When I was a kid, I never could have imagined life aboard our 37 foot Banjer motorsailer. I leave tomorrow from this dock we’ve enjoyed for the past few nights in North Carolina, with the best husband I ever had ( my brief teenage marriage might come up at some point), as well as my other habits: guitar, computer, books, two dogs. Tigerlily, my french waterdog, is now 12 years old, and Bee, a mixed breed sweetheart, is 6 . Nothing like living on a boat and traveling thousands of miles with two dogs and a husband to develop a better understanding of behavior science. As a kid, I remember thinking, “in the year 2000, I will be 41 years old!” but I didn’t picture the realities of my now. I didn’t know I would have developed a series of mini careers, as a sing-songwriter, herbalist, dog trainer, writer. Even in high school, I thought I was going to be an actress! I thought maybe someday, we’d be able to see faces when we spoke on the phone, but I thought for sure the screen would be screwed into the wall. It never crossed my mind to imagine FaceTime and emoji conversations with kids and grandchildren, mastering skills as a co-captain of this wonderful old boat. We worried then about nuclear attack, not climate change. We really can’t predict the future.
I never would have guessed that I would become a sailor. My family raised goats and rabbits, we were the grandchildren of immigrants, not yacht owners. Although my mother’s father Captained a submarine in WW2, and my other grandfather came to America on a ship, the boat and water stories we were told were nightmares, not fun, of confinement, disorientation, seasickness and near drownings. Maybe predictably as a kid, I started with carsickness, after marriage I graduated to seasickness, and I was even afraid of deep water. But people change.
Today, swimming is maybe my favorite thing to do in the world. I swam the Peaks Island to Portland Maine race and after three miles of ocean swimming, all I wanted to do was turn around and swim back. I can’t get enough swimming. Swimming to me is full body- brain-spirit intercourse, it’s sex with the Universe, it’s sensuous suspense in a dangerous perfect all encompassing fluid of love and life force. So, my love of swimming helped me get onboard with boating. I liked the idea of being able to swim right off the house. Unfortunately, we need to endure probably 12 weeks of almost no swimming to get to the Bahamas. I didn’t quite expect that. There are limitations, wherever we are. I’m learning how to deal with them.
We’ve been working our way from Maine to the Bahamas, getting into the Intracoastal Waterway not long after Hurricane Matthew came through. We left Sept. 1 and now it’s Nov. 3, 2016. Yes, that’s right, the most terrifying electoral season of my lifetime and I can’t blow off steam through swimming. The water has had an untrustworthy opaque coffee color and tannic acid scent from about Cape May (the southern tip of New Jersey) to where we are now in Oriental NC. The slide show above gives you a brief idea of the environment we have traveled through. In future blog posts I’ll share more details about our boat, Magus, as well the places we are passing through.
I’d like to share about people we’ve visited along the way, about our few spectacular swims, and many discoveries about the coast of the United States of America, and the spirit of our country. I want to share some of the tricks regarding how we’ve managed to do what we do with our life together, for example, how we keep our costs down and our quality of life up. I want to share what is apparently “normal” in a long term marriage. How it’s scary. How being scared is normal, and how it’s probably a good idea to be scared, because you need to be scared first if you want to learn how to be brave. Too much for this one post, but for the record, I did this little selfie interview with us regarding “where we are now,” 8 weeks into our first retirement year.