Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Getting Back to Normal!

After the last post we are happy to report that Shelley is healing VERY WELL!  We have the accident behind us now and hope to find something to keep us busy here on the west coast after we get home from our visit to Ontario next month.




Our great friends, who own Groundhog Divers in Kitchener Ontario are taking a group of divers on a scuba diving trip and we are looking after their store and taking the opportunity to see our children and grandchildren who live in Ontario.


Shelley had her stitches removed and the doctor was very happy with the way she is healing up.

We spent some time this week getting Blowin' Bubbles ready for her winter on the dock here on Thetis Island.  The water does not freeze here and there is only a rare snowfall.  That said, we are now dealing with condensation in the boat which we never have before.  We purchased some 1/2" rigid, waterproof foam board which we are lining all the hull areas affected by condensation.





We are using a small space heater and seem to be very snug in the boat so far...  To be clear, WE REALLY MISS THE EQUATOR! but will do just fine here in British Columbia this winter.


We have two seaplane companies that come here to the marina and fly to downtown Vancouver or the Vancouver Airport for $80-$100 per person each way...  We may look into that to get back to the boat after our trip.

More soon!

Friday, October 25, 2019

It Happened AGAIN!

WARNING: SOME SAD/GORY STUFF:

This is written by Shelley:

October 23, 2019, exactly one year since almost dying in a motorcycle accident in Indonesia we are back in Canada after a long recovery road for Kyle and a very long sail home.

We had settled our boat at a dock in Thetis Island, British Columbia  a couple days before. The locals here told us that it was a quick 15 minute dingy ride to the town of Chemainus on Vancouver Island. Being a beautiful sunny morning with nice flat sea we decided to go visit he town.


The day before we looked on a Google Earth image to see exactly which direction to go and where to park the dingy on the other side. We noted the log booms in the picture of the Harbour. The log companies have been on strike around her for a while so logs were piling up. It was weird but I had a dream the night before that on the way we hit a log and flew out of the dingy. I mentioned this to Kyle and we both kept a good lookout for wood on the water along the ride over.


We had a nice walk around town looking at all the murals painted on the buildings. But Kyle was feeling under the weather. His recurring rib pain was really bothering him. So we decided to return to Bubbles. At the dock I told Kyle to give me his bag with the phones in it to put in the dry bag so they did not get wet. He said he wasn’t planning on going in the water, I said no one ever plans to go overboard. He complied. The weather was still good. We had a clear view and watched for logs again. This next part to me is fuzzy. Kyle would tell me later that he just felt the throttle being ripped out of his hand for no reason. Likely a submerged dead head or even a seal under water as there are lots around here. We will never know. It all happened so fast.

I remember the boat starting to take a sharp turn, I looked back at Kyle to see why we were turning and at that moment flew out the dingy. I felt cold, then. I put my hand up and felt the bottom of the dingy. What I did not know at the time was that between the looking back and the feeling of cold I had been run over by the dingy. It sliced my face open then my right arm and jacket must have got caught up in the propeller. I tried to breath but felt freezing cold water enter my throat. I thought to myself remembering being sea sick in the bad weather coming from Japan that I prayed to my sister to watch over us and keep us safe so I could get to Vancouver and see Kelly. I had just spent the past couple weeks with her. Was this it? Had I gotten my wish but now it was over?

I knew I had to fight or I was going to die here. And I knew if I died here, so would Kyle, and so would a piece of all those who love us because I know the terrible feeling of lose. So I began to fight. I tried to get my zipper undone to get out of my clothes to get out of the water. I do not know how long I fought. Time is funny in these situations. Then as I was kicking up. I saw the light. I thought I was at the surface so I took a breath but no it was water again. But Kyle told me later that all he could see was my feet and he could not get my head above water. He knew I was stuck but needed to figure out how to save me. So he had pushed me down under the propeller in I order to get me unwrapped from the prop. It worked. And as he did this time I felt air on my face. I heard Kyle screaming at me” you are not going. To die on me, damn it you are not going to die on me” .

With that, I finally breathed some real air and felt for the handle on the side of the dingy to hold on. Kyle was trying really hard to pull himself back up out of the water into the boat. I could see the pain, fear, shock on his face. I felt my arms getting week, my body succumbing to hyperthermia.

I tightened my grasp on the dingy handle and started cheering Kyle on. “ you can do it Kyle, get in the boat, you can save us, I need you to get us both out of the water, we are not dying today Kyle.” He started cheering us on too. We had to talk our way thru the shock. He pulled with all his strength. I could see the pain on his face. I kicked my feet as hard as I could to ty to help but I was so weak, so very cold. I just kept saying get me out of the water Kyle and he kept saying I am not letting you die on me, Finally I landed in the boat. Kyle said you are bleeding bad,,I could agin see the shock building. So cheerleaders it was we talked ourselves to shore. At some point Kyle started the engine and aimed the boat back towards town. We were about 7 minutes away, freezing. I knew every time Kyle looked at my face with the skin from my check hangin down that it was not good so I just kept making him look out away from me. “ look for logs Kyle, can you see the dock Kyle, we are going to make it Kyle, when we reach the dock call 911 from the phone in my dry bag Kyle.” I was talking to keep both our shocks at bay.

When we reached the dock Kyle could barely move. He rolled out of the dingy on to the dock obviously in a great deal of pain. I grabbed the chain and threw it over the dock so I would not float back out to sea. I threw the dry bag at him and told him to call 911. I was still sitting in a puddle of cold water bleeding profusely. Kyle found the phone and dialed.  I heard him trying to tell the operator where we where. I saw a man walk by. Was he really going to walk right by. Kyle yelled at him, as he held the phone towards the man he said, can you tell the ambulance where we are . The man then took a good look at us and realized we were in trouble

. He took the phone and said the ambulance is on the way. Kyle was lying on the dock shivering. I knew he needed to not lose focus yet. I took all the strength I had and stood up in the dingy. I stepped onto the dock and collapsed down on top of kyles legs. He put an arm around me, He was still still talking to the 911 operator begging for help. They told him to put pressure on my face. I felt him pull the skin from my chin back up my check and press hard on it. I knew this was hard on him. I could see the pain on his face as he held mine together with his hand so tight. I was always the rock, he was the one who cried if no one remembers his birthday, I barely cried at funerals. My mom taught me cowgirls don’t cry. We needed to be strong.

I felt Kyle pulling my cold wet sweater off and a man was over me placing his warm sweater on top of me. I said “ no I do not want to get my blood on your sweater and ruin it” Kyle laughed and said just take it shelley you are cold. Then the man said the ambulance is here. It got a little fuzzy again. Noting we had help I let go a little. I remember bumping up the dock on a stretcher, them cutting my clothes away and putting warm packs and blankets all over me, they poked me a dozen times in different areas of my body trying to find a vein but I was too cold. They finally stuck a needle in my shoulder. I could hear a man say to Kyle take your wet clothes off we will give you scrubs and blankets. I just remember saying I am cold, I am cold, I am really cold. And I could hear Kyle saying “I love you, you are not dying on me, the deal is I get to die first remember, I cannot do it without you.”

Once I was finally being cared for and warming in the hospital the nurse and I had to beg Kyle to go get his own X-ray and check up. He refused to leave me until he knew I was going to be okay. He was being my rock now. Once he met my surgeon and got more reassurance about my state of health he finally went to get checked out. I think his chest X-rays scared the staff. They had never seen such “ messed up ribs”. With the old damage they could not tell new damage so we have to send them for comparison with the old ones from a few months ago. I am sure all his pulling on me hurt him greatly.

I had swallowed a lot of sea water. They needed to watch for near drowning for 24 hrs before releasing me. My chest X-ray showed some damage but nothing that should not heal with time and antibiotics. In my face the propeller has shattered to occipital bone and some nerves. Thankfully my eye was save by my sunglasses. They put metal in my face to reconstruct the bone and sewed up some nerves. Now time will tell how much feeling I will get back in it. My arm is a little mangled and bruised but will heal.


But we are alive still ! When we got back to the boat last night the neighbors cat must have followed me in. This darling little white kitty was laying on my bed, I looked at it and thought, yup that is 2 of out 9, no more of that please.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Off To Thetis Island...

Fall is definitely upon us and over the last few weeks the colors have been spectacular!


After 3 VERY busy weeks in Vancouver we pulled anchor yesterday and made our way about 40 nautical miles to Thetis Island Marina located on Thetis Island between Vancouver Island and the mainland. This is where we may stay for the next few months after we head to Ontario at the end of November to see the rest of our family and take care of some overdue doctor appointments.  We hadn't been docked an hour when we were invited to a pot luck dinner where we met a number of the island residents...  What a fun place so far!


Our time in Vancouver was great fun.  We went with our daughter Kelly to the Richmond Night Market where we enjoyed a bunch of Asian street food and a carnival like atmosphere...







Shelley and I spent time with one of Shelley's cousins (she has over 200 of them!) who helped us get oriented with our new surroundings.  We also had a lovely meal with some dear friends, Lee & Eva and their amazingly cute daughter, Annabelle.


Last week, Shelley's BFF, Dana flew all the way from Texas to visit so we spent almost the whole time being tourists in and around Vancouver.


We rented a car and drove a few hours to Whistler, BC which was one of the homes of the 2010 Winter Olympics.  We both have memories of Whistler being a small, hedonistic, ski-bum village from back in the early 80's....  Boy are those days over!  Today, Whistler is the location of million dollar homes and 5 star resorts where the wealthy come to play...









We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with Kelly & Ethan with turkey and all the trimmings.




We also visited a bunch of free (or nearly free) tourist places in and around Vancouver.  Here are a few pictures....  Chinatown:







Downtown/Gastown:










Queen Elizabeth Park










Stanley Park






And lots of food!








Shelley and Dana had a tour of Kelly's school!











This is Kelly's building...
We will spend a few weeks here in Thetis getting some boat chores done then help Kelly move at the end of the month.  After the last few weeks, some quiet days at the marina sound like fun...