Some people cruise to escape the responsibilities they face on land.
Most people cruise to enjoy nature and experience new sights, people, foods and cultures.
I cruise to solve problems.
In the past week, I have had a number of discussions with friends and fellow cruisers. Many ask, Richard, you are in a place, the eastern Caribbean, that most boaters would love to be. Why not stay longer; stop and smell the roses?
I ponder a bit, questioning in my mind why, what is so obvious to most, eludes me. Am I deficient? I know I am not stupid, but why do I push myself so?
Truth be told, I could go from island to island, bbq on the boat most days, eat out others, drink a few glasses of wine, maintain Dauntless, myself and the love of my life in the manner I’ve been accustomed to, even travel to Asia, Europe and the USA every year and never run of money.
I tell them I have a plan. Plans can be changed they respond. Yes, I think, I change plans all the time. But I always have a plan. When I do things without a plan, bad things happen.
No, nothing gets done without a plan. And yes, even crossing the Atlantic was being planned before we even found our little Krogen 42. It was being planned before I even knew Kadey Krogen’s existed. It’s what I thought about before drifting off to sleep on most nights.
So, the idea of having no plan, just going with the flow, is simply a life I cannot imagine. It would be easier for me to imagine living on Jupiter, the planet, not the city.
So, when I’m asked why not just do this the easy way? I have no problem answering, because it’s not in the plan.
There is one big caveat. I love sharing the joys of life, food, drink, laughs, experiences, with friends and loved ones. Not having a mate, a partner to share these experiences with this past year has put a damper on the cruising. If I had a mate who absolutely wanted to be in such in such place for a long time; I’d make it happen. Then I would modify the plan, but until than…
Now one of my really smart friends, knowing my answer, suggested why not do a boat trade. Surely there is someone in Alaska who would trade places with you. Let them live on your boat and you live on theirs’s in Alaska since that is your intended destination for this coming summer and next winter.
Now that has me stumped momentarily. But then, like a light bulb turning on, I understood the issue.
If my goal was just Alaska, then staying in the Caribbean for another year would be doable. Even trading boats or leaving Dauntless here for a year would be doable.
But from the beginning of the boat idea. From before the first Atlantic crossing, there was a plan, a goal and destination and everything that came before was a step towards that destination: S. Korea & Japan.
So, I cross oceans to get to the other side. I also do it because it is the ultimate problem solving puzzle. No phone, no help, it’s having a good plan and then adjusting the plan as need be.
It’s having to make do with what you have a not what you want.
It’s having to solve problems.
Throughout my life, in every endeavor I was involved with, I strived to make the system better ev, oftentimes to the detriment of my life or career. In hindsight, I should have done some things more delicately, but I don’t have any regrets. You fight the good fight or you may as well be the cow in the field eating grass.
So even as careers change and jobs end, I am still a problem solver. Cruising gives me the opportunity to solve problems. The best part is that they are problems of my own making.
I make mistakes and curse myself once in a while. I take a 1 hour job and make into a day or two, but at least I am cleaning up my own mess.
When that next destination comes into view, I pat myself on the back and say, Well done pig, well done.