We've lived aboard our Ranger 33 for three weeks now, and it has been intense. Some extreme highs and lows (like the tides, right?) but mostly good and truly exhilarating in ways that defy description. Living on a boat puts one so close to the weather, as my husband has always said, and also incredibly close to all the life around us. We can actually hear the fish through the hull. We have toadfish here, who make a magical croaky humming sound that's only audible onboard the boat, every evening as we're going to sleep. There are small shrimp that make a sound against the hull that's very similar to milk being poured on Rice Krispies. Not to mention the bird life, varied and stunning. We share the docks with several species of herons, who pretty much take over during the nighttime hours. They're generally pretty tolerant of the humans, but when disturbed (quite often), they unleash quite a scolding. Their beautiful presence is never unnoticed, in one form or another:
The boat itself is a work in progress, as they always are, which makes them a perfect metaphor for life and art. And just as in artwork, simplification adds strength. We've made the conscious decision to forgo any unnecessary complication. No microwave, no hot water, minimal plumbing, a composting head instead of a holding tank. The very fact of living in such a small space means that all possessions are carefully considered, and nothing superfluous comes aboard.
If it's true that the unexamined life is not worth living, then the ultra-examined life must be exceptionally worthwhile. It feels that way to me. I'll have some new work to post soon.