This Eletter with all the links to thousands of grandchildren photos [just kidding] is at:
Either cut & paste this URL into your address bar or just click on it.
I love my daughter very much, and I was delighted to give Jessy & Greg a Windigo experience that will live on joyously in her heart (possibly replacing her last ‘trip’, described in:
which has images such as = “my daughter Jessy . . . . The third night . . . . a “clear gale” hit us . . . . winds over 40 knots . . . . accompanied by 8-10 foot seas.”).
The reasons I was able to ever get her to step foot aboard Windigo again after “The Fourth of July Storm of ‘01” are the Grandbabies. So this eletter may have a few too many pix of Summer Lee & Joshua James, but how can I not be totally excited about them and the memorable voyage on Captain Grandpa’s Pirate Ship (even though we had been running them ragged and the babies slept through some of it).
The last time I saw them, JJ was a year-and-a-half old, using a few one-word communications, and growing fast into being an athletic boy. Summer was a VERY contented 5-month old that was so articulate with her hands (and feet) that the strong musical prowess from her mom [and uncle JB] was evident.
Now Josh is 3, and appears school-age in every way. He is huge (50#), and speaks in eloquent sentences for every question, explanation, or request. He is even more physical, throwing and running (and wielding a pirate sword) with deft swiftness.
Summer doing what every grandparent adores, clinging to her babyhood. She has continued to develop her fine motor skills and is very careful and deliberate in everything she does, studying and absorbing the experience, as an older person cannot. She is absolutely a girly-girl, sensitive to the emotions and needs of those around her, showing compassion and tenderness even to her rough-and-tumble brother. What a contrast; they are very lucky to have each other to learn from!
While Josh cannot experience, learn, and move on to the next event fast enough; Summer can sit involved with a single activity for longer than most adults – many times all by herself. The music is growing in her: the rocking from side-to-side dancing exactly as her mother did; the waving and wiggling of her hands and each finger to accompany a song; and the original tunes she hums quietly [Karin was a little miffed that she would stop when she tried to hum along, but Summer and I hummed many duets. J ]
The Character Of The Land.
Land? What the heck do I care about land, I’ve got grandbabies here!
Yes, we went sailing. It marked the first time Windigo sailed inside the barrier reef along the west coast of Andros. Lots of scattered coral heads, but we stayed in the deep part way up north by Morgan’s Bluff. The grandbabies loved the motion, but the fresh air, hard work, and the weeks’ previous events caught up with them and it was nap time.
Greg, on the other hand, was having a blast! Even though he served in the US Navy, spending a few months on an aircraft carrier is not like really sailing – those things are huge! He had his first sailing experience taking Jessy out on a Hobie last year and that got him pretty cranked about sailing. I’m sure that he will take another opportunity to come aboard for a voyage sans children in the future.
Jessy had been sailing on Windigo prior to the “The Fourth of July Storm of ‘01” with Sandy Baim & I several times, and even on Sandy’s 21-foot YingLing, Revelation. She showed great fortitude in actually being excited about sailing again after “The Storm”, but I think Joshua had a lot to do with that, talking about what an adventure Captain Grandpa’s Pirate Ship was going to be.
The Grandbabies had an even better time staying overnight at the Morgan’s Bluff anchorage. Of course JJ had his first fishing excursion; and of course even though he had early nibbles, my terrible fishing luck affected him and we caught nothing. But he showed the patience of his sister, sitting on Pedigo for an hour playing the hook.
Summer played games we made up, winning every one, of course. Being at sea is so relaxing, her calmness led to nap time for us all. To increase activity level, we headed for the beach with crab digging, sword fighting, bonfires, and of course S’Mores. Turns out the Grandbabies enjoyed the colored marshmallows just as much as the messy S’Mores. [MMMmmmmmmmmmmmm, sugar!]
We enjoyed another visitor to Andros just after the Grandbabies left, my friend of over 20 years, Cliff Philpott. We had cycled many miles together in Wisconsin including a few cross-state camping trips. We both rode in at least one Chaquamegon Mountain Bike Race together - the really, really wet one of 1989.We also went on the same cross-country ski trips with a club in Milwaukee. We were in a canoe race together (with Cliff providing all the power up front) on the Milwaukee River in which we WON OUR CLASS! [I think it was the ‘floating RV class’ with one other entry = three girls in an aluminum Coleman . . . but we beat ‘em!].
So Cliff flew all the way from Arizona to hike & cycle Andros, swing & swim in a huge blue hole, eat in Nicoll’s Town’s finest eateries (sometimes without reservations), a little mountain biking, and of course, go sailing. We made two voyages: circumnavigation of the Hens & Chickens reef at the north end of the third largest barrier reef on the world and an overnight trip to Chub Cay & back.
We snorkeled around in the harbour at Morgan’s Bluff and rode Pedigo all the way to Money Point, a five-mile open water trip. We could not find a single conch, but I caught a world-record breaking Bar Jack! [no smaller Bar Jack has ever been caught, filleted, and eaten in the whole world!]
There is actually a zoo at the Pineville Motel, and Josh & Summer feed the critters and poked at the crabs several times a day. On the last day, Josh decided he wanted a souvenir, so he pulled the leg from a live crab! It became to stinky to carry on the airplane, so it was used for bait. [don’t worry, it will grow another one!]
I could write about the conch in a new food section, but the most fun was in the gathering/cleaning phase which is more akin to wildlife. Cleaning a conch is a hard-learned skill that P.O. taught me in Bimini [see: http://www.ciekurzis.org/The%20Bimini%20Islands/The%20Bimini%20Islands.htm].
One of the things that kept Josh excited about coming is all the Pirate Ship talk and so it follows that we had a treasure hunt for the Pirate’s Booty.
Maps were distributed and studied, Greg was exposed to GPS usage to identify the starting point, which happened to be a REAL Pirate Cave! [see http://www.ciekurzis.org/Andros%20Island/Andros%20Island.htm]
A mile-long hike through the woods and along paths ensued, and the Devil’s Dice were soon discovered. Athletic climbing and precise adherence to the map’s clues led to the plundering of the Pirate’s Booty = a tiny cave filled with beach toys!
On the weekend during their stay, the local celebration was the Red Bays Snapper Tournament. This particular reason to party was themed by families going out all day in small boats to catch as many snappers of a minimum length as possible. Winning boats came back with over 200 fish! Josh investigated the tallying thoroughly, and weeded out the small fry.
A long delay at the airport was not wasted by Joshua as he flirted with every pretty girl in the concourse. Even though they were hot & tired, they made the best of the moment; still shared; and played together thoughtfully. We did find some food eventually, and they did get home, eventually.
Girlie Stuff. [KARIN’S ELETTER SECTION!]
They say that you can’t have a favorite but the truth is, with grandchildren, you can.
Yes, Joshua was my favorite especially when I felt that surge of energy just waiting to be released. He always kept me thinking ahead from one activity to another in case boredom set in (for both of us). He brought back so many fond memories of when my sons were young. They never tire, never stop talking, have that mischievous look in their eyes most of the time, and always have dirt on themselves – SOMEWHERE!
I truly enjoyed him and he was easy to spoil. When mom wasn’t looking I would sneak him some fruit snacks and other no-no’s.
Okay, so what about Summer? Yes, fortunately she is my also my favorite. She melted my heart! I have never met such a unique person. When I needed some down time I would seek her out. We could just sit there and do things, without a word spoken, playing in total harmony. I know she sounds like the perfect angel but she does have a very stubborn streak to her and will display that when she gets frustrated with not being understood.
Greg and I got into some serious chess and backgammon games. Isn’t it funny that I can’t seem to remember who won – hummmm? He is very light hearted and likes to have fun. He would just go with whatever Kevin threw at him. He loved meeting the locals and would come back with samplings of native dishes and art work.
I saw Jessy in a different light than I had ever seen her before. She is truly a good mom being both attentive and patient with both kids. She also likes to have fun and would go along with whatever we wanted to do. No problem with the kids staying overnight on the boat, no problem with eating candy bars before lunch, no problem with much of anything. She always seemed so calm and patient even when stress levels were high like dealing with airline flights or the acting out of an overtired child.
So after the family left, I had a couple days to regroup for our next guest. Cliff was at the total other end of the spectrum as he was much older & quieter, and loved to just sit on the boat talking about the “good old times”. I didn’t know Cliff very well beforehand but found him to be very personable and always smiling. He even ate my cooking – poor guy! [I guess that would make up for riding that piece-of-crap bike.]
I’m looking forward to other visitors so we can share our discoveries with them and they will hopefully leave with good memories of their own.
While I planned to find, buy, build, or borrow some type of trailer to tote the Grandbabies around behind my bike, none was to be had. So we did our traveling in a rental car. It allowed us to take the kids to the wellfields, blue holes, out to dinner, and to a few different beaches.
Now when Cliff came a couple days after the kids left, it was bike, bike, bike! Although Cliff now lives in Arizona, he was reminded of the humid heat we used to have in Milwaukee. But being the athlete he is, we rode to every settlement in North Andros; enjoying the scenery, meeting the peoples, and looking good on the Moultons. Born in England, I’m sure Cliff enjoyed pedaling around on a unique bike, designed by SIR Alex Moulton, with a picture of his castle on the head badge.
Karin was relegated to riding a borrowed department store bike, which she had to shorten the chain to circumvent the faulty derailleur and remove a section of chain seized by rust. All-in-all, she did O.K., looking more at home than Cliff & I on the off-road section we frequently rode between the boat and the motel.
When we circled the Hens & Chickens Reef with Cliff, the navigation was done by eye. The cruising guides are correct in stressing this skill – it is of incomparable value to a deep-draught vessel in The Bahamas.
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Capt.KL & Karin Hughes
S/V WindigoIII • PMB 365
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