Monday, March 30, 2020

Are We Done? Not Exactly the End of Cruising

Great blue herons remind me of Maryland. And also of patience, which they have and I do not.

There's a truism in cruising, that you make plans written in the sand at low tide, or plans are firmly cast in jello. Two summers ago, after an interesting but horribly hot stay in a lovely marina in Jacksonville while Dan healed from hip replacement surgery, we promised ourselves that we'd never again voluntarily spend a summer aboard in north Florida. Plan A for summer 2020 was to work another season on El Galeon; Plan B was to sail Cinderella to the Chesapeake; Plan C was to buy a van, fit it out for camping, and do a western US road trip.

But here we were, the word "voluntarily" in that vow came up thanx to the virus and quite suddenly all those options evaporated and it looked like we were going to be spending another summer aboard in north Florida after all. El Galeon was out -- we certainly weren't going to be attending lots of crowded tall ship festivals this summer. Sailing back to the Chesapeake was out too -- too many marinas are closing or closed, and we have too much uncertainty, to sail north, not to mention needing to be in a stable place where we have solid infrastructure while Dan continues to heal from his scuba diving accident. Not really game for a road trip, either, under the current circumstances, long distance travel just isn't in the offing. It looks to be an active hurricane season coming up, and Plans A, B, and C won't be available.

I had a bit of a meltdown last week, without thinking blurted out, "I want to go home!" And then, stunned -- what truth had I spoken?  I can't remember when I've had so much fun, or met so many people I liked all in one place, as St Aug. And the community we have here has been tremendous -- the fabulous people who've been helping us during Dan's recovery, and the support of the marine community in town is like nothing else I've ever known. But still, I realized "home" was not here. (Or, necessarily, anywhere.)

"Home" in the truest sense, is Cinderella, wherever she is docked. We still want to live on the boat -- but maybe not do the lengthy East Coast snowbird slog twice a year with the seasons. We've done the southeast coast 4 times south and 3 times north on Cinderella, and 3 times each way on El Galeon. Time for something different. I doubt that we're done with cruising, and definitely not done with living on the boat. The Chesapeake is calling; I want to try a place where we can sail more locally, just few hours sail and you can anchor in a different small town or deserted cove every day.  To get there faster, maybe we'll fly or drive to fun places for vacations. So, when things are stable again, probably next year, we're northbound again.

(image from here)

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