In a couple of days we’re heading out, by car, to visit family and friends, ending up at our older daughter’s house for Christmas. Our trip will include ten stops in five states over 21 days, and involve about 2,600 to 2,800 miles of driving. That amount of driving will equate to something like 50 hours behind the wheel. I’m sure that for many of those hours, I’ll be thinking, “Is this the end?”
I left my job in June of 2015 and — using the proceeds from the sale of our big inland house — established a budget that should have allowed us to live for two years in our smaller coastal house while we cruised our boat. I had planned to spend five months upgrading and preparing the boat, with the intent to head south with the cruisers who would stop in Saint Marys for Thanksgiving. We would make our way down to the Keys first, then jump over to the Bahamas, coming back north in May or June 2016 before hurricane season. We would then head to the Chesapeake Bay, arriving in July to spend August and September exploring the bay. In October, we would head south again, to arrive in Saint Marys by the end of October, so I could work on the annual cruisers Thanksgiving event. After Thanksgiving, we’d head south again, maybe back to the Bahamas or to the West Coast of Florida. We would be back home in Saint Marys by the end of May. In January and February, while still cruising, I would call my contacts and send out resumes in an attempt to go back to work around the first of July 2017. If it took longer than that to get back in the workforce, my budget included several months of buffer to get us by, before we’d have to start dipping into our retirement funds.
If you read my Sep 22 post “Taking Stock,” you know that things didn’t quite work out as we planned. We won’t be sailing in 2017. Hopefully, I’ll be going back to work a few months early. If I’m working, we probably won’t be sailing any. (I tend to throw myself into my work.) That’s why it would be best to sell Madge. She’s a well-equipt, fully tested cruising boat now. If she sits for seven years, she won’t be worth anything. She’d have to be totally rebuilt. Suzy and I could perhaps charter in various places, like we did before we bought Madge. Or we could travel other ways. We still want to see new places. And, who knows? Maybe in seven years, we’ll get us a little trawler and cruise the ICW again. But seven years is a long way off, and we’re no longer young people. Cruising in your seventies is a lot different than cruising in your sixties.
We’ll just have to wait and see.