Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory!

A new life, a new brother, a new grandson.
You are invited to celebrate with the Steadfast Clan as we welcome a new addition...
hip hip hooray! 

Brand new.  Born April 23rd at 8:10 am, 8 pounds, 9 ounces.

Snowboarder hat
Genghis Kahn?

Proud Papa

The Boys

It was an emotional day.
Mummy was feeling rather camera-shy and so, you get me instead.

The Panorama outside the hospital window...what a spectacular day!

and just because it's Wednesday...

Hello Baby Brother.

Don't you just LOVE babies?????

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Life on the Wild Side

I've been land based for over three weeks now, but I thought my loyal readers (you know who you are) would be interested in some of the different wild life we encountered this winter while boating around the Bahamas.  When I got my new laptop computer, some of my blogging techniques changed and my photos became embedded in small sizes.  I have recently learned how to fix that so now you can feel free to click on them and they will get bigger and easier to appreciate.  Enjoy!

Harvested Conch...Deno's cracked conch salad was fabulous!

Nurse Sharks' feeding frenzy.

The elusive Sea Turtle...always a treat to spot one up close.

Plovers...Nelson's favourite chase at the beach!

Wild pigs at Big Major's Spot.

They swim right up to the dingy, begging for food.

They can become quite aggressive if you haven't got anything delicious to share!

These Peacocks strutted freely around Chubb Cay.  The male refused to display his finery for us.

The ubiquitous Banaquit.  A friendly nectar eater that will feed from your hand if you are patient.

The Great Blue Heron sat on the pilings by our boat morning and evening every day we were at Sunset Bay Marina in Florida.
Because it was all part of the same trip, he gets included here, even though he isn't from the Bahamas.

These little lizards are everywhere in the islands.  
The ones with the blue tails poison small dogs that are silly enough to eat them!

Iguanas are found on several different islands in the Exumas.  Colonies of over 100 look for handouts from tourists and fight over the food in a startling fashion.  
They look so prehistoric.

Nelson had doggy friends in the cruising community.
Here the two beach bums are looking wet and times.

Little Miss Penny, a 9 month, PREGNANT Shitzu made herself right at home when she visited aboard Steadfast.

Then there were the ones that got away or that I didn't have a camera to capture...
the 36 year old cruising Scarlet Macaw parrot,
the Saw-tooth Shark at Atlantis,
and the Queen Angel Fish swimming wild on the reefs.

Since I've been back in Canada, I've witnessed a live birth of a baby goat on a farm in BC, saw a herd of Elk grazing downtown Canmore, Alberta and photographed my Grand #3 playing with a Hedge Hog.  The wild side of life is always interesting to us city dwellers.

Did you or your pets meet any new species in your travels this year?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Black and White Wednesday

I love the layers of diagonal lines in this photo.  Shooting into the sun is always an issue, but I am happy with this shot nonetheless.  

Mrs. Claus at Like Christmas Every Day is going all out, making the B&W Wednesdays a real treat.  Link up and join the fun.

See you next time.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Spring has come too soon.

  Winter is when we flee south to the sunny, southern climes of the Bahamas.  Spring is the transition between boating and "regular living" for the Captain and Crew of Steadfast, saying goodbye to our Sailing Life and hello to Life as Landlubbers.  In the usual course of events, we pack up the boat, drive north, jump into yard cleanup and garden prep for the summer ahead.  Once things are under control on the home front, I usually make a trip out west to visit my family in Alberta and British Columbia and then...well life happens.

This spring, Steadfast made her passage back to Florida, crossing the Gulf Stream in excellent conditions before the weather closed in for a whole week trapping our friends on the other side.  We were having a lovely time in a new-to-us marina called Sunset Bay in Stuart.  The people were so nice, friendly and helpful.  We will definitely go back there again.  Out of the blue, we received a call from my sister in Western Canada.  My mother had had a "spectacular fall" and was now dying.  

The extended family had gathered to celebrate Mum's 90th birthday Christmas Day in Southern BC. before we had sailed away.  Four generations revelled in a wonderful life-celebration with bounty, bubbles and bouncing gatiy.

These things always have a bittersweet quality to them, as one never knows if "this may be the last time...."  Sure enough, it seems that happy day was the last gathering with Mum as Matriarch of the clan.

I left the Captain, Nelson and Steadfast to make their way to our seasonal storage spot at River Forest Marine with a "rented crew" and began the epic journey to be with my Mum and siblings:  
Stuart to Fort Lauderdale by low-flying taxi cab (the cab driver hit 85 mph as soon as we got on the highway and maintained that speed until our exit ramp 90 minutes later), 
Fort Lauderdale to Houston, 
a 3.5 hour layover, 
Houston to Calgary, 
Customs clearance, baggage claim and redirect, then 
Calgary, Alberta to Kelowna, BC.  
The next morning, Kelowna to South-central BC.
wow!  I was wiped!

Driving the last leg of my journey, I went from singing 
Zippity do dah, zippity day, as a literal blue bird flew in front of my car.  

So here I am.
The family has gathered.  We are resigned to the inevitable, just waiting for Mum to decide it's time to go to her final reward.   Friends have sent love and virtual support.  The resident cats are snugglers, giving us much-appreciated tactile soothing as we move thru these hard days.  The end of Mum's good life is making room for an anticipated new life--a baby boy two weeks from now to add to our family tree.
The circle of life:
Good endings, great beginnings.