Check out this article on "Interview With a Cruiser" with long time cruiser Lin Pardey. Her last paragraph describes how I hope to cruise. Time IS On My Side!
Well, not really. But time is definitely on my mind.
And our time is apparently on the minds of all friends and acquaintances. Just today - both on TWitter and IRL (In Real Life for you non-social media types)over 20 people have asked me, "So, when are you leaving?"
And I reply:
"Sometime in early October."
"As soon as we can in October."
And those who've asked this same question in the past few weeks say, "Oh. You haven't narrowed it down, yet?"
No. And we don't have to.
Once we set off, we will strive to embrace the cruiser's lifestyle. We will leave with a favorable wind and safe weather forecast. We will leave when we are ready. We will leave when we are done whatever it was we planed to do.
Successful cruisers protect their boat and her crew by operating on the principle of "Date or Location - Never Both".
If we need to be someplace we will arrive at that destination -- when we can. If we need to connect with someone at a certain time, we will leave the boat to meet them or have them come to wherever we are.
Right now, EW and I still have a few business obligations and we have a lot of good-bye lunches and dinners. In that respect,Time Is NOT On My Side - so many meals and so little time.
Other than that, our lifestyle is changing. We need to get stuff done on the boat and then when we're ready to head to the Chesapeake safely, we'll leave. It may be without notice. We'll wave at you when we pass Portland Head Light, but we don't expect you to be standing on shore waving back. Between now and Thanksgiving we have two time constraints: EW hopes to attend a wedding in Niagara Falls on October 23 and we can't head south of Cape Hatteras prior to whatever November date our insurance company dictates. (November 1 or November 15 -- I forgot to check. Again.) If we don't make it all the way to Jacksonville before Turkey day, we'll leave the boat and take the bus. Date or Location.
So. We don't know when we're leaving, and we're OK with that. We'll probably narrow it down the day before we take off. Keep asking as I love the attention, but as one of our sailing friends frequently says, "It's hard tellin' not knowin'."
Man, I'm beating this topic to death. But until this week, I didn't realize in my heart that we are Moving. Moving with italics and an uppercase "M".
I know we're going sailing, and leaving the area, but I just didn't recognize that we are Moving and the stress and heartache I have been feeling is normal for people moving far away from home. Moving.
In a cursory search on other blogs posted by those who have taken off for a long cruise, few mention this. One blogger writes eloquently about experiences at sea and on shore -- but when I looked back at the year they left there were no posts between buying the boat and being at sea.
We are moving. We have lived in the Portland area since the early 80's. We are established here with friends, physicians, dentists, and clubs and organizations. We know the restaurants, the roads that are likely to have commuting traffic jams (except for construction, a traffic jam in Maine means you wait 3 turns of the light to get through), movie theaters, music venues, and quiet anchorages.
I have never lived outside of Maine. (Six months in Salem, New York when I was 4 doesn't count. Never even lost my accent.) We live within two hours of most of my relatives, an hour from EW's sister, a half hour from K - a dear friend of 40+ years, and 15 minutes from L and R - dear friends for the past 5 years. We are Moving. Far away. It is normal for me to be stressed, verklempt, and on the verge of tears. I finally get that.
Last night, we had dinner with EW's brother -H, his sister - D , and her partner - N. They prepared a feast with much wine - made by H. As D said, "We see each other only about once a month. But it has been so nice to know you are close by." I have felt the same way.
They presented us 12 bottles of H's wine (mmmm) and a lovely and useful Yacht Log book. N, a writer and a poet wrote this poem for us.
We know the sea has been beckoning to you all along,
and the time has come to heed her call.
Still we sing a glad but saddened song
to greet this splashy fall.
Each time we walk the beach we'll wonder where you are
on some exotic island or on the rolling tide.
But no matter if you're near or far
we'll feel you at our side.
So anchor up, unfurl the sail,
let a fair wind be your guide.
And as you live your mariner's tale
May God sail at your side.
--- Norman Abelson, 9.16.10
We are blessed.