Today we woke all snug, sleepy and grateful for a day off. I made us a couple of coffees and Rich has every intention of washing up at some stage so that I can make lunch at some stage so that we can go out for a walk at some stage. I may even go for a run at some stage. For now, sod the stages – more coffees, more drags on the fake fag, rubs of each others legs and heads – we are a pair of lions resting for the hunt, grooming each other for fleas.
It’s nice in times like these when we’ve become accustomed to Gwen’s stasis, even to her incarceration in the godawful shed, to be reminded that there is actually a point to all this. This morning I found the videos of this wonderful girl, whose book I’m about to fork out for for the kindle. Her videos, of a boat doing what boats are supposed to do, set our hearts alight. It’s remarkably easy, even with all of our plotting and planning, to forget that the stage after the renovation is a real, moving, windswept technicolour experience – that sailing is the point. Watch this and drool for that clear sunny water.
Through the internet we have other connections to the real world of cruising. Perhaps we’re a bit snobbish with this, but we tend to fall for the bloggers and writers who are most like us – a bit scruffy and silly, not the wealthy plastic set with all mod cons and a point to make. Prolific blogger Stormy and Emily often pop up in my reader list, with familiar lifestyle quirks and choices like using the bilge for a fridge, luxuriating on a shoestring and enjoying nature while the dream comes to life. Rich found Landfall Voyages while searching for something else and started sending me over post after post from this boat family in Mexico, each as entertaining as the last. “A Dwarf, a Gimp, a Dog and a Dick, trying to sail around the world!” – their blog is much funnier, more inspirational and better written than this one can ever hope to be. There are so many great boat blogs, and I’m following as many of them as I can – I’ll try to make a more exhaustive list somewhere when I have time.
Books, too, get us salivating, and at the moment Rich spends most of his down time marvelling and chuckling away at the adventures of Captain Fatty Goodlander, whose book he’s just downloaded. I’m not allowed to know much because Rich says I must read it, but he throws me the odd funny paragraph to whet my appetite.
Our most abundant resource for inspiration is the community in which we live. From Chris and Marsha who have been all over the place with their two kids, Marcus and Freya and their wee son Malachai who own the massive lugger Grayhound (and whose wedding reception we are going to this afternoon, hurrah) and Luke and Bryony who are also expecting a small human to join them on their traditional scottish fishing boat, to visionaries like Daz who builds spaceshippy racing catamarans and Andy Fox who pioneers in recycled boats, there is always someone at hand with a good sailing story or an opinion on how something should be done. The boatyards where we live have been half full of people who’ve done or are doing the sort of thing we want to do and half full with those who have started and never made it to sea, both sets imbuing us with determination to get Gwen out and going towards that reality that we sometimes forget can be real.