The biggest common trait I get from people new to yoga asking how to become a teacher, and lovely mails from wanna-be sailors is a huge distortion of reality. Thinking that a mere few months, or even years, of attending weekly asana classes give you the knowledge, understanding and experience necessary to pass on a thousand year old philosophy and life science is equally erroneous as thinking that by moving on a boat all your life’s problems will be solved.
Yes, our blog pics are beautiful and yes, all I write here is most true and honest, and yes, I do also write when the sun is not shining. But during the latter, writing often feels much harder and isn’t attacked as enthusiastically as when all goes well and our life is paradise on earth.
Living on a boat with your family can be the most fulfilling thing, but it can also be the hardest. There’s very little personal space and this is probably the challenge most dreamers (including us before we left) don’t give sufficient attention and thought to. There’s no friends to vent off, there’s no weekly schedule distracting from what’s going on… there’s just you, your family and your boat in a foreign country.
Add the fact that on the boat things break, ’cause that’s what stuff does when you put it in such a hostile environment as is saltwater. Whilst I have come to enjoy repairs and maintenance and especially the learning that comes with it (honestly, I think I learnt more in the past two years than if I had done a phd, and certainly more practical stuff!), it can all get too much when breakages come in a Murphy’s Law roll of three and more. On top of that, of course, the kids need their usual attention because this is how we’ve brought them up.
Every day kids ask in a million different ways, am I important? What am I worth? Where is my place in this world? Generally our reactions are reflected in their actions.
In other words, the past few weeks, despite many highlights, namely friends left, right & centre, have been quite a journey and challenging on all sorts of levels. To start with, we were super sad to leave Turkey for Greece, but heading West towards the Atlantic there’s no other way. Thanks to all the readers who pointed out that our YellowBrick still had us in Turkey – we’ve now turned it on properly and once we sail again it will start showing our progress every 12 hours. We had another few nice one to two day passages with friends on board and friends expecting us in the harbour – a real treat as the lack of having friends around every day is for me THE biggest pay-off of this whole ‘Cruising the world with kids’ business. Whilst sailing to Crete, Pablo caught another massive tuna and the kids especially loved sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner two days in a row while most of the rest of the crew fought with seasickness.
After a couple of days at Marina of Ay Nikolao – by far the best, friendliest and most well thought-through marina in Greece (amazing bbq and stone-oven facilities, cheap laundry, big book exchange, working hot showers, a welcome pack for visiting yachts including a bottle of local wine, protected, responsive, smiling…) we are now anchored in Spinalonga Bay. The budget doesn’t allow for longer marina stays, yet the water-maker failure (new membrane has arrived in Malta waiting for us to get there) requests it.
Anyway, the bay is perfect and just what we needed to re-gather our energies: Beach in swimming distance, cute village inviting for the occasional stroll, playground near by, no swell whatsoever, nice promenade to run in the morning before my yoga practice and only one other yacht. Contrary to the Ionian, in Crete you don’t meet the clueless charter boats which make for after-noon entertainment and annoyance. To get here, you need to sail either a long or a tricky stretch of Sea, so those who make it generally know a good bit of their boats and sailing. Tomorrow we’ll rent a car for an excursion to some Myonian ruins, a gorge, a supposedly beautiful plateau and maybe a few traditional mountain villages. Then we’ll sail on 30 miles to Heraklion to hopefully get our main sail fixed (CANNOT recommend the UK Sailmaker guys in Fethiye whatsoever – they gave us the heads up on our sail in Turkey and less than ten days later, with a mere 25 knots of wind the clew ripped out!).
Bueno, finally the blog is up to date again and we are loving the first rain in months. Gentle welcomingly cooling drops amidst Crete’s humid summer heat.