David's Diary: Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Kids, Kids, and Kids
We have been away from Canada for more than a year now and the one thing that has been consistent is that it has been hard to find other families with children to play with. With the help of a network of Mediterranean cruising boats we have managed to put four cruising families together. In a bay near the town of Vela Luka on the island of Korcula the sailboats Onskan, Willy Flippit, Arbella, and Dragonsinger meet.
We met Willy, Maggie, Elan, and Sally on Arbella last Christmas in Barcelona where we spent seven weeks together. Chris, Boo, Victoria, Nettie, and Kit on Onsakn and Stacy, Scott, Lauren, and Clay on Willy Flippit were new to us, but within minutes of arriving we were all together. Allen, Kit, and Clay were being boys and building a fortress on Dragonsinger before we knew it.
We met yesterday and are spending today and tomorrow together. It is surprising how the dynamics of each family changes once the kids are brought together. The kids move around from boat to boat, the parents have more time to relax (unless your boat happens to be the kid boat of the minute), and there is time for lazy summertime pursuits like swimming or sailing Arbella's dinghy.
This afternoon Karalee, Boo, and I take some of the kids and go for a walk around the bay we are staying in. The kids get along well and fall into and out of different groups -- boys and girls, young and old, or just random groupings depending on what is going on at the moment.
Dinners are big pot luck affairs where the parents get together, compare notes, and socialize with other adults. Such normal activites are a rare treat when you are cruising with a family. On one boat children watch a video while on another games are taking place.
As the sun sets we are thankful for the good weather and even better company. It is remarkable to think that these four families have managed to find each other in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. The Mediterranean is a big place, but there is nothing like meeting friends new and old and spending fun summer days together.