Hawaii or bust?

I hate to make detailed plans about the Big Adventure too far in advance.  Far too many things could derail or detour the grand plans, and it just seems a little smarter to keep things simple until I know for certain what kind of circumstances I’ll be leaving with (meaning money, the condition of the boat, my health, world political issues, the zombie apocalypse, the worlds rotation suddenly reversing because of those pesky Mayan calendar makers, whatever).


I had just had a thought. Every even numbered years the San Francisco Single Handed Sailing Society runs the Single Handed TransPac race, San Francisco to Hawaii. If I were to leave on the sailing portion of the Big Adventure at the end of 2014, I could spend a year and a half cruising to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, and north up the west coast of the Americas and could, maybe, make the late June start date of the 2016 race? Maybe?

OK, I’m probably stretching a bit here; but I’m allowed to dream. And, well, you never know…

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Planning the Big Adventure

For what it is worth, the New Years Resolutions, for once, remain intact. All three. Remarkable.

Plans continue. Financially, it looks like I should hit broke in the next couple of weeks. That is a great improvement over the deep financial hole where I’ve been living the past couple of years (I swear I could see the fires of hell from the pit I was in). The price to get here has been high; but I think the freedom purchased is worth it. There is a possibility that I will be significantly better off than broke. Maybe. Time will tell. Regardless, savings have now commenced for the Big Adventure.

I’ve made a written, and doable, plan to achieve the financial means to get out adventuring. Basically, I intend to save 1/3 (more or less) of my net income over the next two years. With the retirement of my existing debt (if everything goes right), this is quite reasonable. By generating a written plan and a spreadsheet to track progress I now have accountability. Confidence is high.

A recap of the Big Adventure…

March 2014 it begins. I will take the big scary step of quiting my job (very, very scary. Terrifying even. I shudder to think about it.). THEN I will progress Northbound (I considered southbound; but the calendar suggests that NB works better for me…this could be revisited) from Springer Mountain in Georgia on a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. Hopefully I will hit Katahdin before October. Timing matters as I’d like to depart the Chesapeake for the Caribbean, quite possibly via Bermuda, in November. November is a key month as it is right after the most active part of a typical hurricane season (officially ending on November 30th each year) and before the winter storms start moving in. If things don’t look terribly promising weather wise for an offshore passage, there is always the possibility of traveling down the Intracoastal Waterway.

Regardless, once I’m away under sail, I intend to go out exploring for two to three years. Or as long as finances hold out. How far will I travel? Who knows. I may bum around the Caribbean for the whole time. Or I might circumnavigate the globe. Granted, the former is far more likely than the latter; but the dream of going all the way around hasn’t quite died yet. Time will tell.

It is still a big question on whether or not I will be keeping my Seafarer 24 or upgrading to something a bit more substantial. Given that I am likely going to be living aboard whatever boat I own for a year or more (a good way to cut expenses) I’d like to have a little more room than my little boat will allow. But money matters. I do not want to sacrifice my start date for the benefit of a few more feet of length. We’ll have to see how money works out. The Seafarer is adequate, really, for the adventure, although I doubt I’d attempt any serious open water passages with it (Chesapeake to Bermuda to Caribbean is probably OK…weather and nerves permitting).

The plan is now public. It’s still subject to minor revisions; but barring personal disaster (or worse, another marriage ~shudder~) I feel fairly comfortable with its’ achievability. I’m going to make it happen!

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