Monday, August 03, 2009

The Best Laid Plans o' Mice and Men...

Everyone these days seems to know what Scott and I are up to, and after the #1 question: Are you scared? (See previous post for answer) comes most common question #2: So what’s the plan!?

Sigh. What is the plan? Well (brace yourself people)…we don’t really know. I have found in my travels that the more you plan, the more disappointment you encounter (by way of broken plans). Weather changes, places close, people get sick, trains go on strike, buses break down, guidebooks are wrong (Traveler tip: if travelling to South East Asia DO NOT skimp and buy an out-of-date travel guide. I learned this lesson REAL quick when I tried to stay at a hostel that was the “hot spot” two years prior but no longer existed. Fun times.), and you never know what you will get into, onto, or out of while on the road. Spontaneity is everything when you travel. That’s my 2 cents anyway. Another, more sobering reason for not having a strict plan or timeline is that the #1 cause for disaster at sea are captains and crews making poor decisions in order to make a timeline. Sticking to a rigid schedule to be at point “x” by time “y” can cause you to make very bad and desperate choices you wouldn't usually make (like thinking you can “outrun” a brewing hurricane, for example).

That said we do have a very LOOSE plan. Right now it is this: We are planning on sailing our boat as much as we can the remainder of this summer (she has to be out of the water October 5th). This fall/winter, we are planning on keeping her at Crowleys, a local yacht yard where we plan on spending many fall and winter weekends getting her kitted out for cruising (fixing stuff, making upgrades, installations…etc. this is another VERY long to-list that is exponentially growing). Once we survive yet another dreaded Chicago winter (ugh) and spring has sprung – we plan on selling all our stuff (attention ladies who wear size 8 shoe!), storing the rest (mom, dad? Insert big doe eyed innocent smile) and moving aboard Rasmus in April 2010 (when our apartment lease is up). From there, we plan on continuing to fix all the things that continue to break (this past weekend’s victim? our FM radio!), sail all the time, and spend lots of time with our wonderful close friends who have things like a) laundry machines b) refrigerators and c) TV’s (wink).

We plan on enjoying one last Chicago summer, because, frankly – this particular summer flew south, or rather – to the Pacific Northwest (104 degrees in Portland!?) and we need time to prepare ourselves and the boat. As of now, we will leave sometime next August (a year from now) and sail all the way UP Lake Michigan, all the way DOWN Lake Huron, and all the way ACROSS Lake Erie to the Erie Canal where we will have to take our mast down and motor. From there we will connect with the Hudson River, into NYC, and then... the Atlantic Ocean!

Our dates are not arbitrary. We have chosen this timing because when we leave it’ll still be (dare I say?) warm enough to sail North and will get us out to the Atlantic in time to by-pass the hurricane season (which “ends” November). Once we feel safe and storm free…we will follow the smell of tropical slushy rum drinks south along the East Coast of the United States with our ultimate destination being the Caribbean. This portion of the journey will probably take us 5 months (give or take) so we think we’ll kick it Jimmy Buffett style once in the tropics…you know, cheese burgers in paradise, wastin’ away in Margaritaville…all that good stuff. Can. Not. Wait.

After that we aren’t sure. There are many different “ways” to go. There’s a great book we own called “World Cruising Routes” by Jimmy Cornell that outlines every which way to go and when. We also know (as we have both learned in previous travels) that there will be so many encounters with other cruisers who’ve “been there, done that” and we trust we’ll learn a lot from them as we go. We are thinking that the “trade wind” route will be best for us which would have us going through the Panama Canal after the Caribbean…but, you know what they say – “The best laid plans o’ mice and men…oft go astray”. Truer words were never spoken...we’ll just have to see what the Universe has in store for us!

Lotsaluv!

Brittany and Scott

2 comments:

Last Paradise said...

YES! We use the word 'plan' very loosely, it seems to change so frequently! People never seem to get it when we tell them our lives are dictated by the weather...

Lady Hannemaniac said...

TV? Check! Laundry? Check! Guest bedroom for crashing? Check! Comforting food and wine? Check and check!

I nominate myself for your closet raid and can offer my driveway for a garage sale...

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