Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Are We Doing This?

Sometimes, perhaps when we are stuck in a rolly anchorage, our tempers fraying as our floating home swings violently and annoyingly from side to side, I question why it is we are doing this. Why - when it takes great effort just to make it from settee to the galley without acquiring another bruise? Or when we are dealing with yet another gear failure, or when a squall strikes on a night passage and we run off in blinding rain, desperately hanging on, eyes locked on the compass, hand steering to avoid a destructive gybe.

I also question why we are out here when I have the luxury to ponder. We are approaching Nuku Hiva now in the pre-dawn, after a long but quiet night passage that began almost 12 hours ago. As I took my turn on watch at 3 am, I had the leisure to think about why it is we are doing this. The answers I came up with in the early hours of the morning are:

1. Because we can.

2. Because it's there.

3. Because what we are doing suits our personalities.

Because we can - We have the resources to do this trip from rental income and other small investments. When we cruise on Ladybug, it costs us about half what it would to live in our house, the main savings being house expenses such as taxes and utilities (these are now part of the rental income equation), running a vehicle, and additional clothing and entertainment expenses (plus we don't need to save for the annual vacation!). We also enjoy good health and we have no dependents or commitments - we have no children and our parents are healthy.

Because it's there - and it won't always be... We spent four seasons cruising in Mexico before leaving for the Pacific crossing. We could have and probably should have left earlier - but fear of the unknown and the ease of cruising in the Sea of Cortez bound us. There is so much to see - so many amazing places and peoples that staying in one place for years makes little sense. Many of the most remarkable places are also threatened by environmental and human pressures - the coral reefs, rain forests, and oceans in general, so we want to see them now before they are changed forever.

Because this suits our personalities - I think everyone has a level of change and stress at which they thrive. Both of us are keen travelers, enjoying changing scenery and not minding too much that we wake up in a different place each day. Admittedly, having the boat as our base gives us a sense of continuity, even though we are on the move every week or two. Not having a permanent land-base to return to is something we can deal with - at least for a while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris and Rani,

We've been following your blog via downloads over the radio and enjoyed the tale of your passage and your subsequent adventures in the Marquesas. I enjoyed particularly your tales of the weather buoy and how you handled the squalls. It seems like you chose a good route and were able to make a lot of miles good---kudos to you! Rani, I also wanted to tell you that clear, cylindrical animal you saw might have been a salp. They come in many forms, so check it out on the web and see if you agree.

It sounds like Rani's ability to speak French has given you more significant interactions with the locals than some of other cruisers are experiencing.

We just yesterday arrived at Isla San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands, after a 23-day passage from Nuevo Vallarta. We experienced winds under 10 knots most of the way, a long stay dodging squalls in the ITCZ, and finally, winds on the nose. I suspect our passage to the Marquesas will be much easier, even though it will be twice as long. But first, we have to dodge the bureaucracy in the Galapagos (more of a shape-shifter than the ITCZ) and get what we came here for---which is authorization to visit three islands on our own sailboat.

I know this is a long "comment" and don't expect you to post it---but I don't have an email for you two. Happy Voyaging!

Kirsten (and Patrick)
S/V Silhouette