DON'T PANIC

Anyone out there a fan of Douglas Adams’ book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? In it the main character--Arthur Dent--ends up with a book sharing the same title whose cover has the words “DON’T PANIC” written on the front in large letters . In the story, he doesn't follow that advice and, instead, he totally panics.

Don't Panic graphic

Why am I mentioning this? Because I am starting to panic and find some comfort in fictional companionship with Arthur. After all, things more or less worked out for him.

But back to my story....lots of deep breathing to calm nerves going on here.

We have finally made it to Washington and are getting serious about finding our sailboat. I am feeling a little anxious about this decision because it feels like a really big decision…this boat isn’t going to be a hobby for us, it’s going to be our home for the foreseeable future. How will we know the right boat? We have a budget and a list of what we want to help narrow down the list but every boat presents trade offs and choices.

Then the “what ifs” start playing in my head. What if we get a lemon and it drains our sailing kitty before we go anywhere? What if we buy a boat here, sail it to warm waters where the necessary on-board heater for this area isn’t a benefit, decide to sell the boat but no one wants to buy it? What if we hate the live-aboard sailing life? And worst of all to me, what if the stress of all this pulls us apart?

Meanwhile, the hard winter of 2017 is continuing here in the Pacific NorthWest and it’s been raining and cold most of the time we’ve been here. This, of course, makes me question if this is really where we want to be living on a sailboat on the water. We are used to long cold snowy winters in Summit County but rain isn’t as much fun as snow, and the damp cold really is different from dry cold. Brrrrrrr!

What are we doing?

On top of that the long trip across the US to get here has made me tired. Constantly being on the move is draining—even with stopping for a couple days here and there. Sitting in one position in a car for hours on end day after day is mind (and butt) numbing, even when the scenery is nice. Not getting enough exercise has left me stiff and sore and heavier bringing up all kinds of self-image and self-confidence issues.

I miss dancing. I miss painting. I miss stretching.

Can you feel my panic rising?

After a sleepless night with pounding heart listening to the rain pour down I shared all my anxieties with Rob. He kindly listened and then admitted that he is feeling a little anxious too. We are out of our comfort zone having never done this before.

Indeed, the last boat we bought was our 23’ San Juan trailer sailer which we bought from a friend. We’ve chartered boats and loved it which has led us here but having a boat as your only home…well sometimes that seems downright crazy. Most people we’ve met that do this have a house on land where they summer and then go sailing in warm waters for the winters.

Are we crazy?

Then an amazing thing happened. The clouds melted away and a bright, warm sun popped up in the sky. In it’s warm light we saw mountains, water, sea lions, and blue sky. Suddenly everything felt better. The crisp air felt like the crisp mountain air of Summit County. The bright sunshine on our faces warmed our hearts. Suddenly, sailing in the Pacific Northwest didn’t seem crazy at all. It felt right.

Astoria Oregon in the sunshine

Wow! What a difference sharing and sunshine can make!

I am still are treading lightly and feeling a little timid about the search but we are moving forward. In fact, we just arrived in Port Townsend, Washington and are compiling a list of boats we want to see. One is here in dry dock and we already checked out its hull. Some of them look really nice and in my mind’s eye I can see us living onboard.

Excitement is building—keep your fingers crossed that our search goes well. I, for one, can use all the good vibes you can send :-)