I choose the bow berth to sleep. And I can be on deck in ten seconds if my helmsman on the midnight watch needs a hand during a squall, or the Coast Guard radios us to heave to. She’s a sloop, and she’s steady and sound. Even though she’s not the fastest ride between the islands, I don’t trim her sails to cut a racer’s wake, unless we’re trying to beat to a mooring before a storm lashes us. More and more, she’s home. And she’s good for the nerves, given a good day to hoist the sails. She’s good for the lungs, given a brisk wind. She’s good for the skin, given a broad-brimmed hat and plenty of sunscreen. And she’s good for the mind, given a ration of rum. She teaches me to drink life as it passes by at seven knots. And we leave the jets and jackals in our wake, mostly, as we negotiate life on island time.
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