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PRE-Trans-Atlantic Crossing

Real Club Náutica Portosín, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain

April 30 – May 19, 2021

We’re back! As you probably know from my latest post published May 17.

After landing April 30 and jumping aboard two hours later we found ourselves home. Further more a surprise package greeted us. Since we hadn’t ordered anything the box was a puzzle. Until we opened it and discovered our Dutch family, Deborah, Thijs and Tika, had sent us edibles and artistic cards for first morning aboard. How wonderful is that?!

Every time when we returned to Hoorn they ensured we had a breakfast treat accompanied by a card made by Tika. Now, five years from when we first wintered in their home town they had done it again. An amazing surprise and one we most definitely relished the next morning.

After an absence of over a year we wondered how the boat would look. Thankfully, we knew the lines had been monitored daily by Juan and the Marineros here. They even checked below for us. Plus, we did get some photos.

When we first stepped aboard we noticed JUANONA looked bit green on the deck and dry below. Nothing some elbow grease (and power washing) can’t cure. Which is what we did for the next four days thanks to perfect weather of sun, light wind and fairly warm temps.

A quick haul-out and power-wash JUANONA looked good and within three hours, back in the water. We didn’t have to go on the hard for some nights because no painting was needed. Besides, the job had to be completed due to JUANONA’s radar tower meant the lift couldn’t be used until we were finished. So, we couldn’t have gone on the hard :)

Now onto food. With provisioning list drafted, redrafted, reorganized, and continually updated we began stuffing JUANONA with ingredients for living at sea for 30+ days. Fortunately, there’s a supermercado in the next town over (Noia); and, with a rental car we’re not having to lug cans, bottles, etc., in backpacks and duffles (like we’ve done numerous times previously).

We also needed to check expiration dates on stowed food from 2019 AND earlier. This resulted in two buckets of, well, you can see for yourself…

To ensure we had ready-to-eat meals in case of stormy seas Max became a guinea pig for options. Not wanting to deprive him of these gastronomical treats I opted out. Smart move as all of them quickly found their way into de buckets. Yum, right?

Thinking of provisioning I have to say it’s more than just food to consider. I do understand that changing to fresh clothes isn’t usually possible, especially during a 30-day passage when water is premium, i.e., drinking it and cooking with it takes priority over bathing in it. Yet, there’s a fine balance, especially when it comes to personal hygiene. And, this is where non-food provisioning comes in…

We’re in our v-berth one night and I look over to see Max searching on Amazon.es. In the search field I see “underwear hombres quick dry.” Uh-oh. Not good. I ask him how many he has. He said “three.” I said “keep searching.” The good news is Rudy had done the math before he got on the plane, so he is fully provisioned via undies hombre. I sincerely doubt ANY female would do the same. At least not the ones with whom I’d share a 39+-ft boat for 30 days…

After a week and two weekends of preparing for our crossing we checked the forecast on Monday (May 10). Weather promised some typical Galician fare: sun, clouds, possible drizzle. Good to go on a road trip.

We id’ed some places we haven’t seen and headed off the boat the next morning for two nights ashore. Knowing we’d be on water for a month or so we opted to tour inland to Ribeira Sacra, an area known for its vineyards.

In an interesting article, “Ribeira Sacra, The Heroic Wine Region” by Kristjan Markii, I read the name (Sacred River Valley) actually comes from a mistranslation. Some records from 1124 refer to the area as Rovoyra Sacratale or the sacred oak forest. Five centuries later a priest either by mistake or purposely altered it to Rivoyra Sacrata (holy rivers-riverbanks). Since monasteries sprouted like mushrooms throughout the region, there didn’t seem to be any reason to question the renaming of this oak forest. Makes sense to me. Besides, whatever the nomenclature, it translates to: wine and history. I’m in.

Our first stop was the Mosteiro de Oseira, the Cistercian monastery dating from 1137. After several upgrades and downfalls throughout the years the monastery returned to some former glory in 1929. As part of one of the Caminos, peregrinos or pilgrims stop here as they walk towards Santiago de Compostela. Not that we’re pilgrims but we discovered we could tour the premises and possibly hear some monks chanting.

We arrived and knocked on the reception door only to find it closed. Until Max knocked again and it opened. A woman greeted Max rather formally but warmed up when she saw how excited we were to actually be there. She didn’t know we’d been on a boat and were keen on being somewhere else. And, boy, was it truly fantastic. She gave us a 45-minute tour, and I easily could have wandered for many hours more.

I do admit, though, that some religious statues can be a bit freaky, such as this one with hair. I didn’t get too close to find out who as I just wanted to keep walking.

After our tour we asked if we could hear the monks doing their Gregorian Chants. Our guide responded affirmatively and said to return in an hour. We left and found ourselves at a small café/bar just outside the entrance gate. There we partook of Spanish ham, bread, water and coffees. Not a bad intermission in our touring.

Upon reconnecting with our guide we trooped off (quietly) through several long corridors. We reached a small room where two of the 11 monks in residence sat in silent contemplation. Then we heard something rolling down the hall, which turned out to be a young man pushing an elderly monk in a wheelchair. Okay, three here and none are looking too spry and vocally beautific.

Within 15 minutes while we also tried to look solemnly meditative five more entered including a young female novice. Of the now eight religious figures I figured the median age was 75. Now I’m wondering how long their “singing” will last and is there a way to exit graciously and piously.

But, no need. What a glorious surprise! One older man began with others following and all I will say is both Max and I got emotional. No photographs or videoing allowed. Yet, that only added to the feeling of being present, right there, nothing to do but absorb the musical notes in perfect harmony. This tour would be hard to beat. It set the bar for our inland excursions pretty high.

Before we left a visit to the gift shop offered Max the opportunity to purchase some of the liqueur made on site (no thanks) and some edibles (chocolate bars and marmalade, also made by monks, okay, I’ll buy).

We knew the libations came from this site due to a documented display. As you can see, one of the makers enjoyed his task. He must have sampled a few.

Filled with gratitude for witnessing just a sliver of monastic life we exited and drove though green countryside made even greener due to the rain. But, it’s beautiful.

Driving required some skill due to the narrow lanes twisting through many of the small villages.Villages equating to sometimes two houses. Light traffic coupled with rare large truck encounters made it fun versus nerve-racking.

Researching places to stay on the fly we landed at a parador, one of Spain’s historical landmarks converted to a hotel. If you can, try one. They offer fabulous stays in both rural and urban sites and usually combine sleeping accommodations with restaurants and sometimes a spa. Ours had all. We splurged on an excellent dinner but no spa-taking. Not complaining in the least. The Parador de Santo Estevo out-marveled other places we’ve managed to stay and, as some friends and I say, it’s definitely a “Betsy” place :)

Originating in the 6th-7th century or thereabouts the parador evolved with three cloisters reflecting three time periods: Romanesque, Gothic, and the third Renaissance. We strolled through all three and found them very suitable for our stay.

After walking through the parador and exploring the little hillside behind it, we felt a bit restless. With plenty of daylight left (doesn’t darken until past 10:00pm) we left for another country drive. This time for a popular view point and a Roman bridge. Both situated on the Via Nova, part of the Roman Road XVIII.

The view point called Miradoiro de Cabezoás offered another stunning landscape as we peered across and down to the River Sil winding through the its Canyon. Noted as one of the deepest points along this gorge we just stood and gazed with local flora of chestnuts, oaks and broom framing our view. FYI: broom is a bright yellow, flowering bush profusely decorating the hills around here. Considered the national flower of Galicia we saw it tied to the front of cars when we first arrived. After asking why we discovered it’s to keep witches and devils at bay. Hmmm.

Another another twenty minutes or so found ourselves peering at a Roman Bridge spanning the River Bibei. Constructed between 114 and 119 C.E. the original structure still exists (with some minor repairs now and then).

We tried to envision how they built this, including the road we were traveling–Via Nova. But, with no expertise in civil engineering my brain just spun and decided to settle on simply “looking.” To increase the visual intake, my model agreed to pose.

Unfortunately, he left his armor back on the boat.

Whoops! It’s his Medieveal outfit but it’ll do the trick.

The next morning we departed the parador after I could tear myself away from the excellent coffee. Accompanied by hunks of freshly baked bread with plenty of marmalade and butter I could have stayed much MUCH longer.

Our next destination featured another ancient site, one Max found: a Roman military camp. Seemed appropriate based on all the other surrounding Roman digs. Plus, he does look good in armor.

We parked at the end of a small road with no other vehicles or people in sight and followed a path to the river’s edge. Surprised, we saw our travels still followed along that old Roman road.

The walk opened up to a large expanse of ruins with some signage explaining what stood in front of us: Aquis Querquennis.

Only occupied for fifty years (79 to 120 C.E.), it must have taken a lot of guys and stones to build this camp. But, we read they also incorporated hot baths into the design so at least they could soak any sore muscles.

Unfortunately, the construction of a reservoir in 1949 flooded the site. We could still walk around and in parts of it, enough to acquire a sense of this encampment. With the clouds filtering the sun off and on provided our solitary touring an ethereal feel.

And, to provide an element of realism I had my personal Roman soldier as a guide.

Leaving the countryside we headed towards Galicia’s third-largest city, Ourense. Two years ago we’d bathed in public hot springs off of the River Minho. Due to CoVid the city had closed those but Max located some private ones (5 euros each for three hours). Sold. We loaded a bag with suits and towels, parked our car on the opposite side of the bank and trekked across a pedestrian bridge to the springs.

No photos allowed but we snapped a pic of one of the larger pools from the balcony prior to leaving.

After an hour of hopping from pool to pool–multiple ones of varying temperatures, including cold baths–we exited relaxed and with a faint eau de sulphur.

One night remained of our Road Trip in Ribeira Sacra. But after driving to one small town and realizing we’d been to it during our last road trip here, we decided to return to JUANONA.

We managed a few other tours, only these were day trips. The first being a return to a lovely old city usually filled with peregrines, those pilgrims mentioned earlier.

Wanting to revisit the cathedral in Santiago de Compostella we checked to see if it was open. It was, and very empty compared to our visit in 2019.

And, just the other day we drove an hour north up the coast to Finisterre, touted as the western-most point of Spain. We had been to the town Fisterra (2 miles or so from the actual point) in the summer of 2019 with our friend Robbie aboard and then with my sister Betsy and her friend Missie in September that same year. They had walked 130+ miles of the camino where we met them in Santiago de Compostella. From there we drove to Finisterre so they could touch the furthest end of the camino.

We documented the spot…

and then returned back to the marina where Max made dinner using potholders our neighbor Brook made us for our 2001 voyage. Still going strong.

We’ve cooked most dinners aboard, actually, they were just salads; but, we had acquired a taste for the local padrones peppers in 2019. This led to a scouting expedition during our travels only to discover them in our own backyard, a pizzeria in Portosín. With a glass of Albariño we devoured them all.

Like previous travels we’ve met fellow cruisers. Either on their way north to return home or south to continue exploring: Judy and Graham (Brits), Nicky and Mike (Aussies), Erica and Fred (Dutch), and the most recent sailors Montaine, Denis and their three sons Pierre, Simeon and Yann (French).

Most of my photos are of all of the boats leaving in the distance, but I did manage to get a few close-ups of s/v PEN KREO as they pulled away from the dock yesterday afternoon.

On May 17 we retrieved Rudy from La Coruña airport after the successful quest of getting him here, which required a lot of folk. And, just a bit more provisioning, where Rudy discovered the supermercado carts could use a bow thruster to help turn corners.

Unfortunately, I just found out Rudy likes snicker bars as much as I do. I’m contemplating increasing our supply just a wee bit. But, on second thought I don’t want JUANONA listing to whichever side I decide to sit. So, perhaps Rudy liking those bars as much as I is the better diet plan for moi. Then again, 30 days at sea, 12 snicker bars, two in competition… I may rethink that.

Now it’s time to leave with some last minute laundry. But, we made certain to say final good-byes to the amazing marina staff: Carmen, Carmela, Elena; and, the Marineros–Rudy, Juan, Max, and Samuel who was the first Marinero we met when he helped us dock in 2019.

So, until we arrive on another piece of land, I’ll take my leave. And, when we finally arrive on Orr’s we have an excellent bottle of vino to celebrate :)

Don Quixote Quest

May 15, 2021 SPAIN

Hunkering down below at Real Club Náutico Portosín we move with JUANONA as she kicks the pontoon and tugs at her lines like a frustrated bronco. The stormy seas reflect our slackening hopes of getting our nephew Rudy aboard for our upcoming 2021 Trans-Atlantic Crossing. And, like Don Quixote in the end we realize our quest may have been doomed from the beginning thanks to CoVid and government bureaucracy.


In 2019 Rudy had signed on as our third crew member for our 2020 spring passage. JUANONA would be sailing to home waters after six years abroad. We anticipated a wonderful finale to our European adventure. Our tentative route of Spain to Maine included a stop in Madeira ending with a resounding chorus of Schooner Fare’s “Portland Town.” Yet, like most, the pandemic forced us to think of alternatives.


We considered and discarded various options based on the world’s responses to the nasty virus. With the amazing speed and efficacy of vaccinations on the horizon by early spring 2021 we returned to our original plan. We quickly purchased airline tickets and began preparations. We made one change when Aer Lingus cancelled our flight into Santiago de Compostella from Dublin, rebooking on KLM/Delta via Amsterdam-Madrid-La Coruña. First task done, now next step:  getting permission to enter Spain. 


On March 30 we began. The fabulous marina staff at Club Náutico wrote a letter supporting our reason for traveling to Spain. They verified our boat had been berthed at their marina since September 2019 and our plan to sail her home. We scanned and emailed the letter coupled with our passports, temporary Dutch residency cards, and vaccination certificates to the Boston Spanish Consulate.


After a week of no response to our calls and emails we contacted the marina staff again. They not only tried the Boston Spanish Consulate but also the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C. The latter replied saying we needed to go through the Boston Consulate. Great.


The marina staff tried once again to contact the Boston Consulate and did get a response requesting our passports and Dutch residency cards. After more back-and-forth via the triangular route the Consulate set-up (we never did get a direct response to our emails), we received an email. On April 12th they granted us permission to enter Spain, emailing Carmela who forwarded it to two happy sailors. The Consulate based their approval on our having Dutch residency. This, in turn, qualified us as E.U. residents, allowing us to travel to Spain per Article 1 of the order INT/657/2020, July 17, 2020. 


On April 29 we boarded our flight to Amsterdam after taking three PCR tests two days before. We had lined up multiple tests to ensure we’d have results in time to not only depart within 72 hours but also arrive, a requirement of Spain. Armed with verification of being CoVid-free and a separate Spanish Q Health form completed online, we landed in La Coruña with no delays. And, that was a good thing since any missed times would have jeopardized our 72-hour testing window. Two hours later we found ourselves back on JUANONA after an absence of 17 months.


A HUGE gracias to the Marina staff—Carmela, Carmen, and Elena. Their persistence in contacting the Boston Spanish Consulate is why Max and I are here waiting for a weather window to leave.


But, you’re only hearing about our two-week effort involving four entities:  ourselves; Club Náutico; the Spanish Embassy; and, the Boston Spanish Consulate. These communications pale in the quest to add a vaccinated Rudy to the mix. And, once again, Carmela, Carmen, and Elena have gone overboard in their support and aid to break through government bureaucracy.


Before I drag you through another attempt to enter Spain I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how we absolutely understand and appreciate a country’s goal of trying to keep their citizens safe during this pandemic. And, we would not have contemplated returning unless we were vaccinated both as a protection for us but also for others. Frankly, desiring to enter a country during CoVid for the purpose of sailing one’s yacht home sounds pretty elitist. But, hey, we’re here, and we’re extremely thankful we are.


Okay, back to Rudy. Remember my stating the involvement of four entities for our return? Well, beginning immediately after our permission to enter we began lobbying for our nephew’s entry. After discussions with Rudy and his mom, Krissy, we started with an email on April 16 to the Boston Spanish Consulate while cc’ing Carmela. We stated this experienced crew member (Rudy) was necessary for “humanitarian safety reasons” to assist two people in their mid- to late 60s in sailing their boat back. If being old helps, I’m old. We included his U.S. passport number and his sailing experience.


On April 19 we received a promising response. The Consulate asked for:  Rudy’s U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner credential (after working on the Cross-Island ferry last year he smartly obtained this license January 2021): an employment contract (which we immediately drafted): and another letter from Club Náutico.


The Consulate’s reply gave us renewed hope that Rudy had an excellent chance of joining us. We sent the documentation via email on April 21 and waited for a fingers-crossed “permission granted.”


Within five hours, we had our answer:  denied due to not qualifying as an exception to the same regulation allowing us in as E.U. residents.


Now what?


We weren’t giving up. If anything we were even more determined to get him here. And, that’s due to our interpretation of the same regulation and its listed exemptions:  Article 1.1. d) Transport personnel, seafarers and aeronautical personnel necessary to carry our air transport activities.” Later we found more explicit language relating to seafarers issued June 30, 2020, by the E.U.* 


Based on information from someone familiar with Spain’s employment contracts, we updated Rudy’s hiring to be by Max’s Dutch company, Juanona Publishing. We figured an E.U. company employing a seafarer added another level of professionalism to our pitch. An added tagline, “Maritime Research and Reporting,” positioned his employment as part of a possible documentary. 


I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow activity relating to the goal of getting Rudy aboard, but, to-date as we sit aboard JUANONA with the angry bursts of wind and rain outside, we’re running out of time and ideas.


We are giving it our “all.”. And that “all” is composed of a whole boatload of people, beginning with Carmela, Carmen, and Elena with whom we strategized almost daily in their office… to a fellow traveler we met in Madrid and offered to help with his luggage only to discover he worked for the U.S. Embassy in Spain… to friends of friends asking their contacts… to a family friend in Belgium…  to one in International travel… to one living in Spain… to state representatives and senators in Maine and Connecticut… to anybody we thought willing to join our quest. And, they all gave us their time and efforts.

May 16 morning

So, it’s now Sunday. Rain has fled, wind has softened, sun is out. And, we’ll know soon if our quest was in vain… or not.

May 16 18:02

Rudy just emailed: “I got authorized by the Delta ticket agent at Logan, and I’m through security! So far so good.”

May 17 04:12

D-day, or more like R-Day. Another Rudy message received: “I am aboard the flight to Madrid! Another step closer!”

We heard his Merchant Mariner credential was his “life line.” Next line of official scrutiny: immigration. Everything’s crossed, including my toes.

May 17 04:13

I can’t sleep. Coffee and roaming main cabin while Max is trying to get some rest. It’s not working too well as I hear him rustling around and no light snoring.


May 17 08:22

Max just checked flight arrival. Rudy’s plane landed an hour earlier than expected. One minute later we receive an update: “I just landed. I’ll let you know how it goes at customs.”

May 17 08:41

“I just passed through customs!“

He did it!
Estactic Screaming aboard JUANONA, which we just emailed Rudy.

His quick response:

“It’s frowned upon to do that in an airport, but I’m joining you in spirit!
The agent took one look at my passport and MMC and waved me through, he didn’t even look at the contract or anything!”

Photo coming soon to join the others below…

A happy boat, a happy day!

* COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL AND THE COUNCILCOVID-19Guidance on persons exempted from the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU as regards the implementation of Council Recommendation 2020/912 of 30 June 2020
8. SeafarersScope: This category should cover third country nationals holding a seafarer’s identity document issued in accordance with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention No 108 (1958) or No 185 (2003), the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) and the relevant national law, a Seafarers Employment Agreement in accordance with the Maritime Labour Convention of the ILO, a confirmation from the employer or a Certificate for International Transport Workers as annexed to the Green Lanes Communication (C/2020/1897). It should also cover service and maintenance personnel in shipping in as far as not already covered by category iv (transport personnel).
Possible evidence includes: seafarer’s identity document, Seafarers Employment Agreement, confirmation from the employer, Certificate for International Transport Workers, documentation proving purpose of travel, such as (copy of) work contract. 

Sent from my iPad

First Passage aboard JUANONA — September 2015
Sailing the Ijsselmeer — May 2016

Taking a break from our Winter Sleigh Ride Tales

And, the reason is I just had to share yesterday’s morning’s activity in preparation for Friday’s menu.

Max is cooking our now-traditional, roast beast recipe (first used for our first Christmas back in Virginia Beach with mom in 2004). We had found a Tyler Florence recipe, which comes with a bunch of good veggies to add to the mix.

Well, Max is doing it again for our dinner with Anne and Peter on the next pontoon over, and I mentioned we may want to check the meat thermometer.

So, while I’m making our cups of coffee, I look over and this is what I see:

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Now that’s what I call a fool-proof way to ensure not only that the battery is still good but also the thermometer registers the correct temperature (yes, he was perfectly ‘done’ hovering around 97 degrees).

Of course I had to get in on it and, as my husband says, I look like a drowned rat. It took him awhile to say it as he was laughing too hard when he snapped the photo.

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So, here’s to everyone’s wonderful holidays and may your chef be as clever mine.

Peace and love to all,

Lynnie & Max

Tomorrow we leave for the Azores. Some have asked if I was going to blog about the trip, so I’m going to try to figure out how to do it with this being my first post. No guarantees on quantity or quality, just a warning:  you will be subjected to my goofball sense of humor.

I thought it appropriate to return to my first passage or crossing, which was summer of 2002. That episode of my life is captured succinctly with the following email sent upon landing in Flores, one of the western-most islands of these Portuguese islands located roughly two-thirds across the Atlantic:

Tuesday, July 9, 2002 11:35 AM

Hola, I know it’s been awhile since I sent a good email to all but its taken me awhile to unwind, rewind and move forward it seems. So here’s a brief tale of my trips from USA to Bermuda (eight days) and Bermuda to Flores, one of the nine Azores islands (13 days).

DAY 1: try hard not to throw up, try harder, really really try, throw up… repeat cycle

DAY 2: get blinding headache from caffeine withdrawal because coffee out the nose can be hot on the nostrils

DAY 3: rise from hot, sticky bunk to face rolling salt water; retreat to hot, sticky bunk

DAY 3.25: contemplate launching dinghy and motoring to QE II to meet up with Joanna and Marcy

DAY 4: question purpose of my life

DAY 4.5: recover appetite; eat half of loaf of bread

DAy 5: answer purpose of my life–there is none

DAY 6: move to next hand to continue counting days since last changed pants while constantly shifting buttocks to combat sittingitus extremis

DAY 6.75: realize this is the closest I’ve come to resembling Eloise of the Plaza (storybook character) in looks and figure

DAY 7: know that “fresh air” at sea is a misnomer inside a cabin where thee adults have cohabited for six days

DAY 8: land and cafe au lait ahead…

BERMUDA (WED-SUN): get off boat, jump off cliff into water, jam two discs in back

DAY 1-13: lie loll in same hot, sticky bunk from previous eight days at sea while alternating between ibuprofen, codeine, and seasick pills

AZORES (week ago from this past Sunday to now): DAYS 1-26 were worth it.

We did have some amazing times on our first voyage as well as some quite memorable experiences such as:

I saw just how dirty ones toes can become;

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but, it helped knowing we could bathe with the locals,

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as well as having clean laundry facilities at our disposal.

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Intelligent conversations were available if you knew where to look,

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and, there were always simple games one could play with an accommodating nephew.

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Food on land was generally attractively displayed,

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while rides were within walking distance as long as you didn’t mind waiting.

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And, there were always the times we came up with useful inventions such as how to catch flies with a large global fruit and rolling seas.

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I’ve left out too many other memories especially ones where I can get sad thinking of those whom I can’t see now, such as my mom and dad; so, I won’t go there. We all have those moments so no need for me to bring them up here. Rather that I’ll think this–I have a lot more to learn and, thankfully, I have a partner with whom I can and will.

One area that’s a humongous opportunity for improvement is my sailoring skills during JV2 (Juanona Voyage II). Another is attending to a healthy lifestyle and not end up as one big blob. Why could that happen you may ask? Easily. Just ask my sister Betsy who kindly helped me categorize and quantify the dried goods being stowed aboard as part of our provisioning. As she identified and counted out loud the packets of pasta and rice, cans of peas and corn, while I typed them into a spreadsheet, her voice began to carry a note of alarm. When she just went quiet, I asked her what was wrong. Holding two bags of instant risotto she slowly raised her eyes and said in a stunned hush, you’re going to look like one big woman stepping off that boat.

Since she knows me well and since I do like to eat, I realized she’s absolutely correct.  We stared at one another both of us envisioning the boat listing to whichever side I was placing my butt down. Then I smiled in relief and said, No I won’t because I’ll be throwing up all the way across the Atlantic. With that cheerful thought we returned to our task and happily began itemizing the chips and peanuts and 5-lb chocolate bars for between-meal snacking.

That aside, as I attempt blogging about this passage and voyage, know that my friends and family are key to my survival (and my husband being able to put up with me). Fortunately, I have wonderful friends and family as well as husband, so I foresee this being a heck of a lot easier than that first crossing.

As I listen to the whining sound of a last load of laundry and dream of a cafe latte (low-fat milk, of course), I’ll close without saying good-bye as I really don’t like to use that word. Instead I’ll quote one of my favorite authors:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

― Dr. SeussOh, The Places You’ll Go!