Tuesday 19th January 2021

I haven’t felt like writing the last couple of weeks since getting back from our silly season jaunt. Not sure why but we’ve been busy, which may have diverted me!

Bernie has been checking all the chain plate bolts and resealing where the chain plates go down through the deck. He’s also reseated the scuttle in the bathroom and has to do the three in my cabin. He’s just waiting on more sealant that he’s ordered. I’ve done my bit (other than the usual cooking and cleaning, which, to be honest, I’m pretty sick of right now!) by taking the winches apart, one by one, and cleaning & oiling/greasing the necessary parts. I’ve run out of gloves which I need as we use gasoline to clean them and that stuff kills my skin.

I’ve been pretty restless lately and have talked about my options a lot with Matt. There’s not a lot of choice in the current climate though. I can stay here and do the crossing, which I daresay I will, go home and get nursing work, which I’d likely regret in a heartbeat, or go travelling in Mexico for a bit. My South African friend from France, Fouche, thought he’d be tempted to join me for that. If he did come over, that’d be awesome. But travelling here alone isn’t the best idea. In the meantime – boat maintenance!

The poor kittens have been speyed. They’re actually doing really well but this Kiwi cat mum got all teary eyed dropping them off! Kim took Midnight (their sister) in at the same time. They’re perkier today, day 3 post-op, but very aware they aren’t as agile and strong as usual. They’ve been quiet and moved with great caution on deck! Still, good to have it done and, other than a rabies vaccine, it’s the last thing to do before taking them to NZ.

The clinic which did them is a free clinic set up by local expats. An American vet comes down once a month for the weekend and he and a local vet do non stop speying and neutering of any cats and dogs brought to them. They do a solid 10 hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday, hitting roughly 100 animals a day. Local and expat nurses assist and recover them. There’s also a van that catches feral animals and they get done too. A truly wonderful service.

When we went to collect our cats, I volunteered to help. The guy in charge, John, was very keen when I said I was a theatre nurse! Then, while he was talking to Kim, who knows him well, I noticed a dog had stopped breathing. Trying to get their attention, I felt for it’s pulse and finding nothing, rolled it on it’s front and opened it’s airway. Kim had twigged by then and knelt beside me to begin rubbing it’s ribs vigorously. We got it going again! John was very happy with us and I reckon we both have a job!

I had Momo to myself yesterday. It was divine. And a beautiful day too, so I could sit on deck and read. A weird fog rolled in for part of the afternoon, making for great photos! Bernie had had to drive, with Josh & Morgan off Grey Matter, up to Kilometre 21 to renew their visas. Its a 4.5 hour drive, so they left here at 0800 and got back about 1830. A long but successful day. My visa is valid as I renewed when I went to see Matt & Meg.

I get desperate for my own space at times. It’s impossible on a boat this size. I think Bernie was a bit offended when I was so pleased to be left alone, but I can’t help it. I needed a bit of peace and quiet. He lives in his head so much, I don’t think he notices it. We talked about it a bit when he got back. Hopefully he understands it’s my need and not a direct reflection on him, though admittedly I find his messiness testing at times and the way he’s such a noisy mover! But he can’t be expected to change after 56 years and I’m not going to try! He is who he is and, as Kim says, has many fine qualities! None of us are perfect and I daresay my obsession with hygiene and cleanliness drive him just as crazy!

He got a call from Jana today, his younger daughter, which made his day. He doesn’t hear from his kids nearly as much as Matt and I talk, so it means a lot when he does. They talked for about two hours. She is so clever and articulate, light years ahead of most 16 year olds. Hardly surprising with two incredibly smart parents, and an unconventional upbringing on Momo.

The kittens have spent most to today in bed!

24th January. Where are the days going?! January is nearly gone already. I caught up with the whanau yesterday, talking to Fizz, Mum and Matt, as well as Dawnda. It was a nice calm day and I helped Bernie with rigging, learning how to retension the stays. It’s actually easier than I thought, as long as you do one at a time! I also cleaned up more of the deck plates!

We had rain a few days ago! Real pouring rain all night. It was wonderful and Momo is fresh and clean. This may not seem particularly news worthy, but Sonora got no rain during the entire rainy season and we’ve only had two small showers with a squall last year around August. So it was the first proper rain since I arrived last July. Jack, our water obsessed kitten, was fascinated. He sat under the bimini watching, venturing out now and then to try and work out where it was coming from. Very amusing! They are such fun little animals, always following us around, helping with our projects!

I went ashore with Kim a couple of days ago to help do the garden out at the ranchitas. We met Nancy for lunch first, ordering pizza which was divine! Then did the weeding and picked some veges and herbs to bring home. It was a nice girly day. I met a couple of their other women friends here, both smart and interesting ladies. Kim reckons she could write a book about all the fascinating women here. They’re certainly all real hard case characters!

I’ve just finished a really good book called “The last lieutenant” by John Gobbell. I’m got to start the next in the series. Bernie and I have been watching a good series too, called “The sandbaggers”.

Not much to report really! 😻

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