Dreaming Big – is it reality?

I was given a gift bag and on it had the wording, “Dream big, live the life you have always imagined!”  Simon and I have had a dream for our family for a while, and that is to take our kids sailing for a few years.

But the birth of the dream to the actuality of it sometimes seem insurmountable. They say that the ideal time to do this is before kids reach ‘teen’ years.  Obviously this is not the rule, but it seems to be the average guideline.  Jesse is turning 10 in June, so this ‘ideal’ deadline is creeping up.  Then there is the very real monetary factor.  We aren’t rolling in it.  We work for ourselves with our event flooring company, and at the moment the industry is not doing well.  That means that all that we have saved has been thrown back into the pot to keep going.  So 2 steps forward and 3 backwards!  Simon has his coastal skippers, only to find out that it is only valid in the UK and not recognized in South Africa.  So if he wants to get his Yacht Master off shore, he has to start from scratch again.  And this is only a few of the ‘hurdles’ in getting from here to there.

This isn’t including trying to buy the boat.  We don’t want a complete fixer upper, as this takes time which as stated above, is limited.  But obviously the nicer the boat the ‘nicer’ the price which brings us full circle and back round to the hurdles.  How do we go about buying a boat that is roughly going to cost us over a million Rand?  Selling a kidney and half a lung seem to be the easiest options at the moment!  Just joking….I think.

So how do we go about accomplishing the life we have imagined?  What do we give up?  Do we sell our house and buy a smaller apartment that is then paid off so that there is no debt?  But if we sell our house we move out of an amazing community we are knitted into.  Do we rather rent it out hoping that our tenants pay on time etc?  Do we keep our business and try run it from abroad?  This then gives us a monthly income.  But at the moment we need to sell the business in order to use the capital to fund the dream.  If we keep the business this then means you are constantly trying to keep in touch with clients and overseeing things.  Do you rather sell it and thereby not have anything you are constantly having to watch?  If we sell it, what are our alternatives?  Do I look at doing online freelance work?  Does Simon go back to doing yacht deliveries?  (which he did before we were married)   This can then be done when we are in various ports and also from home in Cape Town when we come back, keeping a possible option of income.  Which homeschool system will be best and easiest?  At this moment our kids are beyond on board with the dream, but when time comes will they truly be happy to uproot and say goodbye to friends and family?

So at the moment we have more questions than answers.  We have more what ifs than we wills and definitely more against us than for us.  But we will continue to dream and work towards this goal and I will keep you posted on what we decide to give up, trade in and sell.

But this I do know, even if we don’t accomplish this exact dream – we have not failed.  For it is far better to dream and maybe fly than to never try  for fear of falling and failing.  We will always have each other, and for that we are rich!IMG_2508

Good intentions can go awry!

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Grace – our pretty little Holiday 23 who we co own with great friends

It was fathers day a while back and Simon’s great passion and joy is sailing.  We are lucky enough to be co-owners of a beautiful little Holiday 23 which is based in Saldhana.  For two 6ft plus adults and 2 growing kids, it can be a little cramped but it is our stepping stone starting point for our long term family goal, but generally I come away with bruises everywhere each time we go.  I am a clutz at the best of times, put me in a mall space and it is disaster waiting to happen!

Anyway, the kids and I planned an overnight journey to Grace (our boat) for Father’s Day and my mum in law, Caroline, was coming along for the day.  We were going to head out into the bay for a bit of a sail, drop anchor for some lunch and then return to the club for the evening so Caroline could head back to Cape Town before it got too late.  Got to love good intentions!  Thirty minutes into our outing, motoring along as there was no wind, we get yelled at by a stranded jet ski couple who’s motor had cut out.  A 20 minute detour later taking them to Slipway Restaurant where they could get help, we set off again.

Just as we are getting somewhere the kids start to grumble that they are now getting hungry.  We decide to stop at a close little bay for lunch where they could have a kayak while I prepare and then maybe play on the beach after lunch for a bit.   Just as we drop anchor a rolling swell starts to come through which means in about 3 minutes after sitting down to make lunch, we are now slightly queasy and uncomfortable.  By now Jesse, our son, has started saying that he has a bit of a sore tummy.  He’s not the greatest eater at the best of times, so I don’t really believe him (remind me of that later.)  Lunch doesn’t go down overly well.  Kayaking gets shelved as the swell is crashing onto the little beach and it was a guaranteed promised soaking if attempted.  Being winter, not so much fun.  So after packing up and motoring out the little bay we now discover the wind has disappeared completely.  Oh well, back towards the harbour where en route I somehow manage to lose my Paez overboard.  Thankfully it floats a charm so I am able to fish it out with the boathook.

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Shoe fishing!

By this stage, Jesse had mentioned a few times that his tummy was sore but was still asking for treat snacks, so I still didn’t believe him.  Back at the club, we pulled up to the hard (the permanent jetty you can moore your boat onto for a bit) and the kids went off to play.  The rest of the afternoon was relaxed and because the club was so quiet we decided to sleep on the hard for the night and not go back to our mooring.  It means the kids can come and go without having to paddle from the boat back to land etc.  With no more mishaps, dinner was uneventful and the kids went off to bed.

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Good old Woolies, a winner for dinner when you don’t have much prep space!  Rotis with yummy indian…yum

Now a Holiday’s layout is pretty clever for the size.  Simon and I sleep in the main cabin and there is a loo literally next to the bed (obviously there is a little wall) but it is ‘open plan’.  And by open plan I mean the space is not enough to swing a cat nor stretch or actually even stand up straight if you are over 6ft.  The kids fight over the quarter bunk and the ‘couch’ and take it in turns.  That night Olivia was in the quarter bunk and Jess on the couch.

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This is the layout of Grace.  Simon and I sleep in the forpeack (the front pointy bit) and the loo is right there as you can see!

30 minutes after everyone was in bed we suddenly hear the trawlers leave and then we remember why we shouldn’t sleep attached to the jetty.  The boat was rocking like it was a bucking bronco.  And then the rattles started.  Now my husband HATES a rattle.  He will pull our cars dashboards apart to find a squeak or rattle and if he can’t find it he starts to get a wild look in his eyes and a nervous tic.  Now when we went to bed it was so still we didn’t think to secure the boat hook pole and various other boaty things (yes I am a complete boating terminology officianado….not!).   I think for the next hour or so Simon was in and out of bed and back up to deck to find the latest rattle, knock or noise.  All of which are amplified when inside the boat.  Finally we seem to have sorted them all out and are just drifting off to sleep when Jesse bolts upright, runs to the loo, says he doesn’t feel well and proceeds to vomit…..everywhere.  He is standing right in front of the toilet, it is literally right below his face and yet do you think he manages to actually get his aim right?  Nope, he misses!  A lot! And my husband is one of those that if someone is vomiting he starts gagging too.  Put that together with the fact that your face is inches from this delightful spectacle your son is providing…not a good combo.  We opened up the forward hatch above the bed, gulped fresh air and proceeded to put our big girl panties on.

Between trying to change child out of clothing, clean up the mess, wash down the area and crying with laughter because hell, what else could we do?!  You then look across at the partner and friend and realize amidst the calamities of what life throws our way, joy is found in the small things.  That even when things don’t go as planned, hell they went completely sideways, to realize that the planned outcome isn’t the important thing but the journey in getting there.  So choose to find the humor in your unusual situations you may find yourself in, look out instead of in, build memories to last a lifetime, don’t get upset when things might not be according to plan and look around at all that you have!  Life is good and wondrous and messy and beautiful, seize it!

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Simon celebrating Father’s Day after our ‘momentously’ awesome evening

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