January 1

So the new year is upon us, finally. Can't believe it is 2003 already. Last night we had a nice dinner (only one third was Italian contrary to what Kate says in her journal for today). I made Veal Cordon Bleu, String Beans ala Pez Vela (garlic and lemon) and Fettuccine Alfredo with home made pasta we got as a gift from Renee and Fred on "Aldeberan". We walked into town and watched the fireworks which Jonah loved. They were quite lame by American standards, or at least by my standards. I remember 4th of July in Boston one year the fireworks were so load each explosion racked my body, the vibrations traveling from my head to my toes, the dazzling lights high up in the sky. These by contrast were like firecrackers and cheesy roman candles you buy at a gas station in S. Carolina. Nothing to write home about.

Though it is difficult to say it was a good year, given the death of my grandfather and cousin in November, we did get through it. Cruising wise it was not our worst year (we didn't hit any ships, so that's a good thing) but it was not our best either. What with a broken transmission which kept us hunkered down at a sun baked, crowded and bug infested marina rather then swimming and fishing on some beautiful island paradise and a part II of the season dominated by high winds and rain we didn't get to do much or see much as we had hoped we would. 

This year promises to be better for us (it can't be any worse mechanically or weather wise) and we are optimistic we will get to spend an idyllic season visiting the beautiful tropical islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu. We are also having a wonderful time in Australia and expect to enjoy the next few months here immensely. Additionally, we are excited about spending the month of March in the US visiting family again. My 40th birthday will be spent in New York among friends and family thanks to my wonderful mother who has generously provided us with airline tickets (thanks mom). 

For those of you who read the web site regularly, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all (both of you) and say how good it makes us feel when we know people are reading what we write. We do occasionally get email from people we don't know who have been reading our site and this always makes us smile, keep em coming! To those of you who only check in once or twice a year, well, we hope you find your time here well spent. You may want to check in again starting in mid April, that is when we plan to leave Australia and get back to the business of cruising - there will be much more interesting things going on then. And to those of you who never bother to look at our web site, well, you aren't reading this anyway so to hell with you all (just kidding).