This year has been surreal. Thirteen days and then we Ha Ha (Baja Ha-Ha XX) and from there go on to sail parts of the Sea of Cortez. It was a year ago that Captain Chameleon and I visited San Diego for the 2012 Baja Ha-Ha weekend kick-off. For two days we walked around Shelter Island for glimpses of boats flying the Ha Ha flag. We attended a seminar for cruisers entertaining the Pacific Puddle Jump and we rehashed to each other, our ‘once upon a time’ life of living aboard Seamore in the Florida Keys. On the way home Captain Chameleon was all smiles when he inquired if I enjoyed the weekend. “Yes, if watching other people live their life is fun.” Hmmm. It wasn’t the answer he was expecting, but the one that needed to be said. It was time to stop dreaming and start doing. There are three things associated with being a hospice nurse that Captain Chameleon has come to expect from me: he gets less than half-an-ounce of attention for colds, scrapes, and cuts; every new mole, bump, or pain becomes a ‘this could be cancer’ trip to the doctor; and a belief that dreams die when not given life. Captain Chameleon’s kind and ordinary question caused us to reconsider things and make a few out of the ordinary decisions. So here we are, breathing life into a dream. This week’s breathing feels like we are running uphill but I’m enjoying it all the same.
Thirteen days to go and we have found ourselves down to the wire on finishing up projects. Seamore Pacific is in the boatyard for usual boat maintenance. The adrenaline is kicking in and productivity is going up. Captain Chameleon is a bit weary and stressed at this point. So, what does one do when the ‘to do list’ is a nautical mile long? Add slip covering to the list. Seamore Pacific from the very first look has had a neat vibe to us. However, the dated cushions have gone way pass nerve grating. As one would expect, Captain Chameleon popped another Tumms when I casually mentioned getting her cushions re-upholstered. In all honesty, with the budgeted money flying out the portholes to get her ready to live off the grid, I couldn’t justify the cost and time involved to have all new cushions made. However, slip covering might be an option. It was my triple lucky day that within 5 minutes of entering the upholstery store that my eyes would fix upon fabric that had me day dreaming about hitching a boat to Hawaii; and it was on clearance, plus marked down. All of this joy for $2 a yard.
The silver lining to making slip covers is that oddly, memories of a few teachers from high school broke through the constant zig-zig-zig hum of the sewing machine. Cutting and pinning the fabric, I was reminded of the velour burgundy suit I made in Mrs. Smith’s Wardrobe Planning class. Then, out of nowhere came the cautionary words from George, guidance counselor and every student’s buddy, for passing up chemistry to take Mrs. Turner’s Journalism class. From across the desk his baritone voice bellowed, “You are making a huge mistake. Huge.” How big of a mistake, was my unspoken question. Fine, I’ll live with the consequences. Little did George know it wasn’t the journalism that I was interested in, but rather the gentle tenacity and gladness that Mrs. Turner brought to the classroom.
Gentle tenacity and gladness are what I’m thinking about these days, as we make our uphill run to October 28th. I’m glad for many things, including the folks at Shelter Island Boatyard for approaching their work with great pride. Today they are starting repairs to the propeller, grinding out the few blisters in the keel, drilling a thru-hull for a new depth sounder, checking the rudder tension, and working with Captain Chameleon on the electrical installation of the water maker. Hopefully, all will be finished by Thursday, bringing our boatyard living to a close.