Yin & Yang Boat Life – Epic Encounters & Endless Repairs

Yin & Yang Boat Life – Epic Encounters & Endless Repairs

There is a yin to every yang and never have we felt that more than in boat life.  The reality of this lifestyle is far more complex than these postcards we send.

I find the ancient Chinese philosophy of yin and yang to be poetically on point.  It’s the idea of how seemingly opposite, or contrary, forces attract and compliment each other.  Light and dark, shade and sun, rest and movement, male and female.  Neither is superior to the other.  An increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other.  A balance between the two must be struck in order to achieve harmony.

In other words, we don’t get to revel in the joys of living on the water without the sweat and cursing that comes along with maintaining our vessel. One doesn’t exist without the other.

From beautiful moments and epic encounters in the underwater world to endless repairs brought on by the salty environment we love so much.  It feels like a battle of extremes some days and it can be a challenge to find the balance.

Like all older boats, our Curiosity requires a lot of maintenance and a steady stream of replacement parts.  Add in our inexperience and a remote location to the mix and the whole experience shifts to from physical to mental.  We have to consistently fine tune our attitudes and learn to take it in stride.  Some days, a good beer really helps. 😉

Too much work and not enough play or vice versa leads to an imbalance that can cause disaster.

We all experience this yin and yang in life. Of all the various lifestyles we’ve had the great fortune to experience, sailing around the world has the most dramatic highs and lows.  But, it’s like Brian said in the movie Vanilla Sky,

‘Without the bitter, baby, the sweet ain’t as sweet.’

While swelling batteries, rusted engine parts and broken water pumps may be bitter, nothing is sweeter than a Manta Ray!

Our first Manta Ray

We’ve been reading up on these gentle giants ever since we arrived in French Polynesia.  So, we were just a tad bit excited to finally meet them!

Mantas are close relatives of all sharks and rays.  There isn’t a mean bone in their body and not just because they are cartilaginous either.  They are known to be very self-aware and curious.  Like dolphins but even smarter!

They are the ultimate perpetual travelers.  They must keep water flowing over their gills to breath which means they literally can’t stop moving.  Their movements are tuned to the ebb and flow of the ocean currents that bring the planktonic food they depend on.

While our friend Alfredi doesn’t really have an instagram, I like to think it might look something like this.  (Of course I would be in his photos because we’re BFF’s now)

if manta rays had instagram social profiles
swimming with manta rays bora bora
swimming with manta rays bora bora

Some Mantas travel all throughout the tropical and sub-tropical oceans but these Alfredi Manta Rays call this lagoon home.  One local dive master told us there used to be a huge group of them living here in Bora Bora but all the building construction and influx of tourism has run them off.

We don’t know what has really caused the population to dwindle, but we did come across this incredible organization called Manta Trust.  It’s where we learned about the different types of Mantas, guidelines for swimming with them and the very serious threats they face.  We had no idea they were in such peril.

“Manta and devil rays remain some of the most threatened fish in our seas. Though great steps have been taken to enhance protection for them over the last decade, tens of thousands are still being killed as bycatch in high seas fisheries, and the habitats on which they depend are threatened by development, pollution and the effects of climate change.”

It’s a nonprofit that is doing inspiring work and we appreciate the education and awareness we now have thanks to them.  They have beautiful videos and its worth clicking over if you have any interest in these big beautiful creatures.  Check them out at MantaTrust.org


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Snorkle / Freedive Gear

🎶AWESOME tunes:

  • Source: http://bit.ly/artlist-gwtw
    • Artists: Giants and Pilgrims (Intro Music)
  • Main Artist: Broke For Free
    • brokeforfree.com/
    • soundcloud.com/broke-for-free


To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map

sailing bora bora adventure map

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

  • Anchorage:  Motu Toopua
  • Date:  December 2018