Week one of cruising…or I guess it was time to LOSE IT!

This morning I totally lost it. After trying and trying (as any parent of toddlers will understand and empathize) to get the children on the potty, dressed, fed, cleaned up, and toys put away….all while preparing to be underway this morning…I lost it when my 3 1/2 year old, innocently trying to contribute his help to breakfast, grabbed an egg and dropped it into the cooler.

It, of course, broke. But, unlike other kitchen situations,where a simple wipe up would suffice, a broken egg in the cooler in a ship’s galley (bloping down among the jars and various containers, slithering down through the vent holes into the ice storage compartment) means easily 30 minutes of work tearing apart the whole shebang, wiping containers, removing the vent cover, wiping it, wiping out the egg deep within the cooler drain (a depth which requires leaning so far into the cooler that my feet are off the ground, my hips balanced on the edge, rear end up in the air, fingers straining to reach the bottom). A lot of todo for one broken egg.
So I lost it! I slapped his hand, I cried, I screamed in frustration.
One broken egg.
This has been creeping up on me these last couple days. We’ve been living aboard for 7 months, but only cruising full time for a week. This is by no means the first time I’ve lost it. But the first time since we’ve cut the dock lines. Nothing in particular is stressing me out about cruising. I like nights on the hook. I like traveling and the scenery is sublime. In fact, it’s not remote enough for my taste. Mostly woody coastline and lots of costal northwestern houses so far.
But bald eagles, blue herons, and seals abound as well. We’ve rowed ashore without much trouble, we’ve explored Poulsbo and happened upon their Viking Days parade and festivities, leading to a couple of adorable moments of my tiny blonde kiddos with viking swords and shields.
Overall, it’s been lovely. So, why did I loose it so severely over one broken egg?!
Not sure I really know. Cruising is the most freedom I’ve ever known. Like long distance backpacking, you need to anticipate and plan for so much. You are responsible for your own safety and there isn’t always someone around to help if you get stuck. Like a roadtrip, you keep looking ahead and yet try to enjoy where you are and the progress you’ve made. So, those are about the closest experiences I’ve had that compare.
But cruising is a different animal altogether. There are more layers to consider each day: wind, tides (which are significant around Puget Sound), weather, everyone’s moods…
very close quarters without any familiar ground to meander through to catch your breath.
So much freedom can be scary.
So when one broken egg meant a half hour’s work, while we were trying to make a short window of helpful current through a narrow straight — one broken egg was just too much.
Deep breath. Hug my boy, apologize and try to explain, and sail on. This much freedom is full of exhilaration and joy, but frightening and testing too.

8 thoughts on “Week one of cruising…or I guess it was time to LOSE IT!

  1. Boy do I understand! We had a small mishap last week that could have turned into a huge tragedy and I fell apart for about a day and a half. This life, this freedom comes with a price. Normal reaction and extraordinary compassionate after-action. Good for you.

      1. We are in Poulsbo but leaving bright and early for Pt. Townsend tomorrow. How about you?

  2. I seem to remember our three year old pulling the unsecured main halyard into a big heap by his feet while I winched in the anchor. We then dropped anchor again while I went up the mast in a bosun’s chair and threaded the halyard back through the block. I am sure there was a smacked bum in there as well.
    Thanks for a good honest post.

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