Saturday, April 2, 2016

Being Aware of Wares, Where, Wear and Tear, and just how Little I Wear….

After spending only a week on the mainland, we skipped along the southern coast of Puerto Rico to Vieques to meet up with my sister and our good friends Sean and Shea.  This was the first time anyone has come visit us on this trip, and the first time we've had anyone else on the boat aside from Ashley.  There's nothing like having visitors come and live with you, and inviting them into your world,  that makes you realize just how different your world has become.  I guess it never dawned on me just how much things have changed, how I have changed, because every time I go home, I'm transported back into my old life, my old world, and quickly re-adapt  One of the biggest things that has changed, is that I've become more aware.  Sounds a little silly, but living this lifestyle, you have to be hyperaware of everything.   Something as simple as being aware of a hatch being open, or even something left on deck.  Being in the hands of nature, you start to see that there is a direct consequence for everything that you do… or don't do.  You leave a hatch open, chances are you ruin anything under that hatch when the daily tropical rainstorm comes along.  You leave something unstrapped on deck, odds are in favor of you losing it when the wind picks up, or when the waves build and rock your boat.  Having guests over makes you realize just how much you subconsciously do to avoid these little "inconveniences."  (Hmmmm….ironically as I'm writing this post, I'm hearing a pan-pan from the coast guard on the vHf of someone's 51' sailboat being thrashed on the rocks on western Culebra because his mooring ball drug while he was having lunch down below, shit…)  

Explaining to your guests things that need to be done and fearing that you are sounding a bit like a neurotic control freak when you're telling them how to properly flush your Lavac toilet, not to throw toilet paper in the bowl, not to leave things on countertops in case it gets rolley, to put everything away from deck before going to bed, and to shut off fans when you leave the room to save power.   Keeping things neat and orderly has become a priority for us as there has been more than a night or two where we have been nearly  thrown out of bed at 3am because of a sudden onset of a violent squall with stuff we left out, like dirty dishes, flying all over the boat.  Realizing that we are now so much more subconsciously hyperaware, that we wake up at any unusual sound or movement, and tripping over our guests sleeping soundly as we get up instinctually to check for the source of the mystery sound.  It's funny, we are so much more in touch with nature now that we are even able to gauge the windspeed just from the sound of our wind generator with incredible accuracy.   We have routines in which we get up every morning, shut off the anchor light, check  our power consumption, go up on deck, look around and see our surroundings to see if we dragged, check on the dinghy…so on. Being responsible for all these little things as well taking ownership of your actions and inactions deeply changes your perspective and relation on things.  You start think about things more thoroughly, not just in terms of your living space, but you start to apply that notion to other parts of your life as well.  In a way, you simply take more direct responsibility over your life.  That's not to say that this is necessarily a good thing as it can just as well turn you into a paranoid, anxiety ridden nutcase. I suppose, just like everything else in life, there needs to be a moderate balance of awareness, as well as care-freeness.  Speaking of care-freeness, having guests on board also made me realize just how often I am naked without even realizing it.  Oops, haha.  I suppose that's just another side effect of living on a boat

Aside from all that deep philosophical stuff, we had a great time with our friends and my sister.  Sean ended up staying for about 10 days, while Shea was only allowed a brief 4 day stay.  My sister was with us for close to 3 weeks.  In that time, we took Sean and my sister to Culebra as well as St Thomas, where Sean flew home from, and my sister stayed on an extra week, while we sailed back to Vieques to meet up with her boyfriend (now fiancĂ©…he proposed on the trip :)  We took them on some dive adventures where they got to got see coral that they wouldn't have been to access without a dinghy.  We showed them what it was like to sail from island to island.  We did some spearfishing and found some conch.  It was awesome to see my sister  adapt to this life so quickly, and take to it.  She really loved the simplicity of our life as well as being surrounded by nature, and says that she already misses the boat.  I'm happy as that means that she will be wanting to join us again in the near future.  Yay!

Sailing to Vieques…
Shea and Sean
Sister sister...
Goofing off in St Thomas...
Island hopping
Diving under the pier in Vieques
My sister the mermaid
First pic of Frank and I both spearfishing
Sean spearfishing
Octopus Frank speared and I cooked…(first time ever
preparing octopus!)

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