Wow, I just re-read my blog from July 23, 2011. We were in Tonga, eagerly anticipating Eloise’s imminent first steps. She was picking up seashells and sticking arms down crab holes.
Things have changed a little bit. Here we are on the island of Oahu. She still collects seashells, asking us if we think they are pretty. Instead of sticking things down crab holes, Eloise made them new homes by poking her finger in the sand. Now she is proudly learning to swim. When she wears her life jacket, she flops her arms, kicks her legs and swims from one parent up to the sand on the beach. Without life jacket, she lets us hold her tummy while she whirls her arms and legs around. A new joy is when daddy holds her hands and flings her around and lets go so she splashes in the water.
While we were still in Honolulu, I finally got to meet “Kiwi Al” who has been a friend of Brian’s for many many years. He is a tugboat captain. When he heard that Eloise was screaming happily the day before when she spotted some tugboats next to the road we were driving on, he offered to give us a tour of his boat on a slow day. It was so amazing. I’ve liked tugs since I was a child reading our kid book, “Little Toot” about a tiny tug. But now, we have gotten to climb around on a real one. From the top tower where they steer, down to the state of the art Rolls Royce engines we explored and learned about tug boats. We knew it was time to go, however, when Eloise curled up and laid down in the captain’s chair and asked if she could sleep aboard. Thanks Alan!
Yesterday, we arrived in Hale’iwa harbor, near where Michael Crosier lives. He continues to shuttle us to Costco, Whole Foods, gas stations, etc. He also washed, dried, and folded our laundry at his house! Thanks Michael!
This morning from the harborwe could hear a loud noised from the hills and town nearby. It took me a few minutes of thought to figure out that it was a cacophony of wild chickens crowing and clucking, accompanied by the voices of other birds. This confirmed that we are indeed in a Polynesian island. From the Marquesas to Fiji, these wily birds live in the trees and bushes near villages, hiding their eggs until hatched, then foraging in fruit trees and opened coconut shells. I’ve heard they make good eating even if they aren’t extremely plump.
Wednesday, we all leave for Hanalei Bay on the island of Kaui about 90 miles from here. It is reportedly one of the most beautiful anchorages in the islands. Since Mike is an experienced sport-fishing boat captain, we are looking forward to him using his skills as we cross. He even bought Eloise her own fluorescent pink lures. She was excited. In fact, ever since then, she has been “fishing” off the side of our boat when we are anchored. “I really want to catch a Mahi Mahi.” She told us yesterday as she pulled up the rope she had thrown over the edge. “I got one!” she announced and pantomimed removing it and gobbling it up. She also informed us that she wants to be a fisher girl.
I’m looking forward to running a one day a week preschool for Eloise and her same-aged cousin, Elijah when we get back to Santa Cruz. Brian and I are also looking forward to hosting Thursday night sailing gatherings aboard Nomad this fall. He’s a bit more dinged up on the outside, modified on the inside, has a new mainsail, and other new bits and pieces, but he’ll be home and needing to be used.