“I am about to spend the first night on the boat alone…yikes!”
That’s what I posted on July 9th, 2008 on Facebook (thanks for the reminder internet). At the time we were tied to a dock in San Diego, far from the threat of cyclones, close to grocery stores, good internet, hot showers and all the other mod-cons of life as most people know it. I was anxious about being the sole person responsible for Kate, the boat/our home, that we’d bought only a month or so before. But as Steve well knew, as he packed up his bags and headed off to a job for 6 weeks, there was little to be worried about.
I had lots of boat projects to keep me going, I went to town on the trolley once a week for groceries, the mail and for a little outside human contact, I frequented the gym at the marina and happily started on a little writing project I dubbed “Letters from Kate.” It was a solitary summer but not a lonely one.
Reading that old Facebook post last week made me smile. I realized how much in our lives has changed, how much I personally have grown and how very many things have remained constants.
Steve is once again away working and I am minding the fort. This is the reason we fled New Caledonia much sooner than we expected, there was no possibility of leaving the boat there, simply no room on the dock. In fact if we hadn’t heard of the Port Vila Boatyard from a friend who stayed here a few season back, we never would have considered Vanuatu as a place to leave me and Kate.
Since leaving San Diego this is only the second time Steve has agreed to a work contract and left me and Kate in the water. That’s part of the reason we got a little stuck in Fiji, it was just too easy to haul out and leave, too convenient, too impossible to worry about the boat when it was on the hard. And it is not a decision we came to lightly, especially in light of recent events like cyclone Pam. But, like all the mod-cons, the further we go off the beaten track the more we have to adapt to not having them, at least not when it would most convenient.
We are on a mooring, and it does have its advantages over being on the hard. Out here I have some privacy, no more being watched by the marina staff and everyone else that wanders by. We have wind, so the wind generator is helping with power demands. I can make my own water and it is cooler. But perhaps most importantly, being in the water means Kate still feels alive.
Steve has been away for almost three weeks and so far so good. I have managed to find a few boat projects to keep me busy, I row ashore and take a minibus into town once a week for groceries and some conversation, I started running again and I am still working on that little writing project.
Ever, ever the same but different.