12 June - The Last JournalIt has been two years since we have had “normal” life, but what is normal? For me this is perfectly normal, and coming home to a “normal” life is just as exciting to me as moving onto the boat was. A lot has happened. We have been to many countries and Islands. Most of the people that we meet are totally amazed that we are doing this, but then they are even more amazed when I am so casual about it. But the truth is, this is just how I live. The only difference is that I live on a boat and I go to places that not many people go to. I guess that's a pretty big difference, once again, it is normal for me. If I had to chose one place to go back to it would be Australia. If all my friend lived there, that would be where I would want to live, but it is not so. Maybe when I'm 18 I can take some buddies with me to land down under. My second choice would have to be New Caledonia. It's hard to go wrong with French bread. If I went there again I would go up north and to the west side of the island,, and I would explore the Loyalty Islands. My last choice would be Papua New Guinea. I think because we never stayed there long enough it seemed more like a rest stop than an actual place to visit. The malaria also freaked me out a bit, because if I have a phobia and it is a long lasting or deadly disease.
One of my favorite things about this experience is that the homework is so flexible. Momma will send off something to Steve (the home school director) telling him what we have done. A few times momma fills it up a bit too optimistically before we were actually finished to make up for time that we missed last month, and Nikki and I have had to go overtime. Another thing about the homework that I like is the fact that there are no fixed homework days, and that any day we don't do homework is just like a weekend. Unfortunately, that also means that weekend lose their special-ness.
One thing that I had no conception about was how slow boats are. Our boat is really fast by most standards. We once mad 16 Knots in a 14 knot wind with the spinnaker. The waves were also big, but we were going so fast and we were going down wind, and that combination made the ride smooth enough to have a painting art class. This speed is unbelievably fast by cruising boat standards. We can go faster than than wind because the boat creates its own wind is some strange way. Our record speed is 21 knots when we surfed down a wave. Our boat was also created to be fast, and papa constantly complains that something is to heavy and must go off, but there are some things even he doesn't know about. A few days ago a found a 5 pound rock in Nikki's room that had been there since Oz. Nikki decided that she still wanted it, and papa let it pass. A normal monohull is thrilled to make 9 knots. The record speed was made by a racing mono. They made 525.5 nautical miles in 24 hours. That's an average of 22 knots over 24 hours!!!! That may not seem fast, but when you tell it to cruisers, their eyes almost pop out.
The thing I look for the most in places is easy access to water, and a good water temp. The access to water is not hard to achieve, because we live on it, but some places the water is really dirty, or it is not allowed (marinas are the best example of the last example). In Newcastle, it was so cold I didn't want to get into the water because I would freeze to death when I came out. Another thing that appealed to me was a good museum, because they were often made into field trips, and a boring museum made for a boring field trip. I think my favourite museum was one of the ones in Townsville. Now, at the end of this trip, I find it really hard to imagine that it will be over. I knew it was going to happen, but it snuck up on be and got me with a perfect uppercut. Good bye Endless Summer.