September 5, 2013 by Last Star blog
It was one year ago today that the cats and I jumped aboard the Last Star with Hank in Deale, MD and this weekend we hand her over. Someone asked me recently what I will and will not miss about the boat. So here goes:
What I will miss about the boat….
Of course, what I will miss about the boat is the Bahamas…but that goes without saying, right? So, what will I miss about living on the boat? In every home we have ever lived in, I always have a view from my bed …in the UK it was of the horse pen behind our house, in the last house it was a beautiful tree that changed with the seasons, in Florida is was the pool outside our bedroom… these scenes become part of my nightly ritual and morning blessing. On the boat, there is a hatch above our bed to watch for shooting stars, to check for rainclouds, birds on the boom, and the ever present perfect blue of the Bahamian sky. This view is something I will miss, terribly. The sound of the water on the hull while lying in bed, the reflection of the water on our hull or the hulls next to us, and my favorite dolphins at breakfast…the dolphins at sunset, yes miss, miss, miss. I will miss dreadfully the quiet bliss of full sails up and no engine noise with 365 degrees of ocean view, simply stunning. The freedom to sleep late, stay out until all hours, and the luxury to pretend we are 20 all over again. There is simplicity to this kind of living, 3 pairs of shorts, 5 t-shirts, 4 dresses, two pairs of flip-flops and an ease in the kitchen of salads and grilling fish. I will miss that too. I think the thing I will miss the most is the easy smile on my husband’s handsome face. The stress of the Pentagon left ashore a year ago and with it many worries, now he is the epitome of “don’t worry, be happy.” I am afraid heading back to work and business as usual will steal that happy look from him. I will miss the cats at my heels, the cats playing with each other, chasing around the decks and Hank’s profane comments about above mentioned annoying cat activities. I will miss our cozy salon where we eat, play, work, watch TV, drink, socialize and play dominoes. Of course, I will miss our friends. I am not sure if it counts as missing the boat…but I will miss the experience of daily life on the boat. Yes, sometimes it is difficult and sometimes it is maddening…but I will miss the experience of living on a boat, the chance to move home every day, to see a new place weekly, to haul out the sails and turn the engine off, the watch the sunrise as you are leaving a port and see the sunset after the anchor is set. These things are impossible to explain to you if you have never experienced them. Not only is there a sense of freedom, but also a huge sense of accomplishment once you are anchored and safe. What an amazing experience.
What I won’t miss about the boat…
Well, I don’t think this list is longer than the other, but probably much more precise and less emotionally philosophical. I won’t miss the cats on my head at night, or when they find their toys at 3 am and run through the boat with every floor board moving and banging back down! I won’t miss the toilet where my toes don’t touch the slanted floor. I won’t miss doing my yoga balance poses while trying to take a shower. I won’t miss the boat rocking me off my yoga mat while actually trying to do balance poses, but maybe the shower counts as a work out? I won’t miss managing every drop of water. I won’t miss things rusting closed. I won’t miss the dick dance that it is to get on and off the boat. I won’t miss dinghy butt. I won’t miss the Chinese fire drill that happens every time it rains: closing the enclosure, closing all the hatches, watch the boat turn into a sauna. Rain stops: reverse efforts. I won’t miss the proximity and confinement of the 400 sq. ft. I won’t miss the inactivity for long periods. I will not miss being sea sick, no not one bit, Cooper totally agrees with me. I won’t miss cooking on the 3 tiny burners that don’t seem to have a low setting…just burn and burn faster. I won’t miss having my arms almost broken once a month by the monster that is the fridge. I won’t miss laundry mats or walking 350 yards to use the bathroom in the boat yard. I WILL NOT MISS BEING BLOCKED ON THE HARD…EVER! I truly hated that experience. I won’t miss going up that freakin’ mast from hell! I won’t miss the fear of seeing water in the scuppers as we are heeled over in rough seas. I will not miss walking 1.5 miles one way to the grocery store with no sidewalks and crazy American drivers on their phones wizzing by. Some would say there is a silver lining in all things, learning tolerance, patience and self discipline. Yes, that is true. My Mom always used to say that whatever tries us makes us stronger, yes, and that too shall pass.
Ok…so the things I won’t miss are pretty minor in comparison to the things I will miss. Bittersweet is the right word. In the next few months we will be traveling gypsies taking advantage of kind offers of beds and storage from friends and family. We will get to live with Hank’s sister and her husband in their beautiful home with a fabulous bathroom (water pressure and everything!) and she is an amazing cook. We also have the chance for some pretty hilarious blog posts as she has 2 cats, as well. Stay tuned for that. I am avoiding packing by writing this blog but I think I have been found out. “Luceee, you have some splaining to do.” Back to work..
Ok…so the things I won’t miss are pretty minor in comparison to the things I will miss. Bittersweet is the right word. In the next few months we will be traveling gypsies taking advantage of kind offers of beds and storage from friends and family. We will get to live with Hank’s sister and her husband in their beautiful home with a fabulous bathroom (water pressure and everything!) and she is an amazing cook. We also have the chance for some pretty hilarious blog posts as she has 2 cats, as well. Stay tuned for that. I am avoiding packing by writing this blog but I think I have been found out. “Luceee, you have some splaining to do.” Back to work.