Recently while enjoying dinner with friends the subject of this adventure came up. As I shared with my girlfriend the stress that Alec and I have been under she queried the reason for it. I told her that I have been trying very hard to identify the cause myself- and what I have determined was that it wasn’t any of the big stuff. Its not moving overseas, its not preparing our own 64’ boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean. It isn’t even the added stress and responsibility of shouldering the entire burden of educating our 8 year old son – (although yes it does terrify me beyond words.)
It is the 1000’s of small details (which give birth to sub-details on their way to becoming solved) that we are dealing with on a daily basis. These details range in size and importance between the government entry requirements for us, our boat and our kitty’s for the first 6 foreign countries which we plan to visit within the first 6 months of our absence – and which of the 100’s of curriculums offered to the overwhelmed newly initiated home school families. Details which include feeding 6 humans 3 meals a day on a boat which will not touch land for roughly 23 days out of the month we will be crossing and preparing for every level of wellness for those humans who may or may not be up for whatever weather or issue may present itself on said 23 days (myself included). The minutiae of it has certainly reached a peak for us. And don’t get me started on what poor Alec has been dealing with as he inventories spare parts in every little crack and crevice one can find in 64’ and he plans for every minor and major contingency of what my befall us or our little floating island as it makes it way Eastward. And it really is it’s own little city our Gratitude. With our own waste management system, our own propulsion, and our own capacity to “make” electricity and water – simple it is NOT. Keeping it all running and operating at peak efficiency has been a full time job for Alec these past several months as he double and triple checks the redundancy and operation of everything on board. Thank you my darling husband!
But through it all, the thing that I come back to when Im feeling just too overwhelmed is the travel books which have taken up residence on every surface near where I may take a moment to read the grandeur of this volcano or that cliff. These and the maps and charts are the things which buoy my spirits and keep me going on most days. But recently we had the joyous occasion to get the push we needed to get us over the final 5 weeks of preparation H***.
Braun and Tina, the previous owners of our beloved Gratitude (Formerly Ocean Pearl) came to visit us and send us off with a lovely dinner and day together. They shared with us a complex system of embarkation used in Europe known as the Pasarelle which they had purchased and installed but we had no idea how to make work. We had most of the “Big” pieces but couldn’t find the smaller ones 🙂 Braun was able to find them in about 10 seconds after hearing that we had no idea where they were. That man knows his boat! Even after 1 year of imposters living aboard, he could find anything. Braun and Tina have done it all. They are absolutely the “giants” in the world of cruising that I have spoken of in earlier blogs. Sharing several hours with them was such needed medicine to remind us of ALL of the reasons we are doing this. Every cruiser should have a Braun and Tina in their life to buoy their spirits, dust them off and send them back in when the spirit begins to wane. Below is a picture of the 4 of us just getting ready to leave for dinner. Thanks so much to both of you. You are 2 of the loveliest people we have ever known. How blessed we feel to have purchased your well loved Ocean Pearl and having gotten to know both of you.
And so here we are 4 weeks and 4 days until the planned departure date. The lists are getting smaller and one way or another it will all be done by the time we leave the dock. We are both so looking forward to knowing, once we have left, that it will all be what it will be. Hopefully all of the work and preparations will be rewarded with the most boring time anyone ever had crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Have a great month!