Friday, 5 October 2018

Brian & Leigh, October 2018

     Hello! I had no plan to be writing from a cottage in the French countryside. But here we are, in the Loire Valley filled with chateaux built in the 1500s, doves cooing, butterflies flitting, deer rutting, apples falling, bicycling forest paths, cool and dry evenings, and OMG, the food. The food!  Here's how we got here:   
     It's been seven months since my last update in March. 
To catch you up April through June we were at the Saint Mary's, GA boat yard, working as hard as humanly possible to get the boat finished: painting everything inside and out (that alone was ~3 months), a new engine (how will I mount it? how will I steer it?), inverter, instrumentation, tank gauges, floorboards, galley, cabinets, lighting, lifelines, stack pack, window covers, shade canopy, propane system, rechristening and tons more. Scalding temperatures (it hit 100) and drenching humidity interrupted by historic rain. After over a year on the hard and 7 solid months of work, we launched July 1st. She's beautiful, functional, clean, fresh and comfortable. We're now lighter, simpler and more efficient. It was worth the work. If boat projects interest you, see video number 066 through 071 at https://goo.gl/eSwFu5
     I
've weathered enough hurricanes for now, thank you, so my aim was to get us to safety up to the Chesapeake for the season. The challenge in boating from near Jacksonville, FL to VA was waiting for weather windows between all the rain. The stuttering trip was wonderful, much more relaxed, being somewhat familiar with the areas, heading for our favorite places, knowing the weather, the approaches, the stores and the locals. We made new and renewed friendships with people and places. Especially Kenny & Rhonda in St. Mary's, Paul, Ann & Elliott in Dallas Bluff, Oriental, the Pungo, Richard and Brenda in Colington and Bob in Deltaville. If you'd like to see the journey see video 072 at https://goo.gl/eSwFu5     The plan was to explore the Chesapeake through October then head back to our home in Laguna Beach, CA. But we got an inquiry from France: Would we like to house swap from mid September through November (after the summer throngs are gone, and before winter) with the use of an apartment in Versailles (20 minutes by train to Paris), a cottage in the Loire Valley, and an old Mercedes? We'd be dumb to say no. So we hauled the boat early, just in time to miss Hurricane Florence. After a few days in the apartment in Versailles (Louis XIV's Palace), we're now in the UNESCO Loire Valley countryside. See https://goo.gl/maps/Q3rANPwAPEt  We'll drift between the Loire and Paris for the next few months, exploring both.
     L
eigh has been called to do more plant medicine work in the Peruvian jungle which is the headwaters of the Amazon. She'll be there from mid November through December. I'll spend two weeks in the OBX  https://goo.gl/maps/5LRVePkffS42 because I want to experience it in the raw deserted winter. Then a few weeks in Asheville, NC, getting acquainted with the scene there. Leigh and I will reconnect at 8,000 feet in Pisac, near Maccu Picchu, in Peru in January. This will be my first visit to Peru. We've rented a small village house there for two months. I'll connect with the locals and we'll do more exploring. Then back to Laguna in about March for a month or so to tend to our home. Then back to our boat patiently waiting for us on the Chesapeake in Deltaville, VA. Next spring we'll slowly wander our way up to Maine for the summer of 2019.
     Concomitant with the hard work and varied surroundings, internal shifts are happening too.  We've visited Manteo (Roanoke), Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, etc. in the US. And now we're living in France where history is everywhere and everything. I'm getting an understanding, a richer feeling for the 1400s, 1500s, especially the 1600s, on up to today. Power, spirit, art, expression, control, protection, opportunity, nature, nurture. How we got here: What was. What is. What could be. (We visited a dermatologist near Paris for some minor attention and paid ~$75. The same thing in Jacksonville, FL cost way over $600 two years ago.)  And where I want to be. Living for four months in New Zealand, then two months in Australia, and now almost three months in France is both enlightening and disheartening. It's getting clearer that if I don't want to be in the US, I don't have to.
     
I'm less inclined to incite people to experience what they consider challenging things (sailing, kite surfing, physical work, paragliding, hiking, traveling), to convince people that yes, they really can do it.  Everyone has their own path, their own time and their own fears.  I'm enjoying who I am more.
     
I'd love to hear from you. As always, let me know if you'd like to be removed from my list.Brian & Leigh Jacobs