Thursday, December 29, 2005


Boy it's dark here. The cold doesn't seem to be bothering us as much as the short days and dreary skies. I keep being told how much everyone has enjoyed hearing about our trip and we appreciate your involvement so much. As I look back on all the answered prayers, I know that you all were an integral part of our experience, even if we don't know you personally. I'm not sure if or what I will keep writing here, but for those of you future cruisers, I thought a few words about the transition back to normal life might be worth while.

We're staying with family at the moment, while we sort out a job and house. The most obvious transition is how expensive it is here. While cruising, we lived on less than $1000 per month, as we had no house payment, no cars, no tuition, and basically no where to shop. Now we're looking at $500 per month just for private school, and the price of houses in Bellingham has skyrocketted since we left. Our dream house is up around half a million!! The other big difference I notice is that everyone is so busy. While cruising, all our friends were basically available every afternoon for socializing. Now I need a calendar to pencil people in and everyone is booked up a week in advance. Not so long ago, it didn't even matter what day it was. We're going to have to learn to move and think faster than we have become accustomed to. I've been on the phone continuously for the last couple of days, with the bank, our realtor, friends, credit card companies and schools. We need checks. Our renewed credit cards didn't arrive. We have bills to pay in New Zealand for the crates we are sending home. Yikes. No more simple chats on the radio about whether we are going shelling or snorkeling after lunch.

However, I am adjusting quite nicely to the fact that hot water comes right out of the faucet and there are machines to do my washing up for me. The day after Christmas my dad went to the grocery store twice and then my sister in law ran down there for a couple more things. My mind isn't all that far away from the Tuamotus where we hadn't been to a store for 12 weeks. The other amazing thing is the internet access. Mom and Dad have DSL with wireless, so we're checking email, looking at real estate, researching jobs and communicating with friends, all without a ham radio and all from the comfort of the living room.

I'm motivated to keep life simple and will carefully consider what activities to rejoin and which to let slide for a bit. The kids are having such a nice time with new Playmobil sets from Christmas. They can even get away from each other if they want, because the house is so much bigger than the boat. My patience with them has improved considerably as we all have more space and we're taking a break from school.

Pete has spent most of his time trying to back up all our pictures and video to DVD, which is harder than it sounds. Mostly I've seen the back of his head this past week.

The sun is peaking out today, so that's encouraging. I'll spend the day organizing our belongings and settling in a bit. THe kids are playing fairly well, and Pete is in search of a job.

We hope to have a slide show presentation done up in a month or so and will post here about the time and location.



At 6:55 PM, steve gould said...

Your trip and web site have been an inspiration and a learning experience
for many of us. Our prayers are with you that you will be totally successful
in your transition back to "the real world." If I were not already 2 years
into rebuilding my own boat I would be very interested in Imagine. Where
better to start a South Pacific cruise than New Zealand!!! Not
coincidentally, I am right now using Pete's chainplate sketch to have 10
chainplates fabricated. The 8 inch diameter pattern fits my boat like a
glove. Thanks for that also.
Steve Gould
S/V Lisa Ann


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