The house is on the market... and that means I am one step closer to the cruising life.
I have really appreciated all the information and insight gleaned from this forum over the past several months. I thought I would take a moment and briefly share my story and plan. I've been serious about this change for about one year.
I'm an emergency
physician (second career) in Florida
. I am 53, and my wife of 32 years is 55. She is a wonderful woman who has supported my crazy ideas (like going to med school
at 38) throughout our marriage. She has been expectedly slower coming around to the idea of forsaking land-based life for a nautical one, but at this time seems genuinely excited, at least most of the time, about our future plans.
Here's what we've done thus far. I've read (and continue to read) everything about sailing and cruising that I can get my hands on. We've attending the sailboat shows in St. Pete and Miami
in the last 6 months. We've both taken and passed ASA
101, 103, and 104. We've gotten a little experience sailing on a friend's boat. We plan to take 105 and 106 in the next few months. We have a pretty good idea what boat we would like to make our future home (probably a new catamaran
in the 37-42 ft range. The house just went up for sell this week. The money
from the sale
of the house will go toward the boat.
Our last child is graduating from high school
and will be heading off to Boston to attend college (major expense!). We are going to buy the boat as soon as the house sells and live on it is St. Pete/Tampa area in a marina while I continue to work full time (~16-17 9-hr shifts/month) for the next three years. We will be doing a lot of sailing in the gulf in preparation for our future lifestyle. At that time, with some diligent budgeting, I will have the boat and my daughter's college education paid for. We will be debt free at that time and will leave land behind to sail wherever. That means probably the east coast
of the USA and the Caribbean
at first, and then far beyond (circumnavigation).
I had a late start at medicine (out of residency at age 45) and so I can't dip into what retirement
that I've been able to lay aside for probably another 4 years after starting cruising. My tentative plan for those years is to come back to the states and work for 1 month and then cruise
for 6 months, repeating that cycle until the time that I can start living on retirement
. My job as an emergency
physician should make that task easier since locum tenens positions are usually available.
I'm extremely excited and thought I'd share my enthusiasm with you. Any comments or commentary on my plans or any advice is welcome.