Sunday, October 9, 2016

Re-acclimating to life on land....

Hello Everyone,

I want to start off with a huge thank you to our family and all of the help and support they gave us on coming home.  It was so amazing.  Everyone had a HUGE part in making our transition home incredible.  They moved us out of storage and into our home, not only moved boxes but helped us unpack and put things away... they went to Costco, Safeway, and Ikea and set up furniture in our rooms for us so that we had beds to sleep on and food to eat.  We were so overwhelmed and tired from leaving the boat that I can't tell you how much that meant to me to have these huge items checked off.  It was one part of coming home that I was dreading.  I had been moving and packing and cleaning the boat for a month so it was so amazing to not have to do it again when we arrived.  The kids had 5 days to acclimate and jump into school.  We had to register them and get their classes and then a little school shopping but not much.  Everything was done prior to us arrive and everyone in Family Circus was so happy to be able to just be at the house and get used to being home.  It was way more overwhelming than I ever imagined.  SO THANK YOU TO ALL MY AMAZING, LOVELY FAMILY AND EXTENDED FAMILY WHO HELPED US TO MOVE BACK IN.  It melted and warmed my heart more than you will ever know!

We have been able to go to my sister Morgan's house in Petaluma and see all the hard work they have put into their amazing plot of land.  I love all the animals and the improvements they have made.  It is a little slice of heaven and something that I would love to have in the future.  I can see why it is a staycation for them.  It is so wonderful and peaceful that you can truly relax on the front porch in the rocking chair while watching the animals and horse gallop around.  According to all the kids little Mollie Mae is growing up in paradise.

We are up in Shasta spending time with my sister Piper and her kids.  It has been so nice to be able to call and have a weekend to meet up and spend time together.  Shasta is in the middle for us so it is a great meeting point so that we can see the kids and the cousins can be together.  I have missed all the little nieces and nephews and am so glad that I can spend time with them so that they get to know their aunty again.  I love all the little cuddles and messy kisses... it is hard to get my fill.

 Applesauce in the making...

This feels so strange.  We are currently up in Mt. Shasta with Oma and I finally feel like I could open this page.  For so many years this was my life line to my family and friends and in a way the blog itself was a friend that made me feel still attached to home.  As I opened it this morning I find myself detached and not knowing what to write, I feel sad that it is not such a part of me any longer.  I feel that I have had a very difficult time emotionally coming back to our old life.  Don't get me wrong I love it and am so excited to be back but it has been more difficult than I ever had imagined.  I am constantly in state of a tear shed and an emotional rollercoaster at home.  I put on a brave face when I am out of the house but at home the kids often say, "mom's crying again... "  I know it is short and I will get over this... the problem is that I can't tell you WHY I am crying or sad... I think it is just the shake up of losing the screen saver vacation life we lived for 2 years.  I miss the closeness of our family, the relaxed state we were all in.  I feel like I am more tense and anxious now and have a very difficult time with time management and multitasking.  This new part of me is disappointing to me because I feel like I used to be superwoman that could do everything at once and now I am just a shell of who I used to be.  I know it will all come back but it is something that I will need to work on.  I am not saying I am lazy but it is just a new me that I am learning to mold into something that I like.  I feel a little lost.  I thought when I got back home I would just step into my old life and everything would be so simple and familiar.  In my case I don't feel that it is true.  I feel disconnected and not as much a part of the community as when I had left.  Even though we were gone for only 2 years, in many ways nothing had changed in our community and you feel as if you had stepped back thru a time warp, but something is amiss and the feelings aren't the same.  I am chalking that up to the life experiences we went through on the boat and how, even though you don't feel that you are changing as a person, your ideals, facing your fears, growing stronger and weaker at the same time, in many ways that I can't express (because I don't understand them yet).  I often feel myself choking back tears that seem to come out of know where and for seems to be no reason at all.  I know that things will come around full circle and be back to normal and crazy... but for now I am just surfing a new wave and looking for the changes in weather so to speak as they come along. 

In regards to the kids and their experiences in joining land life again.... it seems for them it has been a seamless process.  They always say that kids are so moldable and flexible and will adapt to so many situations given the opportunity.  I have to admit that I am always amazed at these guys and how they seem to take charge and go with the flow.  They had some fears about coming back to their home and going back into a full time school commitment and all the pressures that come with that.   With anticipation and anxiety all wrapped up into one they trudged on to school.  Some showing their worries more than others and in their own ways. 

Alexia and Tristan had wonderful friends to come back to and help them with the transition and all the new set of rules that they needed to learn from social media to school.  Over all for both of them they are having a blast, love the school, their classes, teachers (finally... hee hee the ones they had for the last 2 years were a bit grumpy) and having their friends around.  Alexia is still very interested in wine making and her and Chris have started to make wine at home. 

Both Alexia and Tristan have the travel bug so they both have signed up for trips through the school for spring break.  Alexia will be going on a historical tour of Washington D.C and Tristan will be traveling to Ecuador to help the environment and plant trees.  They are both so excited to get back out there and see more of what the world has to offer... Who knows with the upcoming election it may be safer in Ecuador and Washington D.C. may be more of a jungle.

In terms of how they have changed from our adventure... I am not quite sure if it is an impact of the trip or just who they are but what I can say is they all get along so well.  Yes, there are the occasional pokes or jokes about each other but for the most part they have become best friends with each other and really look out for each other.  They all have a different perspective of the world and what poverty really is and how happy you can be without the material items that we used to have too much of.  Now when I say finish your plate because there are kids starving out there... they understand that it is true.  They know how lucky they are just to have a roof over their, floor underneath and a bed to sleep in (with a blanket) and a fully stocked grocery store down the road.  They often comment how nice it is to have running water, a shower and a refrigerator and freezer that works all the time.  They are responsible in doing their own laundry and are often helping around the house or asking if I need help.  They are more likely to step out of their comfort zones and participate in something that they are unsure of, just to try it.  They feel they are more independent and confident enough to be on their own or venture out on their own.  They don't feel it necessary to have friends around at all times, they are used to being by themselves and are just fine.  They are much more easy going and non judge mental.  They are used to all kinds of people and realize that you never know the story behind someone and their choices so who are we to judge them.  They enjoy conversations with adults and are often sitting with us when people stop by and like to take part in conversations and be a part of the group.  They are often talking about world issues that they have read about and seem to have more interest in the global world around them not just our immediate area they are in.  They are asking questions and want to know more about finances, how mortgages, credit cards, debt and other economic issues and how they impact them or how and when they can and will start their own accounts.  

Overall, to me they just seem more mature, attentive and appreciative to their surroundings and how we impact our world and what they can do or not do to have an impact on it.  We often had these conversations on the boat.... I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to maintain these or if the interest would still be there when we got home so I am glad that we still get to dive into some of these issues with them.  They are still kids and like to hibernate in their rooms, listening to music and watching movies at times... Alexia still likes to write and Tristan is focusing on school and we are enjoying the down time of just being home and not being scheduled.  I believe this has helped our transition enormously by keeping our life as simple as possible and not being over scheduled.  We love to spend the time with the kids and they still need the down time after school just to chill.  Coming back to land life is full of noise and overstimulation from what we were used to and it is somewhat exhausting.  We don't mind it and are having a great time but it does makes us more tired than it used to.  So the down time is wonderful to have.

Amaia and Alina have both readjusted great.  They are really enjoying their classes and teachers and have been able to adjust to the school rules along the way.  Alina has only participated in school thru a transitional kindergarten program so a full day of school was all new to her.  She didn't know what to expect, how to act, or what to do... all of her worries seem to disappear after the first day of school and she had 3 girls in her class that she knew from TK and our daisy troop before we left.  It was really nice to have them in class with her to help her relax.  Amaia was put into class with one of her best friends (Fiona) and so she was really looking forward to it.  She had a lot of anxiety before school started about whether she would be prepared enough or smart enough for 4th grade.  I tried to reassure her that the amount of school we did she would be fine.  I also tried to explain that she learned so much just being out and discovering through our trip than she would ever know, but still in her mind she was unsure.  First day of school she walked with Fiona and when we got to class she immediately went for the books grabbed a few and sat down. 

I believe it was her way of being a fly on the wall and she was in her comfort place.  By then end of the first day the girls were champs and were convinced they were fine and would be successful in school and that it wasn't such a scary place.  They are both on a soccer team and are making new friends and have really stepped back into our old life beautifully.  They are really happy to be home.

Mykaela is home with us and starting a few jobs and registering for school winter term.  She will be finishing her AA degree and then starting school to be an sonography technician.  It is nice to have her home with us and seeing her smile and dance and spend time with the kids.  They all really missed her as well and it is nice to have her home and bonding with them again.

Kava announced right before we got home that he proposed to Ariel.  We are so excited to have her join our family.  She is just a doll that we treasure and the kids are all super stoked to have a new sister.  We all just love her and seeing Kava sooooo happy and excited is worth its weight in gold.

Chris is on a mission right now looking for a job.  It is amazing how many appointments and meetings he is setting up with people all over trying to find a fit for him and our family values.  He truly would love to find a balance that keeps our family time and work time balanced for him.  We love the family dinners together every night and still keep that as an important part of our day.  

We have a new member of the family now.  We adopted Bula Bear from a rescue in Modesto and he is now our new dog.  He is half German Shepard and have Siberian Husky.  We just adore him and he is flourishing with us.  The kids are having the best time with him and he is just the best puppy to have.  He loves being with the kids and everyone, is smart and affectionate and loves people.  The hardest part for us is that he is only 3 months so without those puppy shots we can't take him out of the house.  The kids are anxious to be able to take him out for walks and traveling with us.  My sister brought our cat Oliver back that she loved to have in their family while we were gone.  I feel bad for having to ask for him back but we missed him so much and the kids were looking forward to having him home.  

We are getting the house set up back to the way we had it.  Have stripped the backyard, bought a trampoline, made a garden and got some chickens and I just started our pond up again and will be getting some fish for it this week.

We have been very busy making our home again but also taking our time and working on the things that bring us joy and putting off the ones that don't.  I am volunteering up at the little girls school once in awhile, going on my walks in the mornings with the moms and dads taking the kids to school.  

There are a few new families in the hood and it has been so much fun getting to know them and spending time with the kids.  I really treasure our little extended neighborhood family and our spontaneous get togethers for dinner, a coffee or a quick glass of wine.  It takes a village these days to raise our kids and after seeing how happy and adjusted so many of the village kids are I really appreciate the comfort our children have in all these homes up and down the street and their sense of security and belonging that will encourage their independence and confidence for years to come.

Thank you for following us on our adventures across the Pacific.  It is sad that that adventure has come to an end but a new one is already stirring.  We did sell the boat so she will continue on with a new family Chris and Sayo and their little girls.  I am so excited for them to be able to have an amazing adventure and give their kids the the opportunity to live life outside of the box.  It was truly amazing for us and something that we would like to do in the future maybe even for half the year... maybe we just continue to charter for now and see where life takes us.

Chris and I have dreams now of vineyards, lavender, alpacas and tractors... Alexia is still enthusiastic about making wine and becoming a vintner so we are hoping to be able to help her achieve her dreams... The kids love animals and farm life and so it would be nice in a few years to be able to share my upbringing with them.  We will see what life brings but for now we are dreaming big or going home... either way we win and you never know we made the last one come true... crossing fingers.

Hugs and Love,


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Official Last Post from the Boat....

Hello Everyone,

Well it is official.  It is our last night here.  We are all packed.... pretty much... and are just going to have a nice dinner together on the boat and then try to get a good nights sleep.  We had a great weekend before we brought the boat in... some beach time, sun, kite surfing, and feeding the fishes off the back of the deck.  We even had a resident barracuda that was about 5 feet long.  We got him to come close as we fed him some steak that had gone bad.  Of course we weren't going to go swimming after that but it was fun while it lasted.

We are traveling to Sydney for 3 days and will spend Tristan's birthday there.  One of the great benefits to cruising is meeting people all over the world and being offered to come and visit.  One our of our very good friends on a boat called Apropos, Karen, Jim and Jacintha have contacted her mom and sister in Australia and they are welcoming the circus into their home for a few days.  We are so grateful for an open door and are looking forward to meeting Jacintha's auntie and grandma.  Then after that we are heading up to go and hang with another of our cruising friends from a boat called Skyus.  The kids and adults had so much fun with them in Bora Bora, Tonga,, and Fiji and live just north of Sydney, we are all really looking forward to catching up and hearing about their land life and back to school stories.

Then we are home and getting back into the roll of things...

Anyway... Ciao for now and hope all your sunsets are beautiful and you always chase your dreams... no regrets and no I wish I would haves.... take care and be kind... It seems like the world needs a big hug right now and a lot of pay it forwards.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

We are heading home 8/15... YAY!

Hello Everyone,

Well we have officially bought our tickets home and will be arriving on August 15th.  We are so excited!  We will be going through Sydney for a few days and then home.  It has pretty much been a whirl wind for the last month.  We have officially sold the boat to a wonderful family from Canada that will be starting their adventure in a few months.  Sayo and Chris -  this is definitely a decision you will never regret or look back on.  It is truly the most amazing life style, nurturing, surreal, down to raw nature, humbling, and the most amazing community of people you will experience.

We have such a short time here left that we are trying to get a chance to enjoy it a little.  Chris really wanted to kite surf so we have been going to the well known spot of Ilot Maitre.  It is a world known site for Kitesurfing because it has a really nice long sandy beach, shallow reef waters and consistent winds.  Chris was hoping to get to use his new kite.  While we have been here we have become close with another family with a little boy.  They are from New Zealand and have been living on their boat and roaming the pacific for 7 years.  Little Ocean is 22 mos and so we have all been getting our baby fix in while they are here.  Ocean, Tonya and Dudley hope you enjoy Vanuatu as much as we did and look forward to seeing you guys in San Fran when you can.  We already miss our little boy... Fish, Fish...

We have been in and out of the marina to take care of business with school, packing boxes to ship home that will reach us in 4 months, and setting up our house, school, school clothes, registrations, utilities, moving, jobs, and such for our return.   I am almost as overwhelmed as we end our journey, as when we began.  I have been so out of the loop with all the paperwork, schedules, bills that we will now have again, and the commitments, that it is a little daunting.  Okay EXTREMELY daunting... As most of you know I am an extremely weeping person.  Let's just say I have been more than my usual hallmark weepy lately.

As I am going thru my lists to jump back into land life I realize that I can still visualize every detail of home just as when we left.  (Even to the point where my sister asked me for a costco list so she could stock the house before we arrived and as I was making my list I was going down the aisles in my head and making lists by department... Pathetic I know).  I also realized that I really need to get a life, start on a career and figure out what I want to do when I grow up.. hee hee.

In this process of moving back home I am so touched by all that have offered to help us as we transition back home.  It reminds me of how good our community/friends/family are and how blessed I am to be living in the environment I do for myself and my family.  In todays world as you all know it is even more important to be close to those that you love and to help those that need.  It is important for everyone to care and reach out and be supportive to the community/friendships and help watch over all of us...  We are so fortunate to be where we are and I would love to think that we are not unique and the majority of people around the world feel the same and will stop to help anyone that needs it no matter what.  I know that out here we experience that on a daily basis and it has become our norm...

I have often been reflecting on our trip over the past weeks and I get snippets of memories that flow in and out.  Some of the things that I realize are we have all grown from this experience beyond measures.  When we started out I would have classified myself as a control freak, obsessive, do everything, worrier, planner, and not spontaneous.  Now I can maybe take off the planner /do everything part and add spontaneous and flexible.. hee hee.  I am still a controlling person in a way but have mellowed out soooo much.  Of course Chris may have some other choice words.  Living on a boat you realize that there are so many things that you can worry about and try to control but ultimately you have to throw your hands in the air and say WTF and go with it... nothing is ever consistent.  You are always changing or adjusting from schedules, destinations, recipes, mechanical parts, time schedules, activities and the list goes on... you can not plan anything and you just have to wake up and see what the winds have blown your way or for the better, out of your way.   You have to make multiple plans because they always change.  They ALWAYS seem to change for the better and things ALWAYS work out.

As a cruiser there are a few things that become common place....  Your hair dryer is your husband's Milwaukee heat gun, the thermometer you use for the kids is the Milwaukee Laser temp gun, your new perfume is Diesel,  when you walk by the kids and they say, "ooooh you smell good" only because you showered for the first time in a week.  When everyone on board is craving a salad or fruit because we have been living out of cans for weeks.  When you put on a shirt and have to change it 3 times because you can't get the moldy smell out of your clothes till you reach the bottom of the pile... and when you do put your shirts or shorts on they have holes/stains in them because you have worn them clean through in the last few years.

I wish there is some way I can think that Chris has changed but in my mind he has always been, giving, optimistic, caring, achieving, family oriented, worldly, nurturing, my shoulder to lean on.... I think the only way this trip has changed him is he is even more motivated to get back and find a way for us to repeat this lifestyle without losing what we have learned/gained from it in the last 2 years.  We both love how we are currently living and need to find away to keep it going (whether on land or by sea or both)  It may take up to 10 years but at least it is a goal for all of us.

In regards to the rest of the family, I think the most noticeable change in the kids is that they love to hang out with us adults and participate in the conversations.  They will approach anyone of any age, introduce themselves (with eye contact and shaking hands) and be able to start a conversation with asking and answering questions.  They are extremely helpful without being asked to others around us, strangers in town or cruisers on the dock, it doesn't matter, they go out of their way to ask them if they can help.  It is now second nature for them to reach out to people and engage.  They are also not afraid of language barriers and realize that they enjoy trying to communicate and stumble their way along.  They now can recognize most country flags flying off the back of the boats and know people from many different countries.  They have learned about these countries or funny stories from them and have a new appreciation at how small the world really is.  They also have an amazing tolerance and appreciation for all personality types.

They all can cook and are quite self sufficient in taking care of themselves.  They all help with the chores, like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, and taking care of the boat.  They all know that they need to be ready if we call them and are responsive right away... Unless of course they have their headphones on and music on full blast.  They have learned to appreciate each others company and have become close in the process.  They really are their own best friends because often there isn't anyone else to hang with.

The older kids have become a lot more patient and more mature a long the way.  They realize that people are who they are and that they pick their battles carefully, most of the time it is like water running off a ducks back or they laugh with each other at their bad moments.  Most of their arguments are not sibling rivalry stuff but they end up have these book and music discussions/debates on their different tastes in both.  Believe me it still is annoying to hear them have the same argument every night but a little funny at the same time.  Most people feel that living on boat in a small space creates many restrictions and with the kids fighting.  I would have to say that a smaller house leads to a closer family and we have all learned to communicate how we feel and to fix anything by talking when we are upset.  There is no where to hide on this boat.  You can't throw a temper tantrum and slam your door to escape and make a point, the next person is only 2 feet away.. Hee hee.

They still do kid stuff like getting in and out of the fridge multiple times.. and leaving lights on.  Chris solved that by just taking their light bulbs out and they had to earn them back.. One thing they have learned is to not leave the water on...  It is the one resource we do not want to run out of on the boat. They still have the messy (really messy) rooms and the boat still gets trashed just like at home but all in all it is still a small space and it take us a few hours to put it all back.  This is just a snap shot in each room tonight at what our boat looks like on a normal night...


Chris and I will work really hard at finding a balance between what/how we have learned and developed as a family and also re-acclimating back into land life.  I know that after about a month we will so be missing so many things about this lifestyle like the sunsets/sunrises and motion of the water, the marine life, bird life, fauna and flora, the communities, no alarm clocks, no schedules, white sand beaches, reuniting with our sailing friends, the close family times and doing everything as a family and many more... but we now know what it is like out here and can plan for something in the future.

The one thing that I just can't get over is how much I miss my family.  Kava and Mykaela there isn't a day that I didn't think of you and miss you guys so much.  I am so looking forward to a huge bear hug from you guys and can't wait to see you all of you (Ariel... that means you too... I am so happy you are now a big part of our family!)

I miss you guys and haven't been there for a few pretty big moments and it just kills me.  I am looking forward to weekend visits and beach time with you guys.

I have missed my family so much and am so hurt that 3 of my nieces and nephews grew up not really knowing their aunty/uncle/cousins... I can't wait to change that and be there for them and see them more often.  Family is the world to me and I just can't be away from them like this.  My cherished friends it has been so long and I am so looking forward to catching up with you guys, walks on the bike trail, coffees in the morning, wine in the evenings, and some of our signature parties... the kids are already planning the our coming home party, pumpkin carving party, gingerbread making party, etc...

Hugs and love to everyone,


Saturday, July 23, 2016

The end of this adventure and on to a new one.....

Hello everyone,

As my wise and cherished friend Kathi reminded me of a quote from Winnie the Pooh, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."  It is an understatement!  We are now in our last 3 weeks here in New Caledonia and have been running around packing boxes and getting ready to leave our floating home for our land home.  It is a very emotional time for me.  I am really excited about seeing all our friends and family and the simple conveniences that land life brings.  The ability to get in and out of your home without getting wet and sandy, a washing machine, grocery stores that you know, less maintenance issues, and going for long walks in a straight line... as I sit here I realize how little my list really is of the simple conveniences and now looking back they actually seem like pleasures instead of annoyances.  I am looking forward to sharing a morning coffee with a friend and a long walk if anyone is up for it.

As we have mentioned a few million times, sailing community is outgoing, friendly, helpful, generous and some of the most amazing people we have come across. Unless you are on the same sailing path the bonds you make are a strong connection for a short time period and it isn't the same as a permanent residence.  We kept running into "Fearless Fred" a 74 year old single hander.  He reminds me so much of my dad that we had an immediate connection.  Super sweet guy and amazing man with so many crazy stories.  He is a decorated Vietnam veteran on his 3rd circumnavigation.  We started running into him in Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand and now shared dock space in New Caledonia.  We had dinner the night before he left and saw him depart to complete his circumnavigation... we will definitely be in Port Angeles when he arrives to finish his journey in a few years with big welcoming hugs...

We are always on the move and going in different directions.  There are so many wonderful cruising families that are out on the water and we have been fortunate enough to meet and spend time with many.  You never forget your friendships out here and often wonder what and how they are doing.  I am afraid to list them all because I don't want to leave anyone out (Apropos, Field trip, Little Explorers, Javalot, Bob the Cat, Por Dos, Ohana, Breeze, Sarita, Lorien, Miss Good Night, Miss behaving, Tinkerbell to name a few) Reading their blogs, or facebook posts and keeping in touch and sharing their experiences whether you have done the same things or not is really fun.  There are two families that we bonded with immediately and were fortunate enough to be on the same path almost daily and to share anchorages/ grocery shopping/ diving/ sunsets/ beaches/ snorkeling/ routes/ destinations/ weather/ customs/ boat repairs/ parts/ kids/ dinners/ books/ movies/ walks/ drinks/ advice/ school/ anxieties/ appreciation and the list goes on.  We have really been lucky to cruise with them for months and our bonds are like family and we think of them very often and are excited to reunite... Shine and Pelagic.  We also were lucky to have them split our time half with Pelagic all through Mexico and the other half with Shine from Tuamotos to Fiji.  As a family cruising, and you here this from many other families, when you connect with another kid boat you stick to them like glue for the companionship/friendship/sisterhood.... I will just say now sorry for stalking both of you guys... I know there were times that you tried to shake us and we caught up to you... there is no hiding behind other boats in the bay... even without AIS Patrick!  We will always find you.. hee hee.  Both of you were and are such a blessing for us and made our adventure/journey so special.  You are in our hearts forever!

  Our first time meeting them, we convinced them to play Dibble with us... I knew they were crazy and would be our soul mates!  Good on ya mate!

Zihuatanejo our last day with Pelagics as they continue traveling south and us going west... Our endless Tiki battles are some of my most favorite memories along with the spicy soup giggle fest... it always puts a smile on my face remembering..

We have a wonderful couple that is looking at buying the boat so we have been going through the process with them, boat showing, test sail, surveys, haul out... it is quite a process.  It is a lot of work as anyone who has sold a house.  The boat isn't sold yet, everything is going well, there are still a few conditions outstanding but it looks like it may be a good fit.  In any case it is always nice to meet new people and learn of their stories and why they want to take an adventure like this.  I am excited for them and for the start of their new journey and hopefully choosing to take family circus into new waters.  It is always nice to imagine the house that you have spent so much time caring for and attaching yourself too because she has brought you safely across so many ocean miles... about 14,000 I think, will continue on giving another family enjoyment and bring new opportunities for them to connect and experience life like we have.

New Caledonia is a gem and we are loving it here.  It truly is unspoken because they don't need to advertise for tourism.  It isn't one of their economic factors because nickel is their primary income, they are the 5th largest producer and have about 10% of the worlds nickel on this tiny little island.  With that being said there are a crazy amount of permanent boats here that many french, kiwi and aussies use for vacationing or permanent residence.  One of our concerns for the end of our trip was where to store the boat.  If we weren't able to sell her we needed to find a home to store her and keep her safe and watched over until November.  During our process of hauling out we found a wonderful community of people at the boat yard we hauled out at.  It turns out there are only 2 yards that are able to lift a catamaran and one had a broken lift.  So we were directed to Carenocean a tiny boat yard at the bottom of a cliff.  As we pull up to get hauled out Raul comes out in his dinghy, directs us where to go then says he has to change and tells us to wait until he motions us to move forward.  He jumps on his boat and then comes out with swim trunks and a waterproof remote control.  He jumps in the water and swims to the lift and tells us to drive over him and then hands us straps to the lift and then begins to guide the boat onto the ramp by standing on the ramp and maneuvering the boat with his hands underneath... and then with the remote begins to move the boat out of the water.... literally a one man operation and it was the smoothest haul out we have had.

We had the boat pressure washed for the survey because the hull had to be clean.  The next morning Chris goes to check on the hull before the surveyor comes out and what does he find but little muddy hand prints in decorative designs all up and down the keels and hull... Hee Hee kids and boat yards... it is always fun to play in the mud and find the junk to build stuff.

After we were all set we asked Raul about space in the water right in front of the yard to store the boat.  They had a few boats tied up with people living on them permanently.  As it turns out there was a spot for us to leave family circus with this lovely little community of people at the bottom of the cliff.  It is completely safe because they all live there and will watch over the boat for us.  I was so giddy that I literally ran up to get the deposit for the spot.  After Raul invites us to a pot luck dinner at his house in the yard.  His older daughter was visiting and leaving the next morning.  It was wonderful meeting all the people in the yard.  There are two aeronautical mechanic students , an older woman (70ish) on her own the sailed around australia on a worm cat with her four kids when they were small, an older french couple (again 70ish) refitting their boat and living on it, a father and daughter (about 15) living and fixing up their boat... and a few more... Let's just say that as soon as I laid that deposit down knowing our boat would be in good hands I bought our plane tickets home.  Chris ended up staying at the dinner until we hours of the morning making friends and drinking port and dancing.  Temo, Raul's wife, got everyone up and dancing and Chris said EVERYONE... it was so fun to see and it never ceases to amaze us at the energy of the older sailing community.  They put me to shame and I end up going to bed before them.  It truly is a very healthy lifestyle that keeps you young.  Good on ya mate!

So we have started packing up our boat for shipment home.  This was also another concern and was a challenge finding a reasonable company where they would store our boxes for a reasonable price and put them on a container ship to arrive in Oakland at some point in the next 6 months.  As luck would have it we came across Frederic that has been a god send and is a true pleasure to work with.  He works for a shipping company here called IES.  He told us where to get our boxes, and once packed he came to pick them up at the marina here and store them for us until the ship leaves on 8/3.  We have to get him our second and final shipment pick up by Thursday this week.  Let's just say our waterline has come up by about 4 inches.  Taking off all of the school books, games, toys and such makes the boat look so uncluttered and clean... I wish we could have cruised with less and after packing some of the items I KNOW we could have cruised with less.

Tristan is taking his finals and trying to finish up school so at least he will have a couple weeks break before he starts back school at home.  Schooling on the boat has been one of the most difficult but rewarding parts of our trip.  I can see why people choose to homeschool.  Being able to discuss and learn together has been a lot of fun and seeing them make connections from what they learn to real life it definitely more rewarding than I thought it would be.

Otherwise... we are enjoying the market and the sunrises while we are stuck dockside and as soon as we can get our last shipment off to Fredric and Tristan's finals taken we will be off to enjoy our last 10 days of boat life.  

Hugs and love to all and we are looking forward to coming home.