It has been many months since I have written anything here, but there is a good, solid reason. The idea of this was to give a look at life on Willow, cruising. Well, Willow is still in Ecuador, staring in the direction of the Galapagos Islands and the South Pacific while Bonnie and I are up north, thousands of miles away, chasing a few dollars to get us back there and keep going.
I have since reconsidered and decided to give the full picture. Bonnie and I are not really part time cruisers, it is our life, as is the need to work (although not much really). While I miss our home and life on the water, our work world is not all that bad either. For example; We flew back from Ecuador in the middle of May, 2007. Bonnie already had a job lined up with her past employer, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, or IPHC to save me the typing. It is a pretty cool job, most of the time. We have both done this job for many years now, it paid for the building of Willow and continues to support our lifestyle.
Basically, Bonnie flew up to Yakutat Alaska and hopped on board a 70′ commercial fishing boat, owned and crewed by Canadians, all chartered to perform a stock assessment survey. The boat heads out and sets long line gear, in predetermined spots, repeated every year for many years. They move about, fishing, hauling, dressing (that is gutting) and icing the fish. The bioligists on board are taking all relevant info from the fish caught, i.e. size, sex, maturity, that sort of thing. All this info, and there is a lot of info, is eventually used by the folks back in Seattle to determine the health of the fishery. How they do all that based on the numbers we collect is for someone else to explain, perhaps on their website actually. It sounds sort of cool, and it is except for the bad weather, blood and guts and various and assorted other potential problems. The upside is that we have had the chance to see places that we would never have gotten to see otherwise, plus we were getting paid to do it, nice.
So, that is what Bonnie was up to for about two months, right up until she came down with a nasty case of pneumonia and ended up in a hotel room, alone and suffering miserably in Kodiak, AK. She is one tough woman. After giving the antibiotics a few days to stabalize her very serious condition, she hopped on a plane and spent two awful days traveling, to end up here in Pennsylvania, with me, and my folks. She was absolutely worn out and slept for days, but slowly recovered and is now doing great.
My summers employment began in a bit warmer climate, Hilo, Hawaii. We have two good friends living there, Bob and Cary Derringer and he offered me a job, place to stay, cars to use and surf boards to ride. All I had to do was water their plants (which was rather easy as they are all outside and it rained some every day) and take over the job Bob was doing before he they headed back to the mainland for a family visit. I was working doing the finish carpentry work on a house Bob had built (he is a contractor there). It was fantastic and I regretted leaving, but my next stop has been just as nice.
I have been in PA, helping my parents remodel the home they just bought. My sister and husband, Kathy and Mike Dearborn have been in the process of building a new home. They will be moving in with their three kids in a month or so. Graciously, they have found some work for me to do and been willing to pay me for the labors. I wish I could hang out here and work for free, but alas, we do need a few dollars to make Willow go. At the moment I am finishing up all the jobs they had in mind, I have perhaps only one more week of work and I am not really sure what will come next, but all will be well I am sure.
On that note, if there is anyone out there reading this, I am available for employment and I will do just about anything, anywhere and smile the whole time, so send me a note and tell me where to go, I will be there. That is a serious offer and I am in need. I am trying to get out of the work I have been doing the past several seasons (crew on tug boats) to find other options for future work.
We will be heading back to Willow when we feel the bank account is topped up enough for the next leg of the voyaging, to the Galapagos Islands and into the South Pacific.
Time to go to sleep now. Please say hello, anyone, just because it is fun to meet new people.
Try either. firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg (Sept. 3)