That’s how the brain feels. In a time-warped Questie. She is looking beautiful though, having been polished by Peakes Boatyard just before we arrived. And the inside of her’s just the same as we left. I think. Trying to remember. I felt the countertops, cooled non-stop by a year-and-four months of air-conditioning.
Richard, the air-con guy, mounted it into one of her saloon hatches. He’s checked it every few days or so since. This boggles my brain – we were off, not even thinking of Quest and she was sitting like a boat-in-the-sky apartment the whole time. I felt her surfaces for signs of ambivalence. ‘Where were you guys?’ Hmmm. I don’t think she’s forgiven us yet.
After all, we lived on her for almost three years straight. Almost a third of the girls’ lives. This fact struck me with surprising melancholy last night. My girls used to be proper boat kids. Indeed, boat kids without knowing they were boat kids. And, well, they’re not these kids anymore. Ok, they will be again – to a degree. But the finality of this journey is already here. The finish line. We plan, all things being well, to sail back to Wales next summer. Since Jack won’t sell her. ‘We’ll never buy her again,’ he says. He’s right. We won’t.
This morning was the big unpack. Alongside was the re-packing. Cupboards filled with stuff we no longer need went back into the suitcases. Clothes we’d not missed, books who are ready to live with younger kids. Toys. Games. Devices and leads for computers we’ve retired back home. A left-hand stringed SpongeBob the Square Pants guitar. I’ve finally accepted it – yes, we may have a bit of time here without the usual distractions of home – but no one is going to play the guitar.
I have three suitcases ready for Superb Sails. A family-run business in the next boatyard. The dad lets their daughter, Mackenzie, make a lot of their working decisions. It’s impressive to watch. He has a gentle way with her. They have another daughter and a little boy. They decided to home to homeschool the boy when we were leaving.
We gave them stuff then and they seemed genuinely chuffed. I mean, even the Polish books. And what they don’t want, they’ll give to their community. This is a nice, nice feeling. Let’s find that left-handed person who’s like, ‘My life isn’t complete until I’ve played a SpongeBob the Square Pants guitar.’ Really, We should probably be paying them..
Being back in Trini is nice too. The night before we left, Jack and Lulu had fallen out – and there was a dramatic hour or so considering if Jack should go on his own. We’ve never left him so far.
Wanda and I were chewing over it. ‘I guess the sailing isn’t a novelty for the girls anymore,’ Wanda said.
True. I sighed. ‘The thing is though, because we know many of the places we’re heading to now, it also makes it easier. We know the craic. Where the shop is, where to rent the car or take the bus. What the place feels like. It has practical advantages.’
Wanda nodded. After all, you can’t get to 92-years old without appreciating practical advantages. ‘Then you’ll be fine. I’ll make sure to pray for you just to make sure.’
Oh yeah – practical and spiritual. She’s covering all the bases.