December 29, 2009
At anchor, Man’O’War American Harbour
We decided the best action for missing family and friends terribly was to get up and MOVE. So, after the frantic waving at the 3rd and final ferry load removing loved ones from our midst (it left at 11:30), we did the proverbial “giddy-up and go” (or is it giddy-yap and go?). By 12:30 we were unmoored with main raised, slowly wending our way through the ferry wash out of the channel. By 2 pm, after a beat (of course – tomorrow when we head south again it will once again be on the nose) we were anchored in our spot in Man’O’War (secret – ssh – not a lot of room to anchor!) and dinghying ashore for fresh Bahamian tomatoes and a late Christmas present/ anniversary gift to ourselves, courtesy of Anik (thanks!). I’ll post pictures later.
So the real point of this blog entry is a philosophical one. Be warned!
As we were hugging David and Alison, Claire and Nico goodbye this morning, we joked with David that it was time to get back to reality from the vacation of the past 2 weeks. Not so much of a joke, actually, despite what all of you armchair cruisers may believe. Hey, I can hear you saying – you are LIVING in a vacation! You wake up and deal with umm, gorgeous water? If that is your reality, can I have it, please?
So yeah, we are not shoveling snow or chipping ice. We tend to spend our days in bathing suits, worrying more about sunburn than frostbite. But humor me here. Think about how you live your life day to day, and then when you are on vacation. I’d guess for most of you (us?), lucky as we may be in our regular lives, when you are in your “real life” you have some restraints. Probably you eat in more than not. Those cool little shops you find are more useful for window shopping than for memory building. And on vacation, you might relax your guard a little. You might buy that jar of pepper jelly at the coffeeshop. (You might actually GO to the coffeeshop) You might decide to stop and get some conch fritters and the house special rum drink, wrestling only a little with the fact that you have pretzels and rum at home.
Well, we have been treated royally for the past 2 weeks. Family and friends have arrived (finally in some cases – thanks for continuing to make the effort, Mom and Dad!). They have brought in steaks and Vermont cheddar cheese and boxes of wine. They have treated us to lunches and dinners out (and in!), have allowed us to hang out in their houses and take showers that involve heated water. They have refrained from mentioning how much laundry we seem to need to do in their machines. They gave us all their leftover food when they left (and so sorry are we that we didn’t have room for all of it!) We have played around too, renting a golf cart (!!!) and splurging a little on art for the house back in Virginia.
Now, though, it is time to get back on the wagon. That budget is reminding us that this lifestyle will last as long as we can eke out the funds – and we want to stay out as long as we can. Our reality is just that – our reality. It means tight space and cold showers. It means unbelievably beautiful scenery and fresh fresh fish. It means kids fighting and kids snuggling together watching the “Jetsons”. It means the time to talk to Andy Albury for an hour, and the time to find out a recipe for peas-n-rice from the lady at the grocery store. It also means taking an hour and a half to unpack the lazarette and repack it with the new art pieces stored safely in the depths.
Reality is what you happen to be living at the moment (even though vacation can release you from some budgetary restrictions usually in place.) Just because it is nicer than other people may be experiencing (and I am not saying ours is or isn’t) doesn’t make it any less real.
I PROMISE to post pictures and videos soon.