A couple of days ago the wind turned against me, so I was stuck on the sea anchor for about 36 hours. I took this as an opportunity for some major clearing – or at least cleaning – of the decks. I wrote myself a To Do list in the back of my logbook, and then set to work.
You’d be surprised just how much I found to do on such a small boat – rearranging the contents of lockers, removing and stowing defunct electronics, pumping water out of places it shouldn’t be, mopping the bilges, scraping off barnacles, and cleaning rust marks off the decks. Now that I’ve consumed the contents of several lockers, I moved other items into them in order to keep the boat’s centre of gravity as low as possible to prevent capsize.
My To Do list kept me busy for the entire day, and kept my mind off the fact that I was heading in the wrong direction. In fact, by evening, I felt I’d really achieved something – if not miles, then at least a shipshape ship.
It has been about six years since I had somewhere I could call home, so I don’t often get to enjoy the simple pleasures of cleaning. And no, that was not an invitation for all of you to invite me round to clean your houses!
I’m just saying that when all else is beyond your control, you can do a lot worse than set yourself to cleaning out a closet or rearranging the kitchen cupboards. I don’t know enough about feng shui to say whether I believe in it or not, but I do know that to get old and broken things out of my way, and to restore a general state of order and cleanliness gives me a glow of wellbeing and contentment. Even when my living space is only 23 feet by 6.
Now, I’m just off to rearrange my “relationship corner”…!
By today the wind had gradually backed to a more favourable direction, and I was off and rowing again. I was listening to “Shutter Island” – quite possibly my second worst choice after “The Wave”. Not that it isn’t a good book – it is – but listening to a book about delusions and alternative versions of reality can really mess with your head when you’re alone in the middle of an ocean!
I spoke with Mum on the phone today, and she told me about the severe weather on the east coast of the US. My thoughts are with my friends in North Carolina, DC, New York, and the other affected areas. I hope that you and your homes remain safe, and that Hurricane Irene soon dissipates. These extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent as the effects of climate change kick in – so we had all better get used to the new “normal”.
Bruce – please don’t be sad. My boat is only a “thing”. I was me without a boat for 37 years of my life before Sedna came along, and I will continue to be me after I have found a suitable long-term home for her to retire to. It’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life – and I’m excited about what it might entail!
Karen – let me just check my store cupboard…. ah, I thought so. Clean out of peanut butter and hydrogen peroxide. Will have to nip out to the store… oh. BTW, I continue to find new uses for Meyer lemon marmalade and Santa Rosa plum jam in my weird and wonderful on-board concoctions. I’m not sure many people would enjoy protein powder + chocolate sauce + plum jam + sunflower seeds + TimTams, but I do!
Texino – a “squish” of squid? I like it!
Frank in Belgium – I am completely in agreement with you. I don’t like to think that our brains are entirely preprogrammed. As tentative disproof of that, how come that up to my mid-thirties I was utterly conventional, and then completely turned my life upside down and started rowing across oceans? Or maybe I am just proving Dr Swaab’s comment that we are not ready to hear his “truth”!
Quote for the day: “That’s the trouble with housework – you do it, and then six months later you have to do it all over again.” (Joan Rivers, quoted from memory, so I may not have it quite right)
Photo: This was the last place I called home – a rented 17th century cottage in Emsworth, Hampshire. Usually it was quite tidy, but here Mum is busy packaging my food rations for the Atlantic in 2005.
Sponsored Miles: Patricia Collins, Molly McCallum, Mike Daley, Todd Lowe, Connie Bergmark, Jan Kearce and Wayne Batzer – grateful for your sponsoring.
Roz’s latest podcast now available.