Pearl got to celebrate her birthday a day early, the lucky duck. Joey is going to host some middle school students from Cincinnati on the boat. The girls and I are going to live it up on the beach at Forfar Field Station for a couple of weeks. The split takes place on May 9th, so Pearl gets to start celebrating early and spread her season out. She has long had her morning, and day, planned. She woke Christmas Day kind of early to open her gifts and then delighted in smoothies and egg sandwiches for breakfast.
We had moved onto the dock for a night to unpack Mi Cielito for the split, but the bugs were feasting on us and we had no breeze. We made a mad dash back to home sweet home with Audrey and breathed a sigh of relief at the comfort of it all. Audrey welcomed us back with open arms. We were all suffering from a little separation anxiety. We soon got busy baking Pearl's birthday Thundercake aboard S/V Bradypus.
Thundercake, by Patricia Polacco, was delivered to Pearl aboard Mi Cielito from the tooth fairy. It is a tale about a girl who overcomes her fear of thunderstorms at her Grandmother's farm by gathering the ingredients with her Grandmother and baking the cake before the storm hits.
Pearl has been planning to bake this cake for her birthday for quite some time now. Tomatoes are part of the recipe. There is a first time for everything and apparently including tomatoes in a chocolate cake was not our only first of the day. We also instigated the first ever birthday cake baking aboard Bradypus.
We're always eager to test new waters and most times it ends up rather fruitful. Audrey dutifully rotated the cake in the ship's oven for an even bake. We had to jury rig it's structure a bit at the end, but it came out as a tasty island cake. Doing the dishes cruising style on someone else's boat, with sudsy sea water and solar shower fresh rinse, was also a highlight for the girls.
Then it was time for a family swim.
Our traditional flag raising. I have to admit that my heart swelled a bit raising Pearl's flag on Mi Cielito. This is the flag that Joey raised directly after her birth at home and it has been raised on her birthday every year since. It was designed and sewn for raising on a cruising sailboat. That idea has finally become our reality.
And then we had the party. A little pizza.
Our lovely thundercake. Pearl made sure Juni was there to help blow out candles. Wouldn't ya know, Thunder rumbled its birthday wishes in the distance soon after we blew out the candles. We haven't heard thunder for days.
General update: Internet at Forfar Field Station is inconsistent at best. I'm taking this opportunity to vacation from my blogging life. I might sneak one in here and there, but I wouldn't really expect to hear from us until the end of May. We'll be busy snorkeling, visiting our old stomping grounds and friends, teaching our American youth about the beauty of the sea and other cultures, sharing seeds, and creating art with local kids. I promise to fill you in upon our return to the world wide web. Enjoy your May!