Monday, January 07, 2008

Business as Usual

Originally uploaded by brainswax.
We are settling into a routine now, living on the boat in winter. After much angst and gnashing of teeth, DrC finally managed to repair the heater. So the good news is that the Conger family is no longer freezing to death -- literally or figuratively. The bad news is that it is still winter in Seattle on a boat poorly sheltered from the elements on the edge of Elliott Bay.

This transition state -- not the Real World, not the Cruising World -- is a no man's land of compromises and frustrations. Ironically, both the good doctor and I are working harder than ever. Dr C is holding down two jobs working for the practice he's leaving behind and for the surgical clients he hopes to have in the future. I, too, am working for The Man, building a portfolio of clients who willingly hire me even when I refuse to show up for work. There is prepping the house and business for tenants, selling cars and stuff, and throwing away everything else.

But probably our most challenging problem is that the boat is sinking. Literally. In combining the house, practice, and boat lives into one, we dock carted crates of this, boxes of that, bags of the other thing. Then we stuffed them into every crevice and hole. Day after day, week after week, soap bottle after soap bottle, we played a live action game of Tetris with our stuff.

And Don Quixote was so patient with us, so accepting, so BIG. She took it all. Every box and carton, every stuffed animal and Sponge Bob pillow, disappeared into that great maw which is our catamaran. Until the project was finished and we woke up one morning, walked back from the shore head, and we noticed that Don Quixote was sinking.

Catamarans are notorious for this. All the space in the world, but every 1000 pounds you put on a Lagoon equates to one inch on the water line. When we bought her empty, she was floating 4 or 5 inches “into the blue” as we like to say. In other words, at least 4 inches of her hull paint was out of the water. I used to find this offensive. Everything on Don Quixote is either white or aqua except the hull paint which is a nasty bright sky blue. Bah.

Now I would give just about anything to see that lovely bright blue again. We are sunk down to the water line, and when we take her out, it's about as exciting as driving a garbage skow. She's heavy and slow and sleepy. It takes a minimum of 15 knots just to wake her up.

So our New Year's resolution is to put our boat on a diet. Like Congress in a fiscally responsible mood, we must offset everything. If you put it on the boat, you have to take an equal weight item off. Moreover, sometime in the next 4 months, we need to shed at least 2000 pounds. That's a lot of pasta sauce, let me tell you.

I'd be more concerned, but yesterday I calculated that we had roughly 30 pounds of box red aboard. There's only one good way to get that off the boat. It should be a pleasant few months.


Behan said...

Your reflections on the pitfals with moving aboard are SO timely for us.. thank you, again! Which reminds me I think I owe you! Pick a Thursday. And of course, can happily help you lighten the load of the Cru Box.

Incidentally, great article this week in Zen Habits on getting rid of stuff- check it out:

Laureen said...

After having gone through multiple rounds of stuff-pitching myself, I've decided that the next round will involve finding a nice 15-knot day, and heading down below and pitching stuff out the hatches until the sailing is just right. =) One must have priorities, and one can either sail well, or cart around extraneous junkage. I know my choice is clear. =)