Why this blog …
We are a couple forced into early retirement by the economy of the US since 2007/2008. We have chosen to leave and just sail away. We own an Ingrid 38 ketch, named Spiritus, which I will describe in some detail elsewhere in the blog.
I am writing this to set to word my thoughts, discoveries, feelings, intuitions, emotions and senses which are engaged and generated by the sailing experience and by the experience of leaving the familiar behind.
The voyage is a physical one of seas,waves, winds and currents. It is of fuel, engines, electrics, solar and the technology of modern (and not so modern) sailing. It is of maps, charts, radios, and GPS and all the things that get you from the known to the as yet unknown.
The voyage is also very much a spiritual one. I don’t mean here spiritual in the religious sense, I mean where your spirit takes you in this world. I guess it is a bit of a metaphysical journey.
If there is one thing we have already discovered, it is that anyone can do this. In the travels of Spiritus, so far, I have encountered the young, the very young, the old and very old, those still working and those not working, or some not yet working, the wealthy, the very wealthy, the very poor, and just those with a lust for wandering.
The only common theme or experience is that we have all somehow made it to Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. Some boats sit at the dock comfortable and tied securely, while others sit at anchor out in the harbor or what is called the “Magote,” less comfortable and less secure but still tied. Still others make a hurried stop at the marinas of La Paz and refit, refuel, tune up and head out to sea again. Right now, Spiritus sits at a dock having repairs, alterations, provisioning, and generally recovering emotionally and psychologically from my first long blue water voyage.
It revealed that I did not know as much about sailing as I thought. It revealed the objective dangers of sailing. And the trip south showed me, again, how difficult it can be to interact closely with other adventurers even when we share a common goal of sailing the deep blue.
As Ben Rumson in the movie/musical “Paint Your Wagon” puts it, “There are two kinds of people–them going somewhere, and them going nowhere.”
The sailors of the Sea of Cortez are kind of like that. Some will go on to other places like the South Pacific, thru the Panama Canal, or down the West Coast of Mexico and central America. Some will stay and play in the Sea of Cortez for an extended period, and some will stay permanently here. Some will sit a while and end up selling their boats for a loss. Some will store their boats, “on the hard” permanently. Some will simply anchor the boat and disappear.
In Mexico, you learn that sailing can also be a trap where all is lost in the gamble to gain everything the freedom of the sea can grant.
The blog will both describe what sailing a large heavy cruising boat is like, in this case, an Ingrid 38 ketch. It will also try to describe what letting go and actually going to sea is like for the new sailor or sailor of minimal experience.
I will post to it at least weekly. The first few posts will be longer as I set up the narrative of what this is all about.
I have done many things in life– skied, extreme skied, rock climbed, ice climbed, paddled a canoe in white-water, used a kayak, hiked and backpacked some big mountains in my youth and middle years. I have even sailed a number of smaller boats throughout my life. I have done these things with my wife and daughter and a select group of friends and “partners” have followed or led during parts of the adventure.
My wife and I have now committed our lives to the sea and sailing. We hope you will find the narratives here interesting and worth following.