Finally, it got warm enough to go out for a short weekend trip with the whole crew: Charlotte, the children, and Aiko the dog. It didn’t start out all that well, though.
“I guess the first day is always a bit difficult,” Charlotte said, sighing and looking a bit tired.
We had been out with the boat since early afternoon and evening had arrived. The sun was still up— like it almost always is in the Finnish summer—, but it was late and the children were already sleeping in their cabins. We were anchored next to Ruissalo island, just outside of Turku, and had some time together to reflect on the day’s events.
“I know, and I guess so too,” I sighed back.
For me, getting out there on the water is instantly magical. The others, however, grow more slowly into it. If the children are complaining, fighting, and getting irritated at each other at home, that doesn’t immediately change when they step aboard our boat. If lovely Charlotte feels anxious and stressed before we leave the dock, she doesn’t immediately snap away from it— like I do.
“I think you are setting your expectations so high,” Charlotte said to me. “If you think that this is just any other normal day, then you won’t get disappointed when we are just who we are.”
It felt true, but sounded a bit sad.
It is easy for me to get my expectations up too high, though. There’s a lot of work that goes into making the whole sailing thing happen, and it takes a lot of time. So, when that first day arrives, when everything is supposed to come together perfectly, and we’re all supposed to sail off into the sunset (with beautiful Instagram pictures to show we did)— it is really easy for reality to be outshined by all the expectations and dreams leading up to it. And then for slight disappointment to set in.
It’s unfair of me, of course. But also, I think, quite human, and maybe even slightly inevitable. After all, dreams and expectations are an important part of life. It’s just that crossover from dream to reality that’s a bit tricky. And that one person’s magic isn’t immediately everyone else’s.
“You’re right, and I’m sorry,” I said. And things started to feel a bit better, for both of us.
Outside with Aiko
Last season, our dog Aiko eventually learned to do his “stuff” outside in the cockpit, on a synthetic carpet. It was now the evening of his first day of season 2, he had been outside all day, drinking and eating, but he showed no interest in the carpet whatsoever.
“So, I don’t really know what to do,” I said to Charlotte. “If we take him inside now, he will pee and poop on the floor for sure,” I continued, “So I think I’ll have to sleep outside with him until he figures it out.”
And so we did. I on the starboard side bench, Aiko on the port side. Luckily, it wasn’t very cold outside.
It was about 3 am. I woke up.
Aiko was moving around in the cockpit, sniffing his way towards the carpet. Then, very casually, he walked onto it, and I heard the sweet sounds I had (and he surely as well!) been waiting for all day.
A few minutes later we were all— Charlotte, Aiko and I— sleeping soundly, inside, in the master cabin.
The Second Day
If the first day had been a bit of an emotional struggle, the second day was quite the opposite!
We didn’t make any other plans than to relax, enjoy the sun, and monkey around in the dinghy– and that we did, all day. It was really quite fantastic!
Hello, Old Friends
On our way back home we made a final stop right next to fairway leading into Turku. We had timed our return trip to arrive there to see two of our old friends of last season: Baltic Princess and Viking Grace.
It was nice. J didn’t care so much for it, but the others enjoyed it a lot!
We got home alright and everyone— Charlotte, children, and Aiko included— seemed very happy with the trip.
“When can we go again? Please, when can we go again?” O asked, with a joyful and excited voice, as he was stepping off of the boat.
There was some regained confidence, within me, that I wasn’t the only one feeling the good vibes. I do think that I’m a bit too quick to focus on the dark clouds around me. When the sun starts to shine, though, I’m equally quick (thank goodness!) to forget all the struggles of yesterday.