Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida
Ten years ago this week, Libby and I first set foot on Tarwathie. The place was Venetian Causeway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Tarwathie was the 14th rWestsail 32 that we looked at within a couple of weeks.
It was love at first sight. Libby nudged me and whispered, "This is the one." I too was very impressed, but I didn't want to appear as a naive buyer so I kept a poker face. After a suitable delay (48 hours), I called the owner Al Hatch and made an offer. He asked $60K, I offered $55, and he accepted immediately. The rest, as they say, is history.
So began what has been one of the most happy periods in our life. Of course, being parents when your children are young is the best of your life for many of us. For me, being at the peak of my engineering career was certainly heady. But we believe that we have been doubly lucky to have such a delightful retirement so far. Beyond doubt, our decision to cruise was among the best choices we have ever made.
For one thing, we retired early when we were only 60 years old. That means we got to enjoy the past 10 years while in good health. We are still in good health, but we're getting older at the rate of one year per year.
But most of all, we love the nearly absolute freedom of the cruising life. 365 days per year we get to choose, "Stay here or sail away. And if we sail, choose where to go." It is also a very varied, active, healthy, and lively life style. (If you want to approximate the cruising life while living on land, abolish all televisions from your life.)
Based on the emails and comments I get from readers of this blog, I am well aware that Libby and I are living the life that many others dream of. We are very fortunate and grateful to have that opportunity. My only advice to younger people who hope to do likewise is, be persistent and determined. Obstacles abound, but you can do it too.
Regrets? We have very few. Naturally, we would love to see family more than we do. We have yet to look our great granddaughter Anna in the eyes. Libby misses her garden (but we do better at finding ways to satisfy Libby's green thumb urges.) I miss most of all, a Lazy Boy recliner chair. I'm afraid that particular urge will never be satisfied on a sailboat. Perhaps one day I'll find a public library that has recliner chairs for patrons.
So, wish us well, keep reading this blog and before you know it, you'll be reading our 20th anniversary post.