Tuesday, September 29, 2015
A maiden voyage, a dream and an escape
This is the maiden voyage of my blog, a recitation of a crossing. The format will be simple and yet sometimes a nomadic wanderlust of ideas, it will always come back to the principle, saying goodbye to that suburban rut of a life and sailing off into the warm mist of the unknown, the sea, the future. Here we will cover topics of the past as I reminisce of old times, “misty watercolor memories”, to steal a phrase from Barbara Streisand, and define who I am, how I got here and hallucinate about where I might end up. Often times I’ll say “I” when I mean “we” because this is a “we”, my wonderful and beautiful wife Karla who is my co-Captain, maybe even Admiral on this journey. But never lose sight of the fact that this is, even when evoking the past, a tale of the journey in the now, not the destination of someday. So let the story begin, or should I say, continue?
For almost 10 years, I’ve dreamed of slowing things down, taking life a little less serious and if that means streamlining then so be it. Sailing is something, like Scuba, that always was in the back of my mind as ambitions I want to accomplish and being the person I am, if I do anything, I’ve really got to do it with fervor. Jumping off the bridge and into the water was a caprice thought in June of 2014 to screw society and the norms and buy a sailboat. It came after a crushing blow when I found out the company I had spent 20 years building decided they were better off without me and went up for sale. I was told quite coldly that my services, sale or not, would no longer be required. Some of my closest friends and 20-year companions simply turned their backs and walked away. So my mental state was one of I want to simplify, how simple can I get? The thought occurred to me in Miami, sitting in a friend’s backyard smoking a cigar, and looking at sailboats sitting in the Biscayne Bay. I thought, there is an escape, a place to slow life down and fulfill a dream. My wife Karla thought I was nuts, I thought it was pure genius! Insanity works that way. It took her almost 6 months to come around, as it did with her now favorite pastime Scuba, to my way of thinking, but she did and she tolerant the idea of living aboard and taking on a cruiser lifestyle.
So, I am going through my Midlife Adventure aka crisis! I really feel good about it, but there is this damned voice in the back of my head saying, "Don't be irrational, find a good job and keep building that retirement". You see, in many ways, I screwed up. I have a marginally decent nest egg that seems to shrink daily thanks to the economy, but it is due to the sale of my old company that I have anything, had it been my own doing, I'd be screwed. All my money was in real estate and when the market crashed in 2008, I was toasted. I have my Roatan home, but it is almost impossible to sell, besides, that is a nice escape and a great sail destination.
There are many phases in this insane plot and I liken it to cutting your way through a bramble bush with a plastic comb. Have you ever bought a sailboat? That’s another post. First we need to shed the weight of the world and that means clean house. Our home will be converted to a rental until the market value recovers enough that I can sell and make enough to pay it off. Things I own will go into storage or be sold, most will be sold. I’ll keep things like my guitars, Amps, Maybe the pool table and we have some really cool wood stuff like a single slab 4’x9’ acacia (Non-Hawaiian Koa) table from Tahiti that was given to some guy as a wedding gift for marrying the Chiefs daughter. It will be interesting seeing what I can actually sell or throw out, we do become attached to stuff in such odd ways. And as the Buddha said, “life is suffering” and that suffering comes from our attachments we create, the weight we place upon our own shoulders like Atlas carrying the world.
Living on a sailboat and working will be interesting but I can’t imagine a better office than the bridge of a boat. I’ll contract IT and programming services, hopefully to the company I am contracting with now. As long as I have the internet, I can do what I do.
One crazy thought I’ve had for many years ever since my creative writing class at Salt Lake Community College is to write a book. I have many friends that have done so and I can pick their brains. One old school friend or associate is a freelance writer for People, Readers Digest and several newspapers. I remember her being on the School paper back in high school and I hope she will let me pick her brain. Another friend I met online, Frederick, has also written a book so that’s another resource. Several friends I have, started out similar simple lives by blogging and I thought I could blog my journey of becoming a Salty Sea Dog and use the blog posts as the basis and outline for the book. Oh look, here we are! Chapter one.
One thing I’ve never been is boring and as afraid as I am, the same levels of excitement are there. Although, and I’ve sad it many times, it is all about the journey but the ultimate climax to the adventure could be the “Coconut Milk Run” or the “Pacific Puddle Jump”. This would entail sailing from Florida, through the Caribbean to the Panama Canal, then on to Galapagos Islands, Marquesas, Tahiti, Cook Islands, maybe Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu and on to New Zealand or even Australia. That is if I don't stop someplace along the way and drop a permanent anchor in Some Particular Harbor, Thanks, Jimmy Buffett.
So what do I want to accomplish? Good question, Glad I asked. It is my hope that someone, maybe you, reads this journal and either finds a map for their own lives or maybe they/you see something never thought possible. What is possible? Living your dreams!!
May the winds always fill your sails and the sun and moon light your passage.
Let the journey begin.