Sunday, January 17, 2016

3. Boat Life / Land Life

    Making our way south.

It is strange putting together the “sailing” blog while sitting in my home on land :) but here is what we’ve been up to.  After Paige’s birthday visit from the grandparents we delivered them to the dock via dinghy, no problem.  Our trip back to Abby gave us a little excitement/drama, enough to to be post worthy so here goes.  Andrew had seen a very nice 60’ yacht beached on a sandbar near the Ponce Inlet so we decided to go exploring to get a better look on our way back to the boat.  As we moved toward the inlet, the sun began to set and the fog grew thicker and thicker.  After hearing our little outboard engine putter a few times as we were about to run aground ourselves, we decided to pull out google earth on my tablet (which usually stays in the dry bag).  By the time we had the satellite image up, the fog was so thick we could no longer see landmarks for reference and had to trust that the computer was smarter than us!  We wound our way past the inlet opening, seeing the larger waves of the ocean much closer than we would want.  The girls were FREAKING out and Paige was convinced we were headed out to the open ocean and, I’m sure in her mind at the time, never to be seen again!  We tried to show them how we were navigating based on the images and used them as lookouts as best we could.  It is amazing the things you think you see when you can’t see anything at all!  Our 15 minute dinghy ride took over an hour to get back to Abby.  Andrew & I had a few intense moments but really didn't feel the panic the girls did because we trusted Google.  Once we arrived back at the boat both girls had a good cry from the stress.  We apologized for not having a better plan and all had a good hug.  
Lessons learned:  
- this experience is not for pushing the boundaries to see what we can endure, we need to make sure the whole crew is “onboard” with the plan.  We don’t want to regularly freak them out or they will not enjoy this experience.  
- fog is not something to be messed with!  You would think we would have learned that from our first experience but we are hard headed, what can I say?
    Ponce Inlet anchorage - note the fog, middle of the day.

After a much more exciting night than we had planned, we were ready to head further south.  We had a fun passage out of New Smyrna and traveled all day with another boat, Rockyella, until Titusville.  There is a tiny passage called Haulover Canal that was densely populated with fishing boats, some having to pull out of our path so we could pass.  We had never seen anything like it.  Where the Indian River opens up heading south is more like a very large lake.  We had quite a bit of chop and some huge wind gusts.  The girls love those moments and get giggling hard.  We had our first pretty severe heeling (for non-sailors- meaning the boat leans far over because of all the wind in the sail) which sent many items in the cabin flying - makes a mess but helps you learn what needs to find a new home :)
    Anchorage at Cocoa Beach

After finishing a total of 4 nights at anchor, we rewarded ourselves with a stay at the Vero Beach Marina and dinner at Riverside Cafe.  OMG - great place to stay and even better food!  We were a little over stimulated to be on land, with people, and lots of TVs but we enjoyed ourselves so much.
    View from Riverside Cafe - breath taking

We are now docked at the “no frills but very affordable” Riverside Marina in Ft Pierce.  
    First time at a dock with no finger piers, you should see us dismount :)

Andrew is doing some finishing touches aboard while the girls and I are at home trying to get everything set for us to leave long term.  We’ve be able to use this time as an opportunity for the girls to take some much missed dance classes at our home studio - Scott Jones School of Dance and squeeze in lots of sleepovers and friend time.
    Crazies!

Things learned in our third week aboard:
The boat is home - I am surprised to find that the four walls of our home are no longer where we feel "at home”.  We have lived here for 10yrs next month. It is not a fancy house, sixties style that needs lots of improvements but we have loved it and turned it into our little haven.  But our 37’ boat feels more like home lately than our comfy 4 walls, why?  Because it's where we are living!  It's no longer about the stuff we have accumulated to make us cozy or happy or entertained but the family I share the space with and the interactions with them that make me feel like the wife and mom I was meant to be.  Lesson: don't be over “stuffed”.  Focus on what is important and what you have or don't have no longer matters.
    Cute girls, being cute in their cute V-berth.

Play the role you're cast - I will try to combine the 3 things I know best: being a wife, living aboard and being a performer.  Andy & I have had a few disagreements aboard usually over nothing particularly important and the resolve quickly.  I have pinpointed that it is usually because I'm trying to do his job, not mine.  Now if you don't subscribe to the “Wives submit to your husbands”, you may appreciate that there is, in fact, a hierarchy on a boat and if there is more than one captain, mutiny ensues.  I have realized that any disagreement comes when I am questioning the captain instead of embracing my role as first mate which is equally important even if it is viewed as a supporting role.  It's like being cast in one role and trying to play another.  Here's a FRIENDS reference for everyone our age :)  It's like being cast as Monica and trying to play Rachel.  Rachel is only truly convincing as Rachel when she has Monica to play off of.  A captain can only truly focus on his duties when his crew is fulfilling their's and a husband is only free to thrive when he has the full and undying support of his wife, a role I cherish.
    The rewards of the sailing life

We have a few more days on land to wrap things up before heading back to the boat so if you’re in Jax and need us, better make it quick :)
Hoping the next post will be from aboard and in a new location

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