One of my favorite things about raising our boys on a traveling sailboat is how much time I get to spend with them. No buggering off to work for me - and, as a result, we're around each other for much of the day, every day.
As fast as the years pour by - it's been nearly three years since we bought Galactic - I think there's something about all this time spent with the boys that seems to slow things down. It's like watching a tree grow - if you never take your eyes off the tree, it seems like nothing's happening…so in a somewhat similar vein, I sometimes pinch myself at the realization that we still have children as young as three and seven.
Right now, though, the boys are notable through their absence. Alisa and Eric and Elias are in the US, visiting Alisa's parents. Faced with screaming deadlines to finish my PhD and get the barky Patagonia-ready, I have stayed back in New Zealand to get some work done.
And - it's really odd to be on the boat without the family. We've never lived aboard without at least one kid, and I've never sailed at all as an adult without Alisa. So the boat is seeming pretty quiet.
I'm taking the opportunity to cross off some jobs that would be too disruptive with the kids aboard.
Jobs like interior painting - I can't imagine trying this one with the boys aboard!
Or this one, either.
Living on a boat means that we inhabit a domestic arena that is merely a thin veneer over the highly-engineered functional core of the boat. We live, for instance, in close proximity to 1,000 liters of diesel fuel when the tanks are pressed up. Giving the tanks their annual inspection and clean-out means tearing up the galley sole to give access to hidden lakes of petro-chemical. I can just imagine the toy canons firing from the other side of the cabin, defying luck and gravity over the open inspection ports…
OK, enough for now - I'm off to re-plumb the water supply for the forward head...