"For the longest time...
"I couldn't figure out WHY you wanted to go..."

This, was my mother, on the day I picked her up from the airport, in La Paz.

She'd come for a visit, a goodbye hug and to teach me how to make jam ( one of the many items I would be attempting to can for our upcoming adventure).

"And..." I asked, taking a big breath. 
(I wasn't entirely sure where this conversation was going to end up).

My mother paused. 

She looked lovely( as always) but she also looked tired. 
The past few months had been hard for her.  
I could understand why.
She was laid off, three of her closest friends were facing serious health crises and her only child was about to sail herself and her two precious grandchildren across the Pacific-in a fairly small boat.

Luckily, Mom thinks the world of her son-in-law, or all bets would be off on this discussion having a happy ending.

"It just didn't make any sense" she began again.
"...WHY? Why the Marquesas Islands? 
WHY all the way out there? Then what? Where do you go...?"

"Uh-huh. And...what did you come up with?" I asked. 

" Well... " she said, summing up my life's grandest ambition, in her Scottish,-no-nonsense way.

 "I realized, darling, that you're sailing to New Zealand because Jon could WORK over there. Did you know, Jimmy Cameron just bought three sheep farms in Wellington?
He's going to have a  great, big, working farm and move his company there for the Avatar movies. So it all makes sense, sweetheart, it just clicked, and I understand it now."

Oh, thank god.

Everything about this exchange was so my mom, and so Scottish, and so everyone's mom that ever tried to rationalize their children's totally ludicrous ideas.

What could I do but smile?

"That's right, mom.  We're sailing to New Zealand to get jobs. Now, about that jam..."

I love my mom and she's even half-right. 
We will totally need jobs by the time we get to New Zealand, and hey, if James Cameron is looking for a PA on Avatar, 
or a couple of super-game dive buddies or even someone to shear sheep or pull carrots or whatever...
His will be the first door we'll knock on.

But that's not ACTUALLY the "WHY" we want to cross the big puddle out there.

Jon and I have never really talked about it.
We have had a lotta long talks about "what if's..." 
but not so much on the "Why".

Because, the answer, is around us all the time.

We want to be with our children and experience what's out there.
And by "out there"...
I mean, OUT THERE.

Where Ocean and Sky and WInd and Waves and every creature that walks, swims, flies, crawls or undulates across our path...
IS the WHY.

Every single one of us, 
no matter who you are, what age you are, 
where you live, what your into, 
what color socks you prefer...
That our natural world, this Earth, our planet, is suffering.

Because, we gobble it up, all the time, every day...
and there are just so, so many of us.
and even though lots of people, good, wonderful, smart, people, are trying to do something about it...

It might not be enough.

We have already pulled NINETY percent of the big fish out of the ocean in the PAST DECADE.
And someday, very soon, in like, forty years (the scientists say)...
It could all be gone.

(As the great Dr. Suess, illustrated for us, in "The Lorax")
"Unless...someone, (like you) makes a change." 

Well, I am someone like me.

I want to see the whales.
I want our kids to see the whales...
and the Blue-fin and the sharks and the green turtles and the whole Big Blue Wonderland that is our planet's heart.

And this, IS the WHY.

Because, I was raised ( by my mother),
that caring for something means,
you know it, spend time with it, cherish it and protect it.
She did it with me, and I do it with my children.

It's what love is.

It's what we do for our family and the people we love.
When they are sick or afraid or hurting.
We stop whatever we are doing and we go to them and we help them.
It's what our planet needs us to do -for it.

I want to give our family... the Ocean.
I want us to sail out there and know it, respect it, fear it and feel like we are part of it in our bones.
Because we are.

And hopefully, by doing this, thing...
we will become the "UNLESS".
And the Whales and the Turtles and the Dolphin and all the crazy sea-aliens we've been catching and releasing in our little jam jars...
Will get to go on and on and on...
and so will we-as a species.
'cause we can't do it without each other.

So, mom...

Yes, I will get a job when we get there-whever "there" is.
But the REAL reason, the "WHY"...
Is your fault....

You made me this way :).

Pura Vida hauled out for bottom paint and a million other  projects.

Our view from the sky

The perils of living on "the hard".

Canning supplies for our trip in Nana's hotel kitchen.
Boat kids bond 

The Wanderer's Song

Up, up and North we drove...

Jon and myself and the kids, in our trusty green Subaru, with the roof rack packed to the gills with the things we never used on board.
The Baja stretched out her crumbly deserts and swallowed us whole.

From the highest hills we spied ...the seas on either side.

To our right, the inland waters, the ones we've called home for the past year .
The islands where we swam and fished, the long empty beaches we combed for treasure.

To our Left, the Great Pacific rolled and roared,
A Golden Dragon, under a setting sun.

Jon and I caught our breath and looked at one another.
Were we really going to take that on?
It looks so awfully big when you see it like that.

But then, Jon was smiling at me,
So, I smiled back.

It was almost one year ago, exactly.
We spent our first nights at sea, seventy miles off this same coast.
Tossing and pitching in the blackness.
No one to save us.
Too late to turn back.
We were novice sailors. New cruisers,  
Wondering if we would make it safely, and what we would find if we did.

Mexico was a foreign land to us, then.
We didn't know we would go to the Sea of Cortes.
We thought we were going to Cabo-and then Hawaii.
But we decided to turn left.

And we fell in love.
and now, we were headed North to sell the car.
Because, these days, looking out at that crazy, huge ocean...
Just makes us want to sail across it.

I always liked the Subaru.
We bought it in anticipation of Kai's birth.
A station wagon. Because that's what people do.
And it was big enough to fit the dog, too.

Then there actually was a baby...
Not just the idea of one.
And everything changed.
We changed.

We took him for a hike one day, Jon carrying him against his chest, in a little sling.
Kai was screaming, because he had a colic, to end all colics.
That was our first lesson in learning how to weather a storm.
It was good training
When people ask me;
"How will you deal with two hour watches, for a month, at sea?"
I look at them and say;

Kai didn't sleep for more than an hour, for two years straight.
A nothing.
Believe me.

We climbed to the top of Runyun canyon that day, looking down at the city we had been trying to storm.
Both of us, for years, even before we met each other and fell in love.

We had come with our dreams and even a little talent but that didn't matter anymore.
What mattered was this angry, fabulous, bundle in our arms.
and what kind of parents we would be and what kind of world we would show him.

And we realized, becoming a movie star may or may not happen.
It would be cool if it did...
But being closer to the clouds mattered, too.
And seeing the stars at night, and learning how to be brave and depend on yourself.
And being together.

And that's how we ended up here.
Everything, this adventure, is about making each day as full of possibility as it can be. 

So, we went North with our heads down.
And kept a low profile.
Saw our family, bought charts for the South Pacific and found some used dive gear.
It was an odd time.
A limbo...
to be ghosts in your old town.

I know we both thought a lot about our "other" path.
Much of our lives have been devoted to that thing-both of us still love so much.

But watching our children grow up on an ocean is another dream.
One that unfolded before us-whether we earned or deserved it... or not.
We lay our hearts and our hopes before Hollywood but it was the Ocean who roared in and swept us off our feet.

I look at the twenty-two year old starlet gleaming from the cover of Vanity fair magazine,
and to me, her destiny is obvious.

Ours, perhaps, not so much.
Maybe, this is what makes one a wanderer.

That...and colic.

We went for a hike up the same canyon as we did with Kai all those years ago and discovered these Ladies and their little bundles..I can't help but wonder what changes they will bring to their unsuspecting parents!

A very serious Bocce dude

In your face, Grandma!

A Lil' Pippen love...

A twenty six hour bus ride...

Dropped off a mile and a half to our boat...without a car!

Another adventure begins...

"The dawn it went before us, through a shining lane of skies,
and the dream was at our heartstrings,
and the light was in our eyes,
And we made no boasts of glory and we made no boast of birth,
on the road to vagabondia that lies across the earth."

                                                                                  -Dana Brunet