Sailing to distant islands isn’t just about sailing. Instead it is about reaching compromise, preparing for if the boat takes on water, and sleeping seals. Was I ever clueless when twenty plus years ago I dreamed a fabulous notion to live on a boat and sail hither and fro. Fortunately after the notion struck me, I met Captain Chameleon. He successfully introduced me to the real world of sailing and living aboard. And frankly, it isn’t always for sissies. Or, impatient folks, such as myself.
Scaling back on our excess of material possessions, I’ve been reminded this week of a time that I should be trying to forget. It was what I wore the first time on Capt. Chameleon’s sailboat. Being an avid fan of Miami Vice and new to the Miami area, the first thing I did after receiving an invitation to join him for dinner on his boat, was an emergency trip to Dadeland Mall. I was fortunate to encounter a sales lady possessing the same appreciation for Miami Vice and who was in the ‘know’ of proper boating attire. Capt. Chameleon’s eyes must have surely wanted to pop out of his skull when he saw me. But, he was too kind to show it and didn’t bat an eye to my Miami Vice fashion disaster.
Long gone are the days of high fashion on the high seas. Storage on Seamore Pacific is a premium and I now understand the importance of having tools, spare parts, thru-hull plugs, and Chanel on board. Yes, Chanel. I’m content to be limited on clothing, because when my olfactory sensors register the scent of Chanel, I’ll feel as though I’m dressed to the nines.
The next part comes with a Parental Advisory (Mom & Dad- just skip over this part). With installing the water maker this week, I gained new appreciation for thru-hulls and what to do if one fails while out at sea. It boggles my mind that a boat contains holes in the hull. Holes (thru-hulls) allow for the depth sounder, water intake, boat speed, etc. In the past, the thought of a thru-hull failing was a fleeting thought Now it is about being prepared. There is peace of mind knowing that ‘sailing’ this week included preparing for the what-ifs. We now have a wooden plug secured to each of the five thru-hulls so that in the unfortunate event one fails, allowing sea water to come rushing in, I would be able to calmly and nonchalantly locate the plug and shove it into the gaping hole. Holding it for dear life.
Moving onto more pleasant thoughts, it was a bit of a novelty to step off the boat and come across a seal sleeping on the dock, two finger piers down. The bigger novelty was talking to the lady (skipper) whose boat was in snoring distance from the seal. She described what it was like to go to sleep in her berth along side a seal, separated only by fiberglass. “Eerie,” was how she described it. Single and elderly, she exudes having a life enriched by adventures far and near. I can’t be happier than when I run into her on the dock and we exchange hellos and what’s on the to-do list. I truly hope that sometime in the next few weeks, perhaps over a cup of coffee, to learn more about her journeys at sea.