When Are We Going Cruising?
Are we EVER going to go cruising? But, when? My thoughts as we work through our refit list, but don’t get to use the boat much. Okay, at all.
It is obscenely easy to slip into romanticism when writing about living aboard a boat. To boost our approval of this lifestyle with you, dear reader, I tend to want to draw you in with a sweet and soft view of neighboring civilization across the river, lit up with the warm, orangey glow of lamplight. I want to tell you how the boat gently rocks me to sleep each night, banishing decades-old struggles with insomnia. How the sound of steel drums will echo across the water from the marina next door, sweeping away my worries and replacing it with delight.
Yes, escape with me to the land of sundowners, beach bonfires, palm trees, and views of a tropical oasis! But’s that’s not the whole truth, as I’m sure you’ve guessed.
We recently crossed a year aboard Star Stuff. (And nobody died!) We marked our first anniversary as liveaboards in October and are now more than halfway through our two-year-ish plan before we hope to go cruising full time. It’s the waiting room. A rocking, sweet, irritating, let’s get this show on the road, waiting room. Lately, it’s been making me whine, “when are we going cruising?” Right now, we don’t even take the boat out to anchor in the river. Cruising seems a long way off.
I hate the in-between. Once I’ve made a decision, I want to cut to the chase. But, most of the in-betweens we experience in this life are forced upon us. The loss of a job, the destruction of a home, a divorce, the death of a loved one, are extreme examples of a “life before” with a “life after”. The demarcation line when you know everything is about to change and there is no map, no guide, and not even a flashlight to make your way to the other side. When it’s a traumatic event that’s brought you to the bardo, it can feel like purgatory. It’s beyond a waiting room, it’s a gray-sky limbo that is both claustrophobic and seemingly endless.
But, I’ve chosen this waiting room. I’m not here on my knees. I’m just a whiny, impatient person that wants to get on with the cool stuff! I want to hike Machu Picchu! I want to go back to Roatán and dive the reef! I want to experience big, blue water! I want to meet like-minded friends with an adventurous streak and a half-assed plan! Let’s go already! Are we there yet?
Wait For Me!
No. It’s like being held back a year in grade school. As a yacht broker, I meet and am honored to make friends with some of my clients. Every time one of them leaves and I see them on social media writing about their adventures or see photos of the beautiful anchorages they find, it makes me feel left behind. And, not just left behind…kinda left out.
Passing Time in the Bardo
Well, you just gotta make the best of it, right? So far, we’ve just been trying to be decent grown-ups and keep from doing anything our future selves will want to throttle us for. Financially, it’s been a massively expensive year. On top of multiple-thousands in car repairs, in the last 16 months, we’ve paid off the car; saved a moderate amount of money; spent said amount on much-needed diesel repairs; paid off the credit card, and emptied the savings account. All expected, planned for, scheduled (except the stupid car repairs) expenses. Greg keeps reminding me that we’re just doing our two-year *cough* five-year *cough* plan from the boat. We’re not really behind. They’re just ahead.
So, back to square one. Sort of. I guess we were in a hole, to begin with, and now we’re just on level ground. We now have an engine with a rebuilt exhaust system and a new fuel system. Hopefully, that will run like a champ for a good, long while. We still have to pay off the boat, replace the standing rigging, buy a new mainsail, as well as a dinghy, a life raft, and a multitude of smaller gear. And then – then! When that big pile of money is finally saved and spent – then, we can start saving the cruising kitty. And, after that, we can throw off the dock lines and go see some of this world.