The Things I’ve Noticed

Perspective shifts when you’re surrounded by water on all sides but up. Vision and outlook change when your home floats and also when your home can sink.

sunset, marina

Frame of reference becomes altered when tides and currents, nature, and living half outdoors takes the place of sidewalks, traffic, and elevators as the first and last stop on the long commute.

The things I used to notice that made up a good day looked something like season tickets to the theater, expensive dinners out with no occasion except that it’s dinnertime, wine bars, walking my dog Sylvie downtown with the tourists, and being a 5 minute walk away from so many shops and restaurants that I couldn’t possibly visit them all.

Australian Cattle Dog, Blue Heeler

Fast forward and the season tickets and the downtown dog walks are long gone. Special occasion dinners still have no occasion however now they’re served alfresco aboard our sailboat, complimentary waterfront views a bonus with every meal. No Shirt No Shoes (No Pants) No Problem.

dogs, sailing

Suffice it to say we’re no longer splitting our time between sailing and a miniature apartment in a trendy part of the city. Once the sailboat Tara came into our lives we quickly packed, sold, donated, and left land as fast as Sylvie’s little puppersnapper legs could carry us. We moved away to the coast, sailed up to a long dock, and now we’re looking toward our biggest adventure yet. (Biggest meaning big adventure, as the three of us are happily sharing 188 sq ft of interior space on a 36′ sailboat and loving every cozy minute of it.)

Let’s go for a moment to the things I’ve noticed since every day is now surrounded by water. These are things I overlooked on land that have now become more meaningful than theater tickets and expensive glasses of wine from boutique spirits shops in the city.

marriage, family, sailing

These tiny beautiful things look something like birds fishing for dinner at dusk, long necks and skinny legs and slow stalking movements; the occasional small snake swimming toward the marsh near our dock with a mouth so tiny I cannot imagine the creatures he eats; the moon rising over the water when the sky is turning into sapphire blue, and the stars are just starting to appear; wind chime music from dozens of sailboats with their lines blowing in the breeze; crabs on pilings underneath the dock waving their flippers; constellations over the water on clear dark nights when we’re far far away from light pollution; a rosy pink sky at sunset when you can say pink sky at night and know the weather’s going to be perfect, and spending time inside our perfectly sized floating home with everything in the world that we need right here next to us and very likely within arm’s reach.

birds, sailboat

By the way, when you lose something on a 36′ sailboat the first thing out of your mouth is something like How is this possible, I can see every inch of this place without getting up.

All this business about cranes fishing for dinner and seeing the stars, I didn’t have a lot of time for that on land because theater tickets and wine bars and city life are big and fast and wonderful when you’re in the thick of it. But today when docks and sunshine and sea breeze are the simple things that fill up my life, the world has slowed down. The vast and urgent machine that makes the wheels of the city spin pales in comparison to falling asleep on a gently rocking sailboat every night, waking up on the water every morning, and patiently waiting to see how the rest of the story we’re writing for ourselves will unfold.


“All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over.” -Wheeler

PS We’ve missed you guys and more adventures are on the way soon. We’ve been silent for a while as we’ve been getting moved in, completing large and small boat repairs, and figuring out which direction to point our sails next.

29 thoughts on “The Things I’ve Noticed

  1. Amazing! Nothing but adventures ahead. My husband and I have done the same thing – selling everything – except we are going in a 40′ motor home. Had to laugh at the losing things and wondering how that happens – been there. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhh, a 40′ motor home- are you on any of the Tiny House groups on FB?
      And seriously, losing something in our places when they’re so small is exasperating.
      Where are you going to travel in your land yacht?
      Where you downsized, did you feel more free without all the extra stuff? I’d love to chat with you about going from a bricks and mortar home to a tiny place that goes wherever you want to go!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Letting go of everything was absolutely freeing – no regrets. We are planning our exit for middle of November – my husband has to line up a few things work wise. We did a trial run last winter and loved it – having our home with us makes travel a whole new experience. Leaving family is the toughest part, but our adult children have their own lives, and this is really our time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Totally freeing, I completely agree!
        Maybe you noticed the same thing I did- when I had a big apartment and cabinets full of things I never liked at, I used to hear people say things like when they’d downsized or was really freeing. I always thought their were full of it because I loved my stuff, my matching towels and sheets, sets of dishes large enough for parties, shelves full of books, and plenty of room for a trip to Costco.
        We eventually moved into a 500 sq ft apartment when we got our little puppersnapper and I had to get rid of things that didn’t fit.
        All of a suden, I was free. I suddenly realized what it meant to say that downsizing is freeing! I’d love to say that I have no regrets like you but I do miss my books. I left 14 boxes of books on land. I feel pretty lucky to have room for 5 non-boat books! Yeah there’s Kindle but I’m a little old fashioned.
        Leaving your kids will be hard but it will be a good excuse for them to come visit you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully said! Isn’t it funny how quickly our perspective can shift? When we moved onto the boat, I felt like nature let me in on a little secret, and I notice the littlest of things that I never would have noticed otherwise. It’s been eye-opening and life-changing.


      1. We were able to make a slightly more gradual transition, but even so – there’s definitely a serious transition period!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If you really put your mind into the task it’s amazing how little we need to have a fulfilling life. Walking away from all the “shiny objects” thrust in our faces by a consumerist society has the distinct advantage of bringing into focus the value of a simple lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds idyllic. Your description of the quiet musical sounds of the water, the birds, the air, makes we wish for spring when we open our cabin. Loving your style of writing and looking forward to more stories. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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