The Moxie Conundrum: Big Decisions on the Horizon

Hiking on Antigua The view from the top of the word, Saba Saba rises out of the ocean like a tropical dream cake.  To sail u...

Hiking on Antigua

The view from the top of the word, Saba

Saba rises out of the ocean like a tropical dream cake.  To sail upon an island like this is a magical experience.

This was the municipal dock on Saba.  We had just arrived to check in, and the local kids were jumping off the dock.  It looked so tantalizing, but our kids didn't have their suits.  "Whatever!" we said, "Just jump in with your clothes on!"  Here's Viv taking the plunge from the highest point, her older brother looking on proudly

Repelling down Mt. Scenery.

Saba is an island community out of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and you can guess who was smitten with its charming mountain cottages.  (Hint, it was the former Children's Theater  director and her fairy tale literature enthusiast daughter.)

  It may have been high on Hans Christian Anderson charm but it clearly lacked any similarity in creativity for naming island landmarks.

"Hey how about we call it... Big Rock Market?"  

"We need a name for the town at the bottom of the mountain."  "How about Bottom?"    

That little spit of land and pavement surrounded by ocean is the Saba International Airport.  The Dutch government sent some engineers from Europe to assess the possibility of an airport.  The engineers said "Nope!".  So the stubborn and industrious Sabans simply went to the flattest part of the island and made their own airport, and then convinced a French pilot to land his plane on the make-do landing strip . The building of the first road that linked Bottom town with Windward town boasts a similar story: Dutch engineers said "Nope!", so a very motivated island resident took matters into his own hands.  He took a correspondence course on road building and they built their own road, despite what the naysayers had argued.

St. Estasia... a pristine and historic island that makes you feel as if you've traveled back in time.  We especially dig an island where the goats run freely.  

Moxie loves museums! St Eustatia's was a must-see. 

Any cannon, any island, this gang will pretend to light it up and pose for a photo, St. Eustatia

We visited Monstserrat with one goal in mind: to visit Zone 5, the exclusion zone.  In 1996 one of Montwerrat's peaks began erupting and continued for over ten years.  Zone 5 is still closed to the public and you must hire a guide to take you to the former city of Plymouth, where 5 and 6 story buildings sit buried to their rooftops in pyroclastic flow.  It is am eerie and humbling modern day Pompeii. 

The ruins of Plymouth, Montserrat

Grocery carts and baby food jars sit in a supermarket abandoned 20 years ago.

We struck blind luck when we happened to land on the idyllic island of Antigua during it's classic yacht racing week!  The boats were magnificent, gorgeous, larger than life, stately maritime treasures.  Watching them in action was absolutely thrilling.

Look at that boat!!!

Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua is a World Heritage site and is so laden with history and charm we were absolutely smitten.

Slathering ourselves in mud at Half Moon Bay, Antigua with our dear friend Nerea.  She and her partner Patrick moved Moxie from the BVI to Florida for us two years ago. 

Trav, Hud, and Viv competed in dinghy rowing and sailing races in Antigua! Trav and Viv took 2nd in sailing in the men & women's mixed division, and Hud and a buddy placed 2nd in men's rowing.

Our handsome chef serves up his famous chocolate chip-banana pancakes.

Obligatory Moxie cannon photo, Antigua

Hiking the cliff trails in Antigua

Diving a sunken wreck (we seem to do a lot of this), Antigua

We anchored at the magical Galleon Beach, English Harbour on Antigua for 10 days and it was extremely hard to leave that place, because it had become one of our favorite places on earth.  Our kids would paddle our SUPs every day to the rocks where they would play, Lord of the Flies style (but without the violence) for hours and hours on end.  It was a true paradise.
Mother-son jam session on the ukes

Exploring a historic sugar-mill, Nevis

One of Viv's big projects in boatschool this year was one of her own choosing: Art History.  Here she gives her final presentation on the art movements of Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionism, Cubism, and Pop Art. (Palm tree painting was not part of the presentation).

We see a lot of private mega-yachts around here but this one on St. Barts took the cake.  The sailboat they keep on the deck of this yacht is over 30 feet longer then the sailboat we call home and they have a 60 foot motor yacht on the other side if they don't feel like sailing.  Not sure what the lesson is here, but that is a big boat.

Vivian's eyes say it all...we love the food on the French islands! (St. Barts)

    The Moxie crew has been traveling for nearly 22 months, and 14 of those months we’ve lived aboard our floating home, moving along bit by bit, anchorage to anchorage to marina to anchorage.  Except for the rare hike or run that required sneakers, we’ve worn flipflops or gone barefoot for nearly 2 years.  We’ve sailed to 10 countries and too many individual islands to count.  We’ve taken a stab at three languages as we’ve traveled, and our spare change bowl holds pesos, euros, Eastern Carribean dollars (plus a few random seashells that seem to find their way into every container we own).    We’ve gone swimming with sharks, turtles, and dolphins, developed a serious passion for surfing, and we’ve read more than 20 chapter books out loud to our kids.  We’ve suffered through nasty sails, cheered our way through great sails, and mostly beat our heads against the wall through monotonous and uncomfortable sails.  We’ve been terrified and triumphant, bewildered and ecstatic, worried, frustrated, confused, enlightened, exuberant, and humbled.  This trip has been everything, all at once, and so much more than we expected or envisioned when we hatched this crazy plan 3 years ago. So as the 2 year mark of our journey looms near we are asking ourselves, “What now?” 

Part of me feels like, “We’ve enjoyed summer vacation for 2 years.  It’s time to go back to school!”  But I know better than to listen that voice—it’s a product of the American culture that we come from, one that no longer defines me but has a funny way of creeping back into my subconscious every now and then like a bad rash.  Going home to Telluride is inevitable, we will eventually return.  And when we do go back, we’ll be back for good.   We’ll have to buy cars again, get insurance, do all the things that normal life requires of you.  Once we’re back to reality, it will be extremely difficult logistically to leave it again.  Abandoning a well-established life to start a brand new one takes at least a year of planning and some seriously intensive labor (we know this because we’ve done it once already).  Once we’re back to the real world of school and work and regular life, that’s it, we are locked in.  And while the thought of that isn’t entirely repulsive, it also doesn’t feel quite right.  We are already OUT.  It was hard getting here.  We don’t feel ready to give up OUT and go back IN. 
Another big reason to keep traveling are the benefits this experience is affording our children.  The wealth of cultural, creative, and experiential learning they soak up on a daily basis is mind-blowing to us.  Sailing as a family has helped Hud and Viv to boldly grow as individuals, gain incredible confidence, become independent in the very best ways, and to gain a breadth of understanding we never knew was possible in kids their ages.  And even more valuable than that is the TIME we get with them.  We have time to talk, to really listen, to explain and debate and learn and play together, every single day.  This is the ultimate GOLD of this experience, we see the good it does for our children, and we are reluctant to let it go.

Financially, we can’t sustain this forever.  But we’ve kept to our budget and we think we can eke out a little more time, especially if we tighten our belts a bit more.  So we’ve got some decisions to make...where to spend the hurricane season and where to put Moxie during that time?  We always go to Maine to visit our families in the summer, how long should we spend this year?  And after the hurricane season, what next?  More sailing?  Or do we go totally off the rails and try something totally new?  It’s time to do some soul-searching and plan the next chunk of our lives.  As Trav always says, “We’ll send you a postcard when we get there.”
Thanks so much for reading.  (I am going to try to post more often, especially now that we’ve left you hanging 😊). xo

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  1. Oh my goodness, such decisions to make and consider all the possibilities there are for new adventures. God bless you as you ponder, search and filter out the negatives.
    Love you and pray for a fabulous summer ❤️😃

    1. Hope to see you in ME this summer Sylvia!! ❤

  2. Definitely keep us posted on your Maine travel plans! We love meeting fellow Mason owners! Kelly and Jason, S/V Last Tango, M44 @gonesailabout

    1. Oh we would love to meet up with you in ME! Fun!! Let's make it happen ☺

  3. Ain't life grand!!! We miss you, but can't imagine not living vicariously through your posts any longer!!! Love to you, Trav, Viv and HUD!!


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