Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Dance


As a boat, Eolian is commodious. Yet by the housing standards most people are familiar with, she is cramped.

For better visualization, compare Eolian to a 14x45 mobile home. But wait... not that large, since her ends are pointy. Our doorways are all 20" wide - the width of a narrow linen closet door.

Space is, and always has been at a premium on boats. And there is a long history here - Columbus' private cabin on the Niña was only slightly larger than a phone booth (and similarly shaped)... his sailors lived on deck in the open or below it with the animals. The Niña was larger than Eolian, but surprisingly, not by very much:
EolianNiña
LOD4565
Beam1418
Sail Area11001919
Crew224


For the two of us, moving about on the boat is an unconscious dance born of long habit. We don't think about it (and maybe this is the best kind of dance). An example: For me to go into the aft cabin when Jane is working in the galley, she steps closer to the corner between the sink and the stove, I turn sideways as I take the step that moves me past her, and then step down 8" into the aft cabin, still slightly cocked sideways to be sure to clear both sides of the doorway. There are no coordinating messages passed, and the dance is so well practiced that it is executed flawlessly even in pitch darkness.

We are a well-coordinated team.

We have to be.
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2 comments:

Jerr Dunlap said...

I've always been amazed at how many were needed to crew square-riggers, how many crammed into them and how few ran them in their last days as clipper ships. I sigh at women who are shocked that I live onboard - The idea of giving up dozens of pairs of shoes is particularly horrifying to them and I'm mystified. There is such freedom, comraderie and greater depth of life experience at sea - Sharing these times are the finest experiences to me. You bring so much of this to life in your blog - Thanks!
- Jerr

bob said...

Thanks Jerr -

That's exactly what I am trying to do here - tell the story of what it is like to live on a boat to those who have never had the opportunity. It is really a privilege to be a member of a community where the story that begins, "You know how the currents swirl around the red buoy off Foulweather Bluff? Well, we were..." resonates with you, and everyone else present.

And it is a very small fraction of the population for whom it does. I am trying to increase that fraction a little bit.

Thanks for appreciating it!

bob

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