Cruising is a blast. Towns like Oriental (see the pictures!) make it a joy. But there’s a dark side: Leaving.
Many people who haven’t cruised have an opinion about what the “hardest part” of the lifestyle might be. Indeed, many folks who haven’t cruised imagine that the whole thing must be one big trial. The idea of living in a “tiny” home (though many boats out here are positively palatial by the standards of much of the world) is inconceivable. Being out of instant contact with friends and family is a non-starter, and not having a television or streaming Fox News is, to many, inconceivable. Yet many of us do it quite happily.
The list of perceived hardships is long:
No fixed address. Weather worries. Keeping the water out of the boat. Nurturing a relationship in such a confined space. Weather again (people are fascinated by “killer” storms, worse than rubber-neckers at a traffic accident).
But for me, I think the hardest thing is the conflict between staying and leaving. It’s the good places and the good people that are the challenge.
Oriental, North Carolina is one such place. With a harbor full of fishing boats and cruisers, a town that loves the water and those who live on it (half of Oriental seems to be former cruisers from around the country), and a knack for hospitality that makes a newcomer to town an instant member of family, this place does it right. And as much as Nicki and I are ready to move on and eager to be farther south and warmer, we feel the tug of a good place, a tension between moving on and hanging out that’s almost palpable.