“To know where we are going, you must first know where we came from.”
Navigating is more than simply knowing exactly where you are in the world. That is a good start, but unless you know where you were a few minutes, hours or days ago, you cannot determine your course, and therefore cannot know where it is you are going. The GPS chart plotter found on many boats exemplifies this—at any given time, a half dozen or more satellites are telling you exactly where on the earth you are. This position is saved and referenced to render a predictive path on screen. By adjusting your current position, you can alter the forecasted destination.
In life, we often fester on concerns of tomorrow, next week, a 5 year plan or future retirement. But perhaps the best way to forecast our future, is to take an honest look into our past and aline that with a conscientious reflection of today. By connecting these theoretical dots, a future projection can be attained. This mechanism then prioritizes the journey itself—shifting our consciousness from the future, to the present. Earnest Hemingway once put it, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
Or as we like to put it, “we’re in no hurry to go anywhere, ever.” This however, doesn’t mean we lack motivation or plans. In fact the opposite is closer to the truth. We don’t see stopping this lifestyle anytime soon. We love what we do and only wish to do it more. The one certainty in our lives is that our futures are uncertain. We have dreams, goals, destinations and planned routes, but we know they will undoubtedly change as quickly as shifts in the wind—leaving us no option but to adjust accordingly. So rather than fretting about the future, we wallow in the progress of today.
Nautical Miles Sailed
Gallons of Diesel Consumed
After spending almost 2 years refitting our boat in Florida, we left with a boat that could sail, a months supply of food and water, a dream and a $20 bill. We then spent another 2 years circumnavigating the Caribbean, exploring, learning and upgrading as we went. It was a great place to learn how to sail and navigate. The weather and wind are predictable and each destination offered a new set of challenges with equal rewards. After completing the almost 10,000 mile loop, we returned to Florida and spent the summer doing some major upgrades to our little home in preparation for our next big adventure.
Since the beginning, our boat has not had a diesel motor. Early on, we dreaded having one onboard, the noise, the smell, the maintenance and cost we’re all deterring factors in our decision to retrofit our sailboat with an electric auxiliary motor instead of a “traditional” diesel. We use the word “traditional” here almost ironically. Humans have been sailing for thousands of years, since the first Neolithic captain raised a leaf on a floating log. Inboard motors have only been common place in the past few decades. Sure, it has made navigating for many much easier and the rise to captaining your very own vessel much less daunting. However, history has shown that boats certainly don’t need one. Many have circumnavigated without them, including modern ocean race boats, which would be disqualified if used. But, we weren’t planning to nonstop sail around the world. In fact stopping, and exploring, for us was the driving motivation for a sailboat in the first place. So, we knew we’d need some sort of propulsion, for when the sails came down—but certainly not much. Just enough to get into a marina, or through a small cut into a protected bay. In the past, people used long oars to row their vessels or skull them off the stern. Our boat, is just a little too large and heavy to effectively use this technique. So, we devised a plan to fit a small electric motor into our boat, and add the ability to motor a few miles from time to time. No noise, no vibration, no smell, no maintenance. You can read all about our initial refit HERE.
Where to Next?
In 2019 our plan is to leave the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean and sail North to Greenland and Iceland in the summer. Before we freeze our little toes off we’ll finish our North Atlantic crossing by running south to the United Kingdom and down into the Mediterranean before it gets too cold.
This is a MAJOR shift for us and our little boat, and requires many upgrades, and modifications, to the boat and our gear.