Life aboard – a second year

Some days, it’s all truly amazing – exquisite location, gorgeous weather, happy children and a contented husband.
Other days, it’s just like life would be anywhere, anyhow_food to prepare, chores, homework.
Then, there are the days which are, well, bothersome_everything is out of sync. The kids are squabbling, the wind is blowing, the husband is grumpy and well, everything and everyone is just ‘out of sync’.
Ok Ok, it’s true, take the time to look up and generally, on these days, we are – in an exquisite location, with gorgeous weather, together, enjoying this mid-life interlude.

Today, I am experiencing this conflict, unease among the equilibrium. It’s a ‘down day’, decided to be. A good opportunity to catch up on things, but today the tight confines of this lifestyle are outweighing the glorious surrounds. Though, as I write this, I lift my head and catch a glimpse of the church gripping the headland, the lush vegetation all around me, and hear the children playing happily below. I shouldn’t complain, I know, and really, I’m not, just sharing my thoughts of some days.

We have recently been mostly 4 again. A fantastic weekend with Bruce & Lori, and we did meet some grown ups in Viareggio but I think the boys are missing having kids to hang out with. It’s great to be with them but their  fun is different when they play with other kids who equally enjoy their games. Hopefully we will find some more kid boats soon, or meet up with friends aboard Ondine or Infinity for some shared fun.

P9141564Our second year,this year, is all about the Mediterranean. Sailing around the Med, a dreamy sounding lifestyle-food, culture, history and spectacular vistas. The more we heard about this though, the more apprehensive I became _”it’s so expensive”, “no wind or too much wind”, “marinas all the way” and such comments had me a little nervous. I’m pleased to say though, we’ve had wonderful experiences so far. And just 4 marina nights in over 2 months. Some nights, in really settled weather, we hang on our anchor off a beach, others we tuck up protected on the lee side of an island. We have made some wonderful new friends, been welcomed and embraced by people, enjoyed delicious gastronomy and immersed ourselves in the amazing world that precedes Australia by centuries.
Growing up in Australia, history and a second language seemed, superfluous. “when am I going to need this? Yeah yeah”. Not much appreciation, or it would seem, foresight on my part. I thoroughly enjoy visiting these historical countries, am so interested in what we see and learn about some of the people and events which were influential in shaping the world I know today. Of course, it is much more interesting actually being here, than reading about in a text book.

Italy has been our pleasure for the better part of our time since arriving on this side of the Atlantic, and whilst I am yet to harvest olives or grapes, as dreamt, it is wonderful to be here. Slowly trying to learn some of the language, practising as often as we can, we are having an amazing time.

P8281159 Already we’ve enjoyed a successful visit from friends, sighting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and staying overnight in Florence has all been part of our experience.
  The weight of the world on her shoulders

For too short a time, we visited the Belearic Islands. Where we caught up with friends, from Spain in Formenterra, and sailing friends made in the Caribbean, in Mallorca.
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This is also where we celebrated Matthew’s 40th Birthday. A quaint restaurant on the edge of a Plaza in a gorgeous little village. P8191022 P8191028P8191024 

Before heading to the Belearics, we enjoyed a visit from Alexander’s best friend in the UK and his family, and spent time with new friends on the Costa Blanca, Spain.
Our introduction back into Europe was in the Azores, where we found Flores. Here we gained a new perspective on gracious, generous, genuine humanity. And an appreciation for slowing down and having less. This time was shared with our friends aboard Abracadabra who we reunited with in Bermuda. Many an hour was spent sipping vino and righting the world (according to us).

From here, there is still much of Italy to explore. Notably, Amalfi (considered first as our desired wedding location). And then the Greek Islands and probably Turkey. After that, well, with plans made in the sand at low tide, who could know this far out.

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