the adventures of a girl, her dog, and two cats.

Monday, April 18, 2016

this is not a sailing blog

Apologies for the long gap between posts. I don't have any good excuses; sometimes life just gets in the way. 

A couple months ago I was reflecting on my dissatisfaction with work and financial aspects of my life. I decided to try writing down the things I enjoy and the things I am good at. Unfortunately, the overlap between those lists is slim. Pretty much writing and cooking. There are other things I'm good at, but I don't enjoy like arguing and lawyering. There are plenty of things I enjoy, but am not very good at like singing and snorkeling.  I don't know that I'll be able to limit my work sphere to writing and cooking any time soon, at least not if I want to put food on the table, but I think I do need to place greater focus on finding a path that may eventually lead me there.

I also started writing down the things I don't enjoy and the things I'm not good at. At the top of both lists: sailing. I don't know if I don't enjoy sailing because I'm not good at it, or whether I'm not good at it because I don't enjoy it. Probably a mixture of both. But it was a relief to let myself acknowledge that reality and stop forcing myself to do it just because everyone expects me to. I love being out on the water. I enjoyed heading out fishing before dawn, the water glassy, hardly another boat to be seen. I enjoyed the days in Miami when I just threw lines and drank rum runners, took sun on deck, and snorkeled a bit, with no responsibility for navigating or taking the helm. But far and away most of my pleasant boating memories are from power boating. I can't say I have ever enjoyed sailing; sailing is something I suffer through to get from point A to point B or because I feel pressured to learn and try. 

I understand that many people are passionate about sailing and can't imagine life without it. For me, taking the boat out is about the last way I want to spend my sparse, precious free time. Particularly because I live aboard and have all the stuff of life strewn about, (cue the sailors looking down their noses at me for still owning more than two pairs of shoes). Getting the boat ready to take out involves hours of preparation and then hours getting things settled upon return. Taking the boat out means a day of stress; I can't relax, can't enjoy some cocktails, have to be on constant guard not to run aground, not to tangle up in crab pots, not to draw the attention of the Coast Guard or DNR, having to make sure guests know where flares and fire extinguishers reside, and making sure there are PFDs to go around. All of that is "work" in my book; it is not play, or fun, or relaxation. If other people enjoy it, that's all well and good; I wish them fair winds and following seas. I enjoy running but I don't expect everyone else to think it's the cat's meow or somehow "better" than anyone else's chosen hobbies.

The boat is my home, the only home I have ever owned. I do love her and she has saved my life in many ways. I plan to stick with living aboard for a while more to save money and, with hope, save up for a down payment on a house. From the outset this blog has been about how the world is not enough. It's a blog about a girl rebuilding her life, the challenges of pets, being broke, the ups and down of love and loss, and now and then it's about making boat living work. I hope the story here continues long after Ambrosia has found a new captain to sail her away to bluer seas. But this has never been a sailing blog.

1 comment:

  1. You used to write a lot about living on your boat. It was alway interesting and fun to read about your adventures. The good and not so good adventures.

    There are so many live aboards that almost never leave the slip and are totally happy. They are not trying to be cruisers and have chosen a particular life style. As you know, living on a boat is not always easy or wonderful. Storms, humidity, temperatures and limited,space add to,these,challenges. On the other hand, those beautiful days are great to be on a boat.

    I guess it is defining who you are and what you are about. Embrace the live aboard life style and don't worry about trying to be a cruiser..when I lived on my boat, I'd go out on weekend trips. Usually it was more of a,pain to get,ship,shape,for,sea and then dealt with inconvenience being out of the slip. Not easy to get off the boat if anchored out. It didn't seem like the trade off was not worth all the efforts.

    Anyway, hang in there. The weather is getting nice and boat life will be good.



Thanks for reading! Have you had a similar experience you'd like to share? Have a link to an interesting blog fellow readers and I might enjoy? Just want to say hello? Post your comments below. I'm a smart, resourceful girl doing things her own way, so I just ask that folks keep the unsolicited advice to themselves.