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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Walking Dead

Well sorry everyone for the delay on the blogs but I have just been so busy lately! We have had my birthday, Halloween, school, school and more school! Anyways we just arrived in the infamous Canary Islands after a amazing 5 day sail. The Canary Island are our jumping off point for the month long sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Before we left we decided to make teams of two to tackle the night watches. Team 1 or "A" is made up of Dad and I. Me....being the underway chef and Dad...being the sailor and we make for a great team. Team 2 or "B" is made up of Mom and Alex. Mom being very easy going which is great if you want to watch shows in the cockpit or eat potato chips and Alex being the expert sailor. Now what team do you vote for?

The sail was absolutely fantastic and we couldn't have asked for a better one before our crossing. Blue skies, 10-20 knots of wind in the exact direction we wanted it. At nights the sky was littered with stars and during the day you could bask in the sun.

We had a very interesting experience with a bird on the boat. I was in my room and had just woken up from a nap when I hear mom say with her face in my window, "ok, don't be afraid and don't move but there is a bird inside the boat." I say ok and lay back down and listen to the very interesting dialogue...

Mom: ok you boys have to go get that bird
Alex: yes. Dad come on
Dad: ok you go at it from that side and I'll go at it from this side.
Dad: The birds gone

The bird finally flew away and we all we were left with the image in our head of mom with a bird flying around her head...I'm still laughing. The salty crew has got addicted to 4 tv show. Are you ready to hear the names of the best tv shows in the world?
  • The Office
  • Community
  • Chuck
  • The walking dead
K I know that some of my family loves "The Walking Dead", so I just have to say this.... "What do you think is gonna happen now?? I mean Laurie and T-dog are dead and there is a new baby like WTH?!?" K I'm done. :-)

Anyway we made it safe and sound to the Canary Islands and finally had a shower. Hallelujah! I am very excited to explore!

Till next time

Bday Party

Well I am finally 14 and you know what that means? I CAN DRINK BEER ON SALTY GINGER!!!!!!!!! Woohoo! Mom had the day all planned out as a great surprise and I was I guess some what surprised because Alex had let the cat out of the bag the night before...

I woke up and I had a great french toast breakfast, compliments of Dad. Then Mom told me to pack my bag because we were going for a day at the spa! In our marina there is this really nice hotel with a massive hot tub, sauna and relaxing mani-pedi area. Mom, Alex and I headed over and had a very nice time swimming and sauna'ing. We even asked the people at the counter to turn on the fountains. They turned out to be very loud and annoying but you know we just had too. 

There is this really massive pool outside of the hotel that was super cold but being Canadians like we are, Alex and I could not have left without jumping into that freezing water, so we did and then it started raining so I basically got hypothermia! 

Alex and mom left and I was left in this super relaxing studio getting my nails done and a foot massage and hand massage and omg I think I fell asleep. Mom came and got me and when I got back to the boat it was all very nicely decorated and the cake was all iced and pretty! We had chicken fajitas for dinner and a great cake for dessert. I could not have asked for a better birthday! By the way thank you everyone for the birthday wishes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The perfect tablecloth

BANG! Whap-whap-whap BANG! The bow of salty ginger slammed into the very, very high standing waves and Mom screamed at the top of her lungs in a very old mannish voice "COME ON SALTY COME ON GOOD OLD GIRL YOU CAN DO IT THERE YA NICE BOAT YOU! " Of course that wasn't all I heard though, I also heard the "oh my gods" from Alex's mouth and the not so reassuring scared laugh from Dads mouth followed by a "this is crazy man.” It was the worst pass we had done yet. It was the pass on the way out of Porto and I really might have rather not left and just stayed in the amazing city forever. That pass...oh that pass scared me. I pretty much got into a ball and pressed my face into a pillow the whole time. Lifting my face into the cold wind every minute just to be horrified and then huddle back in a ball again. Finally we made it through the pass and started our journey to Lisbon.

We have now made it to beautiful Lisbon or outskirts of Lisbon in a city called Cascais and are awaiting a weather window to do a 5 day sail to the Canary Islands. The sail here was great except for the treacherous pass. Who knew a 44 foot boat could surf standing waves? Certainly not me! We are nestled into this marina where on a windy day you can see massive waves smashing over the break wall. Our boat now has a thin layer of salt all over it.

Can I just start by saying that I love my Mom…BUT after day after day of high school mathematics with her…there are moments when I question that. It’s not just the extreme algebra, it’s the fact that were doing it crammed up on her bed using a “stick on the wall” white board.

Mom and I went out shopping for table clothes today in this cute little town. You may not know this but mom has OCD when it comes to table clothes. If you move it just a slight bit she freaks out and has to put it into the perfect spot again. Obviously this is hard to do on a constantly moving boat so off we went to find “the perfect” table cloth (I don’t even know what that means). 

After 2 hours of wandering and one interesting experience at a bank machine, we finally made our way back to the marina. An unsuccessful hunt. Mom wanted to poke her head into one of those little nautical stores and what’s the first thing we see? The PERFECT table cloth. We figured it all out and measured the table and bought it. Mom got so excited that she started to sing, “You make me feel so brand new” at the top of her lungs. I obviously pretended to not know her. 

We got back to the boat, put it on the table and with a look of disgust mom realized it was not the PERFECT table cloth. The colors on it had bled and of course mom freaked out. She looked so sad putting the old table cloth back on the table.

Mom's list of qualities she wants in a tablecloth.
1. Plastic top
2. Heavy
3. Sewn edges
4. Sticky or felt bottom
5. Nautical pattern with dark color
6. 1 ½ m by 1 m

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Forest of Hell

Let me tell you a little story. It’s a story called, “The Forest of Hell.” Here is how it goes…..

A young girl sets out with her family on a day long adventure through the wilderness of a Spanish rainforest. They hop in their car and try and I mean TRY to make their way to this little town which has the massive forest on the other side of it. You may be wondering why the family would have wanted to go to this said forest, that was the only thing on their minds the entire time.

After 3 hours of being lost they finally found the start of their hike. Laughing and joking around, they set off on a 3 hour tour! A 3 hour tour! A 3 hour tour!!!  1/8 of the way into the hike Amelia and her mother were getting very sweaty and tired. They each talked to each other about how out of shape they each were, Julie more than Amelia of course.
The dehydrated, grimy family finally made it to the runes of a monastery but all they could think about was the little cafe with ice cold coca colas in it... ICE COLD. They all sprinted to the table and chugged a few drinks down and gobbled up some food. Soon they set off again for the next half of their hike. The father had asked for directions back at the cafe so the family trusted that he knew where he was going.
Up the massive, gianormous mountain they went but little did they know that that had run out of water long long ago. 30 minutes in the family was feeling very thirsty so they all stopped and watched as Graham searched the backpack left and right and exclaimed, "Sorry guys but were out of water..." 
HOW COULD THIS BE?!? They had brought quite a few litres! Had they really drank that much water the family wondered? The need to find the parking lot was much greater now so they forged ahead! 45 minutes later Graham (being ahead of everyone) yelled out that he heard cars! Alex yelped with joy and sprinted ahead. The best the girls could do was to go from a crawl to walking speed. They finally reached the road and danced around until they realized that it was just a road and not a parking lot. They had to walk all the way down this steep road to get to the heavenly air conditioning.
On they went....and on...and on...! Suddenly the family rounds a corner and sees the car! They muster all their strength to lift their arms in triumph. When they get to the car what do they see? A whole lot of bottled water....
Well that was my story about our hike :) Hope ya liked it!

Later dudes

Monday, October 1, 2012

Unfortunately Eventful

Once again we headed out to sea. Leaving docks and going onto docks have a lot of things in common like they both use an engine and have to use dock lines and oh your always sure to hear a mouthful of swear words. Although mom and dad aren't 16 anymore that side of them sure as hell comes out in a stressful situation.They put a whole new meaning to the saying, "swearing like a sailor".

Anyways we made it off the dock without TOO much of a problem and headed out to sea for a nice long 3 day sail. It's so weird to be back out on the ocean again just this time with a new boat. Back out here exploring new waters with the same old "mother ocean" as mom calls it.

We left the dock at about  4 o'clock and said good bye to France. Goodbye to fresh cheap baguettes and cheese. Goodbye to great people and a lovely landscape. All I can is that I will be some point in my life.

The sail went AMAZING in our books but in others it might be called unfortunately eventful. Filled with fishnets in propellers, high seas, seasick crew, throwing up crew and frozen meals. But anything is better than the ominous Galapagos trip.....try #1. Where...well...let's just say everything that could possibly go wrong did.

On the bright side though we saw DOLPHINS!!! Once again these beautiful creatures jumped along side us and lifted our spirits. It always seems that they come at the perfect time. We also had beautiful weather and somewhat perfect seas. We made it to Spain at about 8:00pm and docked the boat without too much of a hassle.

Spain is gorgeous and today Dads gonna dive the propeller and see whats happening with that fishing line.

Bye...for a while crocodiles

Monday, September 24, 2012


Well we battened the hatches, locked the doors and hopped on a train to Paris.  The weather was looking too rough to cross the sea of Biscay and I'm a bit thankful. Before we left mom scoured the sites to find a nice little apartment and when I say little I mean little. 5m by 3 1/2 meters - shoebox with a tiny little ladder leading up to a loft. It's alright though haha we didn't spend much time in it anyways. The first day we walked the streets of Paris where every building is different and unique in it's own way. They are all just so gorgeous and detailed! We saw the Eiffel Tower and after some serious discussion we decided not to go up. The line would have taken all day long! We walked all the way to the Notre Dame cathedral and had a little visit inside. I'm not a religious person but this almost made me change my mind. It is a gorgeous church filled with mosaics and sculptures. On the outside the details in the architecture is UNBELIEVABLE. I can defiantly see why it took 200 years to build! We grabbed a bite to eat at a cute little Paris restaurant and headed home to our shoebox for the night. 

The next morning we set out to see everything and well it's pretty hard to do that on foot so we 
hopped on a tour bus. It turned out to be a very good idea because we got to see everything including The Arc Of Triumph, The Thinker or as Alex likes to call it...The Stinker, the most beautiful bridge in Paris and many many more famous things. By that time it was about lunch time so we went back to the shoebox for lunch. Mom did some research for cheap vintage stores in Paris because I mean how could you not go shopping when in Paris! These shops turned out to be FAN-FRICKING-TASTIC! THE CLOTHES WE BOUGHT WERE ALL FANTASTIC AND DESIGNER! What's the total your asking? 41 euro's!!!!!! This may be a bad thing but I think I get a rush out of buying things....uh oh. Oh I forget to tell you this but with our tour bus package we got a boat tour of the Seine. We met the boys at home and walked down to the Eiffel tower.We got on our boat and as we were flowing down the river through magical Paris I how many kids my age get to do this. I mean I am pretty damn lucky! It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful day in Paris.

Today we decided to go see the Mona Lisa in the worlds biggest museum...I know what your thinking...oh-my-god a day in hell. It took a 1km long lineup to get to the security check and then ANOTHER line up to get our tickets!!!!! AHHH! We finally got inside and I have to say and I know this may be wrong but guys...I kind of enjoyed it! The paintings in there were very very amazing. The only art gallery I've ever been to was the AGO in Toronto and that is all modern art. The stuff we were looking at here was dated back to the 1400s, pretty cool. Dad had to leave at about 2:30 for work related stuff, so mom, Alex and I went and looked at the ancient Egyptian stuff and then thought we would go enjoy a walk through the Paris streets. The whole time we were in Paris we have had people telling us to beware of pickpockets. Mom being...well mom thought that she could point out all of the pickpockets on the street and was basically pointing out anyone who looked a bit on the rough side. We were all laughing and joking and decided to take a seat and get our bearings. Mom went and looked around the corner of this courtyard wall and I saw a man walk by me and kind of check out our backpack. I soon realized it was a pick pocket when I saw him reach out on to the bare ground and pull a gold ring out of his sleeve. He then asked mom if she had dropped it and tried to reach for her bag she jumped away and told the man to keep walking. We then followed him for a few blocks and saw that he did that to every passer by! I really enjoyed Paris and hope that one day I can come back again. Now were off to Normandy to see Juno beach and I'm really looking forward to that. VIVA LA FRANCE!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

12 duffle bags

Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine all four of us with our four massive duffle bags and 8 medium sized ones pilled high on two trolleys. We had just gotten off the airplane in Paris and were now fairly confused about what to do next. I dont know why but I don't think that the fact that everyone spoke french in Paris really sank in until we got off the plane. So here we are rushing throughout the airport following dad because he seemingly knew what to do. We finally hit a point where the 2 carts holding are 12 duffle bags cant go any further and we have to carry them all the way to this jam-packed shuttle train that will take us to the next terminal. Keep in mind that all of has have maybe slept two hours that day and it may be day time in france but in Toronto it sure as hell wasn't. We finally make it too the car rental place and everything feels like its falling into place. We are driving away from the airport and life is good until we see a exit saying exactly where we want to go drifting into the distance. The next thing you know we are stuck in the middle of downtown paris rush hour traffic. oh god. The last thing I remember before falling asleep was mom asking a weird french man in a hippie van for directions. When I woke up we were no where near paris and somewhere in the french country side. Everyone was calm and happy(thank god). We finally made it to Les Sables got on the boat and oh my fricking god it is FANTASTIC!!!!!!! We went out for dinner tonight and had crepes,muscles,fries and creme boule. We came back home watched and episode of chuck and went to sleep. Its like we never left. I got up very early in the morning this morning and watched as the sun came up over the horizon. It was the perfect sunrise for the start of a perfect day. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Unknown

As I stare out my window at the CN tower a lot of things enter my mind. I realize that life is a book and my life goal is to read every single page. My life on my old boat Artemo was one chapter and before that another. This year in Toronto was a whole chapter. Although some may call one year a short amount of time too be a chapter so much has happened too fill those pages. 

I started a new school with new friends, got a puppy, I turned 13, both my aunt and uncle got married, we bought a new boat and sososo much more.  As soon as the plane to France takes off the chapter called "our new life in Toronto" ends and the new chapter "our new life on Salty Ginger" begins.  Even though I will come back to this lovely place that Toronto is, it will never be the same. After experiencing what we will have experienced is will have changed our personality a bit and most defiantly our out look on life. Our friends will have changed too. You may think that in a year your relationship with your friends doesn't change but really when your all in different places experiencing different  things that shape you to who you are you change a lot.  

As I stare out this window at this massive skyscraper piercing up into the sky's of my home, the massive size of the journey we are about to embark on hits me like a fist to the gut and I am overwhelmed with emotion.  I feel every different kind of emotion there is. Scared, happy, excited, anxious, stressed, sad and maybe even a bit of jealousy for those who get to experience the first bit of high school.  

I realize that I love this feeling! Its the feeling of the unknown. The unknown is what makes people do what they do. Try new things and experience life. Life is a wonderful thing and all you have to do is go out there and live it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

First Blog!


Well this is my life! I travel place to place with my family on a sail boat (usually). When I was 10 we left on our first trip to sail around the world.  We took a plane to Antigua got on a boat and over three years made our way to New Zealand. Meeting many people who touched my family and my life along the way.

After that long time crammed on a boat with my brother, mom and dad we...well lets just say we were ready to get back to our house and go to school instead of being home schooled. We went home got a dog, settled down and I finished my grade 8 year while my brother finished his 10th. By the end of the year all of us were itching to get back on the water and see more of the world. So we all sat down and discussed this. In our family it's either all in or all out. Luckily after a week of mulling it over everyone was in with the plan. We bought a boat, packed up our stuff and well....guess what?

We leave to Europe in less than a week!!!! Our brand new boat is waiting for us in Les Sables, France! We are going for six months to tour Spain, Portugal and France. Then we will sail across the Atlantic to Antigua! Man I'm getting excited!!!!!

Till next time:)