Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Giant sand dunes at 90-mile beach
As we sit here near Russell, confined to the boat by driving rains, the kids are tired and a bit cranky.  We finally caved to their pleadings of being allowed to stay up until midnight to celebrate the New Year. Even though Matt and I could barely stay awake once we passed 10:30, we ultimately had a great view of neighboring Paihia's fireworks display. There wasn't any imbibing, since the weather was delivering 35-40 knot gusts that had us concerned about dragging and/or fending off other dragging boats. We ended up being fine, but there was a bit of drama in the next bay over when the winds knocked a 60-foot boat off its anchor and set it adrift without anyone on board.

Contemplating the big drop

It's just past three years since we moved aboard Perry. During that time the kids have grown and changed in many ways, mostly positive, but they have recently fine-tuned the art of bickering with each other over the most trivial of items.  This prodded me to read a book (Nurture Shock) that talks about why siblings fight so much. Besides the obvious karma from Matt and I driving our own parents crazy in the same way, it seems that it is almost impossible to stop siblings from fighting because they know that no matter how they behave, their family will still be there. The most important aspect in fostering a good relationship is not in stopping the fighting but making sure that there are more good moments than bad.

Dancers at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds
By that standard, Mark and Conrad have a pretty good relationship. Although the sniping garners more attention, most of the time they spend together is happy. And, while I'm contemplating my navel, I would say that the same is true in general for our lives: the good experiences tip the scale over the bad for us. Fortunately, the memories that stick out are the ones like whales swimming through an anchorage, sea lions climbing onto the boat, breathtaking vistas and immersion in cultures completely different from what we're used to. The stress of broken boat systems, the discomfort of some passages, and the strains of being together so often in close quarters are typically forgotten when all is blended together and you emerge on the far side. For now, the good moments far outweigh the bad. We hope it stays that way for us, and for you, as we dive into a New Year.
 
Mark greeting a bow ornament with a traditional Maori greeting
This big pigeon seems much nobler than its cousins back in Grant Park
A boat friend's birthday party, cruiser style
Gifts from the sea: calamari and scallops

Catching squid off the back of Perry


4 comments:

  1. (Y)our #1 Blog FanJanuary 1, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    Happy New Year Jennifer and Crew!

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    Replies
    1. You too! Miss you--the nice weather must be keeping you outside...

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  2. Kids were all down for the Holidays. Weather has been warm and nice! Are you all ever planning on coming back to the States? Thanks for liking my family pic on FB. It was nice to have everyone all together and force them to let me take their picture! :)

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  3. Happy New Year to you all! - The Swingers

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