Friday, February 22, 2019

Changing Landscapes

When we left in 2013 we were part of what my good friend Paul (of S/V Kelly Nicole) has taken to calling "The Class of 2013." There were a group of us taking off then from various places: Paul and Deb from New York, and Bruce and Tammy (of Dos Libras) from South Carolina, and us from Annapolis. We met and tag-teamed that first few months, but Paul and Deb and Bruce and Tammy opted to go on to places farther than we intended to go. We split up physically, but always kept in touch. We consider them to be some of our best friends. Two years later, overachievers Bonnie and Craig both known from our aviation years in our home port of St. Louis, MO, decided to skip a few grades and move into the Class of '13. They left from Annapolis as well and quickly hop-scotched past us to join Paul and Deb.

The years passed, the friendships grew stronger (thanks in large part to social media,) but Paul and Deb pushed on to Granada, Bruce and Tammy bounced around the Gulf, Bahamas and Caribbean, we did the north in the summer/south in the Bahamas thing and Bonnie and Craig settled in the area around Puerto Rico. A year in to their cruising, Bonnie and Craig bought an RV. They sailed the boat in the winter, and traveled in the RV in the summer while the boat was on the hard for hurricane season. Flash forward to today: they just listed the boat for sale.

You hear it all the time: the most difficult part of cruising is the goodbyes. You meet cruisers in anchorages, on docks, at the dinghy dock, in cruiser hangouts, or on the radio underway. You form these deeply connected friendships in an unbelievably short time. No need to find out what you have in common, because you're coming from basically the same experiences and share the values of the cruising life. You skip all the small-talk niceties, and delve right into the meat of the relationship. Then a few days later, you're all headed different directions and have to say goodbye.  You know you'll likely see them again, and when you do you'll pick up just where you left off, but the landscape changes.

For the Class of '13, the landscape has changed pretty significantly. Tammy and Bruce bought a condo in Puerto Rico and are transitioning from Dos Libras to land, we've had to return to land (albeit temporarily) to make more money, Bonnie and Craig are moving off the water to their next adventure, and we're all living vicariously through Paul and Deb as they travel the Caribbean. While I have a completely different view out my window than I did out Kintala's port in 2013, it's the change inside me that matters most. The richness that these folks have brought to our lives, the shared experiences, the shared commitment to a life well-lived, are all something that I will always carry with me. Nowhere else in my life have I developed friendships like the ones in the cruising community, not just those in the Class of '13, but entirely too many others to list in a blog post. So no matter how much the landscape might change, the foundation of this magical life with the sea remains.

So if you're looking to join the cruising landscape, I can tell you that this catamaran is a very well-maintained one worth your consideration. Bonnie and Craig, both coming out of the aviation community, are just as anal as we are about maintenance and care, and the PDQ 36 has long been recognized as one of the better sailing catamarans. And if catamarans aren't your thing, keep in mind that Kintala is still for sale, recently reduced in price to $74,900, so Class of 2019 step up to the plate!

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