2015 starts for me like a blast from the past. Meaning, for the first time in a very long time, I don’t have this tremendous weight pressing on me. The challenges of the last 15 years have been overcome, and the fact that I am writing this while in Ireland, on Dauntless, means we have been successful.
Only in the last week however has this really sunk in, though maybe sunk is not the best term.
Since the end of our Atlantic Passage, the last four months have been a blur of activity. Since September, I have traveled to and around:
- the Netherlands,
- driven up and down the coast of the United States, from NYC to Florida and back, then
- flew to Denver, then
- Seattle and Mt. Rainier, returning to
- NYC for a day, before
- flying back to Ireland for a day before
- flying to Italy for three weeks.
And I’m not even a Medallion on Delta Airlines anymore for the first time in 25 years!
Finally, by the third week in Italy, under the loving care of long of friends wo are more than even family, I was able to decompress and appreciate just how much we have done in the past few years.
And even take a breath. Getting back to Dauntless this past Saturday at 3:30 a.m. and finding her in the exact same mess I left her in so suddenly weeks earlier, was a relief. Just as I tried not to worry about the consequence of an engine failure in the middle of the Atlantic, I also tried not to worry about the Boat, while I was thousands of miles away and there was nothing to be done in any case.
It worked, but as the Dublin to Waterford bus got ever closer in a windy, rain storm, my imagination did start to become hyper active. So it was with great relief to find her, all as I left her, with no vagrants living aboard, still afloat and the lights still on (signifying the fridge and freezer were getting power).
As I was flogging my little rental car driving from Budoia to Bergamo for my late evening flight, I thought about the last months and all we have accomplished. A real feeling of contentment came over me. Knowing that even getting all of the traveling done this past fall, now allows me to concentrate on the projects that need to get done in the coming months. Maybe I’ll even put away the crap that has been in the second cabin since before we left the U.S.! That’s the real reason we have guests on board, it forces me to clean and organize.
It’s now Monday morning, 12 January 2015, and as I write this one of my projects is already done. I replaced my 120v radio with an automotive one of 12 volts. This stereo system was the last thing that was demanding I run the power inverter, to turn my 12 volt battery power to 120 v household current. Since the radio only used about 1 amp, but the inverter used 3 amps, it constantly irked my sense of efficiency.
And with every project completion, I learn a little more about the boat and every time I think I understand something, I learn a bit more. I have become a far more resourceful person in the last few years. In large part due to the Trawler Forum and Cruisers Forum; on Trawler Forum in particular, I have learned so much, but one of the most important lessons is there is seldom one right answer. If I were to ask an innocuous question like, “While tied to the dock this winter, should I start the engine periodically?” The answers would range from: “What, you have an engine” to “What, you turned off your engine?” But this range of responses is helpful in helping me see there are always many solutions to any particular issue. It helps my open minded brain be even more open minded.
But I still find I do many things two or even three times before getting it just right. For example, yesterday, I pulled two cables thru the boat, from the engine room to the pilot house, quite pleased with myself, until I realized that I had a three wire cable I should have used. So after ruminating about that for an hour, I decided to replace one of the wires with the new one, and leave the one unused for now. Finally getting into my cozy bed at midnight, I realized that I needed to change the on/off power source, which I did promptly this morning, but not before moving the wrong wire at first and wondering why nothing was working.
I’m quite entertaining at times.