We have been off the grid for another month now. We’ve made fresh water from sea water nearly every night to drink, shower and wash dishes. We’ve generated our own power, grilled our food and entertained ourselves over family Yahtzee, backgammon, books on tape and movies. Laundry gets washed aboard and wet swimsuits and towels hang from the lifelines with clothespins to air dry. We’re a close family. Really, really close. Yep, it can get tight in here but that’s one of the reasons we do it. I say when asked “the fuse is lit and we only get this time with these children so let’s not squander it”. As I write this in the cockpit in Puerto Andratx, Mallorca, I could easily take 3 big steps in any direction on board and grab one of my children for a hug (which thankfully I will still willingly get). Quinn literally is hanging from the bimini over my shoulder right now asking me what I’m doing. Che’s nose is buried in his e-book on the settee across the cockpit and Gherty has climbed back into her berth after French toast to read directly under me. Probably 3 feet below me as I write.
It’s a rare opportunity to be this close…for years now, with these most important people as they grow and we explore together. We have argued about big things and the minutia of minute to minute tedium. I have reminded Kelly and Kelly reminds me that this is no different than at home except that we get to see this world from an odd angle…
Kelly is lecturing Che in her patient “to be clear….so I don’t have to say this again later although history has shown that i will and it makes my head hurt” signature style about his prospects for having free time on his laptop today based on his indiscretions yesterday. You know, normal parent stuff- stuffed into 350 square feet in a foreign country 24/7.
I’m constantly amazed at Kelly’s ability to do so many things at once. And incredibly well. She has been managing a project back home that would drive others to drink if it was their only task. She’s been working out several large situations back home via conference calls that HAVE driven people to drink….at anchor, 6 hours ahead, in a bikini. She has made sure our crew has sunblock on, dry towels, full water bottles and still has managed to buy a stylish Spanish hat, fancy European shoes and climb onto the quay from the dinghy on hands ands and knees (with incredible grace) for a family dinner at a waterside Italian restaurant al fresco. She orders an Aperol Spritz in passable (ok, awkward) Spanish, overorders european delights to be sure not to miss anything and then ENJOYS watching World Cup futbol under an umbrella over vino tinto (Catalan for “dark red wine”-by far her most fluent Spanish).
OK. Now I’m just boasting. But, seriously, a 4 mile hike up Dragonera in stifling heat to amazing views and literally thousands of unafraid lizards climbing all over us with unending enthusiasm and encouragement for hot complaining kids wilting in the heat yesterday. She picks up our first mooring ball expertly breaking our streak of anchoring for weeks (which she goes masterfully as well). She gets dressed to European standards, dinghies into a new town and drags 3 exhausted children to eat bolognaise.
Kelly has given me everything. As the marina pilot said yesterday when we stumbled into Andratx to find the only available mooring out of hundreds on a busy high season Saturday, “Yoo a Lookie man”.
I love her more than words can say. For now this trite blog post will have to suffice since keeping this boat upright is my other offering and floating serenely at anchor in the Med has proven thus far to leave me in awe of my most favorite woman. There’s no point in trying to match her brilliance. I’ll just have to wait for our next scary passage at sea to feel life sized again.
Stay tuned. Much much love.