Bucking the system one sunset at a time!

Posts tagged slacking

We Came for the Unemployment; We Stayed for the Butter

Well, it’s official! After years of planning, saving and sacrifice, we are both now unemployed and pseudo-homeless! Who knew that not having a job or an official home could be so exciting… and difficult to achieve? We have saved enough scratch to put food on the table for the next few years… after that, I suppose we’ll start shooting down birds. Or, we’ll start gnawing on our shoes. Or, we’ll swipe food off of your plate when you’re not looking. Whatever, we’re free and are living in the moment!!!!!

Well, what do you think? Do beards and blue bottom paint make for handsome?

My last day of work was Friday, June 26th; my last paycheck followed shortly thereafter. Getting your last check kind of sucks, but, it’s an easier pill to swallow when you know that it’s coming than if you were simply 86’ed. I immediately moved onboard the boat with my buddy, Keith, and we’ve been busting-out boat projects for several weeks. We were really behind on getting things done thanks to the aforementioned job.

To be honest, I sort of feel like I’m cheating. I mean, this is the first time in my life where I’m doing exactly what I want, when I want. Weekends now start on Sunday and end on Saturday. It’s delish. Whenever I go somewhere during the normal workday, I feel like people are staring at me. For example, we went out to eat a few days ago, and I half-expected people to start pointing and saying:

“I know what you did, and I’m telling.”

Silly, huh? I’m sure it will pass once we really get into the groove of cruising. Because, frankly, this freedom business is the bee’s knees.

“The Admiral” only quit her job a few days ago, and the shock hasn’t completely worn off… in fact, she looks like she just got shot out of a cannon. I’m sure she’ll be fine once she comes to a complete stop. But, for now, she may take your leg off if you get too close. I may wait a few weeks before I tell her that we’re now doing our laundry in a 5-gallon bucket. To talk her down from the ledge, her friend Gary took her to the waterfront on her first day of unemployment. She practiced lounging. In a hammock. Yeah, she’ll be fine.

Slacker Training

Slacker Training

For now we’re going to take a few weeks away from boat work to visit family and friends in the Midwest. I had really hoped to leave the dock by the end of July, but, it’s not gonna work out that way. We should be back onboard by August 8th, and we’ll knock out the remaining projects. That’s fine – there isn’t much sailing happening on the Chesapeake Bay in August anyway. And, we will still have plenty of time to cruise the Bay before heading south in October. The tropics are calling our names! Can you hear it, too?

Tradition

Question: What would you guess to be the number one ingredient in grapefruit juice?

Answer: If you guessed rum, you’d be correct.

Question: Consider breakfast staples. What food would you suppose provides the most nutrition for a long day of sailing?

Answer: Why SPAM, of course!

Question: Imagine that you’ve just spent three glorious days sailing to Annapolis. You’re tied to a mooring ball in Spa Creek just a few yards from the United States Naval Academy. The harbor is alive with activity, and the sun’s rays are just starting to extinguish in the glassy horizon. You’re relaxing in the cockpit with a cocktail – your fingers moist with condensation. Soft music is playing in the background and you’re appreciating the beauty of an historic American skyline. Now… what is that godawful smell?

Answer: Keith.

It was actually me, Chris and Danny, too. Good lawd! Did this crew need to shower? You best believe.

For the last five years, we have tried to organize at least one “guys'” sailing trip every season. When your buddies are scattered around the country, it’s often times very difficult to get together. These trips are a great opportunity to catch up with good friends, spend some quality time on the water and, perhaps most importantly, act like idiots. Memorable phrases are coined: “There is as much water in mojitos as there is water in water.” Useful inventions are imagined: the soon-to-be-ubiquitous piss bucket. Strange ports are visited, and strange ports pray for your departure: Cape Charles, VA. Moreover, these trips are the perfect proving ground for new drink recipes: green tea, maraschino cherry juice, dark rum and a twist of lime? Yep, we tried it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome, very much!

As mentioned, this year the booze cruise crew consisted of yours truly, my brother (Danny), Keith and Chris. We set sail from Cobb Island, MD with enough rum for a crew of 100, as much ice as we could carry without raising the waterline above the gunwales and enough SPAM to keep scurvy at bay for months. Destination, Annapolis. This trip would also be the longest I’ve lived aboard the Morgan since I bought her – one week. Not long at all relative to the long-term cruising plan but long enough considering that there were four men subsisting on rum and SPAM. The trip was, in a word, perfect. We couldn’t have asked for better sailing conditions. We had our own photographer aboard to document the transgressions. And, the Morgan proved herself shameless – just like the Hunter before her.

In fact, these annual trips are so much fun that they alone were responsible for planting the cruising seed in my wee little brain. Before I started sailing and embarking on week-long trips with the guys, I had never considered that one could actually live and travel on a small boat. Even in the relatively primitive accommodations of the Hunter, we were always comfortable and had everything we needed – a coffee maker, a piss bucket, a BBQ grill and an icebox. And, while I’ve slept on boats before (big boats à la the USS Essex and the USS Boxer), sleeping on a small boat is an experience like no other.

The end of these trips are always a little difficult. Sure, it’s satisfying to pull into your slip after a successful voyage up the Bay. And, the memories of the week will last a very long time indeed. But, more than anything else, these trips provide a tiny little glimpse into the cruising lifestyle that leaves you yearning for more!

 P.S. Seriously, unless you’re desperate, don’t try the green tea and rum drink.

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