Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mission Control, We Have Begun Countdown.


Time is Relevant

New years is not one of those revered holidays in the Carson-Wallace household. Resolutions, sentimentality and 'marking time' hyperbole sort of went out the collective doors by the time we'd met each other. 

On the other hand, we are an extremely goal-oriented couple. We survived ten years of living in a 4,000 sq. ft craftsman house while remodeling 95% of it by setting dates for big parties, necessitating completion of one or more projects (to the outward eye).

In fact, you could say that the way we mark the passage of time is by scheduling great celebrations and parties...(We are after all, theater people at heart).  
This was not significant because of any particular party, but more or less enhanced by the event that was surely destined to follow.

Our annual "Blue-grass Clam Bake" would draw sixty or more of our friends and neighbors to the backyard. Our friends fondly recall over 30 pounds of clams, corn, yams and kegs of beer along with a great band.... we'll always remember events such as jacking up the foundation; finishing a complete kitchen/bathroom remodel; the closure of a business and preparation to move away to live on a boat.

Our backyard became a festival grounds for an evening each summer.

This tendency to set up an event in order to hasten along a project has translated handily into our boat-life. Two years ago, in order to put the screws to a full remodel of Kwaietek's main deck-house, we officially committed to the Centennial Rendezvous of the BC Forest Service fleet in Victoria. For some reason, we added a new exterior paint job and detailed touch-up of her logo on the stack to the project list. Gluttons for punishment?  Yes  ...opportunistic of reaching an established goal?  You bet.

Jeff's cabinetry work in the salon. V.G. fir bookshelves.


Our Recent Revelation

Our intent from the start was always to cruise.  Once the business closed in 2008, we began to set things in motion. We pulled the youngest out of elementary school in order to free up our commitments on land. Juliet excelled in the home school environment due to her awesome self-motivation skills. (You see, unlike her parents, she apparently has no need of goal-setting to accomplish tasks).
For four years she followed the curriculum from the Calvert School's program. We could take off and cruise whenever we chose to leave. However, once she began talking about college and vet school, we knew the best thing to do was place her back in an accredited public school. We chose Sehome and it has been an awesome experience for her. She's an honor student for two-years running.

It has occurred to us recently that Juliet's graduation from high-school will occur in less than three years, (two years and five months to be precise). Without consciously realizing it, both Jeffery and I simultaneously went into goal-setting mode.

With a concrete date placed in front of us, we immediately found an event to attach to it. We shall begin our off-shore cruising adventures.

Once our goal was established we initiated the project list(s), plural-for there are many.  Sugaree would need more than a few items replaced, refurbished or re-doubled before we toss lines. Additionally, we could start in earnest to ready ourselves for the off-shore lifestyle. As mentioned in several of our previous posts, Jeff and I have witnessed far too many naive sailors who've shoved off with very little or poor experience to cruise the open ocean--out of ignorance or just trusting to luck (often both). Our friend who is a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer has recounted many chilling tales about risking his life to save unprepared cruisers caught in situations they should not have been in. We don't intend to end up like that, hence wanting to build up our experience in uncomfortable conditions.

So, the Countdown Begins.


Sugaree's cabin - some changes to make before cruising

This year we will take inventory of Sugaree's systems in regard to her long-term cruising competency. We'll also start looking for some replacement sails and additional sizes, perhaps we'll take some advanced lessons in sail-making to augment Jeff's working knowledge and my background in patterning and costume/garment construction... Heck, patterning a sail can't be any more difficult than patterning a 17th century man's vest and sur-coat can it?

13.4 knots in 35 knot winds--good times!
Next step: We head out and play in some ocean waves. We're looking forward to circumnavigating Vancouver Island.  It may have to wait until we've got an entire summer, but we can at least begin gunkholing up and down the west coast. Jeff found numerous bays to explore when he worked on the Triton's towing runs last winter. We've both been in all sorts of weather conditions during the past seven years, but most of the time (for me) it was on 160' sailboat and lately (for Jeff) it was on a tug boat. It's time to get some big sea-time on our little 40' ketch

Next, finance the thing... (Okay, okay, that portion is going to require more than just setting a party date). We are making strategic and tactical plans to ensure the feasibility of this entire adventure. But fate has taught us a valuable lesson and that is, "Do not announce your plans to the gods, lest they become bored and seek to prove you wrong."  Therefore I will skip over the details on this part.

Lastly, Plan That Big Party.

When all preparations have been made; when we have obtained the extra time of open-water sailing; our boat is well outfitted and once the child is an alumni with her application to the university accepted, we will launch our big event. Then, once the epic shindig is well over and the hangover finally clears, we will toss those dock lines and begin the next journey....

So keep an eye out for a rather  auspicious looking invitation.

Man, I do so love deadlines!

~ Chris 

No comments:

Post a Comment