Saturday, August 18, 2012

Make and Mend

According to Patrick O'Brian in his wonderful novels about 19th Century British naval captain, Jack Aubrey, Thursdays are "make and mend days."  The day is set aside when the urgency of weather or warfare don't demand the sailor's time so the crew can focus on cleaning, mending, patching, re-stowing gear, etc.  It's a day of light duty and an opportunity to inflict a little British naval order on the ship.  Even though today is Saturday, we did a little make and mend around the Land Whale.

Land Whales (RV's) borrow a lot from maritime technology and small boat design.  There are clever, somewhat smaller systems, cubbyholes and storage places wherever one can be imagined and elements that can serve multiple purposes such as a kitchenette seating area that will convert each evening to become a future crew member's bunk. Figuring out how to make these Land Whale features work takes some practice and figuring out, and that is what I focused on today while Jocelyn and Paul got their professional lives in order to be on the road.  There are only the three of us at this time and we are still inventing this trip and what it will take to survive.  As a result, I figure it is wise to get ahead of the learning curve and find places for all the stuff we figured we need so far.  Stuff we urgently piled into the Land Whale when we picked it up, for example, has now been stowed in what I imagine is the best place and manner for it. 

We still have room for some more stuff if it comes to that but we are definitely going to go on this voyage in ship shape.  All the lessons our mothers tried to teach us about immediately picking up after ourselves, cleaning up our messes and putting things away now make so much more sense than when I was a teenager.  And those lessons will now be our practice.

One alert reader commented to me about the "whole earth" angle of riding in a Land Whale while promoting permaculture, and wondered how the approach to this venture squares with planetary stewardship.  Given all the many variables in Paul and Jocelyn's lives, given the places we need to go for Paul to do his lectures, etc. it all fit an ethical calculation that worked for Paul.  And it only works if a would-be sailor comes along as a pilot and recorder of the tale. Voila! C'est moi.  

For the next several days we are going to do some day trips to sites Paul and Jocelyn are interested in checking out.  I will post pictures of the places we see.

1 comment:

  1. I recently took a "make and mend" day to organize my stuff. Now I can't find my stuff. I hope your system produces a better result. Sail on, oh mighty captain.