Different from before

Costa Rica to dinosaurs to Ecuador

The memories of sailing when I was one to five is lacking a lot so you can understand that sailing now is much different from what I remember.  On our last sailing trip on Red Thread I remember doing little to nothing.  I just sat back and enjoyed the ride while Mom and Dad did all the work.  Sure we helped make food, carry groceries, and put up the flags but that’s the easy stuff.  We were old enough to know that things weren’t all sunshine and lollipops but young enough to be unaware of all the work and stress of sailing.  Always wear your lifejacket on deck, no climbing the mast while underway, Dad needs his sleep or he’ll go crazy.  We got those things but what we didn’t get was sailing in a storm isn’t fun, you have to be careful of what you eat or drink, and if the water maker stops working you’re in trouble.  This time I know these things and instead of being a passenger I’m crew.  I have much more responsibility and an understanding of things and like everything it has its ups and downs.

The sail to Isla del Coco was a perfect way to start off the trip.  We were spoiled, the sun was shining, the waves where pretty clam, and wind blowing.  At night Linzi and I did our shifts together 12:00am to 2:00am.  The nights were clam and the moon rose high in the sky leading our way.  Stars lit up the sky but some were washed out by the moon’s light.  If we saw a boat we would tell Dad but we only saw one and by then our shift was over.  I would play games in my head and sing songs to myself to stay awake.  Eighteen minutes would feel like an hour an hour would feel like thirty minutes and two hours would feel like nothing, time was a mess.

In my life I’ve seen my fair share of dolphins and more but no matter how many times I see them I never get sick of them.  Dolphins are absolutely incredible and so much fun to watch.  We saw some speckled with brown and gray while others were just gray.  As we caught sight of land the dolphins played at our bow as if to welcome us to Isle del Coco.  Isle del Coco was extraordinary with it’s crystal clear water, lush greenery, and solitude.  Dad, Linzi, and I went for a hike on the island it was absolutely breathtaking and exciting.  The hike was steep at one point there was a rope you had to hold so you didn’t fall down the eight hundred and twenty five some odd feet.  It truly was like you had gone back in time.  Isle del Coco was where the movie Jurassic Park was filmed and we looked for leftover dinosaurs sadly there were none to see.  We did however stumble upon a birds bombing area and hurried through it.  The beach had many rocks that were carved into showing the names of people who had been there in the past.  Isla del Coco definitely lives up to its title of being the most pristine and remote island out there.

During our stay it rained, poured cats and dogs everywhere.  Like old times Linzi and I went out to play in the rain.  Bryan joined too, in five minutes our clothes were soaked.  We told Mom to get the bowls out and we started catching the rain.  We had so much rainwater that the kitchen sink filled up and we did laundry.  We did laundry twice but unfortunately didn’t use enough soap so the clothes still smelled bad and then it rained every day forth so our clothes took a long time to dry.  One of the days Dad flew the drone it was nerve-racking this time because the birds came after it.  As Dad moved the drone you could see a flock of birds follow.  Three tried to dive for it and each time you could see the drone drop a good few feet in the air.

We left Isla del Coco on the twenty second at 5:00am.  Dad and I woke up and headed out while the rest of the family stayed in bed.  The sunrise was slow but bright and the rest of the day was pleasant.  The days and nights blended together, sit, stare out over the ocean, look for boats and other things, eat, sleep, do homework, and check the instruments.  

Eventually we put up Christmas lights, garland, and a little Santa who’s  legs were double his size.  Christmas cookies were made the lights turned on and the Christmas music played.  It felt like Christmas but at the same time it didn’t.  There was no cold but there was family and what is Christmas without family?  The morning of Christmas I woke to find Bryan staring at the gifts.  It was as if Santa was there but only he could see him and if he looked away he’ll be gone but he was needed and reluctantly he looked away.  I saw Dad sleeping very tired from the late nights watch and the others were doing something.  Once Dad woke up the presents were opened.  Santa gave Linzi and me Polly Pockets and a Barbie doll, it brought back thousands of childhood memories.  We had Hollandaise for breakfast like we do every year and it turned out really nice given the fact we were on the boat with waves splashing.  At night we saw the city lights of Manta and many other boats, everyone except Dad became really worried and stressed.  The closer we got to shore the less you could see the stars.  

Around lunch time we came to Salinas Ecuador and here we stay well for awhile.  It was wonderful to finally stretch our legs after all the sailing.  The area where we’re staying is a resort and marina.  The marina is very small and the water is dirty from all the fuel from the boats.  First thing we did when we got on land was go take showers and the laundry, oh how we all needed that.  Later we went shopping for food, hung out at the pool, and went out to eat.

During our sail we crossed the equator we are all shellbacks now.  Dad, Mom, Linzi, and I have crossed the equator three times Bryan once.  He is are newest shellback and we’er all so happy.  Unfortunately Bryan got seasick so he wasn’t there to take a sip of rum and pour it over the boat to King Neptune.  Mom did however put rum to his lips because everyone has to have a sip when crossing the equator.  Dad then brought up the topic about getting tattoos for all of the family since we are all shellbacks now.  Linzi and I didn’t like the tattoo part but the idea we did like.  Needles aren’t my thing and I don’t want a tattoo because it will be there forever.  The main reason though is I just don’t like needles.  Dad then said we could all get an ear piercing it would be on the left side of our ear to show we’re shellbacks.  This idea I liked it would be a family thing and we wouldn’t have to get tattoos.  Bryan on the other hand didn’t like the idea but we’re doing it anyway.

MeiMei before her hair cut

2020 is coming up soon and I have a feeling it will fly by.  Linzi will be off to college and leaving us once we get back and Bryan will go into Middle school.  This trip will seem so small once we’re done but day to day it seems long.  We have been on SeaQuil for one month just four more months to go.

-MM

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