Tuesday, January 27, 2015


In our 43 years together we've experienced many departures. As pilots, we're very experienced with the term, a term that requires a huge amount of work in trip planning, weather planning, traffic avoidance. We've done too many of those kind of departures to even count. Then there's the departures from the multiple places we've called home over the years, also aviation-related since they always involved job changes in the ever-so-fluctuating aviation job market. Then there's the infamous departures related to our move onto the boat - leaving Boulder Marina, leaving Carlyle Lake, leaving Oak Harbor and leaving the U.S. But by far, the hardest are the departures from family and friends.

Some can't do it. Some find after a bit of cruising that they just can't tolerate the goodbyes, and they call it quits. It's maybe the most frequent question directed at me, that of how I can say goodbye to grandbabies that will be almost unrecognizable the next time I see them. It's a tough and justifiable question, and one I have a hard time helping people to understand.

For 38 years I gave nearly all of my available time and most of my money to my children and their children. It was a good run and my life is the richer for it by immeasurable amounts. But my children have their own lives, carved from their desires and, hopefully, from the opportunities we made available to them. They need the time to grow their families and shape their adult lives, lives that I am an inherent part of, but not the whole any longer. Cruising is my chance to spend some time making my life richer and more meaningful, crafting stories and memories to share with my grandkids, and finding opportunities to share this deeply satisfying lifestyle with them. It's a chance for me to be both more relevant and intentional in my living, a chance to stand true to my beliefs about society and our integration into it.

While some goodbyes are surely permanent and will leave a hole in our hearts, we view most cruising goodbyes as temporary. We visit family and friends and Skype or Facetime beckons for those in-between fixes. We have sundowners in the cockpit and share meals with good cruising friends and weeks, months, or years later we run into them. With the interconnectedness of the cruising community, there is always this feeling of belonging. If you participate, you are always part of that whole.

This morning our good friends Bill and Tricia of Island Bound departed for places South. Since they were on a mooring ball right behind us, we had the opportunity to spend some quality time with them, to get to know these long time blog followers personally, to share some food and drink over sunsets. Next to them, blog followers Alex and Diann of Yacht-a-Fun are moored who we have yet to meet in person due to family travails. Behind us a few mooring balls are Paul and Deb of Kelly Nicole and over two are Keith and Katrina of Happy Dance. These are the type of friendships that you just don't say, "Goodbye" to. "Seeya later" was the sendoff of choice because, whether we actually ever do or not, these good folks will be such an integral part of our cruising community that we will actually see them in the face of every new cruiser we meet.

Goodbye? No. Fair Winds guys, and Following Seas. See you soon.


S/V Island Bound said...

Tim & Deb, thanks for making us a part of your blog! It is hard for us to say adios to you guys. We just wanted to stay and spend more time together. Such is our lot as cruisers. Thanks again for your help, water jugs, but mostly your friendship. We look forward to our next period of time together. We must keep in touch!

Bill and Tricia

Unknown said...

Nice post and well said. I had an incredibly hard time saying "so long" to family and friends the first time, I could barely breathe. The last time I was home this past month, the goodbyes turned to "see ya soon" and felt good!