We would like to wish everyone a belated Happy Valentine's Day and to bring you up to date with our activities and plans, hoping that we may be able to see many of you (or at least to speak with you on the telephone)in the next few weeks when we are in the States.
David and I enjoyed a recent two week stay at Wandin Valley Cottage in the Dandenong Mountains, approximately 1.5 hours northeast of Melbourne in the State of Victoria, while we attended a very special conference presented by two ministers from our church in Montana. We met many new friends and enjoyed visiting with "old" friends whom we met last year at a conference in Sydney or in 1997 in San Diego. David and I reconsecrated our wedding vows in our church after having been married almost 37 years. We had a double wedding ceremony with Katya and Lorenzo Bertazzo (whom we had met in 1997 in San Diego before they were married). Our new friends, Shirley and George Motton from Melbourne, stood up for all of us. Shirley made beautiful bouquets from the gardens around Camp Waterman for Kayta and myself. Helena Rose, Katya and Lorenzo's beautiful two month old daughter was also baptized. What a beautiful day full of JOY and LOVE! It will be a cherished memory to last a lifetime and beyond!
We had a few days to sightsee in Melbourne where we visited the Victoria Museum (need several days to see it all), Shrine of Remembrance, Queen Victoria Market and Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary. We spent an afternoon visiting Mayer and Kathyrn Page (S/V Lady Kathyrn) on their new property (75 beautiful acres with a 25 acre lake), which was only 15 minutes from our little B&B cottage. They have been remodeling the buildings which were formerly a Christian church camp. We crossed the Pacific with them as they were completing their circumnavigation. Their daughter, Charlotte and her son Jackson were also there. It was nice to meet her and see one of three grandchildren whom arrived all within several months of each other. They were very helpful to this soon to be grand mum with good advice on becoming new grandparents!
While we were away Eric and Jason managed to keep busy with work-outs at the gym for Jason, windsurfing and kite boarding for Eric, plus all the work that needs to be done on the boat in preparation for our departure to head north. All four of us have spent the last four weeks since our return from Melbourne preparing the boat and its crew for the next couple of years of almost constant sailing until we return to Florida. We have been cleaning, cleaning out, seeing doctors and dentists, washing, shopping, and provisioning. We will sell the car and sail to Bundaberg where we will haul out to paint the bottom as soon as possible after our return on April 1. We will then sail rapidly up the coast to Cairns and then spend some time on the Great Barrier Reef before traveling to Darwin and across to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. If everything goes as planned, we will head to the Med via the Red Sea the following year.
David and I may be contacted at C21 Napili Point Resort on Maui from February 22-March 5 at 1-808-669-9275. It will be exciting to return home to Maui, after having been away for the last few years, to visit with "old" friends and to check on our properties.
We will be with Julie and Chris Johnson in Evergreen, Colorado from March 7 to March 30 EAGERLY awaiting the birth of our grandson, who is due on March 6. Their phone is: 1-303-527-0423. We may also be reached at Julie's email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Eric will also be forwarding emails to us from the boat, so either KH7JL@winlink.org or WCZ3928@sailmail.com should reach us.
We look forward to seeing many of you while we are in Maui or Evergreen. PLEASE call us! Take care and please keep in touch. Keep well and happy! God Bless You All!
With Love, Peace and Aloha,
Ellen, David, Jason and Eric
February 17, 2004
S/V PEACE AND ALOHA
Mooloolaba Yacht Club, Queensland, Australia
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