Saturday, January 24, 2009

Time to Stop Moving

“The single most dangerous piece of equipment on a cruising sailboat is the calendar.”

Good Morning Sunshine
Good Morning Sunshine
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
I can’t remember who said that in which cruising book. It stuck with me, though. The context was weather and preparation. The author was warning newbie cruisers that the calendar can cause you to make decisions which are not in the best interest of yourself or your boat. Many of the lost ship disasters you hear about are experienced skippers forced by the calendar and a delivery schedule to make choices that otherwise would never have occurred to them.

However, an equally valid interpretation of this quote is in the context of lifestyle. Use the calendar to make your decisions regarding distance and destination and inevitably you’re going to miss something spectacular. s/v Third Day spent days in Meurtos and weeks in San Blas kicking up their heels enjoying themselves. We spent those same days pushing on to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta to “meet up with folks.” Most of our friends are dawdling down the coastline while we rush down to get ourselves settled for DrC’s trip to Seattle to plump the cruising kitty.

The cruising life requires a very different approach than a vacation. Vacations are brief respites from the routine of regular life during which you visit a destination. Limited time results in a whirl wind check list of must-see, must-do, must-experience events. The almost inevitable result is that the return to work comes as almost a relief, a vacation from your vacation.

If ever a family needed a vacation from our vacation, it is the Conger family. We’ve proven ourselves dreadfully incapable of throwing away the calendar. Instead, we’ve been pushing towards one goal or another for nearly eight months and 3500 miles. Yes, we can check off the boxes: circumnavigate Vancouver, Neah to San Francisco, Catalina Island, Disneyland, Baja Ha Ha... check check check. But we are all so tired, we can hardly see straight. The boat is filthy, the provisions down to the last can of tuna and package of pistachio pudding (who the hell bought that?), and not a one of us has a full set of clean clothing. It’s time to stop moving.

Fortunately, this evening we arrive in Zihuatanejo, our southernmost destination for the 2008 - 2009 winter cruising season. We plan to drop the hook and stay at least a month while we wait for DrC’s return and the winds to shift. We plan to do ... nothing. Actually, we have no plans. We might see something or do something, but we’ll let it come organically. Other than boat maintenance and school, I have nothing more ambitious on our calendar than getting sail mail working.

Symbolically, this afternoon I deleted iCal. I’m going to forget everyone’s birthday, but it’s not like I ever remembered to do anything about them anyway. Sometime in February... or maybe March?.. the winds will start to shift to the southeast and s/v Don Quixote will begin our journey back north. Originally, we planned to be in La Paz for La Paz Fest in April. Now? We’ll see. The dangerous calendar has been removed, so it’s not clear we’ll even know what day it is.

I feel so much safer.
The View Out our Back Window
The View Out our Back Window
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.

Author’s Note: Written the day we arrived in Zihua.... um... awhile ago. At least a week. I think...

1 comment:

Singing Land Cruiser said...

Our dear Toast, Its good to see your smile. The cal. is a tough thing to toss. I don't think we could do it. We'll see how the toast floats. All the best, Michael & Christi Hargis
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