Saturday, March 17, 2018

Life on the slant

home
hōm/
noun
  1. 1.
    the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

Home is a place that is familiar, where you know the rules, you know the layout, you know how things work. You have expections.   Rhapsody is our home.  The sense of home is strong. The majority of the time she is at anchor or on a mooring.  She is a boat, so she moves. She rocks back and forth,  sometimes a gentle rock and other times not so gentle. While she is at anchor she rocks, but always returns to the center. We understand these rules, we feel them, we move to them, as others move to the rhythms of their homes.



When we are on a passage, those rules change. Rhapsody no longer returns to center, we are living life on a slant. The degree of the slant changes with the wind and the waves, but it is always there, and with it comes a different mindset. The space is familiar,  and yet different.  My brain has difficulty computing the angle. Coats hanging on the hook no longer hang straight down. The water coming out of the tap flows sideways. I am reminded of the tourist traps you find dotted around the US, "House of Mystery", where water flows uphill!

My brain tries to accept the new reality, but certain things just are off. I toss something to Bob and it takes a different trajectory than my brain feels it should. I place something on the counter and it rolls away. Even dishing up food into a bowl presents new challenges. Our stove is "gimballed", which means that it is on a pivot so that the pots and pans remain level. Level to the world, but not level to Rhapsody. The stove doesn't look flat, but it is, which is quite important when trying to cook something.

When we tack the boat everything is now leaning in a different direction. We learn what we did not securely stow before we left. Often these things are discovered following a loud crash, followed by "what was that?". I find that when we are on a port tack, leaning to the left, it is easier to prepare food. Our stove and counters are on the port side, the left side, so on a port tack we lean into the counter.

Moving around Rhapsody is done with caution, always one hand holding on, or in some cases, a shoulder pressed to the wall. A three point stance of sorts, just two legs will send me tumbling. I have bruises that tell the history of when I forgot that rule.

Opening cabinets must be done with caution. Airlines announce that passengers should use caution when opening the overhead bins as the items may have shifted. That announcement is made when the plane is back on the ground. On Rhapsody we are attempting to open the cabinets while those items are still shifting. Open it a tiny bit, can I see in? Is anything leaning against the door waiting to come crashing out? Quick, open the door, grab what I need and shut it again before everything tumbles out.

When we arrive at our next port, after having been heeled over for several days, Rhapsody returns to her normal upright position. Rocking back and forth, always returning to center. She adjusts much faster than we do, our brains take a bit to adjust, to get "grounded", to get our land legs back and to be able to walk a straight line, both on Rhapsody and ashore.

We love to hear your comments.

  1. more technical info please. remind us if already blogged of where some of the boat spec are. Further a map with travel legs is a must. thanks. --Hoover

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