'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

Leaving a good place


Cruising is a blast. Towns like Oriental (see the pictures!) make it a joy. But there’s a dark side: Leaving.

Many people who haven’t cruised have an opinion about what the “hardest part” of the lifestyle might be.  Indeed, many folks who haven’t cruised imagine that the whole thing must be one big trial.  The idea of living in a “tiny” home (though many boats out here are positively palatial by the standards of much of the world) is inconceivable. Being out of instant contact with friends and family is a non-starter, and not having a television or streaming Fox News is, to many, inconceivable. Yet many of us do it quite happily. 

The list of perceived hardships is long: 

No fixed address. Weather worries. Keeping the water out of the boat. Nurturing a relationship in such a confined space. Weather again (people are fascinated by “killer” storms, worse than rubber-neckers at a traffic accident).

The Inland Waterway Provision Company has free bicycles for cruisers to use!

But for me, I think the hardest thing is the conflict between staying and leaving.  It’s the good places and the good people that are the challenge.

Dawn in Oriental Harbor, North Carolina

Oriental, North Carolina is one such place. With a harbor full of fishing boats and cruisers, a town that loves the water and those who live on it (half of Oriental seems to be former cruisers from around the country), and a knack for hospitality that makes a newcomer to town an instant member of family, this place does it right. And as much as Nicki and I are ready to move on and eager to be farther south and warmer, we feel the tug of a good place, a tension between moving on and hanging out that’s almost palpable.

Sometimes it’s  hard to leave.

Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, and rehabilitating an old house, we’re headed back on the boat, bringing Sionna back home to northern waters. Follow our blog here!

4 thoughts on “Leaving a good place

  1. You need to access the Gypsy in you Keith. Saw many many cruisers in Miami who got comfortable and couldn’t leave. A good book to find is “The Song Lines” By Bruce Chatwin. Patti and I get restless after a while. Maybe it’s a developmental thing, or just in the blood. Chatwin said “the happiest people he met were Nomads”. Ready to pack up and move on. No “baggage”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree with Ray. We found friends hard to leave, but you’ll discover that you’ll keep running into them in the most unexpected anchorages. And there’s no joy quite like the feeling when you look up and some old friends are sailing unexpectedly through the reef cut into your anchorage. You can barely give them time to get the hook down before you’re all together renewing old bonds. Even though we’re not currently cruising, some of our best friends are those we cruised with in the Western Caribbean – they camped with us for 5 weeks last year in the SW US and we’ll go visit them in their new container house on a mountainside in Costa Rica … as soon as they get it done. Leaving is hard, but hopefully you’ll discover the flip side soon! Cheers! Jan

    Liked by 2 people

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