As much time as we spend at the boat on the weekends, we don't actually spend that much time sailing. And even less time anchored out in the water overnight. Staying on the boat at the marina is one thing, you can hop off, take a hot shower at the bath house, jump in your car to run an errand, whatever. But at anchor, well, you're sort of tied down. And there's a whole lot of learning left to do.
This, my friends, is how it goes out at anchor.
|do you see the dolphin fins??|
You spend a gorgeous day out on the water. The sky is clear and there's just enough breeze to keep you cool. You have an autopilot now, so you can spend more time leisurely admiring the other boats taking advantage of the holiday weekend, or the houses with their stunning views and prime waterfront locations. You find a spot to anchor out by late afternoon so that you have plenty of time to do nothing before dinner. You take a quick splash in the river to cool off, then you throw something on the grill, watch the dolphins playing nearby, and pick up your book just in time to soak up the last few hours of daylight.
As you watch the sunset over the water, you admire the beauty of creation and wonder over how you became so blessed as to have an experience such as this. You can't believe that you ever doubted or stressed over the details of an extended sailing trip because, isn't this probably the closest thing to heaven on earth? Night falls and you go to bed because, well, it's dark and what else are you going to do?
But... things look awfully different in the dark. Your hair is still wet from the river and now your pillow is wet, your neck is wet, and the collar of your t-shirt is, too. There is no power for things like hairdryers. You let your guard down for one minute by jumping in that murky water against your better judgement, and now you're paying for it. As a matter of fact, everything is damp. And there's no air circulation. The battery is dead (add that to the to do list), so you can't run the fan. Your neck is stiff from sleeping the night before (don't forget damp, too), and your side already hurts from laying in the same position on the hard mattress (also on the list) for too long. You can't really stretch out, because your bed is shaped like a "v" and there are only so many possible positions that allow for comfort and the simultaneous avoidance of your husband's boney knees and undeniably dirty feet. You make a mental note to work on your germaphobia, but also to remind him to wash his feet next time, because really, if feet aren't bad enough as it is. You pull out your phone to pass the time, but the charge is almost down to nothing, and there's no battery, so. You finally fall asleep around 4 am. At 7 am your husband wakes you up because he has to use the bathroom, and you might want to, you know, vacate the premises.
But, then. Then there's freshly ground french press coffee and shake and pour pancakes, and a cool breeze once again over the water. The morning sun casts a beautiful light that makes the river sparkle, and suddenly everything is right in the world again. Your husband finally gets your dog to pee on the puppy pad's patch of fake grass and his excitement is enough to make you feel like maybe you just missed your baby's first steps. Then you watch him paddle around in the small dingy, admiring the lines of his sailboat from afar. Totally in his element. And in moments like this you think to yourself, maybe last night wasn't actually so bad. Maybe I can do this after all.