When we purchased our 42 ft 1979 Tayana Vancouver sailboat in 2009 we had hoped to take a sabbatical from our jobs in 2015 to do some cruising. We chose to name our boat Sonho, as it means “Dream” in Portuguese and adopted the motto, “Vivo O Sonho” … Living the Dream.
But Life Happened: lay-offs and, most importantly, my care for my beloved Nana kept us tied to the dock. There was no way I’d leave her; we just didn’t expect her to live as long as she fortunately did. After Nana passed in the fall of 2017 just shy of her 99th birthday, my sister and I made the decision to sell her home that we had inherited. Aaron and I would use our share of the proceeds to finish the work on the boat and invest the rest to take early retirement.
With that in mind, on April 16, 2018 I launched this blog with the goal of sharing our extensive work of preparing for circumnavigation. Yes, that would be sailing around the world! Just us and our little chiweenie, Tiki, Living a Dream that we have had for a decade … family and friends serving as crew on long legs and visiting us in exotic ports. (Click on this link to read the inaugural blog: April 16, 2018: 365 Days & Counting.)
But again, Life Happened. The house sold at the end of 2018, but the funds would be delayed at least six months due to probate. Major essential purchases for the journey would have to wait and we changed our anticipated departure to Fall 2019.March 9, 2019: Living the Dream … One Year Delayed.)
All of those highly anticipated plans came crashing down in the spring of 2019 when Life Happened. Again. First, Aaron developed excruciating pain in his left leg and it was determined that he needed a hip replacement. He went on disability and scheduled surgery for early June. He would need to be near his doctor for at least nine months for follow-up as he healed.
Then our soon-to-be-ex son-in-law chose to end the marriage. He became a stranger, forcing my daughter to give up being a full-time mother and moving his own mother in to their former home to raise their children during his fifty percent of the custody arrangement. And then the shocking news that not only would he be turning down the opportunity to become an officer, but he would also not be re-enlisting in active duty. He’s now a stranger, living a whole new life with a Coast Guard girlfriend and her children. Suffice to say that he isn’t the husband and father and man that we so respected for eight years. (I’m only posting facts here; if you want to know my honest opinion, feel free to reach out to me privately.)
That said, our focus is on Meghan and our Grands. Their divorce will be finalized in the coming months and we are trying very, very hard to not give any energy to the past, and instead look to the future.
Where Does that Leave our Cruising Plans Now?Anchored Images, capturing memories for families with mini portrait sessions and at special occasions. She just accepted a position with Gateway Learning Group as a Behavior Technician Specialist and is excited to soon be working with special needs children and their families. All three of our Grands are growing before our eyes and are happy and healthy. JennaKMillerArt). Harley’s home-based business, PNW Porting, is steadily growing and he’s learning new skills with a side-hustle at a powder-coating company. They are incredibly talented young adults with promising futures.
Aaron is fully healed from his hip replacement and healthier than he’s been in years. He hit his 30-year mark as an IBEW 595 Union Electrician last year, but can’t officially retire and collect his pension without huge penalties for a few more years. He has recently accepted a short-term job with a stellar company supervising a small crew on a wastewater treatment center rebuild. This will help us make the transition into retirement with a bit more money in the cruising kitty. Most importantly, this position should allow him to leave his lifetime profession on a proud note. He’s continuing his guitar study, coaching our #1 Grand’s baseball team, racing on other people’s sailboats every chance he gets, and is working his way through our long boat “to do” list.
After being laid off from the Jewish Federation last June I’ve enjoyed not working, to a point. There’s plenty to do on the boat, and I’ve been grateful for the time to focus on my writing and fitness and being a housewife, but I also love being part of a team. So I’ve taken on a few part-time, contractual jobs that I can do on my own terms and schedule. I’m bartending once a week at the Boathouse Tavern, a local beer and wine joint mainly patronized by regulars whom I adore. (Come see me on Tuesday nights from 5 to 9 pm!) I recently finished extensive training to become a global meeting planning and booking agent for HelmsBriscoe, and just joined the staff of On Lok as editor of the monthly internal company newsletter. (Their mission makes my heart so very happy!) I’m also still writing, cooking, blogging weekly, swimming, kayaking and loving life on our floating piece of paradise.
My big news is with the complete loss of hearing in my left ear and the official designation of “single side deafness,” I now qualify for a bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA). After consulting with an otolaryngologist (also known as an ENT – ear/nose/throat doctor) and my neurosurgeon, I will be having surgery in March to implant a titanium screw behind my left (bad) ear, to which a processor will be attached. This will allow me to “hear” from my left side! I expect my quality of life and safety onboard our boat to be greatly enhanced from this procedure and am over-the-moon excited! But … and here’s that Life Happens thing again … it does mean that I need to be stateside until late fall 2020 for medical monitoring of my body’s acceptance of the device, so staying put for a bit longer again makes sense.
So When do we Leave Alameda?
Our loose plans are to continue the necessary work on Sonho to prepare to cross oceans … we’ll haul out in May for bottom work and pull the rig for a complete tuning, install our watermaker and new electronics, and purge our storage. We’ll take some mini-trips up and down the coast to practice anchoring and break in our new systems. When hurricane season is past in November, we’d like to head down the Cali coast slowly, enjoying ports of call such as Monterey, Morro Bay, Long Beach, Catalina Island and San Diego along the way.
What Courses are on our Radar in 2021?
- Stay in Mexico, where we can easily fly home if needed and friends and family can come for quick visits
- Keep heading south to Central America
- Go through the Panama Canal and head for the Caribbean
- Cross the Pacific to the Marquesas Islands
- Return to the Bay Area
We’re not tempting fate anymore by having a pre-determined course. We’ll figure it out one port at a time.
Life Happens … Don’t we know it!
Living the Dream!
Vivo O Sonho!