Life on the Wet Edge isn't always swanning around paradise in your tiny bikini...
there are plenty of discomforts, both small and large.
The upside comes from learning to live with these challenges,
and by doing so, feel ennobled enough to justify blowing-off "real life' for another precious, few, months.
It's totally worth the effort.
We had a great time visiting with Muktuk and hanging out in Tehuatu.
It rained a monsoon for a whole week but whenever the sun came out, we made the most of it.
The kids bodysurfed in the beach break and the crew of Pura Vida worked on free diving skills by climbing down 30 feet of anchor line and sitting on the bottom with the chain draped over their legs.
Jon and the kids communed with curious octopus.
I am the official loser of the family, these days.
Everyone BUT me, can hold their breath like a Sperm whale.
Apparently, I have misplaced my inner calm.
Lately, it feels like i'm always holding each breath, as if it is the last I will ever take- and being underwater doing it, just makes me inexplicably, irritated.
Maybe, it's hormonal but honestly, like everything else, its probably just a state of mind.
Owning this knowledge, doesn't make it automatic, though.
"Being PRESENT is the ticket", I tell myself.
"OMMMMM....preoccupation with an illusional future, begets suffering and anxiety..."
That, and the desire to start adding vodka to your breakfast smoothie.
Free diving is a perfect litnus test for your HERE AND NOW meter, maybe thats why the kids are so totally awesome at it.
They aren't strobing about the transmission on Old Perkie and wondering if it's is gonna bust a gear during some white-knuckle pass in an atoll.
By all accounts, Jon should be the most high strung of all of us- resolving every issue out here rests pretty squarely on his shoulders, after all.
Amazingly, he's fairly cool with it.
Having the guidance of all the other experienced skippers we have gotten to know, in the last 18 months, has given him confidence.
The hilarious thing is, a large part of this reassurance comes from these other Captains sharing tales of near or total disasters;
times they put their boats on the rocks, ran aground, were almost eaten by a pack of Humbolt squid...
It's not a question of IF you will run into issues.
The What, When and How you handle it...
is what makes a day, around here.
Something is always breaking, broken, re-breaking, not working, seizing, leaking, tearing...
In every anchorage, there are boats without masts, booms, there are wrecks on the beaches, boats breaking loose from anchors...
Just yesterday, here on stunning, idyllic, Nuka Hiva, a nasty, big swell came in from the South and turned the anchorage into a regular rodeo.
Waves crashed over the breakwater, the dingy dock looked like the bumper boat ride at the fair.
Two inflatable dingy's were destroyed as they washed under the bottom rungs of the ancient, rusty ladders,
a large power boat came of it's mooring and was smashed to bits on the rocks- a hundred yards behind us.
This is the nature of living on the Wet Edge...
Holding my breath should be the most natural thing in the world for me, by now.
Disaster lurks behind every clunk in our engine and within every under-washed piece of cabbage;
Someone is always sick or has the runs, is being told not to pick at some nasty oozing rash or infected urchin spine lodged in their foot.
There are so many cuts and contusions, so many jellyfish and insect bites, we don't even bother anymore.
Unless, you wake up and your face is swollen to twice its normal size-I don't even open the first aid box.
If someone is dealing with bummy tummy-our boat rule is; "Never trust a fart".
We learn from these experiences.
Sure, the waters here are infested with large species of sharks.
It doesn't stop us from getting in and hanging with all the beautiful sea life here.
We just pull everybody out of the water before sunset...
and if the boatload of gung-ho Aussie boys
on the catamaran beside us decides to clean their catch off the back of the boat while all the kids are swimming?
Just get 'em out, before the anchorage turns into "Shark Week".
Sailors categorize troubles differently than other folks;
self-sufficiency demands it.
On a dark and squally, night passage,
the boat is sandwiched between two unidentifiable sets of lights on the horizon, when someone says;
"Dad, the radar's not working..."
So, I pick up the VHF...
and it shuts off the running lights.
Jon says, and adds it to the list.
-Of course, this will also be the moment,
the other kid chooses to announce;
"My stomach hurts"...
and then throws up on the iPad
(our only source of navigation since the electronic charts we bought don't work for some reason)
But hey, that's just cruising.
It's the same as holding your breath underwater;
you can always go longer than you thought.
Just don't give into fear.
So, along with all the beautiful shots of us lolling on the beaches...
there is also plenty of dread and headaches and most nights are roll-y and sleepless and
the freezer will have stopped working and I will have to cook 9 pounds of chicken in the hundred degree heat with all the windows closed because its raining cats and dogs...
But like anything in life, its all about your perspective.
Living in paradise is possible wherever you are...
It's what you make of it.
You don't need the worlds newest or most perfect boat( there is no such thing, anyway)
Or have a ton of experience before you set off...
You'll figure it out.
Remember, never let a little tummy gurgle put you off of adventure...
just don't fart in the tropics -unless, you're on the loo.
Ali helps us learn how to use a new navigation program
Ali made Marlin Calzones-cooked in tinfoil on an open fire!
The Lord of the Flies gang...
Left-overs from the last BBQ
Hunter loves Ali- among her many other talents Ali is a wonderful German baker-she taught H how to make the world's most perfect mango cake!
Captain prepping fresh coconut appy's
Setting out for a night passage...80 miles to Nuka Hiva
Dawn arrival in Nuka Hiva
Kai spots a good place to anchor
Exploring the town of Nuka Hiva
Everybody rides bareback...everywhere.
Kai took this of a traditional Marquesan carving. He noted, the large spear in one hand, decapitated head in the other...and a set of massive balls. Just in case you were wondering who's in charge around here...
I manage to find the most expensive joint in town...
We enjoy the view and an early father's day glass of wine...