Passage Blues

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08 March 07 - 1815 - En route to Galle, Sri Lanka

One of the worst things about passage is the amount of time I have and how I use it. After I get over the eat-read-sleep part, which admittedly can last quite a long time and I sometimes never move past this phase in a passage, my choices are rather limited. Or perhaps I just make myself think they're limited.

I can always eat, read, and sleep, of course. Though even I get tired of eating and get rather full... I suppose I can cook, or bake, or just think about food. Or I could read... but once I've read every worthwhile book on the boat, what am I supposed to do? Read them all again? Or read the non-worthwhile ones? Either option leads me to option number three - sleep. But even on passage, there's only so much you can sleep. If I could turn off my brain, just say 'I want to sleep now' and be asleep, I probably would. Or if I could store up sleep so I could feel rested sometime in the far future without having to shut my eyes. After all, it's a great way to pass the time. But I can't do either of those. So I'm back to sleeping when the need takes me - or not, if it doesn't. Which means that I must keep myself at least somewhat perpetually tired so that I can fall asleep when I have to so I'll feel even slightly alive when the time comes to wake up again. Ah, the joys of sleeping on a schedule.

Now, coming back to What To Do Between The Three Main Passage Occupations. As I am still in school I suppose I could do schoolwork. But this is an example of those times when I limit my own options. If the idea of schoolwork gets expressed, I find that it's now my turn on watch, or that the seas are suddenly too rough, or that it's nearly lunch time. Or that I need to take a nap - luckily, that is still a legitimate excuse. It isn't that I don't know that I need to get on with school, but who wants to when one has a perfectly good excuse not to?

Then there's writing, which I sometimes slip into the 'school' category. I like to do it, but I'm rather hampered by not being able to just start up my computer whenever I want to. Thus these hand-written entries. When I get the urge to write, I write... but if I can't, I'll agonize over it for ages. However, there is a flip side as well. I can't just sit down, tell myself to write something constructive, and have words pour out of me. I'm rather surprised when they do, actually.

Perhaps one of the hardest things is not being able to do something when I want to do it. Just this evening, I longed to be able to open up my computer and just stare at it, or read what I've written previously. I wanted to play cards, but it's too rough for Mom down below and too windy in the cockpit. Most of all, I wanted to cuddle into the corner of the settee, knitting or doing something as equally time-consuming but brainless while the warm lights brighten the salon cheerily, and sit companionably with my family until it's time to go to bed.

But I'm actually on watch. So that's rather a far-off dream. And as soon as we arrive - only two and a half more days, please! - we will all have a million other pressing things to deal with and I'll call myself daft for worrying about having too much time.

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