Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family, Friends, Work and 200 lbs of Stuff

Time to step back and catch everyone up on what the last two months were like for the crew of Astarte. After arriving in Bocas del Torro, Panama, we spent some time exploring, but most of it was spent getting Astarte settled for two months of sitting empty.

In mid-July, we left her at a dock (thanks Anna and Ian) and headed to Panama City for the flight back to the states. Stops at the US Embassy for more passport pages for Michael, a bit of shopping and then aboard the big silver bird. We arrived in Boston and the first stop of the adventure to Salem, MA and Barbara's mother's home. After a few day's of errands in Salem, Michael took off for Shanghai, China and work. He worked the World Swimming event there for two weeks – earning some much needed boat units. (translation: we call every $100 dollars a boat unit). He enjoyed seeing some of Shanghai and connecting with his workworld again. The crew he worked with was great.

While Michael was working in China, Barbara's first article in "Cruising World" magazine (August 2011 issue) came out so it was exciting to go to a magazine rack and pick it up!

Michael returned to Boston/Salem and helped get ready for Barbara's mom's 90th Birthday. Spending time with family was wonderful and it was nice to have a little longer than the past visits to really have some fun. We had the pleasure of seeing friends from all over. We are so grateful that Sandy made the trip from Oregon to visit. It was a blast. Tim came from Philly for a Saturday with his brother and Barbara was so happy to see them. And in Salem, we reconnected with good friends Nina and Kenny, Ted, and Barbara got to see Dorothy along with Joe and Paula. It was great to see everyone. The Birthday Event was great as the entire family was together and mom looked beautiful and turned 90 healthy and happy.

From Salem, Barbara and Michael travelled to Nashville to see Michael's brother and sister-in-law. His mother, Trish flew in for a family reunion as well and we had fun enjoying Derek and Margie's hospitality and the "pool." It was a really wonderful visit with time to connect. We even got to see Derek and his band "The Yardboys" perform at the Wilson County Fair. From Nashville Michael flew to Korea for more work – this time the track and field events in Daegu, South Korea. He worked much harder here and again, though it was that four letter word w-o-r-k, he did enjoy the experience and the folks on the job. More boat units will also come in quite handy.

Barbara flew on to St. Petersburg and had a whirlwind of things to do Our friends Richard and Rene were more than gracious hosts and threw a wonderful get-together for Barbara so she could see lots of friends. Aside from the enjoyable time with friends there were tons of things to get done. She came back to Panama with two big bags filled with boat parts and stuff (104 lbs of freight in two bags) and a 35 lb backpack a computer case! That was an adventure. She got back to the boat ater several planes, taxis and water taxis. Astarte was still afloat, but in much need of tender loving care.

Michae meanwhile was still in Korea working. He finished in early September and then went to St. Petersburg for a repeat of what Barbara had done – and Richard and Rene were kind enough to also repeat the process with him. He had a much shorter time there and really had to scramble to get everything done. He loaded his two bags with another 100 plus pounds of stuff and returned to Panama. Unfortunately, his bag of "freight" didn't arrive with him on the small plane to Bocas so we needed to make a return trip for that big bad bag.

Before Michael got back to the boat, our good friend Tom from Portland came to Panama for a visit. He was kind enough to schlepp our new cruising spinnaker here with him and a very large duffle. That's a good friend! Barbara got to enjoy his company for a bit and he helped get the boat off the dock and out at anchor to get a better breeze and fewer bugs. is required on can read about Tom's visit from Tom. He's still with us a few more days.

So that's the catch up on the Astarte blog. We are back on the boat now and need to store or install that 200 plus pounds of stuff and get the boat organized again. We'll be in this area while we accomplish those tasks and start getting the boat ready for the next big adventure.

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