I’m sitting here with my pitcher of marguaritas thinking back over the day and realizing that it’s our third full day here and we already need to buy more tequila and mixer. Man, supplies start running low when you’re spending your days being nothing but useless to anyone. It’s great! If this is what retirement is going to be like, I’m going to be a big fan.
We got some serious lessons in the retired cruising lifestyle yesterday when we finally met up with Steve and Lulu Yoder (http://yodersafloat.wordpress.com/) and Keith and Kay Schardein (www.keithandkayunderway.
Truth be told, these couples saved us from having to drink several extra pitchers of fire-water margaritas due to the extreme stress we’ve been under since we got here. Without a doubt, there is no reason to be here without a boat. We feel literally stranded, land locked, like boats on the hard. The sea beckons, but we can only long for it. We stand on the docks and stare into the water like complete fools. We’ve walked down the malecon and seen all the pretty statues. Meh. We have been in the hot tub and in the pool. Sigh. We’ve gone to some pretty beaches up north of town. Too crowded this weekend anyhow. I’ve hung in the hammock and read my book. Yawn. There will be no desert hiking in this desert. This is one inhospitable desert.
So you can imagine that it was with profound relief that we stepped into Keith and Kay’s dinghy today for the ride out to their boat, a Westsail 43 anchored almost directly next to the Yoder’s boat, a Westsail 28. Not only did we get to be on the water, we got to see new and exciting boats as well! We could hardly express our delight.
Mike and I first boarded Kieth and Kay’s Westsail 43, Chamisa, bearing the international currency of cruisers, beer. The wind was up in the harbor, 14 knots or so with a few whitecaps which made us feel almost like we were under sail. Mike and I were anxious to learn as many of the finer points to retiring to this lifestyle as we could, and both couples were very generous in sharing their knowledge. Cold beer, warm wind, blue water, good conversation. Oh, and big dolphins. Did I mention those? What could be better?
When I think about the harried life we lead back in Tacoma, I am more than a little chagrined. We can go literally months between visits with our neighbors, and it always seems like they have to be arranged. There’s none of this ‘hanging out’ that seems to just happen naturally in the cruising community. We’re so busy being useful back home, we have no time to simply ‘be’ with others. Sure, we’re on vacation now, but our new friends are not on vacation. They live this way. After lives of complete and utter usefulness in the workplace and at home, after raising families, owning homes, and all of the other useful things people do, they have aspired to uselessness. I hope we are not far behind.