How Living on a Boat Prepared us for The 2020 Lockdown

Apr. 15, 2020

Progreso, MX




Social Distancing


Whatever name you want to give it, life, as we know it, has disappeared. It's like someone pushed a giant, cosmic "pause" button. It would almost seem like a practical joke being played on mankind. Except that it is serious. Deadly serious.

It occurred to me, walking to the grocery store this morning with my face cloaked behind a mask, following the once-bustling sidewalks that are now all but deserted, that our time aboard S/V Neverland prepared us for this.

What living aboard a sailboat taught us then has proven to be invaluable now.

We learned to provision smart: You only have so much space. You can only keep fresh food fresh so long. You won't have room for canned food and staples if you buy too much beer or soft drinks. You never know when a weather delay will cause you to use your backup rations. You can do without a lot of things but you cannot do without drinking water. Make sure to clean all the cans and bottles and get rid of any excess packaging BEFORE bringing items aboard.

We learned to be self-sufficient, to make do with what we had, and to appreciate the little things.

Like a sunset. A sea turtle. A soaring bird. Good music. Silence, and silence that was broken by laughter.

We learned to keep in touch with people while far away, and we learned to fully appreciate the times we had no contact with the outside world at all.

We learned to cohabitate in a small space without feeling smothered, each retreating as needed into our own interests and spaces. How to use headphones. Have courtesy. Respect. We could be worlds away from each other and still just reach out, anytime, for each other´s company. 

When docked, we learned how to be part of a community, paying attention to where we could lend a hand, throw a line, open a gate, share provisions, lend an ear. We learned to share. Food. Booze. Experiences. But we learned to do so while still being fiercely independent. There is a reason you need to ask for "Permission to come aboard."

We learned to live in the moment. Today is what we have. We have a choice, with every sunrise, to make the most of it or piss it away. Time is one thing that cannot and will not replenish itself, and is never guaranteed.

We learned that nature is going to do stuff. Nasty stuff. Stuff you are unprepared for no matter how hard you try. All you can do then is batten down the hatches and ride it out.

Most of all, we learned that no matter what happens, the human spirit will prevail. The north star will steadfastly keep its place in the sky to guide us, and we will travel on.

“The strongest people I know
have been overtaken by their weaknesses.
They know what it’s like to lose control.
The strongest people I know
have cried in the shower and in their car.
They know loss and guilt all too well.
The strongest people I know aren’t bulletproof.
They have felt the searing pain of life’s shots.
The strongest people I know
make the decision every day to wake up
and place their two feet on the ground
even though they know the monsters beneath
their bed will grab at their ankles.
The strongest people I know
are not strong by definition, at all.
They are mistake-makers.
They are mess-creators.
They are survivors.”
― Alicia Cook, Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately











Apr. 15, 2020

Shawn Colvin - These Four Walls Lyrics
Artist: Shawn Colvin

Album: 107.1 KGSR Broadcasts, Volume 14

I'm gonna die in these four walls
I've had enough and I've tried it all
I'll watch the day break and I'll see the night fall
In these four walls

Show me trouble I'll take him down
I drew a line on this patch of ground
Everything's safe and everything's sound
In these four walls

Up on the rooftop
I can remember
Borders I had to break
Now I can see I had this life
To make

I'm gonna miss your southern drawl
A baby's footsteps in an empty hall
And every little thing I can ever recall
In these four walls

Up on the rooftop
Feel like you're flying
Thinking your heart could break
Oh can't you see we had this love
To make

I'm gonna die in these four walls
I've had enough and I've tried it all
I'll watch the day break and I'll see the night fall
In these four walls.

Play "These Four Walls"
on Apple Music

Shawn Colvin
Apr. 15, 2020
Apr. 15, 2020

"“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.” ― Honoré de Balzac."