Tuesday, July 28, 2009


One of Maia’s biggest worries about going sailing was her concern that she’s never going to have friends again. I completely understand this. The last time we headed off sailing I visualized night after night of Evan and I alone. Him winning at chess and talking endlessly about the finer points of yacht engineering, while I slowly withered from the lack of diverse companionship.

It was almost enough to keep me on land…

Have done this before though, Ev and I are in the unique position that we can assure Maia she will meet kids. She will make friends. She won’t have to learn about optimized foil shapes while other kids are building forts and such.

We told her this. But she didn’t believe us.

So we showed her.

Kids are amazing when it comes to making friends. We took Maia to the beach. Stood her in front of two little girls who were catching bullheads – and two hours later they had formed a club dedicated to kindness to animals and sworn to a lifelong friendship.

Then we left that anchorage to meet friends in Silva Bay so she (and we!) could reconnect with friends she hadn’t seen in two years. Within an hour they had planned a sleepover and a sailing trip.

There’s a lesson here – I’m pretty sure.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Boat School

One of the questions we're often asked is, "Are you taking Maia with you?" That one puzzles us. The next question is always, "How will you educate her?"

There's a lot of stuff that happens naturally on a boat. Maia's urge to communicate with her friends ensures she works on her writing, our forays into the natural world include numerous lessons in biology, our travels to other countries should cover geography, culture and history quite nicely, sailing provides endless lessons in physics and navigating covers quite a bit of math.

And to supplement all of this we're throwing in some traditional schooling.

A few weeks before we left, we visited the Vancouver School Board's distance learning teacher. We chatted with her about our trip and our needs, then went to a warehouse and picked up a big box of books.

The books will be interesting - they'll give Maia something to do on slow mornings when Evan has chores or I have assignments. And they'll provide us with a framework to make sure we haven't forgotten to teach her something vital.

Her education will happen all the time though - and I believe her deepest learning won't come from text books, but will be found in the moments when she learns what a gust looks like as it gathers speed on the water, or when she interacts with animals on the beach...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day One - Things I Like

I like calm waters best.

Sometimes the nets are a very nice place to be lazy.

If you ever feel seasick, steer the boat instead of just riding, you'll feel better.

Crab! I love crab. I picked these crab up off the rocks this morning at low tide. These are called Red Rock crabs. They are very sweet but very hard to crack.

Exploring was one of the fun things I got to do today, I also went kayaking, wading, seaweed picking and dingy riding to shore for icecream eating.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Maia's been undecided about whether or not boat life works for her. She’s had a few pangs of homesickness, which I think are more about the fact we’ve been working non-stop on the boat all week and haven’t done much of the fun stuff we promised. Fortunately boat life comes with its own built in rewards and Seven Swans a Swimming (and a Goose in the Fraser River) are daily visitors.

Maia loves them and wants to go kayaking with them. (Seven Swans a Swimming, One Kid a Kayaking and a Goose in the Fraser River).

Charlie is less sure. He might want to eat them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Imagining Pirates

It is easy to be a pirate when the wind carries a salty smell and the deck is rough beneath your feet.

*awesome photos by Jodine Baluk

A girl and her boat

Maia's getting the hang of her little kayak and spends hours (while we pack, repack, stow and restow stuff) just paddling around exploring the river. I recall the freedom I felt in my first little sailboats and kayak. There is something about gliding over the water at your own pace that merges well with the dreamy feelings of childhood.

Maia's comments:
My kayak is called "Racing Waves" because she goes so well over waves. She's a blue and yellow, one person kayak with a black paddle. Sometimes when I just want to be alone - I go off paddling. I feel happy when I look at my kayak.

Family, family...

Images by Jodine Baluk

Friday, July 03, 2009

Maia sets sail - by Maia

I'm excited about leaving but I'm also nervous. I've sailed for about seven years and I love it. But I'm still sad about leaving my friends. We all had fun together and that's what matters. I'll always remember Vancouver.

I'm not going to say goodbye, but I'll say see you later because the world is round and that means we'll meet again.