Sunday, March 21, 2010

When does the fun begin?

Our re-entry into the boating world has had a few wake-up calls. Just like all cruisers, we have had some projects to work on before we can actually head out to the deep blue Sea. Doug has earnestly approached these different projects with vim and vigor and some frustration along the way.

His system of getting things done sometimes makes me think my daily efforts are somewhat fruitless. Although I know I do my fair share of work around the boat and Doug never makes me feel like I do anything less, his process of getting things done always looks so much more organized and systematized. I consider myself a very organized person, but in the long run as I witness the many things on Doug's to-do list and see the way he works through them or carries them to the next days list of to-do's, I wonder how I ever get anything done without an ongoing list. My system does indeed include writing a list however a moment after the list is completed someone or something distracts me from it, I turn away from the list, dive into whatever needs my attention and from there I move on to more not-on-the-list items. By the end of the day I have accomplished huge amounts of work, none of which were on my list. Hmmmm?????

This, however, I have come to see, is one of the great things about marriage. Ultimately one person has stronger skills in areas the other person lacks yet at the same time the other person has skills in areas that the first person lacks. It really does balance out well in the end and when I learn something about organization or humility from Doug, and he learns something about home schooling or some interesting idea from a book I am reading, I can see how effective our marriage is for one another and hopefully for our kids too, who are observing all this!

Well, I digressed there for a bit and my real story here is to
share the efforts Doug has put into making Windfall, aka,
HanaCrew, ours. He has learned all areas of the Perkins engine, the water system including dual filters, etc., and most of all he has made the head (bathroom) "ours." As all cruisers will tell you, everyone on the dock is willing to help in any case EXCEPT when it comes to the head. Well, Doug tore out the head one day and it was one stopped to ask if he needed any help. He made it through the day, cleaned every part of that necessary element of a boaters life, including the holding tank, and reinstalled it all back in place by days end, even in time to join other cruisers for dinner and some fun conversation at the marina restaurant. He truly is my hero!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dock parties

Dock parties serve as the neighborhood gathering within the "live-aboard" community. We attended a few during our Mazatlan days. Three things you always know about dock parties are...they are always pot-luck, we always meet tons of people who live fascinating lives, and we always find someone who has some sort of expertise that can help us with some aspect of the boat. For all those reasons we go to dock parties whenever we are invited!

It's quite the scene with lots of dinghies tied up at the dock, food set out on dock boxes, people standing around balancing plates and cups, pets running around, musicians playing their instruments, and food galore! One thing we had to learn (again) was, aside from bringing our dish to share, we needed to bring our own plates, silverware, napkins, and a dirty dish bag to carry things home in. It's all good!

One dock party was on St. Patrick's Day and it was at 9 AM...not the typical time a boater holds a party but with two young children and all of us being earlier-than-late risers, we ventured off to be part of the breakfast. Green was of course the statement for the meal. Green pancakes, syrup, and even green orange juice!?!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Name Game

When you buy a boat you have two options relative to naming the vessel; you can keep the preexisting name or you can change it. In our case we decided to change the name, not because we didn't like the name it came with (Windfall) but because of some family history of our own.

When Doug and I lived aboard a Cal 40 in the late '90's it's name was Hana. Doug noted that "Ohana" means close family in Hawaiian and "Hana" means flower in Japanese. We liked that. We dreamed of the day when our children would be old enough (and strong enough) to help sail the boat. Now that that's the case we thought "HanaCrew" was especially fitting. And so it is that HanaCrew will be painted on the boat as soon as the US Coast Guard sends us the official documents stating the name change.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Game night

One of our favorite things to do as a family is play games. Just before we started living on the boat friends introduced us to the crossword game, Bananagrams, and we haven't stopped playing it since. It's the ideal "boat game" since it comes in a small cotton bag and includes small tiles with letters on them, just like Scrabble. Therefore it takes up very little, precious, storage space. Typically, after we all play, the kids end up playing with the tiles alone. Here's what happened one day...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

El Cid and the underwater caves

Close to the marina where we are staying in Mazatlan is a large American-esque resort. Chandler and Henry have gone twice since we've been here. The pool has waterfalls, cliffs to jump from and caves to explore. Kid paradise! Chandler and her friend, Carolyne, loved jumping off the cliffs and Henry found a palm tree to climb.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A ferry to Mazatlan

On February 28, 2010 we (and 16 bags of luggage) boarded a huge ferry in La Paz, on the lower eastern coast of Baja, MX and on March 1st, approximately 12 hours later, we were in Mazatlan which sits on the west coast of mainland MX. The reason? To buy a sailboat. Friends were selling their 35' Cal Cruiser and we thought it was time to take the kids out to sea on an adventure.