September 9, 2014

What Is Cruising?

An imaginary note from my imaginary teacher, Mrs. Jones.

Dear Students,

I would like you to write a two page essay titled 

"What Does The Cruising Life Mean To Me?"

Use your best handwriting and don't be afraid to get in touch with your feelings!… It will be due tomorrow morning.

Mrs. Jones.

My imaginary reply:

Dear Mrs. Jones … here is my essay report… can I title it Part I?

Because something tells me the title of this assignment will have an evolving answer.  Gee whiz, I hope I get a good grade and graduate to the next level!  Here it is!

Your Favorite Student,

Joey Greenbomb

What Does The Cruising Life Mean To Me?
(Part 1, because something tells me this will be an evolving answer.) 

It's waking up with a grin on your face, giddy for the day ahead.
It's starting your day with a quiet mediation, no matter how brief.
It’s greeting the morning with a good cup of java in the cockpit while studying intricate flight patterns of gulls and pelicans for an hour.
It's seeking out the locals no matter what port you are in.  
It’s learning a bit of the history of everyplace you go.
It's sitting in silence and staring out into space without worrying about time.
It's cranking up good loud blues while cleaning and organizing your righteous vessel.
It’s taking extra moments to give thanks for each day and the safety of your world.

It's turning the notion of exploration into service to others.
It’s staying fit, in shape, tanned, and doing yoga.
It's fixin' stuff.  All kinds of stuff.
It's learning to live with less and loving to live with less.
It's learning to deal with minor inconveniences like extremes in heat, cold, insects, and weather patterns you have no control over.  
It's embracing some degree of risk and reaping her rewards. 
It’s discovering the perfect snorkeling or fishing spot whenever you like, and cleaning the daily catch for an evening meal.
It’s riding a bicycle all over a new town and taking time to ponder the cloud formations on the way back from lunch.
It’s working on all the writing projects that crowd my mind.
It’s working on all the music that wants to get outside of me.
It’s working with local communities to volunteer or help with educational, civic, or community events.
It's smiling at strangers and offering help to anyone in need
It’s meeting new boater friends dockside and exchanging stories and lessons learned over dinner.
It’s a daily ritual of honoring each sunset.
It’s a million dollar view everyday at no charge.
It’s sleeping soundly to the gentle sway of a current or tide.
It's a nap after lunch to recharge for the rest of the day.
Its planning the next passage to the next port of call.
It’s reading the good books that you’ve put off for too long.
It’s making plans for a road trip to visit loved ones.
It’s making room in the spare cabin for a friend or family member who might come for extended stay.
It’s knowing that you are not sitting in traffic in some faraway congestion waiting to get to some house where neighbors never talk.
It’s learning to live with less clothes and things and loving what you have.
It’s learning to live a small space and knowing exactly where every single thing is located any given drawer or compartment should you need it.

It's missing your family, but knowing they are ok with it, because you are doing what you are called to do.
It’s learning to read the stars and respectfully planning your days around the weather.
It’s learning to survive and excel in a simpler more and meaningful way of life simplicity at its finest. 
Its’ learning to use and reuse every piece of plastic, wood,  aluminum, rubber band, or twist tie that comes into your world.

It's learning to be brave against any elements or discomfort that is certain to come your way.
It’s learning patience … because sailboats move slow.

It's learning to accept that cruising is 95% pleasure and 5% terror.
It’s knowing you are reducing your carbon footprint and making the most of sun and wind for your energy needs and  transportation.
It’s an element of knowledge that you put into practice by taking pride in your victories of self sufficiency.
It’s learning to live with the elements and not getting upset if you get soaked in a rain or have to change your plans.
It’s a daily gratitude to the heavens above me and the whole circle of life that you are now a vital part of.