| Harold and Douglas study and trace the parts of Ithaka's refrigeration system.* * *|
We're both excited to feel liberated, to no longer be within earshot of trucks and telephones and neighbors. While we've loved traveling about Guatemala and Salvador and visiting the United States, there's a season for all things, and our season, like our refrigerator, is reborn now. Onboard are new flippers and masks, a new speargun, a slew of books crying to be read, a galley full of provisions, a series of charts we've only started to study, and guidebooks for islands and countries we hope to visit. I hesitate to lay them out in detail in print, because it seems every time we make plans and say them out loud, it all but guarantees we'll end up doing something else. This isn't peculiar just to us. It's a familiar refrain among cruisers, who often say that plans are what most often get in their way of life. The other night Bernadette and I started to talk of where we'd like to spend _next_ Thanksgiving, which is likely to mean hurricane season, but we stopped ourselves short lest we jinx it somehow. I know that over the next months we'll each make hints, linger over particular charts, muse aloud with the occasional "what-if"—yet we'll fall short of stating in a full-on declarative sentence: "I want us to be at such-and-so." Normally direct with each other on so many things, this minuet has some odd moments but seems to work without invoking the wrath of poltergeists, dybuks, or curses. One day, one of us _will_ say, "Jeeze, why don't we just spend next hurricane season..." and through a series of delicate dance steps, voila, the consensus will have been reached. I don't quite grasp the whole process yet, but this seems to be how it works.