Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Throwing Off The Dock Lines



It all started about a year ago when we were feeling stuck.  Living tedious lives; working and feeling a lack of adventure or progress.  We had friends that were accomplishing amazing things that we wished we were a part of.   We are both adventurous and had talked about the adventures we wanted to have “someday”.  We knew that if we didn’t start to get serious we would get stuck in the monotony and conform to the lifestyle here in St. Thomas.
We started to make decisions.

What did we want to do?

Where did we want to go?

What is our timeline?

Is this possible?

How can we make this dream a reality?

We had a plan; we have worked hard to stick to the plan even though we have had to make a few adjustments when opportunities arose.  Now it is getting closer and closer to crunch time.  We still have so much to do, money to save, and then that moment when my fearful adventure will begin.

The moment when we take the dive into our adventure; cruising the Caribbean, traveling through the Panama Canal and making our way across the Pacific Ocean doing all this aboard our home S/V Pura Vida.  Not all of these plans are permanent. I don’t know if I will make it that far, but it is a goal.  A goal that has me stricken with fear!

I have taken sailing lessons; I have read books and blogs up the wazoo about similar adventures.  Hoping just hoping it will help me to face this fear.  I haven’t pin pointed the exact fear but have a list that are causing me anxiety and holding me back from accomplishing this dream.  Who knows which one is the biggest fear, but all of them combined are really quite a monster. 

Fear of the Unknown

Fear that anything can happen

Fear of being alone in the middle of nowhere

Fear that something will go wrong

Fear that something will happen to Jake
                
          These fears are practical, yet I am not a person who wants to live in fear.  Through life experience I have learned things don’t happen the way you think they will.   Life is unpredictable, life is short, and life is what we make it.  I want our life to be filled with adventure.  I want to FACE this FEAR!  I feel like my mind is all turned backwards from past experiences.  Instead of hiding from the unknown, I want my mind to embrace the unknown and see that the unknown is where I can learn and grow, experience life to the fullest and have adventure!  Instead as the time gets closer these fears fill up inside me, some days I want to burst into tears because of the frustration.  The fear has this tight grasp on me.  This grasp is the norm for me; it drives me crazy because I know why it’s there.  I have become familiar with it and have been fighting it for years now.  The fear that something bad is going to happen!  There it is! My biggest fear I want to face is SOMETHING BAD MIGHT HAPPEN ON OUR ADVENTURE!! That sums up all the fears!   In my life experiences bad things have happened.   The biggest frustration is my mind will not release that grasp of fear that something bad will happen again
               
           I want to face this fear!  I face it daily, it has an impact on every aspect of life, but this will be the biggest FACE OFF!   To start doing this I have been reading a book by a fearful adventurer.  Her name is Torre DeRoche, her book is called Love with a Chance of Drowning. 
                
           This book is captivating.  The way she writes about her adventure is exciting and brave.  It makes me smile to read when she describes certain instances aboard their boat.  It is a whole new world living aboard, and it is fun to read the memoir of someone who is a “city girl” adapting to the lifestyle like I have.  I will be honest; Jake mentioned that I should stop reading the book when I told him I was having nightmares about some of the situations she was imagining might happen on her adventure.  Ha ha.  I told him I had to keep reading because she actually faced her fears and made it, and because I LOVE reading it.  Parts of the book, I feel like she is taking the thoughts right from my head, describing her fears and imagination of what will happen in those unknown situations. 

So this fearful adventurer has inspired me to write this post.  To be brave, and to face my fear!  

What is your opinion? How do you think I can face this fear for the big face off?


Love with a Chance of Drowning – A Memoir by Torre DeRocheThis post is part of the My Fearful Adventure series, which is celebrating the launch of Torre DeRoche’s debut book Love with a Chance of Drowning, a true adventure story about one girl’s leap into the deep end of her fears.
"Wow, what a book. Exciting. Dramatic. Honest. Torre DeRoche is an author to follow." Australian Associated Press
"… a story about conquering the fears that keep you from living your dreams." Nomadicmatt.com
"In her debut, DeRoche has penned such a beautiful, thrilling story you’ll have to remind yourself it’s not fiction." Courier Mail
Find out more…



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Visitors!

Utah is 3,172 miles from St. Thomas
We have been here for about 2 years and my parents were finally able to make the trip to visit. 
It was wonderful to see them.
We love when friends and family visit, not only because they bring delicious goodies, and items we pay a fortune for down here, but because we get a little piece of home.  Living far from family and friends can be hard, but there is always a time and place we can get together. 
So my parents just left, they were here for 2 1/2 days (short and sweet).  We rented a car, toured the island, visited places I had never seen, showed them where we work, and hit the beach.  
We had a great time.  
Thanks for a great visit Mom and Dad!
(see pictures of our adventures below)

Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants

Walking the docks and seeing all the tropical plants.

First time aboard Pura Vida

Over looking the beautiful Magen's Bay.

Mountain Top
My first time to Mountain Top.

Tasting the World Famous Banana Daiquiris! DELICIOUS!

A CAR! No Scooter Today!

Aunt Peggy and Uncle Bill offered the perfect place for them to stay!

Jake introducing Mom to iguanas


Ready to snorkel!

Mom's first time snorkeling.


Mom and Dad loving the water and fish.


Jake showing them sea creatures.


Who's going to be the next to visit?  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

True Friends

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”  Tim Cahill

Living on a tropical island where most come to escape the real world, makes it difficult to meet true friends who are uplifting, intelligent and are supportive of  your goals and aspirations.  
This has been a huge challenge for Jake and I while living on St. Thomas. 
We enjoy a good time, but our idea of a good time is a bit different from others.  Until now.  We have met two of the most amazing people on this planet.  We met them a while back, but just recently started spending time hanging out.  These two are passionate about the environment, making a difference, furthering their education and achieving their goals.  We said goodbye to them yesterday as they departed the island to move on to bigger and better things.  We are sad to see them leave, knowing that we still have a few more months here, but we are happy for them as they go on to experience life to its fullest. 
We are thankful for all the fun games of FARKLE, the late nights of laughing, snorkeling for hours, and nerd-ing out with fish identification etc.  
Having these friends with goals and dreams really keeps us focused on a bright future.  Traveling and living in the places we do really helps us to appreciate these qualities. 
So to the friends who we still keep in touch with that have left the islands (you know who you are ;),  Thank you for making a difference in our lives, thank you for accepting us for who we are, celebrating successes and really being role models for living life to the fullest.  Now we are going to stay focused and hopefully we will be the ones departing for a new adventure soon. 


Chris and Abigail excited about our going away present for them!   FARKLE!!
     
                            Our going away present from them  Hopefully we will be meeting you in French Polynesia soon. ;)
The back of the puzzle with a sweet note to us.  Loved it!
 What are some of the qualities you are thankful for in a friend? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Earth Day Experience

I hope all of you had a wonderful Earth Day last month! I know this is late, but I wanted to post about our Earth Day here in St. Thomas.  
Working for a program that cares for the environment is so rewarding.  One of the most rewarding aspects is our opportunity to serve, help make a difference and encourage a change.  This Earth Day Jake and I both had the opportunity to represent our employers and help with "The Ridge to Reef" clean up.  Some chose to walk the beach and road at Coki Point to pick up trash and help keep the land clean, and others volunteered to dive the reefs of Water Bay and pick up trash in the water.  Jake captained the dive shop's boat.  We took out a bunch of divers, I stayed on board and as people filled bags we met them with the boat where I emptied their bags, and looked for any kind of creature that may have been removed from it's home by accident. It was a fun experience and I am glad we had the opportunity to help make a difference, and enjoy a fun day focusing on our beautiful planet.   

Captain Jake

Representing

Divers gearing up





THANKS MOM FOR THE PINK GLOVES!!  
Saved a few of these little guys, put them back in their homes away from the trash.
Amber rocking the shades she found at the bottom.  Her and I representing our program in the dive group
Now this can go to the right place!
Get involved! Do what you can to make a difference.  Protect the environment to protect yourselves!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Best Slippers Around!

Slippers!



Living on an island, we are almost always in slippers (flip-flops).  Jake found these Olukais a couple years back, and we are hooked.  Hands down these are the best sandals on the market.  They are comfortable, provide wonderful foot support, and have so many different styles. 
Living on our boat, loading and unloading in a dinghy, going to the beach, living in a warm humid climate, sandals are key.  With these sandals come comfort and quality! 

"Olu" means "Comfort" in Hawaiian
"Kai" means "Ocean" in Hawaiian.

Olukai's Logo "the bone hook" is the traditional Polynesian symbol worn for strength, good luck, and safe passage over water! PERFECT FOR OUR LIFESTYLE!

I had a recent interaction with the company and I wanted to highlight them on our blog.  Jake and I have 4 different pairs of their sandals that we wear often (pretty much everyday!).  One of them broke because I am a little rough on my shoes. They are still under the warranty period so I contacted them about the defective pair.  I spoke to someone on the phone that was knowledgeable about the policy as well as very helpful in making sure I understood the process.  It was as easy as sending them an email with pictures of the shoes and proof of purchase.  Within that day they contacted me and asked me what color and size I would like as a replacement.  I haven't received them yet, but it is wonderful to know I have a new pair on the way!
I am so impressed with their customer service, and I am absolutely in love with their product! 
If you are looking for a good shoe that is worth the price check Olukai out!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Short Cuts Aren't Always Good


Disclaimer: Some pictures are graphic, proceed with caution if blood makes you queasy.

One of the reasons why I am hesitant to set sail off shore is because of what MIGHT happen.  Today I had a little taste of it and it gave me a little scare.
Jake woke up this morning so excited.  It was like Christmas or his birthday.  We are putting in a new refrigerator.  With this new energy efficient addition we will be completely self-sufficient with solar and wind power.  NOW THAT IS COOL!  We have been waiting a few weeks/months for this day and once it is all completed it will relieve stress and worry about our power hogging fridge. 
To install the fridge we had to move from anchor to the dock.  We woke up early finished up taking out the old refrigerator and we were ready to raise the anchor and be on our way.  Because of strong winds and swell that we had a couple weeks ago, our starboard bow roller for our windlass (the wonderful piece of machinery that lowers and raises our anchor)broke off.  So raising anchor was going to be a bit difficult.  I was at the helm and Jake was lifting the chain and anchor manually.  He got a little lazy and had the not so brilliant idea of trying to use the broken piece by just holding it in place with his foot.  So it worked for a bit until I heard him scream.  “STOP! STOP! STOP!! OUCH OUCH OUCH! NOW REVERSE!”  After following his instructions I ran to the bow to make sure he was OK.  He was fine except for the bow roller had cut deep into his foot and the chain wrapped around his foot. So he has a pretty good gash and will definitely be bruised.  He finished raising the anchor by hand then took his place at the helm. 
I started to cry, because I am a crier, and I cry if I am happy, sad or scared.  This just scared me!  I made sure he was OK and then gave the “YOU CAN’T DO STUFF LIKE THAT! WE DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDS YET!  This is why I am scared to go sailing, I don’t know what I would do if it was something incredibly serious!
After I cried and vented (keep in mind this was only a minute or two or less)  I went below to look for our first aid supplies. I could have stitched him up right there and then, but decided we were close enough to medical attention and he would be fine once I got it clean and put a band aid on it until we got to shore.  
Once we docked I went straight to the drug store for butterfly bandages, an ice pack and other supplies to take care of his injury.  
The refrigerator company was scheduled to be there shortly so Jake refused to go to the doctor.  It would be expensive to reschedule and he just wanted the project done.  I called the doctor to make sure he would be OK to wait until the next day for a tetanus shot I bandaged him up pretty well.  
The next morning bright and early I escorted him to the doctor so that he could get his injury taken care of.  
The doctor told him how ridiculous it was for him to wait to come in, and that he would be OK, but it would have been a thousand times better if he would have just come in right after it happened.  Anyway, here are some pictures documenting.


My purse full of first aid supplies to bandage Jake up until he went to the doctor

After it was all cleaned up.
I opted not to post the picture up close because you can truly see how deep and nasty the cut is. 
The object that cut Jake's foot open
Jake's foot all bandaged up so that he could work with an icepack on it.