The life cy­cle of an oc­to­pus

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

When Dan was 7 he drew a pic­ture of a boat with a sub­ma­rine at­tached. He had a de­ter­mined fas­ci­na­tion with the sea and would sneak out as teenager to go fish­ing.

In the late 1980s his un­cle bought Lifeboat 8 from the cruise liner Mikhail Ler­mon­tov, which sank in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds in 1986. Dan be­came a live- aboard at Mana Ma­rina.

When Ni­harika was grow­ing up in In­dia, she used to love go­ing out on glass- bot­tomed boats look­ing at co­ral. By 7 she knew all about the life cy­cle of an oc­to­pus.

For a short time her in­ter­est in astron­omy took over (and her other ca­reer op­tion, be­ing a queen, sub­sided), but some­how she knew that one day she would ex­plore the ocean floor.

She is now fin­ish­ing her masters de­gree in sub­ma­rine vol­ca­noes.

A fish­eries of­fi­cer, she spends up to six weeks at sea at a time, mea­sur­ing fish, count­ing birds and fath­om­ing the un­der­world. She’s also mar­ried to Dan and lives aboard Lifeboat 8.

Fur­ther along the ma­rina are Kate and her two chil­dren.

Kate works as a project man­ager and last month she and her chil­dren traded a house for a boat.

She wanted to give her chil­dren a dif­fer­ent view of life, as well as push the bound­aries for her­self.

It took a bit of con­vinc­ing for her kids to agree to move on to the boat.

Luck­ily her daugh­ter thought it would be cool to play Ti­tanic.

But it was the start of win­ter and on the sec­ond night the boat blew a fuse and was with­out shore power. Then the wa­ter pump blew. Kate won­dered what the hell she’d done.

But the sense of eu­pho­ria in wak­ing up in a cosy boat in a ma­rina re­gard­less of the weather con­firms she’s made the right de­ci­sion.

Kate says it’s like liv­ing in a lul­laby with the boat gen­tly mov­ing, look­ing up at the stars.

People live aboard their boats at Mana Ma­rina for many dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

My part­ner, Dean, and I went in search of our dream boat, found it, then re­alised we couldn’t af­ford it.

That same af­ter­noon we walked down to Rau­mati Beach and bumped into a friend we hadn’t seen for a few months.

We asked how his wife was; she had died sud­denly a cou­ple of weeks be­fore.

There was a re­ally ter­ri­ble si­lence – what do you say? It shook us. We said some­thing in­suf­fi­cient then walked down to the beach.

We asked our­selves, ‘‘What are we wait­ing for?’’. All the rea­sons for wait­ing to do some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary weren’t good enough.

So we pulled ev­ery last cent out of the uni­verse and made an of­fer.

I usu­ally hate in­spi­ra­tion quotes, but I like this one by Bill Cosby: ‘‘De­cide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.’’

Or Ni­harika from Lifeboat 8’ s favourite one (thanks to her other love, Bon Jovi): ‘‘Keep the faith.’’

Wa­ter heaven: Dan and Ni­harika shared a sim­i­lar child­hood dream.

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