Thursday, January 15, 2015

Big News...and a little bit of nostalgia

Savannah at anchor in one of our favorite places
in Palau
When we sold our house, all of our stuff and bought Savannah, it was the hardest, scariest and most exciting thing we’ve ever done.  After 10 years of planning and saving, w were finally realizing our goal of a five-year cruise around the world.  Looking back, I guess we were kind of na├»ve on the timeline…after all, it is a great big world.  Anyway, I agreed to six months in Mexico to see if I could, indeed live on a tiny boat with my husband and son 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Six months turned into a year and soon enough we found ourselves crossing the big scary ocean to tropical islands far away.  At some point, Savannah became home and our little life of traveling from place to place via the ocean became normal.  When asked how long we would sail, we quit quoting our five-year plan and instead said “when one of us isn’t having fun or we run out of money.”

The morning we left San Diego.

3 days later, our approach to Isla Guadalupe

Fast forward five years and we find ourselves only half way around the world.  We’ve traveled to 16 different countries visiting some of the most remote places in existence and crossed the largest ocean in the world.    We have seen and done some amazing things.  While it’s not always an easy life, for the most part, we’re still happy and having fun.  However, after many long hours of discussion and doing some math, the sad fact is that we have finally run out of money.  It’s something we knew would happen one day, we just hoped it would be later and we’d be closer to home.  We could probably get to South Africa, but then we’d be stuck without many appealing options.   We’ve both stopped and worked before and while we could do that again, we don’t want to be separated again for so long (or in Andy’s case, get shot at).  In reality, with the travel involved and living expenses, we really don’t ever save as much as planned and it ends up just being a long time apart. 

Our first bonfire in Mexico

Pirates in La Cruz, Mexico

Crossing the equator for the first time

Island kids (and Jake) in the Tuamotos

Jake, participating in the French Polynesian games
at a school in the Tuamotos

In our effort to pretend to be responsible adults and avoid that ever growing population of people receiving gov’t assistance (Andy says we have a taste for fine cheddar, not gov’t cheese! Which may be part of the problem…), we have come to the very hard and sad reality that we need to put Savannah on the market here in Malaysia and go back to the United States to take a break.  We’ll get jobs and settle down somewhere on the south east coast while we save up for our next adventure. 

It’s been a hard couple of months.  Jake “refused to allow it” when we first told him and there have been tears all around.  But just like in the beginning, this is the hardest, scariest and most exciting thing we’ve done.  They say the two happiest days of your life (aside from marriage and children, of course) is the day you buy your boat and the day you sell it.  We’re trying to focus on the good things about selling, like being back with family, dishwashers, washing machines, The Big Green Egg, and Chick-fil-a!

I believe this was in the Mortlocks in Micronesia

Christmas celebration in Lamotrek, Micronesia with the locals.

Our first anchorage after arriving in the Philippines
I’m sure this won’t be my last post on the subject, but I’m going to try and not dwell on it all too much.  There’s no point.  In the meantime, we’re on the hard here in Thailand getting her all fixed up (being reminded of what BOAT stands for….Break Out Another Thousand) In between working on Savannah, we’ll try to squeeze in a little more fun before we actually list her.  It’ll be a few weeks before it all happens so don’t abandon us just yet…I promise lots of honest, if not exciting posts on the trials and tribulations of wrapping things up.

Feeding giraffes in the Philippines

Amazing vacation in Australia

Sailing to Thailand

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

We've been on the go for the past few weeks and now find ourselves back in Langkawi getting ready to go again.  We had to return to Malaysia to reset our Thailand visas and now we'll head north to haul out and give Savannah some new powder and paint so she feels pretty again.

I have so much to say but lack the motivation so I'm going to leave you with some pictures from our trip.  Andy finally got to get in the water again so there's a few treats from him.  The other pictures are of the absolute chaos Thailand calls tourism.  We have never in our life experienced the sheer volume of bikinis, speedos and boats.  

From our family to yours, we hope the New Year brings you health and happiness!

You wonder how the ferry flipped over and killed 400 people?
This is how.

These people were all snorkeling in the same spot behind their
tour boat....not sure what they were looking at as there was no
I wonder what the US Coast Guard would say about this.

You just can't get the feel of this without the
"boom chicka boom boom"'s just
not the same.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from Savannah!

One of the many alleys here in Koh Phi Phi.  Rows and rows
of shops and restaurants.

Our first week in Thailand has been pretty fun.  We’ve hopped from island to island and have landed in Koh Phi Phi Don for Christmas (Remember the movie “Beach” with Leonardo DeCaprio?…this is where they filmed it).  The boys have been playing non-stop and we have a big dinner planned for tonight (Christmas Eve) with a few of the boats here.  In some ways it's hard to believe we're in Thailand.  It's not like most of the tourists where they got off a plane and the scenery has suddenly changed drastically...we've slowly eased our way into SE Asia and Thailand doesn't look so different from Malaysia.  The biggest change is that there are very few muslims and way more tourists and hippy backpackers.

Posing with the monkey.

As much fun as we're having,  it’s the first Christmas on that boat that doesn’t really feel like Christmas.  The anchorage is a bit rocky with all of the boats zipping by and the evenings are filled with “boom chick a boom boom” coming from the shore non-stop until 2 in the morning.  And I have to say I’m a bit home sick.  It’s been a lot of Decembers away from home…I was telling Andy how pathetic I am…sitting in an anchorage in one of the most popular beaches in Thailand having trouble being happy.  So, I’m adjusting my attitude today and getting into the spirit.  I called my mom, wrapped presents and now we’re cooking up a storm (at least Andy is). 

So here’s to all of our friends and family wherever you may be, wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the crew of Savannah…all the way from Thailand! I'll leave you with some pictures from the aptly named Monkey Beach!  BAD Monkeys!

Making good use of the stick...shooing the
monkey away.  They get a bit aggressive at times.

Mama monkey, winding down after a long day of harassing tourists.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Boys, boys, boys

The last few weeks have had their ups and downs on Savannah, but today I’m going to focus on the ups…  I cannot explain how happy it makes me to see Jake playing with these two wonderful kids on Love Song.   Despite it being a threesome, something that rarely worked in my circle of friends growing up, they get along great and never tire of each other.  It’s also fun to hear Jake talk to Morgan about dinosaurs.  Jake thought he was the authority on all things prehistoric and well…now he’s learning a few things. 

Andy and I took them to the War Museum in Penang and stopped by a “Snake Temple” on our way back to the marina.  Both were fun, but strange in their own way.  First, the museum was also dubbed a paintball park.  And it had a ton of what we thought were leftover decorations from Halloween….still not sure if some of them are decorations or part of the recreated scenes.  The area was a fort built by the English way back when (don’t you love my historic details?) and long ago deserted.  It sat for 60 years being looted and growing over.  A private party bought the land and decided to restore the old bunkers, walls and tunnels as much as possible.  They did a pretty good job with that, but it’s a little weird walking around old tunnels and fort walls and then seeing a miniature model of a tank.  The boys enjoyed running around shooting each other and climbing out escape hatches….something that would NEVER be allowed at home for fear of a law suit (crawl through a dark tunnel, then climb straight up an old metal rung 9 meter ladder to the outside).  From a museum perspective, it was just ok, but it was perfect for a few boys to let off some energy.

This was the exit for the escape hatch.

There is a danger sign here that says don't enter, but it didn't say anything
about exiting.  The lady at the front desk was the one to tell us to do it.

As for the “Snake Temple.”  The deceiving thing here was the word temple.  It’s a temple all right, but it’s way more touristy than religious.  We lectured the boys about showing respect and keeping their voices down, etc. and then we walked in to find about 20 people snapping photos and waiting in line to pay their RM30 (about $10 USD) to hold a python.  There were snakes all over the place, but some of them were so lethargic (full?) that the boys weren’t really convinced they were real.

Note the snakes on the branches where the kids are looking.

Not sure exactly what this face is supposed to be.

Now we’re here in Langkawi, on the hook in Telaga Harbor.  This is a huge cruiser hangout simply because of the duty free status and the proximity to Thailand.  Andy and I aren’t quite sure what the draw is yet, but it’s growing on us.  The highlight is still watching the boys play all day, only now they have a whole beach to run around on.  It looks like it will be Jake’s first Christmas in years with more than just mom and dad and some other old people.  We’re all excited.

I managed to get my paddle board out again and even found
someone to paddle me around!

Sunset in Kuah, Langkawi