We were all excited to get to Tahiti of course. The excitement was partially because it was Tahiti and partly because it was one of the few places in the South Pacific that we were pretty certain we could receive birthday presents for Tucker and Ruby. We anchored by Marina Tahina for a bit and picked up our new spinnaker and even a wifi antenna (both shipped from the US). It was exciting to have mail from the States after many months without. [Read more...]
Riverfire is a-mazing. The city of Brisbane (with generous support from the business sector) light fireworks off all along the waterfront from the Story Bridge to Southbank, and from the tops of the largest buildings in town. They have flyovers from impressive killing machines, and just an astounding amount of fanfare. We had a very small party on Convivia, where we enjoyed a front row seat to the best fireworks display I’ve ever seen.
One of the very first things I learned about Australian culture was that it robustly supports the lopping of tall poppies. Unless you are from AU, NZ, CA, or the UK you probably don’t even know what this term means, Wikipedia describes it as:
“… a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.”
…and herein lies a problem. In Silicon Valley, where I spent most of my adult life, there was a particular way in which one could be successful without garnering any unexpected ill will from his or her friends, co-workers and acquaintances. False modesty was not encouraged, nor was shying away from the limelight when it was directed. It took me quite a while to adjust to this, but when I finally did, I realized that the people I most genuinely enjoyed being around had an easy relationship with their personal successes. They tended to be inspirational, rather than boorish and conceited.
I’ve found myself having rather candid conversations about our finances lately. Inevitably I find myself saying “we’re skidding sideways into each paycheck.” Indeed last month we made it across the line by searching pockets for laundry money. It would, if I were inclined to look at it that way, be a realization of one of my worst pre-cruising fears.
Over the last week I conducted an informal survey of cruiser friends on Facebook. Of the 16 respondents 10 cited money as one of (if not the most significant) reasons that people fail to launch their cruising dreams. In About the Crew I described how we chose to throw financial responsibility to the wind, and I thought it suiting that I take a minute to let you know how that all shook out. [Read more...]
September has been a month of goodbyes and getting-to-know-yas. It’s been a month of changing weather (for the better) and changing government (for the worse). It’s been full of laughter, outdoor play and exciting summery events.
We are all feeling like Brisbane is home, and except for the outrageous cost; and missing our family and friends back home; we are just delighted to be able to say that. [Read more...]
Coffee is very important to us here on Convivia and we’ve expended quite a bit of time and energy, ensuring that we always have good coffee to drink. When we left the US we were aware that AMPs were king and decided to play it safe with a hand grinder. For the most part that grinder has been a joy. I love the ritual of grinding my morning coffee, and really only mind it when we have friends over for coffee and I have to grind a lot more. [Read more...]
Photos after the fold [Read more...]
A reader on a women’s sailing group I’m part of asked if it was possible to sail the South Pacific without washing laundry in a bucket. Laundry was much harder for me than being on a boat for 24 days straight, cooking underway, or seasickness, and something I stressed out about far more than the weather, ships, or squalls. I got over my stress about laundry by finding other people, and sometimes machines, to do my washing for me. It was expensive and it was worth it.
Laundry in Mexico, though not especially gentle on the clothes, was inexpensive and fast. We dropped off all of our clothes, towels, and sheets often and rarely paid more than $15 or $17. Setting off into the Pacific I was prepared to wash laundry by hand, in a bucket, or so I thought.
As we sailed from Mexico to the Marquesas I knew I needed to keep up with the wash, otherwise we’d surely run out of undies. So nearly daily I filled my bucket with the clothes and towels of the day and plunged away in the cockpit, quickly grabbing the bucket out of the way of the tiller if the seas weren’t perfectly steady. I wrung and rinsed and wrung some more, tethering myself in and hanging laundry on the upwind lifelines and on makeshift lines around the cockpit. We knew we’d be out at sea for around three weeks and I couldn’t let the smelly, salty, and often wet washing pile up. [Read more...]
School Holiday is our family’s newest novelty. Vick braved the first week (of two) on her own. It was cold and rainy and they spend a lot of time baking and visiting the museums. By the end of the first week though (despite heroic displays of positivity) it was getting pretty clear that if we the three of them spent the next week on the boat, in the rain, it was not going to be a good scene. We consider ourselves to be pretty stout, flexible cruiser types. When the condensation gets so thick that it starts collecting as drops on the overheads, we grin and bear it. But this wet season seems to have started when we arrived in Australia and 7 months later, is still going strong. [Read more...]
The count down to birthdays happens early with Ruby. She counts the months, the weeks, the days. She plans her cake, remembers the ones that have come before, and has a pending list of the cakes for three future birthdays. She knows that she has about 50 weeks now to finalize the next one. So, as with every year, she invented and confirmed the cake, dug out the party flags and invited her friends.