Thursday, June 04, 2009

Last Blog Entry

And here’s why. . .

Today is our fourth anniversary of cruising. And what a long strange trip it’s been! From Chicago to Grenada we’ve covered thousands of miles (plus several hundred with tacking and Scott's steering). From the Great Lakes to the Erie Canal to the Hudson River down the ICW, on the Atlantic Ocean across to the Bahamas eventually to the Dominican Republic then onward to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and finally to the Caribbean Islands - indeed what a long-strange-wonderful trip it’s been.

What have we discovered as a result? Living the cruising life is a very freeing experience. Probably more than we may have realized early on. We rarely look at a calendar. We lose track of the days. We get up when we want. We eat when we’re hungry. We have TIME to think about things. Time to read. Time to watch Gracie and then Mismo chatter at the gulls. Time to look at the stars. Time to plan what our next trip might be. Time to be in the moment and relish where we are and what we’ve done so far.

After some reflection we’ve realized that the freedom that we feel doesn’t have anything to do with sailing per se. It’s more like the sailing and living aboard has flipped a switch in our heads. Real freedom is more than just physically being able to go where you want when you want. Real freedom is a state of mind where you can think anything is possible. We think anything is possible (although Scott’s chances of playing in the NBA are dwindling).

Many times in our past lives we may have put ourselves in a box or a situation thinking that that was the only way things could be. This trip has brought to the forefront the idea that, as Sue is fond of saying, ‘Lots of things are possible’. Indeed. This trip should have been impossible. Little money. Little sailing experience. Lots of curiosity. Lots of time spent thinking of the ‘other’ solution.

Now on this fourth anniversary of being ‘cruisers’ we don’t feel like we necessarily are cruisers. We feel that the freedom we’ve learned via cruising allows us to think ANYTHING. . . And then maybe try it!

Here’s what we’ve thought most recently.

We are going to become grandparents in November and we had already planned to be home September - December and be around for that happy arrival. Then we thought, why not stay for the child’s first year? We both know all about various versions of child care. Sue is a professional in that field and Scott went through a lot of driving around and making deadlines with day cares etc. It’s stressful. More importantly, the best child care in the business is a few notches below family. So we think we can arrange our schedules at Columbia College where we will be teaching so that
at least one of us can be with the little tyke while the kids save money and pursue their careers. We are very excited about this next adventure. We love sailing. We love the kids! We want to do everything. We’ll try!

As to the picture above, it's ultrasound of course which makes Scott wonder if bats can see fetuses?

We are scheduled to leave Grenada on August 6th. So for the coming two months we are cleaning out Enee and re-varnishing all the bright work below. Big job but we’ve broken it up into one day projects and we’re always done in time for happy hour! This is actually kind of fun too. We’re afraid that redoing all the varnish is going to make the rather worn teak and holly decking look tired but that’s a worry for another day. Enee will be strapped down in the Spice Island Marine yard for the 16 months we’ll be in Chicago. Good people there and she’ll be well looked after. We hope to return in January of 2011 and if we can get wind vane steering rigged by then maybe head west to Bonaire. We’ll see. Plans are always etched in jello. Many things are possible!

Since we won’t be cruising for a year and a half we won’t have any new boat stories or sailing adventures to report. There might be a grand-baby blog or even a Chicago Marathon blog since Scott and Leah and Jason will be training for and running in that race in October 2010. Talk about an adventure! And Hey - how come these dates sound so big?

To our regular readers: Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed our travels. We sure enjoyed writing about them. We know that some of you are reading and planning your own escape from the grid in the future. Feel free to e-mail us anytime (posted in the side bar) if you have questions and we’ll make something up! The blog will stay up and there’s a search box at the top so you can search for things like 'Erie Canal'. Stuff like that.

Special thanks to my daughter, Leah and her husband Jason for visiting, for taking our mail, making calls for us, putting us up when we visit, writing Chris Parker when we are late arriving at a port, buying us a new iPod. . . I could go on and on. Leaving family was hard. Getting that kind of support was awesome.

So as we often toast - Life is good! . . . . GOOD AND SHORT!

And Enee Marie is clear.


Wilger said...

Well that is quite the change. Have enjoyed reading your blog, and you have put forth great info. May you have as much fun and learning in your new adventure. All the best

s/v Moonlit

Anonymous said...

It'll be great to get together with you more in Chicago. Glad you're coming home for a while. Maybe your presence here will help the Cubs get over the hump!

Rich P

LeahC said...

It's been so fun following you around on your adventures. Love finding you one some island and getting a different type of trip for each of our vacations. We are so looking forward to seeing you guys soon!

MyID.config.php said...

Congratulations on the next phase of your adventure! Yours was the first sailing blog I started to follow. I will miss your stories, but will look forward to your next boat, perhaps something like "The Why Book of Grandparenting"?

Traveller said...

Fair winds for whatever life brings your. Enjoy the new arrival. Good luck with the marathon.

All the best!

Clark Wierda

Anonymous said...

Sue and Scott,

Thank you for the hours of enjoyment and escape. Your blog has filled many a void working in a boring office, hoping someday to make the break.

I checked daily and was always excited to see a new post.

Enjoy your time on the hard and enjoy your family time.

Schaumburg, IL.

Erik said...

Did you really ever leave Chicago . . . this trip reminds me of the time Neil Armstrong "walked on the moon" . . . We are looking into buying a used sailfish, you may need to head west and provide some training!

Anonymous said...

Good luck in the new adventures! I will really miss reading this blog, have followed from the beginning. Thanks for all the good reading, it has been great! I don't know if I can break the habit of coming to this site...

All the best,

Mark S/V Mermaid

Cruising with Highstates said...

Dear Scott & Sue...and mismo too.

Thanks for inviting us to your "Pain Killer" happy hour(s) last night. As always Sue your popcorn and pizza (artichoke & cheese) were delicious.

We feel thankful that we have crossed paths with you both a number of times this past two and a half years, first meeting you in Luperon. To us,this is another reason we love cruising.

Have a great time being "Landlubbers" and Grandparents. Congratulations!!!

Your friends, Lynn & Randy
S/V High States

Kit Walker said...

Crap. Now what am I gonna read while I sip my morning tea? But I know what you mean-my blog has suffered by my becoming a gosh darned landlubber. Welcome to the club; you're the fourth I know of this year to leave the sea to eat dirt. Must be contagious. Happy Landlubbing!

Sally said...

It has been great to meet you near the start of your adventure and I have escaped to many parts of the world that I'll never see thanks to your blog. I just came home after spending the morning with my 7 month old grandson and he is a joy. I'm sure you will enjoy the great job of grandparenting as much as I have. Take care, Sally

Jim and Wendy Ulik said...

Scott & Sue - Hope we make it to Grenada before you leave so we can have a proper send off. If not maybe we can head down to Chicago when we're visiting that suburb to the north (go Brewers!). We'll miss you guys!

Jim & Wendy
"S/V Merengue"

Anonymous said...

congratulations on your new post in life! I will miss reading about your adventures! Mary Lu

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! However, I feel like and old friend is moving away. We'll miss the time we've spent together. You two sailing and me, looking for an update from the land of sail. i'll miss your stories. Being a grandparent is the best! Enjoy!

Ken & Lynn V

Anonymous said...

I just had to write to tell you that your blog is the ONLY blog that I have followed religiously. I've only been lurking for the past couple of years but I have enjoyed EVERY entry. I wish you both the best and enjoy every second with your grandchild. What a blessing! I will really miss seeing Mismo and hearing about her antics. She really needs her own Facebook page (haha) Take great care and I wish Leah & Jason all the best!!

Jeniffer from South Texas

Anonymous said...

Anything is possible. Could the vanquishing of the curse of the goat be far behind?

The Florida Glades

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott & Sue, We have really enjoyed your blog and the super photos, Judy & I go back to when you started. We met you at your talk and photo show at the Catalina Fleet 21 meeting at Burnham Harbor in Chicago. Have fun on your new adventure with your family,,, Judy and Stan, Del Mar,CA

Anonymous said...

it has been fun following you two on the seas, but it will be great to see you in Chicago pushing a baby stroller around Wrigleyfield telling Cubs lore and fairy tales to the newest little fan!--Lisa

Anonymous said...

I have read regularly since I learned about your blog through Alexandra in Salinas, Puerto Rico. I have loved every adventure and have loved watching Mismo grow. Alexandra did well in giving her to u. Prepare yourselves when Mismo starts telling u that she misses Enee. Through your blogs I kept in my heart all the wonderful times I had on a friend's boat and how I miss those times. We have gone separte ways but I do miss them both and reading your adventures was the only way for me to keep on going.
Wishing u both the best and continued success in all your future endeavours....specially grandpartenting when the time comes.

God bless and thank u so much. Hoping to be here when u renew that Adventures of Scott and Sue island hopping.

Half Moon at Sea said...

You two are really so good at going with the flow and we know that you will find the good channel wherever you choose to be. It was a pleasure sailing with you and getting your star reports....No, not Brittany Spears!Best wishes,
Joe and Becky
S/V Half Moon

Anonymous said...

After a few years of following your blog I am sad to see you go. We are in the process of purchasing our first sailboat and hoped to see you in some far away port. :-) I wish you would keep up your blog...I want to see Baby Pictures - give Mismo a dozen scratches for me and I wish you the best

Pirate in training

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