Holidays

Today is our second night out. Our departure from Fiji got delayed, since after clearing out last Friday we realized that our alternators were not charging properly. We anchored out, checked it and it seemed to work fine. So we left on Sunday to realize again that they were malfunctioning. So we head back into Lautoka, cleared in on Monday, sailed to Denarau were Mark and Theo (Fieldtrip and Et Voila) helped to find out the culprit. A simple regulation of the regulator. It is so helpful in life to have smart friends!!
So back to Lautoka on Tuesday were Customs cleared us out again (they didn’t charge us) and headed to Wilkes Passage. Something like the exit door to Fiji for us, but world famous amongst surfers for it is the site of “Cloud 9” a very famous surf spot.
No wind to get there, 30 knots on the nose when we approached the pass, at high tide and tidal waves all the way through it and past 1 mile into the ocean.
We have had a very confusing sea but strong ESE trades blowing up to 32 kts making for a fast passage. We have hit the 15 knots mark (with 2 reefs in main and furled jib) surfing down a wave and have sailed 200 miles in 24 hours.
But life has been anything but comfortable on board. Now the winds are easing and we count on getting the spinnaker up tomorrow morning in order to make it in time for a Friday arrival and check into Vanuatu, in the southernmost island of Aneityum.

But the real reason to post this message on the blog is due to a discussion we have had on board today.
Some friends and family back home remind us of the fact that we are here on holidays. Extended holidays!
So the discussion was on today, when we asked the kids wether they thought we were on holidays on Lumbaz.
The very first answer was: Do you think THIS (as the big waves smashing on Lumbaz port side, shuttering the boat and crew) is holidays?
But we got in deeper and the consensus was definitely NOT! We are not here on holidays but that it is very difficult for someone who has not lived this life to imagine what our day to day is like.

True, we are not working on a basis of work against money, but we hardly stop working at all.
True, the kids do not attend a school, but they sit and learn everyday,they read everyday, they speak different languages everyday.
True, we spend days, weeks and months in beautiful places but day to day live is not easy and what we take for granted in modern civilized life is not in most places we visit, nor is it on board.

I think none of our cruising friends would say that they are on holidays, despite the fact that we are were we want to be, doing what we want to be. That doesn’t mean it is easy though.
We have to deal daily with variable degrees of uncertainty, insecurity, with our fears and expectations, with our hopes and desires. Maybe not unlike a settled life, but there is a fine line between having it all and loosing it all when you live on the ocean. And that is the life we live on.

We like to consider ourselves as travelers, not tourists. We want to think we are on a journey, not a vacation. We think we are here to learn and experience, so that we become better people.
But we have to admit, there might be a certain degree of selfishness in that thought.
Please, feel free to let us know what you think, it will help us in our discussion.

All good on board.

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9 thoughts on “Holidays

  1. svbrightwater September 10, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    I can hear your discussion. I can’t understand your discussion because of all the different languages, but I agree with all of you.

    Take care of each other. Take care of yourselves.

    Love from Phil and Nancy

  2. calafellhumbertoh September 11, 2015 / 10:52 pm

    never heard a better explanation,,when you give the people on the land this kind of comment ,thet give you the look as if you are fooling them,but as your last passage,it is not allways holidays,but the rewards are very sweet,that is another thing that makes us easely forget the hard working part. After 2 months of preparing and fixing my boat,i am allso finally ready for some long holidays hope the wind will be o.k. to blow me to Fulaga,if not,just another nice place. Will follow your trip around png remember Simbo Island ,specially allso the Marau Sound and later on the Put Put lagoon and the Duke of York group you are goning to have a fabulous trip enjoy like you have been doing all those time,holidays and no holidays abrazo pa los 6 humberto el holandes errante

    • lumbazander September 24, 2015 / 2:02 am

      Hey Humberto,
      we hope you made it safe to Fulaga. We are currently in Ambrym, walking up to the volcano tomorrow for an overnight.
      We will keep you updated on our way across the Solomons and PNG.
      Que tengas buenas singladuras y hasta prontito amigo!

  3. Per September 17, 2015 / 5:04 pm

    SO true, and so well spoken! I understand that you must have arrived safely in Vanuatu. Was so surprised that we had missed a phone call from your Fiji phone many days after we thought you had left…this explains why 🙂

  4. Lucia September 17, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    I live in a gorgeous city where the weather is a constant ‘holiday in the tropics’ even as we drop to a bone chilling (ok, in my opinion) 20C/70F days of winter. 1000’s of km of beaches on my door step, where others travel from around the globe to holiday year round.

    I don’t consider myself on holidays.

    My sister’s children have been natural learning (homeschooling/unschooling) for the past 10 years and have lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada during that time. Not holidays, but living and learning.

    I don’t believe you are on holidays just because you are not getting paid for the work you’re doing, or attending formal classes in a school.

    To be honest, you are now almost always on the clock with work and schooling. The university of life unfolds endlessly now for your family. Enjoy the adventure, as it is a journey that will reap far more than any amount of time within the four walls of a school.

    Stay safe and fair winds. 🙂

    • lumbazander September 17, 2015 / 11:22 pm

      Thanks Julia, there is surely a lot to be learned in the school of life. A real joy is the process of learning together, sharing time and experiences all together.

  5. Elizabeth Brown-Shaw September 17, 2015 / 10:39 pm

    So well said! I’m will be sharing your post 🙂 All the best for a lovely time in Vanuatu. Love, Liz and SV Fluenta

  6. dirk September 24, 2015 / 10:31 pm

    well, i agree that you guys are not on vacations as for sure life on a boat is not easy at all! All can be lost quickly and your responsibility for your family is huge at all moments. i can not imagine what it must be like traveling for weeks alone on the sea and being in the middle of a big storm. i am jealous of a lot of your experiences and your learning for sure, but also have to admit i would not be able to do as you guys are doing! It takes a lot of courage and know how to make it happen – money as you are pointing out does not help you where you guys are – only hard work and the group of family, friends and neighbors you encounter along the way!

    your travels and experiences are amazing and you are seeing the last parts of untouched pieces of land around the world – amazing travel experiences!!!

    all the best

    dirk

    • lumbazander September 25, 2015 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks for your words Dirk.
      There is actually no untouched land anymore. Not even the sea is untouched and this is one of our learnings as well. We have to take care of this world for it lives in a very fragile balance which we humans seem to forget about.

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