Six months cruising already and what did we learn?

180 days have passed since we left Point Roberts Marina. But it feels like we have been stuck in August 2012, the weather hasn’t changed and we have been on holiday non-working mood since then. Life has slowed-down, responsibilities have lightened dramatically and we have no agenda to follow. The rosy glasses are gone; we now live the life we have prepared for the last 3 years. What does everybody has to say?

Laurent vision of thing:

  • Thank you to the support of our friends and family, we were able to cut the line in an orderly manner, without increased stress associated to some life changing experience we undertook.
  • Happy that the boat was setup properly from day one. So far we’ve had minor repair, and nothing too challenging as we knew the system affected. I feel this is the key to a successful first year. Or you get bogged down in the bowel or your boat. Not looking at the paradise outside and blow a gasket! Personally, I was getting annoyed at one point when 3 things were not perfect. I learnt to letitgo since but if it’s big you don’t have that choice.
  • The sailing has been easy and enjoyable offering positive challenge, but nothing overwhelming. We knew our boat, but were not expert so we don’t use it as an excuse.
  • The adaptation to a new rhythm was maybe the most challenging, what to do with all the time off you all of a sudden gain? Something I feel I didn’t prepare enough for. Luckily, I like reading and learning, plus swimming and snorkeling. This blog also gives me something to do and think during the day, keeping me on a loose timeframe.
  • Like on land we are all individual, it is not because we are on a boat that we have the same needs than other. We’ve always been independent and free thinker; we received advice and have always taken them in the context of the person giving it. Following our own agenda that works for our family, balancing the needs to all, something, I need to consider more regularly.
  • We were lucky to be able to pick the brain of experience cruisers; this has proved invaluable to date. Why should we do the mistake than others have done before? I am still making enough on my own to entertain the anchorage.
  • I am happy that we don’t have anything left behind, no house/business to manage ect… once you are out of this mind frame and out of the loop. I feel it would be hard to achieve the level of commitment and communication needed for success.
  • The last 15 years of working alongside Valerie 24/7, was the best school. It enabled a smooth transition to a new symbiosis that a boat brings to a couple lives. The last 25 years of being together doesn’t hinder either. I feel that it would have been a shock if we both didn’t understand the dynamic of responsibility and decisions making for our couple.
  • Having the children (really two other adults) with us for a while, brings challenges; schooling is one (Valerie master piece), being 24/7 together and relearning to live together another. The good thing is that they understand all the minus details of our new lifestyle. Once on land their expectations should be to the level of our ability; meaning very limited on a lot of aspect.
  • Watching the movie “yes” prepared me to a new way of thinking. Not been in charge of all aspect of my life like in the past, could have been tragic. I had to learn to just go with the flow and sometimes you can’t change the course of things that come your way.
  • I had to re-Learn, that when you find some place or something you love. ENJOY it don’t look forward to the future or chase the next best thing like our society drives us to.

I feel that I am now just getting in the mood and mind frame to be able to enjoy what we are living. The 3 first months, were just a blur and chaos. The next 3 were detox and re-learning. I am now looking forward to the future and learning more.

 

Valerie’s take on things: Cruising is not just about sailing, it is a very new way to live your life, open your heart and live with the flow.

When I look back I cannot believe all we have achieved in such little time. From the dreaming time (all those hours talking about it at night after work), to the preparation time to here we are… What have I learnt along the way?

First, and foremost our sailing life could not have begun without the help of all our friends and the support of our family; from selling our business to gathering a lot of information regarding this new chapter of our lives sailing/cruising. And talking about selling the business, I will never thank enough our friend Jim who has been a huge help. During the process of the sale, I learnt that I had a wonderful group of friends and a good team behind me who was committed to work hard with me until the very last day, to all of them Thank You too, and I am really happy we are still in touch. All in all, I learnt a lot about the legal steps to take and that * Yes! I can do it*

Because we had to sell our business first, I had to jump in the “train while in motion” which made for a harder transition. Laurent and our brilliant children *what can I say I am proud of them* sailed Letitgo on their own to San Francisco. I learnt that *wow! They too can do it*, even if it was really hard to leave them mid-way and accept that I would not be able to do that first leg with them, I had to letitgo.

I then jumped on-board (almost literally) in San Francisco, and for a week went on hibernation in our hull and slept like the bears in the mountain… I learnt that without a doubt closing can be exhausting, and that this is why Laurent and I are a good team and know how to support one another.

Going down the Californian coast certainly was for me a cleansing time and getting into the groove. It was still a place where everyone spoke English, the food was the same nothing was exotic yet, and most importantly I was still dreaming about our little restaurant and constantly thinking about everyone I had left behind. I learnt then, that it takes time to allow yourself to slow down, I learnt about accepting and patience. It was only while going down the Baja that it became more real and slowly the transition into a cruising mode was unveiled.

Then, evidently there is the question that everyone talks about: living in close quarters for twenty four hours of the day, how do you do it? In this equation add the children who are not little ones anymore and each of them have a mind of their own… Some days bring more challenges than others, and we are still learning to make it work all together, and understand how we each need some time for ourselves. Thankfully the boat is large enough… I am learning to be more tolerant.

On a more technical part, I am still learning about engines, batteries and water-making these things don’t come easy for me. I learn to keep involved, be pro-active and I am grateful Laurent put all these hours making Letitgo such a safe and comfortable place for us. One that note today I took care of the water maker!

Finally we are in Mexico, going south and discovering a really “warm” country, where hospitality is part of the day to day life, where children run around the square freely without anyone worrying for their safety, where guava makes the boat smell delicious, where the surf can be a little intimidating at times. But I am thrilled with these new challenges; I learn about a new language, a new culture, new ways of eating; I re-discover my family, my husband and the joy of eating altogether without thinking about the time and that makes it all worth it.

No matter what follow your heart and listen to what it tells you.


8 Comment

  1. What a lovely assessment. It sounds like you guys are having the time of your lives!

    bob
    s/v Eolian
    Seattle

  2. Thank Bob, I will not say the time of our life but easing to it for sure…

  3. Great to see that you have embraced your new life! Waiting for Ben’s version now… 🙂

  4. Thanks A&T, we will have to ask him or it may appear in one year on his blog LOL

  5. Thanks for your honesty in sharing your 6 months with us. Can we have Ben and Emma ‘s insight on those 6 months 24/7 with mum and dad;)?
    Have fun, after all you deserved it, you worked pretty damn hard for that. Enjoy the moments with Emma and Ben before they sail on their own adults adventure like the rest of us did 20 years ago:) xox

  6. The inside will be for the therapist in a few months or years depending on the child.

  7. Debbie Nathan says:

    Very reflective of you both, once again no rose coloured glasses a very thoughtful,insightful look at your last 6 months. Here’s to the next 6 months and the difference you will see. Much love my friends.

  8. Thanks Deb, we are known to express our feeling aren’t we…

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