What do you say after 20 months on the road?
A quick recap of the trip…
To start, it wasn’t all roses, prepping the boat and untying the dock lines but we managed to get what takes some boats years to accomplish, untying the dock ties, in 2 weeks. Our trip to the keys ended in a rough night at anchor a low point followed by 2 great weeks in Key Largo.
Next we had the roughest crossing of the year to Bimini where we met our first kid boat, though the boys sometimes didn’t see eye-to-eye with a single child ten year old girl. We sailed to Great Harbor Key and had a great chill day there before docking in Spanish Wells. My Mom and Dad met us in Governors Harbor and we stayed at the Pineapple fields which was a great stop out after 3 months on the boat. On to the Exumas where we spent nearly two months cruising, living aboard, meeting friends and exploring. Then to Cuba for a month which included another week with my parents before heading back to the keys where we initially decided to keep sailing but on a different boat – cat or trawler. A quick trip home to Alberta in August then moved the boat to Hollywood Florida to sell Viatori and switch to a catamaran or keep Viatori or move to Oman, Kazakhstan, Brunei, Singapore or Calgary and ended up accepting a job in Oman.
Back to Canada to sell house and excess stuff. Said our goodbyes and moved on to Costa Rica for 5 weeks. Started raining in Costa Rica everyday so we left and crossed the Atlantic on the cheapest flight we could find ending up in Madrid. Train from Madrid to Toledo, Barcelona, Toulouse, Tours, Paris which really gave a great taste at what Europe trips are like. Camper car for two weeks in Normandy before back to Paris for two chill weeks and then landing in Oman.
- Miles sailed: 3500 nm
- miles driven: about 1000 miles
- miles flown: 31,100 miles (49,760km)
- number of beds:21
- Number of countries: 8 (plus 2 airport only)
- Languages used: 4
- Number of McDonald’s visited: 13
- pictures taken: 15943
- blog posts: 147
- number of times Star Wars was watched: Uncountable
- Number of times Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing series read aloud: twice
- children potty trained: 1
- Number of family board games played: 350
- Number of Pizza Nights: 40 ish
- Number of times Ethan fell overboard: 2, James: 1
- Percentage of lines from Lego Movie memorized by James: 99%
- Number of times Lego Movies recited: more than we can count
Top things we learned:
- How little you need to be happy
- Home doesn’t have to be a place, it can be wherever your crew is
- How God is faithful and watches over us all the time
- Just because you are in a different country your kids are still the same the good and the bad
Other things we learned:
- The 10% rule for amount of maintenance on a boat costs annually is a bit high for a one year cruise
- The difference between 7 knots and 8 knots is huge
- Heeling sucks, rocking sucks and rolly anchorages suck
- Being together makes a family stronger
- Sometimes you can be together a little too much – everyone needs a break
- Homeschooling is hard – it takes months of concerted effort to get kids in the groove
- Kids catch up quickly if they fall a little behind academically
- The pen-ultimate nautical achievement is being able to dock scratch-free especially if there is wind or current
- Drinking 500 ppm salt water (UN standard) is awful (around 150 ppm is better)
- It’s really easy to fall back into a consumeristic mindset once back on land
- Unless you are a family of sailors you will motor more than you sail
- Weather controls your life when you liveaboard and when you are a tourist
- Shopping list tourism isn’t for us.
- Time and time together are the most valuable assets you can have
- Living off 30k a year is doable without major sacrifices
- Handling your own sewage sucks.
- Toilet repairs are usually worse in your mind then the actual job
- Viatorians use 1 gallon of water per person per day on the boat
- The more stuff you have on your boat, the more work it will be to keep running
- More boat doesn’t mean more fun (the sunset is the same from any boat)
- Your dinghy must be able to plane with your full crew.
- Spend as much as you can afford on your dinghy
- There is no such thing as a dry dinghy ride