NMC036 Boat Fire
Recorded: November 4, 2016
Location: Riviera Beach, Florida
Subject: Packing up to head to Orlando, Florida and visiting s/v Dawn Treader after a neighbor’s boat fire.
Talk about too close for comfort!
Just weeks after our floating home, s/v Dawn Treader survived Hurricane Matthew, we got a call about a fire at our marina. The boat beside ours burned to the waterline! In this episode I take you along for the fire’s aftermath as the kids and I and assess the damage to our own boat.
At times like these it is hard not to think about how quickly things can go terribly wrong. In this episode, I reflect on some of our family’s ups and downs and contemplate questions like: How can a traveling family create a sense of stability when the world is turned upside down? And, when disaster strikes next door again and again, is it a streak of bad luck or exceptionally good luck for my family? Perhaps a bit of both?
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Rosa Linda Román (00:28): Hello, and welcome to New MexiCastaways, the enchanting audio companion to the enchanting show, New Mexicast, which is a video visual television show. And one time long time, a video podcast. So, hello. Hello, welcome. Welcome. I am Rosa Linda Román on your host and the primary rambler to which I generally call this Rosa Linda's ramblings a lot of times. That's my nickname for this podcast. So I just have so much to talk about that I don't even know where to start, so you can expect a lot of rambling in this episode, if you do like my ramblings and whatever I have to say here, and you want to follow me or my family on other social media platforms, you can always find us on Facebook as New Mexicast or on YouTube as New Mexicast TV. So, and if you don't know, and you're new to this podcast my former claim to fame was a broadcaster, a longtime television news reporter and anchor. Rosa Linda Román (01:35): My last job was main anchor in Monterey California. Before I started a family. In which time I went to the independent route and started this show called New Mexicast. But now it seems that our claim to fame as a family is that we have moved on to a 45 foot sailing catamaran called the Dawn Treader. Now you may hear me making lots of noise while we... while I'm recording. And that is because I'm packing up a hotel room to head up to Walt Disney world and a gymnastics meet that my daughter has up there. But the reason I am in a hotel room is, I guess, will be the subject of this episode. My family has had a crazy run of it. Yesterday made 140 days that we've officially lived on this boat, but we have probably only spent about half that time actually on the boat because we'd had one crazy thing after another happen and we've had to evacuate twice. Rosa Linda Román (02:39): Plus we've had a lot of travels and other things come up. So we just, and we've had a lot, lot of visitors and things like that. So it's been kind of a very interesting first four months. And I will tell you now about why we are living in a hotel. We were at Walt Disney world two weeks ago, just as a family vacation. The reason we're going this weekend is because of my daughter is a competitive gymnast and she has a meet there, but two weeks ago we were at Disney and we got a phone call from the marina where our boat is stopped and has been for probably eight months. It was there before we actually moved down to the boat. But anyway, we got the call from the Riviera Beach Marina that there had been a fire on the boat next to us, and that they weren't sure if there was damage to our boat or not. Rosa Linda Román (03:33): So that's the call we got when we were at Walt Disney. And once we started getting the pictures from other nearby boaters, it was very scary and upsetting. So we're not talking about just a little fire on the adjacent boat. We're talking about a fire that burned the boat to the ground, to the water line, and then the boat sank. And it was probably eight feet from our boat and it was crazy windy. One of our neighboring boats took a video, which I eventually got the chance to see, and it was harrowing and upsetting and crazy to think about what could have been, what did happen and the fact that we, we really dodged a bullet. Now I'm going to back up a little, cause I know it's been awhile since I've really been recording consistently. And that is in large part due to the fact that we have had to evacuate right before that, I guess let's see, probably two weeks before that we had to evacuate our boat because there was a massive hurricane heading directly to, toward our boat and the marina and West Palm Beach that we are docked in. Rosa Linda Román (04:45): We had to secure the boat as best we could. And we had to leave our boat thinking that we would probably never see it again. So that was two weeks before this. And now we get the call that there's a massive fire and they weren't sure what the state of our boat was going to be when we got back. Meanwhile, let me just kind of tell you on a personal note. So this is kind of the bigger, larger story, but the thing that I don't talk about in a lot of the videos, because I don't want people to know that I'm there by myself is that I've had to deal with a lot of this while Nathan, my husband has been traveling. It just always seems like October, November is the busiest time of year for his business. And he left when we were at Disney and we got the call, he had to fly out the next day to New Mexico where he does his clinical work. Rosa Linda Román (05:42): He's a physician. And once a month, he still goes to New Mexico where we came from to do clinical work. His doctor worked basically. So we came back. The kids and I came back to the boat from Disney and it was overwhelming. You know what, I'm going to play really quickly here. Just kind of a clip from the audio, from the live shot that I did when we got back to the boat. So I'm going to take a break, play a little of that audio. So you can kind of hear what that moment sounded like. And then I will come back and talk a little bit more about how that all went. Okay. So I'll be right back. Rosa Linda Román (06:24): We just arrived at the marina. I'm Rosa Linda. I'm here with Ziva, miss Allie, Samuel and Hava. And we just got back from Walt Disney world. We got a call from the marina that the boat right next to ours caught fire and burned all the way to the water line. So this is going to be our first experience seeing what can't we see, but what... Ziva (06:49): You can't smell through the camera. Rosa Linda Román (06:49): Can you say that again? Ziva (06:52): Good thing you can't smell through the camera because like, look at how far we are away from the boat. Rosa Linda Román (06:56): I haven't shown it yet, but we're pretty far. Ziva (06:58): You'll see, like, like we're on the other side of the dock and it's really bad. So I don't know how our boat will do when it's right next to it. Rosa Linda Román (07:06): Hey, we are going to go to the boat. What's up? Rosa Linda Román (07:19): He's wondering why the boat made a horrible smell. Samuel, it's cause it burned down. Let's go check it out. Come on [background conversation with dock person "..fiberglass. So you're going to see it Samuel. Oh, they raise it.] All right. So what the dock person is telling us now is see, you can see the boat right there. The dock man was telling us that it was all the way under the water and they raised it. But look, that's our boat, right? Walk over there, tell what it smells like and what's going on. So we're really worried because we haven't been back since this happened. And we're not sure we will be able to stay on our boat. This is obviously something to collect the gas. You can actually see it in the water. Rosa Linda Román (08:23): What did you say, Samuel? You think our boat is invincible. Samuel (08:27): But it hasn't, it survived between two things. Rosa Linda Román (08:33): What, what things? Samuel (08:35): Hurricane and the fire. Rosa Linda Román (08:35): You're right. Let's keep it that way. It smells kind of smoky. But we had a friend come and open up... I mean turn off the air conditioning because so much oil spilled into the water. [to Samuel] Hey, don't, don't don't, don't go get on the white couch. So much oil and gas spilled in the water and our air conditioning is cleaned. It has a cooling system using seawater. So we... they were afraid it was going to pump that into our air conditioning system. So they turned off our AC. So it does smell smoky, but it smells just as smoky outside. So it's no worse in here than it is outside. (09:26): [Theme Music] Rosa Linda Román (09:27): For those of you that are a part of the New Mexicastaways crew, I have posted the whole video of that Facebook live as a bonus there. If you want to go check that out. If you are not yet a Patron, but you are interested in bonus content like photos and videos of some of the things that I talk about here on New Mexicastaways, please consider joining us. It is the amazing community that supports this show. Just go to patreon.com/newmexicast or Newmexicast.com/crew to join us. All right. Now, back to the episode. (10:03): [Theme Music] Rosa Linda Román (10:04): I should say that I apologize for the audio quality of this recording in general. I guess I should have said that upfront. I am recording with my new headphones, which I totally totally love, but which as I'm hearing it, it's a bit echo-y for you, the listener. So I apologize for that, but I'm in love with these headphones. Cause I'm sitting here packing up my hotel room and they're just kind of sitting around my neck and not in my way. So I apologize for the tinny or echo-y sound quality, but if you like this content and you want to keep listening, I apologize but this is probably how it's going to sound. Most of the time until I figured out a better solution to get the, the better mic to do these recordings. All right. So going back to the audio of our return to the Dawn Treader, which is the name of our boat, after the fire thatdestroyed the boat beside ours. Rosa Linda Román (11:03): And it was incredibly emotional for me being there by myself. Well, I wasn't by myself, let me back up. We had our amazing babysitter, Allie Miller, who has just really stepped up and helped me in the middle of the chaos. She's a young woman who we found through Sitter City after our previous liveaboard nanny decided to head back to New Mexico, which we were very, very sad about, but we eventually found another sitter who does not live with us. And she's here in Florida, just moved down from Pennsylvania to start her next part of her schooling here in the West Palm Beach area. So thank goodness for Allie because she, at that moment, when we got back to the boat, she took the kids to go get ice cream while I dealt with just kind of the, the reality that we would not be able to live on our, our boat for that for at least we know for how long. Rosa Linda Román (12:03): So we got back and part of the problem is, my daughter Ziva, one of her biggest fears in the world, probably the biggest fear she's ever had since she was a little baby, is fire. She's just really, really afraid of fire. It's just, I don't know she was born that way and she wouldn't even come on the boat. She was so upset by the whole thought of the fire. And when we got back to the boat, she did not even want to get on the boat. And that was obviously the first upsetting experience. And then the further we delved into what the boat looked like and just the emotional toll that everything really was taking on us because we, we have been evacuated just a couple of weeks earlier. And so maybe three or four days after we got back from the hurricane, or maybe less than that, I can't even remember. Rosa Linda Román (12:58): We had a, some men on our boat trying to rob the boat, trying to steal our electronics off of the boat. We had to call the police and it was very, very scary. And we have had all these situations where we just don't feel safe and secure in our home. And I mean, you know, I think a lot of people think, well, it's, you know, it's a both but it's, it's our home. And so we just moved onto this boat and already we've had all these traumatic things that really feel overwhelming for us adults. And you can only imagine what that has done and how, how that's perceived by the kids. So it's been a really strange time for us because we're trying to help the kids feel like things are normal. Then another part of what is so not normal is they're not in school. Rosa Linda Román (13:55): We started boat schooling, homeschooling, or we call it boat schooling when we moved onto the boat. And so they don't have normal routines. They don't have their peer group to kind of vent all this too. So there's a lot of intense emotions that are coming to the surface just by nature of what we have gone through. And none of us really have our support system around to deal with that. I'm not trying to complain. I'm just trying to point out that it's the beginning of our boating adventure has been anything than what we envisioned when we embarked on this process. And because of that we're trying really hard to take it slowly and help the kids through it, help us through it. You know, I mean, when you're in a relationship with someone, my husband and I are almost going on 20 years in December, we will have been together 20 years. Even that with that long-term relationship, it's still, you know, going through this process and having traumatic things happen and then having to kind of come back to the center and help your family figure out, you know, what to do and how to, how to process all of this stuff. Rosa Linda Román (15:08): It's been very intense for all of us. I think everybody's feeling it and I'm proud of how everybody's managed and adjusted to these crazy times that we've been living in. But anyway, so that's, that's kind of where we are. We're trying to just kind of process things, not blow them out of proportion and keep some kind of normalcy for that for the kids and for ourselves. But the reality is I was kind of looking at my five-year-old son who was acting a little out of control recently. Just he's, he's kind of escalating his behaving, you know, just kind of acting out. And I was like, what is going on with him? And then I stopped myself and thought, you know, the reality is there is nothing stable in his life right now, his birthday is coming up and he keeps saying, 'I wish we lived in New Mexico so I could have all my friends come to my birthday party.' Rosa Linda Román (16:06): So he's, you know, had to say goodbye to his friends. And he has had all these crazy things happen. He's not in school so he doesn't have a new group of friends to replace that. And it's just been really a lot for a little person to process like that. So I try to keep that in mind as I move through these experiences and remember that it's a lot for him and all of us to process and to really leave space for us to process that appropriately and not overreact, if things don't seem like they're going the right way because they have, we have moments. I mean, try being in a hotel room for days and days with three kids. So anyway, that's what we've been doing. We've had some... And let me kind of point out that from this craziness, you know, some people have said, "well, you know, it's this, you've got some run of bad luck." Rosa Linda Román (17:03): Well, yes, there have been some things that have happened. I mean, we had our house, just right after we moved onto the boat, our house in New Mexico was threatened by a wildfire. And I haven't even mentioned that three days ago, our home in New Mexico was robbed. Just like when I say it out loud, it's almost comical how many things that are bad have happened, but when I'm processing it all and trying to really figure out how to move forward and, you know, you have moments where you think, "oh my gosh, maybe I shouldn't have moved out to this boat..." When I stopped myself from that negative spiral and remember that through it all, all of the people involved in these situations are okay, nobody's been killed, nobody's been injured. There's no, you know, other than the emotional trauma of dealing with this stuff, we are intact and okay. Rosa Linda Román (18:06): And that's saying a lot because we've been through many, many things and that's just us, the people involved like the boat that burned, nobody was on board. That could have definitely been a deadly fire if someone had been. Our house being robbed in New Mexico, no one was in the house at the time. So luckily there were no confrontations on that front. And even when the guys came onto our boat by the time, so we flipped on the deck light cause it was in the middle of the night. And by the time they jumped off the boat and we got to the deck, they were running away. And so we didn't get hurt. I had a moment where I was in a sheer panic thinking that maybe they were going after my kids and turned out Ziva was in the bathroom. So it hasn't been without emotional distress, but I just want to alwaysremember that A) it could have been much worse. Rosa Linda Román (19:02): And when people say, "oh, you've had some bad luck..." you could look at it the other way that we've had some amazing luck. That when these bad things have happened, everybody's okay. So I'm going to choose to look at it that way. Needless to say a lot of the work that I have done in the past, if you guys have followed any of my professional work, a lot of that is absolute hold. I have not done any stories nor do I have any plans to anytime soon, because the reality is the story of my family and our life right now is where my focus is and needs to be. I feel like that's my biggest challenge and most important work that I can do is to help us all navigate this successfully. So I'm going to take a little break and come back with hopefully the wrap-up of what's going to happen next. (19:57): [Theme Music] Rosa Linda Román (20:02): Okay. I'm back. And I was just taking down some of the decorations from here in the hotel room. And I thought I should mention that part of the, the funniest challenge from all of this is that it's a very busy time for holidays and things going on, including Halloween, my husband's birthday and coming up Samuel's birthday is coming up in a few days. And so living in a hotel and having all this uncertainty or living with friends, we stayed with, I think I mentioned, we stayed with some of my daughter's gymnastics teammate friends with their three kids and their family for three days. And that was so gracious and amazing. That's the other positive from all of this is we came here, not really knowing anyone other than I have a cousin here. And Nathan his cousin lives here, but as far as like families with kids our ages that we would interact with and all that, we don't really know anyone. Rosa Linda Román (21:05): And so it's been really nice to have all these amazing people step up and help us who don't know us. They just said, if you need a place to stay, you can stay with us. And I begrudgingly accepted because I'm always like, "oh, I can do it. I can handle everything." Right? I'm one of those kind of people that I'm just used to taking care of it. And so with this family, the Strayer family, and they offered and I said, you know what, I'm going to take them up on it because it is very hard to do it all alone and we'll see how it goes. Well, that has been an amazing benefit of this experience. And that is to, you know, make new friends and feel like we're not alone in this and be reminded that we're not alone. Rosa Linda Román (21:53): But through the holidays we also had another family who, when we were evacuated for the hurricane, they stepped up and helped us by taking some of our stuff from the boat, because otherwise we would have potentially had to just leave it. So, you know, there's all these people who didn't have to help us who just stepped in and said, "well, what can we do? How can we help?" And so that has been really a wonderful thing. That's, that's been a side effect of all these crazy experiences. So the decorations, my kids, and I just, it kind of is reminiscent of when we lived on a boat back in 2009, because it's a small space and you have to get creative. We don't have all of our Halloween decorations and things that we would be putting up at this time of year, which I love Halloween and my kids and I get into it. RosaLinda Román (22:47): And even my husband is very, a very good sport and participates fully. So we made decorations. In the show notes, I'll post a link so you could see what they looked like. So we actually made homemade decorations for the hotel room and we also carved pumpkins with the friends that we stayed with. And then for the, my husband's birthday, we made a banner. He was just coming home from another trip and so we made a banner that said 'Welcome Home.' And then you flip it around and it said, 'Happy Birthday' the next morning. So they're all homemade, handmade and the kids really enjoyed doing that. So I feel like even in the middle of the chaos, we can find ways to make it normal and okay. And I said this before, and I don't know if I've said it on this podcast or not, but when I feel like things are just out of control or, or especially in the kids' lives, things are feeling out of sorts. Rosa Linda Román (23:48): I try to remember that I'm the most stable thing. So it's not necessarily having the perfect routines that never waiver or being obviously in a school setting where they know what they're doing at most moments throughout the day. That we don't have, but what we do have is the stability of knowing mommy is there and I'm going to be there through all the craziness. And daddy will always come back because he travels a lot. And that is very difficult for the kids and myself. But you know, we're fortunate that it's not like with the military where they may be gone for a year or, you know, they, in, in some of the critical moments like my brother is a Marine, and he might be gone on exercises or whatever, when his wife is about to have a baby, like we have more flexibility than that. Rosa Linda Román (24:44): And the fact is when my husband travels, with the exception of the trip he is currently on, which he is headed to India for 10 days. Normally he's back with us within a few days. And he does his clinicals. He usually spends six days away, but that's usually the longest, which is still hard on the kids. But again, they know he's always going to come back and they know mommy will be there through the process. Which I have to say, because this is my place to vent and share, you know, my process, I will say that's hard when I have that desire to still get my work, you know, get back into the work that I love and, and really do that. But I do know that this is finite and there'll come a time again when I can, I'll have too much time to focus on work, right? Rosa Linda Román (25:33): So I'm trying to be present and enjoy the process, even in the middle of the craziness so that I can be there with the kids. Speaking of which I think it's time to wrap this up because they are wrapping it up with volleyball. Miss Allie has them there. So I could pack up the room and we're going to head to Disney. And the added bonus is I think my mom and dad are going to join us in Orlando because my sister works for United Airlines and that means my parents fly free. So they're going to come down and hopefully watch my daughter compete in this very important meet. It's the last chance she has to qualify for state after all this time and energy she's put into this endeavor, the pressure's on. And of course daddy's not going to be there because he's going to India. Rosa Linda Román (26:22): So I'm really happy that my parents are coming to cheer her on and to support me in the middle of the craziness. Although it might make it a little more crazy since I don't know where we're going to be when we come back from Orlando. I didn't even get into the details of the survey and why things haven't quite moved the way they're supposed to in terms of us back on the boat. But that will have to wait for another episode because right now I need to finish packing so I can go see Mickey Mouse. All right. Talk to you guys soon. Thanks so much for listening. If you like, what you hear, please go to iTunes and leave a review. It helps me out and spreads the word. And in fact, please do spread the word, tell your friends and that's it. Or you can send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care, have a great week. And that's it. I'm Rosa Linda Román. (27:34): [Theme Music Outro]
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