Friday, October 23, 2015

Adventures on Anxiety

I figured with Hurricane Patricia looming it would be a good time for a post about what it's like to sail with a child who has anxiety. 

Jessica has always had anxiety. As soon as she was old enough to be subject to state testing at school, she'd be the only 8 year old walking into class with a huge mouth sore from relentlessly worrying and losing sleep over the test. When we're at a restaurant, if anyone takes "too long" to use the restroom, Jess will create her own search party.

One doesn't need anxiety to feel a little uneasy living on a boat. Squalls can pop up out of nowhere and suddenly you're running around pulling everything off the rails, battening down the hatches and hoping your anchor doesn't drag.  When we're actually sailing and the boat begins to heel is when Jess starts to white knuckle it and begs that we ease the sails. When anchoring, Jess is the first to worry about our depth and outgoing tides. The worrying is never ending. 

As someone who grew up with anxiety, I get it. There are times that I look at Jess when she's nothing but a ball of anxiety and I see myself as a little 12 year old girl.  Trying to console a child with anxiety isn't easy unless you've been in their situation. Repeatedly uttering "it's okay" or "we'll be fine" doesn't register with someone who has anxiety. Anxiety doesn't like reason. 

So what do we do? We've started the "Tiny but Mighty"  mantra. Jessica is a 12 year old with a mouth full of baby teeth, yet to break 70 pounds that I've knicknamed "mini me".  Recently she's been mistaken as the younger sister although she's 20 months older than Emma.

When Jess is having a panic attack we remind her that she's Tiny but Mighty. We've shown Jess some ways of being able to help control the situation she's in, which helps with her anxiety. Jess has learned to read weather files with Phil each morning. Together, they discuss what we're expecting for the day in terms of wind speed and direction. Jess has also learned how to adjust sails and is able to help create comfort if we're heeling "too much". 

We have an agreement on the boat that if our depth reaches 8.5 feet we'll re-anchor. Believe me, Jess is watchful of the depth meter and will let us know when it's time to move. When the anemometer  reads close to 20 knots, Jess knows we'll reef a sail. We've established "boundaries" in advance so she doesn't have to worry about "when" things will happen to ensure we stay safe.

Then there's Emma, cool as a cucumber, the yin to our yangs. Emma is the type of person who would be looking at how beautiful the eye of hurricane looks over the boat while the rest of us are kissing our butts goodbye!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cost to Cruise --Sept. 2015

The past 3 months haven't been true, "Cost to Cruise" as we haven't been cruising. We've still tried to maintain our budget which has proven to be difficult, especially since we bought a stupid mini van. When looking for a way to get us, our belongings and a 16-year-old cat to San Miguel De Allende all the way from Guaymas it seemed that our best option was to buy a car. We scoffed at the idea of spending $700 to rent a car, each way. That would have been way too expensive, or so we thought. 

Hindsight is always 20/20.  We had no idea that we would haul out for the summer and seek refuge from the heat. We had honestly thought we were going to just float in the Sea of Cortez all summer. Had we known we were going to haul out, we would have just left our Nissan Pathfinder (which we sold 2 days before setting sail) in Guaymas waiting for us. Oh well. It's just money....down the drain.

Needless to say, we can't wait to actual cruise. We sail off back into the Sea of Cortez Friday. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The answer to why some things seem different.

Cross the border into Mexico and inevitably things looks different. It's taken us almost 8 months to become oblivious to things that used to have us awe struck.

For the first few months, the kids were flabbergasted every time they saw a half-dozen people squeezed into the back of someone's truck. "Those people aren't even wearing seat belts!!"

One of our friends described it best in his blog post.                  T. I. M. =  This is Mexico.  
Any time we see something that doesn't make much sense seems odd, or out of place and the girls ask, "Why", the answer is always T.I.M. 

For the past few months, I've taken pictures of things that are T.I.M. to share. As we continue our travels into Central America, I'm sure these same images will display themselves in other countries, proving it's not just Mexico. 

Our apartment's electric meters. They're clearly just for looks as the electric was coming from across the street via hanging wires.

Driving through the rain on your scooter at night, grab an umbrella, any size will do.

Homemade drink holder....for your beer.

We see entire families on bikes every day. Looking just like this.

Need a little car work done? Use the beach.

When nature calls and you're looking for an audience.

Cock fight anyone?

Welding. No gloves, no mask, no problem! Maybe he forgot he had sunglasses on his head?

You will pay the 60 peso toll or suffer the consequences.

Helicopters that use the median as their own "lane".  We drove to renew our visas and the helicopter flew above the median for hours always staying in front. 


Cell reception made easy.

Looking for tonight's Futbol match? Just press the futbol button.

What's your favorite? Between the bano in the middle of the beach and the guard at the toll for me, it's a toss up.