Four months into cruising, the HelmsMistress reflects on life so far.

Four months ago to the day, we left San Diego on our floating home with little more than plans to head south seeking warmer weather, new adventures and more mindful moments as a family.  We had it good – there was nothing we needed to escape from, but the idea of living together on the ocean was calling us.  Like many families we’ve met down here, time was passing all too quickly at home as we worked the days away, came home tired, sometimes irritated, only to realize we had a few precious hours with our kids before the rat race started again the next day.  We were blessed with an opportunity – a time window – to see things through another lens and we took it.  In just this short four months, so much has changed.  We traded our cars for a stellar dinghy, our conventional shower stalls for jumps off the transom followed by a sun shower (shower), closed toed shoes for flippies or no shoes at all, our steady stream of WIFI and power for intermittent cell service, a VHF radio, and hopes of steady sun and wind (to charge the solar panels and wind generator). 

Before cutting the docklines-

For Chad and me, we consciously chose this lifestyle and accept the highs and lows with a steady focus on the endgame.  Alternatively, for a very social active 8 year old and a pensive, tenacious 10 year old the transition to this lifestyle has sometimes been challenging and confusing and downright frustrating.  We write about the good and the bad on this website, but it is so much easier to highlight and share the positive aspects.  As resilient as kids can be, such a dramatic change takes time and bears with it some emotional ups and downs.  As parents, we had to allow time and space for listening and understanding things from their perspective.  At this point, we’ve evolved from hearing a teary eyed girl scream “I wanna go home!  Why did you bring us here?!” to “So where are we going next?” and “Can I drive the dinghy, dad?”.  We will no doubt continue to evolve, face challenges, and learn more about ourselves; both as individuals and as a family.  I dedicate the rest of this post to my beautiful girls who continue to amaze me and will no doubt set the world on fire.

For my kids:  Your transition has not been easy, but we wouldn’t put any challenge before you we knew you weren’t capable of handling.  You made sacrifices by leaving behind a world you knew in exchange for the unknown and often unpredictable life at sea.  You left friends and family behind, but have realized that with modern day communications, they’re never too far away.  You’ve become stellar dinghy drivers, nimble snorkelers, adept sailors, efficient radio talkers, innovative recycled material boat builders and strong advocates for preserving and protecting our oceans. You’ve learned that friends are for life – whether they live near you or not and whether you just met them or have known them for years.  You’ve helped your dear ol’ mom develop our very own homeschool and have impressed us with your knowledge and creativity.  You embraced a 76-hour crossing at sea with ease and have conquered your fears about the boat heeling, rocking beam to beam, and being far from the sight of land.  You’ve seen that life is not a constant stream of rainbows and unicorns and have learned the importance of calmly thinking through troubleshooting the various systems on the boat when things don’t go as planned.  You’ve had the great pleasure of seeing so many ocean creatures in their natural environment – observing unique behaviors and the joy of spotting something out on the horizon or right in front of your mask, and you’ve done it all while living on our 51-foot floating home.  You’ve been entrusted with more responsibility than we ever gave you back home, because this is how you learn about the world around you.  I love seeing your eyes light up at the thought of stopping at a panaderia or for helado mexicano.  I equally love listening to you develop your own worlds and dress up and play them out – giggling and hiding whenever you think dad and I are listening in (we ALL hear EVERYTHING on a boat).  We (probably) won’t live this lifestyle forever so enjoy the world around you today.  Challenge yourself by moving out of your comfort zone and never let fear of failure inhibit your pursuits in life.  We are so proud of how you handle yourselves both in the face of adversity and in times of joy.  Most of all, we are blessed for the beautiful times we spend with you, learning about the wonders of the world together and seeing things through your eyes.  Thank you for reminding us of the importance of play, that bad words are not necessary to describe anything, that reducing our use of plastic can make a difference, and that sometimes you just gotta dance around the salon and be a goofball! 

We are loving the gift of time at sea with you.

Sunset on Banderas Bay

We continue our limerence with the sea as we continue to travel the slow way (by sailboat).  By this time next week (depending on weather), we hope to be on the move again as we start to slowly head north to check out Isla Isabel (Galapagos of Mexico) and prepare to jump back over to La Paz from the mainland.  

Wanna keep up with us as we travel on a sailboat with kids and Great Dane ? Follow our website and/or check out our Patreon site if you wanna buy us a beer (we’ve heard there’s cold beer in Chacala ?).


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