Mike walked up to pay the moorage for April and told the folks at Foss Harbor that we’re leaving. He gave them notice. This is the last monthly moorage we will pay for Galapagos in Tacoma for a long time. That feels kind of…stunning. It’s actually more stunning than the day Mike gave notice at work. It’s more stunning than when we moved out of our house.
At work, Mike’s in the midst of helping to find his replacement; not an easy task, apparently. If you want to know how many airplanes Russia might need in the coming decades, he’s your guy for 4 more weeks. His last day ‘working for the man’ is May 4. We’ve spent the better part of the last week getting his retirement paperwork in order, going over and over our choices about how the pension comes to us. These decisions feel so big, so fraught with opportunity to make a life-altering mistake. Boeing is really good about giving you a human being to walk you through this process. We are grateful for that.
I’m seriously winding down my practice now. My last day of work is April 30. Unlike Mike, I’m not relieved to stop working. I’ve been really enjoying my work. Ever since I cancelled all my contracts with insurance, I’ve felt a new sense of freedom in the work I do, like a big weight was taken off my shoulders. Imagine that! Just being connected with the insurance system weighs me down. Think about that at your next doctor’s appointment. I make less money refusing to bill insurance, but I’m happier with what I do. Seems like a good trade to me.
I don’t have any paperwork to sign or turn in on my last day of work. It will be a day like any other except that I will have my very last appointment with my very last client. No fanfare or hurrah. Just…done. Damn, I still remember the first client I ever had. So strange. You do something for 28 years and then one day, you don’t do it anymore. I’m lucky to have done something I loved. I will miss my work and am thinking about how I might keep my hand in a little bit while we’re out. That’s probably not seriously workable because of scheduling and having internet/phone access, but it makes me feel better about leaving the practice behind. And I’m open to it.
By the time we leave the marina and go to Olympia for the haul out, we’ll be quite ready to get this show on the road. We’ve already started talking about how little we might be able to get away with doing before we go because we’re kind of chomping at the bit to get out there. We are starting to get excited about the idea that we get to go cruising this year. It feels like forever since we’ve been anyplace cool on Galapagos. And that’s because it HAS been a long time. I can’t wait to get out on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, actually. It’s a big body of water, and it smells like vacation and summer. Plus, whales! We always see humpbacks in the strait. Mike better start practicing his whale calling song, because we’re coming for them!
We will hang around the south sound until the end of June, when we get our last immunization from the nice Elizabeth at Costco, and then we will start our journey north to explore the inside and the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland. We are still considering a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island by way of shake down, but as every sailor knows, those kinds of plans will blow around with the wind and weather. Gosh, it’s really nice to not have to be in too much of a hurry! I’m already enjoying that part and we aren’t even gone yet!
You know, in all the blogs I’ve read about people doing this thing called cruising, I don’t remember reading about how strange it feels to be at this part of the planning process; this part where you are almost completely ready to cast off the lines, with one foot in your land life, and the other on the boat. All the final land-based contracts and obligations are poised for disconnect or have been put on hold. House is rented, jobs are quit, boat is paid for. All systems are ready, you just have pick up your foot and go.
We’ve been eating, breathing, sleeping this plan for 5 years. It’s been the all-consuming focus of our existence, for better or for worse. Between this plan, work, and family stuff, we have had no time or energy to invest much in anything else. The amount of psychological energy and focus this kind of life change takes is enormous; much more than we would have ever known. It’s hard to explain that to others.
All that’s left at this point is to have those ‘last’ days, haul her out and get to work on her, and then to say goodbye for awhile to our people. The hardest part is saved for last. I remind myself that it’s ‘farewell for now’, not ‘goodbye’. I remind myself I can come home if I want to, for a visit. I remind myself that my people can come to Mexico and beyond and be on the boat with us. I remind myself. A lot. And I wish they could all come on this trip, too.
By the way, since we’ll be in Scotland most of May, we are trying to get the storage shed at the marina emptied out this month. We have a couple of things boat related up for sale. Right now we have a #45 CQR anchor and a nice dehumidifier. If you are interested in either of those, give us a shout.