We just spent our 100th night at anchor. And after a year living aboard and 4 months out cruising the Pacific Northwest, I’m ready for some refinement…some tweaking…some clarification of our plan.
I have been thrilled with all the extra time cruising has let us spend with our little ones! They just turned 4 and 2, a day apart. We had a little party on the beach with my mom and dad and my sister and her family (who were visiting on their way to their new station in Korea). The amazing driftwood here provided the party venue, structures for shade, and even an impromptu volleyball net. Then their cousins visited the boat and they all attempted to pile into Byron’s pilot berth!
Days here are usually full…with a morning exertion of some sort,
back to the boat for lunch and naps, and play aboard or on the coast in the evening.
But it’s all day…everyday. And I’m feeling it.
Without daycare, preschool, babysitters, or friend’s houses to go to, it’s been stressful at times when I’ve just needed a break. Too much togetherness can be just as destructive to family harmony as too much time apart.
I do have blogging time at a local coffeeshop (there are some good ones in the PNW!), a night out to see a play now and then, or a solo stroll around town (to get groceries or do laundry). Gene and I got a whole afternoon out exploring Friday Harbor, sans kids, when my family was in town!
But, I am missing work terribly. Missing giving energy to something other than the boat and my family. The renewal creative expression brings to my bones.
Gene is having trouble with the routine too. Wanting more time for boat projects (his creative outlet) and to get involved with local builders.
We are planning to land soon in Port Townsend and tuck in for the winter there. So, that will give us the opportunity to rethink how we want to do this. And an opportunity to get involved in a community that has been nothing but welcoming so far. To get to know a place and see how we fit.
Being able to take your house with you wherever you choose to go is an incredible luxury. To have that mobility and freedom. To be able to live away from the electrical grid, with very little fossil fuel use, with a deep connection to the weather, the sea…all this is incredible. But, we are both missing community something awful.
The boating community has overall been welcoming and helpful (especially when someone was in need). But it’s felt disconnected and everyone is always going somewhere else (duh!). It’s a different kind of bond. Instant, for the mutual understanding of each other’s hardships and delights. A kind of shorthand. Built on mutual need to stay afloat (and rum), the sharing of stories and information…but then off you all go to your next port.
I’m just missing seeing the same people from day to day. People who are not my family. Who bring other flavors and scents into my world. Other stories and perspectives.
Hopefully we will find a bit of it this winter in PT. And come spring, we can decide what form our life aboard will take next.