The Adventures of SV Mulan

09 October 2010 | Vancouver
14 September 2010 | Semiahmoo Marina, Blaine, WA
12 September 2010
12 September 2010
12 September 2010
11 September 2010 | 145 miles from Cape Flattery
10 September 2010
06 September 2010
04 September 2010
03 September 2010
01 September 2010
29 August 2010
27 August 2010 | still in the pacific
26 August 2010 | The pacific
24 August 2010 | heading NW!
20 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
16 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
15 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
12 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu
12 August 2010 | Hawaii YC, Honolulu

What’s on the horizon…

23 September 2009 | San Diego
Living aboard. We are all settling into life aboard Mulan and getting accustomed to the living space, about 300 square feet (a tad smaller than our first apartment in Kits!). It makes for an interesting "time out" when needed...that is, me retreating to the cockpit or the bow of the boat or sometimes even declaring "I am going to the showers"...or if it's the kids it means that Jack has locked himself into his cabin to escape the dreaded sibling or Max and Sam delving deeper into their berths (suitable for Hobbits or trolls as they are that compact). Andrew continues to be Andrew and occupies himself in boat projects or researching the next boat project on the computer or the plethora of manuals that accompany all the electronics we (he) has installed. The first two weeks are behind us and over all, life is good.
School. It depends on who you ask as the answer may differ to, "how's it going?" The one struggling most with the routine and scheduling of it all is definitely me hands down. Not surprising. This fact was surfaced late last week when Andrew went through all the "send in activities" to find out we (I) hadn't completed (or sometimes even started them)...I was working on the theory that sometimes learning happens through living the experience and not always through books, assignments, modules, sections, blocks or whatever else the school has named them...and they have named them all of the above making the home instructor role qualify for a masters of education in my opinion. It should be noted that the Vancouver Learning Network (the distance school the boys are enrolled in) is very organized and supportive of alternative ways of learning...I keep reminding Andrew of this principle, especially when another assignment I have "taught" is unearthed incomplete...
Max is whizzing through his modules and Andrew figures he could complete his "days work" in about an hour so we are complimenting his day with more reading and writing so he does not disrupt the other two. Max's preferred spot on the boat for his classroom is the cockpit.
Sam has discovered that he has access to a one on one learning facilitator through his mum and is demanding all of her attention, so I need to keep reminding him that this program is primarily self directed and that the home instructor doesn't really need to sit beside him for every assignment. Sam's classroom is wherever he needs it to be for that day...hmmm...the apple doesn't seem to fall very far from the tree with this one...
Jack has declared the navigation table his and is happy to work through whatever we give him for the day. Who knew?
What I thought would take about 2.5 hours (and it should), is taking us about 4 as the kids insist on "recess" and "snack breaks" and anything else that takes their attention from doing the real work...ah, the joys of home schooling boys. The most surprising fact that I have learned about my kids (or that has been re-learned) is that they are really smart, can be very independent when they want to and are super funny and interesting people (I guess that's what happens when you spend 24/7 with get to really, really know them, sometimes again...what a gift!).

We declared the Legoland expedition a "school field trip" as we visited the theme park on a Monday (skipping the day's lessons) and substituting them with studying things like speed, velocity, and motors (roller coasters), water pressure (water park type rides) and the like. It was a hit with the kids but I am not sure we are going to be able to top that outing..."the hunt for spiders" field trip on our dock was good but paled in comparison...

The galley. For all of you gals and guys who cook out there, this may be of interest, or not, to you. My galley (that is the nautical term for the kitchen aboard a boat/ship) is all of 2 feet by 3 feet...not a Kitchen Aid processor, or a potato masher, or colander or proper wineglass or dish rack, etc. to be get the picture! It certainly makes for simple cooking, dining, and setting of the table. Yep, it's the blue plastic bowls (again) from MEC that are the crockery of choice for this boat. We have a three burner propane gimbaled stove and oven (which Andrew used on our passage surprising the crew in the second week with hot baked cinnamon scones for morning tea - an absolute delight!). The perishables (fruit and veggies) are stored in the forward head in a plastic crate for ventilation, the dry goods are in the companionway hatch (under the steps), and the canned goods can be found scattered in the sole of the boat (bilge, etc) and require a master list and map for finding and accessing them (no kidding).
We made it to print. One of the requirements to registering in the popular cruising rally the Baja Ha Ha (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas) was to complete a profile on the boat and its crew. The boys were very excited to see that our photo and write up was profiled in the sailing magazine Latitude 38. Check out the claim to fame on page 122 from the September issue. Click here.
Afternoons. Once the school lessons are complete, assignments checked (!) and books stored away for another day we decide as a family what activity would be suitable for the required PE credits. The most popular choice by far has been visiting the various neighbouring beaches to try out our newly acquired boogie/body boarding skills.
The boys have bought boards and are now in search of the perfect wave. After chatting to the local surfies we found out that the swell is coming from the north and building which is not great if you are a novice. That didn't stop the kids. They were out in the waves watching the local kids and picking up tips on what to do and what not to do. Sam has mastered the art of diving through the breaking waves to get further out, while Jack has learned to actually ride the top of the wave, and Max (because of his weight) has become the expert of surfing the entire wave right up to beachside. Andrew captured some of it on tape and will be posting it to youtube if you want to check it out!
The real story. Before I left I told my gal pals that I would use a code word on the blog to signal that ,"it was one of those days". So far so good and no need to drop into code, yet. We are moving the boat again tonight as the yacht club plays dominoes with the mooring trying to fit us into any space they have available. Worth the move as the alternate is swinging off the hook in the bay and there will be plenty of days and nights ahead for that....
Vessel Name: Mulan
Vessel Make/Model: Grand Soleil 39
Hailing Port: Vancouver, Canada
Crew: The Parr Family
About: Susan - Captain; Andrew - First Officer; Jack - Bosun & Cruise Director; Sam - Communications Officer; Max - Purser
Extra: Don't dream it - do it. The sailing adventure of the Parr family aboard SV Mulan.

SV Mulan

Who: The Parr Family
Port: Vancouver, Canada