There's something about how William has Penny ask him again so that he can feel that exuberance and excitement flush through his body and he can smile that wide smile and respond again YES that gets me every time. That's us these days...asking one another again and again - "You really want to do this?" And every time the answer is more emphatic than the time before - absolutely, positively, for sure!
So first things first - the big news - OUR OFFER ON THE GULFSTAR WAS ACCEPTED!!!! We still can't believe it! In the next 2 weeks we'll have the survey and sea trial and the closing is scheduled for September 5th! We'll be celebrating our 2nd Anniversary on the 18th on board our very own boat!!!!
|Just finished signing this!|
The last blog we'd written we were setting out for a week-long liveaboard sailing class and as we'd expected the class only put longer legs and more stamina on our dream. We ABSOLUTELY loved the cruising lifestyle. We took to it like a fish to water (pun intended). From the early morning swims off the stern in Prudence Island, to the morning delivery of pastries by boat in Block Island, to the soggy night in Newport, to the hours sailing downwind. We loved every single second.
|Anchored out in Dutch Harbor the first night|
|Dutch Harbor, Narragansett Bay|
|His 33rd Birthday at the helm - living the dream!|
|Navigating with binoculars on the bow|
|The "Foulies" are out for our approach into Newport Harbor|
|He's a natural|
|Five Mile Smile|
|Block Island - The Oar Bar, amazing sailing bar - note the dighys behind us|
|The Crew - Capt. Jen, John & Amanda - incredible people!|
|Dinghy-ing back to the anchorage as the sun sets|
|Aldo's Bakery - Delivery by boat!|
|The view from our cockpit - Newport Harbor sunset|
|Coast Guard Eagle arriving in Newport Harbor off our cockpit - the benefit of waterfront property!|
There wasn't a single aspect of life aboard that we didn't love or at least tolerate well. The week was a mix of flash flood warnings, pea soup fog, HOT sun, drizzle, gale force winds and sea breezes. Your life is led by the direction of the wind and we loved that. When else in modern life do you determine the track you take to somewhere based upon the direction of the wind and the time of the tides? That close connection to the natural world is something that I LOVED the most. Being "environmental" it was incredible to live and breath by the elements. We woke to damp sheets and knew there was fog outside. We rocked to sleep by waves and we knew the wind had picked up out of the west. We hung our towels to the lifelines when the sun came out and took them in when the dew set in. Water and energy conservation is a way of life aboard a boat. Everyone is mindful of the amount of water they use and no one ever leaves a light on in a room they've left.
The time spent heeling over on a close reach sail with wind whipping your hair and your sails full is especially thrilling. Sailors call it "the groove". Sure, you're only maxing out at 7 knots but sailing isn't about getting anywhere fast, it's about the journey there. It's about fine tuning your sail trim to maximize your "wing". It's about hearing the waves splash in your wake rather than the hum of an engine. It's about letting nature propel you, not fossil fuels. You work in a team to trim your sails, sheet in your jib. The crew and the helmsman execute a finely orchestrated dance to propel your boat through the water. You steer by the compass and the predetermined navigation course that you'd laid out over breakfast. You make sandwiches in a small galley while you balance yourself as the boat heels. As you approach your port you find your navigational beacons shining through the fog or the rain. Once you've dropped anchor and it's set in the mud you coil up ropes, stow charts, bring up the beer cooler and the cheese and crackers. You jump off the stern for a swim rather than a shower. You grill steaks off the stern mounted grill. You sit in the cockpit with cold beer, sunburned skin and salty hair and watch the sun set, knowing you'll do it all again the next day!
Here's a little taste of sailing on a close reach from below deck and you can see our floating home away from home for the last week:
We came back and stepped on shore, got in our car to head back north to New Hampshire and immediately we felt a bit overwhelmed. The speed of the car, the fast paced nature of life on land, not knowing which direction the wind was coming from - we missed it immediately. We made the (horrendous) mistake of stopping at a mall to cool off on our way north - the VW bus doesn't have AC and she cools by air moving so when we're in Boston traffic on a 90+ day it's a recipe for disaster for her and us! Being in the mall, watching all the people buying all this stuff, the store windows full of so much stuff, the bags of stuff filling people arms. None of it interested us at all - we just wanted to go back to the ocean, back to the small, little boat that had all we ever needed to be extremely happy. It was in that moment, in the crowded food court, that we both knew we were going to call the broker in Maine and offer our top dollar for the Gulfstar. We loved that boat and now we knew we LOVED the life that boat will lead us to.
So today we sit with a signed purchase and sale. We've let our landlords know that we'll be leaving The Dupe. We have begun to discuss what we'll sell, what we'll store and what we'll move aboard. It's all happening...