In many ways, the ocean is a lot like space. Once you find yourself in the middle of it, it’s a vast, empty void with no life in sight. Man simply cannot traverse it without a vessel, and there’s still so much of it shrouded in darkness, still to be explored by the daring.

Still too terrestrial for my liking, but I find during times when I’m missing the space station, it provides just about enough of a substitute. I’m now the semi-proud owner of a small motorboat, which I now use when I want some solitude. The fact that the winter months are now rolling in has done little to deter me, since space is a cold, empty void and I’m used to being in that kind of environment. That said, I’m not quite as self-sufficient as I was in space, where we had no other choice but to do all repairs and maintenance ourselves.

Here, I have to seek out people in Melbourne who do boat trailer repairs and the like, at least until I learn to do them myself. Similar they may be, but a boat is certainly not a rocket. It’s not rocket science…it’s boat science. I did give fixing the outboard motor a go yesterday, but I was surprisingly defeated quite soundly by its mechanisms. Perhaps there’s more to boating mechanics than I realised; something to research later.

Once I’m out there, however? The ocean has become close to a second home. There’s little true solitude to be found in the city, especially with the small children next door who play in the garden and make unearthly noises, and Mr Nesbitt next door with his chronic cough that sounds like someone is trying to break through my walls with a pneumatic drill.

Perhaps I can learn to love the ocean, in time. And when I say time, I mean when I learn how to do my own outboard motor servicing. Melbourne’s industry is at least efficient for now.