Monday, October 23, 2017

Alone and Together on the Water

alone together title

Each summer, my husband and I manage to get out on the boat for one afternoon — alone. Of course, we enjoy including our kids, friends, and family on our voyages, but we also need a dose of “we” time. Although going to dinner or seeing a movie are other venues that offer us an uninterrupted and calm atmosphere, being alone on the boat together is extra special.

The water is a sacred place for my husband, Pete, and me, though we hardly ever get to take it in for long. Demands on our time break the rhythm of relaxation. Someone always needs a snack or assistance with sun block application. There’ll be a squabble to break up and questions to answer such as “Where are we going?” or “What are those things in the water?”

On our alone day, Pete and I head out with no particular destination in mind. We pick a scenic spot and drop anchor. We turn up the soothing tunes to a pleasant level and let the waves of relaxation settle over us.

Soon we break out the food cooler — no juice boxes, Goldfish, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for us! We pack a feast of shrimp salad, dips and crackers (hot and spicy, not kid-mild), and a bottle of wine. As we nibble and sip, we engage in light conversation, actually finishing each sentence. We can talk about whatever we want, including life goals or recent TV viewing.

We might actually go for a dip if it’s hot enough. That’s an activity that usually prompts all kinds of concerns with kids aboard, but on adults-only day demands such as “You go first” or “Stay with me ― don’t get out!” are absent. I will jump into the water after I dangle my toes for as long as I like and I will stay in as long as I want (which usually isn’t very long). If I spot a jellyfish, I’ll make a scene as I scramble out of its way. There’s no need to keep it cool and act like there’s nothing to be alarmed about for the benefit of the younger set!

By this time, the bliss has truly taken over; the sun, the sky, and the panoramic views tranquilize me. I always bring a book with me and usually manage to read a few hundred words before I drift off. My husband’s brain is at rest too, a rare event, and he slips into sweet dreams along with me.

After a few hours alone, we are refreshed and reconnected. Before the afternoon ends, we nestle comfortably and gaze at the breathtaking surroundings as the gentle movements of the boat rock us ever further into a meditative state. We summon back some energy and head back to port, knowing reality awaits us. We also know that this day away made us ready to take on the challenges of daily life again.

I recommend that all boating couples make it a point to plan a water escape. It’s an experience you will cherish and look forward to year after year. If solitude and silence aren’t what you crave, don’t anchor and slip into a trance. Instead, head to a not-so-kid-friendly waterfront restaurant you’ve been dying to try or visit a port that would elicit groans and moans from young passengers. For an enjoyable couples’ day, follow our mantra: it’s about the journey, not the destination!

By Maria Orlando Pietromonaco

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regularly contributed to Dan’s Papers, Newsday, and Great Restaurants of Long Island; has written and published Images of America: Long Island’s North Fork; and enjoys boating on the Peconic Bays with her husband and two children.

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