To Sell or to Sail?

Friends! The Euro Trip is over. I am now back on my boat. I must say: I’m not entirely thrilled to be back on my boat. I mean, yes it’s beautiful. Yes, it’s peaceful. But I’m getting really sick of living on this 27 foot piece of fiberglass. Something needs to change, and something needs to change relatively soon. Which is why this fall I’m either going to A) Sell the boat (frowny face), B) Sail the boat south (if the boat’s in Mexico living on it suddenly seems way more attractive), or C) Leave the boat in Seattle, spend the winter OFF the boat and traveling (basically living in Latin America), and then in spring come back to the boat and finally sail it south. The moral of the story is this: Keep the boat and sail it south (now or in spring), or sell it. These are the two options.

This topic segues perfectly into shorter term plans. Regardless of what I do with the boat, what am I going to be doing for the next few months? Well, at first I thought about getting a job. But then I thought, No, that’s kind of lame. I don’t want to do that right now. The thing is, I’m much too excited about my fall and winter plans to get a job right now. When I think about living in an apartment in Seattle this winter and working some kind of “normal” job, even if it is a cool job like interpreting, I want to drown myself in Hood Canal. Seriously, I got an email from a hiring manager the other day about an interpreting job in High Point, Seattle (a neighborhood basically in West Seattle that would take 40+ minutes to commute to from where I live near the locks), and it felt like a death sentence. But then I think about the plans I had before I decided I needed to “get a job.” Sailing to the San Juans. Going to Canada to chill in Vancouver and boulder in Squamish and maybe hang out on Vancouver Island for a bit. Then possibly sailing south, and if not doing a shit ton of bouldering. Either way doing a shit ton of bouldering. In October going to Cabo for a wedding, then Mexico City, then possibly Bogota, and then definitely Chile. And that gets me excited. That I actually look forward to. And maybe it’s just me putting off “real life,” but at this point I don’t really care. I’ve put off “real life” for so long that I won’t be living “real life.” I’ll live my life. Other people can live “real life.”

I do, however, plan to take the Foreign Service Officer Test in October. Because I’m mildly interested in being a diplomat. And because last time I almost passed it.

And I also want to possibly take the legal interpreting exam, but it’s unclear whether that will be offered this year, due to the pan-de-mic.

If/when I HAVE to get a job I don’t really want, I’ll do it. I’ll do it with gusto. Every time in my life I’ve needed to work, like actually needed to, I’ve done it. But right now I don’t have to. So I’m going to do the things I actually want to. Because life is really short. And only getting shorter.

ANYWAY, it’s good to be in Seattle right now, for the most part. I’ve been climbing a ton, and my body is somehow hanging in there. I’ve been working on Leggo My Ego V6 at the Index River Boulders, but mostly I’ve been climbing in the gym. I’ve been stoked on gym climbing lately. It’s so social. It’s so easy (logistically). And it’s also so easy to work on your weaknesses. Granted, climbing outside is still cooler. There’s nothing like being alone in the middle of the forest standing before a hunk of gleaming granodiorite grandeur, puzzling out how to get to the top, but for whatever reason lately I haven’t felt like getting in my car and driving an hour and a half just to fail. I can get (basically) the same feeling of movement at the gym, which is a 10 minute drive. And at the gym I can watch other people climb, aka crushers, and I can meet people. I can still have projects. I can still get super excited about certain climbs. And it’s just so….easy.

That said, holy shit Leavenworth this fall is going to be fun.

Anyway, that’s more or less an update on what I’ve been up to since I’ve been back in Seattle and what I’m thinking for the next few months. The trip to Europe was (fairly) great. The flight back was atrocious. Twelve plus hours of ACTUAL flight time on a budget airline with a guy behind me who treated my seatback like his personal punching bag. At least I had an aisle seat. And the seat next to me was empty. When I sat in my middle seat and saw two empty seats by the window I immediately asked a flight attendent if I could move there if no one came. And no one did come. So when they said “boarding complete” I pounced on the empty row like a cobra on a naked mole rat. But the flight was still awful.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. It’s great to be in touch.

– Wetzler

Fire Up the Two-Stroke

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I need caffeine.

Gonna take the boat out today for the first time this season. Got ‘er semi gassed up. Don’t have any snacks though; that’s a real problem. The snack sitaution must be remedied. I actually looked at google flights today and thought hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm where could i go right now. Like not tomorrow. Like right now. Like I get on the light rail to the airport in 15 minutes and fly somewhere in the caribbean again and start drinking alcohol again and just spend a week rotting in the caribbean. Sounds pretty fun.

OK. So. The people at the Leavenworth Haus are officially offering no rent till May. Should I move there. What’s the status on the knee? Well, still not fully healed. Not even close. I keep thinking it’s kinda close, then I’m like nahhhhhhhhhhhh probably gonna be another couple months. So frustrating.

I need more caffeine fuck I’m addicted.

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Failure to observe what is in the mind of another has seldom made a man unhappy; but those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy. – Marcus Aurelius

My therapist told me she liked Marcus Aurelius when she was in her teens. If you like Marcus Aurelius in your teens, what do you then graduate to? Joan Didion? Noam Chomsky? No, Noam Chomsky is probably somehow basic, too. Sartre????? No, so fucking basic. The plays of Henrik Ibsen????? Then again, she didn’t know who Karl Ove Knausgaard was, and Karl Ove Knausgaard is not basic, there’s just no way.

Maybe he’s kinda basic.

Who cares.

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And amino acids.

He’s like a poor man’s Sean Bailey. Similar style, similar hair.

I’ve been posting pretty much daily for the past month and I want to keep the streak alive.

I just don’t think it’s healthy. A few years ago Clara made me SWEAR to her not to write for a year (I was allowed to journal) and that was one of the greatest years of my life. I did journal. But I didn’t write any fucking blog.

This boat leaves in one hour and 18 minutes. I’m going to go out and fire up the motor. See if it works. It’s a two-stroke Johnon. A two-stroke Johnson! My boat does about 5 knots at a really good clip. I have no idea what the hull speed is but she’s covered in muck from sitting all winter and she hasn’t had a haul out in about many years so her bottom is just covered in algae and all sorts of other stuff. The rudder, god you would cry if you saw the rudder. It’s a green mess of flora. I should probably get out the brush and brush it, but I’m too lazy.

My forearms are absolutely shredded today.

Ok that’s about enough of this. I’m going to go do some chores, aka maybe clean boat, aka probably not, aka maybe do some light yoga, aka try to fire up the two stroke.

– Wetz

Waking up on the Boat

My awakening in the morning happens in steps, much like a spiritual awakening probably happens. When I first wake up I’m always a bit confused. Where am? Why am I on this boat? Why am floating?

Then I get my bearings and the first thing I do is open the curtain directly above my head. Let some light in. Look at the mast of my neighbor’s boat. One time I was looking at the mast and a crow landed on one of the spreaders. This had never happened before. What majesty! What glory for one of god’s creatures to alight upon an object made by man and bestow its glory upon it, even if only a “lowly” crow.

After opening this first curtain I eventually, and I’m not exactly sure how this happens, get up and rather quickly open all the other curtains on the boat to let in as much light as possible, and then I do something that lets in TONS of light, i.e. take out all the wooden boards of the hatch — and here I’m exposed to the outside world! geese honking! water rippling! wind blowing! — and replace them with the two plexiglass pieces that turn most of the north side of my boat into a window. Now we’re talking. Now the light is getting in and I’ve gotten out of bed.

But of course I get right back in.

I get right back in, but at least now I’m “up.” I’m not going back to sleep. I look at my phone because I’m not allowed to look at the internet till 8am. So I journal a bit. I look at maps. I think about what I’m going to do that day.

I put on the tea kettle, and this is where things really start to change. I’m now going to INGEST something. Granted, I’m not going to ingest any calories. That happens later. I’m going to ingest tea, and lately it’s been in the form of an herbal tea from Rishi called “Elderberry Healer” that’s got ginger, elderberry, hibiscus and a few other things. I like to NOT start the day with caffeine if I can. That said, I’m currently drinking a yerba mate beverage from Trader Joe’s, but it’s already almost 9am, and I’m well into the morning process. It’s ok to have some caffeine at this point. But I don’t like it to be the first thing that enters my body. I like to awaken somewhat naturally.

While the tea is steeping I’m back in bed and if it’s already 8am I’m checking stocks and checking my email and doing all sorts of stupid stuff on the internet, and if it’s not 8am I’m either journaling more or reading or just kind of lying there, looking out at the world through the hatch. This morning I read A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, and I’d like to give you a quote from it just because I found it so beautiful:

(talking about walking his land in the early morning with his dog after listening to the birds)

We sally forth, the dog and I, at random. He has paid scant respect to all these vocals goings-on, for to him the evidence of tenantry is not song, but scent. Any illiterate bundle of feathers, he says, can make a noise in a tree. Now he is going to translate for me the olfactory poems that who-knows-what silent creatures have written in the summer night.

A Sandy County Almanac, 1949

This makes me think of the processions I can watch every day if I’m not too engrossed in watching bouldering videos on YouTube. The geese honking, the mallards paddling, the mergansers diving, the herons sitting on the pier, and at some point the bald eagles will be back, but that probably doesn’t happen till salmon season. But even without the birds there are still things to watch. The ripples on the water. The boats idling into the locks. I derive a bit of satisfaction just from looking at the wood of the dock as it extends out into the cold grey of the lake water.

But enough of that. Now that I’ve interneted and had some tea I’m actually up, and this is where things get crazy, here I actually take all the bedding off my bed, aka the bench seat where I sleep, and now I sit back on it with my legs propped up, leaning back against the bulkhead on the bedding I’ve bunched in the corner. From here I’ll maybe transition into actually sitting up, my computer on the table in front of me. And then I’ve fully woken up. Though let’s be honest, usually this process is interrupted halfway through by me getting into my car and driving to Whole Foods to spend WAY too much on matcha and its derivatives. A matcha bar. A matcha latte with OAT milk. A green hop tea.

And now that this has happened TODAY for example I have to figure out what to do. Or actually I GET to figure out what to do. I thought about driving out to Index today just to look at Chutzpah V10, and then maybe continue on to Leavenworth and Wenatchee and stay the night in Wenatchee. But it’s hard for me to justify all that driving unless I’m going to look at a lot of boulders, or do some hiking and exploring, or stay a couple days. After all, Why should the lord of the country flit about like a fool?

-WW

Seventy Milligrams of Caffeine || Chilling on the Boat

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, the blank page. The empty page, sitting before me. A great expanse of white, waiting to be played with. What words will be written? What thoughts will be conveyed? Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?

I take a sip off my Hop Tea. This morning I have opted for my usual, “The Really Hoppy One.” Ingredients: Carbonated water, hops (simcoe and citra), organic black tea, citric acid. Seventy milligrams of caffeine. Keep cold for freshest flavor. One serving per container. Total Carbohydrate: 0g. Total Sugars: 0g. Protein: 0g. Not a significant source of nutrients.

Oh, but it nourishes the soul.

I just got back from Woodland Coffee.  I was supposed to go surfing with some friends today, aka chill on the beach and watch them surf, but apparently there isn’t much swell out  there. I mean, there’s tons of swell, of course there’s tons of swell, it’s winter in the Pacific Northwest, for fuck’s sake, but the swell isn’t getting to the….waves. I mean, it’s not getting to the…break. It’s not getting to this fickle spot of land somewhere west of me, where when the moons align, and the tides, there are waves. Maybe it will happen later today. Maybe it won’t.

Another sip of the hop tea. I hear my neighbors’ devil child screaming across the way. I hear my other neighbor talking about what a beautiful day it is. And it is a beautiful day. God, it’s gorgeous. So….fucking….gorgeous. My succulents are on the back porch, basking in the sun. I have the heater off so I can hear the silence better. A goose honks. A crow caws. The mallards say nothing.

Jesus. OK. Phewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..

Physical therapy yesterday. Did squats holding a twenty pound weight. Now today the knee feels fucked. I mean not fucked. It feels ok, it just feels a little off. At least 20 times a day I check my LCL to see if it’s still intact. My physical therapist yesterday was a boulderer. The dude who’s taking over my physical therapy in about a week is a climber. What dumb, blind luck I have. I’m surrounded by climbers. Sure, some of them might be rope climbers, which make them slightly less than human, but they’re still climbers all the same. They still know what it’s like to have their fingers touch granite. I was thinking yesterday about how much gnarlier stuff you could do skateboarding if you had a harness around you that would catch you every time you fell. People would be grinding 100 stair rails. People would be kickflipping 30 stairs. And yet, when you skateboard, you don’t have a harness to catch you. Only the cold, hard, unforgiving ground. When you fall on a big wave surfing, you don’t have a harness to catch you. The wave might pound you down to the reef. It might break your ear drum. You might not know which way is up. When you fall snowboarding you don’t have a harness to catch you. Only the snow, which often times is as hard as concrete. And yet, when you sport climb, no matter how high you are up, no matter how “scary” it is, you always have a rope attached to you, someone ready to catch you when you fall. And from what I hear sport climbers sometimes “look down” upon boulderers. I don’t understand why this is. Bouldering to me is 100 times more gnarly, 100 times more pure. Sure, you have a four-inch pad to break your fall. Hopefully. That’s it. There are some boulderers who don’t use pads. The first boulderers didn’t use pads. One day I’m sure I’ll appreciate sport climbing. Maybe. But for now give me a 10 foot face instead of a 200 foot face.

Hop Tea. God I wish I had more Hop Tea. Do I need to get in my car and drive back to Whole Foods and get more Hop Tea?

70 mg of caffeine.

I wish I could stay here all day and talk to you guys, but at some point I’ll have to leave the boat. It doesn’t look like we’re going surfing. It doesn’t look like we’ll be going to the Olympic Peninsula. It doesn’t look like we’ll have the camaraderie of chilling in the car together, the snus, the good vibes, the good times, the lewd jokes, the happiness. It doesn’t like we’ll be passing Discovery Bay and pressing on westward. It doesn’t look like we’ll be stopping at Country Aire.

When I stop typing I can hear the whir of my computer fan. The creak of the boat lines. A boat or a barge or something like that sounding its horn so they’ll open the bridge. The beep of some kind of truck backing up. Geese honking, always honking. There are always geese honking. Then there are the spring birds. Maybe they’re robins. They’re the kind of birds where you hear them and think, “Oh, spring is coming.” But other than that it’s silence. Beautiful silence.

 

Wait Too Late | Road to Recovery

My head feels frazzled from not sleeping enough. Two nights in a row now I’ve woken up early and haven’t been able to get back to sleep. I don’t know why. Once again I was going to leave today, but I don’t want to leave too soon and ruin what was almost ripe. There are still a few more things I need to do. I need to finish packing. I need to put my wetsuit in the car. I need to pack up my foam roller and my computer and the books I’m bringing. And then there’s the book that needs to go back to Bainbridge. There are the books from the Seattle library that need to be taken back, one of which is Circe, which I’ve almost finished.

If I do leave today my destination is Saint Helens, Oregon. Then tomorrow Burns. Then the next day Nevada. Then the next day Bishop.

I’m not allowed to eat today till 12pm.

I wish there was something right now that could rip from this reverie. Ah, it’s called caffeine. But caffeine rips you from the world of reverie and plunges you into the world of anxiety. It’s not fun to be anxious. Your mind works overtime. You worry about things that don’t need worrying about. If you don’t have problems you create problems. Caffeine is something I’ve used for so long to stave off the boredom, but there’s a better way, to look the boredom in the face.

My succulent was the first plant I got and the last remaining plant on the boat. Maybe I should bring it with me, to Mexico? Wouldn’t he be happy there? First I had him then I had a philodendron and a peace lily and a calathea plant. I’ve given all of them away, some in worse shape than others. The peace lily now blesses Barry’s house. The philodendron is in the custody of my mother. My sister has the calathea.

Get dressed, load up the dry bag with the computer and foam roller and charger and other trinkets. Load up the blue bag, the one that was moldy yesterday, with clothes. Make sure you have your passport. Disconnect the shore power and store the cord somewhere it won’t get wet. Take La Mala out of the surf bag and put the fish into it. Take out the trash. Then finally get in the car and head south. Or stop by Erica’s house first. Or got your parents’ house to get that fleece.

It’s clear and cold outside. Sometimes you’ve waited long enough and just need to take action. But if you waited just a little bit longer….

Maybe. But it’s also possible to wait too long.