NMC043 Postponing Crossing
Recorded: December 07, 2016
Subject: To postpone our Florida to Bahamas crossing, or not to postpone the crossing? A question we had to answer as a family.
“But we planned to make the crossing today!”
They say when you live on a sailboat, all plans are written in sand at low tide.
Sure, we had been planning to cross from Florida to The Bahamas, but if we held fast to those solid plans we would have made it harder for some of our crew members to make the transition from the things and people they loved to sailing full-time, and set ourselves up for a miserable trip. So–spoiler alert! –we postponed the crossing.
In this episode, I talk about some of the factors we had to consider before starting a major crossing like this. I hope you find some value in it to apply to your own life.
As always, thanks for listening and supporting this podcast!
Rosa Linda Román.
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Rosa Linda Román (00:10): Hello and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways, I'm Rosa Linda Román, and I am driving from the Fort Lauderdale Airport heading back to the Dawn Treader, the 45-foot sailing catamaran. That is our home, which we are preparing to sail across from Florida to The Bahamas. I'm actually not coming from the airport. I'm coming from Outdoor World or something like that. This massive store, it's like a Wonderland for outdoors. Men and women, I should say, that is really, really interesting. There's just aisles and aisles of anything you could ever want to go, fishing, hunting. I don't even know what it was just, it was massive. I had gone first to the diving store, looking for something called shark bands, divers direct, and they didn't have any left, but basically I'm looking for the holiday presents to bring with us to The Bahamas and because we're going to be over in The Bahamas over the holidays. Rosa Linda Román (01:38): And one of the things the kids and I have been looking at for quite some time is the shark band. So basically they're like wrist bands with magnets in them that are supposed to scare away sharks. I don't know if they work or maybe we'll just have them as the placebo effect, but I was going to get them as something for the kids and me at least, or maybe Miss Allie, because that is something we struggle with living on the boat. We love swimming. Today, I took my sister who was visiting. That's why I'm coming back from the Fort Lauderdale Airport. By the way, my sister Sarah came to visit, to see my daughter Ahava in her state meet and just visit us here on the boat. And I took her to Blue Heron Bridge, which Allie introduced us to as a really great snorkeling spot. Rosa Linda Román (02:32): And so we went and did that and it was wonderful, but the whole time I'm in the water, I'm trying to stay calm and be calm for everyone and exude confidence and calm for the kids because it was my sister who lives in Chicago and doesn't, you know, snorkel much. She's probably done it one other time in her life, and my kids and me. And so, I worry when I'm in the water, I'm always worrying about sharks. I have nightmares about sharks, I've always had them since I was a little girl. Maybe I watched jaws too early in life or at all. And so, I worry and I try to be calm and confident with the kids and act like it's totally fine, but I have heard of the stories of sharks fighting people and like everyone else has. Rosa Linda Román (03:25): And I would like to not be so stressed when we want to go for a swim off the back of the boat. One of the places we're going, which we love is Hope Town in the Abacos of The Bahamas. And there was, I don't know, maybe a year, a year and a half ago off the very beach where we have anchored, and we've gone swimming to Tahiti Beach. There was a shark attack. Now I have not told my kids this and I don't even know if Nathan knows this, but when I think about that, it scares the heck out of me because it's very shallow water. And a woman was swimming, a young woman, like college age, I think, and she was just swimming, I think from the beach to her boat, which is not very deep or scary. And she was all of a sudden was bitten in the back. Rosa Linda Román (04:15): And luckily, she survived and I think is going to make a, a pretty full recovery, but that's scary stuff. And I think about that all the time, living on a boat. So, if I can get a wrist band or a foot band that we can put on and jump in, and feel less worried about a shark attack then it's worth every penny I might spend. So, that's what I went in search of. What I ended up getting, because I didn't have the shark bands, I went next door to this big outdoor Wonderland. It reminded me of like the Griswold's vacation or something. I don't even know just so many things available. It was overwhelming in the store. And I ended up buying a casting net to get bait. That's something that one of our friends recommended for my husband, because he took him out cruising, you know, they went fishing, and when they did, he had tossed his casting net and he said, “Oh, you're a natural.” Because he had never done it before. Rosa Linda Román (05:22): And I figured this would be a nice way for him to get bait when we are out at sea instead of trying to keep squid in our freezer, which makes the freezer stink because they do like fishing. And so, yeah, so that's what I got at this Outdoor World. And now I'm driving back toward the boat. Actually, I'm going to go back and pick up Ahava from gymnastics and then have a very late dinner and then go back to the boat. This is just kind of chatting about what is going on with us. We did move back onto the boat about maybe 10 days ago, two weeks max. And just yesterday, we finally got our sail installed. It had to be taken off to be patched because of the fire on the boat that was adjacent to ours and our sail bag had to be replaced because it had a whole of little holes all over it. Rosa Linda Román (06:18): And what else? Just a number of things that had to be done. Oh we didn't have curtains at all because the inside of the boat had smoke damage. And so everything inside the boat had to be cleaned. The walls had to be wiped down, all the linens and curtains had to be washed. Some things they did really, really well. The bathrooms were speaking stain clean and the boat smelled good. But our curtains when they put them back on, it was like they were a wrinkled mess. I mean just crumpled mess. And before that we had these beautifully pleated curtains. So, I sent them back and said, they need to be pleated. You know, they need to be redone, or touched up, or whatever. And so then they took them, and they did iron them somewhat, but they didn't iron out all the wrinkles, but they did iron out all the pleats, which makes no sense whatsoever. Rosa Linda Román (07:19): So, we ended up with non-pleated curtains that still looked terrible. And I sent them back a third time, and finally, the lady who is the project manager ended up fixing them. So, still, it's a big job to put them up. And so we put them up. Nathan was just putting them up this evening. I put a few up this morning. So, these are some of the preps that we've been doing, things we've been working on, trying to get everything ready to go. And there's only so much we can do to prepare because in the end it's not just the things that we need to do, but we have to wait for a weather window. That's the main thing that's going to determine when we can cross from Florida to The Bahamas. Basically, you have to have the wind shift in the right direction, so that you don't have it at your nose the whole time. Rosa Linda Román (08:19): And you also want the seas to be calm because obviously we're crossing the ocean with our kids, and babysitter on board. So, we want it to be somewhat calm, at least as calm as we can get it. And you've heard the expression, fair wind and following seas, so that's what you have to wait for. And as luck would have it, there is a weather window open tonight. Like, right now conditions are favorable to head to The Bahamas. So, we were scrambling because we only just got back on the boat 10 days ago. And we really wanted to try to get to Hope Town in time for the holidays because that's where so many of our friends are. We're actually bringing some things over for some friends anyway. So, we were kind of pushing to try to get over, and I was really thinking we were going to leave on this weather window. Rosa Linda Román (09:18): We would've left to probably 2:00 AM and made the crossing, and you cross from the Lake Worth Inlet to a place called Memory Rock, which is really just a shallow area where you kind of anchor and you wait until the light is good because once you go from there, it gets very shallow. You have to see the bottom and make sure that you're not coming in at night because you don't want to run a ground. So, I thought we were going to try to do that tonight. And Nathan was leaning toward that as well. There were two major pieces of the puzzle that needed to be done as far as we thought before we could do that. One was to get the water maker finished, to finish installing the water maker. That has been a work in progress for some time. And yet, they were waiting for some parts that hadn't come in. So, we can't finish the water maker until the parts came in. Rosa Linda Román (10:08): Well, they came in this afternoon, so I still was believing like, okay, we're going to scramble or we're going to get it done either way, you know. We'll get the water maker in and then we'll go. Well, they also were getting the engines tuned and they were waiting for some parts for that. Those also came in today and they got that done today. So again, we thought, okay, let's go. We're going to be able to do this. There are a few other little things that weren't coming together. Some of the packages that were sent for the holidays have not arrived yet. But we were going to kind of cut our losses and say, “Well, that's fine. We'll just, you know, make arrangements some other way to get these packages and make this crossing tonight.” Rosa Linda Román (10:52): But then midday, we were scrambling trying to get everything done. And I went and talked to Nathan, who was on call after, after call, had so many meetings. You know, we need to decide if we're going to take this weather window. And so he looked up the weather and as of yesterday, the weather window was going to open up tonight, last for about 24 to 30 hours, and then close with a vengeance, and like a system was going to move in and make it, so it would be impasable for us to if we had gone at that point or if the front moved in faster than we had expected. So, that was one option. And then as of yesterday, the next best option was going to be a week from Thursday. So, like a week from tomorrow. Well, when he checked again this afternoon, there's a new weather window opening up on Monday afternoon or evening. Rosa Linda Román (11:45): And today at the time of this recording, it is Wednesday, the 7th of December. So, on the 12th of December, it looks like another window is opening up. And that was such a sigh of relief for us because it will give us time. And the final piece of the puzzle is, well, maybe not the final, but one more piece of the puzzle is our daughter Ahava did have her state meet and it was in gymnastics, which was in large part the reason why we stayed here in Florida, when we moved here onto the boat. We stayed because she really loved this gym and was making great progress. And we figured we'd let her see her gymnastics season through, and then we'd sail. Well, she really didn't want to leave. And Ahava's been of our biggest proponents out of the kids for being on the boat, and living on the boat, and sailing. Rosa Linda Román (12:38): So, this morning when she was just crying and saying, she didn't want to leave, you know, we can't help, but listen, because obviously it matters that much to her. Ahava doesn't cry just for anything. And it turns out that she wants to have time to say goodbye to her friends. Now, if you've listened to this podcast long enough, you'll know that when we were leaving New Mexico, we delayed by a day or two for our move out here because Ziva, she wanted to have a sleepover party with her friends and say goodbye properly. And so it only makes sense that we would, if, as long as we can still get there in time to bring the packages to our friends and to be somewhere that we're happy by the time the holidays roll around, then it's worth slowing down so that our daughter can spend some time and say goodbye properly to her teammates. Rosa Linda Román (13:36): Now, this is not to say this is forever. In theory, we could come back here, but maybe we start sailing and just love it and decide we want to go farther and not come back to shore too quickly. So, I want to make sure she has enough time to say goodbye. And I think that her friends are trying to plan something, a little something for her to say goodbye. So, I want to give the space for that. You know, as much as I want to get going, I also want to do it the right way. The other thing is we are bringing our babysitter, Allie, with us and you know that's a process, bringing another grownup with us and trying to work out all the details and how we're going to make it work. And she's very hesitant. I mean, she's excited about the potential of this trip, but she's very hesitant because she's starting school in January and she feels like she's behind and wants to study a whole bunch before she starts this program that she's working on. Rosa Linda Román (14:44): So, trying to make sure she's okay and make sure the kids are okay emotionally. And by the way, Nathan hasn't taken any time off at all. So, he's working nonstop. All of this, you know, starts to add up when I have like tangible things that have to happen before we actually sail. One is obviously getting the stuff for Hanukkah because we are going to be away from land for the holidays. But more than that, it's getting the staples that we're going to need because we're trying to look at it as we are going to be gone for two months. Now, we may not. It may turn out that Nathan just can't take the time off and then we'll have to regroup of figure that out. But for now, I like to assume that we are going to take at least two months. Rosa Linda Román (15:37): And based on when we did this, the first time, we lived on a boat called Hakuna Matata back in 2009 and 2010, there were certain things we learned from that experience that we need to make sure to put to good use now, some of those lessons. And one of them is to make sure to have certain supplies, which at some point I'll do a podcast about what supplies we're bringing with us, and you know, what we can do without and what luxuries we decide are worth the money, but even just things like flour and sugar. And most importantly for my kids, milk, or powdered milk, or boxed milk because my kids are, well, especially one of them, Ahava is a milkaholic. And so, I frequently say without cows two of my three kids wouldn't probably have survived because they love dairy products so much. In fact, I have a joke, so instead of a German Shepherd on board, we need to get a cow so that she can always have milk. Yeah, so anyway I'm going to take a little break, give my voice a pause, make sure I know where I'm going and I will be right back in a little bit. Rosa Linda Román (17:03): All right. I'm back. And just made a couple phone calls and now ready to chat some more with you guys. It's interesting doing these audio recordings because I like to do them. I like, I mean, it gives me a chance to kind of just talk it through, and feel like I'm documenting some of the process. I'm hoping along the way I'm capturing some of the natural audio. I have been capturing some of the natural audio from just the process of living on a boat, moving onto a boat you know, KonMaring our house. You don't have to go back through the archives if you don't know what I'm talking about. And so hopefully, as I'm recording these and recording the audio, I can put together a bit of a video. I mean, an audio journal. See, I'm so used to video because that's what I've been doing for so many years. Rosa Linda Román (18:07): But, an video journal of our journey, because one of the things I've noticed is it's really hard to remember to record video when I'm interacting with my family. They are used to being on camera and you know, I've been recording them forever in a day, their whole lives basically. And so, because of that and just my natural tendency and New Mexicast, they have a sense of the camera, they're comfortable on camera and talking on camera, all three of my kids. But there are times where I just want to document the thing, but not interrupt it, you know? And video is very intrusive, but audio, a lot of times I can just just collect the sound and not interrupt the moment. Especially, like on this iPhone 7 that I have because I have it set up where I can turn on the voice memo function and then just start recording whatever is around us. Rosa Linda Román (19:20): And like today when we made the decision about not sailing, and announced that with the kids and Miss Allie was there too, I just put this headset that I have on, and then I was able to capture his natural conversation. And a lot of times I'll just put the phone right in front of whoever's talking or in the general area, so you guys can listen in a little bit on the process. So, I'll try to get better about that as we are about to sail to at least, you know, because I'm always taking pictures and Allie will be taking pictures, the kids probably will be taking pictures so we can always add those in, so you guys can see some of what we're seeing, but I really want to make sure to capture the feelings and the thoughts of the journey, especially of the kids as they're processing what it's like to live on a boat and all the good and the bad and the, you know, unbelievable that comes along with that. So, I think I'll take a break here and let let's play that audio from when we were announcing to the kids this afternoon that we were not going to leave tonight, but instead were going to leave hopefully when the weather window opens up on Monday, instead Nathan (20:43): We looked at the weather and we could go tonight, but the problem is we feel very pushed and we don't have the water maker done yet, we have packages that aren't done, Ahava hasn't said goodbye to friends, Ziva hasn't done her volleyball, blah, blah, blah, all the stuff. So, we're really pushing it tight to do this, and we don't have a window. The window closes with about 18 knot winds tomorrow night from the wrong direction. So if they come in early or we were to not find shelter and we've got to make it all the way to get great sail key, which is, you know, 12, 13 hours of travel to get to where we need to be. So, I looked at the next window, and next window is Monday night or Tuesday early morning, like 2:00 AM Tuesday morning. Speaker 1 (21:35): Nathan (20:43) So, that's when we're going to leave, which is the 13th of- Nathan (20:43) Speaker 1 (21:39): [INDISCERNIBLE 21:39] Nathan (21:41): Okay. So, but that means we have to have everybody on board and everything done by the end of this weekend so that we- Speaker 2 (21:50): I want to give Ahava candy. Nathan (21:51): So, of course you do. Speaker 2 (21:53): [INDISCERNIBLE 00:21:53] Nathan (21:56): Speaker 3 (21:56): So, anyway, long and short of it is that we have to have everything packed in our bags, that gives us a little bit of breathing time. And then if the window comes early, because it's predictive, then we can just go, and if it delays a little bit, then we can go too. So, I think that's what we’ll do. Speaker 2 (22:11): I think that's great, because then we don't have to wait a whole week. We can still get there on time and we don't have to do uit, and we can go to parents today. Nathan (22:18): That's true. Rosa Linda Román (22:19): Yeah. And that was part of it. Nathan has a lot of things that have to happen workwise and daddy has a lot of things up and workwise. My sister is here. And I would like to be able to not be freaking out all day that she's here her last day and then we can go do blue hair, and Ahava can go to her gymnastics. So, that's the bottom line. Rosa Linda Román (22:46): All right, we're back. And I now have Ahava in the car. So, I figured I'd wrap up this show with a little Q&A with Ahava who just came out of gymnastics. And we just had dinner at a Thai restaurant. And of course, the topic at hand is what we're thinking and feeling about getting ready to leave. So Ahava, we were talking about leaving tonight. Like, we would basically be going in about four hours if we had left tonight, but now we've moved that back and I just wanted to see what you thought about that. Ahava (23:25): I'm really glad that we did not leave tonight. You give me a chance to say goodbye to my gym people and everything. Rosa Linda Román (23:39): So, you're friends and your coaches? Ahava (23:40): And we wouldn't be ready in time, anyway, everyone would just be stressed except for mommy who would just go naked to The Bahamas. Rosa Linda Román (23:48): I'm not going naked to The Bahamas. No one needs to see that. However, I was going to see if you, I wanted to ask, other than your gym, because obviously you're going to miss your friend and your gym, what do you think you're going to miss the most if you're on islands, like small islands without like, you know, the big, big city stuff like cars and malls and things like that. What do you think you'll miss the most. Ahava (24:21): Milk. Rosa Linda Román (24:21): Well, you can get milk The Bahamas. Ahava (24:25): Yeah, but it's $13 a gallon. Rosa Linda Román (24:28): Well, that's what it was when we were there last time. That is true. Ahava (24:30): Probably went up. Rosa Linda Román (24:33): I don't know. Let's hope not. So, you'll miss milk. Anything else? Ahava (24:43): Gymnastics. Rosa Linda Román (24:45): I told you other than your gym. Ahava (24:49): Milk. Rosa Linda Román (24:49): Ahava (24:51): Gym, milk and gym. Rosa Linda Román (24:53): Well, I have, I have a third thing that I think you'll miss. Ahava (24:56): What? Rosa Linda Román (24:56): Wifi. Ahava (24:57): Oh yes. That's good too. Rosa Linda Román (25:02): You'll miss your wifi. Ahava (25:04): That's going to be hard too. Rosa Linda Román (25:06): I know it's going to be hard for all of us, I think. Okay. Ahava (25:11): Yeah, except for daddy still has cellular. Rosa Linda Román (25:13): I'll take those. Ahava (25:14): He has a cool international one that works anywhere in the world. Rosa Linda Román (25:17): Yeah. But he'll be only using that for work. So, thank you for interviewing. I think that's a good place to wrap up this show. I had shared some of the process with our listeners. I call the show New Mexi-Castaways, because we're about to cast away from the shore. And I was just sharing with the listeners what is going through my mind about preparing to leave and I'm grateful to have your opinion too, Ahava. All right, so can you say bye to everybody? Ahava (25:51): Bye, and this is A to Z Travel Kids. Rosa Linda Román (25:54): Oh, that's another show for another day. We keep wanting to launch a show just for the kids, but for now you're listening to New Mexi-Castaways. That's Ahava and I'm Rosa Linda Román. Ahava (26:07): And this is New Mexicast. Rosa Linda Román (26:09): Bye
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