Thursday, July 25, 2013

Living to Lime

Inevitably when I visit friends and family in America I will get asked that most common of questions every cruiser must learn to answer in their own way, “What do you do all day?”

The question is asked in a way that often implies we have absolutely nothing to do except lie in the sun, read books, laugh with our friends and drink cocktails. I mean really, what else would we possibly be doing? We live on a sailboat in the Caribbean islands, and when in the Caribbean you learn how to lime!

Anyone can lime, anytime, anywhere. According to UD (Urban Dictionary) it’s a very simple concept that encompasses any leisure activity entailing the sharing of food and drink, the exchange of tall stories, jokes and anecdotes etc., provided the activity has no explicit purpose beyond itself.

Let me simplify and repeat “any leisure activity…provided the activity has no explicit purpose beyond itself.” We’ve gotten good at it. We feel we’ve earned our time to lime. Why? Because of all those "things" we do all day!

So what do we do? Weather most certainly dictates how plans are made and changed. This is going to be pretty boring but humor me. We get up when the sun begins warming our sleeping cabin; which is usually sometime between 7 and 8 a.m. (except for the mornings I practice yoga either on deck or ashore). Chris makes coffee and puts away the dishes that have been air drying from the previous night’s dinner. While eating our individual breakfasts we read blogs, update Facebook, write emails, check the weather and generally surf the net. We do this until about 10 o’clock.

We each have “things” we want to do or need to do that encompass any manner of what cruisers refer to as “boat chores”. (Remember, we earn our time to lime.) We do these various boat chores, either individually or together, until about 4 pm taking a break for lunch around 1 pm. Just to satisfy the curiosity of the folks back in America, here’s a short list of things we’ve been doing this week – several on the same day. If we get tired of it all the liming starts early. You see, the harder you work, the harder you get to lime!  

Design and make his & her bedside shelves for the master cabin; hand wash the clothes; wash the toilet; take the bus to Ace Hardware for boat parts; air out the mattress; hike the sheets and mattress pad to the laundromat; practice the ukulele (Chris); study the tarot (Linda); repair the spinnaker bag; take the bus to the grocery store, shop, take the bus (or sometimes a taxi) back to the boat; put the groceries away; bake banana bread; pay the marina bill; wash the hull; practice/study yoga (Linda); scrub the bottom of the boat; fix the broken generator; take pictures of the projects so we don’t forget what we did or what it looked like; remove the genoa (sail) and put on the new jib sheets (oops! we haven’t done that yet, should have been done last year, but we’ll do it this year) … now it’s time to lime!

Liming, Troubadour style, involves playing guitar in the cockpit, dockside or at jam sessions; enjoying laughs and conversations with cruiser friends and locals (thanks Izzy for the picture from the full moon party); reading a book - anywhere; snorkeling; bobbing (see Bobbing in Bequia); hanging around at the pool (at Port Louis Marina); sipping half-priced drinks at happy hour specials; watching the sunset; and swigging a cold beer in the shade on a hot afternoon… provided, that is, the activity has no explicit purpose beyond itself!



  1. Sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the day ...

    1. Mid-Life, when will you be in out here? We'd love to see you down island soon!

  2. I love you're post. Great way to say it, as we get asked this too!
    S/V Changes

    1. It certainly helped to write about it, rather than stand there with my mouth open and wonder how to answer the question! Thanks!


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