We just changed the clocks back again. Every time we gain another hour, I feel a tangible stretch in my connection back home. Our next time change — in just a couple of weeks — will span an entire 25 hours. We’ll lose a whole day as we cross the International Dateline near Tonga, and I’ll be ever further from the daily routine of my loved ones in the States.
I’m approaching the outer limits of time spent away from my family. I can feel that time accumulating in my bones and in my breast, weighing heavy as I dive down to see tropical coral and exotic fish. I’m curious how the weight will change as more months pass — will I just wake up one morning and declare that I simply must fly home? Will I grow used to the separation and learn to live with the weight more easily?
After five months out, everything back home is captured in a lovely rosy glow. A glow that purposefully enhances the good and fuzzes out any ickiness. I can picture our neighborhood, my parents’ kitchen, my sister and her big dog walking by the creek, our king-sized bed that’s bigger than the boat we’re now living on. I miss it all. But I’m not ready to go back yet.
I think about my friends and my family every single day. You are all with us out here: under the water, counting the minutes until the passage is complete, marveling at colors and stars and sharks, bemoaning the rocking stove, exclaiming at the number of sharks, laughing at the absurdness of floating a small boat across a giant s ea, changing the clocks back surely but slowly as that small boat keeps sailing west.