Thursday, May 21, 2009
This is MMM (Mom, Moni, Memaw, the “other” grandmother) reporting from Kamaya about 25 miles offshore from Puntarenas, Costa Rica. My husband, Bob, and I have been guests aboard for eight days now and have just a couple more to go.
Because we lived and cruised the Atlantic and Mediterranean with another couple aboard our jointly-owned sailboat for two years back in the early nineties, this sailing experience revives many long-stashed memories. The cautions, like “don’t waste fresh water” and “watch your step on the companionway ladder”, of course, but also the solitude and beauty of a quiet night watch, when the wind fills the sails perfectly and the boat moves along with the stately dignity of Cleopatra’s barge on the Nile. People often ask us if we don’t miss the sailing life since we hung up our deck shoes years ago, and I generally say, “No, I’m too much too grateful to have a solid, steady roof over my head on a stormy night.” But now I know I was wrong. There are many parts of sailing that I will always miss.
Watching Maya and Kai complete their morning math and writing lessons; read and laugh together again and again over ancient copies of Calvin and Hobbes and Tintin; respond quickly with attention to the appropriate sheets (ropes) when mom or dad says, “Ready to tack”; swim and play on the beach for hours with two girls from the neighboring boat; and almost never complain that there is “nothing” to do, makes me realize that you CAN take kids back to a simpler life. Of course that “simpler” life may not be so simple for the parents who are doing the arranging. Both Ruth and Tim take the time to turn anything they’re doing into a lesson, one that the kids generally seem eager to accept.
“The genny is luffing,” Ruth declares, looking up from a book in which she was apparently lost in until some slight alteration in the sound or feel of the wind through the sails caught her attention. With a turn of the crank and a slight course alteration she goes back to her story, content that we aren’t wasting a single puff of the wind that is coming our way. Sail slowly, if you must, but don’t crank up the motor unless it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary is the Kamaya rule. Both Tim and Ruth are such competent sailors that it’s hard for us to find cause to worry about them, even though they are ferrying our precious grandchildren from here to who-knows-where.
Now, as Kamaya sails on to further ports of call and we head back to our solid home in Virginia, we have a much clearer picture of what our grandchildren are likely to be doing each day. There may actually be a sensible upper age limit for this kind of adventure which we have just exceeded, but we’re awfully glad to have had this peek into their life at sea.
Parting Shot: Poppy holding up our recent catch - an Albacore Tuna, breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days.
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