Reflections on the winter – and looking ahead.

We’re back in Groton and getting ready to splash Pegu Club. Are we excited? Hell, yes! Are we glad we took the winter off? Yes – with some caveats. Did we learn anything from this experiment? Definitely.

Last spring we decided to take a boat break for the 2021/2022 winter cruising season. We were feeling burned out, and we wanted to step away from cruising for a bit so we wouldn’t get to the point where we never wanted to cruise (or even sail) again. Over the summer we thought that perhaps we would spend the next few years traveling on land in the winter and cruising in the summer.

By the time we left in September, however, I was ready to cruise south again. I even brought it up as a possibility to Jeff. But he wasn’t quite there yet, and we did have a fun winter planned, so we decided to stay the course and go to California.

A few months into our stay in San Diego, Jeff was also ready to go cruising again, so we enjoyed the rest of our winter knowing that we would move back onto Pegu Club in the spring and cruise south to the Bahamas again this fall. We spent a lot of time excitedly planning our boat projects for the summer, talking about destinations (both in the near future and the not-so-near future), and figuring out what works and doesn’t work for us when we cruise full-time.

So what did we learn from our winter away?  Boat vacations are VERY important.  It simply can’t be all boat, all the time. That just leads us hurtling full-speed down the road to burn out. We actually figured this out after our first year, but when Covid arrived, traveling away from the boat wasn’t really an option for us – a factor that contributed heavily to our desire for a break.

Now that we’ve entered a new normal (fingers crossed), we’re going to take at least two boat vacations each year, perhaps even three.  It doesn’t have to be for months.  It just needs to be a vacation. Towards that end, we’ve booked flights to Puerto Rico for a week in January, and we’re kicking around a road trip to Montreal and Quebec City next summer (ideally during Montreal’s International Fireworks Competition).

What else did we learn? We aren’t ready to give up living and cruising on Pegu Club yet – not by a long shot. But Jeff prefers occasionally staying in one place for a while at a marina so we can just step off the boat onto land and settle in a bit.  I like to move along a bit more frequently and generally favor anchoring.  So, with the experience that comes from being happily married for 22 years and counting, we’re going to compromise.

To start with, we’re spending this summer at Shenny.  We have several big boat canvas projects for Pegu that will be more easily completed at a slip.  Of course we’ll do some day sails and short getaways this summer, and we are taking two weeks in July to sail to Martha’s Vineyard with our friends from S/V Infinity.  But a big focus will be getting the sewing projects completed (and blogged about).  Jeff is working part-time again at Defender, and I’m going to be one of the launch operators and fuel dock attendants at Shenny.  So all of that will certainly keep us busy.  

Right after Labor Day we’ll start heading south, and we’re planning on several one or two week marina stays at some of our favorite places. We also want to keep it fresh, so we have a few brand new stops in mind in the U.S. and the Bahamas.  

Anything else? We don’t want to necessarily spend the next decade cruising back and forth between Connecticut and the Bahamas. We’d like to spread our wings a bit more, so we’re kicking around some ideas that I’ll share in the future. In the meantime, we’re having fun talking about it.

We feel refreshed, energized, and as enthusiastic as newbie cruisers. By that measurement, our winter away from Pegu Club – while way too long – was absolutely worth it. Now let’s see what comes next!

3 thoughts on “Reflections on the winter – and looking ahead.

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