Saturday, July 20, 2013


Thank you all for reading, and thanx for your concern!  
I have absolutely the best set of friends, Facebook friends, readers and blog followers anyone could wish for - ever!  I got so many expressions of concern after I posted "How Does This Story End?" that I'm completely overwhelmed and humbled.  Thank you all, so very sincerely, and I'm sorry to have alarmed you.  Please rest assured, it was just a moment of frustrated funk - we're not moving off the boat.  (And I did get those shoes!)  If anything, all your concern has reassured me that we are on the right path, and that one of the wonderful benefits of this life is the incredible supportive community of friends that seems to come along with it.  We're planning on heading south again this autumn, mentoring several ICW first-timers, so there will be more stories ahead!

At the same time, we're refinancing our rental property, and in the midst of requests for documents of our income and taxes came this request for the underwriters who were trying to understand our big picture, why we own several properties but don't live in any of them.  They asked me to provide a "brief explanation on the living situation on a boat."  Yikes!  Where to begin?

I vaguely, and probably inaccurately, remember a Sunday School story of a patient sage.  A cynic came to him, thinking to embarrass and mock him and said, "I will convert to your religion if you can teach it to me in the time that I can stand on one foot."  But instead of being angry, the wise man took the challenge seriously and replied to the mocker, "My religion?  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. All the rest is commentary.  Go now, and study."  (If anyone's got a better grip on this story than me, I'd appreciate more detail.  Jesus?  Hillel?)

Being neither patient nor particularly wise, I can't imagine how to explain life afloat succinctly.  I mean, I've written thousands and thousands of words about living on a boat, but brief?  Winston Churchill famously said, "Forgive me for writing such a long letter, I didn't have time to write a short one."  How do I "briefly" describe living on a boat? "Three parts magic, ten parts boredom, one part sunsets, one-one-hundredth of a percent panic?"  Certainly I'd best steer away from the cliches that only other boaters understand, "A hole in the water into which you throw money;" "A way of going somewhere very slowly at great expense and considerable discomfort;" "Imagine taking a cold shower while wearing your clothes and tearing up hundred-dollar bills;" "Keep the stick up, the water outside, and yourself inside."  Maybe I should just forward to the underwriters the wonderful turtle cartoon I got from my friend Steve. (You all saw this one earlier, "Why Liveaboards Don't Get Invited To Do Sailboat Races.")

If nothing else, trying to distill it into a one-liner has helped sharpen my appreciation this life. So, "Imagine exploring the country in a luxury RV ... living on a boat is kinda like that, only a boat has a much greater coolness factor.  It is more romantic, uses wind instead of fossil fuel ... and it floats."

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