I have been delaying/avoiding posting that we finished because I’m in denial. If I don’t post, then we haven’t finished and the adventure can continue, all other evidence to the contrary.
If you had asked us when we started how would we feel returning after dropping out of ‘real life’ and boating around for a year I think our answers would be something like either:
Relief that we survived and returned back to where we started
Surprise that we survived and returned back to where we started
If we also conducted a poll of the living beings on the boat, there were probably three of us who thought we had a 50/50 chance of not making it the entire year. Maybe not even the first month. And equally probable was that one of us got ‘lost’ along the way; most likely the captain in a well-deserved mutiny by the crew. Would we enjoy the trip? Jury was out, but we certainly hoped we would! As for the other two? One was just happy to be with us on the boat and would follow us anywhere (because he is a dog). And the final member of the crew was sure we would all perish along the way, but knew he could survive by feeding off our corpses (obviously a cat).
So imagine our surprise as we closed towards our final marina (the same marina we from which we departed) and after a year we not only enjoyed the trip, we LOVED the trip. Moreover, we wanted to stay out.1 And not for another week. For another year or longer! At some point in the past three to four months the constant feeling of impeding doom morphed into a feeling of excitement and adventure at the next thing or the next place that we were going to see. While we didn’t know exactly what would happen daily on our trip, we knew that each day was going to throw SOMETHING our way that would be interesting (good or bad). Returning meant that we were giving this up…and it will take some adjustment.
Mostly by me.
I give you exhibits A and B for the goodness of this trip. Two pictures, one taken just before we left on the trip, as AJ and I tried to figure our what precisely a dingy was. Note the short hair. AJ looks like he about eight, and though it doesn’t come across in the picture, my sphincter is so tight that I’m sucking in the board from the dinghy into my arse. Then we have the picture on the right (Exhibit B). AJ appears to have aged a decade in a year and I have dropped a couple of years. Both with long locks of hair, though his is much thicker than mine. Bastard. And lots of smiles. Not just for being back, but smiles because life is really, really good. Which gets me back to my malaise.
Keeping the depression at bay has been a flurry of activity. In the three weeks since our return we have attended two retirement ceremonies (with accompanying parties/get-togethers), one wedding (with accompanying reception), gotten two tickets for HOV violations in Washington DC (and can I state categorically that we HATE traffic and HATE roads in Washington DC)2, toured over 10 homes, put an offer in on one and had offer accepted, and completed the home inspection (no major issues). We are going back to becoming dirt dwellers once again. Closing is in July which gives us another month of freedom.
Meanwhile we continue to live on our boat and if we didn’t have to put AJ back into school3 we would just stay here. We are plugged into shore power so have our AC humming. The bathrooms (unlimited flushes!!) and showers are basically right next to our boat. As is the laundry room. And the pool. As an added benny, the marina has a small gym that is also a short walk from our boat should we be overcome by the feeling that we need to work out. Not likely, but just in case. Our dock has a couple of live-aboards and everyone is super friendly. We have wifi hotspots arrayed around out boat, so AJ is in heaven. There isn’t a lot around the marina as far as restaurants or other amenities, but the place itself is fantastic.
The other thing we have been doing is working on the boat. It got a good cleaning when we returned, engines were serviced, small project worked and we went out for a sail yesterday morning. Which turned out to be most excellent. All sails were put up at one point or another, we were under sunny skies with an eight knot wind. Good enough to push us along at 4-5 knots. It was about as stress free as we could be.
1Or at least two of us, anyway. AJ is ecstatic about being home. Over the moon. The only way we keep him tethered to earth is by slinging school work at him.
2Hating Washington DC traffic certainly doesn’t make us unique. We wanted to take a ‘short’ trip across the city on Friday afternoon. At 3pm. Which was stupid. 25 miles one way from the retirement ceremony to check into our hotel and then another 25 miles to get to the retirement party (different location). We fired up google and we got the shortest route, which, it turns out was along a toll road that was limited to cars with EZPass from 3pm-6:30pm. Google didn’t tell us that little factoid. And we didn’t have EZPass–we gave that up when we left on our trip. All of which became apparent after we were on the expressway. At 3:30. Ticket one. Then on the way back, traffic was horrible and google was trying hard to find us a faster route and took us AGAIN on the same freeway with the same restrictions. Ticket two. Time to get to hotel? 55 minutes. Time to get to party? 1:40.
3For his continued educational development and our mental stability. Hats off to people who home school full time. We are going to get a transcript from AJ’s 7th grade year that we will provide to his middle school and he will be placed appropriately. Good news is that our new house is close to his old Elementary School, so if we set him back a year or two, he will be able to walk to school!