We have settled into our respective roles on the boat (now that we are more than half way through our trip). Mike is the mechanic, the sailor, the navigator. I am the culinary expert, the launderer (is that even a word?) and the educator. We are doing this old school........we have our roles and mine are pink. I didn’t quite expect it to be so delineated, but I don’t cross into Mike’s boat chore realm, and he doesn’t mess with my 12 square feet of galley. At home the lines are much more blurred. I am just as likely to be the one on the roof cleaning the cutters (no small feat if you have see the number and size of the deciduous trees around our house), or on a ladder cutting hedges, I’m often the one that keeps up with the car maintenance or fixes the kitchen disposal. Mike is just as likely to be cooking dinner or cleaning the kitchen. For some reason at home I am not intimidated by the mechanical workings of our “home”. On a boat, where a stray candy wrapper could find its way into the bilge, cover the bilge pump and theoretically sink the boat, there is much less room for error. I’m a “do a hundred things at once, and maybe a few things will fall through the cracks type of gal and Mike is a focus 100% on the job at hand type of guy who can’t tell you the names of his kids if you interrupt him in the middle of a task. He is definitely more suited to maintaining and operating boat system life, when the one thing that falls through the crack could be pretty vital. Through trial and error we find that if we segregate our tasks, things run more smoothly. That said, do I wish I could occasionally be the one to change the fuel injectors, or fix an electronic or even unclog the toilet for that matter? Actually not very often! Anything about the engine usually involves a contortionist position and working in at least 100 degrees and my spine hurts just thinking about that. I’m no electrician and the toilet, well that is just common sense! Sailing is not necessarily my particular expertise at all. When Mike asks me to do something on deck, I still use a lot of "the hanging thingy, or the big whachamacalit over there" I’m not a great sailor, I’m not even the first mate anymore.......Zander has far surpassed me in that department. I’ve logged over 30,000 sea miles and I still call myself a novice. So, the big question is, what happens if something happens to Mike mid Atlantic? Well, then we are in holy sh@# mode! Not gonna lie, it won't be pretty! I need Mike to stay healthy and on board. I’m very good about making him wear his harness at night and taking other precautions. Seriously, we may not thrive out here, in the event of a crisis, shit will break! But, I think we will survive. Sails will most likely chafe, we may be on rationed water because I can’t get the reverse osmosis water maker to work, we could be down to one toilet because I can’t figure out how to pump out the septic tank......but we will survive! I've got the basics down. I don’t have a ham radio license, but I can call a rocking mayday, and of course I can sail, but the telltales don't speak to me on a regular basis if you know what I mean. I do think I am proficient in navigation and weather interpretation and I’m confident in my skills in finding a continent. I’m even pretty confident I could find a particular bay, I’ll just need a lot, and I mean a lot of fenders if I ever need to dock the boat!
So, do I hate these roles. Nah, not really. This is temporary, and somehow after over 3 years cumulative of cruising together, it works for us. The bonus to being the galley wench is I’m the only one that knows where all the chocolate is stashed! It is not all bad!
So, with all that said, why am I out here? I love the ocean, I love the simplicity of life on a boat, I love that I get to see all these amazing places, all while having the comforts of my home with me. I love how life slows down on a sailboat and you are more in tune with the time of the moon rise than the rise in the stock market. Schedules only relate to watch times and tide cycles. And, I love, love, love that I get to do all this with my family. One day too soon I will have to send my little fledglings out into this big bad world, so I have to cherish every day I still have with them. Gosh, that almost sounded like something a loving Mom would say. Seriously, my kids drive me as crazy out here as they did at home, but I will one day miss the shenanigans, so I try to embrace it and enjoy as much of it as possible. Life is good!
|Random pick of the watch crew getting psyched to do some more overnight passages!|