Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Winter into Spring. . . at last

Winter in to Spring. . . At last.

I'll be honest, these last two winters as a live-aboard have been, well, difficult. Winters are always somewhat of a challenge: Going anywhere can be a problem, and the weather isn't condusive to the usual sitting out on the docks and watching the world go by. These last two winters, though, have been a challenge. First of all, there was the virus. Usually in winter we can count on going out to our favorite pub to have a libation or a meal, do a bit of conversation and people watching, and then stagger home to the marina. It was almost a weekly ritual in the dark months. These last two years, though. . .

The Drinking Trees await

The virus closed most of the public spaces, places we took for granted, places we went to meet neighbors, to get a bit of exercise, to just get the hell off the boat for a bit. Those places.

Then there was politics. Places we loved before, places we always considered a home away from home, were suddenly hostile territory. We felt unwelcome. We felt unable to speak, to share, to even be there for fear of conflict, and who goes to a neighborhood dive looking for conflict?

I think these last wnters for most of us—regardless of our stripes—were a rather lonely and isolating time.

But this year, for all the international turmoil, feels different somehow. This year, the trees are budding out early. Our usual hikes through Marshy Point are already quietly met with the murmuring of frog song, the weather is warming fast ( a little TOO fast, but that's another issue ) and friends and fellow live-aboards are already talking BBQ, talking game night, talking road trips.

This year feels different.

We live for that first couple of days of spring, when we can sit in the cockpit, or up on the hard beneath what has been dubbed the “drinking trees”, with a glass of decent wine, watching the birds come and go and feeling the warm sun on our faces. It's coming, and I've already made my reservation.

There's always so much to do in spring, boat travel notwithstanding. Tarps come off and maintenance you've been putting off suddenly wanders to the front of the cue. The boat can finally get a good airing, paintwork gets done, and the cat discovers the dock again.

And we discover one another again as well. Our dock is a particularly convivial one, with live-aboards and boaters all of which have become good friends. Only now, we will begin to see each other on a daily basis, rather than just noting someone in a coat going by. Now there will be music and movies and games and . . .well. . .alcohol, and the warmth of community and friends as close as family.

Now there will be spring.

And we can't wait.