It became official this morning.  We are going cruising!

Keith resigned.

We are about to do what we have been saying we were going to do for the last twenty years.  Its our time.

You might think that tonight would be filled with shouts of joy, congratulatory cheers, and champagne but I think Keith summed up the mood tonight best when he tiredly muttered “I hope we like it”.

If you know us, or maybe can tell just from following us, this was by far the hardest and most stressed-over part of this whole big plan.  Keith had worked hard for and was gifted with an amazing career opportunity, probably like no other he will have again.  He had a boss, a company, benefits, and a future that left little room for wanting.  It was not, and I can tell by his tired eyes is still not, any easy thing for him to walk away from.  We just traded security, comfort, and social expectations for a shot at living our biggest, wildest life-long dream. It’s a sobering moment.

I share this because as we have been going through this and have shared our trepidations with other cruisers and to-be cruisers we have found that almost all have had to make some hard decisions.  True sacrifices.  Wether it is a gorgeous grow-old-in home that has to go on the market, leaving close family behind, or shunning the security of a career, compromises almost certainly have to be made for this lifestyle.  From a distance the act of casting off the lines and sailing out into the horizon seems so care-free and romantic, but like most things, when you get up real close…

Curiously, we found that younger (and still working) people almost always advised us to stay and keep working while older (and retired) people almost always encouraged us to make the leap-now.  I hope the older (but still working) future us, will agree with the decisions made today 🙂

So why?  Why are we willing to take this chance?  

Because we want to make more memories like these: 

These are the moments, however poorly photographed, that we were truly living life to it’s fullest.  

It’s time for us to make more memories (because goodness knows we won’t be making anymore money)

^^a beer, a grill, and the most beautiful place on earth.

^^oh, and a fish to go on that grill

^^diving, sharks, birthdays, rum, and friends-a good day.

^^this photo and associated memories is probably worth a post of its own, but the short of it is “best dinner of our lives”. 

^^our friend: *picks up a handful of pellets from the ground

“Look, someone must be feeding the hutia”

Keith: “um, that’s not their food

Never did see a hutia, just lots of hutia poo

^^fileting a fish at the “pools” at Double-Breasted -outdoor kitchen at its best.

^^the customs shack.  Welcome to the Bahamas!

^^raising the courtesy flag after visiting the customs shack-always a big moment.

^^there is always room for one more in the cockpit 

^^you can’t fake a smile that genuine (or relaxed)

^^the cure for anything is saltwater…..

^^the afternoon routine.  This is what you do without AC.

^^dinner-probably from our super secret sea-fan spot 

^^the conundrum of the day “grill” or “fry”

^^sweet little mutton snapper came from a day that was too choppy to dive our usual spots.  What an unexpected and tasty surprise.  Sometimes things just work out better than expected.

^^the commute home

^^ breakfast with buddies. Note Keith diving into that Bahama bread.

^^Double-Breasted. Again. Just because it’s our little spot.  You’ve got to admit the view from the backyard is pretty sweet.

^^everyone else got icecream, Keith got fresh baked bread

^^and someone to share it all with-that’s what really counts.









Tomorrow is my last day of work, but I said a lot of my good-byes today.

My coworkers threw one of their best luncheons ever and, boy, they can throw one tasty pot-luck! Our department is kind of known for them. Once we even had one to celebrate a new refrigerator, and it wasn’t even for storing food in. (Really, don’t ask what is stored in it)

So I wasn’t surprised that we had a potluck, or that I got to sit at the head of the table, but I was completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of well-wishes and generosity. Between the balsamic chicken, cheesy potatoes, crispy mung bean salad, bruschetta, homemade Caesar salad, to-die-for Ho-Ho cake, and more, I opened up the prettiest wrapped gift-box I have ever been given. Inside was not only a little cruising-kitty supplement to enjoy on a rainy (or not so rainy) day and a bird book for the West Indies (to help me cope with my impending Google shortage), but a highly personalized, decorated and signed t-shirt. I can’t even try to begin to explain it so I will just let be something I share with my tox family. But… It. Was. Perfect! 🙂

Beyond the food and the gifts and swirl of good-byes, the reoccurring emotion today was gratitude. Not that I was done, but that I have enjoyed, truly enjoyed, working the last several years. My coworkers are my friends. I laughed every day. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes with them, sometimes at them, and sometimes they laughed at me. Some days I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. I never dreaded going to work (though I did frequently wanted to go home before my day was done 😉 ) and I felt a true satisfaction from what I did. It’s key, I think. I’m also lucky, I think.

I have envisioned this day for a long time, I imagined that I would be filled with excitement to start my new adventure or sadness to leave friends, and while both were true today, mostly, I just felt overwhelmingly thankful for the past few years. Who knew.

It was a good, good day.

Thank you, Tox.

Where were we ONE year ago: Day 55-All is Well Again!



Spilled The Beans

This week I let my coworkers (and boss) in on our plan. You know the one where we stop showing up for work because we decided to float off to some coconut tree studded island and drink rum at noon plan. Ok, so I didn’t word it exactly like that.

But really, how do I explain in a nice, neat sentence or two what we are about to do?! Some explanation like the one above and I sound like a jerk. Make it too rustic and primitive sounding of an adventure and my mental health may be seriously questioned. So my simple explanation has been we are taking some time to go cruising and check off some other top “bucket list” items just in case we don’t make it to retirement. From there I am just fielding questions. Lots of questions. Everything from mail, pirates, storms, haircuts, laundry, to why.

Obviously the photo below is not current-it is from our trip to the exumas in 2006- but it is the photo I have hanging up at work.