Side Effects to Season Three.
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You can read all about Side Effects to Season 1 here
, and Side Effects to Season 2 here
"It's our third year done!" said Dave.
"I can't believe it" I agreed, "Feels like just yesterday that we were total newbies!"
It's been a season with A Lot of Everything.
A year filled with A Lot of Work and A Lot of Exploring. A Lot of Sailing (our goal was to get as far North as Puerto Rico, and we did!) and A Lot of Racing (Anegada and Carriacou and on SV Hotel California). A (small) Lot of Health Issues (remember Lime Disease?). A Lot of Hiking and Bush-Whacking and Adventuring. A Lot of firsts (like Zip-Lining!!).
And best of all, A Lot of Being with Friends. New Hello's and Sad Good-Bye's.
There's been A Lot of Bliss, and Sometimes, not so much.
It's been all about Living the Dream in the Same Ole Same Ole.
"And so what will you tell everyone about this year's Side Effects?" asked Dave trying to focus my scattered thinking into a concrete, evidence based blog "and what do you mean Same Ole, Same Ole
"Well, the first year everything was new. From the roosters waking us up at all hours of the night, to the fresh fruit markets, and all new anchoring grounds..."
"Mm-hmm..." he murmured.
"And now we've become a tad, hmm
, frustrated, at the incessant very loud roosters, or the constant lack of fresh ripe tomatoes, and (huge sigh
) at crowded anchorages"
And as I sit here, awed that I'm about to embark on Season Four, fingers semi-poised on the keyboard, I remain pensive and reflective as to the Side Effects of Season Three. How to best sum up what we feel has been our last year of LTD?
Living The Dream
for the last three years and what have we to say? Well we've definitely been (almost) Everywhere in this Chain of Islands, but just recently, Somewhere South of Somewhere, I lost Something, as you might have guessed by my lack of blogging and sharing of our adventures. My creative edge was in a funk, my inspiration lost in the Sea of Everything Else. I was suffering a serious case of the Blahs. Perhaps I lost my Awe and along with it, my Voice?
I can blame the lack of WiFi for not blogging, or perhaps the excessive Hiking and Adventuring and Socializing, the Constant Doing of boat Chores, and being Tired, but truth be told, I think it goes deeper than that. I have no one to blame but me. Why?
"Do you think we've become (gasp and shudder
) complacent ??" I wondered out loud to Dave, "Somewhat blasé about this beautiful adventurous life we've designed and created for ourselves?"
"Have we lost our sense of wonder and excitement??" I continued... "I mean, we've travelled up and down the Chain of Caribbean Islands twice every season?" I counted them off in my fingers and hand, "So six times times now?!"
So, this year we Worked More, Explored More, Travelled More and also been Frustrated More. And Shared Less. Why?
We've been (cough cough
) Busy !
"So, What do you DO?" we get asked a million times, "besides sip ice cold rum punches?" some add with a "must be nice" type of smirk.
What DO you DO when you live in 40 feet of space, on crystal clear waters, in idyllic settings, on a seemingly never ending vacation?
When we lived on land the days just flew by as we raced like hamsters on the Wheel of Life. We would wake up Monday morning with alarms and schedules, an agenda full of deadlines. The work days were followed by after work exercise classes to beat the stress. Pretty soon it was Hump Day, and Evenings were spent catching up in an effort to keep up to date on everything from Laundry to Groceries and Mowing the Lawn, and then there were the cheap movie date nights or Learn Something New classes. And finally, Friday night and with it, the weekend. Time for sleeping in (although you always wake up early when you don't have to, right
?) and time reserved for friends and family get-togethers. There was always something to attend or plan, Parties and Hosting and Entertaining with Feasting on Sunday dinners to finish the weekend off just right. And then, lo and behold, there we were, laying in bed, eyes wide shut on Sunday night, wondering where the week had gone (7 days vanished pfft, just like that!!) and dreaming about the vacation needed in order to get away from it all !
And wake up and repeat.
And that dear readers, friends and followers, sort of sums up what we do now. Except that what we used to do in the confines of ONE FULL week, we now truly and honestly pack in ONE DAY in 40 feet of space. And best of all, we add The.Best.Vacation.Ever into the Daily Mix.
"No wonder we're tired" I mused. To which Dave queried, "What do you mean?" with one eyebrow raised in that quirky I don't get it look.
Well we wake up with the sun and if we're lucky there's WiFi and we can get caught up on news and email but most importantly the weather which determines our schedule for the next few days. We drink our coffee as we listen to the morning net, which then adds and/or changes activities to our scheduled agenda. We get our "work" done, research where we're going and confirm details.
The intensity of the hot Caribbean weather influences our boat based chores, which need to get done before it gets too hot. Add to that the typical life based duties like laundry and groceries that always need doing no matter where you are because, in our case, they're not always Where We Are or When We Are Ready for Them. And I certainly don't need to explain that it can take all day to get provisions, or do laundry, or perform a simple task.
Afternoons are spent Exploring and Adventuring or Swimming and Snorkelling. Some days are reserved solely for extensive exploring or hiking or adventuring, which leads to a backlog of the above mentioned workload. There's days where Boat Chores like Water-Making or Bottom Scrubbing (our version of mowing the lawn) take all day.
And as the sun starts to set, the purple reds paint the picture perfect skyline that can take your breath away.
And we raise a toast in the company of wonderful people, old and new friends sharing memories and moments during the ubiquitous Sundowners that the Cruising Life seems to be congruous with. This is when we finally get to sip that rum punch. And then we fall asleep at night, hopefully to the Gentle Motion of the Ocean, but sometimes not. And all of this, typically happens All in One Day.
And wake up and repeat.
Sometimes routine, no matter how idyllic, brings a sense of doing the same thing over and over, running on the Great Hamster Wheel if you will, and overwhelms you with a sense of The Blahs, a feeling of "Been There, Done That" which can quickly cast a cloudy grey shadow over our eyes, no matter how Sunny the day.
No matter where you live, or your lifestyle, it's easy to become blah and blasé to the wonderments of what/who is around us, until Someone or Something Pinches you awake, and you yell "Hurrah and Whoa and Wow"
And that's been a major Side Effect of Season Three. A sense of the Blahs, and why would I want to share that??
And so I sit here, my fingers a tad cramped from typing about the routine busyness that sums up our wanderings of Season Three. And I realize that what we've forgotten to do is to stop and marvel just what we're doing. I know we forgot to stop and see/hear that very loud rooster, and we should reach instead for the very large and juicy and ripe mango instead of moaning at the lack of tomatoes. Right?
And suddenly, a peaceful blanket of happiness has wafted over me, along with a faint glimmer of excitement. A change in Perspective.
The Adventure, OUR Adventure, is about to begin. Again. No Blah's about that. We truly are Living the Dream.
What has become our routine might actually be someone else's Dream. How incredible is that?
And you know what makes the blahs and the blasé evaporate? Sharing it all.
And so just like the surf that never stops to crash on the pristine (or Sargassum laden) white sand beaches
like the sails whose shape need to be constantly adjusted in the changing winds,
like the squalls that appear out of nowhere and need to be managed, like the laundry and boat chores that constantly need doing, like the spectacular sunsets or the stars that twinkle their wisdom in the depths of the pitch black night skies: we will continue to explore and keep our eyes wide open in awe of it all, and share, with Big Bold and Beautiful words.
No Blahs, we'll sing Hurrah and Whoa and Wow
Welcome Aboard to Season Four. We've got lots of routine things to take care of, but we've also got a myriad of ideas in the works that will somehow take us on a path to Somewhere.
And we look forward to sharing it all with you. Hurrah and Whoa and Wow