Tom always knew he’d take off sailing once retired. He’d been dreaming about cruising for decades! Lori, on the other hand, thought to herself “I’ll believe it when I see it”… and at times, even “this guy is a raving lunatic!” .
And so the story goes, in November 2005 we were sailing on the San Francisco Bay, a mellow late fall day… Endless Summer was lazily threading water and suddenly Lori blurts out: “say, Tom, what would you absolutely not do without if you were to live aboard?” “My big-screen TV!” was the immediate answer… “Well” said Lori “if that’s all it takes, then… How about selling the house and buy that big boat you want to go cruising with?”
You see, the plan was to enjoy our Endless Summer for the five remaining years of Tom’s career, sailing her up and down the Coast whenever possible. Then, once Tom retired, we would have bought the Big Boat that would take us around the world. But Lori really enjoys screwing up carefully laid-out plans, she does it with passion and flair… Besides, her own agenda was to get as close as possible to the real experience, get a feel for living aboard and all it entails, and see if she could do it. Why wait five years? Why not just do it?
As soon as Tom picked up his jaw, we ran home and called the realtor to get the house on the market immediately. The next couple of months went by in a blur, the house was sold about five minutes before the market went down the drain. Camelot was ordered and we moved aboard Endless Summer (Kosmo the Sheepdog included). Everything somehow just fell into place, as if it was meant to be just that way.
There was a lot of excitement, exhilaration, but also some sadness… Letting go of the familiar for the unknown can be daunting. But Tom was just overjoyed and ready to dive in head-first. The guy never saw a glass that wasn’t three-quarters full, the eternal optimist! Lori, skeptical Doubting Lori, though ready to carry on with the Plan was mourning the loss of her dearest motorcycle, her BMW R1150R named Excalibur which had to be given up. In an effort to console his wife, Tom offered to name the new boat Camelot… Lori, however, needed a throttle to rev up occasionally, so a dinghy with a good-sized engine was added to the list. To be named Excalibur, of course!
The most amusing thing was the reaction of friends and family, ranging from a plain “are you nuts?” or “have you lost your mind?” to “way to go!” or “I wish I could do that!”… Some friends enquired discreetely about our financial situation, thinking that if we had to sell the house and go live on a boat we were clearly broke… We had offers of “a place to crash until you get back on your feet” and some even offered to loan us money. It was heartwarming, really! Lori’s Mom (ever the adventurous one) said “Cool! So I can fly to wherever you are and see a bit of the world!”. Not what you’d expect from your average 70-something, but then, she always had -and still has!- the spirit of a young wandering gipsy… Tom’s daughters, both exposed to lifelong doses of their father’s ramblings, were not at all surprised and actually genuinely pleased that Dad finally gets to go have fun. As long as we keep in close touch! Which, in the end, is the purpose of this blog.
So you can see where we are and what we’re doing!