Friday, April 25, 2008

Update from the Cats Paw IV, by way of the middle daughter, Jennifer (my turn to relay info!). A 7 minute conversation today relayed the following information (as far as I can recall from my at-times-faulty memory and my hastily jotted down scribbles):

Mom and Dad (I guess Ann and Barry to the majority of people reading this blog) are still hanging around Tahuata, if my Google Earth can be believed. I put in the latitude and longitude that Ann provided, but that mapped them as somewhere in the middle of that island! I guess you need the minutes and seconds as well to be get the most accurate position, but for now I've put the pin in the most likely harbour. Ann said that they went ashore in a village and were given an assortment of fruits from this wonderful man whose name she wouldn't attempt, as it is a Marquesan name, and they all have very different spelling and pronunciation. She said they were given bananas, oranges, limes and, best of all "pamplemousse", which were juicy and absolutely devine.

Speaking of "pamplemousse", Ann's french is still serving her well, and although the dictionary is pulled out from time to time, she is enjoying much more freedom of communication in french than she did in spanish. I didn't ask,but Barry is probably not having as much luck, as I believe his spanish was much better than his french.

Back to the village. Their fruit provider refused direct payment, but Ann and Barry were going to trade for it with an assortment of items, including some rope, colouring books and tee-shirts. Knowing Barry's tendencies, if he's in charge of the trading transaction, the fruit man will no doubt get more than his fair share of items in trade. Now, if Ann were in charge, the bartering might be a bit more fierce! Apparently, the trade transaction was delayed by the arrival of the weekly ship. It only comes once a week with all the goods for everyone, and the whole village shows up to help with the off loading and picking up of goods. They were given some coffee and were content to wait around and observe the goings ons before continuing with the transaction.

As for future plans, they only have 3 months in the area, as previously mentioned by Trish, so as the area is absolutley riddled with islands, they will have to decide which of the multitude they will visit. Ann tossed out a number of names at me, most of which I have heard before, but none of which I knew precisely where they were. I've therefore tried to plot all the metioned names onto Google Earth. I hope it works as well as Trish's did.

As for the briefly mentioned names, Tahiti was high on the list, as their Ham radio was dropped off there by now absent crew member Bob. Other islands mentioned were Bora Bora, the Cook Islands, Tonga, and eventually New Zealand sometime in November. Mom said they likely wouldn't hit Fiji this time, but I've pinned it anyway, so you can see how far out of the way it is.

And finally for a bit of perspective, here are three pictures that show the three legs of their journey: Canada to Mexico to Galapagos; Galapagos to the Marquesas; and the Marquesas to New Zealand. Certainly adds some appreciation for the feat they are undertaking, doesn't it?

Whew! Quite the 7 minute conversation, wasn't it? Sorry, I've already realized that I tend to blab on as much as Ann does... must run in the family!! I haven't decided if the ability to raphsodize about the most trivial occurences is a talent or a vice. Either way, it is what it is! I hope you enjoy the update, and if you don't, don't read it!! Until next update..... JEN