16 Nov Celebrate the Small Victories
Many of the items here on The Boat Galley deal with solving various problems that we encounter when living aboard. Perhaps more important is celebrating when things just “go right.” We all celebrate the big milestones — the first night out at anchor, the first overnight passage and so on. But there are lots of other causes for celebration.
Jackie on Lively Lady sent me this, listing many of the little things to celebrate. So often we grumble when things go wrong, but forget to smile when they go right.
So how about it? How about a toast — or slice of chocolate cake — to celebrate when there’s no need for problem-solving tips??
From Jackie on Lively Lady:
Whether you are a full-time or part-time cruiser you find that life aboard a boat is different than life on land. Of course, many things are similar: meals, household chores, etc. But even those are down-sized due to the smaller size of your “house.” For instance, no large dinner parties, of course, and a hand-vac or whisk-broom are usually sufficient for any cleaning you choose to do.
You have new daily routines and seem to mark your days with the high points. Land-dwellers do that too, but the high points sure are different for cruisers! Here are some of the “small victories” that we celebrate:
- When it doesn’t take hours to get through with the Port Captain and Immigrations when checking into or out of a country
- Your forwarded mail actually finds you and especially so if it comes quickly
- When the day, or even a few hours, are sunny so laundry or other outdoor projects can be accomplished
- Not dropping any parts, tools, or anything else in the drink while working on those projects
- Finding some shade on the boat when the sun does shine
- Catching a fish that’s not too big for the refrigerator — or sharing it if there are other boats around
- Getting the overhead hatches closed before the full onset of the storm hits
- Filling the tanks with that rainwater
- Actually finding the item you were looking for in a village store (or on your own boat for that matter!)
- Thinking you might have communicated correctly with a local using what little you know of their language and broken English
- When the inertia from the outboard motor on the dinghy is sufficient to get you to the dock, but not at ramming speed
- Going ashore and not getting eaten alive by mosquitoes or no-see-ums
- Seeing familiar faces or boats when pulling into a new-to-you destination
While underway there are different routines and different causes for celebration:
- Seeing dolphins always feels like a good omen
- Night watches that are totally uneventful except for shooting stars and the phosphorescence on the water
- When the winds and seas agree to give you a smooth ride instead of throwing you in the “washing machine”
- Knowing you have enough fuel to get you where you’re going when the winds aren’t there or are on your nose
- Knowing you’re really not aground even though the chart-plotter says you are
- Having the anchor set the first time and not drag when the wind changes
And finally: knowing there is at least one cold one in the refrigerator, especially when you’re at anchor and a bar’s nowhere to be found!
What “small victories” do you celebrate?