Friday, August 28, 2015


The clouds whirled past the v-berth hatch, slowed, then spun the other way. That isn't something most people see when first waking up in the morning. Clouds don't move that way. But boats riding to their anchor swing.  If it is a smooth motion the illusion is that the v-berth is still and it is the clouds that are swinging around. It is a fun illusion and a good way to start a day.

Coffee is a good way to start a day. Coffee in the cockpit of a small sailboat sitting easy to its rode and surrounded by water makes the coffee taste better. Add a gentle north wind that has dropped the temperatures to perfect-for-coffee and wrung some of the humidity out of the air. That is going to be the best cup of coffee in the world.  One should not hurry through the best cup of coffee in the world.

Unless there is a need to be moving the boat early in the morning to catch a tide or a weather window, there are no alarms set on Kintala. We go to bed when we feel like it. We get up when we get up. There is no time clock to punch, no Boss gazing over the warren of cubicles, watching to see who is the first to arrive, who is the last. Sometimes there is a good day's work to get done, but it is rare for such work to dictate an actual start time. The relentless lash of the clock has been replaced by the natural unfolding of a day: sun rise and set, moon rise and set, and tides. Starting a day on the sure footing human kind evolved to know, is a good way to start a day.

As is the want of many people living in the west, checking the news is part of starting a day. I don't usually get far into that. Four or five headlines in is all it takes to know that not much has changed in the world. There is nothing to be gained by slogging through the details. Move on to the weather, something that does matter to those living on a small boat. Look at the sky, see if it looks like the weather forecasters have any clue as to what they speak. Decide if plans need to be modified or the boat prepared in some way. Making the decisions that directly affect living for that day, not a bad way to spend part of a morning.

A boat check goes right along with a weather check. It is a good idea to check on the battery condition / solar panel output once the sun is well and up. Once in a while a little boost will be needed, which usually means bringing the little Honda gen-set into play. Another good idea is a slow walk around the deck, coffee in hand, just to see that all is well with our tiny floating home. It is rare to find anything amiss, but missing something amiss will spoil a day sooner or later.

I don't remember mornings being as pleasant when we lived on land. But I have grown pretty fond of them since moving onto the boat.

So long as they don't come too early in the day.

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