Amidst a collection of pictures of whales breaching and boobies flirting, seascapes, and sunsets, there’s the dirty side of the Sailing life. The unbathed, sun-bleached, scruffy, bruised, peanut butter and jelly eating crew, fish guts on the side of your boat, jerry can hauling, groceries in your backpack, laundry in a bucket, Instagram unworthy, unfiltered side of the Sailing life.
The one that requires a Spider-Man move to pee underway, and seeking stability is a full contact sport. The one where your hands are scratched up and you’ve become one with the Band-Aids since you seem to be tearing your skin up every time you reach into the tiny nook under your bathroom sink to turn a lever and your skin goes all one-on-one with the screws on a pipe clamp. The one that clambers for innovation as you figure out how you are supposed to reach down to that spot and wonder what size was the human that decided to put that valve in there to being with.
The one where you didn’t realize you’d have these many conversations about bowel movements and fluid dynamics until your child rearing years, but now you’ve got nothing but a 2-foot by 2-foot all in one toilet, sink and shower for a bathroom with a hand-cranked toilet the size of a salad plate giving new meaning to the phrase ‘tight quarters’.
The one where it’s a race against time when the one food item you are looking for is at the bottom of your icebox and once you find it you can’t get to it because you are too short and all the cold air is escaping and you have limited power so you frantically throw everything out and toss it back in with the speed of a SWAT team all in the name of mayonnaise.
The one where stashing, storing and retrieving your stuff is a sick game of Jenga, Tetris, Memory and Twister. The one where you carefully plan your meal but then can’t remember where you stored the chutney. The one where you get to go all pioneer woman by baking your own bread, sprout your own greens and make your own yogurt since you’ll be too far away for store bought and they go moldy at the speed of now anyway so you might as well make your own but then you realize you are now singlehandedly responsible for making sure you don’t give yourself E. Coli.
The one where every single system on your new home is begging for attention each and every day and the one obscure part you didn’t buy is the one you need and you can’t let the repair slide because your life literally depends on it. The one where every few weeks you need to don loofa sponge gloves and squeegees because your boat thinks its ok to slow you down and mess up your transducers by growing a beard and provide affordable housing to barnacles. The one where your new CV includes navigator, engine mechanic, chef de cuisine, weather reporter, astronomer, free climber, free diver, electrician, seamstress, water quality scientist, wastewater system inspector, night watchman, health and safety director, IT, nurse, accountant, fisherman, butcher and carpenter.
The one where you lay in bed one night and get to hear a whale sing. The one that is 100% worth it.