The Plan vs. Reality

We’ve been on the boat for over a month and every day is a struggle. The boys wake up at the crack of dawn at 5am, and pester me until I drag myself out of bed and get them some food. I grumble, “Maybe if you would have eaten some of that delicious dinner I made last night, you wouldn’t be so hungry.” It is not easy to take 2 high-energy kids this time of day. I make myself some coffee while getting them breakfast. Fruit, granola, eggs, something to drink, more granola. Where do they put it all?

At least it is relatively cool this time of day. But by 7:30, the sun is already hot, and we begin to sweat. We try to make a plan for the day.

Usually Matt says something like, “I’ve got to get the electricity fixed so we can keep the fridge running (a 3-day project), or “I’m going to fix the outboard motor so we can get to town.”

Then I counter with, “We also need more water, so can you haul a couple of 5-gallon jugs down from the well?  How is your ear infection/ cough/ cut healing/ stomach feeling?”

“Rylan, stop smearing beans into the cockpit cushions! Eat with your fork, not your fingers…. That reminds me, we need to take the laundry in/ get those scans made at the copy shop/move the trailer.”

“OK, I’ll try to clean the cockpit today so the ants don’t find all this food, and we still haven’t figured out the boat papers/the car papers/the internet/our plan.”

“Whah!!!! Brother is hitting me/messing up my stuff/not being nice!”

“We have to do something with these kids. They need playmates or we need a babysitter or something. Have you been up to the bathroom today? Is there water or should I take a bucket?”

“Rylan, don’t play with that, give it to me, please.”

“I’m hungry! I want a snack! I want milk!”

“Maybe we just need to go to a pool,” Matt will suggest.

“Actually, I feel more like going back to bed. I don’t know what is wrong with this coffee, but it doesn’t seem to be working.”

This isn’t really what I had in mind when we were planning to move onto the sailboat. Of course I knew it would be a lot of work, but I also thought we would have plenty of time to work towards our other goals. We were all going to improve our Spanish, the kids would learn to swim, we would see friends, learn the boat, and Matt and I were going to be able to put energy into earning money online.

There aren’t really other kids for the boys to play with, and they are terrified of using what little Spanish they do have. We haven’t been able to arrange childcare, so we haven’t made much progress on the business. The kids are getting more used to the water, but are definitely not swimming yet. Most of our friends aren’t here anymore, and we don’t really fit into the community here.

Oh, sure, we have gone sailing a few times. We go out on the lake or down the river. When the boat is off the dock, life feels carefree. We can relax and let the wind take us. We even took the Argentinean family we met in Mexico sailing for their first time as they came through in their van.

We have also found many moments of pleasure on the dock.  When the breeze picks up in the afternoon there is relief from the heat.  We indulge in mangos and frozen pineapple. The boys go swimming in the river or play with the boat Graysen and Matt made.  We have small interactions with the college-aged interns on the farm who live in the casita on the dock.

It is these times of ease and enjoyment that we are working toward. We’d really like to sail away from here, but we have to sell the truck and trailer, the boat papers are not ready yet, it is hurricane season, and there is still a lot to figure out on the boat. For now we just have to grin and bear the heat and do the best we can.



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