Adapting to Change

I woke late this morning having slept for nearly eleven hours, I felt drugged, my head was thick and my limbs were heavy. As the morning progressed I gradually felt worse, everything from my toes to my eyes ached. We had sailed yesterday, a pleasant, breezy, sunny sail with Andy and his charming young family, but this was much more than tired muscles. The centre of my pain was the top of my left arm and across my shoulder, it slowly dawned on me that I am reacting to the yellow fever jab I had last Tuesday. Rick seems okay but we were told any reaction would occur between 3 and 10 days, so fingers crossed he is going to be OK.

Unusually for me I have taken to my bed and I am writing this after another two hour snooze. There are jobs needing to be completed of course, the decks are coated with a lovely mixture of salt and Southampton dust, the sail we dropped into the forward cabin yesterday remains as if a cloud has exploded on the berth but wiil take the two of us to flake and put it away and there are the scheduled spares list to be researched. But I just don’t have the energy. So I am sitting here watching people’s legs pass by the cabin window just feet from our bed and my head, reflecting on how well we have coped with the dramatic change we have undertaken in our lives.

The fact that I am relatively calm about this reduction in privacy is a good example of how well we seemed to be adapting. One of the attractions of our Oyster was the amount of light we have below flooding through our large windows, this does mean however, in the marina, that as people walk past on the dock they seem very close to us. If we are on deck we, and everyone else for that matter, are open to scrutiny. Then there’s all the trades men we have had crawling around the boat, everything they need to get at seem to be under our bed or behind our wardrobe, the phrase ‘airing our dirty linen’ often comes to mind and last but not least there is of course the delight of marina toilets and showers. But it is all part of living on a boat and I have surprised myself with how easily I have accepted it.

Against all initial evidence we have also been gradually managing to cut down on and fit all our belongings into the available space and it seems to have been relatively easy to give our possessions up. Rick, some may be surprised to hear, seems to have set himself the target of living in just three pairs of trousers/shorts and four tops, his wardrobe of designer clothes have been stored away. I gave my lovely Rolex to a friend last week for safe keeping, having already lost a previous version in a tussle with a mooring buoy to the Carribean sea a few years ago and mindful of some of the very poor communities we will be visiting in didn’t seem appropriate attire.

Additionally, we are beginning to cook “proper” food in the galley, ours maybe large for a yacht but is small compared to our kitchen at Ongley and has taken a while to get use to. But I have got on top of cooking with gas and become more organised to cope with the reduction in space. It has now become natural to pump out the sinks after use, to hand wash dishes and use minimal water.

Part of our success with processing this change is that we have been so busy working towards the end result that we haven’t had time to linger on these things. In fact I’m still not sure we quite yet realise what we have done, we are still psychologically, just on holiday.

Yellow Fever update – I am beginning to feel better, Rick a crumpled heap in bed!!!

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