We’ve arrived at our slip at Shenny and with that, our full-time cruising adventures have come to an end.
Wait – what? Yep. We’ve been doing this for a touch under three years – 33 months to be exact. During that time we’ve been away from the boat for under six weeks. Cruising is great. It’s also not-so-great at times. We’ve learned a ton and seen some amazing places. But we‘ve always said that we’ll keep cruising as long as it’s fun. While it’s not un-fun (yes, I just made up that word), it’s time for a break.
What are we planning to do instead? We are going to spend this summer doing shorter trips, including a trip with Shenny friends to Martha’s Vineyard which will be a first for all of us. We’re really looking forward to it.
What about this winter? Several months ago we decided that instead of pointing Pegu Club’s bow south this winter, we’d put her on the hard at Shenny and be snowbirds on land instead of the water. We didn’t want to spend the winter in Florida, or really anywhere on the East Coast, and this California girl has been feeling the pull to spend more time there for quite awhile. So we’ve booked AirBnB’s in Palm Springs from November to mid-April.
We’ve bought a used car and we’re going to road trip across the USA (something I’ve done 3 times, but not since 1990), camping in National Parks along the way. Neither one of us has seen the Grand Canyon, and I’ve wanted to return to Bryce Canyon in Utah ever since I first saw it in 1990. Jeff will have his lifetime National Parks pass by the time we leave, and we are going to take full advantage of it. We’re very much looking forward to spending six months going on day hikes, eating Mexican food, visiting family and friends, and living on land in a few places vs. moving every week or two.
How about the Bahamas after spending a winter on land? That’s still to be determined. Maybe we’ll land travel out west again, or fly somewhere international. While I won’t say that we definitely won’t go to the Bahamas, it will likely be a few winters before we consider that option.
Is this just a prelude to selling the boat? Definitely not. We still really enjoy boating and we don’t want to stop. Wherever we spend our winters, we intend to move back onto Pegu Club in early May and spend the spring/summer/early fall living on her and sailing. We still want to explore Maine and Nova Scotia, and we’ve never been farther north on the boat than Rhode Island so there is still a lifetime’s worth of places left for us to discover.
If we only had a few years left on this planet, would we want to spend them cruising south every winter? Frankly, no. There are still far too many places where we want to spend months at a time – and not by traveling there on a boat. Traveling to the Bahamas on Pegu Club has been the adventure of a lifetime. Jeff and I will be sitting in rocking chairs one day playing “Remember when?” and boring people with tales about cruising full-time on a 30 foot sailboat for three years.
But cruising full-time is also undoubtedly difficult – more psychologically than physically. We both want to open the door and go for a walk without climbing into a dinghy first. Jeff wants to accumulate a few things and have somewhere to put them – even if it’s just in the trunk of our car. I want to run into people that I know when I’m out and about. We both want to look at the weather forecast solely to check if we need a jacket or an umbrella – not whether there is an upcoming system requiring us to raise the anchor and move somewhere else.
We want to keep sailing in New England, but living on the boat here during the winter is a non-starter, not to mention that I’m never again living year-round in a place with winter. Twenty-nine years was more than enough for me. So six months on Pegu Club (based in Shennecossett) and six months on land somewhere warmer than Connecticut sounds like the perfect balance right now.
Isn’t this summer still considered full-time cruising? Not in our book. If there is one thing that we didn’t understand until we started cruising, it’s that there’s a big difference between boating and cruising. People who haven’t cruised will swear up and down that it’s the same, but it simply isn’t. As long as we have a designated slip or a mooring that we repeatedly return to throughout the summer, we don’t consider ourselves to be cruising – we’re boating. And that’s fine with us. If we decide to head south again some autumn in the future, then we’ll be cruising again – not boating.
And the blog? I started this blog as a diary/scrapbook of sorts for Jeff and me to look at and reminisce on our adventures, and we both enjoy looking at old posts to see how far we’ve come. So I’m going to keep posting, but only when there is something that – to me – is worth putting pen to paper, so to speak. I imagine posts will be in spurts depending on whether we are out adventuring or just being couch potatoes.
So if you’re here for the sailing stories, check back periodically over the summer. Once the cool wind starts to blow, we’ll be going west for awhile, and the land stories will begin.
12 thoughts on “And scene.”
I have been following along for quite some time now and enjoyed your narration a bunch. I have a good friend who has the same Bristol as you at our lake her in IA. You sure have had a great adventure. In a couple of years, we will be doing a similar adventure. Only difference is that our Seaward 32RK will be towed to FL for winter and towed back to IA for summer, aka hurricane season. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences in this blog!
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Thanks for commenting, Mike! I’ve had fun writing the posts. You’ll have quite the adventure yourself when you ship the boat from Iowa – what a great plan! Thanks again. Kimberly
Sincere best wishes and thanks for 33 months of enlightening, intelligently entertaining and usefully informative observations.
All the best to you and Jeff and Godspeed always!
Sent from my iPhone
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Thank you so much, Salvatore. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the posts – it’s been fun writing them. 🙂 Kimberly
Thank you for sharing your adventure. I’ve enjoyed reading your excellent cruising blog and I look forward to hearing about your upcoming travels too.
All the best to you both.
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Thanks, Mike! That’s very kind. 🙂 I’ll definitely still be writing. Take care. Kimberly
Wow! What a transition. I loved your blog! Well written, informative and at times very funny.
I say transition because you are going to what I consider the antithesis of the Bahamas, Palm Desert/ Palm Springs. I initially went to the U of Arizona in Tucson the same latitude as Palm Desert. Sylvia’s best friend and college roommate have a winter home in Palm Desert. Very different than all of the surrounding areas in the West. It feels almost fake because it is this green spot of land with an abundance of golf courses surrounded by a gray, taupe desert. It gets it’s water from a underground aquifer as opposed to the Colorado River. Basically no restrictions on it’s use. You fly in and say “What the….?”.
It is so much different than the National Parks out West. Those are such great places. I envy your itinerary!
I wish you the best in your travels and look forward to reading of your experiences. And of course the best of luck and good fortune!
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Thanks for your kind words about the posts, Norm. You’re right about the Palm Springs area being the antithesis of the Bahamas – except, perhaps for all of the sand. 🙂
I actually grew up about 90 minutes from there in the Imperial Valley (in Brawley, CA) and your description of the area is spot on. It has been about 15 years since I was last in Palm Springs (Jeff and I vacationed there for a week) so it will be interesting to see how it has – and hasn’t – changed.
Thanks again, and if we end up in the St Augustine area we will be sure to let you two know so we can get together! Take care. Kimberly
Well its been a purely enjoyable ride. For me I mean. Since we sold our boat in 2011, and we said we’d be back, well we have yet to make it. We live 80 miles from the the Ocean, 110 to Wrightsville Beach, and nope we didn’t get back out. I have a nice 16 foot jon boat to fish from. So I go and look at the boats, and I fish. I sit in Southport’s harbor, anchor, and eat my lunch. The scenery there puts me right back in it. I see it, and can smell it too. Or is that Fishy, Fishy? Oh well, my point is clear, fight the urge to sell the boat, as it puts you on another path. But enjoy your life and the new directions you are planning. It will be great too. Because you spent those years on Pegu, everything else you do can be seen as “because of her” we do this, or that. We are now retired, 25/50/75/over that…….we are now deep into the third period. You too are coming this way. Do the tough things early, save the easy ones for later, and trust me on that one. BUT, have you a very wonderful and enjoyable “drift” as I call them in life. Story telling is very important work too…….hint hint……..so spin a nice yarn for us, put a little goodie in there, and don’t make us wait too long! It has been a pleasure reading your blog, and wish you both all the best in everything!
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Thanks, Bud! We definitely won’t be selling the boat for a VERY long time and there will certainly be more adventures on the water to come.
I love your advice about doing the tough things early and saving the easy ones for later. Wise words indeed. 🙂
Don’t worry – I won’t go too long between posts. Take care, and have a great summer! Kimberly
I always left your blog for last, as a reward, for dispatching the day’s other emails first. Hopefully I will be able to revisit your posts, especially your installation of your Monitor wind vane, as I am also the proud owner of a Bristol 29.9. And, yes, I still have a “Thumper” in the engine bay, currently nursing a blown head gasket. Thank you for showing us what our Bristol sailboats are capable of doing, with an adventurous, persevering, and competent-cautious crew. Looking forward to hearing of your future Down East cruising adventures.
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Thanks, Scott. You just made my day! It’s always great to hear from a fellow 29.9 owner. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions (good luck with your Thumper), and perhaps we’ll share an anchorage some day. 🙂