At the Edge of the Bahamas, Ready for The Next Big Leap: A Day in the Life of Moxie

Hud and Trav speared these two lobsters and we grilled them for dinner. YUM.  Believe it or not, I like Bahamian lobster better than...

Hud and Trav speared these two lobsters and we grilled them for dinner. YUM.  Believe it or not, I like Bahamian lobster better than Maine lobster.  

Goofing around in the pristine water  at Lee Stocking Cay, Exuma.

We hiked the tallest peak in the Exumas! It was 125 feet high.

When you've climbed such distances, to such astounding heights, you really need to pause (for oxygen) and observe your surroundings.

Cuties on the bench in Georgetown, Exuma

Hud speared all of these fish, then cleaned them for our dinner.  He was extremely proud.

Trav cleaned out the bilge and found all kinds of goodies, including that VHF radio.
Hud rappelling down to the dinghy at low tide. It was quite the distance, actually.  Viv did it, too!  I chickened out and they picked me up on the beach.

It was so much fun to catch up with Telluride friends on their spring break at Long Island.

The Strang and the Sante families joined us on Moxie for the afternoon. What a blast to spend a couple days with this crew...they filled us up with laughter, Telluride news, and precious food items such as avocados and brie.  THANK YOU DEAR FRIENDS!!!!! 

As you can see, we were FULLY packed for a beach day (snorkel gear, sand toys, boogie boards, picnic lunch, etc) but the weather had other plans for us.  Here's the gang making a run for it as it starts to pour.

Plan B for our beach day- we spent the afternoon in this empty grandstand, eating lunch and reading out loud.
Kneeboarding, kneeboarding, kneeboarding, EVERY DAY!

There isn't a lot of local produce to buy in the Bahamas, so when we come across something like the Long Island Farmer's market, we are in heaven.  It was such a treat to load up with locally grown veggies and yummy baked goods.  

Sailboat life ain't all cupcakes and rainbows! Here are the kids huddling under their life jackets in the pouring rain while they wait for us to get back from a grocery store run.   

Easter eggs, baby!

Our Easter decor

Moog Power kneeboarding!

Happy Hud the dinghy captain

Sadie spends HOURS trying to catch fish.  She will stand in shallow water, tail wagging, stalking little schools of tiny fish and occasionally snapping at them. Her lack of success does not deter her efforts. 

This lovely gentleman is 80 year old Mario Simms of Simms, Long Island.  We stopped into his place for lunch, but ended up only ordering beers and sodas because all he was serving that day was chicken (which we don't eat).  While we were there, he told us wonderful stories from his 55 years of running his restaurant.   Trav asked him what was the biggest change he had seen there in his lifetime-- he said it was when electricity first came to the island in 1991. 
On the beach on Easter Sunday.

Egg in a spoon races on Easter.


Moxie dog

A MAJOR TREAT was renting this car for the day so we could explore the island and attend the mini-regatta in Clarence Town.  The freedom and exhilaration of zooming around in a CAR all day...sheer bliss.  Living life on a sailboat makes you appreciate every single little thing you used to take for granted.   

In Hamilton Cave, the largest cave in the Bahamas.

Hud jumps from the cliff at Dean's Blue Hole, the deepest blue hole in the world!

At the mini-regatta!  Only 3 boats competed and the whole thing took about 40 minutes, but we were at the edge of our seats!  I'd watch a regatta any day, any time.  It was super fun.

Twin beauties in the weeds.

Ok, I'm not proud of this...we bought these things...TO EAT.  6 months ago we never would have allowed this kind of crap into our home.  I am a hippie, organic-buying, pescatarian Super Mom (see the photo of our veggie haul in Maine last fall-below) who denies her kids sugar and rolls her eyes at processed garbage food.  But that was then and this is now, people!  There are two reasons why we've started buying stuff like this: 1. There's not much here to buy.  We hang out in TINY towns, where the "supermarkets" often have no fresh food except potatoes and onions (would you consider those "fresh"?), pickles in a jar that you can't afford (seriously, pickles are REALLY expensive here), and processed junk in cans and boxes.  2. When you are sailing, you CRAVE JUNK FOOD LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS.  When the boat is bucking like a mechanical bull and you can't really cook anything anyway, a magical spell comes over you that makes you only desire carbs, sugar, and white flour.  Ask any sailor if you don't believe me.  When you are sailing, you will happily sell your soul for a package of Oreos.  So this is explains why Chef Boyardee is our new comrade.  (Go ahead and judge me, I would too, if my life hadn't recently done a complete 180). 

Hey everybody! Remember last year when I told you that this was our sailing plan: Year One, the Carribbean!  Year Two, AROUND THE WORLD!  Well, guess what?  We're running a little behind.  It's April 19 and we are in the southern Bahamas, Long Island to be exact.  We've been on this island for 10 days, about 6 days longer than we'd anticipated.  Why?  Well, it's the reason for every single delay of this entire trip: THE WIND.  There's been way, way too much of it.  Everyone around here will tell you, this past winter and spring have been the windiest ever, with the most cold fronts.  When there's this much wind for days on end, the sea is rough, too rough for this crew and its wee mates.  So when the wind blows heavily, we just hunker down and stay put until the weather changes.  Luckily, the places we get stuck tend to be rather awesome.  There's no lack of adventures to be had, people to meet, or things to do.  I feel like we are mastering the art of truly living in the moment- if a plan falls through, we go with the flow.  If we can't get somewhere we want to be, we find something to be excited about in the place we're at.  This hasn't always been easy for us, to give up constant control and to be ok with whatever gets thrown our way, but we're figuring it out.  Perhaps that's the greatest lesson in all of this.

So when we aren't zipping around on a kneeboard, communing with nature or eating Pop Tarts, what are we doing these days, you may ask?  Here's what a typical day in the life of Moxie looks like (when we're on anchor, not sailing):

2 am Trav wakes up and checks everything on the boat.

3 am  Jen gets up to pee and counts the children (yes, I literally count them, it's an obsessive compulsive thing).

4 am Trav gets up and checks the boat or closes hatches because it has started to rain.

6 am Trav gets up to listen to Chris Parker's weather report.  Chris Parker is the ultimate weather guru for sailors.  If you subscribe to his service, you can ask him questions about things and he will tell you what to do, and he is never wrong.  Chris Parker is brilliant, and a celebrity, and if I ever meet him I will be totally awkward and star struck.

7 am Everyone else gets up.

7:30 am Either Travis or Hud & Viv take Sadie to the beach to pee and run around

8 am Breakfast.  If we're feeling ambitious this could be French Toast or Breakfast Burritos.  If we're not so spunky, it's Cheerios with bananas on top. But often, we have no bananas, so it's just Cheerios.

8:30 am Jen cleans the cabin, wipes down all surfaces and sweeps the floor.  The kids make their beds.  Then Jen re-makes their beds.  This drives Trav insane.

9 am Jen works out for 30 minutes on the deck.  (Sometimes I run if we're in a good spot for that,  but usually I do a Box Canyon Booty type workout but way, WAY easier because I do not have Megan and Dodi standing over me to make sure I'm not cheating).

9:30 BOATSCHOOLING begins.  Ok, I should probably write an entire post about boatschooling because it's been such a wonderful/hard/exciting/frustrating/awesome experience, but for now I'll just tell you that teaching your children can be extremely fulfilling, and not as hard as you think it might be.  Our schooling includes the Bridges Math program that was so expertly prepared for us by Amy Vanderbosch of the Telluride School District, reading great books, writing in journals, writing poetry and stories, researching things that surround us (like maps, sharks, and seashells) and writing about them, and talking about things that interest us.  I cover grammar, spelling, and vocabulary in our writing and reading.  It takes about 2 hours a day, and we've been averaging 4 days a week.  (But if kids from another boat come knocking on the hull and want to play, then we forget about school. Priorities!)  I feel good about what and how my children are learning.  Both of them can look any adult in the eye now and have a solid conversation.  Both of them can drive the boat, tie knots, and understand basic concepts of navigation.  Hud can make fish tacos and Viv is learning to sew.
And then... there's the  crown jewel of our boatschooling: UKELELE!!!  Viv is getting there- she can play "You are My Sunshine" and has almost mastered the tricky G chord. But Hud can REALLY play. His repertoire ranges from 21 Pilots to Elvis, and at the risk of sounding like a braggy stage Mom (I know what those are like) I think he has real talent.

11:30 am - 5 pm Jen packs up a picnic and the crew hops in the dinghy for an adventure (like snorkeling, exploring, playing on the beach, hanging out with friends we meet, grocery shopping, getting water, fishing, checking out a new town, etc),  OR we stay on the boat and do projects (I clean things that are dirty and Trav fixes things that are broken).  Every day is different.  If the weather is bad we read out loud to the kids for HOURS ON END.  Reading is a huge part of our lives these days.  Right now, between the 4 of us, we are reading about 10 books.  I am reading "Little House in the Big Woods" and "Maida's Little Shop" to Viv.  I am reading "A Wrinkle In Time" to Hud and Viv, and Trav is reading "The Cay" to them.  Before that Trav read them "The Story of Helen Keller" and we were all riveted.  Hudson just finished reading a book about the San Francisco Fire of to Viv and he is also reading her "Chocolate Fever" and "SuperFudge".  Viv is proudly reading chapter books and is reading me a really juicy Nancy Drew right now.  And at night, in those 20 minutes between when the kids fall asleep and I fall asleep, I read.  I've read more in the past 8 months than I have in the last 18 years since grad school, and Trav is a reading like house on fire.  In fact, Trav and I have started our own book club!  We've read "The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine" (Thank you, James!) and "Papillion".  When we both finish the assigned book, we schedule a time to meet, eat snacks, and discuss it.  With our varied busy schedules, this can be a challenge. (That was a joke).

6 pm Dinner.  Sometimes we go out, if the restaurant is interesting and worth it.  We are on a budget, though, so we try to eat on the boat as much as possible.  A staple of our diet is the infamous "BEAN BOWL": rice, beans, sauteed veggies.  It sounds boring as hell, I know, but I've actually found ways of varying it just enough so you don't want to jump overboard every time it is served. We eat fish that the guys catch (Trav made the BEST conch chowder the other day!), and often we eat total crap (see photo, above).

7 pm We play games (lots of games), occasionally watch a movie on our lap top, and read out loud.  Sometimes we make fires on the beach or stay late visiting friends.  But usually by 8:30 or 9 we are...

9 pm dead tired and asleep.

Tomorrow we begin sailing again.  Our hope is that by end of next week, we will be much further south, closer to our goal of the Dominican Republic, where we just might stay for the hurricane season.  But, as I've told you, we can have no solid plans.  In closing, I'll describe our situation with a really profound haiku:

Living on Moxie
The wind tells us where we go
That can get boring

Thanks for reading! xoxo


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  1. Riveting and inspiring as ever! The reading part is special when you think of the amount of digital distractions that tempt on the mainland. Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures Moxie crew! You all look great ­čśŐ

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading, Jamie!!! I really live writing, it helps me process it all. Hugs to you guys!

  2. I am shouting at you from afar... No CHEATING! haha jk. Seriously, want me to email you some beach-friendly workouts? WE MISS YOU!!!! And way to keep working out. That's so impressive! I'm sure it keeps you sane. Keep it up, sister! <3

    1. I miss you, Dodi! I miss the comraderie of Booties, I miss the strength, smarts, honesty and fun you bring to it. Alas, most of my working out is done in a TINY space on the deck, not the beach. I do planks, burpees, grasshoppers, mtn climbers, lunges, squats, and ab stuff. But if you have any suggestions for a tiny space workout, YES PLEASE. xo


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