It’s been a while. For the past couple of weeks we’ve been living mostly at anchor and without mains electricity or internet access. Amongst the many things on my wish list are an inverter to charge my laptop from the boat’s battery and the satellite technology to be instantly online wherever and whenever. But that wish list is long and contains many items far more critical to the smooth running of a live-aboard cruising yacht. I look at other boats with some envy – wind-vane steering, solar panels and wind turbines. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be envious of such items, but life aboard a yacht changes one’s dreams and hopes and needs. We have a solar panel, but setting it up currently lies quite a way down Julian’s priority to-do list. Along with the maintenance and repair that came with Carina when we took possession of her, new jobs constantly crop up to be added to the list – resealing hatches so the interior doesn’t get wet when it rains or when we lean; a tear in the main sail; ongoing issues with the temperamental outboard motor; and general wear and tear all over. Maybe next year we will reach the point where instant internet sits at the top of the priority list. Maybe not.
The lack of internet access and shore power has its advantages. I’ve read more these past few weeks than I have since my job ended and I lost the luxury of a 35 minute train commute each day. Since moving on to anchor I’ve finished reading Barack Obama’s Dreams from my father, and am currently reading two books simultaneously – Des Ekin’s account of the 17th Century sacking of Baltimore in west Cork, The Stolen Village, and Stefan Helmreich’s wonderfully written ethnography of marine microbiology, Alien Ocean. Oh, and in between all the reading, we’re getting some sailing done!