We haven’t posted for the off season, but some readers may wonder what’s up with Voyager. While visiting with a friend, who reads our journal of retirement aboard the boat, reminded me that the power of the internet reaches beyond our small circle of close friends who know our lives. He said, “Is the dream still alive? I want to know. I think that others might wonder what happened.” This is the stuff of a new blog entry…
The off-season was a bit of a transition. When we left the boat back in late September, it seemed to happen quite suddenly. The leisurely daily pace was interrupted by the boat suddenly out of the water and placed in a busy parking lot. Our living aboard was coming to an abrupt end. While having the bottom painted, the guy yelled up to me as I thoughtlessly ran hot coffee down the drain. He said, “Hey! I am DOWN HERE”. The water was running out on him. It was time to leave the boat yard. It took just a day to load up most of our clothes and some wood projects for the drive back to our home in California.
How good are you at switching gears? I floundered for some days trying to get my bearings. You would think that once your legs stop moving to the roll of the boat everything would be back to normal. It had been such a mental push to learn everything ‘boat’ that once back at home there wasn’t a purpose to my day in, day out living. Beth simply jumped in where she left off – teaching exercise and volunteering where she could. When in doubt, do what she does. I volunteered restoring a 70-year-old stored airplane. This has kept me off the street and occupied over the winter.
Back to the Question: Is the dream still alive? With boats and RVs, there is an initial excitement that fades as the first season comes and goes. This is true for us too. Probably the biggest downside to cruising in the lack of community. We are very fortunate to have a loving family and friends that surround us in life. The boat, on the other hand has a built-in moat that creates nice privacy, but can be somewhat isolating. This sense of connection might be some of the disorienting switch back to our normal life mentioned above. But the weather is changing and our conversations have turned to the upcoming boating season. We have an old-fashioned paper calendar that has scribbles to show where we might like to be over the summer season. We are excited to visit the places we enjoyed so much during the first summer. These include repeat visits to Butchart Gardens, and Princess Louisa Inlet. The anticipation of sharing these places with family and friends adds to the motivation to get going. There are new places like the Broughton Islands and Desolation Sound. Challenges that include Dent rapids, Seymore Narrows and Johnstone Strait are waiting too. It is already April. The planned start for ‘on-the-water’ is the third week of May.
This presents a problem. We left the boat without doing some of the big projects before the winter. These include:
- New inverter/ Charger installation with better instrumentation
- New helm computer to include better mapping and a new depth transducer
- Windlass switches (the same problem identified as CHAINBITER last season)
- New windshield
- Teak deck refinishing
These projects are difficult to do while using the boat, so I have come back to LaConner, to the boat yard to accomplish these tasks before we begin the season later on, in May. I’ll post some of the repair photos on the boat page. As much as I enjoy planning and doing these projects, eleven days solo is long enough. My compass is pointing South – at least for now. Stay tuned because more adventure is just around the bend…
Thanks for reading along.