How long does it take a cruiser to relax? How long do you have to be away from the “real” world (and which is “real” anyway?) before you actually arrive aboard?
I guess that must depend on the individual.
The last three years, Nicki and I have taken what we optimistically call our “Annual Summer Cruise”. Because it tends to be cool up here in Maine, “summer” only lasts about 3 weeks, and generally it’s around the end of August/beginning of September. By then, the ocean has gotten about as warm as it’s going to (high 60’s F), and the sun is still strong enough to make for some nice daytime temperatures unless a cold front comes through. Of course our average winds drop with the warmer water temperature, so sometimes August has basically no wind.
Sailboats need wind.
And how does all this relate to unwinding on the boat? Well, weather trumps everything.
If we’re set to head out for a couple weeks, and the weather decides to be rainy/nasty or windless, that causes a certain amount of consternation in yours truly. And consternation leads directly to frustration, which is in direct opposition to unwinding…
Now if the first two or three days of the cruise coincide with a stretch of nice weather
– warm enough to be relaxing, with enough wind that we get to actually sail the boat – then there’s a good chance that my shoulders will begin to soften and my face to relax by the third day aboard or so.
On the other hand if the first few days aren’t favorable, I might as well be back pounding nails for all the relaxing I’m able to do. I simply don’t “arrive” in cruising mode until I’ve had a chance to soak in a little good boating juju.
Which is a pity, because I waste precious time aboard with the woman I love and admire, all because mother nature isn’t meeting my expectations. Pretty dumb.
So that’s something I need to work on. Just because something isn’t “perfect” doesn’t mean it’s not good, after all.
The longest continuous time we’ve spent on a boat so far is 20 days, and unfortunately due to a bunch of unavoidable externals it took me 15 days to actually, honestly “arrive” for the experience.
I know, what was I thinking, right? Obviously I wasn’t. One of my fellow “A to Z Challenge” bloggers at Little Cunning Plan just put up a post about anxieties, and the very real challenges that some folks face in dealing with traumatic situations. Me, I just get in my own way by having unreasonable subconscious expectations, then blame it on the world, or my wife, or my Karma…
The next cruise is going to be longer – 8 months or so, and I’m really curious about what happens to my subconscious search for cruising perfection when I have that much time to sink into it.
Will I reach new levels of relaxation nirvana? Will I get bored with it and want to move to Las Vegas? Stick around and see!
So how about you? When does relaxing find you when you go off duty?