We have been spending the last week finally getting settled in our new beautiful boat. After being homeless for the last two months, I can not even tell you how good it has been to start to settle in and feel like we have our own space again! This summer has taken quite a toll on us, and even though we have tried to keep our focus on the positive, especially in our blog posts, the truth is the last few months have been incredibly stressful on many levels. Even though we have had the great fortune of staying with wonderful friends and visiting some of our favorite spots in New England, it has still been unbelievably difficult to work efficiently, stay on top of things, and feel stable with such unsettled conditions. Add on top of that the challenges of Cap’t K. getting sick with Lyme disease, the loss of a pivotal family relationship, an unbelievable number of very expensive and inconvenient car repairs, as well as a few other unexpected financial setbacks,…..in short, we’ve been dealing with a lot of stress. We have been experiencing the downside of our gypsy life.
I’ve even been questioning whether we are doing the right thing. Maybe we should just settle down and “be normal”. Get a life, as we’ve been told by some to do. When we were at the bank getting the money out to pay for our boat, we saw a sign in the bank that said “Nothing brings happiness and a sense of freedom like a great rate on a home mortgage.” We thought, “Wow, that’s quite a statement, equating unparalleled happiness and freedom with being in debt for 30+ years.” We were lucky enough to buy our boat without a loan, and so we are free from a mortgage, and that feels like a sense of freedom to me. However, we are seriously strapped for cash now, and that doesn’t feel so free, and that is definitely not making me happy….it’s a tradeoff either way, and some days I’m not sure which choice is best. Would we feel happier if we were settled with normal jobs and had a great rate on a huge mortgage? A few years ago, we almost went down that road. We were both working full time jobs, and we put in an offer on a house. We offered the guy the amount he was asking for. And he rejected it. So we didn’t get the house and eventually went down this gypsy boat path instead. Now the value of that house is a fraction of what he had been asking for, and we feel pretty lucky that we didn’t get it, because if we did we would owe way more on the mortgage than the house is now worth. Lots of people we know are in that situation, and they aren’t too happy about it, and they definitely aren’t experiencing “freedom”!
What is happiness anyway? It seems elusive sometimes. In the end, we are about as happy as we decide to be with the deck of cards we’ve drawn. Sometimes this whole sailboat adventure seems to be an experiment in exploring what happiness is made of. We have made our choices, taken our risks, picked our cards, and now we have to play them. Some days we feel pretty happy about it all and other days totally suck. Whether we like it or not, it comes down to the fact that for now we have chosen this road and we just need to keep going down it, even though it sometimes feels super scary and stressful. So our next move is to get ourselves south, park it somewhere, and get jobs for the winter. I’m sure you were all hoping for something more exciting than that, but hey, this is our reality right now.
We didn’t plan on getting on this boat and heading south with no money in our pockets, but that’s what is happening. The same car that conspired to keep us in the harbor back in our last post has also conspired to eat up every last cent we had been saving for our trip south. Now we just have to PRAY this boat will get us to where we need to go without expensive repairs as well!
So…we are preparing to head south. Destination, south of the frost line. Florida will enter the picture at some point. Money making opportunities will be a deciding factor. As soon as the car sells, we’re outta here. It’s getting cold! The forecast for the next week is rain, rain, and more rain. Good thing we just got our foul weather gear mailed to us from Florida! We also got all our charts, and we are starting to study them to plan our route south. We REALLY, REALLY don’t want to be stuck on the ICW again all the way down the coast. We feel more confident in our sailing skills now than we did last year, so we are planning as many legs as possible on the ocean to avoid both the cost (of fuel) and the extra time it would take to stay on the ICW. In fact, we are looking for crew…anyone out there interested in sailing part way down the coast with us? We have room now for another person!
Meanwhile, our cats are also getting settled on the new boat, and they seem pretty content about it. Here are a few pics: