Family Boats

We are a family boat, living in a family boat bubble. Up until now, it’s just been us. Negotiating school, work back home and the harmony within our little family. Suddenly we’ve been joined by another bubble.

Having another family boat in this anchorage definitely helps define what we must look like. I keep staring at them and thinking, ‘So that’s what we look like.’ Very profound. They must be thinking, ‘Why does she keep staring at us?’

These cruisers are from New Zealand. Starting from the Mediterranean, they’re slowly sailing back. They’re going home. Can you imagine a journey going home which involves travelling through the South Pacific? Going back to Wales and stopping off at Fiji on the way? No wonder they’re in a good mood.

I’m not saying the Azores are the dirty shoes of the Atlantic. It’s not Fiji though. Or Vanuatu. Or any of the other Polynesian islands whose locations I can never really visualise.

I know it’s not right, but I still struggle to get my head around this vast region. Every time I open the cruiser’s Pacific guide, it’s like reading about another planet. The Marshall Islands? Are they on Mars? In our part of the world, the Pacific map was the end of the map. Cut in half.

I do know Hawaii is much further away than you might think, compared to most of the rest of the Pacific islands. No cruiser really goes to Hawaii, unless they’ve been everywhere else first. It’s double hard apparently to get anywhere from northerly-situated Hawaii – unless you catch the current back to Alaska. Hmmm.

Still, this family are nice. Really nice. Adventurous too. They wanted to go snorkelling, so we showed them where Carlisle Bay Marine Park is. Then we watched as they free-dived down to ten metres.

All three boys dived alongside their dad. They went into one of the wrecks and swam down its length, emerging at the other end – on a single breath of air. Normally only the tank-breathing scuba divers go here.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t see it because I’d forgotten my snorkelling stuff and had taken Lulu to kayak back for it. Really at the cutting edge of adventure, me. I did hear about it though.

Jack and Delphine were the ones who witnessed this family’s amazing free-dive.

‘Kittens,’ was Jack’s overall conclusion, ‘you’d be having kittens if that that was the girls down there.’

Kittens means something, but not dangerous. It’s not our place to say it was dangerous. Just different. This family must have been practising it for years.

Still, here we were thinking we were adventurous because we’re trying to live our lives without the luxuries – and trappings of home. These Pacific people are next level. And they get to go home the most awesome way – without sailing off-course.

Is there a green-eyed monster stirring in me as I watch their boat parked behind us? Damn straight there is. And I like them too. Is this the other part of being a family?