In the first part I described how we started this adventure, and not in the sense of casting off, but how it really started. We left off at the point of changing our anticipated date of departure, but had yet to tell everyone in our lives…
We were living a double life: serious career/work life, but also a parallel full-disclosure personal life. We were very careful where these could intersect, so as not to prematurely spill the beans with work. I was torn; I really loved my job and career. Yes, there was an appropriate level of mental stress with my responsibilities, but it all balanced. How could I let those at work, (for whom I’ve had the most respect) know that I’d made a decision to end this bifurcated life and a career I’d built over 35 years? People would ask why we sold our house, and I’d truncate to the simple excuse of downsizing. Somehow I overcame this most daunting task, and advised my boss (now over a year ago). With his direction I continued my office charade and continued another five difficult months before advising my admired peers and coworkers. (Hoping this went as constructively as was possible).
For Kelly this was a different experience. She did not hide our plans from friends at work, and openly discussed her retirement as though it had nothing to do with our broader plan. Eventually a fine line was crossed to her supervisor, and so it became a game to obtain retirement. But they already had plans for a lay-off, which would have additional financial benefit. Somehow a satisfactory arrangement worked out for both sides.
Fast forward to late January 2019: we decided to make use of our extra year to do a shakedown cruise north and east across the Atlantic, via Newfoundland, Ireland, the Azores, Canaries and back to the Caribbean by December. We purchased charts and cruising guides, and carefully plotted the trip. We monitored ice flows, and studied the timing of them early in the upcoming summer. We planned an early June departure. However, this plan may have been too aggressive.
We made two very simple but critical mistakes in our planning: 1. we relied on the folks at the marina (at which Fayaway was captive) to complete the contracted work. 2. We did not allow for adequate slack for working out bugs and unknowns.
The first of these mistakes was most troublesome. We were feeling victimized. We couldn’t move the boat as it had no bottom! Even though we reviewed clearly with the owners the prior year, and with increasing frequency during following months of our plans, they clearly did not care, or understand, or both. We grew very frustrated as June approached. As we could not test anything requiring Fayaway to be in the water, nor were we allowed to climb the mast (insurance rules of marina) some critical projects were left not started. You’ve already heard grumbling about this. We started to seriously consider contingency plans: staying around New England and the East Coast until November, after the official end of hurricane season.
Fast forward to present. And so we had a great time getting acclimated since moving aboard in a July, working our way south toward warmer weather.
Now we sit on Fayaway, tied to a slip in Hampton, VA, waiting for the eastern Atlantic water to cool, before we head offshore. We’ve joined a cruising rally, a group of boats traveling to Antigua, which offers some advantages at minimum cost. We order and receive packages everyday (mostly Amazon I’m afraid) to supplement present and future needs. Eg maps, sails, electronics, lines, rigging, engine spares, dry goods like oatmeal and coffee, etc. Nothing will stop us now. The time on our windup clock is ticking more slowly as we are excited for the official hurricane season to end on November 1st. Let’s go already! The trip will take us almost 1800 nautical miles, from Hampton to Antigua. Non-stop. We can’t wait. The tracker will update every hour once we head out, so do follow us!