Birthday Girl

Little girl

Jon returned to a sparkling Pura Vida with auto pilot parts and various other bits that we desperately needed.

In his absence, the kids and I had hauled the dingy, scrubbed her clean of barnacles, washed the chaps, indoor and outdoor settee and cockpit cushions, polished all the metal and stainless on the boat, scrubbed the decks, polished the rigging and checked her for any rust or damage, cleaned the prop and the boat bottom, dusted every last nook and cranny ordered propane and restocked-including finding a twelve pound turkey to cram into the depths of the fridge in anticipation of upcoming Thanksgiving.

Jon installed our new autopilot (which included using his newly learned soldering skills) and went up the mast to rig our new antenna- the "Bad Boy", which (hopefully) will give us a better chance of picking up an internet signal whenever we are in the vicinity of one. Unfortunately, there was only one remaining guide-line left, running from the top of our fifty foot mast, down inside the boat. This moldy, ancient, scrap of decaying string was all that we had to attach the new cable to. We attempted to snake it down inch by inch, through the already crammed nest of wires inside the mast. Jon "stood" at the tipp-ity top of the mast, having hauled himself up in the botswains chair and rigged a set of "mast steps'-small foot stirrups, knotted out of rope- to feed the cable inside the opening of the mast, while (somehow) holding on in the howling 20 knot winds. Meanwhile, I lay in a contortionist's pose, under the galley table, with my arm bent backwards in the bilge, gingerly extracting a piece of 20 year old thread from the bottom of the mast-one inch at a time. An hour and a half into this fiasco, we had made about six feet of progress and then...the line snapped.

Ready to go up the mast
The Bad Boy now lives on top of our severed wind generator pole, directly over our dingy davits. Not our first choice. We hoped to get it higher and thereby get a better signal- but at the moment its our only option. We have yet to see how it works ( I'm writing this under way) but hopefully, in the next few days, we'll be close enough to a signal to post.
Missions accomplished-we were ready to go. 
captain up the mast
The winds, however, had other plans...
It continued to blow with a few days of chilly ( a relative term down here) North wind, so we decided to stay put in the fancy Marina for one more day. 

The next order of business was to celebrate Miss H.'s birthday- we decided we would do it in swanky style. We had been planning on a low-key beach birthday but opted to  take advantage of our surroundings. 
The Costa Baja is a first class resort, with two pools and a beach club-there are worse places to spend your eighth birthday.
While Hunter slept, Kai led the late-night cake baking and boat decorating scheme. 
Hunter woke to her eighth year on a boat festooned with streamers and balloons. Jon had brought home an entire duffle bag of gifties from Nanas and Grandmas and Godfather Ceebs and had found himself at the book store and a toy store and the little girl section of Nordstroms -in between looking for boat parts and researching used air compressors-So there was no shortage of presents for little Miss.

We turned the companion way steps into a ladder of presents.

The first sound we heard that morning was a squeal of delight as Hunter found the boat covered in treats and decorated for her special day. After kisses and snuggles we sent her back to bed with a cup of cocoa while we baked cinnamon buns ( her favorite) and when everything was ready she came out and opened presents. 

The game of the day was Hunter being a famous Movie star and us making a real movie of her-complete with hair and make-up trailer ( my bunk ) and  Wanda the Wardrobe Lady ( me) and Hillary the Hair Lady ( also me) and Margy the Make-Up Girl ( you guessed it). There was also a Key Grip ( Kai) and Producer ( daddy) who kept things moving on the "set". 

We filmed her in the pool, flying kites, getting her nails done, wearing her new fancy dress and high heeled shoes, signing autographs, she did accents and impersonations and by the end of the day we were all pretty much over it-except for Hunter. 
She never wanted it to end. In fact, I think we may have created a bit of a monster.
My freckled, dreadlocked, jellyfish gathering tom-boy, who's usually happiest in bare feet or wearing nothing at all or in her brother's boxer shorts, was now wearing "high heels" and calling everyone "sweetums...".

We untied the next morning and headed back to Isla Sanfrancisco. 
Within twelve hours things were back to normal. 

We baked fresh banana bread and Jon slayed three fish-two with one shot!, 
Our freshly showered hair was once again, matted with salt.
We went to bed at nine 0'clock, while the boat rocked gently on swell from the Northers, 
The kids snuggled in their bunks, reading their books- Kai the Navy Seal dive Guide manual and Hunter, Little House on the Praire.
The stars shone over head and we were heading in the opposite direction of most of the boats...

Pura Vida is back on track and Hunter is eight years old.


breakfast muffin at sunrise

Two with one shot!

A good day's hunting

1 comment:

  1. If you were Polish you'd know that McTavish has entered her 'ninth' year. Bye bye to the eighth. Uncle Rick is standing beside me as I write this and sends you all his love. We've just been to a couple of little lakes hoping to catch some fish with no success so we are in wild admiration for anyone who can spear two at once. Everyone says hi. xxxxx