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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kitty Rescue Rope Worked

John and I were asleep just before dawn this morning when something woke me up. I heard a bumping/thumping sound and thought Ziggy might be up on deck chasing a bird off the boat. A few minutes later he jumped through the porthole onto the bed and stepped on my ankles (I swear he does that deliberately) before jumping down onto the floor. His feet were soaking wet and I didn't remember it raining overnight, especially since the hatch above us was still wide open. I remembered that I had put a plastic jar of flowers out in the cockpit overnight so Ziggy wouldn't chew on them, and I thought he might have knocked that over, spilling the water.

This made me get out of bed to investigate and I found Ziggy sitting on the carpet washing himself. I reached down to feel his body and he was wet all over. "Omigod, what happened to you?!" (but not loud enough to wake John). I looked out aft through the companionway and sure enough, there was a puddly trail of water from the pushpit (on the stern) across the teak in the cockpit to the side deck. We don't know exactly where he went overboard, but I was surprised we didn't hear him meow because he was pretty loud the previous two times he went in the water and had to swim for it. Since he's very curious about anything (fish, crabs, etc.) attracted to his rescue rope (which hangs down a bit in the water), I'm surmising that he may have finally lost his footing leaning too far over the water. In this case he would have been right there by the rope and could have quickly and easily climbed back out on his own. The best thing is that the tide was close to changing and there wasn't much current. He is one lucky cat and we can only hope this will make him a bit more cautious!

Yesterday I went with a group of women to Canoa for a tour of the Rio Muchacho organic farm. We ate a delicious brunch ($3 for juice, tea/coffee, fruit salad, and egg dish of your choice) at Coco Loco on the beach before meeting our transportation at the Guacamayo tour office in Canoa (http://www.riomuchacho.com/). Two ladies rode in the cab of the pickup truck while the remaining five of us sat on wood plank "benches" perched in the truck bed for the 20 minute drive to the farm. Between dodging all the potholes in the road and passing other vehicles, it was another great E-ticket ride in Latin America.

Tess, a junior at the University of Tennessee and originally from Huntsville, Alabama, was our intern guide. She explained that the farm is permaculture based and we learned about all different kinds of composting methods. We oohed and aahed over two litters of piglets, and admired the cows, horses, donkeys, chickens, and guinea pigs - all of which are there primarily for their output which is used in the composting process. Several of the women were particularly interested in buying some of the fresh vegetables grown on the farm so Dario and his staff went out to the fields to pick whatever was ready for harvest. They brought back carrots, beets, eggplant, lettuce, leeks, chard, and basil to be washed and carefully tied in four pretty bundles. This big selection of organic vegetables cost only $4 per person. Because of the large size of our group the tour was just $3pp and the round trip truck ride was another $3pp. We all had an entertaining and informative outing and it was nice to get out of the "city" for the day.

Tonight we say goodbye to McLeod, who is leaving us tomorrow. It has been an honor and a privilege to make her acquaintance and we'll miss her southern drawl and cheerful enthusiasm for everything new.

Linda and John

Monday, September 01, 2008

Memories of Terry

Terry holding Secret o' Life in his palm above the anchorage at San Evaristo, Baja with Linda, Stan, and MJ (5/27/2005)

We gathered at Saiananda yesterday afternoon to share our memories and stories about Terry. Jean brought copies of the lyrics to the James Taylor song, "Secret o' Life," Eric read a poem by Emily Dickinson, John made a music CD, Maureen read a piece about sailing, Marcie made toasted oat cookies, Diane made Terry's favorite curry rice dish, and Gisela made a German version of cinnamon rolls that she'd promised to bake for Terry when he returned to Bahia. While not everyone knew Terry personally the crews of Batwing, Blew Moon, Che Bella, M/V Diesel Duck, Encore, Jubilee, Linda Lea, Mita Kuuluu, Nakia, Nine of Cups, Sarana, Shared Dreams, Taremaro, and Yohelah, along with our host and friend, Alfredo Harmsen, honored Terry's memory by describing just a few of the things that some of us will always remember about him.

That he was a fine sailor who wouldn't use his engine until he had exhausted his entire sail inventory.

That he had more sailing experience than the average cruiser on the eastern Pacific coast, and was a Commodore in the Seven Seas Cruising Association. He was happy to share his knowledge and wouldn't hesitate to mentor new cruisers when asked. But he was modest about his accomplishments and never lectured about the "right" way to do things or kept the spotlight on himself in conversation.

That he took everything that came his way and always saw the positive side of each experience. (Even when he brought up the minor failings of something like an inland trip, it was still always "great!")

That he cared deeply for his sailing and travel partner, Tammy Woodmansee, calling or emailing her every day that they spent apart.

That he took pride in his great uncle, Hiram Bingham III (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiram_Bingham_III), and had looked forward with eager anticipation to visiting Machu Picchu with members of his family this month.

That he was happy to drop everything and lend a hand with someone else's boat project or repair.

That he could tell you more about tequila than anyone else we knew, and that he also appreciated fine red wine and good dark chocolate in moderation.

And finally, that he was a cruiser who made it almost a mission to live life to the fullest on a modest budget. We all joked with Terry about how frugal he was, even to the rest of us budget-minded cruisers, but he always insisted that it was possible to live well on a fixed income and took satisfaction in doing so.

Terry was an inspiration to us all, and a role model for what it takes to be a cherished and respected member of the cruising community. I think Alfredo expressed it best when he said that Terry lives on in all our hearts and is with us wherever we go.

Linda and John