April marked the 10th anniversary of Steve and I taking the plunge. I am not talking about marriage, I am talking about signing on the dotted line, offically becoming boat owners.
Our mad plan was hatched on a dock in Martinique in February 2008. By June we’d quit our jobs, found our boat, drove across America in a soccer-mom van with all our worldly belongings and moved on board. We thought that we would take an 18-month hiatus from work to sail from California to Australia. We thought we knew what we were doing.
18 months seemed like plenty of time to cover all that ground, after all, look at all we’d accomplished in just a few months. We would quickly discover that our well-laid plans would be derailed by circumstance – Steve was hit by a car and suffered a broken leg before we even left the dock and then in Costa Rica, five months into our trip, we had catastrophic engine problems. These, and a string of less noteworthy events, made us realize that we’d been rushing through our adventure (and life) with blinders on. We finally gave ourselves permission to slow down and drink it all in.
Looking back, it was this decision that completely changed our course. From there on out we learned to turn our ‘problems’ into possibilities. We stopped looking at our time on board as temporary; this wasn’t a break from ‘real life’, it was REAL life.
Over the years we’ve worked hard to make this boat life possible. It has asked a lot of us; years away from family and friends, months away from each other, but taught us so much more; acceptance, understanding, and what is truly important to us.
I never expected to be so comfortable on a boat, but there is nowhere else that I feel so connected to the world around me, and to myself. I certainly never expected to find such sure footing in life on a surface that is so uneven, yet it is here that I found my confidence and my vocation and my true love.
I must admit that this recent milestone kind of crept up on me. I mean, how did a whole decade scoot by?! Even though it’s been ten years it feels like we just stepped on board. Then again, even from the first time we saw her, it has always felt like we were home.