Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sad News

Well I thought I would let everyone know that Lora had a miscarriage last week. We went in for our first ultrasound and instead of getting to see our baby for the first time we got the worst news possible. Apparently the fetus had terminated sometime a week before. Well of course this hit us very hard and we were extremely disappointed and really sad. Lora went in for a procedure the following day and recovered from that quickly. She is so strong.

We just wanted all of you to know about it and to tell you that we are moving on and have a positive outlook on getting pregnant again soon. I guess if there's one bright side to all of this it means we get to have lots of sex again!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Around the World as quick as you can go

She's a monster! But boy can she slice through the water.

Just read about the new speed solo record for sailing around the world. A French sailor reclaimed the record yesterday from a female British sailor who took it from him back in 2005. One of the TV shows I enjoy watching here is Top Gear, a car show from Britain. It's hilarious! Anyway, one of the episodes they had her on the show. They have all of their guests race around a closed circuit track in a factory stocked Hyundai or something like that. She was not only fast on the water but she placed first on the list. She's a fast cookie!

William, what do you think? Could you manage this one?
You have a lot of building to do before this one falls into your price range.

Well, this French guy didn't want to go down like that so he built another boat. This one was much larger, 97ft, and set out to reclaim the record. Well not only did he reclaim it he smashed it. He took off 14 days from her record and 15 days from his previous one! He did it in 57 days 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds. I couldn't believe it. Most of the time I like to just talk about what Lora and I have been up to and how things are going. This story was just too cool and I had to mention it on the blog. A few of our readers are sailors and I'm sure they will enjoy reading this and checking out a few pictures. Be sure to read the previous blogs about kayaking in New Zealand and of course the earlier one where news is revealed to the world.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

A little kayaking in New Zealand

Well as I posted yesterday Lora and I went kayaking in New Zealand after getting off the boat. It was great. However, we didn't get to spend as much time on the water as we would have hoped for but oh well. We ended up hiking up one river and then doing two helicopter shuttles for two other classic runs on the West Coast. Not nearly enough kayaking for me. The one thing it did reinforce though was how lucky we are to live in California where you wake up and decide which of the many classic rivers will we paddle today. That is something that Tasmania just can't offer.

While we were over there we were able to run into a few friends that we hadn't seen in quite a while. My buddy JJ from the Camp Carolina era was over there and it was great to catch up with him. Also, Jess, who is an old kayaking friend of mine from when I lived in Christchurch was around as well. She commutes between teaching kayaking in California and New Zealand. She told me she hasn't had a winter in almost 10 years! Obviously she's not a skier. Also, Lora's friend...and mine now too... Dre was over with her partner, Don, who is a visiting Professor up in Auckland. Don did a bit of kayaking with us and it was super cool hanging out with the two of them.

Lastly, our good friends Scottie and Anna from Utah were over visiting Anna's parents in Christchurch. We hung out with them one day when the cruise ship stopped there but then just Lora and I hung out with them again at the end of the trip. It was so good seeing them and really lifted my spirits. I can't wait to see all of our friends again. No, I'm not home sick. I just realize how lucky we are to have such a diverse group of REALLY AWESOME people that don't seem to mind us calling them our friends.

Well, here's a video from youtube showing a bit of the New Zealand kayaking we did. Of course I didn't shoot nearly enough video and even didn't bring it along on one of the rivers, the Perth. Near the end you can see Lora get absolutely worked as she runs one of the portages. Remember, she hasn't really been kayaking for almost two years now and she was in a rental boat plus most people portage it! Man is she tough. And yes for those wondering, it was not fun watching her run this rapid upside down. There are also a few pictures near the end too.

Here's another video I found on Youtube that is of the Arahura river. It does a better job showing you what it's all about. I was having way too much fun kayaking to stop and shoot video. Plus much of it is done from a heli.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Losing Viewers

A typical shot of the New Zealand scenery near Arthur's Pass, S. Island.

What's the quickest way to lose readers of a blog? Don't put up any new content.

Sorry for that guys and gals but Lora and I have been on vacation. You may be wondering how I convinced Lora to take time out from her very busy schedule to travel to New Zealand with me. Well at first I tried telling her about the amazing kayaking there. Interest of course but no go. Then I told her about the friends we would see there. More interest but still she was way too busy with her work to take time off. Then Frank and Jennifer said they would pay for a 16 day cruise from Australia to New Zealand with the two of them and our youngest brother, William. Well of course she found the time. Of course I'm only kidding about all that. We do have to again say a big thank you to Frank and Ginger for a great time.

We did go on the cruise though. The five of us met up in Sydney on the 20th of December and spent the next 16 days sailing the high seas. Yes, they were high, with swells up to 10 meters at times. This made the Tasman Sea crossing quite exciting. Luckily for me I don't get sea sick. Unlucky for Lora she was not able to take any medications due to the fact that she is pregnant. Yes readers of our blog, LORA IS PREGNANT! You heard it here first... well some of you we actually called first but only if your last name begins with an R or in one case a P. This made for a slightly different cruise experience than we had both hoped for but it was really fun telling my parents the news on board. It was difficult for Lora because she's not able to enjoy red wine and boy did the rest of us have some for her. I'm not sure how many bottles of sparkling wine we went through but let's just say we were seriously concerned they would run out.

How could this not get your kayaking juices flowing?
The put in for the ultra classic Arahura river.
This is the view after the helicopter drops you off in paradise.

After the cruise we headed back to the South Island for some whitewater kayaking. I'll put up another blog with those details and a little video soon. We love you all and can't wait to see you all soon.

By the way, the current plan is that I will be coming home to Cali in May or so, trying to secure a teaching job. I'll then head back here to Oz for the birth of our son\daughter sometime in the middle of August. Then all three of us will be living in Sacramento for at least a year while Lora works on analyzing the mounds of data she collected and writes it all up into the opus that it will become. Look out Nature here comes Dr. R.