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.