Thursday, December 11, 2014

Update From Dock-Tied Sea People

WD On our dock in Blaine

Today it occurred to me that it has been a while since the last time I updated you on our reunification with the dock and all of the “stuff” that comes along with it.  The last time I ventured to comment on my own struggles with this process I was in a pretty dark place and I was feeling lower than I ever had in my life.  Most of you were very comforting in your comments and actually helped me by encouraging me.  I want to personally thank two people, former cruisers and close friends of ours, Denny and Rennie formerly known to us by the name of their boat “Salt and Light.”  Both Denny and Rennie have made the trip up to Blaine to see us and their encouragement has meant a great deal to us, not only because they are friends but because they have actually lived with this same “Sea People - Dock Crash” experience.  One of the things Denny said to me was, 

“You may be feeling better right now but it won’t last.  It will hit you hard again, suddenly, just when you thought you were all over it.  Some idiot friend of yours living on a boat anchored in a pretty place will innocently post a picture from his hammock on the deck and “WHAM!”  You’ll be right back in despair.”  

I knew when he said that that the idiot had been me.  While Denny was struggling with reintegrating his life with the dock I had been living in the salt water sailors paradise.  I chuckled when he said it but now I have experienced it.  My friends in the Virgin Islands post pictures of the sunset or the beach and I eat them up like candy.

WD rafted up with "Salt and Light" in the Bahamas, 2008

It has certainly been getting better and I have not been low like that again but I know the ocean is not out of my blood and probably never will be.  I still almost drive off the road if I am passing a boat yard because I am looking at all of the sailboats up on the hard.  When the wind blows hard enough to move the boat in her slip I can’t help but think of a horse trying to get out of a stall.  I know it will happen someday and I am also comforted by those of you who have reminded us that not only are we still fairly young but that we already own our boat and live aboard her which is closer than many dreamers ever get.

So what has happened in our lives in the past few months?  Rebecca has worked a couple of jobs.  Her first job was at a resort as a bar tender for banquets.  When summer came to an end so did the banquets so that dried up.  She put out over 100 resumes as a server or bartender and was only called back a couple of times.  One of those places hired her.  Extreme Sports Bar in Fairhaven hired her and she really enjoyed her time there.  The owners were great and allowed her to be herself and do her crazy things like dress up as a superhero every Tuesday night.  It looked like she had found her niche and then... they went out of business.  She went to work one day only to find out that it was her last day.  The owners kept her on for a couple of days a week at the other bar they own across town.  She has continued to put out resumes but never gets a call back.  It makes me crazy because I know how great she is.  People love Rebecca and they show up just because she is there.  She has such a HUGE heart and genuine interest in the lives of people she only meets once and that spirit is infectious.  She pours herself into the place she works and gives her whole heart to it.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that she ALWAYS looks like a million bucks.  

How could anyone ever say "No" to her?
I have been continuing to homeschool the boys.  One thing is for certain; More schoolwork gets done on a boat sitting at a chilly dock than on one anchored off a pretty little Caribbean beach surrounded by warm water!  I think these boys have learned more actual schoolwork in the past six months than they did in all the years at Honeymoon Beach.  It has really been fun though.  They have all matured and are actively taking part in their lessons.  They have grown to love the Blaine Library which is probably the most “kid friendly” library in the world.  It is actually a hang out for kids in Blaine!  I have tried to find something close to do in the afternoon to help bring in a little cash.  I had sent my resume in to a couple of places for stocking jobs and considered security but I never had a call back.  I did manage to get a full time job at a peanut butter plant and after only one day I realized that there are some jobs not suited to 47 year old former beach bums.  I came home that night dragging myself down the dock in pain that lasted all of the next day.  I now get a bit of a kick out of those folks who say something along the lines of, “Work is work!  You should just do what ever you need to to earn a buck!”  or  “Nothing is to hard, you can do it if you really want to!”  These comments are meant in earnest but spoken in ignorance.  Trust me there are some jobs that are not worth the money.  Life is too short with only a finite number of hours before the casket and I personally don’t want to waste any of them if I don’t have to.

A few weeks ago a friend of ours passed my name off to a friend of hers who knew a guy who worked for a company that was looking for boat captains for their Launch Service.  I quickly sent out my resume and was super excited when I was called back for a face to face interview with them in Port Angeles.  Rebecca and I drove over there this week and I was offered a job with them.  The job is in Anacortes so we will have to move to the marina there in a couple of weeks.  The marina is right beside the docks where I will be working and there are a LOT of places for Beck to work if she wants to.  This is a great job and it is 15-days on call, 5-days off.  During my on call days I can be on our boat and continue to school the boys.  The library is only a couple of blocks away so the boys are happy.  Anacortes is still only about 40 minutes away from Bellingham so we can still stay close to family.  The other cool thing is that they were also looking for dock hands and Jimmy will be going down there for his face to face interview this coming Monday.  If everything works out Jimmy will have a job on boats as well!  I am super excited to be back on the water doing what I love.

I will also continue to work on editing our videos for YouTube and I have been writing a book about our time on Wandering Dolphin.

If it sounds like we are becoming permanent dock jocks you can flush that idea right now.  The Pacific awaits us and in a few years we will set sail again.  Until then we will sail the beautiful Pacific Northwest and live on Wandering Dolphin.  

By the way, Charlie loves being on the dock!  He has offered no complaints whatsoever.

Tightening The Springline,

Captain Tofer