Monday, March 16, 2009

Growing Shallow Roots

Last night there was a rowdy thunderstorm. You could see the big thunderhead clouds building all afternoon. When the wind built, the lightening was soon to follow. There were continuous bolts for hours. I’ve never seen lightening go on and on like that. The loud thunder cracked and rumbled much later and was accompanied by wind gusts of 35 kts. that sent Pelagic spinning dizzy around the anchor. One other boat in the harbor dragged. The only other time we were anchored in a storm that had Pelagic heeled over at anchor was years ago Terror Bay off the west coast of Kodiak Island. Both times I felt grateful and content to be dry and secure and in the company of the ones I love the most.

Things in Iluka are still pretty sunny-minded, despite the theft of our outboard last week. It took me a few days to rebound from that event, but we have resumed our praise for Iluka as we simultaneously begin planning for our departure in a few weeks. Mike has been working very hard on everything: his book, his new consulting business, plus nonstop work to get Pelagic shipshape. There’s some routine maintenance and some unexpected breakages. Last night he said ‘why should I be surprised that the sink pump isn’t working. I’ve only fixed it twice and everything seems to require getting fixed 3 times”. Today he spent 9 hours rewiring the bugger only to discover that although it does now function, it would also benefit from a new switch. Someday.

We have been here for nearly 3 months, and it feels like we have grown some shallow roots. We’re feeling the restlessness and also the benefits of being in one spot for a while. Here’s Pelagic, in full resting mode with sails off (for annual inspection and minor repairs) and laundry drying in the rigging.

Since February began, Elias and I have had a fun weekly routine shaped around Monday playgroup, Wednesday story time at the library, and Saturday swimming lessons. In between we swim at the numerous ocean and river beaches that are in walking distance to our anchorage. The playgroup has been terrific for both me and for Elias.
The kids at playgroup are great for Elias to play with – they are all struggling with the concept of sharing and they are sweet with their manners. There are crafts, plenty of toys, and we end with songs. We are both on the cusp of making good friends. Here are a few playgroup photos.

The moms at playgroup are incredible, strong, and active women. Most subscribe to the ‘Dr. Sears’ mindset that was also accepted as wisdom by my Kodiak girlfriends. In fact, they have inspired me to include Elias in the meal preparations and he loves it! When he’s not stirring the salad, he sits with a cookbook open and ‘reads’ me a recipe while wearing an oven mitt. It’s gotten to the point where last night he actually asked if we could cook something with eggplant for dinner, so we did and he ate two bowls of it! Here's a photo of our first shared cooking experience, which took place in the unit we rented during Pelagic's haulout in the boatyard.

It will be bittersweet when we sail off, as even shallow roots require some tugging.

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