Our best parenting decision.

     "You've said your decision to go cruising was the best parenting decision you've ever made. Can you tell us more about that?"  

Update: Jessica and Abby

     When we left Jessica, she had just crossed the equator and officially become a shellback. After a couple of washing-machine days, she has rounded Kirimati (Christmas) Island and re-crossed the equator. She reports that she finally caught a fish -- yellowfin tuna -- and saw fishing boats. Now that she's back in the Southern Hemisphere, she's making for Cape Horn. She says she's counting down the 5,420 miles. She should arrive around the time of the summer solstice, the calmest time of year for the roughest cape in the world.

How Cruising Changed Us I: Thankfulness

     In this season of counting blessings, what I am most thankful for this year might seem odd. In the past ten months I have had a full hip replacement, finished my thesis and graduated from my MFA program. Drew graduated from UW; James and Avery are doing well. But what I am most thankful for is Stephan's unemployment.

     I have cruising to thank for this perspective. Not because it permanently addled me, but because it taught me -- in a stark, clear manner -- what I valued in life.

Jessica Watson Crosses the Equator, Appeases Neptune

     Australian teen circumnavigator Jessica Watson is now a shellback. That's the term we other shellbacks use for the metamorphosis of a polliwog who crosses the equator.

Top six resources to prepare for cruising with kids

    "I want to cruise with kids. What resources do you recommend?"

Those awesome teenage girls

     It's dramatic. Courageous. Suspenseful. True. We are approaching a remarkable moment in sailing history, when the three current contenders for youngest solo circumnavigator are all teenage girls.

     In order to claim the title, they each will sail 24,000 miles -- crossing all 360 degrees of longitude and the equator at least once  -- unassisted.