What’s our plan? To embrace uncertainty!
Sunday afternoon I looked over at Bjorn and said: “I’m nervous about this whole voyage, it’s a massive change.” Bjorn looked back at me and said: “Yes, so am I, but you know what, we should be nervous. If we weren’t nervous there could be only two reasons: 1) that we’ve done this before or 2) that we are completely naive to the challenges to come.” This was a great reminder to me that taking on something new, big and challenging always feels scary at times and that is exactly why we are doing it. Since Bjorn and I both sit firmly in the “we know enough to be scared” on the spectrum from newbie to old salt – we are our fair share of jitters!
Many people have been asking what our plans are and what we are doing to get ready. Over the past several months we’ve started to hone in on what our voyage might look like and figured it’s a good time to give everyone an update. Below is our “written in sand at low tide” sailing schedule:
July 6th: Move out of our house and onto Sargo as our house is rented for the next year
July, August: Living on Sargo, figuring out our new normal, breaking and fixing things, and generally figuring out how to live aboard
End of August, early September: Bon Voyage party at the Rockport Boat Club!
Early September: Leave Maine and head South along the coast
October: Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis Boat show, visit family, more time for fixing, and provisioning
November: Back on the move toward Bahamas – could be via the Intercoastal Waterway or a more direct route such as Beaufort North Carolina to Abacos.
November-January 2020: South through the Bahamas
February-June: Eastern Caribbean chain
July-October: Southern Caribbean- Granada
2021: We don’t know! A season in the western Caribbean? Or a Panama Canal transit? Or position boat for an Atlantic crossing? Or position the boat to come back to Maine?
Every long-term cruiser we’ve spoken to has said: “You’ll be fine after the first year.” I’m not sure if that makes me feel better……but either way we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. In the meantime – we’ve been super busy. Not only do we have to radically downsize – thank you Marie Kondo – but we also have a lot to learn! The lists below gives you a taste of what we’re tackling:
Coaching and mentoring from Sailing Totem
Marine diesel course by Narragansett Sailing School
Marine weather forecasting
Wilderness advanced first aid certification by Wilderness Medical Associates
Joined the Ocean Cruising Club
Advanced Navigation courses by Power Squadrons
Studying for a Ham radio license
Sewing projects with our Sailrite
Lots of Boat work….see below!
Major Boat Projects
Electrical System revamp – Increased battery bank, solar panels, shore power, system monitoring capabilities
Navigation system upgrade – New radar and integrated chartplotter – we need to get all our systems talking to each other
Installing a watermaker – Which can make us fresh drinking water from ocean salt water
Choosing safety gear, and creating systems and protocols
Help from our friends at Twig Marine for the outfitting
Boat School – yeah because we have kids and they need to be homeschooled on top of all of this!
Generating ideas for kids school lessons that are boat life friendly and integrated into our new life
Working with the school district and Middle school on ideas, standards and materials
Talking to lots of other homeschool and boatschooling parents and families
In addition to all those “hard skills” perhaps the most important thing that we are working on is our state of mind. Our “type-A” personalities will suite us well in some respects, but in others maybe not so much! As July approaches, while we absolutely have a pretty massive to-do list – we are also trying to change some habits and take things as they come. Some smaller things we are working on include: reducing our plastic usage, walking instead of jumping in the car for short trips, less screen time, and most of all embracing the uncertainty.