Most of the time when I’m sailing I feel like a 14 year old boy, getting into some harmless but possibly significant mischief. I stand looking over the dodger, just soaking it all in as if, at any moment some authority figure is going to send me home.
We spent a few lovely days at Middle Percy Island. We visited the legendary A-Frame, took a long hike up to the Homestead to visit Cate and John, and the Roundhouse to visit Steve. It was a lovely island with a storied and rich history and the current leaseholders were warm and hospitable. I’ll look forward to going back on our way south. Sadly, weather and internet forced us onward. We stopped in Scawfell Island for two days, but the internet there was too sporadic to support my work, so we were northbound again. When we arrived in Thomas Island, with it’s workable internet and gorgeous coral beaches, we knew we had made it to “North Enough.” Our weeks of searching were over. From here on up to Townsville the weather will be warm enough for Vick, the connectivity conducive to my work, and the flora and fauna rich, diverse, and unusual enough to hold the kid’s interest for days on end. Here are a few photos of our journey from Keppel.
I have a hard time assigning superlatives. I tend to experience life in an abstract way that doesn’t depend heavily on specific, quantifiable metrics. So when I say that this was the best day ever, take that with a grain of salt. There were other best days. They might have been better, who knows. Not me
We had been stuck on the boat for 6 days. First for sailing and second for weather in the anchorage (35 knots, come on). We finally rowed against said wind (maybe only 20 knots), to spend the morning on shore. Continue reading
The first day of my fortieth trip around the sun began in darkness. No, this isn’t a metaphor, it’s 3am. Vick woke me with a kiss. “Happy birthday, it’s your watch,” she said through her smile.
We have embarked upon our third voyage. Convivia and her crew will spend 4 months exploring the Great Barrier Reef. Unlike previous journeys, this one is a return trip. In September we will return top Brisbane, put the kids back in school and resume our “normal” lives.
I was struck, as I often am when we start a sail, how quickly our family fell back into our best selves. Miles, severed from his Minecraft addiction, was dancing and play acting on the foredeck as we motored along. Ruby was happily snuggled up in Vick’s lap doing homework and I found myself joining Miles for an invisible sword fight on the bow.
Every trip has it’s ups and downs, but I realized recently that, at least for me. I am a better person when I’m out here. Released from the schedules that drive our “normal” lives, I am free to focus on things that matter. We find our harmony and don’t have to abandon it for a school bell, or urgent deadline.
Every time I rediscover this feeling I find myself reaching for the utopia that would afford this option to every family. What economic system could we adopt that would promote productive (not in the current sense of the word) natural, ethical, and harmonious lives? What would our goals as a society be? How could we exist in this way while allowing others to live their own (different, more “normal”) lives. It’s a great exercise and it reminds me of my extraordinary privilege. I don’t delude myself into thinking that everyone has the ability to live this kind of life, but l do wonder what would happen to our world if more people who could, did.
When I was younger (let’s just say I was 10) my uncle would entice me to row him across what seemed like an endless [Muscongous] sound to Loud’s Island, by making up silly stories about a fellow named Barfoolean Farkwar.
Barf would do things like set out to sail without a sail. When he realised his blunder, he would split all of his underpants in half, and sew them together to make a stinky sail (Barf wasn’t much for hygiene).