When we bought Elara, we had no intentions of doing any kind of long term cruising on her… the plan was to use her for daysailing and trips down the Chesapeake, while saving up for a bigger boat to cruise on.
But you know what they say about sailors plans and all – written in the sand at low tide etc…
By the time we got back from Belize, the seed had already been planted… “why don’t we just go cruising now… we have a boat, we have the money, what’s stopping us?” The answer really was: nothing. We did some quick sanity checks on finances and thought long and hard about if we were really ok with living on a 30’ boat for an extended period of time. But then we thought – they are plenty of folks out there doing it on smaller boats and smaller budgets than us even. (Katie and Jesse, twentyeightfeet.com, mid-life cruising, sv Smitty and many others I’m sure!)
The reality is, we all enjoy the same beaches and see the same sunrises – regardless of this size of our boat. We decided to embrace the Pardey’s motto of “Go small, go simple, go now”.
Thus we are excited to officially announce that we will be casting off the docklines for good this fall. As it stands the plan is to leave from Philly in September, take Elara down the ICW and spend some time in Miami visiting relatives before crossing to the Bahamas at some point. Beyond that, everything is wide open! The next few months will be hectic, getting our (already well-found) boat up to our exacting standards (100% bristol fashion), but it is incredibly exciting nonetheless.
It’s almost unreal – sometimes I just mentally take a step back and am like “wow how did we get here?”
The reality is it has been a lot of hard work, saving and sacrifice – which is *finally* coming to fruition. Even now, the journey is still difficult. We alternate between periods of elation (as in “holy cow we’re doing it!!!!”) and being totally overwhelmed (as in “holy cow how the heck are we going to get all this done in a few months!!!”) but for better or worse, the trigger has been pulled.
See you out there!