When we bought Twig, (and even prior to that while sailing Owl), we had parts of us deep down that wanted to cross oceans. I wasn’t sure about oceans, as a plural sense, but at least one ocean would be necessary, I thought. Once starting to travel on Twig, I wasn’t sure if we’d make that a reality, and I’m still not sure that it will happen, but I do know that in my heart, I want to accomplish that feat, in the waves of my great grandmother who crossed an ocean from Lebanon to the United States at the age of 16.
After the last 4 years enjoying Maine’s lush summer coastline, we’re know this summer will either be our 5th summer in Maine or it will be spent crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Bermuda, then going to the Azores and beyond to Portugal and the Mediterranean Sea. We love Maine, but we’re also ready to move on.
We’ve been stationed in the Bahamas for a few months now, knocking down the list of projects that are ever increasing, but we’re happy to have friends nearby and a bit of land life that their property provides to help do all the projects that are made easier by stretching out a bit: like measuring sails and sewing sail packs, and just enjoying a little beach time!
Measure 5438 times, order once.
Getting Twig ready will take up much of the next 3 months as we prepare to sail from Florida to Bermuda no later than sometime in May. We have lots to do and things like offshore communications and other safety devices are at the top of the list. We’ll be ordering a new Jib sail as well as a new life raft. Of course we’ll do some doctor and dentist check ups before we leave and transfer onto a Nomad Traveler Health Insurance plan from SafetyWing. They’re highly recommended for easy health insurance worldwide for both travel (short-term emergency insurance) as well as Remote Health insurance (more comprehensive and coverage in 175 countries) for Nomads like us! It’s inexpensive and they’re quick to respond to all of my silly questions! Oh yeah, and we should probably find a way to get a vaccine before going to a place that might be requiring a “vaccine passport” in the coming months.
Boat work aside, there are a lot of emotions at play and COVID makes things a little more tricky. We’ve lived away from family and friends for over 4 years now, nearly half of Rev’s life. This weighs on us, especially since we’ve been visiting less now that COVID has interrupted our flow back home. Moving across the pond will complicate that a little further, even with vaccines.
I’m afraid of some sorts of change, like any human. I don’t like thinking about mortality or aging. I don’t always find comfort in knowing everything is temporary. There are some forms of change, however, that I long for. Growing up in the flat Midwest, I noticed at an early age that I longed for the simplest changes in elevation: the hills that were so few and far between. I still remember driving to Colorado as a teenager with the sheer anticipation of seeing mountains filling my bones. We arrived to the eastern side of Colorado and I expected copious mountains immediately, not realizing that the entire eastern part of Colorado was painfully flat. For as long as I can remember I’ve ached for these changes in scenery. I couldn’t wait to graduate high school so I could move on, travel, see something else. I had plans to go farther away for college but after some family events, I decided 3 hours away was probably best. It was eye opening in its own quaint, Minnesota prairie style, and it was the start of me pushing to go farther and farther. Settling down, buying a house…these normal comforts never really appealed to me. Don’t get me wrong, I came close to those things many times, but each time something (usually myself) would swoop in and destruct that plan. I spent various years in college and after trying to leave Minnesota, and I did for a few jaunts. Each journey has gotten me both physically and mentally to where we are now. Travel is my constant, my addiction, and I’m always feeling the push to go farther.
This constant is both stressful and calming. It’s always there on a boat, for better or worse. On a boat, that big idea of travel is ever so adorably packed into a constant crew member in your life. You learn change is necessary and a part of each day, whether it’s changing anchorages due to the wind, or changing the day’s plans because the toilet is broken and nothing good will come from ignoring that. You don’t like the neighbors or the neighborhood? You move the next day. It’s both that easy and that fleeting all at once.
We sit with other sailors and compare stories of accomplishments and catastrophe. We train for the unknown. Sometimes I joke that I only learned one thing in high school, and that thing has been more important to me in every facet of life than most other academics Ive studied: we long for the discovery of the unknown, all with full knowledge that we simply cannot know some things about life. But still, we try. Traveling, for me, is the epitome of that trying. Maine has become a comfortable place for us, so the next likely step is to move on. This change is something I don’t fear. All of the travel thus far makes me long for the next thing, and crossing the ocean feels like the right thing to do.
Just out here baking pineapple upside down cakes instead of boat projects!
As we go through this process I’m equally exhausted and excited. I notice in my writing that it’s scattered, as if I’ve now emptied the contents in my head out for you all to see the pointed and concise depth of my thoughts. We’re in project mode and paired with my job, homeschooling, exercising, and researching, I’m spent! I’m longing for the time to write actual writing aside from what’s twirling around in my head but for now, I’ll keep working at the list of things to do to realize this goal.
Also, don’t worry mom!