Two days ago we visited friends who live on the water near Miami, and now we’re on the water on the other side of the state in Tierra Verde. It’s not only been good for a little R&R but also to remind us that we’re planning a life on the water. Believe it or not, it’s easy to lose sight of that while boat shopping. We get bogged down in equipment lists and storage lockers and bunk lengths and anchor chain, all the other thousand considerations that go into comparing this boat to that one. It doesn’t help matters that some of the boats we’ve looked at are on the hard, and it’s a challenge to picture them floating at anchor when you’re eight feet up in the air listening to power tools and smelling the nasty boat yard smells.
So it hit us in a very vulnerable place when we were dinghied out to see a boat anchored in a little cove in Ft. Lauderdale. The owners are living aboard, a distinct advantage for buyers because the boat is fresh and clean and homey instead of stale and damp and bland from having been emptied and closed up for months. We loved the boat, but now we need to decide if we loved the boat for itself or because it was easier to paint ourselves into a picture when all the colors of the palette are there.
The funny thing is that we are so disconnected from real life during this journey that we forget it’s the holidays. Our GPS navigates us from marina to marina and occasionally through residential neighborhoods where the houses are festooned with inflatable Santas on surfboards and icicle lights on the rooflines, or we drive down Main Streets all lit up with bells and candy canes and carolers, and we’re yanked back to reality and reminded that we need to head back up north in a few days to see our friends and family and our cat and eat Christmas curry and see snow and wear fleece.
I think our understanding of reality is starting to shift. And that’s not a bad thing.