One for the turtles


The weather finally settled and we said goodbye to Tahiti.

Most of our visit in Papeete was spent restocking or trying to procure various boat items for our upcoming months of cruising.
There are some vast distances to cover in our future and restocking for survival -always takes a little forethought.


Whenever you think you'e done-there's still nine more loads of stuff you will eventually be cramming into every conceivable nook and cranny.

In La Paz, I had planned on four months of cruising, with no major restock chances before Papeete and it worked out, pretty much exactly- right down to the last bags of flour and sugar.

Restocking in French Polynesia turned out to be easy-but staggeringly expensive, compared to Mexico.

Nothing to be done but stick to the basics and look for the good deals- corned beef and Polish hotdogs, anyone?
Mostly, I'm counting on my boys slaying plenty of tasty fish out there...
I was able to restock on Sushi rice and Thai ingredients, so we won't suffer too much.

No matter how hard we tried to NOT spend any more money, the fact was, the weather was kinda crap and we were really low on everything-so this was our big chance to keep shopping.
The four of us made more trips back and forth to the grocery store than you can imagine,  the kids lugging grocery bags filled with long-life essentials, like cans of butter and bags of dried pastas, Jon hefted cases of boxed milk on his shoulders, while I checked stuff off mental lists and stopped us at every roadside farmer, selling pineapples and breadfruits.

We dropped a pile of cash at a local launderette to have our comforters and towels washed and dried ( a whopping bit of luxury in our salty-sandy-minimally-rinsed- world).
Planning to feed four people for four months and have enough propane to cook with and water to drink and diesel and gasoline to burn-never mind fancy items like coffee and chocolate bars, adds up. 

Suddenly cruising for two and a half years with (almost) no income starts to seem a little crazy, 
especially when you have three carts at the check-out and your receipt is as long as your paddle board.

The trick is, to ignore the ice water in your veins and hustle back to the boat and stow it all, as fast as possible,
then spend the rest of the day "skurfing"  (getting towed behind a dingy while shredding on your surfboard).

We find PLAY fixes the "what the hell are we doing?" pangs, especially anytime we are faced with a bill.

At last, there wasn't a single spot left on the boat to cram anything into.
Looking up at the sky, we saw that (for the first time in weeks) there weren't high level altostratus being shaved into "mare's tails" by the high winds.

A spell of good weather was coming.

Time to go, but it late, so we opted to clear out at first light.

We dropped the mooring ball and motored over into the fuel dock and loaded Pura Vida with as much diesel as she can take, topped up our water tanks and the spare jugs we carry on deck and anchored down by the cut in the reef.

Sitting on deck and watching the sunset,  we cheered on all the local Tahitian kids surfing the reef break behind the boat.
We have a little rule on board about no sunset swims ( sharky) but watching these kids having a blast in the channel right up until dark- might of dispelled that myth for us.

The next morning, we nosed out of the pass, with Pura Vida sinking deeper on her waterline than she has in ages.
It was thrilling to be heading to for new adventures and with the added comfort of knowing we are full up on everything we need, once again.

It's also empowering to have a  500 mile range of diesel in our tanks and jerry cans and enough water to last us a month at sea.

I laughed, remembering an email I had with a friend, a while back...
She was "gearing up" for a 12 hour road trip.
12 hours !
With places to stop for gas and water and snacks, whenever you need it!
Wow.

Our little world has certainly changed,  in the last  few years of this cruising thing.
Now, we're looking at how we will get home like..
"Oh, cool, it's only 2400 miles from Mopelia to Hawaii...
We can be there in like, 20 days!
Piece of cake!"

Of course, we have to wait for the hurricane season in the North Pacific to chill out,  so there's only, like, a really small chance of us running into a life-threatening storm,
Oh, and hopefully our non-marine-bought in HIva Oa- used for trucks- batteries won't die, rendering us unable to download weather forecasts or communicate with anyone, in any way...

but lets not think about that part.

On we go!
( and statistically, anyone making a 12 hour drive on a highway is in way more danger of getting into a life threatening accident than we are)

There was only one problem with our plan, now...

We still don't have one.

"Where do you want to go?" asked Jon, as Tahiti fell away behind us.

Everyone was lying on deck, enjoying the feel of the ocean swell beneath us, again.
The kids drank fresh squeezed Mango juice and we sipped our coffees.

The "what's next?"  question has certainly been on our minds-we just can't make them up, is all.

After weeks of mulling it over...
this is what we've come up with, so far;

Hawaii.

First off, we really need to work and earn some money and that's the closest port for us to get to where we can do -whatever it is that we do.

It's also "on the way home" kind of, like...by way of Alaska.

Jon and I would love to keep cursing and all, especially now that we got all the way over here and could see Tonga and Fiji and maybe Indonesia and New Guinea and Thailand...
But that will all have to wait for other adventures down the road.

Fiscal reality cannot be ignored forever,
and we miss our family and friends.

The trouble is, we can't just turn left and head for Hawaii right now, because it's the middle of hurricane season in the North Pacific, and I  sort of have this goal of NOT having to put up our storm trysail on this trip-if we can help it.
All this means, is we will have to wait SOMEWHERE until October.
Plans are further complicated by visas and route planning.
The further west we go, our visa situation can be resolved but it becomes much harder for us to get back to Hawaii- 
our lives are governed by choosing the safest and most favorable trade winds.

This is our conundrum.

I still had not answered Jon's question, so I resorted to a technique used by many an ancient mariner;

I looked around and pointed at the first thing I saw.

An epically beautiful island rising from the sea, beckoning us to explore it.
"There! " I said, pointing to Moorea.

Decision made.

Three hours later, we coasted through the reef entrance into Cooks Bay.

Even the wreath of low lying clouds rimming Mount Moaputa, could not dull the  "Wow" effect.
It's one of those breathtaking spots, where, instantaneous  time-travel happens...

I imagine standing on the deck of a massive square-rigger;
It is the 16th century, I am of European descent and am  wondering if the natives are hostile...

Actually, Moorea and Tahiti proudly claim no history of cannibalsm
So that first  landing was probably a tad more relaxed than in the Tuamotos or the Marquesas.

By the time Ol' Captain Cook arrived in, 1769,( he didn't discover this epic bay but managed to wrangle having its name, somehow) the locals had already been "missionized" and were well on their way to having their resident populations decimated by alcohollism and desieses brought by the early explorers.

A consensus taken 80 years after Cooks first visit, showed that only 10 percent of the original polupation was left standing.

Oops. 
Sorry about that, folks.

Luckily, the people here don't seem to hold a grudge.

Moorea is a paradise-no doubt about it.
It was sort of peculiar, but once we got through the  surrounding reef, 
Cook's bay was strangely reminiscent of Desolation sound in BC.
Neve mind the palm trees and the pineapple plantations-
steep, green mountains rising up out of a deep and glass calm bay- 
it made us a little homesick, actually.

We anchored in VERY deep water and spent a few hours doing not much more than marveling at the scenery.
I was happy to see several turtles huffing around the boat, breaking the smooth surface with their soulful little faces, giving us wary glances.
They have been a rare sight since leaving Mexico and we were thrilled to see them again.

The lure of spending even more money somehow possessed us,
 and we decided to dingy over to one of the swanky hotels and have drinks and watch the sunset.
Sometimes, I think we just long to watch other people -looking at stuff.

The next morning, we moved over to the next bay -even more stunning, if that's possible-
and dinged two miles ( in our slow dingy) to the uber lux Intercontinental hotel and rented bicycles.

For lunch, we stopped at the Mahana snack shack and had the most fabulous lunch ever.
 It cost a million dollars ( as does everything in FP) but it was worth it. 
I keep writing about poisson cru -because I cannot stop stuffing my face with it, every chance i get.
It's  one of those things, like ceviche in Mexico or Paella in Spain or Pizza-anywhere. 
You just have to keep trying everyone's version of it.
This version was the MOST delicious ever. I have no idea what made it better, it had the same ingredients:
fresh tuna marinated in lime and coconut milk, julliened carrots, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers...
But this one, inexplicably, rocked all others by comparison.
Kai had  a perfect steak, Jon had  delicious shrimp curry and Hunter had the best cheeseburger I can remember.

Mahana Snack-Do it.

Everyone was tired and happy and stuffed to the gills when we got back to the boat.
We rinsed off with a swim in crystal clear water and sat on deck drying off and looking at the crazy beautiful view.

The societies are spectacular-in every way.
They are astounding beautiful but also extremely posh.
Every anchorage has a mega yacht (or three), the cruising fleet is in full force, everywhere you go,
there are swankity-do hotels galore and luxury everywhere you look.

Don't get me wrong, its all fabulous and the Hollywood in me, loves a glass of cold wine at  the bar now and then...
but, really? 
Its not what we gave everything up to come and see.

Jon and I lay in our bunk that night, reading.
The boat hardly moved on her anchor, protected as she is behind the fringing reef,
stars shone down on us through our hatch, the night perfect and cool with a breeze smelling of frangipani and vanilla.

'"This is nice... " I said, snuggling next to him.

 Jon was looking at me, a little wistfully.

"What?" I put down my book, kind of knowing, already, what was coming.

"I wanted to see Bora Bora, so badly and this place too, it is, so, incredibly beautiful, but..."
Jon shook his head.
"I just don't want to spend the next two months showing the kids more hotels and jet ski's."

'I know what you mean," I nodded.

Jon propped himself on his arm and distractedly toyed with my probably, very sticky, salt -encrusted hair, while he talked.

"I miss the deserted islands, the living reef, the surviving on coconuts, the whole, thing we had going there for awhile. I felt like we were really giving the kids and us something special then. This is awesome but...it kind of makes me feel like we're back in the game already..."
He looked down at me.
"This is our chance, baby. We have a few months left to do this, amazing special thing, we've been up to... and then we go back, to you know...normal"

I have to admit....
sometimes I really miss normal. 
I do.

I miss my mom and my girlfriends and having a couch and the security of earning money...
but despite the hardships, the lack of water, the swimming with sharks, the constant, dread of being "on the edge"  with our precious children...

I know what Jon means.

The turtle eyeing me, as I paddled past him on my morning jaunt- he knows it, too.


So, I guess, 
there's only one thing left to do,
figure out where we go...

Tomorrow.



Entering Cooks Bay-on a BC kinda day.
Morning in Cooks  Bay anchorage



Trouble, much?
Great houses in Cooks bay
Entering Oapanhu bay


Peeking at the other version of visiting these islands...




Bike touring the island
One more reason to visit Moorea!

My new obsession

Outdoor seating by the sea

This is the magician responsible for some of the BEST food we have ever eaten!

...and she's a doll but I still couldn't get her secret recipe!
Posing in the gardens at the hotel where we got the bikes...
Posing in the pool before they booted us out-guests only!






True Romance



A girl without freckles is like a night without stars...
We settled on grabbing a mooring from the field at Marina Taini, where literally HUNDREDS of boats surround us-a strange experience after being fairly isolated for the past few moths.

Most of our restock of food supplies had been accomplished in Port Phaeton, but we desperately needed water and fuel, so a stop here was definitely  required before heading off to Moorea and there were also a few "must do" tasks to tackle before we could take off to new adventures.

Jon needed to make a rope shackle for where our anchor chain attatches to the inside of the anchor locker-much easier to cut in the event of an emergency than our current, stainless steel one.

Fort my part, I had been ignoring the five "body bag" size duffles of dirty/wet laundry that had been piling up in our shower stall. We don't have enough water to do regular wash and things like bedding and towels eventually get so salty they just have to be done properly. I had discovered a neat little trick, that worked well when we had rain- let the dingy fill up (as it will, in a good shower) and rather than pump it out, simply add detergent and dirty clothes and then tow it behind you to the next anchorage, then, rinse and dry on a clothes line. Presto! Instant washing machine. 
It works great with little stuff and dish towels but what we have now, needs a few days of serious devotion and a million quarters- I wasn't looking forward to it.

The forecast was showing fairly high winds for the next few days, so we figured it was a good time to get the boring stuff out of the way and free us up for playtime when we get to Moorea.

We organized the wash, rinsed off the boat and filled the tanks at the fuel dock-which was a crazy zoo of mega yachts and dingies and people shouting and laughing in about thirty different languages.

After grabbing a mooring that would work for us-it turns out to be forty dollars a week, which includes use of the laundry and the cold showers at the dock, it was time to put on something clean and go out for a "treat" dinner. 

The kids and Jon munched hamburgers and fries and I finally got that steak with pomme frites and pepper corn sauce-that I had been craving since we left Mexico. Luckily, we hit the joint at Happy Hour, so we didn't even need to break the bank for the luxury of someone else doing cooking and washing up for us.

Jon and I toasted the kids and ourselves and we all marveled at the fact that little ol' us, a couple of goofy actors, all the way from Bowen Island and Hollywood, had managed to pull this off.

Here we are, in TAHITI!!!

Wow.

The next day, we gave Pura Vida a good dose of lovin' and cleaned and cared for her and I went on line and found a local surf instructor, to take Kai and I out for a session.

A friend of mine, a long-time, surfer-girl, had suggested we do this, as we are new surfers. Taking a lesson is fun, and going out with a local gets you a spot on the break and you get to meet people while it introduces you in a nice way, to the local community.

She couldn't have been more right.

It's a holiday, for the school kids here, so we ended up joining a local "surf camp". We agreed to meet them at the public bus stop and were told look for the white van loaded with surf boards that would pull over to pick us up. 

Hunter and Jon walked us to the bus stop.

At $50.00 a person, we couldn't afford for the whole family to go, so  while Kai and I had our adventure, Jon and Hunter were off to town for daddy/daughter fun and to pick up a package my mom had sent from Canada.

As a white van piled with surfboards, pulled over, Kai and I kissed the other half of our little quad good-bye and agreed to meet them in town, later.

Our instructor  hopped out an opened the door for us.
An ex-pro and Tahitian/French champion with many titles under his belt,
he was super tall and ripped and since he didn't smile or take off his sunglasses, 
he was a little intimidating at first.

"Okkie-Dokkie" I thought, "....time to give into the flow of yet another adventure".

(Tahiti is famous for very fast waves and pretty much all the breaks here are reef breaks and the winds were pretty high AND the Southern swell was really pumping, so we were a little nervous about where we were going)

As we climbed in the van, Kai just about had a heart attack....
it was filled with gorgeous, 14 year old GIRLS! 

"Aren't they cute!" I whispered, to Kai as he smashed us both up next the window, as far away from the tangles of tan legs, shy smiles and long hair, as he could get.

Kai looked at me, like he wanted to kill me.

He studied the window, as if the scabble of industrial scenery we were passing, was the MOST interesting thing anyone had EVER seen. I could feel him mentally willing me not to say another word, or even breath, or in any way, make us any more obviously, noticeable, than we already were.

Meanwhile, I speak a little French, so I had to hide my smiles as I listened to the girls pinch each other and whisper, about the "cute" boy in the front seat-I'm sure they would have been surprised  if they knew the tall, handsome, American, boy was only eleven!

On we drove, for thirty minutes, while I chatted a bit with our instructor ( who turned out to be super-cool and friendly) about where we were from. He told me he loved California surf and he had heard from friends, that surfing in Tofino, Canada was really good too, but he couldn't imagine being so cold.

On we went, through downtown Papeete and its crowded, noisiness, then, up, past farms and rural towns, listening to the girls chatter and sing along to French pop on the radio.

All of a sudden, the green canopy of trees to our right parted and a crescent of long black volcanic sand appeared...there it was, a beautiful (and easy!) beach break, with a gentle right, peeling off to the side. 

This part of the island also was protected from the winds, while the swell was a wrap around coming of the point, not  at all like the monster rollers I had seen crashing over the reef near our boat as I sipped my morning coffee.

Phew!

Kai caught his first wave and off he went, managing to carve into it and ride it almost back to the beach. 

He popped up out of the foam with a priceless grin on his face.

"All right, California!" whooped our instructor, then he turned to me with an affirmative nod,
"He'll be surfing all the time, now" was the decree.

I had to agree, as Kai caught wave after wave,  oblivious to the flirty, giggling girls around him,  just obsessively focused and paddling into anything that came his way.

The day was perfect, the water warm and clear, down to the shiny black sand underneath us.
Verdant, green, Tahiti rose up above us, the smell of vanilla floating in the air, 
friendly locals, cheering each other on, telling us what waves to gun for and clapping, giving us the 'Shaka" sign when we caught them....

It was so insanely fun and great, to be surfing in Tahiti!!!
With my 11 year old son!!!!

I had to pinch myself.

A few hours later, we climbed, happy and salty and chattering like monkeys, back into the van.

Our instructor dropped us off, downtown, at the big cathedral where we met up with Jon and Hunter. They had their own adventures, only slightly less-joyful, dealing with the Gendarmes( police), while trying to find out about our visas.

Never mind the red tape, Hunter babbled with glee about all the goodies Nana had sent her and Kai in the "care-package"...
They tore into the bag of candies right away.

We wandered around the streets and peeked into all the surf shops, oogling the video screens of all the pros attacking Teahoopu.
"I'm SO coming back here one day...." vowed Kai, stuffing sweet tarts in his mouth,  while watching a local legend shredding waves on the big screen. 

We ate lunch at a little bistro, beside the water and stopped at the huge public market and wandered the stalls, looking at ukeleles and all the crazy, beautiful local flowers for sale.

As the sun went down, we climbed into the public bus ( blasting Polynesian music) and made our way back to the marina...and the five bags of laundry that were waiting for me.

I put my head on Jon's shoulder, looking out the window at yet another new and exotic city with all its strange smells and colors, rolling past the window.

Kai was in the seat in front of us, chattering away to his sister about how to paddle into a wave.

"This is so great" I said, looking up at Jon.

"Ive been thinking...."  He putting his arm around me, smiling,
"let's just find someplace to do our laundry, for us...".

Now, that's Amore!






Ode to awesomeness...

Stuck in paradise....

We wait for a "Squash Zone"( when you are mashed between high &low areas of barometoric pressure that create very high winds and swell) to settle down, before we continue on our merry way...

Pura Vida patiently waiting for the winds to cooperate...

The other day, Kai and were lying together on my bunk, I was checking out a poetry website while Kai doodled in a notebook.

"What's your favorite poem, mom?"

I explained that, for me, poetry is like listening to music...It just lights up whatever mood i'm in or looking to be in.

"Yeah, but what's your favorite?"

(eleven-year-olds aren't really into being obtuse)

"Well, there's one, by this old guy, named Walt Whitman...if you read it out loud it's like drinking Red Bull."

"No, way" 

"Yeah-way".

I googled Whitman.

I read it first, while Kai focused on his scribbling, granting me his "half-attention"-the one he reserves for occasions where I might be getting too "teachy" about something...

After a minute or two, he stopped what he was doing and stared at me, as I read.

I handed him the iPad.

He considered it for a moment, then without saying anything, took it and picked up where I left off.

Halting at first, fumbling along but after a moment, the words were rolling out, louder and faster...his voice dropping, finding a rhythm.

When he'd finished, Kai turned to me, with a beatific expression.

"Poetry is cool" he said and went back to doodling.


Way to go, Walt.

Poetry is cool

Song at Sunset

Splendor of ended day floating and filling me,
Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past,
Inflating my throat, you divine average,
You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.
Open mouth of my soul uttering gladness,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection,
Natural life of me faithfully praising things,
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.
Illustrious every one!
Illustrious what we name space, sphere of unnumber'd spirits,
Illustrious the mystery of motion in all beings, even the tiniest insect,
Illustrious the attribute of speech, the senses, the body,
Illustrious the passing light--illustrious the pale reflection on
the new moon in the western sky,
Illustrious whatever I see or hear or touch, to the last.
Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of death.
Wonderful to depart!
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood!
To breathe the air, how delicious!
To speak--to walk--to seize something by the hand!
To prepare for sleep, for bed, to look on my rose-color'd flesh!
To be conscious of my body, so satisfied, so large!
To be this incredible God I am!
To have gone forth among other Gods, these men and women I love.
Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon, stars, dart on and
on!
How the water sports and sings! (surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up, with strong trunks, with branches
and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the trees, some living soul.)
O amazement of things--even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical flowing through ages and continents, now reaching
me and America!
I take your strong chords, intersperse them, and cheerfully pass
them forward.
I too carol the sun, usher'd or at noon, or as now, setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth and of all the
growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself.
As I steam'd down the Mississippi,
As I wander'd over the prairies,
As I have lived, as I have look'd through my windows my eyes,
As I went forth in the morning, as I beheld the light breaking in the
east,
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and again on the beach
of the Western Sea,
As I roam'd the streets of inland Chicago, whatever streets I have roam'd,
Or cities or silent woods, or even amid the sights of war,
Wherever I have been I have charged myself with contentment and triumph.
I sing to the last the equalities modern or old,
I sing the endless finales of things,
I say Nature continues, glory continues,
I praise with electric voice,
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe,
And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last in the universe.
O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated adoration.

                                              Walt Whitman

How to save the world

cruising buddies
It's amazing, how even way out here,  in  live-on-your-own-terms-land...
the long, hairy, arm of bureaucracy, can still reach out and give you a wedgie.

Doesn't matter that you cross oceans all on your lonesome,
that you catch most of what you eat, live on hydro and solar power,
use a minuscule amount of fossil fuels,  and are pretty much totally independent of relying on any sort of government or organization
to bail you out of whatever troubles you get yourself into...


Your still going to wind up, on Skype for hours, trying to cancel a cell phone that you already CANCELED FOUR MONTHS AGO but have nevertheless been being charged 275.00 a month for, or wandering around government buildings with reams of paperwork under your arm being told that "no" this is not where you check in( or out)and "yes" you have to  do that but "no" they don't know where you do that and you will wander around in circles , scratching your head and muttering to yourself about how that, the despite all the cultural differences in the world,  only idiocy seems to be universal.

Then you remember that you ARE cruising and you take a deep breath.

It is annoying, to have only a three month visa, to visit area as large and fascinating as French Polynesia.
Especially when one is sailing and one can only explore where and when the winds give their blessings.

It will also seem absurdly unfair, that EU citizens can loiter about paradise for a year or more, while American and Canadian citizens pull the short straw of the three month limit.

If you are Canadian, you will be too polite to raise a ruckus about this and just accept it and do your best to see as much as you can before clearing out.
If you are American, you want to hire a lawyer and sue somebody or at least, find a "loophole" in this bizzaro situation 

Jon and I are duel citizens, so our emotions ( as we only have about 10 days left on our visas) are mixed.

In the end, we will just have to wing it.


For future cruisers out there, thinking about visiting FP, I would say go ahead and try to get the extension before you leave- because you will not want to rush this amazing place.
However, this is assuming you are deeply organized and planning well in advance...
If you are like us and you just go for the passionate-seat-of-your-pants choices in life,
You might have to start thinking outside the box.

(and that's all I can say that for now!)


The winds were too high and the surf in Teahupoo was closing out-so there was nothing to do but get'er done.
We put our backs into it, got some boat chores happening and took care of all the annoying stuff we really needed to get to.

We restocked our provisions, in Port Phaeton-which was easy and amusing.
There was a wonderful giant supermarket right up a dirt road,
many trips back and forth,  pushing loaded grocery carts over gravel and horse droppings,
and piling it all into a dingy and shuttling it back and forth.

The four of us, loaded up on everything we were running low on, including meat, which i will now have to spend some time canning.
Incredibly, we went through all 100 cans of food that we made back in La Paz and now we have a lot of empty jars aboard.
Its time consuming and I really have to swallow the discipline pill to want to take on all the labor involved in doing it again-
 but the fact is it's SOOO much tastier,  healthier, cheaper and better for the environment to make your own canned goods than buy commercial stuff-I just gotta do it.

Certain aspects of doing without for so long really change one's shopping experience.
As tempting and amazing as the wide variety of products is to see again, I can't help but consider them in a different light.

We have seen firsthand, the Japanese and Chinese fishing trawlers out there...
and as much as I love canned tuna- I can't do the store bought anymore.
(watch the excellent NEMO video Emily posed on our blog)

In fact, I notice many subtle changes in our little crew since we left Marina del Rey, almost two years ago.

We are at once, a more serious group, focused on all sorts of intensive "real life" stuff...
like where to hide from cyclones or how to survive on rationed water or the best way to plan and manage a sail from French Polynesia to Alaska...
and at the same time, we are largely, a more "playful" group of humanoids than we were before this adventure;
We tend to burst into song a lot more( surely influenced by our polynesian friends) we have time everyday for prolonged cuddles or wordless stares at nature...
the importance we put on smiling and laughing while enjoying activities like surfing and free diving vastly out weigh any sense of financial security.

I wonder if there is not actually some deep, evolutionary genetic response taking place.
Where our collective DNA is  being altered, mutating itself into a design more attuned to the future.

Being out here,  far away from,the what kind of car is best to drive or what shampoo will make my hair look nicest-influences...
The "JOY! "  button lights up.
Your soul is filled with wonder, at the astoundingly beautiful planet we get to live on and the experience of meeting some of its extraordinary inhabitants, inspires a deep need to connect to all of it.

We remind our children, everyday, that what we see out here can't be taken for granted.
That the Tuamotos (being among the lowest lying islands in the world), have a tenuous future.
Global warming and rising ocean levels will alter our world within our life-times- and many scientists say, in the next decade, even.

It's our job as a parents, to show our kids the world they are charged with protecting.
The job rests squarely on their shoulders-so they oughtta be ready for it.
I think about Linda Hamilton in "Terminator", when she trains her boy to be  the warrior of the future...
Only instead of guns and ammo, we're loading them up on compassion and empathy...and a sense of ownership.

This gorgeous blue marble is YOURS , baby...
Keep it safe from the bad guys, the greedy, the unenlightened...
Go out there and get noisy and be a bad-ass about saving it.

Kai and Hunter have met the people who inhabit the low lying islands, they have yodeled  songs with them and played with their goats.

It's why going to Alaska to see the glaciers and  the grizzlies is the most important thing on our "to-do"list...
and why, every can of tuna we buy in the store,
really does matter.

It's also why we might occasionally break a conventional  rule or two. 

Passionate, eco-pirate training requires the outlaw approach.

If only we could give the bureaucrats of the world better things to obsess over than whether you did or did not fill out the correct box in a line of boxes, seven months in advance of a trip, that you didn't know you were going to take, so you can file for an extension to your three month visa,  so you can share more of the world you want to save, with your children, who will be the ones saving it.

What if learning to play ukulele was mandatory?
Or lying on your back in the grass  and star gazing was a national pastime?

Isn't finding true love as important as what you do for a living?

I want the "Bureau Of Contentment" to be the ones I get stuck on the phone with:

"So...you say you are not content, ma'am?"
"Well no actually, i've been feeling a little unloved..."
"I'm sorry to hear that, ma'am. Have you watched the sunrise with someone your fond of, recently?"
"No, not since college, actually..."
"Ah, I see. Well, lets start by transferring you to the Bureau of Laughter, and they can tell you some good jokes and get you smiling, so we can get you back on track."
"Oh, okay. Thank you, so much."
"Not a problem, ma'am. We are here to help. In the meantime, try to get outside as much as possible and take refuge in the astounding and Always Free, glory of nature...have great day."

This call has been monitored by God.


There was some restocking...


and rejigging water pumps...again!
Then it was off to find fuel...entering the pass near Marina Taina

Holy moly... a sea of masts!


and some cool houses!




Out for s night in town

Hunter's hilarious self-portrait

Boat school...needlepoint and guitar

You don't have to own  as much as the next guy...

to enjoy the view...


With your morning coffee...



Although...I admit, this spot was pretty dope...

Kid rock?






...and a few from our first day in Port Phaeton, Tahiti

After two days and nights at sea, Tahiti-iti ( the little island) rises out of an early morning squall to greet us...
...and literally one second later....


TA-DAH!!!!
Checking out the sets outside of Teahupoo...

Paddle boarders coming off the backside of the waves as we enter the pass...

Inside the lagoon...

The anchorage feels like the water feature in a golf course -its so perfect!

The kids freak out when dad comes home with a bag of groceries-
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and toasted French bread- a welcome change, after a month of pancakes!