Tonga, Land Of the Numbers

Ahh, Tonga. Now, before y’all ask where is Tonga is, I’ll explain. It’s located approximately a thousand miles north of New Zealand. If you don’t know where New Zealand is, well, look on a map, then search up Tonga while you’re at it. Now that we’ve gotten that sorted out, let me start.
We pulled into Tonga late in the afternoon, after I had attempted to call my friends on the radio, but was unable to raise them. Slightly disappointed we pulled up to the Q (quarantine) dock. I watched my parents fill out paper work, and was quickly roped into filling out my own papers out. Luckily, as I finished a certain some bodies came and said hello. You’ll never guess who! No literally, you’d never guess. Okay, fine I’ll tell you. It was Counting Stars!! Well, the kids.
Like always, I was thrilled to see any old friends, so instantly I was over and talking to them, and the next thing I know is that we are moored and I’m at Counting Stars. Camille from Anila is over, and I’m having a blast.
I hadn’t seen any of them in months. Some since the Marquesas, others since the Tuamotos! Camille declared, on a whim, that we were having a kid pot luck, including: fried salami, chicken nuggets, Mac and Cheese, and I believe our veggies were pickles, but I could be wrong. We dove into our meal, talking way too loud, and laughing at not too funny food jokes.
After dinner, we decided to play a card game, being the kids we are. Me, being tired from two nights of night watches, fell asleep during the second round. I think… A bit late I was carefully awoken by Camille who said she’d drop me off.
After that, we stayed in the town Nieafu, for a few days. We restocked our veggies, explored the town, and in my case, hung out with the children of the mooring field.
To put it simply, there were a handful of older kids, and it got chaotic quickly. Camille and I cut Marin’s (Counting Star) hair; and then I pierced the two girls’ ears with a needle, ice cube, and apple. (Warning, children do not try it at home without parent’s approval).
After being in town for a few days, we decided it was high time to begin our exploration of the islands surrounding the main town.
Now, Tonga is a bit odd with their names of anchorages. Or should I say, lack of names. They use numbers rather, causing many of them to blur together. That’s why I began to name them my own unique nicknamed based off of what we did there. 10 was the anchorage we practiced archery. 11 was were is was way too windy. 7 was the anchorage we ended up far too often. 4 was pot luck anchorage, 30 Crazy Kid Convention, and the list goes on, but that gives you a quick idea of what we did in each anchorage. I’m sure there were a handful more, but once again, I hate to reiterate it, but they have blurred together.
Despite their numbering, I did enjoy it. Mostly because we were stuck to the hip with Anila, who has Camille (15). This made cruising was never boring, but ever so tiring. Mostly because Cam and I had a sleepover ever weekend and got about 3-5 hours of sleep on average. Shh, you can tell anyone!
After the numbered anchorages, we hopped down to the second group in Tonga: Happai. The anchorages had names, but I can’t remember any of them. I guess Eoin was right, Tongan names are a big hard to remember. Any who, we sailed down with Counting Stars, which was a blast. Once again, we ended up cruising with a boat with kids my age (or close at 14 & 11), so there was never a dull moment. Along with Counting Stars, we shared the anchorage with 4 other boats. And with this came a steady stream of dinner guests. First was Blue Zulu with a feast of tacos (including Mom’s homemade tortillas!!!), next was Counting Stars and we made pancakes, then came Dol Selene when my mom made bangers and mash (an expression I had never heard until that night), and finally ad had Caramor come over for pizza. After we had all the boats over, I thought it was safe to head to be early, but Caramor invited is for duck, which turned out to be delicious, and I was glad I joined.
After that we had our fill of people and split in the middle of the night, so no body could invite us to anymore dinner parties. Just kidding, we didn’t leave because of that. We did have to leave early in the morning to head down to Tongaptapu, because mum had to fly out a few days later.
There isn’t much to report about Tongaptapu, but mum did depart to the States leaving me with a boat filled with boys!!! Two days later we picked up our friend Nick, who added to the many boys on the boat and we left that Friday to New Zealand, where we are now located. Don’t worry, I’ll write something about NZ soon. Stop rushing me!!

The South Pacific

So, I haven’t been writing all too much. Actually, I haven’t written in a few months. You may think I’m dead or something. I’m not, I promise.
So, we made it to the South Pacific, but I think you’ve come to that conclusion if you’ve been reading my mom’s blog. I’ll give it to you from my view. Let’s start in the Marquesas.
After 21 days (and a half, but we don’t need to say that. 😋) out at sea we are at anchor. Well, we anchored at like 2 am, and I did wake up. The first thing I noticed was the smells. It smelled strongly citrus. Which, at 2 am smells amazing.
After I was finally done sniffing the air out of my tiny port hole, I fell back to sleep with a bit of difficultly. Ellamae and I woke up (for me again) at around 6:30. We had to stay in our room because, taj was still asleep. Let me tell you, when we had just arrived to an new country, it is hard to stay in your room for nearly 45 extra minutes. Once Taj was awake, we rushed out, and began spotting all the new kid boats. There were about 3 in total that we could see. There was Banyon, who we met in our first year cruising, Luminese, and Baloo.
Ellamae and I had a joke going. Our mom told us that there was a boy off of Baloo who was 13, and his name started with M. I was betting it didn’t actually, so when we introduced ourselves and he said his name was Julien, Ellamae looked at me like, “well, I guess you were right.”
Anyway, the Marquesas. Our first day was great. We saw our friends from Sausalito who had crossed the year before. They greeted us with fresh pompamoose (which is really similar to grapefruit, but way better and sweeter) and chocolate banana bread. We hung out with them before heading in to check in. Dad had promise us baguette and cheese for lunch, so we did get that.
I could continue on about that day, but I still have the rest of the Marquesas to cover. After Hiva Oa, we hit up a small island called Tuahata. The water was clear (well, to some extent), and there was a girl my age. Her name is Camille, but her nickname is Cam. She is 14, but acts older. She knew a bunch of my friends from Mexico, and we had a ton of stuff in common.
After that, we headed to Nuku Hiva. We, once again met up with some friends from Sausalito. Apparently they knew me when I was a little tike. About a few days later Dad sliced his foot bad, and he got MRSA. It’s sucked because, he couldn’t leave the boat, but he did manage to stay a pretty cool tattoo. As did my mom. After that we headed to the Tuamotos.
The Tuamotos were made up of atolls, ranging in sizes. An atoll is a chain of small motus in a circle with deep ocean in the middle. They are usually made honor coral, and have amazing wild life. In the water that is. The land is pretty barren of animals.
Now, let me tell you right here, right now, that the Tuamotos were my absolute favourite place in French Polynesia. The water was crystal clear, the motus (little islands) were beautiful. There were beautiful, even if all the beaches were made up of all coral. We had BBQs on the beaches, birthday parties on boats, and sleepovers.
The BBQs were the best. The beach we had them on was covered in hermit crabs. We had a long jump contest. I did not win. It was a tie between myself and this boy Eoin, who was insanely tall and 13 (well 14 now. Happy Birthday Eoin!!!).
After that we headed to a new anchorage in the atoll Fakarava. It was super cool there. We dove with sharks everyday. And don’t worry, they didn’t attack anyone. There were black tips, greys, silver tips (I had no idea that was a thing), white tips, and silkies. They ranged size from a metre to two metres. And it was awesome swimming with them. I personally think we got a bit too comfortable with them. We did a few more atolls, before heading to the Societies.
Now, mind you we haven’t been to every island in the Societies yet. We still have about 2 more to go to. Here’s my experience with then so far.
I’m guessing you all know about Tahiti, how it is suppose to be resort filled island. It isn’t. It is busy and not very nice. In the anchorage we were, there was nothing to do, minus sit in the Internet. Let’s say my Instagram was crammed with our daily plans. Haha 😂 (ps if you have a Instagram go ahead and follow me @nina.radar it is private, so you’ll have to wait until I have good enough WiFi to check it again.)
Anyways, Tahiti. It is an industrial town. There is big tankers 🚢 coming in all the time. Not where we were, but in Papeete proper. The theft was suppose to be pretty bad so we locked up all the time.
Ellamae and my mom went back to the states for two weeks. Well, Ellamae has gone to like with her biological dad for 6 months. My mom was fine for two weeks.
In those two weeks Dad cut his foot again, and it got infected again because, it was a coral cut. Let’s put this simple, coral is flesh eating. A 3 millimeter cut turned into a giant hole. It was nasty. We were able to make it to the island next door, Moorea. There was an awesome New Zealand family who was visiting for three weeks. There were four kids in all, Arwen, who was exactly 2 hours and 14 minutes younger than me, Will, who was 13 and Taj fell in love with him. Finally there were the twins, Conner and Jamie who are 9. They were really funny and sweet. Sadly they rushed up ahead of us, and we went back to Tahiti.
Mom came back and we stayed in Tahiti a bit longer. Oh, I forgot to mention our boat had 8 people on board for a few days. There was a friend of ours and his family came in. They, on a spur of the moment, came on our boat for a few days. It was nice, I shared my small room with Summer who is 11, Andrew who is 9 stayed in the back with his mom and Dom (16) stayed in the cockpit with his dad. Where did my dad sleep you ask, on the couch if course.
Anyways, mom came back and we went back to Moorea after getting stocked up with food. We stayed a few days because, we had to head out of French Polynesia because our visa is running out.
Now we are in Huahine. I’ll let you know how it is a bit later. And the rest of the Societies. As well as Bora Bora. So, it was nice talking for a bit!!!!
This is Nina, standing by. 🖤
Sent from My Iridium

Catcning You Guys Up

Sorry I haven’t written in ages. We’ve been up to so much, so let me quickly get all y’all caught up. I believe the last place we left off was in Costa Rica, or Panama. Let’s start in Northern Panama and work our way to the Galapagos.
It was windy when we had pulled into the anchorage of Venao. The sun had already set, so we had to anchour in the dark. My parents weren’t happy, because so much could go wrong at night while anchouring, but there was no way around it.
In the morning, we re-anchored the boat in a better spot and headed into shore. Sadly, Venao had a pretty bog beach break, so it mean no dinghies were coming in. We put in the paddle boards and went into shore. Dad had gone in slightly earlier, since the surf was up, so we followed slightly after him. When we had gone in, my dad informed me that there were two teenage girls in the pool above the surf spot. I hadn’t seen anyone my age in a while, so I ran up the scorching hot sun, to the pool.
I was happy to learn that my dad was in fact correct. There were two girls, from Alaska, and they were a ball to hang out with. We hung out in the pool all that day, talking about every topic we could think of. When the sun grew distant, we made plans to hang out the next day.
When I woke up the next day, I pumped some school work out, and went into shore. The girls were there, once again, and invited me to go to a town 30 mins north, called Pedasi. I wanted to go, but we couldn’t figure out a way for me to get back before dark. That’s when it hit us, we asked out parents if we could have a sleepover that night. They all readily agreed, so I swam out to the boat to get the essentials.
I swam back in, got dressed in dry clothes, and we drove for 30 minutes to the small town, and adventured around for s big. We had been informed that there was a food festival like thing going on, but there wasn’t. We drove back after ice cream, and got dinner at a small restaurant called, Panga. The restaurant was known for everything being local, and it was tasty. I got fish and chips, and I think it was the best fish and chips I had ever had!
I had a blast hanging out with the two girls. They were on vacation with there families, as in, grandma, grandpa, moms, dads, siblings, and uncle. It was the whole family, and it was rowdy. They made me feel like a kart if the family, so I was super happy.
When we got back to their hotel, it was practically 11, so we hit the hay. The next morning we said our goodbyes and I swam out to the boat.
Out next stop, Panama City!
The skyline was filled to the brim with skyscrapers. It was insane, if you can, open a new page and look up Panama City photos. I can’t even begin to explain it. It was pretty and ugly at the same time.
I’m going to cut my explanation short and get to the details of our stay. In all, we were in Panama City for about 4 weeks, and if you ask me, it was 2-3 weeks too long. Though we did meet some really cool people while we were there.
My aunt visited, so we took her around showing her the city. It as really nice seeing her. I missed her a ton. She was with her daughter, Lola, who loves Taj and myself, so it was fun playing wit her. We also visited Our from friends from Mexico, who had gone through the Canal.
We, of course, met a ton of kids. I hung out with one boy called Jack (15) off of Arc en Ciel, or as we like to say Barking Seal. He had his older sister, Jackie (21), her boyfriend, Plume, and their daughter Juliet (2). They were extremely fun to hang out with.
We also met quite a few other kid boats, like Totem. For you guys that don’t know Totem, it haven’t heard of them at the least, they are a family of 5, sailors g around the world. They are coming to the end of their 10 year circumnavigation.
The kids are all older, so I was happy. There was Niall(18), Marien(15), and Siobhan(13). They were a blast, we did henna tattoos on each other, ate ice cream, told jokes, ate more ice cream, and walked aimlessly around the mall. It may have not seemed like a lot, but we could only hang out for 3 days before they left. They were going to only stay for 2, but we convinced them to stay for an other day, because pizza night was coming up. In those three days, we could also sneak in a sleepover, where we made cookies!
After they left, we went back to our normal schedule. School, go into shore, and then we’d either hangout out around the area and skateboard, or go to the mall.
At first the mall seemed like a really good idea. It was fun to look in the shops, but after a while it got old.
We decided to take a trip up north to a friend’s surf camp in Northern Panama. We had met this family while we were at the American Embassy, getting Taj a new passport. We had sat right next to a couple with a little girl, naturally I began playing with her. She immediately stopped bugging her mom, and began playing. It was fun. They later invited us to their surf camp, and we agreed we might adventure up.
We did just this, we packed our hammocks and stuff for the night and took a bus up north. Jack tagged along, happy to learn to surf. We were happy to get out of Panama City, even if it was for two days. We played in the water, I attempted to teach Jack to surf, and I played with the little girl, Dare, and her bran new puppy.
The next day, we were sad to leave, but we did. We said out goodbyes and bussed back to Panama City where we had pizza for dinner.
It was our last week in Panama City, and a few days later, we picked up anchor, said goodbye to the City and set off towards the archipelago Las Perlas, with an other kid boat. We spent a few days in the Perlas before heading off to the Galapagos.

The Galapagos:
“Are we there yet?”
“At this rate, 3 more days.”
*Nina and Ellamae cheer.*
Three days later
“Well guys, it looks like an other 8 more days
*Nina and Ellamae groan*
It took a total of 8 days to get to the Galapagos. To be honest, it wasn’t that bad. We got in to Sam Cristobal, early morning. What was the first thing I did? Look for kids. Our neighbors said that they’d seem some kids off of a few boats, but they we’re the sure.
After we checked in, we were told they had to fumigate our boat. We had expected this, so we filled out of the boat and into shore. We wandered around, and scopes out the island’s town. For an island in the middle of nowhere, the town was big.
We decided to stop our adventure and go back to back to the water’s edge. We had barely sat down when I spotted some kids I’d met in Panama. We talked for a bit, and then they invited us to dinner. We readily agreed, and less than a hour later, there were 6 rowdy kids came at us.
The next week was filled with lots of fun. We hiked around the island, went to snorkel, and learned about the history of the island. We saw tortoises, marine iguanas, and the famous Darwin Finches!
After San Cristobal, we headed to Isabella. I sadly did not see the island every much, because I got sick 🤒. It was suppose to be really pretty, but I was sick.
We went to Santa Cruz after Isabelle, and met up with a to if other kids. There was, at one time, 17 kids in the anchorage at once. Pretty good fro the Galapagos. We spent another week there, swimming with baby sharks, hanging with friends, and exploring. Dad got to surf a ton, and we got to swim in the surf. I did surf on my dad’s board, and stood up for about 15 seconds. Yay for me! 👏🏻👏🏻🤗🤗 We stocked up the boat, picked up anchor and said goodbye to the Galapagos

Costa Rica, Its All Just Fun and Games so far!

Hey I’m back world! I am so so sorry I haven’t given you many up dates for a while. I honestly couldn’t write anything worthy of being posted. My posts I thought of posting were really choppy, and badly written. I have decided to give this one a try. I mean it is now or never, right?
If you’ve been keeping an eye on our main blog, you know we are in Costa Rica, and may I dare say, FINALLY! After our 1600 mile crossing, I was more than happy to be, even to just SEE, land. Here’s a short recap of our passage.
We had planned on leaving on a Friday, but that’s bad ju-ju, so we left the next day, on Saturday, around 10 in the morning. I did not do school that day, but read and got comfortable with the way the boat moves in the sea again.
The next three day consisted of reading, school, drawing, watching dolphins, listen to my dad tell stories, and watching land disappear behind us.
I was glad that we were finally leaving Mexico, but I also miss it quite a lot! Let me tell you, Mexico has way better food, in my preference, than Costa Rica. The mice thing is that they have plantains at practically every restaurant, it’s like their tortillas in a way.
On the second week, the wind slowly became more and more forceful. We celebrated Christmas underway, a first for everyone on the boat, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might have been. For New Years, I made a goal to read 1K books, but I now realize I was INSANE! I would have to read 2.7 books a day, and I’ve only read about 8 since then. 🤣
After a few more days, we made it to Costa Rica 🇨🇷! My gosh, I don’t think I have ever been more happy to see land. 3 weeks of no land can make a girl go slightly bonkers.
When we went to shore, we got apples (from France), and after not having fresh fruit for a few days, it was so mouth watering. 🤤. It was way juicy, and sweet, and sour. I had no idea an apple could taste so good. I could carry on talking about this apple for hours, but I will stop myself here: IT WAS THE GOD OF APPLES!!!!
Costa Rica is jungle filled, every beach has a jungle behind it, but it is also hot, and muggy at times. But beautiful all the while.
We did a zip line tour. One of the few touristy things we have done yet, but it rocked! There were 10 lines, and they were fast. Taj loved it. He went down the first 5 by himself, but had to have a buddy on the last ones because they were really fast. My dad suspected he got up to 30 mph on the 9th one. Talk about a thrill! There was even a zip line that you could go upside down on. It was fun, but kinda scary, because everything is the wrong way. Up was down, and down was up. I hadn’t ever been on a proper zip line, so it was a cool experience. I do recommend it.
I also met this girl, Kristy, from Costa Rica’s capitol, San Jose. She was extremely friendly, and has the LONGEST hair I have ever seen. We talked for an hour, hour and a half. She spoke practically perfect English, and I practiced my broken Spanish. Kristy didn’t mind all that much, she was happy to teach me some new words. I learned the slang for cool. It’s “chiva”. She told us we had to go to the national park, Manuel Antonio, because there were so many sloths, birds, and lizards.
We had planned to go anyways, but hearing her, kinda sealed the deal. The very next day, we got a guide, a fellow Costa Rican named, Diego, and set off into the not so wild jungle of, Manuel Antonio! (It wasn’t that it wasn’t wild, it just wasn’t wild in the animal department. As in, they weren’t running everywhere. Okay there were some animals running around, but not a giant abundance.) Diego really knew his stuff, we were stopping all the time, and were seeing things none of the other guides were seeing. It was amazing. He was really smart, and was rattling off all this information as if he was talking about the weather. To him, he practically was. It was a lot of information, but we all did our best to retain it all.
It was fun to watch the monkeys, raccoons, and coatimundi (it is extremely similar to the raccoon.) steal food from the beach goers. One family was sitting down, and a raccoon came up and dug through one of their bags. The mom didn’t do anything but laugh, as the dad chased them off. It made me laugh.
A few days ago, we were in Drake’s Bay, and to you Californians, no it is not the Drake’s Bay in Northern Cali, it is Drake’s Bay, Costa Rica. We went for a jungle/river tour, but it really turned into a jungle/beach hike. On our way back, we say three Capuchin Monkeys, and one of them had a small baby in its back. We decided to take a break to eat a snack and watch them. As soon as Taj and I had our sandwiches out, the younger monkey (not the baby) was on us. Creeping in the grass, it perched itself next to my dad’s bag in front of us. It was timid, but not scared. It continued to creep towards Taj and his sandwich, so we had to shoo it away. It went away, but came back instantly. Within 5 minutes, we had monkeys surrounding us, and not all of them were as cute and cuddly as the baby. We packed our bags and walked outta there. While we were leaving, we met the grandpa monkey, and he wanted our food. We hurried out way out, and didn’t encounter any more monkeys.
So life in Costa Rica hasn’t been all that bad. It’s actually been great! There hasn’t been any kids on boats, much to my dismay, but I’ll mange. I will let likely read a ton of books, and do school. I have to survive one way or another. Hopefully in Panama there will be some kids. If there isn’t I way go a bit crazy🤪.

Well, until next time!
Nina🧜🏽‍♀️

Oh, and a shout out to any kids in the Panama area, if you are going to be there in February-early March, let us know! I’m always happy to meet new kids🤩!

Sent from My Iridium Go!

1 November, 2017 22:07

Hey world! I’m so sorry I haven’t written in so long! We had a busy busy summer, as most of you know, we dropped off my mum and sister off in Santa Rosalia, so they could go to the states for a bit, while we made our way up to Puerto Penasco.

From Santa Rosalia, we made our way to Bay of LA, with multiple stops in between. When we got to Bay of LA, we swam with whale sharks, caught yummy fish and made tacos, and hiked a ton. All the while I was looking, for the nonexistent, kid boats, much to my dismay.

A few weeks later, my mum texted us, from the sat phone, that there was a kid boat heading our way very soon. Sure enough, about a week later, Waponi Woo, came motoring in to Don Juan. I was so excited! India and I had a three-day sleepover, and got about 11 hours of sleep in all. We were both, “kid starved” aka, had both been missing hanging out with kid boats.

They left a day later to go to Puerto Penasco. I was bummed, but knew that we would see them again soon.

We made our way, with a 40-mile hop, to Puerto Refugio, with s/v Easy, and met up with Let It Be, who have two younger kids, Jake (5) and Marietta (6). Taj and “Jack Jack” had a ball, they fished morning till night, with a nap at lunchtime. The girl, Marietta and I, had a ball, we had tea parties, and made bracelets, as well as had a beading party. My dad had caught 5 yellowtail, and made 20 logs of sushi, and it was amazing. After that meal, everybody was so stuffed, nobody could eat another bite of sushi. We couldn’t even eat another log.

After hanging with them for a while, we made our way with s/v Easy, to  Puerto Penasco. I took my first real watch, from 8-11. It wasn’t all that bad, I finished an entire book, listened to music all while checking if we are still on course. I was blessed to have a light breeze, enough that our sail wasn’t flogging, but we weren’t over power. I only had to adjust the windvane once the entire night.

We made it to Pensaco about breakfast time the next day. We walked around the town that day, looking for the piercing shop, we had heard about while we were in Bay of LA, because my parents said I could get another piercing this year. We ended up taking a taxi who said he knew where it was, but really, he drove around asking where it was. In the end, we found the place, about two blocks from where we started.

After I got my “industrial piercing,” I was very low blood sugar, and my dad took Taj and I to get ice cream. My dad said afterwards, I was a white a sheet of paper, and I felt as if I could have thrown up. But after ice cream, I felt much much better.

A few days later, my mum and friend from back home, Elsie< came down to visit us, and the heat. We were in Mexico a total of two more days, before we drove back up to my aunt’s house in Arizona. My mum and Elsie stayed three more days, and in those three days, we went to the book store, went swimming in my aunt’s pool, and had lots and lots of fun.

Taj and I stayed at my aunt’s for two more weeks, before we drove back down to Mexico, to visit my dad, and celebrate my aunt’s birthday. We rented quads, and drove them around, got yummy Mexican sopas, as well as tacos and stuffed potatoes.

A week later, my dad came to my aunt’s and we drove to Oklahoma with my grandpa, to go visit my Great-Grandma. We helped her around her property, and Taj got to spend time with his Great-Grandma. After Oklahoma, we drove back to my aunts, picked up Ellamae from the airport, and drove to Bishop. We spent five days in total, were we hung with our very missed cousins. I went to the county fair they had, with my cousin, Jenna, and had a blast, with her friends. I got sick on the Gravatron, a ride that spins so fast, that you are plastered to the wall. It was a blast.

After Bishop, we headed to the Bay Area, to visit friends, and our mum. I spent a day hanging out with some friends from our hiking group, Vilda, who I had missed very much. It was fun hanging out with them, and all the other people from back in Sausalito. We drove down to San Jose, to have lunch w my mum, sister, who has grown in to a giant toddler, and her husband. We went to this amazing Mexican restaurant, where I got a mango chicken salad on rice.

We left a day later, to head back to Arizona, then the boat. We stayed at my aunt’s house for one more week, and I was surprised to say I was, actually say I was going to miss my Aunt Tara, Lola (my cousin), Uncle Ben, and their dog, Wally. On the 15th of August, my aunt drove us down to our newly painted boat.

We had dinner, with my aunt, and Waponi Woo, at this taco shop with baked potatoes. I was super excited to have a kid boat right across the yard from us. They brought down one of India’s friend. Keely, for a year. So not only do I have one kid boat who is my age, but TWO!!

Keely is goofy, talks 10xs more than I do, and is a great person to hang out with, I was so excited to have another kid to put down on my ever-growing list of children.

We hung around Penasco, and got FRIED ICE CREAM, with Keely. It was amazing, I got Napolitano (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), with a load of chocolate sauce whip cream, and a cherry on top. I finished my first, and had the biggest sugar rush ever recorded.

That very next day, we left with Waponi Woo to go to Puerto Refugio. Then Bay of LA, and then San Carlos, where we picked up my mum.

We met a two new boat kids, Bloom, with Carson(11), and Habi Hoba, with Sarah(11) and Jake(12). They were a riot. Not quite what Ellamae and I expected but, the were great. We hung out at our boat a lot, a rarity in itself. We usually never have any kids over, so it was kind of weird, but nice at the same time. We hung out for about a week in San Carlos, before we left to Isla Carmon.

We had a great time swimming, and doing school. We left from there to another anchorage on the same island called, Painted Cliffs, where I dove to a total of 59 FEET!!!!!!!! I thought it was about 45 feet, so attempted it. About ¾ of the way down, I thought that it seemed pretty far down, and when I touched the first time, it was 57’. I was ecstatic, I rushed to the surface, and yelled at my mum, dad and sister. A bit later, I wanted to get a solid 6-0, so I attempted it, I could only get 59, because I easily run  low on air, but hey, I beat a record, not by a foot, but by 12.

Well guys, I guess this is it. I promise I’ll keep you up to date on what going on.

Write to ya later,

Nina

bahia de los angeles

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. This is a blog post I had forgotten to post back in August. So so sorry. Well, I won’t keep you any longer, so here it is; posting from satellite phone:

Hey Everyone! Sorry I haven’t wrote in a while. I have been so absorbed in the scenery and my books. We are in the Sea of Cortez. Right now, we are in Bay of LA. It is located about 132 mi from Puerto Penasco (or Rocky Point) where we will be hauling our boat out for the month of August.
So in Bay of LA, what have we been doing? You ask. Why haven’t I been writing? We’ll to be honest, I completely forgot about my blog. 😂
Bay of LA, is a good sized bay, that inhabits many different sea creatures. We swam with ginormous whale sharks (completely docile), ate Yellowtail, which is supposed to be the best sashimi on the market, but I don’t like raw fish. We haven’t been going swimming a whole bunch, because the water is murky and not very inviting. Well, minus the part that it is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius). My dad did catch as small sized yellowtail when we were free diving in Animos Slot, on the outer part of Bay of LA. And that day, I dove down to 44ft!!!!!! MY NEW PERSONAL RECORD!
I was so happy, I swam up to tell my dad that I dove 41 ft(my watch is off by 3ft) and he came up and asked if I had touched, I said yes and was about to tell him that I dove 41 feet. But then he corrected me telling me I dove 44, I did an odd happy dance in the water, and squealed.
We have been doing a bit of hiking, but it is too hot to do anything but hang out and swim during the early afternoon.
Dad and I also have been doing workouts, they include sit ups (about a 100), push ups (about 50 if you can do it, but realistically I am doing about 35), then pull ups (my dad’ do 75 and I’ll do about 25-21). We do 5 sets, so for me it is 20 sit ups, 5 FULL push-ups 6 if I can do it, and 4-5 pull ups (modified), since I can’t do a full pull up, we work on the easing yourself down as slowly as possible. This makes it easier to pull up, since you are building up those muscles. I am just starting every thing, but I instantly found that my sit ups are strong suit, and pull ups are my worst enemy and I shall conquer them!!(hopefully).
We also been kayaking everywhere we go. We have found an assortment of different artifacts, such as, cool shells, giant whale bones🐋.

Catch ya later,
Nina🏄🏽‍♀️

 over a year ago…WE CAUGHT JAWS!!!!!!!! (very delayed and forgotten post)

Okay, we didn’t catch the actual Jaws, but we did catch a shark😋! Ellamae and I were just doing our school and we saw our hand line fall on to the solar panel and the bungee stretched way way out. My dad went out and started to reel it in. I thought it was a Marlin, Ellamae thought it might be three Yellow Fins bitting each other’s tail, Taj said it was a Dorado (Mahi Mahi), and Mom went to grab the camera. It took a good ten minutes to get it half way, my dad said it was a Marlin. I got really exited, because I have had Marlin before and it was really good. We kept reeling and reeling and then we saw the… FIN!!!!!!!! So we thought it was a Hammerhead, because they live in the area. It started diving down deeper and my dad had a hard time pulling it in. We finally got it to the boat and it was a Silky Shark. Dad said it was over 100 lbs! Nobody wanted to bring it on the deck exempt for me😏. We got a few photos, personally I thought they all looked really fake like we photo shopped it in, but we didn’t they are all real. I promise! We cut the line a bit long, but it’ll come out sooner than later😀. Faster than you can say Silky Shark it was swimming back into the blue depths. My dad said that we were really lucky to see the shark, because they have been fished out and there are not many left in the area. Now I am ready to see a Blue Shark (my personal favorite), and swim with the smaller ones!!

Not quite 2 years, and 47 kids boat!

19/05/2017: Not quite 2 years, and 47 kids boat!
So we have been sailing, for almost 2 years now, and have met 46 kid boats. I keep a journal, and write in it (or at least try to) everyday. I usually write; what we did that day, where we are, and who we are with. 

One day, I decided to write every kid boat we had every met. At the time it was only about 5 or 10, but over the course of the last two seasons, the number has been adding, and sometime at an alarming rate. 

If you are new to cruising, or are planning on cruising in the near future, worry not, for there are children everywhere. You may just have to wait a few weeks, but for a child, that may sound like years. And I have not met a kid boat that is not happy to meet a new kid. 

  Here are who we have met so far: note this is not in order. ** *

Cat2fold: Georgie (11) and Beo (9) ** 

Empyrean; Zoey (5), Hannah (13), Emily (18) ** 

Beach Flea; Luke (11), Abby (14)**

Pesto; Raquel (11), Paulo (13)*

Full Monty; Colin (14), Justine (17)**

Pickles; William (12), Henry (13), Julia (15), and Christopher (17)**

Caramba; Hunter (9), Logan (12)**

August Dream 2; Annabelle (13)**

Cielo Grande; Lillie (4), Finn (6)*

Me Too; Brilee (17)**

Sarita; Katya (13)*

Terrapin; Emma (12), Jessica (13) ** *

Enough; Noah (10) Horatio (12)*

Wild Rumpus; Julian (5) Liam (9) Cassidy (12)** *

Batu; Sarah (13) Shawn (16)*

Ricki Tivi Tavi; Neli (8) Liam (11)** *

Waponi Woo; India (13)**

Kenta Anae; Matero (12) Shandro (14)** *

Tribe; Kikko (13) Kekoa (14) Nakia (15) **

Agamere; Simi (12) Maggie (9) William (7)*

Ceilydh; Maia (15)**

Zoe B.; Zoe (14) Hal (14)** *

Spanish Stroll; Andrew (14) Ariana (16)*

Namaste; Journey (15)*

Luminesce; Sophia (9) Anna (12)** *

Coastal Drifter; Ethan (age not available)*

Sang Vin; Jaydin (6) Dylan (11)*

Banyan; Esa (8) Adi (10)*

YOLO; Coulter (5) Prestley (9)*

Ballena; Roomy (30 Martin (9)*

Raireva; Isaiah (9)** *

Mango Mango; Memphis (16)** *

Velella; Leo (6) Benjamin (9)**

Velella Velella ; Edalin (3 ½)** *

Cape D; Julian (13)*

Zimovia; Dean (4) Ellie (5) Scott (8)**

Dakota; Finnley (5) Elliot (8)**

Wiz; Cooper (10)**

Nomi; Maeve (8) Moran (12)** *

Saverona; Nico (14)*

Magic Lady; Kaleb (11)*

Alert; Emily (5) Oliver (9)

Sea Glass; James (9) Jacob (14) Josh (16)**

Salt and Light; Karis (15) Toby (18)**

Secret Water; Josiah (11) Eli (9) Finn (8)**

Promise; Ali (12) Robert (9) **

Elandria ; Conner and Dylan **

Some of these kid boats have retired, some are still in Mexico, some are in the South Pacific, or beyond. But the one thing about cruising kids I love, is that if you guys haven’t seen each other in 4 years, you pick up right where you left off (minus the fact that they are all super cool and nice). 

These past two seasons have been amazing. Not only are the people really nice, but the food and weather has been amazing. There were fun and games, nicknames, sleepovers, and movies, as well as parting ways, and “aloha’s”. 

I am glad, in the end that my parents made us go on this trip, because I have learned so much, and have met so many cool people along the way.

 

Aloha, till next time, 

Nina

 

 

**kids this season * last season ** * both seasons

shout out to elsie, hey hope you’re well, and I miss you tons!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep in touch

I got affordable braces in Mexico!

        I got braces!!!!!   I have wanted braces since I was in fourth grade, I know I was insane, but I had sorta crooked teeth and a large overbite. My parents said that if I really really wanted them, I could get them, and here is how it went. 

   We planned on getting them in La Cruz, so while we were at Walmart, we went to Dentoamerica, and they said that they couldn’t fit us in till two weeks later. So we went to another place-not super sure what’s it called though. My mum and the orthodontist talked for a second in a jumble of English and Spanish, and she said that she could see me that Wednesday, if I could get my X-rays soon. We asked if they could get us an appointment, and they did. So the next day, our friend Willy, off of s/v Landfall, drove us to P.V, where we took my X-rays. 

  This X-ray machine was not your average X-ray machine (in the states at least.), if you live in the states, you know that they put that little tab in your mouth and treat heavy jacket, then use the little camera thing to take photos of your teeth. You don’t have to do anything but sit and wait for like 30 seconds. This one, you has to rid yourself of any metal, which was a lot for me ( two pairs of earrings, watch, silver bracelet, along with necklace, and a few more bracelets.) before they could take the X-rays. Then it was this machine they fit to your chin and it played music while spinning around taking the photos. 

  Once it was done, they gave us the X-ray, it was a panoramic photo of my mouth. The next day, after hanging out with a bunch of my friends, we went to the orthodontist. Usually, for the states, they give you a check up first, and make a plan for what they are going to do for you treatment. But instead, she began to work on my mouth right away. First she put this thing in my mouth, so she could see ever single tooth in my mouth(I looked like a horse), then she cleaned them with this super sour blue stuff. She then, added this sealant stuff that keeps my teeth super white while I have my braces. Then the worst part started, the glueing of the braces, it wasn’t all that bad, until she reached, my last molars, she had to reach with her fingers to the back, and well I can’t really explain it, but it hurt. She sealed the brackets with a purple UV light. It was now time to add the wire. This part didn’t really hurt, and I got to pick the color of the rubber bands. If you are wondering, I got silver, black, and a turquoise/green (Slytherin house colors. A.k.a, my house colors). Once we were done, we got this fancy tooth brush for my braces. 

   I was expecting them to hurt a whole lot, but it was really just sore. The second day I got them, I was eating apples (cut up.), the third, quesadillas and pizza. It was tough, but not that bad. My friends say that it hurts up to a week, so it was a pleasant surprise only having them hurt a few days. Though the second day wasn’t the most comfortable. 

  For the installment of the braces, it was $2,800 pesos or $155 U.S. (at 18 pesos to the dollar.), the X-rays were $335 pesos (about 18 dollars U.S),plus $500 pesos for the tightening each month. 

    I was so happy to get them, but of course, as soon as we made it back to the marina, one of my brackets popped off. I made a record, according to my friends. One bracket off in a hour. So the next day I got it fixed. And I got wax for my braces-grape and blueberry flavored-, so I won’t tear up my gums more than they already were. Three weeks later, I don’t in even notice them. And this Monday, I get them tightened

Keep calm and smile on 😬 -Nina🏄🏽‍♀️

Nina’s blog tour for “How to be a Pirate Hunter” by Marty Reeder

March 17, 2017
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I have just read an amazing book called, “How To Become a Pirate Hunter” by Marty Reeder. He asked A Family Afloat if I could read his book (before it was even published!) and do some sort of review on it, so I did a interview with him. He also did a mash-up with one of my favorite book, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. A mash-up is where you mix characters from one book and a plot from another. I will post the mash-up on my blog on a later date. 
After reading this book I wondered if I had a natural-born ability. I asked Mr. Marty Reeder what he thought mine would be and I found my natural-born ability is a badminton umpire, but he is guessing I am really the next meteor jumper, what ever that is! Honestly, we’ll never know because I don’t know of any seers around (seers are characters in his book that can see anyone’s natural-born ability when they look you in the eye).  
Here are the questions that I asked Mr. Reeder for the interview;

NHow long have you been writing for?

M-Like many writers, I’ve been writing since I was old enough to spell! I still have the story that I wrote before I was a teenager about two kids surviving in the woods. I’ve gone through plenty of stories since then, some of them better than others, but almost always, I write (or read!).

N-What was the writing process like? How long did it take?

M-Most of my stories tend to germinate for quite some time before they sprout, and How to Become a Pirate Hunter. is no exception. I got the idea about 13 years ago, but I didn’t start writing until a few years after that. Then I started teaching at a school and having a family … that put things on pause. I remember taking some Saturday mornings when I didn’t have grading or other things and squeezing in some writing. In fact, I recall one Saturday morning with my baby girl on my lap while I wrote the climactic scene in the story. After I finished the story, I tinkered with it for years and kept it on a back burner. Finally, last year I decided to take it seriously. After Cedar Fort liked one of the stories that I sent them, they wanted me to do some edits on it and then send them any other stories I had written. I had been saving How to Become a Pirate Hunter for something special and this seemed like the one. I did an extensive edit of Pirate Hunter and sent it in to them


N-Are there any writers you find inspiring?
M-I’ve always loved Mark Twain. He is someone I could read as a kid and as an adult and just enjoy his humor, fun characters, and clever but sound reasoning. I also remember reading Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game) when I was younger and being blown away with how smart his characters were, but I was still allowed access to their thoughts and actions. As I grew up, I learned to love some of the classics. I have tremendous respect for authors like Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Shakespeare. While those are all good writers, whenever I need to escape the tough things in life, I invariably turn to the silly writings of British novelist P.G. Wodehouse.

N-Which character from How to Become a Pirate Hunter is most like you?
M-This is such a great question! Interestingly, I’d have to say that neither of the main characters are super close to me. I am not as reserved and subdued as Eric, but I’m also too passive to be like the confident and aggressive Charlotte. I personally think that I make for a great, loyal sidekick. So I’m going to have to say that I feel I am most similar to Samuel–though I don’t really feel like much of a natural born charioteer!

NIf you had to go up against a gang of pirates who would you want on your team (other than Eric)? (They can be real or fictional.)
M-Another great question. Okay, I’m going to list off a few here:
Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island. This 14-year-old kid holds his own against a motley arrangement of the most desperately vile pirates in literature, from Billy Bones to Israel Hands to the master mutineer himself: Long John Silver!
-Horatio Hornblower from C.S. Forester’s excellent Hornblower series. These books are for an older audience and the main character has a funny name, but when it comes to strategic naval maneuvers and modesty, Horatio is the man!
Sir Francis Drake, the real-life English privateer. Sure, that’s like pitting a pirate against another pirate … but technically he was a “privateer” (someone given permission from their government to plunder ships from other nations), and who better to anticipate a pirate’s moves that a good-hearted pirate himself.

NWhat were some of your favorite books as a teen?
M-The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Redwall (and Redwall series) by Brian Jacques
-Watership Down by Richard Adams

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

-The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I would write more about each one, but then you’d be here all day!

NAnd last, what is your natural-born ability (and mine!!)?
M-You know, you’d think I’d be ready for that question, having a lot of time to think about it. In spite of that, I’ve never really settled on something. I need a seer! My copout response is that I was naturally born to write a story on pirate hunters! … but if I were to really venture an opinion, I might say that I was a natural born Scout camp waterfront director (mainly because that is one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever done, and I felt that I was, ahem, reasonably good at it!). And yours, Nina? Well, I’m no seer, but the random natural born ability generator from my website just told me that you were a natural born badminton umpire … but I think that’s an inexact science. So I’m going to say that you are a natural born meteor jumper. What that is, exactly, I don’t know, because it’s one of those abilities for the future … but it does sound cool, I think!

 This is the ends of our quick Q & A with Mr. Marty Reeder. When How To Become a Pirate Hunter comes out, be sure to get it for yourself, and find out what crazy adventures Eric and Charlotte go on. I found I was “hooked” by the prologue. Eric, who is 15, thinks that he doesn’t have a natural-born ability, until Charlotte sends them back in time, and they have to help a boat escape pirates. This book is filled with excitement and will keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  
Nina Lauducci 

“I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet” 

-The Rise and Fall