Since we’ve lived on land our entire lives until recently, one would think that we’d make the transition back to Maine seamlessly. Sadly, no, as I began to describe in the last post.
Certainly part of it is the simple sensory overload of living in a techno-focused consumer society. But an equal measure must be laid at the feet of finance. It is incredibly expensive to live ashore, and we are, at the moment, at the ebb point of our income season. Carpenters work outside, and the weather in Maine the last four weeks has been cold and wet in a way that’s unprecedented in living memory. If we can’t work, we don’t get paid, and in this cold, we can’t work.
But of course the expenses don’t stop. Insurance, medical bills still outstanding, repairs to both cars when we got back, a dental emergency… They just keep coming.
It’s my desire to guard against this blog becoming a whining lament of all that goes wrong in life, but it occurred to me that many sailing blogs – probably far too many – concentrate on the good times at the expense of an accurate portrayal of “Cruising” as a lifestyle.
Perhaps that’s human nature: We feel a need to justify our choices in life, and the better cruising sounds, the easier it is to answer those for whom the very concept is anathema. When others think we’re crazy, we get defensive.
But it seems to me that painting a too-rosy picture is a disservice to all those cruisers who successfully forge a life on the water. There ARE challenges. There ARE bad days. There ARE days when you look in the mirror (if your boat has a mirror) and think “Why am I doing this?’
But that’s life, too. Right now we’re in Maine, back “home”, back in the “real world” of running water, automobiles and cheap plastic crap. It’s been miserable and cold for most of the three weeks we’ve been here, propane (for heat) is breaking the budget, and neither of us is working reliably yet. This morning I looked at the space in my mouth where there was – until yesterday – a molar, and thought: “Why am I doing this?”
Living on the boat was so much easier. Living on the boat, most things make sense. Living on the boat, most of the challenges can be successfully managed by the two of us and some ingenuity.
At least, that’s how it seems when I’m freezing my tush off in New England. Happy Spring!