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Seasons Change

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“Come on over.  I live just down from the Two Seasons Hotel!”  “Oh, not the Four Seasons?”  Mark joked.  “Right, we’re in the Philippines - wet and dry - only two seasons!”
We’d just met him in the bakery, and already, Ganny was showing us that Filipino warmth we’d encountered so often throughout the Philippines.

As COVID-19 travel restrictions begin to ease up, we are witnessing the change of seasons here.  Scorching hot days and weeks without a drop of rain have morphed into overcast days scattered with thunder showers and wild lightning storms.

This change occurs due to a switch in wind patterns.  Monsoon winds now blow from the Southeast, rather than from the Northeast.  Roughly from June to October, the Southeast winds bring on the rainy season.  Overlapping the wet season, typhoons typically show up between June and December.  This wind change means two things for us…

First, it means we must carefully monitor weather forecasts.  If a typhoon forms, we watch its predicted path on…

The Heat is On

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It’s 7:30 a.m. and the thermostat reads 32ºC inside the boat (that’s 90 ºF). Given the 75% humidity, that makes the apparent temperature 106ºF!

Hatches above us are open, but there’s not a wisp of breeze blowing in.  Sweat trickles down my back, soaking the elastic waistband of my pajama shorts.  The air inside is heavy.  It feels like I’m sitting in a steamy sauna at the local gym, only... I’m not.  I’m sitting at our salon table, stubbornly sipping my morning coffee, determined not to let this heat rob me of my morning indulgence.

We haven’t had any rain since the lockdowns started - nearly two months ago now.  The sun rises blazing, and continues to turn up the temperature throughout the day.  Moods turn irritable on board.  The heat is oppressive, and we are all struggling to carry on with our regular routines.

How Do We Beat the Heat When Living Aboard?Increase the Airflow.  Running the generator to power the air conditioners all day isn’t really an option, as we’re in ration …

The New Normal?

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Well, it's been eight weeks since the quarantine regulations were put in place.  Gradually, the resort has closed, leaving only a few staff left.  Our Covid-19 family has dwindled as people have found rare opportunities to travel back to their homes.  In some ways, it feels like just yesterday when all this started.  In other ways, it feels like it's been decades.
The focus for me has been to maintain routine and a realistic perspective during such global upheaval.  It feels weird, though, to continue living life as usual when so much of the world around us is changing and is anything but usual.  I try to take it one day at a time.  What can I do today to boost morale and maintain momentum?  Here are some of the ways we fight the boredom/blues bug amid the monotony...
PlayingOur onboard game cabinet hasn’t seen this much action since our 20-day Pacific Ocean crossing.  Some old favorites have made a reappearance, especially those that take longer than twenty minutes, like Monopo…

Saving Easter

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Easter 2020 Blame it on Corona virus or lockdown or parental lack of planning ahead, but the Easter Bunny took this year off.  I’m not sure if he is laid up in one of the thousands of hospital beds using one of the precious ventilators on his cute, twitchy bunny nose, or perhaps he is about to go bonkers inside his burrow in lockdown with his precious little Easter Bunnies-in-training.  Heck, maybe he saw the chance for a vacation from all the egg-hiding, and is binge-watching Tiger King with the rest of you lucky unlimited data streamers.  Whatever the reason, there were no baskets full of plastic grass or chocolate bunnies or (my favorite) Reese’s Pieces Eggs aboard Field Trip this year.  Does this even count as Easter?  Do I still get to maintain my ‘Mom’ title, or have I forfeited those privileges with my blatent child neglect?

In the morning, when I realized this would be the first year without some sort of basket from some sort of bunny, my mind churned.  Moms are the ones tha…

From Rations to Plenty

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Produce Delivery - March 31, 2020 “Your produce arrived today, you can come pick it up at the resort anytime.”

The text came at 10 o’clock, and I could barely contain my excitement.  Opening the sparcely stocked fridge lately had brought on a sort of panic and depression in me.  Wilted bok choy, one quarter of a pumpkin, and half an onion sat glumly alone on the shelf.  Whenever it came time to cook dinner, I felt like I’d been thrust onto the set of Iron Chef, “Create a main course with these two shriveled tomatoes, three potatoes, and a can of corn.”  (Things were certainly not this dire for us quite yet, but I felt the need to use as few of our canned provisions as possible in order to save them for when we ‘really needed them’ and I could feel the food rationing nazi slowly creeping into my psyche.  When preparing each meal, I found myself praying thanksgiving and miraculous multiplication over each veggie I placed on the cutting board like it was my last.  Fishes and loaves, Lor…