Hi, my name is Natalie Mae Gaver. I am seven years old, almost eight. I am going on our family sailboat for about 8 to 9 months. The boat is named Intermezzo. She is a Beneteau 43 – that means her brand is a Beneteau and she is 43 feet long.
I am looking forward to go snorkeling a lot. I am also looking forward to going up to the cockpit and seeing all the stars at night. A cockpit means an outside hangout place where you steer the boat from or you relax.
I am writing this blog because I want all of my friends at home or at school to see what I am doing or where I am. I am also writing this blog because I want to remember what i did when I get older.
It would be great if my friends comment so I know how they are doing.
July 3, 2018
I missed you guys! I’m going to talk about everything north of the Bahamas. I’m going to start with Charleston. One of the first things we did was a ghost tour. Since my sister and I were so good on the three day crossing we got to choose something the two of us wanted to do. So we chose a ghost tour and a delicious Italian dinner (remember we hadn’t eaten Italian in FOREVER!!!!!).
Well we learned a lot of history on the ghost tour, about Charleston. A lot of it we knew, but we also learned a lot of new things as well. I’m going to tell you about the creepiest story that was told to us that night, the boohags! But before I tell you the story, so you don’t get too scared, I’ll tell you that the boohags only live in Southern South Carolina and northern Georgia. Adults are pretty safe, kids not so much since they really only go after kids! Anyway, the boohags need a kids skin in order to get things done, so at night they go into the kids skin and use that to do their work. They say that the kids get rode at night by the boohags!! So if you wake up tired the next day it’s because you were rode by the boohags.
Ok so after that we went to dinner and the food was really really good. And it wasn’t just because we hadn’t had Italian food in a while, the food was just really good! I tried something new because they didn’t have chicken Parmesan, it was homemade pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella-YUM!!!
While we were in Charleston we explored a lot too. We went to a fun museum in town, and also visited another plantation. This one was called Boone Hall. It was a lot different from the first plantation we visited. When you arrive to the plantation the driveway is full of huge pretty oak trees it feels like you are walking under a canopy. There was a large main house at this plantation, and there were a lot of different activities to do there and a lot of different things to see. We went on a ride in a big wagon, pulled by a tractor to see all of the plantation. It was really big and they still grew a lot of fruits and vegetables on the land to sell. We were able to take a tour in the house to see how they lived in the olden days. We saw a show about the Gullahs -which is a culture that the slaves followed when they lived on the plantation, this is where the boohag story comes from. There were a lot of pretty songs in the show and a lot of sad ones too. The slaves used singing to communicate because they couldn’t always talk to each other. Also on the plantation were 13 slave houses still standing. The houses were very small and it said that many many family members could live in one house. Most of them would build a second floor in the house so that all the people could have a place to sleep. In every house there was information about how the slaves lived and also how they got their freedoms in the United States. It was a lot of information.
After we spent a few days in Charleston it was time to head north to Beaufort North Carolina. We went offshore and it took 31 hours to get there. As usual Savy and I were awesome and helped mom and dad out a lot. I did more plotting on the chart and finished the route on the chart in NC. It was Mother’s Day when we pulled into Beaufort. The current was so strong at the dock that when mom jumped off the boat to tie it up she almost got stuck on the dock because it was so hard to get the boat close to the dock. But mom and dad figured it out after like 40 minutes! Since it was Mother’s Day we went into town for dinner. We were so good at dinner (like usual) that the man next to our table bought me and Savy a hat from the restaurant. So that is cool, that I’ll always have that hat now. We were only supposed to stay there for one day, but since the windlass broke we had to stay longer until it got fixed. There was a pool at the marina we were at and as usual we did fun things around the area. We saw the wild horses on an island on the outer banks of NC and you had to take a boat to get there (no duh it’s an island!!). We also visited a mariners museum. We found out on this trip that the mariners museums are really cool and tell you a lot of things about the area that you are visiting. We took a long drive one day and got on a car ferry to visit another island on the outer banks called Ocracoke. It was a cold rainy day here so we spent most of the day in the museum learning about the history of the island and how they didn’t have phones there until like 50 years ago-can you believe it?!?! Ok so the windlass got fixed and we were able to leave.
We went up the ICW again, which is a little boring now that we did so many passages through the night. After a couple days, we got to Maryland and stopped at Solomon’s island. There was another pool here, but its a little chillier than it’s been so we didn’t stay in long! We walked to the museum in town and found out a lot of history. Did you know that you can see on the high cliffs around this area where the ocean used to be where dinosaurs were around? They have found a lot of fossils in this area. That’s mostly what the museum was about and it was cool to learn more about the dinosaurs.
So guess what? The next trip we made it to Annapolis and our best friends were coming to visit us there-Brianna and Morgan. We were so so happy to see them because it was forever since we saw them last. But that wasn’t the only surprise we had! Our aunt and uncle from Liberator 3 came to see us too. I was so happy to see Liby and Jeff again that I almost cried. With the Mullaney’s we saw the Memorial Day parade in town which was really cool. We also toured the Naval Academy which was beautiful and I might want to go to school there when I’m older. We also had a delicious steak dinner with our friends and we had our own table and ordered our own food. It was so fun to see them.
So we spent a few more days going north and then stopped in Cape May. And grandpa was there to see us. We were so excited to see him. He stayed on the boat with us for a couple nights. We went to the Cape May zoo with him. It was a really cold and windy day when we went and the llamas were soooo cold – you could tell because they were all huddled together. That zoo was really cool and we got to see a wallaby with a baby in her pouch it was really really cute. Oh we also went to the boardwalk and could ride a few rides. It was sooo weird to be back around so many people.
After Cape May we finally kept going north and stopped in New York for a night at a yacht club. The yacht club was full of boats and the mooring field was very small and our boat was the biggest one in there. I don’t know how dad could drive through it but he did!
Our next stop was so fun and it was in Mystic Seaport. There was a festival there and it was about sea songs called shanty’s. They sang these songs to make the work not so boring on the boats. The town is built like an old whaling town so there were old buildings you could visit, like the guy that made barrels and the guy that made nails and things out of metal. There was a rope shop where you could see how the ropes were made and there was a library there. There were a lot of old buildings that you could visit but my favorite part was the boats that you could visit. One was a whaling ship and we learned all about whaling from that ship-it was a very terrible job that i could never do. Sometimes you would be out there for months before you saw a whale. Oh also we went to a museum on the Vikings who were very scary.
Oh my god then we went up to Cuttyhunk which was awesome pretty much because of the floating raw bar-Yum!! The boat comes by in the afternoon with fresh clams and they are the freshest clams I’ve ever eaten. We did a hike to explore the island so that was fun too.
Next we went up to Nantucket. This island is one of my favorites. My favorite because of the AWESOME ice cream bar. Hahahaha not really kidding. But we also did the whaling museum there and learned more about that industry that brought a lot of money into Nantucket. DId you know that the whaling ships would take boys on board as young as Savy’s age to clean out the parts of the whale that no one could get to like inside his head. Gross right? Savy said she would never do that. We had a lot of fun on Nantucket and explored the beaches and also walked in town. We met up with friend that we made on St John a few years ago and had fun playing together again.
We left Nantucket in a lot of fog to get to Block Island. I really loved Block Island and had a lot of fun doing a lot of different things there like exploring the beaches and swimming off the boat into the freezing cold harbor, walking in town, driving the dingy through the mooring field and playing on the hills. We left Intermezzo on the mooring there and took a ferry over to Newport to meet our friends the Polings. You might remember that they are the ones that came to see us in Fort Lauderdale. Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Jason and their 2 boys Ethan and Charlie. In Newport we did some mansion tours because I guess that a lot of rich people used to live there and they built these very big mansions. The first tour we did was a house that belonged to a movie star. It was interesting, but a little boring. The next mansion we visited, we went into the part of the house where the servants used to live and we learned about the jobs that they had. That was interesting. I learned that people that lived a long time ago had a much harder life and worked harder than we do today-do you think that is true too?The Poling’s came back to Block Island with us for one night so we could show them the island. After that day we left Block Island and started to head south towards home.
We went to Port Jefferson on the first day and we were welcomed by my parents friends on their boat called The Five C’s. They are both very sweet and very nice, and they had gifts for us to welcome us home. The next morning we left for Keyport Yacht Club. Home sweet home. All of us were kinda happy and kinda sad to be home. I can’t believe I wrote so much. Please leave me comments. See you soon!
June 13, 2018
Wow! It has been so long since I put up a blog. We’ve done so many things since then, and I’ll try to get it all down for you.
Our next stop was Hopetown. The moorings are really, really close together so it was hard for us to find one, but it was our lucky day because one ended up being empty. There was a big candy cane lighthouse on the land that we knew we wanted to climb. We climbed up the lighthouse and counted 101 steps and guess what? – a lighthouse keeper still keeps it running with Kerosene. We read that there are less than 100 lighthouses in the world still being lit by a lighthouse keeper.
The candy cane lighthouse in Hopetown
We spent a lot of time exploring Hopetown and went to a museum in Wyannie Malone’s old house. Wyannie and her three children came to Hopetown because they were loyalists to the British during the Revolutionary War. So the British King, allowed them to settle down in Hopetown. We saw a lot of historical items in the house. Her wedding dress was so small that it looked like it could fit me. You could tell that she was a very, very tiny person. After seeing the museum, we packed up a lunch and visited Tahiti Beach. The tide was so low that Savy and I could walk around the whole area without the water going past our knees. We decided we wanted to come back the next day, during a high tide to see what it was like. We ended up having a picnic and did a lot of exploring. The next day when we came back at high tide, we swam and snorkeled and there was a beach bar boat for mom and dad to get a drink. Later that day we met up with two boat friends and their names are Reverie and Summer. We loved swinging in hammocks, swimming in the pool together and just playing.
These are some ofour boat friends
We left Hopetown and went to Guana Cay. We could see that there might be a storm coming, so we quickly set our anchor and went to explore before we got rained out. We walked to a beach bar called Nippers, which was on a beautiful beach. It was a hot day and we walked quite a bit, so we couldn’t wait to get in the water. But as soon as we got in, we found out that there was a big rip current, and we had to get out. We then went off to swim in the pool. The pool was different than any other pool we had been in. It was three levels with a water slide and waterfall. We were having so much fun that Mom wanted to swim with us. As soon as she stepped on the first step, it was so slippery that she fell on her bum. We were all cracking up so much, even Mom.
This is the sign to nippers
Soon after that, the storm ended up blowing in, so we quickly headed back to the dinghy so we could get to the boat before the storms started. But we were lucky, because it never rained, so we hopped back in the dinghy to check out another beach. The beach was really close to the boat, so we could keep an eye on her, just in case a squall started. Savy and I played all day on the beach hammocks, and in the pool. It was another great day.
hanging out at the pool
Our next stop was Treasure Cay. This is part of one of the bigger islands in the Abacos, Great Abaco. We ended up renting a car so we could explore the island. We drove all the way to the south of the island and explored some small fishing villages. We found a long pier that was 700 ft long, the sign said. It was built by the villagers and it was used for the mailboat to come in and dock, otherwise, it was too shallow. It made me dizzy to walk out on it. This is not like a dock at home. First of all, it was built on sticks and there was a lot of space between each wooden board on top. When I walked on the dock, I could feel it shifting. It was so weird.
Doesn’t this look wonky
We were hungry after our exploring, so we stopped at a place called Pete’s. This place was really cool and right on an awesome beach. They had a lot of games for Savy and I to play. Our table was right in the sand. This place was really cool because about 50 years ago, the guy that built it moved his whole family to the Abacos, so he could teach his children himself and work on his art. He used bronze metal to make sculptures which we could see in the gallery. After lunch we were on another adventure looking for a blue hole that Mom read about. This was definitely not easy to find and the directions we had were terrible. We turned down 5 dirt roads before we found it, but on the last one, it just felt right. We parked our car and we had to hike over some logs and rocks and then we saw it, it was too cool. We put our feet in and the water was fresh and cool. In this blue hole, they found skulls and bones from Lucayan Indians and animals that are extinct. It was exciting to learn about all the things they found.
This blue hole holds Lucayan remains
One day when we were at Treasure Cay, we took a ferry to Green Turtle Cay to meet Mom and Dad’s friends, the Rizzo’s. Mrs. Rizzo met us at the dock and brought us up to the golf cart where Mr. Rizzo was waiting. We had so much fun visiting them. We got to ride in the back of the golf cart while they showed us the island. We picked up some squid from a little store in town, so we could use it to feed the turtles. We went to the beach and walked in the water to my chest and held out the squid. Mrs. Rizzo said that a black tip shark also lived there, so I was a little nervous until I saw the turtles started coming. They were very, very gentle and took the squid right out of our hands. They were very green and very cute. They were about as big as the upper half of my body. It was so exciting being able to touch them and being so close. After our tour, we went for lunch and we got to play basketball with the kids on the playground. That was fun, but yikes was I hot! Then we got on the ferry to come home.
the turtles were so gentle
The next day we spent getting ready for our long trip home. We went grocery shopping, and Dad and I started doing some navigation on the chart. I used a parallel ruler to find the heading and dividers to find the distance. The plan was to leave from Great Sail Cay and then sail to Mantanilla Shoal to spend the night. Then pick up and go to Charleston. I plotted the course on the chart and using a lot of math figured that we would arrive in Charleston after 2 and half days. So we left Great Sail Cay and when we got to Mantanilla Shoal, it was waaaaayyy too rough to anchor, so we just kept going. Sav and I were a little nervous about being on the boat for three straight days, but we knew we could do it. Mom made two delicious dinners on the way to Charleston. My favorite was the White Chicken Chili. Over the trip, the waves were pretty big, but Savy and I did not get sick, Yeah!!! The hardest things about the trip was trying to stay busy and not bother Mom and Dad. We had to be pretty independent because Mom and Dad were using all their energy to run the boat and not entertain us. We got to sleep in my parents’ bed room, the aft cabin, both nights, so we wouldn’t take the chance of feeling sick up in the bow. I also learned from Dad that if I keep my eyes closed when lying down, there is a disconnection between your eyes and ears and you won’t feel sick. So I tried that, and it worked. You could tell when we were in the Gulf Stream because there was a vibrating noise with the boat going so fast. It was fun seeing how fast we could go. Around 10AM on the third day, we were able to see land and we knew it was Charleston. Savy and I were so excited! My Dad went up to take down the Bahama flag and put up the Q Flag. I don’t know if I explained this before, but the Q Flag means that were are in quarantine, that means we can’t get off the boat until we clear customs; which Dad did over the phone.
Doing the navigation I used a lot of my brain
Taking down our Bahamas flag was very sad
A flying fish hit dad during his night watch
Savy and I were excited for our 3 days of shore
Pulling in to Charleston Harbor was a crazy feeling. We ended up having to put an anchor down for the night because there was not room in the marina because we got in so much ahead of time. We finally got the dock the next day and spent a fun week in Charleston, which I’ll tell you about next time.
XoXo – see you next time.
April 21, 2018
Hi again.. I have a lot to talk about in this blog. Our cousin Jenna came to visit. We all went into the dinghy to pick her up at the airport. Mom, Savy, and I waited under a palapa to pick her up. It was just like Newark airport. Ha Ha Ha! When Jenna got out of the plane, she was so white that we were all scared that she was a ghost. By the time she left, she was sunburned, but she called it sun kissed all over. Even though she was only here for 4 days, we did a lot of fun things. We saw the pigs again and my little piglet, Cinnamon got so big, I could barely recognize him. Jenna really, really wanted to pick up a cute piglet, but anytime she tried they started squealing. The rest of us just cracked up. She finally got one and was able to hold on to him for about 15 seconds. We also did some awesome snorkeling while she was here. We snorkeled over a crashed, sunken airplane which was used many years ago. The next snorkel spot we went to was called the aquarium. I wondered why it was called that, but after I dove in and saw all the beautiful fish and coral it was like swimming in a fish tank. The fish got so close to us it felt like they were giving us little fish kisses. The next day, we brought the boat over to Black Point. We were surprised with how many people were out in the street, and then we realized that so many people were out because it was a holiday. It was Good Friday and Mom, Dad, and Jenna had to sit inside to drink their rum punches. They were not allowed to drink them outside. The funniest thing Savy and I saw was a leather toilet seat. We found it in a bathroom. It was soft, squishy, and a gross black toilet seat. We had never ever seen one of these before and we thought it was really weird! After dinner we went back to the boat and had a dance party on the stern with Jenna. We were all pretty sad the next day because she had to leave and we all had to say good bye. We dinghy’d her back into the airport and gave hugs and kisses.
The pig is squealing, Jenna is holding on and we are laughing!!!
This was the gross toilet seat!!!!!
This was the fun dance party we did!!!
The next day was Easter and even though Mom warned us that the Easter bunny would not find us, we were still disappointed that we woke up without Easter baskets. We sailed all day long to get to Eleuthera. When we got there, mom made a super-duper Easter dinner, but we still missed the chocolate eggs. We had so many fun adventures on Eleuthera. It was one of my favorite islands and reminded me a lot of St. John. These are three of my favorite things that we did in Eleuthera.
#1 – the moon pool. We parked the car and had to hike out to a cliff. We could see the moon pool below, but we couldn’t figure out how to get down there. Then we finally found the path. It’s like an ocean bubble bath with waves crashing all around. It is so, so beautiful.
We spotted a Mermaid (just kidding!!!) it’s me!
#2 – Exploring a deep underground cave – This was fun and a little scary. Mom was the biggest scaredy cat thinking she was going to be attacked by bats. Dad and I went in as far as we could and it was so, so dark. There was a guide that you could get to bring you in further, but I guess we didn’t have time. This was really, really cool.
Savy’s looking really scared in the cave !!!
#3 – An awesome bread and farm stand – One morning, we passed a farm stand and dad turned the car around to go in and explore. They had shelves of fresh bread, but the best part was the warm cinnamon buns. Everything was so good there, but these were my favorite. We also got fresh green beans and other veggies that we’ve been missing – YUM!
We left Eleuthera after 3 or 4 days and sailed to Meeks Island. After we anchored, dad set up the halyard and Savy and I practiced swinging on it into the bay. The first one I did was really really scary, but really really fun, which made me want to do it over and over again. I got pretty good at it by the last one.
It felt like i was flying !!!
The next day, we planned to go to Harbour Island. Dad told us that a local captain was going to safely drive our boat through the reefs. I was nervous to have someone else come on our boat, but after I met him and he brought a loaf of his fresh bread, I knew it was going to be ok. As we got going, there was a beach on our starboard side and breaking waves on the port side. It was pretty narrow and you needed to know what you were doing. Captain Kirt told us a lot of historical stories about the island. His Great Grandfather was caught in one of the storms on a boat off one of the cliffs and ended up drowning. The cliff looks like a head and is named after him – Ridley’s Head. Has anyone heard of that?
Harbour Island marina was very nice and the dock master is super helpful and very, very strong. There was a haunted house there, which was really spooky, to explore. There was also a very cool tree house to play in and take lots of pictures. I also climbed some of the tree branches when Mom and Dad weren’t there! Also, there were cute puppies in the office that I wanted to take home. We rented a golf cart and explored the rest of the island. We found a beautiful pink sand beach with dead calm water and spent two days swimming there. We also found a beach with a lone tree on it. Supposedly, this piece of driftwood landed on the beach after a storm. Savy and I had fun climbing on it and we met another family from Rumson. They knew some of our friends from home and also our Nanny.
I told you I climbed the tree !!!!!
Our next destination is Hopetown, but before that we had a long sail to get to the Abaco islands. It was calm enough though to play some games and we played Yahtzee and scrabble to pass the time. The next day we had a short sail to Hopetown, but a bad squall came through. A squall is a short storm that has wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. So we anchored to wait for it to pass. Savy and I were really nervous when we saw the storm approaching. When the squall hit is, we could barely see land anymore. It lasted for about a half hour and then we were on our way again. We arrived in Hopetown and I’ll tell you more about that next time.
That’s all for now… xoxo – Tali
March 30, 2018
The last time I wrote, I talked about heading south. We arrived at Emerald Bay which is on Great Exuma Island. Dad had to work on the boat so we were there for almost a month. We explored Great Exuma and Little Exuma from the southern tip to the northern end. So here are my three favorite things:
First, dancing to a Rake ‘n’ Scrape Band. If you don’t know what that is, it is a group of guys that play drums, the guitar, and sing. But the most interesting guy was Bud. He was the band leader and he played a saw and a screwdriver and had crazy dreadlocks. He also sang sometimes. Savy and I loved dancing to the music and even my parents and our friends danced too.
That’s Bud playing the saw and the screw driver, oh and me and Savy dancing!
Number two, visiting the Tropic of Cancer Beach. The Tropic of Cancer is a line of latitude that marks the beginning of the tropics. The beach here was quiet and the water was warm and calm. It was a beautiful aqua color.
Under the Tropic of Cancer sign. See the beach?
Number three, Rum Cake at Mom’s Bakery. Mom’s Bakery is on Little Exuma, almost at the end of the island. To get there, we had to go over a single lane bridge that went over a small bay. The Rum Cake and bread she made was the best. When I met Mom, I found out that she was really a grandma and probably 80 or 90 years old. She told me to never stop talking or asking questions. It was really cool to meet her and hear the stories she told.
Here’s Mom in her bakery, and the yummy rum cake!!
When we finally left Emerald Bay, we anchored at Lee Stocking Island. On this island, there was an abandoned science lab. We went to go check it out and it was a little spooky. The first building was a testing room. There were empty fish tanks and even stuff still written on the white board. We walked further up and there was a snack shop and a kitchen. We found an office with open drawers and empty desks. It seemed like bees were the only things that lived on the island and they buzzed wherever we went. CREEPY!!! That afternoon, all of us went swimming off the back of the boat and I dove down to check out the anchor.
The creepy abandoned lab
The next day we went to Rudder Cut Cay. This island was really cool and owned by David Copperfield who is a magician. He sunk a piano with a mermaid statue leaning on it. We snorkeled around the piano and the mermaid and I dove down far enough that I could almost touch the mermaid. We could not explore the beach because a dog was guarding it, but there was a really cool cave that we used our dinghy to get to. Savy and I had a good time running around in it.
We found deer foot prints in the cave! Can deer swim?? Just kidding!!!
That’s the cave behind us
The next day we went to Little Farmers Cay. The cool thing about this island is that everyone is family. The whole island was started by a woman and her three kids; so everyone is still related. The first thing we did was walk into town and swim with the turtles. A man called them over with conch shells and fed them conch. The turtles were really, really big and a little scary too. Also in the water we’re stingrays, which were cool, but made me a little nervous. The best part of this day was finding ice cream. It was really, really amazing. It was peach ice cream and I normally wouldn’t choose peach, but he didn’t give me a choice and it ended up being really, really good.
Feeding and swimming with the turtles was a lot of fun, but I was a little nervous at the same time. We used conch shells and a hammer to get the turtles attention, then the guy fed them conch.
Yummy peach ice cream!
The next day was a beach day. We had to walk across the airplane landing strip to get from the side of the island we were on to the beach on the other side. We had a lot of fun playing on the beach. We found an outside shower there and my dad just couldn’t resist – he jumped right in and Savy and I thought it was hilarious.
Dad in the shower and Savy and Mom and I were cracking up!!
The next day we arrived again at Staniel Cay, but this time our friends Harbour and Lulu were waving and waiting for us on the dock. I was so excited and happy to see them. After I tied up the boat to the dock, I went over to their boat and we gave each other a big hug. Harbour showed me how to feed the sharks and that night we all had a sleep over on each other’s boats. It was a great three days together. We took their boat over to Compass Cay one day and we all went swimming with the sharks. We also hiked up to a cool bubbly pool.
Me and Harbour and Ivy. Someone asked if we were all sisters!
Alright, that’s all for now. I’m really looking forward to our next visitor, my cousin Jenna. I hope everyone is doing good.
XoXo – Tali
March 8, 2018
Hello again. Wow it has been a long time since the last time I wrote, and we have done a lot of things this past month. The only thing I have to do for school today is write this blog, so here it is.
We left Nassau on a beautiful day and traveled to Highbourne Cay. On the way the water was so clear we could see stuff on the bottom and we also saw flying fish. Highbourne Cay was the first time we got to swim off the back of the boat. Savy and I were so excited! We took our dinghy to a marina nearby and at the entrance there were about 20 to 30 sharks. Most of them were nurse sharks, but there may have been a few reef sharks too. Most of them were really big. It was so cool that we could drive our dinghy right over them. One night we all went over to another boat for a potluck. After dinner I was talking a little bit with the owner of the catamaran and she asked me what my teacher’s name was. When I said it was Ms. Cherniavsky, she said her son had a teacher with the same name. We found out that they lived in Red Bank and her son actually went to Mastro Montessori too, but it was a long time ago in the old building. I think he is like 30 now. Of course, I had to email Ms. Cherniavsky to see if she remembered him too. She wrote me back and said that she did. I thought this was really cool!
Our sail to Highbourne Cay the water was so clear
Our first time swimming off the boat
The next day, we had a great sail down to Shroud Cay. We took our dinghy to a private beach and we were the only ones on it for the afternoon. It was so fun and the water was so warm. The next morning we went for a little hike and found a fresh water well. There was a bucket attached to a rope and when we pulled the bucket up, the water was really cold. And my Mom poured it on her head. After lunch, when the tide was right, we took our dinghy on a long ride through the mangroves. The water was a beautiful blue color and it was very shallow. I was able to snorkel behind the dinghy and hold on to a line that Mom was holding on to in the boat. At the end of the mangroves, there was a perfect secret beach. We beached the dinghy and we were able to walk 100 ft out to a sandbar. We had so much fun swimming and playing in the waves. This was an awesome day of exploring!!!
On the dinghy exploring. See the water!!
That’s me snorkeling!!!
The next day we had another great sail and arrived at Warderick Wells. The only thing on the island is a hut for the national park office. They have some ice that you cannot drink, and no water. We were really really conserving water on the boat now. The next day we took a really long hike, like ten miles long and it was really hot. These are the things we saw: different types of mangroves, palm trees, caves that dad and I explored, blow holes that only gurgled but were not working and some cool different rocks. On the way down from the hike we saw a lot of little nuts. Mom looked it up after and found out that it was actually poop from an island rodent. GROSS! We did a lot of swimming on the awesome beach that was there and also practiced standup paddle boarding. We went on an awesome snorkel of a wreck and saw a huge lobster and giant grouper – very awesome. And finally ,we hiked to the top of BooBoo Hill with our adopted “Aunt and Uncle” Liby and Jeff from Liberator III where there is a big pile of driftwood and every boater comes to drop off their own decorated piece. Ours had our names on it and the Intermezzo picture.
Me sailing Intermezzo
Picture of me at the top of our hike
Dropping off our piece of driftwood on BooBoo Hill
Another great sail and we arrived in Staniel Cay, just in time because our water was almost gone. We celebrated Valentine’s Day there and had dinner with four courses. It was fancy and the food was amazing. We really wanted to go snorkeling at thunderball grotto and when we did it was just like I pictured it. We swam into a cave with our snorkel on and there were fish everywhere you looked. I thought I could reach out and touch them but they just swam away. Dad and I swam out through a big hole and then back in again. It was very cool. When you’re in the grotto, there is a big hole in front of you that looks out into the ocean. The fish were all staring at it like they were watching tv. It was such a great time!
The pigs! Big Momma Blanche is the big white and black pig
The next day, we met up with a few other dinghies and all went to the pig beach together. Savy and I were cracking up when we saw the pigs swimming from the beach. We parked our dinghy on the total opposite end of the pigs. I got to hold a piglet and it was so cute and cuddly. There was a big huge pig named Big Momma Blanche. She was black and white and had no problem swimming up to your boat begging for food. It really was hilarious to see these pigs running on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Well mom and dad said the wind is going to be getting really high so we are going to head as far south as we can get. I’ll let you know where we are in my next blog.
The cute little piglet
I hope it’s getting warmer in NJ!
xoxo – Tali
February 6, 2018
We have done a lot over the past few weeks, including a 24-hour overnight journey. We left Bimini at 10am and arrived in Nassau the next day at about 10:30am. The day started off so calm but got a little bumpy towards the nighttime. We got to see the most beautiful sunset and then Mom made a yummy pasta dinner with some dessert. Before I went to bed, I got to see the full moon rise and oh my goodness was it beautiful. This was one of the best nights I have had so far. When Savy and I woke up the next morning, we were just getting into Nassau Harbor and Mom and Dad were exhausted. Once we got into the marina and tied up we put the air-conditioning on and everyone took a nap. But let me back up a little bit.
Before we left Bimini I was busy doing a lot of things. I have started using the chart to plot our journeys which is challenging, but fun and Dad is teaching me on his sextant to use the sun to find out where we are.While we were in Bimini, we went to a history museum, which was really small and did not have a lot of stuff in it – I think they were redecorating. But I learned about an author named Ernest Hemingway who fished a lot in Bimini. He wrote a book named “The Old Man and the Sea” that I would like to read some day. At the marina we were staying at, there was a great beach. It was my first time snorkeling there. Me and Savy had a lot of fun! We saw a lot of fish, I found a conch, and I also saw a big tarpon. It was amazing. Some days the waves were really good and we got to body surf onto the beach. Another boat came in one day that had two kids on it. It was fun to play with them and we also did a garbage walk one day on the beach.
That’s all for now! Bye!
January 25, 2018
We’ve spent a lot of time this week exploring Bimini and going to the beach. It is so hard to keep focused on school, but my teacher has me working every day.One of the school field trips we took last week was to the Bimini Shark Lab. It definitely was not a fancy operation. They all lived in a small trailer. They were all happy and loving what they do. Collin and Chessie were our tour guides for the day. They instructed us about what the purpose of the Shark Lab was. 1) to understand sharks and rays; 2)to help future scientists, and 3) so people can learn about sharks and conserve their habitat. One of the studies that was going on was about personalities of Lemon Sharks. One of the scientists hypothesized that sharks have two different personalities, one shy and one more aggressive. They took us down to the shark pen so we could observe the baby lemon sharks and nurse sharks. Some of the sharks were shy while some of the others were more outgoing. We learned how to tell if a nurse shark was a boy or a girl and we also got to touch the nurse shark. The skin felt like sandpaper. We learned that all of these differences help the sharks survive in the ocean. The Shark Lab was a lot of fun.
The rest of the week we studied some history about the Bahamas which I am writing a paper on and will tell you more about next week. Savy and I have collected a lot of sea glass and conch shells.We are having the best time. I hope you guys are having a good time at home.
January 15, 2018
Alright, so we made it to the Bahamas and we are already swimming and having fun, but let me back up a little bit…we spent 26 days in Fort Lauderdale at Lauderdale Yacht Cub and we had a lot of fun while we were there. Shortly after we got there, we got a visit from our friends from Nashville. It was Aunt Char Char, Uncle Jason, and Ethan and Charlie. After they settled in, we went to visit them at their resort. We enjoyed swimming in the pool there and playing together. It was great to see them and spend time together. Ethan and SavyMe and Charlie
When the Poling’s left, it was pretty close to Christmas, but before that, we explored a little bit of Fort Lauderdale and had fun with our friends from Liberator III.
A talking parrot and a pirate! Savy was a little scared!
On Christmas Eve, Mom found a very nice church for 5:30 mass. And then we went out for a yummy dinner. I even got to have cookies and milk for dessert. Once we got back to the boat, we put out some egg nog and cookies for Santa and tried to go to sleep. Both Savy and I heard his bells when he got to our boat. I was so excited when I woke up on Christmas morning because there were so many gifts waiting for us to open.Christmas morning-so many gifts!
After we finished opening up all of our gifts, Mom made us the best Christmas breakfast ever and then we headed up to the pool. It was empty and it was just us and our friends, it was really cool! After a few hours at the pool, we started getting ready for dinner. Everyone made something different and we ate on the dock with our new friends – it was the best Christmas ever!A couple days after Christmas we took a drive down to Key Largo to the Ocean Reef Club to see my friend from school. Her name is Harbour. Her Dad took us out on their boat fishing and we also went sharking. Sharking is when you hang a piece of bait just above the water and the sharks jump out of the water to eat it. We had such a fun time with them and loved staying overnight.On Harbour’s boat
When we got back from Key Largo, it was almost New Year’s Eve. We went to a restaurant called Mai Kia. Our waiter’s name was ‘Trouble.’ He definitely lived up to his nam playing jokes on us! There was a show about Polynesian dancing. Some of the dances were from Hawaii, Tahiti, and Bora Bora. But my favorite was the fire dance from Papua New Guinea. We had a really fun time watching the dances. We went over to our friends boat after dinner to watch the fireworks and ring in the new year.A fun pineapple drink
After the fun 2 weeks off, it was time to get back to school. One of the trips we took that week was to a science museum in Fort Lauderdale. It was not the best museum we have been to on this trip but my teacher (Mom), still wants me to write about it. Here are my three favorite things from the science museum: the megaladon exhibit – they had fossils of megaladon teeth, and we are able to go inside its mouth and imagine how big the shark was; the metamorphosis exhibit – we went through a maze to follow the caterpillar changing into a butterfly; and the water cycle – learning about evaporation, condensation, and precipitationIn the megaladon mouth
After 26 days we finally left the yacht club to go to Miami because the weather looked good for us to cross over to the Bahamas. We anchored in Miami overnight and then, at 2am, my mom woke us up to move us into their bedroom. They picked up the anchor, then we started moving, I started feeling yucky because it was so rough. I went upstairs into the cockpit. When I got up there, I noticed that it was very dark with no moon and the waves were very big. Behind the boat, I could see the lights from Miami, but they were going away. Eventually, the moon rose and I felt a little better. There were two planets next to the moon, they were Mercury and Saturn. After a few hours, the sun came up and I was feeling even a little bit better, but once I got some stuff out of my tummy, I was feeling 100 percent. When we got into the Gulf Stream, the current was really strong and the waves were bigger than me when I was in the cockpit. It was an awesome ride. To help my tummy feel better, I sat in the back with my dad and helped call out the waves. When we got our sail out, it was even a more fun but rocky sail. After 10 hours in the Atlantic Ocean, we finally saw the island of Bimini. We got into Bimini Sands Marina and then helped our friends dock, Liberator III. Intermezzo was full of salt, but we were all very excited to be here and we can’t wait for all of our adventuresMe and dad at the helm
Miss you all and hope you are all good!
December 19, 2017
After leaving Georgia, we have finally made it to Florida. The sun is out and the temperature is warm. Our first stop was St. Augustine. We walked across the Lion Drawbridge that we sailed under to get into the harbor. We knew St. Augustine was a very old city, so we went on a trolley tour to learn some of the history. We decided to spend the afternoon at the fort after learning about the town. So I will talk to you about that. St. Augustine was a busy port city with ships carrying spices and gold to and from Spain and the New World, so they needed some protection for their new city. They built a fort out of wood, but the first time it was attacked, it was destroyed by pirates because a they set fire to it. The townspeople asked the Queen of Spain for money, so they could make the fort stronger. They built a new fort out of coquina, and called Castillo de San Marco. Coquina is really only found in this area, and is stone made from shells and sand. The fort was built between 1672 and 1695. The fort was attacked two more times after they built it, but the Coquina was so strong that no cannonball could get through it. During one attack, 1,500 townspeople looked for safety in the fort for more than one month. And did you know that people in those times only bathed four times a year – talk about stinky! After the Revolutionary War, the fort was given back to Spain because they helped us win the war against England; however, after the Civil War, the fort was given to the state of Florida and became an army base, also during that time it was used as an Indian jail. It was very sad to see the pictures of Native Americans here as prisoners. But, I really liked learning the history from the park rangers that walked around the fort.
At the Castillo de San Marco on the top of it where the cannons were
While we were in St. Augustine, we also went to a pirate museum. It was cool to learn about the history of piracy. I got to shoot a cannon. It was scary but cool at the same time.A few days after we left St. Augustine, we arrived in Titusville, Florida. While we were there, we went to my favorite museum… drumroll please – THE TITANIC MUSEUM. Although the whole museum was awesome, I’ll tell you about my three favorite things: 1) being able to touch her hull through a glass box 2) seeing and reading about the artifacts that were found on the bottom of the ocean floor after she sank3) getting an idea of how beautiful the ship actually was from the exhibit. One thing I didn’t know (amazing, that I didn’t’ know it) was that most of the victims from the Titanic died of hypothermia, not from drowning and are buried in a graveyard in Canada. This is because ships left Canada to search from survivors, but instead found their bodies and brought them back to Canada to bury them. Just when I thought this day couldn’t get any better, it did. We went to visit Santa and we talked to him about our missing elf, Boyce. Santa promised Boyce would arrive the next morning. We got to meet Uncle Rich’s niece and nephew which kind of makes us all cousins. We had so much fun hanging out together and playing and swimming at their house. This is when Santa is telling us about Boyce. He knew Boyce’s name, which totally made me freak out!!!!
Oh and by the way, Boyce did come the next morning, just like Santa said. Here we all are on the Christmas tree walk on our way to see Santa
I miss everybody and hope you are all good. XOXOXOXO
December 7, 2017
Hi guys! I have not been gone so long this time… Bravo for me! We have done a lot of fun things since we left Charleston, and today, I’m going to tell you about a few of them. We made it to Savannah, Georgia. The first thing we did was go on a horse and buggy ride. I learned a lot about downtown Savannah. I could tell you a lot of things that I learned, but I don’t want to ruin it for everyone, in case you go one day. So I’ll tell you two things. The first is that Savannah was burned 3 times. The first two fires happened before the Civil War. One of them started from the town ovens in the town square. We learned that General Sherman lived in Savanah during the Civil War. General Sherman burned most of the towns that he traveled through, but when he got to Savannah, the towns people said, “Hey, don’t burn our town down, we will give you an office and a place to live if you don’t burn it down.” It worked, he did not burn the town down. General Sherman had a house right in downtown Savannah and an office right across the street. But, when he went to church for Sunday service, everyone walked out because they did want to be in church with a Northern officer. After the horse and buggy ride, we visited the historic Harper house. It was really cool seeing all the old furniture and the lady that gave the tour was really old too, but told us a lot of interesting things about it. It’s called the Harper house, because Ms. Harper bought it from the family that built it, many years later; she bought the house because she used to ride the tram with her mom when she was little and she loved the house, so she saved enough money and was able to buy it when she got older. …outside Harper House
Next, we went to the Wilkes Dinning room. You wait in line for a table to be ready and whoever you are next to in line, you end up eating with. There were 6 other people at our table that we didn’t know, they thought it was really cool to hear about our adventure! Oh and the food was so awesome! I’ll tell you what I remember. We had sweet potatoes, meatloaf, BBQ pork, creamed corn, okra, fried chicken, mac and cheese, cheesy mashed potatoes, and salmon. There was other stuff I can’t remember – it was all delicious.
…Wilkes Dining Room – Soooo Good!
After Savannah, we traveled to Jekyll Island. On the way there we saw a bald eagle in a tall tree. It was really cool to see the United States bird so close. Dad rented a golf cart and it was AMAZING!!! First, I was a little scared, but I would totally do it again, because it was so fun. We went to a beach and I climbed on three trees while I was there. Jekyll Island has a lot of old homes that the wealthy people used to live in as their winter houses. They would take their yachts down and moor them off of the island. We went to the old hotel and saw the sunset. After the beach, we went to a turtle center. It was a little sad because most of the turtles that were there, were hit by boats or tangled in fishing line. Once they get better at the center, they are put back into the wild ocean. After dinner, we got to go back to the fancy hotel to see the beautiful Christmas lights, and have some S’mores by the fire. That was a great week. And that’s all. Bye guys! Don’t forget to comment, I miss you all!… a sunset Shirley Temple.
PS – We also got to decorate the Christmas tree. Dad had to sew the angel – it turned out alright, but her eyes and hair are a little crazy!…Decorating our little tree!
December 1, 2017
I’ve been gone long again, so sorry about that, but I do have something really fun to talk about today. November 16th I had my birthday. The sail was not as long as it usually is and we arrived in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at the marina at 2:00PM. Once we got all tied up, the first thing I did was check into the office with my Dad like I always do. Then we went to check out the bathrooms and the showers for my Mom, that is her favorite part. We all went in to take showers, and after our showers, a bird pooped on my mom! We all thought that was pretty funny! Finally, I got to open my presents. My favorite gift was a book called “The Last Days of the Titanic.” You guys probably don’t know this, but I am obsessed with the Titanic and love learning everything about it. We went out for dinner at a Mexican Restaurant Called Tower 7. I totally recommended it and it was so good!
After my birthday we had to travel a few days to get to Charleston, South Carolina. When we arrived, we were put at the end of the mega dock. We had to walk a quarter of a mile just to get off the dock, but there were beautiful boats all around us. My favorite boats were the Athena and the Red Sky.
S/V Athena – see me all the way at the end? I’m so tiny next to this huge boat!!!
Since we got in so early the first day, we went to the Middleton Plantation. Middleton Place was a rice plantation, and the house used to be very beautiful. However, it got damaged in the Civil War after the Union troops marched down through Charleston and burned every house they came across including the one on the Middleton Plantation. Henry Middleton lost all of his money after the Civil War because he funded the Confederate Army. Henry was a Confederate. My favorite part was seeing the old slave house and seeing how the slaves lived. I want to share some of the interesting things I learned with you. One thing is that they used a broom to sweep the outside of their home every day . They kept track of footprints to see if anyone entered their house while they were working in the fields. After the Union troops marched through Charleston, the slaves got their freedom, but many of the salves returned to Middleton as free men and women and continued to work the rice fields.
This is a live oak at Middleton Place. These trees grow really big and have moss hanging from them.
My favorite part of Charleston though, was meeting up with friends from New Jersey who moved to North Carolina. We did a lot of fun things together, like going to the beach and I even had a sleepover at her hotel. We had Thanksgiving together and we got to see Christmas lights after dinner. Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving, I miss you all very much. Talk to you soon.
Hanging on the boat with our friends from New Jersey.
November 18, 2017
Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I’ve been working on my sun tan ; ).
A lot has happened since the last time I wrote, so today I’m going to talk about the rocky, cold day we had sailing in Virginia. My sister did not quite have her sea tummy yet, but it happens to all of us once, right? I decided to try and stay warm and take a little nap, just kidding, I took a big one! But then it was time for some work, so I hung out in the cockpit doing some school work, while mom and dad sailed. We finally got to the anchorage, right before the sun went down, so that was a long bumpy day.
I totally forgot to tell you I miss you guys so much!!!
After the bumpy day, we had to stay at the marina again because the wind was still very high. We went to the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia that day and I actually learned a lot and had fun. A big part of the museum was the USS Merrimack and the USS Monitor and the battle they had in the Civil War. We learned that these two ships changed the way ships fought in a war. The Monitor and the Merrimack were the first ships both made of iron, and they really could not call who won the battle they had, because after 4 hours, there was no winner. They changed every warship because from then on they would be made from iron, not wood.
Also at the museum, I saw a 6 foot sailboat that a man sailed across the ocean in, it was called “April Fool.” I don’t think I would ever want to do that, would you?
This is me in front of the April Fool – see how small it is!
Now I promise that it won’t be this long again until my next blog, although it is getting warmer and my sun tan still needs some work : )
November 11, 2017
On November 7, 2017, a Tuesday, we went to Jamestown. When we first got there we watched a movie. It was about the early settlers that sailed from England on a boat named the Susan Constant. I learned that grown men shared beds much smaller than the ones we have today. It was probably the size of your window. It was CRAZY! I could never sleep in those, even by myself. The ship’s captain was Christopher Newport.
Then I learned about the Powhatan Indians that lived in the area. We also learned about Pocahontas. She got renamed Rebecca by the Christians. I could write a whole blog on her, but I don’t want to bore you : ) But we did get to visit the Indian village and see how they lived. It was so cool to see them burn a tree trunk and make it into a canoe. I even got to dig out some of the ash. Finally, we saw the fort that the settlers built. It was surrounded by a big wall to protect them from Indian attacks. My favorite house was the one that Christopher Newport built. My whole family fit in there.
November 9, 2017
On November 5, 2017 on Monday, we went to Colonial Williamsburg. In Williamsburg, we learned how people lived during colonial times. Everyone was dressed in costumes from the 1700’s and we were allowed to walk through the streets and visit the shopkeepers and ask them all the questions we had.
Our first stop was the Governor’s palace. A Governor is someone who rules the town. The Governor does not own the house, the town buys it. The Governor has lots of weapons to intimidate everyone who comes for a visit. Most of the governors come from Great Britain.While we walked, we visited the shopkeepers, like the wig maker. I learned that George Washington did not wear a wig, but he did use white powder in his hair to make it white. Another stop we made was the apothecary. I learned that tobacco was one of the medicines they used back then, so was cinnamon and lavender. It was a really fun day.