Saturday, March 13, 2021

Belated Updates and an Epic Experience

     Hello from La Cruz! I know, I know. It's been a long time since we've updated this blog at all, and for some reason, none of us have been much in a writing mood. No excuses, no apologies. We've been living life and enjoying ourselves! 

     Let's see. The last time I wrote was our five-year anniversary of living aboard Kyrie, so I have a bit of catching up to do. A few highlights:

     The Gold Coast was awesome! We were in Manzanillo on the previous post and slowly worked our way back north, even finding another kid boat on our way. We met the family on SV Sauvage en route from Tenacatita to Bahia Chamela and they actually reversed course and returned to Chamela with us since our fleet was the first batch of kid boats they had encountered in months! 

     After one aborted attempt and a few extra days in Chamela, our little fleet of four kid boats rounded Cabo Corrientes and gratefully dropped anchor in Banderas Bay on Valentine's Day. That apparently signaled the arrival of the kid boats in La Cruz! 

Nearly all the boat kids are enjoying ice
cream after the trash boat regatta here.
     This has been a rough year for finding family boats as a lot of families returned home to wait out this Covid situation. Therefore, we've tried to stick with the ones we've been able to find. I'll admit, it's been a bit of a difficult balancing act, trying to be safe and determine how best to observe social distancing, with kids being so excited to see old friends and make new friends. Okay, the adults are there too! Thankfully, after a parent meeting early on, I think we all reached an agreement everyone was happy with, and the kids can congregate outside to their hearts' content.

      We met a number of new families during this time here, including a family from Alaska (SV Third Day) and a missionary family consisting of seven people living on a catamaran (SV Ankyrios) not that much bigger than Kyrie! The only problem with this lifestyle is that friends come and go and we never know when we'll see them again. Thank goodness for email and other social media, right?

Up close look at baby
Olive Ridley turtles
     Cat here at Marina La Cruz has been running hither and yon, arranging all sorts of activities for the kids and their families here and we finally got to participate in one particular activity that Joe and I have dreamed about literally for years. Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates is a sea turtle rescue and release program in Puerto Vallarta. They watch for sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs and once they are done, the volunteers collect the eggs, bury them in their enclosed nursery and keep the eggs safe from predators until they hatch. Once the baby turtles hatch, the public is allowed to sign up to attend release days, which is what we got to do last night! About 30 people from the marina signed up and we got to learn a bit about the situation for sea turtles in Banderas Bay and then see the newest batch of Olive Ridley sea turtles. 

It's a baby turtle
in a cup!
     We were all given a coconut cup and then asked to spread out on a line drawn on the beach. Then volunteers put two baby turtles in each of our cups. Once there were no frigate birds flying overhead, we were told to step forward to the next line, tip our cups over in the sand, and cheer our little turtle babies on in their quest to find the waves! Most of the turtles oriented themselves right away and started their journey, but a few were apparently confused and trying going the wrong way at first. We all had to stay back, but it didn't stop us from cheering our turtles on. Rachael and Megan named their turtles and we could hear them yelling their names and urging them toward the water. It was amazing how attached I felt to "my" turtles and watched until they both made it to the water and I couldn't see them anymore. Any of those babies that are females will return to that same beach some day to lay their own eggs and continue the cycle, and they could live as long as 80 years. Incredible! I feel so honored to have played a tiny part in helping these creatures get started in life.
Right before we all released our turtles

The kids are cheering "their"
turtles on toward the water.

Here are a few of the babies, making their
way to the water and their new life. 
Best of luck and swim safe!






Friday, January 22, 2021

Five years before the mast


               

This is an appropriate moment to revisit this long-neglected blog. We have a major anniversary to celebrate! Yes, Joe and I celebrated 20 years of marriage about three weeks ago and that was huge, but here’s another biggie. January 20, 2021, marked five years that the Grieser family has lived aboard Kyrie. Five years! We’re also getting close to the longest time we’ve lived in one particular residence. Before this, the longest time we had lived somewhere was Anchorage—June 2006 to July 2011. By next month, Kyrie as a home will surpass that.


                Memories flood back as I think about the last five years. The frenzy of packing up the house to leave Juneau. Seeing Kyrie for the first time in person and hauling everything from the overloaded van down to her, and somehow finding a place for everything. Adjusting to boat life, instead of house life—figuring out the stove and oven, having to move every time someone wanted something from a pantry, having to pack up and walk up the dock every time you wanted a shower, and getting in tune with the weather and realizing how much it affects our everyday life. Our trip back to Juneau from Washington—long days and so much to see, but not enough time to stop and explore. Weekends and two-week vacations in our floating home—is it really a vacation if you take your home with you? But at least I got to sleep in my own bed every night! Dealing with winters while living aboard—emptying the dehumidifier twice a day, pulling the girls’ frozen sheets off the wall, brushing snow off the plastic covering. Counting down the months and days until we could leave Juneau at last to officially start our adventure, and at the same time, wondering if we really will be able to leave.

                More memories: leaving Alaska with the realization that it would be a long time before we saw our home state again. Bouncing through heavy seas on the outside of Vancouver Island, gritting our teeth and knowing there was a hot springs at the end of it. Gritting our teeth again in Port Townsend at the price tag for the work that needed to be done, but knowing it all needed to be done to make our floating home ready for further adventures. Spending time with family and friends in Oregon, Monterrey, and San Diego. Weather keeping us in places longer than expected and having to rush through or skip other places to make up the time. The craziness of the Baja Ha-ha and meeting friends that we are still traveling with today. Swimming in the ocean, seeing fish we’ve only seen on TV, listening to the sound of the kids shrieking through their snorkels when they saw something exciting. Engrossing ourselves in a new culture with a language we could barely squeak by in, and enjoying meeting locals and seeing their amusement as we tried to communicate in Spanish. Learning how resilient we could all be as a global pandemic shut us down and how flexible the kids have proved to be as we bounced from place to place, trying to isolate, but still be with people (namely kids) as we could.

                Today, we are in Bahia Manzanillo. Where do we go from here? At the moment, I have no idea, and I’m honestly okay with that. These five years of boat life have given me and my family a much greater appreciation for living in the moment, while still looking ahead at future possibilities. We’re no hurry to go anywhere and simply want to enjoy wherever we are, with whoever we can share that time.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Megan's Musings, Volume 1

     I've been trying to get the kids to participate in the blog by writing their own posts. At long last, in her debut posting, here is little miss Megan, sharing about our pets aboard Kyrie. :)

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Pepino ("cucumber" in Spanish!)
my family has a dog his name is rio we also have two hermit crabs we have one bigger and one tiny one the bigger  hermit crabs name is hermes and the tiny ones name is pepino and you really need to see pepino. she is oh my gosh cute and rio well. he is also so cute! he has brown eyes and loves to play a lot! 😁😁

Hermes, who likes to pretend
she's a "Klingon."
Rio the sailing dog, our 
"Sonoran short hair"

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Back to the beginning

    This has been a surreal couple of weeks. Actually, about a week ago, we dropped anchor in Caleta Partida, an area we spent a lot of time in when we first arrived in the Sea of Cortez a year ago. We spent about a day and a half there, enjoying being back for a little while. We have quite a few good memories from there. In the good ol' pre-Covid days, we spent lots of evenings in the cockpit of our boat and other people's boats, talking, laughing, and enjoying a glass of wine while our kids gathered below, eating popcorn or brownies, watching movies and playing games. One of the most fun was the evening Deerfoot II invited everyone in the anchorage over. The couple zoomed around in their dinghy, visiting all the boats and extending an invitation. That evening, there must have been twenty extra people on that 70-foot sailboat, including 10 kids! Brownies, ice cream, an upside-down Christmas tree, watching Levi talk to three kids from Mexico City, using their dad as a translator, meeting new people. Those were definitely the days... 
    This time had some highlights as well. Levi happily met a boy his age--something of a rare occasion so far on this adventure. They spent most of the time swimming off our boat and talking about video games. Our boy had a good day! Even better, this new friend is here in La Paz, so they have plans to spend some more time together while we're here. Of course, there was also kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling to be enjoyed, which we did! Joe and I found King Angelfish, Reef Cornetfish, and drooled over a couple of hogfish. 
    A week ago, the weather report encouraged us to leave the islands and head for cover. Well, weather and our list of things to be fixed. Our genoa repair needed to be completed, our watermaker was (and is!) still giving us headaches with low production, and a few other items needed attention. Plus, there was the hope my birthday wouldn't be rained out this time and I could have shrimp tacos and a margarita in town. Success on that front! My birthday was dry. We enjoyed a walk on the malecon and finally managed to make it to Neveria La Fuente and try the mango ice cream my mom said we "have to get." You're right, Mom. It's delicious!
    As I said, it's surreal being back here. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here before and it's lovely to be back, but there is definitely a different feel. Walking on the Malecon is nice, but we miss that busy feeling in the evenings when all the families were out. Club Cruceros is closed, so there isn't the usual coffee and cookie mornings at the marina, or any other big gatherings. Mercado Bravo is still full of beautiful, delicious food, but the kids missed being able to go in and order their own empanadas. However, this is where we feel as though our time in Mexico really began, and at almost exactly a year later, we're thoroughly enjoying a repeat visit here.    
    Perhaps next time Joe can regale our readers with our watermaker woes and how much he has fixed or replaced on it. At that point, we will have our genoa back with a brand new sun cover and we'll be ready to cross back over to the mainland. It's getting cooler and time to go south. How far south we will get this year? Stay tuned...
We met up with our friends 
on Tulum again. It's like 
these girls never were 
apart!
I had to take a photo of 
everything that was in the
smoothie we got at Mercado
Bravo today! Delicious!