Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new…but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, its mystery, and its design? Paracelsus
Describing our life at this point as a blur would be an understatement. Each day passes with new developments. The events, the people, and the experiences begin to intertwine. I tell myself I am searching for something, waiting for one particular moment that will be a life changing epiphany. But more and more it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen, something that will change everything. Yet every change that happens does change everything. It brings us closer to what our whole lives have been leading up to.
The grueling change began with moving aboard our boat, roughing it, working our fingers to the bone to get our hull painted, and the items left in our life secured onto 43 feet of boat space. The transformation was miraculous. We accomplished the difficult, multi-process task of transforming our hull, scarred and pitted, into a gleaming and pristine surface complete with our new name, hailing port and logo.
Finally, the day we had anticipated for so long, arrived. We watched our boat be lifted from her iron legs, into the air and creep along the lane toward the water. The tip of her mast brushed the treetops as she crept down the lane. She was a marveling lady, running her outstretched fingertips across treetops, a foreign feeling, vastly different from the familiar open air above her when she races across a sea.
As we nestle into our temporary harbor and wait for the final days of land life to unfold, Dan is overwhelmed, 30 years of employment winding down while the boat “to do” list continues to grow. Upon the completion of one job, more repairs reveal themselves creating a growing instead of shrinking list. Fortunately, we have the pleasant distraction of friends and family who have been providing amazing support and encouragement.
For our first venture out of the slip and down the C&D Canal, my son and daughter-in-law Derek and Catie joined us for our maiden voyage. Also accompanying us was someone who I consider my guardian angel, my cheerleader, my confidant and a person who always has the right words to say when I need them the most. Diane Nafis is responsible for editing my books and perhaps giving me the chance to someday be traditionally published. While we didn’t get to raise the sails, we toasted to our future with Mimosas, tested the engine, and had a lovely motor cruise.
We’ve also been blessed with new friendships. My great new buddy, Crab Man Mark, continues to provide us with Friday night feasts, wonderful distractions from the tasks we face daily. The timeline is continuing to shorten for what we need to accomplish. There is nothing more wonderful than spending the evening with good people, that love life, love to laugh, and are a reminder that you don’t need to travel the world to discover the treasures new friendships. The locals from our new favorite bar Red Lion Tavern are so supportive of our upcoming adventures and have included us in their local family and group outings.
The outpouring of support has been overwhelming. Our friends Clare and Tom Beatty and Bruce and Dolly Warner joined us last Friday for a dockside cook-out. These two families have provided much-needed encouragement during our progress. People such as these give us the inspiration for our future goal of establishing a travel blog to document and share our travel experiences. Soon we will be purchasing hardware, software, a drone, and an underwater camera in order to create a Youtube channel to accompany my blog posts. We want to be a reliable source of providing detailed visual and written documentation of the exotic destinations along our route. Dan’s creative talents will surely be an asset in using the incredible footage we will be taking in orders that others may live vicariously through our adventures.
Since one of our concerns has always been finances, it was fortuitous that I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grow up. My mother, in her mid 80’s, still struggles with that decision. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. When our dodger showed signs of leaking and lacking water-proof protection for our cockpit, I broke down and got an estimate for replacement. It would cost 2 grand for a replacement cover. Since we had previously purchased a Sailrite sewing machine in case of needed sail repairs, I had the means to sew the cover myself, just not the knowledge. As my life usually has a way of sneaking the people I need to meet at the appropriate times, I, of course, met a man who had owned a marine canvas business for over 40 years. He agreed to teach me in the ways of sewing canvas so that I might not only be able to make my own bimini but also establish myself as a canvas repair entity as we travel around the world. I spent the last two weeks, sewing 8 to 10 hours a day in order to learn the ins and outs of canvas repair. It has been grueling, but darned if I can’t finally sew a good zipper line and design a canvas sun shade. This is quite an accomplishment since I have only sewn canvas sail bags previously and have no inclination for sewing in my previous life.
Anyone wishing to support our journey may put in an order for a custom made sail bag created from recycled sails. If you need canvas repair, you will have to find us and join us at a marina or harbor as we travel our great circuitous route. If you just need the inspiration to travel, want to see the world through 2 burgeoning sailor’s eyes, or want to vicariously join us on this journey, check back for our upcoming posts. Our cast off date is still November 1st, although our first destination of Tortola may not be an option thanks to the devastation of Hurricane Irma, we will be heading somewhere in the Caribbean. We are looking forward to a final farewell party on September 29th to celebrate Dan’s last day of work and the departure from this marina. It will be bitter sweet saying goodbye to family and friends. However, we hope to make this a journey we can share with everyone through our communications and we send an open invitation to join us on our home on the sea.