“Do not try and bend the boat, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…there is no boat. Then you will see it is not the boat that bends, it is only yourself.“
We don’t have a boat… yet.
Truth be told, we may never have a boat. We are at the beginning of our journey with many ties still binding us to the landlubber life. Current plans have us buying a boat in 3-5 years, depending on various financial variables. But even then we may not be able to completely cast off for the cruising lifestyle for another 5-10 (15?!) years.
Why the additional delay?… well, this is where our family ties come into play. We have three young kids, and though yes, I know there are other cruising families out there with young kids… It’s a Necessity, Windtraveler, Sailing with Terrapin, and Sailing Totem to name a few of my favorites… they all got started when their kids were young enough that life still revolved around their parents, and all else failing, they were still small enough to be physically placed on the boat, willing or not.
Our timeline and demographics are different. Our kids are currently 3 (Arthur), 5 (Hazel) and 8 (Henry). At the time of our earliest feasible departure in around 5 years, that puts us at 8, 10 and 13. Those are less than ideal ages to pluck three kids out of their respective social lives and plop them onto a boat destined for who knows where… sounds like a good recipe for mutiny. And from that point, our family’s age demography will only get worse, until that magical day around 14 years from now when Arthur heads off to college, or not… whatever he wants to do as long as it leaves Candace and me free to motor our Rascal scooters up the gangplank of whatever vessel we’ve found suitable for a couple of old farts still trying to chase a dream of adventure by sea. But who knows, maybe we’ll be surprised and find that the pull of those teenage social ties is not as strong as we expect… one can hope.
In the meantime, we have no boat of our own, but we make do. We belong to a wonderful local sailing club in Portland called Island Sailing Club. For a modest monthly membership fee we get essentially unlimited access to a varied fleet of day and weekend sailers available on the Columbia River (a few minutes from home) or on the south Puget Sound (a couple of hours from home). And aside from access to boats, they also provide a much needed tie into the sailing community, an integral part of what lures us into this lifestyle in the first place. And when the call of more distant shores comes, there’s always bareboat chartering, each trip a nice opportunity to rehearse our dream and figure out which boat fits us best. So, want to know more about our boat?… stay tuned.
For what it’s worth, we’re currently quite fond of the idea of a Fountaine Pajot Helia 44… thanks a lot Turf to Surf.