Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Probably No Surprise To You

Umatilla, FL

I hung this sign on Tarwathie yesterday.

I suspect that regular blog readers have seen this coming for years.  You might say that I was the last to know.

On Sunday, we went to the boat to start prep for our planned April 15 departure to the Bahamas.   Guess what, I started finding problems caused by the boat sitting idle for a year.  I also found that my will to roll up my sleeves and deal with tough problems has drained.  I stayed up all night in emotional turmiol.  I didn't sleep an wink.

At dawn, I made up my mind.  Time to sell the boat and to beome CLODS (cruisers living on dirt).  An hour later, I steeled myself to tell Libby.  I did so with great trepidation, fearing that she wouldn't like that at all.  But before I could open my mouth, Libby looked at me an said, "Let's sell the boat."

Libby is an amazing partner, lover and wife.  She reads my mind better than I can myself.  She is so supportive, that she is unable to segregate her own persona from our collective persona as a couple.  If I asked her what her decision would be if she disregarded me, she would be unable to answer.

Bottom line, we both agree that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in our life.  Which is --- we don't know yet.  We are still in excellent health.  Many things are possible.   But we decide to leave the cruising life while all the memories are still good ones, and before an accident or tragedy forces us out.  

We also think of Tarwathie as almost part of the family.  It is unfair to her to sit in storage so much of the year.  She should belong to a young couple who will use her to the fullest extent possible.

This is not my last word on the subject. My head is still in turmoil. Look for more to come.

Meanwhile, it will take me a week or two to prepare a proper advertisement for Tarwathie including inventory and pictures, and a price. I know that many readers of this blog dream of cruising themselves on a worthy vessel like Tarwathie.  Here's your chance.  The rest of the world doesn't know yet that she is for sale.

p.s. We had planned to go to the Bahamas with Walt&Pat and Larry&Terri.  But when we told them yesterday that we were backing out, all of them said that they would cancel too.  It turns out that they were going only because we were.  That's sweet and very touching.  We have really wonderful friends.


  1. You know, I didn't even finish my mental thought of "It's the end of an era," before my mind turned to "Ooh, I wonder what they will do next?!" Because I can't imagine it won't be something interesting and fulfilling, and possibly a bit outside the box. I hope you'll still feel like taking us along!

    And what good timing that you're both ready for the next thing simultaneously.

    But .... the night spent wrestling with your mind - I'm sure many of us can identify with that anguish. And the fact that Tarwathie is a true member of your family. So loyal and good-hearted. And you identify as cruisers. That makes it tough.

    I like that you are thinking of "passing her along to her next stewards." You want what's best for Tarwathie (as well as being good for you). That's heartwarming. I bet she'll be just as much of a magic carpet for the next caring "parents" in her lineage. I'm also impressed at how you were able to make this decision in a timely way (so many boats sit and deteriorate for years because it's a hard choice).

    I'll look forward to reading your future thoughts on the topic. I still feel like a bit of a CLOD even though I last rowed to shore (from cruising) in 2004. Feels like yesterday and I still identify as a cruiser (to myself) on many levels. In my case I have a small (vannish) RV and a small-but-sleepable power boat on a trailer. Plus a kayak. Not just the same but fun in other ways. There are places that never did have a good anchorage (mountains, deserts, inland lakes, etc.).

    This got long, but mostly I just wanted you to know that (an Internet shy) blog friend is out here thinking of you three :)

    1. Wow. Your kind words touched our hearts. Unfortunately, Google credits comments like yours to Mr. Anonymous. I wish I knew your contact info, so that we might meet some time and swap stories. If you want to contact me, email

  2. Fareweel Tae Tarwathie

    Fareweel tae Tarwathie, adieu, Mormond Hill,
    And the dear land o' Crimond, I bid you fareweel.
    I am bound now for Greenland and ready to sail,
    In hopes to find riches a-hunting the whale.

    Our ship is weel-rigged and ready to sail,
    Our crew they are anxious to follow the whale,
    Where the icebergs do float and the stormy winds blaw,
    And the land and the ocean are covered wi' snaw.

    The cold coast o' Greenland is barren and bare,
    No seed-time nor harvest is ever known there,
    And the birds here sing sweetly on mountain and dale,
    But there isna a birdie tae sing tae the whale.

    There is no habitation for a man to live there,
    And the king of that country is the wild Greenland bear,
    And there'll be no temptation to tarry long there,
    With our ship bumper full we will homeward repair.

    A quick Google search found this..

  3. Now you can start Blog'n about Mobile Home Park Live'n-- There must be some good Stories..

    Stay Well-- Play Safe..

  4. Great decision. You got the best out of Tarawathie -- you had many years of wonderful life aboard, learned a huge amount, went through all the good stuff -- elation, terror, exhaustion, satisfaction. Now it is on to the next stage, choices are endless and exciting. I loved the blog with Tarawathie, I'm sure I'll find your new path just as entertaining and informative.

  5. I'm sad to see this. Selling Drift Away was a difficult decision, but Pam and I had plans to build an off-grid home in the Adirondacks. But my accident changed all that. But the saying "when one door closes, another opens" is indeed true. I went from blogging and writing magazine articles to authoring books. I just finished my third. So when Tarawathie is sold, I'm sure you'll just move on to the next chapter in your life. Best wishes to both you and Libby.

    1. Actually, we now live full time in Flori-duh. Long story, all in my books.

  6. Thanks for sharing your memories.


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