Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We're not young. We're not old. We're not rich. We're not poor.

We're middle-aged and middle class. We're the parents of two college kids. We own a modest house, two ordinary cars and a small business. We have hopes and dreams and bills. The washing machine breaks down, the kids need money for school and the couch has a tear in it. We're not seasoned sailors. We're neither adventurers nor athletes. There's not one thing special about us, nothing that uniquely qualifies us to set off on a sailboat.

Yet many people get misty eyed and wistful when we talk about our plans to sail away. They say things like, "I've always wanted to do that," or "I'm so jealous," as if we're doing what for them would be utterly impossible, even though from our vantage point, they are better placed to follow a dream. They're sometimes younger and more footloose, many are more financially capable. Some are stronger, more experienced or seemingly more adventurous. But they tell us we're brave, as if we're leading a charge into dangerous, eel-infested waters. They tell us we're inspiring, as if we're setting off on a mission to save starving babies in Botsganistan.

We don't fancy ourselves brave. In fact we often feel downright terrified. We don't find ourselves inspiring or the leaders of anything. We constantly seek advice from those who lead and inspire us in matters of real estate, diesel engines, finances, selling guitars and varnishing teak.

We do find ourselves tired from going about the very hard work of completing a plan that started 10 years ago and will end when we set sail next year. It is that bluewater endgame that keeps us focused and compelled to keep working, every day.

But if we are the victims of accidental inspiration, I hope we'll look back some day to find we've led a very long parade of a thousand boats following a thousand dreams.

--varnish coat number 5
--sanded the garage to 100 grit
--painted the cockpit locker
--borrowed a truck to take the excess wood to the dump
--got advice on staging the house for sale

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article, especially considering as I write this you two are heading back south on ICW voyage #2. The concerns you may have had at the time this was written are surely gone. I remember when I first heard that you guys were looking to sell the wine & beer store and I thought it a little crazy to sell up and sail away. Three years later, I think about living on a sailboat on a daily basis and have been researching boats for the past year or so. My 'paradise trip' still is early in the process, however, and now just a parade of dreams and preparations. Fair winds to you, Tammy and Chip.