In the planning for our upcoming trip we’ve gone back and forth about plans to stay in the Caribbean and the States or to sail all the way around the world. The very first initial plan for us was to sail around the world anyway, but I was terrified of sailing across an ocean and begged Matt to let us stay near land. In my defense, this idea originally came up less than a year after I had stepped foot on a boat. I was far too unskilled and unknowledgeable in sailing to want to take a journey like that. I liked knowing that should something go wrong I wouldn’t be more than a few hundred miles from land. There were also a few other factors of wanting to stay stateside. Once was time. I figured this would just be a sabbatical where we’d be picking up our lives and careers right away and didn’t want to be away for too long. Matt had a tentative work opportunity waiting for him if he could be back in 2013. I don’t have anything waiting for me when I get back but I also didn’t want to start all over in my mid 30’s. Plus I always had this strict timeline in my head of when I wanted to start a family, and even being gone 2-3 years was pushing that back. Change that to a 4-5 year journey and in my mind I was f*%#ed. Then lastly and more importantly is Mazzii. By staying in the states and Bahamas we could bring her with us. Anything past that and we would half to jump through a million hoops and pay out of our ass for the honor of her company. And the thought of having a dog that large on an ocean crossing and constantly having to stay close to the boat for her….not going to work when we’re trying to see the world.
Then about a year ago Matt introduced me to sailing blogs. Slapdash and Bumfuzzle….I was addicted. Up until that point I had no real idea what cruising would be like because I hadn’t heard stories of anyone that had actually done it. It opened my eyes to the possibilities in front of me. Reading these stories was so exciting and inspiring. After all, what they were doing wasn’t all too different than what we were planning. Except they were crossing oceans and visiting multiple continents while we’d be ‘crossing the Gulf Stream and visiting multiple states’. I was getting a little jealous. I’d try joking to Matt that ‘Hey, maybe we should just go all the way around’. Although over the past summer I don’t think he was too impressed with my knowledge to learn and wasn’t sure if I could be trusted for night watches or if something were to happen to him and I’d be left to handle the boat myself. I had to agree, I didn’t try as hard as I should have. And then there’s Mazzii. Neither of us could bear the thought of leaving her behind. We love her almost as much as we love each other and (mushy part here), didn’t think we could get through the days without her. Even tropical weather and crystal blue seas can compare to her deep brown eyes and the kisses we get from her each morning.
So then the talks turned to ‘I’d love to sail around the world….but I couldn’t leave Mazzii’. And ‘Visiting other countries would be great….but I’d feel terrible about leaving Mazzii behind’. Having these conversations more and more, one thing dawned on us. Would Mazzii even want to spend two years on a boat? Sure her ears would perk up every time she heard the word boat and dinghy rides are a past time I’m sure she’ll never get sick of. But when the dinner bell rang on Sunday nights and it was time to go home she was more than ready to hop in the car on the way back to her own bed. Plus the fact is this dog was built for speed and we didn’t know how she would handle being away from land for a day or two at a time. Soon conversations turned to ‘Let’s start with her and see how she does. If we hit New York…North Carolina …Florida …and she doesn’t like it we can rent a car, take her home and carry on without her’. Home being Matt’s mom’s house who graciously decided to take in our saildog should we decide she isn’t up for the trip.
In the end we decided we’re going to take the leap without her from the beginning. Who knows, we could hit Detroit and realize that we can’t live without her and change our plans all over again. But the tentative idea is that we’ll leave just the two of us and make our way down to the Bahamas, and if we’re loving life at sea we’ll turn West and just keep going. If not we’ll stick to the original plan. Or who knows, maybe after six months of living on a boat we’ll decide it’s not for us and either come back home or travel somewhere new. The best part is that we don’t have to decide right now because there’s nothing holding us back. Once you sell your house and quit your job….life is just kind of open. All I know is that there are too many wonderful things in the world for me to see rather than just staying put. But where it stands now we’re going to pull up anchor and head into the unknown and not experienced. We’ll just have to see what’s wiating for us. After all, it’s a big sky.