Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New Year

I wanted to have a world map somewhere in the cabin. For Christmas my mom sent me the map I found online that would just barely fit on the bulk head wall. It is made of Tyvek, which feels like paper, looks like parchment, and is water proof. I was pretty thrilled the map came in such a material. Who knew they made such a thing and that it would be the cheapest kind. On New Years day we moved the shelf from under the oil lamp to under the clock to make room for it. We put small grommets around the perimeter and screwed it to the wall through the grommet holes with finishing washers.

Now I can stare at the geography of the world to my hearts content. Maleop, Choiseul, Lambok. All sorts of places to know about. The map is a constant reminder of why I am doing what I am doing. When I look at it the annoyances of the moment melt into day dreams of the future that I have to create. It helps me maintain a broader perspective which is always beneficial to my moment to moment emotional state. When I am pissed about hitting my knee on the table again, with a glimpse of the map I am distracted by the thought that the majority of the human experience does not include winter. Most if humanity lives in perpetual summer between the thirtieth parallels. Winter is a somewhat unique human experience.
Speaking of winter, a cold front moved in on January first with a low of 42 degrees. I did not think I would ever get to say “Brrr” in Florida. We even had to light our propane Cozy Cabin Heater. It keeps the cabin about twenty degrees warmer than outside. The cabin, not the V berth. I was ecstatic to get to put on jeans a couple weeks ago. I did not know how much I loved jeans until I got to slide them on after months of weather too hot for them. I never want to have to wear anything else ever again. If it is too hot for jeans it is too hot to wear anything at all. And you can't do that. So you see my point. But it's summer in most of the world, thus my life for the next five to twenty years will be spent without seasons. That is so strange. So I relish these moments in jeans and boots and my favorite hoodie. Oh happy day.
It was in the forties at night and in the sixties during the day for a week. Some great things about cold weather besides jeans are that the necessary activities of daily life improve comfort rather than detract from it. Cooking on a 95 degree day heats the cabin to well over 100. I'd rather not eat. Cooking on a 55 degree day makes your cabin nice and cozy. Produce stays fresh, we can buy cheese, the head does not stink. Hard work makes your warm, not stinky. I think I am alone in Florida in my sentiment, but this is freaking awesome. I was feeling great, that is until six days ago when I sprained my ankle. I spent the last week stuck on the boat with my ankle wrapped trying not to move around much. I can limp around a bit now, but I need to stay off it for the most part for another week.
Three days ago AJ threw his back out. He has residual issues with a collapsed disc in his lower back. So now we are both hobbling around. Now, as in January 10th, the same date that is in the upper left corner of this post. I am excited about that. And about the fact that I have had the map to look at while I am boat ridden. We are in an internet dead zone and there is not a lot for me to do in this condition. So I am dreaming about the route we will take and passages we will make. Dreaming may be the keyword here, but without the dreams that lead to goals we would go nowhere.
Right now the goal is to be out of here by May. It is currently Caribbean Cruising season. Cruising season ends and hurricane season begins in April. We expect to be equipped to leave Florida by April. We won't be able to go south because it will be the wrong season, and we do not want to stay in Florida for another summer anyway. Not to mention FL is as much in hurricane alley as the Caribbean islands. So we will go North. North up the Eastern seaboard to Nova Scotia. Stopping in DC and NYC etc.. Then cross the North Atlantic to Ireland or France in May. June July and August visiting Newcastle, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and the like. Go down the west coast of Europe to France, Spain and Portugal, pop into the Mediterranean for October – December. Cross the Mid Atlantic from Portugal/Morocco to the Caribbean in December, ( the middle of cruising season) bop around the nations there, be in Panama ready to cross the canal by March/April. Then head out to the Pacific. We could start with the South Pacific, Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Australia, Indonesia, then north to Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, India, Sri Lanka. Then there is a choice to make. We could go to the gulf of Aden and chance hosting Somali pirates to get to the Mediterranean. But why? We will have been there. We can go to Madagascar and South Africa and cross the Cape of Good Hope in in the wrong direction and shoot across the Southern Atlantic to South America. Maybe we will be such salty adrenaline seeking seamen by then that crossing the Cape backwards will seem like a necessary accomplishment. Or, it will be an easy “F” that. Who knows. The third option would be to turn around. I would like to cross the Indian ocean from India and see Madagascar and South Africa. But instead of continuing west past storms or pirates, go back across the Indian east and go North to Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan. We have to go to Japan because I want to swim in the hot springs with the snow monkeys. So we have to work Japan in somewhere. Who would not want sail into Tokyo harbor? And who in their right minds would not want to make the acquaintance of these citizens of Earth?
They seem to have things figured out.

From Japan maybe go a little farther North to Russia, then the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Canada, California,then just keep going south, Mexico, Central America, Peru, Argentina. Cross cape Horn the right direction. Who knows. The first part of the plan, crossing the North Atlantic, depends of completing the boat in the next three months. Tick tick tick. We've got to reassemble and install the engine, restore the 12 volt power, install new chain plates, patch the deck from old chain plates. Find, make, or buy a Mainsail. Build the carbon fiber boom and mast, replace/reseal the windows, bottom scrape and paint. I think we can do it. Some things could be done while while going up the east coast. There is nothing like the threat of tropical summer weather to motivate me to make it work. We will be out of Florida by May. Whether we will be ready to cross the Atlantic, or miss the window and continue to equip until the next optimal season on the Northeast coast, I don't know. We just have to be nomadic by April. That is what matters. That is when the life we want begins. The ability to stay on the move is all we really need to be happy. Being stuck here takes a toll on our sanity. The point of this lifestyle choice is to be nomads with a mostly self sustaining, debt free-micro home that can take us anywhere in the world for almost nothing. You don't have to pay for the wind or the sun or the fish. Just port fees, diesel, and propane. And those can be of rare use. All we want is the freedom to roam. We are so ready to get out of here.


  1. Love this post! You have done an excellent job with the interior! Can't wait till you float up (sail up?, pull up?) to Newcastle! Love you both :-)

  2. Great blog.

    Love the map. I'm currently looking for a nice world map to put up at home to help us get excited as we plan for our sailing adventure.

  3. Your cabin is looking awesome.

  4. 1969 Cheoy Lee Luders 36'
    I recently added a "The Boat" page at the top of the blog. It lists all the specs and has diagrams.
    Thanks for your interest!


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