May 12, 2010

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Soon after we returned to New Zealand in late 2008, Beth's Mom became very ill. We flew home to the States in February of 2009. Beth's Mom died in July and we stayed until November.

We love the sailing life, but it can be really tough to be so far away. We were grateful to be able to spend those months with Beth's parents, as well as with other family and friends.

Mom and Beth share an affectionate moment in happier days.

We miss Mom tremendously. She was always so interested in everything we were doing. Up until the last few months before she died, we got an email from her everyday. She was always on top of everything. Some people "go with the flow". In Mom's case, she WAS the flow. Today is Mom's birthday -- she would have been 94.

Beth's Dad, who is now 97, has made a conscious decision to enjoy life to the fullest. He is doing amazingly well and has inspired us by his initiative and upbeat attitude. He plays bridge and sheepshead... and he swings a golf club everyday (in his apartment!). As soon as the weather warms up, he'll be burning up the golf course. Last year he shot a 42 for nine holes.

Beth appreciating her extraordinary Dad.

In addition, Ken's sister, Cathy, had cancer surgery in March (from which she is recovering nicely), and Beth's much loved Aunt Rosalie died in March. It's been a long year...

We didn't feel much like doing updates for the last while. But we are ready to get back in the swing again. We've gotten many emails from folks who have been wondering what we've been up to.

In a nutshell, we're back in New Zealand and plan to sail to the tropics again as soon as a weather window opens up. We're sailing first to Niuatoputapu -- the northernmost group of islands in Tonga -- to deliver supplies to the islanders who were devastated by the tsunami which hit late last year. From there we'll head to Fiji and then back to New Zealand.

Stay tuned...