Today is a significant date. First and foremost, it is my husband’s birthday. Aaron, the Captain of my boat and my heart, was born in 1964 and is 55 today. He is the most unselfish person I have ever met, giving of his time and talent, and most of all, Love, to his friends and family. He is completely devoted to our three Grands and, with his retirement, he spends more time with them than any of the grandparents, including me! He coaches Little League, builds props for my daughter’s photography business, and shows up just to cuddle our little princess when mommy needs a break. This from a guy who never had children and became a step-father when my kids were teens! We are blessed to have him in our lives and will celebrate with the kids after he coaches a baseball game this afternoon.
After 30 years as a Union Electrician, this is the magic year that he can retire and devote himself to dialing in our Tayana 42 for our circumnavigation. It’s not at all like living in a motor home and just backing out the driveway and heading down the road. At many of our ports of call there will be no marine-supply stores or even grocery stores. We’ll need to be completely self-sufficient for weeks at a time … creating our own water and power supplies, fixing things ourselves as they break or wear, and relying on just our own skills and navigational equipment, with survival gear at the ready. No, we’re not afraid; we will be prepared for just about any circumstance, whether it be sailing through a storm or sipping cocktails in an exotic port. (Yes, we do have a stainless steel shaker for dirty martini celebrations!)
Five years ago today, April 16, 2014, was the date we had originally set for cutting the docklines, heading out the Golden Gate and hanging a left for our world cruise. But family needs come first and my beloved wee Nana lived far longer than we had expected and I, as her main caregiver, would not leave until her life had run it’s course at the highest quality of care possible. She was 95 in 2014 and passed in 2017, a few months shy of turning 99. I am grateful for every single minute that I had with her. May her memory be a blessing.
So the new date became April 16, 2019. In 2018 we knew we’d be both be done working, have no financial obligations other than day-to-day expenses and could spend weekends prepping the boat to go offshore. But once again, family needs kept us in the berth and took our prep time. My daughter’s pregnancy with our most precious granddaughter was the first surprise, followed by our son-in-law’s invitation to the United Stated Coast Guard Officer Candidate School. So now we need to remain in the Bay Area for another year to help my daughter with our Grands while their daddy is across the country for five months, training to earn his commission. After graduation in New London, Connecticut, the Wood family will move to their new duty station and we will be free of California obligations. (Fingers and toes crossed!)
2020 is our new go date. We’ve learned our lesson in tempting fate by putting an actual date on it, which is something safe sailors never do … so we’ll just say that there will be one helluva Bon Voyage party sometime around July of next year and then we’ll quietly slip the docklines from our berth and take our time heading down the California coast.
From there? Mexico, the South Seas, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Med, Portugal (for Aaron’s heritage), Ireland (to party with the Benson clan!), the east coast and back to California via the Panama Canal. Maybe. That’s the loose plan. We have no real timeline and won’t leave any port if there is a possibility of bad weather. Safety and our own joy will always be our priority. We’re thinking it’s a 10-year plan now. But who knows? Maybe we’ll never permanently come back; make our floating home in the US Virgin Islands or another port that calls to us. Or maybe we’ll come back and switch from sail to power and head back out again? The only plan is to go while we are young and agile and can focus solely on our love for each other and the sea, discovering new people and countries at every anchorage, and being joined by friends and family along the way.
Finally, April 16th is also the date I started this blog last year. I created it with the goal of writing about our preparation and then our travels, to share our adventures with family and friends. It has become my muse; my motivation to hone my love of words with story-making and the creation of recipes in my tiny galley. In the past year, I have posted a blog at the very least one time a week and have found so much joy and amazement in the statistics of the readership. I have no idea what qualifies a blog as successful, but here are my one year anniversary stat’s:
- 98 posts
- 5,279 views
- 3,015 visitors
- 1118 view of my home page
- 353 views of my first post about Living Our Dream
- 562 views of the post about my daughter giving birth (everyone seems to really love a near-death story!)
- 4,861 viewers are from the United States
- 125 viewers are from the UK/Ireland/Australia (thanks, family!)
- Other viewer countries include just about every place on the earth … Germany, China, France, India, Denmark Switzerland, Israel, Malaysia, Croatia, Ghana, Latvia … just to name a handful.
Thank you to my sister writers from To Live and Write in Alameda … Bronwyn Emery, Marise Phillips, Robin Heyden … who nurtured, taught and held me accountable to not only meet my goal of creating a blog, but crushed it! Love you, ladies!!!
And thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to follow life aboard SV Sonho as we Live our Dream! Vivo O Sonho … Alameda today, the open ocean in 2020!