Maintenance +++

24th October 2020

Bernie has been working really hard on getting the new solar panel mount made and installed. It involved a lot of time under the deck preparing for the aluminium frame, a very uncomfortable and hot job. I do admire how he can think the whole process out in his head and translate that into a working arrangement. It is up and we’re trialing some panels that Arena bought and then found too big for their space. We think they’ll work, which is good news for both them and us! We just need to go to Guaymas today for some wood and parts.

Other than the solar system upgrade, we’ve been working our way through a list of maintenance jobs and Momo is starting to look pretty sharp. It should benefit both Bernie & Michelle in working out their finances, so I hope it goes ahead smoothly for them. He really does want the best for them.

The kittens love all the work going on, as each time we open cupboards or get gear out, it’s like a whole new jungle gym for them to explore! They’re getting more confident with their swimming lessons too. They’re not too fazed by it all!

Kim has two new babies too hand raise, the most adorable Siamese looking kittens!

The weather has cooled down a little. Its still in the 30s but the humidity has eased, thankfully. The water temperature has dropped a bit too and is much nicer. We’re getting a rolly fetch at the moment, the last two days, which is a bit of a pain! So somewhere out there they’ve had rough weather, lol! Still no rain! There were a few drops a couple of weeks ago and the kittens took off inside as though they’d been stabbed! It was so funny. Didn’t even dampen things though. We’ve had some lovely sunsets and sunrises.

Matt and Meg are in the USA! Hooray! 😍💃💃💖

Sunday 25th October: We had a great night out with the couple who live on Maitairoa, in the marina. Patrick is South African originally, and Ellen is American. It’s a friendly place and getting to know the other yachties is the good thing about being stuck here.

26th: Is Hannah’s 21st! In NZ, that is! Hard to believe it’s 3 years since my boys took her on a pub crawl for her 18th! She’s the only one who got to do that kind of stuff with Danny  😕

I’m ashore, house sitting, though its not necessary, more “time to myself” to reevaluate. A couple of months ago I would’ve been 100% sure about staying on Momo. I was happy. But now, I don’t know. Bernie’s put me on a back burner. Big time. I’m not willing to be messed with again. It seems to have coincided with his trying to finalise things with Michelle. I’m attempting to give him the space he needs to deal with that. It understandably hurts. But in withdrawing, it’s meant my willingness to engage has suffered. I think, for now, we’ll remain close friends.

And I’m really struggling with losing Danny. I guess it’s catching up with me. I’ve tried so hard to look after everyone else, doing the legal stuff by myself because Richard & Matt “didn’t want to know”, not wanting to stress Bernie with “bereaved mother” etc etc etc. My walls are caving in. The pieces of the puzzle are lost.

30th October.

I came back to Momo yesterday, after helping Kim take her yacht out onto her mooring. We did it like pros. Go the girl team! Her animals are so happy to be on the water! The babies have really grown.

My few days on my own ashore have done me the world of good. No cooking or endless cleaning. Just peace. I feel like I can handle it all again. It seemed to have been good for Bernie too and he seems happy to have me back! He’s nearly finished the solar panels which is great.

The kittens reaction to my return was so sweet. They’re so pleased and are all over me. Jack actually was drooling he purred so hard! He slept on top of me and Alex right beside me. So I couldn’t move! They’re following me round like shadows today! I’m enjoying the extra attention!

I’ve managed to have nice chats with Matt. They’re doing a bit of a tour in their hired truck, making the most of their free time before Meg gets into this treatment regime. They’ve had snow in Colorado! Posted some gorgeous pics. Hard to believe it’s snowing up there when we’re still getting hot days in the high 20s.

It’s definitely cooled at night. I bought a cool blanket for my bed. I love the colourful Mexican designs. Bernie said “oh look at your lovely bed” and I replied “yours could look like that too!” Never gonna happen!

The Weirdness that is Meditation!

Soon after rejoining Bernie and Momo in July, Bernie suggested we do a daily meditation using Sam Harris’ guidance. As there’s a ton of research showing it is a helpful practice in dealing with trauma, I readily agreed.

It’s never been something I’ve felt I’d be any good at, since I don’t usually sit still for long and my mind spins off on all manner of tangents. But Bernie explained it in a way that gave me reason to think I might learn and also Sam Harris teaches it in a slightly different way. He talks you through the meditation and then follows up with a discussion/lesson.

So, while we’ve been fairly erratic, not exactly managing the ‘daily’ part, we have been doing his lessons sequentially. We sit on deck, in the shade, or early enough to avoid the heat. Anyway, yesterday something fairly wondrous happened to me. We were asked to try to meditate with our eyes open. We’ve done little snippets of that before, but this was for almost the whole session. Sam got us to focus on one place and then, without really moving our gaze, widen our fields of view and sort of try to not really see the individual objects but just notice the colour fields blending. I found I could do it easily and really enjoyed the experience. Bernie was astonished, as he finds that difficult. And I’m pretty useless at the exercises we get usually!

However, I was reminded of those pictures that were very popular about 15 years ago. They were a picture in a picture, and you had to focus intently on one spot and let yourself look into the painting to find the second one. I could do that easily too and knew many people couldn’t. Bernie said he’d always had trouble with those. It’s so interesting the way our brains work.

He asked if I couldn’t see anything except colour any more. But I could see the boats, mountains and so on, they just became indistinct and blended together, more patches of colours. I did see a turtle because it popped up right in the central point of my focus!

Then, last evening (10th), we were sitting in our usual spot on the bow, a little bit high after a nice wee Mexican buzz, and I tried it looking at the sunset behind the mountains. I found I could not only blend the colours but actually manipulate them and their outlines. It was way trippy and so cool. I could make the whole horizon become one entity, though its actually hills in front of bigger mountains, then darken it and move it down the front of the mountain, though the whole time still able to see the original horizon. So freaky and awesome! I was commentating as I did it and Bernie was fascinated! Later as the sun made a red gold back drop, I could turn it sort of black & gold like a honey comb. It’s rather addictive!

12.10.20: Yesterday I got onto my list of “tomorrow’s jobs” (clever, huh, always got an out!) I started polishing the stainless on the bow, a work in progress, mended Bernie’s trousers, tried to free the rusted solid fittings on the Danforth (spare emergency/kedge anchor), cleaned out the kittens’ litter (daily job), added refinements to the kittens’ rescue nets (weighted the forward edges so they don’t blow out), did Spanish lesson/practice, researched how to make a bong and mended the foot pump for pumping up the dingy. I also swam over to Compass Rose and back. All by lunchtime. Then I was knackered for the rest of the day!

The kittens are battling around my feet, a disconcerting experience. I expect my ankle to take a bite any second! We have a little step stool that just gets used to sit the computer on while we watch a movie, but the kittens love it. One gets under it and they pretend to be hidden from each other. Oooh, my calf just got bitten. Rats! It’s probably payback for all the times we swoop them up for tummy rubs. It must be infuriating to be so little at times!

October 13th 2020: Its 11 months since Danny died. I’m feeling a bit tender, well, more than usual. I’m trying Sam Harris’ exercise for today which he says will help stop us reacting to things that upset us. Guess it doesn’t work on the feelings that come with losing a son. Kitty cuddles work better.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with the crew of Arena and Kim, last night. I’ve never experienced traditional thanksgiving before. We did pot luck so Steph wasn’t cooking for nine people. It’s was a truly fun evening. Steph made us all name one thing we’re thankful for, before eating. The kids were funny, struggling to think of something and settling for practical things like “a comfy bed”! I said I was thankful for Bernie having me here while I tried to put the pieces of my life back together, and for the wonderful new friends I’ve made here. Bernie said he was thankful to have my company on Momo. I’m also thankful for our kittens, which give me so much joy!

On the subject of the cats, again, we gave them another rescue lesson. I’ve made better nets for them to climb up, out of some spare green net Arena had and two old swim noodles. It worked a treat. I got in the water with fins and Bernie handed down each kitten to have a go. They did so well, didn’t panic or claw me to bits. They just perched on my shoulder till I said it was time to swim to the net. Jack went very sedately but Alex cleverly did a massive jump off my shoulder onto the net and scrambled up like a bat out of hell! We did it twice. Jack didn’t find it as easy and I realised it was because I’d trimmed his claws that morning, so I won’t be able to do that again. Poor man. His ego took a hit!

Alex taking the leap!

The poor kitties also had to have their first jabs recently. The vet came to Kim’s catamaran, The Cure, which was awesome. Kim has 4 cats and Midnight, our guys’ sister. So it’s easier than carting them all round! I felt sorry for them but someone pointed out they probably minded a lot less than the swimming lessons! Alex made a wee squawk when injected but Jack didn’t seem at all bothered. So round one of inoculations done and the next lot, including rabies, on November 2nd. I can also get them microchipped for 200 pesos each, so will do that then too. Its a requirement for bringing them to NZ, so I’m glad it’s no trouble to get done here.

0100 hours on the 16th October:                I’ve been tossing up whether to mention this or not, but have decided that I’m not into just putting the “perfect life” up. So much on social media is not real but I don’t want my story to be a lie. So, over the last month Bernie and Michelle have been working things out between them, in a much more civilised way than many couples when they are separated, I might add. You know, the financial stuff etc. It’s been hard on both of them and messing a fair bit with Bernie’s peace of mind, which is understandable. I’ve tried to be supportive and not be involved any more than he wants me to be. It’s their business. The bit I’m finding hard is that all of a sudden the lovely, easy, caring relationship we were developing has vanished. He’s pulled right back from me, putting physical and emotional distance between us. I feel very much like “the crew” and that I should be “working” all the time. I no longer feel relaxed and able to plan my day as I wish. I feel guilty if I’m not slaving over something. Which is crazy because I’m not being paid, I came as volunteer crew, I’m putting quite a lot of my own money, caring and time into being here, yet I’m not feeling entirely wanted right now.

I’m trying to just let it ride because I do know this is a difficult adjustment for him to make. But I have my own demons to deal with and don’t really need this. It all comes just as we’ve got the kittens and I’ve committed to doing the crossing next year. Yet here I am, feeling like I could be doing it only to find on arrival in NZ, I may not be welcome, that Bernie might just try and get it all together with his family again. For all their totally disfunctional relationship over the last few years, he is definitely still in love with Michelle. I don’t know that I can cope with being screwed over yet again by a man I’ve put my trust in, however unintentional. I’m thinking my trip to see Matt soon will put some timely distance between us, give some perspective. I just can’t deal with any more hurt right now. I didn’t come to Momo expecting to find someone I could be with, only to help a friend, but Bernie himself put that possibility on the table and now I feel it’s being withdrawn. Except that he’s not telling me, not talking to me, just quietly backing off. I guess time will tell. At some point I will need to try and get him to talk about it. When I raised it the other day, he denied there was any change, which I found disingenuous because it’s so patently not the case.

On so many levels, I wish I could turn back the clock. Maybe to 2018, September, when I was on MY Moonbeam with Fouche. We had such fun and made the most of every day. Matt and Danny were happy and doing great things. Life was good. Damn it. I want that back.

I went back to look at my posts from that time and found I hadn’t made any. I only stop writing when I’m really happy, so I guess that shows I was totally loving life at that point.

A Touch of Autumn

It’s Thursday 8th October, nearly 11 months since I lost my beautiful son, Danny. I still can’t get through half a day without feeling that tingling in your nose that you get when you’re trying not to cry. It’s a long and tough journey, this road through grief. It is what it is. I just have to be a bit more patient with myself and know its OK to feel this roller coaster of emotions. Putting the jigsaw of my life back together will be an ongoing process. It’s a lonely trail.

I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that I’ll see Matt soon and praying we’ll get to be together for the first anniversary of Danny’s passing, and for our birthdays. We were all in November and it’s always been a fun month for us. Matt and I need to make different memories. Danny would’ve been 27 this year. Being with Matt is all I can focus on at the moment. I am also keen to get to know his girlfriend, Meg, better. We had a lovely week together in Prague last October and of course I saw her at Danny’s funeral. But I’d like a chance to see more of her in better circumstances. She’s been instrumental in getting Matt through this ghastly time of loss.

Back here on Momo, Bernie and I are getting on well. He’s nearly done with two big translation jobs, so we’re hoping to go sailing for the next couple of weeks. We might head to the Bay of LA, and then to Santa Rosalia in the hopes of meeting up with Utopia and Love & Luck. Arena might come too, so we’ll all be together again which will be great fun. We’ve got some maintenance jobs done and others planned, as well as getting Bernie’s passport off to the Canadian embassy. That was a relief! Everything is so tricky in these weird Covid-19 times!

The kittens keep us laughing and are a comfort to me when I am feeling low. They seem to know and both show up for cuddles the minute I start sniffling! We gave them their first rescue lesson two days ago. A dip in the sea and a scary scramble up the net over the side, gave them enough of a shock to slow them down for 24 hours! But they are away again now, defying gravity at great speed!

We’ve had some lovely times with Jamie & Steph, from Arena. They and their four kids are a delight and I love them to bits. It’s been nice having another woman to talk to and share stuff with. Steph’s a nurse too, so we have a lot in common. Between them and Bernie’s gentle kindness, I am very blessed in my support during this tough bit of the year. They’re all so understanding when I lose the plot and need time out to give myself a pep talk! We go for happy hour margaritas fairly often and usually end up getting yummy Mexican food! It’s so cheap! Their youngest, Lochlan, turned six recently. I thought he was older! They’re all so tall! Jamie is 6’4″, so not really a surprise!

There is finally a touch of Autumn in the air and we had a foggy start to the day today. It was a beautiful morning, all misty and calm. Its still in the early 30’s during the day but the heavy humidity has eased, and the nights are in the 20’s. Much kinder on a sleeping body!

09.10.20: If there were room to be doing cartwheels rounds Momo’s deck I’d be trying! I’m very happy because Matt & Meg are definitely coming to the USA. Meg has a somewhat personal project she’s doing so they’ll be here for six weeks. We’ll make more definite plans once they’re here and know what they’re doing!

Bernie and I watched a film called “My Octopus Teacher” last night. Everyone has been raving about it and it purports to be a documentary. The cinematography is great but a documentary it is not! It’s more like a soppy, cheap Mills & Boon nature equivalent. It annoyed the hell out of Bernie! I just took it all with a grain of salt and enjoyed the underwater scenery. But it’s all made up, a load of BS, nothing ‘real’ about it. I’m getting quite a lot of amusement out of how much it got under Bernie’s skin though. Truth and honesty are important to him in a very visceral way, and with the way they present this film, I can understand his irritation!

The kittens are scrapping. Again. Jack is feeling very full of himself. He bit me hard this morning, so got held up by the scruff and told “not on!”

Bernie’s painting the shower, so there’s stuff all over the saloon. It amazes me the positions the kittens sleep/relax in!

I’m polishing some of the rust off the endless stainless steel a yacht possesses! I quite like doing it but it’s hard on my back so I do it in stages. I don’t have to be as obsessive as on a superyacht either!

It’s been a hotter day again, real feel of 41°C. So we’ve just had a swim and it’s nearly wine time! Good job!