I am so happy to be home! I missed my family and friends very much. I know myself, and I knew when Dave and I started dating and he told me of his plan to live aboard in the Caribbean that I would join him in pursuit of that dream, but that I couldn’t do it year-round. Fortunately he understands this, so he acquiesced to return home each year for the autumn and through the holidays. After being away only four months and missing family and friends so badly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to be away for 8 months a year once we actually get the boat to the Caribbean. I may have to sneak home for a week or two about halfway through, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there
We haven’t lost any time since arriving back on land. Dave has already refinished the deck, resealed the driveway, ordered a new garage door, and contracted to get the house painted. I started tackling the long list of tech issues aboard that we need to solve while home, weeded three garden beds, 8 raised beds, and the entire side of the house where a growing stand of milkweed is developing (we asked our neighbor not to mow that patch while we were gone). I’m also ramping up to teach my first AARP Driver Safety class at the end of this month (and another in early November), plus fitting in sewing in preparation for the craft fair I participate in during the first week of December. I did not get nearly enough sewing done aboard! On top of all that, we’re scheduling in visits with family & friends.
There are aspects of being aboard that I do miss. I miss the slower pace that living aboard often affords, like swinging in the hammocks in the afternoon just reading or listening to the sounds of the water and birds. When I’m ashore I feel like I have to constantly be doing something. (Truthfully, it took me about a month aboard to shake that feeling.) I miss having my boat home with me as I explore new places. Here on land I have to travel away from home to explore new places, which not only involves driving time, but also the expense of accommodations and food if I choose to explore a place for more than one day. Most of my day aboard is spent outside in the fresh air, while here on land most of my day is spent inside. I think my body misses the boat. A boat in the water is never completely stationary, even when not in transit. The constant motion requires my muscles to work in harmony in ways they don’t have to on land. I also find that I sit too much when I’m home, while aboard sitting still for long periods of time is rare for me.
Still, I love being home. I may have mentioned that already 🙂 . I love the conveniences like hardware and grocery stores close by, a comparatively spacious bathroom (7.5’ x 8’ feels huge), plenty of water, the hot tub, and WiFi. It’s easier to move in my land-home without bumping my head, shins, knees, elbows. I’m always bruised when I’m on board. Those bruises have finally faded over the past week and a half on land. While I love Indigo Lady’s layout and spaciousness compared to other catamarans we looked at (within our price range), we did make compromises. Her beds in the hulls are over the bridge deck. This makes changing the bed challenging. It also means I have to climb steps to get into and out of her. That’s fun in the middle of the night when I need the bathroom, because I have to crawl over Dave. (Yes, I could sleep on the outside, but it doesn’t feel right. I know, weird.) We’ve done what we can to make the beds themselves comfortable, but it will never be as comfortable as my bed on land. The seating is also uncomfortable on board. In part this is due to the fact that as I get older my back gives me more trouble, so I’m rarely comfortable sitting anywhere, but at home on land I have more options than I do on board, including lying flat. It’s difficult to lie flat on a boat that is all curves and hard surfaces.
Our galley is really quite spacious for a boat. We have ample storage for dry goods and non-perishables, we have a fridge and a huge freezer, and as a solar-electric boat we can have electric gadgets. As a result of all that, I’m becoming quite comfortable cooking and baking aboard, but there’s still nothing like cooking in my kitchen here on land. I’ve already canned salsa and will soon be doing pickled beets. I enjoy having convenient access to fresh food whenever I want. Just this year the CSA I belong to started offering shares for flexible months and year round, so I was able to join for just the months we’re home. Now I get my favorite late summer and autumn produce- fresh and organic. Yum! I know that once we reach the Caribbean, obtaining food provisions will be more challenging, but it will also result in us getting more exercise, and trying new foods, which I am looking forward to.
This is a great time of year to be home. I have no love lost for winter anymore, and I tend to appreciate spring simply because it means winter is over. Summer is all to brief here at home, but in the Caribbean it’s pretty much summer all the time (at least the months we’ll be there). But autumn, that’s a mid-latitude season. I love the colors, textures and smells, the crisp feel in the air, the flavors of hearty autumn produce. It’s a time when nature slows down for a bit. My body and mind sync with and appreciate that restfulness. It is a time to recenter and reset myself. Plus I enjoy the autumn and early winter holidays which always mean time focused on celebrating with family and friends. Autumn is cozy and I need a little bit of that each year.
So I will delight in this time at home, spend as much of it with family and friends as I can, and just as it starts to get a bit too cold, I’ll head south for warmer climes with a sense of readiness for our next adventure.