Oh I went for a walk and I walked around the block
And I walked right into a donut shop…
Oh no. Already? It’s the ice cream truck, with its endless, scratchy loop of a song my dad used to sing to us when we were little. Of course there are no words—the truck just blares the melody out on its tinny loudspeaker. Over and over again. All day. But I can’t stop the words from running through my head.
There’s a park beside the boat yard here in Titusville where we’re getting Monark ready to leave for the summer. Sometimes, the ice cream van comes hopefully into the boat yard—surely boaters are just big kids. It passes directly below the bow of our boat—
I picked a donut out of the grease
And I handed the lady a five-cent piece.
We get a brief respite from the song as the truck backs up to turn around. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Then it picks up where it left off.
People often ask about seasickness, but they never ask about landsickness, which is almost as bad. After three months on the boat, our bodies are completely used to the constant motion, we adjust to every little roll without even thinking about it. We can carry a cup of hot coffee up to the cockpit and never spill a drop. Well, except when the going gets really rough.
So the stillness of being up on stands in the boat yard is hard to get used to. It makes us feel dizzy and confused. As does the frenetic pace of life on land.
Our first day on the hard was a nightmare. As soon as the boat was out of the travel lift, we had to drive to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Port Canaveral to clear in.
“Holy cow this thing goes fast.” Chris was clutching the steering wheel of the car with both hands. “And no autopilot!”
Cars and trucks whizzed by us on the interstate at impossibly high speeds.
“Here! Get off here!” I said, too late. We’d missed the exit. We never miss our exit in the boat.
My head was spinning by the time we reached customs. I had to sit down while Chris waited patiently for the armed officer to decide to admit us to the country. He kept disappearing to do checks. Or have his lunch. We weren’t sure which.
Then we made the mistake of trying to do too many errands. We went to the bank, and the hardware store. By the time we got to the grocery store I just wanted to cry. We grabbed a couple of things and headed back to the boat.
A good night’s sleep, I thought. That’s all I need.
But I didn’t get it. The bed was eerily still. I kept waking and listening for a change in the wind, wondering if the tide had turned us yet, if the anchor had held. Then I couldn’t get back to sleep. So many sirens in Titusville. It must be the calamity capital of Florida. And cars. There’s a highway outside the boat yard gate, and all night, cars would race by, a sudden blare of music, then gone.
And then there are the trains. There’s a major railway track maybe half a kilometre away, and through the night, long freight trains come through. You can hear their whistle in the distance, then closer, then a low rumble, then louder. The boat actually shakes on its stands as the train passes by.
Like seasickness, landsickness only lasts a few days. We’re pretty much used to all the activity and the noise now. Well, maybe not the noise.
Oh no! It’s the ice cream truck again!
Well she looked at the money and she looked at me
And she said,” This money is no good to me.
“There’s a hole in the middle and it goes right through”
Says I, “There’s a hole in the donut too.”
Listen to the tune!