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

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
 

Community Service at the Orphanage

February 14, 2017 I went to an orphanage/foster home with a few other kid boats. There was Velella, with Benjamin (8) and Leo (5) (though Leo did not go), Zimovia, Ellie (6), Dean (4) and Scott (7), Nomi, Maeve (8), Ceilydh with Maia (15) and last but not least Pickles with Christopher (17), Julia (15), Henry (13) and William (12) and myself. Three drivers offered cars to take us to volunteer at the home. When we arrived, one of the caretakers took us on a tour of the home. It was quite roomy; the boys from the age 5-9 got a big room on the bottom floor with bunk beds, and the younger girls 3-9 got a giant room with even more bun beds, and there were two older girls who in the age range of 13 or 15 who had there very own room. We found that non of the children had clothing of their own, and not even toys of their own, and shared everything. In the beginning, the children did not want to play with us much so, Christopher, Henry and I started a basketball game that got 3 or 4 of the children to join us. Shortly after, they all had lunch, so Maia, Julia, and I wrote carrot and banana loaf on some Ziplocks for a fun raiser. After, we finished, Maia and I help polish shoes, and organize their dresses (And they had a lot!) Julia was helping the children reading, while William and Christopher washed walls. Henry was playing with the little kids outside in their giant patio. There was this little girl Gigi, who did not Maia and I to leave. I felt bad. I thought that the children would not like the home, but it seemed that they did not know better, but to love it. I feel that it was a good experience for myself and others to see what it was like in the homes. It was very fun nonetheless. 


  

Fair winds🌬and lots of dolphins🐬 
Nina🏄🏼‍♀️🇸🇰