Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Doldrums

     The doldrums made a visit to us here on the Velvet Sky the first week in December.  They came in with the national cold front.  We begrudgingly welcomed them with the extra electric heater we had stowed in one of the bilge lockers, extra layers of fleece, and a couple of extra blankets on the beds.  We had the idea that by welcoming and embracing the cold, the doldrums would excuse themselves, and activity would be the replacement.  Here we are 3 weeks later, lots of sunshine, cold weather, and no wind.   Three days ago we did the most exciting thing we had done since Thanksgiving.  We motored to the pump out station.  This was our first time.  And we did it all by ourselves.  It seemed like it was going to be a major deal.  It was easy as putting the vacuum on the waste valve of the boat, pushing the green button, flushing a bit of fresh water through the head, and motoring back to the slip.  From releasing the dock lines to warping the boat back into position, and plugging back in to electricity, a total of 30 minutes.  Not bad for the first time.  Now what to do? What to do? Go for a walk.  Do some baking.  Read a book.  Walk to the Post Office.  Watch a movie.  Play cribbage.  Repeat.

     I haven't told you about the moisture that builds up on a boat.  Yes, lots of moisture, every day.   We prop the beds up for ventilation and to keep our bedding dry.  We open the closet doors or the moisture accumulates and builds up creating small puddles which is readily absorbed by anything that is not in a ziplock or protected by some kind of plastic bag.  "Anything" includes shoes, coats, paper products, and any food in cardboard packaging.  There is daily cleanup and drying out.  And let me tell you, in case there is any question, entertaining a child in cold weather inside with very little room to jump, yell, or play, is the most time-consuming, challenging, frustrating part of this wintertime adventure.  We often find ourselves wanting to start the motor, put the sails up, and sail to the warm blue waters of Mexico before the weather or our plans permit.  We pull each other out of that fantasy frequently.  Alaska first, then sunshine, sweet, sweet, sunshine.  I am very well aware of the fact that we will be sweaty and hot and dealing with lots of bugs.  I am okay with that because we will find shade after run on the beach with our bare feet in the warm sand, and a nice long play in the emerald and turquoise waters.  Until then, I am so incredibly gratified by the activities of the holiday season.

     Raising the Bucket on the boat comes with a lot of challenges.  It also comes with a lot of smiles and heart warming memories.  Christmas this year held a lot of meanings for us.  It is the celebration of the birth of Christ, of the winter months winding down, the opportunity to be creative and make frosted cookies, and as my friend Shawn so eloquently put it, "The giving of gifts to a child without recognition."  Santa worked his magic and made his appearance on the Velvet Sky.  The Bucket asked for the simplest things.  A Christmas Tree, a candy cane, and a jingle bell. Last night (Christmas Eve), as we tucked our little guy in, his last words before "goodnight" were, "Santa is coming, Papa, that is so cool!"  "Yes, Bucket, that is so cool."



This one is for Santa

And more cookies

Milk for Santa

Milk AND cookies for Santa

Santa makes an appearance, in and out like a flash

What is it Papa?

Blow up Bopping Gloves

Oh! That is sooo cool

My own lunch box, now I don't have to use Mommy's

Entertainment (no batteries needed)

Again....(no batteries required)

A cool ninja blanket, it is so soft!  (Thank you Aunt Linda and Uncle Gary in Idaho) Also under the tree are cards and gifts from Great Gramma in Utah, Grandpa and Grandma Smith in Paris, and Grandpa Carl in Oregon.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Family, Friends, Acquaintances, Readers, Love and Blessings to you ALL!

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