Attempts at breaking the hedonic treadmill
Time was running out on us. We were less than two weeks from our haul-out date still nearly two-hundred miles away. There isn’t a whole lot to explore between where we are and where we need to be, but we both wanted to just sit still for a while before the start of our summer project list. Not that we would do that in this blog post, but we have a spot in mind.
With a good day, weather wise, to relocate from bee haven to anywhere else, we took it. Blue skies and a gentle breeze made for a great day of sailing (not that we took any photos) to get to what is known as “the pond”, officially charted as Isla El Estanque. It is an anchorage with protection by the island at nearly 360 degrees. Only a very small opening allows entry, and it must be taken at high tide. A bit of pucker factor to get in. Once in however, it didn’t matter that the night’s wind forecast was high as the protection would take care of any of that drama.
We stayed only a couple days, doing nothing of note as the wind was a bit frustrated, eventually leaving to motor mid way up the neighboring island of Archangel Island – our final island before haul-out. The mid-point was just to break up what would be a crazy long sail to go from the southern tip to the northern tip of the island – our actual destination. The anchorage here was pleasant enough, and we were soon joined by the kid boat parade that we have been following – or followed by – for months now. Again, we stuck around a couple days, this time making sure to explore around a bit.
What we found, by chance, was on a rising tide the sea water would flood into a large lagoon at the back side of the bay. This flooding would making some rapids of sort. On the lagoon side of the rapids was a large pool dug out in the sand from the force of the water, making for an amazing place to take a dip, which we promptly did. It was just what we needed on a hot day in Baja. It was a beautiful place to be at the very moment and we knew it and tried our best to soak it in.
Sitting outside for sundowners in the cockpit, in just about as remote a place as you can set anchor in the northern Gulf of California, watching the sunset light up the ever-changing landscape under a near-full moon, our conversation turned again to what I call “awe fatigue” — what the experts call the hedonic treadmill.
After dozen years of being surrounded by the best that nature has to offer, we have to consciously remind ourselves to be present to it. We’d both agree, that though we struggled with it, too, in our land travels, the ability to get from the desert to the mountains or sea in a day’s drive could jolt us back into awareness with drastic changes to our senses. In a boat, the charges are so subtle, like watching a loved one age.
In a couple of weeks, we’ll be doing something neither of us have done in over a decade. When we haul out, we’ll be renting a very modest little furnished apartment in Puerto Peñasco for about four months, while we renew our visas, visit friends and family in the states, and work on boat projects. The longest I’ve lived any time outside of my moving homes in the past dozen years was a two-week housesitting stint. The main motivator for the apartment rental is access to air conditioning in the peak of Sonoran summer. But we expect it to also have the added bonus of resetting our awe meter once we splash in Fall. Just a couple weeks ago, I was regretting how close we are to hauling out, wanting to hang onto this summer on the sea for every last minute, but now I’m feeling ready for that upcoming transition.