"A Strange Uneven Sort of Life"
Home sweet home, and those we have left behind us are constantly in our minds. Little do those on shore know a sailors feelings separated from all that they hold dear on earth with almost a certainty of being apart three or four long years is enough to make a mans hair grow gray at the thought of it.-Log entry by captain Charles Star Buck of the ship Peru 1851
Back in September, I was asked to write an update of our trip so far, for the local sailing club back home. They wrote about our story and trip in their monthly newsletter after we participated in the Leukemia Cup Regatta as Craig was their honored hero. As we reflect on 2012 and all that we are thankful for, I am reminded how strange and uneven this lifestyle really is. I will share with you our thoughts on the past 6 months of our trip, as I did for the Corinthian Sailing Club, good, bad or otherwise.
We have sailed approximately 3500 miles, from Florida to Maine, back to Virginia and into the Caribbean. We have spent 24/7 with each other, learned to sail offshore at night, heck, we sailed 1500 miles offshore from VA to the BVI's, navigated around a sea of lobster pot buoys, met some incredible people and visited some fantastic cities. Traveling by boat, our floating home, is an unbelievable experience. There is nothing better than sailing into a new harbor on your own vessel.
While the majority of our trip has been extraordinary, we have also dealt with the realization of owning, caring for and living on a boat. It’s not easy and it’s no vacation, not yet anyway. Though it has slowed down some since being in the islands. We still have to contend with homeschool, cleaning, finding a laundromat and grocery store within walking distance, constant maintanence and upkeep. We are all being enriched by these challenges. Even though the learning curve has been steep, we wouldn’t trade it for the world!
I would be lying if I said the transition from landlubber to cruiser was easy. Living with your family around the clock in a small space has its challenges. NOBODY has much privacy, anywhere on the boat, even with 2 hulls. However, we have settled into a routine and life seems as normal or dysfunctional as it was in Dallas. The (mostly) undivided attention we provide our kids, is good for their souls. Some things like sleeping on a boat and sailing a catamaran were easy to adapt to, while having parts or supplies shipped to us in random ports has been more trouble than we expected. Deciding where to go, when to go and what to do when you get there is almost a full time job. Especially when you have to deal with mother nature.
We have met some amazing people along the way. Some are solo, some are traveling in pairs and then there are the kid boats. The girls love the kid boats! It is a true joy to watch them spread their wings of independence and make new friends everywhere we go. From the very beginning in the boat yard in St. Augustine to this very day in St. Croix, there has been a sailor to wave to or someone to consult with. We have come to learn that the interactions and friendships we have made are what the cruising life is all about!