Friday, March 7, 2014


The ushering in of spring not only brings about changes in the natural world around us - like snow melting (thank goodness) and leaves popping, but for us it's also time to change from a floating, stationary, plastic wrapped condo to a cruising sailboat! There's a lot to do to get Zephyr ready for her sailing season but this year, there's even more to the story. 

Zephyr and her crew are moving! Not just out the river and around the bend to New Castle like last year but we're moving to Boston! Tim was offered an opportunity of a lifetime to join a fantastic construction management firm in Newton - it was an offer that just could not be turned down. We did A LOT of himming and hawing and chatting and sighing but after all the numbers were crunched and the pros and cons were laid out the decision was quite clear. The biggest challenge to the decision was -- "is this a means to the dream or a potential dead end to the dream?". 

The dream is to take off to the Bahamas and the Caribbean while we're young and able bodied - i.e. in the next 3-4 years - and live the cruising lifestyle for as long as our love of it and the fun persists. Like my mom's bumper sticker once said, "if it's not fun, why do it?" When we bought the boat in September 2012 we'd thought we could cast off in 2 years, Fall 2014 is what we'd always told ourselves. The inimitable Bob Bitchin (right) from Cruisers Outpost (previously Latitudes & Attitudes) the magazine for and by cruising sailors once wrote an editorial about setting the date. He wrote that if you have a dream to set off into the sunset aboard your boat you have to move from the "some day" mentality to the "I will" mentality. It's important to set the date, that date might change, it might stretch out but the key is to plan the date, to move from dreaming to planning. Just dreaming will never help you attain the lifestyle you seek. Listen to Bob talk about this shift in mentality on his podcast - check it out - it's quite inspiring

So, as we grappled with this decision to move to Boston, this move to a 'corporate job' with 'perks' and 'benefits' and the hustle and expense of big city living we questioned whether this was going to lead us to the dream or cloud our vision. Did we really want to push our departure off at least 2 more years, maybe more? Was this the next step to the dream or should we hang up our bowlines and move to land to focus on careers? Could Jill really survive 2 more winters aboard in New England, really? How do we balance the natural, societal inclination to embrace success of career advancement with the atypical desire to leave it all behind to follow dreams? Were we the type to live to work or work to live? 

The whole process has allowed for a great opportunity for self-assessment and moments of true clarity. It's quite easy to fall into the path of making good money, buying more things, needing more money, etc. etc. And we wanted to be sure we were self-aware enough to at least know that could be a pitfall. But what it's ended up doing is given us a great chance to recommit to our dream and more importantly, to actively make that shift from dreaming to planning. 

The thing is for the last year or so we'd been feeling that since we bought the boat not that much had changed. We haven't really felt like were making headway on our goals or plans, we were in the same city, with the same jobs and same friends, but instead of living in our old duplex we were now just living on a boat. We were comfortable and content, which we realize now was leading to complacency. We were not feeling like the trajectory we were on, especially with our current incomes were moving us along the plan to fix up, save up and cast off. So, enter this opportunity for Tim and the need to shake up pretty much everything. That's the thing about shaking things up - it's only then that you can really start to instill change in habits. It's when you're most uncomfortable that that you are really starting anew. 

So, that's what we're doing - shaking it all up, recommitting to the plan (this time with far better financial prospects), pushing the date out to Fall 2016 and putting pen to paper on real goals month-to-month, sacrifices to make, projects to do and overall refilling our tanks with dream gasoline. Please don't think this was all rainbows and butterflies as I've written - it's actually been pretty downright challenging and emotional, but I think that too is a sign of just how committed to our plan we really are. If the decision to accept the job, move our lives, give up our sweet little Seaside city was easy then we'd know where our hearts were at but we understand this is a means to an end. Not to mention, the job, it's FANTASTIC! A phenomenal opportunity for Tim - dude's got his own extension! The positives of this career move for Tim cannot be understated, he's a very, very happy camper. 

Our new home for the next two years will be Boston Harbor. So on/around May 1st we'll cast off lines and head south to Boston. This summer we'll be living at the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina in East Boston. The view of downtown Boston cannot be beat! Plus Andrew (Dupree), Tim's brother and a few other friends live around the corner. Jill's closer to her family on the South Shore. The water taxi stops at the marina and can bring us to the entire waterfront! The T is only 6 minutes away and the marina itself is a wonderful space with good people and lots of areas to soak up the view. Who's interested in watching the 4th of July fireworks over the Boston skyline from the cockpit of Zephyr?! 
Pier leading out into Boston Harbor, slips are off on the left

Zephyr will be on the right hand side of this dock
The view of the Boston skyline! 

So we've got 8 more weeks to enjoy this wonderful little city of Portsmouth that we've called home for the last 7 years. It's going to be very hard to leave this place and the people we've come to love but we don't doubt that they understand this is for us to follow our dreams and we hope they'll still be around to hang with even if we are an hour south! The vacillations of mood that inevitably accompany big changes in life will no doubt continue for us but we'll try and remember...


  1. Congratulations to your husband on his new gig! May the new official countdown enable you to plump your kitty and extend your voyage when you do leave! We are counting down as well! Best to you both, Jessie

  2. So jelly. I want to live on a boat in Boston in the summer!!! Congrats on your big move. Admire you lots for the thinkin' and plannin' and skillz it took for you and Tim to get there.

  3. Can't say I am not overjoyed to have you both closer and it means more visits and more sails around the harbor...sweet!!!
    The dream is deferred not denied!

  4. SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED for you both, the new job, and the move! I think it will be such a unique and exciting experience to live aboard in a city like Boston. You'll have the ramblings of the city streets tempered by the lull of the water at night! I can't wait to hear more details and visit you both VERY SOON! I admire + adore you! Keep on dreaming! xxB