Meeting Dear Friends from the Past

As we traveled down the coast I looked to San Diego as a final destination to prepare any last minute items or and to complete tasks off our to do list. I have been so focused on being prepared to spend thirty days at sea that I never imagined anything else would fill our time here in sunny San Diego. To my delight and surprise almost every day have been filled in part with meeting up with or visiting old friends and their families. Twenty five years ago when my family arrived in this port to provision we met many wonderful people. The Swendingers were a family that had nine  kids and most similar ages to our family and we became fast friends. We met this family at church and they were soon driving us around, allowing us to do laundry and even shopping for us. I will never forget what adventures we had when they joined us in Mexico on our boat. What a fun experience to meet up with Ron and Barb and many of their kids and grandkids. We spent a lovely Easter visiting with them again after so much time.


Norm and I both attended BYU Hawaii where our daughter now is at school. While there we made many dear friends. Time and location have made it hard to keep up with Scott and Kim Loftke but after the first five minutes of hugging and talking, it felt like no time had passed since our college days.  Between us we have fourteen kids so clearly some time must have passed.

Loftke Family

We have enjoyed having them on our boat and our kids were in heaven to spend the day up in the mountains with their kids. For the first time since I left Victoria in December I felt a twinge of homesickness or longing for a home on land as I saw the kids running in and out of the orange trees with the fragrant citrus blossoms filling the air around us.

Citrus Farm

As a young child we had a special girl named Karmy live with us for a few years. I haven’t seen her since she was seventeen and we were both in college. What fun to meet her family and chubby baby as they were passing through here on their way back to LA.  I saw the tenderness in her eyes as she introduced me to her kids and husband. She is clearly not my little sister any more but she will always be Karmacita to me.


My brother who lives in Arizona has come here for a final visit before we head out across the sea. Watching the cousins together is priceless. I wish I could take them with me. Having my brother on the boat brings back so many memories of us as kids on our boat together. He was first mate on the ship but often acted as captain. I remember thinking he knew everything about everything both on and off the boat. Watching him with all the kids I know I still have lots to learn from him.

Sitting on Watch at the Helm

In a couple days we will meet up with our beloved Rob Roy and his family. I look forward to meeting his adopted daughter. Talking to him on the phone makes me smile. He was our student body president at university and he still seems like someone we would follow anywhere.

I was talking to my sister in law Heather and remarking how I feel this stop has been a physical provisioning place but more important I feel like I am provisioning my soul with great examples of many different families. Each one is unique with a strong family culture based on high moral standards. Each family portrays a love and respect for each other. I will take these examples with me across the sea. I will add them to the list of brilliant family units back in Victoria and all down the coast of California.  I have no doubt I will continue to collect more examples from families on all the islands we visit. This may be the most important thing I can do on my journey.  Keep me updated on anything special your families are doing.

Sitting on Watch at the Helm

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Kir, how wise you are to know that this adventure is more about your life’s journey than your ocean journey. I think you’re all learning more about the inter-connectedness of those loved ones from your past so you can appreciate and treasure the amazing and diverse people you will be meeting. Your family is a great example of learning and growing together, showing love and respect to each member. We all feel buoyed up by your courage, faithfulness, gratitude and ability to work as a team. It’s exciting to know that you will meet those who similarly inspire you.

  2. Your stories are wonderful. Thank you for including us in them. It is clear that you are living your dream and courageously experiencing something that will change your family forever. We love you!

  3. Kirsten, thanks for the post. It’s been great to meet your husband and your brother (while he was there visiting you guys), and now hear your voice in this adventure. Our family helped paint boat bottoms today at the marina where we sail near Long Island Sound. It was fun to see our kids learning about the underside of these boats, that part they don’t often see. As in life, there’s always the seen and the unseen, and both are important.

    Good luck with your final preparations…and visits.


  4. Oh, Kir and Norm you are doing just what I hoped you would do.


    Those wonderful people you are meeting and befriending are what make this life most beautiful. They were wonderful to us then and are wonderful to you guys now. What memories you are making. What a cool network of friends you and your kids are building. Kir, trust me all these happy happy times will make you very sad when you get older and no longer have such excitement in your lives. So my advice is take lots of pics so you won’t forget how happy you are so you can be more sad later on. 🙂 Your rainy day Dad

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