10 Feb 2016 Barbara musing.
Lately I’ve been asking myself, “What is cruising?” I know it is different for different people, so I guess the more accurate question is, “What is cruising for me?”
Is cruising a vacation? I would have to say “No”. Reggie still does some work through the internet and phone. I’m retired, so every day is a vacation for me. However, the real reason I have to say “no” is because cruising is a lot of work. Everything is harder on a boat. To make the bed, I have to crawl on my hands and knees. To fix a meal, it is necessary to remove half the food from the refrigerator, stack it on the stairs, table or stove, then put it all back once I’ve found the items needed for the meal. There is no dishwasher and water is at a premium, so that adds an extra dimension. Of course we need to buy groceries occasionally. That means collecting the bags, life jackets, oars, and whatever else we might need. One of us gets into the dinghy and the other hands down all of the paraphernalia. I might add that this is easier for some cruiser than it is for us. There is a real risk that one of us will end up swimming.
Now that we are finally ready to go, we slowly troll (electric trolling motor for us. aren't we "green" and slow?) in to the dinghy dock, tie up and carefully disembark. Now we walk the mile or two to the grocery store. After purchasing the needed items, we find a dumpster, so we can remove the un-needed cardboard and other useless packaging materials. Now we haul it all back, put it in the dinghy, slowly troll home, and unload it into the cockpit. Whew.
But wait, we’re not done. We have to stow it all away. Where will it go? We sort of have a general plan, but if it is perishable, we need to rotate our supply. That means haul out the older items, put in the newer items and then replace the older items. And then there is laundry or refilling the propane. It is a lot of work and I didn’t even mention the repairs and maintenance jobs.
Is cruising going to new places? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. That is my cruising plan, but in reality we are often in the same place for extended periods of time (like now). I continually work on the concept of just ‘being’.
I guess that for me, cruising is just another way of life. It is transient and we make new friends quickly and then say good bye. It is work and yet simple. Like our pioneer fathers, we must be self sufficient. We conserve power and water. Modern communications are often limited. We usually talk to people on the VHF, which is like the old party line telephone systems. If you are too young to know about those, ask your grandparents.
Submit is, first of all, my home.