Much to the chagrin of family and friends, we are adamant about selling our home, most of our worldly possessions, taking the cat (if she is still with us) and moving onto a boat. Why? Because it is something we always wanted to do and now is the time: The kids are off at College, we are still somewhat young & energetic, and because we can. Seriously. We have saved for this, planned for this, taken various sailing courses in preparation for this, and are now in the end stages of readiness....
Our plan? Oy! Where to start? At the beginning, I guess...which is about 22 years ago, when we first thought about buying a boat to live on. In retrospect, can I just say I am very glad that never happened? What we may have been able to afford at that time would have been very small, very old, and most likely barely seaworthy! Did I mention probably cold, too? San Francisco is not exactly a bastion of beautiful weather; foggy, windy & cold much of the year-A quote oft attributed to Mark Twain, that states that the coldest Winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco, is apt, but according to Snopes.com, false. Ah well, the sentiment is right on though-NOT conducive to an enjoyable experience! Not to mention, there just aren't that many good places to sail to around here. We currently reside in Carmel, CA, which means all of our sailing is done on the Monterey Bay. Like San Francisco, there is fog, wind & cold. We have sailed out of Santa Cruz to Capitola. We have sailed out of Santa Cruz into the Bay and around in circles. We have sailed in and out of Santa Cruz Harbor and practiced docking. Are you getting the picture? We could sail to Monterey, but we are cheap enough not to want to pay for the boat for 2 days! Same goes for Moss Landing. The Charter company requires us to stay inside the Monterey Bay, and not to sail at night, which does somewhat limit our options...but we persevere!
We are now in the final planning stages: Kids, family and friends have accepted the plan, even if they all think we are nuts. Comments like "Are you REALLY planning to sail across the Atlantic???" abound. As do the ones about watching out for Pirates, and "what about Hurricanes?". Our focus is now on an extensive checklist that includes things like:
1. What kind of Boat
2. How big
3. Travel Immunizations
4. Travel Insurance
5. EMT course
6. First Aid Supplies
7. Relearn French (Laurie)
8. Learn Spanish (Laurie & Bill)
9. Relearn German (Bill)
10. Acquire various texts, charts, electronics, etc...
11. List House (projected date August 1, 2011)
12. Start selling everything
13. Continue sailing education
14. Continue adding to list as thoughts occur!
There are many more items on this list, but I'll not bore you with all of them :) We are committed to our adventure, and are looking forward to sailing our new boat, which we plan to name "Manana" (Loosely translated, it means "tomorrow") around the British and U.S Virgin Islands as our first step, and up the Eastern Seaboard once we have our "Sea legs".
We'll keep you posted and let you know how it goes!