Saying goodby to Fiji.. :(
They say all good things come to an end eventually. What they should have said, is that all good things will feel like they have ended so quickly, you wonder if it has all been a dream!
It is our final night in Fiji, before we as a family, embark on our first "solo" passage across the Pacific, then Coral Sea and into Brisbane Australia for the next stage of our adventure. Will we continue? Well I guess we will have to wait to find out. There are some pretty cool rally's coming up, one which looks intriguing, (destination Japan) in the next year or two, which would be awesome!
What a wonderful experience we have had so far, learning so much about ourselves individually, collectively as a family, and about a new and previously unfamiliar environment and lifestyle.
November will be 6 months of full time living on a boat -which seems nuts, given the context of our previous life.
Not to mention the seemingly forever looming threat of covid and the restrictions it requires, we have managed to find a way to live a dream life (so far..) through persistence, a fair bit of courage/stupidity and bloody mindedness.
A lot of people we talk to, congratulate us, especially focusing on the kids life experience, which of course was one of the main reasons for us to take this life opportunity. Although the kids have not had formal school this year, which was a worry - but then none of their peers have either, due to Covid Delta. I hope that the people we talk to are right, and the kids take these life lessons into their adult lives, and become more rounded, practical and responsible adults. However, Michelle and I have benefitted ourselves considerably - the positive influences we are experiencing will bode well for us into the future, too. You are never too old to be influenced positively enough, to change and adapt.
I have attempted to balance some comments on the photos, which reflect the highlights of the trip, there are low lights too. It is a challenging environment to live in, the things we take for granted in a land house can sometimes have seriously negative implications on a boat in the middle of an ocean. Next time you hear the window rattling outside from the wind and rain, and you snuggle up in your duvet, you can spare a thought for the boat-bound, checking and possibly resetting their dragging anchors, or watching reefs swing by uncomfortably close to your rudders. Not to mention the forever ongoing maintenance of stuff that will break, navigating through weather and geography, currents, tides, swell - and oh, school in the boat…!
Don't worry, this is not the start of a woe-is-us speech. We are forever grateful to be living this life, and now that we have been given a taste - we appreciate how difficult it must be to give it up, which we will have to do - one day. I have said this once before, but it bears repeating - we would not have had even near the positive experiences we have had, now after a full season in Fiji, without the help of, initially, strangers. The community as a whole is well known for being friendly and helpful, but even with that knowledge, we were taken aback by the help we received, with almost everything to do with this lifestyle - I am sure many times when I didn't at the time appreciate, that it was genuine help I was receiving!
Thank you to everyone from the passing comment to the significant effort involved, or the generous giving - you are all sincerely appreciated, and we all thank you.
SO what next? Well, we are due to leave for Brisbane Australia in less than 24 hours of writing, so likely by the time you read this, we will be on our way, on the high seas.
It will be our longest passage yet, with no additional crew, just as a family. We have great support in a professional weather router, and we have used all the learnings of our previous passages and preparation. We are ready for this, it is the next significant milestone that we have been planning for what seems a long time.
So thank you all for coming on a little journey with us, we do sometimes feel guilty posting pictures of sunsets etc, when we know many of you - especially back home in NZ, are doing it really tough right now. Our hearts are with you guys, and we see you. We can only hope and pray that life turns back to normality at some point, and the businesses and livelihoods are returned, with interest. What can never be taken away from you, is the knowhow, operational experience and product/service knowledge that made you a success in the first place. I do believe that you will be repaid for this pain and suffering one day, in someway.
Perhaps by selling off everything and sailing off into the sunset. I can vouch for that option, maybe see you out there.