'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

Another Cruiser’s Perspective

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Sometimes something I write strikes a chord, and sometimes I miss the mark. More often, I fear, it’s the latter.

Still, my last post generated some great discussion, and I’ve learned something from all of it. Partly, I’ve been reminded that I needn’t take my angst quite so seriously!

Yeah, I do wallow in it once in a while. But maybe that’s good too? It gives my friends a chance to give me a gentle nudge – or a swift kick in the rear – to get me moving again.

So with gentle nudges in mind, I’m sharing a post by our dear friends Dan and Jay, from s/v Cinderella. Good folks. Good thoughts.


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Thinking of future time


So when are you going back to the boat?”

Simple questions don’t always have simple answers.

Having been such a vocal proponent of the “Go simple, go now” school of cruising thought, it feels a little strange to now have to write about how our “going” is – at this moment – very much in question. We just don’t know.

Which is not to suggest that we’re done with cruising, boating, living aboard, and all that wonderfulness. If you’ve enjoyed the last two years of musings, heavy on the topics of food, sunsets and poverty, have no fear – we’re not done.

But if you were looking to the crew of Sionna to provide a benchmark in time, with a known departure date for sunny climes, you might just want to find another reference.

Last winter aboard was pretty challenging for Nicki and me. Between the eye surgery stuff, the unexpected expenses entailed therein, and the broken-up nature of the season (three months on the boat, two months in Maine, two months back aboard…), both of us found that we just “weren’t having fun”.

And if it’s not fun, why do it?

Sure there were segments of last winter that were great, but there were long periods of not so good, and there were way too many times of saying – or NOT saying – “…this isn’t what I signed on for…” for both of us. After a while that thought becomes a heavy weight indeed, and it drags on your heart.

So once we realized the problem existed, it was time to look for answers, and the answer, as far as we can see, is that Nicki needs a job. More to the point, she needs to be able to see that she’s making a more tangible contribution to our over-all lifestyle than our recent “living-on-a-shoestring” track has allowed.

So we’re back in Maine, and we’re in transition. I’m working as a carpenter, as I have the last few summers, and that steady influx of cash is a welcome and necessary resource. It also gives me that feeling of accomplishment I enjoy, the same one I get from making Sionna move well and smoothly through the water. Meanwhile Nicki is studying to enter the business of real estate investment. To do that, she needs a home base, contacts, relationships with buyers, sellers, and investors, etc.

And so here we are, and here we shall remain, probably deep into the fall, possibly through the winter… we don’t know for sure. It is possible (and I would say likely) that we won’t be launching Sionna at all next season. It is certain that we’ll need to find a place to live this fall, since we can’t stay in the RV past October 15th. Maybe someone will need a house-sitter for a few months, maybe Nicki and her partner will buy a property with a liveable dwelling where we can camp out through the cold months…

We don’t know yet.

On balance, I suppose I’m mostly resigned to where we need to be, but it is not where I WANT to be. I want to go home, back to the boat, back to the water. But as I’ve said many times in these missives, it’s not just about me. It’s about us – and WE need to be here right now.

I think I’d better go find my winter coat.

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Boatless in Midcoast Maine

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The best way to share your life is in pictures!

Yes, sometimes we really do things the old way! This is “Blackjack”, a 118-year-old Freindship sloop, newly restored by volunteers at the Maine Sail, Power & Steam Museum, right here in Rockland, ME.

And here she is, about to be lowered – by human power – into the water, for her first taste f salt water in over 30 years.

Our temporary ride for the summer. A friend’s boat, our mooring, and a way to get out on the water now and again.

Smiling helms woman. She declined my offer to give her a break from the tiller…

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, from the cockpit of the other boat. Don’t tell Sionna we’ve been unfaithful!

The little boat doesn’t have a vang, so I was assigned the task of keeping the boom under control…

How I spent my summer. Carpentry isn’t a bad gig, actually. At least I’m mostly outside!

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