It is 6.30 in the morning, the sun hasn't made it over the mountain tops but the solar cells are already giving 0.8A to the system.
Looks like we are going to have a fine morning. The air is cooler that it has been.
Yesterday we had the whole family from Lady Carolina over for Lasagne and they brought mussels in butter and garlic as an entré.
After dinner the kids took the dinghy ashore to the marina freezer (yes there is freezer all boats can share, great idea!) and brought back ice cream.
Not a bad meal for being Monday night.
The best treat was that their oldest son Kail (14) arranged the kids and did the dishes while the adults could talk in the cockpit.
Steve is an engineer and thinks nothing of all the technical stuff that has to be solved under way, he asked me if I understood how much work there was before leaving. I said that in a way I knew it but I did not comprehend it until I had to face a growing list of todos.
The thing is that Steve sailed with his parents when he was around Erikas age, so he sais he really knew how much work there was in the bilges.
I asked him yesterday what he remembered from sailing as a kid, he answered without hesitation: responsibility.
He thinks that our kids learn more than any other kids to be responsible, and I have to agree. Other than that he thinks coming back to a regular school will work out fine except that our kids will be surprised by how little is expected from them ashore. Interesting thought...
So in conjunction with all the work comes the question on how much our readers want to read about reality. One of our readers wrote the day before yesterday about how the blog can affect those that dream about getting away. If your dream is to sip a pina Colada in a lagoon, you get a reality check that does not comply at all.
This is an interesting issue because many of our friends on other boats use Facebook instead of a blog. There you will find all the dream pictures. I even know some of them are doing some really shitty work on their boat but they show no pictures of that. You see deep blue skies and coral seas with a shining white hull.
As I use Facebook as well I can feel that the format does not lend itself to reality. It is easier to post something nice, a good picture and you get an immediate response. And that is the most rewarding thing with Facebook, the amount of likes gives you a hint on how many that actually read or looked att your stuff. Here I am writing
right out in the nothing having no idea on how many that read it. Mailasail, the server provider are still living in the dark age and refuse to give us some figures on how many that read us.
The other day I got a mail that we are one of five chosen blogs by Yachting world to be linked to for their readers, now that is a great feed back! But what does it mean, do we have thousands of readers or 100?
Well to me it does not matter (but it would be fun to know), the intention or the purpose when we started the blog was to keep the family posted on what was happening to us, especially during long passages. Now it has also become an important diary for ourselves.
I also use the blog when writing a book to inspire other families to do the same journey, but when Ellinor read the first draft of the book she does not think it is inspiring at all.
She thinks there is something missing and that made me think about what picture that grows in the readers head.
I guess that is the problem, when you read Lonely Planet for instance and they warn you about a place, there are pickpockets operating. If my brain is problem oriented that picture might grow to a situation were there are going to be 1000 pickpockets around me as I get off the train. But in reality, as I get off the train I will realize that the world is mostly good and that even if there are pickpockets they are still one in 10 thousands good people.
But I think the difference is that having a skippers responsibility grows on you, or at me I should say, Im sure there are people that are more relaxed in their role, because they have the knowledge and confidence that they will fix it. I often think that life was easier at home because I was working with what I was good at and even under stress I knew how to handle a situation well (at least from my point of view). Here I'm really promoted to my own incompetence and that is a very good experience but stressful.
So I guess that if you are an engineer by profession you can surely sip your Pina Colada and maybe you will see a problem like a gift from God, another great opportunity to take the outboard apart and find the dirt that comes from bad fuel...
What seem to make me less upset than other yachters is the mentality here in Fiji, the laid back attitude is part of what makes this country so great.
When Erika and I took the bus to and from Lambasa I was thinking on how good this society is. When people get off and on the bus the drivers relaxes and let the bus just stand stil till everybody is in place. If people get on and can't find their money he just waves them to go to their seat. And believe me they pay on their way out. When we left Lambasa the bus was stuffed like a can of sardines. Next village there were just as many more people that wanted to get on board. Mostly kids going home from school. The driver would not leave anybody behind. He had people sitting inside his area and even on the front window, people were hanging outside the door (not the kids).
As a westerner you could say it is irresponsible, as a Fijian he cannot see why he would not load everybody when there is no other bus coming that day.
Next busstop EVERYBODY had to get off because a woman in the back needed to get off. There was not one complaint not one raised eye brow.
I read in the paper a while ago that the bus drivers are RECOMMENDED to stick to the time table. Erika who is a control freak (like her father) was checking on how late we took off from Savusavu in the morning, the bus left almost 30 minutes later than scheduled. But there are things happening that we do not understand, there were other buses coming in to the bus station (well it is not a station, it is a flat open area where all the buses stop in a big mess) and people had to change bus, if we would have left in time a lot of people would have missed their trip. And yes I know, if all the buses etc.... But it is not how things work here.
When you order something at a store (because they have very little in stock) they will tell you every week it is coming on the ship on Saturday and eventually it will, but much later than you thought...
That does not bother me at all, I think the reason we like it here is that it is different from home. Efficiency has a price, and that price is called brotherly feeling (medmänsklighet). Time is one of the worse killer of empathy, time is one of the worse excuses from helping a person in trouble. And time is becoming a religion in itself.