hooked Marc up with a surgeon. So last week in Marc goes for an angiogram. When they wheel him out about 45 minutes later, I am excited thinking thats fast, it must have gone well. No, One of the stents put in last year is blocking and there are three new blockages. It seems that this is genetic, or so they surmise. 
When given a choice Marc opts to wait a couple weeks for the triple bypass surgery, I think to wrap his head around it, I text my oldest friends to wallow in my pitty pot, and we run to camp to think and read and reflect.
Like I said before everything happens for a reason and now we know what our reason to stay was. 
I know that bypass surgery is very common place these days, he is young, healthy and there is virtually little risk (10%) but, hey this is my best friend, any risk is just to much. 

So in the next couple weeks Marc is  going to have his surgery, he’s going to mend and become better than before. Fingers crossed, we will be sailing DevOcean this time next year, enjoying fair winds and following seas, blogging about sailing and wondering why we were so worried. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Should We Stay Or Should We Go

Marc’s and my decision making process has turned into something like the Clash song, do I stay or should I go. Do we go south or stay north for the winter. Our plan until the past couple of days has always to head back to DevOcean,and sail off to Mexico. 

First let me tell you nothing is wrong, no one is sick, and nothing is forcing us to take this route. 

Like all good sailors we make decisions based on a number of things;
The weather, the big con on our list if we stay, we are already worried about the bitter cold come february and how we are going to be able to cope. 
The crew, 
#Ashlee is taking a new job and making a move so we would like to be able to be here to support her in the changes she’s making. 
#Daniel is at school and we believe though he clearly has his life down pat without mom and dad (other than a little thing called money), we still like to feel needed. 
#Marc’s mom is ageing and we are getting the tug to stay a little closer right now. 

The Cruising kitty, money is always on everyones mind, Marc is enjoying his job, I’m enjoying his money and topping up the kitty is always a good thing. 

Along time ago in another world when I was  social worker I worked for a fabulous supervisor Barb Ridley, she said once that if your instincts are telling you something listen. I think our hearts are incredible compasses for our lives, they have most of the answers to problems we are facing, even when logic hasn’t caught up. When I haven’t listen to my heart is when I have made lifes biggest mistakes. Marc called last week while he was driving home from Thunder Bay “have you thought about what you’ld like to do?” my response was, of course to deflect, no have you? He said his mind was screaming to say lets go, his heart said we needed to stay, so was mine. The decision was made. 

Days seem to zoom by so fast that its easy to forget about the important things, family, family is always the most important thing in Marc’s and my life so we’ve decided to make this year about family. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Definition Of Bunkie Has Many Meanings

Many of our urban dwelling southern friends have been questioning, just exactly what we are building? What is a bunkie, while our rural, northern friends have no problem understanding our building plans. During a long drive after we had pondered the meaning of life, discused our children, a short conversation about money or the lack thereof we decided to look up the definition of Bunkie. Definitions of bunkie seemed to be varied from, a man who shares living space with another man in a prison cell described in the urban dictionary in a way that both my mother or pastor wouldn’t want me to repeat, to always polite Websters definition “The bunkie”, meant to serve as a guesthouse. Most importantly, we learned it wasn’t a valid scrabble word so we decided to define bunkie ourselves from different viewpoints .  

Bunkie [buhng-kee] noun, slang

Treehouse [tre haus] Noun 

a small house built in the branches of a tree for children to play in.
a structure or shelter in which people or animals are housed 

Examples for tree house: “Oh grandpa, I’m so lucky you built me a tree house.”

According to Wikipedia tree house are usually built for leisure, but sometimes are built for protection against wild scavenging animals. Marc: I feel better about storing the beer now. 

Building project [bildiNG pre jekt] Verb
Never ending building project, with an abundance of chores and maintenance to occupy his time upon completion much like owning a sail boat a never ending pit that you keep throwing money into. 
Examples for building project: After you finish the roofing project we could start on the wiring project, insulation project, water tower project, flooring project…  

1. Accident [aksedent] noun
An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury 
Example for accident: 

2. Retreat [ree treat] noun 
A quiet, secluded place one can rest and relax, a place to get away from it all. 
Examples for retreat: Lets retreat to the Faubert’s for some rest and relaxation Note: unless you want to help with the never ending building project; see waiver attached to friend definition #1 accident 

Kids & Cousins : 
Adventure Camp 
adˈven(t)SHər, kamp noun

tourism involving activities that are physically challenging
a type of niche visiting involving exploration to remote areas, where the you should expect the unexpected.

Home [hom] Noun, 

relating to a home of a family, place of origin, a base of operation, a place where someone flourishes as a member of a family. May poses biological DNA, but not necessary. I am at completely at home, and, I am wrapped in love XOXO

Don't Get Me Started On The Fridge Or The Outhouse

Is it only me that gets completely excited over getting a stove? When we bought our first sailboat Martiny it had, what I thought was a questionable propane stove that I was sure was going to burn off my eyebrows and blow up the salon. Much to my delight, I spent countless hours experimenting with that stove and I hope offered up some pretty tasty meals to family and friends so when Marc came home with this rust bucket for the new bunky I was more than just a little skeptical but as always optimistic.

Being on a budget and living in my idea of heaven who was I to complain, instead I spent a few hours with my friends google and pintrest searching for cleaning and refurbishing advice. To be really honest, I wanted to paint the stove teal green, but buying and shipping the paint was more money than we paid for the $100 stove. 

She’s pretty tiny but so is the bunky, extremely dirty, but I know how to clean and old and rusty, ah well I can relate to old and rusty. We honestly didn’t even know if she would work so that was our first goal. As soon as we hooked up some propane she sprang to life like a champ and much to our surprise had working pilot lights and It passed its leaky soapy test. 

Now it was my turn to go into action. I scrubbed  away grease and then the build up of what I like to imagine were happy family meals, sanded down her rusty age spots, taped her delicate areas and applied many new coats of paint. I think she turned out pretty good. 

My refurbished stove is now working away in her new spot, last week I canned a bushel of farm fresh tomatoes, I picked up on a quick trip south, Olive and I baked cupcakes with sprinkles of course, I used her to make our first night sit down meal and the under the oven broiler makes perfect toast if I don’t forget to watch it. Yup I’m pretty excited about my new stove. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Marc Calls The Bunkie Rough, I Call It Rustic

When DevOcean was safely tucked away in Jacksonville Florida this spring and Marc and I were enjoying the drive home, we spent countless hours planning the building of the bunkie, developing time lines, estimating costs. These exercises whiled away the hours and built excitement for our project. Silly me, I had us built, beautiful and dreaming of hours spent playing with Olive in the water, cold beer on hot afternoons, bonfires and s’mores.

Reminiscent of the planning for our retreat to the boat, we quickly learned that we were just as optimistic about the bunkie as we were about moving to the boat.  We are definitely, way off the mark in money and in time. 

As always Marc being the more realistic of the two of us, he just wanted to get the shell built. Geesh this is not a house, its just a bunkie, two rooms; one up, one down. 417 square feet give or take. We had hoped for the shell to be completed and us moved in to a basic space with in one month, but here it is two months later and with work (Whats with that? My retired husband working!) and family commitments the roof is not completed and there are still many basics to do. Marc calls the bunkie rough.

As for me, I of course spent hours pondering colours, dreaming of quaint corners, scouring small living blogs. Our entire living space is slightly bigger, 80 square feet, than the family room in the  home we sold to go sailing. Alas, my tiny kitchen has 2 x 4 cupboards, any kind of beautification that I thought was to happen will wait until next year,  maybe…(the reason for my husband working) I call the bunkie rustic.

So what do I want you to get from this blog? We are happy. Plain and simple. Everyday we are  happy to spend time here. We are still optimistically hoping to be in on the 20th of August but don’t hold your breath because Marc and I won’t.