may 2012: hong kong / thailand / spain

We flew back to Phuket. We sailed around Phang Nga Bay and the Andaman Sea. We moored Zinc in Phuket. We flew to Spain.


LIFE. On a boat at anchor is a lovely place to live. The backyard is spacious.

…There is an infinity pool.

…A fish pond.

…A motorboat circuit.

…But the kitchen is small.

…And there are often ropes lying around on the dining room floor.

BOAT KID. Willow substituted a bucket for a multi-coloured pencil case as a handbag.

BOAT. Zinc is a true beauty on the soup. She flew all of her sails and rev’d her sparkling engines in their new hatches. She skipped over calm seas at 10 knots with 12 knots on the beam and hummed through glass with the shade cloth up for our comfort.

…She even motored backwards to create apparent wind to fly her spinnaker. Truly, she did.

BOAT KID. Willow wants a hand in everything.

…”Of the many adjectives to describe sailing with kids ‘relaxing’ is not one of them… the most challenging time to sail with kids is when they are between 12 months and 30 months of age” This is from a book about cruising with kids, misquoted but you get the gist. Obviously this is not surprising. We were (sort of) prepared for (a few) challenges. What we were not prepared for is Willow contesting the skipper-age, wrestling the first mate for the reins…

…and telling the skipper how it should be.

LIFE. Then, one minute we were playing at anchor awaiting a weather window to sail to Indonesia…

…the next we were securing Zinc to the dock at Boat Lagoon Marina…

…and flying to Spain.

…Willow did not seem to mind, provided that puppy came too.


LIFE. Spain. Yes, Spain. For the next three months we live on the Atlantic Ocean in A Coruna, Galicia. Random. Even we are surprised.

…Dale was offered an unsolicited work contract in an atypical expat city, on the coast, close to surf, in summer, in a region of the world that we have not explored together, where a handy language is spoken, at a time when Willow’s language (and temper tantrum throwing) synapses are firing overtime. We had a couple of days to decide; during which a weather window for us to sail to Indonesia did not open (and did not look to be opening in the next couple of weeks – we left our run late) and Willow threw a couple of cracker tantrums regarding being “shackled” on board. So, why not? It is funny how life pans out sometimes. Dale went from grease monkey sailor to office jockey engineer within a week. A last hurrah before a job is a rare commodity after a global financial crash? We hope not. But as you know, current affairs in Europe are depressing. Willow and I went from Mummyland where we cannot understand anyone at the park to Mummyland where we cannot understand anyone at the park.

…Actually the parks may be the reason for Spain’s imminent bankruptcy. There are parks like this on every block; this is only half of the park and behind the hedge is a 500 meter manicured maze. The kids may not have jobs to look forward to when they grow up but goodness they have fun at the park when they are young…

SURFING. We did not expect our first surf after leaving Australia to require 4/3 wetsuits, and boots in my case.

LA NINA. “SHAKKA!” We are unsure what exactly this means but have deduced that Willow uses this word when she wants us to put something on her (or our) head – hat, sunglasses, swimming cap, goggles. Weird. The poor little creature’s language synapses are “mixing” out – Indonesian/Malaysian, Thai, Spanish – unfortunately we have not stayed anywhere long enough for but a few words of any language to stick with her. We wonder if she will even be able to speak English; she cannot string a complete grammatically correct sentence together yet. What she can do though is say “NO!” like a true Espanol. Apparently she also says “si” but I am yet to hear this.

…In Spain, Willow is doing pretty much the same as what she did in Australia and Asia. Pushing her pram.

…Smelling flowers.


…Spotting fish.