I returned home two weeks in a row now only to find all of my worldly belongings still here lounging around the homestead like an unwanted house guests rather than back out in the world where they belong. It is frustrating at times to still have so much to sort through after all this time. I am combining my last two weeks of sailing fun into a single blog entry partially because I am being lazy partially because this is a great way to get caught up but mostly because the theme of simplicity endures while my endeavor to get down to basics in life is yet incomplete.
I not claiming my thinking nor my methods to be rational by any stretch of the imagination nor should it be construed that I am able to act on any of these contemplations…………..today. Sailing gives me time to think. I have no place to really go when I am sailing so I can think, when the wind does not blow, I can think. When it blows nicely, I can think. There are occasions when the wind simply cuts loose and howls and I while I still try to think, the instinct of self-preservation kicks in and thinking is set aside to either reef or furl a sail before the contents on the boat are completely spilled into the water. You see, the boat is filled with the things I think I really need as opposed to the surplus of stuff at home which I do not miss in the slightest when I am on the water and simply irritates the hell out of me when I am home.
I have found that Goodwill, Craigslist, eBay, Etsy and a few of my sons all to be good places to unload many of these encumbrances. My boys are getting wise to me however and have started to turn down even some of my more generous offers forcing me to get more creative in finding a home for this baggage. In a couple four and five day increments spent on the boat over the last two weeks, I rediscover more and more, not how much I need but how little I need.
I am taking the first big step here in another week or so by discontinuing my cell phone service. It seems to me to be an atrocious waste of money and a monstrous distraction. I grew up with a rotary phone and won so many t-shirts from the local radio stations because I could dial fast, that I was banned from winning and was forced to start giving the names of my friends that I might continue to amass those stupid thin fiber lamely printed 2nd hand undershirts. Honestly, I should have sought help for this blight at a much younger age. I am bewildered at how dependent I feel I have become to that doltish phone and really am looking forward to discarding the demon. I spend enough time by a computer (another incubus in my daily grind) so that is anyone really needs me, I am still within reasonable reach.
We found ourselves able to spend nine out of twelve days to spend on the water both of the last two weekends so without hesitation, we loaded a little food into a cooler, a few jugs of ice, and went in search of our esteemed sailboat on a Thursday two weeks in a row. I had noticed a few thunderstorm warnings lying in wait for both weekends but that anyone who really knows me also knows this has never really affected my decision to go sailing or fishing…..EVER.
Boomdiada was right where we had left her. I know she missed me and was glad to see me back a day early two weeks in a row. We stopped at Dock 44 to say hi and check on the status of another boat for a friend. I grabbed a couple “Lindy” type rigs to drag behind the boat in search of some supper for the next few days on the first four day stay.
I did catch a few fish for supper on the first four day stretch but the second trip out was five days and we decided that we had enough food in the cooler so everything I caught was released alive and well. Out of the entire nine days at the river, there was some great fishing, some great sailing and one or two nice quiet and quite a few not so quiet night time anchorages. We endured thunderstorms on five on the nine nights, slid our anchor on seven on the nine nights, and were forced to kedge on at least three occasions. It was great and I would do it all again in a heart beat. I would not have a problem staying there and living like that on a daily basis.
As I sit here at the computer and write this, I wonder why I came back at all as I could easily set up a laptop and write this from the river or I could stay the the river and nor write anything at all. I do enjoy words and will take a book over the television any day. I do enjoy putting into words, the ramblings that haunt my head so in a way, the writing either helps to keep me sane or at least provides a vent to keep me sane enough to be presentable in public on at least a couple days a week.
I have discovered fishing with a hoop net that can be set and checked all summer long. For the thirty dollars it would take me to set three hoop nets, I could eat catfish all summer long and never tire of it. There are many places I could get fresh produce along the river and the marinas for what little ice it takes to keep things cool seems to me to be a fine trade for the clutter and expense of a house full of things simply labeled as stuff.
Live and learn I guess. I am trying to learn to recognize simplicity but so far I have failed to impress myself. If I ever intend to get on The Great Loop and stay there, I will need to do a little better job of thinning the rat’s nest along with getting as much practice as I can at setting my anchor in strange places and actually getting it to hold all night. My friend Steve gave me some great advice this evening for getting my anchors to hold and while it was extremely simple advice, it was also very sound and I am convinced it is the key to success.
I feel this is all at least a few years away and hope I have the years in me to get there. For now I can practice (frequently( to develop the skills I will need. There was no guarantee when I was born and, in turn there is no certainty today either. There never is for any of us. It is something for me to hang on to and make me try one more day and there are days in where that is all I have. I am OK with that. I have to be, it is that simple.