Well, the anchorage antics never cease. In fact, I think this may be our main source of entertainment and occupation for the next several years. Cameron has so far earned two cans of beer, a can of chicken chili and a can of corned beef hash for his help in setting anchors, pulling anchors, detangling anchors and that is just the beginning! One couple lured him onto their boat and then proceeded to ask him all sorts of questions and extracted all sorts of advice… If he starts charging, I can retire! One morning he refused to go above decks just to avoid being called into action. Generally he is very happy to be of help, but the previous day he had spent at least a few hours dealing with other peoples ground tackle and…there are limits! The truth is Cameron enjoys helping out and meeting the neighbors. He also likes to be on deck when others are coming in, just in case they have questions about where our anchor is located, how many we have out and how much rode (feet of chain or rope) we are using. It just cuts down on issues later. Helping one another is a big part of cruising, we have received so much advice in the form of lengthy emails from other cruisers that’s it’s nice to start paying it back. Thankfully all the boats cleared out, a new crop moved in and we were again blissfully unknown to anyone.
All this fun is taking place in the Channel Islands again. After I spent a week off the boat working on wines up north, we pulled out of Oxnard for a bumpy sail off to the northern Channel Island of Santa Cruz. We sailed by Anacapa and pulled into Smuggler’s Cove on the east end of Santa Cruz. Adelaide loved the ride. The seas were not big, but they were quite steep, causing lots of bouncing. She was (clipped in via harness and life jacketed) on the bow squealing happily while she was getting drenched in waves as the bow was almost buried in the on coming swells. We put a damper on her fun, poor girl, and told her she had to stay at the mast. She was disappointed but cooperative and spent most of the next few hours wrapped around the mast exclaiming what fun this trip was. Meanwhile Isa was green, watery eyed and swaying in the companion way. She perked up after she lost her cookies and was in fine form there after.
So now we settle in to “normal life” aboard. It’s hard to pin down a normal day. They are all so different based on where we are, when we are leaving, where we are going and what the weather is like. But there is a general rhythm that emerges. Since I have been bouncing on and off the boat so much these last few months for work, it’s been a bit hard to identify. Last month I lived out of a suitcase for a month straight and only slept on the boat twice! But, after a few days of being aboard a daily routine emerges and we all easily slip back into our “schedule”.
These days we all wake up whenever we wake up. Unless we have to weigh anchor and head out, we rise when we feel ready. That is usually somewhere between 6 and 7 am for Cameron and 7 to 8am for me. Isa is usually the first of the girls to pop out as her quarters are in the saloon area. She wakes up with a huge grin on her face then squiggles around getting happily in everyone’s way. Adelaide is often the last to appear and comes out looking a bit like a hungry, angry zombie. Breakfast is called for immediately so a “first” breakfast of cereal and fruit is served quickly. Often we have a second breakfast around 9am which may consist of scones, pancakes, more cereal or eggs.
After breakfast we attempt to all get out of our pajamas, brush our teeth and hair and generally try and make an effort… although some days we just stay in our PJ’s and that’s just that! By 10am we are generally getting in to some home schooling.
Homeschooling is quite the journey and we are far from finding our feet when it comes to being the girl’s teachers. It’s a very challenging dynamic and I’m not going to spout off about how easy and fabulous and wonderful it is…It’s HARD! But I think it’s worth it on SO many levels. The most important thing that I’m learning is to not force it… or at least to know when to push and know when to abandon ship and come at it form another tack on another day. I’m finding myself deep into my go-to parenting book “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline” almost daily so I can renew my spirit and keep my best parenting foot forward. It’s all about perspective right? And I think I’m getting more of an education than they are! Thankfully, we have lots of great resources and we realized how much the girls are learning just by being with us so much. It’s a blessing to see so intimately where they are struggling in some areas and to watch them excel in others. I really value the ability to allow them time and energy to spend on the things that they are interested in. But, at times it’s hard and some days it feels very frustrating… but I know we will find our way.
Learning time is usually wrapped up by 12:30 or 1:00, after which we have lunch. Afternoon activities involve some kind of exploration, task or play. It might be just heading to the beach while the girls swim, or going for a hike or trekking to the grocery store, ice-cream store or just a “long explore” in the dinghy to check out some nearby caves and cliffs.
Many times it’s an educational outing; we might go to the interpretive center at the State Park or head to a Museum. Some days are “boat days”. Very often we’ve all had enough of the activity of getting on and off the boat and we are all just happy to stay aboard. Today is a “boat day” and this afternoon I’m sitting in the cockpit working on this post, the girls are watching a movie while Cameron crams himself in and out of the cockpit locker to my right where he’s leading the wires of our new solar panels. He is a very happy camper…especially when he looks at the battery bank monitor at solar noon and we’re pumping in 10+ amps!
As the day wears on, one of us will muster up some dinner and by this time, it’s usually quite late. 9:00pm sees the girls coloring at the table while I read them a book and Cameron tackles the dishes. One lovely thing about not having to wake up at any certain time is the laziness of the evenings. At home it was always a rush to get the kids to bed, nowadays, we take our time and it’s much less frantic. As a consequence, we have been working our way through some great classics with the girls; The Old Man and the Sea, Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick (the youth classics version), Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland and many more to come. Then it’s off to bed and they each get cuddles, songs and a back rub before settling in to be rocked to sleep by SV Banyan.
Hey glad to hear you are all having fun!
I enjoyed reading about a day in your life. Nothing tipicle. I like the relaxed atmosphere with the family quality time, back rubs at bedtime, and love abounding. I like the safety you take with the life jackets and clipped to the bow while riding the waves. Continued blessings for all you need.
Loving the posts and that your having such a fun relaxed family time. I’m nervous about home school too, but also looking forward to no longer rushing in the mornings and being a nag at night.
Love to all.
Homeschooling is something that goes in the category of “hardest things I ever loved doing”. I think the first year is the toughest so I’m not pushing it. Everything that I have read says “Don’t Freak Out”… because you do… and “it will be fine”… because it will. We have Aunty Kim here this week which is AWESOME! I would highly recommend having some kind of outside influence; a mentor, a group, a tutor.. something like that.
Was in SB June 16th – 19th with a truckload of TateDog. May come through this week. Will you be in the harbor? Spent many days there when at City and working in a friends boatyard. Great stuff!! cheers mike
Hey! We are still here… for a few more days. Email us and we can get in touch via phone.
We are glad to see that you ARE writing a book! From the beginning we said you were a good writer And hope that you are also keeping copies of these blogs. Love to hear of all your adventures.
Thanks Fred and Janis! I’ve sold one book then?!? I love hearing from you guys. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement.
Love reading your posts! What a beautiful life you are living and what great opportunities for your girls.
Thanks Elizabeth! What a beautiful life YOU are living! I love seeing your posts on Facebook. Happy Harvesting!!! #NapaHarvest2015
Thanks for sharing. I am going to check out the parenting book you suggested. I love that you are reading the classics- I wish there was always time for those special moments connecting through reading.
KATY!!! You are amazing!! Do you ever stop traveling?!? Love keeping up with your antics. Thanks for keeping up with mine:) Much love to your and your beautiful girls.
Hi Anne and Cameron,
If you’re still in Santa Barbara, we’d love to see you and take you to breakfast or lunch.
David and Nancy Hill
give us a call or email us – 565-3573
Hi Mr. and Mrs Hill,
So lovely to see you in the comments section. We would LOVE to see you guys. I will give you a call tomorrow morning.
Love that parenting book Jfern really responds to her methods (and I feel like it helps me in my personal relationships too!) thanks Robert and Fiona for that one 🙂 Can’t wait to see you in Sept!
Was that Rob and Feef? I’ve been wondering which lovely people brought that book into my life, I had forgotten. It’s been a HUGE life changer. “Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline” teaches such a healthy way of *being* and interacting with EVERYONE around you. It’s one of the books I think they should send you home with from the hospital…and then you should read it as an adult. Should be standard issue for all humans. That, and “The Happiest Baby On The Block” DVD… LIVE SAVER!
What fun to read about your adventures. We should have known when you were in Santa Cruz as we could have come to see you and maybe an overnight at our cabin. Maybe another time although I know it will be a long time before you are that far north again. It looks like everyone is enjoying themselves and we send you many hugs and kisses.
Hi Aunty Linda,
Thanks for your comments. We would have LOVED that, but we cruised by Santa Cruz pretty fast:) We are going to be in Mexico and then we MIGHT come back home to Highlands for a little stint next summer… we are in discussion and we will see which way the wind blows… it actually depends more on El Nino:) But I hope we see you soon. Much Love
Delightful post! Hug the girls for me! We are enjoying Hawaii. Been helping Robert & Fiona set up house. Love to you all!
Love You Mom! Loved your update from the Big Island. Cameron and I are talking about a Hawaiian vacation from our vacation… now that there are so many guest bedrooms:)
NOW it feels like we are sailing along with you!
Never full-on yatchies, we have done our fair share of sailing, … along with the balancing act of pure joys, perfect peace and then the heavenly prayers for a safe harbor…soon! Mostly its been around the Hawaiian Islands and New Zealands’ Bay of Islands, but we did sail in the Sea of Cortez briefly and will cling to every place you report. (We were moored in Loretto, Mexico which is like being ‘stuck’ in Lahaina,Maui.)
We’ve sorted out Cameron,Anne,Adelaide&Isa from their many friends, sadly seen Bruce and Libbey return to Benicia (after Robert’s HPA/Hawaii initiation) and now feel like we’re on the water again ourselves, staying at our Puako beach house.
Today there is a big rain storm in this dry West Hawaii Coast. It’s SO exciting with grey skies, rough surf, but soft swimable tidal pools.