February 18, 2011

Hello Blue Sky

“There’s a new kid boat in the anchorage,” I told Maia—pointing at a boat anchored a short distance from ours.
We had just got up. Hadn’t even had breakfast yet. But Maia’s friends on Hanacrew had left for a trip inland and Maia saw the potential to fill in her suddenly empty social calendar. So she and Evan heaved her kayak into the water and off she paddled.

I was marvelling at her cool confidence when she suddenly stopped, turned back for home, and then just drifted for a bit. But then I guess the lure of friends overcame her insecurity and off she went. Moments later I watched as the kids on the other boat popped out to greet her and then help her aboard. Then the three disappeared below for what I later discovered was a monopoly game.

It may seem weird to have your kid go visit people you’ve never even been introduced to--but thanks to blogs, radio nets and word of mouth we tend to know about the kid boats long before we meet them. And in the case of Blue Sky, who are minor celebrities in the cruising set, we’d actually been keeping casual tabs on their progress…

Blue Sky just finished sailing around the world. They left California five and a half years ago when their kids were five and seven. And I think I was as excited to hear about their experience as Maia was to be playing with Phoebe and Drake, “Mum! Phoebe just sailed around the world. She said it was really cool…”

Cruising families are a small enough minority out here—and to date we haven’t met one single other cruising family who has the goal of circumnavigating. But not only did Jim and Emma, Phoebe and Drake manage to do it—they did it in the time they set for themselves.

As we sat in their cockpit—basking in the thrill of their accomplishment--they shared their route, and reassured us that there would be plenty of kids and not too many pirates as we kept going.

Meeting them reminded me of when we first jumping off from Vancouver Island on little Ceilydh 15-years ago. Evan I were nervous and uncertain as we sat in our last harbour, but then a boat pulled in with a young couple who were just returning from the South Pacific. They had the same giddy energy as the Blue Sky family—the type of joy that only comes from fulfilling a dream. It’s a contagious type of joy—it makes all things seem possible.

Even sailing around the world…

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