Tuesday, July 22, 2014

His Life Aquatic

I've been meaning to write this post for a while.  This is an assignment that Elias did last school term, while we were in New Zealand.  It's just a timeline of his life as he remembers it at this point, but I was struck by what an effective summary it was for the way we've been living as a family for the last seven years.

If you like the blog enough to be reading regularly, you might forgive me this indulgent post.  Without meaning to, my kid showed me the big picture quite effectively.

I was born on August 5, 2006, in Kodiak, Alaska.  In this photo I'm with my great grandfather, Elmer.

I left Kodiak on Pelagic to sail to Australia with my parents.

We sailed across the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Aus. in Oct.  I turned two in Tonga.
We sailed along the east coast of Australia.  I turned 3 in Mooloolaba.
I became a big brother on April 29 when Eric was born in Hobart.
We sailed from California to Hobart on our new sailboat Galactic.
This year we lived in Hobart and I went to school at Albuera Street.
We sailed to NZ, Tonga and Fiji on the trip.  On that trip I caught a yellow-spotted trevally.
This year we are in NZ.  I got a recurve bow and arrows.

So far so good.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Three Times Lucky

It's time to catch up on some more pics from our text-only days of posting via the HF radio.  We advance the plot now to Tahanea Atoll, our landfall out of En Zed.

Tasmanian and Kiwi friends - you may want to bookmark this post and come back to it in December.

North Americans and Europeans - it's summer for you, so you should be ok.

One of our first forays ashore.  Are we dreaming?  Are we still Alaskans?

We reached Tahanea fairly done in by our 23 days at sea.

"Hard won," Alisa kept muttering to herself.    "It was hard won."
We must be dreaming

We went directly to a favorite anchorage from previous visits and got down to just soaking it all in.
We can fly!  That's it - we're dreaming
The kid, and his hair, both swum out
Stone cold recuperating
Wildlife photography by Elias
Leather machete sheath by Alisa 
Elias learning to climb coconut trees

Great things come from small beginnings
We're still flying

Drying the series drogue before we pack it away

After a week or so we turned our attention to getting the boat cleaned up after the passage.

If there's something important about your boat that you can't fix yourself, that's you kissing all this goodbye and getting sucked in by Pape'ete.  So you gotta spend time fixing stuff.

Sewing the trysail
That's me fixing the Harken cruising roller furling.  We have two units - one for the jib, one for the main.  I've had to fix one or the other of them four times now.  Anything that we have to fix three times or more is officially overpriced junk.  The boys love it when we drop the sail on deck, though.

I went up the stick to rescue the distressed masthead wind indicator
I got this view for my trouble - lagoon, reef/motu, open Pacific
Making a second rain catcher.  Drinking water just falls from the sky, free to all.  How good is that?

Tahanea is not a place that you go for narrative.  It's a place, in our experience, that you just go to be.  And when you're ready for something else, you leave.

I'll end it for now with this picture of the boys completely rapt over the 7th anniversary cake that Alisa made.

More soon.

Friday, July 18, 2014

There Was Something I Was Supposed to Be Doing

He had pipes - a fine alto voice.  I remind myself that in my next incarnation as a traveller I really must carry a little recording device and pursue the music of whatever place I visit
So, Fakarava.  We were going to rock up in town and get some practical stuff done.  I was gonna put the last nail in that PhD thesis, for one thing.  Send off a promised story to a sailing magazine.  We were going to check the bank account for signs of life, turn on the new credit cards we received in New Zealand, send in a contract for some science work that is starting - all those little errands that require internet.  Then we'd get food, propane, some petrol, water…and later.  We were going to go get lost in the Tuamotus again.

Tuhoe, the Mayor of the commune.  Turns out he lived in Alaska for five years
It turns out that Fakarava had a few distractions in store for us.  There was the Bastille Day celebration, which the more festive of these photos is from.  A quick parade of the schoolkids, some speeches and fine music and good-natured entertainments, followed by a fine free lunch for all comers.

Not a lot of yachties were around for the parade, but we all showed for the free lunch.  No one appreciates a free lunch like a traveling sailor.
The locals have just ushered Elias and Eric and the other yachtie kids inside to eat with all the Fakarava schoolkids, and sent us around back to eat with the adults.  I think Alisa's expression has to do with the unexpected delight of unadulterated adult conversation at lunch.  Doesn't happen that much to us
The lunch - that's poission cru at the top left.  Everything else was good, too
The music...
…went on and on
The Bastille Day goings on were the beginning of what have turned into some very fun local interactions for us.

And the yachtie scrum has been more than enjoyable.  There are a lot of boats that stop in Fakarava - we are solidly on the beaten path here.  And, go figure, a lot of those boats have very remarkable people on board.
A more normal lunch scene on Galactic
Very remarkable people, and kids.  Elias and Eric have been getting down with their own crowd - the kids who travel.
The boys heading off to the delights of play aboard Caminante
Teams Galactic and Caminante
So.  I think we've been here a week.  And I still have a few things I need to do...