- What sleeping attire and gear would I need in order to be sufficiently warm?
- What would it be like to have only a flashlight and some stick-on tap-lights for illumination?!
- Heaven forbid, would the discovery of a spider inside the cabin give me no choice but to abort the entire mission at 2 AM?
- And, nearly as important as the bug question, what would I do about making/finding/drinking GOOD COFFEE on Saturday morning?
To be perfectly candid, it has been my fear of bugs -- or, more specifically -- my fear of being alone in the dark with bugs that has kept me from staying overnight on my boat. To mitigate risk, a key part of my plan was to make sure I arrived at the boat Friday evening before dusk in order to perform what I like to call “a sweep of the area.” With my can of garden-fresh-scent-RAID in one hand and my bug-zapper-tennis-racket in the other, I took care of business (gratuitous entomological violence omitted) outside the boat, and I set up the v-berth with my sleeping bag, pillows, and blanket. I closed the boat up tightly before I left to attend the campfire social event so that nothing could get in while I was out. When my dog Judy Jetson and I returned at 10ish/11ish to go beddy-bye, I made one more sweep (oh! what carnage!) and buttoned the boat up tightly again, this time with Judy Jetson and I tucked inside.
The quiet! The darkness! It was SO strange to me! First, I found designated locations within arm’s reach of the v-berth to keep the essentials handy in the dark: glasses, flashlight, iPod, garden-fresh-scent-RAID, and bug-zapper-tennis-racket. Judy Jetson seemed comfy in the v-berth with me, but I could tell that she too was a little disoriented by the accommodations… the lack of a television flickering and murmuring nearby, for example. (I consider the TV to be my roommate, for pity’s sake.) With the lack of television, I instinctively reached for my iPod and my Kindle (I had brought both with me, of course), but then I realized how ridiculous a notion that was, since, after all, the whole point of ‘getting away’ is to actually ‘get away.’ I can’t say that I slept soundly all night long (nor did Judy, which made me nervous like she was Lassie signaling danger to me or something), but I think that additional practice will make for a perfect night’s sleep for both of us. It was plenty cozy in the v-berth, and I didn’t even need the wool blanket I brought just in case. The air was fresh and cool, and I wish the boat had bobbed even a little more than it did, to provide a more authentic ‘sleeping on a boat’ experience. I awoke Saturday morning with the thought, “I did it!” followed immediately by “Why have I not done this every weekend this summer?!” It was a delightful experience – relaxing and with just enough adventure to keep me from feeling too lonely. (Note: I am not wishing for more bugs. Bugs do NOT count as ‘company!’)
As for the ‘good coffee’ part, it was unfortunate that the pancake-slinging caterer’s coffee was
He even had that hork-inducing non-dairy creamer crap to go with it. Gag me with a little plastic stir stick! My coffee requirement was satisfied later in the morning with an emergency visit to a nearby Speedway, where a fresh pot was being brewed just as I arrived. Crisis -- and lingering crankyness -- averted.
I am making plans for one more weekend aboard Central Air before we call it a season. I’ll bring the wool blanket again, just in case, and I picked up a Kenyon Express II butane stove at West Marine to boil water for some not-yet-determined version of camping coffee (with Speedway coffee as a comforting backup plan again.) Any suggestions on the best way to brew tasty boat coffee?
In the endless inner struggle to define myself as either a Racer or a Cruiser, score one more on the side of Cruiser.