Sailboats Should Cruise



So I am starting to get antsy to leave N. Myrtle Beach.  It has become like a vacation that is too long and, quite frankly, it is the first time in my life that I have ever felt that way.  I suppose its a good news problem.  There are tons of things in this area that we have yet to do or see, but a lot of it costs money and we are not on vacation like that.  The area we deal with directly has become a bit mundane for me, but the weather still has me smiling.

We met a cruising family this weekend.  They are from Florida and were cruising to New Jersey and back over two months before the kids start school again.  They had a cool Cape Dory sailboat named Kestrel, and the four of them and a dog had taken two months and cruised the ICW.  We were so happy to meet them because one of the things we read over and over again was about how much of a community there is with cruisers and liveaboards, but in the four months we’ve been in this marina we have made very few real friends.  We expect that is because this marina is mostly power boaters that come on the weekends only, and that the cruisers that stop here do so on the docks that are furthest from us.  Meeting the Kestrels seemed fated as we were coming off of three days of heavy rain and we needed an excuse to walk the docks, so when it was Cadence that noted their apparent intention of docking at our marina we all hurried out to investigate.

We barely gave them a chance to tie up their boat before we engaged them in conversation. They probably just wanted to walk their dog, go swim at the pool, shower and feel human again but they were super nice and talked with us first.  It turns out that they are originally from the Boulder/Mountain area too, and moved to Florida a few years ago.  Coincidence.  Likewise they bought, refurbished, and keep their boat in the same marina that we intend to go to first in Florida.  Coincidence again.  We invited them to our boat and offered them a ride to the grocery store later, and left them to tend their dockside list of to-dos.  They ended up coming over to Deosil that night and we shared a bottle of wine while their older children entertained Cadence. It was nice to meet people that are more like us in so many ways.  We could talk of cruising, sailboats, kids, natural childbirths, organic foods, alternative lifestlyles, guitars and music…and the list goes on and on.  We agreed to take them to the grocery store the next day, so I drove them and Matt stayed with the three kids on our boat.  We had another small hangout at the boat before they really needed to get going to their intended overnight anchorage.  They gave us a bottle of wine in thanks which was really nice and unnecessary, she gave me a nice healing salve she makes (which I used immediately on Cadence’s bug bite,) and Matt gave them an extra GPS puck we had.   We said our goodbyes with promises to try to connect in Florida.  Finally. Boat friends!

What they reminded me of is that cruising can happen at every and any level.  If we cant get our refrigeration to work via battery/engine power we can simply stop here and there and buy ice and turn our freezer into a built-in cooler.  Often cruising is not much more than camping on the move, via water.  Kestral doesn’t have any refrigeration, and they have been to New Jersey and back.  Sometimes you get so offtrack by worrying about how to have everything absolutely perfect that you wont go anywhere.  In our experience boat project lists only grow, they dont shrink!  We have to prioritize our boat jobs into what absolutely matters, and leave the rest to details that would be nice but they wont push back any launch dates.

Safe sailing Kestral, we hope our paths cross again sometime soon! Now I need to go get some boat projects done.

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One thought on “Sailboats Should Cruise

  1. Bill and Beth Fehlmann

    The term that comes to mind would be inaccurate in the literal sense, but true…you’re in the same boat we were a dozen years ago. More contractual snafus reduced overall B&B income (therefore our percentage) and SocSec did not yet apply–so we saw, basically, whatever didn’t cost admission and could be accessed by walking, as you do. The long languorous days spent often in highway turn-offs or parked beside rumbling semis at travel centers saving fuel, using minimal onboard power and water, and reading, napping or playing real-card games, walking the area and taking photos were how we used the time. In spite of the three-month, end-to-end tune-up Dad had done on the bus in Denver, there were still issues and we often parked (later rented hook-ups and both worked) in order to budget out necessary repairs and parts. Also, all those groups of RVers (ladies’ hobby and reading groups, men’s golf teams, etc.) that I’d looked up online required more mobility than we could afford (going to same place gatherings and such) or were absolutely not possible when we’d found work positions. As I was to learn, the people who are Very Active in these things tend to be very comfortably well off and do not need supplemental income. –Many a rest room I cleaned while line dancing lessons, quilting bees, bingo and craft fairs took place elsewhere in the buildings. After you get to Florida, I think you’ll find that the winter people are Snow Birds (fleeing the cold and able to afford the extended vacation)–fewer children (although we ran into fulltimers who traveled with their physically or mentally challenged kids or grandkids (yup!!); however, we also encountered younger families who fulltimed and homeschooled. There are people out there and once you’re somewhat settled at your first Florida port of call, go online and start researching fulltime boaters with kids. You’ll find them. Love you!


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