When you live on a small sailboat outside isn’t very far away. With no television, Internet or any of the other wonderful distractions life throws our way the days are long and more often than not fun filled. Throw work out the window and I wonder how many people could happily and successfully occupy the typical 18 hour days the the pacific north west throws our way, for me there never seems to be enough time.
I’m in the precession of wrapping up the first of the three months I will work this year, the other nine are mine. Bike touring the islands, sailing, a new photography project and as many days as I can fill surrounded by good friends, new and old. The year will end with my bike tour of Cuba but now a new adventure has been put on the table, Alaska. Alaska is the one and only place on this planet that has successfully eluded me for a lifetime. On paper it seems an impossibility with so many other adventures on the map but sometimes you just have to take a chance and show up, May is looking like the perfect time to sneak out, jump the Blue Canoe and make my way north.
A the ripe age of 23, a budding young and very successful photographer I was sitting in the park enjoying a peanut butter sandwich. My view was a beautiful Pacific Seacraft Flicka named Toucan. I loved that boat and went to visit it often. At the time I had three full time jobs, didn’t know it at the time but I was setting up for a trip that would change my life forever. A man came over and asked me if I was a traveler pointing to my camera bag. We chatted a bit before he told me about the Alaska Marine Hwy system. At that point in my life Alaska had never been on my radar, but I wrote all the information in my spare little reporters journal, that pad would soon form into a travel journal as I crossed wonderful destinations off my list and added more and more destinations to my memory banks.
I had been successfully saving my pennies for a Flicka but the closer and closer I came to realizing my dream the more I learned about boats and boating, the more ownership seemed like a prison, the boat a financial ball and chain that would keep me from living the life of an explorer that I wanted to. I had already cruised extensively and while I loved it I also. Found myself wanting more than always being attached to a boat. I didn’t want to be owned by the boat, wanted to see the world and while I knew I could a afford to purchase the boat even way back then, I also knew that the sea wore me out and that as much as I love traveling with the wind I also like to get away from the constant mainetnece and expense and travel by other means, that was over twenty years and 10 boats ago. After all this time I still have not been able to commit to any one one way of life. My preferred method is to do everything I enjoy for shorter periods, biking, touring, travel, camping, backpacking, road trips and just plain old living aboard. As much as I love to get out and roam, coming home is one of my greatest passions.
The Pacific North West may be the only place in the world where you can live aboard and sail year round in wild and Un-polluted areas. In my humble opionion it’s the best cruising grounds on earth, has all the wild the world has to offer yet is only a short sail from America, good work, reasonably priced boatyards and has real live aboard status in the marinas. I look at my pile of stuff and Realise I’ve finally done ir. My collection of toys is complete, my life is made for escaping. I look at my life, my empty budget and the fact that I’m many miles from home, all calculated risks. I not broke, I’m even. The real adventure is the freedom to choose, the cost is everthing you have and the payoff is priceless.