My Morning Routine

Teresa Carey Words 20 Comments

Every fair tide, no matter what the hour or the temperature or the rainfall, I awoke early to begin my routine. When I heard the sound of my alarm clock, before hopping out of my bunk, I first checked the temperature. After my eyes adjusted to the darkness I would take a deep breath in then slowly exhale. The sight of my breath told me it would be another chilly northeast day. Even before getting out of my sleeping bag I dressed in many layers. Once awake I made hot cocoa then I did an engine check and reviewed the route for the day.

Each step of my routine was essential to a successful day. The layers of clothing kept me comfortable and dry in the worst weather and spray. The hot cocoa awakened me, hydrated me, and warmed me. The engine check kept Daphne running smoothly and reviewing the charts kept me from getting lost in the fog.

When it was time to get underway I began the often long and sweaty process of hauling back on the heavy Bruce anchor that was connected to the 100ft of even heavier chain. But it wasn’t the weight of the anchor or chain I was pulling against. It was the boat and the wind and water current that put an opposing force on Daphne. I wasn’t hauling in the anchor. I was hauling in the boat! This was my daily routine. I did it because I wanted to. Not because I was mentally ill.

I like the challenges of boat life. I like the rain whipping across my face, seeing my breath in the moonlight as I peer out of my sleeping bag, and being sweaty and sore when I finally felt trustworthy Bruce break free from the seafloor as I turned and sprinted to take control of the helm before Daphne drifted to close to the rocky shoreline. I like that morning routine and I did it over and over again.

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Comments 20

  1. Mark

    Sometimes my morning routine is firing up the hose and swabbing the deck because a hawk was roosted on my neighbor’s mast and my boat happened to be in the way of the droppings.

    Sometimes my morning routine is getting up at 4am and checking the lines because the winds picked up to 20 knots from a new direction and I need to make sure everything is secure on that angle.

    There’s a lot of things like that. It’s different. I feel like my actions are a direction reaction to the very physical and immediate world around me. I live in an environment that demands I respond to it for my health, safety and comfort. It’s very grounding, a very solid sensation that runs on weather and tides instead of a man made clock that wants me sitting behind a desk at some artificial arbitrary moment.

  2. Fran

    who in the world would suggest you are mentally ill…..liking the challenges of your boat life is understandable to a great many people…being envious that you have done this and probably will do it again is also envying and gains you admiration. However, having lived longer than you, I have the opportunity to reflect on what I have done…what I have not done….regrets and choices…..There comes a time, I believe, when in ones life, where we have to “give in” and make choices. Sailing out to sea, living on a boat is the perfect life for many people, but for others, not being able to afford a new mattress, to fly home for the holidays, to walk your child to school, to have medical insurance, are just some of the things that are important to us. Are we materialist, I dont think so….I think we too are busy finding balance and what will make us happy. My husbands dream was to live the kind of life you have been living….but instead, he compromised….had a sail boat, and sailed in summers, perhaps not as much as he would of liked, but during those times when he might of been sailing, he instead he choose to raise 3 daughters, read to them…teach them to read…play ball with them, expose them to history….watch the Wizard of Oz…and teach them to love the sea. When asked if he regrets he choice, absolutely not…does he still plan on acting on his other dream, you betcha….but time and time again I see him putting first what is most important to him now. Has my past 40 years been without stress, regrets, choices, wondering what I was doing….of course not, if I could go back and change a few things, I’d be lying if I didnt say yes, however, I am proud of my life, what I have worked so hard at to achieve, and I keep working on those things that I haven’t quite grasped. Life is good…just yesterday I did something I have never done…and I am very proud of myself.

  3. Fran

    I think I need to spend some time preparing this response, but, true to my nature…I just talk….and it appears that I was totally misread, misunderstood…and all over the place when I responded yesterday to Teresa. First let me apologize….but you have to understand…my girls forbid me to get on Facebook for a reason! Therefore, when I see FRAN with my response, I assume that most of you do not realize I am Teresa’s mom…wrong….you are paying much more attention than I gave you credit for….sorry. Second, I love the fact that you have opinions re my responses, knowing that I am Teresa’s mom….3rd…some of the times, yesterday was one of those times, I am trying very hard to create an response that would not sound so motherly, specifically Teresa’s mom….why? I sometimes get my girls riled up because they apparently think I, at times, dont know what I am talking about…and then, I get my feelings hurt, I emotionally stand my ground, but usually add more…and it begins….now to try and clear this all up…..please know that am I very proud of Teresa, and always have been…while I can go into all kinds of details, examples, specifics, I can already hear Teresa, MOM…..however, I still might…..with that said, simply said, as proud as I am..when Teresa first began her simple life style ON HER BOAT…I was a nervous wreck and have always let my feelings be known…I love the fact that she is now on land more than she is on the seas in coming storms….I know I know……….she watches the weather, she knows when to pull in, she is smart…I know all that, but I am her mom…and more of a land lover than a sailor…….I think I am getting into another story here, so trying to keep this short…..yesterday, I was trying to tell Teresa that we have to think ahead…that while she loves the sea I also know that she loves other things and perhaps returning to the sea is not a good road to take in building for the other dreams…I hope that makes sense……both her dad and I are happy she is getting to live some of her dreams, I just dont want her to abandon the other ones……please tell me that makes sense, if not……………..YIKES

  4. Rick Patton

    Fran, I was one of the ones who said Yikes after I read your blog yesterday. To be honest I totally read over the mentally Ill part in Teresa’s blog and did not take it the way you did. However I did tell Teresa that you were trying to say you missed her for Thanksgiving and you loved her very much and wanted her to go after and succeed in her dreams.


  5. Fran

    THANK YOU RICK…………Teresa didn’t tell me that part!!!!! I was reacting like, WHO IN THE WORLD COULD CRITIZE YOU LIKE THAT….my mother bear instincts……she laughed….thanks for telling her what you did, …..did she believe you? I think she does not get me at all and I am so obvious to everyone else. Well, at least I think so. Evidently you……Teresa considers you a good friend…I see why…thanks again.

  6. Rick Patton

    Fran, I think as parents we try to part some of our wisdom on our kids and they look at us like were crazy… Of my three son’s one has kids and he admits he’s starting to get it. That Mom and dad wern’t so wrong after all. The harder we try the more the boys think were nuts.
    They are all great boy’s and they are living there lives and we have to remember it’s there lives not ours…


  7. Fran

    TWO. (my MIDDLE daughter)….and she doesn’t get me at all and tells me no one else does….I’m beginning to think she might be right! This is a real eye openner for me……..

  8. Post

    Tee hee. You are all too funny.

    LOOK OUT WORLD! COMING SOON….A NEW BLOG BY THE ONE AND ONLY…MOMMA FRAN CAREY!!!! Stay tuned. Launching it in the new year.

  9. Douglas

    Don’t worry Fran. My mom once had a telemarketer hang up on her because she was talking too much. If you do a blog, just talk to us like you talk to your kids. Some of us miss having a mom to listen too.

  10. Fran

    I dont think I am worrying….more than usual…but I know I have now started my day out with a smile…..thanks Doug………..

  11. Ib Frohberg

    What a heavy discussion…………
    As everybodey at see knows, routins morning as well on evnings are
    important due safty on board. When You done it inthe morning, You know
    that all is shipshape and Your mind can relax and Your body can do
    something that gives plesure to Your mind.
    In the evening You may do a similar routine, check moorings ,anchorage,
    bilges whetherforecast, ect, ect………
    This will give You A nice sleep as in pic. 1 snoozing nice with a cat.
    Do not yell at me thus my bad enlish spelling. Thanks an Happy Holidays

    Cheers !

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