Monday, 10 September 2012

Five years on Monty B and we're more alive than ever

Celebrated with a bottle of Mumm champagne, donated by one of our repeat customers, thanks Hillel and Brenda!
Five years on, a tad more wrinkly but happy

Not the most original title but we've just celebrated our 5th anniversary aboard Monty B with a precious day off in peak season, in our favourite anchorage behind Sveti Marko island.

Skipper taking a well earnt rest
Sailing back from work on our 5th anniversary, I'm not posing okay? I'm trying look at the sail from underneath the sun shade
Yesterday I posted a "how wonderful life is" entry and within 10 minutes took it straight down again because on reading it live, I decided that I sounded like a completely smug twat and cringed hideously with embarrassment and hastily took it down.

So today, sat inside the boat, with a thunderstorm rumbling around, waiting out the weather as we were meant to be on an 8 hour (lucrative) trip today and now it looks like it definitely won't happen (the downside of working for yourself), so it has given me time to reflect and re-write.

Yesterday's post began: "Five years on and as soon as I'm awake each day, I bounce out of bed, excited to look out the companionway hatch and see the world. How lucky am I?".  For starters, this isn't actually true as I have a bad back so bouncing out of bed is physically impossible. In reality I literally have to drag myself down the mattress then shuffle off the end of our bunk, then creakily stagger about the boat trying to get my limbs to work.

I will admit to loving the view but I'm sure that in part my keenness to get out of bed is due to routine-driven caffeine addiction as the first thing I do is turn on the gas and put the kettle on to make my (one) coffee and then turn on the bloody computer and before my eyes are properly open, I'm already checking the weather/emails to make sure today is going to happen.

Then I look at the view.
New favourite fair weather anchorage at Orahovac, surrounded by 1000m steep sided mountains and unintrusive land development proving it isn't a given that every bit of waterfront has to be covered in concrete in this country
Mummy, I'm scared (again)
Coffee - changing light - shoals of silvery fish leaping - sea birds swooping - grumpy fisherman shouting at us to "get orf my land" - peace and quiet - or the bustle of hard-faced market stall holders in Kotor. This is the best bit of living on a boat: the constant change of scenery. Even if our summer involves motoring/sailing around and around Kotor Bay many many times; the stimulation of a different anchorage, the changing light, a new angle - it is enough.

The Daily Squabble: Getting Monty B prepared for the day's work

We've been out on anchor since early April, after waving goodbye to our mates, the Combers - the first family to spend a week living with us on Monty B and of course, it pissed it down loads but it was still great fun - what lovely folk - we jumped into a little weather window to get us up to Croatia (it only lasted a day so day 2 was a hairy wet n wild ride down wind to Sipan where we were holed up for several days during an intense Sirocco which nearly floored us when it ended with a crash bang wallop of a cold front).  Spent a warm and sunny 3 weeks cruising about, lots of hiking, interspersed with anchoring up for 3/4 days at a time to try to finish refurbing the teak deck (didn't finish completely but what we had done looks superb).  We reluctantly returned to Montenegro mid May as the weather closed in again and the season started (a great combination as always).

Commuting, Monte style
Now it is September and the season is almost done - hoorah - and in 3 weeks we are heading back up to Croatia for some autumnal adventure and carry on doing the deck.

The launching of our company, Delphinus, has coincided with many visits from dolphins this year - some of whom guided and calmed us in 25 knot winds as we skirted Grbani lighthouse in April and last night was possibly the most special of all as we sat in the dark, watching the stars when I heard a huge splash.  There, passing us, was a school of dolphins, sliding through the black water, their fins occasionally illuminated by light on the water - and the sound, ah that sound, of dolphins breathing. We sat whispering to each other in the darkness, spellbound.

The wonder never ceases. When I read back to my first few entries on the blog, those early mornings gazing at the light on the water, the sense of fulfilmen- it is all still there. The time to sit and stare, the wonder of the Boka in morning or evening light, it touches a part of me that was empty for all those years. It is such a simple pleasure but it means so much.

I guess what I was trying to say in yesterday's smug post was that I never dread getting up in the morning, I never have to drag myself out of bed (even though in reality I actually do), and even though we spend our summer driving around in circles, we have a brilliant business which we both love and we are so incredibly lucky to be able to make a living doing something we enjoy so much.

A friend's Faecesbook status recently said something along the lines of "The secret to having it all is knowing when you've got it".  So true.  And you never know what is around the corner - and during my life, when things are great, the unexpected usually pops up its grisly head and brings me back down to earth with a painful bump - so the important thing is appreciating what you've got, when you've got it.

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