I live about as far from an ocean as you can in the western hemisphere (Fargo, ND) but I recently made the firm decision that barring horrible mishap, I will be getting a boat and I will be sailing it in the Caribbean
and possibly other parts
south. None of my friends or family
know of this decision, but it is made.
I've visited the ocean (Atlantic and Pacific) and I've done some sailing on Hobie Cats and little Lasers and the like but never been aboard an oceangoing vessel, or indeed anything bigger than maybe 18 feet. That will change when the time comes. I do have some waiting to do before I'll be free to pursue the rest of my life and these forums
are one part of how I plan to spend the next couple of years preparing.
I'm as handy as the next person, but not particularly so. I'm very good at "roughing it"...I spent 6 summers living in tents and working at a Boy Scout camp, and I don't demand sugar with my tea. I'm more of a black coffee sort anyway, and if I have some mac-n-cheese handy I'm set for supper too. I don't need a lot of "stuff" to feel comfortable and I don't have a lot of pretensions. I suspect my sensibilities will likely mesh well with a liveaboard
Right now I know the very basics about sailing and not much more. The experience I do have was gained by jumping on a small sailboat whenever the opportunity presented itself and starting to sail, sometimes by myself. I'll probably need more education than that when I get closer to the launch of my new life, but I tend to fly by the seat of my pants in most things and this probably won't be much different. I'll try to keep it safe, but beyond that I won't demand to know all there is to know before heading out on my first cruise
. Life is too short not to start living it.
I don't yet know how I plan to arrange my work life. I'm a software
developer, and I have good reason to believe that I'll have at least some extra money
to buy a good smallish boat and spend some time not working, but I'm not the silver spoon type and if I do take a break, I'll have to work again before TOO awful much longer. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I may even decide to drop software
altogether and become something else if that seems the best way to be happy when I turn my attention to it. First thing for me right now is to finish out other obligations and prepare for my next life.
Finally...I've been told by many that I should write a novel, and I plan to, once I get into my sailing life and get comfortable. If the first one goes well, I'll write more. If it doesn't maybe I'll stop, though I've never been accused of being a quick learner and I might try two or three before it dawns on me that I'm no good at it. If I find after awhile that sailing isn't my thing, I'll park it and live on shore...but I'm pretty sure I'll always stay near the ocean from that time forward and I'll always try to find excuses to sail. There are those who love the inland prairies and mountains and those things certainly have their own beauty...but give me the rushing surf and steady wind
and high sun and the cry of the gulls. If I can have those things for a time, I'll die a happy man.