One thing is certain about cruising: Change …
“A Cruiser’s Plans are written on sand. At low tide.”
I always found this to be an intriguing saying … the allure of a life with few strings attached, coupled with the romantic background of a sandy beach. And when we started our cruise more than a year ago, it didn’t take long to realize there was truth behind the saying.
During the first month or so, we kind of stuck to our original plan, which was to sail down the coasts of Washington and Oregon as quickly as we felt comfortable to. And that was driven by a strong purpose: the season of benign weather in that area had come to an end, and soon savage storms would cross the north pacific ocean and smash on the coast.
But as soon as we felt we had reached safer latitudes, our rhythm started to taper off, our stays got longer at each stop, and we “fell behind the schedule” we had originally set ourselves. Our plans were changing. In the beginning I found this amusing, for it made me feel “like a cruiser”. However, eventually it bothered me with a bit of frustration, I confess. As I wrote on a different post, I realize now most of this frustration wasn’t rooted on our newly found cruising rhythm, but rather on the expectations I had set for it.
The fact is that our current pace has suited all of us well. We made and enjoy great friendships, have the opportunity to soak in the vibes of each of the places we stay, homeschooling and Adriana’s work get a good balance with our cruising, and at each long stop Pesto receives a number of small improvements which make her ultimately better and safer – not to mention how much I learn in the process. It suits so well indeed that none of us feels stressed or tired by this lifestyle, and when the time came to review our schedule and sign up for more time living aboard, we all did that willingly.
Anyway, as much as our plans have changed, it has always been on the dimension of pace, and we have been cruising pretty much our originally planned route.
And that ALSO is about to change.
Since casting our dock lines off in Seattle in August last year, our intended route has always been to “sail down, then left”, meaning that we would cruise south down the US West Coast (done), then the Pacific coasts of Mexico (in progress) and Costa Rica (hmmm … read on), until reaching the Panama Canal, crossing it to the Atlantic Ocean. That would open up the opportunity to cruise the Caribbean and be closer to our “base” which is Miami, US. We were always aware of the “right turn” option, entailing the South Pacific archipelagos, but forfeited it resolutely, happy with our intent to sail to the Atlantic.
But then, something wonderful happened and one day Adriana and I woke up and felt different. We avoided talking about it for a few days, but we knew we had both had the same epiphany, one that would lead to a decision with a great impact to our plans. Not a change this time, but an evolution, a new concept, the idea of cruising places totally new to all of us, a prime cruising ground, the Pacific Isles.
I will soon write about how this idea took place, and why. But for the time being, suffice it to say that our new plan is to “turn right, instead of left”. That means a paradigm shift for us, for the new route entails weather windows to be met, thus putting us on a schedule for a change. We have also much to prepare in order to be ready, and the upcoming months shall be dedicated to that.
Well, mind you, we are cruisers and, as such, our plans are still written on sand. We may get bored by the preparations, we may miss a schedule, we may feel overwhelmed by the tasks involved, and I may be one day writing a post here about how our plans have changed again. But I wish I don’t.
The “turn right” is where our heart is right now, and that’s were we will place our energy over the upcoming months.