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