I’ve been quite for a few days again, and not because I’ve been offshore! We had an ontime crew change and for the past few days I have been having a wonderful time at home. While we had snow the first day, the weather has been great and I am once again reminded why I love New England so much.
One big annoucnment is that I will soon be purchasing my first “big boat”, a 23′ Edey & Duff Stonehorse. She’s a beautiful little day sailor/overnighter, with classic lines and well mannered sailing qualities. It’s a big step for me and I look forward to teaching the other half how to sail!
It’s the purchasing of a boat and some of the thoughts and emotions associated that have brought me to this post. It is no secret that commerical mariners in the oil and gas industry are well copensasted financially, and though the four months I currently get off a year probably sound great to the 9-5’er with two weeks vacation a year. However at the end of my 12 hour work day, I walk down a flight of stairs to my room and nothing but my rack and a book are waiting for me. 84 hours a week, 7 days a week, 4 weeks at a time, a total of 8 months of the year. Then when I come home I have to squeeze in many of the tasks that come with life in as quickly as possible, in order to enjoy my time home doing the things I want.
What really brought me to the purchase of the sailboat was two things. One I really miss sailing. Thats the simple fact. The other is slightly more complicated. The bad thing about having two weeks off out of every six is that none of your friends are really around during the day, when say its a nice day to go kayaking, or mountain biking, etc. Essentially you have to have hobbies that you enjoy alone. Which is one of the reasons I am getting back into sailing. I am perfectly content to row out to the mooring and go for a day sail by myself, where as paddling and several other of my hobbies for me are largly a social activity. I enjoy them greatly, though primarily with friends.
This in my mind is one of the larger costs of doing buisness as a mariner. You can afford to do the hobbies you love, you have the time, but at the end of the day they loose a lot of their attraction when done solo. It is a choice that I have been having a hard time making. It’s something I have always fought with, wanting to do everything, eek every little bit of life out. When it’s my time to pay the boatman I don’t want to think I wasted time.