28 May 2014

Cruising Vs. Working: A Day In The Life

Scott and I are working for a few months to top up the cruising kitty. It got me thinking about what my average day looks like cruising versus working. We need to get a new boat pronto.

A Day in the Life of a Worker Bee

You are not my friend.
Getting Up

The alarm screeches at you at 6:00 AM. Grope around in the dark to try to find it so that you can hit the snooze button. Give up, turn on the light and silence the little beast.

Get out of your spacious double bed. Yawn. Stretch. Take a shower with hot water. Wash and rinse your hair as much as you like. No coins required.

Make coffee and turn on the TV. Get depressed as you listen to the news stories about people starving, wars, corrupt government officials and the latest sporting scandal. Get distracted when the way too cheerful weather presenter tells you about all the rain headed your way. Wonder what kind of drugs he takes. It is really possible to be that chipper when talking about the weather? Apparently it is.

Sigh. Get dressed. In clean clothes. In tights, a skirt and a top which silently whispers, “I’m a professional. I know what I’m talking about. I have a PowerPoint presentation to prove it.”

Getting To Work

Get on a train. Full of people. All sneezing and coughing and spraying germs on you. Sneeze and sniffle back at them. We can all play this game.

Stare out the window at the office buildings and the shops. Watch the people on the train think about going to work in the office buildings so that they can get a paycheck and buy stuff in the shops. You can see it in their eyes, "We must drive the economy. Work, work, work! Earn, earn, earn! Spend, spend, spend!"

Hand the lady next to you a tissue – she really needs one. Get off the train. Walk to your office building. Stop in at the shop across the road. They sell chocolate. It's going to be a long day. You'll need some.

Whiling Away The Hours

Sit in a chair at a desk with a computer. All day long. Stare at the computer. Make fancy PowerPoint presentations to convince people that you’re a professional and you know what you’re talking about. Stare out the window. Such a lovely view of McDonald’s. Think to yourself, “At least I’m sitting in an office building, not serving hamburgers.” You feel better. Because inner peace comes from knowing there is always someone worse off than you.

Send a few emails. Talk to people on the phone. Have a cup of tea. Eat your chocolate. Turn off your computer.

Going Home

Wait at the train station. Wait some more. Get on a train. Wonder why people are so rude. Watch the young mother struggle to get her pram on the train. Watch the people right next to the door watch the young mother struggle to get her pram on the train. Obviously, they have been superglued to their seats and are unable to help her. Fortunately, you sat in the one seat without superglue. You help. Poor cute, little baby – doesn’t know he has a life of working in an office and making PowerPoint presentations ahead of him. Maybe that's why he is crying.

Chilling Out

Stare at the fridge. Will it to produce something delicious for dinner. Give up. Go get takeaway pizza. Sit on the couch. Turn on the TV. Watch a show about people starving, wars, corrupt government officials and the latest sporting scandal. Highly entertaining because it can't possibly be real. Plus everyone is wearing such nice clothes. And their hair looks shiny and pretty.

Go To Sleep

Set the alarm for 6:00 AM. Drift off to sleep and dream about sailing.

A Day in the Life of a Cruiser

When you live on a sailboat, you get views like this.
Getting Up

The splash of the water against your boat gently wakes you up at 6:00 AM. Have a good stretch, look out the porthole and smile. While you’re stretching, bump your head against the side of the cramped little v-berth. Stop smiling for a minute. Okay, back to smiling. You’re on a boat and the skipper has made coffee.

Grab the clothes you had on yesterday (and possibly the day before and maybe the day before that) and put them on. They don’t smell any worse than you, so you’re good to go.

No shower. No hot water. Oh well. You’re on a boat. It could be worse. You could be starving, living in a war-torn nation run by corrupt government officials and watching the news on TV about the latest sporting scandal.

Going to Work

You don’t.

Whiling Away the Hours

You have a leisurely breakfast. You go for a hike. You have a picnic lunch. You stare at the incredible views all around you. You sail to a new anchorage. You enjoy a sundowner in the cockpit and watch the dolphins play and the sun set. You eat a dinner of fresh snapper. And you sigh with content.

Going Home

You’re home already. On your boat. Home is where the heart is. Your heart is on your boat.

Chilling Out

See above – whiling away the hours.

Go To Sleep

Drift off to sleep and dream about sailing. No alarm required.

Disclaimer: Mrs O - if you're reading this, my days in the office look nothing like what's described above. I wake up with a spring in my step, eager to get to work and have never eaten a chocolate bar at my desk.


  1. Ellen, thank you for this post. It makes me think of a video I share with my students and that I try to watch at least every month or so - I find it helps me to keep things in perspective. I suspect you may appreciate it as well.
    Many well wishes as you make your plans to hop off the working wheel again in the future. ~Jessie, s/v The Red Thread

    1. Brilliant video Jessie! You were right - it really resonated with me!

  2. Ahhh love it! Unfortunately I am also in situation #1 at the moment, madly working my @rse off to get to situation #2... will go sailing this weekend to try and lift the energy levels! Great post ;)

    1. The good thing is that you know what you are working for and you have a plan. Enjoy the sail this weekend!

  3. So sad for you. Make it stop.

    The funny thing about the alarm clock is when I worked, I HAD to get up at 6:00 am. I was tried and grumpy. Now, I WANT to wake up at 6:00 am. I had always thought retirement meant I would sleep in. This is not the case. I can't wait to get up. There is too much fun stuff to do. I just spent 4 days washing and waxing Cream Puff. I worked my tosh off! And, I enjoyed every minute of it. Okay, well not every minute. There was a moment where I thought that having a job and paying someone else to sweat in the hot Florida sun might seem like a better idea. It was a very brief moment and lapse of judgement on my part.

    Please get away from the dark side soon.


    Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream Puff

    1. The whole waking up thing is so strange - when you're excited about what your day has ahead of you, then no alarm clock required. If you're going to go sit in front of a computer all day, then alarm clock definitely required.

      Well I better go take a shower and get ready for another day in the dark side...

  4. Great post! Definitely relates to us. Can't wait to cut the dock lines. Only 17, oops no 16, more months to go!

    Fair winds,


    1. Those 16 months will be over in no time - it will be such a great day when you guys cut those dock lines!

  5. We are back from holiday and hope to see you soon in the cruising mode -- it sounds like way more fun. Hope you get your new yacht soon :)

    1. Welcome back - saw the pictures. Looks like you guys had an amazing time!

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