The Difference

What a difference. I forgot what it is to have cruiser kid friends. It’s even true that I’d given up. And I’m not the giving up type.

Kid friends make a world of difference to our experience of family cruising. Especially for our ever-sociable Lulu. She wouldn’t need to rely on social media so much to stop her feeling lonely.

Ahh, the tricky beast of social media. Both good and bad. I like it that Lu can use social media to stay in touch with people she cares about at home. At the same time, you can’t beat real faces. Or playing. Today, she was playing.

Delph meanwhile is never lonely. At least that’s what she says. Still, even she’s appreciating hanging out with these kids. This is special.

Noah, Roman and Mace. I want to pause here and mention the difference between girls and boys. There is no difference, right? Ha!

For us, in our microcosm of boat-living, there is a difference. The boys’ mum, for example, drove her boys to the marine park yesterday and left them there to snorkel while she took the dinghy and went to town.

The boys had instructions to swim to the beach when they were finished, walk down the length of the beach and meet her after she’d done her shopping. No worries, they did it. Yep. Could our girls do that same thing in theory? Sure. Would they in practice? This difference drips down my back.

Today, we met on the beach by the Hilton so the kids could have a bit of a surf. The boys looked at the very modest waves, which have kept our girls happy for weeks.

‘Have you been to Brandon’s beach around the corner?’ they asked. ‘It’s a bit bigger there.’

We squirmed a little. ‘Uhh, no.’

‘Come. We’ll show you where it is.’

So, with no looking back, we started walking barefoot over to Brandon’s. Through the Hilton car park and down a quiet lane. We’ve been avoiding doing this since we got here – on the account of never bringing any shoes. These guys? No shoes, no problem. And they had a point. The ten-minute walk was no problem.

On the way, the middle boy, Roman took a detour to climb a fully-grown coconut tree.

‘Hey,’ he called down, ‘there’s a monkey up here.’

At first I was wondering where the voice was coming from. When I realised, I looked up. Whoa.

‘Does he climb trees much?’ I asked his mum, Krista.

She grinned. ‘He’s always up them.’

‘Are there coconut trees in New Zealand?’ I asked.

She shook her head softly. Straddling the tree with his limbs. Roman began hand-sawing off a large coconut. A few seconds later, it crashed down to the ground. The heavy coconut narrowly missed a parked car underneath, but no drama. It didn’t hit the car.

If any of Quest’s crew were at the top of the tree, I reckon it would have hit the car. Another difference. Marvellous.

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