We get so many supportive comments from people on our blog, from people who are hoping to begin a sailing adventure, from people who have been cruising for some time and have found in us some like-minded friends, from people who would like to sail and read our blog looking for answers to their questions. The thing I have always sought to be on the blog is real – I write about the reality of our life, no fancy-dress, just how it is.
We received a rather critical comment recently, and following it I posted a blog entitled ‘Dreams?’. Following that I was surprised to open my email
this morning to find the following rather unpleasant message from a blog reader who wished to communicate with me privately.
PRESENTLY MOTORING BETWEEN XXXXX AND XXXXX - 4AM -BEAUTIFUL NIGHT
HAVE BEEN THINKING A LOT ABOUT YOUR RESPONSE TO MY QUERY AND WHETHER I SHOULD RESPOND TO YOUR BLOG OR JUST FORGET THE WHOLE THING
SO I GUESS THAT I AM ABOUT TO BE LISTED AS AN "ABUSIVE MALE" BECAUSE I FEEL THAT WHAT YOU WROTE WAS JUST A CROCK OF ****.
NOW BEFORE YOU DELETE THIS OR RING YOUR SOLICITOR REFLECT ON THIS
WORSE THAN ABUSE IS INDIFFERENCE
AND YOU SURE CAN'T ACCUSE ME OF THAT
I AM CONCERNED FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
HAVING BEEN THROUGH LIVING ABOARD
FOR MANY YEARS MYSELF -- ON OUR FIRST ADVENTURE TO PNG BOTH OUR KIDS
WERE IN NAPPIES SO I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT - 40 YEARS LATER I HAVE LEARNED A LOT AND AM STILL BEING HUMBLED BY THE SEA AND IT'S ABILITY TO MAKE YOU FACE REALITY.
IT'S NO USE SHIFTING THE GOALPOSTS OR HIDING BEHIND A SMOKESCREEN OF PSYCHOBABBLE.
SURE'YOU HAVE MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES- WE ALL DO- BUT READ BACK SOME OF YOUR EARLIER BLOGS WHEN YOU WERE SO FULL OF ENTHUSIASM -IT TOOK ME BACK 40 YEARS - THEN STEP BACK AND DO AN HONEST ASSESSMENT
IF YOU RECKON QUALITY OF LIFE IS STAYING IN WHAT IS PROBABLY THE CRAPPIEST MARINA ON THE EAST COAST
[NO REFLECTION ON THE MANAGER WHO IS DOING HIS BEST] OR THAT YOU CAN PUT OFF SLIPPING ARGUS FOREVER YOU ARE AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES.
I'LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW YOUR BLOG IN THE HOPE OF SEEING SOMETHING MORE UPLIFTING THAN "STEPS" AND "LAUNDRY"
BETTER GO ON DECK
- A BIT OF BREEZE
PS- AND REMEMBER I DO CARE!
I was, as I said a little surprised and yes, a little sad too to think that people would read my blog so critically, and with so little grasp of our intentions and plans! I have chosen to post the email
(minus the author’s name and any identifying details) here because I believe in transparency and because I believe the email was sent privately with cowardice and I won’t play that nasty game
The following is my reply, which I post here to clarify to any other readers who may think like the ablove letter writer that we have abandoned our dream!
Hi again XXXXX,
Well I must say it was quite a shock to read your email this morning
and I feel that you are more than a little confused about our life!
Before I respond to any of your comments I must just say that what
perplexes me the most is why you felt it necessary to continue to read
the blog thinking we are liars or deluded! I would think it’s your
choice what you read and if you don't like my blog, don't read it!
The thing is, we are not 'living' in the Batemans Bay marina! Far from
it! We are eagerly awaiting our departure, which should be in
November.....at which time our first task is to slip Argos at the
Ulladulla slipway (as BB can't take her weight). We came into the Bay
intending to stay a little while. We reconnected with a family
after we arrived that I had known in the past, who were trying to
retire here to the coast, hoping to build themselves a new house here.
The fellow wasn't well and a few weeks after we arrived here, he was
diagnosed with MS (primary progressive). He was no longer able to
build his house - and didn't know what to do. Peter stepped in and
offered for us to stay and build them the house. That was a big
decision and meant we had to delay our own plans but you know what, we
have no regrets. We have been a blessing to this family and we are so
glad we were all willing to put our own plans on hold for them.
When we began cruising we had romantic ideas about how we would set
off and sail for months and months.....the reality for most of us long
term live-aboard cruisers is that we spend time in marinas
, we stop to
work, we return to our former homes because our children
or 21'sts or weddings.....but this doesn't mean we have abandoned our
dreams! Far from it - this is what gives our dreams longevity!
I make no apologies for writing about what makes our life work....you
are offended by me writing about stairs and washing
, but these are the
nuts and bolts of our life right at this moment - and I have always
written honestly. All I can say to you, is if you don't want to read
the honest details of a long-term life of cruising, including the
practicalities of life on board with kids
and all manner of mundane
responsibilities, then don't waste your time at watt sailing!
In the interests of transparency I will be including your email in a
blog post, name and identifying details removed of course, along with
You sign off saying, I do care.....but not quite sure what you care about!
Oh, and the photo
above is of Peter on his recent intrepid trek across from Albany to Auckland
- a 40 days and 40 nights saga yet to be fully written about!