I’m tired. I never thought I’d say this but I think my mind and body might be missing winter.
During our first year of full time cruising, my husband, daughter and I sailed the Med from April until November. We then wintered for six months in Marina di Ragusa in Sicily. During our wintering period, the weather became chilly, there was loads of rainy days, the amount of day light was reduced and essentially life slowed down.
Rather than swimming off the back of the boat, enjoying sundowners (drinks at dusk) and having guests over regularly, life in the marina changed to slow walks to the market, hours of conversation with other boatie friends at the coffee shop and evenings with just family watching movies or TV series’.
Being ‘stuck’ in a marina for six months wasn’t our ideal situation, but there was a great community, we enjoyed several excursions and in hindsight…
…I now realize it allowed us to take a break from the constant sun, sea, sailing and sundowners
On our second year of sailing, we sailed throughout the Mediterranean season (April to November), crossed the Atlantic for Christmas and entered the Caribbean sailing season (December – July).
Our experience of seasons changed to having a permanent summer for over a year
For my entire life, I’ve always had months of down time. Whether I was living in New York or London, winter was a time when the weather became cold, the days drew short and the inclination to do stuff was far reduced.
Heck, in my hometown of Rochester, NY the snow got so bad that the thought of scraping and brushing the car off was enough to keep me locked in doors for the whole season. The only time I left the house was for school, work and to get food.
In England, the weather wasn’t nearly as bad as the States but daylight ends around 3pm and by 5pm I was ready for my glass of wine, a chick flick and a long night of sleeping.
I seriously thought I hated winter…until now
A similar thing happened to me regarding the vegetable celery last year. I didn’t hate celery but I didn’t go out of my way to get it either. When a recipe called for it, I’d use it. Celery often goes in soups, salads, and stews. It’s one of those things that, if left out, you wouldn’t think you’d miss it.
Well…after three months of not being able to buy celery I realized that it’s a worthy vegetable. In soups and stews it adds more depth of flavor and in salads the crunch cannot be replicated with any other vegetables!
I’m sure you see the point that I’m making
You don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know what you’ll miss until you don’t have it. We spend our lives thinking about ‘living the dream,’ and yet when we do live the dream it’s not always what we expected it to be.
At this present moment, I’m shattered. I want a break from living the dream! In fact, if I don’t take a break I think I might be forced into a coma and sleep for a few months.
Yes – I want a vacation from my ‘living the dream,’ lifestyle!
How has this happened? Well…having one summer after another for over a year hasn’t helped. Being a part of one of the most social communities in the world – the cruising community – hasn’t helped.
On a daily basis we usually have to choose between having dinner with some friends in the bay, going to a potluck BBQ, meeting up for a party or joining a group to on an adventure to some interesting sight on land.
And because the cruising community is so transient it’s almost impossible to say ‘no’ to the people you know will soon be heading in a direction opposite to you.
We’ve spent months cruising around with various boats and when it comes time for them to leave or us to go towards a different heading we tend to spend even more time together knowing that we’ll soon be parted…perhaps never to see each other again.
And then if you add in the extracurricular activity of doing a regatta, we’ll that was, for me, the straw that broke the camels back
At the Oyster Antigua Regatta we had six days of activities, four days of racing and a whole heck of a lot of socializing. The event was an absolute blast, and considering that we won the regatta it was part of the total ‘living the dream,’ package but I must say it came at a price.
As I write this, the regatta was over a week ago and I still haven’t recovered
The fact that the Classics Regatta took place immediately after the Oyster Regatta didn’t help either. No – we didn’t enter the Classics, but our dear friends on sailing vessel el Oro did…and they needed crew! How could we say ‘no’ to racing a classic boat in one of the oldest classic regattas in the world?
That’s the thing – you can’t say ‘no’ because on a daily basis opportunities for new experiences, amazing memories and incredible friendships are up for the taking.
What are the chances that we’d be in Antigua again to help compete in such an amazing regatta?
Even if we were in Antigua, what would our chances be to know someone on one of those amazing boats?
And last night was the Classics Award Ceremony. Could we stay in and rest knowing that our friends were going to receive an award? Could we easily snuggle up in bed knowing that an awesome party was being held at the same time?!
God help us if we don’t get out of Antigua before Antigua Race Week (starts in five days)!
Today is the first day that hubby and I have not had to be anywhere. Our 5-year-old daughter is in a local school. We have the day to ourselves.
However…we have to prepare to leave for the British Virgin Islands to pick up guests in a couple weeks. Preparation means…provisioning the boat (filling the freezer with food, water, soft drinks, wine and beer), getting all the laundry done, fixing any major issues (oil extraction pump on engine to be fitted and full service needed), cracked exhaust pipe to be replaced, blocked toilet to be sorted, clean the boat, get homeschooling back in place, take our daughter to a dentist (filling fell out), and say goodbye to all our friends in Antigua.
Perhaps hubby and I just have to say ‘no’ no matter what and chill out!
What does my husband, Simon, think about all this?
Due to the high demand of readers writing to me asking for Simon’s thoughts, I’ve got them for you! Simon isn’t one to write but he certainly has the gift of the gab (like me!) so I put my handy dandy iPhone on our saloon table this morning and asked him how he felt.
So here you have it…straight from the horses mouth
If hearing Simon and I talk about our sailing experiences/thoughts/issues is something you enjoy listening to please send me an email with any questions you have. Perhaps I’ll be able to do a weekly chat with Sim and provide more of his perspective than just mine 😉
Simon’s thoughts on how it feels to be a tired full time cruiser!
To play the audio just push the play button above and on the left.