As you know, the fine crew of Papillon is currently living ashore. Yes, we’re still firmly tropical on a tiny island in Papua New Guinea, but still. We are temporarily parted from our beloved yawl – and this on our fourth anniversary aboard. Sniffles all around.
For the duration of our sabbatical-from-our-sabbatical, the blog will not be syndicated on SAILfeed. This makes sense, because we are not sailing. So, dear SAILfeed readers, you will have to bookmark the original Sailing Papillon if you would like to keep up with our adventures. Otherwise, I’ll be back on SAILfeed circa April with cruising stories galore.… Read More
Imagine a desert island. Ocean breezes blowing, palm trees swaying, perhaps some decorative coconuts strewn about the place. Just you, your beach chair, the waves lapping your toes, and the gentle clink of plastic bottles washing up on shore.
Not quite what you pictured? After four years aboard, I am sorry to say that this is reality. Every windward beach has plastic. Unless someone works every day to clean it, flip flops and plastic bottles are the order of the day. Everywhere. And I am sick of it. Read More
The girls and I went on a beach walk with some on their friends last week.…
I´ve unpacked the bags and stowed the suitcases. No more waiting around for visas, no more airplane rides – we´re home now, and I plan to be sessile for the foreseeable future. The island is beautiful, our neighbours are friendly, and I have no reason to move off my porch.
Except, a troop of kids are marching up my driveway. And we´ve been invited to the pool. And a barbecue. Disco in the park. Movies, neighborhood-wide hide-and-seek… complete fun overload. I think I need another cup of tea. Read More
Needless to say, the girls have settled in like they have been here for years.…
I am the proud possessor of a big yellow sticker in my passport that declares I am allowed to live in Papua New Guinea. Our flights are booked. Tomorrow is Moving Day. So why am I writing instead of prepping? Because, dear reader, I am avoiding packing. I know, I know – it should be an easy process. There are no choices to be made; if it is in this apartment and belongs to us, I have to pack it. And we only have four bags, after all. No, I mainly don’t want to pack because a) it means a morning of rejigging heavy bags such that all of them kiss but do not exceed the airline’s weight limit, and b) I have to do it on my own.… Read More
I huffed and puffed my way up the trail. I had forgotten how little I like walking uphill. I assume this is some sort of self-preservation mechanism, because I get marched up mountains with depressing regularity. Erik and I, sadly, are walking-incompatible. I can walk forever on flat or gently rolling terrain. And I enjoy it. But when things get steep, the fun factor drops dramatically. Erik, on the other hand, hates walking on flat land. This is because he is secretly a mountain goat. The steeper the grade, the happier he is, and he will gladly spend a day (or weekend, or month) skipping from crag to crag, pausing only to land in the odd cow pat.… Read More
Waiting for our visas to Papua New Guinea is taking forever. So, what have we been doing in the meantime?
2. Going to the park.
3. Preparing for the apocalypse.
4. Looking at giant squid.
5. Braiding anything that stands still long enough.
6. More swimming.
7. Ferris wheeling.
8. Riding the City Hopper free ferry.
9. Hula hooping.
10. Looking at chopped-up orcas and oversized angler fish.
11. School. (not pictured)
Call me jaded, but I am bored as stink. Get me into the jungle, ASAP.… Read More
It’s that magical time of year again when birthday madness reigns supreme in our household. Indy, Erik, and Stylish all have their birthdays within a three week period, and so when the end of August rolls around, I feel like I do nothing but wrap presents and bake cakes.
I took care of the present-acquisition in Canada back in May, and dutifully toted my partially-depackaged goods (the kids haven’t seen a board game arrive in its box since 2010) from Toronto through Vancouver, Seattle, Auckland, Noumea, and now Brisbane. Step one: complete.
But baked goods are more of a just-in-time sort of product.… Read More
There comes a time in every person’s life when she must ask herself, “do I want to move to Papua New Guinea?”
It isn’t always “Papua New Guinea.” Sometimes it is “a new town.” Or “take a different job.” Or “go back to school.” It just happens to be Papua New Guinea in my case, because that is the way my life seems to work. Like Belle, I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I’ll just never be the one with the big house, the minivan, the soy latte and the lululemons. I’d rather learn Tok Pisin.
Moving aboard was a big DIWTMTPNG moment for me.… Read More
No one likes hauling out. Mostly because it means you are not sailing, and that is a terrible fate when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Hauling out means fixing things, buying replacement parts, discovering nasty surprises, and living in a boat yard. None of those are my favorites. But what needs to be done needs to be done, and Papillon definitely needs a propeller shaft rejig and some centerboard work.
We got out of the marina on Monday morning, and made the short trip across the bay to the yard. As Erik heroically defied our massive prop-walk and started backing us into the slip, one of the guys from the yard ran over and started waving his arms.… Read More
One of the first rules of cruising is: accept every invitation. (This is also one of the first rules of life, especially for an introvert like me.) So, when a friend invited us to the local military open house, I said yes. Read More
“It’s lots of fun,” said Camille. “They have lots of activities for the kids.”
I nodded, and wondered what that meant. I was a little surprised that Camille, of all people, was suggesting this outing. This is a woman who steadfastly refuses to let her kids watch violence on television, play mock-battles, or otherwise engage in any aggressive activity.…