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