Now, for all of you home-dwellers reading this, please know that, rationally, you have nothing to fear. My survival instincts are completely ineffective, resulting in me fearing what is safe and taking comfort in what is not. I am the one with the problem, not you.
I am happy to report that living on a boat has allowed me to completely avoid all of the fears that turned me off to living in a house. Unfortunately, new fears have emerged. To date, my greatest concern is that we are sinking.
During the day, I am, for the most part, fine. Whenever I think the boat might be sinking, I simply look out of one of the ports (windows), and confirm that we are still above water. At nighttime, however, I’m not so level-headed. At night, we cover the ports in our bedroom in order to block light and sound from entering our room and disturbing our sleep. Here is a before and after picture illustrating the effectiveness of the port covers:
As you can see, the covers create an ideal setting for sleep…as well as an ideal setting for fear! With the covers in place, my ability to visually gauge whether or not the boat is afloat is compromised, and I am forced to rely on my sense of sound to determine what is happening outside of the boat.
With the ports covered, only two sounds can be heard from inside of our room: the occasional Lamborghini speeding by and water moving alongside the exterior of the boat. While the sound of a Lamborghini's engine is easily identifiable and requires no interpretation, the sound of water is much more elusive. Almost every night, Eric ends up having to assure me that the liquidly sound I hear (and fear) is caused by water gliding past the boat as the tide goes in and out. His interpretation seems plausible, but I believe the sound is actually caused by water bubbling up the sides of the boat as we sink to the bottom of our slip.
Once the thought of us sinking enters my mind, my over-active imagination takes over. I begin thinking about the depth of our slip and wonder if the mast would stick out of the water if we became completely submerged. If not, how would our marina neighbors become alerted to our situation? Should I call for help? At what depth will cell service likely cut out? Do roaming-charges still exist? What about accessing the Internet? From under water, will our signal strength be strong enough to quickly post an SOS on Facebook? What about the pressure created by the water covering the boat? Will the deck hold? For how long? How much air do we have? How long can we live under water?
Once I’ve worked myself into a tizzy, my thoughts turn to escape. Do we wait until we are completely under water before opening the hatch or should we abandon ship now? What if we are too late and are already under water? Do we open the hatch all at once, or do we wait until the boat has almost completely filled with water before opening it? What household items can we use as makeshift diving bells? So many questions…
At this point, I usually turn to Eric and ask, “Do you hear that sound?!?! What is it?! Are we sinking?!” Eric always responds calmly with, “No, we aren't sinking. Everything is fine.” Unconvinced, I anxiously wait for the sound of a supercar speeding by to confirm we are still afloat.
So far, Eric has been right --the sound is only the tide, but should any of my Facebook friends ever see a cryptic status update from me that reads: “Send divers!” you'll know why.