We are overdue to leave for our big offshore trip. Last summer came and went, this summer came and we are still doing essential renovations to our 50-year-old steel sloop. Delays plague us at every step. We are living in basement apartments, trying to spend as little as possible and not succeeding. We survived one of the worst winters – one we never intended to be here for. And still the tasks go on and on.
It can all be a little depressing. “This is not the retirement I signed up for” my petulant voice says; “I’d rather be working” says my defiant voice. “Jon is working harder than I am” says my accusative voice. None of these are helpful.
And my husband IS working harder – he is the boat builder and is doing major structural and system work to the boat. He prefers to do these big jobs by himself (we are both introverts so I get it). He is being creative, productive, and the delays don’t bother him as much.
As for me, I have bits of sewing and varnishing to do but not enough to make me feel productive. I’ve replaced the lee cloths with phifertex, lengthened the weather cloths for the 8″ taller stanchions, repaired some sheet bags and made bags for new items, replaced the ancient cockpit cushions, bought and set up the navigation laptop, etc. And I make sure he is fed, laundered, and errands done so he can work more efficiently. But when I don’t have something specific to do I work on organizing – my OCD default. I have organized our music, our data, updated the provisioning chart, reviewed my nav and weather programs, started organizing tool storage with the wonderful “What’s on MyBoat” app for iPad. My recipes (426!) are all input into Paprika, another fabulous app, complete with images. I try out new vegetarian recipes continually. I am obsessed.
Although these tasks are not un-useful, and they will probably help us somewhat in the future, there has been one big area of recent research that I feel is very important. Plastics – specifically reducing single-use plastics onboard. We plan to travel through the Pacific and South-east Asia for some years and cannot be assured of easy access to top-quality recycling. When I started to look at all the plastic bottles and items in our provisioning list I became quite uneasy. Suntan lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant! What about laundry detergent, hand soap and dish soap? Cleaners and food containers? Arrghh, the list goes on and on, everywhere we turn, plastics! This subject deserves a post of its own and if you’re interested see Reducing Plastic Onboard.
Delays are an inevitable part of cruising life. As I become more accustomed to cruising will I take this in stride? Will I be able to enjoy where I am, when I am or still always longing for the next step, the next destination? Can I let go of my schedule angst enough to enjoy what’s around me, no matter where that is? Stay tuned!