Ahhh morning coffee in the cockpit, evenings spent on the trampoline under the stars (with our stargazing app to help decipher constellations), turtles surfacing for air 10 feet from us, the breeze funneling through the channel instantaneously drying our sweat before it even has a chance to wet our skin, mother earth’s gentle rocking to sleep as we float upon her cradle. Living aboard, by its very nature, allows one to reside in the emptiness. Constant movement, above and below, each direction of the eye, all of life dancing. It is as if we live in the space between, a place I often talk about, between the sky and water, the horizon and land, the currents of wind and sea, the sun and moon. Planted upon this moving vessel, it teaches one to surrender over to the ebb and flow life, right down to the molecular vibration of all matter.
Boat life also has the benefit of getting me off the island. My relationship with St.Thomas is touch and go; and now when it gets touchy, I can go – beyond the boundary of the land. It is also relieving to live in a place that is mine, I get to make it my own. There is a lightness to living in a mobile home; a sense of adventure and freedom that can’t be shaken, or duplicated – as far as I am aware -it seeps into the fabric of your being. I experienced this in the van as well. It is even more inspiring to live off the sun’s power, travel by the wind’s energy and live a more sustainable, less cruelty filled life: ahimsa sailing.
JB has been fixing a lot of stuff on the boat, and I am learning my fair share of plumbing, wiring, and troubleshooting. If you guys are ever wondering “what are they are doing?” The answer is fixing stuff. Well I’m probably cooking or baking, unless my oven is broken, but JB is always MacGyvering up a solution. He has wired lighting to the cockpit, fixed the water maker, gone up the mast to get rigging measurements, fixed the fridge, wired up our inverter and an amp meter, fixed us up a mooring to attach the boat to, leaky windows, leaky plumbing, two dinghy engines, leaky dinghies… a bazillion other things I can’t recall (probably because I am trying to watch The Dark Knight and blog at the same time).
The propane oven decided to poop out Thanksgiving morning, but JB fixed it and we hosted two of his law clerk friends. With two carnivores over, I always give myself an internal pat on the back when they dole out accolades for the food. Vegans for the win. Cranberry cornbread stuffing, lentil walnut loaf, garlic Parmesan green beans, spinach and artichoke dip, and carrot cake. Even I thought it was an impressive spread for two burners and a partially operating 26″ oven. It was our first time having guests over together…”hosting” like we are adults or something. Something resembling fear came over their faces when it was mentioned that all stomach issues must be dealt with on land. And to hit the point home I relayed the story of spooning my own poop out of the piping just hours earlier. Happy Thanksgiving, now eat up friends!
Currently I am in Florida, and JB lands tonight, a little between holiday travel to save on cost but still see family and friends. We are able to leave the boat since finding a permanent mooring, so she will be safe come wind or high water….hopefully. And we have made more friends in the mooring neighborhood. In fact, the saltiest boater of them all has become one of the most helpful and welcoming. I am so thankful to be part of this community and lifestyle.