Charm - Indonesia 2
Cobin celebrated the onset of his teenage years on the outskirts of the Indian Ocean.So far, he is a delightful teen-ager.We surprised him with “all day screen time” instead of school and, rather than retreating into a self-indulgent binge on devices, he shared all his electronics and gave the girls and Tyler tutorials on various games.He was pleasant, cheerful, helpful, and kind.If this is any indication of what the future holds, I can’t wait! Last night the girls helped me decorate the boat and we had streamers and balloons and signs all over when he woke up this morning.Tully stayed up late just to help out and commented that it was her “first birthday to help with.”I think Marin and Tully might have been more excited than Cobin. There were no “real” presents (Tully told me that kids. read more...
Charm - Australia 8: The Top End
Human beings seem to have a lack of creativity in our ability to name things.The Australians are no exception to this and have named the area where Darwin is found the “Top End” because, as you might guess, it is at the top end of Australia.Its official name, no less unoriginal, is the “Northern Territory” but Top End is slightly more creative and has a nice double meaning, making it sound like that part of Australia is somehow superior to the rest.It’s an odd city, with bits of it poking out into the water and lots of tall buildings for a population of 150,000.Unlike the US, Australians seem to build up instead of out.They also build shopping malls that are like Faberge eggs – difficult to access the treasure inside. The kids and I went on a shopping/movie excursion to the mall and I. read more...
Charm - Indonesia 1
First, a big thanks to my brother Kyle who did me a huge favor this afternoon.I had made a commitment to a friend and didn’t follow through.Kyle helped me pick up the pieces and finish it.We are so lucky to have the support structure that we have.My mother regularly makes phone calls on our behalf and takes care of various tasks.My sister and all of Joe’s side of the family give us moral support in the form of cheers and likes and notes and e-mails.Our neighbors, Phil and Laura, are managing our house rental and our stuff that appears and disappears with various “mules.”Heather and the crew at CityROCK are running the gym in a way that gives us peace of mind as we make our way around the world.Then there are all of you that are reading this and sending kind words and thoughts of support. read more...
Charm - Australia 7
By my calculations, we will hit the reef (Eel Reef, to be exact) in 45 minutes.Just a few moments ago, we were literally between a rock and a hard place.It’s amazing how many of these little phrases come from the nautical world.I’m not entirely sure if that particular one is nautical but it definitely applied to our situation.I am on night watch on the eastern Australia coast and we are sailing with no engines on.We were coming up on Restoration Rock (where Captain Bligh and his remaining crew may have made a pit stop in their small boat after the mutiny experience) on our port side and a large cargo ship was barreling down the shipping channel towards me on the starboard side.In order to miss the rock, I had to go to the right but, to miss the ship, I had to go left.I aimed somewhere in. read more...
Charm - Australia 6
Upon arriving in the Flinders Group of islands, we found one other boat in the anchorage.The kids and I went to shore and Cobin flew the kite for a while and we gathered shells before heading back to Charm for the night.We were at Flinders Group because I had read that there was an indigenous cave with paintings in it that I wanted to see.The next morning, we planned to dinghy over to Stanley Island across the bay, walk along the trail to the cave and then leave to get some miles in on our way to Darwin.Of course, that all changed.While we were eating breakfast, the man on the boat next to ours, who we later learned was Ron, started yelling and indicated we should turn our radio on.Joe said, “He probably wants to tell us we’re on top of his anchor.”Instead, he introduced himself as a. read more...