Sunrise Service

Sunday March 31, 2013

When Brian found out we’d be on Long Island for Easter Sunday, he had been very interested in finding a catholic church service to attend and put a request out on the morning cruiser’s net. While he had been given the names of a few churches along Queen’s Highway, all but one requiring some kind of transportation to get there, he thought that him and Stephanie might be trying to hitch a ride just to attend. What we also heard on the net though, is that Penny and John at Fairhaven like to host a sunrise service themselves on the beach. They had done it last year with about 12 people in attendance, met just before the sun came up, sung some hymns, and then participated in a potluck with mimosas. There was no part of this that was sounding bad to Matt and I either so we agreed to join if Brian and Stephanie were planning on going. Ren and Ashley once again graciously offered to give us a ride there since it was three miles up the road from where our dinghy would be parked at LIB. Finally getting tired of the long dinghy rides into shore, both us and Rode Trip had moved our boats closer to the dinghy dock but still set our alarms at 5:30 that morning in order to meet Nila Girl at the docks by 6:00.

Matt and I climbed in with Ren and Ashley while Rode Trip hopped a ride with Alli and her dad Joe. None of us were exactly sure where to go, just to turn right on the road across from some restaurant. Even though we thought we were leaving a little late, we ended up being the first cars there which led to a little off roading down a beaten trail while we looked for everyone else. Turning around and bottoming out the car a few more times we finally saw more headlights on the horizon and followed the other cars to the correct beach. There was a group of close to 20 people this year and we got busy setting our food up on tables and placing chairs in a circle around it. Sipping on the hot coffee that Stephanie brought us, we introduced ourselves to a few new people before the ‘service’ got started. It was very short and sweet, a prayer to start while we held hands in a circle, and then anyone who wanted to say a few words was more than welcome to. We tried to follow this with a few hymns, but we only got as far as Amazing Grace when we realized the gusting wind from the Atlantic coast was drowning out everyone’s voice and no one was even on the same chord, or the sheets of lyrics were beginning to blow out of people’s hands. It was a great effort though and I don’t think anyone was disappointed in our trying.

After that we broke out the food and the champagne. Using the dyed hard boiled eggs that Ashley made, we had a little ‘egg war’ where two people would smash their eggs together and the person without a crack would move on to the next challenger. In the mix of food were things like homemade bread and jam, quiches, and brownies. It is rarely a bad idea to go to a potluck kind of event when cruisers are around because everyone has at least one dish they do really well and I never mind taking advantage of that. While enjoying all this flavorful food and bubbly mimosas, Matt and I talked to all kinds of different cruising couples, lots who wintered in the Bahamas while working back in the sates in the summer, but all were excited for us that we were out traveling at our age. As strange as it sounds, this is the first time that Matt and I have been ‘the young ones’ in a group of cruisers since we always seem to find people near our age. In this group though, besides Rode Trip and Nila Girl, we were the youngest by at least 20 years and up to 40. This is the ‘cruising group’ we were told from the beginning that we would encounter yet it has taken us 7 months to do so. They were all great people though, and very easy to talk to since we all have this huge thing in common.

With such and early wake up time that morning it wasn’t long before our eyes started drooping and either the lack of sleep or full glass of now champagne only (who would have guessed that more of that was brought than juice?) that was making me want to crawl in the sand for a nap. Luckily we had an easy out because Ren and Ashley needed to get to the blue hole and they were our ride home. I barley got the headband out of my hair when we got back before I was asleep on the settee for a good two hours. Later in the afternoon while the guys were out trying their luck at fishing, Stephanie and I took her kayaks out to a little sandy cay by where we were anchored for a little relaxing and reading in the sun. When we got there another older cruiser couple was out walking their dogs and we went up to say hi. This is a conversation I have a feeling I’ll have to start getting used to very soon:

Couple: “Are you to here on vacation?”

Us: “No, we’re here in boats as well.”

Couple: “Oh, so you’ve rented a boat to spend your vacation on?”

Us: “No, we’re also cruisers. We came here in our own boats.”

Couple: “So there’s four of you traveling on one boat?”

Us: “No. Each of us and our significant others own our own boat. That we each came here on separately. Cause we’re also cruisers.”

Couple: “So you’re from Florida? You just came down to the Bahamas for a few months before you have to go back?”

Us: “No, we came from Michigan and New Hampshire. We’re going to be out cruising for 4-5 years.”

Couple: “But you’re so young!! What do your parents think of this?”


Maybe the conversation sounded more degrading in my head than it actually was, or we really are such a rarity that people are shocked to see anyone under 45 doing what they’re doing. We were already nicknamed ‘The Kids’* during happy hour at Long Island Breeze on Friday and it looks like it’s going to start following us. It just irks me if people were to look at us and say we shouldn’t be out here because of our age (not that this couple was…I think). First let me say, we are in our 30’s. We did not just graduate from high school and jump on a boat. We know what we are doing and we have been planning and preparing for it for a long time. Second of all, when did 30 become so young to the point that we need training wheels to go out and do anything on our own? I’m sure that forty years ago no one looked at a 30 year old cruiser and exclaimed “My goodness, you are too young to be out doing this! We should have left you in our overprotective system another 20 years at least to prepare you!” Our parents? We didn’t have to ask their permission to leave. We told them what we are doing and they’re happy for us and proud of us for taking the initiative to live our dreams before it becomes too late to do so. To me, this seems like the perfect age to take this kind of trip, for however long we decide to do so.

I’m sorry, that’s my rant for the day. This post started out all nice with friends and kindness and mimosas and now I’ve ruined it by rambling about something that really isn’t even that important in the grand scheme of things. I apologize. Let me just get back to my happy, cheery, sun is shining water is sparking frame of mind. Happy Easter everyone.


*For the most part, I like that nickname. The people that gave it to us did it in an endearing way, knowing fully well that we are capable of what we are doing, are excited that there is some young blood in the mix, and wished that there were more of us. It only annoys me when people think that because of our age we are clueless or incompetent. I think for the kind of trip we’re planning I’d much rather do it at 30 than at 60. But we’re going a completely different route that those cruisers that look at us with concern and that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

8 thoughts on “Sunrise Service

  1. Looks like a great way to spend Easter!

    I guess most cruisers are in their 50’s or later, so ya’ll are “young-uns”! Maybe (like us) it takes years to be financially able to go for most, so they’re bewildered when they see cruisers your age … something ya’ll can be proud of!

  2. Jessica both you and Matt look way younger than your age.. they probably think you are high schoolers who have run away from home!

  3. Don’t get too worked up about people’s questions and their surprise…I think most of the time it is genuine shock and awe that young people could have saved up enough money to go around the world on a boat. Additionally, I think they mostly wonder what they’re still doing working when someone nearly half their age is out having a ball.

    The most surprised reactions we’ve gotten have been from non-cruisers, and I love the looks on people’s faces when they ask, “How long are you traveling for?” And we say, “Indefinitely.” It kind of blows people’s minds, and that’s fun.

    Take it as an opportunity to open someone’s eyes to a wonderful lifestyle option that they never probably thought was possible because they never met anyone like you. It’s like you’re a Cruiser Ambassador. Many people out there have not thought about lifelong travel, cruising or backpacking as a viable option because they think it’s out of their reach, too expensive, or they just don’t know where to begin.

    Remember, they just want to know more… that’s why they ask so many questions. Give ’em a break! 🙂

  4. I think it is great you are doing this right now. We planned to go at 50. I had a heart attack at 47. Then another and then another. After the third one my heart is pretty much trashed. No sailing for me. Needless I had to sell the boat. Have fun and I really enjoy reading about your adventures. Gives me something to look forward to during a otherwise routine dull boring day. I just wish I could get my kids to go. No bites they just want to go to work. Go figure.

  5. Ken, thanks a bunch for the support! I’m so sorry to hear that health problems have kept you from your cruising life, that’s exactly why we decided to do it now, because you never know what tomorrow may bring. I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying our adventures. If you need us to give your kids a push to get out traveling, let us know. We can be very persuasive. 😉 Tasha, the only reason I was getting worked up is because every one of these “What are you doing out cruising so young??!!” comments were strictly from other cruisers. Maybe they were just surprised to see some fresh blood out there, but they’re definitely familiar with the lifestyle since they were all doing it themselves.

  6. MLC, yes, it was a perfect way to spend Easter. You are probably right that they’re just surprised that we were able to just take off like we did in a society that has gotten pretty reliant on a timeline of how most people will live their lives. Go to school, get a job, buy a home, start a family, and maybe if you’re lucky, at the end of it all you’ll have the time and resources to be able to do something you enjoy. Maybe they just don’t realize that we’ll be going home flat broke after the trip is done and starting over from scratch. 😉 Hey, I’ll take bewildered looks to be out doing what we’re doing right now. Totally worth the price of admission.

  7. Pingback: Smells Like Middle-Aged Spirit | Matt & Jessica's Sailing Page

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