Sailing Mango


Surfing a sailing forum this morning, I stumbled upon a catamaran that both Kristen and I have admired from the comforts of our couch. Naturally I had to look to see if any were for sale, there always are a couple. Then that bifurcated djini, Dreaming, again managed to sit on my shoulder and make me wonder. Just a small thing, a dream. This one in particular, the dream of cruising, never goes away. It slumbers, ignores me, and once in a while, gets me thinking again. What if we just...

I mention the boats for sale to Kristen.

Kristen: "Oh I always liked those."
Emma: "Yeah, I could cruise on one of those."

Most of these boats are on the East coast, or in the Caribbean. Not too far, we could fly out there with the essentials, taking just what we need, and make our way through the beautiful green waters, and give the dolphins something to do.

This isn’t really good for me. It’s like when Kristen is musing about the changes she would make to the house if we owned it.

Kristen: "I’d remove a bit of wall here and there, add a covered porch. My existing pond is fine for now, but I’d move the fridge over there, and then this cupboard would go over here, so we could turn this wall into a half wall."
Me: "Sure. And maybe move that half wall out a few feet to open up the kitchen? I’d maybe turn Emma’s room, remember it was a garage in a former life, into open space with a roof, like an indoor/outdoor living room that opens up into the kitchen."

I’m not sure either of us mean it, her musings on a boat, mine on modifications to a house I really haven’t bonded with after a year of living in it. The only reason it begins to be a home is because that is where my family is. But that sweet little gaffer on Craigslist a while back? That my friends, would be a true home away from house, a fine little ship. I don’t mind the boat work that would be necessary, when it is done. And when it is done, why, that is a fine feeling, sailing and traveling in a piece of yourself, a floating little fiefdom, that feels alive as your hand wanders over the wooden tiller.

Practically, joining a sailing club seems like a good idea. Inexpensive compared to boat ownership, the ability to take out boats suited to the purpose, evaluated trip by trip. Ice cream run? Yeah let’s take one of those sporty J80s. A weekend tucked into a little cove over the way? Maybe that Pearson or Catalina would work well. No buyers remorse, and the knowledge of what we like in a boat would grow far faster than just having a drink with a friend in their cockpit. No one likes to candidly talk about the faults of their boat, especially when you silently disagree with them.

But what would I do between the trips, between the boats we borrow for a day sail? Could I just borrow one, and let it go Sunday evening? Or would the need to tinker, improve, try a new thing, get in the way of enjoying the weekend trip, or voyage to our ice cream? Happiness is so hard to see from afar.