09/02/2008, Port San Luis, Ca
It has been an interesting few weeks as we really get into the swing of full time live aboard/cruiser status. Our days are still consumed by the never ending task of trying to get THIRD DAY ready for cast off, but once you realize that you will NEVER be done and that the boat will never be perfect, it makes the days easier. I haven't looked at my "boat to-do-list" in weeks. Sure I can rattle it off like a 5th grader learning the 50 States and their Capitals, but looking at the list only induces panic and that feeling of being overwhelmed. So I ignore it. I see that file shortcut icon prominently displayed on my desktop, but I managed to steer clear of the file and all it's psychological pain. Who needs psychological pain when you have real pain from twisting and contorting your body into strange shapes to fit into tight spaces. These contortions must certainly be illegal or at the least immoral in 48 of the 50 States! Special recognition needs to be given to the inventors of Advil and Extra strength Tylenol.
Major projects include: completion of the water maker/generator installation, painting of the 275ft of anchor chain with color coding every 25ft, installation of a cock pit depth gauge, major spare and tool organization and stowage, installation of wood-fired heater, 3000W inverter install, installation of the boat computer, addition of propane on/off solenoid, organization of clothes storage, and completion of dingy davit lifting system. What's depressing is that's all I can remember...what have I been doing since July 4th anyway? Well, throw in work conference calls and a few trips to San Diego for lab work and time just ticks away.
With Amy in the V-berth working on a story of what she did today, I'm cooking pizza for dinner. The whole boat now smells like a Pizzeria and all I'm missing is some wicker basket chianti bottles hanging in a corner with some dusty plastic grapes.
Last Sunday we meet the Crew of S/V Providence, a Valiant 39, as they were working their way to San Diego from San Francisco for the Baja Ha-ha kick off. We dingyed over with warm brownies and a cruisers welcome that had us sitting in their cock pit for a few hours talking and getting to know each other as the sun gently set over the mountains that ring Port San Luis to the West. The next day I took a break from boat chores for long enough to take our new found friend Steve to Trader Joes for some fresh provisions. We really look forward to seeing them again in San Diego and heading South to Mexico in the company of such nice people.
07/15/2008, Port San Luis, Ca
Over a year in the making the "Frankenmaker" comes to life.
06/13/2008, A question we often get deals with how the kids will like the trip
A friend of mine on a sailing chat room asked the following question about taking young kids on a sailboat cruise. I like his question because we hear it often and it is at the top of our concern list, so here is his questions and my response:
In a multi-year sailing saga, could a kid starting out as a tween (just before the teen age years) hold out. Wouldn't they get upset not being to socialize with friends. A sailboat is awfull isolating for a kid. If they turn teenagers during the trip, it seems like it would be a real challenge. A teenage attitude could be enough to destroy any dream. I know, when my older sister became a teenager and I was ten, she made parts of a ideal family vacation intolerable.
Of course, there is a possibility that this could be an ideal life for a kid. Experiencing life in this way could be an indispensable experience.
What do you think?
Well....it's a question my wife and I have talked...and talked...and researched....and researched over...and over...and over since we set the plans in motion for our cruise. The tentative plan is to stay out cruising for 1-5 years and our kids will be 11 and 10 when we leave later this fall. But honestly, we will stay out until:
a) it isn't fun anymore
b) our cruising budget is exhausted
c) if we have any worries at all about the kids education or well-being
In our research we have not spoken to a single parent that went cruising with their kids and didn't think the "good" was greater than the "negative" for the kids. But more importantly, we have not spoken to a single person that did go cruising as a kid or young teen and didn't look back at it now as a positive in their lives.
I think we sometimes put the fears and prejudices we have as adults onto our kids and think they will react the same way. Take the privacy and lack of space issue. Today in America most kids have their own room and child psychologist after child psychologist will tell you that kids need their own room and personal space to grow up "properly"; however, it wasn't that long ago in American history that most kids shared rooms with their brothers/sisters and sometimes even the parents!
I also think, as with most things, that the specific family has everything to do with success or failure of such an adventure. We don't have cable TV in the house, our kids have attended private school and generally are much more "innocent" than most kids their age when dealing with the negatives of the world. This can be good as well as bad in some cases, but our kids haven't been socialized by the culture, as most are, to think that they should hate their parents once they become teens as some sort of right of passage. Hormones ARE a real thing and on a 36ft boat there is no where to hide except in the head or V-berth, but we will have something most don't....a beach right off the back porch. But still that's it...no door to slam, no garage to seek refuge in with projects and tools, so it's either get along or game over....the cruise is finished.
I think it would be much more difficult to take teens or pre-teens cruising than 10 and 11yr olds and have them enter their teen years with the responsibilities of standing watch and the adventure of going to the different countries on our itinerary list.
Heck....I could be wrong and we will fly home and sale the boat where she was left....but somehow I doubt it. I think I'm one of the luckiest fools I know having a wife that's up for such an adventure, two healthy kids excited about the trip, and having the financial ability to pull off such an undertaking.
We just rented the house today....they move in August 1st we move out July 4th and then clean and paint....and yes....I am more nervous than I've ever been in my life...and that, as Martha Stewart would say, "is a good thing"!