Monday, July 6, 2009
Happy Fourth of July!
Happy Fourth of July! It's so wonderful to be proud to be American. In celebration, Maya, Kai and their friend Grace rode unicycles in Hood River's classic Fourth of July Parade. People urged them on, excited to see determined kids balancing and moving with one wheel.
Hood River? You might be thinking … wait, I thought you were in Panama!
Well we were and we are, but we took a month break from boat life. Kai, Maya and I flew back to San Francisco and Hood River to test our land legs, check in with family and friends, and prepare for another year on board Kamaya. Right now, everything to me feels like a dream. What's real? If its all a dream, so far it's been pretty good, and I'm not sure I want to wake up.
So as the dream continues .... Sailing plans are written in sand and can easily change with the tide. Our current thought is to hole up in Panama and Ecuador, get fluent in Spanish and involved in the community and then eventually cross over to the Galapagos, Tahiti, Tonga, and New Zealand. That means we'll be out for another year.
People have asked me whether the decision to continue was hard, but truthfully, everything seems to have fallen in place and we weren't ready to turn around. First, ten months on Kamaya went quickly, especially once we figured out how to live together 24/7 and in a small space. When we set out September 6th, I had thought that we would cover more ground, but we've been moving slowly, stopping and exploring along the way. So the idea that we could continue and meet more interesting people, animals and places, enticed us all.
Second, financially, our journey has been much more affordable than Tim and I had anticipated. Living expenses at sea are minimal, especially when we don't venture too far away from the boat. And, fortunately, our tenants in our home in Hood River wanted to continue renting another year making it possible for us to continue.
One year is a long time, especially for a child where time moves at a much better pace, so we promised Kai and Maya that we would go home for a visit. Tim thought we'd be gone only for two weeks, but by the time you factor in the travel expenses and the things we needed to get done, we opted on a month visit. On the plane from Panama City to Houston, Maya remarked about life on the land and she compared our dinghy on Kamaya to a car; our kayaks to bicycles and our boat to a physical home.
For the first few days on land in Sausalito, the kids didn't want to leave Oma and Poppa Nate's house because they could leave their toys out without having to stow them away; they could play with their cousins; they could sleep in beds that didn't move; and they could eat banana bread and ice cream all day long.
Then we made our way north to Hood River, where Maya and Kai have had non-stop play dates. The Gorge is a kid's paradise, especially during the summer with the long warm days and healthy outdoor life. In fact, it's been so much fun that for the first time, the kids questioned our decision to stay away for another year. We've stayed mostly with our friends Sue and Sam who have a magnificent farm with a swimming pond, rabbits, dogs and pigs. In some ways, farm life and being tied to the land is the exact opposite of our boat life. It's all a wonderful dream!
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