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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.