Lists

It’s once again a time where lists start to pop up everywhere and command most of our daily activities. Gone are the days of musing and leisure and watching the clouds pass by overhead. Lists are places of orderliness in the chaos of an approaching departure. There are lists of food items for provisioning. Our planned itinerary (more on that later) will take us further and further away from the realm of the economically privileged, to regions where people live with what’s extractable from the land and sea. There’s always this panic about what we will do without being able to shop! The mind races through warehouses full of goods available here, but most probably not there in the regions of subsistence existence. We’re probably looking a full six months ahead without major provisioning opportunities. Stuff like canned butter, milk powder, teas, pasta, flour, sugar, all sorts of grains like rice, beans, couscous, quinoa, then pasta, an assortment of canned proteins like sardines, tuna, all bloat the lists ad infinitum, but there’s also the other end of the chain. Will we suddenly run out of toilet paper, articles of feminine hygiene, and paper towels! Is there life without paper towels? Sitting on the macho side of the fence, I can imagine a kitchen without paper towels, but doing any kind of epoxy repair without paper towels, that’s out of the question!

Once the lists ream on and on they start to convert from controlling you to running out of control. They need to be trimmed and slimmed. We try to live with the little money we earned here on the island, since those back home who think our adventures are worthy of support are a precious few. They are few, but they are very very precious! Some of those limited funds need to be changed into Kiwi dollars for the fees and needs in the Cook Islands, our next stop, which uses New Zealand’s currency due to its free association with that motherland. Free here, like in most places, means economic dependency, of course. The rest of it has to be stretched to cover all the essential. And what exactly is essential? A book on seasteading comes to mind. The guy talks about living out on the open ocean, bloody masochist he is! But I do remember looking at the green noodles of algae growing on Alunas bottom, while cleaning them of as part of getting Aluna back in shipshape. Most seaweed is apparently edible, so here’s to our future salads, and no need to put nori on the list!

Then there are the chronically endless lists of chores. The big mizzen sail still needs to be reassembled. The engine remote controls need tweaking. Yes, you heard right, Aluna is motorized again, thanks to the bloody stubborn insistence of friendly Kiwi Curly of fame from Fiji. More on that later too! Stuff in the workshop needs to be stored securely; otherwise it will all end up in a pile on the floorboards after one day at sea. Charts need to be not only studied, but also memorized as much as possible, plotting entrances to our next ports in the mind’s eye so that we can arrive there with our eyes open to our surroundings, not held hostage by unfamiliar charts at the very moment urgent action is needed. Seafaring is a multidisciplinary affair. Much of it is beyond intellectual reach, intuitive, instinctive. Much of it is being able to do things that you don’t want to do. Much of it is doing more than you ever thought you could. Much of it is doing things you have never done before. But lists do help. They provide a railing to hold onto when gingerly walking down this path into the big unknown. What a great life this is!

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4 Responses to “Lists”

  1. Thomas Says:

    Invest in precious metals. yes dear friends I’m talking about fishhooks and swivels. Ten pound test fishing line and that sort of stuff. It is like gold when you’re in the outer reaches of civilization. Get some stainless leaders too, and lures for large tuna & barracuda. these items will serve you well over time.
    Bless,
    Thomas

    • alunaboat Says:

      Thanks for the tip, Thomas! That’s right, it’s where the fish are! How about machetes for opening the coconuts!

      • Thomas Says:

        You folks don’t have a machete ?
        I’ve seen the islanders use a large sharpened stick firmly planted in the ground. With a deft stroke the husk is driven onto the stick and twisted. A few maneuvers like that and the husk is freed exposing the thin shell. It is definitely an acquired skill.

      • alunaboat Says:

        I thought about a machete or two for trading. Dehusking coconuts is not as hard as it looks. Here they use a pick with the broad end driven in the ground and then doing the twist on the sharp side. It sure beats driving screwdrivers in and the sort of things…

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