Resolution Time

Happy New Year! What does a New Year’s Resolution really mean? You resolve to do something later this year? Are we to firmly decide on a course of action?

Excerpt From Merriam-Webster:

V: to deal with successfully : clear up. resolve doubts. resolve a dispute. : to find an answer to. : to make clear or understandable.

N: fixity of purpose : RESOLUTENESS

Fayaway has some work to do here.

Kelly and I sit sipping awesome Aero-pressed coffee in the cockpit this morning. Fayaway swings gently at her anchor like a slow pendulum, 120 degrees, offering foreground views of friendly neighbors’ homes: Naughty Gypsy, Dream Weaver, Act 3, Hero, and other newcomers we haven’t met. A brightening panorama of Falmouth Harbour’s western shore scrolls beyond with the sun rising behind us. Our pendulum of cruising life ticks by in broader bits, seemingly weeks with a swing. Instead of hourly schedules, or minutes that matter in office life, important social stuff for us only happens by the day. When anchored amongst our cruising friends, usually someone is scheduling a social event: eg. Thursday is the Mexican Dominoes get-together; on Friday we go hiking; etc.

New game learned: Mexican Train with good friends.

Sorry to digress… We are having another discussion about our trajectory, our course, our future plans. Our resolution to keep the adventure moving on. Fleeting yes in the short term, but an attempt at longer term planning is essential to for safe arrival at far flung places. Here’s a glimpse of our thinking:

Resolved: We enjoy living aboard. We are happy with our boat. We love the adventure of discovering and visiting new places, meeting new friends and immersing into different cultures, lifestyles and cuisines.

Unresolved: Where to go, and when.

Broader Concerns:

  • Weather. It’s becoming more unpredictable. Virtually all weather experts and experienced cruisers agree now. Pilot charts are no longer the gold standard to understanding and predicting seasonal weather patterns. For many decades, worldly cruisers sailed the seas using a sextant, and without the modern weather prediction tools available today. While the general patterns remain, the volatility and storm immensity are on a significant rise. Do modern prediction tools make us worry more only because we can predict? Or is there real cause to be concerned?
A modern pilot chart, indicating general wind and wave patterns by month. Source: Jimmy Cornell.
  • Family and friends. We do miss their swiftly changing lives while away for long periods of time. Sure, we can leave the boat and fly back, but it’s not the same.
  • Budget. You’ve all heard the acronym for BOAT: Break Out Another Thousand. And it’s so true! Sure, our daily expenses aren’t so bad, living a good life, but just like a house and land-based living, boats require maintenance, and we can’t yet break into our 401K’s. So, our life’s a balance between squeaking out more from savings, moderate work income and extending our adventure and voyages. Not bumping the proverbial bottom yet, but we see the anchor in the sand.
  • Insurance: An expense that is skyrocketing. Perhaps due to an unprecedented and increased volume of new claims in recent years, affordable marine insurance for offshore passage-making has become difficult to obtain. One affordable (yet more costly than prior global coverage) choice this season was limited to the East coast US and Caribbean, and only until February of 2023. Technicalities restricting coverage in small print and excessive deductibles are outrageous. Never before had Kelly and I been stipulated to have a third crew member for the 1,600 nm passage – a passage we’ve successfully achieved multiple times!

With weather, family and insurance difficulties in mind, now what?

At this point in time, with respect to the low tide, we’re resolved to visit the A-B-C’s (Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao) during January. See below simple decision tree for what’s beyond on our scope, but not indicating resoluteness!

2022/2023: Red indicates resolved generally right to left, W/SW to ABC’s . Blue could be a) N/NW back toward Bahamas or b) SW toward Panama.

Let’s see how the tide washes up as the weeks tick past.

Kelly and I wish you readers a safe, healthy and joyous new year. Perhaps better than the last!

After 320 noisy hours and an unprecedented volume of nasty belt dust, I finally solved the squealing belt issue: a bad pulley. After multiple tries by different technicians, new belts, tensions, and head-scratching, a random encounter with a fellow cruiser made the suggestion. We enjoy our relatively silent motor now! Thank you!

10 thoughts on “Resolution Time

  1. nhcarmichael

    You’ve successfully navigated treacherous waters to arrive right where you’ve wanted to be (and not just the unpredictable Atlantic). Momentum is everything in a race, and isn’t life just that? Keep the wind in your sails and aim for the places you’ve dreamed of. We’re all with you in spirit. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouragement. Somehow doubts and uncertainty have surfaced recently. We can’t pinpoint a cause. Aside from dealing with the Atlantic weather turmoil this fall, everything has been as well or better than planned. 🙂 We’ve always said that we’ll keep going “as long as it’s fun”. We’re learning that having enough time to know and enjoy the places and people is what provides the most fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nhcarmichael

        Every meaningful journey has its challenges and moments of doubt. I can assure you that not having made the trip would have been just as tumultuous a reflection. Damn the torpedoes…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul LeMaitre

    Hi Chris,
    I just read this. Rhonda and I will be in Curacao tomorrow (1/14) to the 21st. If you happen to be there, we’d love to get together for a drink.
    Paul LeMaitre

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Paul, that would be great to see you guys! Assuming you’re going diving? However we’re not yet certain about going south yet. We may just head west to St John after Saba. Hope you have a great vacation in any case 🙂


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