Field Trip to Banda Aceh, Indonesia!

Story by Michael.

Yesterday we woke up at 5:30 a.m!  EARLY ALERT! We hopped into the dinghy and drove ashore.

Our taxi arrived, and we hopped inside. Then we drove and talked with the driver. And drove and talked with the driver. Aaaand drove and talked with the driver. The car finally arrived at the fast ferry’s port, and the four of us climbed out. Mom bought a few unknown breakfast foods that some ladies were selling outside the ferry.  None of us knew exactly what was inside the tightly wrapped banana leaf, but we hadn’t had breakfast before we left, so this was it!  The steamed rice, fried egg and tempeh with hot sauce was actually really good!  We waited for about ten minutes, then we boarded the ferry!

The ferry drive was 45 minutes long (and really boring), but finally we arrived at Banda Aceh. Pronounced Ah-ch-ā. Not Ache like stomach pains!  We stepped off the ferry to a mob of people crying out, “TAXI, TAXI!”, and, “YES, YOU WANT TAXI?!”.  (Sensory OVERLOAD!!) We found one…


Yesterday, we decided to plan a family dive for after lunch.  It’s been a while since everyone has been underwater, so we opted for a shallow dive in a partitioned area meant for snorkelers.  The water was less than clear, clouded with particulate.  This gave Elizabeth pause, as she envisioned millions of “zingers” in the water stinging her.  Zingers are the number one deterrent to diving for the kids, but both were so excited to go diving that they jumped in anyway.

Within five minutes, Mark and Michael were off exploring, but when I asked her if she was okay, Elizabeth cupped her hands together to signal that she wanted to go back to the boat.  The zingers had won this time.  I swam with her back to the boat and got her settled in, then looked across the surface of the water to see where Mark’s bubbles were coming up so that I could go join them.

Michael was having fun posing on the various underwater scenes - sitting at a sunken picnic table, pretending to pee in an algae-covered…

Thailand Eats!

As we’ve traveled from country to country, eating local foods is always a large part of our experience.  But I can’t say we’ve looked forward to each culinary culture, particularly the fruit-bat-on-a-stick available in the Papua New Guinea markets.  However, each one of us are emphatic Thai food fans.  Ever since finding our favorite Thai restaurant in Denver (Thai Flavor off Mississippi Blvd in Aurora) we have been expanding our Thai palates and could not wait to actually eat Thai food in Thailand!!  
During our time here, the kids have become Pad Thai conisseurs while Mark and I have tried a few new dishes and delighted in our old favorites.  I think our first learned Thai words must’ve been menu-related! (kai = chicken, moo = pork)  Prices for local food vary widely based on where we are.  In tourist areas, you pay tourist prices generally, unless you can find that little stall in an alleyway where the fishermen eat!  Luckily, our guts survived the local fare and we made it throug…

Back to Iboih, Indonesia

A quick note before I begin - 
I’ve lost my voice.  I’m not sure what I have to say anymore, or even what I had to say before.  What did I tell you about?  What do you wonder about?  Our life aboard after seven years has just become normal to me.  I forget that it isn’t.  I know I take it for granted.  To the rest of the world, our lifestyle is unique, unusual, exotic.  But to me, it’s just everyday life and I sit down to write, stumped by what in the world I could possibly say.  So, I have decided to ‘just write’ anyway - to meander through recent happenings and insert my inner thoughts as I share, fighting against those voices that tell me how mundane it all must seem to you.  
Anyway, here goes…

Back to Iboih, IndonesiaWe’ve just arrived in Iboih, Indonesia after a beautiful two-day sail with winds behind us.  That wind angle allowed us to pop up our long-stowed Parasailor (you know, that brightly-colored thin sail that billows out in front of us and pulls us onward).  It took a bit …

Videos, Videos, Videos!

It’s been a while since our last blog post and we want to provide some updates.  We are approaching high school for the kids, and know that our sailing time will most likely come to an end and we’ll be land based…at least for a while.

We discussed as a family what we wanted to do for our last 12-14 months of sailing, and everyone agreed we needed to get back into doing our videos.  It’s been almost eight years now since we first left the USA…and created our first videos in Argentina.  We created the videos out of a passion for sharing our travels with friends and family…and most importantly for ‘us’.  To this day the kids still love viewing old videos and get a laugh out of seeing themselves so much younger exploring whatever it is we were doing at the time.

Creating videos – consistently – is very challenging.  Connectivity to upload videos is hit and miss, and the raw time required to create a quality video is considerable.  We started to slow down on the videos during our South Pa…