walkabout

October 12th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

I miss dirt. On the boat, I tend to three small potted plants – aloe, basil and parsley. We have a composting toilet, and we separate our kitchen scraps for release to the wild. Its not that I have left the nutrient cycle, its that I miss dirt.

To remedy this, I subscribed to a website called Workaway.com, and began to search for opportunities to work on land. There are a lot of interesting projects out there, many DIYers in need of energetic hands.

My first pick was a APROVACA, a conservation project devoted to the protection and propagation of orchids in Panama. The facility is located in the Valle of Antón, in Cocle province. This valley is an ancient crater with rich soils, diverse agriculture, and fancy estates competing for land use.

They assigned me to the garden of medicinal plants, to clear it of weeds and start making some general order. In exchange, I was housed in their hostel on-site, treated to daily serenades by the frog chorus and fantastic downpours each afternoon onto the tin roofs of the orchid center, and invited to share lunch each day with the group of socios that work with the orchids.

The time was restorative, not just to work in the dirt, but to work with the rest of the group. Even though I wasn’t able to commit to a very long stay, the socios were nonetheless generous with their time, and I could not help but learn constantly. Just being in this space and exploring its nooks and crannies was like medicine. Pura vida.

new year pivot

January 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Many people ask me privately how we are living on a boat full time in terms of work and finances. The answer is we are completely lucky and we work hard.

The first thing I will acknowledge is that there are many things beyond our control that make this possible, first and foremost of which are our families that we know would catch us if the boat sank. The practical and psychological effect of having supportive parents and siblings is emboldening for sure. Sailing is a lot about calculating risk, all risks are mitigated at their most extreme end by present and loving kin.

That is part of the luck.  The other part of the luck is that we really try to put ourselves in luck’s way.  Luck does not come and wake you up in the morning, tell you to get out of bed, put on your shoes or turn your mouth corners up into a smile.  You really can’t tell where luck might be, but it usually involves a fair amount of effort and interconnectedness.

Now to the part where we work hard. We work hard every day to live more and more simply. Have fewer expenses, fewer things that break, better health and stronger minds. We work hard to be good to our friends and family, and to be open and sweet to new people. To feed luck.

Right now, luck has brought us a temp job aboard a luxury yacht back up north, where I wear booties inside to not mess up the teak or carpet as I polish things and help the chef. Fabio tromps around on deck shoveling snow and readying the boat for departure to warmer climes. We miss our tiny floating home, but are really enjoying the experience, and savoring the feeling of recharging the bank account, especially knowing how far we can take each penny with our stripped-down lifestyle.

May you be happy, may you be free from fear, and may you put yourself in luck’s way this year!

This is for @_vanessavitale_ because I finally have some interesting footwear. #sealevelliving #solventin17

A photo posted by kate zidar (@plankton_every_day) on

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