We are in one of those harbours--the ones I’ve come to think of as a type of limbo: A place between real cruising and real life, where our days are filled with chores and the intention of simply getting out.
I thought about itemizing the chores we need to finish in order to leave here: do laundry, fix the windless, make the bug screens, write and file stories, etc... But then I looked around—this is a beautiful place with the peaks of mountains catching the evening light and misty desert islands in the distance.
The harbour is calm, we have showers and laundry on shore, we have friends moored beside us, kids for Maia to play with and an entire town within hitchhiking distance. There is really nowhere else we need to be. But even now, a YEAR after we first set out, I find that the push to keep moving is so strong, that it’s hard to simply be here.
We celebrated our one-year cruisiversary with friends from Hotspur and a coconut cream pie, from scratch--yay me
Part of it is that full-service harbours—those populated places with businesses and useful facilities (although in the case of Puerto Escondido services are limited) are considered, at best, necessary evils for cruisers. The goal is always to be away from it all, out there, somewhere. Because out there is where real cruising happens, it’s the place where we go to explore and relax—it’s the weekend, I guess.
The crazy thing for me is when I’m in a get-work-done-harbour I feel anxious and guilty about relaxing. There is just so much stuff still to do if we are ever going to get going, is the argument I have with myself, even as the temperature rises (is it really, already 34° C, in the shade?) and the day slows. And we subtly pressure each other to get out, to get going. There is nothing more motivating than to overhear other cruisers on the VHF as they discuss bypassing a harbour with the goal of staying out in the islands just a little longer.
My biggest challenge in life is to learn to be comfortable with being still. I learned this when I had my tarot cards read when I was 18. I’m pretty sure I was told other things in that reading that I forgot—maybe that I’d have three marriages, 7 kids and a goat—but the idea that some mystical force recognized what I already knew about myself: that I’m happiest while roaming, was what stuck. It was both liberating and depressing. What about feeling settled and rooted to a place? I asked the man who read my cards. “You’ll have to work at being still to get there,” he told me.
And I will, eventually, I guess. But today, there is so much else to do, because I want to leave here, despite its beauty and undiscovered secrets. But I will practice with being still, just a little bit, just for a moment. And maybe someday it will take.