H is for Hight started us off with these words of wisdom.
"The Captain should never yell at his crew."
I think I just realized the difference between camping in a trailer and living on a sailboat.
In the trailer, three feet below you is ground. You fall and get dusty. Get up and figure what went wrong.
On a sailboat, fall three feet and die. That is the difference.
The sea gives little back.
Are you comfortable knowing how final that is? No?
You should buy a camper.
Today, a day off for the Blogging A-Z, we decided to have a bit of fun. Our illustrator will be doing the writing and the writer will do the drawing.
Look Carefully, really LOOK, then look again.
As an illustrator and artist I spend a considerable amount of time just looking at everything around me. Looking at colors, how shapes interact, the blooms on a tree, the little details in everything. I try to remember the nuances and recall them later as I work. I thought I was really good at this till I started drawing a sail boat and the sea.
These new subjects opened up a whole new kind of looking and seeing for me. Not only are boats way more complex to draw than I originally thought (having never been on a boat till Ava) but what the water does to light is amazing to stop and witness. Just that one thing, light off the water, Wow! Forget the sky at sunset or the night full of stars, these are all easily seen as beautiful moments, but just look at how light play on the water and reflects itself as silvery wiggles everywhere. One night we saw as school of little minnows break the surface and the only sign of them was the light sparkle of ripples they silently created. It looked like magic fairy dust sprinkled across the slick shining surface of the sea. Magic moments like that are always there as a reward for the person who stops long enough to really look at the world they live in.
I see beauty everywhere I go, but I love it when I get a little reminder some time to look more deeply at the ordinary around me. This is just one of the beautiful things becoming involved with a sail boat and the sea has given me, Ava has reminded me of the silent beauty of light on the water. Look and see and you'll agree, it's magic.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever spoken before thinking. This happens most often during high levels of stress or frustration. Luckily, working on fixing up and maintaining a sailboat provides heaps of both!
The key thing to remember is that the Captain should never, ever yell at the crew. He depends on his shipmates for everything from holding a light to handling a safety line. Though he may not admit it, the Captain often finds himself at their mercy.
Be aware that yelling at your crew may have adverse consequences.
Of course we accumulate too much junk. Needless silly stuff fills shelves, boxes and entire storage units. We fill up what room we have then rent more. At the same time we are convinced that it’s bad form to give something useful as a gift. Try wrapping an ironing board for a spousal birthday gift and you'll see what i’m talking about.
This gift giving mentality doesn’t apply to those living on small boats. It can’t. There just isn't the room and besides, something is always needed much more then one more thoughtful but useless thing.
I challenge all of you to get creative about gift giving. You can find something that will put a smiles on someone’s face and is really needed if you just try.
Please note: Flowers are exempt from the above challenge.
As this last winter progressed I started noticing the crows that would hang around the marina parking lot nearly every morning. A friend suggested I pick up unsalted shelled peanuts or dog food for them. I didn't want to litter with the shells so dog food it was and to my surprise, a routine was quickly established.
Each morning on the way to the shower one or more crows would follow me, piling to piling, till I’d stop by the car and throw a handful out. I learned quickly to spread the food wide which reduced the fighting and if thrown close or under the car the seagulls would keep their distance.
One crow in particular seemed to take delight in this game, swooping very close in while I walked as if to say “hey! Let’s get moving!”. I named him Jake. By spring I had three repeat escorts, but Jake will always be the first one. This connection with nature, the intentional interaction from both sides, builds awareness and respect for the world around us. Plus, Jake brings a smile to my face when he scolds me for running late.
E could also be for excitement because this is the moment where the reluctant sailor finally gets ‘on board’. That spouse or significant other warms up to the idea that this ‘sailboat thing’ could actually be fun. We have been waiting for that moment, working so hard to show them why we love our discovery and adventure. But soon the reality sets in as we try and teach them what we have already learned.
Let’s be honest. We have breathed and dreamed of nothing else. How can they ever catch up?
Because we love them it is important to try! So from every mundane little task to the dangerous adventures with electricity we will strive again and again to include them, encourage them, and keep them safe.
The only question we consider but never voice is “who will keep us safe?”
Unfortunately there isn't much room in a little sailboat to spread out during a project. Lets face it. Every horizontal surface becomes either storage, a work bench or both (both in my case). So I admit I’m not the neatest guy in the world and that just complicates things.
In fact, I’m the dock master's worst nightmare. He knows each spring some idiot will try to tackle a boat project that requires way more then the interior hundred square feet (total including the head). Inevitably the whole circus spills out onto the finger dock, and then the main dock.
I know, I know. The recreational marina isn't a boat yard, but I’ll keep trying just the same. Why would you cut a 2X4 inside the boat?
The lure of the sailboat is much like learning to read. You haven't the slightest idea what world awaits until you give it a try. The interesting thing about sailing is how it tickles our pirate fantasies. All the adventures we’ve read, the cartoons, the movies, they all seem to come to life when the wind whistles through the rigging and shakes out the mainsail. So much of our world owes it’s adventures to the sailor, be that pirate or explorer, and that memory slumbers in our soul, waiting to be born. When you start to dream of sea and fair winds then you know the sailor awakens, it’s your turn to be a pirate!
Today is a day of rest for the April Blog Challenge I’ve been working on. Monday things get back to it with the letter ‘C’.
We have had several very nice days of weather here on the Oregon Coast which is unusual, or at least feels unusual. It’s been a very wet winter. The docks have been busy with all the tourists and trailer sailors. A nice bite of Chinook salmon hasn't hurt.
But after sunny days the rain has moved in again, a constant sound against the deck, with an occasional plop plop plop of large drops as they fall from the rigging.
It’s nice really. I can take a break to breath in the moist Pacific air, slow down a bit and maybe get some paperwork done.
For those who live on the west coast the change of seasons is less defined but just as anticipated as our land locked brothers. Cherry blossoms, warmer days and nights, a little less wind.
How is your weather going? Is there a hint of spring there?
Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.