Friday, April 22, 2016

What can I say

There are family and friends who follow our modest little blog. They like to know where we are, what we are doing, what we might be doing next. There are (rumored) to be some others who check in on us once in a while, people who are dreaming about joining us “out here”. As a result we have made many new friends and manage to stay in touch with other members of the tribe. And, in return, we have tried to be as open and honest as we can about life as a full-time, live-aboard, cruiser. Living this way is our choice, it isn't a common choice, and it isn't anything like the magazines, boat shows, and advertisements suggest.

Sometimes it is a bit hard to come up with something even mildly interesting to say about this life, like now. Today is Friday of my third week of refilling the “cruising kitty”, an endeavor somewhat common among the “budget cruiser” members of the tribe. We count ourselves pretty lucky to have landed a gig were we can live on the boat, where work, shopping, laundry, and other necessities are near enough that bikes will do, where the work is interesting, and we have the chance to get Kintala some tender loving care as well.

But interesting?

Most of my life right now is easily summed up with three words, “I fix boats.” When I get done fixing boats, I go on to fix other boats. Once in a while I don't fix a boat so much as modify it a little. Upgrade a thing-a-ma-bob here, replace a do-hickey there. Sometimes the owner wants the old thing-a-ma-bob or do-hickey removed gracefully, without much butchering, so it can be listed on Ebay and help pay for the new thing-a-ma-bob or do-hickey. Seems a bit odd to me, given the shop rates. I'm pretty sure the extra time it takes to carefully unstring an entire wiring harness to release various connectors without them being damaged, will pretty rapidly chew up the profits of an Ebay sale. But hey, as the saying goes, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

Actually, that is the unofficial saying of those of us out in the yard. The official saying of those in the front office is, “Whatever the Customer wants, we will do our best to provide.” And really, in an off-hand kind of way I feel the same. For, the thing is, I fix boats. The work is the work, my only goal to do it as professionally as possible. Which means get it done right while getting it done efficiently. (If one only cares about getting it done right, one is likely enjoying a hobby and not trying to make a living. A cool thing, but not really a “pro”. If one only cares about getting it done efficiently, one is likely a huckster. A not so cool a thing, and certainly not a “pro”.) So, if the job is to spend a couple of extra hours carefully removing something, carefully removing the something is what I'll do.

Sometimes, when I'm not fixing a boat, I am doing the most routine of routine maintenance on a boat; changing oil, filters, light bulbs, or impellers. The kind of thing that, for the most part, those in my part of the cruising tribe do themselves without much thought. Certainly without much thought of paying someone else to do it for them.

So maybe my filling-the-cruising-kitty life isn't that much different than my cruising life. As a cruiser I spent most of my time fixing A boat, while occasionally helping out with some other boat. Now I spent most of my time fixing other boats.

While occasionally doing a little work on this boat.

Either way...

I fix boats.

Some of the boats being worked on in my day

Our friends Robert and Rhonda leaving for Rio Dulce


Unknown said...

I only know you from your blog, following along vicariously. I enjoy reading about both the good and the difficult, that keeps it real. Both you and your wife write very well, I look forward to reading each post. Perhaps because I worked (many years ago) as a marine mech., I particularly enjoy the tales from bilge, amazed that the same boat building monkeys are on both coasts, and the passage of 30+ years did nothing to improve the breed!
You write "What can I say".
You say it very well.

Carl said...

Perfectly said, hope to see you guys again somewhere, we're headed up the east coast for this season and will heAd south again in fall, hopefully be crossing paths again.
Carl and Ardys
S/V Northern Stat