Loosening Ties

Colloquial sayings stick around because they strike a chord, but the best of them work in multiple situations with multiple meanings. “Don’t shit where you eat” is a saying that’s been on my mind lately. The 5.5 miles I ride in the morning wake me and get me warmed up for my shipping and receiving job. It’s a lot of big stuff. Crates and skids and 70 pound boxes, LTL truck shipments, and not a boat part among them. I resent paying full price for marine hardware, but it is freeing to tie my bank balance and my life’s most irritating site of coercion to something I don’t love the way I love sailing and living aboard this floating home. So when I think about not shitting where I eat, I’m not focusing on the traditional “don’t sleep with coworkers” version or any of the other similar interpretations. I’m thinking about making a job of a joy and how absolutely wrong that can go. James and I have been linking more and more closely with the maritime world since that first time James ran a boat club for the City of Oakland parks department. I got hired at West Marine a couple years after that and then James came aboard at the same store (Honolulu, HI). We’ve both done boat clubs and marine hardware stores and marinas and boat yards on and off since then, and this winter was the last straw. The stress of living where James worked spiraled out of control over the course of a couple weeks. We left Boston Harbor for Salem Harbor on a cold grey day with a storm looming. Beluga Greyfinger completed his first boat ride moments before the snow buried the fragile cracked ice riming the waters of Pickering Wharf. I applied[…]

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Sprung ’21

The entire year before we sailed away from the west coast of the U.S. in 2006 was spent on the three essentials of sailing beyond the curvature of the Earth. The perfect balance of Mind, Body and Boat. You absolutely have to get your head in the right place to sail off into the sunset, or rather, you have to lose your mind before you can let go of the addictive chains of society and just sail away. I’m not saying you have to be insane but conversely I’m not saying you gotta be sane either. But what you absolutely have to have is a healthy body and a ship shape boat. Finally, we got a weekend that was calm enough (in the morning at least) to allow us to go aloft in the mooring field. Between the powerful springtime winds and the near constant work boat traffic we’ve been a bit put off. We needed to deal with some “roller fouling” issues and bend the headsails to the foils before we could do any sailing! The staysail went up so fast and the new furling line and fair-leads made the staysail rig glide into place. But the yankee headsail would pose some issues. Just the fact that Dena’s been riding in excess of 60 miles a week and works at moving thousands of pounds a day and I’ve been on a rigid workout routine for months now made it so much easier for us to muscle each other up the mast. We’re both feeling very strong and healthy now-a-days which is good for hoisting human bodies. The whole reason I brought up the Hawaii trip above was to talk about the roller furling system aboard S/V S.N. Sapien. That was the boat we sailed to Hawaii from San Fransisco.[…]

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