Askari Cruise Page 21

Askari Cruise — As told to Diane M. Byrne — April 2003

The Time of Their Lives, Part II

 More of this Feature

• Additional, Part 1
• Additional, Part 2
• Additional, Part 3
• Additional, Part 4
• Askari Photo Gallery
• Askari, Part 1
• Kate’s Diary Entries

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“The Time of Their Lives” in our April issue featured excerpts from the diary of Betty, who, along with her husband Scott, 13-year-old daughter Kate, and Kate’s teacher Michelle, set off on a remarkable 10-month exploration aboard the 109-foot charter yacht Askari beginning last summer. (Kate, with Michelle’s help, regularly sent e-mail updates home to her fellow students to educate them about the locales they were visiting.) When we last touched base with them and Askari’s seven-person crew, they had just arrived in the South Pacific. Here we present more of Betty’s diary.

Well it’s Thanksgiving Day! This is kinda an odd one—compared to the way we usually spend Thanksgiving.

Instead of driving 200 miles up I-35 to Gramma’s house, we rode for about 10 minutes in the dinghy to the nearest coral reef. Instead of meeting up with family and old friends, we met up with a moray eel, several triggerfish, a couple dozen lion fish, and four eagle rays.

Instead of sitting down in front of the TV to watch football, we attended the local Polynesian dance show (complete with fire!).

And instead of perusing the local newspaper for the pre-Christmas sale ads, we were watching an awesome array of colors as the sun set behind the hills in Moorea.

But some things were very much the same...

At 6:00 p.m., we sat down with friends and family at a large table. We held hands and gave thanks.

I have always had a lot to be thankful for—but never so much as this year. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful that there are so many wonderful places in this world and that I have had a chance to see some of them. I am thankful for my family, because without them, even paradise wouldn’t be fun. And I am thankful for my friends.

Then we all stuffed ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (with the fried onions on top) and cranberry sauce. We followed that with pumpkin pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, and loads of whipped cream!


Happy Thanksgiving.

We spent the day on Taha’a, a small island about 150 miles from Tahiti. Taha’a is known as the vanilla island and produces about 70 percent of the vanilla in Polynesia. The locals call vanilla “black gold” because the bean is black when dried and they make a lot of money exporting vanilla.

We anchored in Huameme Bay at about 8:15 this morning and could see Patio, the main town in Taha’a. By 9:00 a.m. we were ashore and met up with a local, Alein, for a tour of the island.

Next page > Additional, Part 2 > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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