(Thanks to our buddy Franz for posting these pics of a long-ago cross-country ski trip to the Arctic...)
Check out these two people, completely in love with Alaska.
Do you ever wonder why, six years after they gave up their wonderful lives in the Great Land to head to sea on a boat of their own, they haven't come home already?
I guess one reason we're still at it is places like this:
This is the anchorage we've been in for the last four days, between little Vanua Levu and Navadra islands - that's Galactic, nestled in the center there. I took this pic when I hiked up to the top of Navadra to get enough internet reception to fire off a few work emails.
It's hard to believe that we've been gone from New Zealand for less than four months. So much has happened in that time, so many little adventures and new faces and endless little moments of quiet joy with the family on the boat. Buggering off to go sailing in the heart of your peak earning years might condemn you to an eventual fate of septuagenarian retail employment, but it does have the compensation of stretching time right now, of giving you the illusion of slowing things down right in the sweet center of your lifespan.
Navadra gave us one more spell of tropical bliss for the season.
|Man, machete, and coconut|
One of the highlights of our stay here was that it coincided with a break in my work. I've just submitted a paper, and proposal-writing season is not yet in full swing. So during the four days we were here, I had time to come along on all four of our beach swim-picnic sessions. Alisa kept commenting on how unusual it was to have me along every day.
We had the place largely to ourselves. A couple of tour boats came one day and dropped their passengers on the beach for a few hours. And then two like-minded boats, also carrying young children, dropped by for a couple nights and provided us with convivial company.
And we learned the perils of trusting a seven-year-old to look after his own sunscreen. Check out poor Elias' face after a session in the waves without a hat. You can see the big stripes on his cheek where sunscreen was applied, and the burn everywhere where it wasn't.
We take sun protection pretty seriously, and felt pretty bad about this outcome - this is about the worst burn either of the kids have ever had.