Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

Dreaming of a Mini-Break

July 18th, 2010 · 5 Comments · First Mates, French Polynesia, Life on the Boat, Our Route, Random Thoughts, Shore Excursions, Society Islands, Thoughts on Family

I remember first hearing the term “mini-break” in the movie Bridget Jones’ Diary – which I totally LOVE btw – and thought it was a quaint, truly british phrase.  But, Lord A’Mercy, I am in need of a mini-break from the boat.

We have not spent a night off the boat in almost EIGHT MONTHS.

That’s over 233 nights spent awkwardly crawling over Matt, ducking my head carefully to avoid whacking myself on the ceiling of the quarterberth, then arching my back and tucking my hips and snaking my legs just so to prevent an undesirable smack on the butt from our inconveniently located fan.

That’s over 233 nights spent with less than a foot and a half of airspace above my head.

That’s over 233 nights spent jamming my knees up against the side of the hull in an attempt to get comfortable.

And, that’s over 233 nights spent waking up at least 3 or 4 times a night wondering just exactly what that noise was… and having the occasional minor panic attack imagining it was Matt falling overboard.

But, thankfully, it has been over 233 nights spent sleeping beside the man I love, so I can’t say it’s been all that bad.

But, I’m ready for a break.  Even if it’s just a mini-break.

Today, I woke up and spent the morning crying because I was desperately lonely and missing my girlfriends, desperately desperate to get off the boat, and desperately craving to be back on familiar grounds again.  Fortunately for me, Matt happened to also be desperately desperate to get off the boat, so we loaded up a bag with our books, some money and our shower gear and Matt kayaked us to shore….

Where we spent the entire day on the patio of the snack bar next to the yacht club.  As the afternoon sun began to wane, we put our books down and took showers.  We talked briefly about returning to the boat, but neither of us wanted to go back – at all.  We tried to put it off as long as we could, but we quickly lost the light for reading, and started to get a little chilly in the breeze off the water.  Reluctantly, sluggishly, we loaded our stuff back into the kayak.

I wouldn’t have noticed it so much except for the fact that we did pretty much the same thing yesterday.  We had ventured to downtown Papeete, where practically every store closed around 12:30, managed to find ourselves a pub that was open, and camped out there, sipping our drinks as slowly as possible so as to stretch out the time away from the boat as long as we could.  And even after we caught the bus back to Arue, we still lingered out on the snack bar patio, looking for any excuse not to row back “home.”

I recently read an article about how to make your vacations better.  One of the “scientific” discoveries about the art of vacation-taking is that interrupting your vacation with a return to the “real world” can actually make you enjoy your vacation more!  This seems to support what numerous cruisers have told us – it’s important to take breaks from the boat and the cruising life so you can fully appreciate what you have and get a fresh perspective on the experience.  A.K.A. a mini-break.

Matt’s mom and my mom are coming to meet up with us in Moorea on Saturday.  And I’m BEYOND THRILLED to have them here.  1)  they are estrogen-filled beings.  I am missing my girlfriends sooo much and I am so excited to have other women around with whom to go shopping, gossip about the latest happenings, share stories, share drinks, etc.    2)  If things work out as planned, Matt and I are going to get a hotel room for at least a few days while our moms are here!!  A hotel room! I’m trying to not get my hopes up too much because those plans could all fall through, and I’m also wondering if it’s the best idea for when our parents are here because the prospect of a hotel room with a TV and hot showers and a nice comfortable bed and sheets and towels that can be washed everyday, and carpet…… *sigh* that sounds like pure paradise!  I might never leave the room.

I apologize if my posts have been a little depressing-sounding these days.  I really appreciate those of you out there who appreciate ME telling things how they are, not sugar-coating my experience.  Obviously everyone has a different perspective and a different take on the cruising life, but I’m not gonna lie – I’ve been having a hard time of it lately.  There are moments when I am totally ready to pack up and say adios to Syzygy.  So many other cruisers have told us to “hang in there,” “the first year is the hardest…” But the thing is that we only really have one year.  So it’s hard to always keep things in perspective.  Anyway, I’m hoping that this little break with our family and getting off the boat for a few days will renew my spirit and inspire me to not throw in the towel just yet.  I mean, we’re fairly committed to seeing this through to Australia, but I don’t want to simply see it through, I want to find a way to enjoy it as much as I can.  I often wonder if there’s something wrong with me – how can I be so miserable when we’re in such a beautiful place??  But, I’m trying…  Our parents are bringing us “care-packages” that I’m hoping will help boost our happiness factor.  But, even so, I’m still planning to spend multiple days this week hanging out at the huge grocery store down the street.  I never thought true joy could be found amongst heads of lettuce and bins full of peaches and kiwis, cases filled with cheeses, and rows upon rows of fresh meat, and warm breads, and fragrant pastries… but now I know.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Rob

    Maybe it’s one of those experiences you won’t really enjoy till afterwards. Like those polar explorers or people who climb Everest. What you take away from the experience can matter more, especially if it was a bit grim at the time.

    Ultimately it is a totally cool thing to have done. Twenty years down the line you can just casually drop “yes that’s a bit like the time we sailed across the Pacific” into conversation when people are grumbling about the lawn or the kids.

    In the meantime enjoy the grocery store!


  • Da Bro

    Maybe you guys can spice things up a bit by turning your sailboat into a pirate ship. You know, “The Sailing Pirates of the South Pacific.” You need to get a parrot for your shoulder, Matt gets an eyepatch, and Jon can have a hook for a hand. Add in the two moms and you guys would be the terror of the high seas. TWO Mother-in-Laws on the same boat?!? Shiver me timbers! “Arrg, you be cleanin yer room, or you be walkin the plank, argggh!” “Where is me granchillin? I be wantin to pillage n blunder to spoil me granbabies?!?!”

    You rename Syzygy: Sea Shark o’ th’ South Seas

    Your Pirate names:
    You: Gurglin’ Jessie Barbosa
    Matt: Pirate Sid the Ochre
    Jon: Jelly Legs Isaac

    Matt’s Mom: Cap’n Audra Mohawk

    Mom: Plank Monkey Dolores

    Aye, now that’s a savage crew!

    I’m telling you — this idea has merit.

  • Aunt Arlene

    Good idea, Brian. I think a pirate ship would be great. Hoist the skull and cross bones. Your mom is beyond excited to see you. It’s not so much the trip, but seeing her daughter after so long. She has the things you asked for and more.

  • Elaine Morris

    I love Brian’s idea! Especially the names he’s renamed all of you! I’ll have to ask your Mom, Karen, if there’s any special meaning to hers 🙂 I have an idea for the “next time” you decide to sail across the South Pacific: start saving for an 80 ft yacht when you get back to the real world and maybe by the time you retire, you’ll be able to swing it. No head-bumping, butt-smacking issues on one of THOSE babies!

    Can’t wait to talk to your Mom when she gets back home!

    Love ~ Your Cyber-Aunt Elaine

  • Sandy

    Does this mean I need to get a mohawk (haircut) before we arrive? I was thinking about a tattoo! We WILL get you and Matt a very nice room at the hotel and I think massages are also called for. See you soon. Captain Audra Mohawk

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