"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 


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  2. I loved this one. So glad I chose it to come to tonight after our 3 day/night sail south....outrunning freighters and seeking shooting stars, scaring sleeping turtles and happy each time I peeked in and watched my newly turned 8 year old...sleep with her dog in her over crowded, but well loved, aft cabin. Loved this one Suki.....from the jam to the "mom conversation" to the pictures at the end...just lovely and real and special and if there is ANYONE who I'd love to have come harvest my carrots, or sheer lammies, girl, it'd be you. Good luck on the last end of of leg and the start of the new...

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