Rain is falling in buckets, wind lashes at the boat, we hear the gusts coming before they hit, then WHAM! Sookie lays over, spills the wind, and settles in. We laugh and snuggle in deeper to our warm cocoon. I tell ghost stories to spook Emily ensuring that she will snuggle in tight all night, its starting to get colder around here.
Morning comes early for me these days as there is much to do before the first frost settles on our tiny decks. I tuck Emily into a human taco and reluctantly crawl out of our nest, its cold as hell in here. My naked body tightens up covering me in goose bumps. I need to heat the boat, make coffee and walk the dog. Rain pounds our decks like a thousand Indians beating their drums. I light the stove and the smell of butane is a familiar one, it means coffee and a new day has arrived.
We finally did it, we dropped a years cruising budget on brand new cushions for the whole boat. This is going to be an expensive year but every upgrade will pay us back 10 fold. When we came home from the canvas shop I muttered, “I can’t believe you choose Teal for the cushions.” I had wanted blood red to match the new red enameled wood burning stove that as of yet is nothing more than a pipe dream. Emily asked why I let her choose if I had wanted something different. “I would have let you get pink and blue poka-dots if it made you happy,” was my simple response. Most things in this life are a compromise, downsize to a 22′ sailboat and everything is a compromise, everything but freedom that is.
So we keep reaching into our pitiful savings, bikes, foulies, warmies, cushions, rigging, stanchions, batteries, waters tanks…the list goes on. Once a week we have our money meeting, this week it was at the local watering hole which is a very special treat as we rarely go out. Its a lot like running a business, this whole sailing verse working thing. We’re ok with the long hours now, but there has to be a logical end, a place in time where we say enough is enough, cut the umbilical cord and move on. Being tied to one place too long is annoying but it also has a sense of safety attached. In our local waters we can always find work regardless of what time of year or where we happen to drop our hook, we have real marine chandleries and the vet is only a stones throw away. Our simple bikes can get us across town in three minutes, the ferry and airport are as close as the local pub. Home is a good thing but also a temporary one, for us at least.
Sitting at the pub with ice cold beers and snacks we laugh and scheme about how to get paid for sailing without getting paid for selling our souls. Time and time again we come back to our writing and photography , it comes easy for both of us, is fun and takes up very little of our precious time. From pen to publishing I have never spent more than a few hours on writing a feature article, although it can take weeks of travel and fun to actually have something to write about. It seems that everybody is a writer these days, yet there is very little quality writing out there. The question we always ask of ourselves is do we have a story to tell?
Back to my morning grind the dog has been fed, Emily is squeeking to life and the storm has momentarily broken, I barely had enough time to snap a single picture before the next squall hit. Storms like life move on pretty quickly, if you don’t pay attention you just might miss them.
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso