Part of what you give your kids is more than just your presence – it’s your example!
James Cameron in his awesome documentary, Deepsea Challenge
Now also on Instagram;)
It’s been exactly one month since we left our winter home of seven months in Malta’s Msida Creek. And what a month it’s been – following an amazing and productive winter. While mum and dad were topping up the kitty, healing Happy Dancer‘s little age-related wounds and connecting with the local yoga community, the kids had fun. LOTS of fun as this little video shows. Enjoy and remember – we always love to hear from readers!
Two years ago on a warm sunny after-noon, our second son was born after an extremely short labour at home in our Sydney backyard. Three months later we left Australia. The next few months we spent in a campervan, travelling Europe from port to port looking for a blue water cruiser. When we stopped for six months in Southampton, UK, to top up the kitty over winter, he learnt to walk. Just after his first birthday, we moved on board our Moody 425, Happy Dancer which has been home ever since. At now two years of age, Gaelito, as the diminutive Spanish version he’s most often called, has visited ten countries, climbed more booms than the average twenty year old and already posses an absolutely impressive repertoire in three languages.
It’s been such a joy to watch you grow, my little angel! Kids add that extra dimension to boat life. And no, I don’t think i’ts irresponsible to share our dream with them, show them what the world can offer and teach them that dreams are not only there for dreaming. I look forward to many more moments of watching you grow up in amazement. In indescribable gratitude, humbleness and honour for being able to guide you as your mother through these early years of your life! And what a life it’s been so far. Happy Birthday!
Time flies when you are spending it with old and new friends. Two remarkable happenings in that regard over the past months. One I mentioned in the last post – the arrival of another kids boat. The other, a visit of one of my Mauritian soul sister and her family – one of our dearest friends from Australia. They’ve moved to Berlin since and we had a lot to share during beautiful nature works, birthday cakes and good wine. The kids grown toddlers played together communicating in a mix of five languages, and our little Gael proved very fond of their newest addition, a gorgeous baby girl of no more than three months. Being with them felt like being home which, to me, is one of the things which make everything worthwhile. Thanks so much for the visit! It lightened up our heart;)
A beautiful sunny spring morning with my three boys at Gnejna Bay in Malta’s South West. Noah and Gael who are growing up on our Happy Dancer, and Leo from his sailing cat. Ever since Vida Loka, Malta’s only other kids boat, joined us on Pontoon I, we’ve all been inseparable, to say the least: Community living, joint lunches and dinners, looking after each other’s kids, sailing together, exploring the islands, voiding Tax’biex’ chandleries, helping each other out, encouraging each other when things get too tough, dancing and singing out loud on deck at midnight, laughing and … crying at the bare thought that our cruising plans don’t have us head in the same direction once it’ll be time to head through Marsamxett Harbour’s entry for good.
I’ve heard a lot about the difference that it makes cruising in company with like-minded peops… but to really describe how their presence has changed our lives, even in the most eloquent words, would still not do it justice. For now, we treasure, enjoy and appreciate the moment. Carpe Diem – from netted (ia kid-ed) SY Happy Dancer and Vida Loka.
This weekend past a bit like the picture above – in a Woosh. The question is, what didn’t we do!
Most random moment on Easter Friday was when we past one of the forts here where they still like shooting off their canons on a daily basis. I noticed the Union Jack on half-mast so asked if the Queen or someone of similar importance had died. THE LOOKS I got from the local ticket vendor… If I wasn’t Catholic? (God forbid, I’m not, which makes us part of a 2 percent mini minority on Malta…). Jesus died! How could I forget? Of course I didn’t – just never had seen such national grief because of it…
But back to the start – drinks with friends, for a few hours feeling what pre-kids times felt like and mapping out our route for the next couple of years on a piece of paper napkin.
Then more boat work: Scraped barnacles of the propeller and checked if we really do need that haul-out and anti-foul here in Malta where there’s lots of more economic places quite nearby.
Saturday we embarked on a stunningly beautiful bike tour round a quarter of the island which had us end up in Marsaskala unexpectedly for a nice coffee in the sun with adjacent huge playground – read, families’ paradise. It wouldn’t have been a typical Happy Dancing morning, had daddy not locked the bikes together – without having brought the lock key along… Took as an hour to find a local with the adequate tools to break our lock open and entertained the mentioned Cafe for the duration of that.
As if the weekend hadn’t been special enough already, we celebrated the stunning full moon around a fire, with bongos, guitars, singing and prayers in gratitude for the amazing life we are privileged to lead.
After more lovely dinners and times with friends, Sunday brought the Easter hunt with home-painted eggs, home-made raw chocolates and the all time favourite maple-syrup-roasted-pecan nuts (Easter does not need to be packed with junk!) – and a few presies for the kids which made their eyes sparkle even brighter.
Sunday I taught my second last Yin Yoga Sunday class before we start the proper sailing season. (For locals: Thursday night’s still on till late May!)
And when I got back the washing had been done – thanks hubby. Awesome. What a weekend! Namaste. Happy Easter. The flags are back at full mast. God bless!
Time flies when one is having fun. I’ve been busy getting my hands dirty rather than whooshing the fingers over the keyboard. As such, most deck fittings on Happy Dancer have received an upgraded sealant over the past weeks, our cockpit table’s gone through many exhaustive rounds of sanding and is now happily coated in its new coat of varnish in line with the companionway hatch, the life vests have been serviced (at three in the morning when the computer ran out of internet), more than half of the hatches have been replaced (sparkely!), new LED lights have doubled the light in the interior, a new boat hook and a few other goodies have found their way on board and our Atlantic Prep list has come alive. As we speak, the boys are fitting the serviced injectors (7am!) as I’m brewing them some Chai. Spring is in the air!
On the exploration side, this little island continues to surprise and enchant us as the boyz (aka almost 2 and 3.5 year old) and I explore and discover new places every week. We also spend quite a lot of time on the farm, soaking in the grounding that comes with digging your hands in soil and preparing some permacultlure veggies pats, hanging out with our lovely group of like-minded conscious parents and – of course – painting. One of our favourite past times, whether sun or rain. In fact, most days Noah (3.5) takes himself through his own morning routine of home-schooling as he fetches his books, blogs, scissors and the like straight after practice to either practice writing, do some arts and crafts or asks me to tell him more about the animals and places in his geography books or sometimes on historic brochures we find throughout town.
Yoga wise I’m treasuring more than ever teaching my weekly classes, including an added one for African refugees whose past we cannot even come close to imagine, knowing that the weeks are counted. A few more workshops in planning and then we are off late May to the Colourfest in the UK and soon after to another stunning retreat (after a hopefully stunning 800 nm three week sail) to Turkey.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. Bhagavad Gita
Time to attack the lifelines (top row will get a new 5mm 1×19 stainless steel) before the kids wake up and we are off to explore St Peter’s Pool – an apparently secretly hidden beach to the South I need to get some pictures of for THE most inclusive Malta sailing article ever awaiting you in the Cruising Helmsmen later in the year.