0043 - A backward glance...

While we work out what our next move will be, we've been afforded the gift of time. With nowhere on the horizon and no new lands ahead of us, presently and for the next few days, we have a moment to think about what we've done so far...

I remember a day when I realized that in the last few years, at that time, I hadn't really learned anything new, everything had just remained the same, just doing the same thing over and over, for years at that point - I mean, it wasn't a groundbreaking moment or anything as I just continued to live as I had for years after...


... Then, I think about the last six months and I can't say the same, every day - school was in session. And like school, some days I didn't pay enough attention and I ended up failing a few tests....but the failures are the best bits. When you fail out here, you learn how to fix things - and that's usually a lesson you don't forget...and I've had a few of those...

Even the crew are even more seasoned, they've developed all kinds of little tricks to keep their grip, they've found all the secure places to sit or sleep, and how to get a drink of water when underway without sliding into the kitchen sink.


It was interesting to watch them learn things, and watching them hesitate to take a step until a wave had passed was a notable, new behavior. What was interesting is that they're down below, unable to see the oncoming wave - but they knew it was there, they had picked up on the pattern, or maybe they heard it somehow...now when I see them hesitate - I know a wave is coming.

Even Phoebe, at the thick end of 16 years old, has adapted very well - she was the one I was most concerned about, the least adaptable, I incorrectly assumed. She's been the least amount of trouble.

Chloe, on the other hand, has gone through phases of clinginess, curiosity, and bravery - but I think that's just due to her young(ish) age and being the most active - but she too, has adapted marvelously.

We only started the site and blog about 5 months ago, but we've been living onboard for a little over a year and a half. There was just so much work in the early days, wiring, plumbing and the boat was just trashed for a long time, as overlapping projects in various stages of completion piled up around the cabins and saloon.

... And it's still nowhere near a condition that one might refer to as 'done'. It will never be 'done', there will always be something needing attention, and that's just how boats are...as anyone with a boat...lol

I remember creating the Facebook page for the cats after people kept on commenting on them, I even got the artwork all sorted but was just too busy to get it started, but I wish I had started it a bit sooner - and in looking back over all the Posts and Blog entries I can't quite explain the feeling, but to have this rolling account of what's happened is an interesting feeling.

We've been so focused on moving forward and just surviving that I had forgotten big chunks of the trip already, and well, it's just nice to have a way to refresh the memories, but it would have been nice to have captured those 'earlier days' as well...


When we left Eyemouth at the 'start' of the blog we didn't really have much of a plan or much of a clue as to what all would be involved, and on any given week, I couldn't have told you where we would be the next week, or how I was even going to make it to that week.

Leaving a marina, on a Monday, knowing full well you don't have any more cash for another until the end of the week is an interesting situation to put yourself in... The real story is this: when you have to make it work, you make it work - you find a way when you need to.

Having gone through these steps, things are not as intimidating as they once were, I don't look at the sky or the water in the same way as I used to, I see more than just water, everything is trying to tell you something if you'll just watch and listen.


What remains so far is an experience that adds up to something you can't get from a book or a magazine - you can read about something, see pictures of it, but until you actually do it, you really don't know it - or at least that's how it was for me anyway.

I imagined that I would have lots of time, I even brought a bunch of books that I either wanted to read or books I wanted to read again, but since this began, I've barely managed a few chapters. For me, it was an awful lot of time alone with my own thoughts...but there wasn't as much free time as I thought there would be when we were sailing, tbh, it's an awful lot of staring at the water...broken up by brief moments of buoy panic or the trimming of a sail - but mostly your spare minutes get swallowed up when your mind drifts off into some kind of personal cross-examination.


I think when we cross an ocean I will have time to read books, but coastal sailing has not been compatible with the consumption of literature and I think we will be crossing a few more seas before we try an Ocean, as Captain - I've got some learning to do yet...

Handling this boat on my own, and she isn't exactly tiny, in all the conditions we experienced, as well as overcoming fears of certain conditions has been rather exhausting - far more so than I thought it would be - I didn't underestimate sailing, I underestimated my capacity to accept the new environment, I guess in other words - I thought I would adapt faster...

Prior to moving aboard, I had less than two-thousand nautical miles under my belt, and despite running a number of charters out in the Med - I would still say that I wasn't very experienced - and it must be said that the conditions experienced in the North or Irish Sea, were uh, unlike the conditions experienced in the Med.

Speaking of 'before I moved aboard', I calculated that if I had stayed where I was for another year or two - and these were discussions that did actually happen with employer and clients alike - but if I had stayed, I would now be in a considerable amount of debt, given due to the pandemic my job would have ended, and all the promotions and events that my clients relied upon for orders would have swiftly stopped and I would have been left with some hefty bills - still to pay - and living on a boat would quickly have had to have been rescheduled for at least another few years...and we would all still be in the office.

I guess I had 'had enough, at just the right time...I just didn't know it at the time...and I think for once, one of my life choices seems to have worked out, or sort of...lol


Learning also that when this idea of living on a yacht was born, I was much younger, just a kid - and only now realizing this dream as an adult I find that I don't have quite as much energy as I thought I would have - I used to have the energy - but, if I'm honest - I wasted it on people and trying to fix things that ultimately didn't matter in the grand scheme of things...but, at the time, it all seemed soo important...I was dreaming about living on a yacht long before Phoebe fit in my hand...

Time is a diminishing commodity and you get to choose how to spend it, I can safely say that my mother was right, waiting doesn't get results - It's a shame she can't see all that's happened, or maybe she can, I don't know - she loved cats and probably would've got a real kick out of this little production...

Even now as I write this - I can't believe we've just sailed around the UK, with no real plan, during a pandemic, with basic funds and provisions (excluding the cats, they only get the best). And of course the occasional donation we have received for some straight-up kind people that are really enjoying what we put online - and we owe credit to them as without their help we might not have been able to continue, and they provided a safety net when we needed one.


Sailing around the UK is not the pinnacle of achievement in terms of sailing, people have sailed around the entire planet in the time it took me to just go around the UK, but it's a start for us.

It's been an interesting journey so far, and the pandemic has put an added twist on our available options, but hopefully, things will get back to, or at least go to a new less restrictive 'normal' - but until then we just have to keep our plans short as things seem to change weekly if not daily...

I can also say, at this point, that although our venture into full-time sailing/liveaboard isn't, in some ways, one hundred percent what I expected, but has been much more in other ways, and maybe it hasn't quite been as freewheeling as I had hoped, I'm still pleased that we are here, and despite having just enough to survive on - I can honestly say that it's been worth it - so far. I don't think it's for everybody, but for us, so far - it seems to be working...

Very soon, some decisions will have to be made regarding our winter plans, we have managed to secure a berth for the winter should we wish to stay as far North as we are, plus we have to get hauled out shortly to get a look at the bottom of this boat, but I think we are headed a bit further North just shortly, to check out a few things we missed the first time around...

But I think it would be awesome to go back to Ireland as soon as possible before we leave UK waters entirely, Ireland deserves a round-two, we only saw, maybe, ten percent of the place and none of the South, but what we did see in Ireland was super-awesome - It's just a shame we can't go there right now...restrictions...rules are rules or something...but I think as soon as we can, we might just make a plan to mosey on back over...


Anyway, our next Ships Blog post should see us in a new place...

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