And we’re back!
After 5 months (almost to the day) we returned to Kate in the Philippines. We decided to stay in Manila for a few extra days so we could catch a ride back to the yard with one of the Yard Managers. Sure we could have taken a 5 hour bus ride to the nearest town then hopped on a couple motorcycle taxis for the 45 minute ride to get us to the boat. But, when you are carrying a combined 5 pieces of 23kg checked luggage, three carry on’s, some groceries and a piece of 1″ stainless rod (the new propeller shaft) that is 6 feet long a direct ride just seems so much easier.
The pack-mules reunite! Shaft not shown.
I have been spending a fair amount of time this week in front of my laptop writing a couple articles about provisioning and cooking on board. While researching what has already been published (in the hopes that I might have something new to say, HA!) I keep stumbling across this notion of “boat food”. That idea that just because you live on a sailboat and have a small galley you need to drastically change the way you cook and what you eat.
There is, in fact, quite a niche market for “galley cookbooks”, ones that implore that “boat cooking IS different than cooking ashore” because “there’s no grocery store 5 minutes away, you have fewer prepared foods and electric appliances.” And others that recommend that you eat off “paper cups and plates, particularly at sea.” Both to save washing up (you can just toss them overboard, of course) and because plastic plates “scratch and become dull.”
I mean REALLY?!
We have some very exciting news to kick off the New Year! Kate is featured on the January 2015 cover of Cruising Helmsman, “Australia’s No.1 Sailing Magazine”. A real team effort with me at the helm and Steve snapping photos from the dinghy.
And if you happen upon a December issue there should be a 9 page article in it about our time in the Tuamotu. Sorry for the late heads up on that one, I though it was all hitting the newsstands in one issue.
I hope some of our Aussie and Kiwi readers get a chance to pick up a copy this month, and if you do please let us know how it looks.
Kate on the cover of Cruising Helmsman
We just returned from a trip to Australia-hence the silence on the blog front this past month.
At the end of August Steve was finishing up his work contract overseas and I was finishing up the time on my Fijian visa- it seemed like a perfect excuse to meet in the middle and reconnect. It had been three months since we’d seen each other so we treated ourselves to a nice hotel for our rendezvous in Melbourne. After a couple busy days in the big smoke we repacked our bags (bulging slightly after ticking a few things off our “We can buy that in Australia” list) and boarded a train north to visit family.
We had a great time catching up, then we rescued the motorbike from storage and got some serious kilometers under the tires on a three week road trip. It was another great adventure, one we both agreed could have gone on as long as we had a decent road to ride on; break downs, flat tires and all. But vacations can’t last forever, so here we are back on board adjusting to the humidity that is the pending rainy season in tropical Fiji.
I didn’t realize until we returned how much I missed the boat, how glad I would be to finally be home after weeks of being away, and how big of a void Steve’s absence had been for all those months.
Traveling has always been an exciting experience for me; I enjoy the constant movement, the changing landscape, the chance encounters and new cultures that I meet on the road. But there is nothing better than coming home, unpacking my suitcase for the last time and relaxing in the space that we created for ourselves.
Perhaps I have been spoiled by sailing these past years; after all I get to travel the world from the comfort of my own boat, no luggage to drag around or strange beds to sleep in. Or perhaps I am just getting older and prefer the comforts of home; however strange and small they might seem to others.
They say “it’s not a house, it’s a home” and that “a man’s home is his castle.” Well, I don’t own a house but I certainly feel like our boat is my home. And it surely must be a castle, because you should see the size of the moat!
His and Her’s and Home
I was suppose to be a Mary. Right up until my Mother was in the throws of labour at the hospital. If I was born a girl I was going to be named Mary. But then, when asked just before I made my appearance, my Mother declared that I would be called Heather. As if she knew that there was no way that I would come out and grow up with Mary-like qualities. And boy was she right!
Here in Fiji I am more often than not referred to as Kate. The funny thing is, most of the people in the marina now know that the boat is not named after me, but they call me Kate anyway. Funnier still is that I answer to it.
There is a long tradition of men naming their boats after their women. I guess way back when if you were embarking on a voyage that you knew would keep you away from your beloved for months, or perhaps years on end, it was a little comfort to feel as if she was there with you, if only in spirit. Or at the very least to have an excuse to utter her name now and then and not seem sentimental.
In the beginning we had people come up to us on the dock and introduce themselves, shake our hands, look at me and say “And you must be Kate?” And I would wonder if I really looked like the kind of woman who would be vain enough to sail around the world in a small green boat named after herself.
I hoped not. Continue reading