Tuesday, February 11, 2014


The biggest difficulty of sailing with young kids?  Boat maintenance, hands down.  You just cannot find any complicated/messy/frustrating/expensive boat job that cannot be made more so by adding a 3-year-old to the mix.

As a result, we have one rule we strive to live by when it comes to the annual haulout - we move off the boat.  We know that some other sailing families continue to live aboard while in the yard, and more power to 'em, we say.  But for us, the only route to an outcome where Alisa and I are both more or less sane is to move off for the duration.

When we were first anchored at Whangarei Heads, before we'd even made it up to Whangarei town, we happened to meet a very remarkable couple who set sail from England on a 30-foot cutter the same year that I was born.  They sailed as far as Whangarei, and have made their home here ever since.

The bloke was on board for a cuppa a few days later when Alisa let slip that we were looking for a house-sit during our haulout.  An hour later he called to say that he had found one for us - he'd run the idea by his wife, and they were happy to lend us their home and car for the month of February, when they'd be off visiting family in the South Island.

I don't know if it's because we're traveling with kids, but people occasionally show us such naked kindness, such pure human goodwill, that it really humbles me.  Whether it's the Marquesan with "nothing" who gives us 10 kilos of mangoes, or the Aussie ship captain who offers us house and car a half-hour after meeting us at a barbecue, people infrequently, but regularly, stun us with their hospitality and kindness.

Often it's ex-travelers, like the couple who we're house-sitting for now, who are most unguardedly kind.  I'm at a loss for what we could possibly do for this couple to reciprocate.  But I reassure myself that our chance will come when we've settled down in some interesting corner of Alaska, and people from the other side of the world happen upon us in our daily lives.

One of the nice things about a house is all the room that is on offer for laying out boat jobs.  


  1. Hi Mike and Galacticeers!

    It sounds like things are progressing well with your family, adventures, the mothership, etc. My cruising buddy in NZ just saw your vessel at Dockland 5 (i think). It brought back memories from meeting you in Fiji, hanging with you all and trading fishing lures with your boy. Enjoy and accept the generous kindness of strangers when traveling...it always blew my mind too. Had the same experience in NZ a couple of times with cars, houses and mostly the friendships.

    Things have progressed since our last meeting in Fiji. Hannah and I brought Wade Spencer Bailey into this world on 1/26/14. We are nesting in the Pacific NW now until summer when we will return to Guava Jelly and cruise Fiji and the environs for a year or so as a family. If you are interested send me your email and Ill send the details on the birth story and a pic or 2.

    Riki, Hannah and Wade

    ps..Can't wait to put Wade in his custom cockpit seat you gave us.

    1. Riki! Awesome news! I'll shoot you an email…

      And you should know that Elias caught his first-ever tuna on the lure you gave him...

    2. Yay Elias! When I was reading your blog I though I saw a pic of him with a tuna...and the lure was kind of familiar. Congrats Lil Mate!