Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Goodnight, Sweetheart, Well, It's Time To Go

Christmas is over. It's a new year. And I am sitting at a desk in front of a shiny new desktop computer. There's a dishwasher in the kitchen and a washing machine in the back room. I sleep in a bed with covers. And, unlike in years past, this isn't a temporary situation.

We have moved home.

Back in 2010 when we started, this was meant to be an 18-month adventure - two years, max. But one thing led to another, and we decided to cross the Pacific, and Erik got interesting work, and and and. And two years became six.
Preparing to set out in October 2010.
I couldn't be more grateful for those extra years. We've had an extraordinary time as a family. Even when it was raining so hard I couldn't see the bow. Even when I was trying to bleed the engine. Even when both toilets packed it in at the same time at the onset of a week-long passage. All of those difficulties quickly become funny in hindsight. And the good times? Those are shiny to begin with.
Makeshift repair in New Caledonia
I've greatly enjoyed receiving your emails and getting to know you, dear readers. Some of you plan to sail yourselves; others just love to read about the cruising life. But I'm gratified that you chose to share in our adventure.
Arriving in New Zealand
Rather than bore you with a smug recitation of "What I Learned During My Six Years At Sea," I'd like to leave you with one thought - the one thing I've learned that really matters:

Grab opportunities. 

Keep your eyes peeled and snatch them as they stumble by. Jump on them like a mugger on a drunk in an alleyway. That long-ago day in our living room, with a baby over one shoulder and a four-year-old Cinderella in a cowboy hat tearing past my feet, I could have said no to Erik's crazy boat sabbatical idea. I could easily have turned down the prospect of trading my comfortable, happy life for a world of uncertainty, and no one would have blamed me.
Adjusting the baggywrinke underway
Camping out in the Tuamotus
But something intrigued me. There was a spark there.

Opportunities don't always sound fun. They don't sound simple, and they almost never announce themselves as Something Great. But find them. Make them! Run them to ground like a lion taking an antelope. They won't all work out, but you'll have some amazing adventures along the way.
Whitsunday afternoon
Leaving Cairns
Who can resist a hole in the sand?
Riding in the family car
Marine mammal
Grannie wins the Most Frequent Visitor award
And you wonder why we stayed out so long

Every morning, my smiling girls hop on the school bus. Erik catches the train to work. And I start tapping away at my keyboard. Physically, we're back where we started, but this isn't The End.

The Papillon Crew has started their next adventure. I hope you'll have one, too.
Six years later - November 2016


Andy said...

I have really enjoyed your posts, thanks so much for sharing your families adventure. God Bless and good luck in your future endeavors.


Michael Robertson said...

All the best to you and your family, Amy. We've enjoyed your posts over the years. Michael and the Del Viento crew.

Anonymous said...

This has been hands down my favorite cruising blog since I first saw that picture of the girls taking a bath in a five gallon bucket. Amy, you have a wonderful family, and you are a wonderful writer. My very best wishes for you and yours, and for your future adventures. I hope I get to read about them.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on a successful cruise!

Very sad to see one of the best cruising blogs hit the hay. Will check back in the case you chose to post reasons you have decided to call it a trip...for now. As an aspiring cruiser, the reasons to go and the reasons to remain hold the most intrigue for me.

Thanks for the posts and laughs! Cheers!

Catherine H said...

Another one of my cruising blogs coming to its conclusions. Love reading your entries, and do post any links to future writings that you publish, "tapping away at my keyboard", as I am sure your readers will follow. Enjoy your new adventures.

Norm Martin said...

Followed your story no end. I was a cruising kid in 1960 and 1961. It wasn't hard to try living ashore. Kind of fun. Hope your kids find it the same. Tens years later, I was back at it as a pro. Worked in the big city for a long time and found the sea again. It never really leaves one's heart.

Hope you all have the best time with what's next.

Norm on Averisera

Karen said...

Welcome home! I am sorry the blog is over but having you guys nearby helps make up for that.

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed your blog and writing style! Let us know your next adventures and where we can read about them! Best of success in your new life!

Kimbercat 98 said...

What is to come for Papillon? Are you planning on selling her or will she stay in storage until you can return for vacations?

Chris Bennett said...

We will miss reading your posts - you write so well. It was a blast to meet you guys and I often think with gratefulness of Erik's help with restoring our furler in New Caledonia after we lost our forestay. Take care and the very best of luck to you all in your next adventures!

Chris and Rani S/V Ladybug II