Category Archives: Boat for Sale

First Christmas back on land

Today doesn’t only mark our first Christmas Eve back home in 2.5 years, but also one month since leaving London for Sydney, since putting a final line under the long-term sailing chapter with little kids and shifting the focus onto new projects, since trying to readjust our systems from sailors’ lives to landlubbers. Needless to say that it hasn’t been easy and, not surprisingly, it’s not the things you expect, but those you don’t that shake your life like in a pepper grinder and spit it out – somewhat different at the other end.

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After thirty days I finally get the feeling that my Soul has arrived too. Souls never travel at plane speed, but cruise at a more natural rhythm. While waiting for it to arrive, all the ‘visible’ things in life went the best course we could have dreamt off: Week 1 – Pablo got his old job back, I started booking in some yoga classes, we felt super warmly welcomed by our great community here in Sydney. Week 2 – half of us came down with a nasty gastro virus, leaving us depleted, but also somewhat calm, cleansed and ready for a fresh start with no old nostalgia, resentment or even anger sticking around. Week 3 – bought a massive family car with huge boot for camping or extra seats, bought an new red Vespa to honour the good old times and moved from our initially fabulous city apartment into more-our-style beach pad with garden in Bondi. Week 4 – prepped for Christmas setting up a little tree with the boys etc, re-signed up to local libraries, re-launched our parenting support payments (300$/year for single income families – TA, is this a joke???) sent out invites to our no-stress Christmas day BBQ (anyone who’s around and didn’t get it – pls come anyway!), enjoyed more fun time with old friends and started cooking my Dini-style healthy food again which is big part of really making me feel that I have arrived.

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Throughout all this there wasn’t only the internal cleanse from the gastro, but also lots of emotional, energetic and spiritual cleansing through various old and new fabulous experts I realized I had missed throughout our year’s at Sea more than I would like. Reluctantly I admit that there is a whole plethora of advantages to land-life that constant travelling at Sea can’t get you:

Having the best chiro, midwife, energetic cleanser, massage place, Ayurvedic clinic, yogi inspiration and much more at hand whenever needed; the easiness of knowing exactly where to go to find things like the freshest and cheapest box of coconuts, the most amazing food – from Asian, to South American, African… you name it, Sydney’s got it!; the best beaches at your door step (ok, to be fair that, we had on the boat too); friends to hang out with without having to say farewells; washing machine, dish-washer AND what seems to me like a massive fridge; more structure for the kids which they love and which gives us more free-time to ourselves; no freak-outs when they are playing hide-and-seek knowing that they can’t have dropped in the ocean but are merely in the wardrobe or garden; all that SPACE!!!; the easiness of living in a house (no water tanks, pipes, thru-hulls and battery states to worry about)… Sure there’s also the not so enjoyable things of city life like stressed people, bills and – well, no sailing views etc – as well as the more ridiculous things, like three RBTs (Random Breath Tests by road-side police) in less than 24 hours.

 

It goes without saying that I have many moments of missing Happy Dancer, the amazing places we saw, delicious people we met on the way, dolphins who I could talk to for ours on our bow, exhilaration of constant adventure… But having done it once, it has left me completely calm, knowing exactly what to do when the urge gets too strong again. I got my eyes on the Pacific in ten years – either by myself then, or in a massive boat with a whole bunch of friends as community living was always part of my big dream and I so, so, so rejoice being back with and right in our old and amazing community. Also it’s not fair to expect everything from your partner, while isolated at sea, and that’s what you are forced to do when there are no friends, nor constant social support network around – and that’s what’s been a big part of our journey, in going, in being there, and in coming back. Now it’s time for wonderfully normal Christmas times, Aussie style – with BBQ, friends and beach time. Namaste, tranquil and peaceful Christmas days and a 2016 full of dreams to dream and reams to live!

Travelling compared: Boat versus rental homes

It’s been almost two months since we parked Happy Dancer on the dry in Malta to travel overland instead. In hindsight – and with only two days left till we fly back home to Sydney – for us boat-life worked well until we fell pregnant with number 3, whereas travelling overland long-term-ish hasn’t, mainly due to the lack of grounding and having, albeit little, but a home to fall asleep in every night. Here’s some reflections and comparison – hopefully helping the travel-dreamers of you to figure out what could work best for you.

Pros of travelling on a boat

  • No packing! You’ve got your home always with you. Nice grounding in between all the moving and travelling.
  • Arriving by sea to a new place is always more magical than being freighted in with hundreds of others by plane, train or ferry.
  • Being at one with Poseidon with the right wind and exactly the right angle in the sails under a star covered galaxy is just unbeatable. Having said that – all the perfect conditions combine rather rarely.
  • Your kitchen with you at all times. Whilst tasting local foods is a wonderful part of discovering the world in itself, if travelling is your life, it can also be exhausting. Sometimes I simply want a non-dairy, non-gluten, veg-filled day with Chia-Shake in the morning and simple green veg soup with lin-seeds for lunch. When living on a boat, you can get the best of both worlds/cuisines – your own, and the country you are travelling in.
  • Potty training made super easy. Most times of most days the boys are either naked or in their swimmers. Plus weeing over the reeling has always seemed much more appealing to our two year old than having to go to a bathroom, take off your pants and boringly sit down on a toilet with no view.

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Pros of travelling overland

  • No need to worry about the weather. All you do if it rains or storms is change your plans to visit a history museum or old castle, instead of going for another hike.
  • No need to worry about the anchor. Whatever house you are renting is most likely not to drift away at night.
  • Enjoying local architecture. All the places we’ve lived in since parking the boat – from cosy country houses, over super luxurious modern apartments, to ancient fairy-tale riads or remote basic and cute mountain lodges – they’ve all given us, not only an additional insight into local cultures and traditions, but also provided bits and pieces of inspiration for the day we’ll build our own eco-friendly country house – somewhere, somehow, some day;)
  • Digging deeper into local culture. Not heading back to port every night somehow has given us the opportunity to dig deeper into local culture, whether that’s been by interacting with ancient folks from the most remote mountain villages, travelling further afield than most other visitors do or getting a glimpse into hotel staff’s lives.
  • No storms at sea. Weather on land is just so much more manageable.

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The real reason for selling our boat

It came as a bit of a shock when all my un-usual tiredness, until then non-existent sea-sickness and starving whale-like hunger during our month in Crete and last crossing to Malta turned out to be due to yet another little worm growing in my womb. Of course we could have continued beating on, but at what cost? A newborn, three under fours and an ocean crossing… I know of a few families who in a similar situation decided to keep sailing, like Salty Kisses who had their third little Crew in the Bahamas and are now sailing the Arctic! But I also know that the price those courageous families pay is, in a nutshell, working on their energy reserves most of the day, on most day.

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The line which changed our cruising life forever…

Contrary to my first two pregnancies, this time around I was plagued not with morning, but with all-day-sickness. Being not only on a boat, but responsible for it, didn’t make things easier. Moreover, as much as we’ve loved the adventures afloat with our little ones over the past couple of years through the Med and were looking forward to the Atlantic and Caribbean and thereon, we just couldn’t envisage how to find the energy to do it with a third one on top. Most other cruisers (all who we know and know off) have the advantageous setup of mum mainly looking after the kids, and dad mainly looking after the boat. In our case, I (mum) was the one with by far more sailing experience, thus naturally boat decisions fell on my shoulders – and same with the kids as no matter how great of a dad Pablo is, there’s still only one thing like a mum – and that’s mum herself.

So where to from here? We are not so sure. Over the past two months travelling Spain and Morocco I have missed the consistancy of a home that Happy Dancer used to give us, throughout our travels. No matter where we were, or how quick we moved, the boys always had their same bed to fall into each night, all their toys to play with and I didn’t have to pack and unpack constantly. On the other hand, we now REALLY know to appreciate the easiness which living on land provides: No storms to look out for, no anchors to worry about, no swell, no water and fuel tanks to fill up, no constant repairs to be done, no constant look-out for kids in the water, no bumpy dinghy rides for re-provisioning, massive fridges and freezers, four cobs on the stove most of the time, a dinner table around which ten friends can fit comfortably, so much space… and that’s only to mention a few conveniences. After my yoga retreat in Tenerife there is a few options we are toying with, ranging from India and Bali for some spiritual sangha which I’ve really been missing throughout our sailing years, over Cuba for a fix of Latin America which we are both craving, to going back home to Sydney – given I’ve been homesick ever since we left, in the most positive of ways. Having grown up nomadically, this is the first time I must notice that a place feels like home and rather than angst I’m feeling gratefulness for it. Call it age?!? Or maturity;)

The journey goes on and this blog will continue to be my scrupulously honest diary througin and throughout. As to the Caribbean and Pacific, we’ll be there on a new boat when the kids will be old enough to stand their own night watches and this blog, once more, will turn from Travelling into Sailing Yoga Family;)

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Autumn leaves. Beauty in transformation and change.

A fellow yogini and dear friend of mine has also recently had to change direction, letting go of an old dream, to embrace the un-known, challenging and new. I’m sure she doesn’t mind me quoting an extract from her last mail, as I couldn’t express it better in my own words.

It sounds like you might understand something about letting go of a dream. A strange mix of grieving and liberation. A surrender to what IS, rather than what I had in mind…. and I guess at the end of the day, I’m just grateful I didn’t remain stuck or dwelling in a “I don’t want to be here” space. I trusted myself toward change, and was once again rewarded with so much more joy than I expected. I hope you experience more joy than you ever imagined possible.

And these hopes I pass on to you, dear reader, no matter what changes are awaiting you on your life’s horizon.

Bargain boat gadgets for sale

As you know, we are selling Happy Dancer, our Moody 425 and home of past two years, to travel over land for a while. This will balance out our sea legs and calm down the cravings of high mountains, green forests and vast plains I’ve been having.

A few items which have provided super useful on the boat are not so necessary on land anymore. Here’s the best deals and items I wouldn’t step on any boat without – let alone consider crossing an ocean.

Yellowbrick Satellite Tracker – as new

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Handheld VHF Std Horizon HX851

VHF

Soon there’ll be more updates and pictures here, from since we left Madrid a week ago.  Interesting Castilla la Mancha and beautiful Andalucia have provided plenty of lovely adventures, well-needed relaxation, smiles and laughter with old friends and lots more. The next post will be a summary of a good time in southern Spain as I’m sending this off from the ferry on our way from Algeciras, Spain, to Tanger, Morocco – a bit closer to Tenerife where there’s only a few places left for my yoga retreat there in November. Life never stops. And neither to us travelling nomads – with or without boat;)

Live begins at the end of your comfort zone.

More Yoga Master-Classes in Malta: 24&25 Sept’15

Once again Malta’s kept us longer than expected. Following popular demand, I’ve delightedly put up two more yoga classes for next week for those also dwelling on the rock:

Vinyasa Flow, Thursday 24th September, 7-8h30 pm

Yin Yoga, Friday 25th September, 7-8h30 pm

Location: Lily Agius Arts Gallery, Cathedral St 54, Sliema

Donation: 15 Euro or 25 Euros/both classes

Please bring your own mat or let me know if you need to borrow one. For Yin, if you can and want, also bring a pillow, bolster or blanket to help prop you up more comfortably.

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Happy Dancer in Santorini, Summer 2015 – Fotos courtesy to our dear friend Alice from http://www.alicearida.com

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Our last night on the boat. I wake up early to watch the sun rise over Valetta’s impressive outlines. Each morning it looks different. Each morning it looks beautiful.

My mind turns to the duty at hand. Preparing our beloved boat – our home of the past years – for sale. Excitement mixes with nostalgia. It is less the rocking and rolling, limited space, complete exposure to Posseidon and his weather moods and continuous maintenance on top of kids education which I will miss. But the sunsets at sea, the speechless gasps when discovering fascinating new places, unexpected crazy encounters, new friendships everywhere and a jump into the soft, deep, blue sea always less than two meters away. It has left a deep trace in my soul which will stay there, nourishing the sailor in me until we might embark on the seas again – many, many moons down the line.

Until then, we will continue to discover the world and embrace the depth and insights that travelling brings, with the additional diversity of sunsets behind mountains every now and then and other in and on land advantages.

On board, the last morning on Happy Dancer stretched out as we tried for two hours, which seemed like in an eternity in Malta’s brutal sun, to dig our anchor and 70 meters of chain out without a windless which had never failed us before, but seemed to stop just then… Until we realized soaked and exhausted that it was just a thermal breaker which needed flipping. Off we went and made it to Manoel Island’s life-out facilities just in time before the yard guys left for their lunch break at 12h15 on the spot.

Since then it’s all been packing, packing, cleaning, packing and more packing. All along staying at one of our best friends whose home they so kindly and openly share with us has become a sanctuary all by itself. We can’t wait to host them in turn in Asia or South America – wherever each others travel bugs will lead us first. But for now, it’s another week of mainly packing, cleaning, wrapping up and packing – an autumn cleanse intensified and I must quietly admit that I actually enjoy this process. More on that soon. Lejl Tajba, Buona Notte, Good Night for now.