Tuesday, October 03, 2006
What's it Like?
The view out my cockpit window. At 7 am it is 78 degrees and sunny.
My coffee is beside me, my muse is turned on, and my fingers are at the keyboard.
There's a question I'm asked frequently.
"What's it like living aboard a sailboat?"
More to the point.
"What's it like writing novels on a sailboat?"
"How in the world do you complete assignments for your PhD in education on a sailboat?"
We moved aboard nearly three years ago.
We sold our 1500 square foot townhouse in Kaneohe, Hawaii and compressed into a fifty foot long thirteen foot wide "cigar."
No furniture and even less "stuff."
How do I explain it so you can understand?
It is freeing. It is enormously freeing. I am light as air. It is amazing what I do not need. Instead of a walk-in closet, I have a walk-in bedroom. I sleep to the sound of plopping waves against the hull.
My "house" moves. I had bruises on my shoulders for a year because I couldn't remember to turn sideways when going through the narrower doors. The first meal I cooked for guests consisted of chicken burned on the outside and raw on the inside due to my inexperience with a propane oven that can take a month to preheat to 375 degrees.
A week after I moved aboard my husband was at work and I was trying to write. I heard a crackling sound. Was that fire? It was louder in the engine room. I looked for flames, sniffed for smoke. I finally called Gordon at work.
"Honey, I think there's an electrical fire somewhere."
"I hear crackling and popping sound. It's very weird."
"It's snapping shrimp."
"You're kidding, right?"
"No, really. They live in the growth on the hull. I thought you knew."
The place where I write.
And this is my muse watching over me.