Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Game Called On Account Of Rain

When the kids and I arrived in Canada last month, we were greeted by unseasonably cold, rainy weather.  Things improved to t-shirt weather by the time we left, but, when we stepped off the plane in Auckland on Saturday, the cold, rainy weather found us again.

New Zealand’s winter weather is upon us.  The boat shook so hard in the wind last night that Erik and I worried we might slip off our stand.  Today brought torrential rain and barely-above-freezing temperatures.  And so what did your intrepid Papillon Crew do?  We hid.  We lit the diesel heater and hunkered down.  We read lots of books.  We ate endless crackers, cheese, dried salami, corn chips, ham sandwiches and fruit.  I brewed at least a dozen cups of tea.  The girls even talked Dad into a game of Old Maid.

"I think I'll take... this one."
And Erik and I pulled out the inflatable globe and pondered where to go should we ever leave this boatyard.   We have our starting point pretty much set, but everything beyond that is a little murky.  So we looked at Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Philippines.  Micronesia and Kiribati.  We debated the merits of overwintering in Brisbane next cyclone season.  “What about Japan?” said Erik.  “I’ve heard great things about cruising there.”  We talked about what we had heard from other cruisers, and got excited about the cherry blossom festival.  And, if we were going to Japan, the natural next step would be to continue on to the Aleutians and around to the west coast of North America.  Our fingers slid up the globe as we considered when we would have good sailing weather, and predicted our timeline along the route.  We started looking at cruising forums for tips and opinions.  We looked at beautiful pictures of icy volcanoes.

And then we realized that the Aleutians only reach 5 C in the summer months.  And they get more rain than almost anywhere else on Earth.

In other words, precisely the weather outside right now - the weather we were hiding from.
We just want to be warm.
There comes a point in every person’s life when they have to realize who they are.  We, it seems, are tropical cruisers.  There is no shame in that.  I may have no street cred with high-latitude sailors.  I may miss out on some beautiful landscapes.  I may not be able to trade stories of getting rolled in the Southern Ocean.  Instead we have chosen the annoyance of being becalmed, and days when it is so hot that nudity becomes a tempting option.  Let's face it - if I wanted cold weather, I could have stayed home.  I’ll take jumping off the side of the boat into bathtub-warm water over being tough any day.

As the sun went down this evening, Erik poured some rum into his fruit juice.  When I raised an eyebrow at him, he shrugged.  “How else can I pretend I am in the tropics?” he asked.

Amen, brother.  Amen.


Nicolas Turcotte said...

nice one :)

Anonymous said...

Warm places where we can possibly visit get my vote
Love Mom

Tamara said...

And with that, I'll pour a little rum and fruit juice for myself! (Friends don't let friends drink alone, after all.)

Kate said...

Japan is beautiful, the southern island is warm.... I agree go warm.