The jolt is light, minor compared to many, but it topples me to the floor. Laina giggles and then falls beside me. Usually we’re quite good at staying on our feet while we move about the boat, cooking, cleaning, putting up sails — not so easy when we are standing on the net that spans the bow of the boat, attempting yoga.
One of the challenges of living on a boat can be lack of room for physical activity, but we are lucky to live on a catamaran which has ample space to walk around on the deck and also has the front net which Laina and I quickly identified as a perfect yoga studio. Perfect, minus the lurching of the boat that is. We meet at the front of the boat early, before the heat of the morning sun, and fall into the routine we have specifically sculpted for our moving yoga studio. Sometimes, when the early morning sea is glassy, we can move through our routine almost as if we were on land. Other times we eliminate all the poses that include having to balance and are restricted mainly to exercises that can be done from the mat due to the rocking of the boat. Or we just attempt balance poses and end up flattened and laughing at each other.
Despite the interruptions, we’re persistent because it’s our only chance for a bit of physical activity while we’re underway. That and the couple times a day when we haul up the sails or lower them.
After yoga — when Seth and Lauren awake — up we put up the sails and put out the fishing lines. Both stay reeled in during the night for safety reasons. We don’t want to catch a fish when we can’t keep an eye on the line in the dark and Bob doesn’t want anyone out of the cockpit walking around on the boat messing with the sails if there’s just one person awake and it’s dark out.
Breakfast on the boat is anything from granola to eggs, potatoes and bacon, or anything in between depending on the provisions on board.
The free time on the boat can be relaxing but also overwhelming — so I fill it up with things I think are productive. In the mornings while our minds are still fresh and it’s not to hot to think yet Laina and I practice Spanish. Bob happened to have numerous Spanish workbooks on board so we’ve created our own curriculum, combining the workbooks with studying vocabulary, quizzing each other with flash cards and, of course, talking to each other in Spanish. Once our lessons are out of the way and we make lunch with Lauren and get some boat upkeep done, the rest of the day is ours.
When we’re underway for multiple days we slide into a comfortable routine. For me it is all about striking the balance — not the literal balance of not falling over — but the balance between enjoying free time and staying productive. I relish getting to spend long periods of time reading and writing, luxuries I never seem to make time for at home, but I also it’s easy to get distracted by the ongoing social hour on board. When the cockpit is full we chat and play cards. Sometimes Lauren, Laina and I slip away to the front of the boat for long talks, interrupted only by our shouts when the frequent sea turtle or sting ray appears at the surface. Or we just stand at the bow and ride the swells like a standing only roller coaster, clinging to the cable that spans the front of the boat and whooping as the boat rises up a wave and crashed over the other side spraying us in saltwater.