One of the joys of our adventurous lifestyle is meeting new and interesting people. That usually occurs in the local Laundromat. I met Roe, Emma and Owen just after their arrival at the marina. They had come through a bit of nasty weather and landed at our peaceful doorstep with a lot of laundry. The laundry room here is air conditioned, and thus conducive to long conversations while folding clothes.
We have a soft spot in our hearts for people who ditch Normal and live dangerously. These three “Kiwis” as we dubbed them—although only Owen is a native of New Zealand—are just that. Owen, owner and captain of s/v Dulcinea, is an experienced sailor, but Roe (pronounced “Roo”) and Emma are just along for the wild ride. They’re still on the part of the learning curve where you call the specialized gear on a boat “that thing-a-ma-jigger.” But they’re learning fast, and they can keep an eye on the horizon, GPS and the autopilot. What else do you need from crew?
They became friends partly because our children lack age-appropriate playmates in the marina and rely on adults that still act like children to toss them into the pool and other such nonsense. But in the times I caught up with them sans children, we had long conversations about life on planet earth, maps, tectonic plates, racism, religion, politics, child-rearing, and other more serious topics. It’s so refreshing to get another perspective on America; sometimes we can’t see ourselves unless we step back and see the reflection from another perspective. I hope the time we spent together was mutually beneficial.
Today, after a couple of false starts, the three Kiwis and a spare crewmember sailed off into the horizon. They are headed toward Mexico at the moment, but ultimately home to New Zealand via the Panama Canal. We will be following their progress at www.milkrun.co.nz and living vicariously as they cross the great Pacific with their gnome Gary in tow. We will all miss their company, but perhaps the children more than anyone. Good playmates are few and far between.
To Owen, Emma and Roe: we wish you fair winds and following seas. We’ll be praying for your safety at sea and look forward to watching the documentary that will make you all millionaires! Maybe we’ll see you in New Zealand someday…