Got some questions on the blog and Facebook that I thought I could answer for everyone to take part of.
Hi, we look forward to watching you transit the canal on the webcams at the exit gates, please post when you are moving through. On a more sensitive note, some of us are happily reading more into to your later posts than what we perhaps should, but when we read things like " lazing in bed, radical diet changes, titles like Panama baby etc ", we get thinking and have to ask the question, are you pregnant ??, have great days
Answer: Hi Different Drum, always happy to hear from you, but the answer to that is a big fat NO! At least I hope so? No babies planned and none wished for currently either so I do hope that you are wrong in your calculations. Babies are a wonderful thing but we are way to content having only ourselves (and a boat) to care for at the moment. Maybe in a few years when back on land. Comfort, tranquility and peace of mind is paramount and I have a feeling that bringing up babies on a boat (or anywhere else for that matter) might distract exactly those.
As I read your posts, it occurs to me that Alex gets a great deal of fulfillment (periodic complaints aside) from the process of working on the boat - something I can personally relate to. I don't get the sense from reading your posts that these are activities you share an interest in, which is a bit worrisome. Are there activities you can both take part in while in port that you can share and do together? No doubt while at sea you both share the journey but these spells in port it almost feels as though you diverge greatly in your interests and almost to some degree your happiness. As a reader I can't help but wonder if you don't need to make a concerted effort to set aside time for activities you both enjoy doing together (though I may be way off base since you no doubt don't blog about everything you do!)
Answer: You are right in that I don't exactly share a very deep interest in his boat project activities, more than of course with a lot of admiration and appreciation for his wide knowledge so we can stay safe and comfortable on the boat. But for me who find my own time to be extremely important and I prefer being left alone most of the hours of a day, I find it ideal that he is busy with his own things.
Although I am glad to help him out when he needs an extra set of hands for any given project, I have no intention to make his passion and job a hobby for myself. When Alex is working on the boat, I am most often doing my own things such as writing, reading books, doing housewife stuff as laundry and dishes, cooking meals or baking, as well as exercising and taking a walk - all of the things that I most often find are most pleasant and fulfilling doing without disturbance of someone else. I have always felt that being alone, gives you time and space to develop and nurture your inner self and because of that I am thankful that Alex is so busy. Despite the challenge it can sometimes be with living right in the mess of his projects on such confined space. Living so close to one another for so many years, it seems absolutely necessary that we are not constantly in each others face, boring each other to death, so the set up is pretty good all in all.
Most of the days we try to spend a few hours doing things together. We hit the bus to town for an afternoon walk or a visit at a local coffee-shop or a bar, we go to the beach or hang by the pool (when there is a pool to hang in, like in this particular marina) and every evening we eat a meal together out in town or at home, free from computer, books and boat work. I do think we have a pretty good balance. Only our friends and family that is missing at times, and occasionally it can get a little lonely being only the two of us but thankfully we have had the pleasure of meeting new lovely people on the way.
Wow, pretty radical change (the new diet). Is Alex going along for the ride? I find it interesting as many friends are being bombarded by vegan zealots on FB with horrid images. Good luck with your new endeavor. Will your veggie diet also abstain from consuming soy, coffee and other agricultural products which often abuse and enslave the humans picking it? How about the textiles that go into your clothes? Just trying to see how far this rabbit hole goes. When I think ethically, I think you are making the right decision... but for now, bacon is sooo tasty.
Answer: It might seem a radical change as you haven't heard my complains over the past twelve months. We've tried to eat consciously for many years, bought locally produced and as raw food as possible and so forth, but it's time for me to take it to the next level. I think that changing a lifestyle towards a better direction shouldn't be mistaken with "aiming for perfection". I find it a little silly when people say "why stop wearing fur when you wear leather shoes" - almost saying that "I know I can't be perfect so why bother being a nice person at all?" It is not all that black and white. We can not give up on everything we believe in because we are too lazy to make a stand for each of our actions. Ignorant people will always have their excuses, I know, because I've been one myself and I still have much to learn in other areas I suppose. Everyone has to find their way of being comfortable in their own choices and take responsibility for their own deeds, one by one. In their own tempo.
It's a good comfortable step for me to have decided to stop eating meat products and meat that comes from the factory farming industry, but it doesn't mean that I will automatically become a radical activist nor am I saying I will dedicate my life fighting for every human or animal on the planet. I am taking this change with baby steps, learning on the way to know what is important to me, and where to draw my personal lines.
I think it's important that human beings, the most intelligent creatures of this planet, take their responsibility to learn, and to have understanding and awareness for how our choices affects our life and our surroundings. This sailing journey that has taken almost three years of our lives so far, has made me more in-tuned to natural changes towards a healthier and more balanced life, which also was the whole point of the trip itself.
I quit smoking a year and a bit more ago (although I'm not a perfect human being and I still fall for the temptation every now and then when drunk). I drink much less alcohol than before and have found an interesting gain and fulfillment in doing so, although I'm more than happy to still get wasted the times when I have a good opportunity in the right company. I've also humbled, grown and developed as a human being from within - these are a few small steps closer to the more refined, more conscious person that I want to become. To quit meat from my daily diet is only one of those steps towards a better and healthier life and existence.
Alex is probably not as enthusiastic in changing diet as I am but has told me he's willing to try it out as long as I don't quit using fish and seafood in my daily concoctions. Since I'm the one cooking 98% of our meals, I better learn some good vegan and vegetarian dishes now to keep him motivated, eh? All tips on good vegan/vegetarian websites are very welcome, thanks.