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Sunday, 2/15/09                                                                                Day 379

Today was great.  We woke up to a calm morning in our nice little anchorage all alone.  Dad slept in, but when he got up around 9:30, he made awesome French toast.  To get read to go diving at noon (slack tide), Grandpa, Josh and I went out in the dinghy to find the reef.  We found a deep reef, a shallower reef with more fish and a mooring, and a prettier shallow reef that was right off a beach.  That was all at Norman's Pond Cay's north end.  But we discovered something else - a pristine beach on Leaf Cay's northern tip with white sand and a little protected bay, tide pools, etc.  Dad & I dropped Grandpa & Josh at the beach and went and picked up Grandma & Mom.  Grandma loves tide pools and we went looking for all the cool stuff.  We found a big ride pool with a plume worm, two sea urchins, a half dozen fairy basslets, and a baby schoolmaster!  We loved watching the plume worm!  There were also lots of alga in the pools.  The best thing on the beach, though, was the many iguanas!
J  There were lots of iguanas all over the beach and in the brush.  We even saw two in trees!!  One large male walked down the beach and started licking our beach shovel.  How weird!  I guess he wanted to see if it was food.  I got real close to lots of them.

We all joked that Leaf Cay would be a perfect place to buy an island.  There is a little salt pond that could be turned into a harbor, plus places for houses.  We are going to see how much it would cost to buy that cay.  Wouldn't it be cool for the Gohlke family to have a Bahamian island?!  We'd put some mooring balls out and make cruisers welcome.  We'd also put houses up on the headlands.  We could go to Barreterre for supplies, or even to George Town.  Also, being near Perry Institute would be good just in case of emergencies.  Dad guesses it would cost a couple of million dollars.  That includes buying the island, putting up three houses, building a dock & harbor, etc.  That's just a guesstimation.  It would still be cool!

We left the beach to go diving.  I snorkeled off the beach with Mom and Grandma.  Dad & Josh went hunting.  Dad got a small lobster and a bar jack.  I used my underwater camera for the first time.  It worked well.  We saw lots of plume worms. I got great photos.  I saw my favorite fish which is common out here - rock beauties.  They are yellow and black and really cool.  They're related to angelfish.  There were also lots of sponges.

After that diving trip, Dad, Grandpa & I went hunting.  Grandpa was our dinghy driver.  Dad got a huge lobster (as big as mine the other day) and a red hind.  I got none.  Dad had a good day.

Supper consisted of fish, lobster, cauliflower in cheese sauce, and potatoes.  Yum, yum!
J  I did a dive log for the afternoon trip.  Now I have to write this instead of engaging in conversation like everyone else. L  So, I'm done!

Monday, 2/16/09
                                                                                Day 380

Today wasn't boring, but just ... uneventful.  I got up around 7:30 and we were already underway.  We left around 6:30.  When I got up, we were passing Rat Cay.  I had a small bowl of cereal and did some school.  The weather was calm - practically no wind, glassy seas, spinnaker weather.  We got 3 or 4 kts. with just the spinnaker.  We had two fishing lines out, but got no fish.  Grandma slept in, waking at about 10:15.  I joked with her that Josh had cooked up an amazing pancake breakfast that she had missed.  She looked at me in disbelief.  Then she laughed when I told her we had actually eaten cereal.

We got into George Town before lunch.  We anchored close to the beach, next to Prior Ties and Rocinante, our friends.  We just beat a squall.  We went to the beach.  I got to say "hi" to all our old friends and tell everyone about our huge lobsters.  Rio Dulce, Priority, and about 20 other boats are at Conception Island, so the beach was less fun than usual.  There are some new kids.  I played some volleyball, swung, etc.  I was bumping it over the net with some college age guys who thought I was good - diving, bumping, setting, passing, etc.  - and I told them, hey, I've been here for more than a month and learned how to play volleyball.  I felt proud.

Dad made lamb and steak for dinner.  It was good.  I finished off everybody's plates and the last of the mushroom/rosemary red wine sauce.  When we finished, we ate fudge, chocolate, and pecans.  I love the pecans.  I also gave Mom & Grandma a little lesson on the differences and relations of sea hares and sea slugs (NOT the same thing!!) and their classifications.  I bet you didn't know that a sea slug, conch, and squid are all related (all mollusks), but sea slugs are more closely related to conch (both gastropods).  I set Mom straight with a bit of help/support form a technical science book.  She wouldn't listen that sea slugs are very different from sea hares.  Their closet relations in classifications is sub-class, and that's pretty high up (kingdom, phylum, class, sub-class, order, family, genus, species).  I've had a good day, as I'm sure you can easily tell.

Tuesday, 2/17/09                                                                                Day 381

Today was Grandma & Grandpa's LAST day with us. 
L  But we had a very good last day.  We spent most of the morning playing Monopoly, Grandma's favorite game.  Josh won.  Surprisingly, I, who was the first person to mortgage all their property and "go to the poor house" survived the longest.  Dad, who had the most property, got knocked out first.  Dad ruined everyone but Josh by trading Josh Park Place when he already had Boardwalk and enough money to put hotels on both.  I only go one monopoly in the game, and that was a monopoly of utilities.  I tried to get a railroad monopoly, but neither Grandma nor Josh would sell.  We had a lot of fun.

Monopoly took the whole morning and we went to St. Francis for lunch.  I got a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.  Yum!  During lunch, a boat went aground right off St. Francis.  Dad and about a dozen other dinghies came to the rescue.  They got him off after about 15 min. of work.  We showed Grandma & Grandpa Oceanside while we were at St. Francis.  They liked the crashing waves.

After all that, they dropped Josh & I off at the beach at 3:00.  They all went to look for spotted sea hares in Hole 3.  Guess who unexpectedly came back?!  Sam of More Cowbell!!!
J  That is just wicked awesome.  They have been to Long Island, the Jumentos, Conception Island, and Rum Cay, but they love George Town!  I can't believe they're back!  We are wondering what happened to Rio Dulce.  They left Conception two days ago for here, but haven't come back yet.  We joked that they sunk.  J  Geneva is upset because on board Rio Dulce are her cousins, their spears, and their Nintendo DS.  Ouch!  I sure hope they didn't sink!  We had a good afternoon.

We ate lamb soup for dinner and had to say goodbye to G & G.  They are getting up at 5:45 tomorrow morning to catch a 6:30 water taxi.  I may or may not be up.  Boo-hoo, I had a wonderful time with Grandma & Grandpa.  Maybe they'll visit us some other time.  I sure hope so.  Well, good night.  Today was

Wednesday, 2/18/09
                                                                        Day 382

I woke up early.  Oh so very early.  I am sad.  Grandma & Grandpa had to leave.   They were gone by 6:45.
L  I took pictures.  After they left, we did school.  That was it for the morning.

But then things cheered up good.  We went to another HAM luncheon.  This one was about DSC calling for VHF and AIS.  We went for the DSC part given by Nice 'n Easy.  Dad went to run errands and left Mom, Josh & I there.  After the lecture, we got rides from Double Wide and About Time.  We met up with More Cowbell at Liberty.  They gave Josh & me a ride in.  We played volleyball with them for a while.  When everyone else came (including Rio Dulce
J), we abandoned volleyball for the normal afternoon activities.  Clara (Socia) is also back from Conception.  We had a really, really fun afternoon!

Now, we've come home.  We have showered and changed; we're makin' supper and writing this (I can't come up with a work rhyming with change).  After dinner we'll go to bed after a game of dice.  Double Wide gave us a cool dice game.  I like dice games.  One of my favorites is Liar's Dice, with Yahtzee up there too.  Oh, dinner is ready, gotta fly.

Thursday, 2/19/09                                                                                Day 383

Today must be divided into 3 totally different parts for maximum effectiveness.  Otherwise, you see it as just one day, a single blob, a lone segment in time, or a bunch of little random thoughts.  That ain't how I'm doin' it!

This morning, Mom and Dad needed to go into town for a few hours and decided to leave Josh & me on the boat to do our school work.  Dad also left some pillows, mattresses, etc. on deck to air out in the nice warm sun and 10-15 knot breezes.  Josh & I went below after listening to the net and did our schoolwork like good little boys.
J  Unbeknownst to us, the wind had picked up to about 20kts, and the man from Aficionado came up in his dinghy with a pillow, telling us it had fallen off our boat (into the water).  We thanked him and brought all of the pillows in, not thinking the wind might just be strong enough to blow anything bigger over.  We were wrong.  Just a bit later, we heard something sliding and saw Mom & Dad's memory foam mattress going over the rail into the water as we poked our heads up.  Neither Nice 'N Easy, Prior Ties, nor Rocinante were home to call to come help, as we had been instructed by Mom & Dad, so we called Aficionado who came to our rescue again.  We brought everything in and called Dad to tell him about what had happened.

Now, you'd think that would be it for two boys home alone.  But no, the worst possible thing had to happen without our knowing.  Josh & I heard a big "KLUNK" on the bow, and, like prudent boaters, ran up to investigate.  We found Liberty 45° to the wind and swinging into the wind at 100mph! (an exaggeration)  Then, the chain was taut approx. 5 ft. past the snubber, which is approx. 10ft. long!  We thought we might have dragged, but decided against it when we took bearings.  After telling Mom & Dad, they came home within the half hour, telling us we had dragged.  We re-anchored.

For Part II in the 2/19/09 saga - We went to the beach!  Yeah!  I watched the Fun Volleyball Bragging Rights Tournament for adults.  They were playing really hard.  In George Town, volleyball is the major spectator sport.  After a (long) while, the kids came.  We practiced for Youth Choir.  I've got 8 people signed up for this Sunday.  WHOOPEE!  After choir got over, we did the normal beach stuff, mostly swinging.  The big gang got in late.  They all went wakeboarding (Rio Dulce, Gotta Life, & More Cowbell).  They didn't invite us.  I wonder why not.  They don't really seem to include us.  That makes me sad. L  But
beaches =
J.  That's for sure.

Part III, Evening/Night.  More Cowbell, our long lost Texan friends, invited us over for a light dinner, drinks, and cards.  We brought chips, spicy guacamole, and chocolate for dessert.  They made salsa and mashed potato tacos.  That is taco meat with mashed potatoes layered on top and cheese and pepper to top it off.  All of that baked.  While the adults played Spades, Sam showed us this awesome computer game called Net Hack.  It is a digital game like Dungeons & Dragons.  You choose to be certain people/creatures/beings and you go through missions attacking monsters, exploring, collecting goods, etc.  It is so AWESOME!!  Since it was a free download, they legally gave a copy to us on a flash drive.  We played Net Hack for hours - until 11:15pm!
J  We just got home and I am being sent to bed.  Good night.

Friday, 2/20/09
                                                                                Day 384

To sum it up, yesterday was okay.  Today was better, actually quite good.  It was a normal, yet fun, day.  We did school in the morning, but nothing bad, extra, tiresome, boring, or anything unordinary occurred.

We got to the beach a bit late, around 2:15.  More Cowbell was having major engine trouble and most of the kids boats' dads were off helping them in their dinghies, so most of the gang was stuck on their boats.  Consequently, only us, Socia, and another kid boat came to the beach.  The girl on that boat is Josh's age and new here, but not completely new.  We have met them before and they are very good friends of ours - Tauá!!!
J  We met them (Monika, Peter, and daughter Claudia) last season in Hope Town.  Now they are here again!  Yeah!!  We played some volleyball and showed Claudia the swing.  I raced Clara around the beach.  Somehow, I won.  Today is Clara's last day.  Too bad.  We were the only people at the beach (exaggeration).  We stayed extra long, hanging out.  Josh got upset because the raft he and a few other younger boys made had to be taken apart.  A dinghy hit it last night and the wood is for something else.  Too bad, much too bad.  I am sorry.

Believe it or not, that's practically all of today.  I got Net Hack onto our computer and we played it this evening.  That game is wicked awesome!  Whoopee!

Saturday, 2/21/09
                                                                                Day 385

Today was normal enough (with a cool ending).  We did school in the morning.  We made sure to be done by noon because we had choir practice.  We got all the kids from my Youth Choir to come too so that we could practice "Fishers of Men," our Sunday song.  We also practiced the anthem, a worship sequence made up of a few verses of a couple of songs, involving youth and adult choirs, and ending in a round called "Father, I Adore You."  It's a nice set of music.  I now have 9 kids off 6 different boats!  Wow!  After we had practiced "Fishers of Men" and the anthem, all the kids left, except me.  Josh bummed a ride from Water Music.  I stayed for the rest of practice.  We are singing a lost of nice music tomorrow.  We have a ton of choir members now.  I didn't even get my own songbook, but had to share.  I'm glad we had so many people.

When Mom finally left St. Francis, it was around 3:00.  I went to the beach for about 2 hours.  Like usual, I played with the rest of the gang.  Towards the end, when people started leaving, I played some football with Mr. Peter, Claudia, Colton, and Josh.  I taught Mr. Peter how to throw a football.  We played Monkey in the Middle.  Eventually, Mom cracked down on us and said it was time to leave.

We went back to the beach/Chat 'N Chill , with all the kids and many other cruisers, at 7:00.  Rockin' Ron & Karen (from Sea Dancer) were holding a dance.  The adults danced at Chat 'N Chill, while the kids played on the beach in the dark, swung, and danced to a few songs.  Kids are awesome at the Cha Cha Slide and the Macarena and we showed it!  We all got up on the tables and danced!  Ms. Dana, who was watching us do the Macarena, gave all the boys flack for not having enough "hip rotation"!
J  We had a fun night.  A cool end to the day.  A cool end to the good day. J