People who influenced us

Monday , 9, March 2015 Leave a comment

The decision to go sailboat cruising with our family is the result of some important life experiences we’ve had AND a result of the influence that many people have had on us.   Some we know well, others were temporarily involved in our lives, and others still are people we’ve never personally met but have made an impact on us through their writing in blogs, books, and internet posts.  This post is a “thank you” to those people.

Dad, you’re the reason I enjoy sailing.  I’ve always cherished the time you spend with me, as a kid and even now as an adult.  It’s the simplest, yet most powerful way to let your kids know you love them.  Cori, Chris and I all feel it.  I will be a father to Avery and Leslie following your example.  Spending loving moments with the girls is one of our primary motivators for planning our cruising life after all.  Your interest in sailing naturally fostered similar interests within me.  I enjoy sailing with you, talking about sailing with you, looking at sailboats with you.  Your stories of owning a Catalina 22 and a hang glider remind me that life needs little adventures.  I hope you continue to pursue adventures in your life.  Sail out of the St. Helena Sound.  And surely you will come along with us for a passage or two once we’re cruising.

Libby, Laura’s mother, taught us the importance of living now.  Each day is truly a gift and we have to do a better job of appreciating all the simple gifts of life.  We all have dreams and goals and plans for our lives, but we put those things off far too often.  We get caught up in daily life….weekly rituals and habits…..monthly cycles….before you know it entire years of life come and go.  We are going to attempt this cruising adventure because there is no guarantee of long life, but we’ll live each full day in memory of you.  I’m inspired to post the lyrics to John Lennon’s song at this point, which applies to our current situation in more ways than one.

Beautiful Boy by John Lennon

Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster’s gone
He’s on the run and your mammy’s here

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It’s getting better and better

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait to see you come of age
But I guess, we’ll both just have to be patient
‘Cause it’s a long way to go, a hard row to hoe
Yes, it’s a long way to go but in the meantime

Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It’s getting better and better

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Darling, darling, darling
Darling Kiki

Good night Kiki
See you in the morning
Right again

The themes of children and sailing and life are what this blog and our cruising plans are all about.

Ben and Eugene, the captains of Vassilis and Anna Maria, yachts owned by our favorite Mediterranean sailing charter company Seascape, inspired us to make sailing a part of everyday life.  Ben was 22 and already a captain of a 55’ charter yacht and a member of a racing team back in England.  Why?  Because he loves sailing and made it his life.  Eugene had worked other jobs, but decided that living aboard a yacht and navigating the Aegean Sea while hosting people who are looking for a fun adventure sounded like a great way to spend some time.  So that’s what he did.   We had such an amazing week sailing the Dodecanese Islands with these two and all the other people who became our friends.  We felt right at home in a small cabin on board a boat with minimal packing and possessions.  We loved the diet on board a boat and the happy medium between work and play.  We decided right then that when we vacationed in the future, we wanted it to be on a sailboat.  At the time, we didn’t know that it would evolve into something more than just cruising “vacations,” but we were 100% in love with the idea of living and sleeping and cooking and traveling on board.  Our later trip to the BVI, where we sailed a ’34 Beneteau for a week, only confirmed our desire to make sailing a bigger part of our life.

There are too many sailing blogs and books to list in this post, but we’ve spent the last two years reading on the subject constantly.   We’ve read about cruising families, cruising on a budget, cruisers from our area, types of sailboats and what particular components we feel we want for our boat, and on and on.  All the different blogs and books and other resources have helped us to gain confidence and have exposed us to even more topics to consider.  Ok, I said there were too many, but I’ll list a few.

  • Windtraveler – for being young and energetic and then having a family full of little girls on board
  • Sailing Totem – for being a cruising family with a very similar background to us
  • bumfuzzle – for just being adventuresome and instilling in me the idea of “multiple mini-retirements” in life
  • S/V Delos (vlog on youtube) – these guys and girls love sailing and traveling and partying
  • Wicked Salty – 2 young college grads who bought a boat, motored down the ICW, with plans for the Bahamas.  Interesting to me because we plan on being on the ICW as well
  • sailnet.com and cruisersforum.com
  • Several books on cruising, budgets, circumnavigating, etc. that I’m sure Laura will write about in detail in a future blog post

Speaking of internet resources, our plans would certainly never have become possible if it wasn’t for Mr. Money Mustache.  His life philosophy is one of simplicity and purposeful life choices that end up making you a lot better off financially as a side-benefit.  His blog falls into the financial category, but I’ve never viewed it that way and I know that he doesn’t either.  It just so happens that we live in a country that is so prosperous and affordable that if you just cut out a small amount of the ridiculous luxury that we typically consider to be the norm in the US of A, you can live on a hell of lot less money, save a hell of a lot more money, and realize true hapiness and purpose in the process.  Our decision to go cruising in some ways contradicts his financial philosophy, but in other ways embraces his overall message completely.  Either way, it is through his writing that our plans have been made possible.

Avery and Leslie inspired this decision as well.  We love them, we want to spend lots of time with them.  And at this age, they want to spend lots of time with us.  Parents of teenagers will tell you that this will not always be the case.  So to us, it is tragic to have them spend a large portion of their weeks at a daycare with someone else.  I’ve already expanded on this idea in another post, but I just wanted to mention it again here.

Finally, I have to thank Laura.  I believe in you.  You amaze me at how adaptable you are.  Put a new task or idea in front of this girl, give her a few days to mull it over in her head, and then she finds a way to make it her own, embrace it, and live it completely.  Every. Single. Time.  You don’t complain.  You just adapt and I’m so impressed by you.  From an only child with parents who took care of your every need and want to a loving, unselfish fantastic mother who lives for others without considering yourself at all.  From a girl who enjoyed regular shopping trips for clothes and shoes to my dedicated frugalist who wears child-stained clothing and busted shoes and who resists buying almost anything all to make our plans possible.  I introduced to her the idea of living in a tiny space on board a boat, quitting our jobs, and selling everything and how does she react?  She fully embraces the idea for all the right reasons and commits herself to the plan more completely than even I have.  I can’t do it without you girl.  Thank you for being you.

“You and me together, we can do anything, BABY!”

 

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