Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shirl...she sails...she cooks...and now she blogs!

It’s about time…………

Many have asked the question why I have not posted on this blog.  Some have even privately messaged me to write a post. Even though Ted may write the posts for the blog, the posts reflect our thoughts and feelings about the events covered. 

Ted asked me several weeks ago to write a follow-up to his article communicating what my random thoughts were about our adventure. So, here it is.

When I first began to think about this adventure, I never had a doubt that I would adjust. I did not think about the limitations; I thought about the limitless opportunities that lay ahead. I am not foolish, and I have always known that there is nothing to fear in life but fear itself. To gain knowledge about what we were going to do, I started reading and researching.

I thought I would really like to live this dream with Ted and spend time sailing around, while discovering new things and meeting interesting people. I was concerned about what my family would think. I was worried about my job. I also realized that this could be an adventure of a lifetime, and I feel that one has never lived life until they are out of their comfort zone.  What better way to leave your comfort zone behind? Who is better to do this with then your best friend, the one you love, and most importantly the one you trust. After speaking to my children, I learned that they were excited for me and they also realized this is an adventure of a lifetime. I decided to take a leave of absence from work and cruise.

I feel secure with the preparation and research that Ted did while preparing for this adventure. He continues to research and study all aspects of our adventure. He is concerned with our safety and never intentionally takes risks. Needless to say with Sandy’s arrival and currently waiting for this Nor'easter  to move through, the weather has slowed us down a little.  I want to say “Thanks Ted, just another reason I love you”.

Unlike most other forms of transportation, sailing is not about getting somewhere fast, unless you happen to be involved in a yacht race. Although we have seen some races, we have not been in any races. As you see from our travels, sailing is not about taking the most direct route anywhere. It’s about giving one’s self over to the wind to experience a meandering journey. That is how we travel and stay safe; it also heightens my confidence.

I have learned about masts, main sails, genoas, stay sails, and tillers and such. I gained skill and familiarity somewhat faster than I expected to and discovered that I had a new love of my life, (the sails). I am amazed how much power they have. The air interacting with the sails creates various forces. When sails are properly positioned with respect to the wind we move forward. I had to understand and carry out a maneuver called “tacking.” Sailboats cannot sail directly into the wind in straight-line fashion, so you have to tack, or zigzag, into the wind to get where you want to go. It is a lot of work and tacking is how we sail upwind. When it is time to tack, Ted always asks if I am ready. Then as the boat turns and the boom goes to the other side, he loosens the sail and I then haul in the sheets and adjust for the new point of sail. I have learned a lot and I am still fascinated by every aspect of this adventure. I also have learned that Serenity’s keel under the hull allows the boat to practically sail on its side. This gives me some more security (I like that).

Yes, there is a lot to learn and I mean a lot! But, I have also had the luxury of getting the sailboat organized with everything aboard that we may need for our daily living. The organizational aspects of living aboard will be another post I can write – soon I promise. It is amazing on how we think we need so much for everyday living and actually need so little. This has also been good for me and really has let my creative side blossom.

Each day I learn something new to advance my sailing skills and there is a huge variety of things to see. I have sat on the bow surveying the spectacular view of the autumn’s colors splashed among the green hills, blue skies, puffy marshmallow clouds, calm (and not so calm), tranquil waters with enough breeze to carry us out to sea. In the evening, I relax and the gentle rocking together with the soft lapping sounds of the waters kissing the hull put me in a sound sleep, and I do sleep well! I like to lay in bed to relax, read or journal and Ted laughs as I go and remarks "headed to your dorm room?". It is a comfortable spot after a hard day of sailing or maybe I retreat there "just because I can".    

I have read everyone retains happy memories more from their vacations and personal connections, then from  material possessions! When was the last time you journeyed somewhere? I don’t mean a trip where you raced to get from point A to point B in the least amount of time. I mean a journey where the destination itself was not nearly as important as the experience of getting there? We don’t do journeys very well, do we? Many are in way too much of a hurry. Previously I often journeyed in my journal, now my journey is reality.

So we are taking the winding way through life and have slowed down enough to learn some things about ourselves along the way. You may ask, will it be worth it? I think you already know our opinion ... Yes! It will make us richer. The experiences, education and people we meet will be priceless!

Our thoughts are when our skills and abilities have advanced enough, the paradise known as The Bahamas is awaiting us! We hope to see you out there somewhere along the way; if not we look forward to you following our journey. We especially appreciate the comments you leave and thank you for following our blog.

......off to my dorm room I go, Nite!

Shirl's dorm room.


  1. Thank you Lisa. I love and miss you all. Thank you for following.


  2. Great post, Shirl. Ahhhhh...the Bahamas! Sounds so good.

  3. Great post! Love to hear another woman's perspective, especially since we won't be cruising until next year. Glad to hear you're enjoying the journey, and we can't wait to get out there with ya'll. I think I'll also enjoy relaxing in the v-berth ... nice and cozy!


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