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Floating somewhere between elation and panic

Joy ride

In a few days, that counter you see on the right-hand side of our site, the one counting down the days until our cast-off from Olympia will be in the double digits. Which means only three months until we are outta here. Oh my.

This sends chills down my spine for two completely separate, distinct reasons. One, I am so freaking excited. I mean, New Years was practically yesterday and that was nearly three months ago. I have a sneaking suspicion that the next three crazy busy months will fly by even faster. Spring officially starts next week and will whiz by until Summer comes sneaking in and then we are off, off and away for two years of bliss and terror. We will at last be off cruising with our children, a dream that truly hatched the last time we were cruising in Mexico when we saw the joy older cruisers were having with their delightfully bright sailing kids. We are so so close and barring any major catastrophes (and it’s got to be a big one) we will be officially cruising in 106 days. Chills.

On the other hand:  that leaves a mere 106 days left to get ready. Oh [insert favorite expletive here]. There’s quite a lot to do and my head swims with all that I must get done in the next months: passports, homeschooling materials, HAM radio license renewal, mailing address change, rigging splicing, another storage unit cleanout and move, first aid kit stocking, clearing out winter clothes and storing summer duds, sunscreen hoarding, car selling, on and on.

Michael has been steadily ticking away on the boat’s List, working on at least one thing daily. Our #1 must-dos are getting checked off one by one and we are truly at the point where we could leave now and get the rest of the items done underway (which is how I suspect a few will be completed anyhow). At this point, we have finally whittled down the big stuff: new lifelines=yes, new refrigerator=later, watermaker=much later. The dinghy we purchased for $400 on clearance at Costco (yes, Costco!) two years ago seems to be hanging in there just fine so it’s the one we are leaving with. We’ll keep the money to replace these items in our cruising kitty for now and replace them when a great deal appears in the future, or as needed.

Most days, I am so entrenched in the regular details of our life (laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, chauffeuring Leah to preschool) that I feel like it’s impossible that I’ll even make a dent in my list and I feel our departure date looming, instead of looking forward to it. But bit by bit it’s getting done. Each week I part with even more stuff that’s been hiding in our storage locker (we are whittling it down to fit in a 5×5 unit), getting things cleared out via ebay and Craigslist. I tuck away books for our endlessly curious students of the sea. I whip the end of a fraying sheet, hoping my fraying nerves will stay in check too. I try not to panic. I know the list will never be all done anyway. It never is, no matter what you’re doing in life.

Besides, I only have 106 more days to worry about “getting ready” anyway. After that, we’ll be cruising. Chills.


  1. Greg says:

    Our countdown reads 17 days, I can totally relate.

  2. Wow, we have a bit more time than you, but boy can we relate to that list. Tucker’s working through his HAM practice tests and I’m sitting with piles of books trying to figure out which sails to bring and how I’m going to get rid of or store the extras. I pulled up mattresses today just to see how much we can fit under the berths. I’m not sure how it’s all going to come together but we’ll leave when the time comes, ready or not.

  3. Yay, we can’t wait to meet you in person. Save some fun jobs for your visit to the Bay.

  4. Wow, we’re excited for you guys! We’re in the same boat (har, har): we put the house on the market in 41 days. That is difficult to even type at this point. In fact, I shouldn’t be reading your blog right now, but getting back to painting, minor repairs, yardwork, etc….yikes.
    Michael, s/v Del Viento

  5. Trevor says:

    We were really surprised at how stressful it was for us to actually leave in 2008 – the last few months can really get to you and no one tells you this is normal. It’s sort of a paradox how the schedule tightens to the extreme as you get closer to that “date”, then as soon as it passes there’s this huge exhale where you are supposed to somehow instantly relaxed and enjoying your freedom.

    The good news for you guys is that you’ve set your date months in advance of heading down the coast so you’ll have time to decompress. We ended up leave late August and had only 1 week of prep in Barkley to head down the coast (not leaving any room for “gotchas” since we had crew lined up – we would have postponed if the weather really sucked but it worked out). Things will be JUST fine… and when you get worked up, remember those extra months cruising in BC are in your back pocket, and this isn’t your first time to this rodeo either… 🙂

  6. Sara says:

    @Greg: 17 days! Ok, I want to say I’m envious, but, not really. 😉

    @Victoria & Tucker: We are SO excited to meet you all! I know we’re going to have a lot of fun working on projects together all the way down the coast….

    @Michael: We are really jealous that your boat is already in Mexico. Good luck on all the house jobs! We sold our house two years ago and boy, was it hard to motivate at the time when all we wanted to do was work on the boat.

    @Trevor: Thank you. 🙂 It’s about time for another pow-wow with our tribes, no?

  7. Nicole says:

    I know just how you feel! But I have no doubt that once you cast off those docklines, everything will just fall into place. Good luck!

  8. Lindsey says:

    we aer about to cast off as well. Our counter is at 5 months. Good luck and I hope we see you out there!

  9. Livia says:

    Congrats – its almost here! We “spoke” on the Southbound group and we’ll look out for you guys on the water in BC.

    Livia & Carol, SV Estrellita 5.10b

  10. Herbster says:

    Numero uno, get those passports, can’t leave home without ’em.