Questions from My Mom about Life on a Boat

questions from my mom about life on a boat

My Facebook Page can be confusing, I know. One minute I’m showing pictures of me lounging in a hammock on a Caribbean beach and, a few hours later, I’m posting an update of me eating sushi in New York City with friends I made during the Clipper Round the World Race…for example.

Even I find it hard to keep track of where I am on my blog, on my Facebook page and on my videos, let alone where I am in real life. Which is why I should be sympathetic when I call my mother and she asks questions like, “Where have you been for the last month?”

“Crossing the Atlantic, Ma.”

“Oh, so where are you now?”

“The Caribbean.”

“Oh, so you’re back in the U.S., that’s wonderful!”

“No, not exactly…”

I am nowhere near the U.S. right now, but I have been back to New York to see my mom three times since I sailed to the Caribbean. And each time, she has told me how grateful she is for my YouTube videos because now she can see for herself what I do with my days now that I no longer have a job.

(I don’t have the heart to tell my mother I don’t make the videos for her alone – though I’m grateful they help her understand my crazy life a little more.)

questions from my mom about life on a boat turf to surf

This is what my mother feeds me — I should really visit more often.

The truth is my mother doesn’t care why I create videos for YouTube; she’s just excited she can watch them and show me all the adventures I’ve been having every time I visit her. Yes, you read that correctly – my mom loves to play my videos on her television for me so I can watch the things I’ve done…and made videos of.

It’s kind of cute, actually – it’s like she uses YouTube as a way of connecting with me and showing me all the amazing stuff she loves about the internet…which is basically cats and watching me sail around the world. It would be like J.K. Rowling’s mother insisting on reading aloud all her favorite Harry Potter passages every time she met up with J.K for brunch. Not that I am comparing myself to J.K. Rowling – but you get the idea. It’s weird and adorable.

I should mention here that my mother is Korean and English isn’t her first language so, at times, reading all the words I post here on my blog can be tedious for her.

“Thank God for YouTube!” my mother says when she watches Chase the Story. “It makes me feel like I’m right next to you!”

It’s cute how she has taken on the mission of watching and sharing everything I create on YouTube. That is, until I, personally, am sitting in my mother’s living room, working away on editing a video, and I look up to see my mom is broadcasting a video I made on her Chrome Cast.

“Have you seen this one? With the dolphins?!” She exclaims.

“Yes, mom. I have seen it. I was there. I made it.”

This is adorable of course, but the reality is that my mom is seeing an opportunity to showcase my work to me AND interrupt me every 30 seconds to ask me what is happening on the screen at any given time. It’s both endearing and irritating.

And since I don’t have the wherewithal to video record my mother watching my own YouTube videos while asking me questions about what is happening in my videos, I thought I would share some of the gems my mother is throwing at me while I’m trying to do work in her living room.

  • You don’t actually use those things, do you? (Referring to the sails)
  • You can’t steer when you’re sailing, can you?
  • What kind of fish is that? Mahi Mahi? How do you spell that? (Looks up in Korean dictionary) Do you have another name? It’s not in my dictionary.
  • Can you eat that fish?
  • WOW, YOU MADE THAT DINNER?! (Referring to footage of us eating in a restaurant. I had to point out that we were not on the boat.)
  • What is that you’re pulling on, does that help you sail? (Referring to footage of me reeling in a fish — I had to point out that this particular activity has nothing to do with sailing).
  • How did you get that picture of the dolphins under water?
  • SHE’S GOING TO THE TOP OF THE BOAT ON A ROPE? THAT’S CRAZY!
  • Why is Ryan afraid of horses?
  • How do you know these people on your boat?
  • Who is that girl?
  • Why does that guy talk funny? (Referring to our French crew’s accent).
  • Did the bird eat anything?
  • That doesn’t look hard. Is he stupid? (Referring to a crew member’s efforts to learn to tie a knot.)
  • Can you sail at night?

In light of the fact that I can get nothing done with my mother in the room, I have started to think about the concept of AMA (Ask Me Anything) and wondered if any of you out there might also have questions about my life at sea – what it entails, how we eat, where we go to the bathroom (a common question from children under five) and the complications we experience.

So let this be an opportunity for my mother to open up the table to questions from anyone about how we live our lives at sea and what it is we do with all our time as we sail around the world.

I will be on the move (as usual) for the next few days, but I’d love to read and answer your questions – post your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer!

And, mom, try to not to overload the comments section here…I know it’s hard. So many questions 😉

Love,

Tasha

 

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Morocco Markets: Objects of My Desire

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Sailing into Rabat, Morocco

It was hard to focus on helming as we pulled into the harbor in Rabat, Morocco, as I stared with wonder at the ancient stone structures lining the right side of the entrance and the colorful wooden fishing boats bobbing up and down on their moorings. I sensed that we hadn’t just left Europe; we’d sailed into another era from the distant past.

Fishermen working on their little boats stopped for a moment to stare at Cheeky Monkey as we motored past. A few men smiled and waved and I wondered whether they were transfixed by the arrival of a foreign vessel or the spectacle of what appeared to be a female-run boat with me at the helm and Kristi and Meg preparing the fenders and lines for docking at Bouregreg Marina. Ryan, the male minority on board, was on the radio getting docking instructions from the marina while I looked around and noticed the lack of women on the many boats we passed in the harbor. I smiled and waved at the fishermen as their mouths hung open, their jaws involuntarily unhinged.

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Our jaws also hung slack as we pulled into this cute harbor in Rabat.

We weren’t sure what to expect from a marina that only charged $15/day for a 44-foot catamaran, but we definitely weren’t expecting a welcoming committee of eight officials to step on board bearing gifts of baseball caps, pens and key chains emblazoned with the marina’s logo for each of the crew. Two of the officials excitedly thumbed through our passports and asked us questions about ourselves and how on earth we could all survive without jobs, while the other officials on board looked around silently. I wondered if the extra men were having a dull day in the office and so they decided to tag along just to have a closer look at the boat and its crew.

Our amusing clearing-in experience motivated us to get off the boat and go explore what Morocco had to offer beyond the waterfront of Rabat. So once our French friends, Morgan and Xavier, arrived from Paris, ready and packed for the Atlantic-crossing, we shut up the boat, rented a car and hit the road on a mission to go see Casablanca and Marrakesh, two cities that were near enough to explore in the three days we had spare before sailing away to the Canary Islands.

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Xavier and Morgan were thrilled to join us in Rabat for our Atlantic crossing.

Morocco markets: Shopping in Casablanca

I’m sure Casablanca has a lot more to offer the keen tourist than just bazaar shopping, but as we only had a few hours to stop there on our way to Marrakesh, we dove into the heart of the traditional marketplace in an attempt to absorb our surroundings in the most efficient way possible. We were aiming to shock our senses and dive into the experience of our sudden departure from Europe.

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The best way to dive into any foreign culture is to EAT!

The crafts displayed in tiny market cubicles formed a tapestry of colors, textures and smells that drew me in as soon as we walked through the gates of the Casablanca Bazaar. There was silver jewelry with colored stones, carts piled high with roasted almonds and dates, handmade leather bags and slippers dangled above our heads, all of them too beautiful not to reach out and touch. Vendors pleaded for us to come have a closer look at their wares in their direct but gentle way, looking us in the eyes and smiling as they held out pretty objects to entice us into their shops as we walked past.

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“Must touch…so pretty…how much are they?”

Before we even got a few steps into the market, Meg and I were drawn to a stall that was intricately stacked with polished wooden boxes of all shapes and sizes. The boxes begged to be touched and opened and held, and the vendor took full advantage of the power of his beautiful handicrafts by encouraging us to try and open one of his many “magic boxes,” clever little cases with hidden keys that required puzzle-solving skills to find. Without knowing what we would need a magic box for, and before Ryan could complain that little wooden boxes have no use on a boat, Meg and I bought three of them.

Resisting the irresistible

It’s moments like these when I long to be able to collect things, when it seems like a shame that I can’t keep much on a boat. I ran my fingers through the multi-colored woven cloths and reached up to touch the gleaming brass lamps above my head and, for a second, I wished I had a house I could fill with unique objects from Morocco. But then I remembered that being free to roam means being able to carry everything I need in one bag or on one boat. I remembered that shedding objects and leaving the weight of possessions behind is what has allowed us to keep moving from one beautiful experience to another.

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So many beautiful things and so little room to keep it all.

And with that thought, the shiny brass lamps, though beautiful, transformed into heavy burdens that would require somewhere to be housed and someone to polish them. So I pulled my hand away, smiled at the vendor and kept walking.

 

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This is Meg. She has a large family and 3 sisters, so she bought everything.

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Update from Tasha

Hey everyone!

Thanks so much for reading and having patience with the lack of postings while I’ve been moving around in areas with poor WiFi. Life on a boat means we’re often not connected, which has its pros and cons. But from the perspective of a blogger and YouTuber, they’re mostly cons. I have learned to switch off and be patient every now and then, but it’s a struggle – I’m constantly chasing down SIM cards and data in remote islands.

In any case, if you didn’t catch our video about Morocco on Chase the Story Sailing, catch it here:

Thanks so much for reading and watching – don’t forget to hit the red subscribe button on YouTube so you don’t miss an update!

Love,

Tasha

 

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