The title of this blog is a bit deceptive because really there were two men who were integral in making this trip possible. The first was my Dad. Without his support (and my Mom’s) we wouldn’t have a) had a boat to sail away on b) known what we were doing and c) felt comfortable and confident making mistakes and learning. He told me over and over again that it didn’t matter what happened to the boat, as long as we were all safe, that was all that mattered. But today I want to focus on the other man that made this trip possible: my husband.
As the sailing portion of this trip winds down, I have to say a big thank you to my amazing husband, Paul. It is not every day that your wife gets a crazy idea to drop out of life for 6 months and live on a boat. Especially since we have little sailing experience and he gets crazy sea sick. But like all my proposed travel ideas, he took it in stride and was 100% on board. Our preparation before we left wasn’t extensive; Paul read a learn to sail book and we spent time last summer sailing dingies on Guelph Lake. We had planned to take a sailing course or something like that, but life was busy and suddenly Christmas was past and we were on our way to the boat. Luckily we had a month to over lap with my parents in the Bahamas, where we learned everything about operating the boat – see Cruising 101.
This idea was mine, but it could never have happened with out his support and commitment. We have gotten into a comfortable way of operating the boat as co-captains. Everything is a team decision – where to anchor, when to leave, what to do. We each spend equal time at the helm and navigating; following the weather and tides and anchoring are all done jointly. We always knew that we worked really well together as a team, but cruising has really demonstrated that. Where Paul bares the brunt of the work is when it comes to maintenance. I have no interest in fixing things and am not mechanical in the least. Living on a boat requires you to be self sufficient; to understand all systems on board and be able to fix anything. Luckily Paul is really, really, really handy, which has been a necessity on this boat, which is 30 years old. Paul is responsible for engine maintenance and maintaining all other systems on the boat. He even has the highly desirable jobs of head (toilet) maintenance and bottom scrubbing. He has had to trouble shoot many maintenance projects in these four months: soldering the navigation lights, jerry rigging the radio antenna, troubleshooting the wind generator, mending the dingy fuel line….you get the idea. On a boat there is always a boat project that needs doing and he takes on these jobs comfortably. Luckily we have had my Dad available by email or phone when he encounters a problem he needs help with.
I want to thank Paul for:
- living in an incredibly small space with three very active and intense children
- for staying calm when we are navigating tight cuts or anchorages (I often drive the boat but when we are in a tight area I get anxious and gladly pass the wheel to Paul)
- for doing an amazing job of maintaining the boat and never complaining
- for staying calm when in difficult situations
- for being open minded and willing to learn
- for being an equal partner and Co-Captain
- AND for saying YES to this incredibly journey