Thursday, January 27, 2011


It looks like we'll be able to take possession of Taiko by the weekend - the blizzard of paperwork that marks the sale promises to be over by then at the latest.

I'll admit to a few sleepless moments over the past week, as my mind refuses rest from the long list of new considerations that come with the new boat.

There are a few kinds of doubt that come with an enterprise like this.

First, there is the powerful doubt of the boat shopping period, as the potential downsides of candidate boats are plumbed and considered.  I'm well over that now - I'm comfortable with the bet we've made on Taiko, even though I realize that the days will come (hopefully infrequently) when I say to Alisa, "Why did we buy this boat?"

Then there's the doubt that comes with sailing across the Pacific, again, with such young children.  We'll have the huge benefit of experience this time around, and of course if we weren't fundamentally satisfied with our ability to do the trip safely we wouldn't consider it.  But still, there will be a part of me that will be on guard and tense until the crossing is through.

But the really big doubt, I find, comes from the big picture stuff.  How are we going to make this all work financially with the expense of such a big boat to maintain and no secure income?  How does all this galavanting around in our thirties and forties not end with us working retail jobs in our sixties?  Are we going to be able to support our kids properly with this haven't-had-a-job-since-2007 model of existence?

This is the source of one of my favorite axioms: true freedom comes when you have no choice.  Meaning that someone who is completely caught up in whatever passion has grabbed them will have little time to spare for these doubts, and will be free to pursue their chosen adventure single-mindedly.  It's an idea that is economically expressed by the shrugs that a couple of our French friends give when they say things like, "It was my dream, so it is how I have to live."

We're not at all so single-minded about sailing that we can pursue it with no thought to alternatives.  But we love living on a boat and sailing far and wide, and (touch wood) we've been able to pay for it over the last three years, even though we left Kodiak with just some savings and no idea at all of what would happen down the line.  And that's really the biggest consolation for my doubts - the knowledge that you can never know how an adventure will turn out before you go - you just have to jump, and have a bit of faith that things will work out.

Which is enough for me.


Some snapshots from this period of waiting between agreeing to buy the boat and taking possession:

Previous anonymous hotel room.

 Current anonymous hotel room.

And the list of boat jobs begins to grow!


  1. You've never met me, I've never met you... but I check in on your blog periodically because your family's story has absolutely captured me!

    My family circumnavigated from '98-'02... but I was 11 when we left :) Now I am 23 and saving to buy my own boat... and I find it so inspiring to read about how your family has raised two beautiful sons onboard, dealt with all the wonders and challenges that cruising brings, and now have gone through a boat-searching, boat-buying process... with all the heart-wrenching details that entails!

    So from rainy Vancouver, BC, I want to say thank you for sharing your story and this beautiful post with all of us who are not "out there" right now but wish we were!!

  2. post some pictures of your boat when you get a chance, am curious to see where the uninsulated frames are. Hope your list moves down faster at the top than it grows down at the bottom

  3. Hi Leah - Thanks for that... good luck on the path to your own boat. Remember, people on smaller boats may or may not be happier, but they do get to sail more than people on big boats, and spend less time maintaining!

    And, yes, naclydogg (your real name?), we will get photos of the boat up as soon as we're on board. Almost took possession today (the 27th) but there were still a few pieces of paper that hadn't landed where they're needed, so now we're on for the 29th - I can't wait!

  4. Thank you for the reminder (and the sense of company and community) of taking leaps, living, as you wrote "true freedom comes when you have no choice (etc.)".
    I allowed myself to be swept into a chancy lifestyle. It seemed (and seems) to be the "what I must do". Fraught with challenges, doubts, and certainly fear for the future. But full to the brim of knowing it's the right track for me.

    I follow your blog faithfully, love going on your journey with you. I "met" you through sv Hannah, my dear friends. And I wish you nothing but the best!