January 19, 2011

Cruiser Maintenance

in Bucerais looking toward the anchorage
 The days are flying past in La Cruz. Ev’s parents were here for a week and we had a great time showing them the sights. Now we’re midway through a busy week of chores, errands and appointments.

Yesterday though I took the day off for a lusciously indulgent spa day at The Marriott CasaMagna with Monica from Savannah. There was something wonderful about spending the day in girlfriend mode—something most women out here really miss. The Blue Agave scrubs, followed by the hot stone massages, were really just the icing on the girl-day cake.

Cruising is about being a tight little family unit that stays together, plays together and endures the odd storm together. While we do meet wonderful people along the way—those enduring friendships that most women rely on can be hard to maintain.

The result tends to be a lot of women get a bit unhappy. It tends to be this creeping malaise that no one can quite identify, but it has something to do with living with guys who just don’t get what we’re looking for when we gossip about a neighbour or complain a bit about a discomfort. With a girlfriend we commiserate and exchange stories. Guys, being the more pragmatic type, either try to solve the problem or tell us to suck it up.

Neither response really works for me, so I tend to save up all my little bitchy thoughts until they become big bitchy thoughts and then I yell at Evan. A little girlfriend time tends to circumvent that whole cycle and we all end up much happier.

We recently met a couple who had also cruised before and who learned this lesson early on. He told us about how on their first cruise, which was something of an endurance voyage, she hated every moment, despite loving sailing. Midway through (when she was about to go home) they were given some advice: no matter what your budget, make room for the types of indulgences each of you needs, whatever they are.

For the guys this might be the right toy or tool, but for the women it might be a trip home to see family or old girlfriends. Or it might be slowing down enough that you can hang with a boat you click with. Or it could be a relaxing a week in a marina or a night in a nice hotel. Or maybe it’s a spa day with a girlfriend.

When we’re all on tight budgets being indulgent seems, well, indulgent. But the couple who told us about their cruise-saving strategy explained they were on the brink of divorce when they realized what she needed. They told us that the cost of quitting a trip and selling a boat is far expensive more finding a way to recharge your cruising batteries.

Obviously cruising won’t be for everyone. And some people will get out here and hate it, but sometimes all it takes to make it fun again is to find out what’s missing and add it back in. We think of it as maintenance—we work hard to maintain our systems, and the same needs to be done with our happiness…

6 comments:

S/V Endurance said...

Been there... so true! It got so bad at times that I am not sure a trip to the SPA would have done the trick. Running into you, Monica, Shelley (from imagine) and Barbara (What Cha Gonna Do) help tremendously.. and coming home was heaven!

S/V Endurance said...

and of course.. Mery from Hotspur!

K said...

so true!!! i wish that *i* had understood that prior to our trip. i eventually figured that out and we indulged ourselves a little bit, but by that point, we were halfway through and i'd spent 5 months hating the boat. good advice D!

Behan said...

totally agree that you need a way to recharge! not sure I ever considered a spa indulgence as the vehicle, although dang, that would surely do the trick. D, was this part of a writing assignment, or totally out of your own pocket? when I look honestly at the cost of a spa day vs budget (our budget, anyway)... well, it's too hard to rationalize. then again, yardstick for prices in MX helps make a lot of things easier. but yeah... you need to take care of yourself, and not deprive yourself, or as you point out- risk the much higher cost of an unraveling dream

Diane, Evan and Maia said...

Hey Behan,
The Spa was for a girlfriend getaway story, so it was comped for us both. But it wasn't so much the spa (although it was utter bliss!!) but more the fact we give ourselves permission to just take a day together. It was like our morning walks and a lovely long walk I had on my own with Paula--moments on my own I otherwise would fill with boat work and fmily stuff...
It's easy to shrug of the need for girl time and think were taking care of ourselves by taking care of our boats and families...

Ian said...
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