SimplySailingOnline.com shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.
Today's post is as big of a surprise to me as it was supposed to be for all of you. We had planned to announce today that Walküre, our AS-29, is for sale. I wrote the post over 2 weeks ago so that I could enjoy the holidays without having to think about it. Picture, videos, links, they were all ready to be uploaded and posted, putting an end to our shallow-water cruising dream before it even began.
Our reasoning was simple: we simply don't have enough days/seasons/years in our lives for everything we want to do. Priorities changed and suddenly seeing more of our little grandson who is as landlocked as it gets was more important than sailing a little boat around in shallow water.
While spending more time with Ashleigh is still our highest priority, we believe we can do that AND do our gunkholing in Walküre. Of course, that realization didn't come to us on its own. Walküre sealed her own fate (and ours) by a dozen little things that made us fall in love with her and unable to part with her.
If you've never fallen in love with a boat, let me see if I can paint you a picture of what it's like. We had lived on Walküre for almost 6 months when Dave finished the project he was working on. Undecided what to do and where to go, we were pleased when the timing worked out and fate pointed us north. Our oldest son had visited us for the holidays and was willing to drive our van back to NC for us, freeing us of another tie to the area. He also requested our presence at his graduation this spring, when he will receive his Master's degree in Marine Biology. Suddenly we had a goal, a time frame, and were free to sail away.
Living on a boat allows you to enjoy it, make it homey, and welcome it into your family, but not necessarily your heart. You never really bond with a boat until you sail her. From the moment we started our trip north, Walküre started working her way into our hearts, one nautical mile at a time. Our first jaunt was only a few miles, but we were surprised at how well she handled in light air. The next sail we hit 6 knots repeatedly, in just over 10 knots of breeze and the smiles never left our faces as one possible anchor spot after another fell victim to our enjoyment of sailing our little lovely. Effortlessly and soundlessly she led us to the farthest anchorage we thought possible for the day. We arrived exhilarated instead of exhausted. And we had started talking to her: the first sign of either senility or falling in love (or possibly both).
Before our next sail Dave said, "Let's go back to being us and sail off the anchor. I don't know why we haven't been." But I did. Walküre was new, he wasn't sure of her performance. Basically, he didn't yet trust her. That he wanted to sail off the anchor the next morning was the first indication that I had that selling her wasn't going to be easy. The next morning we sailed off the anchor, more easily and quietly than we ever had on Eurisko. We started the outboard a few times to get through tricky upwind channels, but we also anchored under sail. When we arrived at our anchorage it was still a few hours before dark, I had the tiller, and Dave suggested we sail around the anchorage to check everything out before we anchored way out by ourselves, like we always do. I sailed her through the anchored boats as if she were a big dinghy. With no grinding of winches, do doubt that we were going to blow a tack, no flogging sails or raised blood pressure, I tacked around for over an hour. I was in love. We were doing 100 degree tacks in light air, she never failed to tack, never stalled, I never touched a sheet, there was no stress, not even any "advice" from Dave. I've always said I could single-hand Eurisko if I had to. But Walküre I could single-hand because I WANTED to! Big difference.
And then it happened. This morning I didn't have time to post the "Walküre is for sale" post before we upped anchor. We sailed off the anchor and headed out into the Florida Bay, over beautiful water we never dared sail in Eurisko with her 5 1/2-foot draft. We tacked, we gybed, we sailed over two feet of water, we ghosted through skinny cuts with seemingly no wind and never lost steerage, and when we arrived at our isolated little sandy spot behind a mangrove island that few people have ever even seen, we anchored under sail. The motor was never even in the water all day. As we approached the anchorage I warned Dave that I was going to have to ditch him and get online as soon as we arrived in order to upload today's post.
"You're doing the Walküre for sale post today?"
"What are we going to do if someone buys her?"
"Umm, figure it out then?"
"I'd really like to get her to the Chesapeake."
"And I'd really like to sail the Outer Banks in her. Can you imagine?"
"Do you have anything else written for today?"
"No, but I can. You don't want to sell her?"
"Up to you."
"I'll write something else."
And so it is that, instead of surprising followers of the site with the announcement that Walküre was for sale, we surprised ourselves by deciding that, no, she's not. She will be, for sure. At some point our lives will require that we sell her. Eurisko will call us back to her, the Caribbean will again be too tempting to ignore, who knows, we may buy land and raise goats and chickens. But until then, we and Walküre are a team.
MONDAY I'll share our first shallow-water discovery: an anchorage close to facilities, but in a world of its own.
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