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Sunday, 2/22/09                                                                                Day 386

Four things make up today - church, stromatolites, sailing, and Trivial Pursuit.  Those four activities take up all of today, except little breaks between #1, #2, & #3.  You wouldn't believe how much fun I had on just those four things.  And I did well at everything I did!!

8:30am - Volleyball Beach - We came early to set up for church, like usual.  We had to set Mom's music up, and Dad's video camera.  Around 8:45, like we asked, the Youth Choir showed up.  We practiced (flawlessly) "Fisher's of Men," and then went on to practice the anthem.  We did that well too.  I also got some practice in on the regular songs.  We did church very awesomy (YES, that IS a word).  Everybody loved it. J  There were lots of baked goodies at the fellowship hour! J

12:15pm - Oceanside - I had talked with Ms. Anne about getting together to see the stromatolites at Oceanside, the spotted sea hares at Hole 2, and the sea slugs at Sand Dollar Beach, all of which she studies.  We were going to get a group of kids together to go see that stuff.  Today, we, Ms. Anne, Hullabaloo, Gotta Life, and More Cowbell went to see the stromatolites.  Having read the stromatolite PDF, I knew a lot on the topic.  Cynobacteria, which builds an algae that gets compacted and becomes layered rock - stomatolites.  That's just general.  They are the oldest life forms on Earth, 3.5 billion years old.  These are still living and only two thousand years old.  I accidentally walked on some live ones which could have killed a few bits.  After seeing the stromatolites, we kept going along the beach.  We came to some awesome sand hills/cliffs around the Oceanside of Hamburger Beach.  We had sooo much fun jumping off little sand cliffs onto super steep slopes and racing down.  Surprisingly, it was much, much hotter at the cliff tops than at the bottom.  I wonder what caused that?  Still, despite the temperature, we had a bunch of fun.

3:30pm - Volleyball Beach - I had come back over to Volleyball with Sam, Geneva, Colton, and Josh at around 2:30.  Mom and Dad went to Sand Dollar Beach to go hiking with Penobscot.  Josh and Colton ran off into the brush.  Sam & Geneva both left.  I sat watching volleyball for a while.  Eventually, I got hold of a hand-held VHF and called up Kaya.  Charlie on Kaya is a professional, Olympic medalist sailor who had offered to sail Independence with me.  They are from Houston and are good friends of More Cowbell.  Dad had left lifejackets and Independence all ready to go, and I had told them that I might go sail.  I went out with Mr. Charlie.  We sailed around all afternoon.  I sailed and he gave me tips.  He also showed me how to sail backwards!  It's pretty neat and pretty weird!
J  We had fun and sailed until it was time to go in, about 4:45pm.

5:30pm - St. Francis - After a quick stop at Liberty, we went to St. Francis for Trivial Pursuit.  Mom and Dad got made a team with Hullabaloo.  There were 11 kids, including 17yr. old Brie.  The Pink Watermelons were Sam, Brady, Geneva, Declan, Colton & Shina.  The Shark Attack was me, Dakota, Erin, Brie, & Josh.  This time, there were about a dozen questions just for the kids.  We got about 20 questions out of about 50 questions correct.  The Pink Watermelons got even fewer correct, so we won drinks.  WHOOPEE!!!  We even knew some extra adult questions and got extra points.  We had fun!  Yeah!

7:30pm - Liberty - We came home and are going to bed.

Monday, 2/23/09                                                                                Day 387

Today was simple.  Instead of doing school, we went to St. Francis Conference Room at 9:30 with all the other kids and Ms. Kathryn from Tortue.  Someone brought up the idea of the kids doing a scientific investigation of Elizabeth Harbour, headed by Ms. Kathryn.  We all got together to plan an experiment.  She gave us ideas and we were sent home to each write down an idea per boat.  Josh and I spent most of the day creating our project which will be voted on on Wednesday.  We had nine pages worth of stuff.  After all that effort, I hope it is chosen.

Josh got in trouble, but I went to the beach.  Brady, Sam, Geneva, & I walked all over the beach telling jokes and just talking.  The best two jokes were by Sam.  The first was:  "Though the Russians have the atomic bomb, the Jamaicans have the atoming bong!"  The second joke was:  "The Egyptians were chasing the Jews through Egypt and they came to the Red Sea.  Moses opened the sea for the Jews and closed it behind them.  The Egyptians couldn't do squat because their cat god was afraid of water!"  We laughed a lot!

Eventually, we had to leave to go to Hullabaloo for cocktails.  Colton, Josh & I drew for most of the time.  Colton's a good drawer, but I think I'm better.

We got home at like 7:30, and were all hungry.  Dad made a quick supper.  Josh went to sleep.  Me too.

Tuesday, 2/24/09                                                                                Day 388

Today was a lot like yesterday.  Like yesterday, we worked on a project instead of doing school.  I drew out my regatta t-shirt design for next year.  It took me three whole hours to draw this out.  I got upset when I was given about a half dozen things I needed to change and redo.  I'll work more tomorrow.

All that, with a bit of this and a bit of that, took the whole morning and some of the afternoon.  We got to the beach late.  Josh, Colton, & I played in the brush for an hour and a half.  At 5:00, Tauá came over for dinner and cocktails.  There was good conversation and jokes.  Dad made a dish with noodles and lamb, turnips, carrots, and potatoes that had been cooked in a big stew pot until there was no liquid.  It was good!  I had 3 plates of the stuff!  Ms. Monika brought brownies for dessert.  Yum, yum!  We are good friends with Tauá; I like them a lot.  Today was great!

Wednesday, 2/25/09
                                                                        Day 389

Today was good.  We did school all morning.  We didn't go to the beach early, but played Net Hack.  Josh got the high score of 4790 pts. as Teguee the Elven Ranger.  He was killed on Dungeon Level 7 in the Gromish Mines by a wizard.  I did well too, and hold ranks 3, 4, & 5 as Olpec of Christopia, the human knight.  Rank 6 is also me - Abi zi aah, the Valkyrie.  We are good.  Josh also invited Colton over and they played with Attactix for a while before we went to the beach.

We were at the beach by 3:30 for the get together with Ms. Kathryn (Tortue) about the science project.  Most of our ideas were chosen, actually, all of them:  our four testing sites, two of our tests, a variation of the last test, the things to test, etc.  We did awesome!  Our nine pages of work paid off.
J  We will meet again and do tests on Friday and possibly also on Sunday afternoon.  We all just hung around and played all the rest of the afternoon.   Dad's making supper and dessert.  It looks good.  I get to play Net Hack now.  Yeah!

Thursday, 2/26/09
                                                                                Day 390

We didn't do much today.  We did bake chocolate chip cookies all morning.
J  They were sooo good (especially the raw dough).  In the course of the day, I probably ate a half dozen cookies (including dough).  When I wasn't helping back or deliver cookies to our friends, I was reading or working on my awesome 2010 Regatta t-Shirt design.  It's coming along well enough.  The book I'm reading is His Dark Materials trilogy.  I'm still on book 1, The Golden Compass.  It is a really, really, good book.  Mom can't get me to put it down!

This afternoon, Mr. Bob (Cygnet) came over to help Mom fix the HAM radio.  He re-soldered the connection and now it works better, but there's still something wrong.  At least now we might be able to talk to Chris Parker (our SSB weatherman) without having a relay so often.

We went to the beach and hung out for the rest of the day.  The gang didn't come.  I worked with Dad to create the Weighted Coconut Test for tomorrow's experiments.  We got all four to work by attaching blocks of limestone, found at Honeymoon Beach and adjusted by me with Bro's rock hammer, to coconuts that have been drilled out so water can get in.  Coconuts are pretty buoyant!  We will attach to each coconut 10 meters of 80lb. test green monofilament fishing line and then see how long it takes each coconut to float until the tightens, thus testing the water flow.  Each coconut sits about one inch above the surface.  I hope it works!
J  Hasta mañana.

Friday, 2/27/09
                                                                                Day 391

We started today by getting four rolls of 10 meters of fishing line for the coconuts and a role of 30 meters of fishing line for the secchi disk.  At 9:30am, we met for the science project pow-wow.  My odd coconut project gave the project the official name of Castaway Science Investigation of Elizabeth Harbour.  I won't use that name.  I think it makes us sound illegitimate.  We measured out secchi disk line lengths, got into groups and discussed procedures.  I'm with Brady & Sam with adults Ms. Dana & Mr. David (More Cowbell) in More Cowbell's dinghy, testing the Gaviota Bay area.  Josh is with Brian & Colton with adults Ms. Kathryn and Mr. Josh (Kathryn's boyfriend) in Tortue's skiff, testing the South Cut area.  At one point, Ms. Kathryn tried to change my coconut test because it was a bit weird and there was an easier alternative.  I argued that I had worked on it 'til it was perfect and really wanted to use it.  She agreed it was kind of neat.

I spent the rest of the day working on my art project/t-shirt design.  I finally got it perfect.  It has taken over 3 days and a dozen sheets of paper, but now it's perfect.  Unfortunately, I screwed the entire thing up by completely being a dunce and  putting the words at the top horribly.  Luckily, Dad was able to help me cut that top off and opened up the world of computer fonts.  I used the font Alba Super and used a wave design and an arch design in WordArt to make it even better.  We printed it out and we pasted it all together and it looks better than ever.  I'm almost glad I messed up. J  When I turned it in to Ms. Sue, who was an art teacher and can truly recognize talent, her eyes lit up and she said she really liked it.  I'm glad I could work it out and do so well.  They will vote on the designs during this year's Regatta, and the winner will get their design on the 2010 Regatta t-shirt.  I hope I win. J

Josh & Colton got permission for Colton to have a sleepover tonight.  Dad made a special supper of Moroccan style pork, grilled flatbread, tahini salad, and red cabbage.  It was delicious.  Dad is now quite fond of Colton because he liked the cabbage (as Dad does), whereas the rest of our family only half likes it at best.  Colton brought the animated movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  It looks good.  I need to put this down and watch.

Saturday, 2/28/09
                                                                                Day 392

Today could hardly have been better!  It was a very special day.  But let's make it suspenseful!

Colton left after some playing and a late breakfast of eggs and toast.  We traded him for Brie, had Josh go over to Hullabaloo, and got picked up by Mr. Bill (Charisma) to go to a special Beach Church rehearsal.  This wasn't choir practice, but the first ever group practice of the Beach Church All-Youth Band over on Gotta Life!  We had Geneva on the saxophone, Erin on the flute, Brie on the keyboard, and me on the clarinet.  We did fabulously!!  What was really funny was when we finished playing "Amazing Grace" (our church song) and started playing our "default" music.  Brie would break out in "Stairway to Heaven," Geneva would play "Pink Panther," and I would play either "Ode To Joy" or anything in my book that looked cool.

At 12:00, our 9 ½ hour session of fun and games began.  Why were we spending 9 ½ hours on Hamburger Beach?  Because it was not one, but two popular cruising kids' birthdays.  Anne Marie is a whopping 5 hours younger than Sam.  And two birthdays in a community like this means ... CELEBRATION!!!  Most of the kids in George Town were invited and we had Rio Dulce, More Cowbell, Gotta Life, Priority, Hullabaloo, and us.  An uninvited boat, Mima, with two kids (Amy, age 12; Marshal, age 10) came anyway about halfway through the day.  Marshal is a bit rude, annoying, and overly loud, but his sister's good.

Now for the games!  We had a series of games at this party.  The first was tug-of-war.  We played three times.   In the middle was a trench.  If you fell into/over the trench, your team lost and you got buckets of cold seawater thrown over you by Ms. Dana.  The third time included adults and that was FUN!  We had Ms. Dana, Ms. Gail (Priority), and Scott.  We won that last round, but got drenched twice.

Part II of the games was a water relay race.  We lined up in two teams and raced two laps to an adult at a set distance in the water and a point on shore.  We did have to do one thing that made it difficult - wear a special adult t-shirt.  You couldn't race without wearing the t-shirt.  There was one shirt per team.  My team was down one person because Brady couldn't go into the water (doc's orders) because he sliced his whole foot open on a pen shell.  We got Mark (age 24 - Gotta Life's cousin on Sandpiper) to fill in.  In the end, we would have tied, had it not been for one thing - I couldn't ever get the t-shirt 100% on.  We got DQ'd in fun.  Whoops!

Game III was the wheelbarrow relay race.  My wheelbarrow was Erin.  I think we were the fastest wheelbarrow pair.  Our team won!

The last event of the games was the best - the water balloon toss!  My partners were Erin, Josh, & Mark.  We never won, but we sure got close!  At the end of it all, there were water balloons left over, and we had fun pegging people.

After the games were cake and present time.  Anne Marie had a coconut cake and Sam had a giant chocolate cake.  I had a piece of each!  The birthday kids got some good stuff.  Sam got some CD's of music compiled by Priority, a bag of chocolate form us, a glass that lights up from his parents and something I can't remember from Gotta Life.  Anne Marie got all the same stuff except for a necklace from Priority.  We all gave them homemade cards of some sort.

The next part of the party was the most AWESOME!  It was water sports.  Dad brought our tube and Priority brought a wakeboard and a kneeboard.  The kneeboard was only a piece of plywood that you could kneeboard on, but HEY, it worked!  I knee boarded and learned how to wakeboard.  I got up, but could never stay up for long.  While knee boarding, I took no air, and only got two 360's in, but that was probably because it was hard to stay on that plank.  Everyone had fun on our tube.

Now for the last part of the day/party.  Ms. Maryanne announced on the net this morning a "regulation bonfire for those 15 and younger and their well-behaved parents."  That's because every dang thing here in George Town is for those 15 and older! L  While some people were setting up the fire and food, I went out with Mark, Josh, Colton, and Geneva to get roasting sticks.  Mr. Dave (Hullabaloo) sharpened them with his machete.  When it got dark, we started up our big fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.  The bonfire was open to everyone and Tauá, some of Claudia's friends, Opus, Water Music and the new boats Los Gatos and Bird on a Wire all came.  We played a lot of games that involved running around in the dark.  When people started to leave, we all sat around the fire talking.  Every few minutes, I'd throw a palm frond on the fire.  They'd make the fire burn big and hot for one or two minutes, then die down..

We left the party at 9:30pm.  That kinda upset me.  We should've stayed longer.  But none of that could've kept today from being AWESOME!!