Monday, February 16, 2015

Paradigm shifts and ocean drifts

Stopping for a coffee at any time in any place; pushing through the capitalist octopus of limbs inside, reaching the registers and the underpaid baristas, contrived terminology, over-priced products of Starbucks and it’s imitators.
Fresh milk.
$9.99 a day rental cars
Friendly efficient waiters at restaurants
$1 stores
These are some of the things I will miss when we set sail and leave the USA behind us. It’s a count down now in days. A simple 40 mile crossing to Bimini, but a paradigm shift in many ways.
For the past six months we have been observing, indulging, following, frolicking, partying to the tune of America’s drummers. We have sacrificed swimming, snorkeling, solitude for all of this. Glamour, glut, buy-one-get-one.
It’s so easy, being from such a country, to fall into the routine of surplus and safety. Where all your needs will be met. Where you can demand what you want and have the right to receive it. If I’d never ventured away, I’d probably question why anyone would ever want to leave that. But we have, and so we are now members of the global wanderers, maritime squatters, compelled in some way to keep moving, even when there is so much we’d be leaving behind. So much to do, so much to buy. So much of everything really.
But we’ve spent all our money now. We have new TVs, full freezers, matching towel sets. It’s time to go. Back to the quiet beaches and jaw dropping sunsets that mark the days and nights of life in the Bahamas and beyond. Back to the parts of the world where the US coast guard and Towboat US will not be waiting around every corner to help. Where we must judge the weather and maintain our engines and take care of ourselves.
Time to pack away the thick denims and heavy soled shoes. My toes long for cool sand and the hunter in me longs to find sea shells instead of bargains now.
The oil and the filters have been changed and the boat survived. Oil smudges notwithstanding.
Our charts are up-to-date and will hopefully keep us from running aground in the Bahama shallows.
The sails are in tact. The chain has perhaps another year before it will crumble into a rusty pile of salt induced oblivion.
So, no reasons left not to leave.
We’ve visited all the friends, pet the manatees, seen the alligators, partied in the coolest places, and danced to ‘Troprock’ with the Parrotheads. 

This year we need to find some new horizons. Maybe we will head to the Western Caribbean. To Belize, and further. To the San Blas islands where there are no shops nor electricity. No cities or governments. It's been fun in America but it's time for dinghy rides that don't lead to Publix and pubs. Time to close the door on consumer choices and fashion trends. Time for salty hair and sandy bedsheets. To places where mystery and nature are in charge and not Mr. Starbucks...It's time to float and be free. Time to cast off the lines and leave these beaches behind.
To borrow from one of the Troprock icons Jack Mosley, a toast, whatever happens, and wherever we end up:
“to small boats on big oceans, and dreams you can’t drown”.