We are now 238 miles away from Tonga and have been on passage for 3 and a half days.... 522 miles down... For the most part this passage has been great... It started off a wet and wild ride and then the seas and winds started changing like they do constantly and today we put our big downwind sail up because of the flat seas and no wind. We were able to fly it for most of the day and it helped but now we just have the motors on with the sail still up... which we never do at night but tonight everything is so calm we decided to keep it up. We are at 16.25 S and 170.35 W... The stars are out and shining so brightly and there is a little phosphorescence in the water...
Kids an passages... it was really hard for me to imagine what it would be like having 5 kids, 4 of which are younger, stuck in a small space with no where to get their wiggles out.. It was hard enough for me to imagine how to pass the time myself, let alone keeping the kids entertained for 5 days with nothing but blue to look at. Well it is really amazing to see how they don't seem to be bothered by it. I get the occasional "are we there yet"... oh wait that is me asking. The kids seem to handle and adjust quite nicely. Sometimes we are just sea sick so when that happens everyone is just laying around trying to get through it until it goes away.. that usually takes a couple of days. Once they have adjusted then the kindles come out, they watch movies, make up stories, sing songs, make up dances to those songs, make forts under the tables, drawing etc... what they can't do on passage is build card houses, play games that require stacking, run around... At night they just sleep wherever they end up falling asleep. Tristan is out on the cockpit cushions.. he likes to sleep outside. Alexia is also outside sleeping on a bean bag chair and Amaia is sleeping inside on the cushions around the table.. Alina came to read to me when I went to sleep so she is sleeping in my bed. We don't have a routine or schedule for our passages... The kids eat when they are hungry (except dinner we all eat together), sleep when they are tired, and entertain themselves during the day. I know a lot of people have routines and schedules to make the time go by or to stay organized.. for us it just doesn't work. With me being sick a lot of the time it is hard to entertain the kids.. we do monitor the movies and game playing on the electronics a little bit, but for the most part the kids have to sit and do something so they tend to turn on a movie or game... I am okay with this because reading also makes them sick sometimes... right now it is what ever works to keep them safe and feeling well. In terms of night shifts... We all have different sleep patterns so we take a 4 hour shift on watch whenever the person on shift before you gets tired they just wake you up. Then we also take naps during the day to make up for the lost sleep. Chris usually takes a watch from 7 to 12.. then I am on from 12ish to 4 or 5 and then we wake Mykaela up from their and she takes a shift till about 8... again these are all random times depending on how tired the person is.. nothing is set in stone.. and if weather is sketchy then Chris sleeps up stairs to stay available incase we need to do something with the sails...
I try to make as many dinner meals as possible before we leave but for the most part dinner is really the only thing that needs to be made. We keep the foods simple, not only because we are sick so you aren't that hungry anyway, but because it can be dangerous and not so fun to cook or boil water on a hot gas stove while you are being pitched around... being in the catamaran isn't as bad as a monohull but we still get tossed...
The time does fly by even though we are just laying around. I think this is because we take so many naps.. there really isn't much else to do. When we get to land we are so excited to be able to walk farther than 10 feet... You get a little stiff and weak from all the sitting and laying down that it is hard to keep in shape. Even the kids notice how out of shape they are compared to when they were in all their sports at home. Swimming just isn't enough. We do the occasional kick the ball around and hikes but for the most part it is hard to find the hiking to do.
With all this said I know when we return everyone will get back into shape with all the activities. Even with the lack of exercise this is the healthiest we have been. We are never sick unless we are stuck in a marina for a few weeks and then everyone shares the bugs again.... We eat better... everything is homemade and there is not much eating out. The kids tend to grab apples, oranges, carrots and cucumbers for snacks when we have them instead of the chips or cookies.. because we don't usually have many of those items. We have to make our cookies so when we do make them the kids treasure every bite.
We are hoping to be in Tonga in the next 48 hours... There is a lot of blue all around.. blue, blue, and more blue with an occasional bird. Things are moving along and I can't complain because this passage has been beautiful and easy so far... Don't want to jinx it... cross my fingers that things don't change drastically, if I could request just a touch more wind in the right direction that would be great.
Hugs and love to all,
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