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Monday, 2/1/09                                                                                Day 365

We've been gone 1 whole year!!  I know that it's only 2/1/09, but if you look back on 2/3/08, you'll see that it was Super Bowl Sunday.  It's not exactly one year, but that's because of leap year.  It's a good enough celebration for our cruising anniversary. 
J

It is Sunday, so we went to Beach Church.  Mom played her flute and I sang.  Surprisingly, we had a lot of people today - 50+ in the congregation and a dozen or so in the choir.  I noted that if the choir/congregation kept growing at this rate, we'd need lots more benches!   We also sang a lot of songs today and had a good time. During the fellowship hour, a guy had a board with squares on it for you to gamble on the score of the Super Bowl.  We bought one square.  We chose whichever square we wanted and wrote our name in it.  Later, after all the squares were sold, the guy put numbers (scores) for each row and column.  So, it was all just luck and chance which score we were betting on for each quarter and the end of the game.  In the end, we didn't get great numbers and we didn't win anything.  Oh well.  It was only a dollar.

Back on board, Mom made Josh and I do some school.  It wasn't much, and we were done in 2 hours.  Then we went to the beach.  Everybody was there.  We played around for a while and I introduced Priority to the rest of the gang.  Scott, Dakota's dad, helped me rivet the eye for my up-rigger on Independence and eventually, I left the gang and went sailing with Dakota.  Anne Marie also almost came out with us, but she bailed at the last moment.  We got to use some new sail ties I made.  We had a lot of fun sailing.  Two of our sail ties got lost while we did some hard sailing.  We found a big problem - the centerboard is too big and the rudder too small, so any time the wind gets real strong and we heal over real far, the boat turns into the wind and the rudder is powerless!  At the end, I was up in the bow working on a line while Dakota worked the boat.  Two waves swamped the boat, but we didn't flip/sink it.  We both got to the pumps and were splashing water out.  We tried crying "help" and flagging down dinghies, but two dinghies looked at us and passed us by, but Mom rescued us.  I helped tow Independence back to its spot on the beach while Dakota pumped water out.  Also, a piece of our tiller broke.  With that injury, I don't think I'll sail again until Dad gets back next Sunday.

We rushed home and went to St. Francis at 5:15 for Super Bowl XLIII.  They had a special platter on the menu and four TVs set up for the game.  We were rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Barack Obama was rooting for them too!  Marc and Brendan are also from Pittsburgh.  The underdogs were the Arizona Cardinals.  It was a good game.  Arizona had a lot of personal fouls.  The biggest event of the game was when the Cardinals were near the end zone and they were intercepted by Steelers #92.  He made a 100 yard return off that interception and got a touchdown!!  To end it all, though, he got flipped into the end zone, landing on his neck and getting fouled by a Cardinals player.  At half-time, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, my second favorite artist/band, played at the stadium.  He played "Born to Run", "Glory Days", and two other songs.  Dad in Vegas was probably going crazy.  He loves Bruce.  Bruce himself was going crazy!!  We thought he was going to sing "Radio Nowhere", from his latest album Magic because he asked the crowd "Is there anybody alive out there?"  That is a major line in "Radio Nowhere".  We could only stay through the end of the third quarter because we got too tired.  We didn't win any money from the gambling.  We had a wonderful time!!!  Today was wonderful!!!



Monday, 2/2/09
                                                                                Day 366

Today is officially the end of year one of cruising - Day 366 (because of leap year).  We had a good morning of school and afternoon on the beach for Day 366.  On the beach, I met Jacob (12) and Anastasia (11) of s/v Biscayne Bay, Mark (13) off Elijah, and Logan (10) off Northern Rebel.  They've formed their own little group.  We played with them for a while.  Our gang didn't show today.  Sandpiper said that they were out diving. Everybody was talking about last night's Super Bowl.  The Steelers won with a touchdown in the game's last minutes.

Towards the end of the day, we taught Dakota and Declan how to swing from the tree.  We also went to Oceanside with Mr. Bill (Charisma) and Emily Grace.  We were hoping to see humpback whales because multiple people, including Mr. Bill, have recently seen them just off Oceanside.  We didn't see any.  We've come home and had a quiet evening.  I'm falling asleep while I write this, literally!



Tuesday, 2/3/09
                                                                                Day 367

Today is the first day of our second year of cruising! We didn't leave the boat today.  A norther blew through.  It was windy, dark, and rainy.  We did a lot of school.  I worked for almost 8 hours!

After school, we just hung out.  I played computer.  The dolphins (Nicky and her baby) stuck around on and off for two hours.  I got some great video footage.  At one point, Mr. Brian and Geneva came over to look at something in the engine.  Geneva borrowed some books.

Even dinner was dull.  We ate leftovers to clear out the fridge.  Now we're just hanging out.  Today was boring and dull, but things'll clear up tomorrow.  So, if there's ever a problem, just say "mañana!"



Wednesday, 2/4/09
                                                                                Day 368

Today was sunny, bright, and cheerful.  We got school in from 7:30 - 10:30 so we could get off the boat early.  We went at 10:45 to get our propane tank filled.  Then we went at 11:30 to another HAM seminar.  Bob on Cygnet hosted today's seminar.  We ate hot dogs.  I found the weirdest grasshopper ever!  It was a little devil.  It was 1 ½ inches long with three more inches of antenna.  It was brown and looked like a cricket, but had a green-blue grasshopper head.  I saw the thing jump on me, and it scared me.  When I swatted it off me and moved away, it jumped after me!  It wouldn't die either.  I finally killed it after almost decapitating it and burying it alive.  It still wriggled around a bunch.  I photographed it and intend to Google it.

Anne Marie was also at the seminar with her dad.  We went on a walk to look for palm fronds for Mom's weaving.  We were unsuccessful, but had a nice time walking and talking.

At the beach later, none of the kids showed up.  We practiced volleyball most of the afternoon.  I met Lisa and Gary (adults) off Siacinana.  They were walking their two dogs - Rosti (a cocker spaniel) and George (a baby Maltese).  George is the cutest little dog you've ever seen.  I gave Lisa and Gary the scoop on George Town.  At the end of the day, I got some good practice in with a real player.  I also taught some little kids a bit about volleyball.  One of them was actually pretty good.  Eventually, we left the beach after a good day.

I made Italian sausage for dinner.  I put it with spaghetti in a tomato sauce.  After supper, we all snuggled up in Mom's bed and watched the Beverly Hillbillies on my portable DVD player.  Those are funny shows!  I like to watch these old TV shows.  They are sometimes much better than today's cartoons and shows, especially the old westerns.  Good night!



Thursday, 2/5/09
                                                                                Day 369

Today was great!  On the net this morning, Mom did the weather.  She did well.  I made an alternate forecast which can be used for any day and is always right.  It is as follows:

For an alternate weather forecast, the temperature today will be between 200° above and 40° below.  There is a chance of squalls, bringing high winds and heavy seas, varying to beautiful sunny skies with calm seas and light breezes.  Fog is a possibility, ranging from pea soup to clear as crystal.  That's today's report! 
J

It works for (almost) everywhere in the world.  The exceptions are in places like Antarctica where it gets below -40°, and in land locked areas (where sea state is n/a).  I told it to a couple of people and they all liked it. J


We did school the rest of the morning like usual.  At 1:30, we all went our own ways.  Mom went to choir practice while Josh and I were dropped off at the beach for a mini-volleyball clinic with Mr. Ollie (Dejarlo).  Mr. Bill (Charisma), who is now in charge of Beach Choir, renamed the choir.  We are now the Norman Casuarina-nacle Choir, a take off on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Norman is like the president of Beach Church (Mr. Norm from Carpe Diem).  The casuarinas are the big trees that we call our "cathedral".  Mr. Bill also got me to be the coordinator of a youth branch of the choir.  I got 3 kids other than Josh and myself to say yes, and we are going to sing "Awesome God" with hand motions.  It'll be great!

Mr. Ollie never showed up for Josh's and my mini-clinic.  After bumping the ball for a long time, we went and played with the kids who were just showing up.  For the first time, all the different sets of kids got together.  Mark (Elijah), Jacob (Biscayne Bay), and Logan (Northern Rebel) joined Dakota and Declan, me and Josh, Kaeo & Bird (Osprey) and the old gang (Rio Dulce & Gotta Life) in a game of soccer.  The game was very heated and action packed.  My team (Brian, Geneva, Brady, Anne Marie, Logan, Bird, & me) won.  Mark and Erin, both on the other team, were the best, but Brady and Brian were almost as good.  Mark lost a bunch of his greatness when we played with more people than just 3 on 3, and Eric fell down way too much.  Brian scored the most goals, with me in second, and Brady and Geneva tied for third.  Brady was best at getting the ball into scoring territory because of sheer height and strength.  Erin was best at that on their team because of her speed.  Mark was their best scorer.  The rest of us just played well and had fun.  Dakota was a great goalie and Logan, Jake and Anne Marie were defense+.  We also played Capture the Flag and volleyball before we all had to leave.  I also signed people up for a kid's volleyball clinic for tomorrow at noon with Mr. Ollie.  We had a really great day.

We came home, showered, and ate a light supper.  After a little chocolate, we are going to do what we did last night and watch more Beverly Hillbillies.  We had a good time last night and a good day.  Let's finish it up with another good night.
J



Friday, 2/6/09                                                                                Day 370

The weather outside's sure frightful.
There's no fire to be delightful.
Here in George Town it will only blow -
Please no snow!  Please no snow!  Please no snow!

That describes today's weather very well.  Though it was cloudy, cold, and windy all day, it didn't keep us from having fun.  We did school.  Mom did weather on the net.  Then we hit the beach.

We, along with the Rio Dulce/Gotta Life bunch and the Biscayne Bay/Northern Rebel bunch, were at the beach at noon for a kid's volleyball clinic.  Mr. Ollie (Dejarlo) was the main coach and Mr. Mike (Pagan Chant) was a helper.  The clinic was a real help to the new kids, and it was great practice to those of us who know the bare basics already.  We practiced bumping, setting, and serving, and we had a mini-game too.  We had fun.

While most of the other kids ran around after the clinic, Erin, Geneva, Emily (Emily Grace), Josh and I practiced the song for our Beach Church Youth Choir.  Dick, from Penobscot, also came with his guitar.  He's going to play with us.  Everybody has got the song and motions down well enough.  We'll practice again at 9:00am before church.

We got a surprisingly great game of volleyball going between the choir practice and the big beach stuff (see later in entry).  We only played threes, but we did well.  It was Jacob, me, and a kid named Jady vs. Logan, Josh and Jady's big brother.  They beat us 15-13!  It was a good game for so few people, especially kids!


We played one game of Capture the Flag, but it took almost all of the rest of the afternoon.  It was long and not too nice.  Cheating was rampant.  A few fist fights also broke out.  Some of us quit.  Eventually, I, with the help of some old team-mates giving clues as "whispers in the wind," found their flag and won the game.

The last thing we did on the beach was play volleyball.  It was six on six, including 3 adults. We (the bad guys, aka KAYOSS) got licked by the good guys.  For game two, it was all 9 kids (the bad guys) vs. the 3 adults (the good guys - Mr. Brian, Scott, and Mr. Dick).  Somehow, they beat us 15 to 5.  It was probably because we were too crowded and disorganized.  I did get one point for KAYOSS by spiking the ball - from the back row!!
J  It was still all really fun!

To top it off, Mom was very happy because we were home by 4:15!
J  She made fried chicken for supper.  How I loved the taste of meat!  Sometimes I think Ma could be a vegetarian!  Some beef is what I really crave!  Dad' been gone almost two weeks and Mom doesn't grill. L  Tonight's activity is to watch a stromatolite presentation given to us by Anne from Carpe Diem.  There are actually stromatolites here on Stocking Island that are two thousand years old and are still alive!  Wow!  My science book told me that the oldest fossilized stromatolites are 3.5 billion years old.  They're the world's largest forms of life.  Think about that - we are going to see the world's oldest organisms, some of which are STILL LIVING!  WOW!!



Saturday, 2/7/09
                                                                                Day 371

Today was almost as fun as yesterday.  The weather was nicer.  We didn't do as much stuff as yesterday, but we still did a lot of stuff.

I did a geometry exam this morning.  Then we went to a lecture on keeping Exuma's water and coral reefs clean.  Dr. Eric Mueller, a coral reef biologist who works at Lee Stocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas, gave the lecture with a Power Point presentation. I took notes.  There was lots of great info.  The rest of the kids were also there.  We all had good questions and answers.

After lunch on Liberty, we went straight to the beach.  We were the only kids there for a while.  Then all the Biscayne Rebel kids came.  We played some volleyball.  Eventually, the gang showed up.  We played tag most of the afternoon.  We did get a game of volleyball in.  Mom wanted to leave early, though, so all the kids were actually only together for a half hour.
L

We ended the day like any other - light supper, journals, maybe a TV episode or board game later.  But George Town's fun!