Where was I? Oh yes..."help"...
We have accomplished a tremendous amount since we have arrived. Considering the amount of time we have been here (just shy of three weeks) and the impressive number of things completed, this works out to over two finished projects a day (ranging from "change the oil" to "re-wire starter"). That might not sound like a lot for non-boater folk, but I assure you, it is. Boat projects + tropical islands rarely equals "efficient project completion" so, yeah, we are thrilled to have pretty much ticked off every "to do" item.
(Cue cheesy music, perhaps "I will Remember You" by Sarah McLachlan or something similar)
The ONLY reason - and I mean the only reason - we were able to do what we did is because both Scott and I had help. Tremendous help. Our good friend, AJ, worked diligently by Scott's side for ten days and my mom - my beautiful, amazing mom - worked tirelessly (and I mean tirelessly!) by my side for two whole weeks. Both of these incredible people really deserve their own post, but because time is of the essence, a two-for-one will have to do...
First up is AJ...
AJ is amazing. He went from being a co-worker of my brother's, to being a loyal blog follower to being awesome passage crew and, finally (and most importantly), to being a very good friend. When he heard our plans to come back to the boat with the three kids, he immediately emailed us and said, "What if I came down for ten days or so to help you out?" Talk about foresight. Having a flexible work schedule combined with his love for all things "boating" and the BVI's made the decision easy for him. It will go down in my personal history as one of the most brilliant idea emails I have ever received because, in hindsight, I have no idea how Scott would have gotten done all that he had to do without AJ. AJ is solid. He knows his way around boats (even the electrical stuff! Score!), he works very well with Scott and he is fantastic company at the bar after a long days' work to boot. Win, win, WIN. We love him. We cannot thank him enough for his generosity. He truly made this transition 100% more smooth with his presence and I for one am so grateful that we have a friend in our lives so willing to give his free time (and vacation days) to our family for no other reason than because he can. That's some serious karma collecting right there.
We owe you AJ. Big. Thank you. So. Very. Much.
And then there is my mom.
I know this is not news to many of you, but having three small children is a full-time job and is (wonderfully) exhausting. At the end of each and every day, I kid you not, my feet ache like I just ran a marathon (and I know how that feels because I have run several marathons) which should give you an indication of the pace that we keep around here. It is non-stop. My mom is a saint. Her love for our girls is truly beautiful to behold and her selfless desire to help others (particularly her family) is something that I hope I've inherited. Despite being thirty years older than I and despite the fact that she was technically (but hardly) on "vacation", she never complained. Not once. "I am here to help you" is all she would say when I pressed her to take a break. She is such an amazing mother, grandmother and friend and, again, I have no idea how I would have managed for two weeks alone with the girls day in and out without her. Her being here allowed me to run to the boat at nap times so I could help out with projects, freed me up to make runs to the marine chandlery for the boys, and gave me the precious time to research and order replacement parts online. She also made it possible for us to stay in a condo so that our boat could be a 100% work zone. There is absolutely no way we would be where we are now if not for being able to stay 'off site'. I could go on and on about the ways in which she helped us, but suffice it to say - we wouldn't have gotten nearly as much finished if not for her.
Mom, you are the best. I love you. I appreciate you and I am so incredibly grateful for all your help, you have no idea. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Both my mom and AJ have left (sniffle), and Scott and I are living on the boat with the girls. It's great (but didn't start out that way - more on that later!) and we are finding our groove. I have so much to write about (the dinghy seat! the twin bunk! Isla's bed! Life in general!) and so much to tell you, but because of the pace I mentioned above ^^^^ (feet. hurt. marathon.) my "down time" (aka when the kids are napping or down for the night) is spent either chasing after boat parts, organizing our boat, or sleeping. Usually in that order.
Now that our to-do list is pretty much complete, (yes, you read correctly! Complete!) our pace will slow from that of a hungry cheetah in pursuit of a gazelle to that of, say, a stallion galloping along a shoreline. Still aggressive, mind you, but the latter feels a bit more freeing and lot less desperate.
More to come...we've only just begun!