We’ve just got back from a wonderful two day family hike through the beautiful forest covered mountain ranges on Great Barrier Island. The girls were all super excited whilst planning this adventure and extremely proud of their efforts upon return to our floating home. It’s very exciting for us parents to be able to enjoy physical activities with our children where we all feel tired at the end of the day.
There’s nothing like the experience of an adventure that is different to your normal life to give you a good dose of perspective. At times and places in your life you may feel comfortable and relaxed whereas at other times happiness can feel like a distant and unattainble state of mind. Either way, it often boils down to perspective.
We left New Caledonia with glassy seas and after 161 continuous hours at sea with swell ranging from 0 to 1m, winds from 0 to 25 knots and boat speed from 0 to 9.5Nm/h we arrived in Opua, northern New Zealand, wearing multiple layers of our warmest clothing and feeling like we had journeyed into winter, completing a round trip of almost 10,000km spread leisurely out over 6 months.
We’re on our way to New Zealand, back to the where our Tangaroa journey began. It’s a glorious sunny morning with silky smooth water as far as our eyes can see. A turtle even surfaced near the boat just as we left New Caledonia … must be a sign of a good passage ahead! In contrast to the enduring nature of our passages from Fiji to Vanuatu and to New Caledonia, I would even go as far as to say the journey so far is enjoyable.
We’re currently waiting for customs to clear us out of Fiji, sometime between 10am and 3pm they said. After spending around 3 months in Fiji we are well aware that ‘Fiji time’ is a way of life here and cannot be rushed but it’s hard to relax when there are strict requirements to leave Fijian waters on the day of clearance and we have some reefs to navigate before the sun gets too low. We have approx 500nm to travel to reach the southern most island of Vanuatu, where we plan to stay for a few days to see the active volcano before proceeding to New Caledonia.
Before this trip I envisaged that we would be spending alot of our time on beaches. The reality has been that most of our time is spent 100% surrounded by water, whether swimming or while we are dry onboard Tangaroa . It amazes me how the girls can conjure up so many ways to busy their minds and hands for endless hours and even days without leaving the boat. To not be bored is one goal but there is a sliding scale between minds being meerly occupied up to being absorbed and creative. Electronic devices generally providing an easy fix at the low end of the scale but not offering much chance to rise up the scale.
While we’re on the boat we’re mostly swimming or hanging upside down. There are lots of good spots for it on Tangaroa. When we go to other people’s boats we’re always on the look out for new places to hang (of course we always ask the captain for permission first!). Even my mum likes to balance and hang off things!
I am sitting in the cockpit, gently bobbing in the ocean, eating a breakfast of boat-made toasted muesli and yoghurt topped with chopped papaya, bought the other day from a small boat full of fresh produce that pulled up alongside Tangaroa whilst at anchor in the Blue Lagoon (yes, THE blue lagoon from the eighties movie starring Brooke Shields) and I think about ‘boat food’. What kind of thoughts spring to mind when you think of ‘boat food’?