There are a two different ways to take a vacation. One way involves significant amounts of planning and scheduling everything down to 15-minute increments. Someone is usually running around like a mad person, frantically trying to keep everyone on schedule and filling each day with FUN FUN FUN! Or at least one person’s ideas of fun – no substitutions or suggestions thank you very much. In my experience, these types of vacations tend to cause more stress than they relieve, and everyone involved goes home with slightly higher blood pressure.
The other type of vacation requires minimal planning, and maximum flexibility. You wanna stay another day? Okay. You wanna head somewhere else? Alright. You wanna lounge and do nothing? You got it. You wanna go do something active? Sure thing. No stress or guilt trips while still having fun and relaxing. You may not see every sight or do every activity, but how many people can claim they’ve even done that in their own hometown?
This trip has been an odd mixture of both types of vacations. A significant amount of planning and work went into making sure that Small World and Zubie were ready to hit the high seas. Within a week of our departure, Mamita (my cute Gramma) asked me what our plans were. Which islands were we planning to visit? How long would we stay at each one? What was there to do on the islands? It sounded foolish at the moment, but I had to confess that we hadn’t planned any of that.
Our stop in Reid Harbor was not planned, and we certainly did not plan to stay for four nights. But we were with good people, in a beautiful space, and there was no urgent reason to leave.
While in Reid Harbor we:
- Hiked to the Turn Point Lighthouse twice. The actual lighthouse is not much of a structure, and has been converted to an automatic system. Volunteers are working to restore the keepers’ quarters and I would probably live there if it weren’t for all of the tourists walking through.
- Looked for Orcas and apparently left the area right before they swam by. Both days.
- Kedged out our anchor for the first time while rafted with Adventurer and Sea Scape.
- Had wonderful meals with friends and ate fresh caught salmon, Dungeness crabs, Elia’s famous Greek Salad, and Jeff’s famous pocket cookies.
- Had a jam session. Technically Craig and Jeff jammed, and the rest of us appreciated their musical talents.
- Tricked Brenda into staying an extra night. As it turns out, our cockpit is the perfect place to curl up and catch some warm rays that will zap all motivation. I already knew this, but Brenda had not been warned.
- Celebrated Emmy’s birthday by teaching her how to stand-up-paddleboard, teaching her how to play Skip-Bo, and commandeering Angela’s birthday crab and seafood feast.
- Got Zubie’s engine working and were able to take her ashore multiple times.
- Took showers! Technically we each took one shower. So if you’re keeping track, that is two showers per person in about nine days.
- Saw Big Easy!! We searched the harbor for their friends, Cinnamon Girl, but no luck.
- Discussed communication between couples. Jeff and Brenda of Adventurer have been out cruising (by sea and by land) for a while now and have some great stories and hilarious insight into what the lifestyle is actually like. Many of my friends and family have asked if Craig and I ever get sick of each other when we are trapped in such a small space. I don’t know if that happens (yet), but we do fall into a similar trap that occurs aboard Adventurer – if your partner doesn’t understand what you are saying, say it louder and do not offer additional information. Jeff and Brenda unwittingly demonstrated this for us one afternoon. Jeff and Craig were in Zubie getting ready to kedge out the stern anchor. Jeff asked Brenda for a shackle and described the location where it was stowed on their boat. Brenda found a shackle and provided it to the boys. “Nooooo, I said the SHACKLE!” exclaimed Jeff. “This IS a shackle!” responded Brenda. It did not happen to be the galvanized shackle that Jeff had in mind, but had not specified. They got it figured out, and we all laughed because this kind of mess happens ALL THE TIME. When we are in these small spaces and spending all of our time together, we start to expect that our partners can read our minds and intentions. Even in the few short days of our raft up we all experienced this phenomenon several more times.
- “The bee! It’s on your hand!”
- “The toothbrush!”
- “Use the lever!”
- Pumped out the holding tanks like pros. Like goddamned professionals I tell you.
As Jeff mentioned in his blog, the Raft Up is risky business. If you’re not careful, you could end up tied to folks that just aren’t any fun. Fortunately for us, we did not have that issue. We are looking forward to meeting up again with our raft up buddies in Eastsound!