October 3, 2006

Life on the Hook

Life on the hook is generally good. We prefer use our anchors, while some like to tie up in the floating ghetto known as a marina. It's a nice ghetto, but it is still a ghetto.

In other words, I like to be able to toss a cold cup of coffee overboard without dousing my neighbor. I like to get up in the middle of the night to check out the weather in my underwear. I like to lie on the deck and enjoy the cool evening breeze.

I don't like telling someone to please stop fiberglassing at 10 PM. I don't like asking someone to please drown your dog before I do it. I don't like joining the party unless I want to join.

Sure, there are nights when I have to sleep in the cockpit to keep one eye on dragging boats, and my wife would love to have air conditioning. But, we do swing into the wind, when there is any, so we get whatever natural cooling there is. On the really hot days I don't see much of the marina folks--they stay huddled around their air conditioners. I do think that they get air conditioned bodies that melt when exposed to tropical air. You can see it on their faces--they're thinking "why did I come outside?"

You participate in the weather when you live at anchor. If it's windy, you know it. When it's hot, you sweat. When it's sunny, you roast. But, you also get the best of the best moments. You wake up at dawn and see the sun rise, then you watch the sun set over the water while those ashore enjoy their air-conditioned cocktails and watch TV. I like the connection with nature. It's why I go boating. The bad times just make the good times seem that much better, and you get used to dealing with whatever is dished up, which makes the bad times gradually seem less and less bad. Got that?