“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

At the beginning of 2011, my husband shared with me something that had been on his mind for a while and he wanted my thoughts on it.  He said it had to do with a sailboat.  Jokingly (but seriously) I said, “Ok, but I’m not going to live on one”.  I had NO IDEA that was exactly what he had in mind!  After apologizing for jumping to conclusions and shutting him down, we talked about what he was thinking.  This is how it all started.  Gradually discussions about living on a catamaran surfaced.

I had MANY fears.  I was raised in Ohio and I came from a family of LAND lovers.  I don’t remember ever going to the ocean growing up. In fact, we seldom, if ever, went swimming.  Just thinking of being in the middle of the ocean with no land nearby scared me to death! (I have been on several cruises and that was okay.  I think that is a lot different than two people fending for themselves, tho!).  Two of my first fears were of the water and the storms (Hey, I am in a hurricane state!).  Second, was selling all my possessions or at least most of them.  We had already decided that our home was too big for just the two of us, but I didn’t realize the next move would be onto a boat!

My husband is a clever man.  He had done his “homework.”  He had read for months all the books, magazines, and blogs he could get ahold of, being prepared for all my “objections.”  Over the next few months this subject would come up and he would have me look at videos of couples who live on catamarans and travel the world. He gave me articles to read and shared some things he had read. We began to read a book called Changing Course by Debra Ann Cantrell to give me insight on other women who were reluctant to make this move.  Before the first chapter began, there was a quote that left a lasting impression on me…WE CANNOT REACH NEW HORIZONS IF WE FEAR TO LEAVE THE SHORE. It was amazing how I related to so many of the women who have become cruisers.  I began to think if they could do it, SO CAN I!!  (I think! haha)   I took a few swimming lessons at the YMCA which made me a little more confident to be in the water.  Barry and I took sailing lessons and became certified in basic sailing, coastal sailing and bareboat charting. Later, we attended a boat show in Tampa, FL.  These steps have helped me be a little more confident at making the move as I weed through 33 years of “STUFF” (oh my!).  After the boat show we decided we would definitely get a new boat which meant it would have to be a smaller catamaran.  I was afraid of getting a used boat with problems unforeseen.  Well, here we are owners of a “2007” catamaran!!  We saw it for sale here in FL and thought we would just go to Miami and check it out.  The rest is history!! I think it was made for us.  I have to confess I HATE change but each change in my life (with God by my side) has made me the person that I am today.  I hope it has been for the better!  One thing about this man that I married… He dreams BIG and is NOT afraid to believe in them.  This is what spurs me on to be a part of those dreams :)

Welcome to Beatitude!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – attributed to Mark Twain

Cindy and I have charted  a new course for our future: Selling everything (well almost) and sailing away.  This idea was first planted in my impressible mind on a flight back from the Evangelical Philosophical Society annual meeting held in Providence, RI in November, 2008.  Sitting next to me was a gentlemen who had just retired from the Air Force and was on his way to Tampa to meet his family and move aboard a sailboat for retirement.  Although I knew virtually nothing about sailing, I thought,”What a wonderful idea!”  For the next several years the thought of retiring on a sailboat remained somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind as a cool idea, an amazing life, but not something I seriously entertained as being part of any realistic plan for my future.  Although I was born in Atlanta, GA, we took nearly yearly vacations to the Gulf beaches and I loved the sand and water.  For the past 12 years, I’ve been a Floridian and have always been the one in the family who has suggested going to the beach more than others.  Cindy and I love travel and have been blessed to visit Europe and the Caribbean on multiple occasions.  In retrospect, the idea of retiring on a sailboat was quite logical (as illogical as the idea of anyone living on a sailboat may seem to some).

After three years of percolation, the idea bubbled to the surface during a difficult time at work.  Medicine, at times, seems less and less about taking care of the patient and more and more about meeting goals, jumping through hoops, and making sure the patient is “satisfied” and “happy.”  A lawsuit, which was eventually settled, didn’t help my frame of mind.  The political climate of the country and the direction that I saw it going compounded my depression.  (By the way, I’m coping fairly well now.  Of course, the carrot of sailing away into the wide open seas and living in tropical paradises doesn’t hurt one’s mental state.)  One day, over a year ago, I casually mentioned to Cindy that I  would love to cut back on shifts or retire early and buy a boat, move aboard, and sail away.

Let’s just say that she was not as receptive to the idea as I was.  She and I will both post to this site so you will be able to read her initial (and ongoing) feelings in her own words.  God has blessed me with with a remarkable wife.  We met in college in St. Paul, MN in the 70s.  When she married me in 1979, she thought she was committing to a life of ministry as the wife of a pastor.  It turns out, she did commit for 14 years of that.  Then 7 years of full-time college for me.  Then 3 years of residency.  Then a decade plus of being the wife of a physician.  And now… well, now she has, at first reluctantly, and now with slightly more enthusiasm agreed to come along with me on our next adventure.  You can read a little bit more about us on The Crew page.  There is a lot more I will say about our preparations for such a move in future posts.  For now, you can read a little about our future “home” here.

I expect that primarily (at least at first) this blog will be followed by family (and a few friends).  I and my wife will express our joys and frustrations and hope to be a help to someone else who is thinking of doing something crazy like this.  You will gain insight from one member of the crew who is enthusiastically embracing this change and another who is approaching this future life with a little (or a lot) more timidity.  Our posts will be geared to family, friends, and future cruisers. Enjoy!