Changes in Attitude

This post was inspired by a phone call I received tonight from a long lost schoolmate and childhood friend, Kimberlee Davis. Kim called tonight to ask advice about shopping for a sailboat. Well, it has been 2 years and four months since we purchased Rhea and we have learned a lot. But am I qualified to give advice? Hell yeah! When we were in the shopping and buying process we’d stop a stranger on the street to ask advice. I am flattered that she thought to consult with me. As with all sailors I take every opportunity to share my passion and knowledge with others as so many have done for River and me. I am so grateful for all of the help we have received, we are receiving and will receive in the future!!!

Tonight’s call got me thinking about those initial stages and especially our first “boat chores” and how far we have come. Little things seemed like such a huge undertaking. The refrigerator needed a new seal. I could not for the life of me identify the material that I was in need of replacing! Nor did I know what chemicals were safe to use to clean off the residual adhesive that was stuck to the polystyrene resin (hell, I didn’t even know that it was polystyrene resin)!

I searched online and went shopping at three different stores. I ended up spending over 10 hours and at least ten times what I needed to spend to get the damn job done. Seriously, I was so afraid of “doing it wrong” that I over-analyzed every move.

I found a product that works but I was pretty ticked that I didn’t find the exact product that was there before. Fast-forward 2 years. I ordered a hatch gasket for the port light hatches and that is what had been used to seal the fridge! So someone had (gasp) improvised and used this magical gasket material to make a perfect seal on the fridge…. Who knew?


I was so frustrated and frazzled by project after project. The hatches, teak, caulking…the friggin’ outboard! As the never-ending list of projects have come and gone, we have learned so much. I am still no expert, but when the hatch in the starboard head pops out after we replaced the crazed/cracked one (twice) we just reassess and go again. Everything is still a learning curve (don’t pull that! – too late – it WAS the safety line.)

What has really changed is my attitude.

I saw a bumper sticker last week (wish I had a pic) that read, “Yeah, but did you die?” Perspective!!!! There will always be boat jobs. Some will take a minute or two others will go on for months.

Do the best you can. Never sacrifice safety. And just chill, bro.

Still chillin’ at latitude 38,