So, we are several months into our new life. People—particularly those whom I know from work life—keep asking how we are doing? Are we bored? Do we miss the challenge and stimulation of work?
I am sorry to disappoint, and to confirm the horrible secret truth that not working is absolutely fantastic! Gone is the nagging background stress of things to be done, issues to be tactfully (or otherwise) tackled, and certainly gone is the Sunday night sinking feeling that, next day, the horror hamster wheel of work awaits…assuming of course that one had actually managed to get off the wheel for the weekend.
And bored? Not at all. Instead of conference calls, we paint window frames. Instead of early mornings at LaGuardia shuttle terminal, we kayak the Great South Bay. Instead of the subway, we exercise like Olympians for hours and then negate it all with carefully planned and slowly cooked dinners on the deck.
The new summer schedule was interrupted in May when we joined our friends on their beautiful sailing yacht in the Pacific to meander around Tahiti, Bora Bora and the other idyllic Society Islands before heading South West for a long, deep blue, ocean sail to the Cook Islands. It was an inspiring and beautiful adventure.
But my need to make lists, check off action items, plan, scheme, exercise CONTROL, still has an outlet: As the previous Blog entry outlines, we had planned to buy a boat on which we could explore the blue bits of globe. The plan dictated we do this in early 2016. However, much like grocery shopping when you are hungry, we could not resist the tasty charms of a lovely yacht we found in Annapolis. She is quite a bit bigger than we had intended, a lot more glamorous than we had ever imagined, and a lot more complex than might be prudent! But as of mid June she has been all ours!
Lists have been created and action items completed in order to get her surveyed, purchased, re-registered, hauled out, upgraded, and beautified. And beautiful she is, with her new name “Genevieve” of West Gilgo Beach, NY artfully emblazoned on her shiny hull.
Genevieve is a Hylas 54 (hull number 50): a cutter-rigged sloop designed by German Frers. Her design pedigree and the excellent care she received from her first owner, ensures that she looks amazing and sails fast. Hylas has a strong reputation for building beautiful, quality yachts capable of safe, comfortable, and speedy ocean passages.
Despite the relatively “hungry” purchase of Genevieve, we ended up with this particular boat after a serious period of research and physical boat hunting, taking us up and down the East Coast of the US and to Europe. Also, in our corner, we had John Neal of Mahina Expeditions as a boat buying consultant. John Neal’s sage and experienced guidance relating to all things “yacht” guided us through ideal blue water features and characteristics, aligned us with a myriad of people and resources, helped us find good boats, and gave us advice on the negotiation and purchase process. John’s counsel has made sure we came to a final, educated decision with eyes wide open.
So, now we have to accelerate our sailing education. We have to wrap our arms and minds around the boat’s marine diesel, generator, electronics, plumbing systems, rigging, etc, and find out how best to look after and sail Genevieve before we head South come November. The updated plan is to sail Genevievefrom her current berth in Annapolis to Fort Lauderdale and winter there while we get used to her and continue our education. Day sails and short overnight trips will ease us into our new cruising life. Next Winter (2016/17) we will then hopefully be ready to start cruising the Caribbean as itinerant explorers and to be joined by hardy guests who can tolerate warm winter climes, clear blue water, and iced sunset cocktails (yes, Genevieve has an ice maker!).