'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

A Letter To a Cruising Boat


Dear Sionna,

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, and now – at 2am with the temperature falling – I need to tell you so.

We’d planned it out so carefully. Worked out the mileage, the time allotted, and how we’d make the pilgrimage from there, to here, and back.

This sudden shift has come as a shock, I know. When we left you there – jacked up, tied down, stripped of everything that made you a home for us – we were coming right back. We spoke as we packed of our return in the fall, and though you couldn’t hear it, we talked as we drove north of logistics. We’d do a bit of work on the car and then drive down ourselves in late October, store the car there where you’d spent the summer, finish those projects we’d started and this time – this time by God – we’d point your pretty bow east toward the islands. We’d make the Bahamas, like we’d promised we would, and drop the hook in foreign sand at last.

But it hasn’t happened that way.

I know we said we’d be right back. “Just six months”, we said, and we’d be together again. How could we know the wanderlust would fade? Who knew that adventure would lose its shine, in an instant, like the turn of a page?

You took such good care of us, and now it feels as though we’ve failed you. Abandoned you to the hurricanes and possible thieves in the boatyard, and the even more subtle thievery of time and heat and rain. You deserve better than our faithlessness.

I want you to know, it’s not your fault. You’ve done your very best and kept us safe from harm and risk and our own mistakes more times than I can count, and it tears my heart, sometimes, to see what has become of the plans we made together. You’ve done all that we could ask, and more, and done it very well.

I hope you can keep faith better than we, and know we’re trying. Somehow, someday, we’ll bring you home. Keep your spirits up and your bilge dry, as best you can, and wait for us. I swear, I’m not ready to swallow the anchor yet.

May my promise not sound as hollow to you as it does to me.

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!

5 thoughts on “A Letter To a Cruising Boat

  1. Aww. You’re making me not only cry, but feel bad that we have changed our plans and are selling out on our dream.

    Keep your chin up and do what you have to do, then get back on her and finish what you started.

    You have cruising friends all over, I’m sure someone in the area can check on her for you. If we go south, we’ll give you a call and be those people for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! That’s one of the worst things about it, not being able to keep track of her. There are always a fair number of truly abandoned boats in a yard, and to have Sionna sitting with that crowd just makes my hair curl!


  2. This gives me the shivers. I know she understands but yeah, leaving a boat in the yard and then being gone for too long is hard. Maybe next year? Or perhaps something will come up where you can sail her back up the coast. Even if Nikki can’t take time from her job, you could find crew to get her back up there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, and I’m not even going to tell MIke about this post. Just now we are still waiting for the time for us to leave, still looking for a piece of ‘boom’ to take down with us, still not there with Galapagos. It’s hard.


  4. I really think you are overthinking this. Are you going to stay in Maine? Do you want the boat there? Not a lot of Money? Not a lot of time? Study the weather maps for the summer on the east coast to see best time to go and just sail her back up. This time you are not going to poke along the waterway. You need to find a couple young guys, college kids , sons, nephews. You just sail off shore the whole way up the coast. The whole trip will probably not be more then 3 weeks. It will be a great time. Whenever I have my kids sailing with me it is a breeze, both in their thirties.,,,,,,, Sail needs to come down, a reef needs to be put in, anchor need to come up. The captain just gives the order and the guys with the muscle and stamina get it done in about 2 minutes. Find some young bucks and just get it done. You’ll have no regrets.


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