Be Careful What You Spare

       As you outfit a cruising boat, your natural state of mind is to attempt to anticipate any possible happiness or disaster that may befall you and prepare accordingly. 

      Notice I said attempt. What we learned from our last trip is that you cannot really know what life will be like for you at sea until you experience it yourself.  Do you anticipate heavy weather? Taking thousands of pictures? Being cast away? No toilet paper? Surfing? Medical emergencies? Gourmet cooking? Boredom?
     
       You cannot take your whole life with you, nor should you try. With limited space, you have to choose from among books, fishing gear, diesel rebuild kits, dive tanks, medical supplies, craft materials, appliances, ad practically infinitum. When you do, try to seek some balance.

     We have just arrived on HANALEI for our first extended visit, where we inherited a veritable museum of spare parts purchased by her first owner. This owner must have imagined that the boat would disintegrate at sea, there were so many spares. Stephan was delighted at first, feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. By the second day, even he admitted that we had to get rid of some of our spare parts. There were just too many.

       What? How can you have too many spares? 

       You can have so many spares that you cannot open a single locker without finding boxes of fuses, toilet rebuild kits, paintbrushes, woodworking tools. You cannot walk through a cabin without tripping over one of a dozen tool boxes or appliances.

        You can carry so many spares that there isn't room for what might bring you more joy or introspection or growth or fun or connections with people along the way, all the reasons people go cruising.
       
        Sure, we will encounter challenges, but the idea that having things will protect you from adversity -- hoarding -- challenges our core cruising philosopy. You can be so protected that your voyage is as an island, so you don't meet the electrician in the Galapagos, the machinist in Corsica, the diver on Skyros, or learn about their lives.

        Preparedness is crucial if you want to go on any sea voyage, but so is a certain amount of faith -- that people will treat you well, that you will rise to whatever occasion you meet, that things will work out. 

         Be careful, not what you wish for, but what future you worry about.

Comments

Gosh, now you're making me feel guilty about having what's been labelled by other cruisers as the world's largest private collection of SS fasteners...

seems like you wrote this just for me. Just what I needed to hear.

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