Sort of the Same, but Slower

While many aspects of a "stationary" cruising life are the same as regular life, mornings aboard Del Viento are never a mad scramble, the days are never a pressure cooker.

December 3, 2012

Del Viento- winter

This is Del Viento‘s new covered wagon look, at least while at anchor or at the dock. It keeps the cockpit dry in the rain and will keep the boat cool in the Mexican sun. It is a Shadetree awning passed down to us from our friends aboard Dreamweaver, who got it from our friends aboard Principia. It gusted 40 knots in the marina a couple days after we set it up and it did remarkably well. Michael Robertson

In Mexico, it was easy to enrich our kids’ lives. The place was so different than what they were used to, that just being there caused new synapses to erupt all over their brains. Riding the bus, ordering tacos, or watching people on the plaza was sufficient stimulus. Even after half-a-year, the rewards of spending our time this way didn’t diminish.

Now, back on more familiar ground, enrichment happens in different ways. British Columbia doesn’t offer taco stands and a disparate culture, but it’s bursting with organized activities for kids.

It is still an evolving schedule, but our weeks are filling up. On Monday nights, Eleanor and I go to kids’ chess club. Tuesday afternoon, both girls jump and cartwheel through gymnastics lessons. Thursday mornings, Eleanor meets with her French tutor for 90 minutes or more. Saturdays, the girls go to swim lessons. In between they meet and hang out with other homeschooled kids and do ad hoc things like go on a mushroom walk or attend the fall festival or see the salmon run.


Here, Eleanor, at chess club, plays her friend Liam, our neighbor aboard _Riki Tiki Tavi._

In other words, our family life as cruisers holed up in Victoria is not much different than our family life as working professionals in D.C.—except that it is totally different. Because even as we fill our weeks with a schedule familiar to any harried two-income family back home, it isn’t leaving us harried. Though we still must grocery shop, deal with the pile of dirty clothes, and chip away at a never-ending string of boat projects—and despite my spending the bulk of most days writing—having given up the career, the commute, and the house and the car that went with it, our lives are much simpler than they were.

Mornings are never a mad scramble, the days are never a pressure cooker, and the evenings we spend cooking labor-intensive meals, playing games, watching movies, and baking bread in our small living space. In June 2011, we set out on this radical journey to gain more togetherness, and we got it. We’ve a lot to be thankful for.


I__n our twenties, we traded our boat for a house and our freedom for careers. In our thirties, we slumbered through the American dream. In our forties, we woke and traded our house for a boat and our careers for freedom. And here we are. Follow along at


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