Saturday, April 22, 2017

shifting sands and changing plans.

We have come so very far. Over 3,000 miles over 7 months time. It’s been fun and challenging and arduous. It’s been full of victories and full of setbacks. It’s been, in short, life.

Now, here we sit on the precipice of the next step. We are a mere 60 miles from the Bahamas and already our plans have morphed. The weather window had seemed favorable for a Friday crossing, and so we struck out at 5:30 am yesterday morning. Fozel was asleep below as we eased out of the anchorage and followed the daymarkers to the mouth of the inlet. It was choppier than I had anticipated. There wasn’t much traffic to speak of besides a few fishing rigs speeding past us, and a tug warning us of the impending arrival of a giant shipping vessel. We hugged the south side of the channel and crept out as she passed us on her port. And once we were out of her prop wash zone, we held our breath. I was behind the helm, gripping the wheel tighter than I meant to.

The tug captain had wished us luck in the four foot seas complete with white caps before the freighter had even made the mouth of the channel, but somehow I had thought four foot waves would be nothing. We just needed to get clear of the entrance to Lake Worth and see how it would feel for ourselves. The wind was coming a bit more from the east than we would have liked, and the waves were coming willy nilly. Sometimes rolling us from starboard to port and sometimes dipping Interlude’s bowsprit in the crest of a wave and then crashing spray across her decks. Everything below that wasn’t wedged in somewhere rolled and crashed to the cabin sole, somehow not even disturbing Fozel who was curled up in the very forward outboard corner of his berth.

Before long, it was too much. We hadn’t made it much beyond the last red buoy when the unending roller coaster of riding the trough of every other wave and then crashing awkwardly down onto the crest of the following one was too much to bear. Josh and I both knew it wasn’t a sustainable way to travel for the 12 hour trip. And so, we decided to be patient and wait. We have waited this long, what’s a few more days? Sometimes, the best laid plans aren’t meant to be. We motored back to the anchorage we had been tucked into and dropped the hook. And so, we will try another day. All signs point to Monday, but as with everything in life, changes are inevitable and often imminent. We’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

on the road again.

We spent some time in Vero Beach. There were a number of reasons for that.  We did a little bit of work on the boat, rebuilt the exhaust system, installed an outboard crane, replaced the dinghy.  We rested and recovered, from back injuries which lead to the installation of the outboard crane. We also just loved it there. The City Marina has a nice facility.  We met new friends that quickly became old friends. We visited with family that lives in the area. We waited for the right weather to head south.  

Yesterday was the day that we finally were able to pry ourselves free from the comfort and familiarity that we had grown to love. Shortly before 9 AM, we slipped the mooring line free and headed south.  It is easy to understand why that place has the nickname "Velcro Beach" among cruisers. This is typically the time of year that people are heading north, but we still have a month and half before hurricane season officially starts, so we are going to head over to the Bahamas and try our hand at exploring the Abacos.  

One of the main goals since we started dreaming about buying a boat and sailing off across the horizon has been to find clear water and white sandy beaches. The Bahamas promise that and more. As we sit in our second anchorage south of Vero Beach, rolling in the swells, it feels like we are travelers once more. Each day ahead will be a new destination until the water is clear and we find somewhere else that we love to set the anchor.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

parenting on board.

Having kids is challenging in the best of circumstances. But when you choose to sail away from your support system, consistent schedule of activities, all hell can break loose. On land, we had friends with whom we had playdates, story time at the library, free events going on at the park districts, swimming at the YMCA at least once a week, etc. Life revolved around a very organized schedule of activities. The weekends were always more flexible but we tried to balance being out having adventures with just chilling out after a week of busyness. Then, we uprooted this whole shebang and moved onto our boat. We spent hours on end on the go, day after day for several months. We left all our family and friends as well as our rote schedule. Now we are flexible based on what Josh’s needs are in terms of projects or repairs. The m.o. aboard Interlude has very much been divide and conquer since we’ve been living afloat. The demands of upkeep and repairs can get insurmountable and since that is Josh’s area of expertise, the corraling and entertaining of Fozel often falls to me. So, we sometimes go to the park. We sometimes go to the beach. We sometimes go on random walks or ride our bikes. We sometimes go to storytime at the Book Center. The biggest mistake I made was not taking the time to get plugged into the local kid scene though. Partly because I didn’t think we’d be here anywhere near this long. And partly because we didn’t have a car. The bus only gets you so many places and if it’s more than 3 stops away, forget about it with Fozel.

And now I’m kicking myself. It’s been a missed opportunity on all fronts. Sure, we’ve had wonderful mornings and afternoons at the beach or park or ice cream shop. I just feel like I’ve been letting him down in the socialization and education aspects. It’s a lot of responsibility making sure he’s getting enough exercise and mental stimulation, nourishing food, and rest. Add in making sure he’s getting socialized, educated and having enough attention/one-on-one time with us, and it can be overwhelming. The days just don’t seem long enough. I see that there are families that are doing this with multiple kids and it makes me want to go back home and give up. How?? Fozel’s needs alone are a full time job. And even there I feel like I’m failing him. I don’t know the solution of parenting, obviously. It’s hard any way you slice it. I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, which is my best. Teaching him, comforting him, playing with him, and most importantly, loving him.