We were on the boat eight days solid before my feet hit land in Key Largo. It was an eight-day adjustment to sea life and living with Captain Ilovehimbutthatisabitclose. We danced around each other adjusting to each other’s close hulled idiosyncrasies. I must admit, I have my own. Living within forty narrow feet gets a bit tight. Especially with all of the provisions and tools we are bringing with us. It gets cluttered and dirty quickly and this drives me bit bat sh*t crazy. So, I have my systems. Captain Sheiscompletelynuts does not always appreciate my ways but I get my she’s just bonkers passes as he gets his. Mine are usually about cleanliness and organization.
Where is my screwdriver?! He frowns.
I put it away when he set it down in the midst of a project. He stares daggers at me while I apologize and retrieve it for him with a winning smile and softshoe spin.
I have a thing about cleanliness which is difficult because of the scarcity of water and tiny quarters. I have a hand towel, a dish drying towel, and a glasses drying towel among several other designated towels. Then, to make things more confusing to Captain You’vegottobekiddingme, I have a rotation system. I rotate all the towels once the hand towel gets gross. The hand towel goes into the laundry. The glasses towel is the fresh towel. The glasses becomes the dishes towel, the dishes towel becomes the hands. See??? Well, HE doesn’t. And I insist, to put it nicely. And so… I will be busy with my own thing when I hear Captain Notsosubtle clear his throat loudly as he gazes at the ceiling as if watching butterflies while pretending to cleanse his crotcheral area with my clean dishes only towel. Or, I hear loud and dramatic sneezing only to look over to see Captain Totallyobnoxious pretending to sneeze violently into my glasses only towel. And, he did the floss dance with my hands towel.
Our broken stuff is fixed. Our wine, libations and food are stocked. We added a portable freezer that is stocked with $500.00 of meat. Good meat is scarce in the Bahamas. We have made so many wonderful additions to make this year more comfortable. We worked very hard to get to this very point. Echoes was scrubbed, stocked and fixed with a new AIS VHF Garmin (Thanks again, Jackson!) radio. We are set to go to the Bahamas.
We are currently anchored on a cut off Pumpkin Key that leads to the gulf stream in preparation to go over to the Bahamas tomorrow. There are five other boats anchored by us taking advantage of the same weather opportunity. I will write to you next time from the Bahamas. But before we go, I have to tell you about the dream I woke up to this morning.
I was sitting at the sea’s edge on a bench made of driftwood. I had a worn shoebox on my lap that was heavy with its burden. I was solemn and contemplative looking out at the sea. The box held most of my weaknesses and faults. I knew I had to look at each one separately and release them back to the sea’s sky where she would recycle them for me. Since the box was full, I needed to release them now or they would spill over wreaking havoc on my daily life. Or, if I was careless and put them in a bigger box, I would no longer have the strength to carry them to the sea sky. So, I sat looking long and hard at the sea to build my courage to look inside. The Captain and I had fixed, stored, provisioned, cleaned, and researched so much in preparing Echoes for this crossing. I did not want to bring this extra baggage with. I needed to clean out my shoebox.
With a deep breath, and with much trepidation, I cracked the lid of the box. The first to fly out was Impatience. He quickly swirled out, white like a ghost, up into the wind where he was obliterated into a mist carried away in the wind. Next came Bravado and Self-centeredness boldly charging out of the box only to be gulped up by the sea sky. Following them was Lazily Unfocussed. She fell out of the box and down towards the sea confused until the sea sky scooped her up and blew her into oblivion. And I will not give you the whole tally of my faults because I am not that brave. But finally, I looked into the box and Foul-mouthed was lingering and sticking to the corner. I chased that little plucker around that box with my hand furiously. Finally, I said, Dag nab it, you little rascal. It’s time for you to go! And Foul-mouthed reluctantly flew out into the consuming sea wind.
I sat there with my empty shoebox feeling extremely humble. I was relieved and glad the box was empty but did not enjoy the experience, not unlike cleaning a toilet. I gazed at the cleansing sea sky and gave it my gratitude. I promised myself to not let my shoebox fill as quickly next time and to empty it before it got too heavy. And then a certain salty peace settled over me and I said to myself, Wake up! It’s time to wake up! I’m ready to cross to the Bahamas!