Living the Dream for us goes something like this: sunny days and temperatures in the high 80’s. Jumping off the boat for a morning swim to a white, sandy beach, sipping morning coffee on the bow seat, watching the sea turtles poke their little heads out of the water to say good morning, paddle boarding around a little harbor as the waves hit gently against the rocks, snorkeling a wreck in the middle of a secluded anchorage, rum on the rocks with new friends.
We have explored the main city of Antigua, St. John, taking the regional bus there and back with the local schoolgirls in their bright pink uniforms. We have danced the night away with new friends. We have had many a night where cocktails were our only dinner, we have danced the night away to an awesome band, and we have tried a cheese shot (you can miss that one). I spent one gorgeous afternoon with the ladies drinking a beautiful rose and talking about our future plans, and I have finally developed a taste for a 10 year old rum. Recently, Mike and I have even had a little time for reading on the deck and napping.
But all this good stuff does not tell the whole story, as the good stuff alone never does. Much of the time (not even “sometimes”) there is hard work to be done, and plenty of squalls in the middle of the sunshine (literally). It might take an entire day of searching to find the right oil for the generator, only to realize that no one on the island has the kind of oil we need. We have had repairs done by “experts” who have no idea what they are doing. We have clearly overpaid for things, and we have waited in the heat for hours for a repairman on island time, who said he would show up 5 hours earlier. We have been frustrated finding provisioning supplies that we “need” after walking to the supermarket in what feels like 110 degree heat (it’s only 87 degrees).
We have been frustrated tremendously by a lack of consistent internet. I sometimes get testy with Mike if our anchor doesn’t catch the first time, and then feel guilty that I am so intolerant. I miss my family, especially around thanksgiving. I miss talking to my friends whenever I want. I miss Words with Friends.
Then there is the constant boat maintenance: Isinglass to clean. Mold to spray with a bleach solution on the top of the bimini. Something smelly in the refrigerator that I can’t quite locate without emptying the whole darn thing. Stains on the water line. Stains on the cushions. Stains on clothing that must be hand washed and hung to dry, due to the lack of washer or drier. And there is always a broken something or other that Mike is working on.
We are, as we have heard others describe this life, fixing our boat in all sorts of exotic places. Our job is keeping our home in one piece and mobile. And we will continue to do so, because as long as I can jump overboard for a reset when things are looking most miserable, it is still a pretty awesome way to live.
How bad could life be when I am writing this post in only my swimsuit?