Previous month:
April 2016
Next month:
July 2016

May 2016

The Quieter You Become the More You Can Hear

 

I talk too much.

I talk too much most, if not all, of the time. Surprisingly, I am married to an extrovert. (How did that happen?) So, after we’ve spent time alone together at sea, neither of us can stop talking when we finally meet up with folks IRL. Just ask all those lovely English speaking folks we met during out second and third weeks in Guadeloupe in 2015. After completing the “Endurance Crossing”, and barely staying married during the process (there are not lawyers at sea) we couldn’t keep our mouths shut in Guadeloupe.

I also talk too much when I’m stressed. And frankly, as some of you have surmised, I’ve been a bit stressed with this move to a (for now) permanent mooring, the search for a job, and this re-entry into the US thing. In November, dear cruising friends, Sandy and Jeff on S/V Magic Inspiration left St. Augustine after staying here two years for the same boat/cruising kitty reasons. We didn’t’ arrive here before they had once again headed for the Caribbean, but she offered to guide me through the transition via phone and emails.

I thanked her and didn’t listen to the underlying meaning: You will be uncomfortable. Let me tell you the ways.

Not my brightest moment.

So, I’ve been talking a lot and complaining more than I should. Sometimes after meeting people I think, “Did all of that come out of my mouth? What is wrong with me?”

Yesterday, I experienced exactly one of those moments, when I met up with Marcie and David from S/V Nine of Cups. We had first met in the laundry room just after they had arrived and I gave them a quick rundown of stores and services. EW had also met them for a bit, but none of us had boat cards at the time, so I was delighted to see them again when we bumped into each other on the ramp. We conversed. (OK, I conversed, they listened.)

They are lovely people and I hope they will contact us and come over for sundowners when they head south after a summer in the Northeast. Know what I found out during the last few minutes of a long “conversation”?

Not only have they been around the world, but they went south of Australia because they wanted to see Tasmania. They have ventured where few other American sailors have sailed and talked about being the only foreign vessel in most of the south Australian ports. They have stories and I almost missed it.

Because I talked too much.

For now, I am reduced to perusing their blog: http://justalittlefurther.com/

 

When he reads this, EW will roll his eyes and agree and at least think (if not exclaim) “No S#it!” when he reads this. I’m OK with that and I may even live it down someday.

In case you think I’ve overstated this, here is the chart of their passages:

passages to date

 

I think they went around the Horn TWICE! Holy Crap!

I have GOT to listen more and talk less. A whole lot less. I won’t undergo a personality change. I’m extroverted and just a tad domineering. (Cue EW eye roll.)

But I will stop whinging and start listening.

I love the term “whinging”. I learned it from some Brits we met in Guadeloupe. Hey, I didn’t talk all  the time!

whinge

(h)winj/

BRITISHinformal

verb

gerund or present participle: whinging

  1. complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way.

    "stop whinging and get on with it!

That last line will be my new motto. “Stop whinging and get on with it!”


Squirrel!

Dear friends Jerry and Nancy from Cape Elizabeth, Maine gently tweaked me about not posting on this blog in a month of Sundays. (Well, according to them a month.) Let’s contrast this with a sailing fan, who isn’t on the Internet every day and said, “Loved that new post of the poem. Very nice.” It’s fans like that who keep me procrastinating.

Also squirrels.

Remember the movie “Up”? As dog lovers, particularly Labs, we loved the special collar that allowed the dog to express his thoughts, and how frequently he interrupted any conversation by shouting, “Squirrel!” Similarly, I have meant to write a post (or six). I’ve started a post (or six). But I haven’t finished one of them, and I’m blaming it on the squirrels.

Squirrel moments have removed a train of thought from my brain and caused posts to derail. (The previous sentence is an homage to Jerry and Nancy.) This has been a month of squirrel moments—to be honest, all of 2016 has been filled with squirrel moments—and all those squirrels have made it difficult to hold on one topic long enough to finish a blog.

And let’s be honest, for me “Squirrel!” means “People!” It can also mean “Dog!” but “Dog!” moments tend to pass while “People!” usually equals talking, gathering to talk more, and sharing stories and recipes, which is really just talking. Let me tell you about a recent such moment.

I was in minding the Black Raven Pirate Ship’s store when a cruiser walked in to see what we had. It’s a slow month for children’s adventures in St. Augustine, so I had time to chat. (See above.) Greg is an outgoing and funny guy, originally from Texas, now from Virginia, who was temporarily sailing alone while his wife went to visit the grandbabies. (Did you get that?) They are buddy boating with (are you ready?) Dave and Jane from South Portland, Maine. (Big Flipping Squirrel!) Greg, being a wise main, immediately called Jane’s cell and told her to “Get over to the Pirate store right now!” Jane had been in the shower, but for reasons still unclear, actually reached out through the curtain and took the call. She arrived impressively quickly, dressed, with hair only dripping a bit.

Introductions got lost with Greg’s exclamation, “She’s from South Portland, Maine!” meaning both of us. And the “Do you knows” began. When Dave showed up, he simply entered the fray and we discussed moving their moving aboard date, our leaving Maine date, and who we all knew from the marina in South Portland. As I thought we were nearing our shared friends, Jane looked at me and asked….

wait for it…

(you know it’s coming, don’t you?

……..

….. “Do you know Barb and Stew Hart?”

Being quick on the uptake, I said, “We are Barb and Stew Hart.”

Jane squealed and hugged me. Being me, I hugged back. Since her husband knows Jane really, really well he just looked delighted. Jane then stepped back and said, “You are the reason we did this!” And then she turned to Dick and stated, “This is Barbara. I read her blog posts to you!”

Now remember, this was all while I was working on a very quiet morning, but still, I needed to go back to work. As things tend to go in St. Augustine, Jane and her bevy of buddy boaters were leaving the next morning, so she invited us to a cockpit gathering that evening. We had planned to do something with Lynn and Keith from Otter and I told her that they, too, were at sea in part due to reading and laughing at our exploits. Jane promptly invited Lynn and Keith, and this explains how things have been going in St. Augustine.

Squirrel!

Jane pulled together a fantastic cockpit party including the temporarily solo sailor, Greg, and Diane and Bob, the third boat in that buddy boating triumvirate. The food was fantastic. Jane gave most of the props to Diane who is an outstanding, inventive chef. It was a great evening, with lots of stories. Some of the funnier ones weren’t ours. I love that. And I love living on a boat.