Sunday, December 27, 2015

Friends with Benefits

Midnight here at Staniel Cay, never thought I'd be back here again so soon after our last epic adventure.  We've spent the past couple of weeks with our new friends on Sailboat Furminger.  We met them back in St Augustine, and like us, they are a young couple that sold everything to live on a boat to learn the invaluable lessons that Poiseidon grants us all when we decide embark on this lifestyle.  We had convinced them to join us in the remote Berry Islands, and what fun we have had.  Weeks have been spent spearfishing, partying, laughing, talking, and getting to know one another.  I often forget to mention this on our blog, but one of the most glorious things about boat life are the people you meet.  The friends that you make on boats are none like the ones you meet on land.  Somehow, no matter where you are from (they are french canadian), you almost always instantly bond.  Perhaps it's because those you meet out here are often times like-minded wanderlusts who understand that though this life may seem like paradise at times that it's always a challenge.  Maybe it's because we are on remote islands and we have no one but each other.  The closeness you feel to these friends, even when you've only spent a couple weeks with them is indescribable. This feeling of community and understanding, of what's mine is yours, and no matter what I have your back is so rare that it makes you want to continue to meet more like-minded folk.  We give to each other what we have, and likewise, and there is no counting who paid for what, who's food is who's, who did this and who didn't, because out here, none of that matters.  It's odd to be thinking about these things because in our western society, we all have a proclivity to keep tabs on what we gain from one another, but in this world (at least how Frank and I live), there is no such thing.  Don't get me wrong, not everyone is this way, but when you do meet others that have the same philosophy of communal living as you, it's like taking in a deep breath of air after a 30 ft dive.  

This lifestyle can certainly take a toll on you, the constant hangups, the shit that breaks, the weather that is incessantly challenging your testicular fortitude, the loneliness, the isolation of not having people around you that care about you, the feeling that no one understands, the loss of who you think you are because suddenly you are this tiny little speck of a unit in a little home you call your boat on the big, bad ocean.  I don't mean to sound like an ungrateful little shit, but sometimes, I just want to be normal.  I want to want the things that everyone else has…stability, a comfy salt-free bed, cable television, access to a supermarket. These aren't things that you would say to your landlubber friends who seem to think that your life is a dream come true.  These aren't the things that you would say because let's face it, we are living a dream, waking up every day in paradise, but who's to say that living your dream is necessarily a fairy tale?  These things your boat friends understand because, well, they've been there.  They've been scared shitless, they've vomited into a bucket during watch, they've had petty little fights, they don't think you're crazy for wanting to put a gaff hook in your partner's throat…they understand.  I often bring this topic up in my ramblings, but it's so very true that living in this way forces you to face up to you and who you really are and make you question every thing about your life and what you want from it. There is nothing here to hide behind, and every day you are faced with the choices that you make and the things that you do or don't do.  You simply have too much time to face up your own demons, and sometimes who you think you are is not exactly who you are at all.  You discover that you can't overcome everything, that you can be weak and troubled, and sad, and that it's ok.  That you can be an ungrateful little shit in paradise, because well, that's just who you are.  

Gotta love the Berries….
Trigger, grouper, grouper, grouper, testosterone…
Love this couple...
Dinghy rides…..
Nurse Sharks at Staniel Cay 
Another one bites the dust…
Thunderball Grotto
Another young couple we met in St Augustine on
 a boat… Cameron...
Me, Jackie, and Dani….boat ladies
Our version of Xmas lights this year…

On a side note….I got the most touching email the other day from a complete stranger that simply warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes…hello Phil.  It made me realize just what I have and how far we've come, and though I may bitch and whine, it made me realize how different I am from 5 years ago, and how much I'm just the same. Same old optimist, same old over thinker.  Thank you for reminding me of how much I have and how far we've come.  It's readers like you who inspire me to continue to be candid about my life and honest about this journey.  I try hard not to candy coat things because we all tend to do that when we write about our lives, and perhaps it's a coping mechanism, but thank you for encouraging me to continue to write about the "gritty truth"…Thank you for making grateful once again for the life I have and the life I chose.   

1 comment:

  1. I love this. What you said is so true. It is a greatly challenging life style but it's worth it. Those moments when the world feels like it's yours and you don't want to blink to miss a moment. I hope one day we run into you two. We will be heading across in a few months. If you're ever around Port Canaveral, say Hi