Sailing is fixing your boat in exotic places! First the anchor chain. Actually first it was the Genoa that's still not repaired (which is why we're now picking it up in St. Lusia rather than Barbados). But the anchor chain trumped everything as the thought of finding out the boat had decided to sail to Mexico without us was rather depressing. Now the water pump in the engine is leaking. So we're off this morning to get that fixed before heading to St. Lucia. Fingers crossed it will be quick and relatively painless as it's just the seal leaking. Being a full time cruiser is not a perpetual holiday. It is most definitely an adventure and those are very different creatures indeed (and why sometimes you need a holiday! 😜) I was journalling this morning (sidenote: first morning in a week that Mr. Man is finally 100% himself allowing me to have morning journalling back. BLISS!!!) & thinking about how a lot of people think this life is one of escape. We did escape our golden cages but life follows you. And the true escape from the golden cage is being your own source of happiness. So long as you're always chasing outside validation (be it more money, more status or the belief that next city or beach is where happiness is) you will get a shot of happiness that disappears. Outside validation is not self replenishing. Finding it inside is so much harder but in the end it's the only well that you can replenish and take control of. And that will keep you from losing your sh$t when things go wrong as they always will (eventually! It's physics what goes up must come down!). Otherwise you'll find yourself running back for the illusion of safety that shiny cage gives you. BTW Leaving the cage doesn't have to mean travel. It means living whatever life lights you up. It can mean giving up your high paying job and downgrading all your expenses so you can afford to write. Or even becoming a barista because you love coffee and people and not taking your job home with you. It's whatever is happiness to you. That's what's outside the cage. Even if everyone else thinks you're crazy for choosing it.
It's not always sunshine, turtles and dolphins! My little man is sick. Not sea sick. Proper fever sick. This terrifies me. Ever since he had his first seizure fever in Portugal last year the least elevation of his temperature sends me into a panic spiral. I do 4 hour watches all night to check if his temperature is up, which it has been, so he gets his next round of fever meds (alternating ibuprofen and paracetamol to keep it down). We're both exhausted! But I know if he does have a seizure he will be Ok. That they are almost "normal". But as a mother watching that "normal" thing – please please please never again. (That first time I honestly thought he was dying. I still cry if I talk about it for more than 2 seconds). So this boat is a sleepy one today! Yesterday we had On Guard running all afternoon. And this morning as he woke up with no fever we switched to Citrus to get some energy into our step! Also mermaids in the creative mermaids Facebook group: we pulled all the Thursday mermaid cards for the month together today! So it was very much a family effort today. 😄😄😄
I think swimming under the light of an almost full moon would make any evening feel magical. But there's something even more so about doing it in Dominca (also glad we're not here at the height of season, because I don't think I would want to swim with 300 other boats potentially direct flushing). I'm also so glad right now we listened to direct word of mouth. Just listening to our guidebook I would never have come here. We have the most recent edition but it's still with info from 10 years ago. They talk about getting swamped with requests as soon as you come in and to watch all your stuff ALL the time. OR a very not relaxed and fun spot to visit. But our friend and neigbour in St. Anne and later Pointe Prite said that's from a decade ago and the place has entirely changed. He loves it so much he's building a house there. Everyone we have spoken have said the same thing. They go to Dominica with trepidation from what they have read in guidebooks and come out fully in love with the tiny country. Us too.
#thursdaythrowback The cover of Shiny Side up was taken just outside Capadochia Turkey. The next day I wiped out on gravel & lost half my knee cap. But I'm feeling pleased as punch to have ridden to the top of a sandy hill right there. Writing that book taught me so much about what it is to be an author. (And yes sometimes being a creative means feeling like you've let a lot of blood & even parts of your body on the side of the road. But it's less dangerous. It just feels the opposite 😜). When I first started publishing my writing it was in the early stages of Indy publishing. I had begun to listen to The Creative Penn and the fact that I could just click upload and my book would be on freaking Amazon was mind blowing. And so I began to tentatively venture forth into the publishing world. One of my dreams was to write a book in Thailand. I still remember that feeling of sitting outside our hut & finishing Iceland: A Stormy Motorcycle Journey. There are a lot of mistakes in that book. (I didn't properly edit it) but it dominated the Iceland list for months, staying at number 1. There I learned about best seller lists. You can sell 3 copies & still be number 1. Because no one is buying. I learned about bad reviews (1 guy complained it read like a bad vacation. Which confused me because I LOVED Iceland but we had a lot of bad weather. Hence the stormy in the title. And we did end up in hospital for a couple of days). I also learned about people who instead of reviews send you direct emails telling you how much they loved your book & you captured their homeland so perfectly they are both homesick and inspired to do their own journey. And you realize not everyone will get you. Even the perfectly edited book. But those that do understand & connect on an entirely different level. And that keeps you going. Eventually one day (& multiple times throughout your career as you keep learning) you realize that being able to make a living writing is an amazing gift you can give yourself if you just LET yourself have it. If you're called Write. Let the readers decide if it's good. Learn from that. Improve. But don't stay locked in a cage of fear.
It’s true that the first time I took the dinghy by myself was in Martinique. As in almost a full year into the trip. 😅😅😅 And it’s also true that not being able to confidently handle a dinghy meant I was in my own kind of cage on the boat. So I get how scary it can feel to go out by yourself. And also how we stay small (& trapped) by thinking about all the ways things can go wrong when we step away from the safety of our cage. And yet we defeat ourselves with false problems. For me and the dinghy I was convinced I was going to be flipped by a wave or sucked out to sea. (Easily avoided by staying on the boat in a storm and simply making sure your battery is full. Most drama is a non theme outside of your head). And the truth is we do things in steps. We are talking ourselves out of the big events when in truth we are not even facing them! We’re terrified people will laugh at our book so we never write it. When actually someone laughing at your book means they read it!!! The impossible happened! They found your book in a sea of books and not only bought but proceeded to read it. (Do you have any idea how many books I have that I will never read???) But more importantly it means you finished it. And then those who will like it can also find it. For me yesterday was the longest crossing with the dinghy by myself. I had to cross over the channel where the big boats go. I was nervous but I did it! Then today I did it again! And on the way back one of those freaking high speed ferries was coming in. And I just turned around. Admittedly my first thought was “how do I time this so I don’t DIE???” And then it hit me. I don’t have to try. I did some circles outside the canal, snapped my pic with it, and made it back alive to my family who were rocking out in my absence. Not ready for the jump? Don’t do it!! But don’t let that stop you from all the steps up to that point. Don’t let fear of what might happen someday stop you from what you can do now today. And when you get there, if you’re still not ready, you can work on it then! Hire a coach or find out if it is really what you want to do. But live. Today. Not in fear of unknown futures!
Just a couple of more days left to our landcation! Falkor is waiting patiently for us. We recieve weekly updates from the friend who is watching him (And most importantly helping to ensure no mold demons take control of the boat in our absence!) And then it’s below the Hurricaine belt for us for the summer. And I’m seriously considering a sail to the ABC islands as a trial to see if I could maybe, possibly, perhaps, handle a sail to the Galapagos. Checking out our friend’s Instagram feed is making me at the least entertain the idea. Still a week at sea…… (but if I can do 8 days then surely I could do 12….) Just ideas though. That may change 3 hours into our sail to Barbados. 😜😜😜😜