Despite Papa’s traumatic state at the other end of the world and the endless nightmare we don’t seem to be able to wake up from, there are enjoyable moments in our Paynesville sanctuary. This post focuses on what we do to remain positive. We hope it encourages a few of you to keep your chin up, stay active and motivated. In bad times come good things too.
Being in lockdown does not mean being starved of adventures, nor being bored or without purpose. You have to find new ways to get your fix and engage in a mix of activities that are enjoyable and rewarding. In truth we haven’t felt vastly different from our normal cruising life. Distancing ourselves, being in the confined space of a boat, stocking up for a few weeks and keeping ourselves occupied is not new to us. Nor is spending extended time just the two of us and the pussycat without sending each other crazy. What is different is not being able to move the boat, go where we see fit, and have our friends on board. Being in Victoria, with much tougher boating restrictions than anywhere else in Australia means that we watch with envy as other states ease their directives, and boaters can resume sailing, fishing, going to the beach, while we can’t do any of that yet. We wait with baited breath for the announcements on 11 May. Let’s hope our Premier relaxes a few restrictions so we can recommence cruising.
Till then, the key to keeping cabin fever at bay is to use this time well, keep our minds active and our bodies moving. Some activities we do together to challenge and encourage each other, some we do separately.
Looking after our body and health is something we do together. The cockpit has become our gym: daily yoga sessions to combat backache, interval training for strength and cardio a few times a week. For these we use two apps, Asana Rebel for yoga/meditation and Johnson & Johnson 7M Workout for the interval training sessions. We also go for a daily walk to get off the boat. We wish we could see more obvious physical results from our fitness regime but we are not youngsters anymore and it takes time. At least we feel better in ourselves and that’s a start!
Different things make us tick and motivate us. Wade is practical and focused on the boat, Chris binges on creative interests. This polarity reflects our different personalities, but regardless, we use the time constructively.
Don’t be afraid to fearlessly and joyfully go for whatever it is you love to do.
Wade has thrown himself into a few boat projects. He has been refining systems on Anui and looking for ways to make our life more comfortable: protecting the cockpit from rain (normally not needed when at anchor, but necessary when you are at a jetty), lining up the installation of a Telstra mobile signal booster to improve our ability to stay connected even in remote areas.
He has fixed the NKE gear which had lost its connection to the « master bus » for some unknown reason since we berthed in Paynesville (thanks Steve Cody for the guidance).
Our old shipwrights James Frecheville and Tim Heaney have been repairing damage to our port bow cleat, inflicted at the Williamstown Marina. It has been nice to reconnect with them and show them our pride and joy.
And then Wade wants to do something about the cockies which descend on all the yachts at dusk and dawn. These destructive devils have a particular liking for wind instruments, mast lights and furlers! Might have to come up with something better than hitting the rigging to stop them from landing and chewing on the gear! Here they are on another boat’s mast top.
For Chris it is about using this ‘time out’ to learn new tricks and focus on things other than sadness. She has a list of things she really wanted to learn or be better at and is making her way through that! Right now it includes playing new piano pieces (music has a way of soothing the soul), doing a boot camp course on Photoshop and Lightroom (which is blowing her mind), and subscribing to a Landscape Photography Masterclass with Peter Eastway, a renown Australian photographer… so much to absorb! Later she will move on to learning how to play the ukelele, do some weaving, even get the water colours out.
Apart from this skills sharpening marathon there are the on-going jobs: running the website, writing magazine articles and blog posts. In fact there are a lot of options to pass away the time.
Focus on the good stuff
Both of us get a sense of accomplishment from what we do to keep ourselves busy. As we have always done on the boat, we concentrate on the positive and there is plenty of it. Although it is not what it was last year nor what we wanted for this winter, we can still find satisfaction in what we are doing. We definitely don’t get bored and the days pass quickly! It would be nice to sail away, but hey, we are in protected waters, close to facilities and on a homely vessel.
What about you? What are you doing to keep yourselves going in this difficult period?
Stay active. Stay optimistic. Stay resilient.