Oct. 10, 2011- one year ago we began our cruising life and now this life seems so natural. As we prepare to depart for points south I can’t help but reminisce. Looking back to mid-2010 takes me to Living the Dream: Doing it YOUR Way!
“You are my hero.” “I am so jealous.” Words anyone would love to have tossed their way upon making THE announcement. How can you not glow… and develop a Sh_t Eating Grin! Those who thought we were crazy kept quiet,leaving us to keep our belief that indeed we would be living the dream, albeit our dream.
Barely into our 50s(hey, no laughing), we are slightly younger than the average cruiser, but not by much and THAT was a surprise. Couples, families and single-handers are out there living their dream, dreamt in as many flavors as you’ll find at your local ice cream parlor. We sold our home (took one year) and live full-time on Ortolan our Maine Cat 41. We tackled it backwards; bought the boat and finally the house sold six months after we waved farewell in Oct. 2010. Plans, in writing, began appearing prior to 1999, with new versions created every few years. For us this was a big event; one that
required detailed plans, selling the house and the support of the most important person, our son and only child. I personally felt the need to commemorate our departure with matching pendants; singly each looks like a monohull (the only giveaway is the stern) but if placed side by side they become a multi-hull.
Not thinking you want to sell all and move aboard? Join the majority and you are in fine company. Very few cruisers are fulltime liveaboards; most we met cruise October through June and revert back to landlubbers for a few summer months. Some work their way south in hops, work 20 days, cruise 10, leave boat at good marina, fly back home, work 20 days, cruise 10… repeating until it’s time to head back north then do the same in reverse.
Think you are too young or too old? No way. We met kids- anyone under 30 is “kids” to us- who were living on monohulls smaller than 30ft with plans to cross to the Bahamas. Or take the fun-loving couple on sv Sanuk– to protect them I‘ll just say that while not kids, neither are they “old” like us. Second timers who traveled the AICW on a friend’s boat the first time, they did their second trip on their own 30ft monohull. Like us, they stayed domestic and did not cross to the Bahamas. Most cruisers on the East Coast (including Canada) spend a few winter months enjoying Bahamian waters and hospitality. Great Loopers are spotted too along with the rare (to us) “ocean-crosser”.
Not everyone needs or wants to be another bumfuzzle, or to imitate the Pardeys, the Panes or the Goodlanders. Role models and inspirational all.
‘Ole blue eyes spoke the truth about doing it YOUR way. Dream it, write it down, revisit it, revise it, make it happen!
What worked well for us may or may not work for you. A smidgen of good luck helps too.
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
Nido Qubein– author