It’s been about two months since we returned home from our lovely Britican Experience, the sailing trial and adventure that reinforced our desire, no need, to transition into the cruising lifestyle as soon as the well-planned schedule allowed. There were some cruiser behaviors that we retained in our life on land, and this was a very good thing since within 3 weeks of returning we’d be self-isolating, and a week later dealing with a stay-at-home order.
Going with the Flow
When we were on the Britican sailboat, we had a plan. We were going to sail up to Bequia via overnight passage, then leisurely return to Grenada stopping at beautiful anchorages along the way. It was a simple plan, but wasn’t meant to be since our Head sail connector broke while I was at the helm during our first day’s cruise. So, we learned a lot, helped a lot, and made the most of the situation while in a gorgeous part of the world, having alternate experiences that were no less rewarding than the planned ones. Similarly, now that we’re at home 24/7, we don’t follow our usual routine, but we are devising new ones, and allocating time to simply not have a routine. For instance, we started Landers Libation Friday concoction-making sessions, and we get together with friends for online gaming on occasional Sundays.
Meal Selection and Preparation
We don’t go grocery shopping these days, so we live off the food that we already have, and what we can have delivered every other week or so. There are many items that just aren’t available now, such as chicken and most meats, bagels, butter, eggs, and flour, so we make due, try new recipes, and experience new things.
Kim laughed when I took a picture of the salad she’d put together on Britican. To me it was art – a combination of delicious ingredients that could be found in the area. It was entirely liberating to think of creating a salad or any meal out of only what fresh produce you could get your hands on in a place that didn’t stock the staples from home. Now that we’re dealing with isolation in our home, and only the limited groceries that can be delivered (meaning they are available both upon ordering and upon filling the order), we have to be more creative and resourceful in our meal planning and storage.
I appreciated the conservation focus that we had on the boat, both for the environment and for the convenience and safety of the crew. Limiting water and toilet paper to only what is required was a habit we developed onboard, and it has served us well upon return, though we had a sufficient supply of toilet paper before it disappeared from market shelves.
We also pay much more attention to food planning, so we can re-use what is leftover, and avoid waste. Planning meals around leftovers or the food that is going to go bad soon has turned out to be quite an interesting challenge.
Time with Family
In isolation together, we’ve baked bread, apple pie and carrot cake, made butter (twice!), and cooked and enjoyed new and interesting main meals and side dishes. We’ve spent more time together doing jobs around the house and in the yard, playing board and card games, and we’re really close to completing a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle. And we still want to live together on the water in a much smaller space!
We also had to figure out how to work on our individual endeavors without encroaching on each other’s physical or audio space.
Last weekend while we were preparing to watch the next Marvel movie in the series, I was overcome with the need to say out loud that I really look forward to living on the boat together. I’ve been enjoying the time we’re spending as a family during and after work/school hours, and over the weekends, that were previously filled with other activities.
During this pandemic, we’ve seen only others who deliver packages or walk by our house, and those on conference calls and Zoom events. We haven’t been to a work or school building in over 6 weeks, and our dogs are thrilled to have constant human companionship.
Our time living on the sailboat could have been an experience in social distancing, but those hours with just the crew were punctuated by connections with people from other boats and the friendly proprietors of coastal eateries. It turned out to be quite a social experience.
We sought out solitude in the form of deserted islands, and we cherished the time away from those we didn’t know, but when people joined us in our snorkeling or beach hideaway, we made the most of it with friendly waves and smiles.
Joie de Vivre
We have a limited amount of time in this life, and the circumstances that we live in are always in flux. We can’t be sure that the world we know will remain the same, whether that’s comforting or stifling, but we can be sure that some things will change.
And once we accept that and embrace it, we can settle into the joy of life as it is, the way it is today, AND the way it will be tomorrow. We can interpret the butterflies as excitement instead of anxiety, and appreciate each new day as the gift that it is.