Friday, 1 August 2014

Trinidad, here we come....Part 1

Our plans have, once again, needed some amendments..
We have booked flights to Trinidad and Tobago(T&T)for September 6th; months earlier than previously anticipated.

Click here to see the map:
flight path from NZ to Trinidad

The reason for this is because of another Kiwi cruising couple who have recently turned up there to do work on their own boat.  We have never met them!  They are an Aunt and Uncle of some friends of ours here in Gisborne.  Since our first email contact with them about a month ago, we have since exchanged dozens more, filled with loads of questions.  They have very generously and graciously been a huge help to us, with all their answers and advice, visiting our boat several times, making various enquiries on our behalf locally and offering to stay on longer to help us get our boat in a more sea-worthy state.
Cathy hosing down our boat!
The timing has been nothing short of miraculous, albeit a little sacrificial on Dave's part!  He had only a few days earlier been admitted to hospital overnight, leg immobilised in a splint and on I.V antibiotics every 6 hours.  An infected knee bursa(forgive my shady lack of terminology) was the reason for two weeks off work. It was during this time Eric and Cathy offered to help if we could get over there in the next month.  So although a bit of a physical nuisance, the time to think, plan, count costs, figure how we could make it work, count costs again, research some more, sell any items left of any slight worth and count our costs again, was incredibly helpful. We also got to have Dave home for both Eli and my birthdays:)

Salem's turn for bow and arrow target shooting, Eli's birthday
Eli's 12th birthday-outside party for middle of winter-

So our current -but flexible- plan, is to head over for around 3-6 months, live and work on the boat (currently in a boat yard), return home - to our wee-tree house at Mum and Dad's, save up for however long it takes and head back over.  Eric and Cathy happened to mention that across the road from the boat yard is a bamboo grove other yachties have been using.  In the same area there are parrots feasting on the mango trees!  This has helped ease some travel anxieties the older boys may have had by those three ever so enticing things:
bamboo- parrots- mangoes = building- entertainment- food.
What more could a boy want?!

This winter has been rather awesome: lots of mild, sunny days and blue skies.  We just had a cold snap over the last two weeks, with lots of rain (which we desperately needed)and temperatures getting to around 6 or 7 degrees Celsius. We had our first decent white frost, with temperature down to 0 degrees Celsius, but turned out to be a nice sunny day, getting up to about 19 degrees Celsius for the rest of the week.  Not a normal Gisborne winter, but we're not complaining.  In the Caribbean it will be their wet season when we arrive, current temperatures (all in Celsius)are :

31 degrees during the day
22 degrees at night
heat and humidity discomfort = high
sea temp 28!!!
Will be very interesting to see how much work we are able to get done!

During our processing time, received this encouraging email (I shortened it a bit):

"God has put dreams in your heart.  He has spoken promises over you. Deep down you believe it will happen, but in the natural, it looks impossible.  The odds are against you.  It's been so long.  But God is saying, 'What I started in your life I will finish'... The challenge to growing in faith is to keep praising Him, keep praying, keep believing, keep expecting... and see His promises fulfilled in every area of your life"

I read recently that we all have a dream deep within us that is as unique as our fingerprints.. 

There were so many boats we travelled away to look at over the last two years that weren't quite right. Or were close to buying but then they fell through.  There were many times when people questioned if this dream was really meant for us, or if we were too fussy.  There were many times when I felt overwhelmed and frustrated, like I couldn't keep waiting and hoping (but I did!).  In spite of all this, we kept on, trying to be led by the peaceful instinct deep down (or God's leading-whichever way you want to look at it).

About a month before the purple pirate ship came up, we found a boat we loved, it ticked all the boxes.  After dozens of emails and phone calls, we found out the guy put it to a one week auction on e-bay. He didn't realise how serious we were and we were seriously a bit gutted!  Our passports had just come through(the boat was in Australia), Dave was just finishing up work that week, it was looking hopeful and exciting.  

A couple of hours before the auction was due to finish, it felt like I was coming down with some stomach bug, I was getting the odd wave of intense nauseousness.  But we were leading the auction! Only a minute to go and it would be ours, we would be in Australia in a week or two, sailing the Whitsundays.  Our fridge had our 2 year plan written up with the best months to sail up the East Coast, around the top and what countries we could cover from there.

Our motivational fridge!
4 seconds... 2 seconds, we've been outbid! 
"Quick Dave, bid!!"  Dave is frantically hitting the buttons trying to get it to respond, but it's too late and we've lost the auction. 
"Oh well, we can trust God on this, He's never let us down before," I tried to console ourselves.  We were gutted though and essentially grieving a life we had poured ourselves into.  I was physically sick through the night.  A day or so later, I got an intense headache, knocking me out for the day.  We were whacked for a good week or two, from all the planning and adrenaline, I guess.

When we came across the purple pirate ship, we couldn't sleep that night.  It was so much bigger than we'd planned on getting, it was so much further away than we'd planned on travelling, but it was stirring something deep within us that whispered "now here's where your dream really starts."  
I thought to God, "we can't do this on our own and I sure don't want to go through that level of stress-induced sickness again. If this is meant to be our boat, please give us a peace about it."

What we are dreaming for
It took months to get the paper work sorted for the boat to be officially ours and I remember thinking from time to time, "I should be panicking about this," but I wasn't!  

The boat has drawn out deeper desires and bigger dreams I never wanted to entertain so as not to feel disappointed, nor thought possible, but I can now hope.

The project- wisdom??!
For now though, we're going to focus on what needs to be done to get us there and get the boat in the water... Just like eating an elephant - one bite at a time!

The reality of dreaming (more like cleaning!)

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