I’m recalling a conversation sitting with Scott in the bedroom of my first CA apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco. The bedroom had been a living room in different times, there was a patio and garden with a buddha statue out back, and three delightful roommates. I’d met Scott 6 months before, and we were totally taken by the idea of buying a boat together.
Around that time, Scott gifted me the book “Voyaging on a Small Income” by Annie Hill. This light tome is packed full of practical ways to align resources towards a life outside, seeing the world, and with a lot less stuff. I was sort of primed for this way of thinking – having knit my own sweaters, traveled to 22 countries, and read up the harms of an economy so consumed by consumption. “The Story of Stuff” by Annie Leonard comes to mind.
Looking back, who and what were being revealed in 2015.
I think the story of finding our boat, moving aboard, and refining cruising plans has already been told on here. The “where” was a tricky part for us – heading to the South Pacific was an original idea, but felt like “no turning back”. Would we sell the boat in Fiji if we couldn’t do a full lap of the world? During lockdown, we landed on the idea to move to the Chesapeake and have a 10,000 voyage on the way. That’s our where.
Determining “when” is a tipping point. For 5 years we said we were planning to leave in 3 years. That time frame is close enough to dream, and far enough to avoid change. As the days blurred together in our slip in Alameda, we got antsy. Why not go now! Soon! October! April! January!
I mentioned getting clear on what needed to happen to the boat in my last post, and there was another set that weren’t exactly boat projects. Some items had a natural progression or timeline, but most didn’t. We wrote down all of the big ones and started playing with the order with a spring timeline in mind.
This was sort of a eureka moment. With all plans off the table due to COVID, we didn’t have the normal constraints on our time. We could run to the marine hardware store on a work break, spiff up the boat 7 days a week, and connect with anyone over Zoom. Capturing more time to make progress towards all of this was a huge boon and at times exhausting – not much pulling us away to recharge socially or with variety. By and large it’s been great and the times it’s been tough are soothed with the idea of bobbing around on anchor somewhere new.
We’ve made a few changes to the sticky note progression – rolling the rigging project into the haul out, selling our car instead of hanging onto it for a future land life, add some buffer time to chill out. We’ve mostly figured out the “when” and embraced the unknown flow of working on a boat.
Then there’s “why”. I have some early ideas – a love of sailing, an adventurous yet homebody spirit, a desire to be on and near water, an urgency from a warming planet.
I’ve moved around a bit: Michigan > North Carolina > Michigan > California > New York > California. Each time has been abrupt in the decision-making and travelled by plane. This trip feels like a way to go at our own pace, feel the miles under the keel, and move gradually to a new phase that feels enticing for a future version of ourselves. I’m excited to find out why we’re doing this and in no rush to get there.