I hobble back to Sookie, I’m wrecked. I barely have enough energy to pull a cool beer from the bilge and tuck into my quarter berth. I wake early to a half finished beer and a beautiful day. An early morning spending spree and my bank account has run dry and I couldn’t be happier, Sookie is covered for another year and her registration is payed till June 2018. I have enough boat supplies to keep me busy for a month but the paint for my bowsprite is still AWOL. I need to pull it and inspect and paint under her cranz iron.
The number one letter I get from this site is how do you afford it. The plain and simple truth is I can’t but I do it anyway. I’m a minimalist for sure but between the boat, my Brompton and my Nikon there aren’t enough hours in the day with all the mini adventures I find my way into. Last year I had a boat full of food and less than $150.00 to last me from February till the end of June, it was a struggle but I did it. Having just come off a sailing trip up the inside passage and straight into a bike tour of the Hawaiian islands I doubt anyone felt sorry for my predicament, I certainly didn’t, it was all just part of the dirt bag life I live.
I feel like a millionaire these days but unlike last year when my only choice was basic survival I have too many now and too many choices is a bad thing. I’ve been promoted to lead bartender at the resort I work for and they want me to stay forever… it’s interesting watching kids in the restaurant melt down at all the choices on the menue but when given only one they are instantly happy again. I wonder if we ever grow out of this. When I set sail north I had few choices. When it was cold, I was cold. When it was stormy I dealt with it. When I was lost, I found my way. It was all so simple because it was my only choice and I loved every second of it.
Freedom is a lie, we are never free, it isn’t the tax income the big wheel wants from us, it’s our labor. We are trained from birth to be endentured survants to the system. I fight this battle every day but if I want new paint for Sookies bowsprite I have to sign over X amount of the best days of my life in exchange, my youth slipping through my fingers as quickly as my dollars slip though my checking account and the cycle continues.
I’m constantly asked if I’m going to sail around the world and the answer is no, I simply can’t afford it and to be honest I don’t want it badly enough to trade my remaining life’s units being a slave to society to earn the money to accomplish the task. I’d much rather sail in my current region when I can and travel on my Brompton when the weather turns cold. Returning to Sookie at the end of a long journey is pure heaven. She does everything I ask of her and each year gets a little better and more comfortable.
Over the last decade Ive become increasingly disallsioned with the prospect of budget long term voyaging. I wonder if it’s even possible to cruise on the mini budget I used to do it on. The abundance of big boats and big budgets has raised the prices of everything, everywhere. I’m currently living in one of the most expensive places in the United States but according to friends I have out there, I’m living cheaper here than they are in Mexico. I’m beginning to see through the illusion and the more I do the more I love this wonderful area even if I do freeze my ass off 4 months out of the year.
It’s a shorts and tee shirt day and while I should be scrubbing the daily barrage of bird shit off of Sookie I’m still in the boat sipping on coffee and exploring a paper chart of the northern islands. I cleaned and oiled Brompty after my morning ride and am content with the world. The headline news is nuclear war, its interesting how little I care about what I hear on the news, Sookie isn’t just my home and bug out boat, she is an island of her own. I have loaded enough food and booze aboard that I could sail her half way around the world with 5 minutes notice. Yes it’s nice to know that I can but there is a secret little anchorage about 5 miles from here that seems much more enticing and after a few days out I can come back to my little world, plug in my heater and trade a few more days of my youth for a new roller furling unit. It’s all an illusion…
“Today as always, men fall into two groups: slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche