If you’re here, reading this, then thank you. Thanks for stopping by, better yet thanks for standing by during my rather extended time away from the blog and social media.
Around this time last year, I was feeling a little fatigued by the whole online scene. What was supposed to a space where I felt connected to others in my “community” ended up leaving me empty. I was tired of stopping to take a photo that I could use on Instagram, only to have little or no engagement most of the time. I was annoyed that I was spending an hour or two online everyday. And, the worse thing was, I noticed that all that scrolling was affecting my concentration – every time I sat to read a book I would find myself fidgety and restless and reaching for my phone.
I had never loaded the FB app on my phone, so that was easy to escape. And besides FB just seems like a place to bitch about politics these days and that got old a decade ago.
Instagram, on the other hand, was a little more difficult.
I love photography, I got a degree in the subject!, and love using images as a means to communicate but Instagram often feels more like a high-school popularity contest than a warm, inviting space.
I deleted and reloaded that app several times before I eventually realized it had been a week and I hadn’t even thought about it. When I did log on a few weeks later nothing had changed. I hadn’t missed anything, and no one seemed to miss me; there was no mass unfollowing, no messages asking where I was. A month became two, then four then we were preparing to haul the boat and take a trip home to visit family, my attention was firmly focused elsewhere.
Since my last post in April we’ve gotten a few emails asking if we are ok and telling me they missed the blog. To those readers I am grateful. It reminded me that someone is out there reading. And that those someones care. Like a breathe on a glowing ember, it reignited the fire. Albeit one that has taken many weeks of careful tending to get hot enough to burn again.
So, for those of you still reading here is the update.
We hauled Kate late last year at Papaya Yacht Charters & Services, just south of Manila. You might remember this boatyard from our previous adventures “It took 6 months to rebuild the Engine” and “Oh My God we are going INSANE.” We went home to visit family and had a much-needed break, for the first time in many years we both fully switched off and went on vacation.
Our holiday mode was shattered slightly when a typhoon plowed through the Philippines in early December, rocking the boatyard (by all reports literally as the 120-150 km/h winds had all the boats dancing in their cradles a bit) making off with one of our solar panels.
Thankfully there was no further damage, to us or any other boat. We returned to the Philippines in time to spend a very subdued New Year’s Eve in Manila- we had troubles getting takeout pizza at 2000 as most of the city was closed!
We’ve been back onboard for almost 3 weeks and have been making excellent progress, despite the eruption of the Taal volcano, just 46km west of us on Jan 12th. (We saw the ash plume the night it erupted, crazy lightning and all, several earthquakes have rocked the boat and we’ve had a dusting of ash but nothing further. Communities in the area have been evacuated, schools are closed. It brought Manila to a standstill for a few days and has affected transport and deliveries in our area. The area is still under Level 4 Alert, but activity in main crater has slowed dramatically. We are not in danger.)
New solar panels have been sourced and delivered. Unfortunately, it has been blowing 25kts+ all week making installation a daredevil feat we’d rather not attempt. A break in the weather forecast this weekend looks promising. The bottom has been prepped and paint has arrived. The galley has been restocked. I’ve woken up my yogurt starter, got sprouts on the go, have a fresh batch of sauerkraut in the fridge and finally made a loaf of bread. Yesterday we turned on the big fridge, so we no longer have to unearth everything just to get a beer at the end of the day! Things are getting back to normal. There are still a few loose ends to tidy up and a new composting toilet to install, but we hope to be back in the water in a week or so. Famous last words I know, but one has to have goals.
As for me, the blog and social media?
It is a balancing act. Thankfully I’ve spent the last 12 years living on a sailboat, so my sea legs are pretty good at keeping me upright. And, like any long offshore voyage, although it always feels so light and refreshing to be away, there is something comforting about coming back to the familiar .