One of the important things we’ve come to realize since we started cruising ten months ago is the need to periodically take a vacation from the boat. I can hear the chorus now: A vacation? Isn’t your LIFE a vacation?
Well, yes and no. We were at an SSCA Gam in Essex a few years ago and a presenter mentioned that one of the keys to successfully cruising for a significant length of time is to understand that you aren’t on a permanent vacation. This is real life, albeit a different lifestyle than most. Vacations tend to be lollipops and rainbows. Obviously, real life isn’t always like that. Those who can recognize the difference tend to cruise the longest.
While we certainly love and fully appreciate the fact that we get to travel on our Pegu Club, visiting beautiful anchorages and having new experiences, we also occasionally have sleepless nights and scary times, all while living on a 30’ boat with a main indoor space that is 8 feet by 13 1/2 feet (not including the v-berth which you can’t walk around in, or the head). Studio apartments in Manhattan are more spacious.
In the past ten months we’ve covered 3,700 nautical miles (over 4,200 statute miles for you landlubbers that are reading). Over 1/3 of that distance had occurred in the past five weeks alone as we moved from the Abacos to Groton. We had slept on the boat every night for 4 1/2 months straight. Based on our temperaments as we arrived in Groton (o.k., mostly my temperament – Jeff is very easy going 99.9% of the time), it was clear that it was time to take a break and get away for a bit.
After hauling Pegu Club out of the water at Shenny, we promptly hopped on a train and went to Rochester, then flew out to the west coast, visiting friends and family at each stop. For two weeks we enjoyed the company of people who have known us for decades (and in some cases our whole lives), slept in beds that we could walk around, took unlimited hot water showers every day, ate different food, drove in cars (70 mph feels very fast when you’ve been traveling at five knots for over four months), and hung out in living spaces that were substantially larger than our Pegu Club.
At the end of the first week we could feel our mojo coming back, and by the time we were flying back to Connecticut we were excited and ready to get back to boat living. However, we agreed that in the future we should try to take a break a few times a year, if for no other reason than to avoid burnout.
Upon our return we had 10 days to see doctors and take care of routine boat maintenance. We were fortunate to have mostly good weather, so by the time Pegu Club was splashed she had two new coats of bottom paint, a repainted cove stripe and boot stripe, a new prop shaft zinc, a freshly painted propeller, her hull was washed and waxed, the inside cabinets were washed, and the bottom of the dinghy had a new coat of paint.
The pace of the boat chores made for a very cranky Kimberly and Jeff on occasion (Kimberly more often than Jeff). The fun-to-suck ratio was not good. But we survived, and we were a VERY happy crew when Pegu Club splashed in the water again on July 5th!
Time to go have fun again!