What it's like - 6 months
It's been 6 months since we began a life afloat. With very little sailing background the kids and I put our "yes" into action. It's been the best 6 months of my life. Sure, there are challenges and things I miss- people, places, conveniences, but when I lay it all out, there are remedies for all them, Face Time helps with the people part. In reality, I talk to my family more now than when I was living 4 hours away from them! The only remedy I can't find and answer for is how to turn back time and have my kids little again. Man I miss those years. But I also LOVE who my kids are now, and all the fun we get to have together because they are big. It's been a long journey for us to get to where we are. We are not nearly as salty or hearty as some other sailors we've met, but maybe in time we'll get there. So that I don't forget what I'm learning along the way, here are my reflections at month six.
Life is full of trade off's. On land, getting to places like a store was easy peasy. Pop in the car, drive, shop, go back, park in driveway to unload. The downside, even though I was mindful about our consumption, it was easy to buy too much, and be wasteful or have stuff I didn't need around. Afloat...whoa nelly, that's a different story. First, is there a store? Second, how am I getting there? Am I going to walk? Take a bus? Taxi? Going to the store for just a couple items isn't really worth the time, effort or money. You'd be better off getting on the radio/walking the dock to see if a neighboring boat has what you need. For example, today is Finn's birthday. He requested a round layered cake. Oopsies! This mama only has square or rectangle baking dishes on board. So since we're at a dock right now I asked the neighboring boat and hit the jackpot! I would have borrowed from my neighbors on land, but the difference is, I'd then go and buy it so I'd be ready for the next time. Now, if I really do want to buy it, I'm thinking what don't I need in my galley to make room for a new item? It's refreshing, and I'm enjoying it, even though getting to the store is inconvenient.
Convenient vs. Inconvenient.
Side Note: The look on Finn's face when he saw my humble, lopsided (the boat is listing to port, and I didn't gimble/ungimble the stove) was priceless. He loved it, and it was what he asked for. Not that he'd of been upset with a square cake because that's not who he is. But I wanted to do it for him. He didn't receive gifts from us today, the celebration, including the cake is his gift. At least for now.
Luxury comes in mysterious waysDo we have the luxury of amazon deliveries? No. But lets talk laundry. It's the thorn in every Mama's side, am I right? Most sailboats don't have washing machines so other than washing by hand it has to be taken off the boat to a Lavenderia...where they wash, dry and FOLD it all for you...and it all happens for less than it would cost me to do it myself at a US laundromat! I think I heard angels sing the first time I picked up our laundry. Getting it off and back on the boat isn't too bad considering there are 5 of us, and we've found that most marinas have laundry services nearby. We did have to walk a distance in Cabo. We could have taken a cab, but didn't cause my hubby is a "walker," and making walkers out of all of us. It's a good thing. I'm hoping this laundry service exists in countries other than Mexico! If not, I'll savor the luxury while I have it.
Another luxury I've stumbled up on is having a massage therapist come to our boat for half the cost of in the US.
Lastly, this past week I needed to see a doctor for a leg issue I'm having. In Mexico, if you have an obvious illness and speak decent spanish, you can get away with seeing a doctor for less than ten bucks, but in my case I needed to see an english speaking doctor. Here in La Paz, Club Cruceros has made it easy to find anything. I used their directory to find a female, english speaking doctor. She saw me on my boat, the same day, and has followed up with appropriate care. All for under $30, so rad.
|Another luxury of boat life: the beach is usually close by!|
No Screen Sunscreen is working!Im thrilled. Last summer I read and reread the book Bio Young by Roxy Dillon*. I knew our sunscreen consumption would rise living afloat, and that my kids weren't exactly thrilled with my homemade zinc sunscreen approach and healthy sunscreens would break the bank. So I was a lady on a mission, and I'm happy to have found a solution. A 50/50 mixture of Olive Squalene* and Vitamin E oil. Applied like sunscreen, it not only protects the skin, but allows for vital Vitamin D production unlike sunscreen!
I think I prefer being at anchor rather than docksideI don't think the hubby shares this feeling with me. There is so much he can get done, and not think about when we are docked. Whereas I like the unplugged nature of being at anchor. Don't get me wrong, I don't love the anchorages where we're being tossed around, those aren't great. Being at anchor forces me to me more present, with my family and the environment. It's not that I don't like the convenience of a dock, it just feels so ordinary which has it's advantages. Projects, getting to know the town, and taking the kids to Spanish language school 5 days a week this month are all made possible by being dockside, so I will enjoy it while it lasts.
|First day of El Nopal Spanish School|
Screen TimeOften times Chris and I poop out in the evening, or get too hot to care and let the kids have way too much screen time. Yep, you heard it here, screen time still exists on a sailboat. I'm learning to come to grips with our sometimes excessive allowance of it. It's a small space, and it's one of a few things they can all do simultaneously within arms reach and feel like they're having personal time. I guess I had these visions of family game nights in the evenings, but honestly sometimes I'd like to just be alone....How's that for honesty? I've found if we play games, it's during the day.
Free timeAside from the above mentioned screen time, the boys have really enjoyed using their inside free time to listen to audio books. The amount they're reading is up too, especially Eli. Finn still finds ways to craft using our "trash" so that makes him pretty happy. Josiah continues to love building and could probably use more stuff to tinker with. He has so many ideas, and we're constantly saying...we don't have that!
I on the other hand have taken to solitaire (with real playing cards), doing crossword puzzles and keeping a visual journal. In addition to daily journalling, I do a monthly one as well.
Chris rests his back from time to time, but other than that he's usually doing something boat related!
|Josiah added "wings" to Eli's RC car.|
|Testing out the "wings."|
|April's Monthly Memory|
|Chris and Eli worked on polishing the chrome while the swim step is off being refinished.|