Home, sweet home at Mana Ma­rina

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - JANIEWALKER

our next trip. Why on earth would I want to go out into that vast slosh of an­gry wa­ter in a lit­tle plas­tic boat again? I want some land-time, please.

The ef­fort it took to go away was hu­mungous – years of plan­ning, ev­ery cent we had (and ev­ery cent of credit we could get our hands on) – but the re­ward has been life-chang­ing.

I may not have over­come my sail­ing fears, but be­ing out of my com­fort zone for so much of the time has meant that I have re­turned slightly dif­fer­ent.

Some­thing has been re­set – I have a stronger con­vic­tion for what I want to do next. That in­cludes shift­ing my work fo­cus to the not-for-profit sec­tor and vol­un­teer­ing more.

I’m also to­tally ob­sessed with the ‘‘vil­lage’’ con­cept and how that re­lates to ur­ban and city liv­ing.

Some days part of me is in the South Pa­cific – a vil­lage in Van­u­atu, watch­ing Shem’s Aunty grate co­conut and squeeze the milk out of it for an hour; snorkelling in Swal­lows Cave in Fiji (OK, cling­ing on to the dinghy and shov­ing my face in the wa­ter); ly­ing on a white sand and palm tree clad teeny round is­land in New Cale­do­nia, feel­ing happy.

Com­ing back to the Porirua land­scape has been really im­por­tant: Pau­ata­hanui In­let, Ngati­toa Do­main, Whi­tireia Park – we’re so lucky to have this gor­geous land to in­spire us.

We’re go­ing to go to the week­end Pa­cific mar­kets and hope­fully say, ‘‘Malo e lelei,’’ or ‘‘Bula’’ to some­one. I’ll prob­a­bly get it wrong, but it’ll be worth the risk.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to talk about the sail­ing side of things yet. I think I’m still a bit trau­ma­tised by all that.

Maybe next time I’ll an­swer all the ques­tions that we’re be­ing asked: Did you hit any storms? How long were your night shifts? What was your favourite place? How do you cook when the boat’s lean­ing half way into the wa­ter?

For now, I’m lov­ing be­ing back in Mana Ma­rina with this friendly and in­ter­est­ing com­mu­nity of boat peo­ple who crave the free­dom boat­ing can bring, cud­dling our gor­geous golden doggy who I missed an in­sane amount, and see­ing our fam­ily and friends.

Sto­ries of rough seas and sea­sick­ness can wait.

PHOTO: JANIE WALKER

Mana Ma­rina – a great place to come home to. Just ask Dean and our dog, Zena.

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