On the way here, Libby and I stumbled across something unexpected. We found some locks far far upstream in the Cape Fear River. It appears that the river must be navigable by medium size vessels nearly to Fayetteville, NC. Wow. We had no idea.
That sight was a reminder of where our heads are. You see, after 10 years on the boat we have become true nomads and explorers. We don't explore places that no man has seen of course, but places that we haven't seen before. Unfortunately, there are many such places awaiting but where Tarwathie (or any other large sailing vessel) can't go. In 2012, and again this year, we will see some of those places by car.
But our true passion is to explore natural places, not man-made places. I suppose the ideal would be to become dirt bikers; but we're 50 years too old for that sort of thing. Travel by water suits us well, but how could we do that if Tarwathie can't go? Many sailing cruisers switch to trawlers, but that doesn't appeal to us.
An experience that we can't put out of our heads was the meeting with a man at lock 16 of the Erie Canal. He had a 16' aluminum canoe with an outboard motor on the back. He said that he can cruise all day at 15 knots. With a rig like that, tens of thousands of miles of rivers in North America would become available to explore.
We downsized once from a house to a sailboat. Could we downsize again from a sailboat to a canoe? Not full time, but part time perhaps. We could tow a trailer with two canoes and then launch them for week long explorations. I don't think we'll give up on Marathon and Tarwathie for winters, but in summers. This idea is very appealing.
Not this summer, but something to think about for the future.