The Sailor’s Life

There’s a sailor I know who told me how she tried to live life on land. After she retired from work, she even got herself a little flat. She was right near the beach.

One thing though. She couldn’t sleep at night. She’d lie in her bed, staring at her ceiling. She stared and stared.

All she could hear was the sound of the waves. One day, she put the flat up for sale. It sold surprisingly fast. With the proceeds, she bought herself a boat. Ten-thousand miles later, she can sleep much better now.

Someone else told me the other day how this pandemic may be the nail in the sailor’s coffin. Many islands – particularly on the Pacific side, are set to stay closed to visitors indefinitely to keep the virus away. And apparently, sailors are a dying breed anyhow. The older ones are dying off and the younger ones are too busy on their phones to want to go sailing. Not long-term anyhow. Hmm. I hadn’t really thought of it before.

When I heard it, I thought back to my friend who lay in her nice flat at night and couldn’t sleep. It was too quiet, she’d said. Too confined.

I’m also beginning to think it may be hard to stop living on a boat. We have routines embedded now. One of them is swimming around Quest. We get into the water every morning, to be surrounded by our little yellow-tail fish. I feed them bread and they attack it. I’m not sure I want to lie in bed at night time and listen to four walls either. I think I may like this life better, even if it’s a little more dangerous.

Jack, well he’s always been this way. When the sailor told me her story, I immediately thought of him. Jack is terrible at living in a house. Spends the whole time thinking about sailing. It is the weirdest thing.

And we’ve lived and owned a number of different houses in our lives together. Funnily though, we bought at least one house in the hope it would plug the gap. We didn’t even know what it was at the time. Until we started living onboard – then it was clear as glass.

It seems that some people just don’t do so well living in houses. Not sure if this should have a name? A medical condition? I can imagine the diagnosis. Feel restless and confined? Staring up at the ceiling night after night? Thinking of the sea?

For this reason, I just can’t imagine that the sailor’s way of life is doomed. Indeed, after this pandemic craziness is finished, I have a feeling there may even be more of us bobbing around.

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