past blogs…or to catch you up

another boat not to be…or the joke’s on us


“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm!” — Collette

This quote used to be on the wall of the kitchen in the house we sold to begin this crazy adventure. It is more our philosophy of cooking (as we each love to throw interesting things in a pot and see what happens) but it is also very apt for today.

What a difference a couple of hours make!

This morning we posted on Facebook that we had made an offer on a boat and that we were selling everything and moving aboard. Yes, it is April 1st. We were hoping to catch a few folks thinking it was an April Fool’s joke. But it turns out the joke was on us. A couple hours later we received a call that another offer had been accepted on the boat.

My initial, honest response was…relief.

This trip to California was supposed to be exploratory, to see one particular boat, and to see what else is out there. We have learned a lot in this time. Most of all, that one can only learn so much from afar, from other’s experiences. We need to have our own. And we have, we’ve been sailing three times out here, felt the undulating power of a relatively calm day in Monterey Bay. We’ve met a lot of folks the same kind of crazy we are.

But here’s what came to me moments after the call…

We’ve been so focused on looking at boats, that we’ve forgotten to just sit and commune with the place that is to be our home. The ocean.

I grew up in Southern California and have spent a lot of time at the beach. I’ve been rolled under a few waves in my time, gotten my fair share of salt water up my nose. I have a healthy respect for the ocean. But I feel disconnected from her. Living in Colorado for many years can do that 😉

So, tomorrow, before we pack up and head back to Colorado for a spell, we are going to the beach. We will sit on the sand and rest. We will introduce our children to the tingly, briny world that will soon surround them. We will enter the chilly spring waters and know that we will be back to her with fresh eyes soon.

We may be the fools this April day, but we are still full of enthusiasm, and that makes my heart lighter.

We knew not to fall in love…or a sunburn, a hot shower, and some perspective


“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted” is the saying. So true here. We drove to the beautiful dolphin and otter inhabited (and sea lion infested) shores of Moss Landing to see the junk rigged Cape George schooner we hoped would be our future home. But it was not to be.

She was a bit (I use the term lightly) more neglected than her owner had led us to believe. Granted he hadn’t seen her much in the last four years, which should have been our first clue.

She had rot. She had so many little projects and some larger projects, and it all added up to too-much-of-a-project-boat for us…right now. She still has a beautiful Cecil Lange hull — much less aged by neglect than the rest of her, because it was such quality to begin with. But, the rest of her…not so much.

It took a whirlwind, brutal day…a sunburn…and, that evening, a long hot shower to bring it all into perspective for me. On we go, with less rose on our glasses.

We are looking first for neglect. Has the boat been loved, taken care of? Any bit of discovered neglect probably denotes a few things neglected that we can’t see.

But, some serendipity appeared in all of this…we spent time with family. Family we hadn’t seen in quite a while (might I say “neglected”?). Our kids played with our cousins’ kids, we shared wine and stories, saw babies dancing on the table, and thought a lot more about what we wanted from this quest.

If this specific boat isn’t going to determine the beginning of our quest, we have many more options. Working on loving less from a distance and keeping the neglect at bay (no pun intended).

we might have found our boat!…or don’t fall in love yet


So, we might have (breathe!) found our boat…

It’s too early to fall in love. We haven’t even seen her in person yet. But she’s sexy, oh my is she sexy.

She’s a 36′ junk rigged Cape George schooner. She needs some work, like we all do. Hopefully all cosmetic…and that doesn’t scare either of us. We bought our little house in a similar condition and loved it dearly, cracking plaster and all.

She is a simple boat. Not much in the way of electronics. But, if she’s sound (we’ll know after inspecting her in about a month!) she may be the perfect boat for us.

But, it’s so hard not to fall in love.

audacity [aw-das-i-tee]…or you wanna call your boat WHAT?!

  1. the willingness to take bold risks.
    synonyms: boldness, daring, fearlessness, intrepidity, braverycourage,
  2. effrontery or insolence; shameless boldness.

    synonyms: impudenceimpertinenceinsolencepresumptioncheekbad mannerseffronterynervegalldefiancetemerity

This dichotomy is fascinating to me! How can one word have such disparate definitions? How can you describe someone’s actions as either “courageous” or “bad mannered”? Describe someone as having either “pluck” or “gall”?
We have, as a species, often admired the audacity of those who have chosen to go against common-held beliefs, blaze new trails, or even do things that we are too afraid to do. We revel in their exploits, believe in their daring. It is the only way we have ever grown as a people. By pushing boundaries, by taking risks.
Our little family is attempting to do something audacious. Hopefully in the daring and courageous sense, not the cheeky. We are planning to live simply aboard a sailboat, with our two young children. We hope to have very few electronics aboard, no refrigeration, eventually no motor (when we are good enough sailors — although Gene would say that is the only way to be sure you become good enough), to forage and buy and help produce local food, navigate by sextant and chart, and to experience the world on a human scale.
We are by no means the first to do this. There is, at this very moment, a wonderfully vivid floating tribe of boat families out there. Some boatschool their children, some sail into downtown Seattle for meetings each week. Some live just steps from Wall Street on their boat, others are currently in the middle of the North Atlantic. We all are doing this for our own reasons and with our own unique loves.
Our love is making and doing with our own hands and minds. Learning to create, rather than buy. In America now that is often a gritty idea. We are trained to want, to think we need, to buy. Every advertisement is geared toward making one feel a void that only this product can fill. To feel unwhole, unworthy, uncool.
We want to not want. To be satisfied. Fulfilled.
It may be plucky and daring. It is definitely impudent and defiant of consumerism.  And we’re ok with that. So maybe there isn’t such a dichotomy after all. More like a balance. You can’t have boldness without a little cheek, and fearlessness without defiance (if only the defiance of fear, knowing something else to be greater than your fear). Can’t really have one side without the other.

One thought on “past blogs…or to catch you up

  1. Dear ‘Audaciouses’, or should I say con Brios’ Both great names to rival our ‘Impetuous’; the name that came with our Alajuela; ‘Impulsive, reckless, Imprudent…’

    Great to see some new Alajuela owners on our kind of wavelength. We’d been watching Brio on the market with interest and passing the details on to anyone we could think of… But the reality is that there aren’t really that many people out there who want to do this. Not REALLY want to, so as that they actually do it!

    We’ve never for a second regretted our choice of boat and have sailed 15,000 NM in the last two years. At the end of last year we made the passage from Tonga to New Zealand in the same amount of time almost to the hour as an A40 (quite a different beast) and when we met up our friends said ‘How long have you been here? What an uncomfortable passage!’, ‘Was it?’ ‘Great fishing, great reading, beautiful full moon, clear skies, fresh breezes, what was not to like?’

    Another friend just told us that he had tried and found out that it was in fact impossible for him to row his 8 ton ‘heavy’ cruising boat by towing it, since it just wouldn’t go straight… waiting for the laugh that he should even try… ‘really?’ I questioned, ‘but I managed to tow ours almost a mile in a flat calm in the Marlborough sounds’, ‘that’s our 13 tons, rowing an inflatable Avon’, Duncan was’t even steering, we just bungeed the tiller in the middle. I wouldn’t say it was quick, but it was funny.

    Friends on an Ingrid during a mutual love in, gave a warning, ‘It’s hard not to be smug with one of these boats’. We try not to rub it in with others, but can share it with you since you’ll find it for yourselves and more!

    We built a Cockpit locker and quarter berth into our boat which dramatically improved our usable space, something I’m guessing you might be interested in doing too for the bambinos. We won’t be getting rid of our engine any time soon though. We don’t wish to use it but won’t willfully get rid of it as a safety net option. We’ve already motored more than we’d have thought.

    Looking forward to hearing much more about your ventures.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Ruth and Duncan.

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