A little foreshadowing… The starting location of our sailing journey has become clear. It isn’t what we expected.
The photo above features an old chart of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It’s hanging above our dining table in Round Rock, TX, USA, but the chart came from the boat that could be our future home. Here’s how it all fits in our sailing story: We might start our live aboard sailing adventure from a marina with a Victoria, BC address, and start cruising in the pictured islands. More later as this unfolds, but suffice it to say, it’s a story with a lot of LOVE.
But British Columbia? This possibility means a very different beginning than I had been imagining. The West Coast of the US! I assumed we would buy a boat on the East Coast of the United States and get some cruiser chops on the East Coast, mainly Florida, and then the Caribbean. But the West Coast… That seems a little intense to me. I’ve always heard the Pacific is not pacific. The more I look, the more intimidating it seems to begin a cruising lifestyle.
Here are my assumptions, so please tell me where I’m wrong:
- Outside of the Puget Sound, we probably won’t stop at harbors along the Washington and Oregon coasts, or anywhere in California north of San Francisco. I hear those river-mouth bars are some treacherous sailing.
- We’ll need a lot of help sailing all the way to San Francisco. After all, it will be a real passage, with less advance cruising experience than I expected to have before our first major passage.
- We will probably have to spend a winter in the cold Pacific Northwest. We have to be proficient sailors before we start messing around with a Pacific off-shore passage, even with more experienced helpers. I moved to Texas because I like hot summers. The longer, the better. The idea of moving back to winter land stings.
- It will probably be more than a decade before we would sail to New York City. We think we would cruise south, then go west from Central America. It takes a long time to circumnavigate to the US East Coast. I watch and read about all the circumnavigating cruisers. You’re out there for years and they still haven’t made it around once. This is not a criticism. I sincerely appreciate the cruising speed for life–that’s what I want! But one item (sail boat+NYC+July 4) on my bucket list drops way down in the possibility rankings.
This sounds negative, and it would be if these things disappointed me. But I’m not disappointed. These points, about which I may be dead wrong (again, I ass–u-me), really just a draw a bright line around the reality of what my dream will look like, versus what I had previously imagined. Reality and my Dream can be different and still be all good. I seriously swoon over this new possibility. We’ll talk more about the mental acrobatics and practice it takes to disentangle from feelings of disappointment.
We’ve also moved up the start date from a nebulous “five year plan” to sometime much sooner. Someone has even said the relatively specific words, “Spring of 2020.” Someone told his boss that he planned to move on a boat in Spring of 2020. That revelation inspired all kinds of emotions: excitement, but also so much fear. Fear of failure, fear of losing financial security, fear that I might just realize me biggest dream yet. Woah. This is the time for a #yolo #livingmybestlife #believeinyourdreams hashtag frenzy. Yes I’m a dork, but you have to be your own cheerleader!
To conclude, my eyes are twinkling and my breath is baited at this tantalizing prospect. As I dream of this future, live in the present, and remember how reasonably certain plans have changed in the past, I’m working on the knowing that this path I’m on unfolds with perfect timing and in the best possible way.
Lesson learned: Opportunity doesn’t always knock on the front door!