Good morning from LaLuna. Today, we swear in a new President, Barak Obama. All I want to do this morning is capture the feelings of hope, optimism, and unity that I see and hear on the radio, via Twitter, and on the web. May this man govern with intelligence, humility, and honor. And may our country and our world be blessed with peace and prosperity. Together we can.
So the topic in Maine - as it is at least once in the winter -- is "Boy it sure is cold out!" Yesterday morning was beautiful. Below zero, no wind, and sea smoke in the harbor. The ocean has frozen so the docks don't move. When you walk, certain boards will creak; it sounds more like a snap or crack and echos off the nearby condos. The Mergansers that normally startle us as they scurry away from our footsteps have found open water someplace else for the week, so I am all alone in this surreal environment. This was the photo I shot around 6:45 AM on the 16h. Beautiful. While I don't want to live aboard year round in Maine forever. I do want to notice the beautiful moments we have here.
We are bouncing with the chop of North East winds at high tide on this stormy Sunday. On this day we will lay out a plan to meet our cruising goal, so it is a good day to look at La Luna under sail. The photo was taken a couple of years ago on a beautiful day in Quahog Bay in Harpswell. I look forward to sailing La Luna in beautiful bays around the world -- Great Britain, the Med, Caribbean, Las Perlas Islands, Australia, British Columbia. This is a dream we have held for years and one we first put into action when we bought La Luna 7 years ago. We first saw her on January 19, 2002 and purchased her on April 1st of that year. We are living our dream.
This photo was taken by Jack Norby - photographer, sailor, and pilot in Maine.
We read a lot sailing books and subscribe to a number of cruising magazines. While crossing oceans is what motivates Stew, I am eager to explore new areas and meet interesting people. This morning I was reminded that Maine is indeed a delight and that interesting people can be found anywhere.
One of our propane tanks was empty and Stew asked me to go with him to get it refilled, so I would know the drill in the future. He told me about the guy who usually filled the tank. "He attended some training program for doing this safely and is very proud," said Stew. "He always gives me a little lecture on safe transport." Sure enough, we pulled in to the local U-Haul, parked by the fill tank, and in just a few seconds a young Asian man, with very baggy jeans and a slow shambling gait, walked over to our car. He spoke with a slight accent,and while he didn't recognize Stew, he did recognize the tank. (Really, he knew our tank!)
He examined it carefully then quickly and efficiently refilled it. I talked with him a bit and found that this is a weekend job. He has another part time job in the area and he is a full time student at a local college. With all of that going on, this young man was very conscientious as he filled the tank. He had obviously taken his training to heart and was proud of the responsibility that he had been given. When he handed the tank to Stew, he again admonished him to keep it upright and not to smoke while the tank was in the car. For some reason, he touched me. Nice kid, working hard to move ahead. When we finally take off to sail the world, I am sure I will be touched by many people.In the meantime, I want to remember to notice the people here in Maine who help to create this interesting community. Not all discoveries occur thousands of miles from home.
Here are two facts for those who Live Aboard:
1. You need to pair down your belongings.
2. You need to learn to fix not throw.
One of the top ten questions people ask when they hear we live aboard is "What did you do with your stuff?" The answer of course is that we got rid of most of it. We had the mother of all house sales. Everything on the first floor and in the yard (except for the dog) was for sale. We had a second sale 6 weeks later trying to get rid of the left overs. We still ended up with a full 6 X 10 foot storage locker and a lot of framed art.
Two years ago, we hauled the boat for extensive work, cleaned out the shore side storage locker and sold/donated even more. Even now we still have stuff to get rid of.
The boat rule is if a new (pair of shoes, pan, computer, fill in the blank) comes on board, the old one is taken off. This is actually an easy and freeing way to live. I know that many years from now when we move back on shore I want a small condo with a lot of built ins. When you have a lot of space you fill it up, and I no longer want to fill my space with things that don't matter.
However -- one can get carried away. During that haul-out/clean-out I insisted that we didn't need two coffee pots to go with our electric coffee maker and got rid of one. The pot is stainless steel so I wasn't worried about shattering the one we kept. This week, the handle broke. Stew wasn't happy that we didn't have the extra pot, but he got to work evaluating the situation, and collecting supplies. The result: a perfectly functioning pot with an epoxied handle. Cool. I look forward to getting rid of the electric coffee maker when we take off. The 12 cup, old-fashioned percolator is waiting for action. In the meantime, we make coffee just like landlubbers, but we fix and keep things like Live-Aboards.