Sailing Islands aboard Rovinkind II

Throwing off the bowlines…we’re officially cruisers!

Throwing-off-the-bowlines

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

– Mark Twain

Experienced cruisers have told us that cutting the dock lines and casting off is one of the hardest parts of cruising. Now we know exactly what they mean.

So much planning (3+ years). So much preparation (from getting Lucy ready to clear customs in a variety of countries, to getting our rental properties rented, to moving out of our own house which we’re renting for the year, to figuring out what we could and couldn’t – and should or shouldn’t – move onto our tiny new home on the water). And, so many projects (sanding and varnishing all the teak, installing a bow thruster, a swim platform, and a new wind generator, cleaning every inch of the boat, getting everything we thought we needed to fit into every possible crevice on board).

In fact, we majorly underestimated the amount of  time it would take to prepare the boat and ourselves for living aboard for a year. Fred finished work on June 30th; I finished on July 25th. We had set mid to late August as our departure date. But each day, something new came up. It seemed like a never-ending process. Not to mention the physical and emotional toll of doing nothing but preparing to leave for a year, including working harder in the months after we finished our day jobs than we ever had working our day jobs, and saying good bye to everyone we love.

It truly felt as though we would never leave; rather than getting closer to our goal each day, it felt more unattainable as the days passed. Family and friends kept asking “when are you leaving?”and friends were commenting “we thought you’d be gone by now.” And what was worse, the weather was getting colder…

We had most of the pieces in place. My mom had even hand-drawn a “logo” for our boat cards —  yes, boat cards are a thing, like business cards for cruisers.  We added our picture on the back after hearing online that a lot of people like photos to remember who the people were that they met. Of course we know we will always be “that couple with the cute dog” anyway.

BoatCard

 

 

We used the lettering my mom did to redo the name on the bow and stern. Thanks to Brian and Derrick for the vinyl lettering– I’m glad you gave me lots of extras for the stern…I didn’t get it on quite straight.  A project for later in the trip.

Bow

Stern

 

And, here’s a gratuitous shot of the cockpit cushions that I sewed all by myself using our new Sailrite sewing machine. Ok…I may have got a little help from Fred.

MyCushions

 

On Friday, September 12, 2014, we finally threw off our bowlines and started our year-long adventure.

We slept on the boat the night before and we were up in the early morning hours. Even Lucy was tired…

Lucytired

 

…but also eager to finally get going. As was Fred.

Fredeagertogo

 

Our waterline was the lowest we’d ever seen it.  Perhaps we packed a little too much?

Waterline

 

Leaving the dock at Dartmouth Yacht Club.

DepartingDYC

 

Under the bridge.

Bridge

 

Passing by the beautiful Halifax waterfront.

Waterfront

 

As we passed under the MacKay and Macdonald bridges, and sailed past the Halifax waterfront, it seemed surreal to think that everyone else was carrying on with their normal, day-to-day activities, making their way to work, going about their lives, and all the while we were beginning the trip of a lifetime.

 

GeorgesIsland

Approaching Georges Island as we sail out of Halifax harbour, the first island of many we’ll be sailing past!

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