Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I can't resist one more passage picture - how the family sleeps at sea.
Note the white mixing bowl just above Alisa - we often keep that near Eric 
So, here we are!  Chile!  A new country, a new continent (Alisa is the only one of us who has ever been to South America before).  There's so much to experience and learn about this place and these people and this culture.  You'd think we'd be in travelers' ecstasy.

Well, no.  There's this thing about traveling on a boat, especially when you travel to more or less remote places like the Tuamotus/Australs (last season) or Patagonia (this coming season).  Which is that all of the incredible independence that the boat gives us (think of it - spending months in palm-fringed atolls or icy fjords, while you're also sleeping in your own bed every night - are you getting the picture?) comes at a cost.  And that cost, of course, is the very severe toll in time, effort and money that you have to expend to keep the boat in shape so that it can give you that independence.

We've just crossed the Pacific, and put 9,000 miles on the boat, with all the wear and deferred maintenance that entails.  And we're planning to go winter in Tierra del Fuego, where there will be little opportunity for getting parts and little weather suitable for activities like painting.  So now is our chance to get the work done.  Alisa and I are putting our heads down, largely ignoring the delights of Valdivia and the region, and taking care of business.  Our cultural interactions have been structured around visits to the hardware store or forays to buy winter clothes for the kids.

But, we've been through this routine often enough not to be too fazed by it.  And, we recognize that we can't let this spell of boat work get out of hand.  The boat serves us, after all, we don't serve the boat, and it's only too easy to find yourself chained to the dock, working away at an endless list of jobs, instead of being out there, drinking from the fire hose of experience that is sailing the world in your own boat.

So, we figure that since we spent 24 days on passage, 24 days in port working on the boat should be enough.  We didn't count Christmas Eve or Christmas against that total, so that takes us until January 19th.  I've highlighted that date on the "babes of Tahiti" calendar that I got for Christmas (thanks, honey!), and I am hereby publicly pledging that on that date, weather permitting, we will set sail for the blue whales of Chiloé Island and the delights beyond.

We'll see how it goes.

The post-passage ice cream in Valdivia
Drying out the barky on Christmas Eve
New crew uniforms for los canales
On the bus


  1. Happy New Year to you and safe passage south. Yep I like my bed but that too comes at a cost but you have freedom. Day to day life in a house once this is over (will it ever be over?) may be novel at first but then you could struggle to breath! The work on the boat is like a house never ending if you let it be so but some stuff is necessary (we are about to tackle our house after 11 years of mostly ignoring it). The end of the tasks will make you feel virtuous. Have fun, enjoy 2015. with Regards Virginia

  2. Happy New Year, Mile & Alisa! I'm happy your 9,000-mile passage went so well and was so safe. I look forward to following your adventures in 2015.

    All the best,


  3. Greetings from Cooper Landing, AK! We are working on our dream of getting our family out to sea and have so enjoyed your book and blog. You and your family are an inspiration to us! If you ever make it back to the Kenai in the next 4 years, look us up and we'd love to take you down the river. After that time we shall hopefully be underway! thanks for sharing your story. if you aren't living the dream, then you just aren't living. Blessings to you 4!