We finally saw real, live whales…a huge pod. They were way off in the distance just off Samana Bay(Dominican Republic). We saw a whole lot of spray from their blow holes, and John saw a huge tail fin flip out of the water. They didn’t breach for us, though. We also saw some pilot whales that were much closer. At first, we thought they might be dolphins, but they were pilot whales (which are small whales). Sperm whales live in the Gulf of Mexico, so it’s possible that we will still see more. I would really like them to swim closer to us–not too close, though.

Other exciting news: Travis threw out an 80lb. line as we approached the Great Bahama Bank and caught a HUGE mahi-mahi fish (aka dorada, aka dolphin–but not the porpoise kind.) John was able to get 3 meals worth of meat for our family of five. That’s a lot of fish. I fried some of it for Father’s Day and it was delectable, which made “Father” very happy, as well as the rest of us.

We are in Marathon, Fl. We arrived yesterday…pretty tired. We have been doing nothing while here, except recovering from strange sleep patterns from the watches, and trying to keep cool (that’s not working so well).

On the way to Florida, we stopped in Great Inagua, Bahamas for the day to make water. We also did some beach combing. Great Inagua is home to Morton Salt plant and a national park where hundreds of pink flamingos hang out. We saw one pink flamingo and a couple of dog sharks swimming by our feet as we waded through the water to get closer to the flamingo. Some day soon John will post our lame pictures of the bird…we did get him in flight, which was cool.

We left Great Inagua before dark and headed back out into the vast ocean. We sailed for 8 days straight, which is the longest stretch since our initial Gulf Crossing.

It looks like there will only be 3 of us crossing the Gulf from here (John, Me, Kimi). The boys are going to OKC on the 19th so they can attend youth camp for a week. They are going to stay in OKC after camp and wait for us to come get them. That means that John and I are the only people to stand watch. (pout)

Naturally, since we have to get across the Gulf, there is incredibly freakish weather right where we need to go. On the way out, it was terribly windy & stormy, but on the way back (when we desperately want the wind to blow as hard as it wants) there is an unusual high stalled out that has created a dead calm for the next 6 days!! Imagine that? So John, Kimi and I will wait for better winds and hang out in Key West till we can’t stand it any longer. We really don’t want to spend the fuel to motor across—not to mention that it will be super hot with no wind. Hopefully, things will return to “normal” and we can get home by the end of June.

Home, by the way, is going to be Watergate Yachting Center in Clear Lake Shores, TX. At least for a few months (maybe 6) until we figure out what to do with ourselves. We can hardly wait to be hooked up to shore power so we can run the A/C. It’s been incredibly hot these past few weeks, reaching up to 90 degrees inside the cabin!!! That’s hot, boys and girls! The marina also has a swimming pool (no more salt water), a playground, BBQ grills—heaven! We will also be getting our doggie, Buddy, when we go to OKC to retrieve the boys.

One day, while trying not to go crazy from boredom (passages can get really boring if there isn’t anything in the water, or any other traffic to entertain us), we were all sitting on deck thinking of all of the things that we can’t wait to experience again someday when we live in a house again. Things like: ice, a refrigerator that opens to display all the goodies inside (& some with ice in the door), a self draining shower, ice, a toilet that flushes by simply pushing the handle once, air conditioning, water-without having to make it, a real bed that’s wider than your shoulders, DOORS (for privacy), a freezer (with ice & ice cream), a bathtub (with or without ice), a garbage pickup service (no ice necessary there); not to mention the availability of Sonic ice, Sonic drinks, Sonic slushies, Whataburger… Ahhhh, America—the land of massive fast food and excess everywhere!

We have not really missed TV, though. We had cable for one day before we left Puerto Rico, and there wasn’t anything worth watching. There is sustainable life without TV—who knew?

I will desperately miss the crystal clear turquoise water and the beautiful reefs and marine life. I will miss the extremely laid back schedule we have had. But mostly, I will miss the water. There is nothing better than being able to see through the water to the bottom, and being able to jump in whenever the mood suits to cool off or play. (sigh). Despite the name, I just don’t think Clear Lake will come anywhere close.

We’re almost there. Yippee!!

2 Responses to “‘Thar She Blows… and we’re halfway back!”
  1. MorrisonCrew says:

    Hey, and right now certain drinks at Sonic are 1/2 priced during the hours of 2-4:00pm, such as: soft drinks, limeades, slushes & iced teas. How does that sound? Can’t wait to see you guys!

  2. Kathy Graves says:

    Shirley….Nat’s 2nd mom……I need to talk to you…no one is physically hurt…don’t worry….please call me as soon as you can…979-251-9128….this is my cell phone…kathy graves

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