Friday, September 3, 2010

Tilly's Perspective

My Aunt Tilly who lives in Paris recently joined us on Kamaya. She met us in Tahiti and we sailed to Huahine, also in French Polynesia. She just sent me her impressions of life on Kamaya and I wanted to share it with you.

In 1960, I was completely responsible for myself as I ventured in Saigon.

In 2010, I was completely, obliviously relaxed on board Kamaya and in the hands of Captain Tim and his crew.

Filter: guess who? This is Ruth's aunt/ Oma's sister, Tilly Gaillard, giving you a snapshot of my visit.

Pancakes with peanut butter (heard)

“go to bed” (not heard)

The Amazing Maya:

From mature, responsible judgement getting to and looking out from mast top for treacherous coral heads...

to kayaking in the current at twilight to her friends on Victoria, another boat, carefully teaching other kids to unicycle then, together with brother Kai, to playing games, building a fortress, knitting and enjoying her stuffed animals.

The Kai-fly:

He's an acrobat and a precociously sharp game and bridge player, of whom the Oma must beware. He even knits!

The Yacht, Kamaya:

On deck: ship shape

Underneath: une joyeuse pagaille


An excellent lesson on reducing waste, a high priority for everyone on every board.

Edible refuse is fed to fish et al., and everything else travels to bins on land in little bags Myra (the Oma) proudly acclaimed as “Garbage”, with an accentuated “Gar...” a sign of productive life! (Can’t find a song but Brazil produced a film called “the aesthetics of garbage”!)

Kitchen (called "the Galley" for the seafaring folk):

Intimidating stacking, impressive array

Ruth’s magic wand and dishes

The Kindle:

Although not a book book, what a fantastic tool!

Filled with literally thousands of wonderful books than the boat’s eight eyes can consume.

“My turn ...” “Want to finish my page ...”

The barbecue:

What a surprise! Kamaya and her endless resources.


Knowing how long to hold the “flush” button for the aft head (that's ship lingo for toilette.)


Two heavenly hot fresh water showers (one from the sun heat and the other “system heat”) ... i now treasure my hot water showers at home.

Vocabulary (besides all this boat terminology):

A gimbaled stove

“a contrivance, typically consisting of rings pivoted at right angles, for keeping an instrument such as a compass or chronometer (or stove) horizontal in a moving vessel.” Without such an invention, it would be extremely difficult to cook at sea. Your crepes would flying with every wave.


Yes, we have no buttons (for Al, Maya's precious stuffed bear’s vest,) neither on board, nor on the shore (a beach). Gee! I'll have to improvise, something which seems to happen all the time on board.


Propeller leg movement, especially Kai (looks like he’s whipping cream) and Maya’s push offs make for a boat-flank acrobatic show, and hours (yes, hours) of delight for the tireless two.

A boat community, a new world:

Unrivalled and unexpected. Amazing 2 to 5 years and more fulfilling dreams, whole families with “boat schooling”. What an accumulation of wealth, health and learning I never had dreamed could exist.

Fish and coral:

Thank you for being au rendez-vous, in full attire. Your colors and beauty are stamped in my mind.

Odd French connection:

Discovered a possible husband for someone, a four-toothed beach custodian living in Huahine with 2000 euros pension (in French-UN peace-keeping parachute squad in Iraq 1985-1997), 1400 euro monthly salary on an island with nothing to buy, in search of a wife. He claims he has three houses and will stop accumulating when he has five (he says). Fortunately, Oma and I are taken. He likes older women.

French Polynesia (118 islands, 48 populated? pop 300,000):

with French roads, traffic signals, education and medicine, even a Carrefour (grocery store) in Papeete and how easy it was for me to enter the country on a French ID card. Don’t mind some of my tax money going there, ... if I can go there again too ...


Vive le poisson cru mariné au citron et noix de coco

To be on Kamaya with its resident quartet and the Oma-mom-sister was bliss composed of pleasure, warmth, all varieties of people, tropical landscape, multi-hued water and boundless good humor and affection.

Much love,


No comments:

Looking Back

It took me more than seven years to turn our blog into a hard covered bound book. At first, I was leery of wrapping up our adventure because...