We arrived back at the boat, it was 17 degrees out and very late. I cranked our little electric heater knowing it would take hours to get above freezing. With the sudenness of a broken shoe lace everything went dark, the silence was deafening. I knew we only had an hour or so before what little heat we had would be gone. We had no where to go and there is no way we could survive the cold that night. I worried about Chloe who can’t walk and Emily who’s blood is as thin as mine. The clock was ticking.
With a click the crisis ended as quickly as it began and the hum of our little heater soothed the soul. We woke up in the most comfortable bed known to man, Emily squeaks to life but pulls the covers up snuggles in and closes her eyes. I’m now wide a wake, coffee is calling my name as I slither out into the new day, and new year, our tiny world feels complete.
I recently made an offer on a Dana 24 that isn’t for sale. I did this for two reasons, one it has a diesel furnace and two I had a guy begging to buy my boat even though it isn’t for sale. He declined my offer but promised me first right of refusal. He told me ten years although we both know it will only be five. Safe and warm in the boat I stare at the ice crystals forming on my varnish and want to be out sailing. If I long for anything in this world its heat but I’m patient. I pull out my ukulele and settle into the salon that we have completely demolished in less than 12 hours, its a disaster and makes me feel at home.
I turn my attention to Emily, I’m the captain but she plays a much more important role, she is chief navigator. With my failing vision I can no longer read our charts without the aid of a magnifying glass, without each other we are nothing. She makes messes I clean them. I try and suck every penny out of our meager savings while she holds on to our small security blanket like a man at the end of his rope. She cooks and I clean or vice versa. If I am her right hand then she is my left. Each day she learns a new skill and while I have many to teach her I need to continue learning myself. We are safe and secure in the harbor but like a ship we are meant for the sea.
We drive people crazy when they ask us our plans and we tell them we have none. We are working hard at something but only the weather knows what. I stare at the pale blue sky and see hints of amber, the days each a few minutes longer; summer is coming. There is a cut off date but neither of us knows it. The Carribean is in our very near future not our present which is where all eyes are focused.
“In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden