Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nancy's at 'home' with family and Tony's still in Malta

Main reason for this post is so that Tony can see his parents on video saying hello. The file was too big to send via e-mail.
Being back in Canada in the summer is such a treat. Not just to be with my family and friends, which is truly what I badly needed to do at this time on our journey, but also to look at how beautiful it is here and how 'temperate' everything is. And how nice Canadians are. When talking to other Canadian travellers who have returned home we all agree that its almost impossible to 'beat' British Columbia. How fortunate those of us who can call this place home are.
And its pretty evident that most of the rest of the world knows it too - we usually enjoy very good feed-back in the countries we visit when they know we are Canadian, though in Malta not many people know British Columbia - more familiar with Toronto and its suburbs. So I'll soak it all up, replenish my store of 'green', which is sorely missed in sun-burned Malta and when I get back and Tony's work slows down he can take a turn.

Monday, July 12, 2010

MoondancerX gets Clobbered by Sandstorm

Quite the wake up call this morning - first alot of shouting, very close to us and the sound of a very large engine, very close to us - that got my heart pumping a little faster and Tony went to the companionway to see what was happening. Then the noise receded and I thought all was ok. Not so - the boat came back at us again and hit us very hard ripping off the back railing of the boat, the gunnel around the back, most of Mr. Chubbs is gone - and now we wait for a surveyor to tell us how bad it all is.
Sandstorm is about a 70' trawler style yacht, when it hit us I jumped out of bed so fast as I thought something was coming through the stern, and then the pasarrel (boarding ladder) hooked on and ripped through everything in its way as the driver was trying to pull away from us. There was alot of shouting and screaming cracking wood and tearing metal - and Tony standing, calmly watching until all was safe - then there was alot of swearing.
The skipper of Sandstorm took his boat back out into the channel and anchored, then came to us and apologised profusely - admitted full responsibility for the damage and now I'm waiting for a diver to recover the parts of Mr. Chubbs that fell in the water and a surveyor. Tony has gone to work and will drive past Moonancer which he usually does with pride as he shows us off to his students. Won't be doing that today. She looks horrible.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eulogy to Grey Cat

Grey Cat was the youngest and oldest member of my immediate family. He was born to Fluffy, Josie's 3rd birthday present when Fluffy was about 8 months old. He was a very strange looking kitten - his head was a funny shape and I thought it best the children did not grow too fond of him as I thought he would die. So we didn't give him a proper name. How wrong was I? Grey Cat survived chickens, ducks, dogs, my marriage, Siggy the Llama. He survived a mortal mauling by racoons or coyotes in his fighting youth, and he survived several near drownings in his later years living aboard MoondancerX with us. He survived living with Johnny in an all young men's apartment and a short time with Josie living in an all young women's shared home, and he spent his last days in the peaceful family home of Mary and Elias, Mission and Mole, their new kitten, who probably helped Grey Cat remember that he was young once.
He lived 18 years - so many memories of our lives include him. I feel so sad that I will never hold Grey Cat in my arms again (whether he liked it or not). I feel sad that I will never meet him again in this life. Maybe in the next.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I can't believe that I did not know it was Canada Day yesterday. This morning when I opened up Yahoo I realised that I had let the day go by with our big Canadian flag furled up - to protect it from wind damage - we do have a smaller one up high on one of our shrouds, slightly lower of course than the Maltese courtesy flag. I'm sure if Tony had been here we would have remembered.
Last Canada Day 2009 we were on the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Azores; we happened to 'bump into' - not literally - an English boat we had met in Bermuda and as they knew it was Canada Day - they hailed us and wished us Happy Canada Day and held up their Canadian flag for our benefit. Funny huh!
Tony's been away all week on a charter around Malta and Gozo so I have had a fairly quiet time working on the boat, swimming when I got hot, lying in the sun to dry off (something I almost never do), lugging very heavy things around, i.e. Our dive tanks, laundry, 2 24 packs of beer for Tony, 2 10 gallon water containers which we take ashore, fill up at a friendly hosepipe, bring back, 'put' on the boat and fill the water tanks up. Now there's a way to improve water conservation. 'Putting' the jerry cans on the boat from the dinghy was very, very difficult. Here's how I used to do it - stand with one foot on the dinghy seat which is rigid and the other foot on the rubber side, not rigid - bend down with knees bent, lift the 10 gallon jerry can up onto the rigid seat, bend knees again and lift jerry can up to chest height and onto the deck. Sounds simple - and if I were alot stronger it would be - not. I did this about 6 times over the last 4 days, the last lift I fell backwards under the weight and decided not to do that again.
So - what do we women do when we don't have the brawn - we use our brains. Yesterday I used the running backs blocks which have twice the lifting power that I do, so I detached the running back block from the boat, brought it down to the jerry can, climbed back on the boat and pulled it aboard without straining myself at all.
Oh my God - you think - that's the highlight of her day???? Actually those small victories really do feel great - can't wait to show Tony, so that he doesn't have to keep struggling. No doubt he'll just continue the old way, doesn't take so long and my way might seem 'gay'.
He's back later today and tomorrow we plan to take off and sail to many of the beautiful places around the islands that we have not yet seen. We have 6 days holiday and I'm really looking forward to it.