We are "born again" but not in a religious sense. We bought the next boat last year after no boat for 6 years. We had glorious years sailing to Mexico
and over to New Zealand
after putting five years of blood, sweat, and money
in to the previous boat to get ready. Sold her to a couple who are going all the way around now. No regrets at all about any of it. We loved being cruisers. We loved sailing in to new ports
, meeting new friends, meeting the challenges of the seas. Self reliant. Proud.
Deciding to sell and come back wasn't easy. Lots of doubts but I was tired of putting in thousands of $$ every year in maintenance
, doing most all work myself. And a couple of passages wore me out. Money
was always a concern.
So what did we do? We moved back to the same great boating
place we started from before. We never ever considered coming back as being failure. Our goals were paced: we set new ones in steps. Sailing around the world was always possible but not expected. We consider every thing we did as the biggest success of our lives. No shame in coming back. We aren't the type to set a goal of going all the way around and being crushed by "failing" to do it. Cliche (imagine an accent): it's the journey not the destination
. True that - for us.
But - we didn't sell every boat related thing we had. Maybe we would need those offshore
foulies go out with our boating
friends here. No sense in selling the my line splicing tools - right? Really thought we were done with cruising, but......
We found that our new friends here are mostly people with sailboats. Some have gone offshore
some only to Alaska
. But they understand what we did and why we did it and shared some of the passion we had/have. One of the things that surprised us the most was how much some people didn't even remotely understand anything of what we did. Not just didn't understand, just didn't even care. Some actually look at you like you had a disease that, thankfully, you cured. Didn't know any of the places we went and didn't care. So it wasn't hard to not include them in the circle of people whose opinion mattered to us. But other sailors, even local water
sailors, appreciated the challenges we faced and overcame. No condemnation there.
So back to work. I didn't last very long before "retiring". Lost
any passion I might have ever had for "work". The Admiral is working and hating it but we need the income
right now. And we are tired of spending on the house and mowing the lawn. (Sound familiar?) My family
connections are limited and the Admiral's family is thousands of miles away with no grandkids we have to see all the time. So family is not the issue it is for some.
Our biggest mistake was not spending all of my life savings so enough was left to go out and buy a new offshore boat. Now I can go back to happily spending $$ of dollars a year (again) on maintenance
and repair and upgrades. It is easier to do it here with a house on shore and a car, etc. I like doing it. Although the years seem to be catching up with me and it gets harder to stand up straight after working in a lockers on my knees for hours. What sucks though is having to spend $$ on both house and cars and a boat. Something has to go.
The Admiral is chomping at the bit to just shut down the job and go again but insurance
is now more of an issue as medical
issues creep up on the aging carcasses. And it remains to be seen how we would handle/enjoy days of sail handling cranking in sheets
and reefing sails
. We remember being more healthy while cruising. The question is whether that was because we were cruising or because we were younger. Both! So the new question is how much healthier we will be on the boat full time than we are now which will counter the insurance
issue. Medicare will help in the US and overseas medical
care is so much cheaper (mostly).
But the bug is there and we are trying to make sure absolutely no money is left in the bank before we check out next time. The goal is to run out just before we end up in the graveyard (but not too far in advance of that event). It would be so much easier if we were totally set financially but we are not so this is a serious issue. But we'd rather spend our time on the water
out and about (even part time) than sit in the living room with the idiot box droning on about some "important" news.
If something happens and we never cut the dock
lines and go, after $$ and hours spent on making a new boat "ready", it will still be a success. I enjoy messing around with boats. I can't spend the money when I am in the ground any way. I'd rather put in a new radar
than put in a new lawn. We have small goals - sail locally (beautiful cruising grounds all around Anacortes!!), go up the Inside Passage
to BC, go to Alaska
and back, circumnavigate Vancouver Island again, may be go to Mexico
again, and on and on.
All good as far as we go. No failure if we don't. We feel for anyone who is driven to set paper goals who will be destroyed emotionally if they don't achieve them. It's OK to set challenges for yourself but some people get out of control and don't smell the roses along the way. Bragging rights shouldn't be the goal - in our book.