Perspective in the Canaries…

Dec 13th

So here we are in the Canary Islands and my children along with 4 others have just been told to get back to their boats, (arms being waved, voice well and truly raised), the wonderful gentlemen delivering this tirade calling them coños under his breath, (Seb was able to tell me that little bit of info- coños by the way means c#@ts in Spanish- YES THE C word!!!).

Why might you ask, has this happened? Well it all comes down to perspective!

From our perspective the kids are being wonderfully innovative, they’re playing together, 6 children in total, ages ranging from 6 to 10 years old. There are 2 boys, (one I know for sure often drives his older sister mad) and 4 girls- two Kiwis, two Spanish Aussies and two Canadians. They haven’t known each other for long and they’re using their imaginations and playing with what they can find. They’re not being noisy or destructive and in all honesty we are ALL having a bit of free time. Simple, unsupervised, subtly monitored, unadulterated play.

From his perspective however and I could be totally wrong about this, (although the fact that he called them coños suggests we see things differently), Happy Jack sees wild children who don’t go to school, causing some kind of disturbance to the concrete area they are playing in…

Hmmmm perspective, it’s an interesting thing.

Funnily enough I was quite keen to do a post on this very subject and the afternoons drama provided me with just the intro.

For the time being, this blog is written from my perspective. There will be input from the kids when they are keen to contribute and Mike of course if he’s able. The sailing specific information is probably going to be a bit ‘light on’, I’ll be honest, despite how we are living and what we are doing, it’s not my strong point, (potentially there’s a yet at the end of that sentence…potentially).

We haven’t seen a lot of Las Palmas to date. We arrived on Sunday morning after leaving Rabat, just before midday Wednesday. The passage, as predicted, took us 4 days- total hours just shy of 96. As I said at the end of our last post, the trip was our longest to date. Despite the bit of sailing I did a long time ago, my night time sailing is limited and I’m not YET comfortable with it. I didn’t enjoy it then and I’m not that enthusiastic about it now. I may have at times used slightly stronger language to describe how I feel about it but seeing as I’ve already dropped a few choice words thus far I’ll stick to the tame version.

There are moments, incredible moments when I’m blown away by it all. A pod of dolphins came and joined me on my watch in the wee hours one morning. The moon had gone down and the starboard navigation light, (a green light located on the right side at the front of the boat) seemed to be attracting fish. There were dolphins on both sides of the boat, jumping and zooming back and forth, the phosphorescence reminding me of the last time the kids and their cousins were given a tin of glow sticks! They were with me for quite some time.

I watched the moon come up on our last night before arriving here and then saw it set about 04.30 on my successive watch. There wasn’t a breath of wind at this stage and the sea was like molasses- smooth and black, a sliver streak connecting Slice of Life with the almost perfect ball in the sky.

However, my night time sailing reminds me of when I learnt to drive- and trust me, I had a lot of lessons!!!!! You want me to look where I’m going, check the rearview mirror, side mirrors, change the gears, use the indicator, foot on clutch, foot on break – FAR OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m doing my very best to stay awake, check the radar, make sure we don’t collect a Moroccan fisherman’s nets, stay out of the way of cargo ships and did I already say it, STAY AWAKE! I need to check the sails too? I feel half drunk or drugged and I just can’t get the hang of what happens if it flaps this way or what happens if it flaps that! There is the continued issue of seasickness too…

There might have been a discussion in the very recent past that went along the lines of “ Listen I did my fair share of sleepless nights twice over, for a few years at a time and it nearly sent me loopy. I don’t like being awake in the middle of the night- I want to be asleep!!!!!!!!”

Of course I’ll do my watches and I’ll get used to it and I may even grow to love it. More dolphin and molasses-like sea moments and less cargo ships and fishing nets!

PS. There were an extra 2 kids playing with the 6 already the very next day…

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