As I sit in this cafe enjoying the Sunday morning peace…no, can’t do it. There are children everywhere, having a “who can speak the loudest” competition. The church bell ringer, who has obviously had a long night, swallowed a bag of speed before commencing his duties, and I have a headache because I ate too much MSG at the Chinese last night.
I will not let this affect my posting, the topic of which is my take on the best and worst of life on a boat, as seen through the eyes of a newbie, albeit one who has already clocked up almost nine hundred nautical miles stop SHOUTING your friend is right next to you!
So, as I was writing, I realised that a lot of the good things could also be viewed as bad things. So I decided to give you both sides.
The Best and Worst of my first month on a tiny boat
1. Open Water
Good because: there is no way to describe the vast, lonely, immense, free feeling of being adrift in the open sea. It’s scary, and it changes you.
Bad because: I have not had much chance to enjoy above feeling, as I’ve been too busy puking into a bucket, whimpering pathetically. There is no way to describe the level of self pity I reached. Those of you who know me will get it.
2. Living in a tiny space with someone
Good because: You can reach your pen, guitar, tea, biscuits, pretty much everything, from exactly where you are sitting. And if you can’t, someone else can, from where they are sitting.
Bad because: You have to put everything away immediately, otherwise you end up lying in a massive (relative to size of boat) pile of filth and mess within twenty minutes. This includes washing up after a meal. Those of you who know me can imagine how this irks my apathetic side. And how it irks the patient skipper, who has some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
3. Meeting new folk
Good because: A great variety of folk, all with different origins and destinations, have a wealth of topless bar stories, boating tips, recipes, generosity, random boat tools, hosepipes and ukuleles to share with you.
Bad because: I could only think of one: young hippies. “Oh, yeah, man, you know, I took my shoes off in Morocco and I haven’t put them on since, man”. Those of you who know me will know that this irks me because deep down, I want to be a young hippy.
4. Lie ins
Good because: Savouring the morning cuppa, starting the day with a few chapters of game of thrones, forsaking your lie in to do a bit of yoga, or doing a bit of yoga and then having a lie in.
Good because: once work is out of the equation it is a pleasure to make decisions on how I am going to spend my day based on what I feel like doing, rather than what I have to do. Add to that the fact that I’ve removed bothersome (non MSG) hangovers from my schedule, and I am left with vast swathes of time, time, time, which always manage to get filled somehow…
Bad because: Whilst reading above, those of you who know me will have anticipated that, due to my lack of self-discipline, this freedom can often lead to me lying in bed for vast swathes of time, eating chocolate, smoking fags and reading game of thrones until my back aches from lying down so long. Lucky I have that patient skipper to kick me up the arse and make me fill water tanks and get gas refills. Bloody slavedriver.
So that’s it. The kids have gone, as has my headache after a second cafe con leche. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you enjoy your Sunday, with or without coffee, Spanish children, or MSG hangovers.