“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

989 Days


It’s taken us 989 days to get to today.  We had set a goal to be houseless, jobless, carless sailing bums.  Today we are.  It’s our last day of full-time employment.  The house is gone, the cars are gone, and along with them the stuff that kept us anchored to a life on the dirt.  Our boat and everything on it is all we own (except for a couple boxes of keepsakes at my Dad’s place).

December 19, 2012 is when we first put our plan in writing.  We had recently returned from a great vacation chartering a boat in the British Virgin Islands with our friends Pam and Chris.  On this trip is where the idea to go cruising now first became a real thing for us.  A few months prior to that trip Frank (my best friend and my Bride’s cousin) had a heart attack in his mid 30’s.  Thankfully Frank has recovered and will be joining us on multiple occasions during our travels. But these two events solidified our desire to live our lives now instead of waiting for retiring.

We are not entirely sure where we will go.  We have a rough plan to head south along the Inter Coastal Waterway, cross over into the Bahamas and then continue through the Caribbean.  We have some things we would like to do or see along the way.  But we don’t have a time table, schedule or any significant goals.  In fact goals are one of those things we are trying to leave behind as well.  Just take life as it comes and try not to plan it out in advance.

We are also not sure on how long we can go.  We have some money saved, no debt and some hopes of making some more money here and there.  I am sure my Bride will be writing extensively about our finances as we go. But we are far from independently wealthy and we know we don’t have enough money to keep this going more than a couple of years.  As Sterling Hayden wrote in Wanderer,  “to be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… ‘cruising’ it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.”

To us the most practical approach was to adopt the philosophy of Lin and Larry Pardey: Go Small, Go Now! Our boat is not as simple as s/v Seraffyn. But keeping with a small boat with less systems is definitely a key to making this possible. We won’t mind being the smallest boat in the anchorage.

Today our source of steady income is gone, too.  But with that is the last line holding us to land.  Some time early next week we will head out and start voyaging.


15 thoughts on “989 Days

  1. Bravo and bon voyage. Your lovely decal helped inspire another on our small Albin Vega in faraway Copenhagen. Sound the horn should you ever meet us on the high seas! IMG_2577.JPG

  2. Congratulations Jesse! Enjoy the journey.


  3. That’s so exciting! Wishing you safe travels!

  4. Congratulations! Can’t wait to do this ourselves. Have a great time.

  5. So exciting! I’ve been watching you count down for a good chunk of those days. Sail on! -Jessie

  6. Yahoo! Congrats, hopefully our paths with cross heading south at some point!

  7. Hi, Guy’s I’ll be in Wildwood . N J during week of Sept. 12 to the 19 th Me and my wife would love to have you as guest’s.
    I’ve been doing the same thing , and if you stop in Cape May call us.

  8. So happy for the two of you. We first made our plan on 1982, so have been waiting just a little longer than you. We have about 560 days left. Agree with your small and simple philosophy. You will be able to stay out there longer that way. Who knows, many have found a way to turn a couple of years into a lifetime.

    We hope to see you out there someday, and if you’re passing through Baltimore anytime in the next two years give a shout. We would love to meet you.

    Bon voyage!!

    Becky and Lance

  9. What an exciting moment! Congrats. I love your ideas on when and where and how long. Have fun, I hope our paths cross someday.

  10. Good luck and visit us if you stop in Brunswick GA!!

  11. sailed all past Saturday and sunday with john. was hoping to catch ya . God Speed Brother

  12. Awesome! We are casting off next week too – See you on the Chesapeake / ICW!

  13. Pingback: I (we) Quit! Redux |

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