I am sitting on my “patio” at the moment, a 12′ wide section of dock next to my boat, as the sun sets behind the clouds in the west. The dock moves much the same way as the boat, rocking gently with the waves. A storm is brewing to the northwest of me which means I’m probably going to get a bit of weather in the next few hours. It has cooled off considerably, down to 82 degrees with winds out of the SSW at about 10 mph. The wind isn’t howling in the rigging yet but various halyards, the lines or ropes that raise the sails, are tapping out a pleasant little “tune” like wind chimes in the background. The American flag which flies off the stern of the boat is snapping briskly in the breeze. Hopefully, the clouds will hold off just a bit longer and I can see the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus tonight. I am making plans to get a good shot of the full moon on the 2nd of July with my new camera if the weather cooperates.
My life now revolves around the weather and the lunar cycles. That causes friction between the real world and the man-made one sometimes. The most dangerous thing on a boat is a deadline. Deadlines get people on boats into lots of trouble, taking chances when they shouldn’t, just to meet a flight or squeeze in too many ports of call in a short period of time. People new to cruising sometimes have a hard time adjusting to this new way of life. If you have any hopes of enjoying life on a boat you have to learn to chill. Practice your patience skills. Learn to be flexible. Mother Nature doesn’t care about your schedule. Learn to dance with her and remember she leads, you’ll be much happier and safer to boot.
I love dusk and dawn, the changing of the guard. I have a lot of pictures of sunrises and sunsets. There are also a lot of them in my memories, the ones that a camera couldn’t do justice to. These are the times I take to reflect on my day, or night, as the case might be. Sometimes it expands into the deeper realms of my life and my dreams. It’s also the time I take to be mindful of what I have. To be grateful for the experiences and the people that have come, gone and the ones that are still an active part of my life, good and not so good. Sometimes it’s best done in solitude but most of the time I prefer to share it with someone; acquaintance, friend or lover. Tonight, I’m sharing it with you.
It is a spiritual time for me, when I feel closest to the Divine. It’s where I get the strength to forge ahead. It confirms my faith because I know that when the sun sets it will rise and when it rises it will set. That the moon will orbit the earth and move the oceans. That Spaceship Earth will move in it’s orbit around the Sun and take me through the seasons of my short time here on this planet. The sun will shine and heat the earth to stir the wind that powers my sails and feed the storms that keep me in port. All of this was set into motion well before my time and will continue well after I have departed. It is solely up to me to make the most of it. All the things I need were planted in me by the Divine when I was born. It is my task to look within to discover what is already there. To make the most of this life.
All that being said, this is why I live the way I do. As close to the Divine as I can get. Living on the fringe of the man-made world but not far enough out yet. On a boat that moves with the wind and floats on the water. That will soon be able to generate it’s own electricity from the wind and sun and make potable water from the sea. That will take me to places that I have never been and expose me to cultures and people I have never known. Independence and self-reliance is what this lifestyle embodies. A boat is simply the way I choose to pursue those goals.
This is where I find my bliss; sailing in blue water under a star strewn sky on my way to places I have never been, pondering the mysteries of the universe and of life. Throw in a cottage by the sea and a good woman by my side and I’ll call it heaven. Find your bliss, savor every moment, love deeply, be true, make memories. It’s not about the destination, it’s not about the journey, it’s about the sailor and what you make of your life, the people you touch and the stories you can tell.