Long time cruisers say that other than doing boat work in exotic locations, the cruising lifestyle is a series of hellos and goodbyes. They say you make lifelong friends, spend a lot of serious time with them while you are both in the same place, then have to say goodbye; not knowing when or if you may cross paths again. I think we must be cruising already because this is already happening. This week we were pleased as all get out to host Tate and Dani McDaniel from Sundowner Sails Again.
Tate and Dani’s blog was one of the first blogs we started following when we started our own plan, and we enjoyed every minute of watching them progress from dreamers, to planners, to cruisers with all that entails. They bought an old Westsail 32 and refit her from stem to stern themselves, scraping and saving and doing everything they possibly could to make their dream a reality. They may be young, but they are not trust fund kids. They are just hard workers with goals who are out there challenging the status quo that says you have to give all your best years to a job, and only then can you live your dreams. These are resourceful people and we have learned much from reading their blog and communicating with them over the years.
They sailed for a year, then put their beloved Sundowner on the hard down in Panama. Taking advantage of the low gas prices we’ve enjoyed, they bought an RV and began a coast to coast journey to see their own country before returning to do more sailing. They are truly adventurous of spirit and stout of heart! They’ve got about 3 months to go before they go back to Sundowner, and they have spent less than 1/2 of what they budgeted for fuel. I’m kind of amazed by that.
After traveling across the country, they were finally in our neck of the woods up here in the Pacific Northwest, taking in the big trees, big water and bigger mountains. We invited them to park their RV in our ample driveway for a few days and come see Tacoma, S/V Galapagos, and us! I tell you, it’s pretty darn cool that we met through blogging, and that they know some of the same people we know, all through blogging about sailing and refitting boats. It begins to feel a bit like belonging to a community.
As we are often reminded, people are so much more multi-dimensional in person than they are over the interwebs. Of course we have enjoyed reading their blog, and watching the videos they are now making, but you never really know how you will fit together in person. Turns out, there was no worry about this at all. When they pulled into our driveway and stepped out of their rolling home, I actually felt like I had known them for a long time. We just ‘get along’ together.
We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of their visit. We talked long into the night, sat in Galapagos’ cockpit and ate too much food, went sailing on the C&C 40 we crew on, and generally hung out and became fast friends. Having Dani along on my daily walks was such a treat. I feel like we were just getting to know them when they had to leave. I’ve got to say, it was hard saying goodbye, knowing it will likely be several years before we cross paths again.
As I look through the photos for this post I realize that we didn’t take any photos of their RV, or of all of us together. Simply put: we were having too much fun to remember to do it. Bon voyage, until we meet again, Tate and Dani!