Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ios -- BeBe's birthday

Aaron and Lynn took a ferry to Santorini to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  Elisabeth and Damien stayed on the boat with us and Zachary.  Such a shame that BeBe will miss seeing Santorini.  Guess she will need another trip at another time for that.

Damien did not ever seem to realize that his parents were gone.  I guess having your big sister and a big cousin and 2 grandparents to occupy your thoughts doesn't leave a lot for a 2-year-old boy to think about his parents.  I had been a bit concerned about how he would handle this because he really does not know me or Bill.  This is only the 4th time he has even seen us, and the first time he was only 4-weeks old.  He certainly does not remember us from our visit last November.  This time he had 2 1/2 weeks with us living on a small boat, so I guess he knows by now that we are 'acceptable' people -- even if he doesn't know who the heck we are and how we fit into his family.

While in Ios we all ate lots of pork pita gyros for lunches and had an enjoyable time in general.  The beach there was the dirtiest beach we have seen in Greece thus far.  All those young party animals drop plastic bags, bottles and cigarette butts in the water and it all washes up on the beach at the end of the bay.   And here we have been complimenting Greece on how clean the waters and beaches are.  This beach is worse than Galveston or Bolivar Peninsula in regards to washed up trash.  

The summer time with the grandkids was winding down fast.  Bill decided it was time to administer their midshipman tests.  

They had watched the Horatio Hornblower series when they first arrived in June and the Master and Commander movie, so they are aware of the ranks in the old British Royal Navy.  Bill told them that if they learned enough about boats and sailing this summer and they could pass a test, then they could become midshipmen.  Something they both wanted.

At the first spreaders

The test consisted of being able to tie off on a deck cleat and dock bollard; tie a 'midshipman's knot' (a/k/a double clove hitch), tie a bowline knot,  feed a sheet or halyard onto a winch,  use a fender when approaching another boat or dock,  general basic navigational knowledge regarding port and starboard and give-way vs. stand-on vessel scenarios, ability to read the electronic chart and adjust to a plotted course, understanding of AIS targets shown on the electronic charts, and go up the mast in a bosun's seat to an undetermined height.  

Note Zach's expression -- "you're kidding me"
BeBe was scared to death of the bosun's seat for some reason.  She barely got her feet off the deck -- even though she was certain we had raised her 10 feet into the air.  I kept telling her that her head was at the height of mine while standing, so I am that high all the time.  But she wasn't buying it.  When we showed her the photos later, she could not believe that she really had not been way up in the air.  She passed all the other requirements of her grandfather's test; so she attained the rank of Midshipman.

Photo taken by Zachary at the first spreaders
Zachary also passed all the items on the test, but he went up the mast to the first spreaders.  He said next time he wants to do all the way up.  Or maybe at least to the second spreaders.  He got rated as Midshipman 1st Class because he showed a little more bravery about the bosun seat requirement.  Zach took a photo from up there to show his other grandmother.

Bill printed a glossy little certificate for each of them.  And I explained that these certificates have no legal standing whatsoever; they are only good for crew aboard S/V BeBe.

10th birthday
6th birthday in Bonaire
8th birthday in Cairns, Australia
9th birthday in Singapore
Elisabeth, a/k/a the BeBe, celebrated her tenth birthday on 12 August -- the day her parents returned from their trip to Santorini.  Celebrating her birthday aboard S/V BeBe almost has become a tradition.  She celebrated her sixth birthday with us in Bonaire; her eighth birthday with us in Cairns, Australia; her ninth birthday with us in Singapore; and now her tenth birthday in Greece.  One very lucky little girl, IMHO.

10th birthday in Ios, Greece
We gave her a toe ring.  Bet she was not expecting that from her grandparents.  We also gave her an elephant coin purse from Sri Lanka and a doubles-doll from India.

It has become a tradition to take her photo standing by the main boom on S/V BeBe on her birthday.

The following day Aaron's little family left on a ferry back to Piraeus (Athens), where they will spend a few days sight-seeing before returning home to Houston.   It was great having BeBe with us for most of the summer; she is really maturing rapidly at this stage of her life.  And we enjoyed getting to know baby grandson Damien a little better.  Maybe he will remember us when we next visit Houston in December.  That isn't so far into the future.  And we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Aaron and Lynn.  They are so fortunate to have jobs that allow such lengthy holidays.

Half-underground church

The night after they left, the remaining three of us went out to dinner. 
a very windy dinner
Zachary scouted the little town and found a restaurant he thought we should try for our final night in Ios.  There was a tiny church built half-underground adjacent to this restaurant.  Very picturesque.  The food was pretty good.   The wind was blowing so strong that it was hard to enjoy dinner.  Zachary enjoyed an enormous Oreo crepe for desert.  Not my thing, but he loved it.  

The next morning we sailed off to Santorini.

1 comment:

  1. A Midshipman test and certificate ... what a great idea! I don't think I'm quite ready to take and pass that test yet! I still need to learn how to read a chart and plot a course, and I haven't been up in bosun seat. Sounds like BeBe has some awesome grandparents and is celebrating her birthdays in ways we only wish we could. She is a very lucky girl!


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