Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Going Home

Galactic snugged up at the dock.  Tarp over the cockpit, 
Arctic entry over the back of the dodger, going nowhere.

Sitting still for a season makes sense to us - Eric can get a little older before we go sailing again, Elias can do a year in school, and Alisa and I can take a breather from the constant movement that dominated our life in 2011.

But there's a discontent that comes to a sailor in port.  You want to be going, you want to feel that energy that only comes when you're setting off for somewhere new.  Strangely, though, at the same time that you miss the excitement of long passages, getting moving again seems improbably difficult - it's a far-off state, that existence of constant travel, and when you're sitting all the difficulties in the life afloat suddenly seem so substantial.

So, this season at the dock in Tasmania has given Alisa and me ample time to mull over the future.  One of the things that we've realised is that we need to cook up a new plan.  When we first left Kodiak, we had a very concrete goal - to sail to Australia.  Then, when we bought Galactic last year, we had a new plan - to sail across the Pacific again, get back to Tassie and catch our breath.

Now that we look back on all that, we have heaps of great memories, but it also feels like we've been repeating ourselves a bit, trodding already-known paths.  And, as the five-year anniversary of leaving home in Kodiak approaches (how did that happen?), the question of how long we'll be living afloat is raised - is this a particular phase in our lives, or are we settling in to being permanent vagabonds?

As we've been thinking about our plans for the coming years, we've been thinking explicitly about the answers to big questions like that.  What we've come up with can be summarised generally with three points: First, it's time to start visiting new places.  Our time in Australia has been great, but it's been enough for now.  Second, if we can help it, we won't spend this long sitting still again - while we're travelling, we'd like to keep moving.  And third, it's time to start heading home to Alaska.  It might be five or six years until we get there, but we need to figure out what parts of the world we want to see while we're out sailing, and work them into an itinerary that will take us back.

So, inshallah, when we head off to New Zealand next summer, we'll be starting a new season in our voyaging that will eventually see us closing the circle back at the dock in Kodiak.  


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Z! By the way, Eric lays his toy horses down for a nap, then tells them "Wakey, wakey!" when it's time to get up. Alisa and I agree that it's an example of the lingering influence of Auntie Zoya...

  2. Thanks for that one, Mike - you're so right. Sitting on the dock magnifies problems rather than giving you the satisfaction of being able to ride them out. However, from the look of that snug piece of handiwork keeping out the Hobart chill, and Eric's giant leaps on the personal hygiene front, you guys are anything but idle in port. Cheers on the five year plan - you've got youth on your side (believe me), so meeting the targets should be a breeze.

    1. Yeah, we've got youth on our side - a little too much youth, if you follow me! Good luck with your own bout of marina living - may it end sooner than ours!