|A is for Ajo.|
There is no way we’re going to complete this house on schedule—on schedule meaning before we return to Fiji and Del Viento in early June. Part of the reason things are taking so long is that the house needs much more work than we anticipated. It’s going to be a gem when we’re done, but it’s gonna take longer than we planned. The other part of the reason for the slowdown is work related, like work-for-money-work related.
I’ve been freelance writing since we began cruising. It’s not paid the bills, but it’s certainly slowed down the burn rate (and it’s been a lot of fun). Then, just over a year ago, while in Tonga, I assumed the role of managing editor at Good Old Boat magazine. This job has demanded a bit more of my time, but it’s paid the bills and it’s been interesting and pretty easy to do, about a 20-hours-per-week commitment. It’s not really slowed us down.
Now, I’ve taken on the role of editor at Good Old Boat and it’s a great pleasure and excellent opportunity, but it’s a full-time job. Windy and I considered the offer carefully for about two weeks before I committed to it.
This house was my full-time job. Now I’ve got two full-time jobs.
In short, we’re making slow progress on the house, but I’m mostly spending my days learning my new magazine job.
I’ll be able to work just as easily from Fiji as I do from Ajo, thankfully, but I’m realizing that very long passages are not in our future. We could spend the rest of our lives living and working in Fiji, exploring her 300 islands and maybe even making passages to Vanuatu or the Solomons or New Zealand or Australia, but we’d long planned to head north to Japan and those plans are off the table. This is a huge blow to Eleanor, especially, who’s been teaching herself Japanese for the past 18 months.
Our plan now is to return to Fiji in June, swim and dive and sail and explore and assess and evaluate our lives as a family for a few months, and then return to the U.S. in October to attend the Annapolis sailboat show and finish this house.
We’re all still enjoying this unscripted path our lives are on. It’s with wonder that I recall where we were six years ago, on the precipice of jumping into the cruising life. Even then I could not have guessed at how things would have unfolded. And it’s still unfolding. And I don’t yet regret a single twist in our path.