Does anyone else picture this when you read that? No?
So our original plan: fix up the boat, move everything aboard and condense our storage into one unit, sell the cars, and sail away south until the butter melts. Experience life, have adventures, meet new people, learn new skills. Continue until we run out of money or get bored.
The funny thing about making plans is that life doesn't care what kind of plans you've made. This isn't a new lesson for us by any means, we just weren't expecting to be changing our plans so early into the adventure. But that's the whole point of adventure right? To experience the amazing and unplanned.
So, given that we are now:
We decided we need to reevaluate our plans and maybe pivot. PIV-OT!!!!
We headed back to Stuart, Fl with one of two options: sail our boat back to Catskill, NY or stay in Florida for a month before returning home for the storm season.
Option 1: Sail back to Catskill. Why, you ask? Well, first and foremost we had what sounded like a great job offer there. I won't go into too much detail on that, as I'm sure most of you can read between the lines on why a job offer in the US was a great and not great idea at the same time. Second, our insurance dictates that we either need to haul out for storm season, add a hurricane rider (read as: $$$) or be north of 40 latitude (New York) from June 1st through November 30th. Catskill is firmly outside of the hurricane zone. Perfect. It is also an extremely beautiful area (did your know Dirty Dancing was filmed in the Catskill mountains and those mountains inspired the story of Rip Van Winkle?), which would lend to a very agreeable summer. Finally, Catskill is only a short 5 hr car ride to get home should we need to.
Unfortunately the opportunity we had in Catskill would mean returning before the second weekend in May. Given that we only got back to Windseeker around May 1st, this was a less than desirable addendum. We spent all of November, December and January hauling ass to get to warm weather, and neither Josh nor myself really felt like hauling ass north, in the direction we'd just come from. Not to mention, the danger factor. You do NOT operate on strict schedules when sailing! It leads to poor decisions instead of respect for the elements (see: The Georgetown escapades!) While it would mean spending the summer aboard Windseeker, we'd still be far too far to really help out any family, and would likely be living where we worked (something that comes with it's own set of ups and downs). Finally, we would still have to haul out at some point to do the maintenance we so desperately need any way (leaky rudder post!).
Option 2: Spend a month enjoying ourselves in Florida, haul out for hurricane season and return home. If for no other reason than our own mental health, we decided we needed a bit of a break to enjoy the fruits of our labours and the weather. Family, injury, and money aside, it's been really difficult to sit in the -2 degrees Celsius of mucky winter weather in Canada watching all of our amazing new friends cross to the Bahamas, enjoy and return, all without us. Knowing Windseeker was sitting in beautiful Florida being unused. We wanted to have our little piece of summer, sun and sand which we have been working so hard for. We also had only JUST finished the last of the major boat projects we intended to do while underway and haven't been able to enjoy that either. It would be the equivalent of working really hard to build yourself a beautiful porch only to have a blizzard come and stay for the next three months. Ugh.
We also did some looking around and found that we were not far from what is easily the most recommended haul out marina: Indiantown. Their prices are very competitive, they provide a work yard and good facilities, they are in a known hurricane hole, and we even have some social media friends there already! (Shout out to Matt and Jessica Sailing!). Hauling out for the season there would mean Windseeker would be protected through the worst of the storms, we could do the maintenance we needed (bottom cleaning, fouling paint refresh, new zincs, rudder post repair, etc) and return fresh in the fall ready to take on more of this incredible adventure.
Going with option two, as I said, has given us a much needed mental refresher. We have had a chance to remember WHY we decided to embark on this crazy plan in the first place. We've been able to enjoy the projects we've worked so hard on. We've had a chance to reconnect with old friends and make even more new ones. We've been able to breath!
So there you have it. The NEW new plan. I suspect it may change again a few times, but we're ready to roll with the punches and accept what this adventure has to offer us.
Keep following along Nauti people, we'll be making a dedicated effort to get you all of the filmed footage we have from the last few months over the next couple of months! Pinky swear!