Previously on SailingBritican.com…I wrote about how we landed in Charleston, South Carolina after sailing 18,500 miles around the Mediterranean, crossing the Atlantic Ocean and sailing up the Caribbean and up to the States. (Read ‘Living on a boat in Charleston, North Carolina – USA‘ for more background)
Our decision to make a long-term stop during our around the world sailing adventure was brought on by one main factor – my husband and I were struggling with homeschooling our six year old daughter.
We also needed to find a hurricane hole for six months.
And if I have to dig deep, I think that a part of us felt worn out. It may sound hard to believe but looking out at palm tree lined white sandy beaches and amazingly blue turquoise water can get a bit boring. Having to constantly search for new grocery stores and spare parts can also cause one to dream of long lost days of convenience. The convenience of a car or ease of eating fast food.
As I write, we’ve been at the Charleston Harbor Marina now for six months.
The plan is to stay on the east coast until November 2017 and then we’ll head back to the Caribbean and make our way west eventually going through the Panama Canal.
Our daughter has made great strides at school. Her reading and writing have taken off in leaps and bounds. She’s made many friends and I think the experience has been exactly what we were looking for. In the mean time, I’ve researched more into homeschooling and am narrowing down a plan that will help us all move forward in a stronger position.
Interestingly, knowing that we’ll be leaving the place we currently call home has started to bring up a variety of feelings.
I now know what I’m getting into!
When we left England in 2014, I speculated what our life on a boat would be like, but I had no idea that the highs would be so high…and the lows would be so low. I didn’t know how much I would miss the convenience of having our car or the ease at being able to get anything I wanted at anytime of the day.
My husband and I were naïve. We didn’t realize how bad we’d get ripped off. We didn’t understand what it was like to be filled with real life-and-death fear. Nor did we fully understand the difficulties of having a child with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week (our daughter was 3 ½ years old when we left).
I know the difficulties ahead of me but I’m also a bit wiser now.
Furthermore, and probably more importantly, I also know that many future highs are just around the corner. I don’t know what the high points are going to be but I do know that there will certainly be many of them.
Perhaps we won’t see another volcano erupting hot molten lava 300’ into the air or walk through ancient cities that have been around for thousands of years. Maybe we won’t swim with another Sperm Whale or climb eight hours to see a boiling lake…
But, instead, we’ll come across other sights and other experiences. No matter what we’ll also continue to meet the most interesting, kind and amazing people on the journey. That will never change.
In fact, it’s the people that make the adventure so incredible.
Seeing volcanoes, incredible wildlife and breathtaking natural beauty is fantastic but without being able to share it with old and new friends it’s nowhere near as magical.
Above, I mentioned feeling mixed emotions about leaving America in November.
I’m surely going to miss Charleston. We have a great group of liveaboard boat friends (the photo above is some of our friends on A and B dock). Our social life is busier than it ever has been. Our daughter is doing great in school and it’s nice to have some daytime ‘me’ time. I will most definitely miss IHOP and PF Changs…and of course, Walmart. I will miss the busyness, the constant stimulation and the interesting political arena.
I will certainly miss the feeling of stability.
My day is laid out. I have a routine. There are no surprises. I will miss that. But…and this is a big ‘BUT…’ But when I’m 80 would I look back and regret staying in Charleston rather than heading back out into the unknown? Would I think, ‘Why didn’t I do it?! Why didn’t I get out and see and experience the world when I had the chance?!’
I hear my 80 year-old version of myself whisper these potential regrets to me. Loud and clear, they run through my body…and I smile to myself and think, ‘although the journey might be difficult the choice is easy – we’re heading back out to sea’
So, with our future plan set for a November departure, we’ve been working like mad to get ourselves ready.
Most of my attention has been aimed at my business – the promotion of my online nautical gifts store, the creation and sale of my sailing related guides and my latest book launch, ‘Changing Lifestyles: Trading in the Rat Race for a Sail Around The World.’
Every morning I do my coursework – I’ve been taking classes about YouTube, how to make better videos, how to better optimize my website, how to promote my goods on Etsy, how to make money through affiliate marketing and essentially how to keep expanding my income streams so to pay for our adventure. It’s all hard work but it’s all very rewarding.
Just today I uploaded my first YouTube Trailer.
After having the channel now for a few years I’ve finally customized my channel landing page. I’ve worked on how the page is laid out and have created the two minute introduction to the Sailing Britican channel… Please let me know what you think of it!?!
Those two short minutes took around two full days to make. It’s crazy how long it takes to make videos but for some reason I absolutely love making them. I never thought I would. Our first videos were created to show friends and family what we were doing. I didn’t even know that there were other sailing bloggers out there! Now it’s become a sort of obsession…I love making videos. And hopefully I’m getting better at doing so ?
Sailing Britican Update Channel Trailer
And what about Simon?!
He has been doing some boat delivery jobs and will potentially be driving the Charleston Water Taxi this summer to earn more income. He’s also been working very hard to get the boat in tip-top shape.
Over the course of the last few months, Simon and I have:
– Replaced our Genset and Engine batteries
– Learned how to replace our Genset starter motor
– Repaired our swim ladder steps
– Affixed a new sheet guide for the staysail
– Got our cushions repaired
– Sourced new saloon blinds for a fraction of what they would normally cost
– Made new curtains for the whole boat!
– Swapped out the aft head blackwater hose (a stinky job!)
– Fixed our furler electrical deck fittings (Pulled out during Hurricane Matthew)
– Replaced our forward hatch in addition to pulling the whole unit out and resealing
– Swapped out an old engine exhaust hose
– Fixed our broken davit motor and replaced the other motor
– Repaired all our Gebo Portlight window latches
– Fixed two major leaks (one in the aft cabin and another in the forward cabin)
– Change our rusting LED ceiling lights for nice chrome recessed lights
And on the list to come is:
– doing the painful teak deck repairs
– re-caulking the heads
– cleaning out the water tank
– painting the outside black engine vents
– fixing the washing machine – keep getting an error code. Think it’s stuff in the line.
– Replace the screen and blackout blinds in the hatch fixtures
– Replenish our First Aid Kit
– Repair Gelcoat damage to the area near the anchor
– Caulk anchor chain plates
– Windless bolt sheer fix
One of my mentor’s used to tell me that most people are quietly decomposing.
In other words, most people aren’t living…they’re slowing dying. One thing is for sure – we are not in that position! If Simon and I are not working our butts off, we’re enjoying the benefits of sailing the sea. It’s a hard life…and I’m not kidding, it is very hard. But now that I’m living this life there’s no going back ☺