Sometimes I feel like a marionette being controlled by the universe and all the little attached strings that propel me from here to there. We all have strings, some may call it baggage but those tiny dock lines of life that keep us secured and safe at the dock are also the chains that bind.
Every path leads somewhere, the age old question is which path to follow. We have put the Bristol Channel cutter at the bottom of our list for now, not because we don’t love it but we are seeking the path of least resistance and its just more than we currently need. I have put Emily in charge of The List, each item added crossed off or removed brings us one step closer to a new path. We try not to look too far ahead of ourselves as life is constantly changing but we know we have at least two years of cruising ahead of us in local waters so the prioritys on that list are geared towards local sailing rather than passage making.
If our current goal was pasage making we could suffer a bit and go but that isn’t what either of us want, not yet anyways. Winter is coming which means cold, wet sailing, slippery decks and lots of moisture below. It also means entertaining friends in our cozy little cabin, hot buttered rum and long romantic winter nights. Little things like new cussions with water resistant fabric will keep the boat drier, warmer and more comfortable. I say drier because when it rains 25 hours a day and you walk your dog 8 times a day the boat is never dry inside. We have been making good progress at completely emptying the boat of all food and non necessary items so we can tackle the job of improving ventilation in our lockers. The whole boat is insulated from the waterline up and a few small improvement should make a huge difference. The drill is coming out and it will be a fun but scary job.
We fell into a beautiful late model Nor’sea 27 but we are both wondering if its the right move. Its turn key and has everything we need for blue water sailing. Buying this boat would be the easy route but is it the proper path? Emily loves our bucket and doesn’t care about a flush toilet or the hot shower. I love the wind vane and new tanbark sails but the inboard diesel seems overkill on a 27′ sailboat. Its always bothered me that a diesel engine is the heart and soul of a boat designed and built to run free with the wind. I’ve gone to great lengths to make Sookie unstoppable and while we are always barely one step above camping her beauty is in her simplicity. The Nor’sea has 12 thru hulls Sookie has three. The Nor’sea is faster off the wind but slower on every other point of sail. Her decks are skinnier than Sookies and she has an offset companionway that has never really seemed safe to me. Her cockpit on the other hand is the most comfortable of any boat I have sailed and can be made into a double hooneymoon bunk for sleeping under the stars.
Our list grows, shrinks and changes daily. It’s fun to think about the infinite possibilities but the more we look the more we appreciate the layout and simplicity of our tiny ship. Tonight we will decide if we move foreword or push the Nor’sea into third place and move the Dana 24 into second. I have always loved the clean simple lines of the Dana 24. At the end of the day we want to own our boat, not the other way around. Last night we were offered a straight trade for an exquiste 36′ schooner built in 2008. She is steel and turn key with everything from a diesel stove to a water maker. At 50′ LOA and 22,000 lbs this is a huge boat and as fun as it is to dream about its simply not our style.
Sitting in the morning sun with a piping hot cup of black coffee the rythmic pulse of sanding my taff rail lets me drift off to where I began. This quiet time is much needed as everything else around here is a whirlwind of activity. Its my time on the water and lessons learned at sea that present all the facts to Emily but its her youthful way that reminds me of the difference between needs and wants. At the end of the day she will choose our destiny… with my approval of course.
“The hardest thing to do is simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex.” -Yvon Chouinard