Two people, living on a 37-foot boat, require some rules (stated or intuitive) and respect of personal space even though they love each other very much.
For example, after we spend many hours sailing together, each of us like to self-cocoon, do our own things separately. As we are both introverts, it's easy to explain such a need. Contrary to introverts, extroverts find their energy, rejuvenate with people or in groups of people. Introverts are not necessarily shy and distant people. They find their energy or rejuvenate when they're alone, in their heads. Hence, our need to shut down after many hours on alert, sailing and in each other's space.
We also avoid directing the other person's actions when the situation is not in our domain of expertise.
For example, when Frank is trying to repair boat parts or mechanisms, I don't tell him what to do but I might offer a suggestion, carefully chosing my words. And he knows, I'm here to help when needed. It's the same with him when I prepare a meal or carefully plan our next sailing trip. One of my roles is immerging as the navigator. Being a navigator, I study our course, the current timetables and strength and winds over the period of time the trip will take. It can be complex and time consuming. But I like to study the details and come up with a plan.
After a long and tiring trip, we like to share a dram of rum before we go to bed. It gives us the opportunity to review the trip - what went well and what didn't while fresh on our minds - and discuss better strategies for the next trip. I love this moment of quiet discussion. My body starts to relax. I know we now have at least a day at an anchorage/marina.
Because there's a lot less storage space on a boat than in a house, and because the boat might keel to the point when things start flying, all things have a specific location and lockers/cupboards are locked. We always have to put away things we use. When we know the boat will keel on starboard only for example, we might transfer some items on starboard side or on the floor. This way, they'll stay put or barely move.
When we planned this trip many months ago, we knew we'd go through a period of cold weather before we leave the American coast. We've been lucky so far but we're now in it since we left Boston four days ago. We're now in New London, Connecticut, waiting for favorable winds on Friday. As we are still in hurricane season, our progress South is slower than we'd like because winds are often strong and against our planned direction. We have to wait for days sometimes.
So living on a boat in cold weather, we need to change some habits, activities and diet to stay warm. Every morning, we now wipe all the windows and the ceiling of our birth. The cold weather/water and our warm breathing/bodies create condensation. The windows are dripping and are prone to mold if we don't wipe them. We now sleep with more layers including a hoodie or a tuque and wool socks. In warm weather, Frank and I can barely touch when sleeping because we're so warm. But now, we cuddle all night (Yeepee!). We still go for long walk and bike rides but we stopped our picnics. And, like everyone else in winter, we eat more stews and soups. I also bake more often to warm up the inside of the boat.
I mentioned that favorable winds should help us travel towards New York on Friday. If it's the case, we'll follow NY's East River, Hell Gate and The Narrows on Sunday morning to finish our day on Staten Island. This NYC leg of our journey will be, to say the least, interesting. I'll tell you more about it after we experience it.