Sunday, April 3, 2016

Back in the Saddle Again

Ahh, boat life. Protecting consumables from invading rats. Gently cooking from the 40 C heat at eight in the morning. Savouring the bouquet of freshly-cut sewage hoses  In short: an elegant plane of existence where one faces the eternal question: zen or madness?

I returned to the boat full of optimism. We would finish off a few critical jobs, get back in the water, finish more critical jobs, and set out for parts as-yet unexplored. Easy peasy.

Of course, I'd forgotten a few things. First, Erik had been aboard, unsupervised, for six weeks. To be clear: Erik is handy. Goodness knows the man can fix anything, and fix it well. But the dark side of this trait is that he wants to fix everything, and fix it to perfection. And so I walked into a construction site. No seat cushions, no floorboards. Just a disassembled cockpit, new runs of wiring, coils of replacement hoses, and shiny boxes of taps and chartplotters and who knows what else. And a 20-foot container full of all of our possessions.

"You've been busy," I said, panting a little. The cruel Queensland heat had teamed up with my jetlag to try to take me down. My blood pressure is a less-than-robust 90/42, meaning I can hardly coax my circulatory fluids through my system on a good day, never mind when the boat is at auto-ignition temperature. I leaned against the companionway for support and blinked the spots from my eyes.

Erik launched into an explanation of the many (many, many) projects he had lined up for the next few weeks. I nodded along and slid down the wall a little.

"...and you can sort out the container."
"What?" Now I was listening again.
"Let's get rid of as much as we can. Sort it and toss it."
"Sort it and toss it," I repeated. "Sort and toss... everything we own. That whole container." I'd been in the container. Rather, I'd stood in the entrance and marvelled at the mountain of nonsense Erik had pulled from the boat. How could we possibly own so much? Every tool, every t-shirt, every book on Papillon was in that container. And now I had to deal with it.
"And... you get to clean everything." Erik skipped off to the engine room to let me ponder my good fortune in peace.

And now this is the pattern of our days. The girls do some school and then play in the v-berth.

Erik does Erik-y things.

And I sort and scrub and toss and mutter "It needs to be done, it needs to be done, it's all worth it, it needs to be done.".

Off to a new home.
Slowly the piles are getting smaller. The job list is shrinking. And, before we know it, the madness of the boatyard will give way to the zen of being at anchor in the Whitsundays.

And may I never have to declutter this boat ever again.


Me said...

Good luck, Amy. It's amazing how many things we seem to gather over time. I just finished my spring cleaning and I got rid of a lot of stuff I didn't even know I had. I don't even know why I kept some of these things.

Anonymous said...

And you thought helping me move Dad's office downstairs was strenuous. I wish you luck.
Love Mom