Thursday, September 24, 2015

The God's Honest Truth

Sandy Hook, NJ
Ready for some honesty? I hope so because it's ALL coming out here...and it ain't all puppies and rainbows.

Sometimes cruising sucks. Sometimes it feels like just about everything that can go wrong does and what doesn't weighs on your mind like it's a certainty that it will. Sometimes I think I'm getting an ulcer and Ron swears he's got an aneurysm or two. This is the hardest thing we've ever done.

For the last two months we have been battling mechanical/engine problems one after another, and sometimes multiple at the same time. It's always something. Let's just suffice it to say that the last solid month we've just been pushing ahead hoping it will get better.

We hit a wall the other day that made us look hard at what we're doing and what we want to do. We left Sandy Hook, NJ for our first ocean and overnight passage, it was the last window before getting stuck in NJ for at least the next week with high winds. Winds were forecasted to be SW at 5-10 kts and although we were nervous, we were ready to take it on. We headed out and before we knew it we were in South winds at 19 kts and fighting building seas. We pushed on. We had a fuse to the engine instrument panel go out that Ron had to redo. We pushed on.

For EIGHT HOURS we tacked back and forth in the wind and when we discovered that we'd only made it 20  of the 130 miles south we were both totally defeated. Worried about electrical issues, bouncing in building seas and getting nowhere we turned around...and made it back in 3 hrs. On top of that, Lexie was getting antsy and had reached the edge of her bladder's abilities. Add this to the constant stress we'd had for sometime and, well, let's just say that our lids BLEW! We lost it, to put it mildly.

By the time we made it back to the anchorage and dodged the fish traps and buoys I.Was.Done.

All I kept telling Ron was that this was supposed to be fun. And it most certainly wasn't fun now. And he agreed.

The next morning I cried bawled into my pancakes (no joke) as we talked about our options. Did we really want to continue? Would it be better to just ship the boat to Florida and be there already? Would shipping the boat be a waste of money when we got to Florida and still didn't like it? Should we ship it home? I JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN DAMMIT!

At one point I'm pretty sure I had Ron talked into storing the boat and going off in a car on a camping adventure around the country. Then we talked to Jim and Chris who wisely told us to not make any rash decisions and that they too had been in a spot like this. Everyone has. I had chatted with Jessica (from MJSailing) when she was going through tough times, I've read countless blogs about similar experiences by others but none of that mattered because I didn't Get it. I even apologized to Jessica (when I was telling her about our ordeal) for what was surely sub par advice and a severe lack of empathy on my part when she'd had "one of those days" and needed someone to talk to. I did not get it. And until you experience it, you won't either. Don't try. Just know that if you give this life a try you will get it at some point and it's going to feel like it's sucking the life out of you. But you'll recover (one way or another) and you'll be better for it.



It wasn't all bad: We caught our first fish AND Lexie peed on the boat!
Celebrate the small successes, it'll help keep you sane.
We have since decided to carry on (in case you were panicking). We've been stuck in Sandy Hook hiding from those high winds for the last week waiting our turn to try again, which isn't all bad, we're actually looking forward to moving on again....imagine that! I can't make any promises that we won't, in fact, take off for that camping trip at some point, but for now we're here, we've got our big girl/boy panties on and we're heading south!

16 comments:

  1. Lexie peed on the boat. That is HUGE. Good job, guys! And finally catching a fish is not too shabby, either ;)
    Hang in there. You'll eventually get to warmer, calmer conditions - and FUN! But thanks for keeping it honest.
    - JP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to that time and making the best of things until then!

      Delete
  2. Truth. I think anybody who has ever been cruising can certainly relate to this. I think Allison would sell our boat at least once a month if I'd let her. It takes these days to make the good ones good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right on Bo. Plus, meeting fun people is a real bonus - looking forward to meeting up with you guys too!

      Delete
    2. Um. NO ONE is allowed to sell yet. We haven't sailed yet. We still have to get out and play with all of you!
      Lot's of good days ahead for everyone. Plenty of good to go around. Just think how nice a normal, non-boat breaking day will be! Everybody keep calm and step away from Yachtworld...

      Delete
  3. Have you ever thought about buying the dog pads that look like grass for your dog to go to the bathroom on? Easy to train them to thinking it is real grass. Love your adventure! You have one chance in your life to make your dreams happen, do it and NEVER have any regrets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've thought about it but for the cost and the low success rates we've heard from others with older dogs we opted to skip that route. And thanks for the kinds words, they're much appreciated!

      Delete
  4. Awe......you guys are awesome and have already done more than most that have this vision for their life. You know I speak with a lot of people that buy boats with the idea of living aboard,those that actually undertake such a voyage are very special people! I would say 95% talk about it and 5% actually do it! Have no regrets and no matter what your decision is moving forward I for one are very proud of you and respect your choices! I think I may have mentioned it when you first were looking at the whole idea of a cruising life and this statement probably rings more true to you today than ever before. The true definition of cruising is basically "fixing and repairing your boat in unique and out of the way places". It is a full time job and most people do not get this until they move board and give it a whirl for themselves! God Speed crew of Hullabaloo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jeff, glad to see you're still checking in on us! Hope all is well in Charlevoix :)

      Delete
  5. Please don't give up! I'm not going to lie, there will be more shitty days. Probably loads of them, but there will be amazing days too. So many! I wasn't kidding when I told you that throwing up for 28 hours straight in 10 ft waves was worth it for the amazing things we saw and did in the Bahamas. I'm rooting for you guys!

    PS: If you guys need provisions or anything this weekend, I'm around. Its just a short drive from me and happy to help out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry Kelley, we're not giving up that easy!! We just wanted to for a day or two ;) It's kind of funny how the bad doesn't seem like it could get worse and then a day later it doesn't seem so bad. There must be something about it that makes it worth doing or we wouldn't keep hearing the same comments saying so!

      Delete
  6. Awww, big virtual hugs!! Don't worry, your advice was never sub-par and you've always had empathy, but I think our conversations may change a little bit and now we'll be sending each other bottles of wine after passages because we both totally 'get it', haha. Miss you, hurry down to Florida!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're trying...if this weather system ever clears out!

      Delete
  7. We too have had times where we would have sold the boat to the first person we saw on the dock. We have had some issues with our engine while in the Chesapeake Bay. Just this week we were towed in by the USCG (30 knot winds and no engine - a blog post will follow soon). We have had weather forecast that told us the complete opposite from what we experience and like you found ourselves in horrid conditions.

    We both feel we learn stuff on the hard days. We have learned a lot about our boat and the systems. Every time we learn something, it makes repairing it the next time that much easier. Each time we are caught in weather we come out better sailors for it.

    Hang in there. The good days are really good. The bad days make the good days seem better.

    Hope to see you out there one day.

    Cindy

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff
    www.creampuff.us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cindy, great perspective. Maybe the only good thing that comes from these days are, like you said, you learn something useful or become a better sailor which makes future bad days not so bad. Thanks for the encouragement!

      Delete
  8. Karen & Tim, s/v Grace VSeptember 30, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    I hear ya! We're in the same neighbourhood as you and tried to head south from Sandy Hook on Sunday. We took a HUGE wave on the bow about 45 mins into the trip which ripped the dodger and filled the cockpit with salt water - we were stunned. We turned around and are now waiting this weather out in Great Kills Harbour. I knew there would be tough times, but didn't expect them so soon (we've only been out here a month now). It's so nice to hear a voice that shares the doubts and fears that we are experiencing - thanks for the honesty!

    ReplyDelete