September 2004

1 September - The Adventure. Park.

On Saturday, August the 28, for Scott and Karin's 17 anniversary, we went to an adventure park. The idea is quite simple, fun, and at 20 dollars for 2 hours, quite cheap. There are three courses: 1 being the simplest and safest, 2 being the middle, and 3 being the hardest and most dangerous. As many of you could guess, 3 was my favorite. Or, as Nikki would say: Fav-or-wit! Momma only did 1 and 2, not because she was scared, but because she wanted to take pictures of the rest of us on the third course. Your equipment included : two safety lines that you had to attach to all the wires as a precaution, the zip line roller thinky that you use to zip down a line on, and the harness to attach it unto. There were about 4 or 5 different types of obstacle to climb through. Walkway made of planks that were irregularly spaced, Tightropes, Zip lines, and logs held up by wires that swung when you walked on them. At the end of the second course, there is a rope attached to a zip line, that you use to slide down into a net. You hope you hit the net at the right angle, which is on your back, because the others hurt a bit. The highest bit of course number three must have been around 20-30 meters high. That's 60-90 feet high for you guys in America. This leads to a platform, which has a Zip Line to another platform, to which the Big One is connected. The biggest Zip line is about 15 meters of the ground, and is about 100 meters long. At the fastest point, you must be going around 40 miles an hour. I didn't make that up. I have gone around 35 on my bike, and this felt faster. I really really really really really really liked this, and I wish we can go again.

This wish has about a 50% chance to come true.


9 September - The Do's and Do Not's of Yachting Life

When in a boat – threatening situation:

Do: finish your beer, look at the problem, and say, “She'll be right.”

Do Not: panic

When faced with mutinous crew members:

Do: assign extra dishes and homework, or no computer time, depending on the crew member.

Do Not: ignore it

When faced with homework

Do: Whine and moan

Do Not: do it spontaneously

When asked to check the anchor

Do: push you sibling in instead, or lobby to get paid for it

Do Not: Zoom over in the dingy, 'cause you'll never find it

When faced by a small river with multiple sand banks, with a waterfall at the end

Do: wait for high tide, then go up

Do Not: think it's not worth the effort, because it always is

When playing on a waterfall

Do: Ride the bogey board down currents

Do Not: be afraid of getting bruises, as it is inevitable

When faced with a 5-nightwear

Do: make sure you have plenty of books and a scurvy-proof body

Do Not: moan and groan, 'cause the grass is always greener on the other side of the ocean

When someone is doing something very stupid

Do: Say, “the night is very. . . extemporaneous” or, “I take a meat sandwich with me when I go”

Do Not: make up your own phrase.

When in Bai du Prony

Do: adopt orange as the new boat color

Do Not: try to scrub the “Pronymud” off your feet, because it won't come off anyways

When faced with the hypothetical question of how much faster a 8hp engine would push all four of us in the dingy

Do: give estimates and push your sister around

Do Not: listen to the cynical realist in the family

When faced with the cost of a brand new PS3 and accessories

Do: make and approximation of the price and time to purchase

Do Not: think about other stuff you may want

When faced with instrument failure

Do: listen to the cynical-realist-mechanic-electrician in the family

Do Not: mess it up event more by trying to fix it

19 September - Ilot Mato

A while back, we went to Ilot Mato, on the outer reef, with the Ganeshes. We had re-met them in Turtle bay a few days earlier. Ilot Mato is a small island, about 5 nautical miles off of Ile Ouen. It is surrounded by reef, which protects you from the swell but not the chop. So when the wind reached 15-20 knots, the anchorage got really uncomfortable.

We went snorkeling (or “snokellin” as N. Meyer would say it) twice during our stay. The first time we didn't stay out very long, because papa and mamma were getting cold. The second time, momma didn't come, so we all went in wetsuits. We only have three. The water is warm enough for me to go in without a wetsuit, but when you snorkel, you do a lot of drifting so you don't keep warm by swimming. There were lots of Crown of Thorn starfishes ( 22 ),which are big, spiky, coral-eating things. The coral was a bit above average, 7/10. The coolest color had to be a neon green with little blue tips. They look tubular, but are as common as the normal blue coral. We swam through a channel, then floated back over the reef. Nothing extremely spectacular on top, just lots of weeds, some cool blue starfish, and a whole lot of weird boxy sea cucumbers.

On the trip around the island, papa climbed to the top (the adventurous person he is), disturbed some eagles, and found a nest of juveniles. Nikki stumbled upon a Nautilus shell when we first got there, then momma found one right before we left. Momma's was broken badly, so we left it on the beach, but we kept Nikki's. The island could be walked around in ten minutes, but it took us about an hour because we looked at everything.

Another thing about Ilot Mato: it is a Trico Raye (Tree-co Ray-ay) , or sea snake haven. When we were on our walk, we saw five, plus another 2 when we went snorkeling. One time Egon came over and told us that he had found one under the wood slats in their cockpit. Egon simply lifted up a slat, grabbed the snake by the tail and flung it overboard. They are normally docile creatures, but when provoked they will bite. Which is a bad thing, as they are deadly poisonous. There is no known antidote.

This will be the last journal until we meet with papa in Hawaii, about 2 1/2 months from now. Expect lots of travelogues from him.