Monday, March 31, 2014

A Reprieve…And A Goal

eeek! I meant to be a public intellectual - when did life turn so practical?
It's been a very practical New Zealand summer.  So much so that Eric asked this morning if we'd have to give Galactic a new name.

-Why's that, honey?  I asked.

-Because you've put so much new things on the boat.

Last year was different.  Last year we sailed in New Zealand, and we saw a bit of the country (on this day in 2013 we were in Lyttleton Harbour, way down yonder on the South Island).  But this year we've tended our own garden - doing two seasons, temperate and tropical, back to back tends to make that necessary.

We've taken very few breaks to get out of the international yacht bubble that is Whangarei.  So it was a nice reprieve to peel ourselves away from the boatyard to see our good friends Alex and Diana.  They were from Kukka when we were Pelagic and we met them at an anchorage in Queensland.  Now they're aboard Enki in the Med (scroll through their blog to see how well it's possible to spend a couple seasons sailing through the classical world) and it was only a family visit back to En Zed that gave us the chance to see them.

Alex and Diana camped out with us at our fleeing-the-blasting-yard motel for a couple nights - and then we had the great treat of visiting them - and some family - at Diana's family beach house.

Elias after an outing with Diana's bro-in-law.  Look at those eyes and tell me that this isn't as good as life gets

The two crews
Alex has been getting along famously with our boys since the days when it was only Elias
People say that living on a traveling sailboat boils down to fixing your boat in exotic locales.  I maintain that it boils down to meeting fantastic people - and then saying good-bye to them too soon.


But the visit with Enki is already a memory.  The season is turning, and we're feeling like the birds.  (Not that I notice many migratory birds in Whangarei.  But I'm sure they're here.)  We're restless - the big shift is coming.

Alisa has been buying in bulk at the catering supply place in Whangarei.

And, spurred by the example of our new friends on Ganesh, she has revisited her old Alaskan habit of canning meat.  Back home, it was salmon and mountain goat that went into the jars.  But we reckon that canned New Zealand beef will be plenty welcome in the months to come.  We're hoping to go a long time without seeing a supermarket. 

Whatever we could have or might have gotten done during our season in New Zealand  - on the boat and in life more broadly - has been replaced by what actually transpired.  It's time to give up on anything that isn't materially necessary for getting us back to French Polynesia.

Luckily - or not - the six-month extension that I thought I had received on my PhD turned out to be a one year extension.  The funding is over, and I am 45 after all, so I should just finish the darn thing.  Likewise the US and Kindle editions of South From Alaska - they're so close to being done, and I'll be so happy to have them out there and just get on to writing the next book.  But I have a family to safely get across the southwest Pacific, so anything that doesn't contribute to that goal is going to have to wait...


  1. SO excited for the Kindle version to come out -- I've been waiting for the day!! Really enjoying following along your adventures...

    1. hey, that's great to hear… the wheels are still turning, will let you know how it progresses with all the boat prep going on...

  2. Alisa needs to tell us more about her provisioning. I have never canned meat, where do you start?
    Excited to share your adventures, thanks....

    1. I'll see if I can get her to share her secrets - she's picking up 12 kg of beef at the farmers' market on Saturday...