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 it signified the end of our journey. I was not ready to transform the smell of the ocean, the noise of the wind and the joy of having our family together on a boat into a two dimensional memory. The first few years that we returned to land-life made me disoriented; I couldn't get a grasp of the fluky winds coming from all directions. I didn't know which way to point my bow. I questioned our decision to sell Kamaya and embrace land. I became terribly depressed, yearning to turn the clocks back in time.
I questioned our decision to settle in Portland, Oregon. Why Portland? Why not San Francisco, where my parents live, where I was born, and home to the Great San Francisco Bay? It really didn't make sense since we were far from water and family. Land neighbors weren't the same as the boating community. We lacked commonality of purpose. They shopped at the grocery store and most worked 9-to-5 jobs. I had thought that I-84, the major highway bridging Hood River to Portland would be easy to navigate. However, the small adventurous town of Hood River is worlds apart from the busy concrete of Portland. Confused, I wasn't sure which place would be best for our children. In an embarrassing parenting moment, Tim and I had enrolled Maya and Kai in two schools: one in Portland and another in Hood River. We ultimately chose Portland, mostly because of my disastrous experiences with the San Francisco public school system -- being bused to five different schools in four years. Tim and I were not united, like we were on the boat. He wanted to settle back into Hood River and I was conflicted, but listened to my gut, calling us to Portland. Our sails flapped in what felt like a hurricane. I didn't know that returning to land life would be so disorienting.
Then in May, 2013, we lost Evi -- our sailing grandmother -- to the Tasman Sea when she and six other people sailed the 70-foot wooden schooner, the Nina from Opua, New Zealand towards Newcastle, Australia. They left too soon and met hurricane winds. "We're on bare poles which way do we go?" Those were the last words we heard from Evi when she called New Zealand weatherman Bob McDavitt from their Satellite phone. One year later, in May 2014, we came to terms that Evi hadn't marooned on an island like Gilligan. Her son, hosted a memorial in Boulder, Colorado and served ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner in honor of his mother. Some of us even took off our bras, since that invention was something Evi deemed useless.
Now that Evi was gone, I told myself, it's time to print our blog. But life got busy. Both Maya and Kai became serious about their sports, running and fencing and our life on the boat slowly dissolved into a memory. Maya successfully banned plastic bottles from her school, perhaps inspired by the mounds of garbage we encountered at sea. Kai, too, has grown into himself. He's solid as a rock and just recently finished 8th in the country in fencing in the Junior Olympics. They both kiteboard with Tim when the Columbia River warms up. I turned 50 and skied across Finland. Maya and I went to Peru one summer, then China the next. Kai and I journeyed to England and France for fencing events. All this positive activity made me feel better about our decision to stop sailing.
Then most recently Moni, Tim's mom, finished her book, Odyssey Shared detailing her hairbrained promise to return to Greece by boat from Annapolis, Maryland with their family friends, Bud and Jane Ison. Moni wrote a real book. I haven't done that with our blog yet, but she inspired me to take the next step and finally print out our blog.
Perhaps someday Tim and I will return to living on the ocean. In the meantime, I have now wrapped our adventure into a book so we all can thumb through our story and reminisce with our pictures. What an amazing adventure we had together as a family. I can't believe we did it!
Over and Out
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