Last Boat Standing

‘You’re not supposed to be pleased,’ Lulu said, ‘it’s not exactly a race you want to win.’

I watched her flounce off. I had to admit, she does look good in her new Decathlon microfibre robe. I wasn’t sure about it in the shop, but she was right: the robe makes sense now.

Wasn’t sure she was right about this though. It does suddenly feel we’re the last boat standing. This was after we heard of another cruiser family who were putting their boat up for sale. And these guys are hardcore. Here I was thinking we weren’t proper cruisers because we went home occasionally.

From the ten or so cruising families we met when sailing to the Caribbean in 2016, almost every family have moved on or are planning to – splitting from live-aboard life. Some not by choice either. I’m not judging. People’s lives move forwards.

Now, let me be clear this observation applies to boats who are actually cruising – not the ones who use their vessels as floating homes. They’re not included in my list of ‘cruisers’ – by definition.

The ones who go across the Pacific – well, they’re in a whole group of their own too. Crossing the Pacific is like going straight into the sunset – gone but never forgotten. And the Pacific is huge. Those cruising families are hardcore by definition. They go beyond the judgement zone.

Of course, it’s hard to keep going with this life unless you literally keep going. This applies to work and school also. Cruising is an amazing experience. Perhaps it can never be forever though. I mean, who can live on a boat forever?

We don’t know the answer. We face the same question. We’re just stubborn. And we’re from Wales. So much has been invested in this fibreglass beast, we’re not ready to let go. Yet.

So, forgive me for my small bout of boat smugness. I never win anything. I do know that living on land is lush. If we were there now, we’d be doing ballet, tap, modern and driving all the time.

We’d be cuddling our dog, Fin. Hanging out with family and friends, reading fewer books, watching lots of Netflix, spending minimal hours playing board games and generally skimming past our time together. We get distracted by things at home.

Quest is different. We spend more time actually together. We swim, play lots of board games, read a lot, eat less (the fridge is smaller) and watch very little tv. Sometimes a movie goes on at night. Oh and we sleep a ton. It’s like glorified camping.

Meanwhile, Lulu and Delph have their mother overseeing school work. Sometimes a success – but not always. I mean, can you imagine if your mum piped up in the middle of English class and told you to write down your teacher’s comment about juxtaposition? I know.

This may have something to do with microfibre towel-clad Lulu’s comment. It isn’t a race anyone would want to win – being the last boat standing. After all, boating is never easy. A one-stop shop of home, office and transportation – with never-ending costs included.

We’ll certainly never forget it. Maybe we’ll be closer for it. I hope so. I imagine that’s what all cruising families are looking for. Oh, and the sunsets.

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