It’s less about sailing, and more about family & community. Having the boat provides the catalyst for us to be together. Of course there is the romantic side of sorts – wide open sea, sunsets and sundowners – but that can’t be the primary reason for tossing off the dock lines. If it is, you’ll be back in the harbor faster than expected.
I’ve put into categories our experiences so far, and thoughts about the future.
Small really isn’t that small when you get adjusted to less. As Americans, we’re generally used to having more. More space. More food. More toys. More cars. More of generally everything compared to most other countries. It’s just a fact. We’ve adjusted, and adjusted well. It wasn’t easy at first, but now we have a hard time imagining going back to the chaos of ‘More’.
The kids have limited space and use it well. If they get a new toy, another toy must leave the boat and be donated. It’s a rule. We have similar rules for us adults. If we get new clothes or other stuff, we generally donate what’s being replaced. De-cluttering is key to making small spaces seem larger.
|Elizabeth and her storage space|
|Michael and his toys cubby hole|
We were used to eating out when we wanted, wherever we wanted back on land. Now, with limited ‘good’ restaurants, and frankly better food aboard – we cook almost every meal. It’s fun.
Sarah has always been a good cook and has gotten a lot better. I was never really a cook. I never had much time at home and generally did not want to create the mess. Now, I do a lot of the cooking and baking, while Sarah works with the kids in school. It works, and I’ve really started to enjoy galley duties. I actually like doing dishes. Crazy but true.
|Appetizers for happy hour|
Generally speaking, it’s a specific type of person or family that sets out to sea on a boat. I haven’t still put my finger on every aspect. Here are a few.
Risk Taker – Most people on a boat are willing to risk the ‘status quo’ and set out for something different. There is never a guarantee of anything, and that is part of what is appealing. We are not risk takers for safety, but we are risk takers for living life.
Adventurer – There is adventure on the water. New places, new people, new challenges. It’s great, but not for everyone. You must also be comfortable with leaving places, people and things. Leaving our friends is often the hardest part. In almost all cases, people we have met have been excellent. Friends we will have in our network forever. There is a special bond/respect with other sailors.
Self Reliant – If you can’t figure something out for yourself, fix something that breaks, and make decisions quickly – sailing at sea is probably not the best idea. I’ve learned so much, and continue to learn every day from others. It’s great.
For example, I’ve bought books on refrigeration, and now can service the Adler Barbour units myself. No need for a refrigeration ‘expert’ at $100/hour. We are now 100% capable of fixing, servicing and recharging our units.
Frugal – The running joke is you can’t find someone that wants to spend the least for the most than a sailor (or maybe someone with the last name of Silverstein – grin). With few exceptions, most sailors we meet are very, very frugal. Most I suppose by necessity, others because the salt water changes your DNA (grin).
This is the hardest part for me personally. I still miss the chase, building a business and networking. I’ve always had a passion for business – and still do. I find myself gravitating to other retired executives/entrepreneurs to talk shop. Yesterday friends from ONA (another Antares 44i) were down in Georgetown. I enjoyed talking to Roger and his wife about his media business in Miami. Sometimes it gives me the twitch… J
|Talking shop over lunch with s/v ONA and Antares crew|
Where are we going? South. West. Our plans are to be flexible. We are not sure how long we will continue to do this. We of course have some ideas that are part of our family plan – but for now we are focusing on Grenada mid July.
Will we go farther west? Central America, Galapagos, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean? Maybe yes. Maybe no. Everyone will have to wait and see – including Field Trip!
If you are thinking about making a change so you can spend more time with your family. Do it. It doesn’t have to be sailing. It can be a different career, new job or new location. Life is short and spending quality time with your loved ones cannot be replaced by a paycheck or job title. We’re fortunate & blessed to be able to live the dream aboard Field Trip.
Create your own Field Trip – toss the dock lines – and spend more quality time with your family./