Thursday 2 October 2014

Meghan On Amélie-September 2014

The month of September has been quite eventful aboard Amélie IV (who is now back in the water). Let’s start at the beginning though.

Homeschooling… “The Sequel”!
“Take 2” of homeschooling has started and I am officially a jr. high student! YAY! I find that what we are learning this year is more specific and more outlined than last year since last year, we were mostly just finishing up where I left off from normal school. Although there are some things we (my mom and I) can’t do to make it exactly like a real jr. high school (like changing classes for each subject) we still tried our best to make it as close as we could. For example: my mom gave me a locker (that does not lock) in my bedroom where I put all my books and supplies, I have to make sure I bring the right materials for each class and I got to choose two options per term which I do after school (I also get a bit of homework each day). 

Sketch of how a four stroke diesel engine works

The options I chose were: art (which my mom teaches) and diesel engine work (which my dad teaches). In art, we are practising sketching lines and discovering what pencils can draw but we will eventually do real sketches and eventually water colouring. In diesel engine work, I have learned how a diesel engine works and what the difference is between a two stroke engine and a four stroke engine.

Here are some pictures of what I am doing in each subject right now (in language arts I am learning how to write paragraphs and compositions so please tell me if I am doing a good job!) .
Drawing of the interactions in my ecosystem-Science

Similarities between three First Nations groups-Social Studies

Experiment to figure out the purpose of wetlands-Science
Birthday card in French for my loving, little cousin Marianne

Keeping up with Physical Education with hikes

Experiment to find out if snails exhale CO2!
Experiment to find out which material decomposes the best-Science

Kids Ahoy!
Before we came to Grenada, we heard that during hurricane season (May-November), Grenada was home of the cruising kids and that is definitely right! At the beginning of June and July, there weren’t many kids but then when August and September came along, it was almost like Grenada was dragging all the kid boats in! It is especially good for me because I am right smack in the middle of all the ages so I have the choice to play with the younger kids and be the oldest or I can play with the older kids and be one of the youngest (I mostly play with the older kids though). At least once a week we (the older kids) have a “kids reunion” day when we either play a game on someone’s boat or we go outside and swim. Once we even took all our paddle boards out and went surfing! 

As well as the kids reunion days we also have volleyball at Secret Harbour Marina 3 times a week! We have even started doing a “kids volleyball bus” on the volleyball days where one of the girls named Emma picks us all up in her dinghy! The best part is that it is as easy as pressing a button and saying for example: “Rafiki, Rafiki, Rafiki this is Amélie IV” on the VHF radio to get in touch with them or (since most of us kids know how to drive our dinghy) we can just pop by kids’ boats and invite them over to play! Sadly, there is one down side to this since we are cruisers and we don’t stay in one island forever. Eventually, we will all leave Grenada and there is a small chance we will go on the same route. I think I do speak for all the cruising kids in Grenada when I say that we are all trying to soak up all the friendship time while we can!
Big game of Apples to Apples

Break time photo at volleyball

Scuba Diving… IN THE DARK!
For months, I have been bringing home company brochures and begging my dad to get us to go diving with a dive shop (since in Grenada you are not allowed to go without one) and then finally we heard about a night dive happening at a wrecked ship called the Veronica and so we signed up! We had to do a bit of reading on night diving so we were prepared to do it safely while still enjoying ourselves. Of course in the books, they always talk about the worst case just for safety reasons but I am that kind of person who takes things seriously and gets all worried about it so when I started reading about what to do if you lose your buddy or how to deal with fear of the dark, I looked a little bit like this cat right here! When I met the dive instructor and got on the boat though, I felt better. 

Before we got in the water, they told us to turn our dive lights on and point them down so we could see where we were going but when I shined my light down, I saw nothing but black after black after black! When I got to around 15 feet down though, I could see the bottom. We went through the ship and explored the insides of it and all around it and ended up seeing some really cool creatures! The other divers who were with us had dove with this dive centre all week and had talked about seeing a really cool creature called a frogfish. My instructor was pointing at something that I thought was coral at first but when I looked at it more closely, I realized it was a fish (the frogfish). There was another very gentle creature (that we even got to pet lightly) called a slipper lobster. We also saw some normal fish we see in the daytime like squirrel fish and a few little red crabs but there was another little creature that caught my attention. At first I wasn’t sure if it was even living (but I did figure out it was) but it looked like a living piece of linguini! It kept jiggling and wiggling around but at one point, it came quite close to me so I tapped it gently with my light so it wouldn’t touch me (in case it was poisonous) and it split into about 5 pieces! When I touched it again, it split into about 15 pieces! I was worried I had killed it but I later found out it was most probably something called a colony. The coolest thing by far though that I saw on our night dive was the mini glowing green plankton. My instructor had told me I could block the light by putting it on my stomach and wave my hand around and when I did, hundreds of glowing green particles would appear and then disappear! When I just floated there, it felt like I was floating in space!
Slipper lobster


When I got home, I told my mom all about it and now, I am officially an Adventure Night Diver and an Open Water Diver (you can read about when I became an open water diver in my first blog- Meghan On Amélie-May 2014)!

Mt. Airy Young Reader’s Program
Every Saturday there is an organization for any local children (cruising children can too) to come and get better at reading with cruisers who will tutor them and we (my mom and I) decided to try it out. The lady who organizes it was really nice and seemed to have a great place and system for the kids to learn. Before we started to read, we sang a few fun songs like “Bingo” and a song that makes kids want to read called “Go Read a Book” and then we prayed. After that, we were put into reading groups. I was lucky the first time I went because I was paired one to one with a little girl named Aran (pronounced Erin). She had a bit of trouble reading (since she was only 5) but could easily recognize the words: “the”, “and” and “I”. For the other words, I took her letter by letter and we eventually got through the book and she was very proud of herself. After that, we played a few games until snack time came along! She was a very shy although sweet little girl and I know she will only improve on her reading skills. 

The second time I went, it was a bit more difficult because although there were two of us tutors working with two kids, the kids were much harder to deal with. One of them was a very quiet although stubborn little girl who was still sweet but wouldn’t stay with us and ended up going with another group. The other one was a little boy who had a very short attention span and had a lot of energy! Both of them couldn’t read so we read to them instead and made them right their names and other simple words with foam puzzle letters which they were good at but after that, they kept running off to get games which we never ended up playing. They would basically take the games, open them and take everything out and not clean it up. But while we (me and the other girl who was tutoring with me) would clean the games up, they would run off without us noticing and open another game! They were still very kind kids just very energetic with short attention spans. When it came to snack time, Kennie the little boy would follow me everywhere and didn’t want to leave my side! I was really touched by that and all my frustration with the game pieces everywhere went away! I really enjoyed having that experience of tutoring kids of a different nation and I may go back again this week.
My new little friend Aran!

Globetrotting Puppets: Our First Gig!

In case you don’t know already, my mom and I will be doing puppet plays to kids in schools to teach them about Canada (see blog-Globetrotting Puppets for details about the puppets). We have two puppets: one sporty, outgoing 10 year old girl named Chloe who lives on a sailboat and is from Nova Scotia (which I play) and one goofy, patriotic grizzly bear from the Rocky Mountains named Rocky (which my mom plays). We have done a “pilot” of our show which you can find on an earlier blog called: Keeping up with the Puppets.

Now that you know a bit of the background, I can talk about our very first public presentation we did for a group of cruising kids who were in a book club. Most of them seemed to love the puppets and were really enthusiastic when the puppets talked to them. Some of them were a bit scared or embarrassed around the puppets but they all seemed to enjoy the show! After the show, Chloe and Rocky helped out in poetry reading and Chloe even played a round of charades with them! After the book club was done, we got a lot of good comments and some good feedback too such as: we need to speak louder which we will take into consideration. Turns out, the message got passed along and we already have 2 and potentially 3 or 4 more shows booked!

You have basically heard it all but here is just a little bit more news about what’s happening on Amélie IV. We will have to be in a marina for a few weeks to repair our decks which have had a minor problem. Also, our dinghy Recess was stolen but was returned back to us (without the engine) by complete strangers who took their morning just to search for our dinghy. Either than those two little things, everything is happy and good in Grenada!


  1. Great photo to end with! Beautiful, you are!

    I was intrigued by your school details. I have a suspicion that, despite amazing teachers available in our schools today, that you are still potentially blessed with a better education at the moment. The details of each subject seem to be so intricately geared towards your personal learning style. Love it!

    As always, exceptionally well written. Your writing is far above your age. We are so absolutely proud of your accomplishments and personal growth!

    I can only imagine the bitter sweet blessing of getting to meet such wonderful friends that you will now have for life despite having to part ways one day.

    Please wish your dad a happy birthday for us as it is the morning of October 4th here in Canada.

    Thank you again so much for taking the time to write about life from Meg's perspective.

    Love from up North

  2. Man! This is. My third try. Great paragraphs.

  3. I think the Pacific mist is messing with my electronics. We love to read your posts and if your ears have been burning it is because Sarah and I have been speaking in amazement about your adventure. Hugs to all on Amelie