“Nothing lasts forever,” I mouthed to myself, noticing the soles of my pink flip-flops definitely wearing thin. Most gals would have ditched the faded beauties a long time ago. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I behold them to be simply beautiful…and functional. Neon pink and cheap ($2.50), I wear them to scruff around the marina. San Diego or Mexico, easy on and easy off, they are hands down the prettiest one’s I’ve yet to see worn into a marina shower. So, when I blew out my flip-flop (right one), on my way back home (A-Dock at Marina San Carlos) I couldn’t help but smile, borrow Jimmy Buffet’s song, and turn it into a title. Yep- hanging out in a Mexico marina has that effect on me….random bouts of creative energy spinning non-consequential moments into titles for Seamore Nautical Spirits.
The true story is that the Captain and I aren’t actually wasting away in some gosh-awful marina, drinking ourselves silly with blender concoctions, and getting tattoos while dreaming of sailing away. Give us 6 months and that might become the case, but for now, marina life has a different sort of purpose. It’s being in Marina San Carlos that I’m learning the ropes of seasonal sailing. Silly mwa assumed that once we returned to the boat, after being gone for 10 months, that two days max is all it would take to wash off the pelican poo and tinker with a few simple boat projects; we would be sailing, sailing, sailing in nothing flat. Interestingly enough, that is not how the “grown-ups” do it. San Carlos is a cruiser’s haven. Boaters come into San Carlos, leave for a few months/years, return, get back on their boat, and either cruise the Sea of Cortez or head south to the Pacific. This happens season after season, and year after year. What I’m learning is that most of us cruisers aren’t racers, that tinker projects always turn into major refit projects, and if the boat never, ever leaves the marina that’s more than OK. Because living on a boat, in Mexico, at a marina, getting to know other boaters creates random bouts of creative energy. And yippee for me, there are random opportunities when a 2 minute dance party interrupts my job of maintaining the teak; that’s when crew from one of the huge yachts cranks a stereo, sending hip-hip dance tunes out for my enjoyment (no one else seems to appreciate the loud music). Sometimes, it is so loud it cracks my toenail polish.
What has Seamore Pacific been up to besides wearing out flip-flops and dancing through boat chores? Well, there have been potlucks and dock parties to enjoy, hiking, and trail running. Also, she has a brand new water efficient shower/faucet (one full day of work) and a new energy efficient-6 gallon hot water heater (3 full days of work). Both jobs required serious crouching and twisting in tiny spaces. I can now identify what projects other boaters are involved in by watching how they walk down the dock. Hunched over and leaning to one side, face contorted is not a good sign. Grease under the nails? That means engine work. Sun kissed shoulders? That means sanding, varnish, and stainless steel polishing. Mumbling with eyes rolling? That means the wife insists on having a cat on board. Head nodding up and down, side to side, and cross ways? That definitely means an attack of creative energy is about to happen.
In reflection, I’d say what I’m gaining from our experiences this year is an ability to turn plain moments into moments of gratitude. Through daily chores I’m using my hands in ways not common to them. The clutter and chaos that ensues with most projects has been a healthy challenge to my practice of turning all the cans in the fridge so that each one faces identically. Days where the wind whips through the bay, squashing any hope of going out for a day sail; days where finding the exact sized wrench, means, dismantling a quarter of the sole to access where tools are stored; and days, when snail mail is faster than the Wi-Fi at the marina would have irritated the heck out of me last year. But this year is different…probably because I only have to look out my hatch to see others modeling what it means to live in the moment as a sailor. Like my flip-flops, wasting away in marina-ville has an expiration date…I want to enjoy this moment.
So, excuse me, while I go round up another pair of flip-flops…a shaker of salt…and some dance tunes.
…a little bit of dancing makes working on teak a whole lot more fun.
PS. Seamore Nautical Spirits is looking forward to celebrating parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary in the coming weeks.