I hang our bed covers over the boom, and clip them with plastic clothespins to halyards and lifelines, yet I have one eye on the sky. There are a few dark clouds, to the east. They are full and not exactly foreboding, but they are definitely on their way. Already I can feel a slight increase in the wind. The bedcovers whip gently against the pins and the railings.

About a half hour later, I feel the first drops of rain. I barely manage to spare all my toes as I run on deck, pulling off clothespins, gathering up the coverlets, shielding them with my body and then the bimini, just as the rain begins to come down hard. A few minutes later, the squall is gone and the sun is hot, and I bring them out again, clipping everything in exactly the same way. I know this will happen again. And then again and again, but eventually, they will dry.

We are at the dock at Le Marin in Martinique preparing to go home for a visit. Doing laundry at the dock, compared to at anchor, is a relatively simple process. At the dock, we do not have to pile the laundry in the dinghy before bringing it to shore. We simply dump the laundry in a couple of bags, and walk 10 minutes or so with our heavy loads to the laverie (which, conveniently, is located next to a patisserie.)

Yet “relatively” is the key word here. The laundry directions are in French, the “big” machine, which is really medium sized, cost 11 Euro a load. We don’t have the right change, and either the credit card machine isn’t working or we are simply not doing it right. Most likely, it is our fault.

Nothing is actually simple when you live on a boat.

Except that everything is so much, much more simple.

I may not have a washing machine, but no one really cares if I wear the same thing every day.

I may not have a car to get where I am going, but I don’t have a commute, or traffic, or insurance, or accidents, or the frustration about finding a parking space.

I may not have malls, but I have the open ocean, white sand beaches, blue skies.

I may not be able to buy makeup, but I have my tan.

I may not be able to join a cycling class where the music is loud and the lights are dim, but I can jump off the boat and swim laps, or paddle board, or hike (every day, in between squalls.)

I may not have a backyard, but my front and backyard views change whenever I want.

I have no place to buy a grande, extra hot chai latte, but I can dinghy to get a fresh, hot baguette.

I may not be able to google at will: when the moon will be full, how you say, “I’d like to buy some fresh fish” in French, who won the Superbowl. Yet, most of the time, I am not distracted from the person who is talking to me.

I may not be able to call a repairman every time something breaks, but I have a whole community of friends who know how to fix things, and are willing to help out for beer and a bit of conversation.

I may not have Amazon Prime, but…

…well actually, there are not buts on that one. Lordie, I miss Amazon prime.


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